Return of the Inner Demons

By Nova Zion

Summary: Fourth in a series of five stories dealing with Lucca's past and present life and her connection with Victor Creed.
All characters belong to Marvel except for Lucca. Lucca is mine, so please ask for permission to use her. The storyline is mine also, but I am making no money off of this. If you'd like to archive the series, please e-mail [email protected] Likewise, if you'd like to send me some feedback, much appreciated by the way, please do.

Pupil-less eyes blinked in front of a large, touch activated computer screen. Lights flashed as files loaded, screens were brought up and turned off with graceful movements from the activator. Blinking again, a slow yawn escaped Lucca's lips and she closed her eyes, blanking out for a moment. There were so many files about Victor and his fights in the United States and Canada alone. She'd had a feeling he wasn't as 'nice' to others as he was to her, but this file of information and recording's scared her even. Opening her dark lashed eyes again a moment later, she sat back and began closing files on the computer to shut it down.

Returning the screen to how it had been before, Lucca stood and reached out to flip the light switch off, her night vision taking over quickly. Smelling her way along, she found the front hall and the staircase, feeling her way up the stairs carefully. Light poured out in small rectangle's from the cracks underneath the doors to individual rooms, and she found the one that had been given to her only earlier in the day, glad again that she'd left the light on in a moment of thoughtlessness.

Shutting the bedroom door behind her, she went to the window, looking out at the fat, sparkling flakes of snow that spun and twirled on the wind as they fell. The moon hung as a big orb of white crystal in the inky black sky, stained with clouds that blotted out pieces at a time. Touching her hand against the cold glass, Lucca heard her claws tap against it softly, just a tinkling of sharp nail against glass. Her teeth cut into her lip gently as she bit down and coppery blood spilled into her mouth for just a second before the wounds closed over again.

The voices were getting so much stronger than they had been before, especially now that she'd been reading the files on all the fights and deaths. Sharp pain radiated from her temples and enveloped her mind in a haze as she tried to shake it off. Kill, they said. These peoples and emotions are confusing you too much to think straight. Her stomach ached as she thought of the voices. She needed to drown them out and be able to think again, to feel other thing's besides just the aches; the last time she'd been doing that, she'd been attacked.

Sleep would help right now. Sleep could take the pain away for a few moments and let her be free. Turning from the window, Lucca began to carefully unbutton the shirt she'd been given, working past her claws and the difficulty they brought with the small shell buttons. Throwing the shirt into a corner, Lucca shivered in the sudden chill the air brought to her bare skin. Unzipping her loaned jeans and yanking on the white socks, she three them into the opposite corner and picked up the large t-shirt and bathrobe someone had left on her bed. Lucca smiled at the kindness of the strange people and sat down on the bed, picking up the nightclothes. She slipped on the shirt, put the robe on the floor, and pulled back the covers of the bed, sleep beckoning to her even as her head hit the pillow. Closing her eyes and dragging the fluffy comforter over her lean body, Lucca fell into sleep peacefully, dreams of Victor already rising in her mind.

* * * *

Pain flashed from the center of Alexia's back. Screaming, she clawed her way up from the floor and into the corner, where she could lash back at her attacker. Raw wounds graced her delicate white flesh and Alexia gasped and struggled to breathe in as they healed over. The pain was intense, wiping out all of reality into black swirls as he came after her again and again.

Her beautiful white hair was bloodied by the fight, streaked with the red color of her own blood from several hits he'd been able to get her with. Crying out, Alexia closed her eyes and felt her father grab her boot, dragging her down the floor. Her hands picked up splinters from the unfinished wood, stinging as she tried in vain to find a grip on the floor.

His hand smashed across her face, shattering her cheekbone. Alexia found a grip in the wood; a piece that had been left up slightly gave way under her holding claws and she pried herself away from her father's punches, standing up painfully to run, blood gushing from a cut in her thigh.

"Let go!" she cried, feeling the icy cold grip of her father's fist around her thin wrist; he yanked her backwards, pulling her to her knees on the wood again. Tears streamed down her face and Alexia shuddered as his hold tightened greatly, snapping her bones easily.

"I told'ja to git out before I made ya pay. Yer no good! Filthy, ugly girl. You don't deserve to be livin' here with your mother an' me. Ugly girl."

Alexia looked at the ground sadly, salt tears dripping from her eyes to the floor. Her limp hand was still clutched in her father's hand as his tone became evil. It almost seemed to take on a life of it's own. The hissing garlic and alcohol breath floated from her father's mouth to manifest itself, almost seeming to make a man, twice as evil and mean as the one who'd given her life before her. Crying out, Alexia snapped back to reality and was wrenched to her feet, her wrist already healing once her father had let go.

