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cyndrarae

Rebelling against Reality since 2003

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JM: Young tilted head closeup
cyndrarae

X-Men: Honor.. (2/3) (Logan/Scott, Scott/Jean)




<< continued from Part 1

***

By end of second week, I was sleeping less fitfully and Scott couldn’t keep his eyes open in class. Well, at least he wasn’t grumbling and cranky and stuttering in front of his students anymore. That he completely loathed by the way. I soon realised what a perfectionist he is… which would explain the crisp blue shirts, the perfect fit trousers, geeky cardigans that looked like Xavier’s hand-me-downs, the spotless shine on his bike the squeaky clean room the irritatingly well organized files in irritatingly well organized drawers…

A regular fucking boy scout.

The transition from Scott to Cyclops is so mind-boggling you won't believe it unless you see it with your own eyes. One moment, when with me or Doc he’d be like this, this *kid*, full of relentless energy, enthusiastic and mischievous and so eager to please… like he lets his guard down completely. And then in rolls the professor or some student and suddenly his spine goes buck straight, an expressionless mask falls in place and if you listen for it, you’d know his voice drops two notches as well. Totally freaked me out the first time I saw him do that.

But I know now what it takes to be the fucking flagbearer of Xavier’s mutant revolution. As his first student and right hand guy, he has been entrusted with the responsibility to provide leadership and strong steadfastness that Xavier himself could rely on. Cyclops the X-Man is not the kid I adore and feel responsible for back in the solace of our quarters. Out on the field and in front of our not-so-wellwishers, he is the leader I follow and the commander I respect. And I always will.

Now, given his obsessive compulsive tendencies, is it any surprise he also has an annoyingly hyper-active conscience?

Jeannie and me got into this mental game of negotiations ‘bout who got to be with Scott when. Scott wasn’t burdened with making that decision because he obviously wasn’t very comfortable in letting any one of us down. In fact, and we realised this kinda late, he was eatin’ himself away with guilt. He thought he was bein’ selfish, that he was putting Jean and me through a lot of mental torture, which was… well, sorta true but not entirely. The possessiveness remained, the odd one went to ridiculous lengths not to run into the other two together. I agreed to chaperone a trip to the damn art gallery for the infamous tenth graders, how about that.

And he continued the self-censure despite everything we said. Well, everything Jean said. He never spoke to me about it, and likewise I never brought it up ‘cause far as I was concerned, it was a total non-issue. Jean and me, we’d accept Scott anyway we got him. But he didn’t see that. I should have known the dickhead that he is, he just wouldn’t let it go.

Guess the last straw was when Jean once walked in on us fucking on the black Porsche in the garage. (It was nighttime, there were no kids around and we were very quiet mind you. Least *I* was.) She gasped then he gasped then pushed me off just as she was apologizin’ and turning to leave. I rested my butt on the floor where it’d been deported to by his panic attack, dick still up and all. While he pulled up his pants and for a second just stood there, blushin’ as red as his glasses, wonderin’ what the hell to do. He probably didn’t notice me snickering away but then again maybe he did.

I stopped.

“Let her be Slim.”

“…”

“…”

He wasn't going to listen. I tucked me in and stood up.

“Slim… stay…”

Before I could reach him, Cyke ran to follow her out and I have no idea what happened between the two of them, that’s right I did not *bother* to ask. I was too pissed off, such impeccable timing that broad has. All I know is that before the Porsche incident at least Doc and I could talk and generally mingle like everyday mutants. But after that night just being around one another became just that bit harder.

Hey, it's not like she didn’t know we were fucking for fuck’s sake.

Women I tell ya.

And then one fine day, the almighty Cyclops embarked upon this holy crusade to get me and Jean together. *Complete the triangle* so to speak.

“Stop it Slim, I don’t wanna hear it.”

“Logan the two of you can't stay in the same room at a time, it is awkward and embarrassing for everyone around and especially me. This has got to stop.”

“Don’t exaggerate kid, we’re just fine.”

“No we’re not! Bobby asked me the other day what was up with you and Grey.”

Marie had asked me the same thing and I brushed it off. No one knew about our new arrangement. They still saw me and Cyke snapping each other’s head off every public chance we got. But I bet they also noticed me and Doc shootin’ ice cold daggers at one another from maximum possible distances.

