Author: Kat Lee
Character/Pairing: Wolverine/Storm, Sabertooth/Birdy, Banshee/White Queen
Challenge/Prompt: whatif_au 10: Working It!
Word Count: 2,872
Date Written: 31 January 2018
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to Marvel Comics, not the author, and are used without permission.
Her skilled hands seem to be everywhere at once as she allows her lover to back her up toward her bed. She’s simultaneously checking his pockets, for hidden weapons and hidden treasures, and palming the gold and rubies she finds while caressing his hard body and building his erection. She doesn’t mind the guttural, animal sounds he’s making now that his mouth has switched from hers to her throat. She wouldn’t tell him to trust her, but of all the men she’s ever bedded, Logan is the one who comes the closest to having earned her trust. She half expects he even knows she robs him every time they sleep together.
He knows exactly what she’s doing, and he doesn’t care. It’s gotten to where he takes every mission he can that comes this way, and sometimes he finds himself trailing out here long after turning in a bounty. He doesn’t need an excuse to see this beautiful, passionate woman. He’ll need an excuse again to leave her, as he always does, but he doesn’t need an excuse to come see her. There’s something about this broad that calls to him like a thirsty stallion to a wildly twisting, freshwater river, and he needs her just as badly as the thirsty horse needs his water.
She squeals with laughter as he lifts her without warning. He lets his trousers fall down, and her long, dark legs wrap around his bare waist. His mouth finds hers again with ease and hot passion. His tongue twists around hers, drawing her deeper into his own mouth. He turns again, about to lay her down onto the bed, when a scream splits the night.
“Damn,” he mutters, lifting his mouth from hers, and suddenly, she’s gone. She’s not gone, he realized a heartbeat later, but standing beside him, an angry-looking blade in her hand.
“I’ll be right back,” she tells him in a rush as he buckles his pants. “It’s that damn Creed again.” She thinks she leaves him behind, but in the hallway, she finds him matching her pace. “You can wait for me in my room!”
“If that’s Victor Creed -- “ he starts, growling.
“He’s mine!” she warns him, her blue eyes flashing like lightning. “Nobody messes with my girls!”
For just a moment, he thinks he hears thunder echoing around her words, but it’s just the sound of the band down below and the dance hall girls who have yet to be selected for the night. He doesn’t turn to go back to her bedroom and wait for her nor does he slow in running beside her. But he does let her blast through the bedroom first.
He stands in the doorway, watching as she attacks Creed like a savage lioness protecting her cub. In a matter of seconds, she has him not only off of the petite blonde but against the window, her knife pressed against his jugular.
“Hey, darlin’,” Creed drawls, flashing a toothy grin at Ororo, “it’s all in fun. Isn’t it, Birdy?” he calls to the blonde behind her.
The blonde’s cheeks are red, and it’s not just from the embarrassment of having her act interrupted. She’s trembling as Logan walks into the room, grabs a sheet from her bed, and wraps her in it. “You’re done here, Creed,” he growls at the other man.
“Nobody tells me when I’m done, whelp -- “
“I do,” Ororo hisses, and again, Logan swears he can hear thunder. “Nobody messes with my girls!”
Another woman, this one with dark, purple hair and brandishing a sword, runs into the room. She takes one look at where Ororo has Creed pinned against the wall and wordlessly places herself in between them and Birdy just in case.
“I thought Frost ran this place,” Creed remarks in a low, guttural voice.
“She may own it,” Ororo declares, “but I protect the women here! And the men!”
With two quick swipes of her blade, Ororo both draws blood from Creed’s throat and drops one of his sacs on the floor. He howls, grabbing himself and throwing her away from him. Logan springs toward them, but Ororo’s back on Creed before he can stop either of them. This time, she shoves the bastard with all her strength, sending him toppling out of the window and to the hard, dirt ground below.
He howls as he goes, and though Logan hears him hit the ground, he knows he won’t be there tomorrow. He and Creed have a long, storied history, and the bastard seems to have as many lives as he does. Ororo slides her knife into the pocket of his fringed, buckskin jacket, which she’s now wearing over her otherwise bare body. Somehow she looks even more beautiful in this moment to him than she ever has before, and she’s already the most beautiful woman he’s ever had the honor of knowing.
She crosses the room as swiftly and quietly as though she was sprinting on air and takes the trembling, younger woman into her dark arms. “It’s okay, Birdy,” she whispers against her blonde hair, stroking both her hair and her back as she calms her. “It’s okay. He won’t be coming back this time.” She glances at the other woman who still wields her sword. “He’s gone, Elizabeth, and he won’t be coming back this time,” she says again.
