Chance Encounter: Chapter 23 – It’s really better if you don’t know. It’d only embarrass him.

It’s really better if you don’t know. It’d only embarrass him.

Chance Encounter
Chapter 23

Max woke with a dull cramping in her stomach. She frowned and placed her hand on her belly.

There was a sudden surge in her throat and she leapt up, making it to the bathroom just in time. The sensation of throwing up had never been a pleasant one, and for some reason it terrified her. There was something that just felt inherently wrong about it.

“Jesus! Max!” Logan was immediately by her side, holding her hair back as she clutched at the sides of the toilet bowl.

Once her stomach was empty, she took huffing breaths to try to reorient herself. The taste was wretched. Max reached up to flush the toilet and Logan handed her a towel to wipe her face off. She sat back as Logan held his hand against her forehead, checking her temperature.

“You done?” he murmured.

Max nodded weakly.

Logan picked her up and carried her back over to the bed, checking her over. Max felt a dull pain blossom in her head and she groaned.

***

Once away from the sharp sting of sickness in the bathroom, Logan recognized a familiar smell. He froze and stared down at her.

Oh shit.

Max frowned and looked over at him, her voice husky as she asked, “What’s wrong?”

Of all the things that had happened in the last year and a half, this was the one thing he was least prepared for.

“You’re pregnant.” he croaked, startled.

Max paused for a moment, then gave him a weak smile.

“Thank god. I thought something was actually wrong there for a minute.

Logan blinked, then murmured, “Wait – you’re okay with this?”

Max gave a weak chuckle and replied, “We’ve been having unprotected sex since we met, Logan. It had to happen sometime.”

Logan sat on the bed next to her, lost in thought. A father? The idea seemed almost laughable. There was still so much about his past, about himself that he didn’t know – and he still had an elaborate mystery to unravel concerning the people that kept coming after him. He was just getting used to the idea of Max being a permanent fixture, but a kid? His own kid?

He felt Max’s light touch on his arm and flinched, knocked out of his train of thought.

“Are you okay with this?” she asked, her tone soft.

He looked back over at her, his brow creased with uncertainty.

“I don’t know.”

She gently pulled him into bed with her, murmuring, “C’mon. Let’s get back to sleep. We’ll figure this out later, okay?”

Logan slid in beside her, pulling her close. He honestly didn’t know what to think. A man like him didn’t have the faculties for this kinda thing. Give him an opponent, an army to go up against – and he’d be fine. Fighting, tracking, killing – these were the things he was most intimate with. The things he was best at. He may not remember much about his past – about who he’d been, but this he knew in his bones. It came naturally to him, and he was as much an artist with the craft as a master sculptor or metalworker.

How had his life gotten so completely fucked in a little over half a year?

There was no way he could stay on the run with a mate and a kid. He’d get them both killed. Not to mention that there would now be two individuals that could directly be used against him. Not a good position for someone of his particular skillset to be in.

Still – he was being presented with a unique opportunity. One he never thought he’d have. A chance for a life that involved more than merely killing damn near everything around him to stay alive. He’d also given his word that he’d stay at the school with her – that he’d give it a chance. Scott was a good fighter, and he had the feeling that Piotr would come up quickly.

At least he wouldn’t be surrounded by people that couldn’t hold their own in a fight.

He felt Max slip deeper into sleep as he gently placed a hand over her belly and finally drifted off to sleep himself.

***

When Max next woke, she found Logan looking back at her with a soft expression. She watched his hazel eyes scan her face, figuring that he was probably lost in his head somewhere. She smiled back at him silently, placing a hand on his chest.

“I’m okay with it.” he murmured.

“You sure?” Max asked, feeling her stomach flutter.

“Yeah.” he replied, covering her hand with his own. “How long do we have?”

Max frowned as she referenced the memories passed down from the bitches in her Pack.

“Normally, the cycle with turnskins takes about four months. I also shouldn’t be shifting during that time because it could hurt the cub.”

