A/N: Again this part derives itself heavily from the movie. Still an AU to the first movie, 3rd person POV. Thanks to everyone still reading this:)
Mountain pass towards Lac La Biche, Alberta
Sabretooth had started to lose patience, not that he had much of it to begin with, or even knew what the word meant.
Just a girl, just a miserable little girl and he’d been running around in circles after her for two whole days. Enough was enough. Magneto wouldn’t be all that understanding if he fucked up again.
He’d lost the trail back in Wandering River but managed to pick it up again back at Plamondon and followed her delicious scent all the way up here in the mountains. The human obstacles she traveled with, will have to be dealt with of course, swiftly and easily, he had no reason to doubt otherwise.
He spotted the old pickup truck on the road below, going at fifty miles an hour. Uprooted a dead tree with his bare hands and hurled it like a javelin at the vehicle. The tree landed right on target with an ear-shattering crash, denting the hood beyond repair and forcing it off the road and into the cliffside, screeching to a dead halt.
Something got hurled out through the windshield and landed some twenty feet away. That something wasn’t moving, which was well enough. Sabretooth started to descend the cliff, making his way towards his prey. Sure he enjoyed the thrill of a good chase, but it was time now to swoop in for the kill.
He could only hope the X-Men didn’t show up to ruin his best laid plans, or lack thereof, again.
Scott had no idea how long he’d been out of it, but he figured it couldn’t have been more than a few seconds. Soon as his rebooting brain caught up with what’d just happened, he turned to see if Marie and Logan were okay. Only, he couldn’t find Logan by his side.
That’s when he remembered the sound of the shattering windshield. If Logan got thrown out, chances were he was pretty badly cut up but well on his way to recovery already by that time. Scott winced, his head hurt and he raised a hand to touch at his forehead. He was bleeding. There was a dead weight leaning against his left side and he realized Marie had been knocked out as well.
She didn’t move. Still disoriented, Scott tried to turn toward her to try and help her but his seatbelt now pulled taut because of the impact kept him constrained. There was a tiny bump on her forehead but she wasn’t bleeding luckily and was still breathing.
A call from the distance startled him. “You alright?”
He looked up, as expected, Logan was back on his feet and starting to walk back towards the truck. “Kid, you alright?”
“I’m stuck! And she’s knocked out.”
Logan headed toward the trunk of tree still resting on his truck and Scott started to sigh in relief, but he really should have known by then. His relief never did last too long.
Logan sensed the hostile presence long before he actually saw it. The scent was heavy, rancid and gut-wrenchingly repulsive, and Logan couldn’t deny the fact that it was also intimately familiar. But he got no time to process the thought through.
Sabretooth came flying out of the thick forest cover but Wolverine was ready with his claws drawn out, ready and itching for the fight.
Scott gasped – he knew who the Neanderthal attacking Logan was. Sabretooth – bigger, stronger, faster and more murderous than any mutant he’d ever known. Question was, why was the Brotherhood after Logan?
“Oh fuck.” Of course.
Magneto must have found out that Scott was here trying to recruit him to the X-Men, and he must have sent Sabretooth to either kill him or bring him over to *their* side?
The fight meanwhile wasn’t going so well for Wolverine, and Scott struggled against the damn seatbelt, feeling trapped and helpless. Even if he did get out of the damn thing, his door wouldn’t open. And Rogue was still out, blocking exit from the other side. That was when things decided to get worse.
When Logan got thrown out, the cigar in his hand that he was using to point at Rogue had been flung back in the opposite direction – right into the pile of clothes in the trailer behind. Scott smelled the smoke and doubled his efforts to wrench the belt free. When that didn’t work, he tried waking Rogue up again.
“Rogue, come on you have to wake up. The truck’s on fire.”
He shook her a couple of times until she groaned and encouraged, he pulled her closer.
So maybe Rogue did underestimate Scott earlier and assumed he was human. But then Scott underestimated the girl as well. Completely forgetting whatever little conversation they’d had, he reached out and grabbed her ungloved hand. The fire grew to alarming heights behind them.
Scott gasped again. His eyes went wide and his mouth fell open struggling to draw in fleeting breath as pain, incomprehensible, paralyzing pain clutched at every nerve ending of his body. It felt like something, or someone, was draining the very life out of him and he wasn’t even sure what was causing it.
At that very moment, something came flying back towards the truck and landed on the hood of the truck again. This time though, it wasn’t a log of wood.
// Logan! //
What a strange and useless way to die, he thought, as Scott looked up one last time at the man lying motionless before him.
Rogue suddenly sprang back into her seat, wide awake and hyperventilating as if drawing breath for the very first time in her life. That’s when she noticed the pale hand circling her wrist and shrugged it off damn near violently but maybe not soon enough. Scott gasped back to life, though barely, beside her.
