DISCLAIMERS REPOSTED IN PART 0
* * *
"We KNOW how _mean_ and _cruel_ and _nasty_ and _despicable_ and
_malicious_ and _EVIL_ she used to be when she was doing the hangs over
at the HELLFIRE CLUB, but she's done all right by US, _hasn't_ she?"
Jubilee, on Emma Frost, GENERATION X #46, by Larry Hama
* * *
The hour was carefully chosen late enough so that very few should be
awake to potentially notice the figure sneaking through the darkened
campus, yet still early enough to allow a fair distance to be covered
before dawn. By the time Maries absence would be discovered the next
morning hopefully not until she failed to appear at her first class
she and Logan would be out of the state.
After her call to Logan, Marie headed for her room and packed. Not all of
her things, nor even very many of them a back pack for a few spare
shirts, lots of socks and underwear, and her shower things. No gloves, no
scarves that part of her life was over. The jeans and shoes and coat
shed be wearing when she walked out of there. Enough to get by on for a
while, but not too much to carry on a motorcycle.
Then she went to bed. If she was going to be up half the night riding,
best to get some sleep now.
The alarm under her pillow woke her at 1:15, and she pulled on her
clothes. Taking a cue from Logan, she layered on several shirts and put a
sweater on top an easy way of carrying more clothing away with her, and
warmer in this weather.
She made it through the dorm without running into any late-night studiers
or wandering night owls. A few people were still awake she could hear
music behind one or two of the doors she passed but no one saw her
She breathed a sigh of relief as she closed the door behind her and
struck out across the campus. Hopefully Logan was early and she wouldnt
be stuck waiting for him in the dark and the cold. Hopefully Logan
wouldnt have been *too* early and spent a long time waiting in the cold
Marie was smiling as she passed the last building and reached the trees.
The smile died as she heard:
"Miss Gordon, we at the Massachusetts Academy take our rules seriously
especially the ones regarding transgressing curfew and leaving the school
property without permission."
Emma Frost was leaning casually against the wall of the science building
Marie had just passed. Spread out to either side of her were Sharon,
Marc, Haroun, and Angelica. (Jerod had been left to recuperate.)
[How the hell did I miss seeing them?!]
[Probably Frosty used a bit of mindcontrol on you, made you not notice
them or something.] Inner Logan was not pleased.
Neither would Outer Logan be, if he knew and he might be here at the
Academy by now. The question was whether he would have noticed what was
Trying to make her voice loud enough to carry to supersensitive ears at
the rendezvous oak without *sounding* like she was pitching her voice for
potential eavesdroppers, "Not a problem, Frosty. I wont be a student
here anymore." She was pleased by the annoyed look that crossed Emmas
face, though whether the reaction was to the statement or merely the
nickname was hard to tell.
"Marie, your parents entrusted you into my care because they want you to
have the training I can provide..."
"No, they entrusted me into your care because you fucked with their
heads to make them hand me over to you." Marie was interested to see the
startled glances the other students were exchanging behind Emmas back.
[Did they not *know* what shes *like*?]
[Shes a telepath if any of them get suspicious, she can fuck with
their heads and make em forget it. Besides, Ill bet none of them have
met Chuckie they dont know what an *ethical* mindreader is like,]
In the time it took for Marie to process the students reactions, Frost
had composed her reply. "Marie, by your own admission, you let your
parents think that Professor Xavier was unable to help you control you
power. Is it so hard to believe that they would prefer for you to try
another instructor if the first was so clearly unable to help you?"
Marie narrowed her eyes. Allowing the fury to enter her voice after
all, loud was good right now she snarled, "Whats hard to believe is
that the parents who wanted to pretend that Im not a mutant refused to
come get me when I told them I can pass for human now. They dont give a
*flying FUCK* about me using my power to the best of my ability they
just want to be able to pretend that the last two years never happened so
they can have their normal little girl back!" By the end of the rant her
voice had reached full bellow if Logan were on the school grounds at
all, he would know where Marie was and that she was having Ice Bitch
Meanwhile, the other students were looking worried. Emma, though, still
thought she had the situation in hand. "Im afraid I may have had to
dispel a few of your parents dearly-held *illusions*, Marie, but thats
hardly the same thing as... screwing with their heads. Perhaps youve
been overidentifying with these illusions because *you* wanted so much to
erase the past two years and go back to the way things were before your
The worst thing was that the bitch actually sounded like she was making
sense. Angelica was nodding significantly to Sharon, clearly pleased to
have Maries slander of the noble Ms. Frost so neatly discredited.
Gone was the bellow of mere minutes ago, replaced by the strangled
whisper of helpless rage. "Two years ago, I hadnt met *Logan*..."
"Ah. So this is about *him*. Youre running away to be with your *lover*.
Youre throwing yourself upon the mercy of a man old enough to be your
father and expecting him to take care of you indefinitely." Frosty paused
to let that sink in. Behind her, Angelica and Sharon looked like they
were trying to decide whether that was romantic or just dumb Angelica
was seemingly coming down on the side of "sweet" while Sharon looked to
be veering towards "stupid". Marc looked heartsick. Haroun looked
contemptuous but then that seemed to be his standard expression, so it
might not have related to Maries situation.