There were special ceremonies that went along with the event of a bitch’s first birthing cycle as well, but she only remembered bits and pieces of them. Since she wasn’t surrounded by Kin, she didn’t know if it would matter all that much.

Logan paused for a moment, as if he was trying to figure out how to word his next question.

“How many? I mean..do you guys have litters – like wolves?”

God, he hoped not. One would be a handful as it was.

Max shook her head and explained, “It’s very rare, but it happens. I was in an unusually large litter, but most bitches only have one cub. I should be able to tell after the first few weeks whether I’m going to have one or more.”

Max then frowned, hoping he’d be alright with the rest of it.

“During the birth and after I’ve kitted – after the pup is born, I’m going to have to stay in wolf form.”

“For how long?”

“For the first four weeks or so. After that, I’ll be able to shift so that the pup can get to know me in both forms.”

She closed her eyes, hoping that she was right. She’d never known of a crossbreed of this nature among her kind, and had no idea what the mixture of her blood and Logan’s would produce in the way offspring. With his fairly unusual genetic material there was just no way of knowing what would happen.

“You scared, Max?” he murmured, tasting the faint scent of fear on her.

Max smiled and said, “A little. I don’t know if I’m ready to be a mother.”

She wished she had her own mother’s counsel on this matter. Even her sister’s. She’d learned everything she knew from watching her aunts and cousins – how they’d been with their cubs, the birthing process. It was a daunting thing to have to go through without somebody that knew exactly what was going on. It was also a significant thing in the Pack, a firm step into a different life that was taken very seriously. The cubs were guaranteed the protection of the Pack, and they’d help with training and the developmental skills of the cubs as they grew.

She wondered how her offspring would fare without the extended family that she’d had. It made the loss of her Pack resonate even more strongly.

“Are you?” she asked, “I mean..this has got to be a lot to handle for you too.”

“Never thought I’d be a father,” he rumbled.

It felt odd to hear the words spoken aloud. He frowned and looked over at her.

“You wanna make it legal? Between us, that is?”

That’s what you did when you got somebody knocked up, right? You offered to ‘do the right thing’. He wasn’t completely without social graces.

Max smiled at his offer but shook her head.

“As far as I’m concerned, we’re already a mated pair. I’ve got no use for Pink laws or phrases.”

Logan nodded and gently ran his knuckles over her stomach.

He was going to have a kid.

“Holy crap.” he whispered.

Max laughed and kissed him. “Yeah.”

***

“Saddle up, comrade. [Let’s see what ya got].”

Piotr looked lost as he looked back at Logan, unsure of what to do as they stood in the middle of an empty downtown street.

“[But Logan, I don’t want to hurt you.]”

The boy actually looked concerned. Considering the size difference, Max almost had to agree. If she didn’t know what Logan was capable of, she’d have thought him crazy.

Neither of them really wanted to focus on the ramifications from earlier, and a Danger Room session seemed just the thing to get it out of their heads. Logan had expressed a desire to see if the new kid could fight, and Max had to admit that she was more than a little curious to see what Piotr’s mutation was.

After a brief conversation with the Professor, who stressed heavily that they take it easy on him, Charles agreed. He wasn’t entirely comfortable with having the boy experience the Danger Room so quickly after arriving, but things were starting to become heated in the mutant/human debate.

He’d once explained to Max that although he had hopes that mutants and humans could live in harmony, he was enough of a realist to realize that people, whether human or mutant, tended to attack and kill that which they most feared. People were getting more outwardly aggressive and it was time to start bringing in stronger members to the team.

Max understood the need for line guard to protect the Pack. It was a safe move on Xavier’s part.

***

“[Pete, ain’t you ever sparred with anybody? You know – fightin’ for practice?]” Logan asked.

It was always the really big ones that you had to watch out for. The ‘gentle giants’. They didn’t know their own strength, and once you provoked them, you were fucked until they ran out of steam.

