Logan made his way to his room, closed the door, and dropped on his bed. He was tired. That damn poison of Viper's took more out of him than he had thought. He rested his forearm over his eyes and listened to the quiet of his room. He thought of Kitku. Jasmine and Jean were both right, she was ... special to him. They had been to hell and back together; nothing would ever change that.
Truth be told, he kind of like the fact that their cover had been father and daughter. He shook his head. Sure, it had been nice to be called 'Dad' but he sure as hell wasn't a father figure, for any kid, especially Kitku.
But why? The other side of his mind nagged. Why wouldn't he be a good father?
"'Cause, you're a few cards short, that's why!" he snarled out loud. He exhaled sharply and forced himself to relax. He cleared his head and listened to the sounds around him. He heard the rustle of the tree outside his window. He concentrated on the tree. It was peaceful. He felt his mind begin to drift into a dream.
He approached her from behind; she was painting on the front porch. It was a landscape painting, but in the center of the picture were two people under a twilight sky entwined in love making.
"Interestin'," he said softly as he wrapped his arms around her tiny waist. He buried his face between her neck and shoulder.
"Hey, I'm painting here," she said trying to chastise him for his interruption.
"And, I don't have time for this," she said with a chuckle.
"Since when? You ain't never turned me down before."
She turned in his arms and looked at him with indignity. "You make me sound so ... so ... easy."
"Hey!" she playfully slapped at his chest and shoulder. "Go on, get outa here. I've got work to do. Go on."
She turned in his arms and back to her work. He kissed her neck, gave her a swat on the bottom and started to walk away.
"Hey!" she yelped, rubbed her backside and started towards him.
He grinned and sat down on the porch railing. "Yer busy, remember?"
"Not too busy to give you a good swift kick in the ... " she started.
"Hey, be nice."
"That was nice." She stood in front of him, tried to look menacing and failed. Instead, she reached up and kissed him, deeply and passionately. They parted briefly; she caressed his cheek and looked earnestly into his eyes. "You know, Logan, I love you."
"Jas, I ..." Voices interrupted them.
"That is remarkable," a male voice said.
"Let us get this debriefing over," a female voice added. "I do not wish to spend the day reviewing our mission."
"Yeah," another male voice agreed, "I sure as hell don't want to be here all day."
"Okay, people, get showered and changed and down in the war room in an hour," commanded yet a third male voice.
Logan shifted and looked around him. This wasn't right.
Logan turned in his bed and opened his eyes. He laid very still, assessed where he was and what was happening. He was in his room at the mansion, not Bozeman, Montana with Jasmine. He heard the voices more clearly; the voices were in the hallway becoming more and more distant as the owners made their way down the corridor. He closed his eyes again and inhaled. He caught their lingering scents. Storm, Beast, Archangel and Cyclops. He sat up on the edge of his bed. No use trying to sleep now.
He heard the rolling of wheels on the wall and then a timid knock on the door. He got up and opened it. Kitku was perched on her skateboard, upside down on the wall above his doorframe.
"Hi, Wolvie!" She greeted cheerfully.
"Hey, kiddo," he returned, trying his best to sound at least equally cheerful. "Best get yerself off the wall 'fore Chuck sees ya. He's head'll spin 'round."
"Ya think?" Kitku asked with a gleam in her eyes.
Logan humphed and lifted her down from the wall. He set her down and she skated behind him into the room. She looked around his room which was sparse, smaller than most of the other rooms in the mansion, and very messy. She skated over to a pyramid of beer cans. "This is different."
"Don't be snide."
She put her hands on her hips and pursed her lips, "If I were being snide, I'd have said, 'Hmmm, this is interesting. Don't you have anything better to do with your time than drink and stack the empties?'"
Logan glared over at her but his features softened as she fluttered her eyes at him and gave him a big innocent smile. "Bein' sarcastic, doesn't become ya."
She shrugged and hopped onto his bed. "So, whatcha doin'?"
"I was sleepin'."
"Sounds boring." She hopped off the bed and, once more, wandered about his room. Inspecting this and that but careful not to touch the altar where Logan kept his katana. She did pause and look at the picture of the woman. "Who's she? Old girlfriend?"
"Somethin' like that," he replied.
Kitku moved on and checked out his closet. "Not much of a clothes horse, are you?"
Logan watched her and realized that she wanted to talk.
