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FIC: Which Doth Mock the Meat It Feeds On (Summers in a Sea of Glory, 5/10)

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  • Mo
    I felt like Logan softened towards me after the day of the zoo mission. I can’t say we got back to where we had been before we knew that the Phoenix had
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 8, 2006
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      I felt like Logan softened towards me after the day of
      the zoo mission. I can’t 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 wasn’t avoiding me any
      longer. When he’d kissed me in the Danger Room,
      pushed me to my knees to suck him, I’d had a panicky
      instant of wondering if that would be the last time
      I’d ever touch him. But it wasn’t, not by a long
      shot.

      I was seeing him almost every night lately. He’d show
      up in my room late, or we’d meet in the Danger Room or
      at the pool. For sex, for companionship. For love?
      No, I don’t 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 don’t want to hear
      that shit,” he said. “That’s 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, he’d say my name
      in a way that seemed to mean something. Once in a
      while he’d 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 he’d stroke my hair
      while I was sucking him his touch would feel loaded
      with intent. Those were the times I’d think there was
      more to this than just sex. Once in a while I’d think
      he really needed me. But then I’d 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
      lovers.

      Charles noticed the difference. He didn’t ask what
      had happened and I don’t think he’d read my mind, but
      he assumed I’d brokered the peace between us and he
      thanked me for it. “We really do need Logan,” he’d
      said to me when he and I were alone after a team
      meeting. “I realize he’s not the easiest man to get
      along with. It looks like you worked things out. I’m
      glad.”

      “I’m glad to be his friend again,” I’d replied.

      Ironically, it was after Logan and I had achieved some
      sort of détente that Cassandra warned me about him.
      She’d been hesitant to say anything, it was clear.
      She’d 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 she’d
      speak when she was ready. “I’ve had a vision,” she
      said finally. “I think you need to know.” She looked
      away and continued. “It’s blurry. That means it
      won’t happen for a while. Days, weeks – I don’t know.
      But you’re in it, and you’re in danger. You need to
      know,” she said again.

      “Yes. Tell me.”

      “You’re with a woman. I can’t see who she is – you’re
      in the way so I can’t 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
      can’t see his face – too blurry – but it’s him. Claws
      extended. He’s in a rage, angry in a way I’ve never
      seen. I can tell by how he’s moving and he’s... like
      *roaring*. These noises – more like an animal than a
      man. And then...” She trailed off.

      “What?”

      “He stabs you in the back.”

      ******************************

      I’m not saying hearing that from Cassandra didn’t 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 couldn’t believe
      that Logan would ever use his claws on me. Plus, I
      couldn’t see any circumstances where I’d be with a
      woman like that. I didn’t know what it could mean
      that she saw Logan attacking me. I’d heard Charles
      and Ethan say her visions always came true; I’d heard
      her describe the vision of the cable car and then seen
      it happen, just as she foretold. Still, it didn’t
      seem possible that this vision was prophetic.

      I don’t even know what made the difference for Logan,
      but his attitude towards me had pretty thoroughly
      changed. Changed enough that I knew that Cassandra’s
      vision must have been wrong. Maybe working together
      helped, even if the mission wasn’t a complete success.
      Maybe having sex helped. Maybe he believed me when I
      told him it was over between Jean and me. It’s hard
      to say. He wasn’t telling me what he’s feeling and I
      wasn’t even really sure of why he’d been mad at me in
      the first place. I’d thought he’d been jealous,
      worried that Jean and I would get back together, but
      it might not have been anything like that.

      He’s hard to read a lot of the time. He doesn’t talk
      much, but we’d 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 didn’t with anyone else. He wasn’t talking to me
      now the way he used to, but I’d 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 didn’t say: “And you’ve got none on me.”


      I was pretty sure I wasn’t 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. I’d 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
      I’m sitting on his cock, well it was pretty clear what
      he meant: “I’m doing this with her when I’m not with
      you.”

      It hurt to realize he was doing it with someone else
      but I tried to accept that. I had to accept it. It
      wasn’t up to me what he did; I really did have no
      claim on him. I likely never would.

      I wasn’t going to ask for some sort of exclusive
      relationship with him. I knew full well that if I did
      ask he’d turn me down. It wasn’t like him to be with
      only one person. And I’m not even sure it’s a
      reasonable thing to ask of someone like him. He’s not
      like me. He’d told me pretty clearly when we’d 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 hadn’t been able to turn
      off my attraction to men?

      So, maybe it wasn’t 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. I’d come to rely on
      Logan as a teammate, and more. My sounding board,
      advisor, consultant. And there was a lot to consult
      about.

      We didn’t know what Magneto was up to with the baby
      gorilla he’d snatched. And we didn’t know where he’d
      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 wasn’t 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
      enemy.

      Then we brought him back and Charles said he’d 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 I’d receive it. I was glad to have Logan
      back in my life.

      “It’s too fast with Pyro,” I told him, lying in my bed
      next to him, spent and sweaty. “I’m worried. It’s
      like one minute he’s with us, the next with Magneto,
      now he’s back. Adolescents are changeable, but
      they’re not *that* changeable.”

      He pulled me closer. “Do you think he’s faking it?”

      “How could he be? Charles has read his mind. He’d
      know.”

      “What does the professor say about Pyro’s brain?
      About his time with Magneto? What’s his take on what
      happened?”

