The more you know
Rating: T for profanity, snarking
Characters: Logan, Scott
Summary: Knowledge is power. Especially aboard the Blackbird. Kind of a sequel to "Fly the Passive-Aggressive Skies."
All standard disclaimers apply. Don't own them, am making no money off them, am not worth suing, honest. All hail Rachel, beta extraordinaire, who does her level best to keep me from making a fool out of myself.
The more you know
"Now you hear that grinding sound?" Summers said. "And that kind of high-pitched whine?"
"I'm always hearing you whine, Summers," Logan said irritably. "You never shut the fuck up. And it ain't my fault your voice hasn't changed yet."
"Let's try this again," Summers said in his very best licensed-to-teach voice, the one that made Logan's claws itch to fillet him. "The point of this is to familiarize you with the jet. The more you know about her, the less likely you are to be afraid of her. Or so the professor says. Do you hear the grinding sound?"
"I ain't afraid of the jet, I'm afraid you'll get us all killed in the jet," Logan clarified. "Cuz you don't know what the fuck you're doing, and you really should be back in the Boy Scouts working on your merit badges or whatever the fuck kids do these days. And yeah, I hear the goddamn grinding sound," he added, rolling his eyes.
"Well, good," Summers said serenely. "That's the landing gear retracting. That means 'going up.' That's very important. Goodness, just think what would happen if it didn't go up correctly. The wind drag would probably pull it right off. Maybe into an engine or something. THAT wouldn't be good."
Logan swallowed hard.
"And even if it didn't hit an engine," Summers continued blithely, "it STILL wouldn't be good. Imagine how we'd land without landing gear. I guess … well, I guess we'd just have to slam her down somewhere and hope for the best."
Logan tightened his grip on the armrests.
"Maybe in a pond somewhere," Summers went on thoughtfully. "Less likely to end up in a fireball that way."
"A fireball?" Logan managed.
"But don't worry. I'm sure that won't happen to us," Summers told him. "Well, pretty sure. I suppose it has to happen to SOMEONE, but there's no reason to think it would happen to US. At least not today. Probably."
Was the little shit's mouth twitching? The way it did when he was trying to hold back a smirk? "Could we move on from the fucking landing gear?" Logan snapped. "It goes inside the plane when we go up, it comes out when we go down. I got it, all right? This is the extent of your piloting knowledge? No wonder people get their goddamn affairs in order before they fly with you. Christ."
Summers lifted a brow. "Testy, testy, Wolverine. All right, now you see these switches here? They help control the rudders. Now THERE'S an important section. The rudders help us steer. You know, so we don't slam into a mountain or an F-16. Steering's very important," he told Logan seriously.
"Well, thank Christ you're here to tell me that," Logan said sarcastically. "Never would have figured it out otherwise. You this full of information in auto shop? No, skip it – I've always said you don't know shit."
"Oh, come now, Logan," Summers said sweetly. "There are all kinds of things I know that you don't. For instance, did you know a plane can get hit by lightning?"
"Only if we piss off Storm."
"No, really, planes get hit by lightning all the time. Think about it – a big metal object? It's a natural conductor."
Logan looked out the co-pilot's window at the curvature of the earth below and swallowed hard. "You ain't telling me we're gonna get hit by lightning."
"Look, it's not that big a deal – " Summers began.
"Like fuck it's not!" Logan said, temper fraying. "Jesus Christ! It's not enough that we're thousands of feet up in the goddamn sky – "
"Eighty-five thousand feet, actually," Summers said. "We're about 16 miles up. And traveling at three times the speed of sound. But try not to dwell on it. Go on."
"It's not enough that we're up so fucking high, now you're telling me we're gonna get fried? That it happens all the goddamn time? Fuck, I always knew this piece of shit was a deathtrap."
Summers' lips thinned. It belatedly occurred to Logan that Jean referred to the Blackbird as "the other woman." Something to add to the ever-growing list of reasons why Captain Tightass was a freak.
