***Third person POV***
Calling Lake, Northern Alberta
The little pest was pissing him off. And especially in that particular moment when without warning he went out like a light. In his truck!
Logan wasn’t surprised though. Summers seemed to be hanging from a fragile thread ever since Logan found him sleeping on his feet leaning against Logan’s truck earlier that night. He threw his cigar stub out the door as he opened it in front of the Lakeside motel. Medium sized place, with private cottages for rooms. Obviously the kid could afford the luxury of privacy. Oh well, all he had to do was dump him in his room and get the hell out.
Pulling him onto his feet revived Scott slightly and he opened his eyes. Logan pulled one arm of his onto his own shoulder, and grabbed him around his waist. Scott leaned against the taller man as he was half-dragged half-carried into the premises and he gasped in pain all the way.
He squinted to look around and gingerly raised an arm to point at a lone cottage at the far end. Figured. Had to be the very damn last one.
“Go on open the door kid.” Logan said, soon as they reached the door, thankful to be slightly shielded from the blizzard by the cottage parapet.
Logan frowned. The kid didn’t have his keys, they must have gotten stolen too. He cursed into the wind, then grabbed the knob and gave it a furious twist. The lock broke free and he walked his charge in, kicking the door shut behind them. He didn’t let him go till they reached the bed. That’s where he loosened his grip and instantly Scott fell face first onto it. Didn’t look like he would be able to get up any time soon either.
He turned around to walk out.
Scott’s voice was barely above a whisper. Logan halted, but didn’t turn to face him.
“I kept the deal kid, gave you the ride.”
He said nothing, just wheezed in his painful way, that almost seemed to have become a habit to him.
//Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.//
Logan cursed and gritted his teeth. Then walked out the cottage anyway.
Scott couldn’t believe how uncoordinated and useless his limbs were. The delirium came and went and he could vaguely recall Logan pulling him out of the truck and walking him to his cottage. He wondered how they got in since the key card had also been in his wallet that got stolen. One moment he was standing upright… barely, the next he was flat on his front with his head to one side… the dull fawn wallpaper of his bedroom staring back at him. The pain was incessant and mounting. There was no escape and he stopped trying to block it out, wasn’t working anyway.
Out of the corner of his blurring eyesight, he noticed the other mutant turning and moving out. Scott panicked. This was a bad bad situation. Logan was leaving… again. And this time he was absolutely helpless to stop him. He envisioned in his mind’s eye – Warren’s smirking face, Ro’s patronizing one… and Charles’ disappointed one. At least the dread they caused provided him one last meager burst of energy to open his mouth and mutter…
For a moment Scott thought the man stopped, and might even stay. But that wasn’t to be. He said something Scott didn’t quite catch… but knew wasn’t an assurance he wished to hear. Already on his way down to the darkness of unconsciousness, Scott felt a bizarre hurt twisting around his heart as he watched Logan walk out of his cottage… and his life. Forever.
Niko, the guy at the reception escorted Logan to the cottage where a nurse and her new husband were staying. They were on their honeymoon. And this time of the night they were obviously occupied screwing each other’s brains out behind the Do-Not-Disturb sign on their door. Logan couldn’t care less. Come to think of it, the kid wasn’t his problem either. Then why was he so damn concerned about what happened to him?
Niko cooed. “Mrs. Gardener? Open up please. Pretty please?”
Five, twelve… Logan counted twenty-six knocks. Finally a petite blonde woman opened the door in an angry state of hurried mis-dress.
“Don’t you see the damn sign on the door?”
“I’m sorry Mrs. Gardener but there seems to be an emergency…”
“Really? Now there’s a surprise!”
Helen Warrick Gardener was not a happy woman at all. Steven Gardener was a wildlife photographer and nature freak and loved this geography but Helen was regretting being the only person in the medical profession around here. Ever since she and Steven had checked in, there’d been an emergency practically every night. For Christ’s sake couldn’t they just instruct their guests that playing rough was not allowed on the premises? Or that they should bring their own doctors to their goddamn bdsm parties?
Niko stood before her as always perfectly polite and totally unperturbed. He’d told her there used to be a doctor nearby but he moved out a week ago and now the nearest medical facility was ten miles away and all they had was a tiny medical kit with expired drugs. Perils of living in the Canadian countryside this time of the year. She sighed, she knew she would have to give in eventually but she didn’t want to make it easy for him nor for the big scary man glowering at her from the sideline.
Before Niko could carry on the mindless argument though, Logan intervened. “My friend’s hurt. He needs help *now*.”
