Inspired, at least in part, by Arsaotome's 'The Queen's Frozen Prince' and ShadowMaster's 'Claws and Fangs'.
Disclaimer: I do not own any characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Marvel franchises.
Logan was hunting-- that was the best way to describe it at least-- it was difficult to really hunt anything through the streets of New York. He had just found Laura Kinney, a.k.a. X-23, his daughter/clone. Long story. One that nobody likes to tell.
With the Scarlet Witch’s recent breakdown, and with mutants being set back to a population of a mere two hundred, it was safer for them all to stick together, and truthfully that was the only reason that Laura had accepted her father/DNA donor’s offer.
But Logan had stopped, on their way from the dock to the bike, when a passing scent caught his attention. Laura noticed the scent, her own olfactory abilities being equal to the Wolverine, but attributed it to one of the hundreds of pedestrians who had walked the street in the past hour. Logan, however, recognized it.
“Frost,” he growled softly, noticing that the similarities between the scent and that of the White Queen herself were too much to be mere coincidence. Though this confused him as, to the best of his knowledge, the Cuckoos were with the other students back at the Mansion, as was Emma herself.
Logan took another sniff as he tried to further isolate the scent, and noticed some discrepancies. The individual was lacking several things that were forever present on both the Frost woman and her clones, the main one being some form of pricey perfume. There was also an earthy scent he couldn’t place, a smoky aroma that reminded him of the numerous strip clubs he had visited in his life, and finally, the slightest stench of death.
“Change of plans, Laura,” he said, as he sniffed again to try and find which direction the individual had been moving, “We’re goin’ hunting.”
Laura smiled softly. Hunting she could handle. Teenagers she couldn’t.
It took time, more than Logan would have liked-- but in a city of millions it was near impossible for him to keep track of a single scent past even the first intersection-- but it wasn’t too long past sunset that he and Laura finally managed to track the mysterious individual to a motel room several city blocks away from the docks.
Logan whispered softly to Laura beside him, “Remember, we don’t know anything about this guy, so be ready for anything.”
She nodded in agreement and Logan rapped loudly on the door. Sounds of movement inside reached the mutants’ sensitive ears, and the door before them opened to reveal a teenage male, about 6ft tall, well muscled, but lacking the definition one would see in any member of the X-men. Despite the fact that the boy actually looked very little like Emma, Logan’s nose confirmed that this was the guy, as his eyes noticed a knife-like bulge in his pants.
The boy quickly looked over the two of them, before smiling nervously, “Can I help you?”
Logan, noticing that his nervousness was apparently due to an interest in Laura’s chest, growled softly, but loud enough to be heard.
The boy’s head jerked at the inhuman sound, and Logan saw his body tense. Despite-- or perhaps because of-- Logan’s knowledge that the boy was somehow related to the White Queen, he readied his mental shields, preparing his mind for a telepathic assault. It was because of this that he didn’t react with his normally superhuman and superbly trained reflexes when the boy’s flesh transformed into solid crystal, and a now diamond hard fist collided with his jaw and sent him flying through the windscreen of a nearby parked car.
Xander had had a stroke of rotten luck in the days after leaving Sunnydale. With the Mayor dead and the Summer Lull in full effect, Xander was taking the opportunity to get out of town for a while, and to take an All-American Road-Trip. Unfortunately, his car had not agreed with his plans, and had promptly broken down just three days later in the town of Oxnard.
In order to pay for the mass of repairs required to get his car mobile once more, Xander was forced to seek employment at the Fabulous Ladies Night Club. As a dishwasher. He had been offered a position as a dancer, but had declined after his blush nearly caused his nose to bleed.
After three days worth of scalding hot water, stuffy air, minimum wage, encouragements from other employees, one or two customers, the manager and, finally, a whole lot of alcohol, Xander finally gathered his courage and stopped listening to the Willow-shaped angel sitting on his shoulder, giving in to the sexily clad Faith-look-alike who was cheering in his other ear.
Xander had been pleasantly surprised to learn that just one nights worth of dancing provided him with a paycheck (plus tips) that was equivalent to about a weeks dish-washing wages, and had then signed up to continue dancing for the next few nights as well.
It wasn’t too long before he was able to earn enough money to go about his repairs and finally move on with enough time to continue his plans to see all the states (he had still not been reminded of Hawaii’s position in the Pacific Ocean).
It was after this incident that the traditional Harris luck seemed to reverse, or at least neutralize itself. Even his car seemed to appreciate the sacrifice he had made and did not break down again until he reached Kentucky, and even then with only minor problems that were reasonable affordable.
It had been in the middle of the state of fried chicken that Xander had run into trouble once more. A local coven of witches, (of the Catherine Madison variety unfortunately), had apparently sensed the stain of the Hellmouth on his soul (he knew he should have gotten that damn thing dry-cleaned when he had the chance), and had captured him with the intent to sacrifice him to some god or another, releasing the energy and allowing them to harness it for themselves.