      “That Magneto made promises about a grand life, told
      him he’d be a ‘god among insects.’ And then Johnny
      found out that being a bad guy wasn’t all it’s cracked
      up to be.” Logan chuckled at that and I continued.
      “Mostly boring, apparently. Magneto’s cruel to them
      when things don’t go his way, and the gang fights
      among themselves. Squalid quarters – they’ve 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 he’s an X-Man now – that’s part of
      what he thought he was getting with Magneto, being
      treated like an adult, like one of the team. Well, it
      didn’t work out that way – he was more of a gofer.”

      “Makes sense, doesn’t 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 Logan’s chest.
      “No, he couldn’t keep anything from Charles that
      Charles wants to know. Neither could you or I, by the
      way. Charles can penetrate mental shields. He
      doesn’t generally; he’s very respectful of my privacy
      and I’m sure of yours, too, but he’s very powerful –
      more powerful than any shields. He wouldn’t hesitate
      to penetrate Pyro’s shields, if he had any.”

      “Can Jean do that?”

      “Penetrate mental shields? I don’t know. She
      couldn’t, not before the Phoenix. She’s nowhere near
      as powerful a telepath as Charles. But lately…” I
      wondered why he was asking about Jean’s 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, I’m 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 that’s where we’re
      headed with him and I don’t like it.”

      “What do you mean?”

      “Well, you know he gave us what he thought was
      Magneto’s location. Like I said, they’ve been moving
      around a lot, but this one seemed like it might be for
      the long term. We sent Northstar up there. I’m 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, John’s given us a few other possibilities, and
      Northstar’s tried them all, and reported back. No
      luck.”

      “Oh, is that what he’s been doing with you? Reporting
      in?” I could feel Logan’s body tense up.

      “Yeah, what did you think?”

      He shrugged. “I don’t know. I see you and him
      together sometimes.”

      “Well, he’s been trying all the leads we’ve got.
      Charles is sure that John’s telling the truth, trying
      his best to help us locate Magneto, but he’s two steps
      ahead of us. This isn’t getting us anywhere. Charles
      thinks if we sent John to find him, make him look like
      he’d escaped and was still loyal to Magneto, well then
      he’d let himself be found.”

      “And you don’t 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,
      we’re dealing with a triple agent. Plus, even if he
      doesn’t switch over again, I don’t like the idea of
      him doing this. I don’t want to send someone his age
      on a dangerous mission, particularly by himself. It’s
      all well and good for Charles to say he’s ready to be
      an X-Man. I know it was key to winning him over, but I
      don’t like it. Johnny just turned 17. He shouldn’t
      be sent into harm’s way.”

      “You were in a lot of ‘harm’s way’ when you were 17,
      right?”

      “Yeah. We don’t do that anymore.”

      “They’re lucky to have you, Cyclops.” I felt warmed
      by his approval. “So, maybe he doesn’t go alone,” he
      added.

      “What do you mean?”

      “You send someone with him. I’ll go. That way you’ve
      got a good explanation for his escape – someone helped
      him get out – and you’ve got someone to watch his
      back. Make sure he doesn’t flip, keep him out of
      trouble.”

      It was a good idea, and I said so. “But not you.”

      “Why not?”

      “Magneto won’t believe it. He saw you at Alkali Lake.
      And he knows you’ve been with us all this time. He’s
      not going to accept you’re defecting to his side.” I
      thought about it some more. “Plus, you’re too
      vulnerable to him.” He bristled a bit at that, but I
      forged on. “Come on, you know it’s true. You’re full
      of metal. You’re the best fighter I’ve got, Logan,
      but not against Magneto. It’s a great idea, but not
      you.”

      ********************************

      Jean-Paul was the obvious choice. Magneto knew
      nothing about him, so there wouldn’t be the disbelief
      at his defection that he’d have with someone he knew
      to be loyal to our team. Northstar wasn’t 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
      isn’t what he wants, either, that cooperation with
      homo sapiens isn’t 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 they’re gone, though.”

      “I think we should,” Hank weighed in.

      “Calling in is too dangerous,” I countered. “They get
      found out and that’s 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 Magneto’s bound to know
      they’ve got it,” I pointed out. “How will they
      explain it?”

      “Maybe it doesn’t have to be made of metal.” He got
      that brooding look he has when he’s working on a
      thorny technical problem. “Hard not to have any
      metal. Could I do it totally out of plastic? I’m 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. Let’s 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. We’ve lost
      too much time already. Whatever Magneto’s planning
      may well be under way by now.”

      ***********************************

      It turned out plastic wasn’t the answer, as I found
      out that evening. I’d spoken to Jean-Paul right after
      the cabinet meeting and he’d eagerly agreed. I’d
      impressed upon him the fact that we were keeping the
      mission secret, so I wasn’t 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
      can’t be done. You need some metal.”

      “But if it’s metal, how do we stop Magneto from
      knowing it’s there?”

      “He’ll know it’s there, bien sur. He just won’t know
      what it is.” He pulled his shirt off and I could see
      a shining silver ring in his right nipple.

      “That’s it?”

      He nodded. “Amazing, hein? All that complicated
      machinery in this little thing.” He took my hand.
      “Here, touch it. You’ll see – there’s no way to know
      it’s 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 wasn’t my usual way of doing a
      pre-mission briefing. Jean-Paul smiled at me. He
      looked like he wasn’t 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
      Cassandra’s warning wasn’t all that far-fetched after
      all.




      Mo
      Mofic Website: http://mo.fandomnation.com/fic/
      www.livejournal.com/users/mofic

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