He didn’t start out with a growl but sure ended with one and it worked… sorta. Helen glared back at him, banged the door shut on the men, then took her time (which wasn’t that long, Helen was a good woman after all) changing into more appropriate clothing. When they reached Scott’s cottage she took one look at the unconscious man and grimaced.
“My God, I can’t believe you guys actually enjoy this.”
Logan frowned, not sure what she meant but let it pass. He walked over to the window and plonked himself on the sill. Helen glared at him again.
“You don’t expect me to do all the work do you?’
Logan scowled and came back to the bedside. The nurse opened a small stack of supplies and picked out a painkiller to inoculate Scott with.
“His clothes are wet. You need to take them off.”
Logan narrowed his eyes. “Me? Why should I take ‘em off?”
“Because you’re the awfully concerned *friend* here aren’t ya?”
Then as she loaded the injection Helen grumbled to herself. “You should have thought of this when you were beating the bloody crap out of him.”
Logan was surprised. He wondered how she’d guessed that he was responsible, and of course he felt guilty about it. Quietly he got to work. He pulled off the jacket and Scott groaned even in his state of unconsciousness. Logan handled him more gently after that. Took off his shoes and socks and while Helen went to turn the thermostat up, he raised Scott in his arms and pulled the damp shirt off his unresisting frame. Then the undershirt came off and for a long time Logan just stared at the bare expanse of the boy’s torso.
The skin was dangerously purpled on the ribs, each one mildly visible through his thin chest. Logan wondered how the hell could he have taken a thrashing like he did that night. The auburn head swung limply to rest against Logan’s chest and without any actual intent he drew the sleeping man closer to himself. He felt strangely relieved, as if he was finally getting to do something he’d longed for, for years. Logan could not have possibly described what he felt in that moment. Holding Scott Summers burned his soul… and calmed the beast inside him.
Studying the various discolorations on the young, tired face and body, the bluish tinge on his full lips, mouth slightly open… he touched… tentative at first, then softly rubbed his thumb across the lower lip as if trying to warm it up. Logan was still holding Scott in his arms when Helen walked back in.
“Hurry up big guy, before he dies of pneumonia.”
Helen’s shrill voice broke him out of what seemed like a timeless trance and Logan laid the boy back on the bed. Quickly undoing the soiled jeans he tugged them off, revealing white cotton boxers that were soaked in blood on his left thigh, all the way up to the crotch. The thigh was where Scott had torn open stitches in two places. Back in the truck Logan had smelt fresh blood and even seen it seeping through his dark blue jeans. He’d worried that he was personally responsible, but now he could see these were older wounds.
Helen examined the unconscious man. “These rib fractures are about a month old. But you’ve seriously knocked them out of place, they’ve got to start healing all over again and *wow* those are a lot of stitches.”
She was referring to the thigh wounds and to get to them she quickly pulled off the ruined boxers causing Logan to avert his eyes in a rush. Scott now lay completely bare and even in his current, totally trashed up, severely malnourished state… Logan wasn’t sure he could stop himself from raking his eyes all over the boy.
//Oh God. Oh my fucking God.//
Logan got up to pace, anything to keep the lust raging inside of him in check. This was neither the time nor the place.
//Nor the man.//
“Get a bowl of hot water and a washcloth from the bathroom.”
Logan automatically obeyed, not thinking too much of the fact that he was being ordered around by a frail thirty something four feet eleven inches tall Debra Jo Rupp look-alike.
When Logan returned Helen took the stuff from him and cleaned off the excess blood from Scott’s wounds. She used antiseptic to treat the cuts on Scott’s lip, left ear and right hand, after she was done treating the gashes in his left thigh. Without looking up she spoke to the other man. “Two bullet holes on the left leg, one in left bicep and this one’s in the chest. Point blank.”
Logan stood with his arms crossed, looking at the said collarbone.
“… centimeters from the heart.”
“Any ideas where he got them from?”
Logan shrugged. Very many combinations of combat scenarios sprung to his mind as he tried to envision what might have happened. The sniper… no snipers, had to be more than one… must have been lying low, waiting for Summers to step in range. Maybe he’s got a severe right side dependence, maybe he just didn’t see them or was distracted by something at three ‘o clock long enough to leave his left side vulnerable. Two shots to the leg before he fell… fourth one finding its level way into his arm. He must have been surrounded. Disarmed… or maybe not… then shot point blank. Missed the heart, surely the intended target, but couldn’t have possibly missed a lung, shattering its way through a couple of ribs.
Logan thought back to the conversation they had had earlier about the Right group.