Xander had been chained to an altar in the middle of nowhere as the leader of the coven plunged a dagger towards his heart. He had tensed in fear, adrenaline racing through him as he prayed for a miracle, only for nothing to happen but the slight ‘ding’ sound of metal hitting something that it could not cut through reaching his ears.
He had peeked open first one eye, and then the other, and had been shocked by the sight of his body, which had somehow transformed into semi-translucent crystal. Equally shocked were the witches surrounding him, whose desire for power was apparently tempered by some survival instinct that told them to flee from the living statue before them.
Now left alone, still bound to the altar, Xander had tugged experimentally at his chains, and was surprised when, after straining his shoulders, he was able to rip himself free of his bonds. And, after finally relaxing, had somehow found his body returned to flesh and blood, finally letting out a deep breath he hadn’t realized that he had been holding.
Xander had continued on his journey, somewhat desperate to put as much distance between himself and the coven as he could, and had called Giles from a pay phone in Virginia to alert the Englishman to the threat. Giles assured him that he would, in turn, ask the Devon Coven to deal with the situation. Although Xander had omitted a few key details from his tale, some unknown instinct assuring him that his new ability needed to remain a secret.
So he had left Virginia, and headed towards New York, one of the last places he wanted to see before he even thought about ending his journey and returning to Sunnydale.
Unfortunately, now in New York City, he had run into some slightly more serious car trouble, and had only just finished getting it fixed, staying in a motel by the docks while he worked at one of the cities many strip clubs.
It was in this crappy motel that the door was knocked, and Xander had been obliged to answer, despite the fact that he knew not a single soul on this side of the continent who might wish him well. In true Sunnydale fashion, he checked the light streaming in from the window, and, noticing that the sun was no longer in the sky, he made sure that he had a stake in his back pocket and a cross hanging from his neck before answering.
Opening the door, he was confronted with two figures, one a man who looked as though he’d make Chuck Norris wet himself despite being at least half a foot shorter than Xander himself, and the other a teenage girl, around his own age, dressed in a decidedly Faith-like fashion. Both individuals emitted a presence that was oddly reminiscent of Buffy, Kendra, Faith, Angel and every other vampire he had ever met. These people had the power to crush an ordinary mortal with their pinkies... and they were well aware of the fact.
His eyes may have lingered at the girl’s considerable chest as he asked, “Can I help you?”
A low, animalistic growl rumbled around him that made the portion of his brain that was more animal than man scream in terror. This man was danger, and definitely not normal.
Xander reacted on instinct, calling on his power and transforming his flesh into the odd crystalline substance that was, as he had discovered, indestructible by any means that he could conceive of, and punched out with his right arm, nailing the man in his jaw and sending him flying.
Xander turned to the girl, now that the man was dealt with, only to hear a sharp ‘snkt’ sound of metal scraping together. Xander saw two, foot long, blades emerge from each of her fists and decided that this would not be a good time to test his indestructibility.
Xander tensed his own fists, focusing hard as he called deeper into his own power and he caused another shift in his diamond form. He felt newly formed blades-- made from the same material as the rest of his body-- grow from his own fists as he reshaped his crystalline flesh, leaving Xander with a single, foot long, blade of his own emerging from each hand.
If the girl before him was surprised at the development, she did not show it, she instead swiped at him with unbelievable speed. Thankfully, Xander was used to fighting creatures who were considerably quicker than him, and was able to block. Barely. And the fight progressed.
The two had very different styles. She was disciplined to the point of perfection, her every move economic and graceful, rehearsed until she could perform it without thought. He however, was all strength, lacking the grace and speed of his opponent, but moving with efficiency that one would expect from someone who knew what they were doing, though his form lacked the discipline of formal training, but instead spoke of years of experience with pain as his only teacher.
Unfortunately, though he was used to fighting creatures that were considerably faster and stronger than him, those same creatures fought on instinct and little else. This girl had him outclassed, and, despite his considerable strength, he soon found himself being hurled through the air, only to land through the windscreen of another car.
Xander’s concentration lapsed, causing his blades to recede into his arms and his diamond form to fade. By the time he very carefully climbed out of the wreck, he found the man standing over him, a scowl on his face and a trio of blades emerging from his fist that he recognized.
“You’re Wolverine,” Xander stated, his fear of the situation barely controlling the very fanboyish and highly un-manly squeal of excitement that he may have normally given when presented with one of his heroes.
“And you, Frost Jr?” He asked gruffly, still not retracting the blades.
“Frost who?” Xander asked, before continuing, “What’s going on? Aren't you supposed to be one of the good guys?”
“You don’t know?” Logan raised an eyebrow in surprise, there was definitely some of Frost’s DNA in the kid, and that meant telepaths. He hated telepaths.
“What am I, a mind reader?” Xander snarked, much to Logan's surprise, before he gave the question some thought, “You’re Wolverine. Aren’t you with the X-men? Am I a mutant or something?”
“You really don’t know, do you?” Logan realized, as he finally placed the stench of death on the kid. Vampire ashes, not particularly recent, but still there. The kid must think he's magic.
