Author's Note: As I write this it looks like it will be about 5 or 6
chapters. If anyone has read my other Logan/Rogue fic, Timebomb,
that story is being incoporated into this one. Comments and
suggestions are always welcome.
Chapter Three: Guardian Angel.
"Son of a bitch," Scott ground through clenched teeth. He lay on an
exam table while Jean cleaned the wounds on his stomach. His face
was ashen and sweat stood out on his forehead. Jean had assured him
the claws didn't puncture anything vital but it sure hurt like hell
and he hid his pain behind anger.
Behind him and to his left lay Logan. He wouldn't allow himself to
look at the man and instead he tried to focus on the soothing
presence of his fiancée. Her clean scent of soap and the perfume
from her shampoo comforted him and he enjoyed the light touch of her
fingers while she wrapped a clean bandage around his middle.
Absently she murmured over the clean punctures and the sharpness of
Logan's claws with clinical detachment.
Until now, Scott had never been the focus of those weapons and for a
moment he could sympathize with Mistique. She'd taken a trio of
adamantium claws to the hilt in her stomach. That she survived the
attack was a miracle. Possibly it was her mutation that saved her.
Scott was young and he knew he was inexperience, but he also knew he
had good leadership skills and the professor saw that ability in him
and trusted him to lead the X-Men. Yet Logan held the singular
ability to strip away his confidence, make him feel inadequate and
immature. And for the first time in his life, pinned under that
killer's gaze, Scott had experienced real fear. When the X-Men went
to the Statue of Liberty to rescue Rogue and stop Magento, Scott felt
more excited than frightened despite the dangers. He wanted to prove
to the professor and especially Logan that he could handle a mission
and he had. It had gone well, and they had wonat least for the time
being. For a time last night and this morning, Logan wasn't that man
who risked his own life to rescued Rogue from Magento's machine. He
had become something almost inhuman with a mindless need to destroy.
Scott didn't trust the man-he was too unpredictable and there was
too much unknown about him. Scott flinched suddenly at a pain in his
stomach. Jean gently touched his arm.
"Hold still, Scott, I'm almost finished," Jean said. They both
looked up when the door to the lab slid opened and Professor Xavier
entered and wheeled up next to him.
"How are you doing, Scott?" the professor asked.
"As well as any man who has faced a psycho like Logan. I told you he
is dangerous," Scott replied. "Twice now he's almost killed Rogue
and now he's almost killed me. Everyone seems to accept that it okay
because, oh gee, he didn't mean it."
"And twice now he's risked his own life to save Rogue," the professor
replied in his usual mild tone. "He'd do the same for any of us,
even you, Scott."
"Really? That must be why I have two sets of claw punctures."
"Exactly," the professor replied with barely a ripple of irritation
under his calm exterior. "That's why you **only** have two sets of
non-fatal injuries. I think if Logan truly wanted you dead you
wouldn't be sitting here."
"Excuse me if I don't find that comforting," Scott mumbled. He
winced again and sucked a breath of air through his teeth when Jean
lifted his injured foot to the table. The foot was swollen and
purple, the entry marks of the claws were ugly and blood oozed from
one. Scott shook his head and wished he hadn't; the smallest
movement hurt his stomach "He is a killer, a weapon--."
"We don't know that," the Professor interrupted. "He's just a mutant
like the rest of us, one who desperately needs our help."
"Oh, you're right." Scott snapped his fingers. "Logan's just your
average everyday kinda mutant guy with an adamantium skeleton and six
9" adamantium claws that slide out of his forearms like razors. As
far as I'm concerned, a weapon has been deployed and we're ground
zero. None of us, even with our mutant abilities combined, are safe
from this weapon. Do we all stay and hope we survive or do we try
eliminate the threat?"
"It's not that simple," the professor said. "We're talking about a
man, not a machine. He almost killed himself rather than killing
"One day Rogue will be a credit to the X-men if she decides to join
us, but her good sense is rose-tinted when it comes to Logan. I
don't understand why all of you keep protecting him," Scott found he
could no longer rein in his anger. "It's like you want to think that
there's a good guy somewhere inside of him, but there's NOT!" He
slammed his fist against the table. He looked to Jean but she
stepped away from him, her expression a mix of confusion and
An uneasy silence stretched between the three of them before the
professor sighed and wheeled next to Jean. "Jean, I think I may know
what we can do. Finish your tests on Logan and then we'll talk about
Jean nodded and Scott watched her blink away the worry in her eyes.
