Author: Notmanos
E-Mail: notmanos at yahoo dot com
Rating: R
Disclaimer:  The characters of Angel are owned by 20th Century Fox and Mutant Enemy; the
character of Wolverine is also owned by 20th Century Fox and Marvel Comics.  No copyright
infringement intended. I'm not making any money off of this, but if you'd like to be a patron of the
arts, I won't object. ;-)  Oh, and Bob is *my* character - keep your hands off!   

"Now now, gents," Bob said kindly, like a bartender trying defuse a potential fight. "Save that sexual tension for another time."

"What?" Scott asked, horrified.

Logan started to give Bob an evil look, but then he just shook his head and looked away before anyone could see him grin. He was accustomed to Bob's outrageousness by now.

"Where's Marie?" Bob asked, as if he hadn't made a tasteless joke.

"Upstairs," Storm responded warily. Although she wasn't a psychic, she seemed to physically shy away from Bob along with the rest of them (except for Logan, of course, but it was difficult to imagine someone who could shrug off a gunshot to the face as being physically intimidated by anyone). "She's helping Bobby set up Kitty's birthday party."

"Why do you want Rogue?" Scott asked warily.

"Think about it, mate. One touch of Miranda and she can wish her powers didn't exist. Then we could all go home and have a beer."

"Would that work?" Storm asked, intrigued.

"She's a kid," Scott countered protectively. "She's been too involved in dangerous things as it is."

"And let's face it, you can make Miranda's powers disappear," Logan interjected. She wasn't sure if he was protecting Rogue as well, or simply making a point of fact. Logan waved a hand in front of his own face, and said, "No powers, remember?"

It sounded like Logan was referring to something specific, but it was obviously only something that involved Logan and Bob.

But the curious demon grinned sheepishly, as if caught in a lie. "Well, mate, I didn't only mean her powers."

Xavier guessed first. "The demon."

Bob nodded. "It's probable I can affect it, but what if I can't? That does happen."

"And what if the demon is the true source of power?" Jean interjected, following the line of  thought. "If you can't affect it -"

"We're all screwed," Bob finished, nodding again. "Because she can wish you all out of existence, or just your powers, and where will you be?"

"She could wish you out then." Scott said.

But the demonically charming Bob shook his head. "I'm a different case, mate."

"A uni-dimensional being with pan-dimensional qualities," Logan said, as if quoting someone else.

"What the hell does that mean?" Scott asked churlishly. She knew he'd left out some of what had happened in Japan, but since everyone needed their privacy she didn't press him about it, or force her way past his deliberate mental blocks. But she had a feeling whatever it was, Scott was unhappy with Logan. She almost got the sense he'd disappointed him somehow.

The Professor looked at Bob with intense curiosity, and asked, "Is that what you are?"

Bob nodded again. "Can't really explain it. But let's just say removing me from the fabric of this dimension will take more power than she probably has."

"Too bad,"Scott muttered, looking at her for agreement. But she gave him a small 'not now' sort of frown. No, she didn't trust Bob - he was far too secretive and too glib, and he seemed to have an attachment to Logan that was questionable at best, but most of all he seemed to be a man of dubious morals and stupendous power, two things that did not go well together - but she wasn't ready to have him dead. She couldn't deny he had risked his safety at least in trying to do the right thing. Now and then.

"Yeah, I know, bit of a pisser, isn't it?" Bob agreed, with surprisingly good humor. That was another thing about him: he made everything a joke, but she wasn't sure that wasn't just a veil for his hostility. "What we have to do is put together some kind of game plan. I'd rather know more about what we're facing before we take it head on, but I'd hate for Miranda to wish another place away. Why don't Logan, Jean, and I zip on over to Lalaland for some recon, and when we have a better idea of what we're going against - or we get the idea Miranda and her demon familiar are going to make a move - and then we'll bring you over?" Bob said, looking between Scott and Storm. "I can tell you then if I think Marie should be in on this or not. I still say, as long as this isn't a psychic demon, she could be our ace in the hole."

