Home | Forum | Mailing List | Repository | Links | Gallery
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13


Written by Flitz
Last updated: 08/24/2008 12:48:30 PM

Chapter 3

Patting his jean pockets repeatedly before realizing they were empty, Wolverine stood before the door of the thief that Shield had dropped off for safe keeping. Forgotten, the key still lay downstairs in Xavier’s office. Logan almost turned back to get it, but dismissed the thought for expedience.

He pounded once on the door before triggering his claws slicing through the metal as if it were an everyday occurrence. According to Cyclops the kid had managed to get past the door, so having the lock wasn’t really serving a purpose. Well, that’s what he planned on telling Xavier. Wolverine entered quickly illuminating the room to find a raggedly breathing teen eyes slitted against the intrusive light crouched by the bed as if he had rolled off to land in a defensive position. Had Wolverine been present for that action he would have been impressed by the fluid motion that had produced it.

Wolverine made a quick grunt of dismissal at the thief’s antics before speaking, “Good yer awake already. Didn’t take much time for you to make yerself at home?” he asked referring to the shambled mess the teen had left of the room. The thief didn’t look much better than the room he had destroyed, what had been barely visible copper stubble the night before had gained shadowing his sculpted jaw prominently. Thick auburn hair lay tangled across his shoulder blades. Clothing from the night before hadn’t improved, the scent and stain of blood firmly entrenched.

Considering the early hour the red eyed thief had been brought in, the X-men had decided to let him sleep into the day. Glancing down at his watch Wolverine noted they still had some time before he had to be the authority figure in the dining hall as an adjunct to his duties guarding the thief. The other X-men would be occupied with the meeting Xavier was holding to discuss their role in the thief’s life.

Wolverine spoke then, simply looking for a reaction, “We got time yet kid, take a shower, you reek of somebody else’s death.” He got nothing, except perhaps a hardening about the eyes. The kid made no move to comply; which surprised Logan, generally anyone who had seen his claws was a little more cooperative. Wolverine was yet to decide whether it was strong nerves or idiocy since the kid hadn’t spoken since his arrival. But being a Guild thief, Logan was betting on the third choice, misplaced arrogance.

Fury had been more secretive about the thief than he normally was with his transfers so Logan had decided to find out the information on his own. If a Guild Master was murdered and his son kidnapped the news would hit the underground hard. That’s where he’d been last night, looking for the kid’s identity, but it had been too early for his sources to have anything concrete. His contacts were supposed to e-mail the information on a secure line to the Institute as soon they could get their hands on it. It might be a little easier to deal with the rowdy teen if they knew more about him.

The kid was standing motionless still in the defensive posture he had been in upon Logan’s arrival. “Listen up punk,” Logan started, “I ain’t got all day here,” he said his shallow reserve of patience drying up quickly, “There’s a bunch of younger kids out there, ya ain’t going out there covered in blood, bub. Some of them are here to get away from shit like this, they don’t need you running around to remind them,” he ground out with a growl.

The mutant teen uncurled edging closer to the door and made his first intentional effort at communication; upper lip curling in distaste and he raised his left arm, casually flipping him off.

Logan growled deep in his throat, why was it always the hard way? Diving quickly for the teen he was shocked when the slender thief dodged it with minimal effort. A knee caught Logan in the chest the same leg following down to smash his boot. Logan unsheathed his claws and the thief abruptly back flipped away from the deadly weapons.

Wolverine rushed forward again and a fluid battle proceeded: advance, swipe, block, evade, again. Both were quicker than they appeared, but the advantages were obvious. The teen flowed through his attacks, his lithe lightly muscled form darting in for swift shots. The elder man had considerably more power behind his punches and set of lethal appendages, if Wolverine could hold on to the wily teen he would easily be the victor.

