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2544FIC: ...And Into The Woods (All Aboard, PG)

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  • bjorkfan@netzero.net
    Apr 7, 2001
      Title: ...And Into the Woods
      Author: Jengrrrl
      Series: All Aboard (previous parts - www.wolverineandrogue.com/muses)
      Rating: PG, mild language
      Summary: AU, misadventures of non-xmen xmen aboard Orient Express
      Disclaimer: Not mine
      Feedback: Yes. To bjorkfan@..., please, as my marvel account
      is being wonky.
      Distribution: list and Disquieting Muses
      Author's Note: Sorry this was so long in coming. I hope some of you
      still remember it.

      ...And Into The Woods

      November 14, 1922, Orient Express, some miles outside Vienna, Austria

      They made their way through the snow slowly, lifting one foot over it
      with each step. The white substance clung to her legs, seeped in
      through her stockings, and Marie thought she'd never been so cold,
      wished for a hot Mississippi summer. The flakes continued to fall and
      she watched as they settled on his dark coat. Logan was looking
      straight ahead, not at her, but his hand was clasping hers painfully.

      He stopped suddenly, looking around as if he'd heard something, his
      gaze surveying the area. If he saw something important he did not
      comment on it and a moment later they were once again walking to the
      main car.


      Marie slid open the door to her compartment and was surprised to see
      Raven sitting inside, cigarette holder in hand, scowl on her
      face. "Where have you been?" she asked, seemingly bored.

      For a long moment Marie stood, completely disbelieving of the woman
      sitting in front of her. Without saying a word, she shook her head
      and began undressing. She removed her linen coat – ruined, she
      thought – and kicked off her shoes, aware that her stepmother was
      talking, unable and unwilling to listen.

      As she began unbuttoning her skirt, she felt long, hard fingers
      encircle her wrist. "Look at me when I'm talking to you," Raven
      hissed. "Where is your father?"

      Marie pulled her arm away quickly, still feeling the indentations of
      the fingertips on her wrist. Defiant brown eyes met steely green. "I
      don't think you really care to know that Raven, otherwise you would
      have been out there with me when Logan came to talk to us." She took
      one step back, resumed the task of discarding her wet clothes without
      talking her eyes off Raven Darkholme. "I don't think you've ever
      cared what happened to him, so there's no use pretending with me."

      The older woman turned away and moved back to her seat. She looked
      oddly abashed, something Marie had never witnessed before. "I know I
      should have gone with you," Raven said, shakily bringing her
      cigarette to her mouth. "I just had a terrible headache, and you're
      always so much better with these sorts of things…" Her words trailed
      off, as if she had no clear conception of what she was saying.

      By this time, Marie had donned a pair of trousers she used for
      skiing, and a heavy woolen sweater. She was tying the laces on her
      boots when she finally responded to her stepmother's
      question. "Father has been kidnapped, Raven. By Eric Lensherr." Her
      voice quavered on the final words and she prayed Raven hadn't heard
      the momentary weakness. If there was anyone in the world she didn't
      want thinking her weak, it was Raven.

      A gasp escaped Raven's lips and Marie looked up in time to see the
      older woman bring her hand to her mouth. She looked shocked at
      least, thought Marie. She didn't think Raven loved her father, but
      maybe there was something that held her to him besides his
      money. "Kidnapped?" was her soft response, tinged with horror and
      confusion - the reply of a concerned spouse or a consummate actress,
      Marie wasn't entirely sure which.

      "Yes." Marie opened her trunk and began searching for another coat,
      something that would serve her better than the one she had hastily
      discarded but a few minutes before, one that would keep hypothermia
      at bay when facing the cold, wet snow.

      Raven was pacing across the small compartment, shaking her head and
      muttering to herself. "This isn't possible," she said. "Eric… How
      could this possibly be?"

      Without thinking, Marie replied, "I don't know, Raven. I wish I

      Stopping abruptly, Raven turned her gaze toward Marie. Her eyes
      traveled the length of her stepdaughter's body and she asked, "What
      are you doing? Why are you wearing that?"

      It occurred to Marie that it was best for Raven not to know anything,
      that the more people knew, the more complicated and dangerous it
      would become. After all, Logan had promised not to say anything to
      Xavier. But one look at Raven - standing slightly hunched over, a
      perfectly manicured nail tapping against her teeth – made her
      question her decision. Raven was, after all, her father's wife. "I
      have to go look for him. Logan thinks he may not be far from here."
      Marie was proud of herself for sounding as calm and collected as she

      "Logan? Who is this Logan? That man who told you your father was
      kidnapped? How do we know he isn't lying? How do we know he hasn't
      kidnapped your father himself, and is after you as well? How can you
      be so stupid as to trust a complete stranger, Marie?" Raven's voice
      became shrill, as it often did when she was exasperated. In a matter
      of seconds she had gone from worried to enraged. Her hands were
      wrapped around Marie's forearms, and Raven was beginning to squeeze
      with each word she uttered. "I can't let you go out there. This is
      very serious and we have to inform the chef du train immediately. He
      must be able to bring someone out here, police, anyone - "

      Marie pushed Raven's hands away again, surprised by her
      agitation. "Lagier already knows, Raven. And there won't be any
      police coming here, not anytime soon. The train can't even leave,
      Raven, or have you forgotten? We're absolutely trapped here and if I
      don't do something now, I'm going to lose my father!" She remembered
      there had been something important in her discard linen coat and bent
      down to examine the pockets. Inside was her father's pocket watch.
      She squeezed it briefly and placed it in the coat she was now

      She turned to leave when her stepmother's voice stopped her. "Wait!
      Where are you going? Back outside? That's insane!"

