Alter-Eighteen: I'll Be Your Hero 1/2
- Title: Alter-Eighteen: I'll Be Your Hero
Disclaimer: Terri holds the patent on the Alter-Eighteen series. Marvel, Fox, etc own the rights to the characters we all mess with. I'm only playing with them long enough to leave my sticky fingerprints. Oh, you say you don't want them back?
Archive Rights: "Dolphin Haven", "Mutual Admiration" and any site with automatic rights or who already has my other stories.
Feedback: Second only to ice cream.
Summary: An AU take on events in the movie.
Special thanks to Terri for letting me play in her sandbox. She'd asked me about *guest* authoring an Alter-Eighteen, but I'd always balked. I mean we're talking about the inimitable Terri here! To say I was intimidated is an understatement. But Lateo and Victoria had blazed the trail for me and given me the confidence to dip my own toes into the sandbox. I hope you won't be disappointed in my contribution to such a wonderful series. To read other Alter-Eighteen's at Terri's site "The Peep Hut": http://xgrrl26.homestead.com/au18s.html
After eight months on the road I'd finally found a place to stay long enough to actually unpack. I had a job, a studio apartment and acquaintances that didn't ask questions I didn't want to answer anyway. I say acquaintances because they certainly weren't what I'd deem friends. Friends were people who cared about you, a trait I definitely couldn't assign to anyone I'd encountered in the last year. So I had those three things: job, place to live and acquaintances. Life was okay, not great, not bad, just okay and that worked for me. Unfortunately, my status quo was about to be shaken up. I'd had four months of relative peace and quiet and I don't know when I'd become complacent enough to think it would continue. *He* blew into my life like an unexpected storm - all thunder and turbulence, the kind of storm that trashed everything in its way and then blew out again, just as quickly, usually leaving behind a path of mass devastation for someone else to clean up.
It was a typical Saturday night at the bar where I was a waitress. The crowd was, in no particular order, rowdy, ugly and drunk. I'd fended off the usual butt pinchers and boob gropers. I'd caught a couple too cheap to spring for a motel room using the bathroom. Just your usual Saturday night at the Lion's Den. There was nothing out of the ordinary to warn me of the life changing events that would soon unfold.
It was already late in the evening when *he* strolled in looking for a fight and probably a fuck. I took one look at him and knew he'd get plenty of offers for both. He was not only the best looking man I'd ever seen walk into this dump, but probably the best looking man I'd ever seen period. When he stripped off his shirts to go into the cage I thought I'd puddle right then and there. I glanced over at Jack the bartender who pantomimed panting. I gave him the finger and stuck out my tongue.
The Wolverine, that was *his* name, quickly and effortlessly dispatched challenger after challenger. He actually looked kinda bored, as one moron after another seemed eager to part with their money. Between rounds I delivered shots of whiskey to him, he grunted at me and blatantly stared at my boobs. I'd bet he couldn't have told anyone what color my eyes were, if there'd been a gun to his head. I didn't figure him for a gentleman, but honestly, that was just a little rude.
After we'd closed and managed to flush everyone out, the Wolverine sauntered over to the bar to collect his winnings. I was sitting a few stools down counting my tips and sipping from a cup of decaf. He lit up a cigar, ordered a beer from Jack and glanced my way. I pretended not to notice, even when he kept glancing my way. When I looked up in time to catch him taking a peek, he winked at me lasciviously. Apparently he hadn't found anyone he considered fuckable and was under the impression that I might be willing to fill that particular void. Yeah, pal you're real hot looking and I bet you're a dynamo in the sack, but I'm not into being fucked and forgotten. It's not my life's ambition to be the latest notch on your bedpost. Sorry, pal, better luck next bar stool.
Jack asked me if I'd be willing to work for the next week at his friend, Bob's place up near Manning. One of Bob's regular waitresses had come down with the flu and he was desperate for help. Bob offered to pay me double my salary plus tips, too good of an opportunity to turn down. Jack's wife, Nancy said she'd cover for me while I was gone, so the deal was made. I went home to pack while Jack arranged for me to catch a ride with one of the truckers heading north.
When I got back to the bar, Jack pointed at my ride - the Wolverine. He had to be kidding. I turned to look at Jack, my mouth hanging agape, my eyes asking the obvious question.
"There wasn't anyone else left that was heading north, Rogue," Jack said almost apologetically then added, "besides, I think he kinda likes you."