What the hell was I supposed to do? Doc was pissed off at me, and I at her. Why? Because every moment the kid was not with me he was with her that’s why! And viceversa and it was reason enough. I could understand why this was killing Scott but there was not one damn thing I could do about it. We’d made our choices, now we had to live with them.

“Kids had better keep out of business that ain't theirs.”

“Logan come on, you could at least try… see if you guys can reach common ground somewhere?”

Had to smile at that. It was after midnight and just the two of us in our pjs snacking in the kitchen. I reached out, grabbed him by his ears to pull him close and kissed him thoroughly, ending with a loud and shamelessly girly ‘smack’.

“We do have something in common kid… *you*.”

Scott shook himself back to full senses and persisted, “You know what I mean.”

I scowled and let go of him.

“Look Cyke, I really REALLY doubt Doc would go for threesomes, agreed she’s not above the occasional discipline scene…”

“Fuck you man.”

He flushed a bright red and turned away. So didn’t like to be reminded of that *momentous* night at the bar. Inwards I chuckled but started to make amends right away.

“Hey, sorry alright. I was kidding! Come here.”

He refused to face me, standing with his fists on his hips and I had to whirl him around to gather him in a tight hug. He struggled but it was my turn to persist until he gave up. I pecked at his neck and hair and rubbed his back, wishin’ he’d just let the whole thing go.

For the record, I knew Scott was not talkin’ about a threesome as in… *threesome* threesome you know, hell he probably didn’t know himself what he was asking for. Whatever it was, I couldn’t give it to him. It's not like I’m averse to the idea, I’ve had some experiences in my time, but no. This was not a threesome-friendly situation at all… this was *way* different. And definitely not as trivial. I loved Scott, and God knows how I hated having to share him.

No. Fucking. Way.

“I just… I just want you guys to stop this Cold War between the two of you… spend more time together, get to know each other a little better? See how… it goes?”

Oh Goddess. And damn you Storm.

“What do you see happening between us?”

He stiffened a bit, but I didn’t stop rubbing his back.

“Peaceful co-existence would be good… to start with.”

“And then…?”

“…”

I ruffled his hair. “Do you even know what you’re asking for, kid?”

He shrugged me off then, his mouth in a tight line like when he’s doing his field leader of the X-Men thing.

“You were hitting on her the first time you laid eyes on her. What made you change your mind?”

I looked into his eyes, his glasses that is. “You know the answer to that.”

He sighed, dug his hands in his pockets.

“Logan… I… I know for a fact there was something between the two of you before… before I…”

“Don’t go there kid. Doesn’t matter anymore.”

“Of course it does! If only you’d get over yourself and give her a chance maybe…”

Guess I lost patience at that.

“I know what you want but Cyke don’t you see? I don’t want it! Jean don’t want it! Stop pushing her and me into something we both don’t want!”

I was angry and loud and very very insistent. He sulked and argued and refused to give it up.

He tried the same with Jean and obviously that didn’t work either. At least Jean and me started making efforts at cordiality when in his presence so he would see that things were quite alright now. But Cyke’s a smart one, he knew it was an act and wasn’t buying.

One night, I snagged him from his office and a pile of paperwork that was taking way too much of his time of late, and carried him to my room to turn in. He was still sullen and passive but that’s Scott for ya. He loves to be pursued and courted and seduced, I figured he’d come around.

So there he was, naked and stretched out on his stomach propped up on elbows, gasping for breath. I had one hand underneath him stroking him to his release, and with the other I prepared him for myself. Two slick fingers scisorring in deep, stroking the prostate eliciting moans that are music to my ears. After he came, he collapsed flat onto the bed trying to catch his breath. I bent down to nibble at his butt and he wriggled prettily. I pushed his right leg up, bending it by the knee to make way for myself then crawled into position to sheath myself inside him.

Things were going well. Obviously I was surprised, when among the hundred different sounds of pleasure he was expected to emit, I heard him let loose a… pained sigh?

My fingers froze, already planning a slow retreat.

“Cyke, does it hurt?”

That wretched sigh again. “Nope.”

