This couldn't be happening. It was impossible. There was no way this could've happened again. Not unless...
He growled as the memories stung sharp and fresh in his mind, as if it was merely days, and not decades ago that the "incident"...even calling it that made it sound dirty, which it was! Just thinking about what they made him do, with that "thing"...it just set his blood boiling. Then the idea flashed; it had to have been that "thing"! There was no other explanation. Though how and when...that didn't matter; it just made him even madder.
He snarled now, getting up. He had a goal in mind. He was off to go rip a throat out AFTER he found out how and why this happened. When and where the runt had decided to knock him up...
Several Weeks Earlier...
Victor Creed, better known as Sabertooth, was known for his cold blooded killings, his high prices, his quick healing, his rough treatment of women, and his ability to hold his liquor. Today though...he wasn't really working any of those. He'd stumbled into his private bathroom somewhere in the middle of the night, and had curled up at the base of the empty hot tub/whirl pool in the center of the marble flooring; something about being in a low basin always comforted him strangely enough...
"Mister Creed!" there was another loud set of banging on the locked door into the large room; he tried to cling to the empty darkness of unconsciousness. "Mister Creed!!"
He snarled, //That lady just won't give up will she.// He uncurled and stretched before climbing out of the stone hole. A few of his joints cracked, but he still felt sore and stiff. //That's what I get for sleeping in a rock bowl,// he thought to himself as he unbolted the door and tore it open before the woman on the other side could barrage the door with another pounding a vocal assault. As a result she hit him square in the chest instead; before she could pull away he grabbed her wrist in his death grip, claws just barely nicking into the skin.
"WHAT!" he hissed that as he yelled it right in her face.
His sudden appearance and out burst surprised her. Out of reflex she jerked her wrist back, causing his claw-like nails to draw real blood, but she didn't pull harder than that; she knew better than that.
"Sleep in the tub again?" she tried to keep the snarky note in her tone.
"So what if I did," he jerked her forward, hissing him her face, pupil less white eyes glaring with malice into her placid blue. "Got a problem with that, do ya Birdy?"
"Oh I don't. Just wanted to know what excuse to give Chao Wang, you know, the patron of the Hong Se Long, the rich Red Dragon Society who scheduled a meeting with you an hour ago 2 months ago..."
"Shit!" he snarled, throwing her wrist out of his gasp and turning back quickly into the bathroom, trying to quickly clean himself up. "Stall 'em."
"What do you think I've been doing for the past 2 hours," she growled, crossing her arms in the doorway.
His eyes snapped to her viciously from where he could see her in the mirror's reflection. She returned to him her own dirty look but turned away and walked off down the hall. He watched her go in the reflection until she turned the corner at the end of the hallway. Now he looked at himself in the mirror, looked at his disheveled state. Admittedly, he never looked "prim and proper" to begin with, but lately...
He ran the cold water at the sink then splashed a few handfuls in his face, shaking off whatever thoughts would've come up. Now wasn't the time to be remembering things; now was the time to get back on his game. He pulled back his unruly blonde hair as he wound down the hall, making a stop in his bedroom to grab his robe. He shouldered on the worn flannel thing as he came down the stairs, making a beeline into the dining room where the video conference was set up.
"Ah and here he is now," the blonde woman said, but then she got a look at what he'd come down in. //And we couldn't have made ourselves more presentable, nooooo, that would've been too smart a thing to do!//
He ignored her scowl, and came strolling right on in like the king of the castle he was. "Well, well, do I say good morning or good afternoon to you chinks."
Birdy mentally groaned. The oriental man on the wall sized video monitor did not look amused. On his side of the conversation, he sat in an office, probably using a cheap webcam, that was adorned with classical Chinese artifacts and tacky modern art, as well as a pair of thugs. It wasn't that much of a contrast to Creed's own ornate dinning room (that he rarely used) that had some of his prior trophies and "gifts from clients" decorating it; Birdy wasn't much of an interior decorator. What was the major contrast here was that the oriental man was darker in tones; dark short manicured hair, in a dark red suit that was nearly black. His well kempt state was vastly the opposite of Creed's own half dressed, burly appearance. And it was that amount of lack-luster professionalism that was turning his potential client off.
"Well, I can see the good Mister Creed knows the value of time."
"Hey, the only time worth anything is mine," he spat, placing his hands on the cherry wood top of the table, and leaning forward to emphasize his next words. "Now why you trying to waste mine?"
Birdy again mentally groaned; he usually wasn't this bad with first time clients. The oriental man also seemed offended by this verbal treatment.
"Mister Creed, I don't believe you understand the situation here. We do not need to be doing business..."
"Now hold it right there," he growled, cutting him off. "Don't you go telling me what I do and don't understand you communist bastard," he spat the last insult. "YOU don't understand the situation YOU are in. If you could go and do business with someone else, you would be. I'M the last resort here bud, so it's either my way, or the highway. You understand what I'm saying here."
