Notes: Intro and Info in teaser. Thanks for sticking with me guys,
sorry about inundating you with posts (I thought it would be better
than one 43 page post!)
Logan was silent as they walked back through the tunnel. Hank and
Kurt were waiting for them. ¡§The guards are still locked up, safe
and sound,¡¨ Kurt reported. ¡§But I can¡¦t imagine a place as
sophisticated as this operating in total isolation.¡¨
¡§I agree,¡¨ Hank added. ¡§We may be in the clear for now, but with
all the destruction we¡¦ve caused in these facilities, we can expect
more soldiers to arrive sooner, rather than later. Scott, we need
to get out of here.¡¨
¡§We¡¦re going to Boston,¡¨ Scott replied. He called Rogue and Jubilee
over from where they¡¦d be attending to the mutants that had been
freed. Quickly, he filled everyone in on what he¡¦d learned about
the investigation of the school. ¡§We can¡¦t bring all these people
there now, and as far as we know, Kitty, Jubilee, Rogue and Logan
are still considered fugitives.¡¨
¡§How are we going to get all these people to Boston?¡¨ Rogue asked.
There were a few vehicles around, but nowhere near enough room to
fit 30 newly freed mutants.
¡§There¡¦s a cell phone in our car,¡¨ Scott replied, referring to the
one he¡¦d driven up in with Hank and Kurt. ¡§I¡¦ll call Storm and get
her to bring the jet as soon as she¡¦s able.¡¨
¡§With the school under investigation, won¡¦t it be dangerous to bring
the jet out?¡¨ Kurt queried.
¡§Yes, but I don¡¦t think we have any other choice,¡¨ Scott replied. He
looked around at the other mutants, finally finding the one he was
looking for. ¡§Logan,¡¨ he called, ¡§It isn¡¦t safe for you and the
girls to stay here. Take the car that Bobby brought and head for
Boston. We¡¦ll meet you there.¡¨
Logan had been standing apart from the rest of the group, his face
shadowed in the dim light. He hadn¡¦t yet spoken and didn¡¦t speak
now, merely nodding his head in acquiescence to Scott¡¦s command.
With a pointed look at Kitty, Jubilee and Rogue, he turned on his
heel and walked back toward the tunnel. The girls hurried to follow
Once they were out of sight, Kurt looked at Scott, troubled. ¡§What
is wrong with Logan?¡¨ he asked quietly.
Scott shook his head. ¡§I don¡¦t know,¡¨ he replied, at a loss. ¡§He¡¦s
been like that ever since¡K¡¨
¡§Ever since he killed Sabretooth,¡¨ Bobby cut in. He hadn¡¦t meant to
be listening in on the adults¡¦ conversation, but the group was
huddled together, so he couldn¡¦t help but overhear.
Scott turned to face the youth. ¡§What happened?¡¨ he asked.
Bobby shrugged. ¡§I don¡¦t know, exactly. We ¡V we saw the base and
we pulled up to it in your car. Kitty phased me through the walls
and we almost got stuck. She kind of had to tug us through. The
next thing I knew, we were all in a pile with Logan and Sabretooth.
I don¡¦t know what they were doing before that, but once we fell in,
Sabretooth grabbed me and Logan had to kill him.¡¨
¡§Logan hates Sabretooth,¡¨ Hank sounded as puzzled as Scott
felt. ¡§Why on earth would he be upset about killing him?¡¨
Once again Scott was at a loss to answer. He could only repeat what
he¡¦d said before: ¡§I don¡¦t know.¡¨
Logan stalked down the tunnel, his body a picture of barely
controlled fury. The girls stumbled over their own feet behind him,
trying to keep up.
¡§Logan, slow down, please!¡¨ Rogue called, but it was no use. He
wasn¡¦t listening. He turned round a bend in the tunnel and climbed
up into the other building, leaving the girls no choice but to
follow in his wake.
Eventually they caught up to him. He was leaning against the wall
near one of the exits. ¡§The doors sealed automatically,¡¨ he said,
his tone much gruffer than usual. ¡§We can¡¦t get out that way.
Kitty, you¡¦ll have to take us out, one at a time. Can you do it?¡¨
¡§I ¡V yes,¡¨ she replied, resolving to do whatever she had to so that
Logan wouldn¡¦t stay mad at her for whatever he was angry about. She
knew it had been wrong of them to come, but it was hardly the first
time a X-Man had made a reckless mistake, gone charging in where
they ought not to have been. She couldn¡¦t quite understand what had
Logan so angry, but she was determined not to give him any more
reason for upset. ¡§I¡¦ll take Jubilee first,¡¨ she continued.