Aaaand the trademark sulk tone. Damn it. I withdrew my hand and wiped off on a towel nearby.

“Okay, out with it.”

He turned over excruciatingly slow and gave me a very fourteen-year-old look. “Logan, I can't do this anymore.”

“Do what?”

“I can't go on… hurting you and Jean so much. She… you, this whole *thing*… it's not working.”

My heart gave a slight jump at his choice of words. “What are you sayin?”

He pouted then shrugged, and fidgeted. I knew damn well what he was doing and like hell was I falling for it. Wolverine can call a manipulation from six miles away and this was so blatantly obvious it was pathetic. Damn it he even timed it perfectly.

“Fine. You two go ahead and have a nice life then.”

I got up and stretched as he stared after me, mouth agape. I pulled up my pants and was looking for the discarded wifebeater when he let out a short squeak and sat up on the bed.

“You mean… just like that?”

“Thought that’s what you wanted.”

“I didn’t say that!”

“You’re not getting me and Doc in bed with you if that’s what you’re planning.”

“I… I-I didn’t say that either.”

This was getting more and more frustrating by the second.

“Then what *are* you saying Slim?”

There I stood, hands clenched by my sides not in anger but rigid determination to *not* give in no matter what he said. How do I make nice with a woman I can barely stand? She already owns half of what matters to me the most in this world, what more could I possibly give her and why, when she doesn’t want anything to do with me in the first place? There had to be some other way to resolve the guilt Cyke felt but for the life of me I couldn’t think what. So I waited, for him to spit out whatever his messed up mind was brewing and eliminate it once and for all. Period.

There was nothing he could say to change my mind about this. Nothing.

I waited.

My beautiful boy pulled up his knees to his chest and hugged them tightly. And he stared at me through his night glasses that I so thoroughly despise, and said: Nothing.

No more teenage tantrums, no pouts I adore so much. He just sat there, hurting himself, hating himself, blaming himself for nothing and everything. Desperate.

Damn it. I sighed so loud I bet Jean heard it from her room down the hall.

“What did you have in mind?”

***

“GO FUCK YOURSELF LOGAN!!”

And she storms out the hangar. Jean, of course. And well… that’s not all she said. There was something about how she wished she’d never laid eyes on me, and how she wished I’d crawl back into my fucking little arctic hole, and never come out blah blah. I told her if I went I’d take her precious baby lover with me and she’d never see him again and shit and that’s when she used her ultimate weapon - Tears. Women! And *then* she advises me to go fuck myself and storms out the hangar.

Alright let's backtrack a few hours, shall we?

Our beloved leader Cyclops needed two people for a recon mission into the sewers of New York City and guess which two mutants are required to clear their busy schedules?

I got it.

This was a setup, a no pressure no expectations kinda way to have me and Jean spend some time together. I agreed and somehow he made her agree too. So we take the jet, barely a half hour’s flight. I try makin’ conversation about learnin’ to fly (Not that I give a damn. Flyin’s really not my thing. I’m yet to understand why) and she plays along – takes me through all the dials and drills and shit. So far so good. We talk about why we were going to the city.

There was a mutant sighting the day before in Lower Manhattan – someone with a grotesquely disfigured face and tentacles for arms who apparently rose out of one of the manholes and worked up a huge scare in broad daylight. Caused a couple of car accidents and two people were seriously injured. The mutant then dragged a whole cart of hot dogs down the sewers with his tentacles. Couldn’t be more than a poor hungry mutant looking for some grub if you ask me. But our leader thought there was more to it so here we were.

We landed the plane on one of the secure rooftops and put up the invisible cloak thingie. That’s the coolest thing about the Blackbird I must say. Then we went down to the manhole now surrounded by the police duct tape and Jean closed her eyes to do her telepath reading thing. I waited.

And waited.

“You think Ro will have problem taking my Defence instruction classes?”

She opened her eyes and glared at me.

“Seeing as we’re gonna be here all week…”

She narrowed her eyes and minced every word. “It's underground. That takes time.”

“Why didn’t you say somethin’ before?”

I headed for the manhole, not waiting for her to go what the hell. She hissed at me as I ripped the duct away.

“Are you completely out of your mind? Everyone’s looking at us!”

