Logan approached the boat docks cautiously. It was very dark, and his spine tingled with each shadow he saw. His eyes tried to pierce the darkness, to see his enemy, the enemy he could smell and hear. He could smell his stench, it nearly choking him, and he could hear the deep coarse breaths the man took. Every muscle in his body burned, and his knuckles ached at the prospect of using his claws once again. There, at the end of the farthest dock, stood the man he had been hunting. He stood very still, waiting.
"Slowing down in your old age, Wolverine?" His voice was rough and razor sharp, cutting into Logan as he approached.
"How many times do I have to kill you?" Logan stopped, and set himself.
"I was wondering if you'd show up at all, or if you'd be too scared." Sabertooth took a step forward.
"Scared of what? You? Your breath? Your B.O?" Logan sneered and crouched slightly. "I'm here now, you prick."
"Didn't damage little granny too bad, did I?"
Logan felt his stomach tighten. "What?"
Sabertooth took another step forward. "Little old granny. I really wanted to twist her neck, but I decided to be nice tonight."
Logan's mind raced. How did he know about Granny? And if he knows about Granny, he must know about...
"Thinking about your boy? What a nice man you are to adopt the poor thing like that, taking the poor unfortunate under your wing. Teaching him how to be a nice boy, are you? Teaching him how to be a good guy?"
Logan felt his heart pounding in his chest. His mind was clouded, and a wave of dizziness threatened to take him over. "Fuck you! Leave him out of this!" In a flash, his claws were out, and he was ready for battle.
Sabertooth took another step forward, and sneered. "Getting defensive about your boy? Watch yourself, Wolverine, that boy of yours could be your undoing. If you start worrying about him, you let your defenses down. You leave yourself open to attack."
Logan tensed, as he expected the big man to leap at him. To his surprise, he did not. The monster just stood before him, sneering. He appeared relaxed, not ready for battle. He continued his taunts.
"Your boy is growing up fast, eh? Did you ever take a real good look at your little mutant pet? Did you ever take a good look at his face? He has freckles, doesn't he? And reddish blond hair? It's long, isn't it?"
Logan was enraged now. Sabertooth knew too much about Francis. He had been watching them, stalking them, all along.
"Ain't you a bit disappointed he's a runt? Damn, I know I am. Is that why you took him on? The runt of the litter? Feeling sorry for him?" He let out a snort, and then laughed out loud. "I wouldn't worry about the little guy. He has good genes. He'll be just fine. A brave little mutant."
Logan's skin began to crawl. His stomach tightened even more. He had let his guard down. He let Sabertooth get to close. He regretted ever having agreed to take the kid as his own. It only put him in great danger. "This is between you and me, leave the kid out of it!" He took a step forward, feeling a growl erupt from deep inside.
"Oh, the kid is involved in this, Wolverine. I ran into an old acquaintance of yours. Told me all about how badly you treated her, and that you took her son away from her. She was just so pitiful. She actually wanted to lock the poor boy away. She wanted my help to get him back. Can you believe that? My help? I just felt so bad for her; I just had to put her out of her misery. After all, she had served her purpose."
Logan couldn't breathe. He struggled for air. His legs went numb, and it was all he could do to keep from collapsing. He had trouble following what the prick was saying. His mind was racing, trying to sort it all out. He had been in contact with Stella, the boy's mother? She had told him what had happened? He put her out of her misery? What the fuck is going on? What is he talking about?
"I assured her, before I cured her pain, that I would make sure the boy wouldn't fall under your bad influence. I promised her that I would take care of him, and raise him the right way."
Logan felt like he was punched in the stomach. He could take no more. "Over my dead body!"
Sabertooth smiled widely. "Well, that's the idea. Can't have you ruining the boy. He needs to be raised by someone closer to him."
Logan took a tentative step forward, wanting to rip this guy's throat out. "Keep babbling, shithead."
Sabertooth suddenly turned serious. "I can't believe you haven't figured it out yet. You're dumber than I thought you were."
"Figure what out?"
"Think, Wolverine. Ironic, isn't it?"
Logan thought for a moment, replaying what the man had said. A feeling of dread swallowed him, as he began to realize what it was he was being told. "No. No fucking way." He looked closely at the man in front of him, and discovered that what the man was saying could possibly be true.
"I just want to express my thanks to you, Wolverine, for taking such good care of my son."
Logan reacted, springing from his position and striking the big man mid chest, both flying across the dock. His cries of pain and anger rang through the night. "NO!!!!"
Jean gasped. She grabbed hold of the dashboard. Scott turned to her, worried. "What is it?"
She grabbed her forehead, wincing at the pain. "It's Logan! He's in pain! I can't lock on to him. His mind is just..."
"We're almost there. Keep trying." He slammed his fist on the steering wheel as he approached the entrance to the state park. "Damn it!"
Sabertooth had managed to roll away from Logan, his chest punctured by the man's blades. Logan stalked around him, growling and panting. A can of fuel had spilled as they wrestled on the dock, and both were covered with the gas, and the fuel began to spill into the water below as well. Logan wiped the stinging fuel from his eyes, and tried to catch his breath. Sabertooth grinned, and continued his taunts.
"You get it now, huh? I remember Stella well. She knew her stuff. Knew all the right moves. She pleased me over and over."
Logan hissed through his clenched teeth. "The kid's father left when he was five."
"And why do you think he left? His old lady spread her legs for anybody. He's a smart one. Took him five years to figure it out. You and him got a lot in common. The kid sat there under your nose, and you never figured it out." He exploded into laughter, the holes and gashes in his chest causing him no discomfort at all.
Logan charged again, and again plunged his claws deep into the man's chest. They fell to the dock, and thrashed in the growing pool of fuel.
Scott sped around the winding curves in the park, heading toward the boat docks. Its just up ahead. He pressed his foot on the brakes and slid to a stop. The team leapt from the van, and ran down the hill to the water front.
Rogue shouted. "There they are!" They all turned to see the two men wrestling and slashing at each other. Clearly evident was a large gash on Logan's back, and the bloody chest of Sabertooth. They ran to the dock.
Scott called to Logan as he ran. "Logan! We're here! Hang on!" He stepped out onto the dock as Logan lunged once again at his enemy, his roar echoing into the night. As he tackled Sabertooth, his claws sliced through a metal light stand, and the shower of sparks that followed ignited the spilled fuel. Scott and the others stopped short, as their path was blocked with flames.
Jean cried out to her friend. "LOGAN!!!" She was knocked into the water by the large explosion that followed..