Revised Header in Part 2
* * *
Scott watched Logan quickly dispatch several drones, and then start on everything in reach, including some of the flyers which were supposed to be his. �What the fuck is he doing?�
Scott sputtered as the other man took out a holographic warrior and a flying Standard Defensive Tactical Drone � SDD - in a two fisted swipe. The more Logan did, the angrier Scott got. �Logan back off!� he shouted over the din.
Seeing no real change, Scott went ballistic. With everything else going on, he didn�t need the team to think he couldn�t carry his own weight. He�d be damned before he let that happen. �Logan, fuck off!� he shouted directly at the man.
Distracted, he didn�t see the SDD until it was too late.
* * *
Wired and distraught, it was so easy to let his amina slip into action, to let the beast loose. to free his worries for a few minutes. The Danger Room was the only place he could safely let go anymore.
Deep in the groove, he was taking out enemies left and right. He could smell the ozone from Storm�s lightning and hear the blunt explosions of Scott�s bursts. Double handing enemies, he began to press forward. His blood sang and a warrior's rumble echoed in his throat.
It wasn�t until he heard Jean�s panicked shout, the he had any idea just how far he�d slipped. With one final tremendous thrust, he cleared his field and spun to see a flyer about to slam into Scott. Red faced and moving toward him, the man didn�t see the SDD until it was too late to fire. He was going to get nailed.
�Scott!� Logan yelled as he launched himself toward the man, knowing full well that he was much too late.
And instant later, Scott hit the deck unharmed. The SDD had impacted inches from his head against one of Jean�s hastily thrown telekinetic bubbles. Shaken but unbloodied, Scott stared daggers at him.
Logan had no idea what to say. It was his fault. He�d let go, gone too deep, and he�d almost hurt the man he�d do anything for.
Scott�s expression was like fire and ice as he spurned Logan�s proffered hand. His heart nearly shattered at the expression he was given.
Yes, he�d do anything for Scott. Even leave.
* * *
It had taken a moment to be sure than his visor hadn�t cracked. By the time he could safely open his eyes, Logan was within arms reach. What the hell was he thinking?
Jean called the computer simulation to a halt as he got to his feet, ignoring the other man�s hand. IN the back of his mind, he knew he should have been paying attention. He knew the SDDs would do that sometimes; after all he�d programmed them. But staggering from the concussive blast, Scott�s last shred of control went out the window, and Logan was the easiest target.
Scarlet with fury and humiliation, Scott almost screamed, �What in the hell did you think you were doing? I don�t need you to fucking take care of me. Back the hell off, Logan!�
Logan looked back at him, face ashen to begin with, and the older man recoiling at his words, but he was just too angry for it to register.
�Scott, I�m sorry, it was all my�� Logan apologized, sounding utterly flustered.
�You�re damn right, it was. You could have fucking *killed* me�
�I just�� the older man choked, face ashen. Had he slipped too deep and made this happen?
�You just what? Where the hell is your head?�
Logan�s expression darkened, the scowl ominous, as he moved right up into Scott�s face. He suddenly knew he'd been in control, even if he was on the edge. In a low and deadly voice, he whispered, �Like the rest of me, my head was trying to deal with *you*.�
Scott could feel his breath on his face as the look in the other man�s eyes switched to anguish and back to anger.
Louder and angrier, the Canadian continued. �I�ll tell you what Summers, I�m sick of waiting around for you to snap out of it and act like a man in stead of a kid. That baggage has got to be damn heavy after all of this time.�
Shock dulled Scott�s anger. Did he know? �Fuck,� he thought, stunned. Scott Summers just stood there and watched the spectacle of Logan�s fury. Standing stock still, the older man simply radiated fury. His hands flexed and fisted, and he wore a look that Scott had never seen. A long moment passed where the man just glowered, thoughts clearly roiling in his head.
�I. Can�t. Take this,� Logan ground out, punching the air just in front of Scott�s chest with blunt, squarish fingers. �Not even from you.�
Scott simply stood shell shocked as Logan spun on his heel and moved like a ghost to the door � fists clenched, but shoulders strangely slumped.
�I�m outta here,� he muttered to the dead silent room.
* * *
Furious, Logan passed like the wind from the room. He�d said it and he�d meant it.
Logan knew he screwed up. Between his performance in the hallway and now royally fucking up in the danger room, there was really no chance of anything. There had never really been a chance for Jeannie; now there was no chance for Scott. There wasn't really even a chance to even stay anymore.
