The Difficult Kind (8/?)(PG-13)(Logan/Original Character)
- Title/Part: The Difficult Kind (Part 8)
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. Go to www.tigerlink.org to find out about tigers, their plight, and how you can help.
Finding Logan wasn't difficult. I checked his room, the lounge, and the Danger Room. Third time's the charm. I wasn't about to interrupt him while he was working out-good way to get myself skewered-so I went up to the control room to watch him.
He's gorgeous in motion. Deadly, relentless, purely predatory. Death personified, in one compact, muscular body tipped with adamantium claws.
I'm not quite sure what it is that makes me find his violent nature so attractive, whether it's my own twisted psyche or some aspect of my animalistic mutation. All I can say is that my breath grew short as I watched him shred robot drones, my tail lashing and my claws flexing in and out in excitement. I almost purred as he took down his last attacker, sending it flying in three unevenly sliced sections across the room. He stood there silently for a moment, then dropped into a cross-legged posture, his absolute stillness in stark contrast to the furious motion of just a few moments before.
Best to get this over with. I headed down the stairs slowly and hit the door release button.
His head came up as he heard the sound of the door mechanism, hazel eyes piercing. I stepped through the doorway hesitantly.
"Vy." His voice was so cold, so controlled. My mind flashed back to the memory of him crying out my name at the point of orgasm. His nostrils flared and I knew he could smell the lingering scent of my arousal.
He shook his head, a cynical half-smile twisting his mouth. "So am I."
"Can we can we try again? Can we "
"What, Vy? Can we what? Forget about you fucking Sabretooth? Again?"
So still, so cold, so controlled I'd never come up against this side of him before. If he'd yelled, stomped around, put his claws through a wall, I would have known how to deal with it, but this It was like a wall between us, and I didn't know how to break through it. "I'm so sorry. I hell, Logan, I don't know what else to say. If I could go back in time, if I could change what happened, I would, but I can't. All I can do is tell you I'm sorry."
"Fine." He stood, turned a little away from me, his arms crossed.
I rubbed my hand over my eyes wearily. Tears sparkled on the fur on the edge of my hand when I brought it away from my face. "So it's over."
"Looks like." His face was closed, no emotion showing.
"Fine. I'll " My voice faltered and I cleared my throat. "I'll move my stuff out of your room tonight."
I felt like someone had put his hand into my gut and twisted. I turned away, heading for the door, just wanting out of this room, away from his cold anger. "I guess that's that, then."
"Vy." I turned back toward him, the little hope that fluttered in my chest dying a quick death at the sight of his emotionless face. "We need to work out a schedule for Raj."
"What do you mean?"
"He may not be my son by blood but that don't mean I'll abandon him." I could practically hear the unspoken accusation hanging in the air: 'the way you did.' "I figure every other day we trade off."
"Okay. That sounds fine." I had to get out of there. "We can trade off at breakfast."
"Fine." He turned away, started pitching eviscerated robot parts into a garbage bin. I stared at his back for a moment, wishing there was something, anything I could say to fix it. But there wasn't.
After a decidedly uncomfortable evening meal, during which the X-Men ostracized me and the students stared at me, I escaped downstairs with Raj to the company of the one person in the Mansion who hopefully would still talk to me: Hank.
"Vy, my dear!" His fangs flashed against the blue of his fur as he enveloped me in an enormous hug. Raj wiggled in my grip and licked Hank's face. "And my favorite young neo-feline mutant! What a pleasure it is to see you!"
Raj continued to lick Hank's face enthusiastically as I sagged in Hank's arms, aware, suddenly, of how emotionally exhausted I was. "Hank, I am so glad to see you, you have no idea."
"What's the matter?" He led me over to a comfortable couch, which I knew he slept on more often than his own bed. Raj promptly crawled out of my lap and curled up on the couch between the two of us, his head on Hank's leg.
I rubbed Raj's tummy gently, not able to meet Hank's kind blue eyes. "I'm sure you've heard the whole sordid story."
His huge hand, tipped with lethally sharp claws, gently urged my chin up to meet his understanding gaze. "Vy, my dear, you are my friend. As Robert will tell you, I am chary indeed in my choosing of friends, and yet, once you are my friend, I will support you to the ends of the earth and beyond. I know that, whatever mistakes you may have made, you did not commit them out of malicious intent to do harm. All of us make mistakes. The true test of character is to learn from them."
