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Days, Nights, and the Stuff In Between

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  • Kat hunt
    Title: DAYS, NIGHTS, AND THE STUFF IN BETWEEN Author: Hunter Disclaimer: Not Mine, Lawyers leave me be. Rateing: PG Note: This started off as a serious piece
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 24, 2001
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      Title: DAYS, NIGHTS, AND THE STUFF IN BETWEEN
      Author: Hunter
      Disclaimer: Not Mine, Lawyers leave me be.
      Rateing: PG
      Note: This started off as a serious piece of Fic, and
      then i had a good day, and every thing went all pear
      shapped from there..lol
      So, take me serious for the first half, totaly
      disregard anything as normal from then on.
      Spelling is still bad.
      Email Adress: Yes please. katduza@...
      Dedicated: To all those out there who have sent back
      such nice feedback..thanks guys.
      ---------------------------------------------

      Magneto watched as the Blackbird made its way through
      the sky until clouds and the sun blocked his view.
      Toad hobbled over to him clutching his side and
      groaning.

      Without breaking eye contact with the sky, Magneto
      asked. �Is it done?�

      �Yes, but that African bitch gave me something for my
      efforts,� Toad complained clutching his side a little
      harder. His English accent implied class where there
      was none.

      Magneto finally lowered his eyes as the Blackbird�s
      vapor trail disappeared into the sky. Stalking back to
      his own awaiting transport, he said, �Your self pity
      will not inspire any sympathy from me, Toad.�

      Toad followed behind the white-haired man. They came
      upon Sabretooth who was busy trashing a few cars
      nearby . He was venting out his frustration at not
      being able to fully let himself go in a fight that had
      just occurred. Magneto had ordered him to distract the
      X-Men , not destroy them, while Toad had gone to work.


      �How long did you set the timer for?� Magneto asked
      without breaking stride.

      �About twenty minutes,� replied Toad.

      Magneto's answer was his silence. Casting a commanding
      glance towards Sabretooth's direction promptly stopped
      that mutant from compacting a Volvo. The tall blond
      followed behind Magneto and Toad to the transport.

      Twenty minutes and Xavier's X-Men would no longer be a
      problem.
      ________________________________________________________________

      He hated this. This constant fluttering of his muscles
      caused by anxiousness. He felt an apprehension, a
      wariness over something, but what? Logan sat in the
      back of the Blackbird, and stared into the distance.
      His creased brow and the folded arms across his chest
      indicated to anyone who knew anything about body
      language that the Wolverine did not want to be
      disturbed.

      Logan did not consider that pitiful fight with
      Sabretooth a few minutes ago a challenge. It left him
      wanting. Wanting to ram his razor-sharp adamantium
      covered claws into something. Just what Sabretooth had
      been up to was beyond him. And the not knowing
      bothered Logan.

      Earlier that day Professor Xavier had alerted the team
      to mutant activity near the Canadian border. Logan had
      decided to join the others even though he had already
      been packed to leave the school for one of his
      �vacations.�

      The more Logan thought about his encounter with the
      big, blond brute, the stranger it seemed to him. It
      wasn�t Creed�s style to just up and run away in the
      middle of a good beating. The X-Men had just stood by
      as he had one-on-one'd with the guy until Sabretooth
      retreated snarling epithets in his wake.

      �Did that freak call me a sawed-off, hairy, little
      runt?!?�

      Wolverine had been just about to give chase when the
      fearless leader had stopped him.

      �The Professor wants us back. Something not right
      about this situation.� All the normal crap that
      usually happened whenever something was going his way.


      �Change. That's what he needed. Change.� Logan
      contemplated the various changes he could make.

      �Rearrange his room? Nahhh, he could recruit one of
      the school�s numerous females to do that, though it
      could prove to be a threat to his masculinity. Bright
      breezy curtains, cheerful furniture accompanied by
      some interesting decor.�

      Logan grinned inwardly at the thought.

      �Get something new? Change something? Do something
      different?�

      His mental grin changed quickly into a grimace. He had
      been listening to Marie natter on and on about too
      many Teen magazines lately. No, all he really needed
      was to beat the living hell outta someone.

      His enhanced hearing picked up the sounds of soft
      voices intruding on his thoughts. Blinking, Logan�s
      eyes adjusted their focus. Single words drifted into
      complete conversations. One caught his ear.

      �What did you just say!?� Logan asked sharply snapping
      his head left to face the two woman talking to one
      another.

      �What?� Ororo asked. Turning her head from Jean, she
      look questioningly at Logan.

      �Just now. What you just said to Jean. Something about
      Toad?�

      �Oh. I was just telling Jean that Toad was out there,
      too. When you where busy pounding Sabretooth, I found
      Toad by the Blackbird.� Storm gave a tight smile, �I
      don't think he enjoyed our little liaison.�

      Jean laughed softly at Ororo�s little implication.
      Logan's mind raced and changed gears abruptly. His
      sharply-honed instincts distilled what his senses had
      been trying to tell him.

      �He planted a bomb,� Logan said almost causally as he
      jumped out of his seat. �I can hear it outside.�

      Everyone in the Blackbird turned and stared at him as
      if he had just turned into a seven foot cockroach.
      Scott began to take the jet down in a sharp arc. He
      pounded furiously at various buttons and levers.

      �There's nowhere to land!� Scott shouted. �Jean, can
      you remove it?� .

      The redhead closed her eyes to focus her mind, �I�ll
      try.�

      �Better do more den try or we all soon be little
      bitties, cherie!� moaned Gambit.

      �The damn thing�s under the wing,� Logan directed,
      �near the fuselage!�

      Gambit stared out the window as Jean�s face tightened
      with control. A small black shape flew out from under
      the wing

      �You got it, cherie!� Gambit gleefully whooped.

      Jean began to move the bomb away from the jet. Logan's
      ears followed the ticking as it grew further away.
      Jean was breathing hard with her exertion. Storm,
      sitting next to Jean let out the breath she had been
      holding. Scott smiled, and Logan froze.

