FIC: On the Hunt (PG)
- Title: On the Hunt
Series: All Aboard
Disclaimer: Not mine
Summary: This is an AU (alternate universe) or Elseworld fic; see story for
Category: Action/Adventure, Romance
Archive: List sites, and Disquieting Muses www.geocities.com/jengrrrl2000
Otherwise, please ask. This is part of a series. Follows Safe Passage,
Waking in Winter, and Snowbound. This will make no sense without reading
Thanks: All the Logan�s P chat chicks. You know who you are :)
November 13, 1922, Orient Express, some miles outside
The Orient Express was buried in snow. Workers � dressed as warmly as
possible, nevertheless shivering from the intense cold � worked tirelessly
to dig what they could. Severe snowstorms hampered their efforts, often
bringing them to a standstill. An impartial onlooker would have laughed at
their seemingly futile toil.
Erik Lehnsherr was not one to sit idly by while others worked. Nor was he
one to wait for his fortune to come to him. �The weather,� he told one of
his men, �is not an impediment.�
So, they dug. They dug when all others refused to go out into freezing
Austrian night. They dug because Eric Lensherr asked it of them.
Remy LeBeau, however, did not consider himself to be one of Lehnsherr�s
men. He did not owe allegiance of any sort to him. As men older and weaker
than him slaved away, he huddled in his trench coat, rolled a cigarette,
Next to him, unconscious or asleep or dead from the cold � who cared? � lay
Robert Darkholme, his ticket to an early retirement.
�You�d do well to make yourself useful.� The voice came from behind, but
Remy did not turn. He knew to whom it belonged.
He took a long drag of his cigarette, exhaled, and responded calmly, �I got
you him.� The ash of Remy�s cigarette landed by Darkholme�s expensive
shoes. �That�s useful enough.�
�Yes,� the voice responded, equally calm. �But you were supposed to get the
Remy snorted. He knew this game. He�d played it often enough with the kind
of people he worked with. He wouldn�t be cheated of his hard-earned money.
Not this time. �Makes no difference. The girl will pay beaucoup dollars.
And I get paid.�
�It�s not always about the money, LeBeau.� The voice had turned icy; Remy
didn�t like where the conversation was headed.
�What�s it about? Sending a message to your friend Xavier?� Remy laughed
mirthlessly. �You got to get yourself a better hobby, mon ami.�
Two hands grabbed Remy LeBeau�s collar from behind, effectively choking
him. �You know nothing about my business with Xavier,� Lehnsherr hissed
close to his ear, all the while holding on tightly to the collar. �Don�t
ever speak of it.�
Jerking away, Remy brought a hand to sooth the pain in his neck. He had
underestimated the man. Erik Lehnsherr was stronger than he looked. �Don�t
matter. I don�t care no how.� He brought out paper to roll another
cigarette, more out of a need to keep himself occupied than a desire to
smoke. �I just want to get paid.�
But Lehnsherr was no longer listening. His interest was diverted by one of
his men: a man that had gone ahead to scout out possible hideouts.
�Victor,� Remy heard him say. �What have you found?�
�A couple of miles down, small village,� replied the tall blond. �Fairly
deserted. It shouldn�t be difficult to hole up there.�
Looking pleased, Lehnsherr nodded and turned his attention to Remy again.
�It looks like you�ll be getting what you want, friend. Sooner than we�d
�Lehnsherr? How do you know about Lehnsherr?�
She shook her head, fresh tears rising in her eyes.
He sat next to her, careful not to touch. �If I�m going to help - �
�I don�t need your help,� she replied obstinately. But he could see her
waver. �Just tell me what he wants. I�ll do it.�
Logan shrugged. He could feel himself become exasperated and he tried to
quell the emotion. �I don�t know what he wants.�
Marie looked confused. �What do you mean you don�t know?�
�If it wasn�t for the fact that I saw it with my own eyes, I wouldn�t know
it happened,� he replied tersely.
�There�s been no demand, a ransom demand?� She was looking nervous and he
began to wonder how many emotions she�d be able to go through in the span
of a minute.
