The Call of the Wolverine
Rating: T for profanity
Characters: Logan, Scott, Hank, Darwin the beagle. Jean and Ororo mentioned.
Summary: A bored Wolverine and a cell phone mean trouble.
Don't own them, am making no money off them, etc. All hail rachel martin64, beta goddess extraordinaire, who improves everything I do.
The Call of the Wolverine
It was summer break at the Xavier Institute, and peace reigned at the mansion. Students roamed the campus happily, the staff spent their time pursing hobbies, and the X-Men hadn't had anything resembling a mission in weeks. No new mutant kids to pick up, no new mutant enemies to fight, no action, no nothing – nothing but calm.
It was driving Logan fucking nuts.
No one to punch, kick or claw. No real reason to slam anyone into a wall, though God knew he looked for one. No one to even argue with, because Ororo practically lived in her garden, McCoy and Jean worked in their lab and seldom had anything comprehensible to say to anyone, and Summers and Xavier were somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico enjoying a week of deep-sea fishing and some father-son bonding shit.
Fucking Summers. Little shit just had to fucking disappear when the team was in the middle of a dry spell. And Chuck let him do it. For a goddamn shrink, the guy didn't seem to grasp the notion of aggression needing an outlet. And that it helped if the outlet was a prissy preppy shit who had a hot redhead he sure as hell didn't deserve and a bike – a whole bunch of bikes! – he shouldn't be allowed to breathe on, never mind own. It made Logan's claws itch as he stalked around the mansion grounds.
Logan scratched his neck irritably, scowled at his boots and snarled at a nearby squirrel that dared to make eye contact, deriving dim pleasure when the overgrown rat panicked and scurried off. He wondered idly if he could go to a bar and pick a decent fight. Maybe with some skinny guy with glasses. Could the Danger Room drones be programmed to look like a teammate?
No. Better. He flipped open the Iridium global satellite cell phone Summers had insisted he start carrying, punched one of the numbers Captain Tightass had pre-programmed it with, and waited.
"Now, listen, kid," he said without preamble, "they said I wasn't supposed to tell you nothing, but I figure: I'm gonna trust them to put that piece of shit back together? When they don't seem to know what the hell they're doing? And they keep ripping the thing apart to fix it again and again before you get back? … What? … Huh? … It's the jet, dumbass." Logan jerked the phone away from his ear as the kid's voice jumped an octave. He felt better already.
"Well, calm the fuck down and I'll tell you, OK? We took it on a mission the other day and … Well, I don't give a shit what you say, I ain't calling that hunk of junk 'her'… Well, fine with me, pal. You wanna hear what happened or what? … Yeah, I thought so." Logan gazed out on Ororo's garden, where the Storm Queen was placidly tending her roses. He took a deep breath and felt some of the tension leave his upper back.
"So we took it up to pick up some kid … Of course it went fine … Are you gonna keep interrupting me or what here? … And we're coming back and the deathtrap starts to make a funny noise … On the left side. … No. … No. …No. … I ain't imitating the noise for you. … Summers, I ain't imitating the noise foryou. … Jesus H. Christ, because there are hookers and 900-numbers who'll do that for you, you kinky freak. Get Jeannie to make plane sounds for you. … And so the thing starts shaking. Worse than usual. Even worse than when you fly it."
Logan inhaled the odor of freshly cut grass and attempted to put just the right note of concern into his tone. "And Blue and Storm are sayin' something about something-something stabilizers … Well, how the hell am I supposed to know, Mr. Fucking Goodwrench? … Yeah, they might have said something about hydraulics, too. … Maybe. I dunno. … Because I was too busy feeling the thing shake and worryin' if we were gonna die, that's why. … Uh-huh. … Right. … Well, I was distracted by the smoke smell, too." He jerked the phone farther from his ear as Summers yelped.
"If you're gonna shriek like that, I ain't gonna go on," Logan warned, feeling his lips twitch. "I didnot say the jet was on fire. … Well, because we all lived to tell the tale, that's how. … Besides, a smoke smell don't necessarily mean there's a fire, you dumb shit. It means therecould be a fire. … Or an explosion, maybe. … Right. … Well, fuck if I know, kid. They said some kind of circuits were overloaded. … Storm said so. … No, you can't talk to her now." He admired Ororo's ass as she bent over to fertilize the roses. "Because she's down in the hangar right now trying to fix it, that's why. You ain't supposed to know about any of this. … Well, they had some crazy idea you might not take the news well," he said sarcastically.
