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TITLE: “More Human Than Human”
FANDOM: X-Men (Movieverse)
SUMMARY: The last woman he’d kissed was that bitch Mystique. That was the same night he’d kissed Jean, the night before she died. It was a bittersweet memory, one he wouldn’t mind erasing.
RATING: R (for language)

CHAPTER ONE: Ratfinks, Suicide Tanks and Cannibal Girls
CHAPTER TWO: Two-Lane Blacktop
CHAPTER THREE: How to Make a Monster
CHAPTER FOUR: The Devil's Rejects
CHAPTER FIVE: Killing Time



CHAPTER
SIX

GIRL on FIRE


By the time they got back to the mansion all the common areas were dim and deserted. Logan always felt Xavier’s imposing stronghold was at its spookiest at night. Once the students had gone to bed, taking all that youthful clamor and commotion with them, he couldn’t help thinking about the cold, patrician arrogance that most have gone into building a place like this, and of the withering loneliness that seemed etched into its bones.

Elizabeth was quiet as they walked Rogue and Bobby up to their rooms. The two kids had been chattering and giggling under the influence of the beer, but she hadn’t said much on the drive back. Logan figured her conversation with Rogue had probably gotten her thinking about her old life. It had to be rough, falling off a pedestal that high.

They bid Rogue and Bobby goodnight at the end of the long hall lined with student dormitories, lingering long enough to make sure they each went into their own room.

“They’re good kids,” Elizabeth finally said as they made their way back to the teacher’s wing.

“Yeah, they’re not bad,” Logan said.

“I feel for poor Bobby, though.”

“Why?”

She threw a sideways look his way. “Because his girlfriend’s got a huge crush on you.”

Logan grimaced. “I keep hoping she’ll grow outta that.”

“She will ... eventually.” They reached Elizabeth’s room. She turned to face him, leaning against the closed door with her hands tucked into the small of her back. “Thanks for the drinks, Logan. And the company.”

His mouth crooked into a smile. “You’re welcome, Betsy.”

“Betsy was my professional name,” she said, making a face. “My friends always called me Elizabeth.”

A lock of purple hair had slithered over her shoulder and he reached up to brush it back. “Are we friends?”

“Would you like to be?” she asked, tilting her head in a way that was clearly meant to be an invitation.

The last woman he’d kissed was that bitch Mystique. That was the same night he’d kissed Jean, the night before she died. It was a bittersweet memory, one he wouldn’t mind erasing.

He leaned in and pressed his mouth to Elizabeth’s. She smiled against his lips and hooked a hand around his neck, drawing him closer. He felt a moment’s doubt, wondering if this was really a good idea, but the insistence of her mouth and the steady pressure of her fingers running through his hair melted them away. The woman knew what she was doing. And something told him she needed this as much as he did.

His lips skimmed their way down to her throat, searching for the warm throb of her pulse. She drew in a quick breath as one of his hands found the swell of her breast. He dipped his head lower, his mouth brushing along her collarbone—

—and abruptly pulled away. “Goddammit,” he groaned, fighting to shake off the haze of memories that dragged at him.

“What’s the matter?”

“I can smell her on you,” he said raggedly.

“Who?”

“Jean.”

“Oh good God,” she said, drawing back. “How is that even possible?”

He pressed his forehead against the doorjamb, silently cursing Storm and her misguided attempts to be helpful. “It’s the clothes,” he said. “That and my mutant sense of smell.”

She wrinkled her nose in distaste. “That’s a hell of an ability. Must be murder in public toilets.”

“You get used to it.” He turned his face into her hair—that, at least, smelled unmistakably like Elizabeth (and cigarettes and watermelon shampoo) and nothing at all like Jean (her shampoo was rosemary and mint, and she always carried the scent of the antiseptic in the lab where she spent so much of her time)—and breathed in deeply. Jean was gone. Elizabeth was here now.

“When it comes right down to it,” he said, reaching up to twine his fingers in her hair, “we’re all just animals, driven by reflexes and instincts and pheromones.”

“How very determinist of you,” she said.

“I don’t know what that means, but I can tell you’re turned on, just by the smell of you.”

Her hand pressed against the front of his jeans, tracing the hardened flesh beneath the fabric. “I don’t need to use my mutant senses to know you’re aroused,” she said, smiling as he groaned in response. “But is that for me, or for the girl who got away?”

“Let’s get you out of those clothes and find out,” he said, the words coming out in a growl.

He’d have laid the odds of her taking him up on it at less than ten to one against, but she reached behind her for the doorknob and a moment later they were tumbling into the room together, a tangle of limbs and lips and questing hands.



Logan stood on a narrow and twisting staircase. Wind streamed past his face, bringing hot tears to his eyes. There was no railing to hold onto and nothing beyond the edge of the stairs except a yawning darkness that seemed to stretch on forever. Tendrils of terror twisted through his gut as the icy wind pulled at him, threatening to upset his balance. He wanted nothing more than to curl up in a ball and cling to the steps for dear life, but he knew he had to keep moving if he wanted to get out of this place.

Cautiously, he dared a look behind him. The stairs seemed to go on forever, disappearing into the darkness below. His stomach lurched as a wave of vertigo struck him. He wavered, teetering precariously, but managed to recover his balance. Down was definitely not the way to go. It had to be up.

It took almost all of his considerable will to raise one leaden foot and place it on the next step. The stairs were old and rickety and the wood creaked in protest, bowing perilously under his weight. He leaned forward, into his fear and the biting wind, and forced himself to take another step. And another after that.

His hands and face were numb with cold. He couldn’t stop shivering, but he pressed on, stubbornly putting one foot after another. It was like trudging through a snowbank, except there wasn’t any snow, just the bone-chilling, unrelenting wind.