It was deathly silent for several moments as the second party considered his bold and brash words. On this end, Birdy was on edge; this was a larger large and potentially fruitful account and here he was not even trying not to throw it away and he wasn't even caring! Though she took a closer look at him, and for a faint few seconds she thought she noticed him sweating; he never sweated under pressure. It wasn't pressure though, but what it was he didn't know either; it was the same feeling that had driven him into the tub last night, and the night before, but what it was, he had no idea. But now wasn't the time to worry about it, because the oriental man's voice cut clear into his thoughts.
"We'll be sending you the dosie' immediately, and expect progress reports along the way."
"And my money," he smirked, knowing that this would be the outcome in the end.
"The initial payment will be wired immediately as discussed with your assistant Mister Creed. The rest will be added after the completion."
Again, Creed smirked. "Pleasure doing business with you chinks," and he cut the connection to the video link.
Now he would've been able to relax, he should've. But no, she just wouldn't let him now.
"I can't believe you."
He growled, turning a sharp eye at her. Birdy was not impressed with how he'd just acted, despite the fact that it hadn't lost the account.
"I can't believe that you'd insult them like that...no, I do believe it, but right to their faces! You have better manners than that, and a better level of professionalism. Of all idiotic, irresponsible..."
The rest was lost on him. That feeling from earlier washed over him quite suddenly; all at once he was both hot and cold, and felt as if his insides were being torn apart right from within him. It was a weakness, the likes he hadn't felt before, but a weakness none the less, and in his line of work, weakness was the enemy. He growled low and hard at himself for this unknown feeling, and held his head as its pounding added to the discomfort.
"Would you just put a can in it Birdy!" he snapped at her.
She scowled, crossing her arms. "Fine, don't even listen to me," she turned sharply, heading out of the dinning room. "Your stupid breakfast is in the kitchen, or should I say your stupid lunch!"
The mention of food made his insides tighten, and heightened his senses realizing that it was just in the next room. The mere thought of the food though...it magnified the weakness he was feeling; it made him feel sick. Luckily, his bathroom upstairs wasn't the only one in the house; unluckily he had to go through the kitchen to get to it. As he passed the plate set out at the kitchen island, he almost couldn't make it to his destination; the sight and smell of it all hit him hard what with his heightened senses. But he did make it, couldn't shut the door before his guts forced their way out of him and into the porcelain bowl, but at least he made it.
This went on for several minutes, with several upheavals. And after each, just when he thought it was over, there'd be another. So after the third or fourth time, he resigned to just sitting there, beside it, trying to control his breathing. He really did look like a mess, half dressed as he was, disheveled and half dressed, practically curled up around the toilet; this was worse than the worst hangover in his memory.
//Hangover?// he rested his head back, closing his eyes, trying to remember the last time he'd had enough to drink to get drunk. //Yeah, like a long lasting one. Damn bitch drugged me...//
A Few Months Earlier...
He sat at the bar, throwing back his third or fourth logger. He rarely spent time in Rio, but took every opportunity he could to come down for a job, like the one he'd just finished. And now, he was allowed a little celebration for a job well done. And what was a better thing to add to a celebration, than a hott girl in bed. Unfortunately, this particular bar was lacking that, greatly. He could always just sneak out into the night and grab one after all...the thrill of the chase and coercing her was always fun after all...
But then as if answering his thoughts, as he put down his newly emptied drink sitting beside him at the bar was one of the most gorgeous women he'd ever seen, and he'd seen quite allot in all his years. She sat there in a deep red cocktail dress-his favorite color that showed off his favorite parts-with a long plaited braid in platinum gold trailing down well past her waist. Her eyes were the most vibrant shade of emerald, and had such a dangerous depth to them. He was immediately entranced by her.
"I'll 'ave vat 'e's 'aving," she said to the bartender in a light European accent.
He chuckled, leaning forward, resting one arm on the bar. "And you think you handle what I got little lady?"
"Oh iz not vor me," she looked him straight in the eye, not flinching under his demonic eyes like most women have and had. "Iz vor you,"
"Oh really? You think I can't pay for my own drinks then?" he wasn't saying that for any other reason than to flirt, though his flirting still sounded like he was wanting to tear her apart for it.
"Hardly," she was given the drink, and lightly ran her finger around the rim of the glass. "It just looked to me zat you vere in need ov zomevone to talk to vas all."
"Well I was thinking less talking and more of something else...if you get what I'm saying."
Perhaps it was from the alcohol, perhaps it was just her open and invitingness, hell it was probably just the fact that he could practically see right through the dark red gossamer of her dress, but he ran his hand over her exposed thigh. She smiled genuinely, which was something he wasn't accustomed to so it threw him off a little bit, but it just seemed right...
She slid the drink his way. "I vouldn't vant it any other vay."
He grinned and took the offered drink, downing it all at once. The next set of events became a blur. They went back to the roach motel he'd be spending the night at; she didn't complain. And then the next hours melted into nothing discernable. When he woke up to 3 am a day later he found he was alone, and the hotel manager was shouting at him to vacate. But that didn't matter, she was gone; she'd left no sign she was ever there, he didn't even know her name.
