X-Treme Misunderstandings

Felicia shouldered her backpack, and steadied herself on her bike. She looked back over her shoulder, and gave a light little wave to her roomate, and best friend, the Native girl known as Silent Wind. Her friend waved eagerly, and as Felicia watched, red-headed doctor Jean Grey came up behind her friend, and rested her hand lightly on her shoulder. Felicia felt a twinge as the doctor waved, then turned back and turned the key.
The engine started with a purr, and Felicia let herself rev the engine once. The motorcycle was a beauty-Scott Summers had built it. He'd said it was just one of his little 'projects', but Felicia was sure he was almost as upset at parting with this bike as he was with his last one. With a smile, she recalled his expression as he ordered her, "And if you see that clown, tell him he'd better not have scratched my bike, or..." Then he's paused, and growled.
Felicia pulled her leg up, and kicked off the stand. Feeling the bike vibrate beneath her, she slammed the throttle full open, and drove through the school gates without so much as a backwards glance. Not that she needed one.

***

Felicia rode for days, heading steadily north. She'd stop each night in a small in, making sure to lock her bike as Scott had instructed.
She hit the border the third day out, and with the documents Professor Xavier had given her, and not a bit of charm, she made it through customs easily. As she crossed onto the other side, Felicia couldn't help but think how nice it felt to be back in Canada again. She'd spent two of the best years of her life in this country, and it seemed, well, less congested here. Especially compared to Russia.
She made good progress that day. The weather was getting steadily colder, she noticed, and pulled to the side of the road to grab her coat. As she pulled it over her sweater, she looked around at the bare trees and knew she'd be into snow soon.
And she was right. By the end of the nest day, snow was falling heavily, and Felicia discovered that the rather light clothes she'd brought with her were simply not warm enough. She bought warmer clothes in a small, beside-the-way store. As the storekeeper rang her purchases up, Felicia decided to do a little investigating while she was at it.
She reached into her pocket, and pulled out the picture the Professor had given her. She held it up, and asked casually, "Have you ever seen this man?"
The shopkeeper, old and balding, squinted at the picture. He fixed the glasses that hung on a chain around his neck onto his nose, and examined the picture carefully. At last, he shook his head slowly. "I've never seen 'im before, miss. Friend of yours?"
Felicia slid the picture back into her pocket, and pushed her mirrored glasses higher on her nose. "You might say that."
The man shook his head. "I don't know, miss. He looked a rough sort of fellow."
Felicia shrugged, and picked up her bag. "He's a little rough around the edges."
He shook his head again. "I hate to see nice young girls like you getting mixed up with the likes of him," he warned.
"Don't worry," Felicia said lightly as she headed for the door. "I'll be careful."

***

Over the next couple of days, she persisted in asking people if they recognised the subject of the photo, but tried to do it casually, so they wouldn't pay too much attention. Just the same, Felicia's patience was wearing very thin.
Then, one evening, in a smoky pool hall, she asked a player the same question.
"Nope," he said brousquely, without looking up from the game.
Felicia leaned in front of him. "You didn't look at the picture," she said cooly.
The man frowned, then looked at the picture. He shrugged. "Yeah, I've seen him. What about it?"
Felicia's heart lept. "Where'd you see him?"
The man sneered. "What's it worth you?"
Felicia looked at him calmly for a moment, then turned and grabbed a pool cue off the rack on the wall. The man gave her an odd look as she walked to the table, pushed him aside, and sighted along the cue.
She knocked the white ball smartly, causing it to swing across the table, and knock every ball into the pockets. The eight ball hovered precariously on the edge of the corner pocket, then gently fell in.
To the other players dumbfounded stares, she scooped up the white ball and weighed it carefully in her hand. "How much you willing to place on a game?"
The man's eyes narrowed. "What do you want from it?"
"Information," Felicia said calmly. "Regarding my friend."
"And if I win?" he smirked.
Felicia raised an eyebrow. "You won't."
Someone laughed. "Red don't ever lose!"
Felicia calmly set the balls up. "Doesn't? We'll see about that."
'Red' snickered, then made a mock bow. "Ladies first," he grinned.
Guffaws and snorts echoed through the room, and it seemed every person in the joint had come to watch the game. One particularily drowsy woman came up to Red, and spilled frizzy blond hair, obviously dyed, over her shoulder. Felicia tried to hide a sneer, and turned back to the pool table. She sighted along her cue, ignoring the other inhabitants of the hall. Her arm shot out, and the cue hit the white ball. One ball after another clicked into the pockets, completely in ascending order, with the exception of the eight ball, which went in very last.
The room was suddenly very quiet, the silence so thick you could have cut it with a knife. Red gave her an admiring look, and his blonde 'friend' gave Felicia a scathing glare.
Red nodded. "Pretty good. Where's you learn to do that?"
Felicia smiled slightly. "You don't ask, I won't ask where you found *her*," she nodded at the blonde.
Red laughed. "Fair enough. Your friend-the one your looking for-he came through town 'bout a month ago. Said he was headed north. Said he was gonna find work."
Felicia's grin widened. "Much obliged. Any idea where exactly he was headed?"
There was silence for a moment, then the blonde spoke up. "He said he was heading up past Slte. St. Marie." She looked at Felicia with ill-disguised contempt. "I served him his dinner. Ate like a wolf, that one did."
Felicia pulled her coat on, and as she headed for the door, said lightly, "Like a wolverine, actually," Then she was outside, and the sound of her bike faded quickly away in the snow.

Please, read and review! This is a prologue of sorts, so review!