"Hey, wait a minute," Scott objected. "Who put you in charge of this?"

"This is vergin' on my territory, in more ways than one," Bob replied smoothly, like he expected him to say that.

"Why Jean?" Scott continued, and that made her scowl at him. He probably didn't mean to say it like she had no reason for going,  but that's how it came out.

"Telekinetic. You know how fucking cool that is?" Bob replied, grinning.

Although he had probably said that for her benefit, she looked away to hide her smile. Yeah, it was pretty fucking cool at times.

And she hadn't used her powers more defensively than the last time she was out with Bob, looking for Scott. She wasn't sure he hadn't pushed her in some fashion, but she'd felt good letting out all that energy, mastering so much of her power.

Against an explosion, against a collapsing building, against an army. She was terrified, and yet...what a rush.

Part of her was chomping at the bit to go off with Bob. And the other half thought she shouldn't dare.

What was that prayer, that one about not being led into temptation? That was Bob's biggest danger - he was temptation. He just encouraged you to let go. Logan was pretty much immune to it - he was generally full on, he held nothing back, whether anyone liked it or not - but no one else was. It was, in equal measure, his danger and his appeal. Logan and Bob both.

No wonder they paired up. In all respects, they seemed to be an unbeatable team.

"I still don't see why we all shouldn't go right now," Scott said, and she noticed how defensive his posture was, how combative. What had happened in Japan? He'd seemed unsettled since then.

"Because, if there's some major fuck up and we underestimated any demonic friends or mutant relatives she may have, we might need the cavalry to swoop in and save our asses, General," Bob said, in a jovial manner that had a definite sharp edge to it. The General was not delivered with sarcasm, but was clearly meant to be so.

She noticed Scott's hands clench into fists at his side, and just as he was about to tell Bob what he go do with himself, the Professor interjected, "I think that's a wise idea."

Scott frowned at Xavier, but didn't contradict him. He wouldn't.

"I need to go get my coat," Logan said, ignoring all the melodrama going on around him.

"I should probably change," she admitted. Technically she was fine, wearing a demure black dress and low heels, but she knew if they were going to be walking around L.A. and possibly fighting, she should at least be wearing flats.

Bob nodded. "I'll meet you in Logan's room in five minutes."

Oh, why did they have to meet in Logan's room? But she didn't say that. Logan headed down the hall, not even bothering to wait for the end of the conversation, and with an apologetic glance at Scott and Storm, she went after him. Logan must have known, as he held the elevator for her.

It felt so strange to be alone in a small, enclosed space with Logan. She knew there were several unresolved issues between them, including that kiss she had done her best to forget (but what a kiss...), and this was probably not for the best considering the mood Scott was in. She stayed on the opposite side of the small elevator from him, but for his part Logan looked even more uncomfortable than her.

"What happened in Japan?" She asked, to fill the awkward silence. "I mean, I know about the attack on Nariko, but I have a feeling he's leaving something out."

Logan glanced up at her, lips thinning, and he looked away, as if there was something fascinating on the far wall. He shook his head, and she thought he wasn't going to say anything, but finally he said, "He seems to think you're unhappy."

"Me? Why?"

He scoffed and shrugged, as the elevator came to a stop. "Don't ask me, darlin', I ain't engaged to ya."

She suddenly wondered if Scott had asked something similar; he sounded as if he was weary of discussing someone else's problems. "Did he blame you?" She asked, surprised at the thought.

The door slid open behind her, revealing the polished halls of the school, and he waited for her to go with obvious impatience. But she wasn't going anywhere until he answered the question.

Logan realized that, and his green eyes were icy as he glared at her. "He blames me for everything, Jean."

She wanted to deny that, but she knew that was more or less true. She wanted to explain Scott's behavior to him, excuse it, but what excuse was adequate enough?  "He doesn't understand you," she finally said, aware how lame that sounded as it escaped from her lips.