      Everything seemed to freeze when Logan heard the
      ticking stop. Gambit�s face fell as the bomb exploded
      next to the jet�s tail. A muted �WHOOMP� filled the
      back of the cabin with fire as the tail was torn away.
      Sirens blared on board as the Blackbird tumbled to
      the earth.
      __________________________________________________________________

      Robyn stared opened-mouthed as a plane fell from the
      clouds. Only a minute ago it had been part of the
      serene view of the forest below. Smoke spewed out from
      the plane�s back. It twisted in the sky like some kind
      of sick air show until the tree line and hill hid the
      crash.

      �Oh shit!� Robyn said to no one in particular except
      for maybe her dog, Acacia.

      �Oh shit,� she repeated softer as what she had just
      seen hit home. Running to her campsite she grabbed the
      first aid kit and slammed it in to her backpack. ,

      �Come on, lets go.� she shouted to Acacia as she
      slapped the side of her thigh to bring him to heel.

      �I knew something like this was gonna happen!� The
      large Rhodesian Ridgeback ran after his mistress even
      though the scent of a nearby bear was much more
      exciting.

      Robyn felt like she was in an episode of the Twilight
      Zone. Her legs came skidding to a halt as the trees
      suddenly became an unnatural clearing. There lay the
      broken jet. Smoke still poured out of the gapping mess
      that had once been a tail, and a few flames flicked
      the side of a wing. It lay slightly to one side
      showing Robyn it�s underbelly. Not a bad landing all
      things considering.

      Robyn picked her way through the broken trees. She had
      never seen anything like this plane before. True, she
      was no genius when it came to plane designs, but she
      was no dummy either. It was definitely a jet,
      definitely stealth, definitely very expensive, and
      definitely crashed. Movement caught her eye. There
      where people inside! And they were alive!

      �I'm coming!� Robyn yelled.

      Pulling herself up through the hole in the side of the
      cabin, Robyn coughed slightly, and looked around. Two
      woman lay in a heap on two passenger chairs like
      strewn dolls with limbs akimbo and heads lolling back.
      Two men were still fastened in their chairs. One was
      swearing in French, at least it sounded like that. The
      other man who was obviously the pilot was still out.
      They all looked young and all were dressed in some
      kind of black, leather uniform. Military? A rock band?
      Leftovers from Madonna�s newest video? Robyn blew out
      her breath in a long controlled sigh and slowly
      started checking the passengers for vital signs.

      She dragged the passengers out of the plane one by
      one, and laid them in a neat organized line. They had
      all made it through the crash, though she couldn't
      tell what the extent of their injuries were. All of
      them had bad cuts and bruises. Time would tell about
      internal problems. The one man who had been awake in
      the plane had fainted when she had tried to move him.
      He had probably broken something.

      Unceremoniously dropping the pilot on the ground,
      Robyn collapsed next to him in exhaustion. A small
      puff of dust rose out from underneath her and settled
      on his already dirty uniform. He moaned softly as she
      fought for her breath. She didn�t have the best of
      lungs in the world and lugging four people out of a
      plane did not help.

      They should be far enough from the plane if for some
      reason it decided to blow. Robyn wondered how long it
      would be before these guys got missed. Giving them
      some sort of medical attention should be her next
      step. Better start with the one closet to her, the
      pilot.

      �Boy, did this guy have funky glasses,� she thought.

      A long gash ran across his forehead running blood into
      his hair. Robyn traced a finger along the wound. The
      Pilot�s visor blocked some of the blood, but the skin
      could be torn under it. She was impressed that these
      shades hadn't broken and gotten glass into his eyes.
      He could�ve lost his sight.

      Sitting up, Robyn looked at his face trying to see how
      the glasses were attached. Moving closer until her
      head was nearer his, she pulled them off slowly from
      his eyes. Putting them into her pocket gently, Robyn
      studied his face. Useful facts gleamed from years of
      reading and ER viewing provided a dim knowledge on
      what to do next. Number one, check for concussion.
      Robyn lifted his eyelid to inspect his pupil. A
      searing beam of intense red light shot out of his eye
      heaven-ward. It barely missed her hand. Scrambling
      back, Robyn half gasped and yelped kicking up sand and
      dust towards the prone man.

      �What the hell was that!� she cried.

      Adrenaline pumped into her veins from the shock, and
      it made her alert to a sound coming from behind her.
      Her dog. Acacia. He was growling at the trees. By the
      time he started braying, the bear had already moved
      into the clearing.

      �Oh, fuck!�
      _________________________________________________________________

      With one last grimace and a curse, Logan finally
      managed to pull out the pine branch that had run
      itself through his side. Falling back into the pine
      needles he tossed the branch aside and waited for his
      healing factor to kick in. It sealed off the wound and
      the pain began to subside. Lucky for Toad that branch
      had only impaled him and not ripped or punctured
      anything. If it had, Logan would have really been
      ticked off.

      Logan looked upwards into the trees he had just
      plummeted through on his downward journey from the
      Blackbird. The blast had sucked him out along with the
      back end of the jet. Unlike himself, that was now
      happily strewn all around the forest. Again, lucky for
      Toad he was not under anything either.

      Grunting, Logan got up and checked his uniform. Other
      than a large tear along his side that let in the
      autumn twilight cold, Logan could see no other damage.


      �Yeah, sit Scott down with a needle and some thread,
      and we might be able to save this one.�

      Catching the breeze, Logan savored the smells� pine,
      earth, animals, hikers, burning jet� and turning
      towards the north, .the smell of blood, too. Logan
      started to run in the direction of where his friends
      were. He only hoped that he would find someone to
      help�before the other inhabitants of the woods did.
      __________________________________________________________________

      The large black bear whumphed onto the ground as he
      swaggered into view. He headed for the jet that had
      noisily disturbed him from the last of his autumn
      gathering. A large brown dog darted back and forth in
      front of the bear. The dog�s snarling, braying, teeth
      bearing made an impressive show, but the bear was not
      concerned. He knew his strength. What interested him
      was the smell of blood that was coming from the prone
      bodies that lay before him. The large male had stalked
      prey before, but here was an easy meal; a fast kill
      with a minimum of effort.

      Robyn screamed for her dog, �ACACIA! Come here!� She
      began pleading with her dog�s saner side, calling for
      him and then tried to whistle him in. Nothing could
      break her dogs attention from the large bear lumbering
      into the clearing. Acacia was her best friend, her
      protector, her companion, and Robyn was not about to
      let a bear hurt him. Picking up her backpack, she
      flung it at the bear. It stopped heading for the
      injured passengers, and dazedly looked into her
      direction as if to ponder what insect could try to
      stop it. The bear made deep noises in it�s throat, and
      as it�s large claws dug into the earth, it looked over
      in Robyn�s direction.

