An Unhealthy Positive

BY : CrowSkyler
Category: X-Men: (All Movies) > Slash - Male/Male
Dragon prints: 1317
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the X-Men movies, or any of the characters from them. I make no money from from the writing of this story.

Title: An Unhealthy Positive
Disclaimer: These boys don’t belong to me. And you can have Stryker. Logan doesn’t either, though, which makes me sad. =’( Oh, well. They both belong to Marvel, and the movie stuff belongs to Fox…
Rating: R
Summary: Before there was Wolverine, there was Logan. Before there was General Stryker, there was William. And before there was current freedom … there was Weapon X.

This is a short story, mind, and an AU. Don’t expect me to be anal retentive to details. Well, because this never happened, that’s why. Unless there was something to Stryker that we missed.

Dedications: This is dedicated to Sam. Because, without her, this wouldn't have existed. Go Sam! =D That’s CorpseChild, to the rest of you. Go read her stuff, or suffer my … displeasure. (^_~) Oh, and there are some Phantom of the Opera quotes in this, hee.


***

“General, good morning.”

William Stryker didn’t exactly love his job. It was his job, and he had developed it, but it wasn’t his favorite thing. And it came with too many annoyances that bordered on clear frustration. But there was one thing he loved about it—breakfast. Eating something quick in stoic peace. Which is why this interruption was a clear and foul crime in his mind. But Natalie Pierce was a rather good secretary, and throwing her out would make a bad impression on the troops, besides.

“Morning, Miss Pierce,” he said, with careful softness, his breath foggy in the cold morning air. If she weren’t greeted, as warmly as perhaps she’d like, maybe she’d go away. But, that clearly was not going to be the case. “Can I do something for you?”

“That report came in today, sir,” she said, hesitantly. “From Psychology, on the Weapon X.” Handing him the folder, she started when he snatched it from her hands, eagerly. She knew he was interested in the program—especially since he was its creator—but his zeal never failed to surprise her. Waving his hands at her dismissively, she hurried from the room with a nod, leaving him to it.

SITUATION—

Subject is constantly groggy and out of place. Has taken on a childlike mentality, only trusting certain people and not eating anything given to him. Constantly curls up and is unresponsive. Other times, is violently and vengeful—has bitten Miss Rathe twice when she’s given him his injections.

RESULT—

Injections not working.


“Damn them!” With a rough smack, the folder met the desk brutally, Stryker glaring at the opposite wall. “I’one one too much! They can’t tell me he’s failed! I’ve invested too much…” But, they had told him, and he sagged, kneading his forehead. This meant he’d have to be put down, or changed entirely. Changed entirely new new concept for the perfect soldier would have to be arrived on…

“We’ve enhanced his healing ability, what more is there?” he groaned softly. Contrary to most mutants’ belief, he was human, and this was giving him a rather nasty headache. “Unless…”

Stryker looked at the folder with a quirked brow. “Unless…”

***


“General, what a pleasant surprise… I trust you received my file?” Doctor Keifer Gerard wasn’t the most annoying person in the world, but he was damned close, in Stryker’s opinion. The only problem was, he was a damned good Psychologist, and they couldn’t afford to loose him. So, they were stuck with him, unless something … ‘unfortunate’ … happened. He was a thin, balding man, who always wore the same wrinkled, vaguely professional clothing.

“Yes, yes, Dr. Gerard, I did … Can I see Weapon X?” Stryker looked about the spare, cold room. Not only was he annoying, he kept a very strange office. “It’s rather … urgent.”

“General.” Gerard looked at him squarely, clearly disapproving. “My patient just went a-wall again, I don’t need you to go in there and disturb him further! Really, someone has to put a stop—”

“A-wall? Is that a professional term?” Stryker glared at him, cutting him off. The man was out of his territory now, and he should have known it. “I need to see him. Now. It’s about the entire project, you nitwit.”

“Oh.” Having the grace to look ashamed, but only milso (so (something that really irked Stryker), Gerard nodded. “Follow me. We had to move him, as hard as it was. Thank God he has those claw restrainers.” They moved down a flawlessly chilly hallway, where he could hear distant, muffled yelling. It was like a strange haunted house, all shadows and strange noises.

Finally, they arrived at a singular, lonely cell.

“We had to place him with two empty ones on the other side,” Gerard explained, nervously. “He was making such a … racket.” When Stryker nodded, understanding, he unlocked the door and slid it open.

***


It was dark. They’d left him in here, after he’d bitten the nice lady savagely on her hand. Well, and for kind of attacking the other men, when they’d moved forward. It wasn’t his fault that he was paranoid; they’d certainly handled him roughly other times. Hadn’t they? He couldn’t remember, exactly, now. And that disturbed him. Was he just violent, lashing out whenever he felt the need, no matter?

“Hello?” he called at the door. “Anyone there?”

No, of course not. He was all alone. And he didn’t even remember his name right now. All because of the pretty lady, who said she’d given him ‘medicine’. He hated that sharp, metal … thing. What was it, a ‘needle’? It hurt, pricking his skin, giving him things that weren’t his. He couldn’t help but shake whenever one was near. And, could anyone blame him? Well, he didn’t think so.