      The door had slid behind her when Marie finally deigned to answer the
      question. "Right. Back outside and into the woods."


      Logan entered his compartment to find Charles Xavier inside, sitting
      in his wheelchair, eyes closed, and chin resting on interlaced

      Moving silently, Logan shrugged out of his coat and began unbuttoning
      his shirt. "You awake, Chuck?" he murmured.

      The lack of response was Logan's answer. He quickly changed into dry

      He was scouring through one of Xavier's trunks for tools when Scott
      Summers walked in. "You!"

      Logan turned around slowly, careful not to show his chagrin over
      being caught.

      "What are you doing here?" Scott asked. "We've been looking
      everywhere! Where's Miss Darkholme?"

      "Changing," was Logan's simple reply before turning back to his
      previous business. He wasn't going to allow the boy to waste any
      valuable time.

      "Changing? Logan, what in Hell have you been doing?" Scott's voice
      was getting closer and Logan hoped he wasn't looking for a
      confrontation. He really didn't think he would be able to walk away
      from one just then.

      "Yeah, changing, and I really don't think I feel like telling you
      what we've been doing." He had his back turned to Summers but he
      could feel the man standing perilously close.

      "Don't ignore me, Logan." It took one hand on his shoulder to send
      Logan over the edge and before he knew it, he had the other man
      pinned to the opposite wall of the compartment, one hand on his neck,
      the other clenched and poised above his face. "Get off my back, boy,
      if you know what's good for you."


      Charles Xavier's voice cut through Logan's sudden rage. He let go of
      Scott, who was left to rub his throat, gasping for breath.

      "Logan, I think you owe us an explanation."

      Logan remained motionless, anger still visible on his face. His eyes
      met Xavier's briefly before he turned back to searching the trunk.


      "Don't you see, Professor? This is just what I've been telling you
      all along. This man is not trustworthy. The first major confrontation
      he's involved in and he won't even - "

      "Scott, please," Xavier interrupted. "Logan, you are currently under
      my employ. Whatever is happening, you must inform me."

      "You want to know what's happening?" Logan replied, not turning to
      look at the two men. "There's a girl out there missing her father, a
      man who's been kidnapped by someone you know, Chuck. Now, whether you
      like it or not, that smells funny – to the girl, at least. I don't
      think you can blame her for that. I am helping her. You can fire me
      if you want. Right now, I don't give a shit. If you're in the
      business of helping people, /Professor/, then you'll let me do this,
      because you damn sure can't.

      Scott snorted loudly. "You're going to help her? Just how are you
      going to do that, by going out in that storm? Professor, he'll get
      himself and Miss Darkholme killed, and he doesn't `give a shit'."

      "Logan," Xavier said, "if you think you can help her, then you're
      going to have to trust me, trust my judgment. You've trusted me
      before and I ask you do so again. I need to know what you're
      planning, so that we can aid you in any way we can."

      It was a long moment before Logan replied. "All right, Chuck, but you
      have to promise" he turned to stare at Scott "that you'll let me do
      things my way, and that you'll keep off my back."


      A dirty glass filled with water and hard piece of bread were placed
      before Robert Darkholme. "Sorry, mon ami, but it was the best I could

      "I'm not hungry," was the response.

      "Suit yourself, but you'll get hungry later and I guarantee Lensherr
      ain't going to give a damn."

      "Why would you?" Darkholme asked cautiously.

      "Me? Well, that all depends on you. I might not in a while. Or I
      might." Remy LeBeau reached into his pocket and smiled. He shook his
      head. "Bad habits, eh? They die hard. No more paper, unfortunately."

      Darkholme moved his hand slowly to the inside pocket of his jacket.
      He retrieved a silver case and held it up.

      Remy grinned. "Now, why didn't I think of that?" He snatched the case
      from the other man and opened it quickly. "Ready-made, monsieur? That
      is truly the mark of a rich man."

      "About giving a damn?"

      "Yeah," Remy inhaled. "About that," he exhaled. "I'm afraid a few
      cigarettes won't do it."

      "I assumed as much," said Darkholme tiredly. "Let's discuss what


      "Hey. You ready?"

      "Yes." She glanced at his companions. "Are they coming? I thought you
      said - "

      "No. They aren't coming. It's you and me. But we might need help with
      a few things, and they can help."


      "It'll be fine."

      "I know."

      "They're going to follow us until we find out if there's anything
      left to track. That way, they'll know where we're headed."

      "All right."

      "Can you carry a few things?"


      "Good." He slid open the door and let her step out first. His gaze
      moved from her to Scott and Jean, who were standing behind
      him. "Let's go."