Hissing in pain, she felt his boot kick her shin, hard. He stood stock still for a moment and Alexia took the time to finish healing against the wall, watching her mother through slit eyes watching her from the table, too drunk to even do anything to help her only child. Reality snapped back again and Alexia realized she'd been pulled from the wall, the steady support in the fight.

Opening her eyes wide, she saw a hand speeding towards her gut and tried to dodge, catching it in the kidneys. Pain rocketed from her leg, where a deep knife cut was healing, to her side as she tried to collapse. She brought her claws up and caught her father's arm as he held her up, punching her again. Squealing, he raised her, using his weight to lift her to her tiptoes.

"You worthless piece of garbage!" he screamed, blood running down his arm. Alexia closed her eyes as he began to push her back, back against an air current, pushing the breath out of her. It seemed to happen in slow motion. Alexia felt herself hit the wall first, felt her neck snap as she snapped forward into a hard fist. Bones in her spine shattered, fell and stabbed into her as the warm nest of pain in her kidney's spread, engulfing her brain, her lungs; it gripped her heart and throat, seared her stomach and burned her soul.

Gasping, Alexia fell to the ground as her father stumbled back and took in deep breaths. It was broken; her spine was splintered and she couldn't feel her legs for the life of her. Pain radiated, stinging and numbing, but she couldn't feel it past chest. Looking up through bloodshot eyes, Alexia gasped and blood gushed from her mouth.

"Maybe that'll kill ya." her father hissed, taking a swig of liquor from a nearby bottle.

Alexia put her head back down, breathing in the smell of blood. She was already regaining feeling in her legs; her toes could move, her knees were weak but there at least. A slight gasp of pain escaped her lips as a beer bottle shattered above her head on the wall, raining down sharp spikes of glass onto her still body. Her back was almost healed. She could feel the broken bone knitting back together into a strong central core again. Wearily, Alexia began to push herself up off of the floor, dragging her legs behind her as they regained feeling.

Pain invaded her body again as the glass stabbed through the torn skirt and lodged in her legs. Struggling with a renewed energy, she made it to her feet; dizziness washed over her and she felt a weakened bone snap, her almost-spent healing factor hurrying to repair it even as it faltered. Leaning against the wall, Alexia felt tears sting her eyes and her father turned around, a terrible expression on his face. Grunting with the effort, Alexos picked up a thick wooden chair and shot it at his daughter, chuckling as she dodged it and rolled to the other side of the wall. Holding her side with one hand, the thin wrists began to thicken and she felt the hairs on her arm grow longer.

Pain exploded in her guts, ripping her in two as her ears shifted higher on her head and she dropped to all fours. Her limbs shortened and lengthened in an effort to change to an efficient size. Her nose and mouth stretched; she heard her jaw snap and reset itself into a wolf's muzzle as her claws grew and set into her paws. Her tail bone expanded, stretching out form a tail. Bloody white fur covered her body, glistening as she lunged at the front door in a desperate attempt to escape the beatings.

As Alexia neared the door, she felt her father's thick hand grasp her tail, yanking her backward with one hard pull. He groaned as her claws dug into his chest and she snarled, digging deeper. Vaguely, she heard the door behind her break in and turned, growling at the intruder as she used her father's chest as a springboard to jump away. It was the flying pieces of wood from the demolished door that snapped her back to reality and she landed hard on the floor, fully normal again and gasping from the fall as she slid into the welcoming wall behind her.

Opening her eyes slowly, Alexia blinked the stars and black spots away, lifting her head. A sharp pain escalated down her neck and she dropped it like a weight again, whimpering. Her healing factor was almost totally spent, almost all burned out after the long fight. Blood arced high and dripped down from the ceiling onto her still form and Alexia blinked again, trying to make sense of the sideways angle and blood drenched scene before her. Copper tang filled the air and she gagged, closing her eyes from the horror again. Screams rang out from her mother to her left and then suddenly stopped, the silence giving a chill to the air.

A hand dropped onto her leg and someone gently lifted her head to peer at her face. She could feel the eyes watching her, searching for more injury as she curled away from the touch. The pain was a steady throb and whoever was in the cabin, squatting near her, watching her carefully, lifted her softly and cradled her, turning in the still cabin. They were dead, and someone was here to save her from this horrible life.