Logan made that derisive noise again, the shake of his head so quick it was violent and could have been excused as a tic. "And what the fuck does that mean, Jean? If we sat down and had a male bonding moment, he'd stop treating me like an interloper? Like a party crasher who refuses to leave?"

She knew he was right, and yet she felt compelled to defend him. "You never gave him a chance, Logan."

"He never gave me one," he shot back. "He doesn't like the idea of competition, so he figured he'd be as bitchy as he could in hopes of running me out."

"He doesn't - " he gave her a look as brutal as a punch, and couldn't bring herself to lie and say he didn't want him gone. Of course he did, and they all knew it. Except the kids, of course; they tried to keep such personal issues between themselves. She frowned at him, abhorring playing psychologist and family counselor."There is no competition. You're a part of the team, and that's that."

"Oh really? Don't I get a vote in that? And it's rude to eavesdrop and you know it, Rogue," he suddenly snapped, looking over her shoulder.

She instantly turned and saw no one, but then Marie peeked warily around the corner. "I was just passing - "

He fixed her with a hard stare, and Jean joined in.

Under the dual assault, Marie finally rolled her hazel eyes and threw up her hands in defeat. "All right, all right. But did ya expect me to walk in on your argument?"

"We are not arguing," Jean insisted, and knew she was the worst god damn liar in this place.

Marie fixed her gaze on Logan, her face taking on a petulant expression. "Damn your ears."

"Nose, actually," he replied, not at all offended by her remarkably bloodless comment. They had that kind of relationship where she could insult him and he could insult her; his saving her life a couple of times had bonded them, much to Scott's continued horror. But at least her crush had transferred (mostly) over to Bobby. "Ain't you supposed to be plannin' a party or somethin'?"

"We're done. You know how hard it is to plan anything for someone who becomes massless? On top of being really uptight."

"Kitty's cool," Logan replied, much to Jean's shock. She'd never gotten the impression that he thought much of the kids. He didn't hate them, but he barely seemed to notice they were around. And it was funny he had picked Kitty to comment on. She was not one of the girls who had a crush on him, she seemed firmly in the intimidation camp, but while he was gone Kitty had admitted to her that she really admired him and hoped he'd teach her to 'really' fight. She was a slight girl, and her power wasn't exactly one she considered 'defensive'. ( "All I can do is get away, and I want to do more than that. I mean, if I have to.") That was just another thing that annoyed Scott; the kids seemed to think Logan was the 'protector', and as long as he was here, they were okay. They used to think of them all as protectors. "I mean, she's not as tightly wound as Scott."

Marie scoffed. "Yeah, well, who is..." she trailed off, eyes widening in horror as Jean stared at her. "I, umm...I think Bobby's looking for me." She made several vague gestures behind her, horror stricken, and quickly retreated down the hall.

Jean turned her hard gaze on Logan, who wasn't quite smirking, but damn close. "I'm sorry. Should I have said 'restrained'?"

"This is childish, Logan. I expect better of you."

He raised an eyebrow at that, and not for the first time she wondered if being able to move his eyebrows like that was a secondary mutant power. "Oh, do you? I thought I was the resident animal."

"Don't even try that on me. You are not a barbarian brought in from the wilderness, although god knows sometimes you and Scott both act like orangutans around each other. It takes two to make a petty pissing contest, and I would appreciate it if at least one of you acted like the grown men you're supposed to be." She turned and stalked out of the elevator, done with this conversation. She was starting to get really angry - pulse pounding in the temples, dangerous angry - and she didn't want that to happen. It was tempting to lose control, but it was never good. "I'll be ready in three minutes."

She thought Logan might make some snarky comment, but as she stormed away, he wisely kept his mouth shut.

See? She knew he wasn't dumb.