Logan realizes that the other woman, despite her bravado, must have also been touched by Creed’s vicious wrath. Slowly, almost hesitantly, she sheathes her sword. Still without a word, she wraps her arms around Birdy from behind. Her hands touch Ororo’s arms. “Thank you, Ororo,” she whispers.
“He always comes back,” Birdy almost whimpers. “Miss Frost says he’s a good-paying customer -- “
“Emma and I will have words,” Ororo promises the girl. “He will not return again. You have my word on that.”
“Th-Thank you, Ororo,” Birdy whispers.
Ororo squeezes her again. “Elizabeth, why don’t you get Birdy together with Cecilia and the two of you fix her up before she goes back downstairs? There are far better and gentler gentlemen to choose for the night, Birdy, or perhaps you would prefer to spend the remainder of the evening alone listening to -- “
Her words are interrupted by a shrill exclamation. “We heard a scuffle! Where is th’ bastard?”
The women look up at the Sheriff, whose hand is pressed against the open door. Logan smirks. He’s known Cassidy a long time, but they’ve rarely seen eye to eye. “Taken care of,” he mutters, glancing with new appreciation and pride at his woman.
“Ororo, what did you do?” demands the ice cold voice of the madam behind the Sheriff.
“What should have been done a long time ago, Miss Frost,” Ororo replies calmly, turning to face the woman who long ago bought her off the auctioneer’s block. Emma rarely misses a chance to remind her that she saved her from a far worse fate, but Ororo never backs down to the mistress to whom all the other girls bow and cower.
“M-Miss F-Fr-Frost, he -- He tried to kill me this time.”
Emma’s cold, blue eyes flick over Birdy’s trembling body. She sees the marks swelling on the petite woman’s face and arms, then notes the bloody gash just above one hip. “See that Cecilia patches you up well,” Emma commands.
“Y-Yes, ma’am,” Birdy replies, starting to edge pass her mistress.
“Get dressed first,” Emma snaps. “Ororo . . . “
Logan growls low in his throat. He’s ready to interfere on Ororo’s behalf, but the next question out of Frost’s mouth surprises him.
“ . . . did you teach him well what happens when he messes with one of our girls?”
Ororo slips her blade out and shows the madam Creed’s blood still on her knife. Emma smiles, and the silver of Ororo’s blade seems almost to dance in her cruel eyes. “Well done,” she says. “It appears you have everything well in hand. Sheriff Cassidy and I will go about our business -- “ She starts to tug on Cassidy’s arm but finds it immovable at first. “Sheriff? Shall we?”
Sean’s emerald green eyes have gone as round as saucers as he stares at the sac dropped on the floor. He looks a paler shade of white than the sheet wrapped around Birdy. “Is tha’ -- “ He gapes and then points at the single ball. “Is tha’ -- “
“That,” Emma says, smiling calmly and approvingly, “is what happens when you mess with one of our girls in unwelcome ways.” She pries his hand from the wall and leads him from the room. The last Logan sees of them, Cassidy is still staring at Creed’s ball.
“Darlin’,” he drawls when they’re gone, “we might not wanna leave that out in th’ open.” He pulls Ororo to him, kisses her long and deep, and removes a small, leather pouch from an inside pocket on his jacket. Walking over, he takes a knife from his own trousers, uses its blade to lift the sac, and drops it into the pouch. He can’t help smirking as he repockets his blade and ties the pouch shut. For all the times he and Creed have tussled in the past, this is the first time he’s come away with either of the other man’s balls!
He’s just beginning to prowl back toward Ororo when a bunch of spooked women flood into the room. “We waited until Emma was gone,” a young Asian explains apologetically.
A redhead who he recognizes as a favorite of the Governor’s son hurries to Birdy and wraps her in her arms. “Are you all right?” she cries.
“I’m fine, thanks to Miss Ororo.” Birdy indicates the older, dark-skinned woman with a humble nod of her head.
“Creed will not return here,” Ororo tells her girls. “If he does, if he should make the mistake of showing his ugly face around here again, I am to be alerted immediately, and I will finish the job I began tonight.”
Birdy giggles. “She means she’ll take both his balls!”
Jean looks at them with wide eyes, her arms still wrapped protectively around Birdy. “You’re kidding me, right?”
Elizabeth shakes her head but smiles proudly.
Logan bounces the leather pouch in his palm. “Got it right here, darlin’, if you’d like to see it.” She pales in answer. He laughs. “Didn’t think so.” Walking across the room, he slides the pouch back into a pocket on his jacket before taking Ororo’s hand. “We have business to finish, ladies.” He tips his hat in respect to them, then leads his beautiful, deadly woman from the room.
“You were amazing,” he whispers scant moments later, drawing her down close against his bare chest.
