1963-08-08 - Bloody Burgers
Summary: Logan takes Jean and Scarlett out for lunch. Vampires attack?
Related: None
Theme Song: None
logan rogue jean 

Logan was doing a little business in the city and brought Rogue and Jean along because he figured they could use a break from the mansion. It's summer, after all, kids shouldn't even be in damn school. Not that they were kids, really, but they seemed like it to him most of the time. Hell, Chuck wasn't exactly overripe.

He opens the door and lets them go in, looking over his shoulder, "Grab us some seats," he says to the girls, flaring his nostrils as he feels a smell tickling at the back of his nose. Something or someone from his past, from that muddled cloud in his head, was nearby. Following them? Maybe. He'd have to see.


A break from the mansion would be a welcome thing for all that the resident bohemian hasn't exactly been resident these past nights. Spending more than eight hours at a time anywhere on the grounds has been a rarity since the incident at the sanatorium. All the same, she gladly partakes of any excuse to be away and this, the very classiest of diners in New York satisfies every bone in her body. Team Redhead's taller member offers her sleeved arm to Jean, making them no doubt a frightening duo to descend on a hostess stand. "You decide where we should sit," Scarlett murmurs to her companion.

Neroli and sandalwood are her usual signatures, but underneath Logan might detect something -weird-. Stone, the dust of undisturbed stone. Beneath that, even fainter, the very essence of fire right as if she had spent several hours dancing around in a bonfire feet above the wood.


Yes. Fresh air. No matter if it was nearing night, Jean was glad to be finally out and in the open and completely away from the grounds in Westchester. Her choice of dress was something simple. A haunting black that would offset the red of her hair, the red of the lipstick that she bought on someone elses dime, and the black-rimmed glasses that would play host to her green eyes. And a ponytail. Jean does love the ponytails!

Arm coiled around Scarlett's, she glances back towards Logan with a slight worry, but makes a mental note to keep that mental prowess to herself.

With the 'order' in hand, Jean lifts up upon her flat black shoes, her free hand reaching for her glasses to tug at the rim, pulling it down so that she could peer over the top. Aware of Logan's wariness now (no takebacks), she points. "Corner booth? Next to the windows. But way in the back so that we can see who comes in." Someone has been doing some spy reading. And training. Sort of. A little. Okay, a lot. "Then, if necessary, and if we're out of cash we can dine and flee."


Logan snorts, "I ain't much for fleein', darlin'," he says. He makes his way over, drawing out a cigarette and lighting one before he takes a seat on the outside of the booth, pulling up a chair and letting the girls take either side.

"If trouble comes in, I'll handle it. You two don't need to be puttin' yerselves in harm's way on my account. Whatever it is I'm sniffin'…it's lookin' fer me, not the rest of you," he says.

He signals the waitress over, ordering a club sandwich and a cup of coffee. He didn't worry much about Rogue smelling strange - she often smelled strange. Hell, for all he knew, kids were smokin' granite and shit these days.

Through the glass, he can make out two shadows walking towards the place. One of them slender, the other one…not.


"You better have somewhere interesting in mind as a getaway, though people as memorable as us will undoubtedly stand out more than you think," Scarlett's verdict on dine-and-dash seems to be more pragmatic than her bohemian nature would imply. Her floating dress in a shade of jade dissolves into flecks of gold towards the hem, and its very cut is dreamy, undoubtedly anticipating the flower children by a few years. "Corner booth sounds fine by me. The best people watching, of course."

The touch of her hand to Jean's guides them towards that corner, and she angles past anyone who might be in their way, circling around chairs and spilled napkins with the greatest of ease. It falls to her to be the most wedged in, though. Casual touch is not something which she invites. Ever. Period.

"Please may I have a cup of hot tea with lemon and honey," she asks. A pause follows, then she adds, "And the soup of the day." Chances are it will be chicken noodle or boring vegetable. She can live with that. It's better than glass in a reduced kerosene base.


"You can't just beat up people because we were wrong.. and broke." Did Jean have somewhere interesting to go? No. Even though she was a slight native to New York, parts of it remained unexplored and unknown to the young redhead. Though, quiet as kept, she follows the three to the booth, her gaze flitting back and forth as those who remain inside watch, suddenly had the bright idea to take their food to go. The waiters, naturally, scramble at the bit to take their money and gather containers so that the food could be safely shelved inside.