Scott had a feeling he was being called on the carpet as he followed the Professor to the 'war' room. Not in current use, and barely repaired from the time Bob was in here last, fighting that floating demon thing and that acid barfing demon who left a big hole in the floor.

As soon as the door closed behind him, Xavier swung his wheelchair around, and fixed him with frosty look. "What happened in Japan?"

He sighed and crossed his arms over his chest. "I thought Jean shared that with you."

"She did. I was wondering what it is you left out."

He knew this was coming. Before he left for Japan, Xavier had asked him to try and make some peace with Logan the next time he saw him. When he pointed out they had absolutely nothing in common, the Professor said they would always have one thing in common if nothing else: their status as mutants. He felt there would always be common ground there. "I tried to make a connection with him, I really did," he said, annoyed at Logan anew for making him defensive. "But he doesn't trust anyone, and he's as bad tempered as a rabid weasel stuck in a threshing machine."

One of Xavier's pale eyebrows arched at the analogy, but he didn't comment on it. "It  takes time, Scott. No one can change the habits of a lifetime overnight."

"He's not going to change. Why should he? I'm sorry, Professor, but for such a low class guy he's a complete snob. He thinks he's better than us."

Xavier actually considered that for a moment, and Scott thought he'd finally gotten through to him. But then he got a strangely blank look on his face that Scott always knew was bad news, and his voice lowered, which, opposite other people, was another bad sign. "Did you know that low class man is fluent in seventeen languages? And that's only the ones that he agreed to be tested for - it's quite probable he speaks most if not all of the world's most common languages. I've never met anyone with such a natural proficiency for it. And where - and why - he learned them is just as mysterious to him as to the rest of us. I don't expect him to completely trust anyone, possibly ever. You know what's been done to him, Scott, and even if he does find some answers I'm not sure they'll make him much happier."

"Okay, so he was tortured," he admitted, throwing up his hands. He knew this sounded callous, but how long could you milk a thing? They weren't even responsible for it. "I'm sorry, but that doesn't give him the right to treat us all like shit."

"He was mutilated, and they took away his memories to cover their crime. I might have a hard time getting over that myself."

"He doesn't even want to be here."

"Logan doesn't know what he wants, besides vengeance. And let's face it, he is never going to be the most...ingratiating man.
But he comes back, Scott. He's trying harder than you realize. I hope you're not projecting your distrust of Bob onto Logan."

He grimaced, putting his hands into the pockets of his pants. "Are you going to tell me you trust him too?"

Xavier gave him a ghost of a smile. "He's never given us a reason not to trust him. I admit he's an...odd man, but I don't believe his intentions are anything but good."

There was a pause before "man" too, and he could guess why. "So, we're taking him on faith too?"

"He saved your life."

There it was, just like that. Scott looked away, feeling a muscle in his jaw twitch as he swallowed hard. The very idea ate at him like acid. "Maybe not," he replied weakly, staring down at the steel plated floor.

He didn't look up, but he could feel Xavier's withering stare like a pair of hands pressing against his back. "Scott," he said in that warning voice, like he was a stern father warning his wayward son. But Xavier was pretty much like a father to him, wasn't he?

"Logan's bad enough," he said, finally looking back at him. "Do we have to tolerate his weirdo friends too?"

Xavier sighed, and said, not without humor, "Yes."

Scott rolled his eyes, glad his visor prevented Xavier from seeing it. "Fine."

He turned around to go, but then the Professor said, "You can tell a lot about a person by actions without forethought, instinctive reactions. What was Logan's first reaction when you were attacked in Japan?"

Scott thought about it, and then paused as he remembered, scowling at Xavier's little observation.

"He protected the girl," Xavier said, since Scott was in no hurry to answer. "Before you judge him too harshly, think about that."

He wanted to point out it was probably a fluke, one of the aberrant things that happened occasionally, a statistical blip, but he knew better than to argue with him further.

Xavier had his opinion, and he had his.


