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Beautiful Prizes

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CHAPTER THREE: Seas Between Us Broad Have Roared

If he'd been in any doubt, the horrific savagery with which Wolverine threw himself at Sabretooth dispelled any confusion.

Sabretooth had time to utter one betrayed, horrified, "No…!" before Wolverine went for his jugular.

They had fought before, of course, and without the rest of the X-Men and their powers to tip the balance, Scott suspected things would have ended in that hard-fought draw. Logan had outsmarted Sabretooth on Liberty Island, not outfought him, but this wasn't Logan versus Victor. It wasn't Logan versus Sabretooth. It was Wolverine at his most basic, primal, and animal. His strength and speed and agility were all phenomenal; he was utterly oblivious to pain; his eyes were red with bloodlust, and he was an indestructible killing machine. There was the purity of the beast in him and Scott might as well have been seeing him for the first time because there was absolutely nothing here of the man he knew.

Scott ducked a spray of arterial blood and crouched awkwardly between the stove and the wall while the two of them roared and crashed around the cabin. Every survival instinct told Scott that not only should he not attempt to help Wolverine, he should keep the hell out of his way. He wasn't even sure he was the one he wanted to win, because the way Wolverine was right now, Scott was a lot more scared of him than he was of Sabretooth.

He flinched as Sabretooth was thrown at the dresser, splintering wood and sending cans cascading. Sabretooth had a clawed hand pressed to his throat, which was pumping blood. As Logan came at him, raging, claws fully extended, Sabretooth tried vainly to ward him off with his free hand grabbing at Wolverine's throat while he yelled, "How? How? You should have been me! You were meant to be me!"

Nothing in Wolverine's snarling face gave any suggestion that he had understood a word. He just drove his claws into the soft flesh of Sabretooth's belly and ripped outwards. Scott almost puked. He couldn't bear to look at Victor Creed's shocked, disbelieving eyes, as Wolverine's claws shredded him. The blood sprayed against the stove and then rebounded softly, like a lawn sprinkler, sending a fine warm rain of red. Scott felt it patter across his face. It fell across the cut on his cheekbone and took away the sting. Some of it went in his mouth, salt and foul, and he dry heaved before he could help himself, cracked ribs protesting as he did so. He could no longer bear to look at what Wolverine was doing to Sabretooth. A part of him wanted to tell Wolverine that the guy was his brother, that he shouldn't kill him; another part was just cravenly scared of what happened when Sabretooth was no longer absorbing all of Wolverine's attention, because whatever the hell the guy was now, Scott did not want to be left alone with him.

Scott closed his eyes through the rest of the splintering and crashing and screaming and roaring, trying to wipe the blood from his mouth onto his ripped shirt, still tasting it, iron and salt, having to fight the urge to puke, even though there was nothing in his belly to bring up but bile and if he started dry heaving again the pain in his ribs was going to make him pass out.

It was over very fast with Sabretooth shredded and very close to dead. Without his healing factor, he undoubtedly would have been dead. Wolverine dragged his bleeding remains outside and Scott tried to crane his neck to see what was happening but he couldn't see anything except sky.

When Wolverine walked back in, ripped up and blood-spattered, wounds gaping obscenely to reveal the crimson-slicked outline of exposed bone and pulsing organs, while snarling with residual rage, Scott had to admit it – he was scared. He had no idea if the person Wolverine was now would recognize him or that if he did it would be to see him as anything other than a rival male animal that needed to be killed. As Wolverine came at him, he was bracing himself for the claws rammed through his body. He bowed his head and waited for the inevitable.

Hot blood dripped on him. It was a near-torrent at first, in his hair and down the back of his neck. He could feel it pooling warmly by his shirt collar. Then the dripping slowed, stopped. When he risked a look up, he saw wounds closing up all over Wolverine's body, but there was no hint of recognition in those angry eyes and Scott hastily lowered his head again, trying to look as unthreatening as possible.

At the sound of the claws retracting, he exhaled jumpily, and then Wolverine was crouching down next to him, sniffing him. His breath on Scott's face was fiery and stank of blood.

Scott said, "Logan…? Do you know who I am…?"

A savage growl suggested that Scott should shut up and stay still. Wolverine sniffed him again and then licked at the cut on Scott's cheekbone. He jumped – he couldn't stop himself, that tongue licking over him was so unexpected. The tongue traced the bruise, wet and hot, and then lapped after Sabretooth's blood where it had splashed across Scott's face. Scott forced himself to keep his head still as Wolverine licked him again – soothing his aching cheekbone and making his heart pound. He was out of his depth. It wasn't a feeling he was used to. He had experienced so much, and so much of it had been bad, either in real life or in the Danger Room, scenarios playing out in so many different combinations, but a teammate, a friend, so much stronger than he was, turned feral and utterly unknowable – he was at a loss. And it wasn't as if he knew Logan well enough to know how to get through to him, although he suspected that Jean would have found a way. It wasn't as if they hung out together on an everyday basis.

Another warm, wet lick; Wolverine's fingers were rough and clumsy as they closed in his blood-sticky hair to hold his head still so his tongue could lap with greater firmness, removing any trace of Sabretooth's blood from where it had splashed on him. It wasn't like being manhandled by anything human, much more like being pawed by an animal. If he could get past the shock, he might be able to strategize, but there was something in him that was confounded by Logan in his present form, and he didn't know what it was. When Wolverine pushed him down flat on the floor and began to sniff him, Scott was unnerved in a way he couldn't fully comprehend. It took him a moment to realize that it was his own instincts that were throwing him off, they were pinning him down every bit as hard as Wolverine's heavy hand, telling him to breath shallowly, stay still, and not make eye contact.

Clothes seemed to make the guy fretful. Wolverine pulled off Scott's shoes and socks, sniffed the former curiously, licked one, chewed the edge, presumably attracted by the leather, found them not to his liking and tossed them. His interest seemed to wink on and off like a flashlight. Scott wondered what happened if Wolverine decided that Scott just wasn't interesting, would he get tossed, too? A couple of hours in the snow in those sub-zero temperatures – if Wolverine just hurled him outside as too inconsequential to bother with – and he was dead of hypothermia. Wolverine mouthed at the ripped fragments of his shirt, sniffing with determination, and then impatiently tore the cloth as if it were as fragile as tissue paper, pulling it off Scott's bruised body and tossing it to one side. The clothing being yanked off so roughly hurt his ribs and Scott couldn't suppress a pained exclamation. Wolverine made no objection to that, but when both his hands went to Scott's belt buckle, and Scott made an inarticulate sound of protest, Wolverine snarled at him. Scott froze. He finally understood what it meant when someone said his blood turned to ice. He felt paralyzed.

"Logan…?" he said cautiously.

Wolverine gazed into his face with no signs of recognition and Scott kept still. "Logan, what is it you want me to do…?"

Wolverine slapped a rough hand across his mouth and held it over it, firmly, as he pulled the belt loose and tossed it over his shoulder. He lifted the hand off his mouth and then put it back down on it, twice, heavily, in a pointed gesture that even Scott could grasp meant 'Shut the hell up'.

As he flinched from Wolverine grabbing his dockers and yanking them down off his hips then tossing them off to one side, Scott wondered if Wolverine, in his present form, couldn't understand speech, meaning that Scott's words were just annoying noise to him right now. Given that he sometimes thought that his words were just annoying noise to Logan when he was in his right mind – that did make an unfortunate kind of sense.

Clearly, Wolverine was not some big, friendly, protective dog, here, ready to do whatever his chosen human ordered – that would have been too much good luck for the kind of day Scott was having. No, Wolverine was a large, strong, aggressive animal who had defeated the other large, strong, aggressive animal in the room. Scott presumed that he had not treated Scott the way he treated Sabretooth because Scott was not perceived as a threat. Scott was…something else.

What that something else was, Scott wasn't yet too clear about, other than that Wolverine didn't like it smelling of Sabretooth, but he didn't think he was going to be given any input into how he was defined by Wolverine. He was whatever Wolverine thought he was. Tied up, without his force beams, and injured as he was, he didn't know what he could do to convince Wolverine he was an ally except not to piss him off. There was no weapon he could get to, and, given what Wolverine had just done to Sabretooth right in front of him – the blood spatter from that encounter still dripping slowly down the walls – it would be a dumb move to try to attack him, almost certainly a fatally dumb move, too, in very short order.

Scott kept waiting for a plan to materialize and realized that he didn't have enough data. He didn't know what was driving Wolverine's id. He didn't know how Wolverine saw Scott. He didn't know what actions on Scott's part Wolverine, in his current state, would find acceptable or completely unacceptable. The only thing he could cling to was that sliver of suggestion that Wolverine was still able to differentiate between allies and enemies, or at least threats and non-threats.

He cried out from the shock of Wolverine putting a steadying hand on his ribs and then darted him a wary look, afraid that a loud noise like that was going to earn him a savage reprisal. Scott said, "It hurts. You're heavy. Logan, please…?"

