Title: Bad Blood
Author: Crisis Kris (kmatwood@...
Summary: When Scott is injured, the power of Logan's blood is
revealed. But what will Magneto do when he finds out?
Disclaimer: The author has no copyright ownership of the characters
contained within, and no profit is being made from this story.
Notes: *emphasis*. Takes place after X2. Continues the storyline
established in Fight or Flight, but can be read separately.
Thanks to the Amazing Gaaak for another great beta job. Sincere
apologies to you, the reader, because I *still* can't figure out how
to get these things to wrap around properly.
Charles Xavier concentrated on the fight unfolding only a few miles
away, scowling. He supposed he should be grateful that Erik had
given them as much time as he did, but it was increasingly difficult
to feel anything but hate for the man. After all, this was his
friend' who had betrayed them all by giving away the secret of
Cerebro, setting in motion the events that had culminated in the
death of one of his most cherished students and colleagues, Dr. Jean
Grey. Still, he had to acknowledge that Erik had an honor system of
his own; three months had passed since Jean's death. Erik had
maintained an unspoken truce during a period of mourning.
He sighed, focusing again on what was happening out there with his X-
Men. It was safe to say that their period of mourning had been
The attack wasn't much more than a test, really. After they had
fled from Alkali Lake, Magneto had taken Mystique and Pyro back to
his fortress to recoup and plan the next move in their war. Erik
had no doubt that Charles would be off to see the President, and the
ensuing swing back to the left on the issue of mutant registration
freed up a lot of space for Erik to fill with his own plans for
mutant superiority. One significant obstacle always stood in his
way, however: his old friend Charles.
Pyro, eager to belong, had provided all kinds of information about
the school defenses that he could remember, the number of
there, what their mutations were. The only thing that remained was
to find out whether any of those details were in any way useful, and
the only way to do that was to plan a raid of the school. After a
long discussion, they had decided to use Pyro's memory of the
tunnels to investigate alternative ways into the school, thinking
that if they were able to access them undetected, Mystique might be
able to slip in unnoticed and do some more reconnaissance.
Unfortunately, Charles' mind had been remarkably free from grief
of late, and he detected Erik's presence long before they'd
progress through the tunnels. As a result, they'd been met by a
group of very ready and very angry X men, blocking their
entrance to the school, ready to fight.
The Iceman had started in with Pyro right away, and they canceled
each other out. Mystique was doing a great job of fighting it out
with Storm, but that left Magneto to try and deal with both Logan
and Scott. Much as he hated to acknowledge it, Magneto's powers
been significantly drained by his period of captivity, and he found
it straining to keep Logan stuck up against a wall; he had no energy
left to steal Scott's visor. This left Scott free to blast
he liked. Sensing he was outgunned, Magneto was about to signal the
retreat when he heard a fierce roar behind him.
"Well, well, well," he said with a chuckle. "Look
the pack." Mystique paused a moment to give the newcomer a sly
smile, while Logan nearly pulled his bones out of his skin in rage.
Sabretooth, however, chose Scott as his prey. This worked well for
Magneto; all he had to do was sit back and concentrate on not
letting Logan out.
Scott was a good fighter, but Sabretooth was a killer. Dodging the
blasts with catlike grace, he stalked up to the younger man and
"Look out!" Logan called helplessly, struggling. Scott
little too slowly and Sabretooth's claws sliced through his arm.
cried, falling to one knee. The beast kicked at him a few times to
get him moving, then resumed his game of cat and mouse.
Magneto threw his head back and laughed. He could feel Charles
rooting around in his mind, panicking, but he was too far away and
too weak to do anything about. The others were locked in battle and
couldn't come to the rescue, and the Wolverine in particular was
helpless and sputtering with rage. It was all too perfect
The next moment he gasped in shock and fell backward, his eyes
bugging out of his head. His lips flopped open and his veins bulged
in his head as he panted for breath. His control on Logan slipped
and faltered completely, and the Wolverine launched himself at
Sabretooth. Soon the two men were at it with a vengeance, claws and
blood everywhere. Rogue stepped up from behind Magneto, pulling her
left glove back on. "I think I hate that man," she remarked
soft southern accent. Then she hurried over to Scott's side.