Executing a swift spin in the narrow room provided the teen avoided slashing claws and aimed a punch to Wolverine’s temple throwing his entire body weight behind it. The blow would be disorienting to a normal enemy, but to someone who with an adamantium laced skeleton, it was more likely to do damage to the fist. The thief abandoned the next step to his maneuver and retreated nursing his hand. Adamantium claws struck out again not letting the red haired thief escape unscathed. Claw marks adorned the furniture, walls, and the teen’s clothing but only occasionally drew blood, significant damage avoided by an undulating form of the thief.

Wolverine suddenly halted, backing up to give the teen space and held up his own hand, claws subducting back into their flesh housings. The thief’s eyes blared defiance and he pressed for another attack but stopped as well half way across the distance. Several faint tearing sounds were heard and the thief looked down in time to see the remaining wisps of his shirt detach and fall to the floor. The jeans were in similar condition, Logan hadn’t sliced them haphazardly, if the teen tried for another acrobatic attack they might suffer the same fate as his shirt.

“Yer lucky kid, I’m feelin’ generous, that coulda been your skin,” Logan grumbled, lip twitching over small fangs. “Now unless ya want to walk into a room full of mutants in yer jockeys I suggest ya take the shower and change. Got it?” he asked. Wolverine had a feeling the thief wanted a shower after sleeping in bloodied clothes but was too stubborn to do what he was told. Feeling a glimmer of satisfaction Wolverine watched as the young thief grabbed an assortment of clothing off the floor and stalked off for the shower.

Depositing himself in the desk chair, Logan settled down to wait. He didn’t expect compliance right away, but if he had to get in a physical fight with the kid just to get him outta the room it was gonna be a pain in the ass. Wolverine had a feeling that Scottie and Charles would be all over his case for scratching the kid up, but he figured the red eyed mutant wouldn’t be filing a complaint.

Wolverine’s sensitive ears easily picked out when the shower turned on and he went over the damage the scruffy thief had done to the room. The bed was almost untouched, a small miracle after their morning exercise. The dresser and closet didn’t fare as well, gouged roughly from his claws they had also been emptied of their wares forming a shifting sea over the carpet.

Cyclops had mentioned the red haired teenager’s attempt at escape and Logan wasn’t really surprised. The Guilds were fairly secretive even for those under regular government scrutiny, but Logan had known enough about their skill levels to insist on adding bars to the window. Another precaution had been sending Cyke to clear out the room but apparently he had missed something.

At the cessation of the water Logan waited exactly three minutes before rapping smartly on the bathroom door. “Alright kid lunch, let’s go,” he hollered through the door, “I’ve got things to do, and ya got people to glare at.”

The disgruntled teen walked out brusquely as if it had been his idea, looking only slightly less disreputable than the first meeting. Light-colored jeans that were probably a size too small hugged his lower half ending in a dark brown pair of calf-length boots that he had been brought in with. The white shirt was a simple long sleeved tee though it seemed to fit him correctly, just the right amount of material piling at the waist to hide protruding ribs. Shower-fresh skin was a little raw, darkening his lightly tanned complexion. The wet hair that had been pulled back into a ponytail also darkened pigment to rosewood red highlights gleaming in the damp tresses. His crimson eyes continued to glitter ethereally, however the radiance that had surrounded them was diminished in the afternoon light.

Logan chuckled to himself as he saw several pieces of the reddish hair slip out of position to frame the thief’s face, a result of his makeshift haircut the previous night. Motioning for the thief to move before him Logan watched as the thief slinked over cautiously. Slowly stepping behind the red-eyed mutant to avoid startling him, he placed his right hand on the coiled muscle of the thief’s neck, just above the collar. “Try anything, and you’ll get three claws coming outta the front of yer throat, I ain’t chasing ya got it?” he continued fighting the urge to shake the thief now that he had the disruptive teen by the throat, “ I don’t care what Fury or Xavier wants ya for, they can get ya back in pieces.” Slowly the pair made their way through the halls, one the smooth silent strides of intrinsic grace, the other the firm echoing steps of his keeper.

