Disclaimer: I own nothing.
A/N: This is from an old collection of fanfics I wrote. It's just a one-shot. I was going to turn it into a longer fic, but decided against it. I liked that it ended on a sweet note. Also, it was before my otp became X-23 and Deadpool. I still ship her and Julian, just not the same. Anyways, hope you enjoy it.
Face of the Monster
Logan pulled the door of the Danger Room open to see just what he expected, Laura Kinney, also known as X-23, his pseudo-daughter, fighting hand to hand with a seemingly endless group of ninjas.
"It's four in the mornin'. Is there a reason your not sleepin', Kid?" He leaned against the wall and crossed his arms in front of him.
"I do not wish to talk about it." She replied without looking to him. A ninja jumped at her back and she simply threw her hand behind her head and stabbed his jugular with her claws.
Logan grunted. "Too bad, Kid." He paused and waited for her to speak, but nothing came. He sighed and dropped his arms to his sides and stuffed his hands in his jean pockets. "I know what day it is."
His words egged Laura on and she gutted two ninjas and kept slicing at them until they were a pile of blood and flayed flesh. Logan nodded his head to someone in the booth, and the scene disappeared. He stepped toward her and put his hands on her shoulders. "Laura. Stop."
Laura squeezed her eyes shut and scraped her claws against the ground, leaving deep scratches in the surface. Her eyes stung, and her body ached. Her muscles felt ready to give out. How long had she been in here?
"Laura." Logan's tone was softer, well as soft as he could manage, and he waited.
Laura couldn't release the pain inside her. It haunted her. She couldn't understand what was happening to her. She picked up her right hand and held her claws over her left wrist. Before she could slice into her skin, Logan's hand grabbed her right wrist and he held fast to her. "Laura. You're not alone. Let go."
Her head dropped. "I cannot let go. I do not know how."
Logan lifted her and led her from the room. "Let's get ya somethin' ta eat and drink. I was told ya haven't been eatin' for a couple a days."
"Who informed you of this, and how did you become aware that I was not in bed?" Laura did not look at him, but she let him guide her through the halls and to the kitchen.
"Sooraya told me you never came to bed, so I woke Cessily and Keller cause ya spend more time with those two, and I asked if they'd noticed ya actin' funny. Said they noticed you haven't been eatin', but they was worried you'd stab 'em if they tried to make ya." Logan smirked. "You can stab me all ya want, Kid. Your still gonna eat."
Laura stayed silent the rest of the way to the kitchen, and Logan sat her at a table. He sat a bottle of water and a plate of toast in front of her.
"Here ya go. They don't have much else. Looks like Cyke needs to go grocery shoppin' again." Logan sat across from her and leaned back in his chair. "Now, why're ya doin' this to yourself?" Laura didn't respond, nor did she move to eat. "Look, I know it's the day your mother died. Still, Kid, ya can't do this to yourself. Ya gotta eat, and ya gotta sleep. Ya can't spend hours fightin' imaginary people hoping it'll go away."
Laura kept her eyes cemented to the ground. "My mother did not die. I killed her."
"It wasn't your choice. Kid, I'm sorry for what happened, but ya can't do this to yourself. People are worried about you. I'm worried."
"I should not have returned here." Laura rubbed her fingers over the recent scars on her wrists. Her healing factor never healed them as quick as her battle wounds, Dr. McCoy believed it to be related to her emotions.
"What do ya mean?"
"I do not understand what I am feeling when it comes to these people. Just as I begin to understand even a little, I begin to feel something different towards Julian Keller, and I do not understand anymore. I am a danger to these people. Ms. Frost was correct in her summation. I do not belong here." Laura lifted her eyes and looked at her mentor, the closest thing she had to a parent now.
"What'd Emma say ta you?" Logan's temper flared and he jumped up. "I'll take care of that. You have every right to be here, Laura. Your mother wanted ya here with me. You are not responsible for anything from your past. They were not your choices, and you do not need to punish yourself for what they made ya do."
"You are angry." Laura stared at him with her confused eyes. "I do not understand why."