The moment that Magneto fell, Mystique had stopped fighting. Storm
briefly considered frying her where she stood but in her mind she
felt Xavier forbid it. Sighing, she turned instead to Bobby, who
was still fire-and-icing it with Pyro. Taking a deep breath, Storm
sent a whirlwind of snow and ice Pyro's way and their combined
powers broke the deadlock. Pyro stumbled back, looked at everyone
with wide, shocked eyes, then turned tail and ran. Mystique
far behind, hauling Erik along with her.
That left Sabretooth and Logan, who didn't give any indication of
letting up any time soon. "Logan!" Storm called. He ignored
her. "We have to get Scott back to the mansion."
He paused for a brief moment, his claws hilt-deep in Sabretooth's
stomach. "So take him," he ordered, "I'm busy."
that opportunity to clobber Logan over the head and he stumbled
back. A second flashed by and they were at it again.
Storm sighed. "What *is* it with those two?" she wondered
rushing to Scott's side. Bobby was already there, pulling Scott
over his shoulders and grunting in exertion. Just then there was a
whirl of blue smoke as Kurt appeared beside them.
"Thank god you're here!" Storm exclaimed.
Kurt nodded. "I just returned." He'd been on a little
getting to know New York. Without further ado, he scooped Scott up
in his arms and teleported away. Storm spared one last glance back
at Logan and sighed. He was fighting for all he was worth, blood
and sweat and spit flying everywhere.
Rogue smiled uneasily beside her. "Do you think we should help
Storm considered it for a moment and then shook her head. "I
think he'll let himself get killed," she said.
Together with Bobby, they headed back home.
Scott was already downstairs in the medical lab when they got there,
Hank fussing over him. Charles Xavier sat near the doorway, looking
a little sad. Storm went to him immediately. "Will he be all
right?" she asked.
Hank was the one who answered. "His injuries are not severe, but
he's lost a lot of blood. He'll need a transfusion. What I
someone with B+ blood
" his voice trailed off as he started
through the medical files they had. "Ah, here's one.
"Yeah?" A gruff voice replied, and they all turned. Logan
the door, panting and bleeding, though they could already see his
wounds begin to heal themselves. Storm looked at him quizzically
and he answered her unspoken question. "Blue here figured I
shouldn't be left on my own. He brought me back."
Kurt smiled from behind the other man's shoulder. "He
well with others," he explained.
"So what do you need from me?" Logan returned the
its previous topic.
"You have the same blood type as Scott," Hank explained.
"I need to
give him a transfusion."
Logan was already rolling up his sleeve. "Take as much as you
bub," he replied. "It's not like I can't spare
Within minutes, the transfusion had been set up, and blood was
trickling out of Logan's arm through a complex maze of IV lines
various assorted medical contraptions and into Scott. Logan lay
back on the bed, woozy. After all that fighting, losing blood like
this was making him feel a little queasy. "All right there?"
"'S long as I don't have to move anytime soon," he
replied with a
weak smile. Hank chuckled.
"Not too much longer, I promise," he replied.
pressure is rising nicely and oh my stars!" The
prompted Logan to sit up and open his eyes, ignoring the dizziness.
"What is it?" he asked, turning to get a better look. Hank
aside to let him see. Scott lay on the bed beside him, unconscious
and pale, his uniform shirt torn and bloodied. "What? I
anything." Logan squinted, but he couldn't tell what the big
"Look at his face," Hank replied. "Look at the cut on
Logan complied. He understood immediately. Scott's face had been
badly torn by a couple of Sabretooth's claws. As they watched,
however, the cuts began to close up on their own, sealing off and
then disappearing, first into little white lines of scar tissue and
then into complete nothingness, as though the cuts had never even
existed. "He's healing at a greatly accelerated rate,"
Logan nodded. "Like me."
It wasn't too long before the entire group was reassembled in the
med lab. Scott's injuries were continuing to heal themselves, and
breathed easily under the sedation that Hank had first
administered. Charles Xavier watched him for a moment before
turning to the room's other patient. "Logan, how do you
Logan shrugged. As soon as Scott had started healing on his own,
Hank had ended the transfusion, which meant he wasn't losing any
more blood. His own wounds had healed quite a while ago.
he replied, mentally checking in with himself. "Just like
"It's fascinating," Hank broke in excitedly. "It
seems that Logan's
healing powers were transferred to Scott along with his blood!"