Wolverine lifted his hand, bent his head and sniffed at his ribs then licked at Scott's side, which made Scott choke down a curse. "Logan, it's my ribs, they're…"

The hand was back over his mouth, muffling him. He risked a look into the man's eyes and they were yellow now, not the warm gold of Beast's eyes, but a chilly, primordial yellow. Scott dropped his gaze at once. Wolverine bent low over him and licked his face again and it was nothing like a human interaction, entirely like being examined by a large, dangerous predator. Scott found himself barely able to breathe. The hand was removed from his mouth and Wolverine's tongue lapped at his lips. Scott was too shocked to know what that meant, and then the tongue lapped again, more insistently and Wolverine reached up and pushed Scott's lower jaw down instructively. Scott belatedly opened his mouth, still shocked, jolting as the lapping tongue pushed its way in, licking up the remnants of Sabretooth's blood. It was nothing like a kiss; nothing at all like the way Logan's mouth had felt when Scott had pressed his lips to it earlier and breathed air into his lungs. Scott suffered it to happen, not feeling there was any choice, dazed with the drugs, the pain in his ribs, and the turn of events. He was so far out of his depth that he didn't know what to do. He was the guy who always had a plan and right now his mind was…empty.

Wolverine tongued inside his mouth and then, apparently satisfied that Sabretooth's taste had been removed, turned his attention back to Scott's bruised ribs. He licked them and Scott cringed, trying to keep still as he was obviously supposed to, and silent, as he was obviously supposed to, yet not entirely able to suppress all flinches or small sounds of pain.

Oddly, the pain began to ease. He realized that his cheekbone had stopped throbbing as well. The ache in his ribs had been a relentless pulse for hours and now, as that warm tongue licked over and over the worst-hurt places, the ache was fading. It made no sense until he remembered Logan's healing factor. He wondered if, in this primal, most basic state, no higher brain functions demanding his body's attentions, if Wolverine's healing factor was cranked up to its purest essence as well – so powerful that it was in his saliva and transferable to Scott's hurts.

Wolverine pulled him up by the arms and turned him around, handling him as if he were a child weight, examining him for more damage. He dealt with the bite wound first – and it was incredible how quickly it stopped throbbing – but everywhere he found an injury, he licked it, rolling Scott over impatiently with heavy hands to gain access to cuts and bruises so they could be smothered in saliva.

Scott felt dizzy, the drug had sapped most of his strength, and although Logan's magic tongue was fixing up every cut and even his aching ribs seemed, bizarrely, to be healing, it had left him even weaker. It was having an effect, too, an insidious destruction of his sense of self, to be forbidden speech, forbidden protest, forbidden action that was not controlled by Wolverine. So far, the man's actions – if he even still was a man – towards him had been relatively benign, but he suspected he could lose his temper at the slightest provocation. If those claws came out, Scott doubted he would survive the first flashpoint.

He became aware of Wolverine going outside to scoop up some snow. He put it in a saucepan and put the saucepan on the pot-bellied stove; a few minutes and, as Scott watched, warily, the contents of the saucepan were poured into a bowl. That showed there was reason at work, and some dexterity. Wolverine crouched down next to Scott and held the bowl to his lips. A part of him recoiled from the thought of drinking dirty snow which had been melted but not boiled, but, at an impatient growl from Wolverine and a press of the bowl to his lips, he opened his mouth and did his best to swallow without choking as Wolverine helped him to drink. He managed to gulp down enough to satisfy Wolverine who gave a nod of satisfaction before finishing off the rest himself with smacking gulps, xanthous gaze resting on Scott in a way that made him acutely uneasy. It was so unflinchingly…focused on him. It made him feel self-conscious and very under-dressed.

Scott said cautiously, "Logan, can you untie me?"

No growl this time and his expression was intent.

"My arms are stiff. My wrists hurt. Please…?"

Wolverine's shadow fell over him and Scott flinched instinctively. He was reminded again that this wasn't Logan. Not that decent guy who cared about the fate of schoolchildren and who would put his own body between the defenseless and any harm. This was someone primal, basic, and driven by needs Scott didn't yet understand. A hand closed in his hair and gave it a tug, clearly demonstrating that Scott should now get up.

Painfully aware of his lashed wrists and that he was only wearing briefs, Scott tried to get to his feet as requested. On any other day he could have done it easily, muscles leaping to obey him, but the injection Sabretooth had given seemed to have turned his legs to jelly, and he couldn't get purchase. When Wolverine loomed over him, he felt a panic-stricken flashback to his childhood, hours of being ordered over and over to do something he couldn't and then punished when he didn't comply.

He said, "I'm trying…!"

Wolverine's heavy hand tightened in his hair and he was dragged up until he was standing, wincing, on his feet. Wolverine tugged him after him, not caring that Scott, being tall, had to hunch over not to get his hair pulled put by the roots. Scott limped stiffly after his captor, muscles aching, hating this; being bound, being obedient, being scared; but not seeing any smart option right now that didn't involve compliance. His heart lurched when he realized that Logan was leading him into the bedroom, its checkered quilt adding an incongruous note of domesticity to this dreamscape scene.

He flashed a questioning look at him. "Logan…?"

The impatient growl reminded him that him talking was annoying. He got, too, that Wolverine not only found Scott's words redundant but considered that Scott should have no need of them either. Wolverine was showing him what needed to be done with clear and unequivocal gestures. Scott wasn't stupid. Scott should be able to follow the orders given to him.

Scott said carefully, "I don't have your sense of smell. I can't tell what you want from your scent. You have to be patient, Logan."

As the man shoved him down on the bed, Scott cast a wary glance at his expression and found him completely unreadable. It would have been less disconcerting if he had truly been unknown to Scott, but he looked liked Logan, at least on the surface, there were just none of the gestures Logan made, none of the expressions that usually flickered across his face. Scott didn't know why Wolverine's silent animal presence was shredding his nerves so effectively, but it was. He had never, not even for an instant, been scared of Logan, but Logan could not have done to Sabretooth what Wolverine had done. This version of Wolverine had a hair-trigger temper and unparalleled strength. What this version of Wolverine was, what he was to such an extent that it kept wrong-footing Scott and making him flinch, was a complete and utter stranger. Scott could no more predict his behavior than he could a grizzly encountered in the woods. He was a strong, dangerous animal who apparently had a firm idea about where Scott fitted into his scheme of things and about which role Scott himself had, as yet, no clue. He felt as if he'd been ordered to give a piano recital in Carnegie Hall without anyone having taken the trouble to give him any piano lessons first.

He lay where Wolverine had put him, on his – painful – side, on the edge of the creaking, dusty bed, smelling the damp in the air and the smoke from the woodstove, wondering if Sabretooth was still alive and if even his healing abilities could survive the temperatures outside coupled with that horrific blood loss. When the claws came out, he heard it and flinched in readiness, and then the terrible pressure on his arms was lifted and for a second it was glorious and then it hurt agonizingly as his locked muscles tried to move and he cried out.

The bed creaked and dipped alarmingly – he had never realized how heavy an adamantium skeleton was – before Wolverine was on the bed beside him, rubbing his arms roughly. Rubbing became stroking, as Wolverine examined him with close attention, fingers curious. It was a huge relief when Wolverine's tongue flickered over the burns on Scott's wrists and the cuts the bonds had left. The pain of them halved within seconds. As that hot tongue flicked back across the tender bite on his shoulder, Scott automatically pulled away and Wolverine jerked him back impatiently, snarling a savage warning, a brawny arm encircling Scott's waist and roughly tugging him against Wolverine's steely bulk for closer inspection.

Warm saliva left trails across his shoulder, taking away the last of the pain from that bite wound, then the tongue explored the back of his neck, then down his spine. Scott found that he was trembling faintly. He had not realized how much he depended on speech for communication: Henry and Xavier were both loquacious men, Bobby had always been witty and talkative, Storm didn't waste words, but she never said anything that wasn't worth listening to, while Jean's voice was never far from his mind. Even Logan did usually communicate in something more than grunts. Scott kept seeing the way Logan had looked at him in the mansion, that contempt because Scott was clearly just a dumb kid who didn't know squat and whose girlfriend had to be there for the taking as soon as a real man came along. As Wolverine kept licking his back and stroking him curiously, rough fingers exploring his skin as if he was something inanimate, he felt just as out of his depth as Logan had imagined him to be; all his hard-won wisdom scattered because he had no idea how to deal with this situation.

Wolverine's hand tightened on his shoulder and Scott was abruptly pushed face down onto the bed, Wolverine moving on top of him to sniff him and then lick him, his tongue leaving those superheated stripes on his skin that then chilled wetly in the damp air. Scott stayed still and hoped this was just a case of Wolverine thoroughly identifying his scent, but the painful pounding of his heart feared otherwise, and he realized, as he listened to his own hitched, scared breath-sounds that he was very close to panic. Wolverine licked down and down, and then he was tugging Scott's white briefs off his hips, ripping them open and tearing them off and Scott froze. Cold air lapped across his suddenly exposed ass and he made a strangled whining protest in the back of his throat that sounded no more human than Wolverine's guttural snarls.

He felt thumbs on his ass cheeks, hot breath on the base of his spine, Wolverine's tongue dabbed out and he jolted in horror, frozen, telling himself that this was just part of the scent-mapping, just an animal need to explore every part of his body before Wolverine lost interest, that it was important that he didn't panic. Then the tongue delved deeper and he panicked.

