Disclaimer: I don't own anything that you recognize. X-Men characters belong to Marvel and 2oth Century Fox. True Blood characters belong to HBO and Charlaine Harris.
This is set in an alternative universe after True Blood season one, where there is no Maenad, and after all three X-Men movies. Note that this is mostly TV-verse and Movie-verse only. I am not basing my X-Men characters on the comics.
Chapter 1: Family
She'd left him a note; just one piece of lined notebook paper, slipped under his door. He must have been deeply asleep because he had not heard her. There was not much on that piece of paper, although he could sense that there was more that she had wanted to say, only that she had not been able to put her thoughts down in words. In the end, she had left those words unsaid. Logan unfolded the note again and read the few lines, written in Marie's large round hand.
"Dear Logan," it read.
I need a break. I don't know how to tell you this, but I need to get away. I have some family in Bon Temps, Louisiana, and I've written to them asking them if I coul stay with them for a while until I figure out what to do with the rest of my life and they agreed. I've never met them but I think I'll like them. I'll write again once I'm there.
All my love,
He understood her need to get away. So much had happened to her in the past couple of years. To be quite honest, he was surprised she had held out for so long. But Logan was Logan, and he would be damned before he let her go off into the world alone. Heck, he had to at least make sure that her relatives were actually decent people first. Yes, he knew she was nineteen years old and turning twenty in two months, but he couldn't help it. In his eyes, she was still that frightened girl who had sneaked onto his trailer, and he was not going to let her go out alone into a world with vampires and who knew what else in it. No, he was not acting like an overprotective father, and if he was, he would die first before he would admit it.
It was summer. There was nothing for him to do here since all the students were either at home or overseas on a school trip to Greece and Italy. He pretty much had the entire mansion to himself, apart from Mystique, who now taught IT, and she didn't need him around. The last time he subbed one of her classes, he'd punched a computer screen in frustration and smashed it. She had not been impressed.
He slipped the note back into his pocket and grabbed his duffle bag, which had been lying beside his door. Opening his drawers, he pulled out a few handfuls of clothes –shirts, singlets, jeans, socks– and stuffed them into the bag. He grabbed his leather jacket from where it had been hanging on the back of his door and slung that over his shoulder. The keys of his motorcycle were in one of the jacket's pockets; he'd heard them jingling. Oh yeah, he'd need some cash too. Logan reached into the back of his wardrobe and lifted up one of the floorboards. He trusted neither banks nor credit card companies, preferring to keep wads of cash on hand. His fingers made contact with the old cookie tin that held all his cash and then put that in his bag too. Now he was ready to enjoy a proper southern summer.
It was impossible not to notice the sultry heat after having lived in Upper State New York for so long. The air shimmered. Marie shaded her eyes with her hand –her ungloved hand. The sun was so bright that she could hardly keep her eyes open against the glare. The van she had come in drove off, leaving clouds of dust behind it and it roared into the distance like a rattling metal beast well past its prime. The faded sign with peeling paint told her that she was in the right place; Bon Temps, a sleepy little town where her cousins Jason and Sookie lived. Sookie was the one who had written to her, telling her that she was more than welcome to stay for a little while. Her cousins' grandmother, her great aunt, had died a few weeks ago under the most gruesome of circumstances, leaving her house to Sookie.
Marie re-adjusted her backpack. Right. She was alone in Louisiana; how bad could it be? After all, she'd faced death a couple of times now, and she'd lived through all of those encounters. Nothing could be more dangerous than being kidnapped by Magneto, right? The directions Sookie had given her were precise. Turn right here, go to this sign, turn right again. It wasn't long before she found herself standing in the parking lot of a friendly looking pub. Well, she assumed it was a parking lot, since there were a lot of dusty cars there, but it had no painted lines. It didn't even have concrete. It was just a patch of…well, dirt.
"Merlotte's," she read out aloud to herself. Yes, she was in the right place. Her cousin worked here as a waitress, apparently; there were definitely worse places to work. Hell, she'd stayed the night in much seedier bars. Taking a deep breath, Marie pushed open the wooden doors with glass panes and walked inside. The murmur of conversation the shouts of the waitresses and the cooks were welcoming. One of the waitresses, a woman with flaming red locks, stopped in front of her and looked her up and down with an expression of complete confusion on her face.
"Sookie?" she said. "But I jus' saw you back there with Sam! And what the hell have you done to your hair?"
Marie self-consciously reached up to touch her hair, knowing it was the pure white which had elicited such a reaction, but she stopped herself in time. She had nothing to be ashamed of. "I'm not Sookie, but I am looking for her," she said. "I'm her cousin from Mississippi."
"Cousin?" said the waitress. "You two ought to be twins! Sookie! Your cousin's here!"
