Logan stalked out of the convenience store, a bag of necessities in his arms. He had needed to get away from the Institute for a while. The tension was nearly unbearable, and had been, ever since that little spat between him and Cyke. The team leader of the X-men had not been happy when, on their last mission, Wolverine had deliberately defied his orders and gone in after Gambit, having spotted the ambush awaiting the other man before any of the others.
They had no sooner gotten into the Black Bird than Scott was laying into him, loudly and in front of the entire crew. Logan had snarled at him that if he wanted to be a team leader, then he had better be a leader, instead of a controlling asshole. He had then proceeded to ignore Cyclops for the remainder of their trip home.
As soon as they landed, Wolverine had disappeared into his room, quickly throwing some clothes together before taking off, "borrowing" Cyke's motorcycle in the meantime. The boy would be lucky if he didn't just run it off a cliff on the way home, he thought viciously.
He paused a moment before climbing onto the bike, his supplies stored securely in the leather packs on either side of the seat. He knew that jeep, and he knew the person inside. Remy LeBeau had apparently decided to follow him. Wolverine had to give him grudging respect – it couldn't have been easy to keep track of him all the way up to Canada, and the fact that the Cajun hadn't lost him was testament to the man's prowess, as was the fact that Logan hadn't even noticed he was being followed.
He gave a brief nod to the man in the jeep, and then climbed on his bike and took off, following the narrow rode higher into the mountains. The jeep followed behind him, and Logan was careful not to lose it. He didn't know why the Cajun had decided to follow him, but he wasn't going to deliberately shake him off before finding out. And he found that he didn't mind the Cajun so much.
The leaves had finished changing colors to welcome the fall season, and Logan drove amidst vibrantly colored leaves, providing a marvelous, breathtaking contrast to the clear blue sky, the occasional white cloud floating merrily along, chasing the wind. The wind that blew through Logan's hair was warm, and he felt the peace settling over him at last. There was nothing prettier, or more soothing, than the Canadian wilderness during autumn.
Logan decided then that he'd probably stay up here for a full week, perhaps longer. His own little autumn vacation, he thought. With another person, he added, having almost forgotten about the mutant following behind him. Still, if Gambit wanted to leave, he was free to go whenever he'd like. And if he chose to stay, that was fine, too. It's not like Logan would care either way.
Logan was grateful that the path up to the cabin, while barely large enough for the jeep, was at least relatively smooth, so that he didn't have any trouble getting the bike up there. Of course, it was covered in dust by the time he reached the cabin, but he didn't care. If he was in a generous mood, he'd wash it once he got back to the Institute. If not, then Scott could wash it himself, he chuckled.
He pulled the bike in under the cabin's overhang, and waited patiently for Gambit to park the jeep. During the winter time, if he came up here, he had a small garage to put the jeep in, but with the nice weather, it was unlikely that they'd need to use the tiny shelter, which was fine, because Logan had built it behind the cabin, and it was a pain to get the jeep in and out.
Remy came around the jeep, and Logan noticed that he was practically slinking across the ground, as if ashamed for having followed him up here. "What's wrong, Cajun?" Logan demanded gruffly, not one to beat around the bush. "If you didn't want to come, you didn't have to."
Gambit shook his head, looking almost dejected. "Non. Remy jus' couldn't take it there anymo'. You seemed like you didn' min' Remy bein' near so much. An' you on'y yell when Ah do somethin' stupid," he muttered. Logan snorted; the man had a point there. If Remy had done something stupid and gotten himself or somebody else hurt, Logan would have been the first one to take it out of his hide. But since there was no way he could have anticipated that they knew he was coming, Logan couldn't fault him for not being aware of the ambush that awaited him.
Shrugging, he turned and unlocked the door, beckoning Remy to follow him, which he did after a brief moment of hesitation. "Afraid there's not much here," he said gruffly, setting his supplies on the small kitchen counter before turning to give Gambit the grand tour. "Kitchen, bathroom, sitting room, bedroom," he pointed out, standing in the middle of the living room.
In reality, the entire cabin was just one large room. Logan had sectioned off the bedroom with a sheet. There was a large woodstove in the sitting room, and the fire from that heated the whole cabin. A worn couch separated the kitchen from the sitting room. The bathroom was the only room that had its own door, and it was made to be functional, nothing more. A small stand-alone sink, a toilet, and a shower stall were the only amenities.
"Sorry it's kinda small," Logan apologized. "Usually, I'm the only one I've gotta worry about. You can have the bed, I'll take the couch," he offered, but Remy was already shaking head his head in a silent refusal. Logan lifted an eyebrow. "What? You wanna share?" he asked, only teasing a little. Remy blushed, which caught Logan's interest. Oh? Quickly scenting the air, he grinned. His words had been meant innocently, but they hadn't struck Remy that way, apparently.
