|James "Logan" Howlett (snikt) wrote in thedisplaced,|
@ 2017-08-30 17:26:00
|Entry tags:||!log/thread, laura kinney / wolverine (616), logan howlett / wolverine (616)|
Who: Big Wolverine and Little Wolverine
When: Backdated to when Laura turned young
Where: Logan's ranch
What: Logan attempts to connect with young Laura. He does a good job. :)
Warnings: Abuse is hinted at concerning the Weapon X program
It felt like he had time-travelled.
There was Laura — deceptively diminutive — sitting in her room unwilling to come out to explore the place that was her home. He was seeing her from a time before she was exposed to the unforgiving streets of New York, more innocent in so many ways despite the fact that she had already been used in missions. He felt even more protective of her in this state. A child created for the sole purpose of being used to carry out the whims of other men. Logan knew all too well what that felt like, but he had also known it at a later time in life. He had tasted freedom before the Weapon X program, and instinctively he knew that was what he wanted when he escaped from them. Laura was born into it, and had no idea of freedom at all.
Logan had kept all the doors in the ranch open so that Laura wouldn’t feel confined, but that did little to help draw her out. So he made his way up to her room with a sandwich in one hand and a glass of milk in the other. He breached her doorway, and offered up a half-smile to her.
“Figured you’d be hungry,” he said. “Considerin’ you ain’t come out of your room all day.” He entered the room fully, and set the food and drink on the desk.
This room was-- decidedly unfamiliar. She had been in places like it before, of course, but only on missions. They were rooms that other people had. She wasn’t even sure of the purpose of all the things, pictures tucked into mirror frames, trinkets on window sills, a model pelican sitting in the corner, a wardrobe full of clothes that wouldn’t fit her. The bed was enormous. Did she really live here? She couldn’t even begin to imagine it. So many things that she was told belonged to her, but how could she own anything when she wasn’t even… didn’t even own herself? They’d even said she had a name.
She was sitting on the floor, head tilted upwards just enough to see outside through the top of the window across from her. The ranch they’d taken her to was a little bit outside of town and she did have to admit she felt a little better here, even if it was just as confusing as being on the streets had been. None of what they told her matched up to what she had expected from an adult who clearly had enough knowledge to take responsibility for her. But they were adults, and they did know a lot about her. She would go along with them for now, at least until she could figure out what they really wanted.
She smelled Logan coming before she saw him enter, the man who smelled so much like her, who Natasha had strictly forbidden her from attacking despite her previous orders. Supposedly she was to live with him. In the real world children needed guardians. It made sense - he might be the only one able to take her down if necessary.
The food did smell good. She was used to high-nutrient foods, often in the form of shakes or bowls of some kind of glop, though sometimes when she performed well she was allowed red meat or fruit. The normal things that people ate, designed for lower metabolisms and a focus on taste, were more unfamiliar. She hesitated, looking at it, then decided that there didn’t seem to be any hidden traps in his words. She was supposed to eat it. She crept forward just long enough to take the sandwich and glass before putting space back between them, keeping half an eye on him as she took a bite. She had been hungry.
Her movements were like that of a cornered and threatened animal, and really Logan hadn’t expected anything less. He could take her down should the need arise, but he hoped that it wouldn’t. He knew how to act around her to gain her trust since they had been in this situation before. It amazed Logan that she hadn’t tried to attack him. Their first meeting replayed in his mind, and he couldn’t help but smile at it. The memory reminded him just how far they had come, together, and if this de-aging thing wasn’t reversible then they’d have to do it all over again. He could deal with it, he thought, and at least this time around he’d get to protect her from all the other shit she had to go through.
Logan smiled when she took the food and hungrily bit into the sandwich. “Don’t worry, kid,” he said. “There’s plenty more where that came from. Figured tonight we’d make some burgers.” He arched a brow, and shook his head. “Well, I’ll make ‘em since I reckon you won’t be coming out anytime soon.” And really he had no intention of making her do something she wasn’t ready to do. Logan knew that Laura would come around in her own time.
That-- made her relax a little, actually, the admission that though they might have preferred her to wander at will, he understood that she probably wouldn’t do so. She had been told little of the history of Weapon X but with the similarities between them she had always assume that he was like her. Not anymore though. She wasn’t sure how to ask about that - had he escaped or left somehow? Been abandoned like her? How long had it taken him to figure all of this out, so he could have his own big house and do whatever he wanted? Questions were… usually discouraged.
The milk was good, too, thicker than water and less gritty and chalky than the shakes. She kept shooting small glances at him, wondering what she was actually here for. She wouldn’t mind taking missions from him, she thought. These conditions were not what she was used to, but if they wanted her to have them she would… try. And he likely had a better idea of her abilities than the Facility handlers did. The sandwich and milk were both gone quickly, and she set the glass down between them where he’d be able to reach it. What now? Was this a perfunctory visit to cater to her physical needs, or something more?
Logan moved to take the dishes, slow and easy steps to show that he didn’t mean any harm. He kept his eyes on her though because he knew she was unpredictable. There was no telling what was going through her mind, but Logan guessed that it was probably swimming with questions. He offered up a grin — a small twitch of his lips really — before he stood back up.
