“Does he still have all his internal organs?” “Yeah.” “Then consider him lucky.”
“Logan what the hell do you think you’re playing at?”
Jean was yelling as she advanced on them and Max could tell that she’d worked herself up into a towering rage. She looked over at Logan who was curling his lip in distaste.
“Fuckin’ snitch.” he muttered under his breath as the redhead strode up and got in his face.
“Scott’s going to need at least a day to recuperate from what you did to him.” she snapped, placing a hand on her hip and jabbing a finger in his face. Jean’s eyes glittered with anger as she glared at him.
Max raised an eyebrow, waiting for Logan to respond. What the hell had happened? Had she missed something?
“Look, red.” Logan replied, setting his jaw. “The kid needed to decompress. I just..”
She took a step towards him, almost hissing now.
“You just beat the holy hell out of him. That was supposed to help?”
Logan advanced a step forward, unwilling to concede ground to her, even though by doing so, he had to crane his neck to look up at her. For a brief moment Max was reminded of a mother scolding a particularly petulant child. Jean backpedaled as he growled, “Look, you psychotic harpy, he gave as good as he got. I actually went a little light on him.”
“Are you kidding me?” she screeched. “Have you seen him?”
Logan presented her with a sharp toothed grin, his tone nasty.
“Does he still have all his internal organs?”
Jean frowned for a moment, nodding. “Yeah.”
“Then consider him lucky.” he spat, pushing past her.
Jean spun to say something but Max intervened and murmured, “He’s right.”
Jean gaped back at her and she quickly added, “If Logan really wanted to hurt him, there would’ve been nothing left of him.”
“You’re just defending him because you’re fucking him.” Jean snapped dismissively, her tone nasty and her face glowing with that beautiful fury that frustrated Max to no end. She really could be a bitch when she put her mind to it. Max was used to the woman’s temper by now, and knew how to back her down.
“Jean. Just because he’s my mate doesn’t mean I’d defend him if he really fucked up and argued that he’d done right. I hope you’d know me better than that by now.”
Max kept her tone even and non-confrontational. Jean would only get herself worked up if Max provided her with the conversational kindling to do so.
Her friend looked flustered, irritated that she was being provided with rational dialogue.
Jean opened her mouth to respond and Max quietly asked, “Did Scott tell you what happened outright, or did you have to push his buttons until he gave it up?”
Jean’s eyes narrowed, the crisp green of her irises sharp as she muttered, “That doesn’t make what he did right.”
Witnessing the interaction between Scott and Jean in the last couple of months had sped up Max’s social understanding of a great many things. The situation had been a very effective teacher.
“You know he was rattled at what happened back at that facility.” Max breathed, gently touching Jean’s arm, reassuring her.
“I’ve been trying to help him, but he’s been distancing himself lately.” she let out a pained sigh.
“Scott? Distant? Imagine that.” Max quipped, watching Jean’s lips curl into a tiny smile.
“Did he seem in better spirits this morning?” she asked, looking up into the woman’s eyes.
Jean frowned, thinking about it for a moment before quietly replying, “Yeah. Actually, he did.”
“So, you just went apeshit over how he looked..” Max trailed off softly and Jean actually looked embarrassed. Max watched Jean’s gaze flicker over to Logan who was waiting over by the stairs, his expression hard as he stared back at her. They really were like pouty, scrappy siblings.
“Why would you think that Logan would just tear into him for no reason?” Max asked, taking her hand off Jean’s arm.
Jean gave her a pained look, her tone aggrieved as she replied, “You’re right. When it comes to him, I’m completely irrational.”
She gave Logan a last fleeting look, then turned and walked back to the Professor’s office. Logan frowned, wondering what the hell that was all about.
“Crazy bitch.” he muttered to himself as he watched her walk into Charlie’s office.
Max let out a soft sigh, watching her friend retreat. She wished that there was something she could do to help, but this was something Jean had to sort out on her own.
She walked back over to Logan who quirked an eyebrow back at her and asked, “You gonna translate what just happened for me?”
Max took his hand and said, “We gotta talk.”
Logan couldn’t have looked any more startled than if Max had slapped him outright.
He blinked as he looked out at the lake, stunned. It took several moments before he was able to speak.
“You really thought I’d come back here and wanna fuck her? Get into a relationship with her?” he stammered, shaking his head. The very idea. He cringed. The woman made his teeth itch. How the hell did anybody put up with her? Sure, she was extremely easy on the eyes, but the personality? He’d rather jam a marlin spike through his side. He didn’t know how Summers did it.
Max threw her arms up in the air and snapped back, “I don’t know! I had no idea what was going through your head when you left. I figured that you weren’t exactly a one woman kinda guy at that point and wanted to give you a little latitude.”
He looked back at her with a sour expression. “And now?”