"Ah don' wan' to take your bed," Remy replied, and Logan had to give him credit for keeping his voice steady. His blush was fading as he continued. "Ah can take the couch," he offered. He looked like he wanted to say something else, but he closed his mouth instead.
Logan eyed the piece of furniture for a moment, then shook his head. "Naw. I wouldn't do that to ya. It's not real comfortable," he admitted with a wry smile. Remy raised an eyebrow at him, and he conceded, "All right, already. I guess we'll just have to share, then, huh?"
Remy just nodded, looking around the cabin with a critical eye. Logan frowned, "What? The place not to your likin', Cajun?" he growled, never having been a person to beat around the bush. After all, Gambit had followed him up here on his own. Logan sure as hell hadn't invited him.
Remy shook his head, his eyes wide. "Non, non!" he protested. "Dis place is very nice," he said. "Jus'….Remy's nev'r been to a place like dis. It's diff'rent, is all," he shrugged. "But nice. And it's very beautiful outside," he added, pulling aside the small curtains to stare out at the vibrant leaves that dominated the landscape, interrupted by the occasional grove of pines that stayed green year round.
Logan shook his head, chuckling. "Beautiful, huh? Yeah, I guess it is," he agreed. "It's also peaceful up here, and nobody else knows 'bout this place." He considered for a moment. "Except maybe Chuck, and now you." He scented the surprise that must have shown on Remy's face, but the man was facing away from him, staring out the window. When he turned back around to look at Logan, his expression was back to being casually seductive. Logan wondered idly if he did that on purpose, or if it was just ingrained in him by this point. No doubt his abilities at seduction had served him well, against men and women alike.
He had known for a while that Remy liked both the boys and the girls, but as the man had never approached him, he hadn't given it much thought. As long as Gambit stayed away from the younger ones at the Institute, what he did, and with who, was nobody's business but his own, as long as it didn't endanger the team. But the man had followed him all the way up here, and didn't seem disturbed in the least about having to share a relatively small bed. Then again, Logan knew he wasn't mistaken about the brief flash of arousal that had shivered through Remy's body when he had mentioned sharing the bed.
"How 'bout you put the food away and make the bed?" Logan asked abruptly. "Sheets and blankets are in the little alcove there," he gestured towards the living room, where a small cabinet had been built into the walls of the structure itself. "I'm gonna go chop some firewood, so we can have some heat in this place. It gets chilly at night."
Once Remy nodded his understanding, Logan stalked out the door, heading around back to the garage, where he kept a minimal amount of tools, including an axe. The woodpile was a little further in the woods. Tomorrow, he'd have to venture deeper into the woods to look for fallen trees that he could chop up to make wood for next year. Every fall, when he came here, he did the same thing. There were usually plenty of newly fallen trees that he could chop up into smaller pieces and leave out to weather for the following year.
Logan hefted the axe above his head, and brought it down heavily on the first piece of wood, splitting it neatly down the middle. A deft movement, and the axe slipped back out of the wood. Reaching down, he lifted another piece and set it on the chopping block, then brought the axe down again. It made a satisfying thunk as the axe cut through it, digging into the chopping block and leaving another scar in the tough wood.
Logan quickly found his rhythm, and allowed the repetitive motion to soothe his frazzled nerves, using the axe to vent his frustrations on the wood until he was calm, and the chopping became nothing more than routine. He found that he was still pissed at Scott, but he had no doubt that Jean was probably setting him straight this very moment. In fact, she had probably started as soon as she had managed to get her boyfriend alone.
And now, he had allowed an unknown to enter the one place where he could find peace. Canada was home to him, the scent and feel of the earth and rocks comforting and familiar. He didn't remember why this place felt like home to him, only that it did, and so he came up here whenever he could escape the Institute for a while.
He admitted, if only to himself, that he had never really tried to get to know Remy LeBeau. To him, the other mutant had always just been Gambit, the flirtatious mutant that had once worked under Magneto, and was now part of the X-Men. He remembered, with a pang of regret and more than a little guilt, when they had left the other man in Antarctica to die, exiling him to his death in that frozen, merciless land.
A part of Logan had always regretted allowing Rogue to leave him there. And another part of him had been relieved when Remy had shown back up, and had tried to integrate himself back into the team. Logan had been the first one to doubt Gambit's intentions when the man had first changed him, but over time, he had come to develop a grudging respect for the other man, realizing that his flirtatious attitude was mostly a shield, to disguise that vulnerable part of him that was hurt very easily.