When the professor had gone, she continued doctoring him for a moment
before she finally spoke.
"I understand your anger," she said. Scott turned and studied her
and realized that perhaps she did. "It's not your fault," she
continued, "and if blame is to be assigned, there's a lot of it to go
around." She brushed a finger down his cheek. "Your reaction was
"I--," he began then looked away from her. The anger drained from
him. She had that effect on him. Maybe she used her powers on him,
maybe not. He didn't care; he just wanted her to touch him again and
took her hand pressing it to his cheek. "I wanted to kill him."
"I understand. When I ran into that room and saw them I thought
Logan had injured Rogue," she whispered. "You were decisive, you
reacted while Storm and I simply stood, frozen, unable to respond.
So who was wrong?" she ended on a whisper. "Who was right? Will my
indecisiveness one day kill one of us during a crucial mission?" She
leaned forward and pressed her lips to his. He gathered her closer
and she braced her hands on his shoulders. God, how he loved this
woman. Their kiss deepened and Scott allowed his need to flow into
it, his arms tightened around her, his breathing ragged. He slid one
had up the back of her shirt, feeling her warm flesh. His hand moved
around her ribcage to one breast and Jean pulled away, her face
flushed. She ran a hand over his bare chest to soften the rejection.
"Scott," she began, "you have to talk to Rogue."
"I know," he replied after a short silence. "She blames me."
"She's young and you have to remember that as a frightened,
ostracized runaway, Logan became her protector, her only source of
refuge." Jean bent down then straightened and handed him a
crutch. "I think you'll need this," she said with a tentative smile
that faded quickly. "Scott, you have to stop blaming Logan." She
cast a quick glance at Logan. His healing factor had not yet kicked
in and he'd not yet regained consciousness, his condition still
critical. Jean placed her hands on Scott's shoulders and
squeezed. "Scott, it is our duty to help him."
Scott shook his head. "I don't understand your dedication to him."
"We are dedicated not just to Logan, but to mutant kind. If we don't
help them, who will? Look what has been done to Logan because he is
a mutant. They stripped away his identity, his memories, everything
that made that man who he was is gone. Despite everything, he is
"If Sabertooth or Toad came knocking at our door asking for
assistance, should we help them even if it means someone might get
hurt or die?" he asked, trying to keep exasperation out of his tone.
"Yes," she answered and chewed her bottom lip then nodded. "Yes.
Would it be right to decide who is or is not worthy of our help? Who
should and should not be given a chance in a society that shuns us?"
"It's sometimes difficult for me to share those views." Scott pulled
away from her, slid off the table and tucked the crutch under one arm
to support his weight. His wounds hurt and pain pulsed through his
leg and stomach. He didn't let it show.
"Scott," Jean said and reached out to him. "Wait."
"I'm going to find Rogue." He turned away, not wanting to look at
the hurt expression he knew would be on her beautiful face. There
had been no problems between them until Logan showed up.
* * * *
Rogue sat on Logan's bed in his room. She wore one of his big
flannel shirts and a pair of men's boxers. Next to her sat a whisky
bottle with a few good swigs left in it. She'd found it in one of
the drawers in Logan's battered bureau. It had been half full and
she just drank straight out of the bottle. The first few gulps
brought tears to her eyes and burned a trail of fire all the way into
her stomach. She coughed and hacked and thought she'd start
breathing fire. Now she just felt mellow and the dreadful events of
this morning dulled.
In the drawer, next to the bottle, she had also found a box of
"Naughty naughty, Logan. No booze, no cigarettes allowed." She had
shaken one finger, chastising the absent man. "Whatever would miss
prissy Jean say? Maybe a few good swigs of whisky would loosen her
Rogue now puffed on one of those cigars, and discovered with childish
delight that she could blow smoke rings. It must have been a trick
inherited from Logan; she'd never smoked a cigarette let alone a
cigar. She'd expected the cigar to taste disgusting, but actually
found she enjoyed it, probably just another temporary trait picked up
from Logan. And right now she liked being Logan, it helped her cope
with the fact that he lay unconscious several stories below in Jean's
Rogue frowned as she thought of Logan. Logan. Logan. The way she
looked at it, this whole problem stemmed from Scott's jealousy.
