FIC: With Six You Get Eggroll (3/4) [G/J L, R] PG
- Disclaimers in part one (people I've shown this to - it's been changed).
The Zoo-hosted diner was thick with fibre-glass animals and fake greenery, the
scream of children and angry parents echoing off the tackily decorated walls and
roofs. Logan was pretty sure if he saw another plastic inflatable monkey
hanging from any rafters or fake branches stuck to walls he'd pop his claws
*and* the monkeys. He loped along to the roped off area, sitting down at the
bar. Max stood on the other side of the roped off area, shifting from foot to
foot nervously. Logan eyed him.
"It's okay, Kid, it's safe to cross the red ropes - you won't disintegrate or
Max twitched his lips, "Kids aren't allowed in there are they?"
Logan shrugged, "Who knows. If they got a problem with it, they can deal with
That seemed to instil some confidence in the boy, and he crossed the ropes,
sitting on a stool next to Logan at the bar. The bartender watched this with
some ire, and he glared at Logan as he pulled out a glass for the beer the hairy
man had ordered.
"No beer for the kid," the bar tender said, pulling Logan his beer with a firm
scowl. Logan just eyed the man.
"Do I look like the kinda guy that would give an undreamed kid beer?"
Max smirked. Glaring at him, Logan ticked a brow at the boy.
"Dude, I'm not sayin' anything," Max said, and Logan shook his head, pushing the
side of the kid's head with a rough nudge of his hand.
"Thanks for the vote of confidence." He looked to the bar then, pulling out a
cigar, "Just give me the damned beer. You can kick me out if the kid gets one
drop of amber bubbly."
This seemed to appease the bartender, and he slid a beer to Logan with a look of
utter contempt. Logan downed it with gusto, and the boy stared.
Okay, Logan thought, I shouldn't be encouragin' this kid to be an alchy, but
then again, the likelihood of that happening to a kid with regenerative healing
like himself was minimal. He shrugged, knocking back the beer.
"Won't your girl be pissed if you come back drunk?"
Logan glared at Max.
"How many damned times do I have to tell you that she ain't my girl?"
Narrowing his eyes a little, Max pouted sagely.
"You act like she's yours."
Logan only eyed the boy silently whilst demanding another beer. After a moment
of shared silence, Max scratched at the bar with a finger, the very tip of his
claw peeking through the woollen glove and running light sounds on the wood.
"This beer tastes like shit."
"It's good," Max said, "That she likes you."
Logan double glanced at him.
Max shrugged. "If a girl like her likes a mutant like you, then maybe some girl
one day might like a mutant like me."
Logan shrugged, wedging the cigar in his mouth. Crap, he didn't want to be an
agony aunt. But looking down at the hopeful obsidian eyes of the boy in front
of him, he sighed, pulling the cigar away momentarily.
"Sure, kid," he said, "It's like anything like that. Even normal humans have
problems with that shit. They don't got claws or fur or nothin', but they have
bad skin and funny legs and stinky attitudes. It's all relative."
Max looked up at Logan. "Are there more kids like me - at that school you teach
Logan nodded, "Yeah, Max. There are. Lots of them." He smiled then, "Lots of
pretty girls too."
There was a sudden twinkle in the young boy's eye, and he nodded. "Cool."
Logan wasted no time in downing a couple more beers (much to the bartender's
suspicion and distaste). Max watched in awe as the amber brew disappeared down
Logan's throat, knocking the fluid down like it was a vital life source rather
than something to be enjoyed. Max shook his head.
"Dude," he said, "You've had like - three beers in ten minutes! Aren't you
Logan blinked at him slowly, lifting his fingers up and pinching them together.
"Only a little. S'those regenerative powers."
"Two more," he said, tapping at the bar, "Then I'll be nicely piss-drunk."
Max grinned, shaking his head. Logan had his two more beers, and the man
behind the bar glared at him.
"You're not drivin' that kid anywhere are you?"
Logan shook his head, "No. We're goin' on the bus, bub."
Logan looked to Max.
"Bus. Bub. They're kinda the same huh?"
Shoving the right money towards the bar man, Max pulled Logan away from the bar.
"Yeah, whatever. Come on, we got some zebras to see."