"About time!" For a moment, Marie thought she was looking at her older blonder self. The waitress was right; she and Sookie could definitely be twins. Yes, she had seen a picture of her beforehand, but the likeness had not really come out. "Marie…? Wow, I have a stunt double! I'm glad you made it to the bar okay. I'd have picked you up but it's Sunday afternoon and kinda busy."
"It's all right," said Marie, rather taken aback by the warm welcome. She supposed she was used to being isolated from others by now. "I hitchhiked from Mississippi to Canada so finding Merlotte's wasn't really a problem for me."
"Now that must be some story," said the other waitress. "Oh, silly me. I forgot to introduce myself! I'm Arlene, and I'd shake your hand if I weren't carryin' two full trays."
"I'm Marie," said Marie. She found herself smiling, partly because she was nervous and partly because she felt she was going to like it here. "But I guess you heard it the first time."
"Well, it was nice meetin' ya, Marie," said Arlene, "but I gotta take these to the tables before the boys over there starve to death." With that, she left to deal with her impatient customers.
"Can I get you anythin'?" asked Sookie. "I've still got an hour till I get off work, but you can have a drink if you want. On the house. Non-alcoholic, of course, seein' as you're still a minor and this is a licensed bar."
"I'll have a lemonade and…your special?" said Marie.
"Well, you can look at the menu first before you decide," said Sookie with a laugh. "The special today's the Lafayette and I don't want to know what Lafayette –our fry cook– has actually put in it."
They had a quiet family dinner that night. Marie met her other cousin, Jason, and also Sookie's boyfriend, who turned out to be a vampire. Vampire Bill, some of the locals called him. "You're not one of those vampire haters, are you?" Sookie had asked her.
"Sookie, I'm a mutant," Marie had told her. "I know better than most about how it feels to be discriminated against and I wouldn't wish it on anybody."
"Perfect, then," her cousin had said. "I'm sure you'll like Bill, then."
Sookie was right. She did like Bill; he was the sort of gentleman who only seemed to exist in old-fashioned movies like Gone With the Wind. In fact, he did bear a lot of resemblances to Rhett Butler, from that neatly combed hair to the tidy sharp cut clothes, although Rhett Butler had not subsisted on a diet of synthetic blood. She supposed it had something to do with the fact that Bill actually lived through the Civil War. No wonder Sookie had fallen for him; men just didn't come like that anymore.
Vampires, mutants…who knows what the world is coming to? They're abominations, all of them. They're not supposed to exist. Humans were created in God's image. These…I don't know what they are, but they sure ain't human. All this talk about tolerance and co-existence. It's all bullshit. If it were up to me, I'd lock 'em all away deep underground with stakes in their hearts for good measure. They're unnatural. Monsters. They deserve to be killed. And how can you kill a vampire when it's not even properly alive? The liberals have something wrong in their heads if they think that bloodsuckers and creatures with supernatural powers deserve to walk among decent folk. The government's been corrupted, and now it's up to the people to make things right.
People like me.
Marie had not expected him to come. Well, perhaps she had expected it, but not so soon. All eyes turned to him as soon as he strode through the door of Merlotte's, covered in dust and with his hair sticking up in two peaks in its usual fashion. His presence commanded attention. Sam, the owner of the bar, had hired her to be a part time waitress on Sookie's recommendation. She was much too educated for such a job, but she found she rather liked it, and it wasn't without its own perks and challenges. After all, it took skill to balance a laden tray and carry a jug of beer without spilling it. "Well, this is cosy," he said, looking around.
"Logan!" said Marie. "What are you doing here? How did you find me?" She set down the glass she'd been cleaning and ran to him, her arms around him.
"I had to make sure you're okay, kid," said Logan, giving her an awkward one-armed hug. He had never been that great at open affection. "And it wasn't that hard. I had the town's name and your cousin's name."
"How did you know my cousin's name?" asked Marie.
"You mentioned them to me once," said Logan.
"I thought you weren't listening."
"I was listenin'! I just happened to be cheerin' at a hockey game on T.V. a the same time!"
"Well, I'm glad you listened," said Marie, finally letting go of him.
"Who's your friend, Marie?" called Sookie from behind the bar.
Marie introduced them without going into too much detail about how she'd met Logan; that was a long story and she wasn't sure if she wanted to reveal her life's tale to her cousin yet. Logan soon became a favourite at the bar because he out-drank all the men, made a couple of crude jokes that they could all appreciate and ordered the largest meal anyone had ever attempted to eat. And then he'd eaten it all. His rapid metabolism needed a lot of fuel. Luckily, no mention of claws ever came up. Marie was grateful that no one apart from her cousins knew that she and Logan were mutants, because she doubted that they would have been so welcoming if they had known. Vampires might have been brave enough to reveal themselves, but mutants were generally much easier to kill than vampires, unless one happened to be the Wolverine, and why give others a reason to discriminate when they could hide what made them so different?
A/N: Well, here's the beginning. I've no idea what's going to happen next, but something's bound to come up.