Disclaimer in Part One
A/N: Heavens Peak and Crystal Lake are both features of the real Glacier
park, and there probably is a Black Bear Trail, Ive just never been on
And Im not ready for this sort of thing
September swept into Apgar after a magnificent thunderstorm in
the last week of August. The six mutants had watched the sky crack open and
deliver massive lightening bolts to various parts of the park. It had
reminded the ex-members of the X-Men of their fellow mutant Ororo whos
power involved controlling the weather, unfortunately none of them knew if
she was now alive or dead. Uncertainty had been hard to accept, but they
had no choice and had for the most part learned to either assume the worst,
or press on with hope.
It had been especially difficult for Scott Summers to adapt to
an existence that he couldnt control and was full of chaos. The birth of
his son had calmed him down somewhat, but in typical fashion, Scott had
devoured every piece of knowledge about the area they now lived in. He had
insisted on raiding the public library in Great Falls for information on
Glacier Park. And now he wished to hit the local rangers cabin and to take
all the books, pamphlets and videos about the surrounding wildlife, climate,
and geography of Glacier Park and the Rocky Mountain region. To assist him
in the theft, he brought along Andrew who when questioned had asked, are we
going to shoplift again? with an enthusiasm that would have been quite
worrisome in a different universe.
Father and son hiked along a path that had been named Black
Bear Trail which allowed the hikers a majestic view of Heavens Peak on one
side and Crystal Lake on the other. Andrew however was oblivious to the
natural beauty that had captivated Scott, and was more interested in the
tracks hed found on the ground. Dad, whatre these?
Snapping to attention, Scott hunched down on the ground and took
a peek at the clear markings on the ground. Racking his brain for the
recently digested information he came to the realization that it was most
likely the track of a brown bear, which he told his son. Then hes on the
wrong road. The five year old said simply and continued down the trail.
Scott chuckled at the comment and stood up again. He wasnt an
expert at tracking-yet but he didnt like the fresh look it had to it. He
scanned the area slowly, but didnt see anything stirring in the immediate
vicinity so he let it go, and went back to ogling the views. Hed never
been much of an outdoorsy type, but Scott found himself with the urge to
begin mountain climbing. Heavens Peak screamed at him to climb it one day,
and he made the decision that come next summer, it would go on his To Do
Kitty had come to Maries cabin three times in the past few days
attempting to get the younger woman to talk, but Marie had remained quiet
the entire time. Logan had become a somewhat permanent fixture at her house
and had consulted Kitty about Marie.
She wont cry about it. He was her dad, shouldnt she do
People grieve in different ways, but we cant make her cry. It
ll happen I guess. Kitty said.
Its good of you to he here for her. She wont let any of us
in. Im glad she trusts you Logan.
Thanks. He said uncomfortable, praise always made him a little
nervous for reasons he couldnt fathom.
Its good to see you again. I didnt really expect too, Kitty
A frown creased Logans face. Hed met the X-Men a few days
after his arrival in the village and had been met with incredible
resistance. It hadnt been a big shock to him, self-preservation was a
basic instinct and any outsider could be construed as a threat. He knew
that Scott and Jubilee had spoken to Marie about him, and that there had
been a fight, but she hadnt told him the specifics of it. Kittys comment
however was enigmatic to him, she knew he was staying in a cabin here, or
had she expected him to be thrown out? When hed met Marie she had
essentially guaranteed him a place without mentioning consulting her fellow
What do you mean by that? He asked, pinning her with an
Logan-you really dont remember us do you? Kitty asked,
surprise evident in her voice.
Ive never seen any of you before. Leave. If Marie wants to
see you she will. Logan growled out at her.
Ill see you later. Kitty said, not wishing to press Logan and
being on the receiving end of his anger.
Logan watched her retreat, and his claws slid out without his
knowledge. He looked down at them and scowled. He paced in front of the
cabin and waited for the feeling to subside. He wondered if hed been like
that before, if hed always had that short a temper. Maybe it was linked to
the claws, he just didnt know. And it frustrated him that he couldnt
remember who he was and felt uncertain that hed never seen Kitty, Scott of
Jubilee before. In reality, he had no idea who hed known and what kind of
life he had before.
He didnt recognize me Jubes. Somethings changed in him.
I know, it just doesnt make any sense. And tell me, what are
the odds of running into him here of all places! The pregnant woman
Yeah. Do you think we should try again? To tell her I mean?
No. No way Kitty. Marie just lost her father. We cant do
this too her.
Yeah, but I think Scott was right. Hes dangerous. Do you
realize that none of us have seen Vic since Logans been here? Kitty said
Oh my God youre right.
I told him it was good to see him again, but he didnt look
like he knew what I meant. The brunette said shifting the subject again.
