FIC: Which Doth Mock the Meat It Feeds On (Summers in a Sea of Glory, 5/10)
- I felt like Logan softened towards me after the day of
the zoo mission. I cant say we got back to where we
had been before we knew that the Phoenix had possessed
Jean, but things were better between us. He no longer
seemed to have this hot core of anger in him every
time he looked at me. And he wasnt avoiding me any
longer. When hed kissed me in the Danger Room,
pushed me to my knees to suck him, Id had a panicky
instant of wondering if that would be the last time
Id ever touch him. But it wasnt, not by a long
I was seeing him almost every night lately. Hed show
up in my room late, or wed meet in the Danger Room or
at the pool. For sex, for companionship. For love?
No, I dont think so. Not on his part, anyway. He
made that clear. I tried once more to tell him that I
loved him but he stopped me. I dont want to hear
that shit, he said. Thats not what me and you are
about. He set the boundaries, and I followed them, at
least with my actions, if not with my thoughts or my
feelings. I wanted what I could have with him. For
now, anyway, this was it.
But sometimes, just once in a while, hed say my name
in a way that seemed to mean something. Once in a
while hed come into the classroom during one of my
classes and sit there and listen, as if he just wanted
to be near me. Sometimes when hed stroke my hair
while I was sucking him his touch would feel loaded
with intent. Those were the times Id think there was
more to this than just sex. Once in a while Id think
he really needed me. But then Id talk myself out of
that, realize I was most likely projecting my own
feelings on him.
It was so much better than it had been, anyway. It
was a relief to have broken the tension between us, to
feel like we were together - as effective teammates,
friends, and occasional bedmates if not truly as
Charles noticed the difference. He didnt ask what
had happened and I dont think hed read my mind, but
he assumed Id brokered the peace between us and he
thanked me for it. We really do need Logan, hed
said to me when he and I were alone after a team
meeting. I realize hes not the easiest man to get
along with. It looks like you worked things out. Im
Im glad to be his friend again, Id replied.
Ironically, it was after Logan and I had achieved some
sort of détente that Cassandra warned me about him.
Shed been hesitant to say anything, it was clear.
Shed made an appointment to speak with me privately
but avoided talking about what was on her mind, going
on at length about the school and the team and her
plans for the future. I waited it out, knowing shed
speak when she was ready. Ive had a vision, she
said finally. I think you need to know. She looked
away and continued. Its blurry. That means it
wont happen for a while. Days, weeks I dont know.
But youre in it, and youre in danger. You need to
know, she said again.
Yes. Tell me.
Youre with a woman. I cant see who she is youre
in the way so I cant see her face. Your arms are
around her, though. Kissing her. And then he comes
in Logan. She had this faraway look in her eyes,
as if she were seeing what she was describing. I
cant see his face too blurry but its him. Claws
extended. Hes in a rage, angry in a way Ive never
seen. I can tell by how hes moving and hes... like
*roaring*. These noises more like an animal than a
man. And then... She trailed off.
He stabs you in the back.
Im not saying hearing that from Cassandra didnt give
me pause. And had it happened *before* the zoo
mission, I would have been really worried. But things
had changed between us and I just couldnt believe
that Logan would ever use his claws on me. Plus, I
couldnt see any circumstances where Id be with a
woman like that. I didnt know what it could mean
that she saw Logan attacking me. Id heard Charles
and Ethan say her visions always came true; Id heard
her describe the vision of the cable car and then seen
it happen, just as she foretold. Still, it didnt
seem possible that this vision was prophetic.
I dont even know what made the difference for Logan,
but his attitude towards me had pretty thoroughly
changed. Changed enough that I knew that Cassandras
vision must have been wrong. Maybe working together
helped, even if the mission wasnt a complete success.
Maybe having sex helped. Maybe he believed me when I
told him it was over between Jean and me. Its hard
to say. He wasnt telling me what hes feeling and I
wasnt even really sure of why hed been mad at me in
the first place. Id thought hed been jealous,
worried that Jean and I would get back together, but
it might not have been anything like that.
Hes hard to read a lot of the time. He doesnt talk
much, but wed been spending a lot of time together up
until Vermont. Logan had shared more with me, I
think, than he has with anyone else, talked to me like
he didnt with anyone else. He wasnt talking to me
now the way he used to, but Id learned to understand
a lot more than the words he says. Most of the time,
anyway. So, when he said Do what you want I got
no claim on you I knew that it meant something more,
something he didnt say: And youve got none on me.
I was pretty sure I wasnt the only one he was
fucking. He went out a lot at night, into town.
There was a barmaid at this dive he used to go to,
Maddie. He talked about her at odd times, once even
when we were having sex. Id spent enough time with
him that I had learned to read between the lines.
