|James "Logan" Howlett (snikt) wrote in thedisplaced,|
@ 2017-09-12 14:19:00
Marian was glad that if she had to be stuck in another world without Remy, at least some of the money they’d stolen together had come through with her. She finished counting it all for probably the third time since she’d moved into the apartment she had been given, then slipped it back into the bag with the damaged suit from Fenris and shoved the bag under her bed. That being done, Marian stashed the large gem they had lifted in the back of her underwear drawer, then stretched and headed out to her small kitchen to dig into the rest of the pizza she’d ordered the night before. Five minutes later, she was walking barefoot across her apartment with a near-scalding hot slice in her hand that she was munching from, when a knock came at the door. Rogue hesitated for a minute, then finally walked over to the door curiously.
“Who is it?”
The controversy over the new Rogue was enough to make Logan roll his eyes. She was a girl that was closed off to the X-Men, and while the others might have been put off by it he wasn’t entirely surprised. It wasn’t any different than when their own Rogue had issues with their dysfunctional family. She hadn’t always sided with them, but with time she became one of them, and learned to trust them. And that was all this girl needed was time to come around on her own, and not to have everyone nagging her.
Jean had sent the address as she promised, and Logan made his way over there. It was one of the apartments that the government gave to new arrivals so Logan was familiar with it. He hadn’t lived here himself, but he knew people that had. He found Rogue’s apartment easily, and without a lot of fanfare he knocked on her door.
“It’s Logan,” he answered after she had asked who it was. “Wolverine. James. Or whatever the hell you know me by.”
Now this was not a visit she’d been expecting. The last time she’d seen him had been just after her kidnapping and everything in her life had changed again, and this...well, she knew it wasn’t the same Wolverine she knew, but - he was probably the closest thing she had to any kind of family.
Which of course meant that he’d be nothing like her Logan, but she took another bite of her pizza to fortify herself, chewed and swallowed, then pulled open the door. “Heard you were here,” she said, studying him for a moment. She was wary, but she was pretty sure that if he were there to somehow take her back to Weapon X, he’d be a little less subtle about showing up. Taking another bite, she stepped back while chewing, pulling the door open wider so he could come in.
“You heard right,” he said in reply. “There ain’t much in this town that don’t eventually get heard though.” The town wasn’t small, but the community of the Displaced was. News amongst them travelled as quickly as wildfire. It was good, but it also meant that Logan was just a little more wary when it came to his privacy. He took a step into her apartment, and glanced around. There wasn’t much, but then again she had just arrived. It wouldn’t be properly lived in for a few months at least, unless she decided to move into the mansion.
“How’re you settling in,” he asked. “You liking your place?”
Once he cleared the doorway, Rogue nudged the door shut and locked it, then headed over to the couch. She sank down with her legs folded under her, large eyes watching Logan. She had relaxed a little, but still seemed ready to bolt if he stepped wrong. “It’s okay. Better than most hotels, ‘cept with those you get room service. We...Ah’d been staying in those lately before Ah got here.” Finishing off the pizza in her hand, she frowned a little as she studied him.
“Why are you here? Just doin’ the mutant solidarity thing?”
The mutant solidarity thing. It wasn’t how he’d describe it and so he chuckled a bit under his breath. Maybe underneath it all that’s what it was — a stance to show that she wasn’t alone in this universe and that she had a support system. Still, Logan knew that Rogue — his Rogue or otherwise — was a survivor. She could have done this with or without him that much he was certain of.
“Might not be the Rogue I know but that don’t mean I worry about you less.” He crossed his arms over his chest and returned her watchful gaze. “Being dragged from one universe to another ain’t easy on anyone. ‘Sides, heard from some folks that you don’t exactly trust the X-Men. Wanted to clear the air.”
Truthfully, though, Logan wasn’t sure if he was the best candidate for that considering he didn’t see eye-to-eye with Scott.
When he said he worried about her, Marian relaxed a little more. She wanted suddenly to hug him, but she and Logan had not ever been huggers - so that was a good reason to refrain. Plus, she had no idea what all he’d been through in the past, and if it was anything close to the Wolverine she knew.