Maybe the boy scout had a teeny weenie or something.
Rogue took a swig of whisky and looked about blearily. The mess in
Logan's room had been cleaned up, the blood washed away, although the
walls and furniture still bore claw marks. It just looked like a
really pissed off cat had gone ballistic.
"Rarrrr," Rogue growled like a cat, curled her fingers into claws and
swiped at the air. She took a big gulp from the whisky bottle,
drained it and belched. "Bring that up again and we'll vote on it,"
she said aloud and giggled. "Whoa!"
Listing to the side she slid down onto his bed and tipped up the
whisky bottle holding it above her mouth, dripping the last few drops
on her tongue. She missed and the drops dribbled down the sides of
her cheek and she swiped them away with a finger. She loudly sucked
the whisky off the tip of her finger while cradling the empty bottle
against her. Maybe Logan had more hidden somewhere but the thought
of getting up and looking for it wasn't appealing. For now she was
content to lie in Logan's bed and smoke his cigars.
Rogue gazed at the cigar's glowing tip. Amazing how Logan's healing
factor worked. If she'd done something this stupid on her own, she'd
be barfing in the toilet by now. Although, if Logan's healing factor
wore off before the effects of the liquor, she'd be in deep doo-doo.
Someone knocked on the door. The last two times she was under the
effect of Logan's personality, people tended to leave her alone.
"Piss off!" she yelled.
"Rogue," called a voice through the door. It was Scott. "I want to
talk to you."
"The feeling isn't mutual." The doorknob rattled and the door swung
open. Shit. She thought she'd locked it.
Scott hobbled through the door, a crutch under one arm. To claim he
looked like hell was being kind. Somewhere in a remote corner of her
altered state Rogue felt she should feel sorry for Scott.
Rogue tossed the empty whisky bottle across the room and it bounced
against the wall next to Scott's head, fell and spun once before
coming to rest near his feet. Scott flinched, and stepped to the
side and for a moment he looked ready to leave. She wished he would.
"Bulls eye," she said, hiccupped then took another drag on the cigar
and blew out a series of perfect smoke rings. "What the hell do you
"We need to talk," he repeated.
"I have nothing to say to you." From across the room she heard
Scott's sigh. Jerk. She ignored him and laid on her back blowing
smoke rings into the air. After a bit she thought he'd left and his
voice almost made her jump.
"Would it help to say that I think you're right? That I think I
might have misjudged Logan."
Rogue's eyebrows rose. The righteous Boy Scout apologizing? For a
moment she expected the earth to shake and angels to sing. Scott
hobbled further into the room and stood beside the bed.
"I had a talk with Jean. She has a habit of gentlly beating sense
"How nice for you. Maybe next time she should use a club." Rogue
grunted, swung her legs around and over the side of the bed and
weaved across the floor to Logan's chest of drawers. After rifling
through the contents of several drawers, she found another bottle of
whisky under one of his T-shirt. "Aha!" she said and held up the
bottle like a prized trophy.
"Would you like me to get you some aspirin?" Scott asked after a long
She sent him an inquiring glance.
"You'll need it when Logan's healing factor wears off. When was the
last time you drank a bottle of Canadian whisky?"
"Uh, like, never," she said and laughed, falling back on the
bed. "Now go away and leave me alone with
" she held up the bottle
and tried to focus on the label, "uh
Mr. Canadian Bub
I mean Club."
Instead of leaving like she'd requested, he sat on the edge of the
bed and winced as he stretched out his injured foot. "I really
thought Logan was killing you," he said at last.
"Logan would never hurt me," Rogue replied.
"Yes, I know that now. I won't deny there is something about Logan
that riles me. But Jean was right when she told me he needs us, even
if he doesn't realize it. We have to find out what is wrong with
Rogue sat up and put aside the whisky. "Jean has some ideas? Can
she help him?"
