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[FIC] Fever Dreams -- by Chris (1-3/?)

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  • .-= Kielle =-.
    Note from Kielle: This story was bumped from the WolverineAndRogue list because it wasn t about Wolverine WITH Rogue. Hrumph. What do you folks think about
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 1, 2000
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      Note from Kielle: This story was bumped from the
      WolverineAndRogue list because it wasn't about Wolverine
      WITH Rogue. Hrumph. What do you folks think about giving
      it a nice warm friendly home on THIS mailing list instead?
      :) Let Chris know if you want more -- I know *I* do!


      Fever Dreams
      By Chris (TEUFELCE@...)

      Genre: Character study/Action/Romance
      Pairing: Wolverine/original female character
      Rating: PG-13/R (for now) for profanity, graphic violence
      Summary: In his search for his past, Logan finds something else...
      Disclaimer: The characters of X-Men (i.e. Logan, Professor
      Xavier, etc.) belong to Marvel Comics and Twentieth
      Century Fox Pictures. This story is for entertainment
      purposes only and no copyright infringement is intended.

      Okay, here goes -- my first Wolverine-based fanfic. Hope
      you all like it, and feedback is STRONGLY encouraged...lol

      Chris
      Guardian of the Leather Jacket, Protector of the Beer, and
      Official Licker of Spilt Beer off that Glorious Torso

      ***

      Part One

      On a back road, Northern Alberta, Canada...

      The wind howled through the trees, the sheer force of it
      driving into his face making it difficult to see the road
      ahead. The snowfall, which had gotten steadily worse over
      the past half hour, made steering the damn motorcycle even
      MORE difficult... A small red neon sign up ahead glowed
      dimly through the veil of white that surrounded Logan as he
      struggled to keep the bike from skidding right off the
      narrow road. With a muffled curse that was drowned out by
      the wind, he managed to turn the bike into the lot in front
      of the tiny beaten up motel, without impaling himself on
      the huge pine that almost obscured it from the road. Not
      that it would really be a problem -- just hurt like a son
      of a bitch...

      Leaning the bike up against the side of the office, Logan
      yanked the door open and stepped in quickly out of the
      bitterly cold wind. The grizzly old man behind the desk
      looked up, surprised to have a guest come in out of what
      looked to be one hell of a storm. He swallowed around the
      sudden lump in his throat at the sight of the angry scowl
      on the face of his decidedly unnerving guest and spoke up.

      "What can I do you for?"

      "Need a room..." The voice was low and reminded the old
      man of the sound of a wolf growling. A shiver ran down his
      spine and he found his hand moving of its own volition
      towards the shotgun he kept under the desk. Those feral
      eyes locked on him and the deep voice rumbled again. "Now
      don't be doing anything stupid, oldtimer, I'm not here to
      cause any trouble. All I want is a room."

      The sudden ringing of the phone on the desk between them
      made them both jump. Feeling sheepish about his paranoia,
      the old man smiled.

      "Sorry about that -- we don't get too many visitors up this
      way during winter. Don't even know why I keep it open..."
      he explained, as his hand lifted the receiver from the
      cradle and brought it to his ear. "Hello, Fireside Motel,
      can I help you?" As Logan watched, the man's eyes widened
      as he turned to face him again, holding one hand over the
      mouthpiece.

      "Um...your name Logan?" Curious about the question, Logan
      nodded. The proprietor held the phone out to him. "Then
      this is for you. Professor somebody or other..." With a
      sigh, Logan took the phone and held it to his ear.

      "What are you bothering me for NOW, Chuck?" Although his
      voice was gruff, he was laughing inside. Remembering
      what'd happened the LAST time the Professor had contacted
      him. Wanting to warn him that the police hadn't found any
      sign of Sabretooth's body after the fight atop the Statue
      of Liberty, the Professor had used Cerebro to speak
      directly into Logan's mind. Unfortunately, he hadn't
      thought about the reaction he might receive. Startled by
      the sudden voice inside his head, Logan had lost control of
      the motorcycle and skidded right off the road into a ditch.
      After the torrent of curses that had spewed out of his
      mouth, directed mainly at Xavier, the Professor had
      obviously learned his lesson...

