Author's Notes I: Hey there! This is my first X-Men fan fic, though not my first story by a long shot. This story is set right after the X-Men 3 movie and will contain several spoilers, so if you haven't seen the movie, you probably shouldn't read this. While this story will have a romance between an established character and an OC, I will endeavor to make my OC as un-Mary Sueish as possible. This story will have drama, action/adventure, angst and romance with a little comedy for flavor and while it is currently rated as a T, the rating will go up in later chapters, just so you know. I am a review junkie, so please leave one when you're done reading.Disclaimer: I don't own any of it, never have, never will. Mores the pity, but that's my lot in life.
At Xavier's School for the Especially Gifted, all of the students and staff are gathered in the recreation room. They sit on chairs, couches, the floor and at least one hangs from the ceiling. Not a sound is made by anyone, the teasing, gossiping and general chit chat is non-existent as they all watch the only thing making a sound. The TV has everyone's attention as they stare transfixed at the device, waiting for a jury of probably non-mutants to decide the fate to a sixteen year old mutant who is charged with man slaughter.
Serena Song sits in the courtroom, staring at her hands and scared out of her wits. She tries not to fidget as they wait for the judge and jury to finally make an appearance and decide her fate. She takes a shuddering breath and furiously blinks back the tears threatening to form as she thinks back to that night that seems a lifetime ago.
Serena was cold, alone and hungry like so many homeless people that night. A mere three weeks ago she had had a home. She had had a family. Unfortunately, a secret that she had kept hidden for over four years was revealed and she suddenly found herself out on the streets on her own.
She tried staying with friends, but her parents had been busy calling their parents and poisoning their minds against the petit, dark haired girl. Doors were closed in her face, one after the other until she was forced to try and find a homeless shelter only to find that they were full and no matter how hard she tried, she could never seem to get there early enough to get a spot. So there she was in Central Park trying to stay warm despite the howling wind that night in March, pan handling for pocket change in hopes of getting a burger at the greasy dive down the street.
She had just managed to get a buck twenty off of a couple in pocket change and was feeling pretty good about it when she saw them. There were three of them and they looked like walking brick walls to her. They were obviously football players from the look of their nice warm letter jackets and pretty well to do if the rest of their clothes were anything to go by.
She made a mistake right then. She hesitated. She knew they could afford to throw her a couple of bucks, maybe even a twenty, but they were big, strong, young men and they might look on her as more of something to play with instead of someone to pity. She watched them as they continued towards her, joking with each other as one of them carried a camcorder to document their wit.
She decided that they weren't worth the risk, but she had waited a moment too long and they saw her. She tried to blend in with the shadows, but they followed her. She ran, but they easily caught up with her.
"Lookie what we've got here, boys," the first one with blond hair and blue eyes, the all American boy said. "Looks like we found ourselves a little field mouse."
"Hey, little mousie, wanna play with us?" the dark haired boy asked mockingly.
"Go away, leave me alone," she yelled as she backed away from them.
"Little mousie doesn't want to play," Blondie pouted and the other two easily out maneuvered her. "I think little mousie should play with us. Don't you, guys?"
The other two laughed as they started making lewd comments and kissy noises at her while she desperately looked around for help. One of the boys moved towards her and she made her break for freedom in the hole that was made. They quickly gave chase across the park, the boys laughing and jeering all the way.
She tried to turn one way that she knew would lead to the street and the safety of people but she found her way blocked by one of the thugs so she turned the other way. She ran for her life, yelling for help, ignoring the burning in her legs from muscles that weren't used to that activity. She made another turn and realized too late that they were herding her here. It was a dark and quiet part of the park, completely cut off from the rest of the world and she knew there was no way out.
"Please, just leave me alone," she begged, her heart pounding so hard she could barely hear them snickering.
"But we want you to play with us, mousie," Blondie said in a fake sad tone.
"Please, I don't want to hurt you," she sobbed as she backed up into a stone wall.
The boys all laughed as they moved in closer, Blondie shrugging out of his jacket and carelessly tossing it aside before reaching for the fastening of his pants. She continued to plead with them; she really didn't want to hurt them. She really didn't. But they didn't listen. They just didn't listen.
"It's going to be ok," a quiet voice assures her, startling her out of her memories.