Scott threw himself off the bed and scrambled blindly across the floor, his legs too weak to really support him while he made vain attempts to stand up and they went out from under him. A roar of fury was his only warning before Wolverine smashed into him, incredibly hard, flattening him to the dirty floor, claws springing out. Sheer instinct kicked in and he curled low, ducking his head, braced for the killing blow. Wolverine snarled again, in frustration this time, and Scott stayed curled up, heart racing, remembering some study by Konrad Lorenz about wolves being incapable of hurting a submitting foe, however angry the victor was, something in the lupine brain wouldn't let them kill another wolf who made a display of submission, however much they wanted to. He kept his head bowed and stayed absolutely still while Wolverine roared and snarled above him but the metal claws did not actually plunge into his body.

There were ugly crashing sounds as Wolverine slammed around the room, knocking the mirror off the wall, smashing the chest of drawers, and then came back to where Scott was still keeping his head down. There was a low growl in his ear and then some ill-tempered sniffs. For once Scott didn't care if he stank of fear. He suspected that if he tried to speak, Wolverine would hit him, possibly hard enough to take his head off, but his scent had to tell at least some of the story. Wolverine had scared him. Scared things panicked.

Scott exhaled cautiously as Wolverine made grumbling chesty sounds and then grabbed Scott by the hair and tugged him back towards the bed. He went because it was too painful not to, and also because he didn't want to die. Now the first mind-frozen panic had ebbed and he was left dealing with ordinary fear, and, no, he didn't want to get ripped to pieces by Wolverine while he was a feral beast in a berserker fury. That was the thought he needed to hang onto. He couldn't fight him and he couldn't flee from him. He could submit or he could die. As Wolverine shoved him back onto the bed, Scott kept his head down.

He whispered, "Logan, please…?" He wasn't even sure what he was pleading for – the man to come back from wherever he was, for him to not go through with this, or to at least not hurt him too badly doing it. Of those three options, Scott suspected that only the third was remotely possible.

Wolverine petted him roughly, meaty hands heavy on his head, in his hair, then on his shoulder. It was a clear 'Pipe down' message, followed up with Wolverine licking him in what seemed to be gruff forgiveness for his foolish attempt at escape. He pushed Scott up onto his hands and knees and ran a rough hand down his chest and belly a few times in what was perhaps meant to be a steadying caress. His left hand twisted in Scott's hair, anticipating another panic and making sure that this time Scott had to stay put. There was definitely still some reason at work.

He was licked and stroked quite kindly; Wolverine's actions were not unlike the actions of a large, fierce, but not hostile dog, they were just, terrifyingly – from Scott's perspective – so evidently the actions of a large, fierce, but not hostile dog preparing a mate for imminent sex. He flinched as Wolverine moved down his spine, licking and mouthing, while the fingers in his hair tightened as Wolverine licked closer and closer to his opening. Scott offered a stifled whimper of protest as Wolverine's tongue dabbed and then delved, but the hand in his hair tugged him back when he would have flinched forward. He whined when Wolverine licked him with focused concentration, and squirmed away, but he was held in place and the back of his thigh slapped hard enough to sting.

"Please don't do this, Logan. Please…" His voice was the softest of whispers and did not win him any retaliation, but nor did it win him any chance of a reprieve, only a soothing stroke of the belly again, Logan rubbing his fingers backwards and forwards across Scott's hollow, food-starved abdomen in quite a gentle caress.

He tried to steady his breathing, and, oddly, those belly rubs helped, a few more kindly strokes and he found the panic lessening. He was too weak to fight and so he needed to think. Stroke…stroke…Wolverine's hands were warm and strong and soothing. No one had ever stroked Scott like that before, like he was a wayward puppy who needed to get over his fear of traffic. As the moment lengthened and Wolverine pressed over him, his scent wrapping itself around Scott, and those fingers still stroking him, he began to feel small and…safe. He suspected there were some pheromones at work telling him that Wolverine was the dominant male and he should just submit to him. His brain was telling him that as well, and his instincts, but this actual need to give in, that felt less rational and less instinctive and more…chemical.

The panic ebbed away and his brain came back to him, firing on at least some of its major cylinders. As Wolverine's tongue lapped into him with increasing excitement, accompanied by hot breath and eager pants, he fought down the flinch and tried to relax; tried to unclench everything in his body that was currently scared and resistant and force it into compliance.

In his current crappy condition, Scott couldn't physically stop Wolverine doing anything he wanted to, and Wolverine, in full-on alpha male primal pack leader mode, evidently wasn't going to listen to mewling little pleas for mercy from someone who was a long way down the power totem pole. All Scott protesting was going to achieve at this point was pissing Wolverine off. That warm tongue lapping into him, making him squirm, that was a good thing, that was Wolverine making him ready for penetration in as merciful a way as possible. If this was the only lubrication he was going to get before he got mounted by someone barely human then he needed as much of it as possible. Logan was going to come back at some point; Scott had no doubt about that. The guy had repressed the part of his brain that Sabretooth was trying to screw with, and he had done it to save Scott. It must have been a terrifying decision for someone like Logan to make; a guy already cut off from the larger part of his life memories, to willingly plunge himself into the darkness; and Scott owed him for that. If Scott stopped being mindlessly reactive and panicked, then perhaps they could get through this without either of them getting too badly hurt. The best help he could give both of them right now was to try to keep Wolverine sweet so that Scott didn't get gutted and Logan didn't wake up to a whole load of guilt.

The tongue was skillful and it wasn't an unpleasant sensation, if Scott could just get over years of hetero-normative conditioning, it was, if anything, more pleasant than not. He wasn't used to being touched…there and it had been shocking at first, but if he just switched some of his brain off, too, then being tongued between his legs and in his rear was perfectly acceptable. He made small pleased sounds, hoping that Wolverine would like that and was rewarded with an encouraging belly tickle that smoothed down to a warm hand around his cock. He jumped and then said, a little shakily, "That's – that's nice, Logan."

Wolverine leaned up to nuzzle the back of his neck approvingly and Scott tried to stay calm and responsive, the way they both needed him to be to get through this without bloodshed. He wasn't sure how much Wolverine could understand, still, but he whispered a confession just for his ears: "I've never done this before, not…not that I remember…." He heard Wolverine's breath catch and then turn hot and ragged against his neck.

There was the sound of a belt being unbuckled, jeans being ripped from hips with incredible speed, and something hard and wet jabbed him in the thigh. Scott realized he had said exactly the right thing only if what he wanted to do was make a super-strong feral male creature even more turned on than he already was. He barely had time to think Bad move, Summers…before a hot dripping object was being forced into his ass. He cried out and Wolverine clamped a hand across his mouth. The pain made his eyes water as he was stretched and stretched, and he tried to breathe his way through it, rapid, shallow breaths, anything to ease the ache, but a moan broke past his lips as the pain got worse. Wolverine was licking the back of his neck, perfunctory reassurance and apology combined.

The slow push kept stretching him but he appreciated, even with his eyes watering salt tears and his body wailing at him, that Wolverine could have just rammed himself into him like an animal, that his instincts were probably urging him to do just that, and instead Scott was being given some time to adjust to each relentless inch.

Except even with that small mercy being granted him the guy was still fucking huge…. Scott said breathlessly, "Logan, can you wait just a minute – please? Let me…get used to you. Please…?" He reached back and touched Wolverine tentatively on the side, his fingertips gingerly stroking his ribs. Wolverine licked the back of his neck again and didn't push forward. Scott said, "Thank you." He kept stroking his warm skin, wondering all the time if the guy would just snap his wrist for crossing some line he wasn't aware of, but Wolverine only licked him again and then nuzzled into his hair. Tears came into Scott's eyes and he realized that his emotions were ragged; that the pain and the drugs and the fear, and the shock of what Wolverine had done to Sabretooth right in front of him, and the shock of this…being penetrated like this, had left him more shaken than he'd thought. When Wolverine nuzzled him again with what felt like tenderness and then ran his fingers through Scott's hair, he had to blink another well of tears from his eyes, because he was so pathetically grateful for any kindness.

And when Wolverine pushed on in, Scott braced himself against the bed and teeth-gritted his way through it. It occurred to him as the ache got sharper and his body stretched painfully, that he wouldn't have minded doing this with Logan. He thought Logan would have found a way to lessen the stretching ache, and would have known how to get him through the painful parts so that Scott barely noticed that it hurt. He missed Logan. The man's strong, muscular body was right on top of his, and his scent was everywhere, and his tongue was licking the back of Scott's neck, but this wasn't Logan, Logan would have said his name, he would have asked him if he was okay, if Scott needed him to stop. He realized, in confusion, that he missed Logan so much it was a physical ache far worse than the physical ache of being breached by a feral humanoid's over-sized cock. That was just discomfort. Logan being gone was truly painful.

Scott choked down a curse as Wolverine pushed deeper into him and said, "Logan, if you're in there, if you remember any of this, ever, this isn't your fault and I don't blame you. It doesn't hurt that much and you're being as kind as you can."