Lifting his arm and letting Max stuff his wallet back into his jacket pocket, he
sighed around the cigar in his mouth.
"When we get to the zebras we get to Marie."
"Yeah that's right."
Logan stared at Max a long moment. "You really think she's my girlfriend?"
Max shrugged, "I dunno - ask her."
A long sniggering laugh fell from Logan, wrapping his heavy arm around Max's
"Yeah, right!" He cleared his throat, talking to an imaginary Rogue as they
stumbled along, "Hey, Rogue, are you my girlfriend?"
Max frowned at Logan, "Rogue? Who's Rogue?"
Logan's eyelids fluttered a moment as he struggled to think, and he rubbed his
"Oh I mean Marie - Rogue, Marie. Rogue."
Max still looked confused.
"She's an X-Man, it's her name when she's kicki-" He stopped, blinking, and
groaned, "Oh... oh no. I-" He gulped, "I wasn't supposed to tell you that, was
Max's eyes were wide now, glaring at Logan. "No. No, I don't think so."
Leaning in towards Max, his eyes were pleading. "Shhhhh!"
Max smiled, "Sure dude. Secret safe with me."
Logan's muddled thoughts rose to panic then, and he kept an eye on Max, watching
as the boy's eyes seemed to be full of some hidden excitement. Ohhh... oh
crap. He knew he was gonna get one hell of an ass whipping when he got back
home, and it wasn't going to be from Marie.
As promised, the aforementioned Marie was stooped next to her young babbling
band of little ones, pointing at the striped equines and smiling as she spoke of
them. Logan felt the buzzing from the beer fog his usual sharp control, and
with some regret he realised it was going to take him another ten minutes for it
to fade away. Five pints, he thought, I'm out of commission for a little bit
yet... maybe she won't notice...
With clunking noisy footsteps, he approached his companion and she stood up
fully, smiling brightly. It took one sniff for her smile to fall. She glared
at him, pulling him aside.
"Logan! What the - have you been drinking?!"
He shrugged, "Jus' a couple o' beers."
Her jaw dropped and she covered her face, shaking her head. "Ohhhh mah God. Oh
mah God. You idiot! You God-damned idiot - we got *kids* to look after!"
"Calm down, Marie," he pouted, "I be fine innaminit."
She just whimpered, "Just tell me you didn't give any to Max."
He tilted his head, "What is it? Do I have 'Beer Smuggler to the Under-aged'
tattooed to my God-damned forehead?!"
"No!" she groaned, grabbing his upper arms to reassure him, "No, Logan. I'm
sorry, you're right."
"A' leas' I'm coherent."
She eyed him. "Maybe."
"Miss Gordon! I wanna see the leopards!"
Marie glanced to Stephanie at the girl's plea, and with a patient smile she
nodded to the girl.
"Sure sugar - they're up next, just be patient."
The little girl pouted and stomped the ground, but Max put a hand on her
shoulder, shaking his head slowly. Looking away from the scene, Logan met
Marie's unimpressed grimace. He hated that look. It made him feel such a bad
bad boy, and not in a good way.
"I'm sorry," he sighed, running a hand over his face, "It's juss-s-whole lookin'
affer kids thin' - it's not my thing."
Folding her arms, Marie tilted her head at him. "I don't know, you were doing
such a good job with Max."
He shrugged, "Yea'w'll.... Mass is cool."
"So are they, Logan," Marie said, pointing to the other children, "If ya just
gave 'em a chance! Just talk to them like people, and they'll respond to you.
It's like any time you meet someone, you might get along with them, you might
not. Just don't forget that children are little people."
Logan's gaze on her was unflinching, "Little people scare me, Marie."
She sighed, "Great well, time to overcome that."
She patted his shoulder roughly, pulling him over to the group of children.
"You're so firm and direct, baby..."
Marie glanced at him, frowning, "Save it, shoogs."
Marie directed the children (and Logan) on to the leopard enclosure before
snagging Max and pulling him aside, a serious look on her soft features. She
gripped his gloved hands, stooping a little to meet his height.
"Max, sugar, how many beers did Logan have?"
Max shrugged, "Five."