* * * *

Tears flowed freely down Alexia's cheeks and she shuddered as whoever had saved her lightly placed a hand on her shoulder as he carried her away from her old home. Glass was embedded into her back, causing painful movements in her arms, but she ignored it and worked on keeping her eyes shut against the strange place she was moving from. Coppery crimson dripped from her long hair and she crossed her arms over her chest and buried her head into the man's shoulder, bowing her head down into the knot of muscle. The voices hurt now, screaming out at the pain and shock of whatever it was she had witnessed in the little sideways world she'd last seen.

A man, a rather large and well-built man, but no less a man, had burst in when her father was about to try and kill her. He'd fought on her behalf, saved her from the horrid life she'd been left in so long. Sighing deeply, Alexia wiped at the tears with one shaking finger and the man's finger scraped gently across her cheek, trailing a wet, salty tear down her skin to her shoulder. Heat blazed behind them and Alexia opened her eyes slightly to look over his shoulder, seeing the fire that was in the midst of engulfing her small cabin home with the two dead bodies inside of it. Closing her eyes again, Alexia felt the pain rocket up her spine again and she wrapped her arms around the man's neck, sleep pulling at her brain again as he carried her away.

* * * *

"Frail...?" a gruff and gentle whisper in a man's voice raked through Alexia's sleep jumbled thoughts and she shook slightly in panic, turning her head away from the sound. A paw of a hand circled her cheek, cupping her face softly as the voice whispered again, urging her awake. "Wake up, girl..."

Alexia slit her pupil-less eyes open slowly, only letting them open fully when she realized there was no light to blind her and increase the throbbing in her head that was being mimicked in her back and arms. The throb became steadily more familiar as a sharp and intense stab of pain each time and Alexia brought a hand up to her face, wildly waving it about in her disoriented state.

"W-Who...a-a..." her throat was dry and she coughed, tears stinging her eyes as the pain stabbed into her back again, her mind sending a wave over her body. "P-please..."

"My name's Victor Creed. Don't try and move a whole lot, ya got glass in yer back." his face hovered above her's and Alexia stifled a gasp at his features. He was huge; close to seven feet tall and well over 200 pounds, maybe even 300. Long blond hair fanned out down his back, his sideburns were past his chin and he raked one hand threw his hair in thought.

Smoky baby blue eyes settled on her own pupil-less ones and Alexia calmed slightly and stopped waving her hand around near her head. She was on her back and wrapped in some kind of a blanket, though she could feel and smell the crimson liquid beneath her staining it. He stretched out one of his hands again to brush aside some hair that had fallen into her eye and Alexia shuddered at the sight of his long and deadly claws, coupled with the fang-like eyeteeth that shone when he smiled. Or bared his teeth.

"Well, well. I think I got myself a mutie like me here." he looked at her claws, stood for a moment and Alexia closed her eyes, head spinning with the intake of information in the past few moments. Opening them again as she heard a sound nearby, she glanced at Victor as he squatted down again, a pillow in his hand. "Ya want this?"

Alexia nodded a bit and Victor slid his hand under her neck, lifting her up a few inches to slide the pillow under her head. Pain shot up her spine and she groaned, her claws springing out to dig into the rock underneath her body, grooves scratching across the smoothed surface.

"Well, girl, I gotta take the glass outta yer back, or you'll hurt royally in a bit, if not already. The shock'll come off after a while." Victor rubbed his forehead and stopped, concentrating on something in the distant part of his mind. "I know ya got a healing factor to survive, but is it working after...the fight?"

Alexia blinked tears away and nodded slightly at the immense man before her. Victor nodded in return and she pushed herself up with help and a strangled, muffling cry of pain. Victor's hard eyes seemed to soften slightly as she opened her mouth in a raw gasp of pain and she leaned forward, gripping the pillow to stop from screaming out.

"This's gonna hurt." Alexia lifted the back of her torn shirt and Victor rubbed his eyes for a moment at the bloody flesh that met his gaze. Placing one hand on her back, he began to quickly yank out smaller pieces of glass from her back. "Frail, yer skin isn't healing very fast..."

Alexia turned slightly, the pain disappearing, and met his gaze as he pressed a blanket against her back and moved her waist-length hair aside. "W-What do y-y-you mean?"

"I mean, this back ain't healing as fast as it should with a healing factor." Victor growled and turned her back around. "I think ya spent it out."

Ripping another piece of the sharp, transparent shards from her skin, Victor growled dangerously again and Alexia let out a quiet sob, clutching the pillow steadily. Pain wracked her limbs and spine and rocketed in waves throughout her stomach, the voices screaming in hate at her dead parents.

"Done." Victor pressed the blanket against her back and then pulled it away, scowling. "It's better, should heal in a bit."

