Title/Part: The Difficult Kind (Part 7)
Series: Forest of the Night
Codes: Logan/Original Character
Author: Alex SisterWolf
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: Big cats are not pets and should NEVER, EVER be kept as pets. Don't try this at home, kids. Or Vy and Logan will hunt ya down.
It just figured that the first person I would encounter upon my return to the Mansion was Scott.
Id spent the journey back to Westchester rehearsing conversations in my mind, trying to figure out how to explain my actions to the Professor, to Jean, and most difficult of all, to Logan
the imaginary conversations with Logan never worked terribly well, and tended to end up with him telling me to go to hell. I was prepared for that, or at least I tried to convince myself that I was. But never in my most paranoid imaginings had I considered the possibility of running into the only person in the Mansion whod be prepared to shoot me on sight.
One thing about Scotthes dedicated.
His hand went up to the side of his visor as soon as he opened the front door and saw me waiting on the doorstep. Well aware that this man had the power to blast me into little itty bits that theyd be picking out of the Mansion lawn for months, I smiled weakly and said, Hi, Scott.
His hand hovering at the side of his visor, he said grimly, What exactly do you think youre doing here?
Ummm, I need to
What? Spy on us for Magneto a little more? Scott sounded angrier than Id ever heard him before. This wasnt going well.
I caught a glimpse of bright red hair behind Scotts tall figure and squeaked out, Jean! Could you please convince your husband not to shoot me?
Resting a slim hand on Scotts shoulder, she gazed at me coldly and said, Scott, honey, shes not worth it.
His hand slowly lowered to his side. I swallowed the insult without comment, asking instead, Can I please see the Professor?
Jeans eyes went briefly out of focus, indicating telepathic communication. After a few moments, she shook her head briefly, gave me a dirty look, and gestured for me to follow her into the Mansion.
Jean led the way to the Professors office, not saying a word to me. I glanced about the dark paneled walls of the main hallway, catching the scents of those who had passed through it recently. The students, the X-Men, Raj, but no Logan. That was strange. I started to worry that hed gone off on one of his infamous cross-country wanders. But no, he wouldnt leave Raj behind. Guilt speared through me at the recollection that Id done just that not two weeks ago.
Jean opened the door to the office, gesturing for me to enter. I took a seat in front of his massive desk, hearing the two of them stand slightly behind and to either side of me, as if afraid that Id attack the Professor. I scowled in annoyance. I could understand them not trusting me as much anymore, but this was getting ridiculous!
The Professor looked at me solemnly, not speaking. I shifted nervously, wondering how to start the conversation, since he didnt seem to be about to start it for me. I took a deep breath, preparing myself for some serious groveling.
Sir, I am so sorry for what Ive done. I realize that theres nothing I can do to make up for the fact that I leaked information to Magneto. But please believe me when I say that I did not ever give information to him that might harm the X-Men. I heard Scott make a derisive sound, but I ignored him, my whole concentration on the Professors grave face.
He leaned forward, steepling his hands before him on his desk, his eyes piercing. Will you allow me to probe your mind in order to determine the truth of the matter?
Yes, I will, I answered immediately. Id expected him to demand it.
Jean protested, Professor! If shes working for Magneto there could be psychic traps within her mind! This is much too dangerous.
I believe the risk is justified, the professor answered, his tone leaving no room for further protest.
I could practically feel Scott and Jean simmering with anger behind me. I tried to ignore them, looking into the Professors eyes and willing myself to relax. Wed done this before, in a fruitless quest to find the years worth of memories Id somehow lost.
His rich, deep voice lulled me into a near-hypnotic state. I felt his mind touch mine, so powerful, a sense of great strength and unwavering purpose.
Scenes whirled through my mind dizzyingly, as the Professor riffled through the pages of my mind as easily as he might a book. I winced as he examined my conversations with Victor Creed. He backtracked from the memory of my last encounter with Vic, finding the few scenes Id managed to remember of my encounters with Magneto. Something tinged the contact between us then
sadness, bittersweet yearning. I blinked back tears, feeling the hollow yearning in my heart for Raj, for Logan.
The Professor broke the connection and leaned back, looking troubled. You are telling the truth, Vy, and I can see that you have been manipulated and used as a pawn by Magneto. I believe you mean no harm to the X-Men. In fact, your unique connection to Victor Creed may prove extremely useful to us.
