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    Title/Part: The Difficult Kind, part 5 of ? Series: Forest of the Night Codes: Logan/Original Character Author: Alex SisterWolf Email:
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 8, 2001
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      Title/Part: The Difficult Kind, part 5 of ?
      Series: Forest of the Night
      Codes: Logan/Original Character
      Author: Alex SisterWolf
      Email: Alexsisterwolf@...
      URL: http://www.angelfire.com/mn2/AlexSisterWolf/xmenindex.html
      Rating: PG-13
      Short Summary: The baby left on the doorstep… is a tiger cub.
      Disclaimer: All characters belonging to Marvel Comics are used without
      permission, but with no intent of copyright infringement, and no profit is
      being gained from this work.
      Archive: With permission
      Warnings for this section: Angst. Adult themes.

      The bus hummed on through the night.

      I slumped against the window, trying not to think, but long road trips really
      aren't good for much more than thinking. I decided to take the Greyhound as
      far as central Wisconsin. It was tempting to go back to Minneapolis, back to
      my old friends, but I couldn't risk dragging them into this mess. How did my
      life get so fucking complicated?

      Once upon a time, all I wanted was to be an actress, make a lot of money, and
      never be poor again. That was when I was growing up, youngest of six kids of
      immigrant parents, packed together into a two-bedroom apartment on St. Paul's
      west side. Then I got a little older, and started turning into a tiger-woman
      every so often. My grandmother told me it was because one of our ancestors
      slept with a tiger demon. So I accepted that becoming an actress was
      probably out, and started getting interested in the culture and legends of my
      parents' native India. I got a scholarship and went to college in Chicago.
      I had my whole life ahead of me, and it looked brilliant. Then my parents,
      my grandmother, and three of my sisters died in an apartment fire, and
      everything collapsed inside me. I'd always had problems with depression,
      ever since I could remember, but I could function okay no matter how badly I
      felt. I was the hope of my grandmother and my mother, after all. I was the
      one who was going to get a college education, become a professor. I had to
      be strong. Then everyone I cared about (I don't include my brothers in that
      list) died one night for no reason. It was just a stupid space heater that
      had a short. And they all died.

      After that, I dropped out of college. I didn't want to do anything but
      sleep. I got a room (more of a glorified closet) in a house with a bunch of
      students, and I got a stupid job stocking shelves at a grocery store, and I
      started drinking. I was the life of the party, let me tell you. The college
      kids I was hanging with didn't think anything of drinking several nights a
      week, and I wasn't ever an angry drunk or a sloppy drunk. No, I was a horny
      drunk. I got a reputation for partying hard and sleeping around, and I was
      always welcome at parties.

      All the while my soul was dying.

      The turning point came with a failed suicide attempt. You know the old
      adage: a suicide attempt is a cry for help. Well, that's true to a certain
      extent. Generally, people who don't truly want to die will subconsciously
      arrange things so that it won't work. Take the bottle of pills somewhere
      where someone will find them before it's too late, yadda yadda. I've heard a
      lot of stories. But here's the other side of that coin: people who truly
      want to kill themselves just do it. No elaborate plan, no cry for help. And
      when they accidentally survive the attempt-well, it's not pretty. Take your
      average handgun suicide. Judge the angle wrong, and it's goodbye jaw, hello
      reconstructive surgery.

      I got lucky. I'm a mutant.

      So I woke up unexpectedly not dead, lying in a bathtub full of cold bloody
      water with no marks upon my wrists and a pissed-off roommate banging on the
      bathroom door. That was a real wake-up call. I'd intended to die, I'd slit
      the veins from wrist to elbow, and if not for a healing factor I'd never
      realized I had, I'd have been dead. It got me thinking that maybe I needed

      I moved back to Minneapolis and got myself some therapy and some medication.
      My therapist suggested that I needed a sense of purpose in order to feel
      fulfilled. Turns out that I function poorly in an environment without
      clearly defined rules. So I took that to mean that I needed to belong to
      something. I talked to some people and found a group of mutants who were
      working together to fight injustice, sort of like the X-Men on a smaller
      level. I joined them, and while it wasn't like my family, it was a family.
      I belonged again. And for eight years, that was enough. That was more than

      Then we went to actually visit the X-Men in Westchester. We were all really
      psyched. I mean, these people were our heroes. And I met a short, hairy,
      obnoxious guy named Wolverine. And he pissed me off immediately. And we had
      glorious wild sex in the forest. And then we left, and I thought that would
      be the end of it.

