So, I've just seen X-men Origins and I have to say I'm pretty impressed. There doesn't seem to be a lot on it though so I thought I'd add this story. It's supposed to be a one-shot but it's possible I might add more to it some other time. I don't know. Anyway, hope you enjoy it. It's a bit angsty but all in all, I'm fairly happy with it.
Have you ever seen blood in the moonlight?
It's black, as dark as a vortex in space, or the nothingness behind your eyelids after a bullet tears through your skull. James Howlett knew of the dangerous relationship between blood and moon. But Logan was intimately acquainted with it. Even at the height of summer, along the lines of the equator when the midday sun rose high and beat down on humans and mutants alike. Logan would just have to look down at the bone protruding from between his knuckles, and see the blackness splattered on his claws and skin, itching like a virus and spreading to his heart and lungs like an allergic reaction.
And it never went away.
He could wipe his hands in that torn white vest of his as many times as he liked, but the blood was in his brain, at the back of his eyes, just waiting to hop into existence once more. The only thing for it, the only thing that had ever worked—that would ever work—was to lose himself. To hide in plain sight beside Victor Creed, the only man who understood, if disagreed with, his feelings. Yes, the only way to forget what he did was to commit more of those haunting atrocities. To remove the old blood from his claws, he had to smear the life essence of a younger generation onto them. Looking to his left, Login studied the man who was more than just his brother in arms; he was his brother in blood—in every sense of the word. The only difference was that while Logan feared the dark bestial being that brewed on the edge of his consciousness, Victor revelled in it. Still, they were brothers, and the only way for them to survive was to fight together. So they signed up for every war, every battle. They fought for their country without caring about the politics behind it. Allies or enemies, it didn't matter. In the end, they would all be bodies on a blood soaked battlefield, rotting as maggots and scavengers ravaged the families' keepsake. The were only human for as long as their chest cavity moved with the rhythm of breathing, when that stopped they were nothing more than nightmares. They were only dreams for Logan to wake up sweating from in the middle of the night. And even though the empathy wasn't there, Victor would lie awake in sympathy and listen to his little brother's screams, silently wishing he could soothe them, but not knowing how.
But it wasn't nighttime now and Logan wasn't haunted. If there were screams in the air, it was only because the war song was being played and the trenches were full of sopranos and baritones, playing their role as the chorus in the choir of this warrior's symphony.
"You okay, little brother?" Creed asked with a smirk, "Nervous? You stink of nerves."
Logan blinked. He hadn't realised that he was still staring at his brother. "Yeah." Logan grunted, pulling the cigar from his mouth and repositioning the gun that was resting against his shoulder. He turned his gaze from Victor and instead studied his cigar. He twirled it around his fingers absent-mindedly before putting it back in his mouth.
"Think this one will be any different?" Victor asked his brother.
Logan knew he was talking about the war. They always went through a sort of pattern of conversation when they went to battle. Logan shrugged, "Doubt it. Just the usual; a lot a killing, a lot of death."
Victor grinned. "A lot a blood." He agreed with a sage nod that didn't quite fit on the eager features of the mutant.
Logan nodded and grunted in affirmative. Yes, there would be a lot of blood. There always was when Victor was involved.
The year was 1944, two weeks after they had landed on French soil to liberate the people from the oppression of Hitler and his tyrannous regime. Though the brothers usually didn't care for the reasons behind a battle, Victor had followed this war's history with great interest. Logan couldn't be sure why; they had both been around long enough to appreciate that no matter what the outcome of a battle was, the world would continue on and a new age would bring a new opportunity for them to fight. But Victor Creed had stopped sharing Logan's view on this occasion as he listened to the gossip in the trenches and pieced together the little bits of information he could. Eventually, Logan knew he would have gone out of his mind if he hadn't asked about the sudden interest in the modern world. Victor, as usual, had smirked and patted Logan on the shoulder in a way that always seemed to get his hackles up.
"Because it's different," He had said, "Because it's chaotic and no one knows how to deal with it." He had walked off then, leaving Logan to wonder if that was truly it. It probably was, knowing his brother.
"Why don't you leave that pea-shooter down and fight like a man." The Victor of the present suggested, indicating with his hands that he was not going to be taking a weapon either. Of course he wasn't. Logan shrugged and put his gun to the side, but kept it close anyway, it wasn't that he needed it; the gun just helped him look less like a mutant and more like a normal soldier. It wouldn't matter what they were as soon as the fighting started, no one seemed to care once it guaranteed their survival, but until then, Logan liked to keep it quiet. As usual, Victor didn't give a damn as he engraved his initials in a cigarette case with his nails. One or two of the other soldiers looked at him and shuffled uncomfortably to a safer distance.
"Yer scarin' all the kids." Logan grunted to Victor, motioning with his head to the young soldiers whose gazes were now intently on their boots or on the muddy wall of the trenches straight in front of them.
Victor smirked and threw the soldiers a toothy grin that put his sharp canines on display. He sniggered as one of them gulped and quickly averted his gaze. "They just keep makin 'em younger and younger, don't they? I doubt half of these kids even shave."