Logan sat on the edge of his bed, room door wide open, feeling like a kid nervous about a dentist appointment. (Had he ever been to the dentist?)

Jean was pretty pissed off. He seemed to push her buttons pretty easily, didn't he? Well, at least she didn't throw him through a wall.

"It's awful, isn't it?" Bob said suddenly, appearing in the doorway.

He wished he was shocked, but he wasn't; now he was just annoyed. "Don't start." He warned.

But since when did Bob listen to anyone else? He grinned, and came inside, although he remained out of Logan's reach. "It's awful when not only you're caught in the middle, but when you become a symbol. It's bloody awful being the representative of somethin', trust me."

He was not asking; he'd given up on asking Bob about anything. "Why did you want her to come along?" He asked instead. "To piss off Scott?"

"Oh, like that's hard," he replied. Fair enough. "No, mate, she's cool. Or at least when she really lets go, her powers are. Telekinetics are fucking impressive, as long as they have their powers under control, and aren't trying to blow up your head."

"That happen a lot?"

"More than I'd rather admit."

Logan decided he was telling the truth, but you could never know for sure with Bob. Reality was a malleable concept to him.

Suddenly serious, Bob leaned against the far wall, arms crossed over his chest, and added, "She holds back too much. When she really lets go, she can kick some ass. And around you, she really wants to let go."

That could be interpreted in any number of ways. "What do you mean?"

Bob suddenly held a finger up to his lips, and a few seconds later Jean came in, having traded in her dress and heels for blue jeans, sneakers, and a green t-shirt with matching windbreaker. Her thick red hair was held back in a high ponytail too, which he found mildly disappointing, as he preferred her with her hair loose. Pulled back tight, it sometimes made the planes of her face look too severe.

Logan stood up, and she looked between him and Bob, a small line of annoyance arcing between her brows. "I hope I'm not late." Didn't sound like she meant it.

"No worries," Bob replied breezily, straightening up. "Now, I hate to pull rank, so I'm not gonna, but I think you should follow my lead until we know what we're dealing with. Unless Logan gets some crazy urge and runs off on his own."

Logan shot him a harsh glance, but in the end he could only shrug. Yeah, well, maybe it was a fair cop.

Jean simply nodded,looking weary. "Fine."

Bob looked at her curiously, and said in a low voice he almost didn't hear, "It's okay, darlin'. Really."

She seemed to relax, shoulders loosening a bit, losing some tension, and Logan figured that was a mild push. But why? And about what, exactly? What was 'okay'?

Before he could ask, Bob held up a hand towards him in the universal stop gesture, and said simply, "You'll feel nothing."

And just like that, they were suddenly in Los Angeles.

Logan didn't quite stumble, just looked around fast enough to almost lose his balance. They were in an alley somewhere, near an industrial dumpster overflowing with noisome trash that some homeless guys were using as a urinal. As he shook his head to try and banish the smell, Jean looked around in surprise, ponytail slapping her shoulder, and asked, "Does this ever cease to be weird?"

He assumed she was asking him. "Not really."

Bob had already walked up to the mouth of the alley, looking out at the river of cars streaming past them. L. A. didn't have pedestrians really, just people who did business on the street, homeless people, and people whose cars had broken down.

Bob turned back to look at them, with a pair of mirrored sunglasses on. How he materialized sunglasses Logan didn't even want to know. "My targeting gets better and better. We're a bit west of Sunset, and, if I'm right, straight in wish girl's path here."

"And then what?" Logan wondered.

Bob thought about that for a moment, looked back down the road, and then said, "Well, that's a very good question."

Logan sighed and rubbed his eyes. If he popped his claws now, he could gouge them out. Would that be such a bad thing, really?

"Look, you're the professional heroes," Bob pointed out. "I'm just a dabbler."

"Who regularly averts apocalypses,"  Logan countered wearily.

"It's a hobby."

"We're insane," Jean exclaimed, throwing up her hands as if in surrender. "We are all insane."

