Yeesh. This is very scary for me...posting my very first(maybe last)
X-Men fanfic. I've been writing this short little sucker in my head
since *counts back in head* about 11:30 pm, 8/8/2000, during the closing
credits of "X-Men" that I went to see on my birthday...(One of the best
birthday presents I ever got, o'course. *g*) Anyway, it's been a long
time comin', and I'm happy to say I've finally got the silly thing
finished. So here goes. Enjoy. ^_^
Book O' The Day: "Blueprint" by Charlotte Kerner
"One of the main things that most good writers have in common is that
deep down, we're all sadists." --Melissa Flores
TITLE: "39 Minutes of Calltime Remaining"
USUAL SNARKY DISCLAIMER: Were these or any related characters mine, Remy
woulda never gotten dumped in the Deep Freeze, Mary Jane would be safe
and sound, and there would be shirtless Logan clones for all womankind.
Obviously these characters are NOT mine--they are Marvel's and Fox's.
Curses. Foiled again.
RATING: PG-13 to R for language.
SPOILERS: "X-Men" movie. Well...duh.
CLASSIFICATION: Mostly-Drama-Dramedy, Vignette, Logan/Rogue, Angst
(although that's a certified given in a LRfic, isn't it?)
SUMMARY: Logan gives Marie a call.
FEEDBACK IS SLAVERED AFTER (lawsuits are not!) AT:
ARCHIVE: Official listfic page, sure; anywhere else, pleeeeeeease ask me
first & send me your URL. So I can make a little note, show it to all my
friends, and say "SEE! There IS somebody out there besides me who loves
my fanfiction!" At which point they (being my friends) will all laugh
NOTES: Dedicated to all the gang at the Bella Mafia, including Rebecca
Littlehales, who shares my shameless Gambit-grokking; and fiery curses
upon, and many thanks to, Melissa Flores and Nancy Lorenz, some of the
world's most rabid LR fans. They *knew* I was a Remy/Rogue-shipper--they
knew it, they knew it, they KNEW it--and yet went right ahead with the
corrupting...of which this fic is the result. If y'all say "I told you
so" I will feed your spleens to Venom.
He almost drove right past the payphone; a pitiful faded metal creature
bent at a strange angle above the ground and half buried in the snow.
Logan growled deep in his throat and resisted slamming on the brakes,
coming instead to a slow if sliding stop on the icy road. He looked in
the frosted rearview mirror, filled with endless reflections of snow and
road and precious little else. Logan snorted and killed the engine. Not
like it was going to cause a traffic pileup.
He eased out onto the snow. The cold hit him like a sledgehammer, and he
hunched deeper into his faded leather jacket. The heating system on that
vehicle was laughable, but at least it had kept the wind out. Logan
snorted again and set out, almost enjoying the strength it took to fight
his way through the thigh-high drifts. He reached the battered phone and
kicked with cheerful viciousness a circular clearing in the snow around
it. Wolverine, 50. Jack Frost, 0.
Logan searched his pockets and pulled out a small white rectangle; he
lifted the receiver from the phone and hunched it on his shoulder
against his ear, wincing at the bite of the freezing plastic. But he was
in luck. "Houston, we have dialtone," Wolverine muttered, squinting at
the microscopic letters on the rectangle he held. Damn calling cards. He
blew briefly on his hands to warm them and then dialed.
A soft chime sounded. *A T and T*, a woman's voice said pleasantly. *For
instructions in English, press 1*-- Click. *Please enter your card
number*. He glared in annoyance at the smudged numerals placed
prominently on the little plastic card, but dutifully punched away at
the buttons. *Welcome to AT&T Pre-Paid Card Service*, the woman
continued in the same monotonously pleasant voice. Didn't she have to
*breathe* or something? *To call within the U.S., Canada, or the
Caribbean, press 1.*
* Please enter the area code and number.*
Logan pulled a worn scrap of paper from his jeans; smoothed it out
carefully inside the phone booth and punched a series of digits.
*You have...thirty-nine minutes of calltime remaining.*
Wolverine drummed his fingers impatiently on the cold metal booth as the
phone rang. And rang. And *rang*. Damn. Must be out saving the world
like good little X-Men. You'd think they'd have friggin' voice mail or
something in case friggin' Spider-Man calls about a friggin' LUNCH
Click. "Hello?" panted a female voice, young, excited and out of breath.
"Uh--Xavier's School of the Gifted?"
"Mr. Gifted's on his lunch break," Wolverine said sarcastically. "But if
you leave a message he'll be sure to get back to you."
There was a blank pause on the other line. "Huh?"
He rolled his eyes skyward. Gifted. REALLY gifted. "Forget it," he
growled. "Just put Marie on, okay? Or Rogue, or Porcupine, or whatever
else psycho name she's gotten saddled with lately."
"Just a second, please," the other line said in a very small voice.
There was another, longer pause. Logan closed his eyes, trying to
concentrate on his breathing. He could almost smell her, like a faint
scent trail on the icy breeze. Deodorant and Colgate breath and a
feminine hint of sweat and the sweet spicy smell of her strawberry
shampoo, and always underneath it everything the barest trace of musky
fear. Fear of WHAT? And why should it matter what she smelled like,
anyway? And why the hell was it TAKING so long? Wolverine leaned back
against the booth, trying desperately to appear casual...to the
absolutely nonexistent watching people that were nowhere around on the
abandoned snowy road. Snap out of it. He punched himself impatiently in
the leg. Snap OUT of it.