"That does make sense," Charles replied, thinking.
"After all, our
mutations are in our genes. We carry them at a cellular level."
"I wonder if all mutations are transferable," Rogue commented
Hank got a gleam in his eye.
"I'd have to do some experiments," he replied.
"Perhaps set up a
database to match blood types and set up some case studies. I am
presuming, of course, that the blood types must be a match for the
powers to be transferred, just as in any transfusion. Which means,
unfortunately, that Logan's healing powers can only be made
available to someone with B+ blood
"Good news for Scott," Storm broke in, and they all laughed.
Well, almost all. Logan tried to smile, but it came off as more of
a grimace. His eyes had taken on a downright haunted look as he
headed for the door. "Logan?" Bobby called back to him.
"Yeah," he grunted, not turning around. "Just want to
"Well make sure you come right back down," Hank instructed.
like to take some more blood samples from you. I wonder what would
happen if we used your skin for grafts?" Logan stiffened at the
idea and did not reply, walking quickly out of the room.
He paused for a moment outside the door, leaning on it and shutting
his eyes. `Air,' he thought. `I need some air.' It
hard to breath in here. Pushing off, he headed toward the garage,
thinking that a little bike ride might help him shake the sudden
chill that had come over him. Especially if he took Scott's
Back in the lab, Kurt was looking doubtfully at the doctor, who was
jabbering away about experiments and blood samples while they all
stood around and waited for Scott to wake up. "I don't think
wants to give you samples of his skin," he spoke up finally.
stopped mid-ramble and looked at him.
"What on earth do you mean?" he asked, genuinely confused.
more than happy to donate blood."
"That's different," Kurt responded. "That was for
"Yeah, that's a good point," Rogue joined the
gets a little freaky about the idea of medical experiments with
good reason, believe me. He's been in my head, so I've seen
dreams." She shuddered.
"I didn't realize," Hank apologized. "I should have
read his file
more carefully." His expressive face drooped with remorse.
"It's all right," Storm reassured him. "You had no
real reason to
look at his file before now I mean think about it, when do you
ever see him? He heals himself." Hank looked at her doubtfully,
Kurt was less concerned about Hank than about Logan. "I
he was too happy when he left here."
"He did look a little pale," Bobby confirmed. "Maybe
go check on him."
Kurt nodded and turned to leave when Charles' voice stopped
him. "It's too late," he whispered. "He's
"What do you mean, gone?" Rogue demanded. "He's not
probably just took the bike out for a ride." She looked as
as she sounded. "Right, professor?"
Charles shook his head. "I'm afraid not," he replied.
happened I can see a fight
a dark place
I can't understand them. Something bad has happened."
Just then, a moan from the nearby bed distracted them. Scott sat
up, looking confused. "What's going on?" he asked.
at him in silence for a moment. Then they all started talking at
Logan rolled the bike down the driveway, mindful of the fact that
several of the younger students would already be sleeping. Once he
hit the road, he straddled it and kicked the engine into life. Ah,
better. With the wind whipping through his hair, alone on the open
road, he felt much better. Much safer. The med lab really creeped
him out sometimes, and that new doctor was a little too *clinical*
for his liking. Skin samples, ha! As if he was going to sit there
while some doctor carved him up in the name of science. He'd
already been through that once, in the name of war.
He revved the engine a little to chase the thoughts away, and was
distracted enough to miss the tree that swung toward the motorcycle
until it was too late. He swerved, but couldn't keep control of
bike; it spun out beneath him and he was thrown into the air,
landing unceremoniously in a nearby ditch. "Damn!" he swore,
pulling himself out of a puddle. Great. Not only had he dropped
the bike, he was now covered in mud. He stood, shaking himself off,
trying to get rid of the muck. That's when the large shape flew
of the trees behind him and landed on his back.
Logan staggered to his knees, then unsheathed his claws and stabbed
backwards. The other man evaded them, but had to give up his
position to do so, allowing Logan to spin on his heels to confront
his attacker. "God damn it," he hollered. "Didn't
you fucking die?"
"I heal quickly," Sabretooth replied, grinning.