“Scott! I’m so sorr-”
She never could finish – looked up instead and saw Logan lying unconscious before them but before she could react, Marie was forced to wince her eyes shut.
“Ah… my head!”
It was as if a bright, red-hot light had exploded behind her eyes, pressurizing every vein and every drop of blood inside each vein until she thought her head would just explode. Never had she felt a migraine come on so fast and so furious, hitting her so hard she almost lost all the beef jerky and water in her stomach. She turned towards Scott and without thinking, (because why should one have to think about something as trivial as this anyway?) she *blinked*. Just the one time.
A stiff red beam of energy zipped out of her pupils making her gasp and quickly close her eyes shut tight again. But the damage was done. The next thing she heard was a short yelp escaping her companion’s lips and then the sound of splintering glass and metal bending followed by a strong blast of ice-cold wind that hit her face, coming from Scott’s general direction.
Did she just blast the truck’s jammed door open?
“Wha-What just happened!?!”
“Keep your eyes closed.”
Rogue didn’t understand what was going on, but after what she *thought* she’d just done, she wasn’t all that keen to argue. “Are you alright? Did I hurt you?”
“I’m fine. Just do as I say, Rogue, pl-please.”
Through the haze of her own pain, she could hear Scott wheezing, his voice barely more than a hoarse whisper. She wondered how long he’d held on to her poisonous, leeching skin. Marie didn’t much like the man but she didn’t wish to see him in a coma either.
// Please don’t die. Oh God, please don’t let either of them die… //
She felt two hands drawing her thick hood back over her head, and she flinched.
“Just go with me…”
The hands grabbed the sides of her face, careful not to touch her skin. Something inside Marie continued to scream and panic like the teenager she was. But another part, a bigger part, told her to stay calm and trust this man, trust in what he was doing. She had an inkling Scott knew how to help her get rid of the turbulence in her head, this force pushing against her eyelids from the inside out, threatening to permanently hemorrhage her brain.
After all, he was the one who gave it to her.
// So this is what I do to mutants. Huh. //
“On three, open your eyes as wide as you can and don’t move your head.”
Marie tried to nod but Scott was holding her head too rigidly, keeping her facing forward. Inside, she struggled against the ever-growing agony but kept her promise to stay still and then she heard Scott yelling practically in her ear.
She opened her eyes.
A soft voice whined over the jet’s radio. “Are you there yet?”
Warren smiled and chided the woman who’d been commanded to stay back at the mansion with the kids. In Xavier and Henry’s absence, someone had to be left in charge. “Relax, Jeannie. We’re about to hit your coordinates in five.”
Shaking his head, he looked at his co-pilot, Storm, and shared a knowing little smile with her. They both knew how paranoid Jean could be when it came to Summers. Hell, there was a time he would have been downright jealous, but not anymore.
Warren Worthington had moved on, from the X-Men and from his colossal crush on Jean Grey a couple years ago. He’d also done a lot of growing up during this time spent away from the stability and safety that the Professor once provided him at the school. And now his tastes tended to run towards more mature women - women in control, women in power. Women like Ororo Munroe.
But even if he wasn’t romantically interested in Jean anymore, she was still a good friend and he worried about her. Couldn’t say the same thing for Summers though. That man, according to Warren, had a natural flair for rubbing everyone he met the wrong damn way. No matter how much Scott pretended to be someone he was *not*, Warren still saw in him the young, disrespectful, anti-social kid he used to be back when Xavier first brought him to the mansion. With or without the funky powers, one thing never changed – Angel and Cyclops didn’t get along, period. And they never will.
Jean sighed audibly. “I just… I keep getting the feeling that something’s not right.”
Warren smirked, almost hoping Summers did find some trouble on this latest mission of his. Because *man* was it fun to keep coming to the one-eyed boy wonder’s rescue, over and over again.
“I see something,” Ro commented, looking down at the white, barren landscape of Alberta and spotting a small black smudge of activity in the middle of a mountain pass. This was just about where Jean had last located Scott through the Cerebro. Yeah, she hadn’t listened to Ro’s advice after all.
“Looks like an accident,” Ro frowned then suddenly looked up at Warren. “It’s a grey pickup truck.”
Jean’s disembodied voice was panicked. “Scott’s in that truck!”
“I see it,” Warren confirmed. “Taking us down.”
He couldn’t wait to see the look on Summers’ face when they landed.
Marie opened her tortured eyes as asked. And she didn’t close them even as she drilled through the giant of a man charging towards the truck, sending him flying back into the forest he’d emerged out of. She didn’t close them until every ounce of alien energy inside her head was expended, pulling away with it the brutal throbbing of her temples thread by thread.