Click. Click. "Rogue here. And Ah was *sleepin*'," a familiar voice
said. Soft, Southern, and borderline accusatory. He felt a grin creep
across his face. Rogue.
"Well, excuse me for breathing," he snarled mockingly. "Didn't know the
mighty X-Men's bedtime was in the middle of the afternoon."
"Oh mah god." Her breath caught harshly over the line. "*Logan*. Oh mah
"Hey kid," he said. "Guess you haven't forgotten me yet."
"Ah'd recognize that growl a'yours anywhere, Wolverine," she said. "God.
It's been awhile."
"Sorry. A few months now, I've been...a lot of places they don't have
"Well..." Marie's voice quavered slightly. "You okay? You're not hurt,
are you? You need us out there?"
"You know me, Marie. I don't get hurt."
There was a pause. "Yeah," she said slowly. "I guess I shoulda thought.
I...When you didn't call for so long, I thought you were hurt, or you'd
gotten lost or somethin'."
"I've got a better nose than that. I mean--" Logan stopped. "Well...I
"Thanks for lettin' me in on that," she said drily.
" I didn't mean t'make you worry, okay?" He shifted the freezing phone
to his other ear, hunching himself out of the wind. "Look, is everything
all right? They treating you right?"
"Yeah, 'course." She sounded indignant. "It's awesome. They've been
teachin' me a lot. 'Fessor X and Jean say I might even get on the main
"Chuck and Jean said that?" Logan said, surprised. "Are they sure you're
"Well, now," she drawled. "You'd think they'd know for sure or not,
wouldn't ya? Ah mean, with 'em *watchin' me train* four hours a day an'
all, wouldn't they have *some* concept of mah abilities an' whatnot?"
Logan shook his head, willing the nagging doubt in the back of his mind
to vanish: Marie on the main team, Marie on the field of battle, Marie
on the front lines, Marie fighting Magneto, Mystique, a million enemy
"I'm just a little concerned, that's all," he said shortly.
"You're young and inexperienced, and I'm thinking it could be dangerous
if they put you out there before you're ready just because they don't
want to hurt your feelings."
He winced and almost pulled back the phone at her furious response. "How
the hell would you know if I'm ready or not?" Rogue half-shouted over
the line. "*You're not even here!* I've been on RAIDS, Logan! I've saved
my teammates' lives! A guy came after me with a stun-gun and I CREAMED
"Don't swear at me, Marie," Logan said automatically.
"Damn you, Wolverine. You're not my father."
"Yeah, and you're not white trash, bub," Logan growled. "Find another
friggin' mode of expression."
Her laugh was short and bitter. "That's rich. That's the richest thang I
evah heard in mah life."
Wolverine pounded the freezing metal once with his fist. "Marie, I
didn't call to fight with you!" he said in exasperation.
"Then why did y'call?" Suddenly her voice was cool, remote. "Why aftah
so long y'just call me up outta the blue and expect me to let it slide?"
"I need you
I need you to dig something up for me," Wolverine said,
trying to ignore the dangerous chill creeping over him that had nothing
to do with the weather. "It's important, I think. It's *familiar*, at
least, and anything familiar t'me is important 'cause I can't remember
half the important stuff, anyway." He dug another scrap of paper of his
jacket and read again the faded inked script. "Find out anything you can
about something called 'Weapon X'. I don't know what it is or where it's
from, but I need you to find out for me." He pulled the phone closer to
his mouth. "Marie? This could be big. Check with Chuck, Cerebro,
anything. Anything at all you find, I'll call back for in a few weeks.
He heard Marie sigh. "Wolverine
The line was silent for a moment.
"I'm sorry," he told her quietly. "I don't know what else to say to you
except I'm sorry I'm not around, and there's nothing I can do about any
of it. I can't be there and I need to you to understand that."
"It's hard t'understand," Rogue said, her voice shaking. "It's hard
understandin' how you could run off an leave the people who care about
you chasin' somethin' or someone you don't even know exists."
"Don't you get it, girl?" Logan said roughly. "I can't have any kind of
future until I found out about my past. That something's all I've got."
"You've got us," Marie said softly, "and you've got me."
For a while Logan couldn't trust himself to speak.
"Thanks, kid," he finally managed. "I--"
*You have one minute of calltime remaining.*
"What was that?" asked Rogue.
"The calling card's about to go off."
"Dang it, Logan," she said with wry affection. "Next time, call
"Yeah. Say hi to Jean and Chuck and the rest for me."
"I'll tell Scott you send your love."
He snorted. "You do that."
"A couple of weeks, Wolverine. Promise me you'll call in a couple of
"I promise I will call in a couple of weeks," Wolverine growled, "at
three o'clock in the morning this time."
Rogue snickered. "Yeah, you do that. And
" She paused. "When can you
"Marie, I don't
I" Logan paused. "Soon. I
I'll be home soon."
"Okay then," she said, sounding relieved.
Her voice was barely above a whisper. "Miss you, Logan. Miss you bad."
*If you would like to continue this call using another calling card,
please enter the card number now.*
Logan hung up the phone, stepped back from the booth and stared at it
blindly for several seconds. The wind howled and tore at him, pulling
him back into the snowy landscape. Slowly he trudged back the way he had
come, his footprints now half-filled with blown snow. He reached the
truck, yanked the handle, pulled himself up behind the wheel and stared
out down the road.
"Yeah, kid," Logan said, not very loudly. He twisted the key in the
ignition and jerked the car into gear, not even bothering to look for
traffic as he stepped on the gas. Blinded by melted snow and
strawberries, he wouldn't have noticed it anyway.