Jubilee was the easiest; she could work her way up to Logan, whose
considerable weight would make him difficult to transport.
Logan didn¡¦t move from the wall as she disappeared with Jubilee,
reappearing less than a minute to take Rogue. There was a bit of
careful organization between the two girls to ensure that Rogue¡¦s
skin didn¡¦t accidentally touch Kitty¡¦s, and they were gone again.
Rogue must have been harder to transport, or Kitty was getting
tired, because it was a few minutes before she reappeared again, and
she looked a little out of breath. ¡§Take a minute,¡¨ he told her.
She nodded her thanks.
They stood in silence for a few minutes. Kitty mostly studied her
feet while Logan seemed to stare right past her. Finally, she found
the courage to open her mouth and speak. ¡§Logan,¡¨ she said
hesitantly. ¡§I¡¦m so sorry.¡¨
He looked up at her and flashed a mirthless smile. Kitty was
relieved to see some of the anger gone from his countenance. ¡§It
was a very stupid thing you did, coming here,¡¨ he said. ¡§I¡¦m sure
Bobby talked you into it. I would have done the same if I were in
his shoes.¡¨ He shook his head as though to clear it. ¡§You couldn¡¦t
have known what would happen, Kitty. Sabretooth ¡V he said some
things to me when we were held captive together, and I wanted to
know what he meant. But it doesn¡¦t matter now.¡¨
For a moment, his face looked raw and vulnerable as he raked his
hands through his dirty hair. Kitty saw how much it really did
matter, despite Logan¡¦s attempt at reassurance. He looked lost and
haunted. She opened her mouth to say something. She wasn¡¦t sure
what, but she felt like something had to be said, but Logan cut her
off by pushing off of the wall and approaching her.
¡§Ready?¡¨ he asked, nodding toward the concrete behind her back. She
nodded and took his hand, steeling herself for the job of phasing
the larger man into the world beyond.
The girls fell asleep almost instantly. Jubilee was out before he¡¦d
got the car in gear, and Kitty was soon to follow. Rogue stayed
awake a bit longer, sitting in the passenger seat next to Logan and
watching him with her big doe eyes. After a few minutes on the
highway, however, the rhythm of the wheels on the road lulled her
eyes shut and Rogue fell away as well. Logan spared a glance for
her before returning his eyes to the road.
He was tired, too. God, he had never felt more tired. His hands
ached from where the Adamantium had leaked out of him; for whatever
reason, the wounds caused by that poison were slow to heal. He¡¦d
been chained up for god knows how long, and then forced to fight a
deadly enemy, all the while worrying about the girls that were
supposed to be safe in his protection. To top it all off,
Sabretooth, his last source of information, was gone.
Logan took a deep breath. He couldn¡¦t allow himself to think of
it. He¡¦d break apart, he knew it. Instead, he focused his eyes
back on the road, mentally calculating the miles between New York
and Boston, and forming a plan around what he would do when he got
Scott had retrieved the other car after Logan and the girls had
left, and placed a quick call to the mansion. Everyone shared a
relieved sigh at finding everyone else all right, and then Storm
hung up, promising to be there within the hour. She arrived in
thirty-five minutes. The freed prisoners were loaded onto the jet;
Kurt, Bobby and Hank went with them. Scott returned to his car and
started the long drive.
He was the last to arrive at the old church. The parish priest had
been expecting them; all the prisoners were safely ensconced in a
dormitory originally meant for resident nuns. The younger X-Men
were in the church basement playing card games, and Hank was hanging
around the parish office waiting for him. ¡§Kurt went back with
Storm,¡¨ he explained as Scott walked up the church steps.
Scott smiled; he hadn¡¦t said anything, but he had been watching the
teleporter slowly but surely work his way into Storm¡¦s normally
isolated life, becoming a good friend. He suspected Kurt would like
to be something more, and the fact that both of them had left
suggested to him that perhaps Storm would too. ¡§Good for them,¡¨ he
replied. ¡§Where¡¦s Logan?¡¨
Hank shrugged. ¡§He¡¦s outside. He¡¦s been sitting there, smoking,
ever since they got in.¡¨
Scott followed Hank¡¦s gaze to the churchyard. Logan sat hunkered on
a bench near the gates to the cemetery, staring off into space. ¡§I
should go talk to him,¡¨ Scott said.