A couple of pedestrians did turn our way giving us the regular weirdo looks. You knows the kind that says ‘oh look, another whackjob. Must be my lucky day.’

I pushed the cover halfway open and a foul stench rushed out at us. The cover was sturdy, whoever did it had to be at least as strong as I was. I dropped about six feet before I hit slimy watery ground, while my head was still out in the light. I held up my arms.

“Enough room here to stand and spread your arms out… and if you have tentacles for arms…”

Jean looked around again to see who was watching us.

“Yes thank you for the live enactment, will you get outta there now?”

I looked about the sewer tunnel. “Looks like this place has been used to come and go quite often.”

She was also doing her psyionic thing in the meanwhile.

“… I sense more than one presence in there… not so far from here. Powerful… some of them are definitely mutants.”

There were food scraps about, also some parchments in the slimy water.

“Could be a group of people either using this as means of travel or even livin’ here.”

“Someone *is* living down there. Yuck that stinks horrible.”

“Worse places to spend your life in Doc.”

Trust me, I know. Jean didn’t want me to go in further. And I would have ignored her had it not been for a cop that came over and asked what we were doin’ down there. Jean could make a great actress. She told him we were reporters from the Daily Bugle investigating yesterday’s event and he just shooed us away. We left and headed straight for the jet. On the way we also overheard a conversation between some of the other cops and men in suits – from the government no doubt.

Jean understood it, I didn’t.

“That’s Department of Environmental Protection. We have to hurry.”

Scott’s voice crackled over the plane’s comlink and I felt an erection comin’ on right then. Damn what that kid does to me. I realised too late that I must have been projecting because Jean immediately pulled a disgusted face and turned back to the dashboard.

“Scott can you get Kitty to hack into the DEP system? We need blueprints for the entire sewer system of New York.”

“What’s your theory?”

I jumped in. “Mutants living in the sewers, bub. We should also find out if there have been other lesser known sightings in this area. They’ve been living down there for sometime I’d say. This spot might be just one of their many exit and entry portals. Gotta find an isolated one to launch a cleanup if necessary."

“I’ll get Kit on it right away. Why don’t you guys head back for now. I’ll see if I can find out more from my sources.”

He meant his old posse from his street-rat days. He was still in touch with some and no one was hustling anymore, Scott made damn sure of that. But they were still much closer to the scene than Scott was. Jean gunned the engine, er, whatever it's called in a plane that is. I got into my seat and put on the belt. We could hear Scott giving orders to someone in the background.

“Okay but we have to hurry. The DEP’s all over this one. If there are mutants among those people which there surely are, they might need our help or they might fall into the government’s hands.”

I offered to save us some time. “Why don’t we go check it out right now?”

“No that could be dangerous. These mutants could be hostiles as well. In any case we need to be better prepared before heading down there.”

“Your call.”

“So uhh… how’re we doing? Uhh… Otherwise?”

Doc pretended to be thoroughly occupied with flying the jet, which left me to fend Cyke’s query. Great.

“We’re… good. Good.”

“Uhh okay. Good. It's okay if you… wanna take some time off? Before you return to the mansion that is…”

“…”

None of us bothered to respond to that.

“Umm okay. See you back at the mansion then.”

“Yeah. Peace out.”

Cyke chuckled and the line went dead. The lady beside me sneered. “Peace? Out?”

‘Kay so maybe I was channeling Spike now.

“Taken a liking to Spike have you?”

Damn telepaths. “Kid’s got style.”

Jean chuckled. And the ice broke just that little bit. Some fifteen minutes later I heard her sigh.

Here we go.

“Logan, things… don’t have to be this strained between us. We both knew what we were getting into when we signed onto… *this*.”

I agreed, but didn’t bother to react.

“Do you… understand what he… wants from us? You and me?”

“I’m not as dense as you think, Doctor graduated-with-honors-from-Harvard.”

“Stanford.”

“Whatever. I know what he *thinks* he wants.”

She reacted with silence, concentrating on the clear blue sky ahead. A minute passed before I gathered enough courage to ask. Okay so I'm a guy and the concept of makin’ out with a fantastically sexy woman like Jean isn’t exactly unimaginable, you know. And in such close proximity, there was something else swaying my initial resistance towards the idea.

