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Bird in the Hand
Chapter 3

see disclaimer chapter 1

One more night on the road, and then he'd be home.  It was an interesting concept for Logan.  He wasn't sure when he started considering the mansion home, but he did.  This would be his last night in a hotel, he hoped.  He had stopped and got a 12-pack of beer before checking in and was making his way
through it.  Birdie watched with her unflinching stare as he downed another one.  She hopped over to him and pecked his hand gently.  He looked down at the little bird.  "Whatcha want, Birdie?"  She tapped the beer bottle with her beak.  Logan chuckled.  "Ya want a beer?  I don't think so,"  he said with a grin.  She pecked his hand with a little more force.  "Ow!"  Logan gave her a dirty look.  "Ok, ok. You want some, I'll get you some!"  He poured a little bit into a cup, and the little owl started drinking it.  "Bossy little shit," Logan mumbled to himself.  "Can't believe I let myself be ordered around by a teeny bird."  Birdie glanced up at his little outburst, but quickly returned to her drink.  Logan laughed as she hopped over to him after finishing off the booze.  Birdie was drunk.  The little owl almost fell onto the floor, so unsure was her footing.  Logan took pity on her and scooped her up, settling her on his shoulder.  She snuggled up to his neck, the soft feathers tickling him.  "Can't believe I'm stuck with an alcoholic bird,"  he chuckled.

The glow of the television shone on the bed, illuminating the sleeping man.  Logan was tossing and turning again, bothered by shapeless demons.  But in the midst of all the evil in his dreams, he detected a faint whiff of wildflowers.  A noise startled him.  Wide-awake, he surveyed the dim room.  Again the smell of wildflowers reached him.  A shimmer of green in the corner caught his eye. "Birdie?"  There was no response.  Logan slowly reached over to flip on the bedside lamp.  A small gasp drew his eyes back to the corner.  A girl sat perched on the chair.  "Who the hell are you?" Logan growled.  She just stared at him, big emerald green eyes unblinking.  "Listen, girlie," Logan said menacingly, "I don't know what youre doin here, but ya' better start talkin' and fast."  Still the girl said nothing.  Logan looked closer at her.  There was something strangely familiar about the way she looked at him, the tilt of her head, the glittering eyes, the raven black hair that tumbled past her shoulders.  He looked around the room, searching, noting the closed window.  "Birdie, where are ya' hidin?" he asked softly, knowing his little pet would hear.

"Y'know, I really hate that name," the dark haired girl spoke for the first time.

Logans head snapped around to her.  "What're ya' talkin' about?  Why should
you care what I call my bird?"  A chill ran down Logan's spine.  He had a sneaky suspicion why but he didn't want it to be true.  The two stared at each other a moment more.  "Shit!"  Logan stomped around the room, and then snatched the girl up from her chair.  "You've got a lot of explaining to do!  He tossed her on the bed and loomed over her.  "Well, I'm waitin.......Birdie," he sneered.

The girl wasn't scared of Logan in the least.  She had spent four months with him and knew that right now he was more bluster than anything.  She took a deep breath, and looking up into his familiar hazel eyes, started her story.  "I am Sabrina Hawkins, or Raven if you prefer."  She held out her hand, but Logan just frowned at her.

"So why are you here?  Why did Chuck send you?"

"Professor Xavier did not want you to leave without some means of communication.  He realized, before you left, that Cerebro was still tainted from Mystique's tampering, and not working at full capacity."

Logan paced. "That still doesn't explain why you are here."

"If you needed assistance that I could not provide, I could get close enough to New York to contact the professor in a very short amount of time," Sabrina explained.

Logan snorted.  "Assistance from you? What kind of help would you be, in a
fight with, say, Sabretooth?"

Sabrina smiled.  Logan blinked, and sitting on the bed where the girl had been, was a golden eagle.  He would swear it was the same one that had taken Victor's eye out.  "Fuck," he whispered.  Suddenly, the girl was back.  Logan sank into a chair.  "Why now?  Why are you here now, in this form, after all this time?"

"It wasn't supposed to happen," Sabrina flushed.  "The alcohol slowed my
transformation powers.  I meant to be back to the owl before you woke up.  That is how it has been every night."

Logan inhaled deeply.  "The scent I smelled in my dreams, it was you."   He
could still smell it, fresh air and wildflowers.  "You have been watching me sleep?"  The pink that stained Sabrina's cheeks gave Logan his answer.  His eyes slid closed.  She could almost see the wheels turning in his head.  When he opened them, rage burned brightly in their depths.  "It'll take me a day to get to Westchester, and then I can take this up with Chuck.  Until then, you're on your own...... Birdie," he spat out.  "Find your own way home."  The big man snatched up his bag, slid the room key into the night slot and took off on the big cycle. Sabrina watched him leave with tears in her eyes.

Logan reached the mansion in good time.  He burst through the big oak doors
of the mansion and stomped towards Charles Xavier's office.  A couple of the
students tried to welcome him back but he waved them off.  Without knocking
he entered Chuck's inner sanctum.  "Welcome home, Logan," Charles greeted
him in that calm way that sometimes drove Logan crazy.

"What the hell did you think you were doin'?  Sending that girl to baby-sit me?" Logan started in on his tirade.  A discreet 'ahem' interrupted him.  He looked over to see Sabrina sitting in one of the chairs across the room.  "How did...But I...." Logan stuttered.  In the blink of an eye, she changed into a good- sized bird.

"Peregrine falcons can fly up to speeds of 200 miles per hour Logan," Charles informed him, a slight smile playing upon his lips.  The falcon spread her wings and squawked at Logan.  Then Sabrina was smiling at him once again.

Logan faced Charles again.  "I wanna know why you thought I needed a babysitter and why send this scrap of a girl to do it?"  He was getting angrier by the second. "I WANT SOME ANSWERS, DAMN IT!"

Sabrina jumped up from her chair.  Shoving her finger into Logan's chest, she
yelled at him. "Listen, you bastard!  I was only there in case you needed me.
I was not BABYSITTING you!  You think anybody in their right mind would want
to do that?  You are a royal pain in the ass!  Mister high and mighty, don't
need anyone!  Well, Fuck you! I'm outta here!"

As she turned to go, Logan shouted after her, "Good riddance........Birdie!"

Sabrina froze in her tracks.  Slowly, she did a 180 and pinning Logan in an
emerald green stare, started walking back to him.  When she got close enough,
she swung a strong right hook that impacted with Logan's jaw.  He went down.
"I TOLD YOU, I HATE THAT NAME!!!!!!!!!"  She changed into the tiny black owl
and took flight.

Logan looked up from the floor at Xavier.  "What the hell happened?"

"I think she took exception to the name you called her," Charles chuckled.

"Damn it, Chuck!  How'd she flatten me?"  Logan sat in the chair in front of the big desk, rubbing his jaw.

"Well," Charles began, "I guess I should tell you about Sabrina."  Logan shot
him a dark look.  The older man smiled serenely.  "Sabrina is an animagi, a
shape shifter.  She can transform into any bird of prey.  She has a hollow
skeletal system like a bird but yet she also possesses incredible strength, which was just demonstrated to you," Charles grinned at his scowling friend.

"You think this is funny, don't you."  It wasn't a question.  Logan was still fuming about being deceived.  He supposed eventually he'd see the humor in the situation, but for now he wanted to go and work out his frustration.  "I'm goin to th'   Danger Room.  You might wanna warn everybody to stay outta my way, if they wanna keep all their body parts."

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