"How can you be so sure?" Serena demands in a hushed voice, her nerves beyond shot as she looks up into the light green eyes of her lawyer.
"Because it's a clear case of self defense," is the calm reply. "The video showed them that."
"But what happens if they find me guilty anyways, Miss Simon?" Serena asks, barely keeping her voice down in her nearly panicked state as tears threatening to spill down her face.
"Amanda," Amanda gently corrects while pushing a facial tissue into the distraught girl's hand. "Then we appeal and we keep fighting this until we find a jury that has some common sense."
Before Serena can say anything more, the jury files into the courtroom and takes their seats. Serena's gaze drops back into her lap as she nervously shreds the tissue into about a million pieces. A moment later, a door beside the judge's bench opens up and the bailiff enters the room, taking his position next to raised seat and desk.
"All rise," the bailiff calls out a moment later and the very full courtroom comes to their feet. "The honorable Harold T. Stone presiding."
An older man in billowing black robes with a no nonsense attitude strides into the room and steps up behind his bench. He briefly looks around and a slight scowl creases his brow when he sees the cameras crowding the back of the court. With a disgusted sigh, he takes his seat.
"You may be seated," Stone orders and the sound of people retaking their seats fills the room for the next several moments. "Foreman, I understand that the jury has reached a verdict?"
"We have, your honor," a man in his mid-thirties replies after coming to his feet.
"The defendant will please rise," Stone states, glaring down on Serena from his perch.
"Yes, sir," Serena whispers as she shakily gets to her feet, Amanda standing beside her.
"And what is the verdict?" Stone asks after turning his attention back to the juror's box.
"We the jury, find Serena Diana Song…," the foreman answers, "…not guilty on all charges."
There's an uproar from the gallery that's a combination of some cheering, lots of booing and several cries of anguish. Stone lets it go for a few seconds before he starts banging his gavel and demanding order in the court.
It takes Serena several moments before the news sinks in. She turns to Amanda to confirm what she's heard and sees a huge grin on the attorney's face. With a cry of happiness, she throws her arms around the taller woman's neck. With gut wracking sobs, she lets the tears she's been fighting come, but now they're tears of joy.
In upstate New York, nearly fifty people are screaming and cheering as a black woman with white hair looks over at the muscular man standing next to her with hair nearly as wild as he is. He answers her grin with a lopsided smile of his own just before she leads him out into the hall where it's slightly quieter.
"Shall we go get our new student, Logan?" she suggests.
"Sure," he replies with an indifferent shrug. "Not like we're going to get any work out of that lot for the rest of the day."
As people are still high fiving and hugging each other in the recreation room, Storm and Wolverine head for the garage. When they get there Logan immediately heads for a blue sports car while Storm moves towards a silver Mercedes. They both stop and stare at one another for several seconds.
"Come on, Logan," she says as she waves her hand towards the sedan. "I think the girl has been through enough. Don't you?"
"What's that supposed to mean?" he growls, eyes narrowing.
"That perhaps your…enthusiastic…driving might be more than she can handle right now," she replies with a smile. "Besides, there's barely any room in the back seat."
He glares at her for nearly a minute before giving in and heading towards her and the Mercedes. Grumpily, he climbs into the passenger seat, slamming the door closed with a bit more force than is really necessary.
"Gently please, Logan," she softly admonishes. "This was the professor's favorite car."
"Sorry," he mumbles, slouching down in his seat.
"I suppose asking you to put your seat belt on is pointless," she hints and his only response is to give her a full blown glare. "Right."
She fastens her own seatbelt with a small shake of her head. Without another word, she opens the garage door with the remote, starts the car and pulls out of the garage into the late morning sun.
"Why do you think she did it?" he asks as they make their way to the interstate.
"Because she could," she answers with a shrug. "I asked her the same thing and that's all she'd tell me."
No more is said and a few of hours later, they wind their way through Manhattan's business district trying to find a parking space. They drive past a building with a hoard of reporters and cameras in front of it and Logan narrows his eyes at them.
"Let me guess, that's it," he states as he nods his head towards the crowd that's partially blocking the sidewalk.
"Yeah, I'm afraid so," she sighs. "She warned me that they'd probably be here."
"So that's why you brought me along," he grumbles. "Jean and Scott would have been better for this job."