"Apparently, so do
you. And here I was thinking I was something special." Logan
growled dangerously, but Sabretooth only smiled. "Now, now,
play nice." He feinted, and Logan lifted his claws to block,
leaving his belly open. With deceptive speed, Sabretooth ducked in
and slashed him across the abdomen.
It was hardly a deep cut. "That all you got?" Logan ground
"That's all I need," he replied. Logan looked at him,
before it hit him. He'd been drugged - and they had done it
No pansy ass human amount, he realized as he staggered to his knees,
his claws retracting against his will. No, Sabretooth had just put
enough drugs into his system to knock an elephant out, and it was
directly in his bloodstream must have been on Sabretooth's
Damn. His vision blurring, Logan lashed out at the other man, but
Sabretooth just skipped away and laughed again. After a moment,
Logan crashed down to the ground, his body too heavy to move. He
wasn't quite unconscious, but he was powerless to fight as
Sabretooth hefted him up over one shoulder and carried him across
the road to a truck, dumping him in the back and driving them both
It took Scott a few minutes to calm everybody down enough to piece
together what had happened. After hearing the complete story, one
voice at a time, he was able to find the missing
link. "Sabretooth's still out there," he swore.
"But that's impossible," Kurt replied. "I mean, he
was very badly
hurt when I went back for Logan
"Yeah, and a year ago, he fell off the Statue of Liberty,"
responded, "but here he was tonight, alive and well."
"Perhaps he has regenerative powers like Logan's," Hank
hypothesized. Scott cut him off with an impatient gesture.
"I don't care *why*," he replied. "My point is that
have been waiting for him. This means that Magneto's got him now.
We have to find him. Professor?"
Charles shook his head sadly. "I have not been successful in
locating Magneto's fortress," he said. "I wouldn't
even know where
to begin looking."
"Well, I do," A voice spoke up, and everybody turned to stare
Rogue. "What? He did live in my head for quite some time,"
defended at their stares.
"Could you direct us there?" Scott asked anxiously.
Rogue nodded. "I'm pretty sure," she replied.
"Good, let's go. Hank, you better come with us just in
"I'll be watching from Cerebro," Charles responded.
Logan woke by degrees, fighting off the heaviness of drug induced
sleep and trying to get oriented. "Hello, Wolverine," a
called out. Logan opened his eyes. Magneto stood before him,
plain and vulnerable. Logan's first instinct was to lash out; he
snarled when he realized that he could not. While Logan was
unconscious, Magneto had forced his claws to unsheathe, and his
hands were chained so tightly against the wall above his head that
he couldn't get them into any kind of angle that would allow him
claw out of his captivity. Magneto laughed. "Welcome," he
continued, his eyes glinting.
"What the fuck do you want?" Logan growled out in reply.
smiled even wider.
"Well, initially, all I wanted to do was capture the first X-Man
could, so that I had something Charles would be willing to bargain
over," he replied congenially. "And then, Mystique reported
from the security sweep she did of that precious little school.
From the helicopter, she saw an interesting sight all the
running out to the jet, presumably to come save you." He
on Logan, his face calculating. "And I mean *all* the X-Men.
Including your Cyclops. I was surprised; Sabretooth here really did
quite a number on him before that mangy little girl got her hands on
me. I wouldn't expect Mr. Summers to be capable of breathing on
own yet, let alone walking." He lifted Logan's chin and
straight in the eye. "In fact, it seemed eerily reminiscent of
"I don't know what you're talking about," Logan
angrily. "He was in the med lab the last I saw him."
"Of course he was," Magneto replied. "At any rate, I
formulate an idea in my head. Your fearless leader no doubt lost a
lot of blood. Perhaps he needed a transfusion. Perhaps when
mutants give blood, they also give a little more of themselves,
Logan tried to look as indifferent as possible. "I wouldn't
anything about that," he replied.
Magneto's smile turned nasty. "At least, not that you
responded. Logan stared at him in surprise, but the other man had
returned to his original train of thought. "Of course, I had to
experiment, to find out for myself if my theory was correct. At
first I had hoped to transfer your powers to myself, but alas, it
turns out we are not the same blood type. Sabretooth over here is
B+, but I figured that wouldn't do me any good, since he seems to
have regenerative powers of his own. Mystique's mutation, by its
very nature, allows her to mimic other's powers, so she was out.