As the waittress takes orders, Jean remains silent for a time. Her minds-eye snatching those lights within the room, her eyes closing as she focuses.. manipulating them upon the ethers because.. somebody was coming. Someone. And in order to not cause alarm and keep flesh unhurt. She did what she had to do. Thanks for the mental training, Charles!

"Oh. I'll have.. lemonade. A little sweeter than normal. And a burger with thick cut fries." She smiles politely towards the waittress, and then adds. "And when we have our food, please tell your staff that they can go home for today. We'll leave the money for the food on the table top and the dishes will be cleaned."

Jedi-Jean. It's scary.


The two men who come in certainly stand out in any crowd. The first is gaunt and pale as parchment, with long white hair including two braids that run down his back amidst the rest. His eyes are sunken and bloodshot, cheekbones prominent. He wears a longcoat even in the summer heat and the kind of smile that isn't likely to make anyone feel good.

Behind him, his partner in crime looms. Seven feet tall and wide as a buick, with a thick beard. He wears all black, the expression on his face dull and malevolent.

Seeing them, Logan puts his cigar down in the ashtray and pulls out his chair. No doubt their eyes are focused all on him. "I dunno what beef you two have - gotta admit, my memory ain't what it used t'be. But whatever it is, we can settle it some other time. Ain't no need to bust up this nice establishment," he says.


Logan and Scarlett couldn't be more diametrically opposed if they tried: one lithe, one solid; one redhead, one dark; one violent, one a peacenik. Somehow Jean serves as the fulcrum to this happy tete-a-tete and that works well enough as a counterbalance. A gentle nudge of her elbow plays for a gap along Jean's flank, coming from the bohemian who flashes her a completely honey-gilded smile. "That's right. We can offer to do the dishes or something else suitable. Maybe they need more help seating people for an hour or two." Should she have any idea of what transpires in those sudden hurried diners remembering they left the laundry in the wash and the baby in the bathwater on the stove at full boil, it isn't evident.

What is evident, however, follows a subtle, uncanny awareness for the shifting vagaries of creation. When a domino falls in Africa and triggers a succession of events that finally reach New York on a train going 58 mph from Grand Central Station, she sits up and takes notice. All the more reason for that simmering smile to die before it reaches her downcast emerald eyes.

It doesn't take much of anything special to identify two men, Ghost or Cobweb there, as trouble. What does matter lies in the other redhead, and whether she can handle herself in the situation. A gentle murmur of breath rests on her lips. "Maybe this can be settled nicely." Maybe man can land on Mars by 1971.


The ring of the bell has downcast eyes lifted. The two men that enter were certainly out of place and nearly out of time. She glances towards Logan, her mind already grasping those flames and alerting them all to a singular thought: 'Get out. Now'.

Save for the cook. Who finished frying and slapping those sandwiches and the cup of soup like so. The man was a god in the kitchen and it showed by the quick and fast service and how the waittress delivered the food and drinks with a smile and a silent turn upon heels, right out the kitchen door in the back. Side-note about that cook, he may or may not be otherworldly. Or a mutant. No one would ever really know.

Scarlett's words and nudge were felt, deeply. Jean leans a little bit to the side as she reaches up to grip her fork and knife like so. She had -no- intentions of involving herself in a fight like this unless she absolutely had to. She was working at keeping the people safe. That was her number one mode. Second, would be her stomach.

The queen of multitasking was in, the burger was cut into little squares, the ketchup was picked up and dabbed upon the plate. And long after Scarlett had spoken those words, Jean.. the 1/3rd of the Cold War Hooligans gives Scarlett the deadpan that most people DO. NOT. WANT.

"Probably." There was a pause, for dramatic effect. "Maybe I should have asked for cheese."


The waitress and the others slip out the back as Logan rolls his neck for a moment. The slender man smiles even more broadly and, as he does, fangs emerge, his canines growing longer, "Y'hear that, Roughhouse? Patch here thinks we oughtta fight another day. Never mind it's been twenty years or more since we last saw his arse. An' he ain't aged a day neither. That's fair, neither have we," he says. "But why would we wait, when we have two such tasty morsels awaitin' us as treasure when we're done with your carcass, boyo?"

Logan furrows his brow, searching in the depths of his ruined memory, "Roughhouse. Roughhouse and…Bloodscream," he says. "Long way from Madripoor, bub. Be longer if I ship ya back in a box," he says. He pops his claws *SNIKT*, raising them up to show them off, "Few things have changed since the day," he says and then he gives in and charges, running straight at Bloodscream and planning to try and bullrush the pair out the door.