Rogue's face fell to a deep frown. "That's not right..."
"What's not right?"
She shook her head, "He's a super healer. He can go about ten beers before
losin' control like this..."
Max frowned back at her, concern also in his features.
"What's it mean?"
Marie shrugged, "Ah don't know. Jesus! I jus' hope Logan's okay-"
A high-pitched ringing scream ripped through the serenity of the packed zoo,
birds scattering and the similar panicked cry of children and people rising up
after it. With a double glance to each other, Rogue and Max bolted towards the
leopard enclosure up ahead - where the scream came from.
The leopard enclosure was less elaborate than that of the tiger's, a complete
lack of glass barriers, rather a shrub strangled wire fence in front of a deep
canyon with steep slopes, not so steep to be lethal but steep enough to cause
injury if one were to fall down it. With complete horror, Rogue realised
that's exactly what had happened.
Logan was making groggy attempts to scale the fence that reached his hips, but
with lazy staggered movements he kept sliding back down to the pavement again,
swearing a blue streak under his breath. She ran up to the fence, and gazing
down, her heart seized in her chest.
In the bottom of the great valley between human and leopard, little Stephanie
cowered, unable to move, her leg bending in a gut-wrenchingly wrong way that
made the skin crawl cold. Tears streamed down her face, her whole little body
trembling, her cries echoing off the steep walls around her.
"Stephanie!" Rogue called, "Stay still honey! We're gonna come getcha!"
Rogue spun around to Logan, grabbing his arms. "Logan - we gotta help her!"
Logan shook his head as if shaking off a dizzy spell, eyes blinking slowly.
"Rogue... sommin's wrong... I can't..."
At that, Logan fell limp to the floor like a rag doll with a dull thud. Marie
was frozen between jumping down and clutching Logan and leaping over and helping
Stephanie. Before she could move however, an older female gasp told her
someone had already taken the initiative.
"Oh my! That boy just jumped down there!"
Rogue jumped up to the fence, glaring over the edge.
Max was leaping down there, and as he bounced down the wall in long springing
jumps he landed at the bottom in a graceful sweeping motion. The gloves were
quite literally off, and the clawed fingers, nails smooth and glinting in the
sunlight, stood out prominently. She saw why Max had leapt down - a leopard
stood at the top of the canyon, paws spread and sliding down the front of the
far wall of the canyon, eyeing off Stephanie with gleaming interest. With
horror, she could see it was the sort of look a cat gave an injured bird, or
"MAX!" she cried out, "GET OUT OF THERE!"
The boy ignored her, stalking protective circles around Stephanie, pointed ears
poking out of long brown hair and flattening over it. A deep guttural growling
lifted from his chest, and the leopard eyed the boy warily. There was anger in
the large cat's eyes though, challenge. This was it's home - a foreign feline
could not invade it's small piece of territory.
With a leaping bound, the leopard sprang down to the other end of the canyon,
eyes fixed on Max, it's path seemingly blasé and roundabout, but also sharp and
full of purpose. As Max stalked forward, away from Stephanie, Rogue took her
She leapt over the fence, soaring down towards the injured girl, ignoring the
angry cries of the just-arrived zookeepers behind her. Bundling the girl up
into her arms, she shouted to Max.
"MAX! Stay BACK from that animal!"
Max didn't seem to be aware of her, or his humanity. He growled at the large
feline not a few yards in front of him, hands tense, clawed, spread wide. Rogue
floated up to the barrier, depositing the sobbing Stephanie into the worried
arms of the zookeepers, and she barely muttered to them "Take her - I'm gettin'
Max," before sweeping down after the growling boy.
As she swung down in the air, the leopard - losing patience with growling and
yowling - sprung forward towards Max with slashing claws and white gnashing
teeth. Muscled spotted arms wrapped around Max, large black claws digging into
flesh, and the two bodies tumbled in a whirl of hissing, flying tufts of fur and
roaring. With a swift push of his legs, Max sent the leopard flying back over
his head, the animal toppling, rolling then regaining it's nimble footing. Max
remained on his back, arms outstretched and fingers clawed, his teeth gnashing
and his eyes staring wide, pupils large and threatening. Without hesitation
Rogue surged forward, grabbing the boy, hauling him over her shoulder as she
soared up and over the barrier, the leopard growling and slashing in the air
with paws after Max, who growled and clawed back at the animal.