Max growled, “If you touch her, I’ll gut you.”
He relaxed a little, letting out a breath he hadn’t known he’d been holding.
“Christ, Max – why’d you have to talk about it with her?”
“I don’t know if you remember, but you were gone for quite some time. I had no idea where you were, or when you were coming back. She and I became really close in the interim. She kept needling me about you and I finally broke down and confronted her about her attraction to you.”
Max frowned, then continued, “At first, she lost her shit and wouldn’t speak to me for a week. When she finally pulled her head out of her ass, we talked about it. Really talked about it. It really messes her up that she’s into you. She doesn’t want to screw up what she has with Scott.”
“And this is my fault how?” Logan growled, eyes flashing with irritation.
“It’s nobody’s fault. She’s just..understandably sketchy about you.” Max explained, looking over at him.
“Scooter doesn’t fuckin’ know, does he?”
That would be just perfect. Nothing would fuck the kid up more at this point. Logan winced in distaste.
“No. I’m not that stupid.” Max muttered, feeling awful now.
Logan lay back and watched several small clouds chase each other across a cerulean blue sky. He took a deep breath and let it out, wondering how he’d gotten himself wedged firmly in the middle of this entire mess. Life was so much easier being alone and on the run. Now social complications were setting in that he just didn’t want to deal with. The redhead was going to make his life hell while he and Max were here – he was sure of it.
“Did I fuck up?” Max asked, her voice sounding smaller than she wanted it to.
Logan turned towards her and touched her arm.
“No. You didn’t fuck up. Just.. don’t talk to her about me anymore. I got enough drama in my life without her constantly rollin’ up on me like super bitch.”
Max laughed, looking back at him. “Deal.”
Logan paused for a moment then quickly leapt up, grabbing her around the waist. He hefted her over his shoulder and started walking out to the dock.
“HEY!” Max yelped, smacking at him. “What the hell?”
“And now – the punishment.” he rumbled before running to the edge of the dock and tossing her into the water.
Max spluttered as she went under. When she resurfaced, Logan was howling with laughter.
“You PRICK!” she shouted, trying to splash him and failing miserably. She settled for just glaring at him as she floated, trying her best to will the dock to break apart and sink.
Logan started laughing harder. The man actually had tears in the corners of his eyes, he was laughing so hard.
You just wait, little man. she grumbled quietly to herself. Payback’s a bitch.
Max was squeezing the water out of her hair as she asked, “So – why’d you beat him up, anyway?”
Logan sat on the dock next to her, leaning back on his hands.
“Kid needed a distraction. He was letting his head fuck him up.”
“Howso?” she looked over at him, dubious.
“Just – trust me on this one. Worked out, didn’t it?” he replied, looking back towards the mansion.
“What is it?” Max looked around him, trying to see what had captured his attention. She couldn’t see anything out of the ordinary.
“Max..” he began, looking back over at her. “You need to understand something.”
Max frowned, wondering what was wrong.
“Okay.” She turned to face him, wrapping a leg around his waist.
“I’ll admit that Jean’s a looker.” He paused, as if searching for the right words. “But I don’t see anybody else but you.”
That was unexpected. She never really thought he’d actually come out and say it – especially like this. Max smiled and murmured, “It’s ok, Logan.”
“No.” His eyes glittered as he repeated, “I don’t see anybody but you.”
Max cocked her head as he continued, “When I was in that fuckin’ pen, I kept seein’ you. You were the only one who ever showed up in my head, out of all the others.”
A man like him had to have a whole lot of others. It meant something, this declaration. She respected it, but wasn’t entirely sure now what he was trying to say. He sounded like he was wrestling with it himself. He looked over at her, almost as if he was willing her to get it.
He sighed, then murmured, “I don’t get close to many people – anybody, really.” he explained, looking back out at the lake. “These other kids? I could honestly give a fuck – but Max.. you matter.” he growled, looking back at her with an intensity that made her shiver.
Now she got it. Max nodded, feeling a strong surge of emotion. “I feel the same about you, Logan.”
She leaned against him and he put an arm around her, gently nuzzling the top of her head with his cheek – his voice a soft whisper.
MARVEL owns the copyright on their own characters, but I’ve fussed with and taken liberties with canon, and Max is my own creation.
Chapter 1 :: Chapter 2 :: Chapter 3 :: Chapter 4 :: Chapter 5 :: Chapter 6 :: Chapter 7 :: Chapter 8 :: Chapter 9 :: Chapter 10 :: Chapter 11 :: Chapter 12 :: Chapter 13 :: Chapter 14 :: Chapter 15 :: Chapter 16 :: Chapter 17 :: Chapter 18 :: Chapter 19 :: Chapter 20 :: Chapter 21 :: Chapter 22 :: Chapter 23 :: Chapter 24 :: Chapter 25