"Hey, come here." Logan sat down on the bed and patted next to him. Kitku ran and jumped up next to him. She grinned up at him and impulsively gave him a hug. "What's that for?"
"What's on yer mind?"
"I met the rest of your friends," she admitted.
Logan raised an eyebrow. "And?"
"Well," Kitku hesitated and then shrugged. "I guess it could've gone better."
Logan put his arm across her back and patted her shoulder. He did not say anything but waited for her to continue.
"I, well, I thought they were intruders, so, well, I took my bat and pegged the blue skinned guy with wings ... "
"Archangel," Wolverine offered.
"Yeah, in the chest and, well, knocked him down."
Wolverine nodded and forced himself not to smile. Archangel was not his most favorite of people.
"And, well, I kinda beaned the blue furry guy ..."
"Yeah, Beast, in the back of the head." Kitku shifted and sighed. "That's about it. Guess it wasn't such a good first impression."
"I think it was a hell've an impression, 'specially on Beast and Angel." Wolverine chuckled and Kitku groaned at the pun. "Don't worry about it, kiddo."
"Well, yeah, that's easy for you to say," she argued, hopped off the bed and paced in front of the open door. "I'm sure you didn't go around attacking everyone when you first showed up."
Logan rubbed the back of his neck, not exactly sure how to respond, when a voice did it for him.
"Oh, yes, he did and he was out for blood."
Logan looked up to find Angel leaning in the doorway, a smirk played across his lips. That smirk that made Wolverine's blood instantly boil.
"As a matter of fact, he was even more of an in-your-face kinda guy then than he is now," Angel continued, ignoring Wolverine's warning glare. "He and I got into it, over something he did that I didn't like."
Warren and Logan exchanged knowing looks. It had happened several years ago and had left an animosity between the two ever since. Logan had made a pass at Jean and Warren felt he needed to play protector, attacked Wolverine. But before either man could get seriously hurt, Storm broke up the combatants.
"Admittedly," Archangel continued, his eyes never leaving Logan's face. "I stuck the first blow and following our little tiff, I said some pretty rotten things but over the years, I'd like to believe that we've both been man enough to put that behind us."
Kitku watched the exchange between the two men and realized that this discussion was a long time coming.
"Yep," Logan admitted.
Warren nodded in agreement, their feud somewhat settled or at least on the road to being over. They would probably never be buddies but at least they weren't antagonists anymore. "So, Kit, your impression on us couldn't have been any worse than mine on Logan's or Logan to me. And, actually, I was pretty impressed."
Kitku blushed and hid behind Wolverine's broad shoulder. She peered around at Archangel and smiled at the handsome man. He grinned easily back at her and gave a small wave. "Well, I gotta go before the boss man comes looking for me."
He took a step back into the hallway. "See you later, Logan. Bye, Kit."
"Bye," she mumbled.
"Yep," Wolverine acknowledged and then after he had walked away, Logan shut the door.
Kitku eyed him. "You got into a fight the first day you were here, over a woman?"
"Men," Kitku snorted and shook her head.
"Men?" Wolverine questioned.
"Yeah, men. Always getting into fights over women and stupid stuff."
"And women don't fight over men?"
"Well, no," she replied with less confidence. "Well, only on Jerry Springer."
"So, only on TV?"
"Well, yeah," Kitku said, somewhat surprised. She paused and then said, "Do they?"
Wolverine shrugged. "Seen a few. Don't know what the hell they were fightin' over. He weren't worth the price of a drink, far as I could tell."
He absentmindedly began picking up his room, tossed the dirty clothes near his hamper and any trash into the wastebasket. Kitku watched him and then quietly began to help him pick up his room.
"Well, I'm never getting married, so I won't be fighting over no guy," Kitku announced.
"Never say never, kiddo."
"And, I'm never having kids," she continued.
Wolverine paused for a moment before he tossed a shirt at the hamper.
"Yeah," she said more to herself than him. "I don't want to leave them without nobody."
He gave her a sideways glance and waited for her to elaborate but she was silent. He decided to let the conversation drop until she was ready to ... Who was he kidding? It was not her but it was him. He was not ready to confront his emotions and his desire for them to be a family.
He threw a boot toward the closet, suddenly annoyed with the whole business of cleaning and thinking about his feelings for this little cherub.
"Come on," he said gruffly and took her tiny hand in his.
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