“[I am an artist, not a fighter, Logan.]” Piotr frowned, obviously discomfited.

“[Ya gotta learn sometime.]” Logan murmured, taking a step towards the boy.

Piotr turned to Max, his eyes pleading. “Please. I am not wanting to be hurting your husband. Please be telling him to stop.”

“[Talk to me, Petey. Not her. Ain’t nothin’ you can do to me that’ll permanently injure me.]” Logan growled.

Another step forward.

“[But you’re so small! I could kill you – without even trying. Please don’t make me do this.]”

Logan cocked his head and tried another tactic. Explaining it to him wasn’t working. He was going to have to do this the hard way.

***

Max watched as Logan kept talking to the boy in that same unusual language. She was surprised that she actually liked the sound of it rolling off his tongue. She almost felt bad for Piotr. The boy obviously didn’t want to fight, and she was close to telling Logan to back off when the boy’s expression grew angry. Logan laughed and said something else, and Piotr’s expression became dark as he shouted something back at Logan.

Logan just smiled and kept talking until Piotr started shaking. Max then blinked as a slick metallic substance started sliding along the boy’s skin, coating his entire body

The whole process took moments.

There we go.” Logan growled as Piotr launched himself at the smaller man with a roar.

Max watched Logan deftly leap out of the way as Piotr spun and grabbed a large blue government mailbox, pulling it out of the concrete easily. He threw it at Logan who let out a whoop and shredded the side of it with his claws.

“NOW we’re talkin!” he roared, grinning like a kid who’d just been given the keys to a candy store.

“Keep an eye out – he’s pissed.”

Logan called out as he leapt by her. Max ducked out of the way of a fire hydrant, wincing as it caved in the side of a car. A large fountain of water was now shooting high in the air as she turned to find Piotr bearing down on her.

“Oh shit!” She cried as she quickly leapt out of the way.

The boy’s hands closed inches from her ankle and she suddenly wondered whether this was a good idea anymore. It probably wasn’t one of the brightest things Logan had ever done. She was just quick enough to outmaneuver the boy, but if he caught her he’d end up doing serious damage. The injuries that he would inflict would likely be passed on to her cub.

Max quickly leapt to safety as Logan slammed into Piotr’s chest, knocking the boy back several feet.

“Watch yourself!” Logan hissed as Piotr got up and moved to swiftly crack him in the jaw, sending him across the street.

Logan flew into the side of a building, knocking several bricks out of the foundation. He landed on the sidewalk in a heap.

Max quickly made her way over to him, picking him up and getting him out of harm’s way before the boy’s fist connected with the concrete where Logan had been lying moments before, cracking it into several large chunks.

Logan groaned as Max jumped up to a spot on top of a small one story building. The punch had torn a substantial amount of skin off Logan’s face, exposing a section of metallic jaw and part of a metallic cheekbone.

Oh yeah. He’d definitely fuck me up in no time. Max mused, the blood draining from her face.

Logan’s wounds began quickly knitting themselves back together; the bruises fading. He blinked and looked up at her with a grin.

“Boy has a hell of an arm, eh?”

“Are you CRAZY?” Max bellowed, almost wanting to throw him back down so that Piotr could thoroughly trounce him.

“What the fuck did you say to him?”

Logan winced and replied, “It’s really better if you don’t know. It’d only embarrass him.”

The building shook and Max peeked over to see Piotr rapidly punching his way through the mortar and bricks. The metal on his knuckles showed no signs of damage – the sheen still smooth and shiny. The entire structure would collapse in no time at this point.

“Go make him stop.” she growled, dropping him onto the roof.

“‘Make him stop?’ Like it’s that easy? Kid’ll come out of it soon enough, when the rage wears off.”

Logan got up, dusting himself off.

The building was now starting to list to one side.

“Well, you started it – go finish it.” Max grated, wanting to kick him.

“I can take pretty much whatever he dishes out, but I want you to stay away from him.”

Max gave him a halfhearted laugh and said, “Yeah. No problem. He’s all yours.”