Fortunately, my new initiate, Pyro, has O- blood. A universal
donor, if I remember my basic first aid." He shrugged a little.
was quite pleased with the results of my experiment."
As if on cue, Pyro held up his lighter toward Magneto, flicking it
to create a flame. Magneto caught the fire up in one hand, twirling
it around before sending it flying at the wall next to Logan's
head. "I don't have nearly enough power to do anything of
consequence, though I imagine it's quite a different story when
blood types are a match." He stalked closer to Logan, his eyes
deadly serious. "And then I thought, what would happen if I gave
mutant with accelerated healing powers and superhuman strength the
powers of another mutant with the exact same gifts? Why, he'd
become unstoppable." From the corner of the room, Sabretooth
growled, smiling. "And then I thought," Magneto continued
quietly, "What a fabulous idea."
"What are you planning to do, Magneto?" Logan twisted in his
trying to find some weakness in them. His eyes widened
involuntarily as Magneto withdrew a syringe.
"Why, exactly what you fear I will, Logan," he replied.
The tension on the jet was thick enough to be tangible. Storm
guided them through the cloud cover that had settled over New York,
while Scott navigated with Rogue's assistance. All three were
faced, and Rogue's eyes were red and puffy, like she was trying
hard not to cry.
Scott tried to be patient with her as she stumbled through the
disjointed memories of Magneto that she carried in her head, but it
was difficult when he was so wrapped up in his own feelings. Logan
had become and important member of his team. He wasn't quite
to call the gruff man a friend yet, but he couldn't deny that he
held some affection for the man, and he definitely harboured a
healthy dose of guilt for what had happened back in the tunnels.
Before they'd left, Charles had taken him aside and explained
there had been no way to predict Sabretooth's return, but Scott
that he'd been out of the game too long, mourning for Jeannie.
There had been a point where the animal would have never gotten that
close, and if he hadn't gotten hurt then Logan wouldn't have
to give blood, and they could all be living in safe, blissful
ignorance at home right now.
"I think we need to head a little more south," Rogue
thoughts in a slightly apologetic tone. "This doesn't seem
"Okay, south." He replied, biting back the urge to mention
only a few minutes ago, she had directed them north. Rogue
need to hear it to know what he was thinking, however.
"I'm sorry," she said. "It's not like I have a
memory of him
looking at a map."
"It's okay," he reassured her, turning in his seat and
himself to smile. He was glad for the visor for once, because he
knew that if she could see his eyes, she'd have seen that he was
lying about his frustration. "You're doing your best."
her gloved hand gently, remembering something Logan had said about
Rogue needing to be touched when she was uncertain. Indeed, the
young woman seemed to brighten, standing up a little taller.
Behind them, strapped into their seats, Bobby and Kurt sat quietly,
staring off into space. Logan was important to both of them; Bobby
needed a role model and Logan had always been there to listen to
him, to rebuild his confidence, to assure him that Rogue loved him
and that if they couldn't kiss or touch, it wasn't because he
a good enough man for her. Others had told him this too, but when
it came from Logan, it came with the Big Brother Seal of Approval,
as Rogue put it, because Logan would protect Rogue with his life,
and he trusted Bobby with hers. Kurt was thinking that in the three
short months since he'd joined the X-Men, Logan had quickly
his closest friend. Even among the oddball mix of people they lived
with, they were outsiders, having spent their lives on the fringes
of society (different fringes, mind you), and they had fallen into
some sort of unspoken understanding that left a hollow space in his
chest if he thought for too long about something happening to the
At the rear of the plane, Hank was busily setting up a make-shift
medical bay. He had no idea what kind of emergency to plan for, but
he'd brought as many things as he could think of and
file. There was no way he was going to make any kind of mistake
with the man again.
Scott spared a look back at the rest of the team. Everyone was
focused, ready. Now all they had to do was find the place. He was
just cursing their luck in his mind for the hundredth time when
Rogue took a breath and said, "There. It's that way.
Scott looked up at her. "Are you sure?" he asked, finally
voice a little doubt.
