Disclaimer: Not mine, especially the Aerosmith lyrics scattered around. I'm not Steven Tyler and I can't fit a whole grapefruit in my mouth like he can, so don't sue me. Virtually everything belongs to someone else.
Dedicated to all those people I've accidentally plagiarized in some way, shape or form. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. No, really it is. . .
He shall set in pieces mighty men without number. . .
"So. . . Where'd we want to go then?" Logan looked across at her from the wheel of his truck as the icy road snaked beneath them.
Lillah sat in silence for a moment. "I don't know. . . " she mumbled eventually. Her eyebrows knotted together for a second. "Somewhere warm."
"Warm?" He looked back to the road. "Compared to here, there's a lot of places that count as warm. You want to narrow that down a little bit Darlin', or am I gonna' have to guess?"
She closed her eyes and seemed suddenly far away. She swam through the empty space in her mind as if her consciousness were somewhere else entirely. "I don't care. . . just somewhere where it's warm. Spent so long in the snow. . . Too long. . . Everything just tied around the snow and the cold. Got to break out. . . Break out or. . . " She trailed off, a look of intense pain fleeting across her face.
"Lillah?" Logan nudged her. "You OK, Kid?"
"Hm?" She seemed to click back into reality, the pain vanishing from her face and replaced with confusion. She looked like she'd just been woken from a deep sleep.
"You wanna' stay with me on this one, Darlin? Break out of it, or. . . ?"
"Or what?" She looked at him, bewildered.
"That's what I was tryin' to ask you."
She stared at him blankly. It felt like she'd missed a whole conversation and wasn't sure how.
Logan just sighed and turned his attention back to the road. Some things just weren't worth the effort.
Lillah stared at the dashboard in silence. Her brain had skipped out to "La-La Land" for a moment.
It unnerved her that her brain could just go out to lunch and not bother telling her. All she had been left with was this feeling, deep in the pit of her stomach. It was a yearning. A sudden intractable need to escape.
She had to get away from the cold, get away from the snow and the ice.
She wanted to escape this, the future she saw. She had finally met Him and the knowledge of how it was going to end had suddenly clouded mind with her with intense dread.
It was always in the snow, it was always in the cold. . . If she could just get to some place warm. . .
The Fates had dealt her a hand that she no longer wanted to play. The curse of her life had been to see glimpses of her future, but she had seen nothing but death. Odin had traded his eye for this curse. She'd had it thrust upon her from birth. . . .
He looked across at her.
"Let's go south."
He smiled at her. His feet hit the pedals and he threw the steering wheel round, sending the camper spinning wildly across the road. The back end clipped a tree as they spun, shaking the vehicle violently.
Lillah clutched the seat like it was the only thing between her and oblivion. She squealed involuntarily, her eyes clamping shut.
They came skidding to a halt facing the opposite direction and Logan sped off down the road the way they had just come.
"As the lady requested," He grinned.
Lillah slowly eased her death-grip on the upholstery. Her voice was quiet. "Logan, promise me something?"
"Never do that again. . . "
The rich sound of his laughter echoed over the snow-laden wilderness as the camper's taillights receded into the distance.
* * * * *
Cold and impassionate, he watched silently from the shadows as the van's tyres shredded into rough rubber fragments. He'd known they were coming back. He had connections. They'd been seen.
The vehicle skidded to the verge, losing traction on the slippery road.
Logan jumped from the cab, cursing his luck. He could see the jagged metal shards spread across the road, half hidden with the fresh fall of snow. From his view in the cab, they'd been almost invisible. By the time he'd seen them it had been too late to stop.
Two tyres shredded, the other two buried in the snowdrift they'd ploughed into.
Lillah jumped from the cab, wrapping Logan's jacket tight around her shoulders.
"How bad is it?" She looked at his frown, her face pale. Her hands were shaking from the cold and the shock of the crash.
Logan looked at her.
"Get back in the cab, Darlin'. It's too cold out here for you. Stay in the warm."
She nodded meekly and turned back to the vehicle, pausing only to shrug off his coat. She wrapped it around him and smiled.
"No point in you freezing out here either."
He accepted it gratefully, kissing her gently as he pulled it on. As she turned back to the van he knelt beside the first shredded tyre.
Totaled. . .
He cursed under his breath again.
"Logan. . . ?"
Lillah's voice. . .
"Logan. . . ! Ungh. . . "
He could suddenly hear her whimpering in pain. He raced round the van to find her doubled over, clutching at her stomach. Her eyes were screwed shut against the agony burning in her belly.
"Lillah, what's. . . "
Her stomach twisted violently and she gasped.
"Logan, he's. . . "
But Logan had sensed it too.
Something in the shadows. . .
His hands pushed her off the road, sending her tumbling into a heap of scrub. It twined around her body as she tried to regain her footing, but he pushed her down, a deadly edge to his voice.