      The bear�s mean little eyes picked out Robyn just as
      Acacia lunged for it�s shoulders. Roaring, the bear
      rose on it�s back legs and reaching to his shoulder
      with a huge paw, it flung the dog to the ground.
      Acacia yelped. Robyn screamed, �NOOOO!� Running to her
      dog�s side, Robyn tried to cut the bear off from the
      passengers. The bear was again trying to reach them.
      Looking around desperately, Robyn picked up a large
      rock and threw it at the bears face. That stopped the
      bear from moving toward the injured people, but before
      the rock dropped back to the ground, it turned towards
      Robyn. Standing her ground, Robyn held up a sharp
      branch towards the charging mass of muscle that now
      wanted to destroy her.
      __________________________________________________________________

      The acrid burning smell was strong as Logan weaved
      amongst the trees. He finally cleared a small rise to
      see the Jet lying amid the broken forest below. Black
      gray smoke rose steadily out from the back of the jet.
      Logan�s eyes tore away from the destruction to see his
      four teammates lying in a neat row some distance from
      the plane. He cocked an eyebrow as an peculiar sight
      caught his eye.

      A woman and a huge dog were standing down a bear. The
      dog attacked it, and was flung to the ground for it�s
      troubles. Throwing a rock at the bear�s head as it
      ambled over to his team mates, the woman started to
      run towards Logan�s direction. She stopped to pick up
      a large branch, and used it to try to hold off the
      bear. Logan quickly made his way down to her side.
      __________________________________________________________________

      �Don't move,� a voice whispered into Robyn�s ear.

      She almost dropped the branch as a hand held her
      steady. �Don't move,� Robyn�s mind echoed.

      A body followed the hand moving from Robyn�s left side
      to reveal a man wearing the same type of uniform as
      the people she had pulled from the crash. The bear had
      slowed. It was swaggering and ambling rather than
      charging towards them. The man moved a step forward
      standing directly in front of the bear�s line of
      sight. The brute stopped and roared in defiance
      exhibiting huge canines.

      With her heart in her throat, Robyn watched the man
      and bear stop five feet from one another. Sound
      stopped, breathing stopped and rearing up to it�s full
      height, the bear roared once more. A huge paw raked
      across the man�s shoulder and chest. He staggered from
      the force, but held straight and continued to face the
      bear down. It stood there whumphing at the man until
      it grew bored. Turning, it headed back to the trees.

      Robyn was numb inside; the adrenaline already draining
      from her system. Dropping the branch from her
      white-fisted hands, she stumbled forward to her dog
      who was lying still. Logan waited until the bear
      disappeared and then ran to his friends. His chest
      still hurt from the deep cuts the bears claws has
      torn. Checking each pulse, Logan laughed as he found
      all of his team mates to be alive and basically, in
      one piece.

      He suddenly remembered the girl. Turning around, he
      saw at her. She wore jeans, a white top, and black
      sneakers. Curly brown hair tied into a pony tail with
      escaping tendrils was topped off with a dusty hand
      streak across her face. She had obviously tried to
      wipe sweat from her eyes. It was cold, but Logan
      realized that she must have moved all of the x-Men by
      herself. No wonder she had sweated. Logan heard the
      woman�s pleas to her dog. Getting up, he walked
      quietly towards her.
      __________________________________________________________________

      �Acacia. Please, boy. Come on, Acacia. Please!� she
      cried, tears streaking her dusty face.

      She sounded foreign. Logan knelt down beside her, and
      put his hand over the dog�s blood-sticky fur. A strong
      pulse thumped into his fingers.

      �He's fine. Don't worry. Just a bit stunned,� Logan
      moved his hand, and stroked the fur.

      The small whine that came from the dog�s throat
      reassured Robyn that this man was right. Getting to
      his feet unsteadily, the dog gave his owner a small
      lick on the nose. Robyn laughed as tears came down her
      cheeks. Acacia began licking them in a frantic doggy
      dance. Cradling her dog into her lap, Robyn hugged
      him. Logan grinned.

      Getting up, he walked back to the jet. Searching the
      cockpit, Logan found what he was looking for. Hitting
      the crisis button sent a strong steady signal to the
      school which indicated an emergency, the jet�s
      location, and to send help immediately. Stepping back,
      Logan looked around at the mess in the cockpit. Some
      of Scott's blood was on the controls, that reminded
      him�

      Logan blinked his eyes in the sunlight as he left the
      cockpit, and jumped down off the wing. Scott's visor
      was missing. He searched the ground. Watching the
      woman from the corner of his eyes, a ruby glimmer
      caught his attention. Huge dog in lap, the woman was
      leaning against a tree and Scott's visor peeked out
      off her pocket. Looking up from stroking the dog, she
      caught Logan looking at her.

      �Oh� you looking for these,� she said tugging the
      strange glasses out from her pocket. The man didn't
      say anything, but he cocked his eyebrow as he took
      them from her outstretched hand.

      �Here you go, Cyke,� Logan said softly clipping the
      red visor back in place. The sun was beginning to set
      giving the crash site a surreal feel. Logan sat down
      next to the girl, and watched over his friends. He
      hoped help would arrive soon.
      __________________________________________________________________

      Logan felt a whisper of air against his head. Robyn's
      face dropped her smile when he turned and looked at
      her. Weakly, she held out a pine needle.

      �It was in your hair,� she smiled.

      �Ah� thanks.� Plucking the needle from her hand he
      twirled it in between his fingers.

      �There's a lot more there,� she added helpfully. Logan
      burst out laughing.

      �I'm pretty sure there is, darlin�!�

      She grinned back, �I'm Robyn.� She stuck out her hand.


      �Logan.�

      He shook the offered hand, and looked at the now
      sleeping dog whose his head was resting in the woman�s
      lap.

      �That's a brave dog. Like it�s owner. What's his
      name?�

      Robyn blushed slightly, �Acacia.� Logan smiled at
      that.