"Its not like that, " Marie said softly, all the while realizing that
everything Emma had said was *literally* true. It was the *way* Frosty
was phrasing it, the implications she was making, that were slanted to
leave a false impression.
"Oh? So youll be able to take care of yourself? Get a job? Pay your
bills? At sixteen?"
"I managed just fine on my own for eight months before I met Logan and
wound up at Xaviers." [Never mind that I started out with a few hundred
dollars when I left home that I dont have now *she* doesnt need to
"I dont think that being a homeless runaway qualifies as managing just
fine," Emma said acerbically.
[Damn. Was that a lucky guess, did she learn about it from my parents or
the Professor, or did she manage to read it from me without me even
"In any case, youll be better off completing your education. Otherwise
youll no doubt find yourself an abandoned high school dropout when your
lover goes on to the next pretty young thing to catch his eye and leaves
you to fend for yourself."
"Thats not going to happen."
The frustrated rage dissipated at the familiar voice. Marie felt herself
smirking and didnt bother to stop. Logan had indeed heard the argument
and, after eavesdropping from the concealment of the wooded grounds for
an unknown amount of time, had interposed himself into the conversation.
"I told you that before. Im serious about Marie and Im not gonna just
get bored with her and drop her like an old newspaper." As Logan
approached the group in the lee of the science building, Marie sidled
around to meet him, presenting a united front against Frost and her
At least the minions looked nervous still sore from the afternoons
ass-kicking, no doubt. Emma seemed to be made of sterner stuff or else
severely underestimating Logan and Maries combined ability to plow
through anything that was likely to be thrown at them. "*Mister* Logan.
Im afraid that after this afternoon, your presence on these school
grounds is unwelcome."
"Dont worry Im just leaving."
"Im going with him."
"Im afraid not," Frosty said smoothly. "Catseye, Bevatron if you could
stop Miss Gordon from leaving..."
"Marie, Im really sorry about this," Marc murmured as he and Sharon came
"Yeah, Ill just bet." Making a feint towards Logan, Marie shifted
directions at the last second to duck between the pair of them. Sharon,
reflexes quicker than either her companions or Rogues, managed to get a
hand on her arm as she tried to pass. Expecting the resistance, Marie
drove an elbow back into the other girls midsection, aiming for her
solar plexus but unfortunately hampered by her backpack. Marc got her
other arm in the split second she wasted trying to decide whether it
would be worth jettisoning her backpack to escape.
"Firestar, Jetstream stop him!" was Emmas shouted warning as the
Wolverine moved to intervene. It didnt do a bloody bit of good
Angelica got off a single fireball before Wolvie reached the three
struggling teenagers, at which point she dared throw no more. Haroun
threw himself at the group, but was knocked aside by a flung Catseye as
Wolverine efficiently dealt with two impediments simultaneously. Marc was
the next to be treated to a brief unscheduled flight, and Marie was
freed. Grabbing her arm, Logan turned to run...
And was halted, as Emma stepped into the fight. Marie actually ran into
him, he froze so suddenly.
Walking towards the pair of them, "My goodness, you *are* a determined
pair. Im afraid I cant allow you to take her away from here but I
just might reconsider that job opening after all. I think you could prove
to be quite useful to me *if* I can cure you of that tendency to
It took Marie a few moments to understand what had just happened. Frosty
was approaching, and Logan was just *standing* there not running, not
speaking, not turning to look at either Emma or herself. Nothing the
woman had said rated that kind of a frozen response.
It was the rising growl that both clued her in and warned her. The Ice
Bitch had actually grabbed control of Logan telepathically and the
Wolverine didnt like it one bit.
Having both Logan and the Wolverine sharing room in her head, Marie had a
fair idea of the kind of mess that could result from taking Logan out of
the picture and leaving Wolvie running the show. Tugging her arm from his
frozen grip, she pulled away to give him some room while turning herself
to look at Emma. "I dont think thats a good idea, Frosty," she said
mildly. Giving the bitch a warning was only fair but Marie wasnt
exactly going to weep for her if she ignored the freely given advice.
"Ridiculous child here I am offering the both of you what you said you
*wanted*, a position here for your lover."
Rogue might have explained herself then told Frosty that the
inadvisable part lay in exerting telepathic influence on Logan but the
point became moot. Marie didnt know whether the Wolverine broke free at
that point or Logan deliberately slipped his leash but either way, the
beast was loose.
Loose, and bearing a grudge.
Emmas first warning that things were not going as planned came when
Wolvie turned. She frowned, plainly trying to strengthen her control over
Logan, not realizing that Logan was no longer her problem.
Next came the gasps and widened eyes all around, as Wolverine popped his
claws for the first time since setting foot on the campus. The <snikt!>
was almost drowned out by the hoarse growl, rapidly increasing in volume.