The choices are sensible because a burger prepared just this side of greasy with the added implication of a good layer of melting cheese must not be rushed or interrupted. Atomic devices are treated with less care than a proper grill chef should be. The cook has work to do, and that work requires the utmost appreciation.

"Thank you!" she tells the waitress in passing, cheery as sunshine dancing on a field of nodding poppies. Never mind the Soviets might be peering over the Afghan border, pretending to traipse through the graveyard of empires ahead of schedule. Her mood intends to be warm and friendly for a few more seconds. "You enjoy that the way it is. Did you order it with pickles and ketchup? Call me a blasphemer, but warm ketchup and cold pickles are magical."

Scarlett picks up her fork and turns it over, an oddity considering she ordered soup. Possibly the less than spotless condition of the utensil causes grave offense, and she straddles her fingertips with the metallic shaft, swaying the tines up and down. It could be a peculiar summoning ritual for a faster preparation time from that tureen in the back, asking for additional crackers and shredded cheddar to boot. Is it inappropriate to snicker at the name Bloodscream? Yes. Probably.

But with her front row seat watching Logan chase off the two clowns, who can complain? She attempts to steal a fry from Jean, nodding agreeably. Good idea. Do want.


Teamwork. (Or lack there of.)

When an elder tells you to do something, you do it. It's all about respect. Logan promised the ladies he'd handle it. And they were just about to see how. Faith in the man with the claws. Jean has it. Let's see if Scarlett does. Though it's telling since the other redhead remains at her side with an only lift of a fork instead of a finger.

"Who thinks up these names?" Jean comments, jamming her own fork into the portion of the burger that was picked up. It was then that Scarlett could see it. The freshly cut, ribbed sandwich pickles that laid across the burger, allowing it to steam for the heat that rises from the fresh patty was still hot to the touch. And the ketchup; while not boiling hot, it was warm enough to offset that delectable sensation that she had spoken of not too long ago. And the cook was such a naughty man. He cut the onions and fried them. Laid them upon the patty in perfet ringlets. Why? Where was the mustard? A small dab in the center of that ring to show off the orbit around the 'sun'.

The fries.. oh they were a godsend. Cooked just right. A touch crispy on the outside but you could taste the fresh potato in the middle. It didn't taste like earth. No. Seasoned to perfection with salt and pepper and a tiny little tin of ketchup for dipping. At least -that- ketchup was cold. The man knew his temperatures.

"Oh.. gosh.. he did put pickles in there. That man." Jean curls her fingers, presses them to her lips, and blows a kiss into the air which seemingly RIPPLES. There was a shield around the women. Just in case. She wasn't about to spend another hour -crying- in the shower because of splattered blood.

Stolen fry? Who cares. They were about to get a show. But wait.. "James?!" Jean calls out..

"What do you want me to do with your sandwich? Can I bite it?"


The claws they didn't know about. During his time in Madripoor, Logan had tried to pass as a regular man, albeit a bit tougher than average. He never popped his bone claws then. They certainly didn't know the first thing about adamantium.

Scream tries to block them, throwing up an arm only for Logan to chop clean through it, severing a hand as he spears into the vampire's gut, driving him back. Roughhouse, however, doesn't budge even as his partner is squished into him. Roughhouse is an immovable object, dangerously strong and damned hard to hurt.

The big man brings both arms down, clubbing Logan in the back and driving him into the ground, cracking the tiles beneath. Bloodscream stumbles backwards, clutching at his stump and doing some genuine screaming of his own as his partner prepares to punish the man responsible.

A man who's growling and looking up at Roughhouse with blood in his eyes, "Big mistake, fat boy," he snarls.


Between faith and hope, there are French fry birds.

The prettiest lovebirds perch together, flaming hair entwined, pigtails and braids teased like so many tendrils of a climbing rose.

Scarlett nibbles on a fry. "I am fairly sure all the good ones were taken. They probably translated it from a German dictionary. Blutschreien sounds much scarier. Or Blutwine." Her limited vocabulary in the language of the Wall and the Fuhrer slants decidedly softer than it ought, razored edges softened against her thoughtful lips. "Alcohol could be a definite factor. Alcohol and pants which are too tight. I hear sometimes the professors complaining that denim pants will cut off circulation and damage a gentleman. Could this be a proof of it?"

