That Look
Chapter 4

Archive: If you must, let me know.

Author's Note: The rating is for language, mainly and a little blood. Hmmm. Not sure exactly. Blame Vic for getting me started on Movieverse again, and Eoen for one little twist

Disclaimer: Uh-huh. Still not mine. Damn.

Rogue had been tracking Logan for a while. Since class that morning. She finally found him coming out of the ballroom, alone, his face dark with anger, his eyes wild. A shiver seized her. She followed him anyway. Out the back door, out onto the grounds alone in the early evening light.

Logan came to a halt next to one of the trees dotted about the vast lawns, hands fisted at his sides. Back firmly presented. He cocked his head over his shoulder, one glaring eye piercing her, freezing her in place.

"What do you want, kid?" he snarled ominously.

She waited several feet away, gloved hands toying nervously with the long scarf around her neck. The white streak in her hair gleamed in the fading light.

"It was you who cut Mr. Summers, wasn't it?" she asked. Logan's chin jerked up and he stared into the distance.

"He tell you that?"

"No, but it wasn't hard to figure out. You guys train together. I just didn't. . . " she stopped, biting her lips, hands gripping each other hard. "I thought you liked it here. I thought you came back because you missed. . . us. But all you do is fight with him. And now you've hurt him." She took a deep, shuddering breath.

"I like him, Logan. All the kids do, even though they give him a hard time. He makes us all feel so. . . " Her hands waved helplessly in the air, encompassing the grounds, the entire school. "Safe."

Logan half-turned back toward her, his expression cold, silent. Watching. Waiting.

Her dark gaze raised and met his, something pained in the depths of her eyes. Far too mature, too knowing for her years.

"I still remember a few things, from when you healed me. Like I know you only chased Dr. Grey to make him mad."

He turned around sharply, thrust his hands into his jeans pockets, glaring. "That all you remember?"

She looked away, at the tree, then back at him, her face pale. She shook her head, eyes filling with tears. He let out a sharp sigh, expression softening slightly. Regret, maybe.

"I'm sorry, kid," he said. She stood there, fighting tears for a moment, sniffing quietly.

Then he held out his arms, and she ran into them, burying her head against his chest as his arms closed around her, holding her close.

* * * * *

Gavin burst through the door, a wide smile on his face, making Julio jump.

"Mr. Summers is so cool!" Gavin said, still flying from the earlier encounter. He tossed his bunched up clothes on the floor and fell back onto his bed, the grin still plastered across his face, body wrapped only in a big towel. He'd stopped in the boy's communal bathroom for a quick shower to wash the sweat off, then come right back to their room.

Julio sat on his own bed in the far corner of the room, his knees drawn up into the circle of his arms. Dark eyes narrowed, face pinched with concern.

"He came by here. Looking for you."

"Yeah, I know." Gavin rolled his head to the side, shooting his friend a big smile. "Did he bug you, Julio? He shouldn't. He's great. He's gonna let me set up my own dojo."

"He wasn't mad?"

"No way! He said I had a great skill and I should use it. And he wants to help me."

Julio stayed silent. Curled up on his bed, faint shivers running through him, through his bed. He'd never seen Gavin so animated before. Never seen his friend smile like that for anyone other than him. Something dark rose in him, clawed at his heart, his thoughts.

Julio watched as his best -- his only -- friend Gavin bounced off the bed, unable to contain his excitement as he paced around the room, red braid whipping around behind him, talking of equipment and uniforms and sparring and how great Mr. Summers was for letting him have all that again, and was afraid. Very, very afraid.

* * * * *

Scott wasn't really surprised to find a neatly printed list of supplies and items waiting for him in his office the next morning. Gavin was obviously enthusiastic about setting up a real training area. He stared at the list, uncertain where to start. His own training in hand-to-hand combat had come under far less formalized circumstances. He certainly didn't know what a 'tonfa' was.

Taking the paper with him, Scott joined the usual semi-conscious crowd of teenagers on their way to the dining hall for breakfast. Ororo had kitchen duty this week, with a rotating selection of students as her helpers. That meant another mostly vegetarian meal. At least she didn't have anything against coffee.