Scott shook his head. "Not yet, but she's good at this and she'll
find something and the professor can help." Scott patted her knee.
At this moment he seemed like a recalcitrant big brother instead of
the leader of the X-Men. Rogue reminded herself that he wasn't much
older than her. She was eighteen and he was what? Twenty-five
"Can we call it a truce?" he asked.
Rogue tilted her head to the side and studying him a moment and
realized she wasn't being fair. She held out her hand. "Truce," she
replied and they shook on it. "Want to stay for a shot?" Rogue held
up the bottle.
"No," Scott decline and chuckled. "Don't let Storm or Jean see
that. Logan won't like them confiscating his whisky. And speaking
of Logan, you should go see him, it might help. He's still in
"Yeah, I'll go. But I think I'll need that aspirin first." She
pressed her hand to her mouth and burped. What a bummer of a time
for Logan's healing factor to begin wearing off.
* * * *
Rogue walkedor rather stumbled in her current stateinto the lab and
looked around, squinting at the bright lights. It smelled of forced
cool air and antiseptic that reminded her of a hospital. It was also
a little cold and she wished she'd brought a sweater. She noticed
was Logan lying on an exam table with only a white hospital sheet
draped across him from the waist down. Heavy metal cuffs secured him
to the table around his midsection, wrists and ankles. She walked up
and was able to study him without those enigmatic dark eyes studying
her back. She pulled the wrinkles out of her gloves then smoothed a
fingertip across his forehead and eyebrows then brushed away a lock
of hair from his forehead. He didn't respond; his breathing slow and
"I wish I knew what was going on inside your head, Logan," she
whispered to him. "All you gave me was a powerful urge to drink
whisky and smoke cigars."
"He's sedated," said a familiar voice following by the tapping of
high heels as Jean walked across the lab to join her. Jean wore a
white lab coat over her blue dress and her hair was drawn up to a
tight bun. "He looks so peaceful," she said, staring down at him.
"I was thinking the same thing," Rogue replied and touched his arm,
wishing she could let him know she was here and didn't blame him for
"How is your throat," Jean asked, slipped on a pair of surgical
gloves and gently lifted Rogue's chin with a thumb and forefinger.
Rogue knew the bruising and the painful cuts were gone, healed by
Logan's mutant healing factor. "When you retire for the evening, I
can bring you some pain killers if you'd like."
"The pain is gone thanks to Logan, but I could still use some
aspirin" Rogue replied, hoping Jean didn't notice the whisky smell.
She nodded toward Logan. "Do you know what is wrong?"
"I have a theory, and I'm still running tests," Jean replied. "The
professor is suppose to meet me down here tomorrow morning. You may
join us if you'd like."
"Yes, I'd like that," Rogue said, glad they were including her. She
felt she had a right to know what was happening with Logan. "What's
with the restraints?"
Jean sucked on her bottom lip for a moment. "They are
precaution," she said. "I don't like them any more than you, but
they're necessary to protect Logan and to
," she paused letting the
thought hang unsaid.
"Protect us from Logan," Rogue completed Jean's thought and the older
woman nodded. She hated seeing Logan leashed down like a rabid
animal. She wrapped a hand underneath a wrist restraint and tested
it. No way Logan was getting out of those unless he was a circus
"We can't risk another replay of this morning," Jean said quietly and
tucked a stray lock of hair behind her ear that had escaped from the
bun. Rogue saw then that Jean looked tired. Jean pulled up a chair
and pushed it close to Logan. "Here, why don't you sit for awhile
and talk to him. Even if he can't respond, perhaps he can hear your
voice and it would do him good." Jean smiled then walked away,
disappeared into her office and shut the door, leaving the two of
"Logan, don't you dare die on me. Don't you dare." She scooted the
chair closer, pulled the sheet up over his chest and put her head on
the sheet and listened to the steady rhythm of his heart, her head
rising and falling gently with each breath. Even wounded, he seemed
strong, immortal. "I'm here, and I'm not leaving you. Tonight I'll
be your guardian angel--everyone needs one of those, Logan. Even
someone like you."