And then there was another agonizing push and finally he could feel the hard press of Wolverine's balls against his aching ass. His head dropped and he tried to find a position that hurt less, shifting imperceptibly until – finally! – something that had been taut eased a fraction. Wolverine licked his neck again, and Scott found he was cravenly turning his head towards him, wanting something that felt like human contact. He didn't care if it was just pheromones – when Wolverine rubbed his bristly face against his, he almost whimpered with gratitude. He felt dizzy and sick but his cheekbone wasn't throbbing and his ribs weren't aching, and his ass really, really hurt, but he could feel that the pain was starting to lessen; it wasn't just increasing like it had been before.

Wolverine slid back then pushed in and it still hurt but he guessed Wolverine must be oozing pre-cum because things were sticking less, something easing the passage of that outsized dick into Scott's apparently abnormally inflexible ass. He flinched as Wolverine pushed forward again, faster and with more power, but managed a shaky laugh. "Guess you had a point about me being a tightass, Logan."

And then Wolverine must have considered he'd been eased into it enough because then it was just thrusting, deep and hard and increasingly fast, and it was just something to be endured, the harsh panting and the rapid pounding and his body just taking it and taking it, because there was no other option. He braced himself and tried to stay still and silent, if only for the sake of his own self-esteem – that was already in the toilet after his pathetic yearning for Logan to show up and save him from Wolverine. And the guy was incredibly strong and powerful and had way too much stamina and it went on forever, that relentless breath-stealing pounding, jolting all the air out of his body, fucking all the thoughts out of his head. And then finally – thank every goddess and demi-god since the big bang banged – Wolverine came with hot, splashy gusto and a triumphant roar that shook the roof shingles. It felt burning hot inside him, gallons of the stuff, and Scott's braced back gave way and he crumpled, and Wolverine pulled him over onto his – bad – side, and nuzzled at him quite affectionately while still pulsing into him. Scott could feel come running out of him, hot and wet down his legs even past Wolverine's softening cock, and it was pathetic how grateful he was for the nuzzling, and the stroking, and the sniffing and petting, and even the whole 'There, that wasn't so bad now, was it?' alpha male post-coital preening. Anything was better than being stuck in the dark with a wild animal who might kill him out of nowhere, for nothing. This was at least communication of a kind.

He could feel resignation stealing over him, no, worse than resignation…submission. It was insidious and he tried to fight it but the conviction grew stronger: Wolverine was strong and could protect him; Scott was weak and defenseless. He needed to stay here with Wolverine and let him mate with him and then everything would be fine. It wasn't mind control, he didn't think. It was more like chemical body control that his brain was translating into thoughts. The urge to give in was overwhelming.

When Wolverine put an arm around his waist while he held him still, obviously wanting to go on pulsing into him for as long as possible, Scott turned his head into Wolverine's neck and licked under his jaw submissively, and he told himself that this was just necessary play-acting, being the beta male who wasn't any trouble, but the reality was that he felt exactly like the thing he was pretending to be. He felt a primal compulsion to submit to the stronger beast that had conquered him, and it made no sense at all to any part of his brain, it was all instinct, but he suspected it might be a life-saving instinct and went with it. Later he could worry about trying to find the lost remnants of his self-respect, like a derelict searching for dropped change on the subway, for now, he needed to survive and his instincts knew how. He was going to listen to his instincts.

Wolverine licked his earlobe and Scott tentatively stroked the hair on the strong arm that was now wrapped around his abdomen, he snuggled in against Wolverine like he was a subdued mate, and lay uncomplainingly on the hot damp patch when Wolverine's limp cock finally slipped out of him, equally grateful for the easing of that stretching ache and the warmth of that body against his back. When Wolverine twisted down to lick between Scott's legs, Scott opened them so he could have better access, and when Wolverine pushed him over onto his back – still on the fast-cooling damp patch which was very wet indeed – so he could lick deeper, he lay where he was put and let his thighs fall open further so Wolverine's tongue could get as far inside him as possible. He felt exhausted and light-headed and very like someone who had been on a carousel for too long but he needed the healing factor and Wolverine's saliva made everything better. It was soothing him now, taking away the soreness, and if Wolverine's obsession with his ass was unnerving, this was a lot better than being fucked again.

He lay there, limply supine, while Wolverine explored him to his heart's content, and then obligingly wriggled back against him when Wolverine moved behind him and licked his neck again and threw a heavy arm around his waist to gather him in. If Wolverine wanted to snuggle then Scott was all for snuggling. He liked that a lot better than being tossed out into the snow now his novelty had worn off or being gutted by adamantium claws for being a bad lay. He was all for being the most obedient, least troublesome temporarily-beta male on the planet if it would just get him and Logan through this with the least amount of bloodshed. His self-respect was dead in the water anyway. Male pride was of no use to him whatsoever, and, yes, it was seriously wounded right now, but that was just tough. This was life and death and his and Logan's mental health on the line, so until Wolverine switched off and Logan came back again, Scott was going to suck it up, and he was going to take it like a man.

 

A lifetime ago – Wednesday – Storm had told him to do just that, because Storm had beaten him at cards and stolen – as he told her – all his lunch money. They were playing for loose change because that was all they'd had when they'd been children in the mansion, nickels and dimes and the occasional brazen quarter. Scott was good at card counting and strategizing and Hank was good at the statistical probabilities of what was left in the deck, and Jean had the best poker face, and Bobby the shortest attention span – next to Warren, obviously – but Storm was just damned good at cards. So, she had usually won, and, annoyingly, she usually still did. She had on Wednesday and Scott had faux-sulked and claimed to be bankrupt. And Logan, chomping on his unlit cigar, had said what was with their attitude anyway? Didn't any of them take the game seriously? Clearly annoyed that they just messed around the whole time and still acted like they were kids. And Storm had majestically told Scott to stop whining and take it like a man.

Jean had looked across at the other woman and said, "I always think of 'taking it like a man' meaning sulking, stomping, and throwing things, like a toddler having a temper tantrum. I can't imagine why."

Storm had said in her rich, deep voice, "It is a complete mystery to me also, Jean."

But Logan had looked Scott up and down, the way he did sometimes, like Scott was someone he'd just met on a street corner who put out for a hot meal, and said, "Well, that ain't exactly what comes to my mind when I hear that particular phrase. How about it, Scott? You any good at taking it like a man?"

Logan's voice seemed even lower and more intense than usual and it had sent a prickling heat up his spine, but Scott had been pleased with the way he'd outwardly kept his cool as he counted his five nickels into Storm's hand and said primly, "So glad we can always rely on you to lower the tone, Logan."

And Logan had probably been about to say something provocative when he noticed what Scott was doing and forgot to be a dick, saying in disbelief, "Seriously? All that fuss over twenty-five cents?"

"That's a whole quarter," Jean told him. "That was a lot of money in our world."

Hank said, "Do you remember how hard Scott sulked that time he lost his whole month's allowance?"

Jean dealt the cards with casual efficiency and no use of her hands, using those to refill her glass and Storm's with rich, red wine. "I still maintain he did it on purpose to get out of coming to the rink with us."

Scott said, "Well, I still maintain that Bobby dealt from the bottom of the pack just so I'd lose because he was embarrassed to be seen out with me in public."

Bobby said kindly, "Only on an ice rink, Scott. Or on any occasion when you've been permitted to dress yourself."

Logan looked over at Scott's clothing and frowned. "The way he dresses looks all right to me."

Scott was conscious again of a strange heat to his skin, an odd clenching in his gut, a strangely breathless excitement like something dangerous was about to happen. He looked up behind his visor and found Logan was looking right at him, intent in ruby red, like he could see into Scott's eyes and his thoughts and his soul and wanted Scott to know that what he had been thinking about when he said that – and was still thinking about now – was what it would be like to take Scott's clothes off, slowly, piece by piece; and that he knew how Scott looked naked and really liked the view.

Bobby explained to Logan that everything Scott was wearing had been chosen for him by Jean; that Scott functioned best, clothing-wise, as a store mannequin who just stood there quietly and let other people pick out his clothes.

"Otherwise it's plaid and checks and your grandad's sweaters."

Hank said, "The boy grew up in an orphanage run by a madman, an orphanage, moreover, located in Nebraska – where haute couture is just something that happens to other people."

Jean said, "Henry, have you been tête-à-tête-ing with Emma Frost again? You sound as if you're channeling her."

"It's possible that she may have rubbed off on me."

Logan chomped on his cigar and said, "But I bet I'd get all kinds of grief if I said I'd kinda like to do that on Scott."

Everyone had made noises of disgust and Storm had threatened to empty her wine glass over his head and Bobby had thrown some ice cubes at him and only Scott had swallowed hard and found Logan was looking his way again, provocative and yet…serious, too. Like this wasn't just harassment for the fun of watching the Boy Scout squirm. Like underneath all the pigtail pulling there was a genuine invitation on the table if Scott only had the courage to pick it up. Except, of course it was just harassment. Logan had made it clear that he really liked Jean. All this sexual innuendo he had started throwing Scott's way was almost certainly just a way of testing Scott's boundaries, of either making him mad or luring him into revealing himself as not straight enough for Jean. Scott wasn't going to blink first, even if it was behind a visor. If Logan wanted to pretend he wanted to have sex with Scott he could do it all damned day. All he was going to get for his trouble was Scott being amused and indifferent because Scott had a girlfriend, whom he loved and who loved him, even if Logan thought that Scott was a dumb kid who didn't deserve her; that didn't mean that Logan got to click his alpha male fingers and puppy Scott would come running.

