Little brother, little brother, come play in the woods.
It’s full of mice and owls, and oh so many wolves.
Laura was waving her legs on the chair, staring at her hands and everything her dark eyes could take in. She had gotten Logan to the clinic on her own. She had even managed to drag him into the small waiting room, the fisherman none the wiser as to where his ride had gone. She had even filled out the paperwork as well as she could, in Spanish mostly, but all the doctor needed was his name. After all, the small-town doctor had been … amazed.
A real mutant.
Logan still had not woken on the second day. So, she had slept in the car despite the inquisitive doctor offering to put a cot next to her daddy’s. She would guard outside.
Yet, there was that word: daddy.
Her daddy. She … still did not understand the concept entirely, but from what she understood a daddy was supposed to protect you. Even after how much she had seen, she couldn’t wrap her mind around it. So many new thoughts had invaded her mind that didn’t have to do with white walls and pain. So much pain. Always pain, but the professor’s eyes had been kind and Logan’s hands were rough but warm. When he was sleeping, unaware, she would run her fingers over his knuckles and over his hands to feel the scars and calluses. He smelled like her, and yet she could smell the sickness on him like a miasma.
She wanted to do something more. More like the instincts in the back of her mind were screaming that she should be the protector, but … there was so much she didn’t know and she hated it. She wasn’t strong enough to protect Logan.
And at this rate, if she stayed with him, she wouldn’t get to Eden either.
These were choices a soldier could easily make, but … what of a girl that had just found her father?
So, she sat there the rest of the day, her pink glasses hanging off of her nose, Doctor James or the secretary coming and giving her snacks. He asked if there was any family to call, any family like them. She shook her head. She didn’t know. Did he want to look for them?
And yet, somehow, another day having fallen into shadow and the sun rising, there was a clomp of heavy boots, the walk-in clinic’s little bell ringing. The smell hit her immediately from over the top of her comic book (she took it, but had made sure no one had seen) and she raised her head. Danger and yet there was something so painfully familiar about him. He … smelled like Logan.
After gazing around, the daunting figure’s dark eyes met Laura’s gaze. He … was mutant.
She wanted to rear up and bare her teeth, growl even, but slowly the man looked away. He had other business here beside her.
The dark man quickly turned his heavy boots to the small clinic’s only nurse and bookkeeper. The woman, so much like a mouse, blinked behind her glasses. She seemed ready to run, but professionalism kept her rooted, “May I help you?”
“Yeah,” came a deep voice, growling like a predator’s vocals. “Name’s Victor Creed. I’m here to pick up my brother, Howlett. I hear … he’s out of sorts.”
Victor, not even waiting for the meek woman, then invited himself into one of the back rooms. Laura, rising to her feet, followed after like a lion through the grass. She had used the name in the limo. Howlett. She knew no other last name for her daddy. Perhaps Logan Howlett had not been a wise decision when she filled out the paperwork.
Sabretooth just pushed passed the rambling nurse, his neck cracking like he expected a fight when he opened that exam room door. Yet, when he opened it up, ready for one of their infamous fights as he tried to reclaim his brotherhood, a pack as his mind had labeled it over the years, Victor stalled.
There, in the bed, machines beeping and IV dripping, laid Jimmy. His little brother had turned gray and old, ragged breath as his wound remained bared to the world unhealing.
For a moment, if it wasn’t for the scent, the larger mutant might have thought this man was someone else.
What … was this? Was this really little Jimmy?
Fight they may, like two wolves, but Jimmy was his and he was Jimmy’s for nearly a hundred years. If one was injured or broken … you stayed and cared for them, mocking as they may. That was probably why, when Jimmy had left him, it had cut so deep. It cut more than the rage, the drugs, the hate and … jealousy. It had driven him almost mad when Jimmy had left him. He could have had the stupid woman. Could have bedded her, had her push out some feral little pups, but he abandoned his brother! Over a hundred years they had fought together, bled and got back up together, timeless together … and he walked away!
Victor wanted to bring out his claws, wanted to slash that weak aging form before him in perfect white sheets, but instead, his hand became a fist. He could not move forward. Instead, his nails dug into his palm sending droplets of blood to the floor like falling petals.
The moment lasted forever, a thousand rages daring to be given life only to die just as quickly, but with each drop of blood something else fell away. Slowly, Sabretooth looked at the droplets on the floor. His blood.
He looked at Jimmy, his brother.
Also, his blood.