"Except that they're dead," she points out.
"You don't have to remind me," he growls.
Nothing more is said and they finally find a parking place a few blocks away. They get out, pay the meter and head down the street. A short time later they're shouldering their way through the crowd of reporters who don't bother trying to stop them, though they don't exactly get out of the way. A look from Storm is all that keeps one camera man from getting turned into lunch meat as the two mutants make their way to the front door.
Once inside, they head past a receptionist's desk and around the corner to a bank of elevators. They take one to the twenty-first floor and quickly head down the hall after getting off to an office with the words Jones and Steele, Attorneys at Law written on the door. Storm goes through the entrance, barely breaking her stride with Logan in her wake. They find themselves in a small waiting room filled with nice if a bit old furniture and a large reception desk with a fairly pretty woman sitting behind it and the name Betty is on the name plate.
"May I help you?" Betty asks, her eyes lingering a little too long on Logan.
"We're here to see Ms. Amanda Simon," Storm replies as she stops before the desk.
"Do you have an appointment?" Betty inquires.
"No, but she's expecting us," Storm answers.
"May I ask your names?" Betty questions as she reaches for her phone.
"Ororo Munroe and Logan," Storm responds patiently, though Logan is starting to fidget.
Betty nods her understanding as she punches a few buttons on the phone. She talks briefly with whoever answers on the other end and then hangs up.
"Please have a seat," Betty instructs, waving her hand towards the chairs. "Someone will be with you shortly."
By the time a motherly older woman arrives through a door in the back of the room to show them back, Storm has flipped through several magazines and Logan is trying to wear a hole in the carpet with his pacing.
"Ms Munroe? Mr. Logan?" the older lady questions and the two mutants both nod. "Please follow me."
"This is your idea of a short wait?" Logan nearly growls as they're lead down a hallway.
"I'm afraid Miss Simon has been in a meeting with Mr. Jones and Mr. Steele," the woman replies.
Before Logan can say anything else, they come to a room furnished with only a desk and chair in the middle of the area. There are three doors leading out of the room, one set in each wall. There are name plaques on each door and the woman leads them to the one that has Amanda Simon's name on it. She opens the door and waves them in.
"Miss Simon will be with you in a moment," she tells them and then shuts the door.
The office is smaller than Storm thought it would be as she quickly looks around. There's a good sized desk that seems to be too big for the room with a nice desk chair behind it and couple of armed chairs in front. A couple filing cabinets are next to the door and a half dead plant sits on top of them but that isn't what Storm is looking at.
Sitting in one of the armed chairs is the young woman that Storm has only seen on TV. She's still wearing the clothes that she had on in court and she's staring back at Storm and Logan like a deer caught in the headlights. Storm smiles kindly at the child and takes the seat next to hers.
"Serena?" Storm gently asks, seeing the all too familiar look of someone who's seen too much on the girl's face.
"Y-y-yes," Serena nervously responds.
"I'm Ororo Munroe and this is Logan," Storm tells her. "We're teachers at Xavier's School for the Exceptionally Gifted. We'd like to take you there, if you're willing to go."
"Amanda's been telling me about that place," Serena says, still a bit nervous. "Is it really a school for mutants?"
"Yes," Storm answers, smiling at her. "We'll teach you how to control your powers so there won't be any more accidents."
"So the next time I kill someone it'll be on purpose," Serena states sadly.
"Only as a last resort," Storm replies. "Once you have control over your powers you should be able to knock your opponent out without killing him or her."
"Really?" Serena hopefully asks.
"Really," Storm truthfully answers with a grin.
"Ok, we've got the kid, so let's get out of here," Logan grumbles, holding perfectly still like a predator waiting to pounce.
"Not yet," Storm patiently replies, smiling at the powerful man.
"Why not?" he demands.
"Because you haven't signed for her yet," a new voice says from behind him.
"Who are you?" he nearly snarls.
"I'm Amanda Simon," Amanda replies with a smile as she shuts her office door. "Sorry to have kept you waiting."
"Hi, Amanda, I'm Ororo and Mr. Personality here is Logan," Storm states to the raven haired woman.
"It's nice to meet both of you," Amanda responds, still smiling as she heads for her seat behind the desk.