No respect, no mate, no home.
Right now, he�d do anything not to give a damn. Anything.
Why couldn�t he just be normal? Control his temper? Why couldn�t he sit still, sleep through the night?
Loser. Loner. Mutie. Freak.
Why couldn�t he just remember? It was those fuckers at Alkali Lake. They�d given him the blades, but they took everything else. Why, God, why?
He wanted to scream, to beat something, to destroy everything like they destroyed him.
With his control lost in a sea of emotion, his anima truly slipped free.
* * *
A full minute passed before Scott moved. He had just stood staring at the door, not knowing what to think or how to feel. The room was utterly still, silent despite the other occupants. Scott glanced over to see Jean looking at him with a stunning mix of worry and anger. Their link was virtually silent, and that hurt even more than the look.
He glanced sideways. Aurora just looked freaked out; his own state of mind was seemingly reflected on her face.
�What am I doing?� he asked himself. In a matter of seconds, he had managed to destroy everything, and he had no idea what to do about it or even if he should. The one thing he did know, however, was that he just couldn�t stand there another second.
A fast glance around the room, told him everything he needed to know. They knew. They knew about him, they knew about Logan, they what a colossal fuck up he was.
Poser. Hypocrit. Whore.
His world was crashing and he couldn�t breathe. He had to get out of there. �FUCK!� he shouted at the world, as he almost ran toward the doors, Kevlar armor being stripped and thrown viciously as he went.
* * *
Scott was pacing in his room, alternately berating himself under his breath and staring out the window at the trees, when he received the message.
*Scott. Meet me in my office. Five minutes.*
�Fuck!� he shouted, not caring who heard. The echoes hadn�t yet died when he whispered, �What the hell is the matter with me?�
* * *
Aurora was waiting for him in the main hall, sitting quietly in a velvet upholstered chair. She hadn�t taken the time to change, and her leather uniform creaked slightly as she quickly got to her feat as she heard him approach. With a look that told him to expect rain, she reached over to take his hand. He was clearly struggling to not implode under the weight of his own guilt and misery as she softly asked, �Harimu, are you all right?�
Scott made a sick, sad snorting sound and his face twisted in remorse. �No.�
She squeezed his hand. �What are you going to do?�
�I dunno,� he confessed quietly, then nodded to the office door. �I�ve got to go.�
�I�ll be here later,� she whispered at she watched his haunted eyes turn away.
Scott entered the office without knocking.
* * *
Xavier was expecting him, and he adopted his usual position of power behind the desk.
He must have looked bad, because Charles� expression softened a little before it solidified back into a stony mask. He motioned for him to sit in a high backed chair across from him, and for a moment they sat in silence.
Charles quietly started the conversation. �Logan has left the building, and is out on the grounds. When and if he returns, I think it�s unlikely that he will stay.�
A pang of hurt and guilt stabbed through his gut, a dagger driven and twisted.
Xavier stopped for a moment, as if trying to come up with a way to say what he wanted to say. �Scott, we are all aware of that something is going on between the two of you.�
Scott looked up sharply, unable to disguise the anger flashing through him at the intrusion into his private life.
Xavier looked slightly annoyed at his reaction, and started again, more firmly with a clear note of displeasure. �It has been obvious since Logan returned that you have been avoiding him, ignoring him, and for the most part treating him terribly. I had hoped you would have worked this out by now. Scott, the children look at you to lead, and I need you to lead by example regardless of your personal feelings.�
Scott winced, knowing that he was guilty. He had never intended that it go this far. He hadn�t thought it possible, but Charles� disapproval made him feel even worse than he already did.
�Since I know that you share the philosophy of inclusion, respect, and tolerance that we teach at this school, I can only assume that this was a momentary lapse of reason.�
Scott sat in silence staring at his shoes, icy cold as the depth of his actions crashed down of him.
�I expect that you will take full responsibility for your actions and take appropriate steps to rectify this situation?�
Scott swallowed hard in misery, his face burning with cold fire. It took him a minute, but he finally managed to get the words out. �This is my fault. It is my problem, not Logan�s. He�s only been doing what he thought was right thing to do, and I�ve been a coward.� He felt the tears trail down his face, slowly working their way from under his visor, but he didn�t care. In a way, he knew that he was broken, almost as broken as he�d been when he arrived. But he was not the same person he was then, despite his actions. He simply ached, and he knew he had to fix this somehow � fix the gaping hole in his life and do anything he could to fix the hurt he�d caused Logan.