      "Logan, I have some information that I think you'll want to
      hear. Given your reaction the last time I spoke into your
      mind, getting you to stop at this motel was the only way to
      reach you."

      "Damn right I don't want you in my head, cueball... Wait a
      second, you mean, all this? The snow? The wind?!" His
      voice was tightening in anger with every word, realizing
      that he'd been manipulated.

      "Calm down, Logan. Storm acted under my instructions.
      What I need to tell you is very important and it was the
      only way."

      Closing his eyes and counting silently to ten, Logan
      swallowed the rage threatening to spill over inside and
      ALMOST succeeded in not growling into the phone. "Spit it
      out then. I'm practically a popsicle from your girl
      Storm's 'actions,' I'm tired, and I need a drink."
      Realizing that the proprietor was blatantly staring at him,
      Logan spoke again. "Hold on, Chuck. I don't want an
      audience." Putting the phone down on the desk, he leaned
      towards the old man. "Isn't there something better you
      could be doing right now?"

      With a squeak, the proprietor nodded his head quickly.
      "Yep, just gonna go get that room ready for you now..." He
      scurried off, leaving Logan alone in the office. With a
      tired sigh, he picked the phone back up.

      "All right, shoot."

      "An old acquaintance of mine was recently up that way.
      Actually, not far from Alkali Lake. He passed along to me
      something he'd seen. Apparently, there's a woman who lives
      in the woods up there. The Native American population is
      convinced she's a manitou, a spirit of some kind. The
      locals think she's just some kind of crazy hermit."

      "And just what the hell does this all have to do with ME,
      Professor?" Logan ground out, fighting to keep his growing
      annoyance out of his voice.

      "I am getting to that, Logan," Xavier chuckled. Chastised,
      Logan muttered a short "sorry." "As I was saying, he said
      he had seen something he thought I might find interesting.
      Seems this woman, whomever she might be, was attacked
      recently. My acquaintance witnessed the tail end of it and
      swears he saw metal claws appear out of her hands."

      As Xavier's words slowly sank in, Logan stared at the wall
      in numb shock. He wasn't the only one...the bastards had
      done it to someone else...someone who might still
      remember... All the rage, all the pain, all the hate that
      had been brewing inside him for the past fifteen years
      boiled up and he was vaguely aware of the claws sliding out
      of his hand. Xavier's voice shouting from the phone
      brought him slowly back to reality.

      "Logan? Logan, are you there? Logan, answer me!"

      "Keep your shirt on, Chuck. I'm still here." But not
      alone. Not anymore... As Xavier gave him directions to
      where the woman had been sighted, Logan grabbed a scrap of
      paper off the desk and quickly wrote them down. "So, you
      gonna have..." Even as the words left his lips, he could
      see the snow dying down outside to a light flurry.

      "Already done, my friend," Xavier responded with a low
      chuckle.

      "Dammit, cueball, you know how I feel when you read my
      mind!" Logan growled, amused in spite of himself.

      "It wouldn't take a telepath to know what you're thinking,
      Logan. Are you going to head there now?"

      Eyeing the growing darkness outside and feeling the
      exhaustion deep in his bones, Logan stifled a curse. "No.
      Think I'm gonna hole up here and head out in the morning."

      "Wise choice...and Logan?"

      "Yeah?"

      "I hope you find what you're looking for." The professor's
      voice was soft and kind, and his words made Logan feel
      uncomfortable. He owed this man a lot. More than he could
      probably ever repay...

      "Yeah. Thanks...Charles." Before any more could be said,
      he hung up the phone. Standing in the empty office, he
      stared down at the adamantium claws that had been both the
      result and source of so much pain in his life. That had
      marked him as different, even from other mutants. But not
      anymore. Now there was someone out there just like him.
      And no matter what it took, he was going to find her...

      ***

      *After the Almighty Beta's approval, I submit for your
      perusal Chapter 2 of Fever Dreams -- again , feedback
      STRONGLY encouraged...*

      Part Two

      Logan lay awake well into the night. Just staring up at
      the ceiling... For once in the past 15 years, it wasn't the
      fear of what sleep would bring that kept him awake. It was
      the thought of what he'd heard from Xavier might mean. The
      possibilities...