Logan nodded slowly, "Next time they'll be in diapers." He agreed.
The two brothers looked at each other and shared a gruff chuckle. They, in an interesting juxtaposition to the ever-younger soldiers would live through this battle and keep aging. The only thing for a normal human soldier these days seemed to be to die young and be recruited younger. Sometimes Logan was glad that he was a mutant who was granted the abilities to heal from almost anything. It certainly came in handy during such turbulent times.
An officer walked past the two mutant siblings and then back again, fingering a silver whistle mindlessly in his hands. He looked apprehensive and more than a little scared. He was young for an officer and it looked like this would be his first, and possibly last, big assignment in his position.
"To your feet, men." The officer ordered after pacing in front of his waiting soldiers for a minute or two. Logan rose to his feet stiffly, as if the cold and dampness had bothered his bones and muscle. It was only a small action, but it made him more human, more normal, and though he couldn't figure out for the life of him why that was important, it was. Victor of course, didn't bother hiding his complete readiness for battle as he tucked his cigarette case in his trouser pocket and cracked his neck twice, once on either side. He looked as excited as a kid at Christmas—one that suffered from homicidal tendencies. Victor took a step nearer to the ladder that would lead him up out of the trenches while Logan was still mirroring the minor but somehow substantial movements of discomfort that he witnessed the others perform. To him, such concentration on the stiffness or a knee or the slight twinge in a back seemed utterly pointless, considering the majority of these boys would die in a few days if not hours. Still, by the time that the officer ordered them to take their positions by the ladder, Logan was already standing close to Victor Creed, with a hand and a foot on a rung. Victor turned to Logan.
"Race ya to the finish, Jimmy." He said.
Logan raised an eyebrow, "You don't have a hope in hell of winnin', Victor." He told the other mutant with a grin, "What's the prize?"
Victor seemed thrilled by Logan's challenge and glanced to the officer in order to check his progress. As the officer checked his watch and began to bring the whistle to his lips, Victor turned to Logan and smirked, "Loser buys the drinks for a whole night, once this is over."
"You're on." Logan nodded.
"Good luck men, god be with you…" The officer said quietly, more to himself than his soldiers just before he took one deep breath and exhaled.
The whistle blew.
The troops went over the top.
Blood splattered the ground—everywhere—all around him. Logan twitched before groggily sitting up. Woozily, he watched as muscle and tissue around the organs in his trunk began to mat and stretch out in search for its own counterpart at the other side of the gaping wound in his body. The skin was the last to heal, looking as if someone had poured flesh coloured paint on the crimson tissue and was slowly seeping down due to gravities sway. Logan tried to shake the fog from his head by violent side-to-side movements of his neck, but it neither helped rid himself of the concussion nor the ringing in his ears. He got to his feet a little unsteadily, keeping the remaining contents of his now-healed stomach down—but just barely. He gazed at the battlefield around him, noting the abundance of bodies in his general vicinity and realising that they were both his allies and his enemies. It also came to his attention, in that moment, that he was currently standing in a shallow crater in the ground and that most of his clothing was either singed or practically non-existent due to what could only be assumed was a nasty burn. With the memory of burning, came the awareness of the smell of burning flesh. No wonder he had been out cold. Logan looked down at his body; now it was completely healed. He looked further down at the remains of an exploded bombshell that had hit him dead centre. It must have been a complete hit; he was obviously out for a few minutes and now Victor was nowhere in sight. In those few moments, since he had stood, the ringing in his ears had stopped and the fogginess had lifted in his head. Logan saw a soldier out of the corner of his eye raise his gun toward him, and with a quick flick of his wrist, his bone claws were out and he lunged onto the soldier. His sharp appendages ripped the flesh and bone of his sternum and the poor trooper died screaming as Logan tore downwards, removing the man's arms with one quick jerk. He let out a barely contained snarl, as his inner beast demanded more, while his very human side shuddered at the gore. The beast in cases such as these always won the silent struggle for power over his mind, body and soul. The thrill of the battlefield was just too much to refuse. Logan glanced down at his claws; red, they were red. Not black just yet, but give it time.
Over the smell of burnt flesh, Login sensed the familiar scent of Victor, his sweat, the adrenalin in his body, the blood crusting under his nails. With a growl, Logan realised that his big brother was winning and that was inexcusable. There was no way he'd spend another night buying all the drinks; it was Victor's turn. Logan broke into a run, slashing and impaling any living creature that was unfortunate to cross his path. He kept going until he lost the scent of Victor and had made it to the other side of the battlefield, undefeated and unharmed. He stood at the cliffs, catching his breath as he watched the final moments of the battle wind to a finish. In this particular skirmish, they were victorious. Logan looked below him to see Victor slow down from his sprint to a jog and then a stop. He stared up at his brother, looking both annoyed that he had lost, and impressed that Logan had managed to beat him with such skill. In this particular skirmish, Logan was victorious. Later, Victor would scale up the cliff and call his brother's win a fluke, a miracle, a one-time thing. Or whatever form of the word he decided to employ. He would pat his brother on the shoulder and demand a rematch next time; he might even make the stakes higher. But the fact remained that it would be Victor buying the drinks whenever the night came and Logan was not going to stop drinking until he was well and truly drunk. Unfortunately for Victor, due to Logan's healing abilities, he didn't become inebriated all that easily. Victor would be most likely broke before the night was out. Still, for now, the pride in Victor's eyes could just about be seen by Logan, if not fully deciphered.