I just groaned. Manning is three hours away, four if the weather isn't cooperating. Visions of what I'd like to spend all that extra money on suddenly not so appealing anymore. However, I'd already made the commitment to Bob and I liked to consider myself an honorable person. Jack gave me a wink and I jokingly mouthed the words "Fuck you" to him. The Wolverine gave me a thorough head-to-toe once over and smirked. The smug bastard actually smirked. I slung my duffel bag over my shoulder and reluctantly followed him outside. Jack is so dead when I get back.
The Wolverine's wheels were a broken down truck with a camper shell on the back.
"I bet I could jog faster than that thing moves," I teased.
"Hey, if you'd prefer to walk to Manning, by my guest, " the Wolverine growled at me.
"Sorry," I said, "didn't realize you were Mr. Sensitive." I wouldn't have pegged him for someone whose feelings got bruised easily. Go figure.
"Get in the truck and shut up, not necessarily in that order," he ordered. The hint of a smile at one corner of his mouth made me realize he was playing with me.
I couldn't decide whether I wanted to smack him or jump him. Yeah, this was gonna be an interesting trip for sure. Little did I know what an understatement that would turn out to be. I climbed in, fastened my seatbelt and we took off without further incident. We'd been driving for about an hour, neither of us saying a word, when my stomach growled, loud enough to disturb the uncomfortable silence.
"You don't have anything to eat, do you?"
He leaned over to the glove box, pulled out a bag of beef jerky and handed it to me.
"Thanks," I said politely before taking off my gloves and shoveling pieces of dehydrated beef into my mouth.
"I'm Rogue, by the way," I offered.
"Yeah, I know," he replied, "I read your nametag back at the Lion's Den."
Oh, right. Of course he'd noticed the nametag, it had been just above one of my boobs. Just then I noticed a dog tag hanging on a chain around his neck.
"Were you in the army? Doesn't...Doesn't that mean you were in the army?" I asked, attempting conversation.
He gave me a weird look and tucked the tag under his shirt. Fine, don't talk about it. I turned to look behind me into the camper. What a complete pit. Must have been the maid's year off.
"Wow," was all I could think to say.
"Suddenly my life doesn't look that bad."
"Changed your mind about walking to Manning?"
"Sorry," I said, trying to recover before he dumped me by the side of the road, "it looks great...it looks cozy." << Liar. >>
When he looked at me again, he noticed that I was rubbing my hands together. So he fiddled with a control on the dashboard and reached over to take my hand.
"Here, put your hands on the heater."
I jerked away from his outstretched hand, out of his reach.
I'm not gonna hurt you, kid."
"It's nothing personal. It's just that... when people touch my skin, something happens."
"What?" he asked curiously.
"I don't know. They just get hurt," I replied.
Yeah, sorry to ruin your plans, pal.
"So what kind of a name is Rogue"?
Okay, so now we're back to small talk. "I don't know. What kind of a name is Wolverine"?
"Marie." Why'd I tell him that?
"You know, you should wear your seat belt," I continued, seeing as we're playing nice.
"Look, kid. I don't need advice on auto safety from......
I was just about to interrupt him to let him know that his constantly referring to me as a kid was insulting, especially as I was fairly certain he'd fuck me given half an opportunity. You just don't call someone you wanna diddle, kid, it's just plain creepy. Unless he was some kind of pedophile that liked young girls to call him daddy in bed. Anyway, I never got the opportunity because a tree timbered over in front of us and we collided with it, sending my unseatbelted chauffeur flying through the windshield and about a hundred yards down the road. I reached to unlatch my own seatbelt, but it appeared to be jammed. Just then Logan stood up as if nothing had happened and walked toward the truck. He had a couple of open wounds on his face that healed right before my eyes.
"Kid, are you alright?" he called out to me.
"I'm stuck!" I screamed as I noticed the propane tank in the back of the camper had burst into flames.
He continued toward the truck, then suddenly stopped and sniffed the air. Whatever he smelled apparently wasn't friendly cause he unsheathed six lethal looking blades from between his knuckles. Great, I've been traveling with Ginsu Man, someone remind me to stay on his good side. From out of the trees to the right of the truck sprang this behemoth of a man with long blonde hair, claw-like nails, fangs, and no fashion sense. Either Halloween had come early to Alberta or this guy's a mutant. He picked Logan up and effortlessly tossed him into the nearest tree. When Logan stood up the guy grabbed him and flung him at the truck like a rag doll. Logan landed on the hood hard enough for it to knock him out cold. The weirdo was headed toward the truck, looking at me with way too much interest. Hey, good time to go comatose on me, Logan.