"That would explain a lot," Logan agreed.

"Okay, so, this is reconnaissance, " Bob said, like they'd been debating that. "So what's the best way to reconnoiter in an urban situation?"

Logan glanced up to realize Bob - and now Jean - were staring at him. "What? You're asking me?"

Bob looked at him like he was making a joke. "No. I'm askin' the invisible trash elf over your shoulder. Yes, you."

"Why me?"

Bob shrugged with his hands as Jean looked between them, fascinated with the exchange. "Ain't that your area, mate?"

He stared at him in disbelief. "Why is that my fucking area?"

Bob just looked vaguely amused. "Well, let's see, there was that time in Vancouver when - "

"Fine," he interrupted crossly. He wasn't sure which Vancouver incident Bob was going to refer to, but he didn't really want this coming up around Jean.

"What happened in Vancouver?" She asked curiously.

But he wasn't going to answer that. "Later," he lied, and came to the mouth of the alley to look past Bob.

This was part of the busy downtown Hollywood corridor: shops that verged from quaint ("Helen's Candle Emporium") to commercial ("Starbucks") to kinky ("Maximum Bondage Leather Goods") lined both sides of the narrow, well traveled street. The only pedestrians were the occasional shoppers leaving or going to stores (and only in L.A. would you see a woman in a 'Hilda of the S.S.' black leather get up leading a young shirtless guy down the street by the chains through his pierced nipples) (Well, maybe you'd see it in San Francisco...), and there were so many young (or youngish) looking women it was hard to scour every face before they disappeared from view.

He wished Xavier had gotten a whiff of this Miranda; he'd have been able to just catch her by scent, and need not bother with sight.

"All right. Bob, why don't you zap across the street, and go to the end. Jean, stay here in the middle. I'll take a topside point at the head of the street."

"What do you mean topside?" Jean asked, but not before he had moved to the side wall of the building on their left side and sprung his claws with a familiar noise and a familiar pain.

"I could zap you - " Bob began, but Logan had already dug his claws into the brick, placed his feet flat against the wall, and scrambled up to the roof. "- or you could do that." He finished coolly.

He looked down at them, glad to be looking into shadows and not into the harsh hard light of a Southern California afternoon. Jean gazed up at him, her expression somewhere between amazement and sarcasm. "You've done this a lot." Not a question.

He retracted his claws and nodded.

"It's a gift, let me tell you," Bob interjected. "You have to meet a certain balance between your legs and the claws, or the claws cut straight through. I learned that the hard way on Dis. It's an art, mate - I'm impressed."

Logan didn't know what to say to that, so he didn't say anything.

"How do we stay in touch?" Jean wondered. "If someone sees her, how do we contact each other?"

"Bob, you zap in and tell us; Jean, send it to me telepathically, Bob, keep an eye out for a signal from me; and if I see her first, don't worry, you'll know."

"No attack," Bob reminded him. "She could wipe even you out, Logan."

"Would that be so bad?" He replied sarcastically.

"Yes," Jean said, perfectly serious.

He looked down at her, and felt a sudden pang of sorrow, although he didn't know if it was for her, himself, or both of them. "Everyone look sharp," he said, then turned away and started moving across the roof, towards the roofs of the other buildings that lined this side of the street. Save for two alleys that were cut through,  probably as short cuts for deliveries at the rear, the buildings were all uniform and cheek by jowl, and he could traverse them quite easily. And no matter that it was an extremely, glaringly bright day - no one looked up and noticed him even once.

He kneeled down at the corner of a building at the head of the block, trying to carefully scan the faces of all the female walkers, and even the drivers of expensive cars - because, let's face it, a teenager of any sort wouldn't wish they had a beater car.

Logan could feel the sun on the back of his neck, sweat starting to ooze from his forehead, and he suddenly wished Bob had materialized him some sunglasses too.


Miranda  wasn't sure when she realized that things were actually going very wrong, only that it dawned on her as a sort of obvious afterthought.