Rogue nodded, smiling. "Absolutely," she replied. "I can
clear as day." Storm gunned a little more speed out of the
dropping into stealth mode.
When Mystique reported that the X-Jet had been spotted, Magneto let
out a string of curses that would have made a sailor blush.
temper, temper," Logan laughed from the wall, where he'd been
into a human blood bank. An IV dripped down from his left arm,
steadily pumping out blood. He could already feel his healing
factor lag behind in replacing it; he wouldn't be able to keep
Magneto snarled out orders to lock the fortress down. "Now that
seemed eerily reminiscent of me," Logan continued to taunt.
the matter, Mags? Not feeling up to stopping a big honking chunk of
flying *metal* today?"
With a wordless cry, Magneto flung one of his hands toward the other
man, and Logan felt the Adamantium on his bones sit up and listen,
trying to pull through his skin towards Magneto's fingers. Logan
laughed to stifle his howl of pain. "Better save your
managed to gasp out. The older man looked ready to kill, but Pyro
appeared at that moment and defused the situation.
"They're here," the young man said, breathless. "We
help." With a final rage-filled glare, Magneto turned on his
Once he was alone, Logan acknowledged to himself that a man with a
metal skeleton would do well not to harass a human magnet, but he
hadn't been able to contain himself. Besides, he'd noticed
the school that Magneto's powers weren't what they used to
he had a little theory. In his experience, when strength wavered,
so did control. He wiggled his wrists. Sure enough, when Magneto
had focused his power on Logan's skeleton, some of that energy
affected the metal chains he was wrapped up in. He had enough room
to retract his claws. Once he had done that, he had enough room
(now that his hands weren't, effectively, more than a foot long),
twist them around, so he could put his palms down flat against the
wall. Then he unsheathed his claws once more, and they sprung into
the cement behind them. Ignoring the pain the twist created in his
arms, he yanked his claws down behind his head, breaking the wall
apart. The chain that had moments ago been bolted into the wall
fell away uselessly. Once those were gone, he was able to free
himself easily from the rest of his bonds. He pulled the IV out of
his arm and stalked away, ready to join the fight.
It wasn't difficult to find; Logan just followed the noise
the maze of tunnels, creeping up on a large room. At the far end,
he could see Magneto and his Brotherhood locked in battle with the X-
Men. Logan silently unsheathed his claws, crouching low. He was
the element of surprise, and he intended to use that to its full
Scott had formed a plan as they came up to the entry way. The
Iceman would neutralize Pyro and try to defeat him if possible.
Storm and Hank would tag team Mystique, an enemy who had proven her
fighting power. Kurt had two jobs. First, he had get close enough
to Magneto to teleport him back through the tunnel to Rogue, who had
orders to knock him on his ass and keep him there, through whatever
means necessary. Second, Kurt was to get around the fighting, find
Logan, and get him back to the Jet. Scott himself had plans for
The Brotherhood was waiting for them as they came up to the end of
the tunnel, and the X-Men launched into their plan wordlessly. At
first, it seemed that it would go off without a hitch; Bobby had
been practicing and quickly took the upper hand with Pyro, while
Hank and Storm's approach with Mystique seemed to be steadily
wearing her down. Kurt had moved quickly to teleport Magneto, but
after that, things started to fall apart. When Rogue reached for
the older man, he surprised them all: he lit a match and threw a
*fireball* at her. It wasn't a big one, but it was enough for
to stumble back in shock and pain, and that gave Magneto enough time
to turn around and focus his energies on Scott's visor, which
tearing painfully off his face.
Fortunately, Kurt thought quickly, teleporting to Scott's side.
He'd squeezed his eyes shut as soon as the visor had gone. Kurt
grabbed him by the shoulders and spun him around. "Now!" He
shouted. "Open your eyes!" Scott obeyed, and sent a full
blast straight into Sabretooth's stomach as the other man was
advancing on him. "Close!" Kurt turned him again. "Now
Scott surrendered control to the other man. He would be the weapon,
and let Kurt do the yielding.
Mystique was unable to break free from the double onslaught she
faced, so no one was there to help Magneto when Rogue recovered her
balance and threw her hands around his neck, squeezing so hard that
she might have made progress in killing him even without her mutant
powers. He fought her off, staggering, but lost control of the
visor in the process; it went clattering to the ground. Storm
paused for a moment to kick it over to Kurt, who picked it up and
handed it back to Cyclops. He slid it back on over his eyes,
The grin faded, however, when he saw what lay before him.