When he said Maddie said to say hi to you while
Im sitting on his cock, well it was pretty clear what
he meant: Im doing this with her when Im not with
It hurt to realize he was doing it with someone else
but I tried to accept that. I had to accept it. It
wasnt up to me what he did; I really did have no
claim on him. I likely never would.
I wasnt going to ask for some sort of exclusive
relationship with him. I knew full well that if I did
ask hed turn me down. It wasnt like him to be with
only one person. And Im not even sure its a
reasonable thing to ask of someone like him. Hes not
like me. Hed told me pretty clearly when wed first
started having sex that he has always been more
attracted to women than to men. How could I expect
him to give that up when I hadnt been able to turn
off my attraction to men?
So, maybe it wasnt what I really wanted with him, but
I was determined to take what I could get. To be
grateful for what we did have. I needed him in a lot
of ways, and not just sexual. Id come to rely on
Logan as a teammate, and more. My sounding board,
advisor, consultant. And there was a lot to consult
We didnt know what Magneto was up to with the baby
gorilla hed snatched. And we didnt know where hed
gone with it, either. Finding Lehnsherr had to be the
first step to finding what was going on. Charles
thought Pyro was the key to that, but I wasnt so
sure. John had fought ferociously when we captured
him, with his mutant powers and with fists once he was
disarmed. Logan overpowered him easily, but Pyro
certainly seemed clear that he considered himself our
Then we brought him back and Charles said hed take
over, that he felt John could be rehabilitated with
understanding and care, now that he was away from
Magneto. And, indeed, he did seem to win John over
very quickly. Too quickly, as far as I was concerned.
How could he be a loyal member of the Brotherhood
that day at the zoo and mere weeks later be helping us
to locate Magneto? Charles was quite certain that
John was back on our side, but it seemed too fast for
me. I wanted to talk about it with someone other than
Charles, someone I could trust with my doubts, someone
I could trust to give me his honest opinion without
worrying how Id receive it. I was glad to have Logan
back in my life.
Its too fast with Pyro, I told him, lying in my bed
next to him, spent and sweaty. Im worried. Its
like one minute hes with us, the next with Magneto,
now hes back. Adolescents are changeable, but
theyre not *that* changeable.
He pulled me closer. Do you think hes faking it?
How could he be? Charles has read his mind. Hed
What does the professor say about Pyros brain?
About his time with Magneto? Whats his take on what
That Magneto made promises about a grand life, told
him hed be a god among insects. And then Johnny
found out that being a bad guy wasnt all its cracked
up to be. Logan chuckled at that and I continued.
Mostly boring, apparently. Magnetos cruel to them
when things dont go his way, and the gang fights
among themselves. Squalid quarters theyve been
moving around a lot and staying in cheap motels.
Johnny always did like his creature comforts. And no
kids his age there Charles says he was lonely and
homesick and once it was clear that nobody was going
to hold his time with Magneto against him, he was glad
to be back. Plus hes an X-Man now thats part of
what he thought he was getting with Magneto, being
treated like an adult, like one of the team. Well, it
didnt work out that way he was more of a gofer.
Makes sense, doesnt it? Unless you think he could
be hiding his real thoughts? Using mental shields?
You and me keep stuff from the telepaths around here.
Why not him?
I turned over, throwing an arm over Logans chest.
No, he couldnt keep anything from Charles that
Charles wants to know. Neither could you or I, by the
way. Charles can penetrate mental shields. He
doesnt generally; hes very respectful of my privacy
and Im sure of yours, too, but hes very powerful
more powerful than any shields. He wouldnt hesitate
to penetrate Pyros shields, if he had any.
Can Jean do that?
Penetrate mental shields? I dont know. She
couldnt, not before the Phoenix. Shes nowhere near
as powerful a telepath as Charles. But lately I
wondered why he was asking about Jeans telepathic
ability and felt a twinge of guilt that I still had
not told her about Logan and me. I shoved the feeling
to the back of my mind and got back to the subject at
hand. No, Im not worried that Pyro is managing to
fool Charles. Just the capriciousness, the
unpredictability. If he was won over by Magneto, then
by Charles, well why not Magneto again? Lehnsherr can
be pretty damn persuasive when he wants to. And the
double agent thing? It looks like thats where were
headed with him and I dont like it.
What do you mean?
Well, you know he gave us what he thought was
Magnetos location. Like I said, theyve been moving
around a lot, but this one seemed like it might be for
the long term. We sent Northstar up there. Im glad
Mac Hudson is willing to lend him to us for all this
time. Who else can get in and out so quickly?
Magneto was long gone by the time Jean-Paul got there.
So, Johns given us a few other possibilities, and
Northstars tried them all, and reported back. No
Oh, is that what hes been doing with you? Reporting
in? I could feel Logans body tense up.
Yeah, what did you think?
He shrugged. I dont know. I see you and him
Well, hes been trying all the leads weve got.