Logan grinned, pulled her into a brief kiss, then jumped off the roof onto a car below.

He’s insane.

Max shook her head in disbelief as he watched Piotr chase Logan around the street, tossing everything he could get his hands on after him.

I’m mated to and having the cub of a crazy person.

***

“LOGAN!”

Jean’s voice rang through the speakers throughout the Danger Room as Logan was crouching to avoid a car that was sailing towards his head. It collided with a pile of debris behind him with a loud crash. The kid had an outstanding throwing arm – he had to admit, and that metallic sheen that covered his skin seemed to stop anything.

He also didn’t seem to be showing any signs of tiring.

That dark little voice in Logan’s head wanted to see if the claws could cut through the metal as effectively as everything else he’d come across, but satisfying that particular curiosity wasn’t something he was altogether interested in. He was just beginning to like the boy, after all.

He was a good kid, and Logan already found himself growing protective of him – even though he’d goaded the boy into combat with a particularly grievous insult. Logan turned to look up, seeing Jean’s angry face in the window of the control room.

What now?

He frowned before getting tossed across the street into a building on the far side.

“Dammit!” he roared in annoyance as he got back to his feet, turning to spot Max who was now looking at him with a halfheartedly guilty expression. He could see the corners of her mouth beginning to turn up in a smile.

Had she thrown him? He guessed he’d deserved it.

“[Are you ok, Logan?]” Piotr was walking over to them, looking concerned. Apparently the sound of Jean’s voice had snapped him out of his angry assault.

“[I’m ok. She just clocked me when I was distracted.]” he growled, glaring over at Max whose smile was now just a little more pronounced.

The door to the Danger Room opened and Jean stomped into the room in a full on huff.

“You rotten little..!”

She spotted Piotr and she held her tongue, her eyes narrowing.

The large metal frame of the boy towered over Jean, making her look tiny in comparison.

“Is there to be meaning for your anger, Miss Grey?”

Piotr looked entirely lost. “Is mis-understanding in hallway earlier still angry making?”

Max stepped forward and asked, “Misunderstanding?”

Piotr’s form slid from metallic back to skin and he looked nervous.

“I am saying to her earlier, to perhaps ask for the education of the..”

“THAT’s…that’s enough, Piotr. It’s okay. I’m not angry at you.”

Jean glared at Logan, her eyes glittering.

Logan just presented her with a smug grin, crossing his arms and murmuring, “So what’s eatin’ ya, Jeannie?”

She stood before him, placing her hands firmly on her hips as she growled, “Like you don’t know.”

Logan’s grin became bigger as he shrugged and replied, “Sometimes it’s just better to know the language, headcase.”

Jean stiffened and Max wondered if he’d gone too far. Again. The redhead pursed her lips and spat back at him, “Right.” her expression tight as she turned and walked back out.

Max looked over at him, crooking up an eyebrow.

“And what, exactly, was all that about?”

“I’m sure you’ll find out later. Kick my ass about it then. Right now, we’re still in the middle of a session, ‘less you guys wanna cut it short?”

Max smacked him and he frowned. “What wazzat for?”

“A warm up.” she retorted, running over to the door. She wanted to find out what he’d done this time.

“You guys go ahead without me. I’m gonna go do a little damage control since dickhead here can’t keep his mouth shut.”

“Dick..head? [What is the meaning of such a word, please?]” Piotr asked, frowning.

Logan presented him with a wry grin and said, “[It’s kinda like an affectionate pet name. Well, for me anyway. She sure seems to like usin’ it a lot.]”

Piotr murmured, “Dickhead. [Another American word! I’m learning so much!]”

Logan nodded, wondering how hard the boy would hit him when he finally figured out that he was fuckin’ with him. The thought made him smile.

“[’bout earlier – I didn’t mean what I said. Sorry I had to rile you up like that.]”

Logan felt a little guilty, but the results had been well worth it.

