Summary: Two tired warriors meet in a bar. Buffy AU post 4th season and after the end of X2. Claws and SwordsBy: Ueshiba
The bar in Des Moines was dark and reasonably quiet, just the way Logan liked it. He had been on the road for a few weeks now, but the pain of Jean’s death was just as fresh now as it had been when it first happened. It had taken him all of three hours after their return from Alkali Lake to decide to leave the mansion again. Rogue had people to look out for her now, and he did not need Xavier anymore since he had found out where he had come from. The best thing for everyone right now was for him to leave, so leave he did, making his solitary way across the country like he always had. It was him against the world again, just the way he liked it.
His reflections were broken by the little slip of a girl sliding onto the stool beside him. Of course, given his own short stature he could not hold it against her, and as long as she left him alone he did not care much either way.
“I need a beer – the strongest you’ve got,” she said to the bartender.
Revising his first opinion of the girl, Logan looked at her in surprise. What did a little girl like that need to forget? His glance led him to take another… and another. At first she seemed to be the typical pretty girl, all looks and no brain. However, a closer look showed eyes that had seen more than anyone that young had a right to see. Pain was there, along with a touch of bitterness and resignation. She was no stranger to death, this one, and she expected to see it again. It reminded Logan of himself so much that it frightened him.
“You all right, kid?”
She looked at him with suspicion and just a tinge of fear.
“What’s it to you?”
“Hey, if you don’t want to talk, we won’t talk. It doesn’t matter to me.”
They sat there for a while, ignoring each other in favor of their drinks and their loneliness. After a while it was obvious that the girl wanted to say something. Finally she spoke again.
“I warned them, but they didn’t listen. Now they’re all dead.”
“I know the feeling, kid. Can’t do much about it now though. Ya just have to move on.”
“Easy for you to say, little man. What do you know about loss?”
The insinuation that he had never lost anything so soon after Jean’s death proved too much for his generally short temper. Before he realized it, Logan had his claws out ready to slash her throat. As he moved, though, her dainty little fist came up in a not so dainty punch to his stomach, leaving him gasping for air on the floor. His eyes narrowed as he levered himself up to meet her next attack. The bar had cleared faster than he realized possible, even the bartender abandoning his post at the sight of Logan’s claws. They circled around each other slowly, looking for openings. That punch had been a lot faster than Logan had expected, and a lot harder as well, especially for someone that size. As they circled, Logan slipped his claws in and out of his hand, reveling in the pain as he prepared for the next attack.
The girl’s eyes narrowed at Logan’s claws, but she did not back down. Instead she reached back into her coat and pulled out a katana. It was a beautiful piece of workmanship, something Logan would have admired had he been in different circumstances. As it was, he merely readied himself and met the girl’s feral grin with a smirk of his own as she attacked. Instead of slicing the sword in half like he expected, his claws merely stopped the attack – barely. Her strength was unlike anything he had ever faced before, equal to his own, if not greater, although her technique was slightly less refined, probably due to her age. She did not even slow as her first attack was foiled, instead using the force behind his block as a starting point for a kick at the side of his head. Logan blocked it with ease and moved for a strike of his own, an uppercut to her jaw as she moved backwards. She took the fist full-force, letting it lift her ten feet across the room onto the floor before flipping into a ready stance again.
“What do you say we lose the blades, kid? Make this a little fun.”
She merely showed her teeth in response, placing the sword on the counter as he let his claws retract. He launched himself at her with a sweeping kick, losing himself in the joy of battle as she executed a flip over him and returned with a strike to his neck. This continued, neither fighter able to gain the upper hand until Logan was finally able to pin her to the wall with his fist, allowing his two outer claws sink into the wood on either side.
“You cheated,” she accused, all malice gone from her voice.
“Yeah, I guess I did, didn’t I. Sue me.”
Logan released her without a word and moved to his abandoned beer, the fight forgotten for now.
“So what are you?” she asked, vaulting behind the bar to get herself a drink in the bartender’s absence. “You sure don’t look like any demon I’ve ever seen.”
“Demon? What’ve you been smoking? I’m 100% bona fide mutant. Aren’t you?”
“Nah. Slayer. THE Slayer, if you ask my Watcher, not that you can anymore. Got super strength, speed, healing – the works. Not that it helped them any.”
“I hear you there, kid. All the strength in the world can’t save them when they get it in their heads to be heroes. Fools, all of them, thinking they can make a difference in the big picture.”
“At least they try though, but it’s only just enough to leave us picking up the pieces. Heroes, that’s what they are, but what’s the use of heroes if they’re dead?”
“Here’s to the dead heroes then, let’s hope we don’t end up that stupid,” he said, raising his glass.
She followed suit, draining the beer in one long swallow. They drank the night away. Two warriors who grieved for their losses yet still readied themselves for the new day.