He drew and released a long breath before he spoke softly but firmly. �I promise I will do my best to fix this thing I�ve done. I don�t know how it will turn out. I�m afraid that it may be too late.�
He thought of the stallion on his dresser, and the fact that he just hadn�t been able to bring himself to destroy it.
�I�ll bring him back.�
* * *
*Charles, don�t you think you were a little hard on him,* Jean thought diplomatically at Xavier.
Xavier paused for a moment, the explained himself. There is a time in most people�s lives when they realize that they are not really the center of their universe, that the true center is rooted within, but found without. We all live and work in this interconnected symphony, and the choices we make and the paths that we follow have an impact on the paths of others, somewhat like planets in a solar system. Though Scott knows this intellectually, little that he has done lately has had any basis in intellect, but instead wholly in emotion.*
*I understand, but it�s so hard to watch him suffer, and on top of that, you were very hard on him. I�m worried.*
Charles could see the flickers of distress in her mental voice, and he tried to reassure her. *He lost his sun when you ended your relationship. It was understandable that he�s wandered for a time. Scott doesn�t do well alone, and it�s time for him to find a new star, as painful as that may be - for all of us.*
Jean mental voice sounded doubtful, but she could see the colors of sincerity and pain in his mental voice, *I hope you�re right, Professor.*
*And Jean,* Charles continued in a different, slightly lighter tone. *You might want to consider taking up� astronomy as well.*
* * *
It wasn�t hard for Scott to track down Logan � he just followed the trail of destruction. The damage inside was minimal, but it got worse as he moved across the grounds and into the woods. But the time he was far enough away to lose sight of the Mansion, he could hear the man in the distance, grunting and hacking at the brush.
Scott had seen Logan�s wild side in combat, and the sheer violence the man displayed actually frightened him deep down. He�d * never * used it outside a desperate combat situation, but he�d seen that dark streak in men when he was on the street. Intellectually, he knew he had nothing to fear � he could more than take care of himself in battle. Equally strongly and deep down, he knew that Logan would never intentionally hurt him. But the professor told him that Logan was nearly feral, and he really didn�t know what that really meant.
Scott trailed him up, higher in the property until he reached the highest point on the hill to the southwest of the Mansion. Suddenly, the noises stopped a Scott stopped and wondered. Hoping Logan was calming down, he waited for a few minutes.
The woods were virtually silent in the late afternoon sun, and Scott could feel the warmth on his face. Instinctively, he closed his eyes, turning toward it.
God, he had to fix this.
The air out in the woods was so clean, and though it was chilly, he could smell the earth, the leaves, and the acorns. It�d been a long time since he�d been out here. Too long.
Scott took another few seconds to gather some calm, and then he slowly made his way through the trees to where the noises stopped.
* * *
As he passed through the trees, he began to make out Logan�s dark form. The man was sitting on a hacked off stump amid a pile of wood chip. The scent of fresh cut cedar lay heavy in the air.
Still in his leathers, hair wild, and claws glinting, Logan was dark against the trees, a nature elemental encased in modern gear. His chest was still heaving, his eyes bright, but as Scott approached, they slid to him suspiciously, and the light there was filled with instinct instead of intellect.
Scott stopped, holding perfectly still. He wasn�t sure what to do; this Logan was not the one he recognized.
Logan�s eyes glinted for a moment, and then he was in motion, the shimmer of blades in the rapidly fading sun a streak through the air. Suddenly, the man was there, in his face, threatening with his eyes and stance.
Scott stopped breathing. For an instant he was right back on the streets, a dark man towering over him, threatening, demanding. He felt so helpless�
He * had * felt so helpless. Though fear was still washing through him, he steeled himself. This is Logan, and he was not some stupid kid. Slowly he released a breath, and tried to stay calm. Only a little tremor in his hand betrayed him.
A beat, then another, then Logan sniffed him. Slowly, the other man began to circle him, his eyes roving over him, sizing him up. Scott desperately wanted to bold as he slipped from his visor limited view.
He simply had to trust. He needed to believe that Logan was still Logan - the guy that pretty much cut his chest into shreds to free them at Liberty; the Logan that without a second thought sacrificed himself to save Marie; the Logan that carved the stallion from living wood.
