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FIC: Waking in Winter (PG)

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  • Jengrrrl
    Title: Waking in Winter Author: Jengrrrl Rating: PG Series: All Aboard; Waking in Winter picks up where Safe Passage
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 8, 2000
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      Title: Waking in Winter
      Author: Jengrrrl
      Rating: PG
      Series: All Aboard; Waking in Winter picks up where Safe Passage
      (www.geocities.com/jengrrrl2000/safepassage.html) left off. You should
      probably read that one first. :)
      Summary: More misadventures aboard the Orient Express. This is an AU
      (Elseworlds) fic
      Disclaimer: Not mine.
      Archive: list and Disquieting Muses (www.geocities.com/jengrrrl2000),
      otherwise please ask
      Dedicated and Thanks To: Donna, Nancy, Diebin, and Gowdie for reading and
      commenting. Without Donna's advice... Well. Let's just say she rocks. :) If
      I wasn't a turtle on valium, I might have gotten this out sooner. Nancy and
      the P-fic are endless sources of inspiration. Aye, and the kilt!


      Waking in Winter


      Instinct overrode all thought as she brought a heel down on her attacker�s
      foot. The man let out a yelp, temporarily loosening his grasp on Marie. She
      took the opportunity to squirm away from him, driving an elbow into his
      gut. She was about to do so again when the man behind her was pulled away
      with a force that left her off-balance. Her knees hit the ground and she
      had to pivot in order to see just what had happened.

      She turned just in time to catch the mysterious officer driving a hard fist
      into the face of the condocteur she�d met, Remy.

      �Merde! What are you doing?� Remy called out, before the larger man could
      repeat the assault. �I know the girl. I was merely saying hello.�

      �Didn�t look like she wanted you saying hello.� The officer looked back at
      Marie. �Is that true? Do you know him?�

      Marie frowned, unsure of what had happened, or what to think. �I � yes. I
      know him.� The man dropped his hold on Remy�s collar. �But I certainly
      don�t know him well enough for him to be grabbing me!� She turned to the
      fallen man. �Your superior is going to hear of this.�

      �Oh, please Marie. I was being friendly, yes?�

      �No!�

      Interrupting, the officer said, �Get out of here. The miss didn�t want you
      touching her. You�re lucky I don�t bash your face in.�

      Scrambling to his feet, Remy muttered, �Again?� He quickly exited the car,
      rubbing his jaw and dabbing at his bloody lip as he went.

      Once the condocteur was out of sight, the officer held out a hand to Marie,
      who still found herself kneeling on the train floor.

      She ignored his hand and stood unaided. �Thank you,� she said. �I can
      manage.�

      He nodded, a hint of a smile playing on his lips. �Of course.�

      Shaking off any dust that may have gathered on her skirt, she added, �And I
      was doing fine with him.�

      The officer remained insufferably amused. �So I saw. You�re a real
      warrior.� He chuckled. �Stepping on his foot was � yeah, you�re a rogue,
      all right.�

      �Rogue? Me? Listen, mister -- �

      �Logan.�

      �Mr. Logan -- �

      �Just Logan.�

      She smiled her best southern belle smile. �Thank you, Mr. Logan, I
      appreciate all you�ve done, really.�

      �But you were doing fine.�

      She frowned. Was he making fun of her? �Yes, I was.�

      �Okay, rogue, let�s just say I was your reinforcement. That sound good to
      you?� He was having entirely too good a time, she thought.

      �My name�s Marie, sir. Not �rogue�.� She�d meant to sound firm and decisive
      but, somehow, her tone mimicked his.

      He raised an eyebrow as a slow smile spread across his face. �I�ll keep
      that in mind.� His countenance darkened suddenly. �Are you sure that guy
      was only kidding around with you?�

      She hadn�t thought of the possibility that Remy might have actually wanted
      to harm her in some way. The idea disturbed her.

      �I don�t know,� she admitted. �I don�t really know him at all.� Then,
      perhaps to assuage her own concern she added, �I�m sure it was a simple
      joke.�

      �It didn�t look like you thought he was joking at the time.�

      Marie�s eyes met his. �He shouldn�t have been touching me.�

      Logan nodded but didn�t say anything.

      �I have to go,� she said, feeling the after effects of the incident. She
      was shaken and unsure and needed to feel safe in her own compartment.

