Summery: The X-Men take in an unusual refugee who changes their lives forever.
Disclaimer: I haven’t the slightest claim to the X-Men, Marvel universe or the Star Wars universe. I’m not profiting from this, I promise. This is only for fun and general storytelling practice.
Authors Note: Although the X-Men movies are fun, I prefer to stick with the version from the original television show with only small influences coming from the movies. Setting is shortly before Jubilee’s entrance in the X-Men verse and following New Jedi Order: Balance Point in the Star Wars universe. AU after that."Unforeseen Fate"Chapter 1: Crash
Logan couldn’t help but think it was about time something happened. Even though he appreciated Xavier’s confidence in him and the chance he was taking by making him a teacher at the school, Logan was bored. It’d been months since their last decent scuffle, and he was itching to deal with something other than hormonal teenagers, some of whom couldn’t fully control their powers. He’d been too happy to join Scott and Jean on a routine new mutant rescue mission. Violence wasn’t guaranteed, but at least it was something different.“I should have known,”
he thought, looking up at an odd-looking craft laying half-buried in a field. “Never hope for something ‘different.’”
They had run toward the awkward looking vessel, and he’d hit something even he couldn’t see and a backlash of power threw him back several feet. His face and arms bore several noticeable burns, which where closing over as he pushed himself up.
“What’d I hit?”
“Looks like some sort of energy field,” Jean answered. “I think that’s a control panel of some sort,” she continued, pointing toward a lighter raised rectangle on the vessel’s side. “Do you think you can knock it out, Scott?”
“I can try,” he answered, but he didn’t sound sure of himself. “But my beams may just bounce off it too, so be ready to duck.”
Jean nodded, but Logan wasn’t so sure. This whole mission had started out poorly. With their track record, the mission going worse from here was as good as guaranteed. He was surprised when Scott's beams passed straight through the barrier and fried the control panel in a satisfying shower of sparks. The area around the downed craft gave off a green shimmer that dissipated into nothingness. Logan didn’t relish the idea of taking another flying leap, so he walked toward the ship with his arms out in front of him. He didn’t relax until his hands met warm metal.
“So, what do you say we find a way inside this tin can?” he asked, pulling his arm back, claws extended and ready to slice through the ship’s side.
“Hold on, Wolverine,” Jean stopped him. “I think I can get us inside without doing too much damage.” She pointed to something above his head, and he followed her gaze to see the rough outline of a door where the black paint had worn away. “I think I can trip the latch or just pull the door open.”
As much as he hated to admit it, she was right, so he pulled his claws in with a sigh as he made his way back toward the other couple. It took her a few moments, and the effort had her trembling, but the hatch opened and extended down to create a ramp. He watched Scott steady the doctor, and started up the ramp to avoid watching the happy couple. There were some kids who needed his help, and he wanted to get them to the school and go to bed.
The air inside the ship was stale. It seemed as if the hatch hadn’t been opened for days, but that couldn’t be right. No trip took more than a day by air, and Xavier had been specific. No matter the way this bucket of bolts looked, it had been airborne less than an hour ago. He half expected to find some signs of life when he entered. After all, most aircraft have some cargo space with the largest portion of the interior traditionally devoted to seating. All he could see were passageways. Quiet passageways. But then his sensitive ears picked up a whining voice a split second before Scott asked which way they should go.
“I can’t tell,” Jean answered before Logan could say anything. “They’re muted, like they’re out cold.”
“One of ‘em’s awake, or at least talking,’” Logan corrected her. “This way.”
They followed the passage just in front of them, glancing toward doorways in the curving walls, until they heard the mysterious voice.
“Please wake up, Mistress Jaina. You have to wake up. We’ve been boarded!”
Jean forgot her fatigue as her doctor’s training kicked in, and she ran toward the voice with Scott and Logan not far behind. Both men pulled up short as they were confronted with a shining gold automaton declaring, “We surrender!” Jean pushed past it to check on the pilot, who was sprawled unconscious over the controls.
“Save your surrender, tin man,” Logan half-growled in annoyance. “We’re here to help you, not take ya prisoner.”
His attention was drawn away by a soft groan. The pilot had come to and was pushing herself away from the console. She was a pretty little thing, he had to admit, even with her short brown hair streaked with blood and terrible bruises forming along the left side of her face. As he watched, she raised one hand and felt at a nasty gash above her left eye. She grimaced and looked annoyed at the blood that came away on her fingers.
“Who are you?” she said. Her voice sounded thick, and her eyes rolled as she blinked them open. Yet, she managed to block Jean’s attempts to take a closer look at the wounds.
“Mistress Jaina, you’re awake!” exclaimed the android. “Thank the maker!”
“Shut up, Threepio,” the pilot ordered. “And stop thanking him for force sake. What good’s he done you in the past decades?” She turned her attention back to Jean and blocked another attempt. “Who are you?”
“I’m a doctor,” she answered. “You’ve got a nasty head wound, and I need to check it.”
“It’s already closed,” the girl responded. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to check on the others.”
