Hello, all, and welcome to my first (and probably only) X-Men fic. Just a side note, this fic was inspired by the song "Desperado" by The Eagles. This is NOT a songfic. This is also a slash fic, so there will be homosexual innuendo and the like. Then again, what have you all come to expect from me? Enjoy.
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Texas: he wasn't sure how he had gotten there, but somewhere along the endless line of black pavement that stretched across the land, the green forests of the Northeast turned into sand and dust, sunsets and mesas. And he liked it. It was his kind of country, open and free, with only the occasional tourist or trucker passing him by as he made his way across the Lone Star State. He could be alone when he wanted, and he definitely wanted. He had grown sick and tired of people; he had grown to prefer the company of the little rock lizards and the armadillos instead. And, of course, he could drive, which was what occupied the majority of his time. He'd rev up his bike and speed across the hot stripe of tar like a roadrunner, the scent of Indian paintbrush and gasoline blowing in his face, even bringing the occasional smile to his lips.
When he had gotten tired of driving, or when the sun slipped dramatically into the distant mountains, he would find the nearest bar or diner and tuck in. His ratty cowboy hat shading his face, he would order his usual—typically a Bud or a Miller, depending on how much he had made at the last odd job that he had taken up—and drink, looking out the dusty window at the fading light of the afternoon, the sky splattered with the colors of the sun's final throes: red, purple, orange. He'd fling his feet up onto the table, with more than a few glares from the presiding waitress, and eventually fall asleep, falling out of notice and into his dreams.
He would board his bike early, the sun still tucked into her bed in the mountains, and head north, toward the wheat fields that were no doubt spread across the Texas panhandle. There, he would help those less endowed with corporate money with the harvesting or the planting or the threshing, depending on the season. His brute strength was a treasure to those who could not afford the huge green monsters that ate up the fields north of there, and he blended right in with the cheap Mexican labor and poor white boys who didn't ask any questions. Sometimes they'd even share a beer or two with him, before he'd disappear with his pay down the road again, hat lodged firmly atop his head and muscles rippling with the purr of the motorcycle. He was a kind of mystery to them, like the old Western desperados that would breeze through the little gold rush towns, a scowl on their face and a fire in their eye.
This pattern went on for weeks, months…years? He wasn't too sure of that either, but he wasn't about to change. He had found where he belonged—he supposed he always knew—and he wasn't going to leave it for anything. Except, he thought sometimes to himself, he wouldn't mind having someone to share it with. Of course, he had tried that before. Didn't ever seem to work out for him, loving people. Maybe that's why he had come to this dusty wasteland that he now called home: the desert would never die, never leave you. It stuck to your clothes and your hair and lodged itself into your eyes. He loved every minute of it.
Autumn was approaching, he realized, and he figured that now was the time to head back to the ranches, where the owners were preparing to load up their livestock for sales in Montana and Wyoming. He jumped from farm to farm, using his brawn to prod and provoke the stupid animals into their trailers, carrying the calves and secretly placing them next to their mothers. The poor dumb animals didn't have much time together; soon, they would be pulled away from each other, and he could just hear the lowing screams of the mommies as their babies were yanked to their new homes, and as they themselves were dragged to the slaughter. He wasn't going to cause them any preliminary pain. When the final cow was loaded, he paused, wiping his brow with a bandana that he had shoved into his back pocket.
"Hey, Logan!" The farmer's boy, Andy, yelled at him from across the field. He ran up to him, hanging over the fence and grinning from ear to ear. A piece of paper was clenched in his little tan fist. Logan walked over to him and ruffled his sun-bleached hair.
"What is it, kid?"
"Got yer check!" The boy waved it in front of his face, and the grin grew. "Ya want it?"
"What do you think, huh?" He plucked it from Andy's hand before he could move.
"Ay! That ain't fair!"
"Life's not fair. Besides, it's my money." He flicked the kid in the forehead and he threw a punch, light as a feather, against Logan's substantial stomach. "Nice one."
"Ay, Logan?" He grunted in response, scrutinizing the check: $350.00. Not bad, for three day's work. "Uh, there was a guy lookin' for you earlier. Looked kinda scruffy. You in trouble or somethin'?"
