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Father Figure
Chapter 13

Logan stared at the barrel of the gun, sneering at its' owner. His tightened his fists, ready to strike. The young man stared back at him, his eyes cold, and empty.

"Well sir. I understand you have in your pocket this very minute a large sum of money. Hand it over, and you won't get hurt."

Logan's eyes widened for a moment. "You mean to tell me that this is a mugging? I don't fucking believe it." He shook his head, and laughed. This guy was going to be one giant open wound in less than a minute. He took one tentative step forward, testing the holder of the gun. He never flinched. He's done this before, obviously. He began to wonder where this guy's friends were. He tested the air, and listened. He couldn't pick up anything. They must have been smarter than they looked.

"I wouldn't come any closer. Just hand over the money."

Logan had never had the misfortune of ever being mugged. At least he could not remember such an event. He continued to chuckle at the entire situation. "You want my money? Come get it shithead." He set himself, waving the young man on, but suddenly remembered Francis. He could hear him whimpering behind him. God damn it, he thought. Now what? He couldn't take this moron on, without worrying about the kid getting hurt. He noted that his opponent hadn't forgotten about the boy.

"It sure would be a shame if that kid got hurt, wouldn't it?" He lowered the gun, pointing it in the boy's direction.

Logan moved to put himself between Francis and the gun. He hissed in anger at the man in front of him. "Leave....him....alone."

"Oh, I will. Just give me the money, and you'll both be fine."

Logan jumped when he heard Francis begin to speak behind him.

"Make the knife things come out again, Mr. Logan! That'll scare him away! Just like those other guys! Just show him your knife things!" He crawled up on his knees, and began to yell at the would-be mugger. "Just you wait! Mr. Logan ain't afraid of you! He'll make you pee your pants. You'll see. Show him your knife things, Mr. Logan!"

Logan watched to man in front of him. His eyes repeatedly darted to the child, and he looked confused, but growing ever angrier at the child's ramblings. Logan could see his hand tightening on the gun. He shouted at Francis. "Shut up, kid! Let me handle this!"

Francis would not be silenced. "Mr. Logan can beat up five guys! I saw him! He can kick your ass! Beat him up!"

The kid with the gun was becoming increasingly agitated. His resolve was breaking down. Logan could see that he was losing his control.

"Shut up, you little turd!"

Logan was going to have to move fast. He watched for an opening, when Mr. Harvard wasn't paying attention. He heard Francis yell again.

"You'll be sorry! Mr. Logan will beat you up!"

The kid with the gun looked down at Francis, and Logan lunged at him, only to be blinded by a flash...................

Both Jean and Storm jumped when they heard the gunshot. They both began to run in the direction the sound came from. Jean tried to focus her mind on Logan, but could not reach him. She could however, detect Francis' panic and terror. She ran on blindly, feeling the child's growing despair. She turned her mind to the professor, to alert him of the trouble.

Logan hit the ground hard, his mind swimming, his ears ringing. His head began to hurt terribly, and he could feel a sticky wetness on his face. He tried to focus his eyes, but he couldn't, for now he found himself blinded by the blood pouring from the wound on his forehead. When the ringing in his ears silenced somewhat, he could hear screams. It was Francis.

"YOU KILLED HIM! YOU KILLED HIM! MR. LOGAN!" The boy ran to his fallen friend, draping himself across his chest. Logan could only manage to move slightly, and release a moan. He realized that he was close to losing consciousness. He struggled to stay awake, to move. He rolled to his side, and weakly wiped the blood from his eyes. He could still hear Francis screaming. He reached out to the boy, to pull him closer. The boy wrapped his arms around Logan's neck, crying hysterically. Logan tried to locate the kid with the gun. His head throbbed as he looked around, and then he spied the shooter. He still held the gun, but looked a little shook up. Both hands were on the gun now, and he was shaking uncontrolably.

"Now give m-me the fucking money. NOW!"

Logan felt very dizzy. He couldn't keep his focus on the shooter. He sank down to his back, pulling Francis with him. He managed to spit out "Fuck you, asshole. Come take it."

He remained on his back, holding the sobbing child close to him. Brian ran forward, pushed the kid out of the way, and began to rifle Logan's pockets. Logan did not resist. He thought the quicker the asshole found the money, the quicker he would be gone. Now if Francis would just stay out of the way, it would all be over. As his mind began to cloud, he wondered why he hadn't just given the fucker the money in the first place. Why did he have to challenge him? It was only money. But he had to act like a prick, and ended up with a hole in is head for his effort.

Even after Brian had found the money he was looking for, he continued to search Logan, apparently disappointed at the amount he had found. "Come on, man. What else you got? Where's the rest, huh? He rolled Logan to his side, feeling for a wallet. Logan could see through the haze in his eyes that Francis was sitting on his knees, his shoulders hunched forward, weeping. He tried to say something to him, to reassure him.

"It's ok, kid. I'm alright." His voice was but a whisper. He tried to speak again, but his skin began to crawl. He could feel something, something that made him tingle, and the hair on the back of his neck stand up. He fought to focus. He felt like he was passing out. He again looked at Francis, and noticed the boy had become suddenly very still. He then heard a voice, weak, distant. A voice he had heard before. A monotone drone, that came from the boy.

