When You Really Love a Woman: Part 4

by Witheld

Italics are thoughts. Minimal telepathy.

If I was making money off this stuff, you・d be paying money to read it. If I owned the characters, I・d be doing a better job with them. Thank you.

Rated R for blood, sexual content, swearing, violence against women, generally sadistic thoughts.

Jubilee faced him, her face calm. In her left hand she held the syringe, in her right, one of the guns. She stared at the massive man crouching opposite her on the lawn. His head was down, and she couldn・t see his eyes. She could feel them, though. She could feel the blistering heat of his gaze on her skin, and she shivered.

Immediately she covered her lapse with a show of bravado.

・Well, you bastard? I・m out here. With you. No X-Men, no Friends of Humanity. Yer move.・

Sabretooth growled.

He wanted to rend flesh. He wanted to tear something, somebody, apart. He wanted to feel blood on his hands, wanted to bathe in blood.

He wanted to kiss Jubilee, hold her in his arms, touch her face gently.

He hunched there, staring at her across the lawn. Even in a bulky suit of cobbled-together half-assed armor, she still looked great. She looked....incredible. But her eyes had dark shadows under them, and her lips were drawn together into a tight scowl.

The hand holding the gun was quivering. He knew she was loading mercury-filled bullets, bullets with enough killing force to keep him off his feet while she finished him.

He tried to remain still.

She spoke again. ・You want to hurt Logan? Is that it? Is that all your games with me amount to? Or do you really get your kicks from hurting little girls?!・

He growled some more. He began shuffling, uncomfortable. Her hand tightened on the gun barrel.

He wanted lots of blood. He wanted people to die. He wanted flecks of gore to stick to his hands. He wanted humans and mutants dead at his feet.

He wanted to touch her face.

・Never meant....・ He trailed off. He had meant to hurt her, kill her, to get at Logan. ・I don・t....・ He couldn・t speak. The animal he had let rule him for so long still ruled him, still held him. His instincts told him to keep the girl in front of him safe; another set told him to run, because she was holding a gun on him.

A gun. Pointed at his gut. He was trembling with the need to do something about that. But it would ruin everything. So he hunched there, ready to leap if she showed any sign of trying to shoot him.

・Spit it out, Creed! I know you・re dumber・n・nails, but you should still be able to speak your mind! Oh, sorry, you already did!・

He tried hard to speak. But he couldn・t. He snarled instead, pawing the earth.

・Oh! Am I supposed to be scared? Cause I ain・t!!・ She was. He could smell the fear.

・No!・ He snarled. ・You weren・t supposed to be scared.・ And he hunched lower, staring at her. Finally he stood, turned, and stalked away. It was a deliberate, inviting stride. Do your worst, Victor Creeds defiant back taunted Jubilee.

He was expecting it, but it was still a surprise to feel the hot explosion of mercury in his back. The sharp crack that followed echoed through his head as he collapsed to his knees.

One thought was in his mind.

If I go feral I・ll hurt her. If I go feral I・ll hurt her. For the first time in his life, Victor Creed matched wills with the urge to go feral. For the first time ever, he tried to reign in his darker tendencies.

His will power had never before in his life tried to hold back the stream on animalistic tendencies that defined ・feral.・ He had never had a reason. He had always flowed with his instincts, allowing his dark side to dominate him. Now he fought as he had never fought.

He failed, of course. But he had tried.

He whirled with a snarl, facing her. Her hand was shaking worse than ever. He could feel the hot pain spreading as his healing factor fought a deadly battle with the mercury that had viciously spread through his back, propelled by the explosive impact. He was weakening, and he could feel his healing factor leaving him.

He had practically invited the shot. Jubilee stared at him as he climbed to his feet and began walking towards her. His hands were shaking and he was covered with blood. Jubilee tried to force her finger to pull the trigger again, but she couldn・t, staring at the blood running off of him.

He was in front of her. Her face barely came to his chest, and he was so big ... she lifted the gun, aiming it at his face. He tore the gun out of her grasp, throwing it away.