Except sometimes in bed at night, he wondered what it would be like with Logan, if the man would be brutish and rough with him, or if he would be gentle and loving and would kiss him when they were done –

Scott realized that was what had been hurting the most, all this time. Not the pain. Not the fear. Not the stress of being locked up in a cabin in the middle of nowhere with a feral wildman who wanted to fuck him and might want to kill him when he was finished with him. No, it was because he had never found out how it would have been with Logan, and now he almost certainly never would.

 

It was the worst possible way to discover that somehow, unbeknown to his clueless self, Scott had fallen half in love with Logan. Apparently, when the guy was around, being annoying, teasing him and jeering at him, and flirting with Jean, and generally being a dick, it had been easy to tell himself that his constant awareness of the other guy was entirely down to hostility. Logan was sticking around, after all. He was sticking around because of Jean and maybe because of Xavier's cause, and sometimes there were those sudden heated glances that made Scott feel oddly breathless, but were meaningless, a faux flirtation much better ignored before Scott let himself…hope. So, there was no need to exert himself to be one of the voices saying 'Stay'. The guy was going to stay whatever Scott did. Why should Scott give him the advantage of knowing that even though he made Scott's life untidy and difficult, Scott still didn't want him to leave? Knowledge was power and Scott had been powerless for too many years to give away an advantage for no good reason.

Except it turned out he hadn't lied to Logan any more than he'd been lying to himself. He was now curled up, ass-sore and aching, in a bed warmed by the heat of Logan's body. Asleep, the guy even looked like Logan, although the growling and snuffling in the depths of sleep didn't sound strictly human. There was a possessive arm encircling Scott, muscular, strong, lightly furred, fingers unexpectedly elegant, the lethal claws retracted and invisible. It resisted every movement Scott made, pulling him back every time he shifted, even as Wolverine slept, keeping Scott's back clamped against his chest hair, because Scott wasn't this guy's lover or friend, but his possession. And now, when Logan could hardly have been more absent if he'd been teleported to Timbuktu, now was the time that Scott's brain decided to let him know that the guy that this guy wasn't any more – Scott really liked that guy.

He liked him so much that he was closing his eyes and pretending this was Logan. This warm, strong, muscular body didn't belong to a feral animal who didn't know Scott's name, only that he was pleasurable to fuck, it belonged to the guy who chewed aggressively on his cigars and drank too much beer and wanted everyone to take their gambling seriously, and who sulked when Scott beat him at pool, and who had risked his life to save Rogue, and who hadn't learned to trust their moves yet, so was always fretful in the Danger Room, trying to watch all of them at once, like a parent with a bunch of unruly kids. The feral animal was temporarily in possession, that was all, but Logan would come back and save the day. Absurdly, Scott found himself believing that with the same dogged tenacity that preschoolers believed in Santa Claus: Logan would come back and he would save Scott from Wolverine just like Wolverine had saved Scott from Sabretooth.

And on any other day, Scott would have been trying to find a way to save himself, but whatever it was Sabretooth had shot into his vein had sucked every bit of energy out of his body. He felt blood-drained and strengthless with barely enough energy to stagger to the broken door of the cabin. And if he had managed to totter that distance there was nowhere to go. Even if he fancied pulling a Captain Oates (and he didn't), Wolverine would track him down and punish or kill him for his attempted escape and all Scott would have achieved was to piss away the goodwill he had managed to elicit by submitting tamely to being fucked.

He thought that he and NotLogan were currently on pretty good terms. They had gotten through their rocky introduction and the rules had been mutually agreed: Scott had no rights of any kind. His function was to be fucked whenever and however Wolverine deemed it necessary. He could make noises denoting that he didn't like it as long as they were quiet, muffled sounds, but anything suggesting active protest or opposition was unacceptable. It was not his place to protest. It was his place to submit. It wasn't necessary for language to evolve when a guy could snarl a warning that chilled the soul. Especially when that guy's hair was still spiked with the dried blood of the victim Wolverine had more or less eviscerated right in front of Scott. There was more blood caked across Logan's body, he had transferred some of it to Scott when he pushed into him the first time, smearing drying blood from his chest hair across Scott's claw-scratched back. Scott suspected that was probably a good thing – Scott smelling the same way Wolverine did. Even to Scott's less sensitive nose he already reeked of drying semen. To Wolverine that would be an even stronger bouquet and a lot more satisfying.

Scott eased himself over from his left side – where Wolverine kept putting him – trying to wriggle his way back to his right, wanting to get off his once-cracked ribs onto his undamaged side. It was a comparatively gentle ache now. He felt bruised down that side, but the white heat of earlier had definitely faded, but he would still have preferred to be pain-free. He couldn't deny that Wolverine had a magic tongue in this condition. That was why, although Scott hurt deeper in – although less than he had an hour before – the parts of his ass that Wolverine had been able to lick weren't anything like as sore. Still –

My kingdom for a water-based lubricant, he thought, wincing as he turned by tiny degrees so as not to wake Wolverine up from his restless rabbit-chasing dreams. A week ago he had most definitely peeked, whatever he had told Logan that eternity ago before Sabretooth had captured him, and had felt threatened and impressed and jealous and…excited. His heart had sped up and his mind had gone to a dark, self-scaring place, where he was on his knees and licking and Logan's balls were an unfamiliar weight in his mouth. In his ignorance, he had thought that Logan being hung like a fricking horse was a good thing; now he knew better. When there was no prospect of foreplay or Astroglide, it should be a Westchester bylaw that no man had a dick the width of a beer bottle or longer than his healing factor-carrying tongue.

He finished the careful turn and sighed with relief because there were definitely less bruises on this side. He wanted to burrow into the body that he could pretend was still Logan. He wanted to listen to his heartbeat and imagine they were taking a lazy hour in a winter bedroom, because it was his day to be with Logan. Tomorrow would be his day to be with Jean. Maybe the day after Jean and Logan would do things he wished they wouldn't, and he would hate it and feel bereft, but he would bear it, because this way he got to be with both the people that he loved, and any compromise was worth it. And it hurt to love Jean this much when he couldn't reach her in his mind, however many times he tried, and it hurt to realize that he had tumbled carelessly into something dangerously close to love with Logan when the guy wasn't here and might be lost forever.

Don't think that, Summers, you quitter. He's coming back. Logan is definitely coming back.

He pressed gingerly against Logan's body, glad of his warmth, catching a faint aroma of cigar smoke that hadn't yet been drowned out by blood and sex. He concentrated on it, savored it, tried to draw some strength from it. He tried some positive thinking, imagining his beams back behind his eyes, power flowing to his currently spaghetti-like limbs. It didn't help. Turning from his left side to his right had apparently depleted all the energy that dozing fitfully next to Wolverine had supplied. His fingers traced Logan's chest hair like they couldn't help themselves, curious and…wistful.

Scott whispered, "Logan…? Logan, are you in there…?"

Lashes lifted, green eyes gazed at him and his heart leaped and then Wolverine grabbed his wrists and pinned them over his head as he was slammed down onto his back hard enough to hurt, the old bed creaking a protest. That bearded face was an inch away from his, uttering a low growl, gazing at him intently. Scott tried not to flinch but there wasn't a glimmer of Logan there, and he realized those eyes were more yellow than green, cold as tourmaline, and completely unreadable.

Wolverine sniffed him suspiciously – did he think Scott had been sneaking around on him when they were marooned in the middle of nowhere in the depths of a snowstorm? – and then seemed reassured by the exclusively Wolverineish odors adhering to him. He let go of Scott's wrists and grabbed him by the hips, yanking him towards him. Which was when Scott noticed that Wolverine had woken up ready for action and already dripping with eagerness.

Panicked, Scott said, "Wait! Please – don't – "

Ignoring his buzzing bluebottle protests, Wolverine glanced down to line himself up then shoved his way into Scott, balls deep in a single thrust. Scott choked down a very bad word. There was no time to adapt to that first incursion before Wolverine was slamming into him, the bed creaking wildly as Scott's body was rocked to Wolverine's grunting, wordless rhythm.

If it didn't hurt quite as much as the first time – Scott was still opened up and full of Wolverine come, which apparently made for a better lubricant than saliva and seemed to carry its own healing factor – it was still a body-bruising pounding that quickly left him sore and breathless and fighting panic. The guy was incredibly heavy – that would be the adamantium – and he didn't much care if Scott felt like he was being crushed, and if he wanted to ferociously deep dick Scott to the hilt – which seemed to be his main object in life – he couldn't give less of a rat's ass about how bruised or shaken up Scott got in the process. Scott reached down to hitch up his own balls hastily, afraid of them getting crushed between his helplessly bouncing body and Logan's forward thrusting one, and not too sure that still wasn't going to happen. His own limp cock lay weakly flopping as it was jolted along with the rest of his body by Wolverine's exertions. He caught glimpses of it as his body danced, and it looked like a beached eel in its death throes. He could barely imagine having an erection of his own again. Right now an erection was just something the other guy got to have that really fucking hurt.