Logan had to laugh at that. "Kid, I'm in trouble a lot. Chances are today isn't any different." He shrugged it off, but inside he was curious. Who had he pissed off this time? In the back of his mind he wondered if someone had actually come looking for him. He took the check and folded it twice, tucking it into his boot.
"Logan? You ever gonna come back?" The boy's brown eyes bubbled with admiration. This was the only part of his job he didn't like.
"Kid. I gotta get going. Your daddy doesn't need my help anymore. Somebody else's does." Andy's eyes lowered to the dusty ground, his feet shuffling against it.
"Well, yeah, but…"
"But nothin', kid!" His voice was too loud, it made the kid jump. He sighed and patted his warm little head. "Look…" He rummaged into his pocket and pulled out a chunk of turquoise: found on the road during one of his thousands of expeditions. "Keep this, alright? Cost you a lot more to buy, huh?" It wasn't much for a kid, he knew, but maybe someday, when he was a bit older, he'd remember the hairy creep who gave it to him.
"Thanks, Logan." He jumped from the fence and headed back to his family's little farmhouse, and Logan watched him, dragging his little bare feet in the hot dirt. Sighing, he grabbed his bike, slammed the old cowboy hat onto his head, and drove off, not noticing the kid run after him in his dust.
That bar was smoky and dim; it didn't bother him, he may as well have been raised in this environment. He kept his head low, hands shoved into his pockets and eyes shifting from left to right. Neon signs advertising cheap beer flashed around him, and he was surrounded by farmhands and carpenters and all other sorts of hard fellows. It was alright; he was used to that, too. The rough-hewn wood floor scratched at his shoes and caught on his long coat, but he didn't mind. He wouldn't be here for long, anyway. He walked up to the counter, shiny with wood varnish—probably the cleanest thing in the whole damn place—and waited for the bartender to notice him. Finally he came, rotund and sweaty, mustachioed face peering down at him. Dear God, he thought to himself, the man looked like he stepped right out of the 1800s, save for the nametag on his left lapel.
"Can I help ya, friend?" He smirked, his empathic powers working their magic.
"Why, yessuh, you can. I was jus' wonderin'…" He leaned over the bar, his grin spreading. "I'm not from 'round here, y'see."
"Yeah, I see, alright." The bartender was completely spellbound.
"An' m' employer was lookin' for some help. Y'know, big, strong fellah to work on 'is farm. I m'self…well, I ain't exactly the brawniest o' guys. I'm more of a recruiter, see." His voice, sweet and slow as molasses, slipped through the thick fog of smoke like a hot knife through butter. "But I s'pose I'd be wastin' y' time if I were t' ask ya if ya knew som'body like that. Som'body willin' t' be paid quite well fo' his services?"
"Well," His fat little fingers twiddled around a shot glass. "There is a guy. He came through a few days ago. Helped Old Farmer Downs with his cattle. Name's Logan." Bingo. This was almost too easy.
"That so? An' ya know where I might be findin' this guy Logan?" Behind him, a chair scraped against the jagged wooden floor, and the whole bar practically broke their necks to find the source of the unexpected sound. In the back of the bar stood a burly, unpleasant-looking character, leather cowboy hat over his eyes, a beer in his left hand and his tip in his right. Dropping the bill to the table, he made his way out.
Oh, no he didn't.
"Hey!" Remy ran out of the bar, following the mysterious man to his bike. "Where you think y' goin'?"
No answer. So, that's how it was going to be.
"I know who y' are! Why you runnin'?"
"I'm not running. I'm just getting away from you!" Remy rolled his eyes and dug into his pocket for a card, charging it up and flinging it into the motorcycle's front wheel. The air burst through the rubber explosively. Logan swiveled on his heel, cracking his knuckles.
Good, he was mad. That was a start.
"Alright, what the hell do you want? Your payin' for that, by the way."
"Whatever. You gonna a' least hear m' out?"
"Not too inclined to now. Especially since you just trashed my bike." Remy strolled up to him, arms crossed.
"They're all worried 'bout ya, y'know. Wonderin' when y' be comin' back." Logan scowled, shifting his weight from one foot to the other. "Y' gonna come back?"