・Why?・ He asked her. ・Why you? Why now?・ He unsheathed his claws, holding them in front of her face. She was frozen, trembling. ・I could always fix anything with these. But now...I can・t fix nothin`.・

Then the grounds erupted with X-Men. Energy beams sizzled and struck the big man, who went down hard, and fast. His healing factor was already overloaded with the mercury in his back, but the others didn・t realize it.

It was Cyclops who realized something was wrong when the feral didn・t get up. ・Cease fire!・ He yelled. Everybody stared at him in shock. ・Bishop, check him. Make sure he・s down.・

・Should I finish him?・ Asked the time traveler, crouching over the huge feral.

・No! We・re taking him to the med-lab.・ He stared at the torn apart feral, who hadn・t even tried to defend himself. ・Jubilee, what・d you hit him with.・

・Mercury bullet.・ She said listlessly. ・You can・t save him now.・ There was no triumph in her eyes, no victory. Just a cold fact. Suddenly Wolverine exploded out of the house, Gambit by his side. Jubilee smirked. She had chosen as her time to confront Creed the time she knew they were both taking their one hour nap・the only sleep they were getting. She had known that they wouldn・t be there for her this time. She had outsmarted them.

Gambit was charging a card in each hand, while Logan・s claws were out. Both were headed for Bishop and the unconscious Victor Creed.

・No!・ Yelled Scott. Neither man slowed. ・Bishop, defensive posture.・ Bishop immediately took a knee, firing several shots at Logan, who fell back. Then he pointed the gun at Gambit.

・Back off, LeBeau!・ He snarled. LeBeau・s eyes widened.

・Since when did you care about that kind of scum, Bishop? Merde!・ Swore Gambit. Bishop scowled.

・Orders.・ Said Bishop, hard. He had been ready to kill the feral murderer a minute ago, but if Scott said he lived...he lived. Besides, Bishop had his reasons. Creed might be a murderer, but he would be an extremely useful murderer in the future.

Still, if he tried to hurt the girl again....he would die. Bishop had no qualms. It would disrupt the time-stream, he knew. He・d met Creed in the future. But he・d also met Jubilee in the future.

And there was something niggling at the back of his head, a little fact he knew he had forgotten. Something that he had learned at an early age and had taken for granted since then. Something about Jubilee...something he should have remembered about Jubilee.

Victor Creed woke up in chains.

He wanted to howl. All his life he had hated nothing so much as being locked up.

Still, it had a certain familiarity to it. He had been locked up before, and he knew what it was like. It was almost comforting after the way his life had just been torn apart to have a semblance of normality.

Chains as therapy.

He looked around. Green grass, as far as the eye could see. With an observation booth hovering fifteen feet away from his head. One of the least subtle Danger Room scenarios he had ever seen.

There was a bandage on his back, and he could feel the remnants of the mercury poisoning still fighting his healing factor. But his healing factor was winning, Creed knew. As always.

Now all he had to do was wait for them to send somebody to talk to him.

It was, surprisingly, Scott Summers who came to see him. Sabretooth growled. He didn・t have any Hannibal Lecter thing over his mouth, so he could still bite. Summers walked right up to him.

・There・s a force field between us, and my wife is watching us from the booth. So don・t even bother trying. You・ll only hurt yourself.・ Sabretooth growled. ・I told the others that I was the logical choice, since they would become emotional and probably hurt you, and I wouldn・t.・ He gave Sabretooth a considering look. ・You know, I think that may have been the first time I lied to my team for selfish reasons?・

The first blow staggered the wounded feral, dropping him backwards to the ground. The kick that followed it crushed Sabretooth・s windpipe.

As Sabretooths healing factor struggled to repair him while still battling the poison in his system, Scott Summers leaned over him. ・Bastard.・ Whispered Cyclops. ・If you ever touch her again, you will die.・

Sabretooth snarled as Cyclops left.

I・ll have to carve him a new windpipe.....no, she won・t like that. Maybe just beat on `im a little. No, she won・t like that. Dammit, don・t she like nothin` fun?