      Here was this woman, whom the Professor's "acquaintance"
      claimed to have claws like his own. And that could mean
      only one thing in his mind -- if she'd survive the hellish
      nightmare that had given HIM an adamantium skeleton, then
      she had to have the same power to heal herself. There was
      no other way. Without it, no amount of painkillers, no
      amount of antibiotics would have kept her alive. The
      extensive, repetitive surgeries required were simply
      impossible for someone without the ability to regenerate
      their own tissue.

      She'd been "attacked," Xavier had said...by whom? And why?
      He rubbed a tired hand over his eyes, filing the questions
      away to the back of his mind for now. He wouldn't be able
      to even begin to find the answers to them until he reached
      his destination. Tomorrow...

      Exhaustion finally won out and his eyes slid closed into
      sleep.

      ***

      *FLASH* scalpels slowly descending...
      *FLASH* horrific pain as drills bite into his bones...
      *FLASH* through the corner of his terrified eyes, another
      figure submerged in an identical tub...
      *FLASH* PAIN!!!! unbearable...
      *FLASH* screaming...his own?

      ***

      Logan came awake with a shuddering gasp, a scream dying on
      his lips as his body shot upright in the bed. With shaking
      hands, he wiped away the sweat that ran in rivulets from
      his forehead. Always the same damn nightmares... As the
      last of sleep released its hold on his brain, he stopped
      moving. Wait..not the same this time. There was someone
      else there... Tired and with the adrenaline of fear still
      coursing through his veins, Logan shook his head angrily.
      *Get a grip, asshole... it only changed once you'd heard
      about the woman... there IS no one else like you...* an
      insidious voice whispered inside of him. The same voice
      that had driven him to attempt to take his own life when
      he'd first woken up in that forest so many years ago, when
      he'd realized what had been done to him...

      "Fuck off..." Logan muttered, sliding his legs over the
      side of the bed and making his way to the small bathroom
      that graced the pathetic dump of a room he'd found himself
      in. Turning the shower water on full, he stepped into the
      spray and let the hot water wash away the last of the sweat
      from his body. As his senses became more alert, freed
      finally from the lingering remains of the nightmare, he
      decided that he'd had enough of waiting. The two hours of
      sleep he'd managed before the dreams came again would just
      have to do -- it was time to go find this woman and maybe
      answer some questions.

      ***

      The black motorcycle roared into the tiny town of Crooked
      River at 2 in the morning. The only sign of life came from
      the light shining through the grimy windows of what
      appeared to be the only bar around. Needing somewhere to
      warm up after the frigid ride, and beer on top of that,
      Logan leaned the bike against the side of the building and
      headed for the door. Place actually reminded him a lot of
      the dive where he'd first met Rogue... *Hope it turns out
      to be half as much fun,* he laughed to himself as he pulled
      the metal door open.

      For a bar, it was fairly typical. There were a number of
      beer-bellied, tough-guy trucker types playing pool in the
      back, and not a woman to be seen. The smoke of several
      cigarettes filled the air, the smell of stale piss and
      vomit assaulted his heightened sense of smell, and he had
      to take several shallow breaths before heading for a stool
      at the bar.

      The barkeep looked up from wiping glasses, gave Logan a
      bland look and asked, "What can I get you?"

      "I'll have a beer." As the bartender put the Molson on the
      bar before him, Logan spoke again before he could move
      away. "Listen, I heard there's a woman living in the woods
      a short way from here -- know anything about her?"

      "You mean the mutie?" One of the drunken truckers who'd
      waddled up to the bar for a refill spoke up. Logan simply
      turned and stared at the man. Who was, unfortunately, too
      drunk to notice the rising anger on Logan's face. "Yeah, I
      know all about that freak -- she marked up Marty good few
      nights back. Stupid bitch, all he wanted was a little
      kiss. And she goes all crazy on us -- stabs him in the arm
      with these long-ass freaking claws that just shot out of
      her hands. Man, damn mutants oughta be locked up
      somewhere..."