Scott immediately blustered, calling me unreliable, untrustworthy, etc., etc., but I barely heard him, snippets of conversation with Vic suddenly coming back to me. ** Sinisters holed up in his lab all the time
another six ta eight months before I can kill him
Magnetos got some big plan, wants ta use Sinisters research for somethin
How? How could her
to Sabretooth be useful to us? Scott demanded.
I believe that Vy may be able to get some very interesting information for us regarding exactly what Magneto has been planning, the Professor replied.
I met the Professors implacable gaze, suddenly realizing exactly how ruthless this gentle-seeming man could be in pursuit of his Dream.
In the end, the Professor over-ruled all Scotts suggestions for what to do with me, including imprisonment, house arrest, and 24-hour surveillance. I was allowed the run of the Mansion and its grounds, though naturally my security clearance would not be reinstated. I tried not to care about the naked hostility on Jean and Scotts faces. They were justified in not trusting me anymore. I had betrayed them. But I wasnt sure how long Id be sticking around if I encountered this level of hostility from all the members of the X-Men. Logan
who knew what Logans reaction to me would be. I swallowed down the queasiness of that thought and went to find Raj. Spend a little time with my son first. Then I could deal with whatever Logan threw at me.
Rajs scent-trail led me to the kitchen, and then out the back door. I could hear the chatter of young girls, saw Rogue, Kitty, and Jubilee sitting in a circle on the Mansion lawn with a bright orange-and-black tiger cub, and then I was running across the lawn, tears in my eyes, crying, Raj!
Raj saw me and started galloping toward me, still quite clumsy on his oversized paws. I dropped to my knees and he nearly knocked me over, licking my face with his raspy tongue. I picked him up and hugged him to my chest. He was heavier than he had been two weeks ago when Id left. Raj wiggled in my grasp, trying to lick my hands, my face, anything he could reach. I was laughing and crying at the same time.
After a few minutes, my son wriggled out of my arms and grabbed something that looked like a knotted-up sweatsock. He trotted back to me and looked up at me expectantly. Its his newest toy. He wants you to tug on it, Kitty explained.
Raj occupied with trying to get the sock from me, I looked at the three girls. Kitty smiled at me with her usual kindness. Jubilee was grinning at me and popping her gum. Rogue, on the other hand, was frowning and picking at her gloves.
Dude, I am so happy that youre back. Logans been a complete asshole ever since you went AWOL, Jubilee said, popping her gum for emphasis.
Logan. I sighed, longing and guilt twisting together in my gut. Im sorry I left like that. Thank you for taking care of Raj.
Kitty smiled. We dont mind taking care of Raj. Besides, Logans been taking care of him most of the time. We just watch the little guy when hes training or out on a mission.
Or in the Danger Room, shredding robots into teeny little pieces, Jubilee added.
Still, I owe you guys a lot for filling in. Thank you so much.
Youre welcome, Kitty said.
Yeah, no prob, Vy. We like watching the little Tigger. Arent you just a little Tigger? Jubilee cooed, tickling Rajs tummy. Raj dropped the sock and the two of them started to wrestle, both of them growling.
Rogue didnt say anything, just pushing herself up from the grass almost violently and stalking away.
Ill be back in a second, I told the other two, then jogged after Rogue. Rogue!
She kept walking till she was out of earshot of the girls, then stopped, arms crossed. I caught up to her and circled around to face her. She didnt seem inclined to start the conversation, so I jumped right in. Youre angry at me.
Yeah, Ah am. She was pissed. The Mississippi accent was back, stronger than ever.
Listen, Im sorry about leaving without telling anyone. It was immature and irresponsible of me.
She just stared at me, chocolate brown eyes narrowed angrily.
I know what I did hurt you all. Im sorry.
Sorry aint good enough.
I dont know what else to say, Rogue.
Ah aint the one you need to apologize to.
I nodded. Logan.
She looked me up and down, her lip curling. And, sugah, Logan may forgive you, but Ah nevah will. She stalked away, and this time I didnt try to follow her.
I sighed and rubbed between my eyes, where I could feel a vicious headache growing. Fuck. Okay. Time to go find Logan.
***end part seven***
A mad scientist, her evil intern, a chain-smoking computer tech, and genetically-enhanced gerbils. Read it.
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