He’s in full Gran-Mal! Get Hank up here with a cart, NOW!
“Might I have a moment of your time, Logan?”
Xavier called out as Logan and Piotr walked out of the elevator.
Logan looked over to find Charlie eyeballing him with a mild expression. Here it came. Jeannie couldn’t do the dirty work herself, so she was going to sic Xavier on him.
“[I’ll catch up with you later] comrade.” he murmured to Piotr.
The boy gave him a nervous smile, waved to Xavier, then headed off towards the stairs. He was probably still waiting for Jean to jump out at him and smack him.
Boy’s gonna need to find a spine if he wants to find a wife in this country, Logan mused quietly to himself.
“Find out anything new?” Logan asked, not wanting to sound so hopeful.
“Nothing solid as of yet, unfortunately. No, Logan – I wanted to speak to you about another unrelated matter.”
Logan raised an eyebrow and asked, “What’s up?”
Xavier’s wheelchair spun around and he began heading back towards his office.
Logan moved to follow as Charles replied, “I understand that you handled yourself remarkably well with our new student in the last session.”
Logan padded behind the professor, wondering where he was going with this.
He remained silent as Xavier continued, “And I wanted to ask you for a favor of sorts.”
Logan’s brow creased as he cautiously asked, “What kind of favor are we talkin’ here, Professor?”
Xavier had gotten in his face about calling him ‘Chuck’ soon after his return, and it wasn’t a pissing contest that Logan wanted to engage in with the man again. He was willing to concede the floor and a moderate amount of respect to a man who had been critical in liberating him from that Canadian hellhole.
When they reached his office, Xavier replied, “It’s my belief that you’ll be a remarkably good tutor when it comes to teaching self defensive courses. While these children are already strengthening their minds, I’m afraid that the physical activities portion of their education is sorely lacking. We only have four teachers at the moment, and we could really use the help.”
Logan blinked, not really sure that he’d heard the man correctly.
“Wait..you want me to what?” he sputtered, completely thrown.
“Your skills, from what I’ve seen in the taped Danger Room sessions, are exceptional.”
Logan blinked again. Of course the sessions were taped. That only made sense. He supposed it was a prime way to review tactics and moves after the fact.
“It’s my rather strong opinion that you would be an asset to this institution, and to these children, if you could teach them even half of what you know.” Xavier explained softly.
Teacher? The man seriously wanted him to instruct these kids? Was Charlie kidding? The professor was damned lucky that he wasn’t proving to be a danger to them. A mild sense of constraint settled around him that he hadn’t felt since his last time in confinement and it made his stomach roil. It felt as if something were trying to cage him again, to lock him down – slowly plucking away one freedom after the other.
Seven months ago he had only the clothes on his back, the freedom of the wilderness and nobody else to bother with. It would’ve been idyllic if people hadn’t been trying to track him to the ends of the earth. He found that he almost missed it – the lack of complications. He’d only been responsible for one thing, keeping himself alive. There was a serenity to it that the white noise of being around other people disrupted.
Now that he’d saddled himself with a mate, and soon a kid, he was being asked by this man to give more than he felt he had left. What the hell was happening here?
He could feel his expression close down as he took a step back.
“Logan? Is everything quite alright?” Xavier asked, sounding concerned now.
Logan’s mind suddenly reeled. It was too much – too much responsibility, too many ties. A strange pressure began building in his chest and he was suddenly having difficulty drawing breath.
The water was back, surrounding him – pressing on him from all sides. He was held down by something, a metal grate of sorts that was suspended just above the water’s surface. Not enough room to breathe. Something bright flickered off to the side and he turned to follow the movement. An enormous needle was being depressed into a shunt just outside the tank. Logan followed the pipe of the shunt, startled that it led through a small caulked hole in the glass to his inner arm. He began thrashing around, hearing the sounds of muffled, anxious voices as several blurry figures outside the tank scrambled around in a flurry of movement.
