Title: Strangers in the dark

Author: codegal

Rating: R

Disclaimer: Alas, I do not own X-Men...

Summary: The last thing Marie thought would happen to her was becoming a captive of a psychotic and very hairy mutant. But as Marie gets to know him better, she finds that appearances can be quite deceiving...

Author's Notes: Just something I had lurking around my head for quite awhile...


"I'll have a beer."

Ordering, Marie sat heavily on her bar stool. The bartender complied, hen left to serve another customer, all the while wiping down the counter top. Picking up her beer mug and taking one long swig, Marie slumped forward on the bar, her brain on an overload.

She could feel the new memories of that stupid prick in her head, still swirling around, causing a slow and steady throb. Clutching her head, Marie took another swig, all the while cussing her boss for trying to cop a feel under her shirt.


Sighing, Marie knew a hangover would make her head feel worse, seeing as her headache was getting stronger by the second. She had to go home before she totally lost it.

Throwing a few bills on the counter and taking one last swig of her beer, Marie got up and left the downbeat bar, pulling the collar of her trench coat up to ward of the cold.

Stepping outside into the darkened street, Marie started walking briskly towards her apartment, which was at least a fifteen minute walk. Up ahead, she could see two silhouettes moving against each other.

Disgusted, she looked away—what was it with youths and having sex in public?

Just then, a glint of silver flashed in the moonlit street and one of the figures fell to the ground. Keeping to the shadows, Marie bit back a scream and paused, willing her breathing to normal, her throat throbbing from wanting to call for help.

Creeping silently while keeping close to the fence tat run down the street, Marie tried her best to sneak past, her eyes keeping on the outline of what appeared to be a man. A very tall man. A very tall and bulky man.

She was going to piss her pants.

Holding her breath, she kept on moving, noting that the man was still breathing hard, still standing over the other fallen guy. Cursing herself for not remembering to buy pepper spray, Marie didn't notice the empty can on the footpath.

Her foot came into contact with the empty aluminium can, and it went hit the road, and rolled away. Marie froze. Immediately, the man's head snapped up, and he sniffed, his head turning her way.


She heard the man sniff again, although she wasn't sure why the heck for. Marie looked up ahead, judging the distance to the open road. Seeing as she was still in her heels, she was highly doubted she would make it there and call for help before he caught up with her.

Which left the direction of the bar. She judged it to be at least a good hundred metres away. Her attention came back to the silent shadow.

"Who's there?" A gruff voice sounded out into the night.

Marie stayed silent and inched ever so slightly towards the direction of the bar, her breath fighting its way to burst out of her body. The shadow moved towards her and she could hear a snikt sound resonate through the deserted street.

Trembling, Marie guessed the sound to be his knife.

"I said who's there?" The shadow ordered, his voice more forceful and threatening.

Close to screaming, Marie stepped forward, her hands held out in the international sign of surrender. "I-I'm just passing through. I just wanna go home, that's all."

She could hear the shadow sniff again, and she moved an inch towards the bar. The man growled and Marie froze.

"You're lying."

Marie stopped moving and forced herself to speak, despite her hammering heart. "I'm not lying. Seriously. I was just going home."

"Then why are you going towards the bar? There are no houses that way."

The shadow stepped forward, and the moonlight washed over his face. Marie could see him now. The man's hair came up into two points on the top of his head. He had mutton chops that ran down the sides of his face and the fiercest expression on it.

Despite the sense of overwhelming fear that ran through her, Marie couldn't help the butterflies that ran through her stomach. Marie mentally slapped herself. Now is not the time to find the freakin' guy attractive!

Tapping into the well of personalities in her head, she drew out Merrick's. With his self-defence instincts running through her, Marie banished all thoughts of fear from her mind and crouched into a battle stance.

The man's head cocked to the side, and she noticed the slight tightening of his body. In deceptively calm voice, the man asked, "Who sent you?"

In a lightening quick move, she dropped to the floor and lashed her foot out, sweeping his legs out from under him. No sooner did he hit the ground was he back up, crouching into a fighting stance.

Stunned, thoughts ran wildly through Marie's head. She had obviously underestimated him.

"Who sent you?" The man snarled.

Marie looked confused, "what are you talking about?"

"Don't play games with me." With a roar, the man leapt at her. Wide-eyed, Marie quickly ducked the fist to her face, but caught the roundhouse kick to her back. Crying out, Marie fell to the ground, her breath coming out in short, hard gasps.

The man quickly straddled her and held her arms down. Marie struggled wildly, but was soon detained by the heavier and stronger man. Something cool hit her face, and Marie looked down to see a dog tag hanging from his neck.

The word 'Wolverine' and a few numbers were on it. He must have been in the army.

Breathing hard, the man leant down close to Marie's face. "Now, unless you want to end up like your friend over there, you better tell me who you are."

Marie glanced at the fallen figure and opened her mouth to protest. "But I- I don't know—"

She was cut off by the sudden sound of the bar's door being banged open. The sounds of a bar room brawl sounded through the street and people started to come outside. The sound of a siren could be heard in the distance.

Swearing loudly, the man got up, and yanked Marie up. His hand clamped over her mouth to prevent her from making any noise. Lifting her up, he ran through the street, keeping to the dark.

Marie struggled against his grasp. He placed an arm around her mid-section and held her tightly. Fighting for breath, Marie's body fell limp, as the darkness overcame her.



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