He fielded the usual mumbled morning greetings and a few queries about his arm as he helped himself to hot food and a gigantic mug of coffee. It was a small vice that hurt no one -- unless he didn't get his one cup every morning. He paused briefly when he turned toward the teacher's table and saw Logan seated on the far side of Jean. The Professor was absent this morning; probably had already been and gone.

Jean gave him a smile of greeting. Logan was noticeable by his silence. Jean shot Scott a concerned glance. Scott set his tray down, determined to ignore the other man. Though, for some reason, the snapping tension between them was less this morning contrary to what he'd expected after their last encounter. Could the Wolverine actually be behaving himself in public now, as he'd asked? The idea made him smile slightly as he started in on his breakfast.

"What's this?" Jean asked after a moment, picking up the paper beside his plate. Scott checked to make certain none of the kids were near when he answered. He still needed to find out how public Gavin wanted knowledge of his skills to be first, and he just hadn't had the opportunity yet.

"Gavin's list. It was on my desk before I got to my office this morning." He smiled into his coffee cup, still pleased by the boy's eagerness.

"'Bokken', 'sai', 'tonfa'," Jean read off the list, frowning slightly. "What are these?"

"Bokken's a wooden sword; sai's a kind of short knife," Logan said from the other end of the table, head lifted in sudden interest. "Looking to start a war, Summers?"

"No, but Gavin might be," Scott answered with a wry smile. Not looking directly at Logan. "He's had serious training in martial arts. I agreed to set him up with a place to train."

"Dojo," Logan grunted.

"What?" Jean asked.

"A place where martial arts are taught is called a 'dojo'. But it needs a sensei to be a real dojo," Logan said, turning back to his food. Somewhere he'd found sausages this morning. Scott glanced at his plate enviously.

"And a sensei is?" he asked, even though he had a fairly good idea. Too many late night kung fu movie marathons during college, probably.

"A teacher, a master," Logan said, shooting him a dark glare.

"Sounds like you know something about this," Scott said, tone challenging. Logan turned to face him fully, his expression strangely remote.


Scott looked up, scanning the room for the boy with pale red hair. He frowned when he didn't find him. He did see Julio sitting at a table by himself, however. The dark-haired boy turned his face sharply away when he noticed Scott looking his way. Scott noted the reaction absently, his thoughts focused in another direction.

"Where's Gavin?" he asked the table in general.

"I think he has kitchen duty today," Jean said, glancing around the room too.

"Feel up to judging the boy's skills today, Wolverine?" Scott asked, fixing the other man with a firm look. Logan scanned his face, eyes flicking to a cautiously curious Jean, then he looked out over the room, gaze pausing on something or someone on the other side of the room before coming back to Scott. Veiled. Controlled. Logan shrugged.

"When?" he agreed gruffly. And Scott felt the first, faint touch of success.

* * * * *

Logan stood silently on the far side of the main gym, arms folded across his chest, staring thoughtfully at the mats on the floor. Gavin had long since disappeared into the locker room to shower and change. Then he had some study work to catch up on for the rest of the evening.

Gavin had been eager to demonstrate his skills for both men, practically glowing with the attention. Only sobering with concentration just before he had begun. It had been an impressive display. On both sides. Because after a while, Logan had bowed with strange formality to the boy, who halted to return the gesture with equal seriousness before they'd traded blows. Fast and furious. When they were done, Gavin was grinning like a lunatic, asking questions of Logan with bright intensity. Who actually answered a few of them, to Scott's deep surprise.

Scott had had to remind Gavin of his school work. The boy had left reluctantly, still brimming with excitement.

Scott shifted his weight on his foot and Logan's head shot up. He stared at Scott.

"Kid's good," he said finally, eyes glittering. "Might even be better than me someday. He could compete."

A wave of regret washed through Scott. "He did once. But he can't now."

"Why not?" Logan's narrow glare was almost savage.

"He told me he was outed as a mutant at a match. He inadvertently sent an energy pulse through the metal blades he was using and burned a hole the size of a refrigerator in the arena floor," Scott said grimly. "He was very lucky no one was hurt."