“[Are you injured? Mama says I should never hit another man in anger. I am ashamed.]”

Piotr frowned, looking away from him.

“[Hey, I’m ok. See? No bruises. Told ya that ya couldn’t hurt me permanently.]” Logan reassured him. “[‘sides – boy like you has gotta know how to fight. You’re strong, but there’s not much finesse there. I could tighten that up a little if you let me work with ya.]”

“[I got into a fight once, a year ago.]” The boy looked almost haunted. “[A man made an inappropriate comment about my sister. He was in the hospital for seven months afterward. I was told that he’ll never walk again.]”

Logan looked back at him, his tone soft. “[Sometimes you gotta fight, Petey. It ain’t all the time, but if you know how it helps you end the fight quicker. Cleaner.]”

“[And you can teach me this way? Cleaner?]” Piotr asked, hopeful. “[I don’t like hurting people.]”

Logan nodded, feeling a camaraderie with the boy that he hadn’t remembered feeling before with anybody else.

“[Yeah. I can teach you that. I can also teach you how to control that temper o’ yours, so it’s not so easy to rile.]”

“[You would do that for me?]” Piotr asked, his voice full of wonder.

Logan grinned. “[Yep. I’d be happy to.]”

And strangely enough, he realized that was true. How odd.

“[Miss Grey seems awfully angry.]” Piotr murmured as he looked over at the door, looking worried.

“[Trust me, Petey. It ain’t you Red’s angry at.]” Logan reassured him.

“[Are you sure? She’s a little scary. I don’t really like loud, aggressive women. They make me nervous.]”

Piotr looked over towards the door as if he expected Jean to burst in and beat the crap out of him.

Logan chuckled and muttered, “[You came to the wrong country then, comrade.]”

***

“I’ll kill him.” Jean growled, her eyes narrowing as Max caught up to her.

“What now?” Max asked, befuddled.

Jean ground her teeth, then grated, “He told Piotr that I was the Sexual Education teacher here, apparently. I was mortified when the boy brought it up.”

Max let out a bark of laughter, then immediately looked guilty. Jean’s expression darkened and Max quickly said, “You have to admit, that’s a pretty good one.”

“I can’t believe you’re on his side!” she shouted, tossing her hands in the air.

“Jean – see this for what it is. He’s pissing in his corner, letting you know it’s his. You can either get pissed on, or do the pissing.”

“How.. vivid.” Jean winced, not liking the imagery Max’s words had conjured up.

“Dee, you’re my closest friend. I know you guys don’t exactly have to get along, but..”

“How am I supposed to abide him when he behaves like this? He’s a pig.” Jean spat, angrily.

Max chuckled and explained, “He’s just trying to goad you – and you’re falling for it. You do it to each other, really. He just has different reasons for doing it.”

Jean eyed her carefully, her tone curt. “And that would be?”

“He likes irritating you.”

Jean huffed. “He’s doing a hell of a job.”

“Exactly.” Max replied.

Jean paused, frowning. “Max, what are you trying to tell me?”

“If you try to beat him at his own game, it’ll just escalate. You guys will be at each other’s throats – and then the professor will get involved.”

“Like the time with the locker.” Jean murmured, nodding.

“Yeah. The key is to just.. be pleasant to him. That’ll rattle him like nothing else. He won’t know what to expect.”

Jean looked over at her, uncertain.

“Are you sure that’ll work?”

Max grinned and nodded.

“Oh yeah. Besides, it’ll be fun to see him try to figure out what’s going on.”

Jean began smiling and replied, “And you say I fuck with people’s heads.”

***

Logan and Piotr were heading up from the showers when Jean passed them with a bright smile.

“Afternoon, boys. Did you have a good workout?”

Logan blinked and frowned, spinning as he watched her walk by.

“[What is it?]” Piotr asked, turning to see what he was looking at.

“[Not sure.]” Logan murmured.

Perhaps she was waiting until the kid was no longer around.

Yeah, that was probably it.

 

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

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