Alexia nodded and sat back, pulling her shirt down slightly. Looking back over her shoulder with a blank expression on her white face, she dropped her dark lashes over her red-rimmed eyes and opened her mouth to let out a whispered question to the hulk behind her. "Why didn't you just let me die?"

Victor moved around to sit in front of her and an angry expression crossed his face before fading into something between a mix of confusion and compassion. "I've been watching ya for a while, frail. I've seen ya run from the little shacks ya lived in with bruises and cuts all over ya. I've had that happen before, and I couldn't let ya just sit there while I saw yer pop beat on ya."

Alexia looked away from him, white locks swinging into her eyes to hide her tears. "You got beat on too?" she asked quietly, glancing at him quickly.

Victor nodded and then looked away to the wall she'd turned to. "Chained in the cellar. Fer bein' a mutie like you. I've been following yer family around fer a while and I watched fer how they treated ya, I know what it's like."

Alexia lay back on the blanket she'd woken wrapped in. Looking at him, she rolled onto her side and curled up, not once thinking it might have been the stupid thing to do or that she should be afraid of him. "I'm really tired Vic."

Victor chuckled lightly at her normal nickname for him as she closed her eyes and curled up beside him. "Go to sleep then. Don't leave the cave no matter what when ya wake up."

Leaning back against the wall, Victor Creed watched and listened as the young girl fell into a deep sleep free of pain beside his resting arm. Lifting it suddenly as she rolled over to face him in her sleep, Victor dropped it behind her head, cradling her. This was the first time in a long time he'd felt calm, almost normal again. Thoughts slowed in his mind, fleeting images that left to the darker recesses as he watched her sleep. Maybe he'd keep her with him, take care of her for a bit.

Alexia groaned as a cut in her back continued to heal in her relaxed state. Slowly, afraid to wake her with a sudden movement, Victor draped another thick blanket over them both and sank down on the rock to sleep, feeling her warm body resting reassuringly behind his back as he drifted into sleep.

* * * *

Lucca sat up with a start, shaking her head as the darkness flashed through her eyes and settled down, allowing her to see. She hadn't dreamt about Vic in such a long time, but now she had for some reason unknown to her. Sighing miserably at the feelings the dream had brought up again, she turned slightly to plump up her pillow and pulled the fallen down blankets up the her chest again, opening her eyes as she felt through her jumbled senses to pick out something. The gas had messed with her senses extraordinarily, but she could definitely tell when someone was in the room with her.

Sitting up again, she spun around in bed and looked into the dark shadows where a foot rested on the desk nearby. "Finally smelled me eh? I was wonderin' when that sniffer would come in after the gas."

Lucca slouched a bit and leaned most of her weight back on her hands behind her, blowing some of her long white hair out of her face. "What're ya doin' in my room Logan?"

The man known to her now as Logan leaned forward into the patch of bright moonlight that spilled in from her window above the desk. Smiling, Lucca lay back again but turned on her side to face the short, hairy man. He rubbed his face and she noticed he was wearing a pair of red and white striped boxers and a white undershirt; he'd woken in the night because of her.

"I was in the mansion for some more beer and I heard ya cryin' in yer sleep. Wanna talk about it?" Logan moved and sat on the edge of the young woman's bed as she made room, taking up the same position of leaning on his knees to chat with her, eyes guarded but caring in the dark room.

"I was dreaming about Vic." Lucca whispered, clutching one of her pillows gently, only then realizing her cheeks were wet with tears. "I don't know why, but I was dreaming about when my... about when my dad was beating me and...and..." Lucca paused as sobs escaped her throat in strangled moans. Sitting up into Logan's outstretched arms, she hugged him gratefully and continued, her sobs coming out uninhibited now. "Vic came a-and killed them to stop them from... to stop them from hurting me anymore. And then he took care of me..."

Logan rubbed her back over her wild hair, hugging her gently. "I know better than anyone that Vic once had a better side. And from this, he musta been good t' ya, at least some of the time." Sitting back a bit, Lucca crossed her legs and wiped her eyes, nodding at the man who was so similar to her Victor, yet, not.

"He was good to me most of the time. Very good to me. And I miss him." she looked at her hands in her lap and Logan leaned forward again to think. "Thanks..."

"It was nothing. Ya go to sleep now kid. We'll talk again later on if ya want." Logan stood quickly and Lucca lay back, rolling over in the bed as he slipped out of her room and shut the door with a quiet click of the latch. Drifting off, Lucca thought of Victor again and a silent tear dripped down her cheek as she slept.