Title: Snow Bound
Series: All Aboard; After Safe Passage and Waking in Winter (You should
probably read those first. :)
Summary: More misadventures aboard the Orient Express. This is an AU
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Archive: list and Disquieting Muses (www.geocities.com/jengrrrl2000),
otherwise please ask
Dedicated and Thanks To: Donna, Nancy, Diebin, and all the chicks at the
Logan chat. Love ya guys!
�Logan? Logan, can you hear me?�
A sea of images swam before his eyes before consolidating into one familiar
�What happened?� she asked, pulling a handkerchief from her purse. �Here,
put this to the back of your head.�
Attempting to sit up proved impossible when a wave of dizziness overtook
him. �Shit.� He put a hand to his head, feeling the thickening blood on his
fingers. He gingerly placed Jean�s handkerchief to the wound, wincing at
the sting it caused. �You can tell Chuck,� Logan hissed. �That his friend�s
pulled one out of his hat.�
�Lensherr,� he clarified. �Would a kidnapping be his style? Would he have
people working for him?�
�What happened, Logan?� she insisted, exasperation forming on her fine
Logan groaned as he attempted to sit up once again. This time, he was
successful. �I walked in on what looked to be a kidnapping. Guy doing the
dirty work was a conductor, or so he claimed when I first ran into him.�
Eyes widening, Logan cursed. �He was grabbing a girl then. Could be
related. Couldn�t grab the girl, so he grabbed this other passenger?�
Jean shook her head, aware of the ever-growing crowd that surrounded them.
She helped Logan to his feet and together they began walking towards
Xavier�s compartment. �What did the man look like?�
�Tall, thin. Fairly young, I suppose.� Logan paused. �And he was French.�
Smiling apologetically, Jean replied, �Nothing. Did you see anyone else?�
�No. Just the poor guy he had tied up. Beat up pretty bad, too.�
A commotion at the front of the car made them both turn their heads. A
group of people had gathered around and it was hard to tell just what they
were looking at.
Logan, still holding the handkerchief to his head, made his way into the
crowd. The tiny chef du train, Monsieur Lagier, was trying to calm a
hysterical woman shrieking loudly about her husband. Logan�s ears perked
up. When he noticed the girl standing quietly � yet gazing attentively at
Lagier � he knew what it was about.
�This is absolutely ridiculous! I mean, it�s been hours. His daughter
searched up and down this train looking for him. There was no trace! Now, I
want you to go find my husband.� Logan glared openly at the shouting woman.
She sounded more like someone who�d lost her purse than her husband. A
simple look at her elegant dress and fashionably bobbed hair told him she
was wealthy. The way she stood, the way she looked down at the chef du
train, told him she was also used to getting her way.
The young woman next to her stood out in sharp contrast. The rogue, he
thought, almost smiling. Yes, she�d been more than willing to defend
herself. And she had been able to squirm away from that slimy French
conductor. The way she held herself next to the blubbering hysterical woman
� quietly determined to find out all she could, eyes watery but inquisitive
�told him plenty about her.
Logan glanced at Jean, making sure she understood what he was about to do.
She nodded. Taking a step forward, Logan cleared his throat and said, �I
think I might be of help here.�
�Pardon, sir? You have information regarding the whereabouts of madam�s
husband?� asked the chef du train.
Logan�s jaw tightened. He really didn�t want to cause a panic by announcing
one of the train�s occupants had been kidnapped. They�d had enough of a
shock with the snowdrift. �I believe so,� he said carefully. �Will you two
ladies come with me please?�
The older woman looked like she was about to protest, but Marie answered
first. �Yes.� She looked expectantly at her stepmother. �Are you coming,
Raven considered the possibility for a split second before replying, "No.
You go. I've developed a headache." He tall, lithe body began pushing
through the crowd, a scornful gaze thrown at anyone in her path. "That
father of yours is an irresponsible fool," she threw back at Marie.
Logan watched as the girl blushed furiously, staring as her stepmother
faded into the background. He almost felt sorry for her� When she turned to
look at him, however, the sheer determination in her eyes expelled any such
thoughts from his head.
This was not a woman to feel sorry for.
"Lead the way, Mr. Logan," she said, softly but firmly.