Once back over the barrier, Rogue set Max down, rushing to Stephanie's side.
The little girl was surrounded by zoo-keepers and staff, Geordie hovering over
her with a stricken look on his features. A light hand touched Rogue's
shoulder and she spun about. Storm frowned at her with alarmed eyes.
"What happened, Marie?"
Rogue swallowed, shrugging, "Ah dunno! One minute I was talkin' to Max and then
She glanced to Max, who was crouched, glaring at the ground, teeth still gnashed
and chest heaving as he took in frenzied breaths. She sank down in front of
the boy, clutching him by the shoulders.
The dark eyes flashed up to her, and she clenched her jaw determinately.
"Max - it's okay now. Just - calm down now. We're all safe."
A long breathy growl rumbled in the boy's throat, and he turned about, crawling
on hands and knees to Stephanie. He sat back on his haunches, watching quietly
as the first aid officer applied makeshift splints to the crying girl's leg.
Crouching next to Max, Marie looked to the children surrounding Stephanie.
Jeremy looked doleful as he said, "She wanted to get a better view of the baby
leopards, so she climbed up the fence. Then she fell."
Marie sighed, cradling her face in her hands, "God - this is all my fault."
Glancing about, she saw Logan being tended to. She looked to Stephanie one
Max had one of her little white hands wrapped in his large hairy paws, a very
human worry in his large dark eyes. With a sigh of relief, Marie could see the
animal in him was fading - for the moment. She didn't have to be a genius to
guess that the control of that animal was an elemental thing in Max, and that a
place at the school was a necessity for the young man's survival.
Logan was still where he'd fallen unconscious, another first aid officer next to
him, checking his pulse. The hair-peppered hand of her companion hung limply
in the officer's hand, and Rogue's heart tightened in her chest as she knelt
down next to Logan. She took her lip in her teeth, frowning to the officer.
"What's wrong with him?"
"Aah, there you are Miss Gordon."
Glancing up, Rogue saw Geordie approach, sinking down to a crouch next to her.
His lips thinned grimly as he pointed to Logan.
"Your friend here is lucky to be alive."
Rogue frowned, "Huh?"
"There've been reports of people falling unconscious, vomiting and being
exceedingly intoxicated all over the zoo today - we tracked it down to the
diner. The bartender had been slipping isopropanol in the alcoholic drinks."
Instinctively wrapped a hand around Logan's, Rogue swallowed, trying to control
the anger in her chest.
"Rubbing alcohol," the man replied, rubbing his hands together with a tense tick
of his lips.
She looked down to Logan, tightening her hold on the unconscious man's hand.
"Why? Why would somebody do this?"
Geordie frowned deeply, shaking his head. "The majority of the victims were
mutants, Miss Gordon."
Rogue felt a growl in her throat, and she looked away, fighting the rage
building in her chest.
"Indeed," nodded Geordie, large brown eyes suddenly soft, "I am very sorry.
The man responsible is being held by the proper
authorities, I assure you."
She nodded, "Thank you."
She silently doubted the justice that would be served to the man that did this
to Logan, but that sense of helplessness and anger was washed dull by the worry
in her heart. Looking back to the progress on Logan, she noticed a paramedic
had joined them, wrapping a sphygmomanometer around one of Logan's muscled
biceps. She squeezed his hand lightly, brows furrowed, fear drowning her.
"Will he be okay?" she breathed, looking up to the paramedic.
The look on the medic's face looked grim, till the hand she gripped tightened
around one of her own, and glancing down she let out a soft cry of relief.
Wrapping herself around Logan's frame she hugged him tightly, gasping.
"Oh thank God! Thank God!"
Logan gave a quiet groan, squinting a little in the daylight, pulling in long
"Whuthuh hell happened?"
Rogue sat up again, fussing with Logan's hair and face, worry and relief
reddening her eyes.
"Geordie said the bartender at the diner was spikin' the drinks with somethin'
lethal soundin'... you drank five of them Logan! You coulda been killed!"