He figured she must have drugged him to knock him out that badly. It made him mad that he'd let someone use him like that again, and yet he had to smirk; if he had to have been used, at least it was by a gorgeous woman.
With those last thoughts though, he was regretting that. Who knows what had happened to him while he was out, what she could've done to him. For all he knew, this feeling he was having now was all her fault.
The voice broke him from his thoughts; he looked up and saw Birdy looking in on him from the open doorway, with a real note of concern.
"You look like hell."
He growled and got up, feeling that his stomach was settled finally. He readjusted his robe now, closing it with his hand but not with the tie; for some reason he felt vulnerable like that, and he didn't enjoy that feeling anymore than he did the earlier one. He didn't look her in the eye as he brushed past her, forcing her out of the way.
"It's just your damn excuse for grub," he spat as he exited the kitchen, staying focused on getting out of there.
At first Birdy took offense to that, muttering some derogatory aimed at him, but when she went to clear away the breakfast plate she noticed something; the food was untouched. She looked to where her employer had left, confused now. She would've believed her cooking had done it, though it never had before, but if it wasn't her cooking, then what could've done that to the mighty Sabertooth?
First Name: unknown
Last Name: Kitsch
Last Known Location: Quebec, Canada
And the list went on and on with aliases and her abilities and an assortment of photographs that seemed to depict a series of different women.
//So a shape shifter,// he mused to himself as he flipped through the sheets again, rereading some parts. //I hate Quebec though...// then something caught his attention on the dosie'
Known Family: Son, age 4, Jesse Kitsch; father unknown
//So...the bitch has a pup. Should make it easier to track her then.//
He tossed the file onto the desk and sigh-growled, rubbing a sudden sore spot on his forehead; he was accustomed to head aches, but these seemed different somehow, these made him tired and long to curl up in the tub.
"Head bothering you?"
He looked up and saw the blonde woman standing at the doorway, watching him. For how long she'd been there, he didn't know and that just made him madder.
Creed growled. "What do you want Birdy, I'm busy here."
She stepped in, coming over carefully, watching him; which he didn't like. "I could ask you the same thing Mister Creed."
He gave her a warning look accompanied by a growl. She just ignored that and continued.
"You know, it's been a while since we..."
"You concerned that I won't be needing your expertise anymore, is that it Birdy?" he smirked with his accusation. "Well here then," he pushed the file he'd been reading earlier towards her. "Look up the brat's name on flight lists, cross check with both her parent's names, and her aliases. The best lie is the one based in truth."
She took the file, but didn't seem satisfied with that answer. "I'm not concerned, just..."
"Worried over my mental state," he chuckled mirthlessly at that idea. "Please, we both know you only care about where your next meal is coming from."
She glared at him, and snatched away the file. "As if. I'll get right on this," and she turned stiffly, stalking out of there.
Normally he'd chuckle, or yell some derogatory after her; it was always fun to make fun of her when she showed any bit of interest in him after all. But this time...something was wrong. He almost...felt bad for pushing her away like that. And when he realized that, made the connection, it metaphorically made him sick.
He shook the feeling off and got up to go to the mini bar he also kept in the study, and poured himself a drink, trying to distract from those odd feelings. Instead his thoughts drifted to the other thing she'd said; it had been a long while since he'd needed her to use "the glow" to go into his mind and sort through his bad memories. He'd been sleeping unplauged at night, by dreams anyways, and his days were unhindered by the screams imbedded into his memory...was he really fixed, did he really not need her anymore?
Of course not! He'd always need Birdy for something or other, right? He was dependant...And he made it stop there; dependency was a sign of weakness. He couldn't be dependant on Birdy; he was just using her. She was easy to replace if he so fancied to, and that was by far the opposite of dependency. Being dependant meant that he cared, and he didn't care about her in the least bit; the only thing he cared about was himself, and that was never going to change.
A glass shattered; Birdy came quickly at that sound. She found the usual proud Sabertooth gripping the bar practically for dear life, panting raggedly, half doubled over; the shattered had been from a bottle of whiskey being knocked off of the bar.
"Mister Creed are you," she tried to get over to him quickly, to make sure he was alright.
He snarled more in pain, than at her. "Get out."
"I SAID GET OUT!!" he roared, nearly slicing up her front with his free set of claws.
She backed off, but didn't leave; something was clearly wrong here and whatever it was, was not good. He was still in pain, an unexplained, unimaginable sort of pain, and he didn't need her seeing him deal with this. He snarled again, shooting her a very sharp and dangerous glare, screaming at her with his eyes to leave. She reluctantly started to back up under that stare. Unfortunately, the pain started to win out as she was close to the door, and he collapsed finally.
"Mister Creed!" she rushed back across the room to him, forgetting for the moment that from one swipe of his claws she'd be sliced bree easily. "Mister Creed," she touched his shoulder, trying to bring him back to consciousness, without success. "Victor talk to me!"
But he was gone; his breath was a ragged pant, unconscious, but face contorted in a mental anguish he surely was reliving after decades of being forgotten...
A Few Decades Earlier...