Logan stopped behind him, and Scott could feel the heat pouring off the other man. Softly, he could hear the man scenting him, and then a shudder ran down his spine as his nose just brushed the back of his neck and slightly ruffled his hair. Scott�s flush of lust was as palpable as it was involuntary.
Then suddenly the SNIKT of claws being shielded rang though the air, and the other man was back to the stump. �Apparently, I passed the test,� Scott though with relief, and almost a sense of happiness.
�After all the shit I pulled, he can still forgive me,� he realized with a little awe. He certainly didn�t deserve it.
The Canadian was dimly studying the ground near his feet, shoulders hunched as he sat, distractedly rubbing his knuckles. Scott gave him a minute, noticing that his breathing was slowing and he seemed to be calmer.
�Logan,� he called softly. The other man looked up slowly, eyes still not really recognizing him. �Logan, I�m sorry.�
Wolverine grunted softly, but Scott wasn�t at all sure that he understood. Scott really didn�t know what to do, but he was tired and it might be a wait for Logan to come back to himself. The sun was setting and he couldn�t help but yawn.
Logan looked so lost, so defeated sitting there, he was actually worried that he�d wander off. There wasn�t way to get him to follow, that he was sure, so going back to the Mansion was not an option. He�d just have to wait.
Sitting down on the ground where he was, Scott�s mind began to drift. Logan�s expressions haunted him � the anger from the hallway, the expression of anguish from the Danger Room, and now the blankness of his disassociative withdrawal. Totally open, Logan still sat, simply breathing and toeing the woodchip, not even looking in his direction. Scott didn�t need to see his eyes to see the refection of his loneliness.
Slowly Scott got up and moved over to Logan, then sank back down on the woodchips and rested his back against the stump. Not quite touching, his left shoulder rested just off Logan�s right knee. He was so tired.
The fading light, the clean air, and the scent of the woods did their magic and Scott began to nod.
* * *
It was dark when Scott woke up. He was both cold and warm, and more than a little disoriented.
�Hey,� a deep voice sounded from just above him. Scott blinked a few times before realizing that he�d fallen asleep while he was supposed to be watching Logan. Not that the an had a chance to get away � Scott had seemed to have been resting his head on this wide thigh and had wrapped an arm around his leg for warmth.
�Uh, ung�� he started, releasing his grip on the other man and sitting up quickly. A little embarrassed, he looked around. It was dark, and he had no idea how much time had passed.
Logan chuckled from the near dark above him as he stretched his leg. The moon hadn�t risen yet, and they sat in the starlight.
�Logan, I� I�m sorry.� Scott didn�t even know how to begin to explain just how sorry he was for what he had done.
�I know,� the older man told him, with a little sadness bleeding into his voice.
They sat quietly for a few minutes, just absorbing the sounds. An owl hooted from back toward the Mansion. For Scott the silence suddenly became just too empty, the aching loneliness palpable, and he had to fill the space.
Slightly hoarse from emotion, he confessed, �You know, I�m sorry just isn�t good enough to make up for what I�ve done. I don�t� I don�t want you to leave.�
Logan didn�t say anything for a long time, and Scott began to panic a little. How can you ask for what you knew you didn�t deserve?
�Logan, please. We need you,� he pleaded very softly. He paused and swallowed. �I� I need you to stay.�
He hated the plaintive tone in his voice, but it was the truth. He really didn�t know what would happen of the Canadian was gone in the morning. The silence stretched again.
Scott twisted to face him, his conflicted expression just visible in the starlight. He swallowed, and then reached up to gently rest his hand on the older man�s thigh.
�I can�t promise anything,� he whispered, looking at his hand, �but I�ll try to make it different.�
Logan�s expression thawed a little, but he still didn�t speak.
�God, Logan, what do I have to do?�
Logan eyes finally came down to meet his, and they shimmered in the dim light. Soft, so soft he could barely hear the words, he said, �The silence. I can�t stand the silence between us.�
Scott�s eyes widened behind the visor, and the implications of that fully sunk in. The request was nothing, and it was everything. Could he do it? Could he let Logan in? Into his head? Into his life, even if it were just as a friend?
Scott sank back against the stump and thought. He couldn�t lie, and he didn�t want to. Did he trust Logan? Could he share things with a man like he had with Aurora? Like he had with Jean?
Casting his gaze out among trees, he could smell the cedar and he was sure.
Slowly he twisted back, laid his left arm over Logan�s thigh and leaned on him as he continued to scan the night.
(The Scott/Logan arc continues in Binary.)
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