Ice slowly crawled up his arm, through his veins and the vision slowly blurred out of focus.
An urgent call rang out in Max’s head, connected with a series of images of Logan convulsing in Professor Xavier’s office. She leapt up from her place on the sofa, startling the hell out of both Jean and Ororo.
Jean got to her feet as Max was suddenly just – gone.
Once in Xavier’s office, Max saw Logan clawing at his throat and choking, his eyes wide as he pressed himself back into one of the bookshelves.
He collapsed to the floor, his claws extending with a loud *SNIKT*.
“What the hell just happened?” She yelled, whirling on Xavier.
Ororo and Jean appeared in the doorway as Xavier explained, “I’m afraid that he’s experiencing another episode.”
“Well fucking help him, damnit!” she cried out as Logan screamed, his body bowing up from the carpet, his muscles so taut she was sure some of them would’ve snapped his bones if they weren’t covered in metal.
“Oh my god.” Jean murmured before shaking herself firmly out of her shock. She ran over and started checking his vitals while she barked out, “Keep his arms down, dammit! I don’t want to get eviscerated while I’m trying to help him!”
Max grabbed Logan’s wrists and forced them down to the floor, pointing the blades away from her.
Dear god, he was strong. It was taking everything she had to keep him pinned.
“He’s in full Gran-Mal! Get Hank up here with a cart, NOW!” Jean yelled as she turned to the professor.
“Is there any way that you can get in – any way that you can stop this?” she asked him. Max could see the barely restrained fear in the woman’s eyes.
“I’m afraid that the storm in his mind is quite impenetrable. I’ve tried.” Charles explained, his expression one of frustration and concern.
Max leaned forward and began speaking to Logan in quiet tones, calling him back to her – desperate.
Max was beside him on the floor, yelling at him and looking as scared as he’d ever seen her.
He shook his head briefly, trying to shake off the disorientation.
How’d he end up on the floor? And why were there a bunch of wires connected to his chest?
He frowned and looked up at Max, his voice almost a subvocal growl, “What the fuck is going on?”
He was startled to find that his claws were extended. They retracted with a metallic *snikt* and he tried to sit up. Max gently pressed him back down.
“Just..wait for a sec. You’ll knock the machine over.” Max murmured as Jean appeared before him, gently pulling several sticky pads with wires off his chest and looking back at him with a pitying expression. She quickly looked away and stood up, walking behind him.
“Max..” he growled.
Max released his arms and Logan sat up, quickly spinning to put the bookcases at his back. His eyes darted around the room, sharp with anger.
“You had a seizure, Logan.” Jean explained quietly as she met his gaze. Her eyes were full of pity, and he hated it.
He grunted as his eyes narrowed. It was bad enough that he’d lost control to begin with, but to have somebody other than the Professor or Max witness it? A feeling of helplessness shot through his system and he quickly quashed it, unwilling to give it any attention.
No fuckin’ way.
A snarl escaped him as he bared his teeth.
Ain’t soft, ain’t helpless and ain’t fuckin’ tamed. Not ever.
A word echoed in his head as he balled his hands into fists.
He looked back over at Max and frowned as he stood up.
“Logan.” Max murmured, taking a step towards him.
“No. Not now.” he grated, pushing past her and leaving the room.
He had to get the hell out of here.
Max watched him go, her shoulders slumping in defeat.
“Shit.” she breathed, her hands shaky as she moved over to a chair and slid into it.
“Where the hell does he think he’s going after an episode like that?” Jean blurted, baffled.
Max let out a weak laugh and replied, “Away from here.”
She felt a gentle hand on her shoulder and looked over to see Xavier beside her, his eyes sad.
“My apologies, Max. I had no idea he’d have such a negative reaction.”
She took a deep breath, then calmly asked, “What did you say to him?”
“I offered him a teaching position here at the school. A self defense class.” Xavier responded, his tone soft.