The harsh scent of iodine and the crackle of the Florissants over heard made his head scream, what with his heightened senses.
"Give him twice the maximum dosage of sedative. We don't need him waking up in the middle of the hermapabic grafting."
And then there was nothing for a long time, but all he could feel were those crackles and that smell; it made him want to thrash, to hold his head and cry out. But the restrains...
His eyes snapped open now and he found he wasn't in the laboratory anymore, he wasn't strapped down to the operating table anymore. He instead was in a large dark room; he wasn't alone, he could the presence of another, he could smell them. He stayed still, listening in the darkness, trying to figure all of this out. There were no retrains, no table, no Florissants to drive him crazy...so what was going on then...
The lights suddenly came to life; the effect made him literally jump. The Florissant bars flickered a few times, coming up to full life; those damn Florissant lights...
He looked around now, ready for any sort of attack. The room was empty; the walls were barren, there were no doors or windows. He looked up at the ceiling and saw what was most likely the way in and out; a large circular cut out with a series of vents surround it, all were sealed now though. And then in each corner of the room was a camera; they were watching him...
The smell of blood reminded him that he wasn't alone here; they were watching them then... He spun around and found the other; the shorter, dark haired man seemed to have much the same reaction to the situation he had, until he saw who he was in the room with.
"Well, well, lookit what the cat dragged in," he smirked, showing off his fangs with his maliciously glinting pupil less eyes. "Wolverine..."
"What're we doing here Creed."
"Your guess is as good as mine runt, but I know what to do to make the best of this."
He lunged at him now. Wolverine dodged that and spun, extending his blow-like claws to parry the attack. The two of them went at it like that for several minutes, fighting between themselves; one would try to slash through the other and would get mostly clothing, the other would do the same and whatever damage they could get landed would be undone quickly by the other's healing factor.
Elsewhere in the laboratory complex, they were indeed watching their subjects progression on monitors. They watched them fight; trying to tear into one another, like the animals they had made them into.
"At the rate they're going, they'll have each other sliced into ribbons before we can get to stage two."
"Patience," the head scientist spoke, not taking his eyes away from the monitors.
"But look at them. If they keep at it like this..."
"Their healing abilities are fueled by adrenaline if you'll remember. This is the quickest way for the grafting to take final hold."
"But at this rate, there's no way for them to even use them if they're too riled up from fighting one another."
"That's where the pheromones come in," he turned now to one of the technicians at the controls. "Release the gas."
The technician nodded and pressed a sequence of buttons on the control panel. Then on the monitors, the small group could see that the vents on the ceiling were opening and a very light rose colored gas started to filter into the closed off chamber.
"Now just watch and see..."
Back in the chamber the two combatants didn't notice the change in the atmosphere around them they were far too engulfed in their personal wars with one another. But it was still affecting them; both their heightened senses brought in the foreign agent, and let it start to work through their systems. Their movements started to shift; their fight almost seemed to be more of a dance...a strange and alarming dance. And before either of them could realize what was happening...
Wolverine lunged at Sabertooth, the second toppled back from the force with his opposer still on him. There was no hatred in his eyes though; something far more dangerous was a flamed there. Lust ravaged through the both of them, uncontrollable and unexplainable lust. What was left of unshredded clothing was quickly shredded the rest of the way off. They both ignored the knicks and scrapes the other gave as they intertwined to one another.
That though, brought up another fight to them; a fight for dominance. There was growling, and biting, and scratching between the two of them; the wild dog and the feral cat going at it. You would think that with their differences in statute it would be an easy win, and yet the first stroke came a sharp wrenching pain...
"Make note of this," the lead scientist said. "Wolverine achieved penetration at exactly 15:17."
"Do we really need to be watching this sir," one of the more greener technicians asked, trying to keep the disgust from his voice. "This is..."
"Nothing more than two wild animals," he cut him off. "If you can't take this, then I suggest you go home and watch the Discovery Channel instead."
Meanwhile back in the chamber it continued uninterrupted. The sharp pain as the man on top of him thrust in and out of him. He both wanted to throw him off and beg for more; to kill him and kiss him so to speak. It was wrong, all of it was wrong; he was not one to submit, to be taken, to be used like this. And yet, it just seemed so right...
"Oh my god, Victor..."
That voice. It broke him from the painful confliction just long enough to look away from his impromptu lover to see a blue haired woman standing off in the corner, watching them. She hadn't been there before...she looked so...so...why did he feel like he should know her, feel like there was something...
He arched in pain as his lover hit the wrong spot; the pain brought him back to his senses, brought him back to reality. He couldn't change what was happening, but he knew who could. He looked back over, panting raggedly, but still found the woman there.
His voice was a ragged whisper, it pained him to speak, let alone ask, but still, "Birdy..."
He shot up, panting raggedly, wild eyed. Slowly he started to come to his senses, his surroundings came into focus. He was still in his study; the whiskey bottle was smashed on the floor, the liquor staining the carpet. He was lying on the floor, and beside him was the woman who'd entered his memory...