“Yeah, this universe hoppin’ thing is pretty...mind-blowin’, really,” she said. At the moment, she was about 85% stubbornness and 15% bluster and wasn’t sure at all what to do about most of this. “As for the X-Men - Ah barely know them back home anyway. Ran with them for a few months, because Ah had to, but Ah don’t anymore. Why would Ah trust the X-Men here when Ah don’t know them at all?”
“Fair enough,” he answered. It was solid logic, and Logan might have left it at that, but the girls were counting on him making some headway with her. “Don’t mean you can’t get to know them. I ain’t saying to move into the mansion,” he added with a laugh while shaking his head. “Shit, I don’t even live with them. I’m just sayin’ being in this world is a lot easier when you got friends. More than just a grumpy Wolverine.”
Logan might not have known this girl, but the similarities with his Rogue were too much to ignore. Besides, he hadn’t turned his back on anyone in this town and he wasn’t about to start with this girl. “Go to school. Get a job. Get to know people even if it ain’t the X-Men. ‘Cause there ain’t no telling how long you’re gonna be stuck in this universe.”
“Yeah, Ah don’t really feel like bein’ in that place again. It’s fancy, but it’s as much a prison as Weapon X is,” she said shortly, looking away. She shrugged a little. “Ah might get to know them, or others. But Ah don’t wanna be jumped on just for tellin’ someone somethin’ happened to me back home. They wanna do that, Ah can stay far away.”
Rogue rolled her eyes when he started listing things she could do, and made a face. “Not interested in school - and Ah’m too old for it - and Ah got enough cash Ah won’t need a job for a while.
“You ain’t too old for school,” he said. “I know you’ve been goin’ ‘round telling folks you’re nineteen when you’re not. And cash won’t last long, sweetheart. Things in this world are expensive, and you can’t be ordering pizza every night if you do want it to last.” Typical teenage rebellion, he thought, and rolled his eyes.
“Ain’t no one’s got a right to tell you what did and didn’t happen to you in your world. Same holds that you can’t go and hold shit against the X-Men here just because of what they did in yours. They ain’t the same people.” Hell, Logan wasn’t even sure if he was the same guy that she knew, but from what he had heard there were plenty versions of him out there that were nearly the same.
She frowned at him when he called her out on the age thing. “Even if Ah wasn’t nineteen - which Ah am,” she said stubbornly, “What’s it to ya? No one here is a parent of mine.” She nearly told him that she had several thousand dollars in cash, but refrained because that really wasn’t the best thing to tell anyone at all.
“Ah ain’t holdin’ anything against anyone. Ah know they’re not the same people. You’re probably not even him,” she said, and that was one of the worst parts about this whole deal. “You probably don’t even remember me bein’ down the hall from you at that place, do ya?”
He looked at her with amusement in his eyes. There was gonna come a time when she was gonna wish she was young again, but for now Logan didn’t press the age issue. She could lie all she wanted, but with their community as small as it was everyone would know eventually her real age.
Logan started to feel bad when she lamented that he wasn’t the Wolverine she knew. He sighed, and shook his head. He wasn’t going to lie to make her feel better, and it wasn’t like it was on purpose. He wasn’t from her world, and that wasn’t anyone’s fault. “Look, kid. I might not be from your world, and I don’t remember the things you do, but I’m Logan. And I’m in your corner, y’hear?”
Curling up on the couch, Marian wrapped her arms around her legs as she met his gaze, then looked away. “Sure y’are,” she replied, then gave a shrug. “So you Ah can treat like him, but others Ah don’t? Y’all realize just how confusin’ that is for someone?” Shaking her head, Rogue sighed.
“But fine - whatever. So now what do you want?”
“I’m a little more laid back than the others,” Logan said in a deadpan tone. “But piss me off and it won’t be as pretty.”