“And that’s what triggered it?” Max asked, confused now.
“I assume so. His seizure began shortly afterward.”
At this point, the flashpoint didn’t matter. The fact that Jean and Ororo had seen him helpless had probably dealt a pretty thorough blow to his ego.
Males never liked having their weaknesses exposed, even if they couldn’t help them. In this, Pinks and Turnskins were fairly alike.
He’d also been a loner before they’d run across each other, and now that he’d promised to stay with her she wondered if he was feeling weighed down by the fact that she was now also pregnant. Had she mated with a Pack Alpha, he would’ve been almost giddy at the pronouncement, happy to welcome a new cub into the Pack. Lone Turnskins, however, were a different matter entirely. They sometimes took a long while to integrate into a Pack – that was, if they ever chose to at all.
Things were changing rapidly between the two of them – perhaps he was starting to feel more than a little trapped.
Max heard the faint sound of a motorcycle starting up and she got to her feet.
“There’s only one way to tell.” she murmured, making a beeline for the door.
“I’ll be back. With or without him.”
Max ran out to head him off before he made it to the gate. She jumped in front of the motorcycle and he stopped with a screech of tires, his expression dark and angry.
“What the fuck was that back there?” she asked softly.
“Let it go Max. Get outta the way.” Logan growled, revving the engine.
“Do you think that you’re the only one who feels lost in this?”
She met his eyes, cocking her head gently. “That you’re the only one that feels like they’ve had their wings clipped?”
Max took a step towards him, her tone soft.
“I haven’t seen my Pack in seven years.” She murmured. “Seven years feeling hobbled and constrained by the rules of the Pink world around me.”
Something began stirring in her as she spoke, her words feeling large and thick as they slid off her tongue. Logan watched her spin up, waiting for her to get it all out. It had obviously been a long time in coming.
“I made a choice, yes. But now I’ll never see them again. Never have that life back.” She blinked, frowning as if she realized something important that she’d missed before.
“My cub – our cub will never know the loving fur of my mother – my father. The scent of my siblings. I’ll never be able to provide it the guarded, nurturing environment that I was fortunate enough to enjoy.”
Oh god. How I miss her – them.
Her voice was cracking now and tears were just beginning to brim in her eyes. She’d had no idea that she felt this strongly and now the words started pulling from her, feeling like hooks in her heart.
“They’ve long moved on. And so have I. I had to.”
Her words came out in a croak as she wrapped her arms around herself in an attempt to master her emotions. It wasn’t right to keep him – the wild thing that runs free and dies in captivity. She’d chosen to cage her own soul, and the cracks were finally showing; now that she could actually see them.
“I don’t want this to be an obligation, Logan. I don’t want to cage you – to tie you to this place. To me.”
Having said her piece, she stepped out of his path, looking away from him.
Logan eyed her and quietly replied, “You done?”
Max let out a shaky breath and said, “Yeah. I’m done.”
He leaned forward on the motorcycle, keeping his tone even.
“You’re not an obligation or a promise to be kept.”
He looked back over at the mansion, frowning. “I just ain’t doin’ too well with the way things are sittin’ in my head right now, and I gotta do somethin’ about it. You understand?”
Max nodded silently as he breathed, “Good.”
His expression tightened briefly before he murmured, “I’ll be back in the mornin’.”
She felt the tightness in her chest release just a little as she looked away. He needed to run in the same way that she needed to. After months in that awful cell he needed to feel freedom again, even if briefly to break away from the rules of this place.
Max met his gaze and said, “Don’t make me come looking for you again this time.”
A brief smile curled his lips before he rumbled, “Okay.”
The smile told her everything she needed to know. It was enough for the moment. Anything else could be dealt with later.
Logan revved the bike and pulled out of the driveway as the large iron gates of the school opened before him. She watched him go until the brakelight winked out of sight, then began walking back towards the mansion.
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