Jean smells of Scott.

“What do *you* want?”

She frowned at me once and looked away. “In your dreams, Wolverine.”

Fuck. I looked away, disinterested again. Far as I was concerned, I’d tried. That oughtta be good enough for the kid. If not, too bad.

“Just drive.”

She scoffed again. “Look let's not even go there. You and I both know we couldn’t possibly… we hate each other too much right now.”

Well at least the woman had the balls to be blunt. I admired that, but I continued to sulk. Bruised male ego and shit.

“You know you aren’t that great on keeping your emotions to yourself. Anyone can read you like an open book.”

“I got nothing to hide.”

“Yeah well Scott’s a private person, I hope you…”

“I don’t think I need you to tell me what kind of person Scott is.”

“I think I do. The Scott I’ve known for twelve years would never risk that stupid stunt on the Porsche…”

“Wow. Twelve years!?!” I whistled. “And all this time you never knew your lover played both sides of the fence?”

Granted, that musta hurt.

“Fucking someone three times a day doesn’t make you his best friend Logan!”

“Trust me babe I *am* the best he’s ever had. And it's five a day. At least.”

That’s when we landed.

That’s when she started screaming and that’s when Scott who just happened to be hangin’ out at the hangar right then saw her stormin’ away. She didn’t stop when he called after her and so he turned to me. I figured why should I be the one left to explain how his carefully planned scheme had failed so dismally. So I grunted and stormed away from him too.

Wasn’t that hard, I was annoyed as hell at the both of them myself.

***

Let's just say the holy fucking trinity was not having a very fulfilling day.

We argued some more, then he and Jean must have argued. As a result Scott spent that night in his office instead of my room as per our little *schedule*, even locked his damn door. I could have broken it down, if I wanted to. But it was just one of those nights when none of us three was about to give in or get any. And none of us three was likin’ it any either.

The next morning, I sprinted up to his office hoping to catch him in a better mood. The door was open but Scott wasn’t there. Eventually found out from Bobby that he was in the Professor’s office going over some paperwork. Ran into Jean on the breakfast table and a second’s eye contact was enough for me to relay to her how much I blamed her for every darn thing. A second’s thought was enough for her to relay to me a massive migraine. That’s right. Bitch telepathically sent me a headache. She’s *that* vengeful.

“You okay, Logan?”

Ro asked in concern while Jean continued sipping her coffee, a barely there smile playing on her lovely mouth so much like Scott’s. Fucking hell.

“I’m fine.”

//You’re such a bitch.//

//Why thank you, asshole.//

//’cause of you he didn’t come to bed yesterday. I’m takin’ tonight off you.//

//You think you have problems? He’s blocked me out again.//

What? Oh boy.

Last time Scott walled her out of his head, the freeze lasted four months and she went all seriously loony and we ended up in that bar and… oh boy. He shouldn’t have done that. I chanced a quick glance at Jean, her agitation and fear was clearly evident in her eyes. I found myself consolin’ her, understanding how much she depended on that anchor for her powerful but unstable mind to stay grounded.

//Look I’m sure he’ll cool off by tonight. And maybe quit this insanity completely.//

The connection was quiet a long time before she responded.

//One can hope.//

Then she gradually drew the headache away.

Had classes all afternoon and Slim didn’t come to visit like he usually does almost every hour. Not once. By 1600 hours I was getting all antsy but refused to go after him either. If he thought he could *sulk* me and Jeannie into bed together, sorry kid. Not happening. Instead I went to vent my frustration in the Danger Room. Robots were my only friends in the whole world at that time.

//Logan. Logan!//

I stopped the simulation and focused on what Jean was saying.

//Scott’s not in the mansion. He took his bike out and he’s not responding to me.//

//Cellphone-wise?//

//Every which wise//

I exhaled very, very deeply. If this was another childish tantrum the kid sure was just askin’ for it.

//Relax Doc maybe he just went for a spin, clear his head. I’m sure he’ll be back when he’s ready.//

//No. No I don’t think so, something’s not right.//

Gawd, I rolled my eyes. No wonder the kid was so damn spoilt!