He snorted groggily, "Jeez-Christ, Marie, I didnn *intensh-ly* drink the stuff,
She sighed, pulling his jacket open, closed, pressing flat the buttons, her
restlessness irritating him. He growled, grabbing her hand with one of his
"Stop that," he said, "I'm fine."
She nodded, taking his hand again and clutching it to her chest. He cocked a
drowsy brow at her as she squeezed the hand between her breasts, leaning her
face on her gloved hands covering his. She waited the long minutes it took for
Logan to shake the most of the sick grogginess from his bones, and his grumbles
about a headache to soften to sounds of relief. As he finally sat up, he
frowned in thought.
"Hey - didya save the kid?"
Rogue sighed, shrugged, "Kinda. Max helped."
Logan blinked, "Max?"
She nodded, "Yeah - jumped right down into the pit and faced off a big assed
leopard. It was amazin' Logan."
"He couldah got himself killed," Logan sighed.
"You too," Rogue said, "You couldn't even scale that fence and you were all
determined to get in there!"
Logan frowned with twisted lips in an unappreciative grimace.
"Well it's true."
There was no more room for argument. Looking over Rogue's shoulder, Logan
watched Max who eyed the paramedics as they took Stephanie off to the first aid
hut and to treatment. Next to Max stood Geordie, who held one of Max's hands
like a specimen, turning them over and examining them with great interest. Max
seemed a little too numb to really care. After a moment, Max was left to
replace his gloves, and Logan took the chance to approach him.
Max glanced up. "Hey."
"Heard you did sommin' pretty stupid."
Max sighed, nodding, "Yeah I know. Seriously - I don't know what came over me.
I just - snapped or something."
Logan shrugged, gazing off at the leopard enclosure.
"W'z also pretty brave," he said. "That's really sommin' - riskin' your life
for a little kid."
Max shrugged back at him.
"I did what I had to."
"Tha' saved a life," said Logan.
"Yunno what, Kid?"
Logan smiled ever so slightly, "You couldnuh done it if ya weren' a mutant."
With as much reserve, Max smiled back, pulling on his thick woollen gloves.
Logan watched his booted toe kick at the floor idly, and he looked to Max.
"Whaddaya say - talkin' to your parents about goin' to the Professor's School
for the Gifted? I's good there. Lots of fun there. I'm there. Marie's
Max gave Logan a long look.
"There's also those hot mutant chicks I was tellin' you about..."
A smile cracked across the boy's face and he laughed.
"Sure, man, sure."
Logan never thought he'd see the day where *he'd* be recruiting kids into the
school of his own volition, but after seeing the wild animal in the young boy's
countenance, he knew the kid needed to learn control just as much as Logan
needed to not so long ago.
Rogue nearly drove him to distraction the following half hour with her incessant
little fussings and fiddlings with him - cradling his hands, picking lint off of
his jacket, asking him (repeatedly) if he was feeling all right. All in all -
he loved the attention.
The rest of the kids were shepherded back to the main kiosk, and the day was
concluded earlier than expected with the mishap with Stephanie and the Rubbing
Alcohol poisoning. Logan watched shakily as Marie said goodbye to her band of
children, the kids hugging her and Sally kissing her gloves. He listened to
them, to their voices, Marie's tones soft as she responded.
"You're very beautiful, Miss Gordon," said Sally, "You saved Stephanie!"
Marie shrugged, "Well - Max did too. It was nothing."
Sally only shook her head, then seemed to squeeze Marie's hand in hers.
"I love you. I hope you can fix your skin one day."
The smile Marie gave the child was sad. Logan felt the wallowing drunk organ
that usually functioned as his heart slowly break.
"I hope so too, Sally."
As the children filed into the bus, Marie waving with a tender smile, Logan
loped up with a mournful pout. His head throbbed, the world still tilting and
reeling about him, whims and impulses wrestling to action with control falling
over helplessly. Rogue waved, not noticing him, her free hand lax and by her
side. With carefully deliberated movements, Logan took the hand in his own,
enfolding it tenderly.
Rogue turned, startled, and upon seeing his expression she gave a sympathetic
wince. With a soft groan, she ruffling his hair, cradling his cheek a moment.