A sudden, savage gust caught him off balance, causing the stairs to shudder and shake beneath his feet. He stumbled, and felt himself falling towards the edge, into the terrifying nothingness beyond. He flailed out, desperate for anything to hold onto—

Logan’s hand bounced off the edge of the night table, jarring him awake. He was freezing, as cold as he’d been in the dream. His brain felt muzzy and it took him far too long to figure out where he was. Gradually, memories of the night before began to come back to him. He was at Xavier’s school. In Elizabeth’s room. In her bed.

She lay beside him, curled up under the covers in a ball. She moaned and whimpered in her sleep, her head twitching back and forth, in the throes of a nightmare. He wondered if he should wake her up. Didn’t they say not to wake someone in the middle of a bad dream? Or was that sleepwalking? He couldn’t seem to remember. He stared at her, unable to move or make a decision. His mind just didn’t seem to be working right. He saw his pants balled up on the floor in a corner of the room and decided to try to crawl over to them. It took him a while, but he felt a little better once he’d managed to pull them on. His head seemed a little clearer, now that he was out of bed.

He heard Elizabeth cry out behind him and it occurred to him that maybe she was doing all of this with her telepathy, causing the cold and the fogginess in his head. He had to wake her up, to put a stop to it.

He began to crawl back to the bed, but his movements were agonizingly slow. It was like being back in the dream again, with the fear and the cold and his body stubbornly refusing to obey. But he knew he had to get to her, to wake her up, so she would stop all this. “Betts,” he croaked weakly. “Elizabeth, wake up.” It wasn’t enough. He forced himself onward, slowly closing the distance between them. Finally he reached the bed and managed to grab her arm, shaking her roughly.

She started awake screaming and a wall of pure, concentrated fear hit Logan like a shotgun blast to the chest. He was slammed backwards into the dresser and crumpled to the floor gasping and shaking.

“Logan? Oh my God, Logan, are you all right?”

“Peachy,” he managed to say. He felt Elizabeth at his side, her soft cool hands grasping his shoulders and helping him back to his feet. “Goddamn,” he said, rubbing his head. “That was intense.”

“I’m so sorry,” she said. “I didn’t mean—”

The door burst open. “What the fuck are you trying to do to us?” shouted Scott.

Elizabeth flinched as if she’d been struck. Tears sprang to her eyes.

Logan shoved Scott back into the hall, pulling the door closed behind them. “It’s under control,” he said in a low, firm voice.

“The hell it is!” Scott was pale and shaking with anger or fear or both. “She was projecting all over the place. This is a school, there are children sleeping below us!”

“Keep your goddamn voice down,” Logan hissed.

“She shouldn’t be here.”

“That’s not up to you to decide.”

“No, it’s up to the professor. What do you think he’s going to do when he hears about this? She’s a danger to everyone around her. She’s toxic, just like you, Logan. Everything you touch turns to shit.”

Logan felt his hands curl into fists. He wanted so badly to punch the guy right in that smug fucking face of his. But that was exactly what Summers expected him to do. And Logan would be damned if he was going to give him the satisfaction.

“Why did you even come back here?” Scott spat at him. “Haven’t you caused everyone enough trouble?”

Logan opened his mouth to reply but Scott didn’t wait to hear what he had to say. He spun around and stalked back to his room, slamming the door behind him.

“Is everything all right?”

A disheveled-looking Kurt had come out of his room. Behind him, Logan caught a glimpse of white hair as Storm backed out of sight. They’d probably heard the whole damn thing. Hell, everyone probably had.

“Yeah,” Logan said grimly. “Everything’s fucking fantastic..”

He went back into Elizabeth’s room. She was sitting on the bed clutching her knees to her chest. “Scott’s right,” she said, looking up at him.

He sat down on the edge of the bed. “About you or about me?”

“About me. Did I really give everyone my nightmare?”

“Was it about climbing a staircase?” She nodded, her sapphire eyes wide and haunted. “Then yeah,” he said. “I guess you did. It was doozy.”

“I can’t believe it,” she said, shuddering. “I’ve never done anything like that before, I swear.”

“It’s all right.” He laid a hand on her arm. She was ice cold.

“It’s not all right,” she said miserably. “There are children here, what if I gave them all my nightmare, too?”

He pulled the blanket off the bed and wrapped it around her. “Then they’ll have one bad night’s sleep and they’ll get over it. Kids have nightmares all the time. It’s no big deal, no one got hurt.”

“You did.”

“Yeah, but I’m tough.” He pulled her close, trying to transfer some of his warmth to her. “Listen, you should ask Rogue what I did to her one time when I was having a bad dream. Trust me, this is nothing.”

“I’m sorry,” she said, curling up against him. “I didn’t mean to do it.”

“I know,” he said, and held her until she fell into an uneasy sleep.


CONTINUED in CHAPTER SEVEN ...


 

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
violetlanier
Jul. 2nd, 2011 06:33 am (UTC)
never did like scott. always thought he was too stuck up for his own good. and yeah it's a school and it's for mutant to learn to control their powers. well, betts needs to learn so she should be there. shesh. and you go logan. comfort the poor girl and don't let scott get to her. granted he probably won't take the same advice. silly.

love the chapter. looking forward to the next.
hannasus
Jul. 2nd, 2011 08:52 pm (UTC)
I've never liked Scott much either (can you tell?). I really like the actor who plays him in the movies, though, and I HATED the way the character was dispensed with in the third movie (which is dead to me). Don't be surprised if I try to redeem Scott a bit somewhere down the road...
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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