//How do you know?//

//I’m a fucking telepath, I can *feel* these things you fucking loser! Get your ass up here RIGHT NOW!//

Okay, put that way…

“Why didn’t he tell anyone where he was going? This is so *not* like Cyclops to be so irresponsible.” Storm was going on and on, now that she was in command in Scott’s absence who’d been missing for about five hours now.

It was six in the evening and already dark out and yeah I was getting worried now. His cell phone was out of network area, bike had no tracking mechanism and Jean continued to hit a wall telepathically.

“Storm please let me…”

“No it's too dangerous Jean. You know what happened last time you went into the Cerebro. I can't let you do it.”

“She’s right.” I said with conviction. Scott wouldn’t want her to.

The last time was when Charles was poisoned and Jean went in to find where Magneto took Marie. Ever since her powers have spun out of control. It never ceases to amaze me how enormous her mutation is. So powerful she could potentially destroy herself *and* everything else around her if the Professor didn’t help her construct all those guards inside her head.

“We wait until the Professor returns, which should be within the hour. That should also give time to the little brat to return on his own.”

Ororo looked at me weird, Jean quickly changed the subject before she could ponder the nature of my comment any further.

“Let's look at his correspondences today. Maybe he went after a lead or something.”

There were nothing on his email or answering machine. Kitty’s one useful little mutant. She was hacking into the cellphone company network to get Scott’s phone records as we spoke. But in the documents opened on his laptop, we did find the blueprints of the sewage network Kitty had downloaded for Scott yesterday. Jean wondered aloud.

“You don’t think he went down there by himself do you?”

“Got it!”

We all turned to Kitty and I read off a screen of records she was scrolling through.

“The last call he got was from a number in lower Manhattan, number listed in the name of Eric Banner. The actor?”

“That’s Bana.”

I scratched my head. “What’d I say?”

Ro just rolled her eyes in response. “Eric is Scott’s friend of thirteen years. He asked this guy to keep an eye on the sewers yesterday.”

We looked at each other, Jean and I. Our man was definitely not in a happy place last night. Could he really?

//I’m so gonna kill him. Slowly.//

//Get in line, bub.//

***

Kitty insisted to come along. First Storm said no and I said ‘hell no!’ but then she was the one with the power to walk through walls and we had no idea what obstacles lay underground. Also she did study the sewer network system alongwith Scott the day before and together they’d marked out a few potential hideouts where the mutants may be living. So yeah we gave in and she suited up. It was more and more likely Scott was down there, that could be one explanation for why Jean was not able to locate him through their psyionic link.

On the flight over, dunno what came over me. I put an arm around Jean.

//I’m sure he’s fine Doc.//

She just nodded, and leaned against me. I wasn’t kidding before when I told ya she smells of Scott. It fucks with my head every time I get close to her. But right now she was really worried and so was I, despite my suspicion of this being just another emotional blackmail tactic. No… it didn’t seem so anymore.

Blackbird parked and shielded, Ro, Jean, Kitty and I jumped through the open manhole and started our trudge towards the underworlders, if any. Led by Jean who was concentrating with every nerve in her body to find Scott, Kit studying the blueprints on her pod warning us of dead ends and the occasional dead mice. We needn’t have bothered, because while we were tracking Scott, someone else was tracking us.

“Hold it.”

I whispered. Raised a finger to my lips ordering complete silence. The foreign scent was moving, alive and nearby. Right behind us.

The presence stilled, now aware he’d been made. I turned and chased the footsteps rushing away just as my team followed me. It was a short chase, caught up with a slight, thin figure, ran him down into the slime of the sewer floor and held him there with a knee and three claws.

“Damn, you’re filthy.”

And he stank too. Then again, everything down here stank. The boy, hard to tell how old but he *was* young… and scared. He had almost skeletonish features what with no hair on his head, wide yellowed eyes, nonexistent earlobes, hollow cheeks and pale white all over. Almost like an albino. Huge, huge puppy dog eyes. He struggled to get away but I held him down good. And he obviously wasn’t too surprised to see adamantium claws out of my knuckles.

“You’ve been following us around haven’t ya?”

“Let me go! Please I’m s-sorry!”