Wolverine’s muscles tensed, alert for any change in the thief’s posture awaiting another escape attempt. Instead the red-haired thief was acquiescent, letting himself be directed by a suspicious dark haired Canadian. At the entrance to the dining hall Logan released his hold on the captive thief and moved to lean against the wall.

He watched sourly as the teen placed himself almost in the exact center of the room. The thief’s appearance, both as a new face, and someone who had red eyes setting off a faint but visible aura quickly drew attention from the rest of the students. Jubilee, one of the senior students, immediately sat down next to him drawing a reluctant but blushing Kitty Pryde behind her. The three instantly picked up a conversation, well more accurately Jubilee and Kitty spoke at the thief. He made gestures as if he couldn’t speak and the girls had sighed, nodding empathetically. They probably thought he was just another student from abroad, the school had a tendency to pick up strays globally. As a result most of the students were used to classmates having problematic English.

Xavier had bluffed the other night, the majority of the students had no knowledge that the Institute was playing prison guard to the teen. The few students who had seen were spoken to and sworn to silence. Of course that wouldn’t last for long, hopefully Fury could deal with the interagency bullshit and pick up his prize before any serious incidents occurred. Wolverine knew that Xavier wanted to keep the kid at the Institute, probably as another one of his ‘projects’, but after spending a few scant hours with the red-eyed thief Logan had a feeling it would be much harder to reform the thief than Xavier envisioned.

Wolverine frowned at the scene before him, not only that his favorite students Jubilee and Kitty were with the thief, but that the kid who had been ill tempered since his arrival had suddenly reversed, and open expression on his face. He smiled sunnily, as if he hadn’t just witnessed his father’s last breath and been captured by a government agency. Even without speaking his wide grin stretched over a face that Adonis would envy had both the girls giggling impishly. One of the male students drifted over and was integrated into their conversation, laughing at a joke Jubilee had told laying her hand on the thief’s arms at the punch line. Wolverine recrossed his arms and growled, sending a silent petition for Fury to hasten his efforts.

Back in the decadent wood paneled office of Charles Xavier his students were gathered in their civilian attire. Storm sat elegantly, a brief smile gracing her delicate features in greeting. Cyclops and Jean Grey had entered together, a stern expression on Scott’s face that had become his default expression. Jean wore an uneasy smile of her own, cabernet hued strands brought up loosely behind her. Storm had arrived only recently, when an interview with a potential student had gone late she had decided to stay at a hotel rather than drive through the night. Since she had been absent for the teen’s arrival Xavier wanted to brief her on the unique situation the X-men had found themselves in.

“So,” posed Jean “have we learned anything new about our guest?”

“We know he’s really good at picking locks and pissing off Wolverine,” spoke Cyclops disgruntled, referring to the events of last night and earlier in the afternoon. “I’m telling you Professor,” added Scott seriously, “there was a moment when I thought I was going to have to use my optic blasts. I can’t prove it, but I think he can feel a telepaths presence, he wouldn’t have backed off if it had just been me. One of the students on the second floor said she could hear Logan fighting this afternoon. Normal students don’t have fist fights with their teachers; we’re not going to be able to keep this a secret for much longer.”

The professor frowned at the announcement; it was in the young mutants best interest to remain inconspicuous and he had hoped Logan would be able to refrain from violence. Usually his mere presence was enough to entreat the students into submission, of course, most of then weren’t recently orphaned professional thieves either.

“What about his mutation?” interrupted Storm.

“Well I haven’t been given a sample to test,” sighed Jean discontentedly, “but the Shield officers said he’s an energy converter.”

“Well,” Scott shifted uncomfortably, “since he’s already here, you could probably get a sample if you wanted one.” Jean wrinkled her brow leaning forward in her seat,

“But do we have the right? Not just about the sample,” she exemplified waving her hand, “this whole scenario. This school was built to help young mutants with their powers; right now this kid doesn’t even have access to his powers. Professor you’ve never held students against their will. At what point did this school become a detention center?”