Jean tried to keep the girl in her seat, but the pilot pulled herself from the chair and nearly made it through the door before she wavered. Wolverine saw the kid sway and stumble in enough time to catch her before she hit the ground. She clutched onto his forearms to steady herself as her eyes rolled again.
“Hold on there, darlin',” he said. “Doc’s right. You need to sit back down ‘n let her take a look at that head of yours.”
Logan wasn’t prepared for the vehemence in her eyes when she hissed about needing to check on someone named Ben. She pushed away from him, and he didn’t even try to restrain her. He’d seen that look in a mama bear’s eyes just before she attacked, and he wasn’t about to bring down the wrath of a new mutant whose powers were most likely out of control. He was reckless, not stupid. He let go and followed as she made her way through the passages with Scott and Jean not far behind.
The girl slapped a panel on the wall, and ducked into a door that hissed open. Wolverine caught wind of a new smell just before he met her inside. It wasn’t human. The room was a wreck with game pieces, papers, books, tools, clothes, and who knows what else flung everywhere by the crash. The pilot looked over at a small chamber before turning her attention to a small, vicious looking creature, which had been thrown - hard. The gray heap of muscle and teeth lay crumpled against the blood-streaked wall.
Logan watched the kid kneel beside the wounded crew member. Her head and shoulders slumped forward after she checked its vitals. Dead. They were too late for one of them.
“A baby!” Jean’s breathless exclamation drew Logan back to the present.
“Never seen a baby before?” the girl snarked as she rose and made her way back across the small room.
“No. Well, yes…but,” Jean stammered.
"I doubt he has so much as a scratch," the girl snorted as she bent to punch a code into a side panel below the child’s chamber. "The incubation unit has independent inertial dampeners. It looks like K'rithan was able to get him back into the unit just before we hit." The top popped open, and she intercepted Jean's attempt to retrieve the child. The pilot ignored the redhead's glare, all attention on the child. "Not bothered at all are ya, Ben," she cooed. The child whimpered but quieted almost immediately. "Don't worry about Cousin Jaina, now. Nothin' a bacta patch and some sleep won't cure."
"You really should let someone see to that head wound of yours," Scott tried to intercede. "You could have a concussion."
"I'm sure," the pilot answered. "And, who exactly should I let look at it? You never did answer my question before. Who are you?"
"I'm Scott Summers," he answered. "This is Dr. Jean Gray, and the hairy one over there is Logan," he said, gesturing to them in turn.
"Thank you," the pilot answered. "My name is Jaina Solo, and this little guy is Ben Skywalker."
"We noticed your ship as it crashed," Scott continued. "We came to offer our help."
"I know, and I do appreciate it," Jaina answered. "It's just...Ben's my responsibility."
"Mistress Jaina," the android interrupted, shuffling into the room. "The Falcon
says she has lost the underside deflector shields and ship wide inertial dampeners, the lower quad ion cannons and landing struts have been damaged, as has the underside hull, the hyperdrive is nonoperational, and the outer hatch terminal has been destroyed."
The girl sighed. Logan watched as she clenched and unclenched her jaw, curbing the urge to either curse, hit something, or both. She turned to the infant, and the two seemed to consider each other for a moment before she finally said, "Looks like we're stuck here for a while, kid."
"You're welcome to stay with us," Logan offered, drawing an indeterminable expression from the girl. "We work at a boarding school near New York."
"Thank you," she said after a moment. However, her gaze fell back on Jean and an annoyed expression crossed her face. "Would you please stop trying to read us?" she asked. "It's rude."
"You could feel that?" Jean asked, sounding shocked.
"Well, of course I could," Jaina said. "Now, I will let you check Ben if you must while I gather what we need, but I insist you keep a tight clamp on your abilities. He's extremely sensitive, and he isn't old enough to block you out yet. The way you're wielding them would overwhelm him."
Logan had never seen the redhead so dumbstruck, but she nodded. Jaina placed the infant in Jean's arms before picking her way through the strewn mess. She picked up a satchel from a beaten couch and opened it. She rummaged around inside before pulling out a packet and ripping it open. It was obviously a bandage, but it had been soaked in something with a strong odor, and it was one Logan couldn't identify. He decided it must be the bacta patch she'd referred to earlier when she applied the bandage to the cut above her eye.
"You folks do this often?" she asked, bending to scoop up a belt with several devices, one some type of weird looking gun.
"Just part of the job description, darlin'."
"Odd job description for someone who works at a boarding school," Jaina answered. She slung the belt around her hips and buckled it before moving to secure the gun's holster around her right leg.
"You won't need weapons," Scott assured her.
"Yeah, I've never heard that before," she replied. "You got any way to help me get this ship out of sight and somewhere I can patch it up?"
Scott nodded. "We'll send someone back for it once we get you two taken care of," he assured her.
"Alright then," she said. "You done with Ben?" she asked Jean.
Jean nodded and handed the infant back to Jaina. He appeared healthy, no cuts or bruises anywhere. The teen started toward the door, but stopped short.
"I'll have to see to his burial," she said, looking back toward the misshapen figure against the wall. "He deserves a hero's honors."