He made his way to one of the empty chairs and settled in. “You wanna tell me about your world? I ain’t a talker, but I can listen. We can see how much I match up to your Logan. If not then I’m gonna head out.”
Okay, that actually had her snorting, and after a moment she smiled a bit and sat back, slowly uncurling. As he sat, she studied him for a moment, then shook her head. “Ah can tell you whatever you wanna know, but Ah don’t really know how to start. Like where things go different, ya know? Ah mean, Ah can tell you how we met, and see if things match up from there?”
After he consented, she started to speak slowly, telling him about how she got caught up with Weapon X and how she met Logan, then what she knew about Logan being sent to get in with the X-Men to kill Xavier and how he’d gone off book. She then told him how she’d been sent in after and had been successful in helping to catch the X-Men and they were all being used by Weapon X for a while. As she continued, Marian started to open up more, though there was still a faint edge of haunting in her eyes thanks to all she’d been through in her short life.
Logan listened quietly as she talked. The mere mention of Weapon-X made the hairs on his neck stand on end. It seemed to him they caused trouble no matter what world they existed in. It hurt him to think that not only had Rogue been used by them, but all of the X-Men. When she finished Logan leaned back in the chair, and let out a sigh.
“That’s rough, kid,” he said finally before he told her what was and wasn’t similar in their storylines. But he didn’t elaborate on his entire history. That was too much too soon. When he was done he offered up a sympathetic smile (as sympathetic as Logan could muster) as he ran his fingers through his hair. “Do you got any questions? I can’t promise answers, but I might surprise ya.”
“Eh,” She shook head after a moment. “Ah don’t really know where all to start. Ah’m not ready to make friends with everyone and their sister, ya know? But Ah’m not gonna stay inside all the time either. What all is there for people to do around here? What do you do here?” It boggled her mind that he was a part of the X-Men so easily now - and had been for a while now - and it made her feel even more lost. So far everyone else was nothing like the people she knew, so this...it was a lot to take in.
Logan understood how confusing it all could be, to some extent. He was always a survivor and could adapt to nearly any situation. Maybe that was more of his mutation than the healing factor and bone claws, who knew. Point was that he wanted Rogue to get over it quick because she’d have a hard time in the long run if she didn’t.
“Most of us get jobs,” he said with a shrug. “I work at the school and I got a gym that I run with Laura. Everyone’s welcome there to train.” He didn’t invite her outright, but it was an invitation nonetheless. “The town’s got a lot of shit to do, and don’t let this quiet fool ya. Shit hits the fan… a lot.”
Rogue rolled her eyes at the idea of getting a job - she didn’t have any real skills aside from stealing and killing, and she had a feeling neither would get her something respectable. “A gym, huh? Maybe Ah’ll check that out.” It could be better than nothing, at any rate.
“Scott said something like that, but didn’t really elaborate too much.”
“You’ll need a job eventually. Whatever money you got stashed away ain’t gonna last. Shit can get expensive.” And not everything was free. Logan rose to his feet, and glanced down at Rogue. He smiled a little, and then made his way to the door. He had one hand on the handle before he stopped to say one last thing.
“I ain’t saying you gotta trust me or anyone else, but you gotta try eventually otherwise this is gonna be a lonely existence.” He opened the door and looked over his shoulder at her. “Take care, kid, you know where to find me if you need anything.”
“Ah got enough for now,” she retorted, but there was no real bite to the words. She looked up in surprise when he stood up, not having expected him to leave so soon, and stood herself, stuffing her hands into the pockets of her jeans absently.
“Ah’ll think about it,” she promised, and when he paused at the door, Marian hesitated. Before he could step out, she ran across the room and gave him a hard, fast hug, her cheek against his chest, then broke away, stepping back.
“See ya around, Logan.”
Logan smiled with the hug, and when she stepped back he put a hand on her shoulder. “It’ll be okay, kid, I swear.” Because no matter what, no matter what version of Rogue that Logan was presented with he’d watch out for her even if she was hell bent against it. He offered up one last smile before he turned to leave. The girl had a lot to think about without him hovering around.