Shame has not ever encountered Scarlett in this lifetime. It pays to be a bohemian, friend to Beatniks, a daughter of the Wandervogel movement. Salty gems on a pleasure baked and fried within a golden inch of heaven silence her for a moment, only that, but enough. All the better to watch the ghostly vampire and his cobweb friend get sliced and diced by the irritable man unimpressed by having his date with the Cold War Hooligans interrupted. Truly she can empathise for all she winces at the apparent need for violence.

"Just eat the crust. I doubt he will notice. By the time he's back, he'll want two bites of it." Aiding and abetting, it's really a crime.


No answer. Darn.

Jean continues her feast upon the burger, her eyes occasionally watching the fight, then down toward the mass of burger that was almost half gone. "I actually like both of them. In the German sense. That is." Her head nods, agreeable to this, until the howling scream has her looking up just in time to see the arm detach from it's body. She looks away, her eyes squeezing shut, the fork dropping at a clatter upon the table as she pushes it.. and all of it towards Rogue for her feast.

Jean, who wasn't going to offer a helping hand.. who was going to mind her business and finish her meal.. suddenly lost her appetite.

"I .. don't think I'm hungry anymore.." She remarks. "And if I ate the crust, you know I'd feel bad. Like.. he's missing out on something because I took it." Avoid the fight. Avoid the fight.. avoid looking..

Her head turns, eyes widen, and she turns away again. Eyes wide shut. Guess who coined -that- term?


Roughhouse throws another punch, the sound sending an echoing crack throughout the diner as he pounds Logan's metal skull. More blood, from Logan's nose and lips, but it's sealing up as fast as it is. He gave the big man that shot. So he could know how pointless it was.

Logan lashes out, beginning to thrash in a frenzy that does, indeed, drive Roughhouse out the door, cracking and bending the doorframe a bit as they stumble into the street. Bloodscream is up and leaping out after them, attaching himself to Logan's back and biting at his shoulder, the tumult and the tussle careening everywhere.


Masks are easy sometimes to adopt as they are to cast aside. Scarlett nudges the plate away and opens her arms when Jean refuses to watch the men clashing just yards, feet away. A whisper as soft as a sussurus of a breeze along the beach teases towards the distraught girl. "Here, darling."

The citrus trace of her skin may be familiar. Scarlett wraps her arms around Jean if permitted that liberty, assured to keep her hands out of touch reach. "He will be okay. This will end soon. Think about the sunshine on your shoulders and the grass under your feet." Experience with meditation helps here, perhaps, the way she keeps her voice even despite the telltale cadence of fists crashing into flesh, bones flexing, and pain being delivered.

"Imagine the grass brushing your skin. Soft and green. Can you see it in your mind, Jean? Think about how soft the grass is." The serenity could be a false front, but unlikely given whom she is. Narrowing eyes trace Logan's descent out the door, and her position changes, almost exchanging spots with the girl as she starts to move around the table in a slow, slow rotation that hints to the awful strength she possesses under that ephemeral dress.

It isn't her nature to engage in a fight directly. But her eyes narrow, the torn decision visible in them.


Faith intermingling with worry.

The fight seemingly picked up and soon, Jean was already regretting venturing outdoors. She could hear the bones crack, literally feel it beneath the flesh upon her teeth. Her gums were hurting, and it was possibly because of the way that her teeth were gritted against the other increasingly as the time went on. Her hands lift, wanting to shield her ears from the sound but the gentle urgings of Scarlett has her immediately seeking solace within her arms.

The mind can't help but wander. Wonder. It also can't help allowing those eyes to open to feast upon the carnage of Logan and the two. She -wanted- to look. She wanted to see if the Wolverine was 'okay'. She wanted to reach out into his mind to 'listen' to the thoughts that possibly predate the human within. But no..

The cool southern lilt keeps her wrapped, tied tight like a bow as she chooses the difficult of the two options. To watch and be horrified, or to close her eyes and remain in a state of serenity. Which she had put herself, no doubt.

"If.. you need to help.. go.." She murmurs quietly, weakly. "I'll be fine.." Says the girl with the cast one week from being removed from her arm.


Logan doesn't need the help.

The ladies can't see, but he's definitely waging war out there. The whole building shakes when Roughneck is hurled agains tthe wall on the outside. Blood sprays again, streaking crimson on the outside of the window and running in trickles down. There's a gutteral howl and another scream and then a thump.