Yes, they were blood brothers; brothers in blood, a bond that could surely never blacken and wither like so many things in this world. Truly, in that moment, Logan could not see his life, wandering the lonely centuries without Victor Creed. Even now, with his clothes covered in blood and bits of flesh and whose canines reminded him that they were both bloodthirsty beasts, fighting to survive. To survive in a world where their abnormalities were not understood, and would never be. Logan knew when to place his bets on something. Looking out across an expanse of dead flesh and rotting meat, he knew his bet would never go to them. He and Victor may have taken part in it, but they had created this slaughter.
Victor Creed's clawed hand appeared on the edge of the cliffs and Logan's ears picked up his little grunts and puffs.
"Need a hand, old man?" Logan asked as he grabbed Victor's wrist and yanked him up to solid ground.
"Old man?" Victor asked in amusement, "Whatever, Jimmy, you know that little victory of yours was just a stroke of luck, right? A fluke. It won't happen again, little brother."
"Yeah, yeah." Logan replied without too much thought. "Face it Victor; I'm good at what I do." He turned from the scene on the cliffs and walked off onto the unknown land with his brother. Would it be considered defection? Probably. It didn't matter though, the job was done and they would be around for the next war. They both already knew that this one would end soon. Like all things, it would age and die and Logan and Victor would live to fight another day.
In Xavier's manor, Login woke up gasping for air. What the hell was that? It was definitely too clear and detailed to be a dream. But then, it was too impossible to be a memory. Victor Creed—Sabertooth—and him, all pally? Brothers? No way. But then, what was it? It could have been a trick, some mind game from a psychic who wanted him to suffer… But if felt so right, it felt as if he had seen those images. Almost like his mind had wanted him to remember those conversations, those thoughts. And he could remember; the smell of fear in the trenches that mixed in with the smell of soggy mud, the oppressive feel of the cloudy days and the starless nights. He even remembered things that had not been in that 'dream' or 'vision' or whatever it had been. He remembered the way the young officer had always kept his boots clean and had carried a picture of his girlfriend in his chest pocket. He remembered vaguely going to an establishment in the Lyon and asking for the amount of alcohol that would have killed a normal man. With a grin he hadn't even realised was there, Logan remembered the intense look of displeasure on Sabertooth's face as he realised his brother had left him broke. There had been a fight about that and they had gone their separate ways for about two hours, blowing off steam by realising how miserable a war-stricken France actually was. In the end, they had met up with each other and high-tailed out of the country, going god knows where.
Logan rubbed his face and threw his legs off of the bed. He padded down to the kitchen in his bare feet to grab a beer and to ponder on what he had just learned. He had finally remembered something about his past. He now had a memory that was older than fifteen years ago. This was big, bigger than big. It was gigantic. But he could tell no one. Would they understand that he was a killer, that he had ruined countless lives and had had very little remorse when he was doing it? He wasn't sure. They would look at him funny, they would become more reserved around him. No longer would their trust be absolute. They wouldn't depend on him for more subtle missions. And though they wouldn't say anything, Logan just knew they would talk behind his back, when they thought his sensitive ears would no longer hear. He would have to leave, find a new place, a new life, he would have to—No…No, that wouldn't happen, and he was just over-reacting. They would understand. They would realise that he was no longer that person. It would be fine. But still, Logan was keeping this to himself. This was his memory and he felt strangely possessive of it. Even though it showed him killing, it showed him very unsure about the whole thing. He couldn't have been that bad, right? Maybe…
With an almost giddy feeling of hope, Logan wondered if he would regain more of his memories. Maybe his mind was finally ready to let him remember everything it felt he needed to forget. Suddenly, a powerful urge to uncover the truth behind his mysterious past flowed through him with the power of an electric current.
He could do this.
Logan unsheathed his adamantium claws and studied them intently. His hands were clean and his claws were glistening. Blood obviously didn't stick the adamantium. The thought made him wonder about regaining his memories. Was it really worth it? Maybe he had truly forgotten for a reason? No, he had been searching for so long. He couldn't last another fifteen years wondering what he was. The only way he would ever find any peace was to find himself. He could deal with whatever his memory brought. He just had to know.
He could do this...
A/N: Well, that's that. I hope you liked it. Review if you think its any good or not.
By the way, the first line of the story (as some of you might have noticed) is not my own, unfortunately, its from the movie Red Dragon. I just thought it suited this particularly well.