She sat up slowly, looking at him strangely; not that her look was strange, but that it wasn't the normal look that she gave him...it unnerved him...it was almost...but it couldn't be. Was she pitying him?
He growled now, his anger growing as he realized that that was exactly what it was; she was pitying him! What more, she'd seen what had happened at that insane laboratory...and that was why she was pitying him? That just made him even madder. He got to his feet now, slightly shaky so he used the bar for some support; it felt like what he'd just seen he'd gone through again...
"Mister Creed, wait," she moved to get up to help him.
He snarled and pushed her away. "Get away from me you bitch! What have I told you about getting into parts of my head I don't want you in!"
"You blacked out, and I thought if I..."
"That's the problem!" he roared. "You don't think!"
"But I just-"
He growled, looking over his shoulder to her sharply, venomously. "Get out."
"Get out of my house and my life Birdy or so help me the next time I see you," he let the threat hang there as he managed his way out of the study.
She was taken a back by those words. They'd fought before, over similar things, but he had never verbally thrown her out before. Under any other circumstances she would have yelled right back at him, kept the fighting going, but in his current state, and that memory...She'd felt sorry for him with other things she'd seen from his past, but in some way she'd always found a way to point out to herself that it was still his fault, but this one...she just couldn't let it go.
Victor Creed...Sabertooth...had been raped...
He'd been finding himself curled up at the basin of the marble spa quite often lately. For some reason it calmed him down in a way he couldn't describe really. But it was still comforting, which also scared him a little. Less though than remembering that incident though...maybe that was because this comforting feeling was fighting that pain away...
How could Birdy have gone in and pulled that memory, of all memories out in his head, hu? The mixture of the pain, and anger, and...dare it even be suggested, embarrassment, of that moment...the only good thing about that moment was that he was the only one that remembered it. Well, now him and Birdy...damn that girl! How could she have even found it? He'd buried in the back of him mind a long time ago, back where even she couldn't get at it.
She'd once said, after one of their sessions, that the memories would surface if they had some connection to present events. At the time he hadn't questioned it, mainly because he was still caught up in the after effects of "the glow", but now...could it be because of the fact that he had that night in Rio he couldn't remember? So one very bad sexual incident would be mentally connected to another?
That was far too much in-depth psycho babble for him to care or to think about right now. As it is it made his head hurt, which made other parts of him hurt more. He just wanted to curl up in that basin, and tear his own spleen out it was that bad, but instead he heard the door open, and light foot steps come over to the edge of the tub.
"I figured I'd find you here."
He growled a little under his breath, but didn't look up. "I thought I told you to get out."
Birdy sat at the edge of the tub, and leaned enough down to offer him a small file of papers. "First you told me to do the recon on the Dragon hit."
He sighed a little and rolled onto his back to reach up and take the file; she spoke as he flipped through to look at her findings.
"I found a passport for a "Remy LeBeau Jr." in the US registry, and I traced that back to one of her aliases "Cheryl LeBeau", and I traced that to a..."
"Where are they now then," he growled a little, not fond of her long drawn out explanations.
"They should be in New York in two days. Customs and a few eyes place them in Weimar right now."
"Two tickets to New York I see. Didn't I fire you."
"Consider it severance then," she started to get up. "We'll finish this job, then you can come back on your own and I'll stay there."
He didn't give her an answer to that. She took that as answer enough and headed for the door, but paused at the doorway.
"About what I saw..."
"You didn't see anything," he stretched a little, trying to work out some cramping before getting up and out of the tub.
She wanted to say something, but couldn't find any sort of words that would match together for the situation. She looked back and found him right behind her now; it surprised her a little, but then again, she should've been used to it.
"Do you mind," he growled a bit.
She then realized she was in the way, so she moved allowing him to pass. She watched him go down the hall a little bit, and managed to find her voice before he went into his bedroom.
"I could take it away you know. Like I have before."
He stopped cold; he had considered it since it had happened, seeing as she now knew. But just the thought of going through that again...
"Can you switch those tickets for an earlier flight."
She blinked; that wasn't any sort of answer to her question. "I can, when do you..."
"An hour ago."
"Why? The mark isn't supposed to be back for another two days."
"I've got a few errands I'd like to run."
She nodded. "Alright, I'll see what I can do," she started off down the hall, but before she got to the corner, he made one last comment.
"Don't pack it all up," she looked back at those words; he was looking at her now. "You pull another stunt like that though, and your hide is mine, you understand that."
She nodded. "Wouldn't have it any other way Mister Creed."
Last minute hotel reservations were a pain to get, but Birdy managed it as she always did. They moved into the first one the first night, the second the next. Even though they had separate rooms, she still kept an eye on him. First night he slept, which was odd for when they were out on a job, but she let him; he'd stayed up the entire plane ride, writing things down that she didn't dare try to take a peak at, but whatever it was it seemed to distress and agitate him. Not that anyone else would've been able to have seen the difference, but she could...
Second night he went out. She didn't follow, and halfly didn't dare going into his room to check things out. But after 3 hours, and he was still gone, she did it. It was easy to break into the old key locked door, and then she easily slipped into the room. The room itself was pretty bare; not usually barrenness that they purposely left, but more like an unlived in kind. She found the reason why though; the bathroom had all of his things in it.
