Logan tries his hand at parenting by taking X23 to Japan. As Wolverine deals with memories of Sabretooth and a girl named Mariko, a new enemy is waiting for him… the Silver Samurai!
Spoiler Warning: Minor spoilers for 'X-Men: Evolution episodes' featuring X23, and some Wolverine backstory episodes such as 'Grim Reminder'.
Disclaimer: I don't own the characters or the places or, well, anything X-Men. Probably Marvel's, despite the insistence of some that they are the exclusive property of Stan Lee.
X23 dashed between the trees, batting aside branches as she ran, ignoring the cuts that they left on her hands and face. Those cuts would heal by themselves soon enough. All six of her metal claws were out, two on each of her hands and one on each of her feet, and she was using them to hack and slash at the foliage, cutting herself a path through the forest. She was leaving a trail that any amateur tracker could follow, and the one chasing her was anything but amateur. But being found wasn't her concern at the moment. She just needed to put some distance between herself and her pursuer. She could hear his animalistic snarls, getting closer all the time. She was faster, and working on pure adrenaline, but he had more strength and experience, and she was laying down the path for him to follow.
Using claws on her right hand she scored two deep grooves in a tree trunk, and grinned as she heard it collapse behind her. That should slow the old man down a bit. Not a chance. The tree practically exploded into splinters as he sliced it into smaller pieces, easily opening the way through again. She didn't look back - that cost precious seconds - but instead vaulted over the next rock she came to and hit the ground running.
He had every advantage she had. She had six adamantium claws, and so did he. She had an advanced healing factor that closed wounds in minutes, and he had one that worked even faster. She had an acute sense of smell, and he had one that had been honed after years of use, and even now he had her scent. And he probably didn't have long, lanky black hair that got in his face and irritated his eyes, she thought again, blowing upwards to move the strand that tickled her nose. All these traits she had inherited from him, the man who followed her, her father, Wolverine.
Technically he wasn't her father. She didn't really have a father, because she was a clone… Wolverine's clone. She wasn't identical to him, because of some genetic tampering, but she was similar enough to have undergone the adamantium bonding process, and as with Wolverine it was a pain in her past that had not healed, and likely it would never heal despite her mutant gifts. They had met each other only recently, but he consented to treat her like a daughter and she desperately wanted to treat him like a father. Or she had, until now. Now she just wanted to get away.
So occupied with her pursuer, she didn't notice the clearing until she had run into it, out into the sunshine, the tree canopy left behind her. She gasped in shock at the sight that greeted her. There was a pagoda building with paper-thin doors and a gong by the entrance, and the members of some monastic order walking to and fro. None of them gave her a second glance, as if having leather-clad feral girls with metal claws bursting out of the woods was an everyday occurrence, and nothing to be surprised about. Almost subconsciously, she allowed the claws to retract, and winced at the momentary pain as the exit wounds healed over.
She gasped again when she sensed Wolverine step through the treeline just behind her, and spun to face him. He held up a fist in front of his chest, and as she watched his claws retracted too. He'd learned to ignore that pain, by now.
"Nice try, kid," he said to her, lowering his arms and stepping closer. "But we're going to have family fun if it kills me."
This story was originally conceived as a part of a longer story in the style of an episode from the television series, complete with multiple interwoven plotlines. When it became clear that what I intended had no chance of fitting into a 3 Act structure, and since this medium doesn't require such constraints anyway, it was split up into separate stories. The only chapter that has remained largely intact since that original idea is this one, which was always the 'teaser' of the piece. I hope it satisfies.