      �You blush nicely. Nothing to be ashamed of,� he added
      quickly as the blush deepened. �Not many people would
      face down a bear like that.�

      Robyn kept silent because of modesty and not knowing
      what else to say. Logan looked back at his friends.

      �They your friends?� Robyn finally asked.

      �Yes�� Logan answered after awhile, �More like
      family.�

      He flicked the pine needle away, and shifted his
      weight to face her more directly.

      �You have an interesting accent Where you from?
      Australia?�

      Robyn burst out laughing

      �Not when I last checked,� she laughed and grinned.
      �I�m from South Africa.�

      �Oh,� Logan said, like everything now made sense. She
      smiled.

      It was now getting dark and cold quickly. Working
      together, Robyn and Logan moved the X-Men closer, and
      spread out thermal blankets over that they had found
      in the Blackbird over them. They were still
      unconscious, except for Gambit who floated in and out.
      It had only been two hours since the crash.

      �They've slipped from unconsciousness into healing
      sleep.� Robyn commented dropping back down under a
      pine tree as Logan finished checking on them. Acacia
      patrolled the area until she called him back.

      �Jean would have slapped a Band-Aid on them, and they
      would all been fine by now,� Logan muttered.

      �Jean is�?� Robyn started.

      �The one with the red hair,� Logan finished.

      Robyn rearranged her dogs ears, and sighed. �I have to
      ask. When I took the glasses off your friend��

      �Red light came out,� Logan continued for her cutting
      her off before she could say more. �Scott's a mutant,
      so�s Jean, Ororo, and Remy.�

      Logan looked at her to gauge her reaction.

      �So am I,� he said in a almost blase way.

      �Figures,� Robyn smiled. �I don't think it's an
      everyday thing for guys to shoot out disco shows
      through their eyes.�

      Logan chuckled, �You should meet some of the others.�

      �Can I ask why you�re a mutant?� She asked gently.

      Logan hadn't expected that for some reason. He was
      quiet for awhile.

      �I heal real fast.�

      �Explains how come you�re not lying there with your
      friends.�

      Logan didn't know why he was talking so openly with
      Robyn, but it was not like he had anything else to do�
      besides he kinda like talking to her. She looked good,
      too.

      �Stop it, Logan,� he mentally rebuked himself, �Don't
      go there.�

      �I also have really good senses� he added tapping the
      side of his nose.

      �Cool,� she smiled. Logan was quiet for awhile so
      Robyn started to speak.

      �I�� He continued interrupting her again. �And I have
      these��

      He moved his hand a little away from her, and extended
      his claws. The sharp �SNIKT� filled the night air
      startling both the human and the dog. Acacia raised
      his head, saw nothing interesting and fell back
      asleep. Robyn blinked wide-eyed as the claws slid back
      into their housings in his forearm.

      �Explains why the bear left so quickly,� she said
      quietly as Logan's dark eyes locked on to hers. He
      stared at her and when he started to laugh, she joined
      in. Acacia wagged his tail in his sleep.
      ___________________________________________________________________

      They talked as it got darker sharing stories; Logan
      spoke about the others, Robyn spoke about her life in
      America.

      �So what's an Acacia?� Logan asked as the dog put a
      large paw on his knee and spread his dew claw into his
      uniform. He gently removed the claw and stroked the
      paw.

      �It�s a thorn tree from my country. They can survive
      almost anything, you know. I thought it was a good
      name, his kind being bred to hunt lions once,� Robyn
      answered unconsciously rubbing her exposed arm.

      Logan watched as Robin�s skin goose-fleshed.

      �You want to come closer,� He reached a arm towards
      her and she visibly shrunk away

      �You�re cold� body heat� closer together��

      �Oh,� Robyn said feebly, �okay.� She shuffled closer
      to Logan as he put a arm around her pulling her to his
      side and feeling her stiffen.

      �What about you� your uniform?� She moved her head
      down to peer at the torn leather.

      �I'm fine. Used to the cold.� Logan saw her looking at
      the tears, and he quickly used his free hand to pull
      the material back together as best he could.

      Finally, Robyn relaxed and sighed as his body warmth
      started to warm her up. She put a arm around his waist
      and snuggled her head into the crook of his arm. Every
      now and then Logan felt a small tremor run across her
      body from the cold.

      �I'm still not used to this weather,� she said
      sleepily. Her head was falling heavier onto his chest,
      and her other arm was now resting across his abdomen.

      �I thought I would be by now.�

      Robyn�s hand around Logan�s waist played with the torn
      fabric on his side pulling the material closer
      together as she started to drift away. Acacia moved in
      closer.

      The slow rhythm of her breathing told Logan that she
      was asleep. Holding her body against his with his back
      propped against a pine tree and a large dog now
      resting it�s head almost on top of his crotch� well,
      at least Scott was still unconscious. A short time
      later, Logan watched as Xavier's help arrived. After
      Beast assured Logan that everyone was fine, he sat
      down with the dog and kept vigil over his sleeping
      friends as the they sped towards Westchester.
      ________________________________________________________________

      As sleep left, Robyn�s mind witnessed her surroundings
      in bits, absorbing one thing at a time. The light
      filtered through the curtains, the feeling of the bed
      covers against her skin, the color of the walls.

      �Where on earth was she?�

      Robyn thought about what had happened yesterday.

      �Logan� oh,� She sighed mentally. Twisted around to
      lay on her stomach in the bed, Robyn pulled her wits
      together. Time to get up and figure out what's up.
      _______________________________________________________________

      A familiar voice echoed in Logan�s head. �Logan, may I
      see you when you�re finished with your breakfast,
      please.�

      �Dammit, Chuck! I thought I told you to stop that!�
      Logan snapped almost dropping his fork load of bacon
      back onto his plate.

      �Wha��?� asked Remy groggily. His hair was disheveled,
      his chest bandaged from broken ribs and his arm was
      bandaged tight against him.

      �The Prof,� Logan answered curtly tapping his temple.


      �Who?�

      Logan noted that Gambit didn't respond well to pain
      killers as once again the Cajun's spoon went plopping
      back onto his breakfast plate.

      �Never mind,� Logan threw down the last of his coffee.


      Storm and Jean walked into the dining area and headed
      for the food. Storm was still a bit tender from
      yesterday, but had gotten up early this morning like
      she always did. She had waited for Jean to finish with
      the Professor before joining her friend for breakfast.