Frost might have died then and there, had not Firestar risen to the
occasion with a hasty incendiary barrage. She missed or rather, Wolvie
was too fast to hit but the assault served to momentarily distract him
from the Ice Bitch. Haroun hit him then, knocking Wolverine away from
Angelica before he could reach her, but wisely dropping him some twenty
or thirty feet away rather than leaving himself in close proximity to the
claws for longer than a few seconds.
Even as quickly as Jetstream dropped Wolvie, he almost got himself carved
up before swooshing safely out of range. Things could very easily have
gotten very, very bloody had Marie not been diving for Frosty even as
the students assaulted Wolverine. With the other kids struggling to deal
with her psychotic lover, and with Emma still trying to control the beast
mentally, it was beyond easy to clap a bare hand to the womans face.
And the thing about her gift, about having *control*, was that she *did*
have it. Not merely shutting it off (which was a blessed thing in and of
itself), but taking *only* thoughts and memories (as she did so often
with Logan), or taking *only* a mutant ability (as Logan insisted on
doing whenever she got well-battered after a combat practice session).
She hadnt tried it, but she suspected that she might even have enough
control by now to put someone in a coma *without* getting a head full of
And she was willing to test that theory on Frosty right here and now
but not as the first resort. The first thing to do was to break her hold
...Which became beyond easy, by removing her telepathy. No telepathy, no
Taking the power from Emma, Marie made sure to skim the most
recently-formed memories along with it. What she learned that Emma had
done tried to grab Logan, not realizing that the Wolverine was a
separate segment of personality not susceptible to mindcontrol
surprised her not at all.
The surprise came in what Emma had been thinking as she did it.
/The girl is probably beyond salvaging by now rebellious, independent,
needing no training, and loyal only to herself and her lover. Perhaps not
a great loss her power only works by touch contact, not very good in a
combat situation, and if she cant touch anyone useful she has nothing. I
want the man, though I can *use* him. He can fight, he can train my
students to fight and I can *make* him forget the girl.../
Freed as abruptly as hed been grabbed, Logan stopped in mid-charge,
wondering what the hell had just happened. [Okay, the Frost Bitch tried
to grab me so why am I loose now?] Seeing Marie with her hands pressed
to Frosty and smelling the rage wafting from Marie pretty neatly
answered that. Retracting his claws, he cautiously advanced on the pair.
"You all right, sugar?"
"Not very happy about Frosty here trying to jerk me around like that."
"Im not very happy about that one, either. *Especially* with what she
wanted you for." Shifting her attention, "You just cant take No for an
answer, can you, Frosty?" Sensing an impending attack, Rogue increased
the pull to the point of pain for just a fraction of a second. "*Dont*
try it. I can put you in a coma if I want to *dont* make me want to."
"Shes not the only one." Logan popped the claws on his right hand
warningly. "So you kids keep your distance if you like your principal
here in one piece." The students froze, Sharon and Marc having been
attempting to sneak up on the pair holding their headmistress hostage.
"Were going to leave now, do you understand? Logan and I are going to
exit the school property and drive away from here, and you arent going
to try to stop us anymore."
"And in exchange, she and I are going to let you and your kids go on back
to your beds without fucking you up. Because we *can* fuck you up
*severely* and if you try to stop us again, were gonna stop being so
nice and youre gonna see just how badly the pair of us can do it."
The buzz from hearing Logan making threats on behalf of the amount of
damage the pair of them could do not just for himself, but for *both*
of them created a warm glow that helped counteract Maries desire to
drain Emma to a husk.
[Besides, you dont want to risk having *her* in your head any more than
the taste youve already got,] Inner Logan murmured soothingly.
"Im going to let go of you now. *Dont* try anything funny..." ::And
Ill *know* if youre trying anything funny, for the rest of the night at
least...:: Marie released Emma, moving backwards to keep the woman in
sight as she rejoined Logan. Logan was doing his part by keeping an eye
on the kids, leaving one set of claws out in a highly visible warning as
the pair made their cautious getaway into the trees.
Because this was definitely a case where appearance mattered, they didnt
start running until they were out of sight in the trees. Logans hearing
was good enough to pick up the conversation that started up behind them
as they disappeared into the night.
"Geeze, should have figured thered be something freaky about a guy
nicknamed The Wolverine." That was one of the girls, though he didnt
know her name. (It was Angelica.)
"What? Where did you hear that?" That was Frosty.
"From Marie. It was, like, his callsign or something. He has it on a
dogtag that he gave to her."
"What, youve heard of him?" One of the guys, the one whod been sent to
grab Marie. Marc, that was his name.
"Yes, I have. And I had no idea that he was working at Xaviers
Logan might have sighed had he not been busy jogging for the school
walls. Hed hoped he hadnt managed to blow the X-Mens cover with this
little fiasco but it was starting to appear likely...
* * *
She Whose Quotations Are Both Exotic and Appropriate
Keeper of his Deadly Startle Reflexes, Guardian and Examiner of the
Adamantium-Revealing X-Rays, and Official Listener for the Occasional
"Okay, then, you have to promise if I say something you don't like you
won't do that voice that sounds like people with wet and bubbly stuff in
their lungs buried under the ground being crushed to death by giant worms
-- Delirium, SANDMAN #41, by Neil Gaiman
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