Sighing, knowing there was going to be fighting and biting if he tried to help his half-brother, Victor slowly stepped forward and ran a hand over Logan’s face, leaving a trail of blood behind. He was jealous of his brother. He had been for some time. Their father, Thomas Logan, bastard pig he was … had tortured Victor when his mutations started to appear. He would systematically drag him into the basement and pull out his sharp teeth. Pig-fucker! He should have been the one to gut their old man, but Jimmy had gotten to do it.
Jimmy had had a real father.
Jimmy had been … loved where Victor had not by a false father no less.
He knew it was stupid, pointless, to hate his brother for that. Jimmy deserved to gut the old man as much as him. They should have gutted him together.
The dark man stared at his brother’s age lines, his words almost a whisper, “Jimmy, what happened to you? What the fuck happened to you?”
Victor then ran his claws through his brother’s graying hair, his teeth baring themselves in distaste. Decisions quickly were being made. “That’s it, Jimmy. I’m getting you out of this backward pit.”
The older mutant then started to pluck off wires, machines wailing their mournful song. An aging doctor quickly entered from the only other exam room. “What are you doing? He is in no condition to be moved. He needs treatment.”
Stalling, one arm around under Logan’s shoulders, Victor growled at the aging doctor. “What the fuck for? He has healing abilities. He shouldn’t even be here.”
“B-be that as if may. His body is being poisoned by … something inside it. He needs treatment,” defending the doctor.
Lip turning upward and showing his canines, looking down at the thin film of sweat on Logan’s forehead, Victor Creed growled, “Then get me some damn drugs, old man. He’s still coming with me. I’m his brother, and though he might want to kill me, I’m still older than him and can kick his ass. He’s my blood … my pack.”
The old doctor seemed confused, but jumped into action when Victor growled, “Now!”
James quickly came forward with a bag. Victor could see a few IVs, needles and pills. What had the man been planning? To take the dangerous mutant home? Hide him away? Or had he been waiting for someone just like Victor to come and hide Jimmy away like the endangered creatures they were becoming?
Victor decided not to question it. The man didn’t even ask to be paid as Victor put his arms under his sibling’s form, lifting him up in a bridal carry. Jimmy would have hated that if he was conscious enough to care. He was all but limp, though, the doctor placing a white sheet on top of the unconscious man along with an IV. He then stepped away, eyeing them both like they were unicorns. Doctor James simply had to say, “He needs treatment.”
Canine bearing itself in irritation, Creed growled, “And he’ll get it.”
He would cut a liver out of the merc with a mouth if he had to if it would help Jimmy. Plus, he had money squirreled away from countless illegal activities. Not that it made him any happier. He was never happy. He hadn’t been happy in a long time … since he had Jimmy were boys living in the woods like wolves in the late 1800s. He remembered those days … they were like no others.
Now, walking out of the clinic, the old doctor trying to ramble off instructions for the medications in the bag, he nearly dropped the heavy ass meat sack he called a brother when the doctor added, “And don’t forget the girl.”
Turning, shrugging so Jimmie’s head would fall on his shoulder and not be smacked when he exited the door, Victor growled, “What?”
The aging man waved his hand to the young girl following behind them, the one with dark eyes and dark hair. “The girl, Laura.”
“Why?” Victor questioned immediately, not in the mood for charades. The fucking metal skeleton was heavy.
“She’s … his daughter. Your niece if you are his brother,” said the doctor, finally becoming suspicious as he seemed to reconsider helping Victor. “You … don’t know her?”
Standing there a moment, a confused sneer on his lips, Victor looked the girl up and down. How old was she? Eight? Fifteen? He sucked at guessing people’s ages. Nonetheless, he sniffed the air, and there it was. The twinge. He … had thought it was Jimmy’s sent, but no. This was less musky than sweat, wood, and cigars. It smelled a bit more like cucumbers and wood. Maybe a bit like the desert?
Regardless, she smelled like his brother.
“Fuck,” said Victor, unable to stop himself. “When the hell did you happen? A bad binge in Mexico from the look of it.”
The girl shifted on her feet like a wild animal. Huh. Well, she was certainly acting like her father’s daughter. Feral. Fuck, who in their family wasn’t?
Rolling his neck, bone cracking, Creed shrugging his head toward the door, “Well, open the bloody door then girl. Make yourself useful. Your dad is fucking heavy. And get the car door as well. It’s the black SUV.”
Eyeing him a moment more, Laura did as she asked, watching him for one wrong move. Victor eyed her as well but chose to ignore her in the end. He’d take the calm and quiet while he could, while Logan was an unconscious block, because when his younger brother woke up … there was going to be a lot of biting, kicking, and scratching.
All the more fun, he supposed, now that there was a little she-pup in the pack. He couldn’t wait to see her claws.