The grunting in his ear was a purely animal sound, harshly excited. There was no version of the guy Scott knew whom he could imagine making those sounds in bed. As his body was brutally jolted, Logan's flesh slapping briskly against his, he tried to make eye contact, forge an emotional connection, but Wolverine wasn't even looking his way. Logan didn't even look like Logan like this, his mouth was open, expression completely unengaged with anything except sensation and the occasional suspicious glance around to check that no danger appeared on the horizon. It wasn't just the blood in his hair, dried in his sideburns, and clinging to his beard that made him look like a stranger, it was his eyes. Logan had beautiful eyes that Scott had found himself gazing into more than once. (He'd never been so grateful to live behind a visor since Logan had started looking his way after heated exchanges or ambiguous remarks.) This guy had feral yellow eyes with no warmth behind him. Not only was it impossible to imagine any Logan who would have fucked Scott this hard or this selfishly without once even glancing at his face, it was impossible to imagine any Logan having eyes as cold as this.

"Jesus, Logan…" Scott flinched as Wolverine's fingers bruised his hipbones, yanking Scott in to meet the relentless thrusts that were bouncing his ass off the bed. His answer was Wolverine grabbing a handful of his hair and tugging his head back to make his spine arch more acutely, and an increase in the already frenzied pace of his slamming hips. For a brief, teeth-rattling eternity he thought Wolverine was going to fuck his spine out of alignment and then the animal he now was roared triumphantly – the sound this close was terrifying, like being in a bear pit, and it made the windows rattle – and Scott felt a searingly hot gush deep inside him.

He had never been so grateful to have what felt like a pint of semen pumped into his aching ass. It was lubricating, it was soothing, the way Logan's saliva was – presumably chockfull of healing factor as well as eagerly swimming sperm doomed to disappointment – but best of all it meant that Logan's cock would be too limp to stick into Scott for a while. He whimpered with relief as Logan's cock softened and Wolverine glanced down at him, as if he had forgotten until that moment that a person came attached to the body he'd been fucking. Scott guessed that climaxing released positive feelings in Wolverine about whomever he'd just mated with, because Scott got an approving lick across the cheek. It wasn't exactly a dozen red roses, and was pretty casual, given that, if he'd been possessed of a womb, Wolverine would probably have just impregnated him with half a dozen cubs, but it was at least an acknowledgment that another person had been involved in what they'd just done. It was humiliating how grateful he was even for that.

This time Wolverine pulled out still pulsing, deliberately pumping creamy semen over Scott's belly, before smearing it across his skin. Scott lay still and let Wolverine fingerpaint come all over him. The more he smelled like Logan, the better things would probably go for him. The last thing he wanted was for any lingering Sabretooth odors to resurface and make Wolverine angry.

When he closed his eyes he could choke down the hysteria that was circling dangerously near to his surface and even make grim jokes in his head: You fucker, Logan. I am so going to force beam you in the balls for this when you're you again…. But when he opened his eyes, desperately hoping Logan might magically have come back, he was faced with Logan's densely muscled body and heart-achingly handsome face inhabited by a creature he neither recognized nor understood, and a dangerous animal sniffing him of whom he was, frankly, afraid.

He'd been hurt by plenty of bad guys in the past, but even when they were torturing him there was at least an acknowledgement of his existence; they were usually focused on him, either angrily if they thought Scott was thwarting them or gloatingly if they considered him safely defeated. They weren't neutral about him except as a possible source of pleasure until something better came along. As Wolverine grabbed him by the thighs and tugged him down the bed to be sniffed and then licked, Scott tried to get the crick out of his neck that Wolverine had put there, hastily opening his legs before Wolverine pulled them open and wrenched his hip out of its socket. There was the briefest flicker of pleasure as Logan's tongue touched his penis and balls and then, inevitably, Wolverine's interest strayed lower. The guy had so much careless strength in his current state that Scott could all too easily imagine him snapping one of Scott's bones by accident and still wanting to have sex. He pressed a hand to the back of his neck and turned his head carefully, feeling a 'click' that relieved the pressure.

A second later he was spinning sickeningly before landing face down in Sabretooth's dirty ticking-wrapped pillows, Wolverine having casually flipped him onto his front. He could see the outline of a dozen unsightly stains, an alien world map of them with ill-placed continents. He could feel the stalks of the feathers prickling through to stipple his skin. He thought about Warren's beautiful white wings and felt a sudden rush of sickness at the idea of Sabretooth plucking Angel's feathers out and stuffing them in cotton sacks. He scrabbled to the edge of the bed and dry heaved again, coughing as he couldn't summon up any bile – at least the twinge that caused his ribs was far less painful now. Wolverine yanked him back by the thighs and emitted a dangerous snarl. Scott froze, holding his breath, as Wolverine's body covered his. The bed springs creaked alarmingly as Wolverine's weight pressed down, and Scott gasped for breath as the feeling of being crushed increased. He had been in pain with his ribs for too many hours not to panic at the thought of them being made to bear Wolverine's weight.

"Don't! Please, don't!"

The echo of his own words from all those years ago as Sabretooth pinned him down so gloatingly made him cringe with embarrassment. All that hard-won life experience and was he really still that scared little kid?

Wolverine growled, but shifted his weight off Scott with some bad-tempered grumbles, lying on his side again, an arm around Scott's waist yanking him back against Wolverine's chest with punishing force as if to prove that he was still doing what he wanted just in case anyone had any doubt. Scott gasped with relief at not being crushed beneath a few hundred pounds of adamantium just because Wolverine wanted something warm and soft to lie on and reached back to tentatively touch Wolverine's brawny arm. "Thank you, Logan."

He sounded breathless and scared but Wolverine didn't seem to mind that, a rough hand tangled in his hair briefly in what was probably meant as a caress, before clasping across his chest and holding him against Logan's body. Logan's relaxed dick fitted wetly against the back of Scott's thighs and Scott's heart gradually slowed its rapid pounding to a more relaxed beat. When he inhaled cautiously, everything smelled of musky, satisfied Wolverine. Hot breath teased the back of his neck, ruffling his hair, but once again Scott was aware of a sense of willing defeat stealing over him. Giving into Wolverine felt safe, it felt right. It felt like the only sane and logical course. He decided that he was too tired to worry about the future. This was the point where he always strategized; except today his brain wasn't working like that. His brain was telling him to just breathe in the heady testosterone and obey its signals.

Sniffing cautiously, Scott could detect no scent that was his own. He smelled of Wolverine sweat and Wolverine come and Wolverine blood. He smelled like anyone might expect someone to smell who was not in fact a person in his own right but simply a possession with a pulse. Exhaustion was closing his eyes and his body was aching with weariness; limp and bruised and too hard-pounded within and without to have any strength to offer him. He would have liked some cool bottled water straight from the fridge. He would have liked to urinate into a porcelain bowl with a working flush and somewhere to wash his hands afterwards. That morning, he wouldn't have thought of that as a luxury item. Now, he wondered what passed for a bathroom in this place and if there was any possibility of Wolverine letting him use it or his legs carrying him that far even if Wolverine agreed. He also realized that his need to urinate was nothing like as strong as his thirst and that was nothing like as strong as his need to submit, submit, submit, turn off his brain and go to sleep, preferably for a very long time.

 

Scott woke to darkness and harsh, animal breathing. The air smelled sour – dried sweat and semen mixed with something bear-pit strong and wolf enclosure musky. The cigar smoke scent had been obliterated and he yearned after it wistfully. He needed to piss – that thought insistent enough to overwhelm even his dry throat, the quiet ache inside him, and the background music of fear. He wriggled out from under Wolverine's brawny arm, eased down carefully from the creaking bed, and staggered across the room. He could feel a lancing pain inside with every pace that made him tiptoe unsteadily, aware of his ass in a way he never usually was. (Was it like this for women after sex; were they left over-moist and tender? He wished he could ask Jean. He would have killed for a shower.) Scott limped forward awkwardly ducking a doorway that felt oppressive but was a foot over even his head, towards the thin, blue rectangle of light around the hinge-hanging front door. Barefoot and naked, he realized how cold it was in this place with the woodstove burned so low. He limped over to it and threw a couple of logs in – even that was enough to exhaust him and make the sweat run cold over his skin – pulling out a clinker tray was about as attainable as a quick sprint up Everest. The fire would have to fight the ashy debris of the last log that had died. He staggered back to the door and fought its tattered weight as it swung from its one remaining hinge, then finally his feet were being frost-kissed by snow as he leaned against the wall of the cabin and relieved the pressure in his aching bladder. The hiss of urine into snow was oddly musical.

The snow had stopped falling and there was a biting clarity to the night air, wine rich and skin-chilling. His feet were so cold that he was tempted to piss on them just to warm them up but he hadn't got to that point yet. There was still a Scott Summers who liked things to be neat and clean; Scott felt grimly amused by that young man – the one who always ironed his underwear and asked Jean to check that his collar was tidy. Try getting fucked up the ass by a feral Wolverine a few times, Pal, dryer creases will seem a lot less important…. Scott didn't know why he was jeering at that guy. It wasn't like this scenario had seemed like a logical consequence of paying a check over for the damaged roof of a railway station. Oh, and yes, there that immediate feeling was, the cause and effect you deserve this because you lost control mind whisper.