“Jean,” admonished Professor Xavier, “if we had not offered the school as a way station he would be in an actual prison right now. Don’t you think this is far better? In either case, I have hopes of convincing Fury to let him remain here. And once the child has proven his stability we can remove the collar and help him with his mutation.”

“What if you cannot convince Colonel Fury, do you plan to let him exploit this mutant child?” questioned Storm, ignoring the fact that she was only four years older than the teen in question.

“His incarceration has nothing to do with him being a mutant and everything with him being a thief,” replied Xavier sternly.

“Are you so sure Charles?” queried Storm in a quiet voice pushing her blinding mane of white hair behind her.

“As much as one can be in these situations…yes I am.”

Storm and Jean exchanged anxious glances, doubt not mislaid, “Is there anything else I should know?” Ororo asked regaining her composure.

“His most prominent feature, his eyes,” said Scott

“What is wrong with his eyes?” asked Storm in concern her soft native accent creeping through.

As the professor spoke he accessed the security tapes of the driveway from his desktop computer and froze the screen capturing a moment where the wind had gusted catching a shot of the young thief’s mutant eyes, “They are the most unusual I have ever seen. With the exception of his pupils, the entire structure is black, it is quite distinctive,” Xavier added unnecessarily.

“You couldn’t tell until Wolverine sheared off a few inches of his bangs, he’s probably used to hiding them,” said Cyclops, “They’re somewhat luminescent, almost reminds me of Nightcrawler’s. They might share the same properties as well, maybe enhanced night vision?” Scott mused. Jean agreed with his assessment, having telepathically shared time with Cyclops during his stint as guard.

Storm nodded in comprehension, “Where did you say he was from?”

“We do not know, nor do we know his name,” Xavier commented frustrated, “We know very little about him just that his father was recently murdered and he was raised to be an extremely skilled thief, one that is apparently in great demand. I wish to develop his powers in a secure manner here at the school, perhaps use his skills for the betterment of all mutants,” he admitted “but it will be very difficult if he refuses to even speak with us.”

“He was caught because he was trying to save his father’s life, don’t you think he’d like to be apart of the funeral somehow?” asked Jean gathering Scott’s hand as she spoke.

“What would you have me do Jean?” Xavier asked perturbed tilting his head, “We have no idea who he is, let alone who his father is. Besides which I very much doubt that it would be a safe outing for the child. He attempted an escape just last night; I wouldn’t trust him outside of the Institute not to slip away. Losing him might make it harder to convince Fury to let him stay,” continued Charles dryly.

“What if we set up a video link, so he could at least watch it?” Cyclops asked fidgeting in his seat, readjusting scarlet glasses that he’d wear for the rest of his life. He too would of liked to seen his father’s funeral but by the time he had woken up from his injuries Children’s Services had placed him in an orphanage and his family’s funerals had been long over.

“Again,” sighed the Professor running a weary hand past his brow “is the problem of identity. This child has intense mental barriers that I am not certain I could cross, not even his surface thoughts are visible.”

A computerized ping sounded and Xavier straightened expectantly, “Perhaps now we will get the information we require,” he muttered.

“What?” questioned Cyclops confusedly. As Xavier scrolled down the page he answered with a question of his own,

“You don’t think Logan spends all his time in bars do you?” Xavier asked clicking on the attachment. He looked up with a tight smile reading off the slim contents of the e-mail, “It seems we finally have a name for our thief...”


GambitGuild is neither an official fansite of nor affiliated with Marvel Enterprises, Inc.
Nonetheless, we do acknowledge our debt to them for creating such a wonderful character and would not dream of making any profit from him other than the enrichment of our imaginations.
X-Men and associated characters and Marvel images are © Marvel Enterprises, Inc.
The GambitGuild site itself is © 2006 - 2007; other elements may have copyrights held by their respective owners.