      Considering that only fourteen hours ago they had
      crashed a jet, the X-Men had been checked-in and
      discharged from the med-lab after a thorough check-up
      by Beast. Hardly anyone had anything serious. Hardly
      anyone Storm reminded herself as she looked at Jean
      and nodded towards Gambit lolling in his seat next to
      Logan.

      Logan watched as the two women headed his way. Each
      balanced plates and glasses of juice. He prodded
      Gambit aside for Storm as she sat down. He moved aside
      for Jean as she almost spilled orange juice on top of
      his plate.

      �Mornin�� Logan said in his most cheerful voice.

      Good morning� I'm sorry. Let me get that,� Jean
      grabbed the nearest napkin and started dabbing the
      orange drops.

      �Don't worry about that. I'm sure Logan doesn't mind,�
      Storm said helpfully starting to slice into a
      grapefruit.

      �Not at all. Adds flavor, I suppose,� Logan pulled a
      face at Storm and then smiled at Jean. �So, how you
      and the others feeling?�

      �Well, other than the intense pain and lovely bruises,
      just fine, I suppose.�

      �It all distraction. Magneto t�inks he clever,� Gambit
      mumbled as he chased a mushroom around his plate.
      �C�est tres horrible!� he added. Logan spluttered into
      his second cup of coffee as he laughed.

      �That's his first coherent thought of the day!�

      Logan watched the Cajun from the corner of his eye as
      Remy once again threatened to collapse into his
      breakfast. Rocking once or twice, Gambit shook his
      head as if to clear it and then proceeded to once
      again stare mournfully into his plate.

      �Gambit too hurt to eat,� he moaned pitifully.

      �Here, let me eat it for you,� Logan grunted around a
      mouthful of bacon as he reached over to grab the
      Cajun's plate. Remy looked horrified. Pushing his
      plate closer and out of Wolverine�s reach, he begun to
      chase his mushrooms in earnest again.

      Logan laughed.

      �Stop teasing him, Logan,� said Storm as she helped
      Remy pierce the rebel mushroom.

      Logan grinned and then remembered a very quiet Jean
      sitting next to him. She nibbled quietly on a apple.

      �How's Scott?� He asked in his most sincere voice.

      Jean stopped chewing and swallowed

      �Fine, I guess. He woke up briefly for about an hour.
      He's now sleeping off the worst of a very bad
      headache. Hank has him drugged up for the pain� and
      the guilt� she added. �He blames himself.�

      �Jean, we all know that there was no way Scott
      could�ve known about the sabotage. In fact, if
      anyone's to blame, it's me. I should�ve checked to see
      what Toad was up to.� Storm was about to continue when
      Logan cut in.

      �Scott saved our lives. If anyone else had been flying
      the Blackbird, ten to one, we would all be spread out
      in various pieces around the trees,� Logan said,
      waving his fork around to dramatic effect.

      For Logan to compliment anything about Scott was a
      minor miracle and Jean appreciated his words.

      �It be a trap, cherie,� Gambit added to the
      conversation. The atmosphere around the table was
      beginning to turn grim so Jean quickly tried to turn
      the mood.

      �I hear that it�s not only Scott we have to thank for
      saving our various body parts,� Jean looked pointedly
      at Logan who looked pointedly back at her.

      �Yeah, so how's the little robin doing?�

      Jean coughed and cleared her throat. She began to
      nibble on her apple again.

      �She's great. Up early this morning. Marie and Kitty
      took her down for breakfast, showed her around, and
      after checking that her dog was fine, I took her up to
      see the Professor.�

      �Where was I?� Logan asked.

      �Asleep,� Jean answered.

      �Oh,� he said sheepishly looking at his watch. It was
      already 11:00 in the morning.

      �Wolverine no be a morning per�� Gambit begun to say
      until Logan kicked him hard under the table.

      �OW!� Remy shouted indignantly.

      �We noticed,� Jean muttered under her breath as she
      sipped her juice as Storm snickered. �but I wasn't
      only referring to her.�

      Logan promptly got very interested in his bacon.

      �Yes, I do recall Robyn and I discussing your little
      adventure on our way up to the Professor,� Jean turned
      and grinned at Logan.

      �Something about a bear?�

      Logan hated attention.

      �Smokey obviously thought Cyke looked like a picnic
      basket,� Logan grumbled into his coffee.

      �Oh, for once, Logan, please take a compliment!� Jean
      moaned. She then smiled warmly as she took his hand to
      get his attention.

      �Thanks, Logan,� Storm smiled with Jean. Her smile
      split into a grin as Jean said, �But did you have to
      get so close to Smokey? Scott is going to freak when
      he sees you've managed to shred another uniform.�

      Then she scooted closer to Gambit to help him catch
      his second mushroom.
      __________________________________________________________________

      �She is not a mutant.�

      Xavier sat in his office and watched the mansion�s
      front entrance from his window. The huge dog bounded
      up to where Ororo had just joined Marie and Robyn out
      on the front steps. He deposited a gob-slimed ball
      onto their laps. When the girls picked up the ball to
      tossed it once again for the over-eager dog, Xavier
      smiled as squeals of disgust reached his window.

      Logan fidgeted in his chair and ran a hand through one
      half of his hair managing to flatten one point
      slightly.

      �Whadda you mean, �not a mutant�? You just said she
      had powers.�

      Logan was confused. Though she hadn't a clue to what
      the Professor meant either, Jean had to stifle a small
      laugh. Logan�s facial expressions and eyebrows
      conveyed every thought that his words didn't.

      �Dreams of the future, guiding instincts, deja vu,
      ghosts, the sixth sense,� Xavier answered turning his
      wheelchair around from the window to face the
      perplexed Canadian.

      �If she were a mutant, her powers would be psychic �

      Logan made a humphing noise in the back of his throat,
      and flattened his other point as he again ran a hand
      through his hair.

      �Ghosts!!! You�re� kidding me.� Logan would of said
      'fucking,' but he was tying not to swear in front of
      the Professor.

      Jean looked amazed. �I've heard of it before. Gypsies
      have always claimed those powers. Some families are
      supposed to have spiritual connections that a mother
      passes on to a daughter or son, but I never really
      considered it before. Until now.�

      Logan could see Jean starting to sink into her
      �doctor� mode

      �And she says she has these abilities. And she's not a
      mutant. Amazing,� Jean began to mumble some obscure
      material to herself.