"Don't see any reason to. Happier now than I ever have been."
"Y'know that ain't true." He sat down on an old railroad tie, patting the spot next to him.
"You gotta be kidding me." Well, it was worth a shot, he figured.
"Why you so afraid o' comin' home? They ain't mad about…y'know. What happen'd. Wasn' y' fault."
"Never said it was. Besides, I don't think I know what your talkin' about. I think you better just go home, Gumbo." Logan tried to turn and hightail it out of the parking lot, but Remy shot out his hand and grabbed him by the wrist.
"Nuh-uh. Cain't. I mean…they ain't too happy w' me, either, cher. Tha's why I voluntee'd to fin' ya. Give em' some time to cool they jets. So," He smiled his ever-so-charming smile. "Guess y' jus' stuck wit' me 'till I get what I came for."
"And what'd you come for, huh?" Logan's yellow eyes flashed ferally at him from above. Remy stood and put his hand on his hip.
"Mebbe we can go somewhere else. Somewhere a bit mo'…private. Don' like the way their lookin' at us in there." Shrugging, Logan headed for his bike, where a new tire leaned up against it. He glanced back at the thief suspiciously, and he blinked innocently back.
"Why y' lookin' at me fo'?"
"C'mon. Guess you'll just try to follow me if I run off, right?" He knelt down, removing the busted tire and securing the new, illicitly-acquired one to the axel.
"Pretty much, mon ami. After all, found y' once, din't I?" The pair of mutants made their way to Logan's current residence, the Eagle Motel. Not too bad for a little dump in the middle of the desert, Remy thought briefly to himself. Logan pulled his room key out of his pocket and entered the modestly-furnished room: bed, desk, TV and bathroom. Pretty much everything a man like him needed, save for a beer cooler.
"Alright." Sitting on the bed, Logan shrugged off his coat and hung it on the bedpost. "I'm listening. Why're you here?"
"I tol' you, to bring y'back home. To Xavier's." Logan leaned back against the headboard of the bed, seemingly inattentive. "Don' you git it? They need ya there. Ya mean so much t' them. T' ev'ryone."
"What about you, Gumbo?" His yellow eyes swiveled, pinning Remy to the spot. "What're you gettin' out of this? You just trying to get back into the club by bringing back their golden boy?" He scoffed, shaking his head. "I'm not bitin'."
"God-DAMN, you are so selfish! Those kids din't do nothin' to d'serve this!"
"Those kids rotting in the ground didn't deserve what they got, either, but I couldn't stop that, either." A cigar seemingly materialized in his hand, and Remy rushed him, smacking it out of his hand.
"Stop! Jus' stop it! Let som'body in, for Chrissake!" He jumped atop of Logan daringly, grabbing him by the front of his shirt. "Are y' so afraid of people y' know care about ya? D'you really think they won' let you back in? Or is this sum kinda punishment for som'thin' ya couldn't control? Huh? Well, it ain't workin'! All y' doin' is hurtin' the people y' tryin' to help with this little crusade o' yours!" Remy was shaking with emotion now, and Logan stared up at him, genuinely shocked. "What?" Logan took his wrists in his calloused hands and removed them from his shirt, placing them in his lap.
"You really want me to come back that bad?" He paused, looking Remy in his red eyes. "Why?"
"For people who deserted you? Doubt it. Try again." Remy kept his mouth shut, his rosy lips pursed together. Logan pushed harder, his voice kinder. "Why?"
"Why?" The slighter mutant chuckled to himself. "B'cause it don' seem like a home wit'out ya. It feels like a prison, where you're the mos' hated inmate of 'em all. Y' never…y' never treated me like that. Ever." Remy looked down at him, his face flushed. "I want ya t' come back so's I can feel welcome agi'n."
"They didn't send you, did they?"
"Nah. Sent m'self. They din't miss me." Logan smiled up at him sadly and touched Remy's chestnut locks. "Wha?" He rose up from the flat pillows and gently tipped the Cajun's head back, planting a soft kiss on his lips, another even lighter one following like an echo. "Cher…"
"You really want me to come back?" Remy nodded, lips parted slightly. "Well…guess you'll have to convince me."
Well. He had no problem with that.