"Ya poor thing," she said, sighing wistfully. "Ya really been knocked 'round
He just gazed at her intently. With a slow blink, thinking on what Max had said
earlier, he realised the kid was right. He did act like Rogue was his
girlfriend. In the wallowing numb state he was in, logic was staggered and
broken, left to chaos to sort itself out. Straightening himself a little, he
"I love you."
Through the wince she'd been wearing, Rogue gave a short giggle, patting his
"Aww," She gave him a hug, "I love you too, sugar."
Logan frowned. She was taking this rather important news so awfully well. It
was then it dawned on him (it was a conclusion of genius in his given state),
that she didn't take it well. She didn't take it at all. The way in which
she took it was completely wrong, and he frowned grumpily, trying to think past
Jubilee calling out to Rogue, something about capturing Kodak moments. Rogue
gathered his arm in hers and began walking towards the long silver X-bus, and
Logan's brow was deeply furrowed as he tried to think of a way to make himself
clear. His brain, however, wasn't co-operating. All he could think to do was
look at her in something akin to meekness.
"Can I have another hug?"
Marie double glanced at him, then smiled.
"Like you have to ask," she said with an affectionate smirk, and turned to him
for a hug. Logan literally grabbed for her. She gasped as he swept her up
into his arms in a tight embrace, and she patted his back with some
uncertainty. "Woah! That rubbin' alcohol really makes you cuddly..."
"Prob'ly why they call it rubbin'," he mumbled into her shoulder.
She laughed, "Most likely..."
The tentative patting on his towering shoulder stilled as he ran his hand up her
back, into her hair, caressing her with the movement. Her smile dimmed to a
soft wonder, and leaning back in the embrace she moved to meet his gaze.
He watched her chiselled sweet lips as they moved around his name, aching to
kiss them, to brush them with his own, pressing against them and saying exactly
what words couldn't articulate at that drunken moment. Instead he took a long
breath in, gazing at her with all the fire he could muster.
"Are... are you okay?"
He brought one hand to her shoulder, pulling up a tress of her hair, dragging
the soft silky curled end over her lips with a quiet wonder. Her eyes drifted
shut, fluttered, and with a hitching breath in she opened them again.
The shrill blast of the X-Bus smashed through the moment, Logan's brow crinkling
down again as Rogue took a long breath in, stepping away. Holding his hands,
"Come on, shoog. We gotta go."
He nodded, letting her drag him towards the bus, concentrating on where his feet
were going. He groaned quietly.
"Man, I'm-so fucked."
Rogue gave that babying smile again, pulling him towards the back of the bus
where her friends sat rowdy and heckling.
"Ooooooooooh!" Jubilee cooed at the top of her lungs with Kitty, "Rogue and
Wooolverine, sittin' in a-"
Logan's popped claws silenced them, their eyes big.
"Be nice," he growled, "I got a headache."
Rogue sat Logan down at the seat just in front of the stretch of seats at the
back, hands at his upper arms, squeezing and comforting. She tilted her head,
"You know them," she said, "They're just having fun."
Rogue glanced to Jubilee, who just grinned, winked, and gave Rogue the thumbs
up. Rogue smiled, noticing with some delight that Jubilee sat closely nestled
with Remy in the back corner of the bus, the Cajun looking out the open window
next to him and sucking lightly on a cigarette. His arm was draped loosely
around her shoulder, a calm regard in the ruby red eyes.
With some confusion, she felt a heaviness against her chest, and looking down
she saw Logan had nestled himself against her shoulder, slipping down to her
breasts. He groaned.
"Logan - You okay?"
"My head feels like a melon."
She groaned softly for him, sinking her fingers into his hair and stroking it
"We'll be home soon, baby, then you can sleep."
He nodded, falling into her lap and making himself rather comfortable against
her belly. Running her fingers through his hair and watching the sunny scenery
around them as Cyclops started up the bus, Rogue and the X-Men headed for home.
Lifelong member of PETS:
People for the Ethical Treatment of Scott!
"Cause Poor Ol' One Eye deserves a BREAK DAMMIT!"
"If Logan & Rogue were supposed to be a sibling-like,
then Hugh and Anna didn't get the friggin' memo..."