//The tub thing again?// she just shook her head, not understanding the fascination her boss had for sleeping in them these days.
But what was the biggest thing were the sheets of paper on the sink counter; papers they'd brought, papers he'd picked up, all written on the backsides on it his haphazard script. Most of it was babble, things she couldn't read or understand. But the big part that she did were the series of calendars scrolled across a few of them. He was counting days? But why? She shuffled the pages and found the start of the counting, and something about the dates pricked the back of her memory, but she couldn't place why...then counting forward up to roughly 280 days those dates were familiar too; roughly 4 months ago was the last account in Rio that he'd gone on solo.
She just passed it off and looked at the next sheet, covered in all its scribbling. She wished for life of her she could figure this out; it was clear that whatever this meant was bothering him. And that he would let her help him with it. Birdy sighed, putting the pages back down as close to the way she'd found them as she could, then looked at her reflection in the mirror.
"C'mon Bernadette, you know the rules. You aren't allowed to start feeling things for the psychopath."
"So, your name is "Bernadette"."
She spun around quickly and found a short, dark haired man standing there in the doorway. She tensed quickly, mentally kicking herself for not bringing any sort of a weapon with her. Here she was, defenseless. She might not have met this man before, but she'd seen him in Creed's memories...
"Only if your name is "Runt"," she spat back.
He narrowed his ice blue eyes at her. "Been talking to an old friend of mine I see," he stepped into the room now, making her step back in between the toilet and the tub. "Smells like he hasn't been here for a while, know where I could find him."
"If I did do you think I'd be telling you."
"You would if you knew what was good for you," his eye was drawn to the papers now; he picked them up, scanning each of them quickly.
She wanted to rebuke him, snatch them away, but the look of understanding that washed across his face made her more curious, made her want to know even more.
"You can read that, you understand it?"
He didn't answer, just dropped the papers and turned to go.
"Hey, I asked you a question!" she moved to follow, to stop him. "Are you deaf or-"
He turned fast, his adamantium claws jutting from the back of his hand, inches from her throat.
"Like I said girly, if you knew what was good for you," and with that, he retracted his claws and again continued to exit.
She just stayed back, stunned at the similarity. But she shook it off; the wolverine was nothing like her boss, and that was the way it was going to stay. Still...she looked at the papers, the indecipherable papers...he had understood them, and if they were similar enough, then judging by his reaction, what they said, wasn't good...
While Wolverine had gone looking for him at his hotel, Sabertooth was looking for him, and thus far, the search wasn't ending up that fruitful. Strange, normally he wouldn't care about being incognito about this; the man wore bright yellows and browns and scaled the side of buildings after all so he wasn't a stranger for attention. But this situation...he couldn't afford it getting out, couldn't afford the loss of his reputation. So incognito was the way to go, even if it did slow him down.
He was leaving the 8th bar that night, trying to find some local watering hole his prey was accustomed to, to wait it out there for him, but so far none seemed to be right. Which lead him into wondering...if he was having this much problem finding him where he knows where he is, then how the hell had he found him in Rio?
And it had to have been Rio, the timing was right for that-how it had slipped his mind at the time he didn't know and cursed himself for it-and before Rio he was at his house with Birdy, and after he was at his house with Birdy. There was no way it could've happened EXCEPT in Rio...and there was no on else who would've known about it except...
"So I heard you were looking for me."
He stopped halfway down the street, catching the scent now that the wind shifted. He growled, cracking his knuckles as he turned around to find the man he'd spent the last 5 hours searching for.
"Well, well, there you are runt. I was starting to think you were avoiding me."
"Well if I knew you were looking," he let his claws extend out, with just the very faint scent of blood accompanying that act. "Now, why you looking for me again Creed?"
Sabertooth snarled, "You should know you bastard!"
And with that he lunged for his old foe. Wolverine pulled back and parried his attack. But that wouldnt stop Sabertooth for too long. The two of them fought right out in the open on the street, claw, tooth, and nail they fought. He was just so angry at him, at the situation, but especially at him. There was nothing that could even be compared to the level of hatred, and dare say it, even betrayal, that he was experiencing at that moment.
"How did you do it!" the enraged blonde demanded, as another of his strikes was blocked.
"How did I do what!?" he forced him back, putting distance between the two of them.
Creed panted, eyes still flaming, but narrowed dangerously at him. "You know what you did."
"Really now?" he was panting somewhat as well, and kept his icy stare on him as well. "And what do you think I've done this time?"
"Oh I don't think, I know! I have the proof this time," he lunged again, getting in a slash down his opponent's arm before he could block both his strikes. "You tracked me down in Rio, and without me knowing, somehow you...you..."
"Hate to break it to you bub, but I ain't been to Rio in a long time."
"You're a liar! It had to be you! You're the only one who...who..."
Wolverine grabbed his wrist, wrenching it back hard which made Sabertooth hiss at the snapping pain. The shorter man held him hard, cop styled, with his opponents arm pinned to his back.