      �Would you like me to walk you?�

      She shook her head, relieved that he�d offered himself, but not wanting him
      to get the wrong idea. �I can --�

      �Manage,� he finished for her. �I know.� He gave her a small smile and
      retreated back into the smoking car.

      Watching him walk away, she thought about how unfortunately exciting the
      trip had become.

      If she�d known then how prophetic her thought was, she would have cursed
      the day she ever stepped foot aboard the Orient Express.

      ~*~

      It was four in the morning when it happened and she knew the exact time
      because she distinctly heard a loud groan and a shriek and a screaming
      voice asking what time it was. Distinctly she heard her father say, �It�s
      four in the a.m.�

      At first, she thought she was back home in her bed, listening to one of the
      many arguments that woke her from her sleep. But when she felt the grinding
      of gears and the persistent dragging motion beneath her, she knew.
      Somehow, and for some reason, the train was stopping. She sat up in her
      bunk just as her father walked into her compartment.

      He was bleary-eyed, his hair mussed and wild. He�d forgotten his robe and
      was only wearing his silk pajamas. His feet were bare. �Marie, wake up,� he
      said into the darkened compartment.

      �I�m awake, Father,� she responded, voice hoarse.

      �The train��

      �Why has it stopped?� she asked before he could continue. The train had not
      completely stopped she realized, but had slowed dramatically and was
      slowing still.

      Her father shook his head. �I don�t know, sweetheart, but I�m going to find
      out. Just stay here, Marie. Don�t be afraid.�

      �I�m not,� she whispered. And she wasn�t. But since childhood, her father
      always made it a point to tell her that if ever he left her alone. Don�t be
      afraid. She hadn�t realized until that moment how comforting his words
      were.

      A few moments after her father disappeared, Marie felt the train screech to
      a halt. For an instant there was complete silence. Then she heard the
      enraged voices of passengers coming from the compartments around hers. She
      felt footsteps outside as they went the way of her father: to find out just
      what had happened. Somewhere in the train a baby was crying, jerked awake
      when the lulling motion of the locomotive had stopped.

      Marie waited an interminable hour for her father to return. When he did not
      she changed out of her sleeping gown and went into the adjacent compartment
      where Raven was sound asleep.

      �Raven? Raven, wake up.� It took a good, hard shake to awaken the older
      woman, who uttered a long string of curses when she finally did open her
      eyes.

      �What do _you _ want?�

      �Where�s Father?�

      Already pulling her bedclothes back over her head, Raven replied, �How
      should I know? He went to check on something.�

      �The train, Raven. He went to see why the train isn�t moving.� Undaunted by
      her stepmother�s obvious disinterest, Marie continued, �He left well over
      an hour ago. He should be back.�

      �So? I don�t keep track of him. Go find him, if you�re so worried.� With
      that, she turned over and muttered, �We�re on a train, for goodness� sake.
      Even Robert isn�t stupid enough to get lost on a _train _.�

      Before long, Raven�s breathing deepened and Marie could see she was asleep
      again. How can she sleep, she thought, with so much happening?

      Deciding maybe Raven�s idea hadn�t been such a bad one � maybe she should
      seek her father out � Marie headed out of the compartment. A glint of
      silver caught her eye as she exited and she saw her father�s pocket watch
      sitting on his pillow. Without another thought, she grabbed it and tucked
      it in the pocket of her fine linen jacket.

      ~*~

      �Logan?�

      �Hmm?�

      �What�s happening?� Charles Xavier�s usual intuition had vanished under the
      cover of sleep. Dazed, he sat up and looked at his guardian who simply sat
      passively and smoked a cigar.

      �Summers went to find out, but I have an idea.�

      �What?�

      �Ever been caught in a snow drift, Chuck?�

      �Luckily, no.�

      �Well, I have. Trains in Canada get stranded all the time. At least, where
      I�m from.� He shook his head and laughed. �Sorry, Charles, but I think
      we�re stuck.� Logan stood and pointed his cigar at the window. �White.
      We�re surrounded by it. It�s harder to tell at night, but the dawn�s coming
      and everyone�ll see.�

      �What will we do?�

      �Wait. They�re going to have to dig us out. Hopefully, it won�t take too
      long. Otherwise��

      �Otherwise?�

      Logan smiled coldly. �With the train stopped like this? It�s going to get
      pretty bad in a few days. Hell, in a few hours. It�ll get to be freezing
      pretty soon. They don�t store too much food, either. That�ll be a problem.�
      Xavier�s sudden look of distress made Logan chuckle. �Hey, don�t worry.
      Fancy shit like this probably has it all planned out for emergencies like
      this one.�

      Charles sighed. �That is not what worries me. I�m worried about Eric�s
      response. I�m worried about what he might do.�

      Scowling, Logan shrugged. �What can he do?� he asked. �He�s stuck, same as
      everyone else.�


      �Maybe, but Eric has his resources.�

      Logan snorted. �Well, he�d have to have a pretty big shovel packed in his
      suitcase then.� He paused and puffed on his cigar. �I don�t understand. Why
      go to the trouble? If he needs money so badly, why not just rob a bank or
      something?�

      �There are some very wealthy people on this train, Logan.�

      �Doesn�t answer my question. Banks aren�t poor, Charles.�

      �No, but they are faceless institutions.�

      Raising a brow, Logan leaned forward and asked, �So, this Eric�s a sadist
      then? He gets off on hurting people?�

      Xavier lowered his head. �It�s not that simple,� he replied.

      �Isn�t it?�

      �Eric has suffered much during his life. There are things that have
      happened to him� I wouldn�t wish them on anyone.�

      �Not even your worst enemy?�

      There was a long pause during which neither of them said a word. Logan
      waited for Xavier to respond, but he never did. Before Logan could pry
      further, Scott walked hurriedly into the compartment.

      �Professor, I�m afraid I�ve some bad news.�

      Logan smirked. �Snow drift?�

      Scott opened his mouth speak at the same moment but shut it promptly at
      Logan�s words. He nodded sullenly, instead.


      �Are they doing anything to correct the situation?� enquired Xavier.

      Scott cleared his throat and shook his head. Logan thought he�d never seen
      anyone stand more upright than Scott Summers. It was damned annoying.

      �Digging out the train is out of the question for the moment,� he was
      saying. �The chef du train plans on sending some men to the nearest village
      for supplies until the weather clears.�

      �How far�s the nearest village?� asked Logan.

      �About a kilometer from here.�

      �Big job.� And it was. He couldn�t imagine a few men digging through
      freezing snow for a kilometer.

      Sighing, Scott readjusted his spectacles and responded simply, �Yes.�

      Reaching over to take a jacket, Logan said, �I�m going to check it out.�

      �I told you -- �

      Logan stubbed out his cigar and shrugged into his jacket. �I know what you
      said.� He turned to Xavier and asked, �You�ll be all right with the boy?�

      Xavier nodded but remained silent.

      Exiting the compartment, Logan called out, �Keep your eyes open, boy. All
      of them.�

      ~*~

      �Things have changed.�

      � �Spose so.�

      �I think taking the girl isn�t very practical now.�

      �Non? Never was if you ask me.�

      �Darkholme is worth millions.�

      �Wife won�t pay.�

      �I spotted one of Xavier�s lackeys walking around.�

      �Is that bad?�

      �You don�t know Charles Xavier.�

      �Non. Why would he care what you do?�

      �Xavier thinks he is mankind�s savior.�

      �Delusions of grandeur?�

      �Or assuaging his guilt.�

      �Guilt?�

      �Long story.�

      �If we�re not doing this job, I got plenty of time.�

      �We�re doing it. But there�s been a change of objective.�

      �Oh?�

      �We�re taking Robert Darkholme. And teaching Charles Xavier a lesson in the
      process.�

      ~*~



      Logan was walking towards the main car when he heard them: the sharp
      screams of a man being beaten. He�d heard them often before, and he wasn�t
      going to wait around to see who they belonged to. Running towards the
      sound, Logan soon discovered its source. He slid open the compartment door,
      his eyes immediately narrowing at what he saw. �You!� he growled, stepping
      toward two men, one bound, gagged, and unconscious; the other holding tell
      tale rope.

      �Oui.� Remy LeBeau smiled his best smile, winked, and said, �Good night,
      mon ami.�

      Logan heard the whoosh of steel rushing down on him. �What the f -- �

      It was too late. The bar landed on his head with a sickening thud. Sharp
      pain preceded the darkness.


      http://www.geocities.com/jengrrrl2000

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