      �Come on, Jean,� said Logan. �Ghosts? We�re talking
      hocus-pocus here.� Logan liked Robyn, but this was
      getting too weird for him.

      �And just what do you call reading minds?� Jean
      snapped back.

      Logan looked rebuked, but still grumbled. �Ghosts. And
      you people say I drink to much in the mornings.�
      ___________________________________________________________________

      Logan sat on the stairs with Marie. He had waited for
      the Professor to call Storm and Robyn back inside for
      one last discussion before he had made his way down.
      Wondering for a moment about where Gambit was, Logan
      decided that Remy was probably still asleep at the
      table.

      The day had turned out to be stunning. The sun was

      It had turned out to be a stunning day with the sun
      dappled by clouds. Most of the school�s occupants were
      outside under the trees or lying in the grass
      relaxing.

      �I love Sundays,� Marie sighed. She took the
      gob-soaked ball from Acacia's mouth and tossed it
      again across the grounds.

      �And then tomorrow is Monday,� Logan sighed
      dramatically.

      �You are such a pessimist,� Marie wiped her hands on
      her jeans. �Lord, Ah didn't know that dogs could exude
      so much slobber!�

      She wiped the remainder of the dog slobber on Logan�s
      shirt. Hearing footsteps from the doorway, Logan
      turned his head to see Robyn, Jean and Storm finally
      coming down. They stopped and spoke a bit to each
      other. Jean and Storm looked at Logan and Marie. They
      waved to the pair and walked back inside the building.
      Robyn stepped lightly down to join the pair on the
      steps.

      �Hi, mind if I join you?�

      �Sure,� Marie wiggled closer to Logan to make room for
      Robyn. At that moment, Acacia came charging back when
      he saw his mistress. He jumped over all of them doing
      a doggy dance of joy.

      �I'm glad to see you too, boy,� Robyn slapped his
      sides and ruffled his fur. The dog finally calmed down
      and happily sat at her feet to chew on the ball. He
      crunched it in and out making little puffy noises.

      �Oh, dear. I think my dog has chewed up your ball,�
      Robyn looked mournfully at the two halves of the
      tennis ball that Acacia was now poking his nose at.

      �We have plenty. No problem,� Logan produced another
      ball from his pocket

      �That's the third one this last hour,� he said. �So
      far, he's tired out four kids, eaten breakfast, lunch,
      supper and tea in one go, and played fetch until he
      ran a trench in the rose garden!�

      Logan began laughing when Robyn got a very stern
      expression on her face and started to apologize .

      �He's just pulling you�re leg, Robyn. It was only two
      balls!�

      Logan grinned as Marie spoke with a straight face, and
      then she finally broke down into a huge grin

      �You�re too polite for your own good. Ignore Logan.
      Everyone does,� Marie looked closely at Robyn. They
      were almost the same age.

      �Logan told me about how you helped the team,� Marie
      said. Robyn nodded shyly.

      �Modest, too,� Logan added making a mock bow. �The
      galaxy is eternally grateful to you for saving Scott's
      ass.� They all laughed.

      Robyn had just been to see the Professor with Jean and
      Storm. He had explained everything to her; the X-Men,
      who everyone was and what everyone was. All the
      answers she had asked for and other answers he had
      volunteered. He had thanked her for everything. He
      promised on behalf of the school, that if she ever
      needed anything, she was to just asked.

      Modesty had prevailed and Robyn insisted that Logan
      would have been there anyway to save them the team,
      but the Professor insisted. He said that Logan might
      not have been there in time to stop the bear. That
      made sense. There was thanks given all around and good
      wishes for the future. Robyn could now gather her
      stuff and go home, and in any transport she wanted as
      a gift from the X-Men. The Professor did make one
      request; would she mind hanging around a little longer
      for some tests?

      Robyn ended up staying two more weeks at the school.
      She spent the mornings with the Professor and Jean who
      ran tests, talked to her, and marveled at her claims.
      Her evenings were spent outside, watching the night
      with Logan who smoked his cigars. Robyn hadn't meant
      to tell the Professor about her family's heritage, but
      he had a way with words and a presence that made all
      her stories gush out in one sitting.
      ___________________________________________________________________

      Robyn lay in her bed, daydreaming, but at night. The
      mansion was quiet and she could hear it�s sounds
      around her. The wind outside, people sleeping inside,
      the mansion�s creaking as it settled into the evening
      from the day�s heat.

      Heat. How she missed the heat of home. African sun in
      African skies, soaking into your bones. What they
      called heat here was like her coldest winters. How
      Ororo could stand being here for so long was amazing.
      Robyn sighed and rolled onto her back and fluffed up
      the pillows.

      �Try to sleep,� she commanded herself. She would be
      going home tomorrow. The two weeks here had been an
      eye opener. She had only been in the States for just
      over a month and still hadn't really met anyone who
      she deemed worthy of making friends with. She
      roommated with an Australian named Corri. Well, her
      whole name was Corriander, but Robyn pitied anyone who
      called the fiery Aussie by her full title.

      Just over a month and look at what she has gotten
      herself into already. Her friends and family back in
      Cape Town would never believe it. A mutant school,
      teams of avenging super humans, jets crashing in the
      woods, confrontations with bears, and Logan. No, she
      wouldn't mention that one. Keep the biggest surprises
      for last. Robyn snickered in the dark. Her, interested
      in a guy. And what a guy. Won�t her mom be proud.
      Logan surprised her though. She had always heard of
      Canadians back home as polite, kind, and good-natured.
      Robyn laughed out loud at that one and quickly shut
      her mouth in case she woke someone up. Acacia whined
      next to her bed.

      �Sorry boy,� She said. He thumped his tail a few times
      and fell back asleep.

      Robyn sighed and remembered the day she had walked
      into the TV lounge and found Logan watching a hockey
      game. She had said something sarcastic. It was along
      the lines of her thinking that only Canadians watched
      hockey, and shouldn't he be watching football or
      basketball or baseball or something?