"Hate to burst your bubble Creed," he growled, tightening his hold to make him hiss more. "But I'm not your baby-daddy."
His eyes widened then narrowed angrily as he ripped out of the grasp and threw Wolverine halfway across the street. He snarled, a little in pain, mostly in anger, as he snapped his wrist back into place, letting his ability mend it for him.
"You're a liar Logan. If it wasn't you then how could you know..."
"Well you're hiding the scent well enough, but maybe next time you shouldn't write it down on paper."
That just made him even angrier. Either what he was saying was true, it wasn't him in Rio AND he'd found his hotel, or it was him in Rio. Either way, he was angry, and scared, but he wouldn't admit to the second, so replace the fear with rage, and that's what he was feeling. So to channel that feeling, he again struck out to attack Logan. But in the instant that he did, an idea came to him; it repulsed him slightly that he would have to do one thing he swore he'd never do voluntarily, however it would solve his problems...
So when he was just inches from Wolverine's defensive strike, he let his guard down. It was too late for him to realize his opponent's plan to stop it, so at the very last second he shifted just enough to instead hit Creed full in the chest. Sabertooth was both surprised and angered by that, but mostly the surprise and the pain registered in his eyes. Logan shifted again, just enough to turn his claws in the chest wound and cause even more pain; Sabertooth growled.
"Passed up a perfect opportunity to run me through runt," he hissed; the blood loss was starting to become a bit apparent.
"Only fun if you aren't using me to for your own advantages."
He pulled out hard now, making him drop down to his knees on the asphalt. Sabertooth panted hard; seems like the cut had nicked the corner of his lung, but he still glared at him with deep seated hatred. Why couldn't he have just done it, saved them all the trouble and what not. Just for once, why couldn't he...
"Just finish it," he hissed.
"Be too easy a way out for you bub," he punched him now, and with him half out of it from blood loss, he went down, out and cold to the ground; Logan cracked his knuckles and started to walk away once he was sure he was down and out. "Good luck Creed, you're gonna need it."
A Few Decades Earlier...
He sat curled up tightly in the corner as it hurt again. The pain refused to go away. Why was it refusing to go away! There had to be some way to make it stop, there just had to be. He didn't even want any of this to begin with! Ever since that day when they'd...he didn't even want to think back on that event; it just made him angry that he'd been used in such a way. He'd volunteered for this after all, so why treat him the same as that low life runt. This should be happening to him, and him alone. Why did he have to do it too...
Again it hurt, like he was being torn apart from the inside out. It was driving him insane! There had to be a way to stop this...then the idea struck him. He grinned in a sadistic way and uncurled just enough to let his claws out.
//Here we go, this should solve everything...//
And without a moment of hesitation he slashed across his own middle with his sharpened nails. He started to bleed, but it healed quickly enough; it was too shallow. He mentally cursed himself and plunged his claws in again, going deeper. Self mutilation was a new one for him, but at this point he didn't care about the pain, he just wanted it over with!
Again and again he tried to dig down into his gut, tried to find what he was looking for and dig it out. They must've seen him on the video monitors, figured out what he was up to because then came in the guards and technicians. It took four guys to hold and pin him back; he was thrashing and snarling, trying to side swipe anything that moved or came at him. Once the brutes had him held, the technicians moved in; one with a sedative, and another pair with enough medical supplies to fix him up. He snarled, trying to trash but the brutes had him fast.
"No! Noooooooooooooo!" he howled as the sedative was administered. "No I want it out of me! You can't do this to me!"
"Oh, but we can indeed Mr. Creed," the technician moved aside as the head scientist stepped into the cell. "You did sign the waver."
"I never agreed to you guys fucking me over!" he snarled, but he was already feeling the effects of the sedative start to take hold. "You can't...you can't..."
"Oh I can and I have," he now turned his attention to the technicians. "Make sure you patch him up well, then make sure he can't repeat this. We don't want another episode like this to happen, now do we."
He gave it one last try to get free, but it wasn't nearly enough. The darkness invaded as he lost consciousness. But the last fleeting sounds he heard before he was fully gone were those of the scientist leaving, speaking to one of his technicians...
"It's a good thing we graphed it more to his back than his front, or else we surely would've lost it..."
He woke up sometime later, not entirely sure how much time had passed. He tried to sit up, but his chest still burned. He moved to touch it, to asses the damage, but found it dressed already.
//Who the hell...// he heard a small sound and immediately tensed up.
The room was dark, either early start of the night, or early ending of it. So the only light came through the half shaded window, from the street lamp outside. But it was enough for him to see that he was not in the hotel he had left, but a different, more grungy one that most likely rented by the hour. But what mattered more was the figure sitting over in the corner across from the poor excuse for a bed he was in; the blonde woman sitting with her knees to her chest, her chin resting on her knees with a straight view to watch him. She was asleep now though, still in her watchful position, but asleep.
