A/N: Okay this one is sorta short, and derives hugely from the movie. Could not be avoided.. *shrugs* Let me know what you think?
Laughlin City, Northern Alberta
Stubborn sonofabitch! He just turned and left… okay not so far, just to the bar. Parked himself on a stool with his back to me though and the message was pretty clear.
I wish I could.
The moment I saw him earlier that night, I thought maybe Charles had made a mistake. I thought – oh-kay so he’s strong, and for all that bulk pretty quick on his feet, and sure he could fight. Had all the right moves and then some. Slick in that typical military-trained way, and yet coarse enough to show his complete disregard for discipline and/or technique. Which was all hunky dory but… what was his mutation? Chain smoking cheap cigars and still having the lung capacity of a raging bull?
I didn’t figure that out until I saw him fight. Rather until I saw him… *heal*. This purplish bruise on his jaw, one second it was there and the next, just… gone. I think I stared and he smirked back at me thinking… fuck, he must have thought that maybe I was checking him out or something.
So *that* was his secret. He stands in his corner of the cage while he heals, back to the rest of the world hoping no one notices in the darker shadows. But I did. Amazing how sharp my eyesight is, not having actually used it without the visor for the last eight years.
Not bad… not bad at all. So someone who heals that fast, wouldn’t age either right? And wouldn’t that mean he could be like… a hundred years old and not look it at all? Jean would know more, if only this guy would agree to come with me back to the mansion. With him on our side, we’d have a big advantage over our enemies who’re just as crude and unpredictable as *he* can be. I taught my students to always stick to a certain set of principles. But there are battlefields out there and enemies who have no principles, who follow no rules. That’s where this guy would come in handy. I could just sic him onto them without having to admit myself that… ahem… that the rules don’t always work.
What could I do? What could I give him that he wouldn’t want to refuse? I know he’d been giving me the eye all night. And that proposition joke? He… he looked like he wanted to…
A mild dizziness washed over me and I winced my eyes shut… tight. Damn. There was no way… no way in *hell*… in that moment I despised myself for even thinking it.
But why not? Once a whore…
Jaw clenched tight, I turned away fully intending to walk out of the joint. And keep walking all the way back to Westchester? Prove to Ro and Warren once and for all what a great big loser you are, couldn’t even handle a simple recruitment?
I turned back around and started slowly heading to the bastard again.
Get a grip, Summers. Think. There’s got to be another way.
“Ellis island, once the arrival point for hundreds of thousands of immigrants is opening its doors again…”
The newscaster droned on, on the tiny television set nearby. A young girl sat couple of feet away on his left watching the news. And yeah, she was weird.
Still had her overcoat on with its hood up? *And* was wearing thick gloves despite the fact it was very warm and comfortable inside. Whatever. Teenagers.
But she left no place on the bar for me but to stand beside Logan and talk, and I was still wondering what to say when I reached him. Maybe I should order a beer too? Except I shouldn’t really drink with the meds, which reminded me I didn’t take the last dose because I didn’t eat anything so technically guess I *can* drink and what the *fuck* was I on about?
I was very nearly there and he tensed up, sensing me close maybe? No, there was someone else too.
“Hey. You owe me some money.”
It was the last guy Logan fought, with a buddy of his who was clearly trying to pull him away.
“Come on Stuart it’s not worth it.”
But the jerk was adamant.
“No man takes a beating like that without a mark to show for it.”
I knew where this was going. The handful of people still hanging at the bar looked at the guy and then at Logan with suspicion in their eyes. I halted, deciding not to interfere until necessary. And then the guy leaned closer to Wolverine and hissed in his ear… everyone around including me could hear him loud and clear.
“I know what you are.”
I could tell Logan was pissed, two men in one night reminding him of his mutation couldn’t possibly be good. Damn. He was never gonna listen to me again.
“Look *Stuart* you keep this up you’ll lose something else.”
There was anger in his growl, just as sharp as it was when he told me to get outta here.
“Come on man, lets get out of here it’s not worth it!”
The buddy pulled Stuart away ready to drag him out if that’s what it took. For a second I relaxed thinking maybe they’ll go away quietly. Then the guy pulled out a knife and lunged for Wolverine.
It was the girl who screamed.
She was fast enough to warn Logan or maybe… maybe he’d sensed the attack already, the ease with which he caught hold of Stuart’s arm and backed him up against a pillar made me think he was ready. Well, not bad. But what he did next, left me gaping with complete and utter astonishment.
Three knives? Blades? No, claws… three claw-ish sorta blades came out of his… his knuckles? And he pointed them at the Stuart guy and you could just *feel* the collective gasp of terror echo through the room.
“Get out of my bar freak.”
The bartender jumped in then… his rifle aimed at Logan from behind. It all happened so fast. I was way too far to tackle him in time and the girl was frozen in her seat. Damn. I worried if I was about to lose my prospective recruit to a malicious bar brawl…
But I didn’t need to.
The very next instant, Logan lashed out with his *other* hand and… claws in there too! The bartender’s rifle was sliced in two… that sure was one strong metal… whatever it was. And everyone was too shocked and/or scared to react.
Seconds passed in utter silence. Wolverine is obviously a man of very, *very* few words. With the threat sufficiently taken care of, Wolverine calmly dropped his claws… retracted them more like… and just as easily, walked away. I took another second to recover from my own shock.
Then I ran after him.
“Wolverine! Wait up!”
The guy reached his old beatup truck in very few strides and I ran to catch up with him just as he was reaching for the door. I immediately took an offense position hoping he might respond to that.
“Logan! Just listen to me man, I just wanna talk alright?”
He slammed the door shut and turned to me, then before I knew it, he grabbed my collar and pulled me close. Another two inches and his nose would have collided with mine. His eyes… so intense and flaring with… passion, no. Rage. I heard his teeth gnashing and a slight shiver ran down my spine keenly aware how close those deadly knuckles were to my face. He growled again.
“Stay away from me bub. I see you again I’m gonna *gut* ya like a fish, you got it?”
I stared up into his livid brown eyes. “No you won’t.”
He was furious now, as I could tell from the way he almost lifted me off my feet. I grabbed at the sleeves on his jacket, desperate… not afraid yet but getting there fast.
“You’re not a mindless killer, you just proved that back in the bar. It’s why the professor sent me for you, Logan.”
He let go of my collar with a sudden jerk and I stumbled a step back, almost slipping in the snow.
“Listen boy, whoever the *fuck* you are. I’m NOT interested. In you or your mutant school or your mutant professor’s fuckin' mind games. You got that?”
The tone of his voice warranted no argument. He was not going to listen. I just glared back at him, and maybe a hint of pleading crept into my eyes because it seemed like he almost gave in for a second there. Just for a second.
He got into his truck and left. It wasn’t until his vehicle was out of my sight that I realized I was still holding my breath. I let go, forming a cloud of steam that somehow reminded me of the clouds of smoke surrounding him at the bar. I found myself missing the strong aromatic scent of his cigar already.
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