Just then, the priest appeared in the doorway. ¡§Mr. Summers?¡¨ he
asked. At Scott¡¦s nod, he continued, ¡§Professor Xavier is on the
telephone for you.¡¨
Scott sighed, casting another glance at Logan. Hank touched his arm
¡§You go talk to the professor,¡¨ he said. ¡§I¡¦ll go talk to Logan.¡¨
Logan was the only person Hank knew with more sensitive hearing than
he had, but he gave no sign that he¡¦d noticed Hank¡¦s approach. Logan
didn¡¦t appear startled when the blue man sat down beside him,
though. He just continued to stare out at a space between two
branches of a willow tree. They sat in silence for a long time.
Finally, Hank couldn¡¦t take it anymore. ¡§Logan,¡¨ he started. He
never got a chance to finish, because the other man interrupted.
¡§He said there was a team,¡¨ Logan said. Hank raised his eyebrows at
the abrupt statement, but made no reply. Logan took a deep drag and
exhaled slowly before continuing. ¡§Sabretooth said we were on a
team. Him and me and a woman named Silver Fox. And that name¡K the
¡§You remembered something?¡¨
Logan laughed bitterly. ¡§Nothing that simple, of course,¡¨ he
replied. ¡§But¡K I hated Sabretooth with a passion that was personal,
before I ever knew who he was. And I have no memory of Silver Fox,
but I know that I love her with an equal passion. I have to find
her. I have to find out what happened to me ¡V to us.¡¨
For the first time, Hank noticed that Logan had a packed bag beside
him. He¡¦d obviously pilfered through the supplies they regularly
carried on the jet; he had everything he needed.
¡§You¡¦re leaving tonight,¡¨ Hank said. It wasn¡¦t a question.
Logan nodded. ¡§I¡¦m taking the car,¡¨ he replied.
¡§Scott will be furious.¡¨ Hank wasn¡¦t just talking about the car,
and they knew it.
Logan sighed. ¡§Please, explain it to him. Explain it to all of
them. I just can¡¦t not know.¡¨ His voice nearly shook with the
force behind the words, and his eyes were filled with the
desperation he expressed.
Hank nodded compassionately. He could understand why Logan felt the
need to explore his past. He could hardly imagine what it must be
like, not knowing who you were or where you came from, having only
fragments of nightmarish memories and the word of killers to go on.
Still, he felt he had an ethical responsibility to try to talk Logan
out of this foolish course of action.
¡§You know you are wanted here. The children love you. They need
¡§Can¡¦t you ¡V can¡¦t you search for this woman without leaving?
Charles could help you. There has to be another way.¡¨
Logan stood and began pacing. He hadn¡¦t expected to get away
easily, but his mind was made up. ¡§I can¡¦t stay. I can¡¦t stay and
be patient and kind and loving, sit around and wait while Charles
goes rooting for information. I can¡¦t teach and interact with
children when I feel like I¡¦m being torn apart. I¡¦m haunted by her,
do you understand? I have to find her.¡¨ He squared his shoulders
and picked up his pack. ¡§You¡¦ll explain to the others?¡¨
¡§Of course. I haven¡¦t a choice, really, do I?¡¨ Hank couldn¡¦t keep
a note of bitterness from creeping into his voice.
¡§I¡¦m sorry. Thank you.¡¨ Logan turned to leave. He¡¦d nearly reached
the parking lot where the car sat waiting when Hank¡¦s voice made him
¡§Logan!¡¨ the other man had followed him, calling to him across the
grass. Logan met his eyes and waited patiently. Hank held the
gaze. ¡§Remember ¡V you will always be welcomed. Whenever you want
to, you can come back home.¡¨
Logan smiled a genuine, sad smile. He nodded, not trusting himself
to speak, and then turned to the car once more. Stowing his bag, he
climbed into the driver¡¦s seat and the car roared to life. A moment
later, he was gone.
Hank watched him speed away, the engine disrupting the peace of an
otherwise quiet evening. It faded, and suddenly everything was
still ¡V for a moment. Then he heard the overlapping voices behind
him and Scott and the girls came hurrying to the doorway, spilling
out into the crisp night air. He took a breath and turned back to
his compatriots. He had a message to deliver.
The end º