He decided to leave her that way. He quietly got up, though stiffly, and stepped around her sleeping form and went into the small bathroom. He made sure the door was shut before he pulled the pull chain to turn on the over hanging light bulb. But he found when the light was on though made him sick, literally. And it was that sound that woke her up. She stayed quiet though, waiting on him.
He regained himself after a few moments, and then took a look at himself in the dirty mirror; he really did look like hell. He grumbled a little to himself and clicked the light off before reopening the door to leave. Almost immediately he noticed the expectant blue eyes staring at him.
"What do you want," he growled, not enjoying being under the scrutiny of her gaze.
"What were you thinking?"
"Wolverine, right," she got up now; she stood well below his height, but with her temper she might as well have been 7 feet taller. "What were you thinking going after him? Did you forget that we're here on a job."
He growled, turning away from her, moving away. "You wouldn't understand."
"Did you know that she's in league with them now."
"Who's with what," he really didn't feel up to arguing with her at the moment, and seeing as she apparently had found him after his altercation with the kanuck, he was willing to let her have out this one verbal war.
"Our target, the one the Red Dragon's paying us to take care of."
"Me," he mumbled. "They're paying me to do it, not "us"."
"You, us, it doesn't matter," she growled. "They know each other, so since one knows, the other will too and we loose the element of surprise."
He mumbled some unintelligible response to that; he was feeling quite tired now...probably from the lack of blood...speaking of blood, why was he suddenly...
"And now you're bleeding through," she threw her hands up in exasperation. "Lie down now."
Usually he'd've argued with her orders, but he was tired so did what she said. It took her a moment to realize that he'd actually listened to her for once, but she quickly shook it off and grabbed what she needed and started to redress his chest. While she did that he just closed his eyes, hoping that maybe the darkness of sleep might come, but she had other plans for him it seemed.
"No fuss over me ordering you around?"
"You wanna get your hands dirty playing nurse maid who am I to stop you."
"Are you feeling alright," she finally asked the main question on her mind; even some concern fell through into her voice. "Something seems wrong lately."
He growled a little warningly, not liking where her question could, and would lead.
She took the hint, but kept going anyways, "I mean, a wound like this usually took you 4-5 hours to heal from, and now...well it doesn't look much better than when I found you."
He peeked one eye open to take a look at himself with that statement. "Hu, wouldn't you know. You're right," he sighed very lightly, closing both eyes again. "How long was I out?"
"That I don't know. I found you nearly 18 hours ago in the street. We've been here for about 16. You were out for the entire time."
He nodded a little, figuring it probably took her anywhere from 2 hours to 20 minutes to find him. And with that amount of time lost, there was no doubt that his nemesis had alerted his friends that he was in town, and as Birdy had so pleasantly pointed out, ruined their element of surprise and chance to get the target. Normally that would bother him, actually anger him, but right now...right now he had bigger problems on his hands.
"Birdy..." now a thought occurred as he remembered what she'd said.
"What?" she was finishing up rebandaging his torso as she answered.
"Why'd you assume it was Wolverine who did this?"
She actually hesitated before she answered. "Who else would you have picked a fight with in New York who could do this sort of damage."
He growled. "Don't you lie to be girl."
She glared at him, despite the fact that he couldn't see her at the moment. "Fine, I caught him in your room at the hotel."
That made sense, he had mentioned that he "shouldn't write it on paper", so that would mean he'd been in his room...His eyes snapped open now, and he grabbed Birdy's wrist; the action nearly scared her half senseless.
"What were you doing in my room Birdy," he hissed, warning that if the answer wasn't to his liking she'd end up loosing the whole arm.
She narrowed her eyes sharply at him. "I thought he was you."
"So you didn't see anything, didn't go snooping," it was an accusation, not a question.
"I know better than that," she hissed back at him.
He still wasn't satisfied with that as an answer, but it was good enough. He let her wrist go and she pulled it back protectively, rubbing it from his tight grip. Creed closed his eyes again, taking in a deep breath, despite the pain it caused due to his chest. He just wanted this evening to be over, this mission, all of this. At least for a little while...
"Are you sure you're ok Mister Creed?"
He growled a little. //Again she has to talk to me!// "Yes Birdy I'm sure, stop sounding so concerned," the last remark was a tad more snide than he'd meant it to be.
She sighed, not convinced, even a little annoyed at him for it, but her tiredness was showing through too. "Fine, just get some rest."
He muttered something about not taking orders; she couldn't help the little smirk that gave her.
//At least that means he's feeling better I guess.//
"When do we leave?"
"Hm?" she'd gone back to go curl up in her corner and had nearly missed his question. "Oh, well we can return to the house as soon as you're on your feet. We need to come up with an alternate plan and a way to stall the Red Dragons; they're quite an impatient group."
"We'll leave tomorrow."
She sighed slightly, but agreed. After all, the sooner they were home, the sooner she could try to fix this mess. He however, wanted to get home and away from people; he wanted to be where he could think in privacy, where he could figure this out on his own time. He didn't care about what those oriental mobsters wanted or were paying him for....hell, at the moment he really didn't care much about anything except how tired he was. And hopefully this time, his dreams would just be resting darkness.