"Of course," Scott assured.
Jaina nodded before continuing to the door. The android looked back and forth between the three X-Men and his mistress before she called for him to come along. The thing emitted a worried sound, but followed after the diminutive pilot with his stiff, shuffling gait. Wolverine looked after the odd group for half a second before turning to the other couple and shrugging. He started after them with Jean and Cyclops on his heels, but Jean gripped his arm, beckoning for him to hang back.
“What is it, Jeannie?” he asked.
“I want you to keep an eye on her,” she answered. “I think she’s trying to hide a concussion. Don’t let her fall asleep on the ride back.”
He nodded and turned to catch up with the new mutant. They arrived back out into the night air to find Jaina looking over the ship. Her face was set in hard lines, and she gently bounced the fussing infant.
“Dad’s going to blow a circuit,” she grumbled. “This old bucket of bolts has definitely seen better days.”
“I’ve never seen anything like her,” Scott commented as they boarded the Blackbird.
“She’s not exactly your showroom piece, that’s for sure,” Jaina agreed. “Dad won her in a card game three decades ago. She’d had several modifications then, and Dad couldn’t help adding more.”
“It’s an antique then?” Scott asked.
Scott chuckled as he slid into the pilot’s seat. Jean took the co-pilot’s place next to him, leaving Logan, Jaina, Ben, and Threepio in the back. Jaina strapped the mechanical man in while he complained about how much he hated travel. Her hand slipped behind the shining gold head, and the droid slumped forward. Wolverine raised an eyebrow at her. The girl smiled as she pulled the straps over her shoulders and mouthed, “He talks too much.”
Wolverine chuckled. This chick was gonna be trouble, but he couldn’t seem to bring himself to be annoyed.
The Blackbird’s engines roared to life, and Wolverine saw the young woman pull the infant closer. The Blackbird wasn’t exactly designed for transporting children who needed baby seats, so there was nowhere for the child to be secured other than within his guardian’s arms. Although, he was certain Jean was keeping a mental shield wrapped around the boy.
Logan began to worry several minutes into the flight back to Westchester. It was like he could see the adrenaline seeping from Jaina’s system. It was subtle at first, just a slight slump to her shoulders, but it progressed quickly. He tried talking to her to keep her awake and focused, but she seemed not to hear him after a while. And, soon, her eyes were rolling every other time she blinked like she was fighting to keep from blacking out. Logan reached out and laid his hand over her thin arm to get her attention again, but it was too late. Jaina slumped forward against the restraints.
“Jean?” he called.
“What is it, Logan?” the redhead asked, turning in her seat to look back at them. He groaned when worried shock ghosted over her features. She unlatched her restraints and slipped out of her chair with her usual grace. The doctor pulled the sleeping infant from Jaina’s arms and turned back to him.
“Hold the baby,” she commanded, offering the tiny bundle. He started to protest, saying he had no clue how to hold a child and would end up hurting the little guy, but Jean cut him off. “Just support his head,” she instructed. “Hold him securely, but be careful not to squeeze him too hard.” She placed the child in his arms. When he still looked skeptical, she added, “Crying’s a good sign you need to loosen your hold.”
Logan watched Jean turn to check on Jaina. The doc couldn’t rouse the girl, and after checking her vitals, pronounced the teen had slipped into a coma. He couldn’t bear the look in her angry eyes when she turned back to him and dropped his gaze to the boy sleeping in his arms. Ben’s nose and mouth quirked to the side, then he sighed, and his expression smoothed into unmasked contentment. A shadow fell over the child, and Logan looked up to see Jean waiting to take the boy back. He was surprised he was reluctant to relinquish his hold on the child.
“I’ll need you to carry her up to the medlab,” Jean explained. “I’ll take Ben.”
“Strap yourselves back in,” Scott ordered as Logan nodded and let Jean take the infant. “We’re back.”
Moments later, the Blackbird was back in Xavier’s underground hanger, and Scott was running final checks before shutting her down. Jean had unstrapped once the wheels touched the ground, and was out the door by the time Logan freed himself. He made a point of ignoring Scott’s snide remarks about not doing his job as he unfastened the girl’s buckles. Without a word, he scooped her up and set out for the medlab.
Thankfully, most of the students were in bed, but Logan was aware of being watched as he climbed the stairs. He clenched his jaw in irritation, fighting the urge to grind his teeth. The usual debriefing with Xavier was going to be uncomfortable enough, he didn’t want to answer questions form certain recent graduates.
Hank’s eyes went wide when Logan walked through the medlab doors, but he didn’t ask questions. Figuring Jean had given the doctor all the information he needed, Wolverine laid the teen on the nearest bed. He knew she was a fighter and had been for some time; he could tell from the way she carried herself and the too old look in her young eyes. But, now, all he could see was a girl who couldn’t be more than eighteen, and a small one at that, broken and bleeding, lying in a hospital bed.
Logan was so absorbed in his thoughts he barely registered Hank telling him Charles wanted to wait until morning for the debriefing. He grunted acknowledgment and headed up to his room.