All of the sudden a large gust of wind appeared out of nowhere. Just down the road I saw two figures dressed in black. The wind was coming from their general direction. The missing link turned in the direction of the source of the mysterious weather pattern and dove for the trees just as a beam of red light flashed this way, barely missing him. The two figures approached the truck and I saw that they're both dressed in head to toe black leather. Kinky. The woman had long white hair and the man was wearing some type of weird visor. I suspected they weren't Jehovah's Witnesses. The woman opened the door of the truck, saw that I was struggling with the seatbelt, stepped aside and her companion blasted the buckle with a beam of red light from his visor. The woman then pulled me free and scooted me to the side of the road, while her friend dragged Logan off the hood and to safety just as the truck blew up.
The next few hours are a blur. I found myself taken by jet to a mansion I'm told was a school in Westchester, New York. I'd spent eight months traveling across Canada to get as far as Laughlin City and in a couple of hours I'm practically back to square one. Perfect. I'll have to call Jack and let him know what's happened, not that he has a private jet to come pick me up and take me back to Alberta, but it wouldn't be right to just not show up at Bob's place without explanation. What do I tell Jack? I've been kidnapped by a bunch of freaks? I've seen what blows through Laughlin City; Jack may not be so shocked by this little group.
I was shown into the office of Professor Charles Xavier, the founder of the school. Good, straight to the top. He can just instruct Mr. Red Eye Beam to get back in that nifty plane and take me right back to where he found me or preferably to Manning. I asked about Logan and was informed that he's in the medlab receiving the necessary medical attention. I'm also told that the resident physician, a Dr. Jean Grey had ordered no visitors. Already I don't like her.
The Professor is waving a sheet of paper at me as I sat down in front of his desk.
"This is a missing person's report," he explained.
So. Nobody's looking for me. Or so I thought.
"Yeah, and?" I replied.
"Your parents are very worried about you, Marie."
Shit. "I'm not a runaway," I informed him.
"According to this fax, your parents reported you missing from Meridian, Mississippi nearly a year ago. Are you going to sit there and tell me that you're not the Marie Frasier in this photograph?" he said as he flipped the paper over for me to see my own smiling face in my eleventh grade school picture staring back at me.
"I didn't run away, " I began to explain, "unless you defined having my bags packed, being given a few hundred bucks and told never to darken their doorstep again as running away."
"They reported you missing to the police. Why would they do that if they not only knew you were leaving, but were actually the ones to turn you out," The Professor questioned unbelievingly.
"For appearances. How would it look to the neighbors if they all knew they'd kicked me out? It was better to make me look the bad one. The ungrateful one. They could play the part of the distraught parents whose much-loved child had abandoned them, instead of the other way around."
"I've already been in contact with them and they informed me that because you'd run away several times, they'd been planning on putting you in a boarding school before you took off the last time."
"That's a lie."
"I've offered to let you stay here. We have many troubled children and we're quite well equipped to handle such situations."
"Well-equipped better include handcuffs, tranquilizer darts, and heavy-duty deadbolts, cause that's the only way you're gonna keep me here."
"Marie, I'm afraid you don't have any choice in the matter. Your parents are faxing over the documentation granting me legal guardianship."
I wasn't going back to Alberta. At least not anytime in the foreseeable future. Shit, Hell, and damn.
"I have someone I need to call in Canada. Someone who'll be worried when I don't show up where I was supposed to be. The big ape with the bad wardrobe and an attitude problem sorta changed my travel plans."
I'd just tell Jack that I'd be back as soon as I could formulate an escape plan. Logan didn't seem like the kind of person who'd wanna stay at this twisted version of the Holiday Inn either, so maybe he could sneak me out one night with him. Mr. Tall Dark and Gorgeous suddenly looked the better option right now. I was just gonna have to go down to that medlab and have a little talk with him, Dr. Grey's decree notwithstanding.
At the same time I was having my little chat with the Professor, Logan was lying on a bed in the medlab about to be felt up by Dr. Grey, who would turn out to be a major thorn in my side.
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