      That should have been the end of it, I told my ghostly reflection in the
      window. A nice business trip fling, no strings, no expectations, no
      emotions. No sense of guilt and betrayal churning in my stomach.


      I got off the Greyhound at a little town in Wisconsin. I remembered it from
      driving the route from Minneapolis to Chicago, so many years ago. I found a
      payphone and dug a phone number out of my backpack.

      "Good morning, School for Gifted Children," Jean's voice answered.

      "May I speak to Charles?"

      There was a pause. "Vy, is that you?"

      Goddess, I didn't want to have this conversation. "Yes. Listen, Jean, I'm
      sorry I had to leave like this. Please take care of Raj… and… and…" I
      trailed off.

      "And Logan?" she asked, her voice deceptively gentle.

      "Yeah. How is…"

      "Not good." Her tone said, what did you expect?

      "I'm sorry… can I please talk to the Professor?"

      "One moment," she said, her voice coolly professional.

      A pause, and then the Professor's rich, resonant voice. "Vy? Are you all

      "Yeah. I wanted to tell you… I'm sorry."

      "Why did you leave?"

      "I couldn't… I couldn't stay…" Now for the really difficult part. "I was
      feeding information to Magneto."

      He didn't say anything. I forged ahead, "Nothing harmful to the X-Men. Just
      information on locations and stuff… I just wanted to let you know."

      I hung up the phone. I couldn't bear to hear his disappointment and anger.


      I didn't want to be anywhere near people anymore.

      So I headed north, into the moderately vast people-less expanses of central
      Wisconsin. I didn't really know where I was headed, but I kept moving north,
      avoiding human habitation. My fur grew back in from where I'd Naired it off
      to pass as human. I stopped wearing clothing, since there really was no need
      of it with my plush all-over fur coat. I stashed my backpack full of clothes
      in a little cave, figuring I'd eventually find it if I ever decided to join
      the human race again. I hunted small game and ate it raw. Kind of like
      sushi, but messier.

      I started to feel the rhythms of the forest in a way I never had before.
      Sure, I'd backpacked and all that in my "human" days, but I'd never been this
      close to nature before. Hell, I wasn't just close to nature, I was part of
      nature. I slept all day securely hidden in a sturdy tree, then I'd hunt at
      dusk, eat my prey raw, travel northwards in darkness, find another tree
      around dawn, and start the cycle all over again. I was a walking Nature
      Channel special.

      Time stops having meaning when you live by the rhythms of the sun and the
      moon. I stopped thinking about things in abstract terms. My fucked-up
      relationship with Logan, my betrayal of the X-Men, all these things retreated
      to the back of my mind. Trees, streams, prey, those things were real.


      One dusk I woke from my sleep, climbed down out of the tree, and found that a
      large gray wolf was waiting for me. Being a cat, I immediately climbed back
      up the damned tree.

      The last thing I expected to hear was human laughter. I peered suspiciously
      down from my perch and saw that the wolf was gone. In her place sat a
      gray-haired girl, laughing her ass off.

      I jumped back down. "What the hell are you laughing at?"

      "You! You should have seen your face…" and she started laughing again.

      I started to stalk away, offended.

      "Wait! I'm sorry, I couldn't help myself."

      "Who the hell are you?" I demanded.

      "I'm your spirit guide."

      I stared at her incredulously. She looked about nineteen and was sitting
      stark naked in the middle of the wilderness, laughing at a werecat. She was
      either an escaped loony, or serious. "Prove it."

      She smiled. Her form wavered and shifted, and suddenly solidified again, in
      the form of the gray wolf. The wolf grinned. **This proof enough?** her
      voice asked in my head.

      "All that proves is that you're a mutant." I refused to be intimidated by
      the telepathy. After all, I'd been living with one of the most powerful
      minds on the planet, even if he is too ethical to ever read minds without

      **Your tiger side is happier now that you're out in the wilderness.**

      "Easily guessed."

      **She misses your cub.**

      A sudden burst of pain hit me. I remembered Raj's warm, furry body, his
      unfocused blue eyes, his squeaky roars. "You could have picked that up from
      my mind using your telepathy. This still doesn't prove that you're my…
      spirit guide?"

      The wolf sighed. **You're a suspicious one.**

      "Yeah, well, you're a loony. A mutant loony."

      The wolf narrowed her gray eyes at me. **Very well, if you demand stronger
      proof, you shall have it. This might hurt a bit.**

      And suddenly the world turned red and roaring filled my ears…

      End part Five

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