"So, what's this cra…," he pauses mid word at Storm's glare. "…crud about having to sign for the kid? What is she? Some type of package? Maybe you should just stuff her in a box and mail her to us."
"We need to sign to become her legal guardians," Storm calmly explains.
"There are only a few forms to sign, but it has to be done in triplicate and there's a whole bunch of legalese to get through too," Amanda says as she pulls out a stack of papers that's at least two inches thick. "This may take some time."
"Great," Logan mumbles as he walks over to the only window in the room and stares out at the building next door. "Nice view."
"It's better than prison bars," a quiet voice replies and he looks down at Serena.
"So, what do you think about being signed over like this?" he asks. "Like you're a piece of property."
"Better than being treated like a murderer," she replies with a shrug. "Besides, it's not the first time. Amanda made my parents sign me over to the state or she was going to make them pay for her legal fees. They couldn't sign those papers fast enough. It'll be a relief when this is over. I didn't have anything when my parents threw me out. No money or clothes or a place to sleep. I didn't even have a toothbrush."
"A lot of people would have used their powers to get what they want," he says, leaning against the wall.
"I can only get my powers to work if I'm really angry or really scared," she replies.
"So how'd your parents find out?" he inquires.
"My little sister ran out in the street chasing after her ball and a car was coming," she answers as a sad look crosses over her face. "He was going too fast."
"What happened to the car and driver?" he asks.
"They had to use the Jaws of Life to get him out of the car," she replies, a sad, haunted look in her eyes. "Luckily the guy was driving a Volvo. Can't say the same for the other guys."
"They had it coming to them," he snarls.
"How can you say that?" she demands, suddenly angry. "They were people too!"
"Hey, kid, weren't you paying attention to your own trial?" he shoots back. "You wouldn't have been the first girl they raped and they more than likely would have beaten you to death like they did those others."
"That doesn't give me the right to be their judge, jury and executioner," she snaps, nearly in tears. "Have you ever killed anyone?"
"Yeah, I have," he growls before roughly pushing himself off the wall and stalking across the office to stare at the half dead plant.
"Don't judge him to harshly, Serena," Storm says softly. "He's been through a lot lately."
"Are we almost done?" Serena asks, not looking very happy.
"Mr. Steele will be in shortly to notarize the papers and then you'll be free to go," Amanda replies as she hangs up her phone and turns towards the teenager. "Just a little longer and you can start your new life. Nervous?"
"Terrified," Serena admits. "What if the other students don't like me?"
"Serena, you should have heard the cheering when the jury came back with a not guilty verdict," Storm tells the girl. "Everyone's been rooting for you and they're all excited to meet you."
Before Serena can say anything there's a soft knock at the door just before it's opened. A very tall man who appears to be in his late forties, early fifties comes in carrying a stamp, an ink pad and a large binder.
"Is everything ready?" the man asks, staring at Amanda with a look that's on the boarder of glaring.
"Yes, Mr. Steele," Amanda answers, unflinchingly staring right back at him.
For about the next fifteen minutes, Steele, Amanda and Storm finish up the paperwork while Serena tries not to fidget. Logan watches them through narrowed eyes as the others remain oblivious to him. Once Steele is done he quickly leaves the room without a word to anyone and without making eye contact with any of the mutants in the room.
"Charming," Logan grunts.
"Unfortunately, Mr. Steele has…issues," Amanda sadly admits.
"And you work for him?" he questions.
"I work for both him and Mr. Jones," Amanda corrects. "Luckily, Mr. Jones is a bit more…enlightened than Mr. Steele."
"We done yet?" he grumbles.
"Let's see," Amanda states as she looks at the three neat stacks of papers on her desk and hands one of them over to Storm. "This is your copy, I will hold onto a copy and I'll mail the other copy to the state."
"Thank you, Amanda," Storm says as she takes the papers and stands up. "For all that you've done."
"I'm glad I could help," Amanda smiles as she gets to her feet. "So, Serena, you ready to go home?"
"Yeah, I'm very ready," Serena grins as the tension that she's been holding onto for the past few months suddenly just melts away.
Author's Notes II: Ok, I know that I've written Wolverine probably a bit more aggressively than he normally is, but I refuse to believe that he could kill the woman he loves and walk away from it mentally unscathed. Again, please leave a review. It makes my muse happy.