�None that I know of,� he said. �And your mother - �
�She�s not my mother,� she said, and he could see the words had been
uttered more vehemently than intended. More calmly, she added, �Raven is my
father�s second wife.�
He said, �All right� and left it at that.
�How do you know about Lehnsherr, rogue?� The nickname slipped out
unwittingly but she didn�t seem to notice. She didn�t even look up.
�Hey.� He nudged her with his shoulder and watched as she winced, as if in
�It�s a long story,� she said, numbly.
He nodded his understanding. �Well, we don�t have a lot of time. Could you
summarize it for me?�
Marie turned angry eyes on him. �It�s not something you summarize.�
�I�m sorry,� he replied honestly. �But I want to help and I need to know
what you know in order to do that.�
She drew a deep breath and exhaled slowly, as if expelling an inner demon.
�Let�s just say,� she told him, �my family has encountered Erik Lehnsherr
in the past.�
Her deep accent and sad voice cut into him and Logan wondered why Lehnsherr
would follow a family from the American South all the way to Europe. Was
Darkholme as rich as that?
�I don�t understand.�
�Frankly, Mr. Logan, neither do I.�
It hadn�t taken too long to explain to Xavier what was going on. After all,
there wasn�t much to tell.
The Rogue � not looking at all like the name Logan had given her � was
sitting in one corner of the compartment, eyes downcast and seemingly calm.
But, thought Logan, probably in shock and starting to shut down.
Scott Summers was talking: �It�s obvious why we haven�t heard from him yet.
He�s still close. He didn�t want to tip his hand until he was far enough
away not to get caught.�
Logan had to give the kid that one. �So, what now?� he asked. �We go
digging in the snow, looking for him and his henchmen?� He had the
unnatural urge to laugh. This was proving to be too ridiculous, even for
one of Xavier�s schemes.
�I think,� replied Scott, eyes still on Xavier, �our first step would be to
search the train. There�s no reason to believe he�s left it.�
Logan snorted. �Yeah, well, if he�s an *idiot * then he�s still around��
�Which is what he wants us to think,� countered Scott, beginning to show
signs of agitation.
�That he�s an idiot?�
�Children, please.� Jean Summers rolled her eyes and sighed. �This isn�t
the time or the place.�
Xavier, for the first time since Logan began his explanation, spoke. �Jean
is right. This isn�t the time for your petty squabbles. Mr. Darkholme�s
daughter needs us now.� Logan�s eyes traveled to Marie, who had not moved
during the conversation. �She needs us to find her father now and for that
we must work together.�
Logan grunted something unintelligible when he thought he heard Scott say
�sorry�. Then, he asked, �What do we do then, Chuck?�
�I think Scott is right,� Xavier replied, quickly adding upon seeing
Logan�s countenance darken, �We musn�t get ahead of ourselves. We must
exhaust all possibility before heading out.�
�And you think the chief conductor�s just going to let us examine every
nook and cranny on this train?�
Xavier nodded sagely. �He will once I explain what has happened. And why it
is in Wagons-Lits best interest it be kept quiet.�
Not fully convinced, Logan asked, �In the meantime? What now?�
�Scott, you and Jean will tell Lagier that I need to speak with him.� He
paused. �This would be better if we could go out in pairs,� he said.
Glancing at Logan, he added, �So as not to be caught unawares.�
Four pairs of eyes turned to the corner of the compartment.
�Miss Darkholme, I�m afraid that�s out of the question,� Xavier said
�If she can go,� replied Marie, nodding towards Jean. �I can go.�
Xavier was shaking his head. �Jean�s been trained for this sort of
operation - �
�He�s my father.�
Logan saw Xavier�s hesitation and said, �I�ll take care of her, Chuck. She
can come with me.�
�Logan, this is dangerous.�
Nodding, Logan answered, �Which is why she shouldn�t be alone.�
�And her stepmother?�
Marie replied for him,� She has nothing to do with it.�
�She should at least be notified.�
Standing, not looking at anyone in particular, she said, �The chef du train
can tell her. It�s what she deserves.� Marie looked over at Logan,
surprised to see him watching her intently. �Ready, Mr. Logan?�
She nodded. �Logan?�
�Yeah. Let�s go.�
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