"You're damn right, I'm angry. My daughter has every right to be here just as much as any-a these snot nosed kids. I'll have it out with Emma before she sends you away." Logan paced back and forth. "Look, Kid, eat and get to bed. I'm not gonna have ya passin' out or sleepin' in any of yer classes tomorrow. I gotta straighten this out."
Logan stomped out of the room, and Laura heard him grumble something to someone in the hall. She took a sip of her water and sat it back down before the door pushed open again, and Julian entered. A strange feeling of insects crawling inside her rose to her stomach, and she averted her eyes once more.
"Geez, what's got him pissed now?" Julian smiled and paused across from her.
"I do not know. I do not understand what I did wrong." Laura looked him in the eyes as she spoke.
He shifted from one foot to the other with his hands stuffed in his pockets. He motioned to the chair Logan left. "Can I sit here?"
"I do not see why you would not be capable." She replied.
Julian hesitated. Should he explain it to her? He decided against it and sat down. "What are you doing in here?"
"Sitting and responding to your interrogations."
His mouth dropped. If he didn't know any better, he would've thought she was being a smart ass. "I mean . . . why are you in here when you should be asleep?"
"You are not asleep either."
He sighed. "Because your guardian woke me up, and I could not get back to sleep." Laura didn't respond, and he supresed a groan. "Why are you awake?"
"I find sleep evades me as well."
"Okay, why?" Julian already started to regret this. As much as he liked and thought about this girl, sometimes she made him want to pull his hair out.
"I do not wish to discuss this." She stated.
"Okay." He sighed. "Well, I'll tell you why I couldn't go back to sleep. I was worried about someone I care about, and I knew I wouldn't be able to relax until I knew they were okay."
Laura stared at him with blank eyes, and Julian wanted to shake her. Sometimes talking to her was as difficult as giving a lion a back massage.
"It is the anniversary of the day my mother died. I should not be here, but I do not wish to leave. I should not exist, but I cannot die. I do not understand what I am feeling, and I am scared. I do not wish to harm anyone anymore." Laura's words tumbled from her lips, leaving Julian stunned. He certainly wasn't expecting her to share, and especially not share that much.
"I'm sorry, about your mom." Julian frowned. "And I'm glad you're here. You scare me, but I don't want you to leave. You belong with us."
Laura didn't know what to say, so she didn't say anything. She eyed the toast, and her stomach grumbled.
"You sound hungry." Julian stood and went to the cupboard and collected a couple packs of jelly and a knife. He sat them before her. "You sure you'll be able to eat all this yourself?" He joked.
"It is not much, but you can have it if you are hungry." She nudged the plate towards him.
He paused. "I'll eat a piece if you eat the other."
"I do not understand."
He leaned forward. "We're making a deal. Do you really want Logan to come back and see that you haven't eaten? He seemed really angry. Since you don't seem too motivated to eat the toast on your own, I'll help you by eating part of it and you can eat the other part."
Laura nodded. "That will suffice."
"Okay. What kind of jelly do you like?" He took one piece of toast and spread grape jelly over it.
"I like grape and strawberry." She replied.
"Good, because it seems I only grabbed grape." He smiled and handed her the first piece of toast before spreading jelly on the second piece.
The two sat in silence and munched on their food. When they were finished, Julian used his telekinetic powers to move the plate to the sink. He turned back to Laura and saw her shoulders drooping. Laura finally decided she could sleep.
"I'll walk you back to your room." He stood and waited for her to join him. The two walked down the halls in silence and he paused outside her room. "Goodnight, Laura."
"Goodnight, Julian. I appreciated your company." She let herself in the room and closed the door behind her, leaving Julian standing alone and wondering if he heard her correctly. He finally sighed and returned to his room.
A/N: Just a note on the title. It is named Face of the Monster because when she first came to the school so many were afraid of her and thought she was a freak, especially Julian, and here he sees that maybe she's not someone to be completely afraid of (though she could still kill him if she wanted to). Well let me know what you think . . . I will ignore all flaming, just so you know.