No, I don't, he snapped back, mentally. Oh, and screw you. Whether Scott should have closed his eyes faster or not, Logan sure as hell didn't deserve to have been effectively banished from his own body, his consciousness locked away somewhere so that Sabretooth couldn't corrupt it while an animal with his face added to his future guilt store.

He finished urinating, shook off the last few drops, and leaned against the door jamb; stealing a wistful glance at a sky full of stars. So many of them, so far away; all the thoughts that everyone had and nothing new to offer. Out of nowhere, as if the distant stars had put it there, Scott thought that if only Logan had been Logan, there would have been an excuse to have sex with him. They were alone in the wilderness with no obvious way of getting home, and there was a bed, and it was so cold, and one thing led to another, Jean. I owed him. He walked through a blizzard for me. I wanted to say 'thank you'.

And you couldn't just buy the guy a nice card and a six pack of beer?

The Jean in his mind sounded pissed. The Jean in his mind had reason to be. That Jean's boyfriend would have spread his legs for Logan, not because he feared for his life, but because he just wanted to take that walk on the wild side and see what it was like.

It hurts, Scott told that version of himself tersely, the one with the stupid schoolboy crush who had been closing off guilty parts of his mind from Jean and sending idiotic yearning looks after Logan when he thought no one was looking. You wouldn't believe how much it hurts.

With your Logan, maybe, but not with mine.

He isn't my Logan. He isn't anyone's Logan. He isn't 'Logan' at all. He isn't Wolverine either. He isn't right. He shouldn't be like this. I'm missing something but I don't know what it is –

The snarl came out of the darkness, yellow eyes blazing rage, a furious roar reverberating. A hand grabbed Scott by the hair before he could turn and hauled him back into the cabin, hurling him down onto the floor.

Half-kneeling on the rag rug, Scott put up a hand to wield off the claws he was sure were coming. "What did I do?"

Wolverine snarled at him again, clearly furious, looming between him and the blue-reflected snow-light, an ominous darkness. He pulled Scott up by the hair and shook him savagely then threw him down again. As Wolverine raised his fist, Scott said desperately, "I don't know what I did, Logan! Tell me what I did wrong?"

It seemed to get through. Logan hit him open handed instead of with a closed fist, although it still had enough strength behind it to flatten him to the ground. As Scott stayed down, jaw singing from that…slap – although that was definitely too soft a word for the strength of that blow – Wolverine, still snarling, strode to the doorway, sniffing the air aggressively. His hand went straight to his dick and then he was pissing where Scott had pissed in a steaming torrent, obliterating Scott's feeble puddle with a viciously hissing stream, before marking his territory in an angry semi-circle around the front door.

Wolverine slammed back in and Scott stayed on his knees and ducked his head. "It was a scent thing?" Scott offered. "You didn't want me leaving my scent outside…?" Of course Wolverine wasn't big on explanations, so he didn't get one, just the guy striding in, still angry, grabbing Scott by the hair, dragging him up, and hauling him, stumbling and trying not to stub his cold, bare toes, back to bed. He didn't know if he was being punished for daring to put his scent out there as if he owned the place, when he was just a lower status male, or if Wolverine thought he'd been whoreishly trying to attract another mate.

Thrown down hard on the bed on his bad side, Scott bit down his yelp, curled up small, and meekly offered no objection. Wolverine snarled at him, jerked him onto his back, slapped him across the face, open-palmed, then grabbed his wrists, pinned them above his head and straddled him angrily, the bed dipping and creaking at the sudden extra weight.

"I don't know what I did," Scott said again, face stinging, heartbeat rapid. "Logan, whatever it was, I'm sorry, but I just really needed to take a leak."

Wolverine let go of Scott's wrists to make an angry sweeping movement that seemed to include all the land beyond the front door. He stabbed a finger at Scott and then flung a careless hand gesture into that south-facing void.

Scott felt a flicker of annoyance warring with the fear. "I'm not a bitch in season. Do you really think some yeti's going to turn up looking to fuck me just because I took a piss in the open air?"

As a furious snarl made his ears ring, pain exploded in his cheekbone courtesy of a brutal backhand – Wolverine had unerringly re-opened the cut and intensified the fading bruise to a vicious, shrieking throb, far worse than it had hurt before. The second backhand made his senses swim. As his cheekbone kept howling a protest and blood poured from his mouth, Scott put up a hand and ducked his head, murmuring hasty and abject apologies. Wolverine angrily slapped his hand aside and Scott cringed from his raised fist. (It was so counterintuitive to cringe from a punch, but this was a world where he had to be afraid of a guy who looked like Logan – there was nothing about that which made sense.) For a loaded moment, Wolverine growled, fist still raised to hammer down on him, and then Scott's submissive body language seemed to take the edge off his temper. Grumbling irritably, he lowered his fist, flipped Scott over onto his front, grabbed his hips and pulled him back to meet his first angry thrust.

Scott gritted his teeth and clenched his fingers in the prickly pillow as his body was pounded with rapid, breath-stealing jolts while his cheekbone throbbed viciously. (And all he could say was that anyone who thought pillow-biting a way to get through this had never had his face this close to a pillow previously owned by Sabretooth.) Wolverine fucked him hard and fast, harsh animal grunts ringing out for all the empty snowfields to hear. (Scott imagined the sound carried on the night air, winging its way to that malevolent space ship, half-buried beneath its shroud of snow, and something in there, eagerly listening, maliciously satisfied.) If Sabretooth was still alive out there, sheltering in one of those derelict outbuildings to which he might just have had enough strength to crawl, Scott hoped that he, at least, was enjoying this – he'd got the brother he wanted all along. That still didn't make this guy Logan. Scott was going to keep calling him by that name to try to reach the real person who had to be in there somewhere, but this wasn't Logan. (He choked down a grunt of pain of his own, still stubborn enough not to want anyone to know how much this hurt.) There was no version of Logan who would do this to him against his will. He didn't know where Logan was right now, but he wasn't here.

As the jolting intensified, Wolverine building towards his climax, Scott remembered that Logan had been late. Sabretooth had expected him hours earlier. You bastard, Logan – slow down! So, why had he been late? Had he taken a detour to the ship he would have seen in Sabretooth's mind when Scott had run that way? Logan might have wanted to see if it could be flown; if it was the cause of the shielding in the area. If there was a way to switch off the signal so Xavier and Jean could get through. That would explain the delay. Screw you, Logan! If I end up with compressed disks you can pay for my chiropractor! It would also explain why the guy who had shown up here hadn't been any version of Logan that Scott would have expected. The berserker fury, he could go with. God, Logan, not so hard! A Logan who walked through the door in such a red haze of blood lust that he gutted everything in front of him, including Scott? That Scott could believe in. The guy had serious anger management issues even on a good day. But he would have expected Basic Version Wolverine to be more like…a large, powerful animal who nevertheless still fought the strong and protected the weak. It hurt. Damn, it really hurt, too deep, too fast, and way too hard. Please, just come…just come…. Animal Logan might have wanted to have sex with Scott, but Scott would have expected him to approach it with a lot more licking and nuzzling and…tenderness even if he had been left temporarily bereft of speech. Not to just climb on board and take what he liked. Oh thank god…!

There was the heated gush inside him, the merciful softening, and then the billowing cloud of pheromones. Scott knew he ought to resist them, but they were like a warm embrace. Wolverine slipped out and then flipped Scott over onto his back again, yellow gaze fixed on him unwaveringly. The comforting pheromones said: Give in. Submit. Open your legs. Scott opened his legs so that Wolverine could lick him and it felt good, when he did that. It felt good to obey that tacit command. It felt good to have the soreness licked away. He was choking on testosterone. He could practically taste it on his tongue. He wanted to do whatever Wolverine told him to do, because Wolverine had just demonstrated that he was the strongest and Scott should submit to him. It felt right to submit to him. He found that he was yearning for him to forgive Scott for being disobedient. Needy whimpers broke from his lips as Wolverine licked him deeper.

When Wolverine glanced up there was satisfaction in his gleaming yellow eyes, he reached down with his right hand and began to palm his soft shaft as he kept licking Scott's inner thighs, and his balls, one lazy tongue-flicker along his cock, and then determined lapping at his semen splashed belly – it tickled, Scott squirmed and Wolverine licked him again, playfully, and for a brief, beautiful moment, there was a connection between them, there was communication, and it made Scott yearn achingly for more. He uttered soft, wistful things, craving the real Logan so desperately that the tears stung his eyes, but then the pheromones billowed over him again, binding him to this alpha male instead, reminding him to submit. He obediently straddled his legs as Wolverine's healing tongue moved back down to his slicked, open ass. For a moment, it was blissful; deep licks delving into him, skillful and soothing. When the tongue was withdrawn, he whimpered after it. Then cried out, shocked, as that outsized cock was shoved back into him again – How could he be hard again already? He was still so sore. It hurt. He didn't like it. And then –

Another cloud of pheromones billowed over him, pinning him down, making him relax, and Wolverine was being gentler than usual. He eased in shallowly, like this one was just for fun, and hitched Scott's legs up over his shoulders so he could gaze intently into Scott's eyes as he pushed into him with slow, lazy strokes, not making Scott take the whole length this time. The pain felt a long way off, irrelevant, even the relentless throbbing of his cheekbone was lessened. What mattered was that those yellow eyes were looking into his and submitting was the right thing to do. He shouldn't be thinking. He should just be obeying Wolverine. Wolverine was stronger. Wolverine was faster. Wolverine was in charge.