      Logan took a long swallow of his beer before slamming it
      back down on the bartop. Standing up, he turned to face
      the bigot.

      "You know what I think?" he growled out between clenched
      teeth. After a moment to process the question, the other
      man spoke.

      "What?"

      "I think your momma should've kept her legs crossed..."
      Logan said it with a smile on his face, knowing full well
      the reaction he was provoking. But hell, he'd had just
      about enough talk like the kind this maggot was spewing and
      he was itching for some satisfaction. The drunk trucker's
      face turned beet-red and his arm came up in a swing at
      Logan's jaw. Having seen it coming a mile away, it was
      easy for him to dodge the punch and stepped underneath to
      lay a swift punch of his own right upside the man's head.
      He dropped like a stone to the floor. His buddies, who'd
      been watching the exchange from the safety of the pool
      table, started forward.

      "Now, now," Logan laughed with a feral smile on his face.
      "You wouldn't wanna mess with another 'mutie' now would
      you?" With those words, he let the claws that had just
      been ITCHING to come out slide through his skin to their
      full length. Suddenly, the man on the floor's buddies
      weren't so eager. Stopped right in their tracks and just
      stared. Logan heard one of them whisper, "Shit, freak's
      just like her..."

      Tired of wasting his time with the likes of these assholes
      and confident that they wouldn't be following him, Logan
      slid the claws back in, slapped a few bills on the bar,
      thanked the shell-shocked bartender for the beer, and
      stepped back outside into the frigid wind. As he sat
      astride the bike, pulling on his gloves, he caught a
      glimpse of motion in the dark woods bordering the small
      town. A small lithe figure running away, disappearing into
      the shadows. A sweet feminine smell wafted to him on the
      wind and he knew he'd just glimpsed the woman he was after.
      He drew in a deep breath, imprinting the smell of her into
      every cell of his being. Now that he knew it, he'd find
      her again. And next time, he wouldn't let her run away.

      ***

      Part Three

      Knowing inside that pushing himself much further would be
      sheer stupidity and liable to make him miss something,
      Logan turned the bike back onto the road heading north out
      of town. For once, the freezing wind on his face didn't
      bother him. His mind was too alive with thoughts of what
      he'd glimpsed. Of who he'd glimpsed... The moment he
      thought of her, her scent filled his senses like a perfume.
      Sweet, and yet, with a subtle warm spice undertone.
      Definitely one of the more pleasant smells he'd
      encountered. One he'd like to smell again... With a
      mental smack upside the head, Logan cut his internal
      reverie short.

      "For chrissake, you haven't even SEEN her yet, asshole..."
      he laughed out loud. He was still chuckling under his
      breath when he finally saw another little motel off the
      side of the road. It was out in the middle of nowhere, set
      slightly back into the woods that lined the roadway, but it
      was still a driveable distance ot Crooked River. All in
      all, it would suit him just fine. He'd have his privacy,
      and still be able to look around. Make a few inquiries...

      The man behind the counter wasn't nearly so jumpy as the
      proprietor of the last motel, and Logan was checked into
      his room with a minimum of fuss. The moment he was in the
      door, the leather jacket hit the floor, the denim landed on
      a chair, and he was face down on the bed. God, he was
      exhausted... Just hoped that the nightmares let him sleep
      a little bit longer this time...

      ***

      *FLASH* hands holding him down, struggling...
      *FLASH* mask being pulled over his face, eyes wide open...
      *FLASH* voice screaming: LOGAN!!!!!
      *FLASH* being lowered into liquid, all sounds drowned
      out...

      ***

      Logan shot upright in the bed, sheets tangled around him,
      his chest heaving and gasping for air. Without a conscious
      thought, the claws popped out into the mattress at either
      side of his trembling body. A voice...there had been a
      voice this time...a woman's voice...

      The unfamiliar sensation of tears trickling down his face
      brought him back to himself with a cold shock. The claws
      slid back in, and he brought up a numb hand to wipe them
      away. As he stared at the glistening drops on his
      fingertips, questions ran rampant through his mind. Who
      the hell was this woman?! And what exactly did she mean to
      him?!