She did as she was told, staying hidden in the undergrowth as she watched him stalk on the tarmac.
He growled like an animal, the sensation of being watched suddenly flowing primal to the front of his mind.
"Where you hidin', bub?"
The figure stepped out of the shadows cast by the trees on the far side of the road.
"I'm not hidin'."
Lance. . .
"You!" Logan growled. "I killed you. . . "
"Where's the girl, freak?"
"She ain't here. She left a while ago. You should be dead bub. Am I gonna' have to kill you again?"
"You God damned mutants are even more fucking stupid that you look. Didn't you even look at the man you killed?"
Hatred glistened in his black eyes. "You just make things worse for yourself, over and over and over. But I know you're lyin'. Where's the girl?"
"I told ya, she ain't here."
"Then that's a shame. You'll have to do instead."
Logan growled again.
Lance. . . but it wasn't Lance. He was dead. . .
Then it hit him. How could he have been so stupid?
He'd been so carried away. . . hurtin' so much at Lillah's pain, blinded by so much rage he hadn't noticed. . .
The man they had met had carried no scars from their first meeting in the woodland so many days ago.
Now that Logan looked, this man appeared older. He walked with difficulty, his body stiff and immobile, a bandage wrapped around his torso covering 3 long gashes etched into his skin.
Logan sniffed. The familiar scent of that first day assailed his senses and he growled low in his chest.
The man watched him coldly, his eyes as frozen as the ground on which they stood. His voice was clam with rage.
"You never looked, did you? Too concerned with your pretty little mutant bitch."
Logan growled, but the man ignored him, eyes of steel glazing with pure and total hatred.
"You killed my brother you bastard. You and your whore killed my brother. . . "
His hand moved to his coat and the world slowed. His fingers found purchase round a deadly shape.
Logan watched numbly, the scene playing before him too much to conceive. The black metal of the gun barrel reflected in his face as the bullet cut the air like a razor.
Discharge and impact both exploded into Logan's body as he convulsed and fell, hitting the floor on his knees.
Pain blinded him, forcing the air from his lungs.
The sound ripped through Lillah's head as the scene played its finality in her eyes.
She sobbed. The pain burned in her heart and her head and her throat and she could see it. . .
She screamed with the agony of the picture burning into her eyes. She saw the strike, saw the shock of the impact wracking through his body knocking him to his knees, she saw the blood spilling from his chest and the look of shock and pain and confusion spreading across his face.
She cried out again as another strike crumpled his body to the floor, hot tears burning down her cheeks so she could barely see, burning red filtering through the blur as his blood filtered onto the ice-covered ground.
"LOGAAAAAN!" She cried his name in desperation as the final impact jerked his body. Meeting his silent gaze she saw the confusion and pain numbed to nothing and she watched as his intense brown eyes grew dim and faint, his lids closing slowly around them.
She screamed with pain, a scream heard by the whole world, tears spilling over her face as the heavens opened.
Visions cascaded through her senses, blurred by the tears and the rain they were indistinct, but the sensation was the same.
She knew. She had seen it almost every night of her life.
Now he was gone, and this time it was so painfully real.
The end. . .
Thunder rolled as the sky poured blood in her mind.
She never even felt her feet leave the ground as she ran. She wasn't aware of her own body, her muscles throbbing with exhaustion and skin torn and bloodied on the unyielding undergrowth. She saw him die and she knew.
It held no fear for her now.
She had reached the end and she was alone once more and so there was nothing.
She threw herself by his side, his hot blood clinging to her skin and clothes as she sobbed over his limp frame. She reached for him, pulling him over to stem the blood but it rushed through her fingers in a slick stream. The rain cascaded around her, puddles forming and mingling, turned crimson by his pain, and there was no response from him. . .
And she knew. . .
He fell limply from her grasp, crumpling on the ground.
Rough hands yanked her backwards, and flat on the ground a vicious blow made her gasp for air. She could see the knife blade stained with her blood, and the beating pain caused coloured spots to dance in front of her eyes, so lurid they caused an agony all of their own. The end was so close she could see it and fear was not even an option. The gun was gone, but she knew she would die at his hand. She knew they would kill her but she would never give them fear.
Sharp and blunt, piercing and beating she clutched at the ground as it tore through her body, her own life seeping and merging with his until she finally felt the blade push through her ribs. The world swirled around her as she slumped backwards, her fingers gently wrapping around the hilt that pushed from her chest. The storm stilled, leaving only the wetness as she rolled onto her side. She curled in upon her self as the rain fell, thinking only of him. She knew it would be quick as the darkness enveloped her, like the arms of a lover drawing her close, enveloping her like dark satin.
Not long until she saw him again. . .
Morpheus and Thanatos. Sleep and his brother Death, the end of hope, the friend of the friendless, the surcease of pain.
And so she fell. . .
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