Road Trip
Chapter 10


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Logan was eating his second hotdog when the boy slowly climbed into the vehicle.  He stood at the doorway for a moment, a bit shaky on his feet.  Logan swallowed his mouthful.  "Hey, want a dog?"  He smiled when the boy turned several more shades of green and collapsed onto his bed with a long groan.  "No dog, huh?"

Francis lay very still for a while, and Logan thought he had fallen asleep.  He couldn't blame the kid for being exhausted, he had accomplished quite a bit.  Logan decided to clean up his lunch dishes, and have a beer before they got on the road again.  As he munched on a Dorito, the boy rolled over, and focused his eyes on his father.


"Thought you were asleep."


Francis smiled weakly.  "No, I think I got food poisoning."


Logan snorted.  "Right."


Francis sighed deeply, his eyes still on his father.  "I"m sorry."

"For what?"

He raised his head a bit, and curled a pillow under himself.  "You needed to get it out of your system."

Logan froze before the beer bottle reached his lips.  "What?"

"The need to pund something.  You didn't get the chance to do it."  Francis sighed again, his eyes glimmering.


"Don't worry about me.  I can do that anytime."  This was true, after all.  And now, after witnessing his son's coming of age of sorts, he no longer felt the urgent, crippling need to pund something.  His need had been purged. 

Francis thought for a moment, as the two fell into an easy silence.  "I know the feeling sometimes, the need to pound something."

Logan swallowed hard at the boy's admission.  He had always suspected as much, but it was still a bit hard to hear.  "Did you get it out of your system, then?"

"Yeah, and a whole lot more too."  He at least smiled, if weakly.

Logan smiled as well.  "So I heard.  At least you waited to toss your cookies until they left."


Francis wore a mock frown now.  "It's food poisoning, I said."


"I keep forgetting."  Logan stood and swallowed the remainder of his beer.  "Well, let's hit the road."


Francis nodded, and sat up.  He followed his father to the driver's compartment, and sat in his seat as Logan started up the RV.  After they pulled out onto the highway, Logan turned to the boy.


"Why don't you go lie down for a while.  You're still a bit green." 


"I'm fine."  Francis stared ahead.  For some time they remained silent.  Then Francis turned his head slightly, and watched Logan with a side-long glance.  Logan noticed.


"Yes, it has happened to me too, many times."


Francis perked up, smiling brightly.  "You blow your lunch after a...after a...fight?"


"If you tell anyone, Ill kill you."


Francis giggled, his coloring rapidly returning to normal.  "Oh man.  I'd pay money to see that.  How can you get sick?  I didn't think you could get sick like that.  I can just see you on your knees, ralphing!  Worshiping at the porcelain alter, praying to the god of bowls..."


Logan began to fume a bit, sorry he admitted anything.  Suddenly, the image of the boy zipping and darting crashed into his brain again, and he found inspiration.  "DYNAMO!"


Francis jumped when his father yelled.  "Huh?"


"The nickname?  How about Dynamo?"


The boy mouthed the word several times, and his eyes brightened.  "Hey, that ain't bad.  Just call me Dynamo." 


Logan smirked now.  "Everyone else can call you Dynamo, I'll just call you Junior."


"But I hate Junior."


"I know."



Later that night, Francis spoke to his grandmother, as he had every night since they left the mansion.  Logan listened to their conversation intently, hoping the boy wouldn't share any information about their little altercation.  Much to his surprise, the boy didn't.  It was merely a bubbly conversation which ended when Francis said good night to her, and mentioned they would be home in a few days.


When the boy logged off, he returned to his seat, a huge PB and J sandwich in his hands.  Logan watched as a blob of jelly threatened to drop off the bottom, which Francis noticed, and licked off before it could do any damage.


"Nice catch.  I thought for sure you'd tell Maggie all about what happened today."  Logan yawned and stretched his sore muscles.


"Naw.  I didn't want her to get mad at you.  She'd have yelled so loud they'd have heard her in Guam."


Logan nodded.  "This is true."


"I figure, what she doesn't know, won't hurt us, right?"


Logan tried working that one in his head.  "Uh, yeah."


"This is just between you and me.  A man thing.  Ok?"


Logan raised his eyebrows and looked at his son, perplexed.  "A what?"


"Nobody has to know about it.  If they find out, they'll probably suggest some anger management deal.  I din't think I need all that, do you?"


Logan nodded, as the boy had a point.  He had been a victim of the whole anger management thing himself, the professor and Jean trying to get him to work out his aggressions in a more passive, less violent and destructive manner.  The kid certainly didn't need that.  He hadn't trashed anything, at least not yet, and for Francis, it was more of a breakthrough, gaining the ability to face what he feared, and not to cower from it.  "I see your point.  Ok, just between us, then.  But I'm warning you, if you start punching holes in walls, or beating up on people, I'm coming down on you hard, and I'll sic your grandmother on you.  Got it?"


"Got it."


Logan had an idea.  "When we get back, I got a little surprise for you."


Not surpisingly, Francis began to bounce in his seat.  "A surprise?  What is it?  Is it nigger than a bread box?  Is it something for the both of us?  Another trip?  Tell me what it is!"


Logan only smiled.  "You'll see.  I just want to see how good you really are."  Logan smiled wider when Francis opened up with a barrage of questions about the little surprise.  He truly wanted to see what was inside the kid, what he was made of, and if this day was real or just a fluke, and a little visit to the Danger Room was just what the doctor ordered.



Chapter 11

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