"No, it's just Storm and Big Blue. Jeannie's not in on it because she doesn't like to lie to you. At least not about the jet. … Well, shit, kid, they keep stuff from you all the damn time. … Well, obviously they ain't gonna lie to Wheels. He knows all about this. … Well, sure he does. They just don't want you to freak out. … Uh-huh. … Listen, if you called Storm right now, she'd probably swear on a stack of Bibles she doesn't know anything about it. She'd swear the jet's fine. She's probably swear we didn't do a pickup the other night, either. … Well, because they all want you to 'relax,' since you're Daddy's Little Boy and everything has to be arranged to keep you happy. Fucking makes me sick. … Listen, you got no idea the kind of stuff they keep from you. … They're talking 'bout maybe they should steal a Blackbird from NASA before you get back if they can't fix this one … They find out I told you all this, they'll have my ass. But fuck if I'm gonna die in that goddamn plane just so you can quote-unquote have some downtime for once."
Logan noticed McCoy in the distance walking Darwin the beagle. The mutt bounced along happily and attempted to swallow a rock. The sight was, Logan thought, downright inspiring.
"Listen, I gotta tell you about the mutt, too. Jeannie was trying to help them with jet for a little while … Yeah, I know she's not real good with that shit, but they're worried the thing won't be fixed before you get back … Because it's in fucking pieces all over the hangar, you dumb shit, I just told you that. … Uh-huh. … Oh, for the love of – Summers? Summers? Tell me you ain't actually crying. Tell me you ain't actually boo-hooing over a fucking plane. … No? … Well it sounds that way to me, bub. … Little sniffly sounds, all choked up … Oh, right, allergies. Uh-huh. Right. Allergies." Logan snorted and found himself fighting a deeply un-Wolverinely surge of glee.
"OK, so where was I? … Oh, right, the mutt. So Jeannie tries to help but she had to quit because of the dog. … Yeah, he was down there too. … Well, how the hell am I supposed to know why she brought Wondermutt into the hangar? She brings him all over the damn place. … I dunno, with you gone she needs someone else to follow her around and slobber on her feet? … So he's running all over and he shoves his nose into a pile of parts and swallows some damn bolt. Fuckin' dog's even dumber than you, and that's sayin' something … No, no, the mutt's fine. Stupid, but fine. … Jeannie X-rayed him. … Yeah, he's fine. … She says the bolt'll 'pass' in a couple of days. Probably about the time you come home. … Well, it means you're gonna have to check his shit really good when you get home if you want your plane's part back, that's what it means." Logan silently marveled at the Iridium's reception. Fucking thing was so good could practically hear the kid's blood pressure skyrocketing.
"Hey, don't take it out on me, Blinky. I ain't the one who broke your precious plane. I'm just the guy who's telling you to fix the fucking thing so we don't die any sooner than we have to because of your piss-poor piloting skills. … Does Chuck know you use words like that? … Well, fuck you, mini-dick. This is the thanks I get for letting you know what's going on … I coulda just kept my mouth shut and let you find out for yourself that they were messing with the plane … Well, all right then. … Well, at least you can admit it … Yeah, I accept your apology," Logan said magnanimously. He felt tension draining out of him, the urge to hit something or someone magically dissipating.
"Well, it ain't like there's anything you can do now, kid … Don't get your Underoos in a twist or nothing. The way it's going, it'll probably still be in pieces when you get back. Or they'll all be in jail for trying to steal another one. Hey, I think I heard Jubilee offering to pitch in and help fix the engines. … Listen, I gotta go … They're calling me … I dunno, something about fuel lines. Something got cut by mistake or something … Gotta go!" He snapped the phone shut and cut off Summers' anguished cry.
Logan closed his eyes and breathed deep. The sun was warm. The sky was clear. And all was right with the world.
McCoy approached with the dog, and the beagle lunged to the end of his leash to greet Logan enthusiastically.
"Why, Logan," McCoy said. "You seem in uncommonly … peaceful. And just this morning I was commenting that your mood seemed downright explosive. I confess to being ever so slightly alarmed."
"Yeah, Blue, I had a change of heart," Logan said, bending down to pet the dog. "Y'know, I been thinking. I was pretty pissed when Captain RugRat insisted I carry a cell phone and have everyone's number programmed into the damn thing. But now? I gotta tell you, Blue – the fucking thing's pretty handy."