A look at Jean told him he should follow her. Probably to Xavier's
compartment. "All right," he said, turning towards Marie. "Excuse us a
Motioning Jean out of the girl's earshot, he whispered, "I don't think
that's such a good idea."
Logan sighed. "Well, I think the news will be shocking enough. Imagine
being in a roomful of strangers, telling you an international terrorist has
kidnapped your father�"
"What did you have in mind?"
Logan glanced at the girl, who was staring openly at them. "I'll tell her."
"Logan - "
"She knows me," he continued. "More than any of you, anyhow." He paused.
"And I think she can help us."
Jean frowned. �How do you mean?�
The girl cleared her throat loudly and Jean and Logan both turned to look
at her simultaneously. �I�m sorry, I don�t mean to interrupt,� she said, a
hint of sarcasm in her voice. �I really need to know about my father.�
Logan gave Jean a hard look, an indication that his mind had been made up.
To Marie he said: �I�m sorry. Listen, we can talk in the smoking car.�
Marie blanched considerably. �Will this take very long? I just want to know
where my father is. I don�t see why this - �
Jean interrupted, more adept at handling people than Logan. �It�s fine,
miss. Logan just needs to speak with you privately. The smoking car is as
good a place as any, with so many people walking about.� She smiled - a
calculated effort to calm the increasingly nervous young woman.
Some color returned to her face and Logan could see Jean�s tactic was
working, if only because the girl was less prone to fits of hysteria than
her mother. �All right,� he heard her say. She began walking toward the
smoking car before anyone had a chance to say anything else.
A final look at Jean and Logan was off after her, mentally rehearsing what
the hell he would say to this woman about her father. What he could say, to
make it as painless as possible. He shook his head, knowing the
impossibility of that. Wondering how he�d gotten himself into the situation
in the first place.
She sat across from him, eyes wide and expectant. �I don�t know quite how
to say this,� he began. �So, I�ll just say it.�
�Is he dead?� She was biting her lip so hard it was bleeding. He shook his
head. �What is it then?� Her whole body was shaking and Logan was sorry he
wasn�t better at hiding what he was thinking.
Logan began where he thought he should. In the beginning. �I work for a man
named Charles Xavier. He�s rich as Midas, big time philanthropist, and
dedicates his time to - �
�Combating evil,� she interrupted. �I know who he is. What does all this
have to do with my father?�
�I was going to say something else, but I suppose that�s true in a way.� He
paused, not quite sure of what to say next. What could he tell her of Eric
Lensherr? �Your father, Marie, has been kidnapped��
If her face had not turned ash white, if tears hadn�t bubbled
instantaneously in her eyes, Logan would have continued with his
explanation. As it was, he remained stone still, amazed at what he saw.
He�d never been good with dealing with human emotion. And he had expected
her to react badly. Not like this.
She was trembling, shaking to the core it seemed. Crying seemed a mild way
of putting what she was doing. She seemed to be having difficulty
breathing. Logan moved to sit next to her, to place a hand on her shoulder.
�Don�t touch me!� she screamed, and the fury in her voice made Logan stand
up, to back away from her. He knew the compartment was empty, but was
afraid someone outside had heard her shouting.
Marie had wrapped her arms about herself; she was crying and rocking and
shaking and Logan had absolutely no idea what to do. �I�m sorry,� he
murmured, closing the distance between them. �I can help�� His fingers
reached for hers but she pulled away violently.
�Don�t,� she hissed. Then something in her eyes changed; she looked at him
with new recognition in her eyes. �I�m sorry. Please. Just don�t,� she
whispered, tears streaming down her face.
�I won�t hurt you,� he said softly, not touching her, not quite moving
�What do they want?� she asked between deep breaths. �Money? I�ll give them
whatever they want.�
He looked at her: eyes closed, trying to even out her breathing. Logan
wondered why she hadn�t asked any questions. Why she wasn�t wondering how
he knew her father had been kidnapped? Or even, who had done it?
�What does he want?� she asked, voice less shaky.
�Who?� Had she gone into shock?
�Eric Lensherr,� she replied, finally meeting his eyes with her own,
bloodshot and still teary. She narrowed them suddenly and something inside
Logan twisted. �What does he want?�
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