She must have dozed off because something touched her hand and she
jerked upright, staring around the lab in confusion before
remembering where she was. The next thing she felt was a powerful
"Ow!" she held a hand to her head and squeezed her eyes shut. "No
more whisky for you."
"Did you drink it all," asked a hoarse voice.
Rogue momentarily forgot her pain and stared at Logan. He was
conscious and looking at her.
"Uh---what?" she stuttered.
"Did you drink all my whisky?" he repeated.
"Ohh! Unfortunately." She groaned and dropped her head back to his
chest and she could hear him chuckle.
"Yeah," she managed. "You drink some nasty stuff, Logan. No wonder
you need a healing factor."
"That's my best whisky your talking about," he said, she could hear
the smile in his tone.
"I'm glad you're back," she said, daring to hold her head upright
again. It still throbbed but seeing Logan conscious made the
headache bearable. "How are you feeling?"
"Like I went on a four day bender with a few cases of bad bourbon,"
he said then tested his restraints, she could feel his muscles
bunching. "Am I on house arrest?"
"Not exactly. Jean has been working all night to try and piece
together what happened. She's going to talk to the professor
tomorrow," Rogue said. Logan's expression hardened and for a moment
he looked like the man that had attacked her. "Logan," she
whispered, suddenly frightened. "Do you know?"
"How's the boy scout?" he asked, clearly changing the subject. His
abrupt dismissal of the subject did more to frighten her than sooth
her. Anything that Logan wasn't willing to talk about couldn't be
"He's fine," she replied, thinking it better not to push him. "Jean
stitched and fixed him up." She tried to smile. "And here we are,
all of us alive, so maybe there'll be a happy ending to this after
"Come here," he said and wiggled his hand-it was all he could do
with the straps around his wrist. Rogue folded her hand into his,
feeling his strength pulse through every fiber of her being. He
winked at her and suddenly everything was okay.
"I had a dream that an angel was standing next to me with her hand on
my head," Logan said. "She whispered to me that eveything would be
okay." He squeezed her hand. "Now I realize it wasn't a dream."
Rogue smiled, closed her eyes laid her head back on his chest,
wrapping one arm around him and hugging him tight. She could feel
his breath across her cheek. "Logan," she said. "The professor will
figure this out, he will." Logan didn't reply so she just held him,
silently letting him know that she wasn't giving up on him.
* * * *
It was late when Jean finished the tests. She sat at her desk, took
her glasses off and pinched her nose between thumb and forefinger.
Her head hurt from staring at the computer screen. She wasn't pleased
with the results of those tests, and they only served to create more
questions and fewer answers. That Logan had been created to be a
weapon there was no doubt. But why? What was his purpose? What
were his creator's plans for him? A lot of expense went into to
making Logan what he was, so why was he out free? And where were the
people who created him? Could it be that they were just now using
him? The professor said Logan had been wandering for close to
fifteen years, so why wait so long?
Jean placed her glasses back on her nose and stared at the computer
screen in front of her. She tapped her fingernails on the keyboard,
frustrated that she was no closer to solving anything than she was
six hours ago.
And speaking of time. She looked at her wristwatch. It was 4am.
She was to meet the professor in 4 hours and brief him on Logan's
condition. Perhaps a few hours rest would refresh her mind.
Jean yawned and stretched, turned off her computer and wandered out
into the lab to check on Logan one more time before she retired. The
lights were dim and it took a moment for her eyes to adjust while she
walked to where he lay. He wasn't alone.
Rogue slept in the chair next to him, her head pillowed on the sheet
covering Logan's stomach, her hand in his, her long dark hair
spilling over him. Logan's chest rose and fell evenly, and Jean
checked the machine and found his vitals had stabilized. She gently
moved his head to one side and saw that the claw marks in his throat
had healed. She didn't want to lift the sheet to check his stomach
and accidentally wake Rogue, but she assumed those wounds were healed
Jean stood and watched them for a moment and a smile tilted the
corners of her mouth. If anything could get Logan through this it
was this young girl who unconditionally gave him her love and trust.
She softly touched a lock of Rogue's hair.
"Bless you," she whispered and left the room, leaving the two alone.