She has wished herself to a more interesting place - L.A. - but while that wasn't hard, the pain remained in her head, humming like a live wire. She tried to wish it away, but it hadn't worked. Everything else she wished away went without a trace, so why didn't that work?

She was starting to think there was more going on than she realized. But she wasn't sure if she should be upset or not.

She wasn't sure where she was, exactly. She'd been to L.A. once, and that was when she was five years old. It had seemed like a golden city then, full of impossible glamor and glitz, a sunny place where everything was glamorous and you could buy all sorts of neat things. But right now it seemed dirty and tacky, just another city with a tendency to try and gild its crumbling buildings with neon and murals, signs and sigils of a different, phony age. But gilded shit was still shit, just worth more on the open market.

She sat in an ice cream parlor, in one of the little red tables by the front window, all by herself as she lugubriously spooned up globs of melting chocolate ice cream and let it fall back with soft plops into the plastic coated paper cup containing a small moat of melted mocha almond fudge, mixed in with whipped cream and strawberry sauce. This was her favorite sundae, not allowed to her since her mother put them both on that stupid diet two months ago, but all that was happening had robbed her of most of the simple joy of even this.

The quiet, save for the small mechanical noises of the freezers kicking on and the regular hum of the air conditioner, was starting to get to her. She'd wished everyone away as soon as the pimply teen behind the counter got her her ice cream. She enjoyed it for about four minutes and a third of the sundae, and then it all seemed to pall. She wished she knew why, so she could make it stop.

She was vaguely aware that she had certain impulses that seemed very foreign and strange: it was almost like they weren't coming from her at all. Which was crazy, but wasn't all of this fucking nuts?

She had made an entire town disappear. She had simply shown up in Los Angeles, without having to grab a car or a bus.

She wished suddenly that she could talk to someone about this. But who? Her mother was gone, and would have dismissed her anyways.  She'd never been close to her father, or any other member of her small and dysfunctional family.

As she stared out the window at the dull, pear shaped people walking by, she suddenly wondered if it could be so easy.
"I wish I had a friend," she muttered, chuckling to herself.

It was that easy. Without any sense of displacement, there was a teenage girl sitting in the (formerly) empty red vinyl chair across from her. She was pretty in an ordinary sort of way,  her hazel eyes bright and her mouth crimson, her nose slightly pug and her oval face framed by a close cropped halo of wavy brownish blonde hair. She was wearing a multicolored floral print halter top, and her manicured fingernails were painted a deep blue. She had not been Miranda's idea of a friend (although honestly she'd had no idea in mind), and something seemed off about her, although she couldn't say what.

"Are you real?" She asked, not sure what to make of the stranger in the chair before her.

The girl laughed, and folded her pale hands together on the red lacquered table. "Of course I am, Miranda."

"How do you - "

"I'm you're friend, remember?"

Miranda studied the girl warily. This still didn't seem right, but her head hurt less, and she felt slightly less dizzy. "What's your name?"


Now there was a phony, Hollywood sounding name if she had ever heard one. Even stupider than her name. "I'm sorry."

Cressa cackled, in a manner that wasn't forced yet still seemed so. "Oh, come on, what's a shitty name?" She looked around the empty ice cream parlor, a moue of disappointment curving her lips. "What's say we get out of here and go have some fun?"

Miranda knew things were even wronger now than they had been before. It was like the world had been kicked loose from its axis, and was now spinning out of control, headed straight for the heart of the sun. But if everything was crazy, or at least going that way, where was the harm in going with it?

What else could she do?

Miranda sat back in her chair, crossing her arms over her chest, and continued to eye her 'friend' warily, even as she replied, "Sure, why not?"


According to the locator spell, Logan a/k/a Wolverine a/k/a Nomad had come closer to his home turf, and was in Los Angeles. But of course things weren't that simple.

The Drai'shajan was near him too.