Logan just continued to glare at him. Scott met the look with equanimity. Then Logan glanced toward the locker room door, frowning thoughtfully.

"I think the kid's got a healing ability too," he said. "Not as good as mine, but he shook off blows that should have done some damage."

"You were trying to hurt him?" Scott snapped, outrage flooding him.

"I didn't," Logan said with a dismissive snort. "I had a pretty good idea going in what he could take."

Scott stalked toward him, hands fisted at his sides. Logan's eyes narrowed and he came subtly more alert, watching Scott's approach with dark intensity.

"You assumed a great deal after only a few minutes," Scott said, tense with anger, both at Logan and himself. Fighting it down with some difficulty. Was he a fool to try to convince him to stay? Would it be in the student's best interests after all? "What if you'd really hurt him?"

"I knew what I was doing. And so did he," Logan replied quietly, dangerously. "He tried to break my arm, or did you miss that, Boy Scout?"

"Before or after you gave him a hard shot?" Scott said with icy calm, aware of Logan's ploy to anger him. "I told you he was good. I'm sure he was just responding in kind."

Logan just shrugged, his arms still folded over his chest, his jaw clenched tightly enough that Scott could see a muscle jump there. They glared at each other in tense silence for a long moment before Scott spoke again, voice harsh.

"The point is, Logan, that he's the kid, and you're not. He's looking to you to guide him. That means you have to keep his best interests at heart every minute, regardless of what it does to your ego."

"My ego?" Logan snarled, stepping close. Scott held his ground. Logan's gaze fixed on his mouth again. "Fuck that. I don't have any ego left."

His hand shot out and closed around the back of Scott's neck. Who made no move to shrug away from the tight grasp. Logan swallowed hard, gaze moving slowly up to red glasses, catching and holding the narrow-eyed stare Scott was giving him through them for an instant. Then his gaze moved back to his mouth, locking there.

"Let me," he said softly, a plea rather than a demand. Asking rather than taking.

Scott stayed silent and still, allowing nothing to show on his face. But his pulse was thundering, and he knew -- he knew -- that Logan could feel it through his skin. Through the hard hand on his neck. Long moments passed, thick and slow.

Logan finally closed his eyes, squeezing them tightly, baring his teeth in a grimace and tilting his head back slightly. As if he were preparing for a blow.

"God, you're harsh," he muttered. "I'm a fuckin' amateur compared to you, Scotty-boy."

"What is it you want, Logan?" Scott said, voice steady, calm. Logan's eyes snapped open, filled with anguish. All arrogance stripped away.

"You," he said harshly. "I want you."

A deep trembling swept through Scott. He closed his own eyes briefly, then opened them to survey Logan's expression. The need. The desire. The longing. Weighed it against his own need, his own desires.

"You can't have me."

Logan flinched, then his face darkened with anger. His hand jerked on Scott's neck. The other rose to clutch at Scott's arm. Tightened there painfully. Logan glared, breathing harsh, fast, his body tense.

"I could take you."

Scott didn't even shudder. He was past that. "No, you could try."

Logan stared at him for an endless moment, hands flexing, teeth grinding. Scott could see the hard calculation, the raw need, the savagery pass through his eyes. Wondered briefly if either of them would make it out of this room alive. Then the animal faded before something else, something desperate.

"What do you want from me?" Logan finally asked, torment in his tone. Scott reached up, his hands closing firmly around Logan's wrists. Lifting his hands away, letting them fall.


Logan flinched, took a half step back, tension, anguish, anger sending tremors running through his frame. Shaking his head.

"You don't know what you're asking for, Scotty."

"I think I do. And it scares the hell out of you, Logan, because you want it," he said quietly. Voice carefully neutral. "My terms. My rules."

"You bastard." Logan glared at him, frozen.

"Alpha dog, Logan," he said, then he took a risk. He pushed. "Do you trust me to take care of you?"

Logan shook his head, not exactly a negative, but more of a refusal to face his question. Too much, too fast. Eyes wide with something Scott could only read as panic before he turned and walked away.

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