      With an groan filled with too many long days and nights of
      not knowing a thing about his past, he threw himself back
      down on the bed and lay staring at the ceiling. Eyes wide
      open, he stared at the cracks in the plaster for hours..
      until exhaustion claimed him again and his eyes slid shut
      into sleep. This time, undisturbed by nightmares of a past
      he couldn't even remember...

      ***

      The weak sun of a late winter afternoon was filtering its
      way through the blinds when Logan finally rolled over and
      opened his eyes. Despite having slept only a few more
      uninterrupted hours, he felt more focused than he had in
      the past several days. After a breakfast of beef jerky
      washed down by instant coffee made with hot tap water, he
      was back on the motorcycle and headed for Crooked River at
      a wreckless pace. With the day's light rapidly vanishing,
      he wanted to at least reach the town before most of the
      locals holed up for the night. Last night alone had proven
      that the drunks at the bar weren't going to be much help...

      As the bike sped along the barren highway, his thoughts
      drifted once more to the figure he'd seen darting between
      the trees. She'd moved with a speed and lithe grace that
      alone would have marked her as something other than human.
      She'd seemed on the shorter side, but with nothing other
      than timber trees and pines to compare her to, he couldn't
      be certain of that. And although, like his other senses,
      his eyesight was excellent, the darkness had obscured her
      coloring. Hell, she coud've been brown, black, green or
      purple, for all he knew. All he was certain of was that
      the fleeing figure had been that of a woman. A woman with
      a very intriguing scent... One that, upon recollection,
      arose instantly from memory to pervade his senses. With
      nothing more to do than keep an eye on the road, he let his
      mind wander and wrapped himself in the remembrance of it...

      That is, until it became far too powerful and real for it
      to be just a figment of his imagination. With a snap, he
      came back to himself. Slowing the bike and tilting his
      head to the side, he inhaled deeply. Yep, there it
      was...she was somewhere in the woods off to his left. The
      direction the wind was coming from... And with that wind,
      came the sound of baying hounds. Hunting dogs...

      An instantaneous rush of adrenaline and rage shot through
      him as he realized exactly who was likely being hunted.
      Spinning the bike in a half circle that left skid marks on
      the tar, Logan acclerated and hit the side of the road,
      jumping clear over the incline that ran parallel to it.
      Almost losing his balance on the unbroken hardpacked snow,
      he had to fight to regain control before taking off into
      the woods in the direction the scent and baying was coming
      from. He got maybe fifty yards from the road, before the
      front wheel of the cycle bogged down in the softer snow and
      he had to abandon it to proceed on foot. At a dead run,
      adrenaline pumping, he could now smell the dogs, the heavy
      stink of sweat on the men (two? maybe three?) as he rapidly
      closed the gap. The scents weren't changing direction
      anymore, and they were getting stronger -- the hounds
      must've brought their quarry to bay. Logan cursed under
      his breath as he drove himself to go even faster.

      There. Up ahead, in a clearing... He came to an abrupt
      halt behind a large evergreen, as he caught sight of three
      men halfway encircling a large oak. One of them had two
      hounds on a lead, and the dogs were lunging and snarling at
      whatever stood before the men. As Logan eased silently up
      behind them, he caught a glimpse of a terrified woman,
      backed up against the tree, panicked eyes darting left and
      right. Amber eyes, like a wolf... One of the other two
      men laughed and tossed a branch at her. With a speed that
      made it almost a blur of motion, the woman brought up a
      hand tipped with three gleaming claws -- claws exactly like
      his own -- and sliced the branch in two before it could hit
      her. Rather than be frightened by this display of skill,
      it only made the men laugh harder. Logan could feel his
      anger rising to the point where his vision became tinged
      with red and a low growl began to rise from his chest.
      Twenty feet away...maybe...

      The man who'd thrown the branch nudged one of his buddies.
      "Hey, think she could hit two at the same time?" This
      brought guffaws from his pals and they each reached down to
      pick up a branch. They had their arms back, prepared to
      throw, when a deep, angry voice broke the silence behind
      them.

      "I know I could..."