//They’ve been causing a lot of trouble for us these past few months.//
He noticed the clinical detachment with which the nurse put in a fresh line of stitches then bandaged his left thigh, whereas it took all of Logan’s self-discipline to not gawk at the boy’s groin. He was nicely endowed, even in its current shriveled state, he observed. The pubic hair was auburn but there was very thin lighter colored hair on his legs and arms. The upper torso was completely smooth and even soft to the touch as Logan had experienced himself and now resisted hard from doing so again. He remembered the way Summers had reacted in the truck to his physical advances. Logan almost chuckled at the memory, wondered how he’d react if he was awake through all of *this*. But he was glad he wasn’t, this must be fucking painful… not healing for days. Hurting for days.
Helen was beginning to realize this was way too murky for just a sex game. And yet she couldn’t resist razzing the brooding man. “I can’t believe you guys actually get off on such cruelty to each other.”
“What? I didn’t… he wasn’t…”
One look at the lady’s face and it dawned on Logan what her snide comments had been all about. He exhaled impatiently. “It wasn’t like that.”
She sneered and got up, gathering her stuff up. “I don’t wanna know. This is your mess and you’re gonna have to deal with it. I’ve given him a morphine shot so he should sleep through the night. But you need to clean him up. Give him a sponge bath, keep him warm and get some fluids into him soon as possible. And better see a doctor first thing tomorrow alright?”
She moved to the door. Logan followed with a bewildered frown on his face. She turned to face up to him with a smugly expectant look on her face. The kind a schoolteacher would give an errant child after lecturing him to her heart’s content, confident of his gratitude for her great benevolence. “Well, what do you say mister?”
Logan frowned harder, if that were possible. “Sponge bath?”
Helen Gardener huffed, rolled her eyes then left him alone in the cottage, with Scott.
The blizzard got worse as night progressed and while the cold couldn’t kill him, it sure could be seriously annoying to be outside in such weather. So Logan was glad to be indoors for a change. He stretched onto the reclining chair beside the bed. Took off his boots and rested his ankles at the foot of the bed, comfortably distant from the sleeping man.
Scott slept covered from neck to toe with heavy comforters, unaware of being keenly scrutinized by his prospective recruit. He hadn’t had proper sleep since he’d landed in Alberta three nights ago. Getting pummeled by Wolverine hadn’t helped matters much either, but if it meant he’d succeed in getting the mutant down to Westchester with him… Scott would consider it all worthwhile.
At the moment though he was struggling.
Maybe he was worried that Logan had left hours ago and would be far beyond reach before Scott could wake himself up from this deep sleep. Maybe he feared he was trapped in yet another coma, the fucking bane of his young life. Maybe he was reliving the attack that nearly killed him, nearly killed Jean, and robbed him of his optic blasts. Or maybe he was caught in the horror that once was his life… a blind boy on his knees, before the client who wore huge brass rings and loved to hit.
Logan debated the pros and cons of approaching the boy, who was obviously having a nightmare. He was shaking and sweating, and nearly pushed off all his covers. Hoping the morphine would hold and that the kid would remember nothing in the morning, Logan got up and sat on the bed beside Scott. Tucking the covers back in place, he gently picked up the palm lying close to him… held it in his coarse one, gripping it. Firmly. If this were a woman’s hand, he’d be hearing cracking bones right now. But for Scott it was the seeming transference of strength from Logan to him that did the trick and in his sleep squeezed the offered hand back. Logan, vocabularily deficient as he was, said nothing, just watched as the trembling gradually subsided and Scott sank back into calmer waters of undisturbed sleep.
Reluctant to let go though, Logan continued to hold the hand in his. He remembered slowly unwrapping those bloodied knuckles from their denim coverings not long after the nurse left. Remembered his conflicted emotions as he’d cautiously stroked a washcloth over every inch of that broken… beautiful body. He’d been disappointed and yet relieved to finally pull the covers over Summers, determined not to bother him again for the rest of the night.
Goddamn nightmares and Logan *should* know… because here he was, touching Scott again… unwilling to, unable to stop.
Logan placed the hand back under the covers and walked across to the windowsill. He should have walked out hours ago. Summers seemed okay now, he could take it from here. If not, the nurse was still around. So what was Logan still doing there?
He sighed heavily. He knew there was a combination of guilt, empathy and… a more than your average lust at play here. Emotions he hadn’t felt in a long long while. Something about the boy…
Logan growled, deep in his throat. He had to watch himself, before he got completely domesticated.
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A/N: Please let me know what you think?