      At that precise moment Scott had walked in and had
      answered her. �But he is Canadian.� He had seen Logan
      tense up and when Robyn had started to change the
      conversation to hide Logan's awkwardness, Scott
      continued. �Oh�and he also likes Maple syrup and��

      Scott then proceeded to rattle off a whole list that
      eventually had Robyn slapping herself in laughter.
      Logan extending his middle claw (only) and threw an
      empty beer can at Scott. He only hooted more in
      laughter and threw the can back at Logan's head, but
      not before he proudly showing Robyn the label,
      �Canadian Gold.�

      Before Logan could decapitate him with the beer can,
      Scott had charged out the door laughing so hard that
      Robyn thought he would fall over. He was obviously
      well over his concussion, or was he. What where the
      side affects of being knocked hard on the head?

      Later that day, after searching the telephone book and
      asking Marie, Kitty and their friends (who were a
      little young for her age, but good company none the
      less) to take her to the local mall, Robyn managed to
      track Logan down outside the large house. He was
      brooding over a rather pungent cigar.

      Logan watched her walk across the patio towards him.
      She was obviously hiding something behind her back.
      She had the most amazingly curly hair.

      �Stop it, � he growled to himself. He cocked an
      eyebrow at her as she spoke.

      �Pick a hand,� Robyn announced, not caring if it
      sounded a bit childish.

      �What?� Logan's face tightened in amusement

      �Pick one� a hand,� she added helpfully.

      �You�re kidding me,� Logan started smiling. She was a
      brash as Marie. Not many people would ask the
      Wolverine to pick a hand. Then again, not many people
      had spent a night tucked into his arm.

      �Come on� pick one,� Robyn insisted. She moved her
      shoulders as if to show him that her hands where
      attached to her arms.

      �Left,� He grinned.

      �Surprise!� Robin crowed in happiness. She flung her
      arm from behind her back to reveal a six pack of beer
      and dangled in front of his nose.

      �Huh?� Logan retrieved the beer and glanced at the
      unfamiliar label. Looking back at Robyn he waited for
      an explanation, not that he really cared. He was
      actually shocked that any girl, well, that Robyn,
      would buy him alcohol.

      �It�s Castle Lager. Beer from South Africa. I looked
      up a store in the mall that sold stuff from home, and
      I thought that maybe, since you like beer, that you
      would like to try something different.�

      Logan opened his mouth to speak, but the only thing to
      emerge ended up as a lame, �Thanks.�

      �Pleasure. Anything to improve the exports from home.�
      Robyn replied twirling away and heading back inside
      the mansion.

      �Consider it a
      'thanks-for-saving-me-from-being-eaten-by-a-large-carnivor-and-keeping-me-warm'
      gift,� she added over her shoulder when she reached
      the door.

      Logan laughed to himself and opened a beer from the
      six pack. �Damn her accent was sexy.�

      Later that evening Logan caught Robyn in the dinning
      hall. �You were right. That was one of the best brews
      I've ever had.�

      Robyn smiled and replied, �That was nothing. You
      should try our wine.�

      Now that the house had stopped its creaking, Robyn
      felt sleep drag itself over her tired body.
      _________________________________________________________________

      Logan heard Scott coming down the corridor and quickly
      turned his head away from the hockey game on the TV to
      focus his full attention on Gambit. They sat
      cross-legged on the lounge floor playing cards on the
      coffee table. Logan had already won all of Gambit�s
      earnings for the next four years, his favorite card
      deck, the remote control, some chips, and a bottle cap
      that Gambit had found under the table. Logan didn't
      know how that had gotten there.

      Scott walked in just as Logan put down his last card
      in a dramatic flourish.

      �Full House,� Logan announced. He looked up to see
      Scott watching a very unstable Gambit.

      �I'm now the proud owner of some prime swamp real
      estate.� Logan said to Scott.

      Gambit moaned in dismay. Grabbing the offending cards,
      he began reshuffling them.

      �Still medicated, huh?� Scott asked wearily.

      �Ya' can tell Beast that I'm thoroughly enjoying my
      babysitting stint,� Logan replied. Whether he was in
      jest or not, Scott couldn't tell.

      �When is Beast going to cut his medication?�

      �Hopefully not before I've won his Bourbon supply.�
      Logan mumbled. Logan strained to see what Scott was
      carrying in his hands. Tearing his eyes from the
      overly drugged Cajun, Scott coughed and cleared his
      throat.

      �This is for you,� He tossed a mottled blue envelope
      at Logan and then started to toss one to Gambit, but
      had second thoughts. He neatly tucked Gambit�s into
      his shirt pocket.

      �We all got one; Jean, myself, Ororo, Gambit, Marie,
      Kitty, Jubilee, Beast and you,� Scott counted, ticking
      the names off on his fingers. �They came in the post
      this morning.�

      Logan looked at the envelope as Scott started to
      leave. �I'm going to talk to Beast about Gambit. You
      better tell Jean if you�re going or not so she can
      confirm.�

      Logan waited for Scott's footsteps to fade before he
      looked back at the TV screen. He swore lightly when he
      realized he�d missed a score. Fingering the envelope
      he extended a claw and tore it open along the top.
      Gambit mumbled something about Logan cheating and
      began to play solitaire.

      It was an invite� from Robyn. Strange to say, but he
      had sorta missed the girl.

      The invitation was written on silver-blue paper in
      black with a hand forced into neatness. Logan smiled
      at the effort. Reading past the time, date and place,
      which was a week away at Robyn�s new house, Logan
      lifted his eyebrow at the last detail. It was a
      'Braai' party????

      �A what?� Logan uncurled himself. Getting up, he
      flicked the channel to a nature documentary for Gambit
      on gators and strode away to find Jean.
      ___________________________________________________________________

      Robyn knelt down by the counter cupboards and moved
      various appliances aside. Two pairs of bare legs,
      probably belonged to Kitty and Jubes, charged past her
      leaving soggy trails behind. A few seconds later a
      large splash came from the pool followed by shrieks,
      laughter, and a loud �HEY! Watch it!!� from Logan.
      This was followed by even more laughter.

      Another pair of wet legs wandered into her line of
      vision as she closed the doors and started to stand
      up. Corri stood in front of her, dripping water
      everywhere and grinning like a fool.

      �This was a fantastic idea, Rob,� she said offering
      her hand to help Robyn up.