      Two of the men whipped around to face Logan as he stepped
      out from where he'd been crouching. The third man kept his
      eye on the small woman still pressed against the tree
      trunk. He had to give them credit, they weren't COMPLETELY
      stupid...

      "What d'you think you're doing out here, mister?" the
      largest of the three men bit out, trying to put Logan on
      the defensive. Logan just smiled a slow, lethal smile, as
      he responded.

      "Might ask the same of you." Obviously taken aback by the
      fact that the strange man facing all three of them wasn't
      the least intimidated, the big man brought up the shotgun
      he'd held at his side and pointed it directly at Logan's
      chest.

      "I'd say, mind your own business, stranger." One gun...not
      bad odds...yeah, it'd hurt like hell, but his body would
      heal it even as he was moving and he doubted the idiot
      would be able to reload for a second shot. Logan let out a
      low chuckle and all three men felt the hairs on the back of
      their necks rise. That's when the second man brought
      another shotgun to bear on him. Okay, now that was NOT
      good...

      Out of the corner of his eye, Logan could see the dog
      handler backing away towards the edge of the clearing,
      pulling his dogs after him. Obviously not as ready to
      commit murder as his friends... Another quick glance
      showed the woman still up against the tree. This time,
      though, he could see a slight change in her stance. She
      was preparing for something -- he just didn't know what...
      Figuring that she was probably getting ready to bolt, Logan
      took a chance. Shot twice, he'd be out of it. But they'd
      leave him for dead and he'd eventually heal it. Important
      thing was, their focus would be on him, and not the woman.
      Give her a better chance at getting away... With a slight
      outwards motion of both arms, out came the claws.

      "Holy shit, Marty!! He's just like her! A goddamn
      mutant!!" the smaller of the two men shouted, his gun
      starting to waver slightly. The big man hissed for him to
      shut up.

      "Marty, huh?" Logan drawled sarcastically. "Still having
      trouble getting it up?" The instant he said it, Logan saw
      the other man's eyes narrow in rage and he knew what was
      coming. Still not enough time to prepare for it. Never
      was...

      Excruciating pain blossomed across his chest as Marty
      pulled the trigger. A second later, the other gun went off
      and before Logan's body had even stopped reeling from the
      first shot, new pain exploded in his side. As he spit out
      a weak curse and felt his body falling backwards, Logan saw
      a blur of movement behind the other two men. The woman...
      Then his eyes rolled up in his head and he saw no more...

      ***

      Warmth radiating from his chest and side... A spicy scent
      mixing with the copper smell of blood... Pain that was
      steadily diminishing... Much faster than it should be...

      With a supreme effort, Logan managed to open his eyes.
      Crouching over him, with one hand over the wound in his
      chest and one over that in his side, was the mystery woman
      he'd been looking for. As his swimming vision fought to
      focus, he could see that she had her eyes tightly closed
      and her lips were clenched in pain. He continued to watch
      as her face seemed to draw in, the skin stretching over the
      high cheekbones. With sudden understanding, Logan knew
      what she was doing. She was healing him. Taking the pain
      into herself and using her own energies to heal his wounds.
      But at what cost to herself?

      Even as he thought it, she gave a low moan and pitched over
      backwards. He struggled to sit up on arms that felt like
      they had a serious case of pins and needles and pulled
      himself to her side. Her eyes had rolled up into her head
      and her breathing was shallow. The cost had apparently
      been high...

      Feeling his own abilities finishing what she'd started,
      Logan climbed to his feet and looked around the clearing.
      The two men, Marty and his buddy, lay where they'd fallen.
      Both necks slashed wide open, their blood already
      congealing on the cold snow.

      Shaking his head at their stupidity, Logan bent down and
      managed to get his arms under the still weight of the
      woman. Straightening, he let her head loll against his
      chest as he slowly made his way back to the bike.
      Shoulder-length black hair fell down across her pale
      beautiful face and Logan found himself staring down at her.
      Something there, stirring at the back of his mind,
      something he couldn't quite touch... He shook his aching
      head to clear it and pushed onwards.

      Driving a bike with dead weight in his lap was gonna be a
      bitch...


      To Be Continued...
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