Hold Your Head High
Disclaimer: Obviously, I don't own any of the mutants. If I did, Scott and I would be busy having a lot of fun. And I'd make Warren fly me places.
Please R&R, constructive criticism always welcome (praise is equally and/or more welcome!). I'll make all my reviewers little Scott-shaped gingerbread cookies! Or Logan ones.
Annnnd...Now for the big whammy: I apologize to anyone who liked to fic as is/was (Yay! I love you all!), but I've done serious re-working. Don't worry--anything that was taken out will be added back in later. The revamping only means the story will now be longer, and more coherent. So if you read it and liked it- feel free to read it again and find new stuff! Personally I like this one better.
Scott hadn't been himself after Jean's death. Understandably so, even in Logan's mind, considering the kid would have jumped into a boiling vat of tar to save her. Logan had done his part, and tried to comfort the poor guy a bit... Well, he'd done more than he would for most people. He'd let Scott pound weakly on his shoulder while they both sobbed in shock as Jean disappeared under the torrents of water, and he'd even admitted- without sarcastic comment (for brownie points to him) - that Jean had indeed chosen Scott over him. Scott had just given Logan a weary stare, devoid of the satisfaction Logan was sure he'd feel, and walked away. So Logan stopped trying.
A few hours later that day, Logan was surprised to find the kid in the Danger Room. Logan figured he'd be crying in his room, or walking wistfully through the gardens- something more distinctly emotional and pathetic. But sure enough, Out of all the places he could be, there was Summers, single-handedly running the high-level defense/attack simulation in what appeared to be a warehouse. Not to mention he was single-handedly kicking the shit out of it. Logan couldn't help but be impressed as Scott dove out of the path of an electrical blast from an attack droid, landed in a crouch to let out a thin blast of red from behind his visor and send a metal crate ricocheting off the wall and square against the light fixture above the droid's head. The crate sent up an explosion of flames and electricity that immediately shut the attack droid down for its own safety, and Scott still managed to avoid being crushed by the anvil-like tentacle that shot out from the wall behind him. As he continued to watch, Logan started to realize something was off with Scott. He could smell it.
Usually, Summers was so controlled, so unwaveringly calm in his tactics. Right now, he was just pounding the living hell out of everything in his path. A few of the lower model robots lay in smoking piles, having been disassembled entirely by vicious red blasts. If he didn't stop soon, Logan wouldn't be surprised if Scott took down the entire program, and made some serious repairs necessary for the room. Side-stepping a hunk of metal that hit the wall a few feet from his head, Logan extended his claws with a distinct 'snickt', and headed for Scott, part of him gleeful he had an opportunity to finally land the Fearless Leader a good one. Even if it was supposed to be under the pretense of knocking him out to save the Danger Room.
Summers didn't notice the computer announce a new entry to the room, he was too busy roundhouse kicking the head off a hand-hand combat droid and cracking its visuals screen. He heard something approach him from behind- it was moving steadily, with heavy footsteps. Scott crouched slightly, ready to spring on his new attacker, one hand poised near his visor and the other clenched tightly into a fist coiled back at his side. Maybe this would be the one. Maybe if he got rid of this one too Jean would come back. Maybe if he took out enough enemies, destroyed enough... He clenched his jaw, nails digging into his palm as he waited.
Logan could see every muscle and sinew in the kid's body tighten as he approached. Scott was breathing hard, his mind obviously racing with adrenaline and misplaced vengeance no matter what his body tried to tell him. He could smell the anger pouring off Scott- he wasn't going to listen to anything. Summers was beyond rationality. Logan approached, a small, feral grin started to spread over his lips as he quietly stalked up to the tall man.
A hand clamped down on Scott's shoulder, and he reacted instantly. Grabbing the thick wrist- Scott's intent faltered for less than a split second as part of him realized it wasn't covered in metal- he spun and landed a solid elbow across his opponent's jaw, using his momentum to continue around and try to take their legs out from under them. It was like hitting a wall. They didn't budge. Unnerved but unfazed, Scott recovered quickly and moved to land a shattering kick to the back of their knees. He moved to twist the wrist backwards and jerk his opponent's arm to keep him on the ground, but was surprised by the staggering strength with which he was hit.