Sabretooth, having received two full-strength blasts from
eyes, was getting up to his feet, barely breathing heavily. "How
that possible?" Kurt muttered in his ear. From behind them,
"You think you are the only scientists?" She replied,
thrust from the Beast. She had taken Storm's shape and was
weather with weather on one side, while using her martial arts skill
to the maximum to keep the doctor away.
Her comment brought Hank up short. "Logan's blood!" He
cried. "They must have figured out its properties. They must
given it to Sabretooth!" His assessment was correct, but his
was costly. Mystique managed to land a blow on the back of his
head, knocking him down, giving her an escape route. Ignoring her
compatriots, she leapt over Scott and Kurt's heads, dodged around
Sabretooth, and headed down one of the tunnels beyond.
A few seconds later, her body came sailing back through the room,
crashing unceremoniously into Sabretooth, followed by a roaring
Logan, claws fully extended. He landed on the two of them, slashing
for all he was worth, and they rolled away in a fine mess. Everyone
stared for a moment, and then Logan's head surfaced and he
shouted, "You planning to gawk, or help?" And they surged
action. Hank was sent back to Rogue to ensure Magneto was secure,
and Storm gave Bobby the extra oomph he needed to encase Pyro in a
thick shield of ice. Mystique's body came flying out of the
at that moment, landing at their feet, bloody and breathless. This
time, Xavier be damned, Storm did fry her, watching in satisfaction
as the body twitched at her feet.
That left, as usual, only Logan and Sabretooth. This time, however,
Logan wasn't smiling as he slashed, enjoying the fight. Instead,
was steadily losing ground under Sabretooth's vicious attack.
going to kill you, runt," the big cat promised, growling.
"I'd like to see you try," Logan growled back, but it was
he was at a disadvantage; Sabretooth was fighting with enhanced
strength, while Logan was lagging from the blood loss he'd
suffered. Scott tried to get a good shot in, but they were locked
in a fierce embrace, hacking and slashing at each other without
"Damn it!" Scott howled. "Logan, get back!" He
raised his hand to
his visor, prepared to blast them both, but a hand on his arm
stopped him. Hank had come up from behind.
"I don't know if he'd survive it, Scott," The doctor
quietly. They watched, helpless, as Logan slid to his knees, barely
blocking Sabretooth's claws as they came tearing down from above.
Around them the X-men surged forward, and then paused, trying to
figure out how to help.
Then Bobby came over, a little lightheaded from exertion. He'd
finished encasing Mystique and Magneto in similar little ice
fortresses, keeping everyone nicely disarmed. He turned to
Hank. "Would freezing him hurt him?" he asked. Hank
"I shouldn't think so," he replied after a moment. Bobby
immediately lashed out, sending a stream of ice crystals toward the
two men. He was too tired to fully encase them, so he concentrated
on the floor instead, creating a skating rink under their feet.
Sabretooth slipped and fell on his ass, giving Logan a moment to
crawl away. In a flash, Kurt had teleported beside him, picked up
his friend, and teleported him out of danger. Scott's hand leapt
to his visor and he blasted Sabretooth for all he was worth, again
and again, until the other man wasn't getting up anymore. Storm
finished the round off with a bolt of lightning for good measure.
"Let's get the hell out of here," she said, turning on
"Wait," Logan called. He was sitting on the floor, leaning
against the doctor. He struggled to his feet. "That won't
out for long," he continued, indicating Sabretooth.
"I know. That's why we have to get out of here," Storm
"No. We have to lock them up first," Logan took a steadying
and then limped over to where Sabretooth was lying prone. He leaned
over, his face a mask of pain, and pulled the heavy body onto his
shoulders. "There are cells on the east side, not far from here.
We need to get them in there, come on."
The others stood doubtfully behind him. Summoning up the last of
his energy, Logan turned to glare at them. "Sorry, Logan,"
said, "But if Sabretooth really has super human strength, what
is going to hold him?"
"These are good cells," Logan replied. "They nearly held
"But you did get free."