Charles is sure that Johns telling the truth, trying
his best to help us locate Magneto, but hes two steps
ahead of us. This isnt getting us anywhere. Charles
thinks if we sent John to find him, make him look like
hed escaped and was still loyal to Magneto, well then
hed let himself be found.
And you dont like the idea?
It makes me uneasy. What if Pyro finds Magneto and
gets won over again? You know, with his magnetic
personality. Logan feigned punching me in the mouth
over the stupid pun. I took his hand, sucked on his
thumb for a minute, then continued. If that happens,
were dealing with a triple agent. Plus, even if he
doesnt switch over again, I dont like the idea of
him doing this. I dont want to send someone his age
on a dangerous mission, particularly by himself. Its
all well and good for Charles to say hes ready to be
an X-Man. I know it was key to winning him over, but I
dont like it. Johnny just turned 17. He shouldnt
be sent into harms way.
You were in a lot of harms way when you were 17,
Yeah. We dont do that anymore.
Theyre lucky to have you, Cyclops. I felt warmed
by his approval. So, maybe he doesnt go alone, he
What do you mean?
You send someone with him. Ill go. That way youve
got a good explanation for his escape someone helped
him get out and youve got someone to watch his
back. Make sure he doesnt flip, keep him out of
It was a good idea, and I said so. But not you.
Magneto wont believe it. He saw you at Alkali Lake.
And he knows youve been with us all this time. Hes
not going to accept youre defecting to his side. I
thought about it some more. Plus, youre too
vulnerable to him. He bristled a bit at that, but I
forged on. Come on, you know its true. Youre full
of metal. Youre the best fighter Ive got, Logan,
but not against Magneto. Its a great idea, but not
Jean-Paul was the obvious choice. Magneto knew
nothing about him, so there wouldnt be the disbelief
at his defection that hed have with someone he knew
to be loyal to our team. Northstar wasnt even an
X-Man, and his current absence from Alpha Flight could
be explained as quitting that team rather than being
on loan to us. Mac Hudson would go along with that,
if Magneto sent out reconnaissance. It was easy to
paint a picture of a disaffected Alpha Flight
operative who quits, joins the X-Men, and decides this
isnt what he wants, either, that cooperation with
homo sapiens isnt his vision of a mutant future.
I brought the idea up at the next cabinet meeting.
Just Charles and Hank and me, since Ro was away and
Jean was not back to full duty.
I like it, Charles said. I had some unease about
sending John alone. This is a good way to make sure
he stays loyal.
And keep him safe, I added. I wish we could keep
in touch while theyre gone, though.
I think we should, Hank weighed in.
Calling in is too dangerous, I countered. They get
found out and thats the end of the mission, and maybe
the end of them.
Let me figure something out, Hank had said. If not
to keep in touch, at least to keep track of where they
are. Some sort of positioning system, a homing
device. Maybe with a kind of panic button, so we can
go in and get them if necessary.
A great idea, except that Magnetos bound to know
theyve got it, I pointed out. How will they
Maybe it doesnt have to be made of metal. He got
that brooding look he has when hes working on a
thorny technical problem. Hard not to have any
metal. Could I do it totally out of plastic? Im not
sure. Let me work on it for a day or two.
Charles stepped in. Scott, you talk to Jean-Paul and
give him his assignment. Lets keep it quiet no one
but Jean-Paul, Pyro, and the three of us in on the
plan. And Hank, I need you to figure out the homing
device issue right away. A day or two is fine, but no
more. This mission needs to move ahead. Weve lost
too much time already. Whatever Magnetos planning
may well be under way by now.
It turned out plastic wasnt the answer, as I found
out that evening. Id spoken to Jean-Paul right after
the cabinet meeting and hed eagerly agreed. Id
impressed upon him the fact that we were keeping the
mission secret, so I wasnt surprised when he showed
up in my room that night to give me an update.
Hank solved the homing device problem, was the first
thing he said.
He managed to make it out of plastic?
Jean-Paul shook his head. No way, copain.
Electronics like that even with our blue genius it
cant be done. You need some metal.
But if its metal, how do we stop Magneto from
knowing its there?
Hell know its there, bien sur. He just wont know
what it is. He pulled his shirt off and I could see
a shining silver ring in his right nipple.
He nodded. Amazing, hein? All that complicated
machinery in this little thing. He took my hand.
Here, touch it. Youll see theres no way to know
its anything other than what it seems.
He put my hand to his chest. I fingered the ring. It
did feel just like jewelry, like there was nothing to
it but what it appeared to be.
We looked at each other and I felt suddenly
uncomfortable, realizing that touching the chest of a
half-naked man wasnt my usual way of doing a
pre-mission briefing. Jean-Paul smiled at me. He
looked like he wasnt at all discomfited by the
unorthodox situation we were in.
And then it happened. The door opened and Logan
walked in. The look on his face made me feel like
Cassandras warning wasnt all that far-fetched after
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