The kid was truly panicking, but before I could react Kitty came closer.

“Hey it's okay. We won't hurt you. We’re not going to hurt you.”

Her softer voice got through the boy as he stopped to stare back at her, intrigued.

“I won't t-tell. I s-swear, p-please let me go.”

I growled impatiently, “Tell what? To who?”

His struggles began again.

Ro tried. “Do you know who we are, kid?”

He shook his head vigorously, still looking at Kitty like she was the most interesting, beautiful thing he’d seen in his life.

“You’re m-m-mutants, b-but you don’t belong here. We don’t like o-outsiders very much d-down here.”

At the time I didn't know his mutation so I assumed he'd guessed us out by my claws. Jean asked him then.

“Did an outsider come down here before us? Like this morning?”

He stilled. “Morning… it's hard to t-tell morning from… after-morning d-down here.”

“Just answer the question damn it!”

Ro put a hand on Jean’s shoulder. I retracted my claws, hoping to encourage the kid to keep talking, but held him down. Ro tried again.

“What’s your name?”

“Cal… Caliban.”

He quickly glanced at Kitty and she smiled at him encouragingly. What is it with girls and puppy dog eyes anyway?

“Cal… can I call you that? I’m Storm. We’ve come looking for a friend. Maybe you saw him…”

His eyes darted back and forth nervously, I heard his pulse quicken. Bingo.

“Few hours ago… tall slim guy, brown hair, red shades?”

He swallowed. I decided to help him out.

“Alright we know he did. Now just be a good boy and tell us where he is okay?”

“I… I… I can't.”

I snikt’ed out my claws centimetres from his nose. He panicked again. Kitty cried out.

“Logan wait. Cal… please tell us where our friend is. We just need to know he’s okay.”

I saw him melt and pulled away from him just an inch. “He… he’s okay. K-Kinda.”

Jean was losing patience with the guy. “K-Kinda?”

“Well, after Leech neutralized him…”

“NEUTRALIZED HIM??”

“H-his p-powers I mean… a-and Sunder f-flung him to the wall, that kinda kno-knocked him out…”

“Oh God.”

I got up enraged and grabbed the kid to make him stand too. “Take us to him. Now.”

“I… I can't. She will kill me if she knew…”

“I’ll kill you right now if you don’t!”

That was motivation enough. I didn’t let go of his arm as he started leading us deeper into the tunnels.

“Who’s she?” Kitty Pryde. Always the inquisitive one.

The kid swallowed. “Our leader. Ca… Callisto. She… she took him to the main tunnel.”

Jean interjected. “What does she want from him?”

“… Uhhh…”

Okay let me just summarise what we found out from the kid who didn’t hold back much… eventually, once Kitty threw another happy smile his way, and held his miserable gaze with a gentle one of her own. They called themselves Morlocks, mutants living in hiding here in the sewers because most of them were too disfigured and physically mutated to live above the ground in anonymity. Caliban was a mutant hound, he could sense and locate other mutants and worked as a patrolling guy down here to keep track of outsiders. Back to the pregnant pause between our mutant hound’s last completely useless response and our worried telepath’s shocking insight into his thoughts.

“Caliban… answer me. Right now.”

Her voice had dropped a hundred notches. The tunnel trembled around us. Vehemently she stepped closer to the pathetic mutant like she knew he was about to utter something horribly… horrible. I frowned, but decided it safer, as did Ro and Kit, to not interrupt.

“Her m-majesty n-needs to pro-pro-pro-c-create…”

She what?

“SHE WHAT??”

Jean was going red with rage, no literally. She was flaming red all over. I was too worried about a possible cave-in and death by burial to give this new contender for my boy’s affections enough attention. Obviously Jeannie had no such concerns.

“To… to c-continue the royal lineage of the Mo-Mo-Morlocks?”

“…”

“…”

Earthquake! Earthquake!

“SPIT IT OUT!!”

“There is going to be a royal wedding in two hours!”

He was so scared at the towering sight of an admittedly very scary Jean, that he didn’t stammer once.

The trembling suddenly stopped. Just like that. Doc crossed her arms in front of her, and tilted her head. It was a menacing sight.

“I see.”

***

Continued in Part 3 here >>

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