"This is not 'a piece of shit,' " the kid said icily. "SHE'S an SR-71, a Blackbird, the fastest air-breathing jet in the world. You should feel damn privileged to be aboard. Flying a Blackbird is a religious experience."
"I knew there was a reason everyone prayed on this thing," Logan muttered. "I just figured they were praying you don't crash us. Or lightning doesn't get us. Fuck."
"Lightning will not 'get us,' " Summers said. "Haven't you been listening? It happens all the time. Planes are built to deal with it. Though . . . " he cocked his head and gave Logan an speculative look.
"What?" Logan snapped. "What? Something wrong? You hit the wrong switch? We're not gonna crash, are we? Oh, fuck, I knew it! We're gonna crash!"
"We are not going to crash," Summers said with exaggerated patience. "I was just wondering about the lightning. If maybe having a guy with a metal skeleton aboard would make us more likely to get hit by lightning. Or if it would change the way the plane reacts to being hit by lightning. You know, if it would knock out the navigation system. Or fry the controls. Something. But don't worry about it."
"Don't worry about it?" Logan cried. "Don't WORRY about it?"
"Don't start shrieking," Summers warned. "It's very distracting. You don't want to distract me now, do you? Just think what could happen."
"I don't want to know!" Logan yelled. "You hear me? I don't want to know! Just land this fucking thing!"
"If I'm distracted, I could misread a gauge," Summers went on mercilessly, lips twitching. "Like the fuel gauge. Imagine what would happen if we ran out of gas. Eighty-five thousand feet up. Traveling at Mach 3."
"Imagine what would happen if I gutted you right this instant," Logan said between gritted teeth, trying very hard not to shriek.
"Well, golly gee, Wolverine," Summers said, making no effort to hide his smirk now. "I guess you'd have to fly this deathtrap yourself." He flipped a few switches and settled back in his seat, folding his hands behind his head.
Logan's mouth went dry.
"Summers," Logan said hoarsely. "Summers. Come on, kid. Just get us down. I got a healing factor. You don't." He looked out the window and totally failed to appreciate the view of North America. "This ain't gonna end well, you know what I'm saying?"
"But Logan," the kid said, smirking harder than anyone in a near-death situation had a right to, "you've said yourself your healing factor might not help in a plane crash. We're in this together. Go on, take the wheel. You can do it."
"Does Jeannie know you're suicidal?" Logan demanded, voice rising incrementally with each word. "Cuz you know I'm just messing with you when I hit on her. You know she'd never leave you, right? That she shoots me down all the time, right? Right? RIGHT?" He glanced out the window again. Were they losing altitude? "You got a lot to live for, kid. That woman adores you. Think what it would do to her if you bought it."
"Hysteria won't help you fly the jet," Summers pointed out. "Neither will hyperventilating. Might make you more likely to have trouble, actually." He took off his visor and rubbed at his eyelids. "God, I'm tired. Kids have been running me ragged. Listen, just take her in and wake me when you're ready to land."
"I ain't taking it in!" Logan cried.
" 'HER,' not 'it,' " Summers said, eyes closed.
"Her! She! Whatever!" Logan shouted. "Just put on your goddamn visor and GET US DOWN."
"If you don't take over, we'll end up on the ground anyway," Summers said mildly. "We're bound to hit something sooner or later. Or run out of fuel. Or just hit an air pocket and – "
"Oh, FUCK!" Logan cried.
Fifteen minutes later, Scott Summers sauntered off the Blackbird, where Jean met him in the hangar with a suspicious look. "Scott? What did you do? You promised to behave yourself. You PROMISED."
"I promised, and I'm a man of my word," Summers told her, putting an arm around her as they strolled out of the hangar. "I'm the Boy Scout, remember? No acrobatics. Just a simple little flying lesson."
"If it was a 'simple little flying lesson,' why is Logan in the fetal position under his seat?" Jean asked. "You should hear what he's projecting. He's incoherent. Not to mention incontinent."
"He's just taking it all in," Summers assured her. "Today's lesson was about the autopilot."