      When they had bought this house just over a week ago,
      using their combined money, they had instantly agreed
      on the idea of a house warming. Later they had almost
      cried in frustration and home sickness when they had
      concluded that there was no way on earth that they
      would invite their stuck up and stuffy office
      co-workers into their home for a celebration.

      Then Robyn suggested inviting the X-Men. Of course,
      she hadn't worded it like that. It was more along the
      lines of the people she had met from the air crash.
      Corri had agreed that it was a great idea. She already
      knew from Robyn�s stories that they were a bunch of
      twenty-something mutants (some maybe a bit older.)
      Wait till the new neighbors heard.

      Robyn truthfully hadn't expected a response like the
      one she received. She didn�t know that the X-Men did
      not get invites for political balls and
      save-the-earth-showdowns. And of course, they had
      never been invited to a house warming/pool party/BBQ
      given by non-mutants. Those types of events were
      usually private family events on Xavier�s estate. So,
      of course, they jumped at the chance to come.

      Robyn grinned back at Corri and looked out the sliding
      doors to the pool. It was full of bobbing heads and
      flailing limbs. On the patio were sun tanning bodies
      and a very large, blue, hairy guy who insisted that he
      would clog the filter if he so much as looked in to
      the water. Scott had then replied that if Logan could
      get in the pool then why couldn't Beast?� Beast then
      immediately ended up being the first one in the pool
      as Logan grinned from ear to ear.

      Corri looked at Robyn, �Still haven't found the forks,
      huh?�

      Robyn looked sheepish, and she turned away from the
      organized chaos outside as Storm made a funnel of
      water to shoot Gambit into the pool.

      �I just don't know where they are. Think we maybe
      forgot them back in the apartment?�

      �Please!� said Corri holding up her hand. �Don't get
      another paranoia attack. We left NOTHING behind,
      especially the marshmallow forks. Way too important to
      be forgotten.�

      �You�re right, but what we do now for desert? The fire
      will die down soon if we don't get hold of some
      forks.�

      Marie had just walked past the two roommates and
      paused to listen in. Robyn stopped talking and smiled
      at her. She couldn't notice the body stocking. One
      thing she had been worried about was Marie not
      swimming and feeling left out, but apparently Logan
      had persuaded her into taking Jean and Storm�s advice.
      Marie wore a two-piece bathing suit over a skin-like
      body glove.

      �What's the problem?� Marie asked.

      �We can�t find the marshmallow forks.�

      �Oh�� Marie looked outside to watch Logan's hand sneak
      out of the pool and grab Jean�s ankle dragging her
      back in the water. Jean yelped in indignity so Scott
      dived in and dragged Logan under the water. Logan's
      head shot out of the water and as he pushed Scott
      under Gambit and Kitty jumped in to join the fray.

      �Ya' know, Ah never thought he would be able to do
      that.�

      Corri looked confused. �Do what?�

      �Swim,� Marie answered.

      �Who can�t swim?� asked Robyn as her mind drifted back
      into the conversation after admiring the X- Men
      bathing suits� and contents there of.

      �Logan. Well, apparently he can swim, but Ah always
      figured he would be too heavy to actually swim, you
      know,� Marie replied.

      �Well, he does keep away from the deep end,� Corri
      observed. She took a double take at Marie and looked
      confused again. �What do you mean, too heavy?�

      �Oh! You don't know� ahhh, well� It goes sorta like
      this�� Marie explained Logan to the two girls. Robyn
      now fully understood Logan's claws and Corri oh-ing
      and really-ing like a kid in school. Just as Marie got
      to an interesting bit about Logan's self defense
      classes, the man himself walked in.

      Marie spluttered in mid-sentence and changed the topic
      into the bathroom tiles that were a �Oh so stunning
      blue.�' The three young women tried to ignore the
      dripping Logan standing in the kitchen.

      Logan instantly categorized Robyn�s Aussie roommate
      into �Kitty, Jubilee and other assorted annoyances,�
      as she stared at him unabashedly from the corner of
      her eye.

      He pointed at the fridge. �I just came to getta beer.�


      Now it was Robyn�s turn to stare at him. Black baggy
      shorts, hair slicked back by the water, body
      glistening and dripping all over the bricks outside on
      the patio. The funniest thing was that he didn't come
      in to the house because he was too polite to get the
      floor wet.

      �You can come in. Don't worry about the water,� Corri
      broke her stare as she invited him in.

      He strolled in casting a puzzled look at the girls.
      Opening the fridge, he grabbed two beers and some ice.
      He opened one beer immediately and after taking a long
      gulp, he went right back out again. Gambit, who was
      laying in the sun on the grass, began screaming in
      French which instantly informed the girls what Logan
      had done with the ice.

      Watching the doorway where he had just passed, Marie
      was gripped all of a sudden by one of the funniest
      ideas she had ever had.
      ___________________________________________________________________

      Logan awoke under the tree with a dog's head in his
      lap and three young ladies staring at him. He opened
      one eye wearily and then the next. He cocked an
      eyebrow when the three just continued to stand there
      and stare.

      �Enjoying the view?�

      Marie burst out laughing as the other two girls had
      the decency to look away. Robyn actually blushed
      slightly.

      On the other side of the pool, Kitty, Jubes and Gambit
      watched as the three girls surrounded Logan and woke
      him up. By the end of their brief conversation, Jean,
      Storm and Beast who had been laying nearby the tree
      were laughing in hysteria as the three girls seemed to
      be pleading with Logan. Scott walked up to Gambit and
      knelt down.

      �What dey up to, mon ami?� Remy asked.

      Just at that moment Logan jumped up and banged his
      head on a low branch and his indignant yelp of
      �OWWWW!� was heard on the other side of the pool.

      �Gambit don' know wha� Marie up to, but Logan sure be
      looking worried,� the Cajun observed.
      ___________________________________________________________________

      As evening fell, the X-Men sat around the patio
      enjoying the night, the stars, the moon and the sight
      of the once proud Wolverine toasting marshmallows on
      the end of his claws.

      THE END
      ___________________________________________________________________


      AUTHOR'S NOTE:

      Castle Lager, Rhodesian Ridge Backs, Cape Town, and
      South Africans with curly, brown hair do really exist.

      A �Braai� is what we call a BBQ.






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