“No,” he replied, suddenly smiling, he no longer had to worry about curses and/or demons trying to kill him by turning him into a living statue. However that would work. “Though it does take a lot off my mind.”
Logan finally retracted his claws, and offered the now weapon free hand to the kid. Xander accepted the help and pulled himself to his feet.
“One thing I don’t get though,” Xander began, now that they were talking civilly, “You said frost. I thought I was made of diamond or something.”
“You are,” the girl spoke up, still tensed in preparation for battle, but following Logan’s lead and not pushing it, “I also don’t know what he’s talking about.”
“I don’t think we were introduced,” Xander smiled as he offered his hand, “I know that he’s Wolverine, and I’m Xander.”
The girl took the hand hesitantly, and quietly offered, “Laura.”
Xander was surprised by the lack of volume in her voice, he had been expecting something Faith-like from the girl in leather who had just kicked his ass, but he didn’t press her.
“So,” Xander clapped his hands together, “Now that we understand that nobody wants to kill, kidnap and/or maim anyone else, hows about you two tell me what exactly you’re doing here?”
“That depends,” Logan replied, “You wanna tell us how you and Emma Frost are related?”
“Emma Frost?” Xander searched his memories for a moment, before his brain supplied a description from a news report he had recently seen, “Hot, mind-reader chick with a fetish for white leather? I’m related to her?”
“That’d be her,” Logan grunted, “You smell like her, and you’re the only other person I’ve ever seen turn into a walking jewelry store. That generally means you two share something in the family tree.”
“Well... that’s disturbing,” Xander muttered, recalling a number of thoughts that had ran through his brain the first time he had seen the White Queen’s picture on the news.
After talking to the kid about who he was and what he was doing in New York, Logan eventually decided that Xander was nothing like his mother, completely lacking her sense of cold calculation, yet at the same time was very similar. Xander possessed a quick wit and a sharp tongue that could likely match Frost’s own if pressed.
Overall, Logan considered him harmless enough, and, considering his earlier stance on mutants sticking together, had given him the same offer he’d come to give Laura. A sanctuary at the Mansion with his own kind, food and board for as long as he needed, as well as a chance to find out about his family. Although if he didn’t stop looking at his daughter Logan would see if adamantium was tougher than diamond.
Xander, who was rapidly running out of cash, and had no particular obligations to follow through with, agreed. Though the chance to find out about his family intrigued him more than he would say. He knew he was adopted, he had been dropped off at an orphanage when he was five years old and taken by the Harrises less than a year later, but anything before that was fragmented. Random images that filled him with a sense of dread and made him break out in cold sweats when he thought about them too hard. He had nightmares sometimes, about the times from before, but by the time he woke up they would always be gone. Dangling somewhere in the depths of his mind, offering answers, just out of reach, to questions that he didn't understand.
But this was his chance, he thought, to find out who he was and where he came from. To discover himself, as he had originally set out to do, though he hadn’t expected the statement to be so literal when he came up with the idea for the road-trip.
The ride was unusual. Since Logan didn’t have any room on his bike, Xander took his car instead, and was fairly surprised when Laura elected to go with him. Logan had raised an eyebrow, but said nothing in front of her, merely giving him a slight snarl once she got in that Xander got the basic gist of. He was pretty sure it translates to something along the lines of... ‘touch her, and I’ll remove your sensitive parts with a carrot’. Why a carrot? Xander had no idea, nor did he particularly want to know how such a thing could be achieved. He just nodded vigorously until Logan, apparently satisfied, turned to get his bike.
Xander breathed a sigh of relief as he turned back to his car and made to get in the drivers side, to find Laura waiting patiently in the passengers seat.
“So,” he began, as he started the car, “What kind of movies do you like?”
Laura just looked at him quizzically. For all the training that the Facility had given her, popular culture was not anywhere on the list. And when living on the streets, she never did have the opportunity to enjoy the cinematic arts.
“I’ve never seen any,” she answered eventually.
Xander’s head turned so fast he almost tore something. “Never? No movies?”
Laura shook her head, and explained why exactly that was.
“They had you in a lab?” Xander asked once she finished the tale of her creation, her life, and her escape, all the while Xander followed Logan’s speeding motorcycle as he led them out of the city.
Laura nodded. Xander was silent for a moment, focusing on the road ahead of him as a few jumbled memories fell into place. Flashes of needles, of sterile rooms filled with unforgiving white, and faces covered by surgical masks ran through his mind. The surge of memories surprised him, but what shocked him more was the fact that he almost felt as though he could understand them.
Realizing that the silence had gone on too long, Xander glanced away from the endless road for a few moments. Meeting Laura’s eyes, he said, “I’m sorry.”
Xander observed Laura’s look of surprise at the offered sympathy for half-a-second before his attention was drawn back to the road, and he saw Logan’s bike make a turn off the main road. Xander followed, and after a few more miles, he finally got a glimpse of the Mansion he had been invited to.
“Wow,” he mumbled as he carefully followed Logan through an extravagant gate and took in the incredible building, “This makes Cordelia’s place look like a dump.”
What do you say? Should I continue it?