This body-jolting was something he just needed to adapt to. He made himself respond to the rhythm Wolverine set. Everything hurt less. Everything would keep hurting less as long as he was good and did what he was told and remembered that Wolverine should be obeyed unquestioningly. It felt like peace. It almost felt like love. Scott relaxed into it and Wolverine's yellow eyes gazed unblinkingly into his and, only then, as Scott yearned towards him, wanting to be obedient, wanting to be good, did Wolverine soothe the pain away from his cracked cheekbone with tender, forgiving licks.

***

After hours of close-quarters observation all Scott could really say for certain about what Wolverine was now was that he had an incredibly strong sex drive. He kept waking Scott up from uneasy, feverish dozes to make that abundantly clear. He liked to fuck vigorously and often and without conversation. Scott found that just going with it worked best. It hurt the least and earned him the most personal interaction. Sometimes his reward would be eye contact or something like a caress; if he was really good there was nuzzling and gentle licks. So, he let Wolverine do whatever he liked. He wanted Scott on his knees on the bed? He got him on his knees on the bed. On his back on the bed? Fine. Kneeling on the floor – also fine. On the rug? Bent over the filthy couch? He could do that. (Kneeling on the couch was the worst – it had broken springs which left him with bleeding knees.) He was light-headed with exhaustion and the drugs still in his system and lack of food and sleep, but he was damned obedient. And Wolverine was pleased with him. There were no more slaps and a lot less growls. He petted Scott and nuzzled him and stroked him and licked him and gave him bowls of tepid melted snow to drink, and Scott ruthlessly suppressed any part of his brain that didn't like the idea of him being a mindless sex toy, and told his body to relax and take it, to stretch until it didn't think it could stretch any more, to take the bruising weight, and the terrifying strength, the relentless pounding power, and to drink the dirty snow slush, because it needed the liquid. The limb-leadening exhaustion helped. The insidious submission-inducing pheromones helped. He was too drug-weakened and starved and worn out to be anything except waxy clay in Wolverine's hands, so submitting was easier anyway. He just had to switch off his brain and pretend that none of this was happening to him.

The hours bled into each other, the snow fell relentlessly, the stove kept the one room hot enough but elsewhere the only warmth was Wolverine. Scott curled up against him whenever he wasn't actively being jolted through another bout of sex. He laid his head on his furry chest and tentatively touched the hair on his belly, and tried to imagine this was Logan. It was the same body, after all, and he clung to that pathetically; this was Logan in a moment of silence before they had a conversation. (The silence was terrible, the silence was killing him. The lack of words was making his brain hurt. He needed Logan to say his name and Logan was AWOL and Wolverine probably didn't even know it. If Wolverine had a name for him it was probably Fuck-Thing or Hole-Boy or perhaps just Slave.) Unfortunately, the pretending-this-guy-was-Logan thing didn't work very well because Logan had his faults but there was no way Scott could convince himself that any version of Logan where the lights were on and someone really was home would paw him around like he was property, fuck him this brutally or this often, or drag him casually by the hair because suddenly he was hard again and he'd thought of a new position.

He kept closing his eyes and whispering Logan's name like the guy was an urban legend and could be summoned by calling. It didn't help. And in the meantime, he drank the dirty snow, and submitted to the rough, hairy sex, and drowsed in between, and wondered how long it would take, in this twilight world they were now inhabiting, for him to forget that he had ever been Scott Summers, leader of the X-Men, guy with force beams and strategies and a girlfriend called Jean and a sort of friend called Logan, and wasn't just some passive and strengthless thing with no powers and a climbing temperature that lived to get fucked. But the hours slipped by and nothing changed except that Logan must have gone out and killed something because he came in with it, furry and broken, in his hands, and tore off a piece and pushed it at Scott's mouth, raw and bloody.

"Please, Logan, don't make me eat that," he said.

Wolverine pushed it at him again like he thought Scott was too stupid to grasp that it was food.

Scott said, "I'm not hungry, Logan. You have it. You're the one who has to keep up his strength."

Something in his words must have got through because Wolverine shrugged and took the bloody meat away and ate it with relish. Scott knew he should have eaten it, because he was starving. It had been days since he'd eaten and he was getting weaker and weaker, and food might have offset the damned drug in his system and given him back his powers, but he couldn't. He couldn't swallow the uncooked flesh of something that Wolverine had neck-snapped, and if he attempted it he would just end up vomiting and probably pissing Wolverine off.

There was more sex, and it hurt, because he was scraped and sore and bruised, the thin skin inside him having been subjected to way too much friction, and the licking and the healing semen wasn't fixing everything. There was sex and then there was sleeping, and then there was more sex. He felt cold and hot and even the dim snow-light was hurting his eyes. His mouth was dry even after he obediently sipped the dirty snow water and his stomach was one bruising ache. His joints hurt and his skin hurt and being touched was misery. He had no idea how long they had been doing this. He drifted off and woke up to find Wolverine was having sex with him again. He endured it, waiting for it to be over, but halfway through Wolverine started sniffing him, the rhythm of his thrusts faltered, and then he pulled out – it felt so good when the thrusting stopped that Scott couldn't suppress a gasp of relief, but then he felt a jolt of panic because Wolverine never stopped midway, he always kept going until he came. Had Scott's novelty just worn off? Was he going to get tossed? He wasn't going to last an hour outside.

Wolverine was sniffing him intently. He gave a low whine that didn't sound angry, and fingers carded at Scott's hair. And apparently Scott, at instinctive level, was a pathetic mewling little worm, because Scott immediately leaned into that hand and wanted it to stroke his face while something in him yearned desperately for Logan to say his name. Wolverine stroked his face and Scott rubbed his cheekbone against his fingers and twisted round and curled into the man's naked body – the same naked body that he was afraid of and which kept hurting him because apparently Scott was just that stupid. He could hear the beat of Wolverine's heart and it was slow and steady and it could just as well have been Logan's heart that was that comforting metronome.

Scott heard his hoarse voice, and it didn't even sound like him, it sounded like some sick, feverish, whispering thing: "Logan, please come back. Logan, please…?"

Wolverine pulled away from him and Scott slumped on the bed, not even caring if there was going to be more sex because everything was already hurting so much anyway. Wolverine got off the bed – the bed tossed like an angry sea when he did that, giving Scott a creaking, mattress-spring rise and fall into the sagging center – and began to pace. Scott watched him from under half-closed lids, and Wolverine was blurry but he seemed…distressed. He paced up and down and clutched at his head and then began to beat his head against the walls, roaring with increasing discomfort and Scott's instincts told him to stay the hell away from him and his body was so weak that movement was almost impossible anyway. Wolverine's claws came out and he began to slash at the walls and the shelves and the table, until everything was spilled flour and crumpled cans and broken furniture and Scott watched from the bed as Wolverine snarled and rampaged back and forth across the doorway and wondered, dispassionately, if he was going to be dead in a few minutes. The thought of not being fucked every few hours while he wanted to vomit and his fever climbed higher and his headache pounded and everything, inside and out, hurt relentlessly, was really quite enticing. It seemed a nice, quiet, painless option.

And then Wolverine fell to his knees right in the doorway, clutching his head, and his claws slipped back in and he looked up like he had no idea where he was, and their eyes met. Logan's clear green eyes widened in shock and he said, "Scott…?" And then he slumped, unconscious on the floor.

Scott fell off the bed in his haste then scrambled across the floor towards him. "Logan? Logan, are you back? Logan?" Now he sounded desperate and crazed, voice cracking with it. He fell on his knees next to Logan and tried to turn him over, but, of course, the guy was half adamantium and weighed three hundred pounds. And, on another day, Scott could have moved him – Scott had moved him, and it had hurt like hell, but he'd done it, peeled him off that truck and got him to a safe distance before it blew. So, he could do this. He was doing this.

It was agonizingly slow and probably impossible in his current condition, but he managed to drag him a few feet into the bedroom. He looked up at the bed and realized he would never be able to get him up there, but he grabbed one of the dirty lumpy pillows and put it under Logan's head and felt his forehead – it was burning up – and listened to his breathing – it sounded shallow and rapid – and felt for his pulse – it was racing. He pulled the come-spattered blanket off the bed and covered Logan with it and sat down next to him and held his hand against his face and said his name, and for some reason he was rocking as he sat, which helped, that pathetic perpetual movement. It made the pain less and it stopped the hope leaching out. His teeth began to chatter because he was naked and it was cold, but he barely noticed, his fingers clamped across Logan's pulse, willing him to come back sane.

That was when the door was slammed open so hard that the remaining hinge almost buckled and Sabretooth stood in the doorway, alive and blood-spattered and snarling with fury.

***