She grins up at him. “Which time?”
Softly, he strokes her long, white hair. “Every time.”
She listens to his heartbeat for a long moment as he struggles with the question he’d like to ask her. There isn’t a day that goes by that he doesn’t think about asking her. There’s even a ring in another pouch in his jacket, a ring that will only ever belong to her regardless of rather or not he ever gets the honor of actually sliding it onto her finger and claiming her for his alone. “‘Ro -- ” he starts, his voice deep and husky.
“Logan,” she whispers, placing a finger on his lips. “Please do not ask for what I can not give.”
He gazes into her beautiful baby blues, his own widening only slightly with surprise. He should have known there is nothing he can say or do that will surprise this woman. “I was just going to ask you,” he suggests, “if you’d like to light up that petote you took off of me earlier?”
“You knew?!” She truly looks at him in surprise this time.
He takes the hand that slaps his chest and lifts it to his lips. “Of course I knew, darlin’,” he murmurs, kissing her hand. He knows everything she does when they’re together. He’s even taken to hiding little surprises in his clothes for her to find. Which is exactly, he thinks, why he shouldn’t be surprised that she knows what he’s been wanting to ask her for nearly a year now.
There’s an aching absence in his arms as she slips out of them. She pads as quietly as a cougar across her floor and retrieves the petote. She returns to him with both his lighter and the petote. He waits until she’s snuggled back into his arms before lighting the first piece and holding it to her lips, letting her take the first breath.
As he takes his turns puffing on the petote, she watches him from underneath veiled eyes. This man is strong, courageous, and quiet but full of love. He stopped being just another job to her years ago. She would like nothing more than to ride away with him from this place, but she can not leave. Although Emma never admits, she paid the woman off long ago for saving her from the auctioner’s block. By all rights, she is a free woman, but she is needed here.
She can not leave her girls, and she can not ask Logan to stay. He is as wild as she once was long ago before her previous people were captured. Before coming to this place, she had never spent a night indoors or among white people. She had never known a bed or a man’s love, but she had also never known a family’s love.
Before meeting Logan, she had never known what it could feel like to not only be made love to by a man but to actually love a man. She loves him, heart and soul, but she can not stay with him nor ask him to stay with her. She can not take his wildness from him, can not force him to try to play tamed, but she also can not go with him.
She knows what he would ask her if she let him. She knows what he’s been wanting to ask her for months now. She knows, too, about the ring he bought for her, the one piece of jewelry she finds every time on his hard, lean body but never takes. She is his, and he is hers, even if they can never stay together.
When he moves to light another strand of petote, Ororo’s gentle hand touching his stops him. “Make love to me,” she whispers. He does so gladly all throughout the night.
When she wakes the next morning and greets the sun, standing bare naked in her window, he’s already gone. Yet when she turns back toward the bed, she spies the pouch laying on the pillow upon which he’d slept. She frowns, then smiles and even giggles, thinking he’s left her with Creed’s sac. The moment she lifts the bag from her companion pillow, however, Ororo knows she’s wrong.
She opens the bag, takes out the rings, and turns it round in the shimmering, early morning rays of the sun. She looks up with tears in her eyes, a part of her aching to go after him. The sunlight catches on a single word etched into her wall. Logan’s, it reads, and she nods in understanding. Yes, she is Logan’s, and she is her own woman, but she is others’ as well.
Her girls need her. She can not -- will not leave them, but starting this day, her other tasks as a working woman are done. She can make money without bringing men to this woman, and she will even if she has to fight with Emma every moment from now on. Her heart is Logan’s, and no man will ever again touch what she has gladly and freely given to him. She smiles, slips the ring onto her finger, and runs her fingertips over the letters he cut into her wall.
Yes, indeed, she is Logan’s, and he will come for her again. She’ll never go with him while her girls still need her, but she will always be his. And who knows? Perhaps one day she can train Elizabeth well enough to take care of her girls. Maybe she can pass her mantle to the Asian, who was also bought off of the auctioner’s block not too long after Emma had purchased her. Maybe the girls can become Elizabeth’s, and Ororo can still go with Logan one day. Maybe one day she can ride the plains with him, feel freedom whipping in her long hair again, and know the freedom and joy of loving him forever more.
Maybe she can one day by his in person as well as in heart, soul, and body, but for now, she has a job to do. Dressing quickly, she heads off to first check on Birdy. These girls are hers, and if she ever leaves them, she’ll be certain to pass them into hands that not only care for them as greatly as she does but are as skilled in protecting them as she is. She’ll never leave them without protection, but when she does leave them, she knows where she’ll go. She’ll ride forever on the wide, open plains with the man she loves, her Logan.