She blinked a few times until her vision returned to normal – bright Technicolor instead of dark scary reds tinting everything. A sudden hush descended, made her realize that apparently she had been screaming too. All she could hear now was her own string of breathless pants, part exhilarated, part still freaked out of her wits.
“I did it. Scott…”
She turned then towards the man on her right. “Scott?”
Summers wasn’t moving, his head had fallen back on top of the seat and his face was pale as death. The rising heat on her back made her turn towards the inferno behind.
Marie struggled with the seatbelt holding Scott captive and weighed her options. The truck could potentially blow up any moment now and if she wanted to save herself, now would be the time to jump ship. Except, Scott would still be trapped in here, unconscious and maybe even comatose. Because of *her*.
No. “Scott please, come on!!”
She shoved him hard hoping to topple him to the ground out of the truck when she suddenly remembered the other man who was also lying knocked out on the hood of the truck. This time she really panicked.
“Logan…” Rogue turned towards the front and frowned.
Logan was not there. When she turned back towards Scott, a dark figure appeared out of nowhere giving her the second biggest scare of her life and she nearly screamed.
“Run,” Logan growled, swaying on his feet as he sliced through the seatbelt with one claw and bent down towards Scott’s limp form. “Now!!”
She didn’t need to be told again. Rogue turned and jumped out of the truck, heard the Wolverine’s roar echoing through the mountains but didn’t look back. She ran, as hard as her cramped legs would take her, running away from the escalating flames and into the cold until the inevitable explosion deafened her ears and sent her flying to the ground. Covered her head with her arms and crouched as low she could to escape the debris flying all over the place. Just her luck, that she dared to peek out through her hands at the exact moment a hefty piece of twisted dashboard came barreling down towards her face.
Rogue screamed. Her eyes were still frozen open when a man suddenly appeared standing over her, shielding her with his own broad back…
…And a magnificent pair of snow-white wings unfurled, like a warrior of God.
Logan had been severely disadvantaged – distracted by the rush of vague and confounding memories as he battled his adversary, worried that neither Rogue nor Summers had exited the truck yet and oh, just the other little thing about the truck being on fucking *fire*.
Maybe he was slower; maybe he’d met his match after all. One thing was for sure – he was fighting a powerful mega-mutant who could heal just like Logan could, and who wanted Logan out of the way really, really bad.
An unexpected swipe of a large log of wood bashed his head in, and sent him flying all the way back to the truck. Logan was once again knocked out on impact and he didn’t know how long he’d been out of it this time. But the time it took for his body to heal and revive itself was apparently too long because when he woke up next, the long-haired mutant was nowhere to be seen and he heard the girl screaming behind him.
Screaming for Summers to wake up, who had somehow in the past few seconds gone from bleeding from a little flesh wound to nearly dead.
Logan knew there was no time. He slid his arms under Summers and carried him out of the truck. He ran as fast as he could towards the cover of a tiny snow-covered incline. Threw his charge down and covered him with his own body, pushing his face against the kid’s and shielding their heads with both arms. As the truck and his entire life of fifteen years in it exploded to smithereens, Logan’s only concerns were for the girl on the other side of the road and the boy still passed out beneath him. When the commotion died down at last, there was nothing left but thick black smoke and hot vapors shrouding the air, and crackling sounds of residual fires scattered across the terrain.
Logan, despite his animal hearing ability, could only hear one heartbeat – his own. Summers was barely breathing.
// No. Don’t do this to me. Please… //
He cradled the younger man’s head in one hand, shaking him ever so lightly hoping that might jar him back to life. But it didn’t, and Logan felt his heart shattering with despair like he’d never felt before.
“Scott… Open your eyes, kid. Come on…”
Logan’s body wasn’t done healing and his strength wasn’t a hundred percent yet but his senses were still intact. He looked up at the sound of footsteps heading towards him and the scent of another unknown presence. He didn’t want to let go of the kid, but rose to his feet anyway, immediately taking a defensive stance over Scott.
Storm stopped a few feet away from the two men in shock. “Scott! Is he alright?”
Without waiting for a response, she hurried closer, all her focus directed towards her teammate. Logan drew out his claws and growling, came to stand between her and Scott, grabbing her attention at last.
She raised both her hands, and used a calm, placating tone. “You must be Logan. I’m Storm, and I mean no harm.”
Logan still glared at her, sniffing discretely, thrown a little by the mild African accent in the woman’s voice. He snapped his head back when he heard another two sets of footsteps behind him. Rogue was okay, thank God, and being supported by a tall blond man wearing the same black leather outfit as this Storm woman. There was an incredible pair of *wings* folded at the man’s back.