"Leave him alone." Francis did not look up, and Brian continued his search for something valuable. Francis repeated his warning, a bit louder, a bit more forcefully. "LEAVE HIM ALONE."

Brian heard him this time, and turned to the boy. "It's ok, little guy. I ain't gonna hurt him anymore. He's still breathing." He returned his attention to Logan.

Logan watched Francis, trying to speak to him, to keep him from doing something stupid. He didn't want the kid any more involved. He just wanted him to sit still, and stay out of trouble. However, he felt his skin crawl and tingle once again, and he had his breath taken away when he saw a faint blue/white aura begin to surround the boy. He watched as the aura grew. The boy still remained on his knees, his head down. By the time Brian noticed the glow, and turned to look, Francis' body swarmed with St. Elmo's fire. It danced over his body, from head to toe, growing in intensity. Logan could smell the ozone in the air, choking him. He could also hear the air surrounding him begin to crackle. Again, the boy voiced a dangerous warning.

"Get away from him."

Brian fell back, frightened by the sight before him. He began to crawl backward, away from Logan, and the child. "W-what the f-fuck?........"

Logan could feel the energy being built up inside the boy. Every muscle in his body reacted to it. He could feel it in his bones. He watched in amazement as Francis finally raised his head, his green eyes showing an inner fire. Francis glared at the retreating Brian.

"You hurt my friend. You're going to pay for hurting my friend." His voice remained that same monotone, soft, hushed. His face was expressionless. Logan barely recognized him. Gone were the bright, curious, ever alert eyes, gone was the child's fresh face. It was replaced by an eerie blue glow, a glow that made his face appear much older, much more dangerous, much more frightening.

Brian continued his retreat, struggling to climb to his feet. "It was an accident! He came at me and t-the gun j-just went off! I didn't mean-"

Logan could only lay there, for he knew that the boy was unstoppable now. He could see it in those empty eyes. He now had some idea of how the boy's home blew up. He looked over at his frightened assailant, crawling and stumbling and crying hysterically, and muttered to himself. "You asked for it, dickhead." He returned his attention to Francis, the air surrounding him now audibly hissing and crackling. He muttered to himself one last time. "Oh shit. This is gonna hurt."

Francis leaned his head back, and Logan was deafened by his scream, and blinded by a brilliant flash of white light, and he suddenly felt himself flying through the air.

Jean and Storm ran blindly through the woods, calling out to Logan and Francis. They were in a panic, unsure what direction to go. They both stopped to catch their breath.

Jean was nearly in tears. "I can't reach Logan! I don't know which way to go!"

Storm was about to respond to her, when they to were blinded by a brilliant flash of light, and were knocked to the ground by the concussive wave that tore through the trees.

When they regained their senses, they looked at each other. Both had the same thought. Storm voiced it. "Francis!"

In a flash, both women were up on their feet, running in the direction of the flash.

The first victim they came across was Brian. He lay motionless, but he moaned, still alive. His clothing was scorched, and his face and hands were burned. Jean knelt beside him, checking his injuries. Storm went ahead, searching the burned area for any signs of Logan and Francis.

The injured Brian opened his eyes. Still somewaht blinded, he squeezed his eyes shut once more. Jean saw that his face and hands were the only parts of his body burned, and the injuries amounted to nothing more than a severe sunburn. He would survive. He would be very sore for a while, and his ears would probably ring, but he would make it. She now let her anger take over, and she leaned over the man, a threat in her voice.

"Where are they?"

He continued to moan, and whimper. "I don't know."

Jean was ready to shake the information out of him, when she heard Storm call to her, from just over a small hill. "Jean! Over here!"

Jean ran toward her friends voice, and saw Logan's body, and Francis kneeling over him, brushing at the big man's hair. She and Storm approached slowly, and the sound of the boy's sobs tore at their hearts.

The boy looked up at them, his face also showing signs of being burned. His eyes were swollen, red-rimmed, full of tears. "He won't wake up. I want him to wake up, but he won't. I didn't mean to hurt him. Why won't he wake up?" He continued to brush at Logan's hair.

Jean knelt by Francis, careful not to startle or upset him. She looked at Logan, noting his blood soaked face, and his scorched clothing. She could see that he was still breathing. She also noted the wound on Logan's forehead. She looked up at Storm. "He's been shot," she said gently, quietly. She turned to Francis. "He'll be ok. He's just unconscious."

Francis never took his eyes off Logan. "Un-con.....?"

Jean corrected herself. "He's asleep. He has a pretty bad wound on his head, but he'll be ok. I promise."

"Will he wake up soon?"

"He'll wake up."

"I didn't mean to hurt him. I just got sad. Will he be mad at me?"

Jean put her arm around the boy. "No. He won't be mad at you. Now, we've got to get you two back home."

"Mr. Logan needs a band-aid. Can he have a blue one like me?"

"Sure. Blue it is."

Chapter 14

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