Logan barked out a little laugh. "Yeah, well, I've got
claws," he reminded her. "Some things, you can't get
from a blood
transfusion." He turned on his heel and walked away, leaving the
others to hurry along behind.
Once the prisoners had been locked away, Kurt turned to his friend
and wrapped his arms around him. "Uh, Wagner, what are you
Logan started to ask, but before he could push away, Kurt had
teleported him back to the jet, where Rogue and Hank were
waiting. "Oh," Logan finished up, feeling a little dumb.
thought Kurt was *hugging* him.
Kurt laughed, helping him lay down on the makeshift medical bed.
know you are tough, my friend," he replied. "But I did not
was necessary for you to hurt any longer than you had to." He
patted Logan's shoulder and joined Rogue in the front of the
as the others trickled in.
Hank hunkered down beside his patient, his big blue face
apologetic. "Logan" he said hesitantly. "I feel a great
remorse for my callousness earlier. I would like you to know that I
would never perform any medical procedure on you that you didn't
fully consent to. *Never*."
Logan nodded. "Thanks."
The doctor nodded, seeming relieved. "Good. Now, that brings us
treatment options for you right now."
Logan held up a hand to interrupt. "If you don't mind, Doc,
rather just let my body heal itself. It won't take that
"Are you sure?" Hank's voice was skeptical, but there was
in his eye. "I mean, I could always give you a blood
It was quite late by the time that Charles was able to track Logan
down alone. The injured man had spent the first part of the evening
resting in his room and when he'd come down for supper, he'd
immediately surrounded by children demanding to know if he was all
right, begging him to tell them what had happened, just wanting to
be in his presence. Logan, with his usual gruff gentleness, had
accommodated them with a story, leaving out the truly nasty bits and
making everyone on the team sound like a hero in the process. After
that, he and Kurt had disappeared outside for a smoke, and when they
came back, Scott had grabbed Logan and dragged him down to the
garage. Everyone seemed to need to reassure themselves that he was
Finally, though, everyone was asleep in their rooms, and the mansion
was quiet. Xavier rolled through the halls, finally locating Logan
on the front porch, staring off into the night sky. "Hey,
he acknowledged softly, not turning around. They sat in silence for
"Do you want to talk about it?" Charles finally offered,
prepared to back off if he was asked to. To his surprise, though,
Logan nodded. Bit by bit, he was becoming more willing to open up.
"I've been thinkin' about Stryker's assistant, the
The one I killed."
Charles nodded in the dark. "Yuriko," he supplied.
"Yeah. I was I was wondering what her blood type was."
He took a
drag off his cigar, inhaling sharply. "I don't think
coincidence that Sabretooth's blood type was B+," he
continued. "I'd be willing to bet hers was too." He
so frustrating! Sabretooth seems to really, really hate me and
when he calls me runt, my blood boils in a way I can't explain.
It's not the way I feel about anyone else I'm fighting.
it's personal. And then this whole healing factor thing, with the
blood transfusions, and him being B+
well, maybe he's one of
Stryker's weapons as well. But I can't remember." He
head, clenching his fists.
Charles moved closer. "Logan, there's no way of knowing
Sabretooth's and Yuriko's healing abilities were a natural
their mutations, or whether they received blood from you in order to
create those abilities. That information is gone. It's at the
bottom of Alkali Lake. Yuriko is dead."
"He'd kill you before he told you anything."
Logan sighed, agitated. "I know that," he replied angrily.
*knows* something, Chuck. Somethin' that I can't remember.
Somethin' that I've spent the last sixteen years of my life
to find. It's hard to let that go."
"I know." There was nothing else for Charles to say.
and reassurances about how it was going to be okay weren't going
be appreciated by the Wolverine, and there was little comfort he
could offer. So instead, he just sat there, being present,
witnessing the pain and frustration and acknowledging the sorrow of
a man without a past.
They sat there for a long time; the sky was beginning to lighten
with the first signs of dawn when Logan shook himself free of his
thoughts and stood, stretching. "I can't figure out what
to me," he said softly. "But I do know what's ahead of
"Yes," Charles replied, reading his mind. "Another long,
school day." They laughed together, heading back inside, where
was warm, and safe.
or is it?