Considering what she had found tomorrow wouldn't be pleasant and both
of them would need their rest.
* * * *
The next morning Rogue gathered with Scott, Storm, the professor and
Jean in a meeting room off the main lab. Comfortable seats were
arranged in a semi-circle, stadium-like fashion and facing a computer
console and a large flat screen monitor. Jean moved to it, tapped a
few keys and brought up an X-ray photo.
"As we are all aware, adamantium has been grafted to Logan's entire
skeleton. This makes his bones virtually unbreakable, but it also
prevents me from getting a clear CAT scan." She leaned over and
tapped in a few more keys. "I went up through his sinus with a
camera and this is what I found."
A new image popped up on the computer screen. The professor jerked
in his chair.
"My god!" he said and wheeled his chair closer. "The first time I
saw Logan's X-rays, I could scarcely believe it, but this is
"It looks like micro electronics," Scott said, drawing closer to the
"Exactly," Jean replied. "Before his bones were grafted with
adamantium, they first went in and inserted micro-electronic
"What do they do?" Scott asked. His stiff-legged stance telegraphed
to all presence that he wasn't happy with this new bit of information.
"That's the problem, these devices are so advanced I would not have
believed they existed without this visible proof and I can only guess
at their function." Jean sighed and picked up a laser pointer,
flicked it on with a thumbnail and pointed it to the screen. "This
tiny, solid mass here in the back of his retina is
well, I think it
functions as a recording device of some kind. Here is the Thalamus,
this large ovoid mass of gray matter at the base of his brain. It
acts as the chief center for transmission of sensory impulses to the
cerebral cortex. That is the location of another metallic object.
My guess is that is the sensory information is changed, I believed
when he attacked up he was hallucinating."
"Great," Scott muttered.
The professor said nothing, his face foreboding, his lips thinned.
Rogue had never seen him this angry. Jean continued.
"These masses back here are located on the brain stem, which mean,
with the proper stimulus Logan can be," Jean shook her head and
frowned, "well, I think he can be remotely controlled."
Scott snorted. "I knew he was bad news, I just didn't realize how
The professor ignored him. "Can you remove them?"
"That's the problem. I can't get through his skull; nothing I have
will dent it. I could through his sinuses again, but there's a high
risk of killing him even with his healing factor."
The professor sat and thought for a moment then looked up, his gaze
encompassing all of them. "Jean, I spoke of an idea earlier, I think
it's time to try it see for ourselves what might happen."
* * * *
Weapon-X opened his eyes and the visual information was immediately
uploaded to a computer screen. The room appeared to be some sort of
hospital room or lab. Doctor Kirby couldn't be certain because the
lights were dim. Weapon-X moved his head and at one end of the room
they could see a woman with white hair walking across his field of
Another computer froze the woman's image and a stream of information
streamed to to left side of the iamge. Ororo Munroe, AKA Storm, the
computer identified the woman. Abilities: able to control the
"Very good," Kirby said. "Weapon-X's first target. What are Weapon-
X's vitals, Miss Edwards?" Kirby asked.
"Normal. Weapon-X has healed at a rate faster than calculated by our
computers." She brought up a graph displaying Weapon-X's vitals.
"Very good." Kirby rocked back on his heels and smiled. "They
believe he is secure. Now is the time." He turned to his main
systems scientist. "Weapon-X is ready for deployment. Bring him
online and set new stimuli parameters to 85%."
"Yes, sir," Downes replied. "Bringing systems online now."
* * * *
Weapon-X jerked, his eyes snapping wide open, his senses instantly
alert. Fists clenched, his arms strained against the lockdown. He
lifted his head and tested the air, his mutant senses telling him
that he wasn't alone in the room. He couldn't see his first target,
but he knew where she was.
Six adamantium claws slid from their housings in his forearm and he
twisted his right wrist toward the restraint holding his left wrist.
A minute flick with the adamantium claw cut through the metal strap
like butter. With his left arm partially free, he quickly cut
through the remainder of the restraints and sat up.
His target sat at a computer screen with her back to him.
A feral snarl lifted Weapon-X's lips as he silently slipped from the
table and stalked toward her in a battle ready crouch.
End of Chapter Three