And silence.

The door opens and Logan makes his way back in. His shirt is torn off, leaving him bare chested. His shoulder has been savaged, the meat ripped out, the hole left behind starting to stitch itself together right before their eyes. His breath comes in heaving gasps as he sheathes his claws and walks over. He picks up his cup of coffee and takes a long drink.

"Think we maybe oughtta get the leftovers t'go."


"Don't you remember what I told you in the sky and in the sanatorium? I will never let you down, darling." Scarlett offers a gentle embrace. Its force lies entirely in providing a spiritual shield against the world's cares, for all she cannot defend against the psychic intrusions or the imagination gone awry, fed by a foundry of possibilities as vast as creation itself. "I would hardly be a good friend if I did. You're too important to me, and too good a person to abandon for whatever. How many other redheads do you know at the Institute who can vex absolutely everyone?"

Her warm breath ruffles those pigtails, and she maintains an even rhythm filling and deflating her lungs. Part of that routine induces the somnolent state of meditation when necessary. Her heartbeat is steady, not quite ticked up into exhilaration, but faster somewhat than usual. Still, the melody gives something to focus on like a metronome.

"No, Jean. I will stay right here. Not many other places I care to be." A friendly squeeze assures the world will hold, even held at arm's length. Or adamantine claw length, a more appropriate measurement. Sprays of blood and the hot copper steam signalling the end of a life only cause her to stiffen the once, more out of surprise for looking up to Logan's appearance shortly thereafter.

Whatever he wants to read in those vast, surreal green eyes, it may be something infinitely patient and illuminated by a shred of the nameless. Wisdom that shouldn't belong to someone so young. "I haven't the faintest clue where they get those boxes. How about we wait out on the sidewalk for you?"

Because playing 'is it gore or Heinz #56' is never fun, especially when German language games got involved. Nein. No Herr Himmler.


Thank goodness for not seeing. Jean already had her eyes closed, her fingers in her hair, threatening to staunch out the rest of the noise and Scarlett's words for the sanctity of peace. "I remember it.." She quietly remarks, relieving the pressure from her clenched teeth with a hiss of her breath, her eyes soon looking up towards the shaking ceiling, and how the lamplights that hang from it begin to dance. That loud rumble against the building shook them, and she quietly mused at how hard someone had to be thrown just for that to happen.

Cue the dust from the ceiling. Not withstanding.

She nods, however, keeping her gaze peeled to those swinging lights ahead. One of them slowly stopping their rocking and remaining straight as the other begin to sway around it. Along with the rolling hills of soft grass, the sun upon her shoulders.. her eyes close and..

'You thought we were done.'


Logan's re-entry draws in a sweet breath, her body slowly leaning away from Scarlett. If it was time to go, it would be right about now.

"I.. think we should go out the back.." Jean states. "I think the boxes are in the kitchen behind the podium.. I once saw." That's where the boxes were. "I think there's a mushroom veggie dish that's left steaming. And shredded cheese.. yes." Anything to not think about the blood at the front door, and the bodies that may or may not be in the front. "I.. maybe.. no. Let's.. there's food back there. Lets leave this stuff." Wise choice Jean, don't take anything already prepared that has -red-.


Logan nods, reaching over the countertop for a moment to grab a towel, wiping some of the gore from his face. The cook looks over at him and just nods, earning the same back in return. "Cookie says it's good to go. C'mon, ladies, let's use the employee exit. Those two beat a quick retreat, but might be somebody called the boys in blue.

"Let's just all agree that ain't none of us gonna tell Chuck 'bout any o' this, huh? You know how he worries," he grins, lighting a fresh smoke and holding the door open. Ladies first, of course."


When the going is good, you don't argue with the other redhead. Scarlett proves good as her word, not so much forcing Jean into motion but acting as the quiet, irrepressibly radiant star following her through the darkest reaches of existence and shining that gentle, certain light. "We should stop by one of the fountains and splash through it," she idly suggests. "If only to be wonderfully soggy messes."

Nothing like using city water at no expense to make the problem go away. No problem, no story. "Why, Mr. Logan, there is nothing to tell." A glittering look of verdant fire over her shoulder is matched to that firm smile in his direction. "A lady does not disclose what she learns in confidence. We are both ladies, and you our trusted friend."

Three can keep a secret if two of them are dead, but what if two of them are friends 4 lyfe?


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