Logan was taken off-guard at Scott's strength, and his reflexes. The kid was deceptively lean, and Logan hadn't been expecting to end up on the ground, let alone on his knees, so quickly. His own instincts kicking in as he thumped onto the floor, Logan twisted their hands, taking the upper hand by using Scott's grip on him to flip him clear over his shoulder. Scott landed hard on his back in front of Logan, and Logan wondered for a second if he might have hurt him too badly- but Scott recovered quickly enough to smash his foot up into the jaw Logan had just crunched back into place from where he lay. Re-locating his jaw again and retracting his claws to avoid a Scott-kebob, Logan tried to roll over and land on top of Scott, to pin him until he was back in his right mind or unconscious. But Summers was too fast. Kicking up, Scott did something resembling a back handspring that landed him back on his feet facing Logan. Not waiting for his attacked to stand fully up, Scott aimed another solid kick at the side of his head. Logan caught his foot, amused at the flash of surprise on Fearless Leader's face when his kick was harshly interrupted, and he was promptly flipped around a full 360 before landing forcefully on the floor again. Winded, Scott gasped for air that barely made it into his lungs before Logan landed on top of him. His arms were pinned immovably under a steel grip, and he felt a puff of warm breath across his cheek. His primal instincts concluded before his rational brain could that his attacker was human, and so just when Logan thought he had Scott trapped, he was proved wrong as Scott brought his knee crashing up into Logan's groin. Stunned slightly, Logan barely registered Scott slipping from his grasp to stand up and take a step back. Looking up, Logan blearily saw Scott's hand raise to his visor, and held up a hand- the other one clutching his sore assets- in a temporary plea for peace.
"Summers- It's me." Logan rasped. Scott faltered for a second, hand poised an inch from his visor. After an uncomfortably long moment, he raised an accusing eyebrow.
"Logan? What the hell are you doing here?"
"Well, I was gong to watch the Professor flay you for wrecking shit, dick-wad," Logan grumbled, standing.
"Couldn't you wait?" Scott accused, sounding unbelievably annoyed. Logan deferred his answer long enough to tackle Scott out of the way of a swinging metal limb.
"End program." Logan bellowed, and the remaining robotic attacks froze.
"Wait until what?" He demanded. "You were finished destroying the evil Danger Room?" Scott paused, taking in the destruction around him. He looked guilty for a second, but covered it well with impatience.
"Well, I'm listening. What do you want?"
"Cue-Ball wants to see you."
"Jean." Scott looked like he'd been stabbed. Logan momentarily regretted being so blunt with the kid, as he choked out,
"What about her?" Logan stopped himself from blurting out 'She's dead, Scott, and you need to deal'. He didn't really want to upset an emotionally unstable mutant, even if he knew he could survive it.
"How you're feeling about her." He felt like one of Marie's day-time teen soaps, and could tell Scott did too.
"What's there to feel." Scott snapped. Logan nearly smacked him upside the head. For being the Leader of the X-Men, the kid sure knew how to act childish. Logan decided it wasn't his message to deliver, and hardened up with a growl.
"Whatever you want, just don't whine about it to me. Just the messenger, bub."
"Whatever," Summers growled, turning his shoulder to Logan. Logan's patience snapped, and he grabbed Scott's shoulder and forced him back around.
"Don't turn away from me." Logan snarled, seizing Scott's other shoulder. He struck some chord in the young man, his lips parting slightly in startled shock.
Scott reacted like a caged animal, striking out at Logan as fast and violently as he could. Logan felt his head snap back as Scott's palm connected with his ear, and a solid chop landed across his throat. His temper flaring at the uncalled for attack, Logan caught both of the slim wrists easily as Scott attempted to twist out of his grasp. It was like trying to hold a rabid cat--one who specialized in martial arts-- and if it wasn't for Logan's immovable grip on him Scott would have thrown him off in a defensive outburst as he thrashed.
Confused and incredibly agitated by the increasing difficulty of bringing Scott up to the Professor's office, Logan pushed him to arm's length, tightening his crushing grip. Scott's movements faltered momentarily at the jarring pain. Using it to his immediate advantage, Logan freed one of his wrists and smashed a fist into Scott's jaw. He figured out a second too late he may have underestimated the effort he put into it, as Scott spun and crumpled to the Danger Room floor. Scott dizzily tried to right himself, the stars exploding behind his eyes too distracting to let him be angry yet. Logan grabbed his arm, hauling Scott to his feet despite Summers standing half a head taller and pushed him towards the door. He stumbled forwards, steadied by Logan's grip. Logan couldn't help but smirk at the tall man staggering as he walked.
"You okay, Cyke?" He taunted, and Scott turned to scowl at him. Logan wasn't sure whether to laugh or wince as Scott walked straight into the door frame, his visor impeding his peripheral vision as he turned his head to glare. Scott's head cracked back, and he sunk to his knees again, clutching the side of his head with one hand on the wall. Logan couldn't help a little smirk, and almost immediately he felt a familiar tickle as the Professor's voice sounded in his head.
/Logan, I think you misinterpreted my request of bringing Scott to talk to me./ Charles' voice was bordering on angry, and Logan shrugged, picking Scott up off the floor and leading him forwards again.
/A man's gotta do.../ He retorted mentally, sticking a cigar between his teeth to light it with one hand as the door of the Danger Room hissed shut behind him.