Tears flooded my eyes and I burrowed against him, feeling his hand rub soothing circles on my back. His solid bulk surrounded me reassuringly as I muttered something incoherently against his fur and cried.
I ended up sleeping the night on Hank's couch. I'm not sure if he napped in a chair or if he simply spent the night working. I would have felt guilty about taking his couch, except that I think he'd have done the same without me there. Hank's been known to work for seventy-two hours straight without noticing that he's tired, until his body finally rebels. Bobby's told me stories about finding Hank sleeping on the lab floor, completely comatose with a printout clutched to his chest like a security blanket.
Raj had apparently spent the night sleeping partly on top of my chest. He licked my face sloppily and then yawned, sharp teeth and curled pink tongue and a blast of morning breath in my face.
"Good morning, sleeping damsel!" Hank executed a backflip off his lab stool and bounded over to me. I blinked groggily at him and demanded to know what time it was. "Breakfast time, if my nose does not deceive me, fair maiden."
Hank's exuberance is a bit much to deal with first thing in the morning. I stretched and yawned. Raj hopped off the couch and made a beeline for the large enclosed kitty litter pan in a back corner of the lab.
I stared after him, unaware of how much emotion showed in my face. Hank settled on the couch next to me and patted my knee reassuringly. "I've been in communication with my colleague at the San Diego zoo. Raj exhibits higher intelligence than normal tiger cubs of his age."
"But does he have normal human intelligence? Oh, hell, Hank, I don't even know if I should hope for him to have human intelligence or not. What would life be like for him, with the mind of a human in the body of an animal?"
Hank knew as well as I the problems of being an animalistic mutant in the normal world. His bright blue fur was the result of an experiment gone wrong, while my own orange and black striped fur was the result of Sinister's accentuation of my natural mutant gift, but we shared a kinship: both too obviously mutant to ever pass in normal society. At least we were essentially human-shaped, unlike Raj.
He hesitated, frowned, and then said cautiously, "I have been somewhat loath to bring this possibility to your attention; I do not wish to engender false hopes regarding Raj's future. However, in the course of my investigation into his mutation, I have uncovered the possibility that he may have inherited your shape-shifting ability."
"You mean he might be able to shift into human form? Hank, that's wonderful!"
"There is no way to be one hundred percent certain. However, if his mutation follows the normal pattern, this ability should manifest itself around puberty."
Raj bounded back to us and pounced on Hank's furry foot, growling.
"Puberty human puberty or tiger puberty?"
"So far his physical development has been that of a normal tiger. I would theorize that his mutation will follow the same path. In other words about two years."
I stared at Raj, currently curled around Hank's foot and gnawing at it with sharp teeth. "Oh fuck. Hank, you're talking about Raj being able to shift into human form, pubescent human form, teen-aged boy human form, in about two years."
Hank nodded, looking a bit puzzled at the terror in my voice.
"Hank, I'm barely ready to be the mother of a tiger cub. I'm not ready to be the mother of a teen-aged boy! Much less a teen-aged boy who can turn into a full-grown tiger!"
He nodded soberly. "Raj appears to be of the Bengal subspecies. At full growth, he'll be nine and a half feet from head to tail and weigh almost five hundred pounds."
"Hank, you're not helping."
Raj gave up chewing on Hank's foot and bounced over to me, landing heavily in my lap and kneading my stomach with his paws, a clear sign that he was ready for his morning milk. I gathered him into my arms and nuzzled the top of his head, sighing heavily. "Baby boy, you're gonna make your Momma's life pretty damned interesting." Raj growled squeakily and tried to nurse off my fingers. "Okay, okay, we'll get you a bottle."
Chuckling, Hank led the way up the back stairs to the kitchen, and I whispered into Raj's soft rounded ear, "Wouldn't give you up though, baby boy. Not for anything."
***end of part eight***
"Beautiful yet dangerous/Thermogenic luminous/Like a moth drawn to a flame/I'm the same/All cremated equally/As a spark still I knew/I'll be lured be consumed/She's a pyre incarnate incinerate/An inferno turned to flesh/You are the first will be my last/Will be my final words/(ah) pyretta blaze" --- Type O Negative
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