“You know you can sleep on the bed,” he said to her. “And you’re allowed to walk around the house.” He paused. “I know it don’t make a lick of sense you being here, but you’re safe. I promise. You don’t gotta do anything you don’t want to. But if it makes you feel better I can find something to keep you busy.”
‘Want’ was not a word used around her very much, and when it was it was centered on other people. Dr Rice. Kimura. What they wanted mattered. What she wanted was… not something she’d had cause to consider in a very long time. Not since she was too young to know better, really. His words might have been more comprehensible if he was speaking a foreign language, given how many she was familiar with. The bed’s too soft, she thought, but out loud she stuck with, “I would like to be useful.” From what she’d seen the house was on a decent plot of land; even if they didn’t want her to do what she was trained to do there must be some other tasks. Something more concrete than “do what you want” when the only things she could really see to do were to read the books on a shelf along a wall or listen to some of the music.
Logan understood what Laura was feeling. The Weapon X program was only concerned with one thing, and that was creating the perfect killer. They had made the mistake of taking Logan when he was an adult and had enough of a survival instinct in that damned brain of his to escape when he could. His memories might have been shit when he ran, but at least he was free. Laura never even had that chance. They had her since birthed and had molded her to be obedient.
“All right,” he said in response to her. She needed structure and he was going to give it to her. “I want you to patrol the perimeter of the land. There’s a shitty fence at the border. Look for places that need to be fixed and mark them with flags I got out in the barn. Then we’ll go hunting.”
That, at least, was something relatively familiar. While most of her missions were straight up offensive assaults, it was hardly her only skillset. Securing a perimeter made sense to her, more sense than finding herself in this far away town where she didn’t recognise anyone, with people who were strangely solicitous and unwilling to be firm. Yes, children needed guardians, but she wasn’t really a child, and it would be easier to adjust to some of their more wild expectations if they acted like they knew that.
Perimeter and hunting was a start. A fence wasn’t ideal security, even for the border of a large property where it was difficult to monitor all the potential points of entry, but where it did exist maintenance was essential. Maintenance, and someone stealthy enough to catch any intruders unawares. She nodded, rising lithely to her feet to follow the instruction since there didn’t seem to be anything else holding her up. She’d been given more than sufficient time to eat and rest.
At least she was responding to him. This Laura needed the discipline. She needed a mission, and Logan could do that for her. If anyone in this town understood her it was him; she was his after all. Clone or not Logan always saw her as his daughter, and this time with her at this age made his feel as if he could make up for lost time. Not that he needed to — they were both at the mercy of circumstances beyond their control. But he imagined that had he had her at this age this would have been their life, except with more Danger Room sessions.
“The barn’s out back. Can’t miss it,” he said to her. “Flags are in there in a barrel.” He watched her as she stood to her feet. “I want you to be done in an hour,” he added. A more strict timeline couldn’t hurt. His property was large, but he knew she’d be able to handle it without a problem. “Look for areas that’ll be good for a camera, too.”
One hour. She had a good sense of time, largely due to practice - she usually had a time limit to make it back to a rendezvous point, and being late was… not looked on kindly. She’d learned quickly in the beginning, and it had only happened once in recent years. She still didn’t know what had happened, she had been sure she was within the limit, but she’d only made it in time to watch the helicopter leaving as a large group of AIM staff bore down on her with guns.
And with the tight timeframes she was used to, sixty minutes for this job should be doable. She could get a better assessment of the size of the perimeter on the way to the barn so she knew how quickly she needed to move.
Normally she would get to work silently, fulfilling her orders the best recognition of understanding them there was, but she felt like it wasn’t quite enough. For all Logan’s style was completely different from what she was familiar with, he seemed to be… going further than he needed to for her, maybe. She hesitated for a moment, unsure how to acknowledge that or even whether she should, whether it was one of those things that had to go unspoken of like when Dr Kinney read her Pinocchio instead of tactical texts or when her sensei had told her she was doing well. But Logan was tougher than her sensei had been. Even if someone tried to make her hurt him as punishment, it wouldn’t work. Everything else was so shaken up that the risk didn’t seem as bad as it would back inside the Facility. “Thank you,” she whispered, knowing that he’d be able to hear the words clearly even as she slipped quickly past him to leave the room and find her way to the barn.
Sometimes the programs just looked for a way to fuck with you. It was how they operated. The best way to learn in their eyes was to fail at something, get punished for it, and then you’d never fail again. Logan didn’t want to think about what Laura had to endure at the hands of the program. He was glad that she wasn’t with them, hadn’t been with them for sometime now, but that didn’t mean he didn’t regret not getting her sooner.
Her words might’ve been a whisper, but they held the weight of the world. He knew it wasn’t easy for her to say, but he appreciated it regardless. He didn’t acknowledge them with the typical response; instead, he grunted his reply. To anyone else it might have seemed like he was annoyed, but he knew that Laura would understand. They weren’t wordy folks, and things like “thank you” and “you’re welcome” were better left unsaid. They’d show their appreciation through action, after all.
He let her walk by him knowing that he could trust that she would return. This was all strange to her, but she and him were connected. He smiled as he listened to her footsteps through the house and eventually out the door toward the barn. They’d get together in an hour to do some hunting. And then, maybe, she’d be relaxed enough to wander about to revel in the freedom she now had.