Sabretooth snarled, carefully raising himself and tearing through the chains holding him. He was ready to tear and rend whatever he saw next.

He carefully sheathed his claws as he saw Jubilee enter. He stood straight as she approached, trying not to meet her eyes.

He didn・t want her to know how much it hurt him to see her.

She stands in front of the wavering image of a door. ・Ya know Jean is watching, right? And we have force fields. I・m safe.・ She said it defiantly, trying to tell him she didn・t fear him.

He dropped into a crouch, his eyes narrowing. ・You were never in any danger from me!・ He snarled. ・Go...stay...I don・t know which one scares me more, frail!・ He glanced at the control booth. ・Screw ya!・ He screamed at it.

He ran off into the holographic woods, hiding deep in the forest. He didn・t want to be found. Of course, he knew that to the person in the control booth he wasn・t hidden. But he didn・t want to see Jubilee.

She had shot him.

It really hurt him. Not just in his still-sore shoulder, which he guessed had been treated by the Beast, but deep down, it hurt. It was betrayal on a fundamental level.

But since she didn・t owe him any loyalty...he couldn・t call her on it. In fact, he had deserved it.

He began slashing at the landscape around him, tearing holes in it.

Jean stared at Sabretooth. She didn・t dare try to touch his mind; she knew the thinly veiled chaos and violence that was in there, that would drive her mad. She knew she wasn・t ready.

But he had never responded this way to the forest environment before. It always relaxed the beast in the huge man, made him feel...less violent.

He was beginning to hurt himself, Jean noticed, tearing huge chunks out of himself as he attacked the undergrowth. The wounds Beast had cleaned and stitched popped open, and Sabretooth collapsed, as near death as he would ever get.

Creed looked up as he heard a new voice in the woods. ・Where is he, Jean?・

・To your left.・

・Thanks. Voice override, Alpha-10. Mute lockout. Authorization Iceman 10.・

・Bobby! Bobby, what are you--!・ And suddenly the mindwitch・s voice disappeared.

・Creed? I know you・re here. Where・ah!・ And the young X-Man, Bobby Drake, burst into the small clearing Creed had torn out of the forest.

・Back to get back some of your own, Drake?・ Hissed Creed. ・For handling you in the car?・

・Nah.・ Bobby had already made certain the safeties were on. The forcefields in place. Creed couldn・t touch him, and Bobby knew it; but the system would allow him to hit Creed. Scott had proved that, to the teams astonishment. ・Some of Jubilee・s, actually.・ He slowly formed a ball of ice in his hand.

・Gonna tear me up good?・ Rasped Sabretooth hopefully.

・Maybe. Wanna talk some?・

・Already talking. I・ve had my fill of talking to yer crappy team!・ Sabretooth roared. He jumped against the shield separating them, his claws scrabbling for a hold as the forcefields ran electricity through his body.

・I meant about Jubilee.・ Said Bobby coldly, and Sabretooth dropped to all fours, regarding Bobby the way a predator regards his prey. ・I mean, you・ve been showing a lot of interest in her.・

Sabretooth rubbed the ground in front of him, staring at Bobby Drake. A thousand things leapt through his mind. He growled, extending his claws and tearing the ground in front of him.

There were a million things he wanted to ask. And none he could ask Drake.

・Go. Away.・ He snarled. He couldn・t do anything but snarl. Drake deserved the snarl.

Bobby stared at the huge, hulking man, who was bent over thrashing at the ground. ・I・ll be back.・ He muttered, mostly to himself. Then he walked out.

・I・ll be waiting!!!・ Sabretooth roared after him, somehow no longer so furious as he had been before.

Jean stared into the soundproofed Danger Room. Bobby had somehow defused Creed, banishing all the hatred and violence in a heartbeat. She tried to get hold of Bobby・s brain, link to him to ask him what he had done, but all she found in his mind was confusion.

She sat in the control booth, watching the feral man howl silently at the holographic moon.

End of Part Four. Feedback would be appreciated, of course, at [email protected]

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