Calm now, Logan used the time it took to finish chopping the rest of the pile, and to lug it back to the back wall of the cabin, where it would sit until it was needed, to reconsider everything he knew about Remy LeBeau. He didn't know much about the man's past, but occasionally, Remy would let a hint fall, and Logan had slowly been able to put the pieces together over time.
Remy had been raised by thieves, and had done many, many things to survive. He had become the worst sort of criminal, just to keep himself alive. He had been used by those who were older and stronger than he was, and he was certain that Remy's seductive nature had been taught. The thought of how long Remy had been using his body and his natural charm to seduce those around him was not a pleasant thought.
Logan swore to himself that he would never, ever do anything that he wasn't absolutely certain Remy would want. He had smelled the flash of arousal coming from Remy when he had mentioned sharing a bed, but for all he knew, that, too, was an ingrained response. After all, it wasn't rape if you enjoyed it, right? Just the thought was enough to make Logan swallow heavily, his stomach churning at the images that accompanied the thought.
A bright spark of contempt and self-loathing flashed through him when his body twitched in interest at the thoughts of a panting, writhing Remy, pupils dilated with arousal so that only an edge of crimson showed. No doubt Remy had experience as both the top and bottom, and Logan had to stop thinking, before thoughts of a submissive, pleading Remy made it hard to walk.
He had always known that he was more animal than human, but things like this brought it home…hard. He growled deep in his throat, turning and taking off through the woods, running now. He left the axe behind, and let his mind blank out as he ran, instinct and natural grace allowing him to dodge branches and leap over rocks and fallen trees. Part of his mind made note of the location of the fallen trees, so that he could come back over the next few days to chop them up into smaller pieces for hauling.
Wolverine ran, not paying any mind to the direction he was running, until his lungs heaved and his legs grew tired, the sweat sliding down his skin in small rivulets of exertion. His breath panted into the cooler evening air, and he finally slowed, his mind once more calm and serene. Canada really was good for him, he thought idly, turning around and setting off at a casual jog towards the cabin. He was tired now, which was good, as it meant he'd take a shower and collapse into an exhausted slumber. So Remy would be safe for tonight, at least.
Forty-five minutes later, Logan loped up to the cabin, realizing that he had subconsciously been heading back this way the whole time. At least it made for a shorter return trip, he smirked, opening the door and slipping inside. There was a warm fire crackling in the sitting room, heating the entire cabin, and Logan experienced a small flash of guilt for having left the fire for Remy to take care of.
There was no sign of Remy, so Logan figured that he must have gone to bed. The faint sound of breathing could be detected, and Logan sighed in relief. He grabbed a pair of sleep pants out of his satchel and headed for the shower, grateful now that he had spared the time and money to get new parts, so that the pipes didn't creak and whistle whenever he ran the water.
Turning the water on to cool, Logan waited while it spit before giving in and offering a steady stream of water. Stepping under the water, he shivered and quickly cleaned himself up. The cold water didn't offer any opportunities for stray thoughts, and Logan was finished and toweling off in a matter of moments.
Dressed, Logan slipped out of the bathroom and went over to the alcove where he kept the bedding. Opening the cabinet doors, he pulled out an extra pillow and two blankets, and made up a quick bed on the couch. He didn't trust his control tonight, and so would just avoid the temptation completely. He'd have to either get control over himself soon, or he'd have to explain to Remy exactly what was going on, in a way that would make it clear that he wasn't trying to hurt or insult Remy in any way. After all, this was his problem, and nobody else's.
Unable to resist the temptation, Logan moved back towards the bedroom. Silently, he pulled the curtain aside and stared down at the sleeping mutant, his face oddly vulnerable in the flickering light of the fire, lines of tension still marring his expression. There was no peace to be had for either of them tonight, Logan thought with a pang of sympathy.
Fighting the urge to soothe the tension from the Cajun's face, Logan let the curtain slide back into position and went to the woodstove, adding another piece of wood to keep the flames going through the night. Finished, he moved back over to the couch, climbing in and pulling the blanket up over him. He winced as a few of the springs dug into his side, and promised himself that he would replace the couch the next time he was in town.
Struggling to get comfortable, Logan finally gave up and closed his eyes, letting the crackling of the fire lull him to sleep. He'd worry about everything else in the morning. For now, he just wanted to sleep, to pretend that he was alone in his cabin, in the middle of the Canadian wilderness, and that he didn't have a guest who was unconsciously seducing him, calling to the animal inside of him. Yeah, that was all. He just needed some sleep. Everything would make more sense in the morning. It had to.