Jubilee pursed her lips and rubbed her belly. Lets just get
this baby into the world before worrying about weather Vics still in it or
Kitty laughed, and the two women settled into far more pleasant
chitchat, leaving Logan and Victor out of their conversation, but not out of
You got everything there Andrew? Scott asked.
Yep. The boy said, swinging his Spiderman backpack side to
side to illustrate his point.
Alright, well what do you say we get back home and see if your
moms got a new brother or sister for you when we get home. Scott joked.
Then shell look normal again. And she wont waddle anymore
Well, only when she runs. He conceded.
Andrew nodded wisely. I knew she was part Penguin.
Who told you that?
Aunt Marie. Andrew answered as he opened the door of the
rangers cabin and ambled in the direction home.
Well, Aunt Maries got a big mouth. Scott answered.
She said you used to have a pole up your bottom. Is that
true? Andrew asked curiously.
I, um, well- He started.
Mom said the same thing too. And Uncle Erik said that it was
mom who got it out. Thats gross. Andrew made a face.
At the mention of Erik, Scott watched his sons face carefully.
Hed been extremely distressed to learn of the old mans passing, but had
been a lot quieter about it in recent weeks. I miss him dad. I wanted to
tell that too Uncle Victor, but mom said she couldnt find him. The boy
Yeah, I miss him too.
Is it true you two used to not like each other?
Scott thought on what Andrew had said. It was true that hed
been on the other side of the fight than Erik had for years, and he hated
the mans approach to things, but he couldnt in honesty say that hed ever
disliked the guy. We just never really agreed on things son. Scott said
Youd gree thats a bear right? Andrew said, pointing about
100 feet ahead of himself.
Scotts head shot up and his eyes widened under the visor as he
caught sight of two brown bears. Shit, ones a baby, the other ones gotta
be the mother he thought to himself. Andrew, get behind me. Scott
ordered in the tone of voice he hadnt used in years.
The little boy obeyed and waited for his dad to make everything
ok again. The warning growl that emerged from the bears throat alerted
Scott to the fact that the female had seen and smelt them. From the little
Scott had read about the animals, he knew that mother bears with young
offspring were the most dangerous to encounter. He had his own cub to
protect and held his ground as the female snarled again and the cub hid
behind her. The ranger cabin was too far away to make a run for it, and the
plain around them offered nothing but open ground.
Is it gone? Andrew whispered.
No. Andrew lay down on the ground. Dont move until I tell
you its safe. Scott ordered.
The boy lay flat as Scott put his hand to the side of the visor.
The bear had a cub of her own to protect, but Scott thought only of his son
as he let loose with a blast of red light at the charging female. He slowly
walked up to the smoking carcass and when he was reassured that the bear was
dead, he began to survey the area for the cub, but he found it must have
fled the scene. Scott walked back to where Andrew was laying and picked
him up. Im just going to carry you for awhile. He said softly and
clutched the boy to his chest.
The two moved on in silence, not seeing the cub scramble out
from behind a cluster of fallen trees and running toward its fallen mother.
Andrew peeked over his fathers shoulder and was greeted with the sight of
the baby bear looking right at him. He looked sad to Andrew, who waved and
made a face in an effort to cheer the little bear up. The bear sniffed the
air, and identified the scent as the same one it had smelled earlier.
Andrew watched the bear turn back to its mother before Scott set him back
down on the ground. Andrew took his fathers hand, sensing that he wanted
to keep him close to him. Neither of them saw the little bear sniff the air
again and trot off down the trail.
She felt numb. There was just no other way to explain it. Her
father was dead, she knew that rationally, but her heart didnt seem to
process the information. Every morning for the past three weeks shed woken
up and thought of things to mention to her dad before being hit with the icy
realization that he wasnt there anymore.
It hurt too much to feel the loss of her father. It had been
different when her mother had gone, because someone else knew how bad she
was feeling. Now there was nobody and she felt empty inside. Emptiness was
preferable to the raging storm of emotions that would come in a few days
time, but for now she could feel somewhat stable in her shell. She just
wished that everybody else would understand that and let her be.
Meanwhile Logan was dealing with his own inner demons and after
battling with himself for hours, hesitantly voiced a question he thought
would at least get some response from her.
Marie, youve never seen me before have you?
No. She answered in a dull voice.
Alright. Well dinners on the table if you want it later. Im
gonna head out for a few hours.
Logan sighed, she barely said a thing and when she did it were
usually single syllable words. He knew she was still in shock, but he
wanted to see a change in her. Hed rather see her crying, or angry than
hear her hollow voice, or see her blank expressions. Her friends were
worried about her, and so was he. But deep down he knew she would deal with
the loss in her own way. With a last look at her, he opened the door, to
his surprise he saw a baby bear sitting on the small porch.
Annette: We need to talk about Michael
Jackie: Fine. I'll use really small words so you'll be sure to understand
Annette: That won't be good enough!
-'That 70's Show'
Autumn's Penguin Emprium
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