Storm took another step closer. “That is Angel and we’re the X-Men. Scott is one of us, and he doesn’t look so good over there, Logan. You have to let me take a look at him.”
Logan turned to see Rogue break away from the Angel guy and run towards him. Reflexively he opened his arms and let her in, nestling against his shoulder while he held her tightly, turning to look down at Scott.
“He’s barely breathing,” Logan whispered.
// And it’s my fault. //
Rogue cleared her throat, her voice wet with unshed tears. “It’s my fault.”
All three adults turned to look at the teenager and frowned but this wasn’t the time or the place. Warren scoped their surroundings quickly. “I saw Sabretooth running down the mountain not far from here. Did he do this?”
Sabretooth… Logan rolled the name around in his head. Didn’t ring any bells but he had a feeling it ought to. But the bigger questions were – what did that guy want? And did he get it? If he wanted to kill Logan, why did he leave without finishing the job?
Warren, meanwhile, realized these people wouldn’t know what he was talking about. “We should get out of here, before the Brotherhood returns.”
Once again, Logan had questions but no time to get any answers.
Storm stood up after checking Scott’s pulse. “We must get Scott back to the mansion as soon as possible.” Then she turned towards Rogue and Logan. “You should come with us. We can provide you a safe haven from…”
“Yeah. Yeah. I know the pitch.” Logan interrupted her and bent down quickly to gather Scott into his arms one more time. “Let’s go.”
Logan had only taken a few steps when he realized the girl wasn’t following him. He turned around, finding Marie frozen at her spot, her hands hanging uselessly by her sides as she looked around, uncertain. Lost.
Marie looked around herself, thinking back to her life these past few weeks. She’d run away from home to get away from people she cared about and knew she could hurt. And she’d set out to find others like her, other mutants who just might understand what she was going through. Freaks like her who wouldn’t judge her for the freak she was, and possibly whom she won’t be able to hurt either.
Now here she was, having found not one or two but four mutants. Five if you count the guy who attacked Logan. Seeing how high he’d been able to jump in the air she had no doubts of his pedigree whatsoever. But turns out she could hurt them too - the unconscious (possibly comatose) Scott in Logan’s arms was a live (hopefully) example of that.
Could she really trust these people? Could she trust *herself*?
“Rogue.” Logan intoned carefully, and looked straight into the girl’s fluttering eyes. Words were never his forte, never will be. A not so quick, deliberate nod of the head was all he could offer to the young girl, hoping that would be enough. And if it wasn’t, then he would have to think again. He sure as hell wasn’t going to leave her alone in the wilderness.
“Come on, kid.”
She took a small, careful step towards Logan, eyes dropping to the unconscious Scott in his arms. She steeled herself and trudged on, faster and surer after that. Wherever Logan went, she would follow. And right now, there was nothing more important to Logan (and her) than getting Scott to a doctor.
Logan tried not to raise his eyebrows at the sight of the badass Blackbird parked not so far. He looked down at Scott and thought back to all the times that he had tried to talk Logan into going with him to New York. And how every time Logan had shot him down or found a way to sidetrack him from the topic entirely. Not too long ago, he’d thought to himself that he’d carry the kid into a plane and strap him down if needed just so he could be rid of him. Logan never thought he’d really have to do it, much less that he’d be making the trip himself too.
// All you had to do was give me the fucking scare of my life, kid. //
This right here, *this* is exactly why Logan shouldn’t be doing this. And yet here he was, doing it anyway. Going to New York. Following the kid to his home where he could make sure Summers woke up well again, see those baby blues sparkle with life, and passion and purpose again.
Besides he didn’t trust these people who claimed to be X-fucking-Men yet. No way could he send Summers off alone with them when he wasn’t even awake to defend himself.
“You better be who you say you are,” he declared ominously, when the jet started to lift off.
Warren and Ororo turned towards him, observing how carefully Logan placed Scott in a seat and strapped him in, supporting the lolling head until it rested comfortably. They looked at each other – Ro was serene while Warren could barely contain his amusement.
“Please strap yourself in, Logan,” Storm suggested, hoping she wouldn’t have to turn it into an order, then switched on the comlink. “Jean, we have him.”
“Is he okay?” A shaky voice echoed through the cabin and it made Logan look up, his brows furrowing.
“Keep the sickbay ready, Doctor. We have a few injuries on board.”
Storm sighed as she looked back at Scott one more time. “Bad.”
Silence greeted her somber tone from the other end. Jean, Ro figured, must have taken off to make the necessary preparations and track down Hank and Xavier’s whereabouts. Trouble was, none of them knew exactly what had happened to Scott, none that is, except the girl.
“Rogue…” Logan’s voice was gruff, but not menacing, least not yet. He looked up into the girl’s wary eyes and held them.
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A/N: Pls let me know what you think?