Name … ah, yes ... wasn’t his name Wolverine? Yes, it was … and Logan. Either one. He wasn’t sure why he had two names, but he liked both of them, the first for being so … impersonal. The second for … just being there. He liked the ring of it, and hated it at the same time. It was an odd sort of thing.

There … that was people, he was sure of it. Footsteps. One light, long stride—Doctor Gerard, perhaps. And the other heavy and somewhat short—Stryker. Both made him pale, and scoot back into a corner. Nononono, pleaseplease, nothimnothimnothim…, he cried mentally, shaking thoroughly when the door finally creaked open.

“There he is, General.”

“Thank you, Doctor. Leave us.”

As the door was shut again, Logan’s sense of forbidding increased. Was he here to make him ‘feel better’ again? Or just to talk? There was no way of knowing ... just bearing. And Logan couldn’t move, from fear.

“Look at you.” The contempt made him shiver. “Huddled in a corner, scared of your own shadow. Grow some balls! You were supposed to be my perfect soldier, what happened to you? This wasn’t you before, and this wasn’t supposed to be you after!” Stryker paused, and when Logan did not respond, the shivering man was kicked in the side, hard.

“I could just exterminate you and find another test subject, maybe someone with a healthy mind, but … no. I don’t think so.” Stryker ran a hand through his coarse hair. “I’ll be back for you later; after some discussion over those claws of yours.”

“Don’t hurry back,” was Logan’s quip, when the man left his cell, sagging into the wall as stray tears coursed his cheeks. Now what was going to happen to him?

***


“You’re mad. He’d never survive a process like that. No one would.” Dessamond Freit shrugged his heavy-set shoulders, adjusting his prim business suit with an air of finality. “That would kill him the minute the metal touched a nerve. Send him right over the edge.”

“Dessamond,” Stryker said soothingly, “you haven’t seen his healing ability in action. We had to shoot him once in the arm, to keep him in here, and he stood back up a minute later; comple hea healed, bullet on the ground. He can take it, if you’d pardon a few … pounds … of the metal.”

Still, the German mega-millionaire would not be stirred. “How would you harness it? Once it cools, it can’t be touchedd ind injecting cold metal into him won’t work, you know that. So what’s going on in that head of yours, William?”

“Let me worry about the Adamantium injection.” Stryker smiled at him, as charmingly as he could manage. “So, what do you say, Mr. Freit? Will you spare the resources for our perfect soldier?”

“Perfect is right.” Freit smiled, predatorily. “He came with … quite a form on him. Is he as good as he looks?” The sick light to this question appealed to Stryker; otherwise, he wouldn’t have answered.

“Better,” said Stryker, and they bothed laughed.

***


As they came along, he shook his hands fitfully, smashing the metal on his knuckles against the wall, denting it but not breaking it. If he didn’t have the things on, his claws would have ripped through, so was the pure panic running through his entire form. They were coming for him, he knew it. Knew it and hated it. Logan had spent … how many years here? They were always after him, tormenting him …

“Come here, you. You’re wanted.”

Hazel eyes looked at the two orderlies, silhouetted in the doorway. “I was never wanted,” he whimpered, in despair and pain. “Go away.” But when they moved forward, he knew it was futile, scurrying away just the same. “Go away!” he repeated; voice desperate, now. “Leave me—”

But they had him by the arms, and Logan was lost, struggling weakly as they hauled him from the cell, into the cold passageway. It reminded him of heaven-hell—white, but freezing and uninviting. As they passed him, Dr. Gerard smiled and waved, and Logan spat at him angrily as the double-door elevator opened … and closed.

***

It wasn’t as painful as perhaps Stryker would have liked. But then, any more pain, and The Wolverine probably would not have lasted. It was a slow, careful process, flow of the metal having to be monitored so that it would go in all the right places, and didn’t flow too far. Logan himself was submerged in hot water, to keep the metal responsive enough, in a kind of Half-life state. He still made noises of pain, particularly during a first injection, but other than that, only writhed and twitched.

Stryker wouldn’t have traded places with him for the world.

When it ended, he was unconscious, hauled out and clothed loosely, and then put back in his cell. He was monitored, but other than that, Stryker and his technicians thought nothing of it—they’d succeeded, bonded indestructible metal to his skeleton and had the patient survive it.

There was only the question of mental stability, in direct relation to their handling him, but Stryker had answered that easily enough. Nerves had been implanted with the metal, so that when certain spots were touched, a chemical made by the brain would secrete into it. He would be stopped in whatever activity, as if drugged. It was the perfect way to accomplish the subject of control, over their new monster.

Of course, he had his own personal ideas about these nerves. Control was something he’d always relished, over everything. This was the perfect opportunity to use Logan’s … resources … to there fullest. After all, with those drugged effects, there would be none of the grappling and struggling that there had been the times before—the whole three times. Logan was a formidable creature to try and seduce, or just plain get the advantage of. But this would make it so much easier …

He paused, considering what Dr. Gerard had told him, only yesturday.

“He won’t survive the recovery process. He’s as dead as a vegetable right now, just curled up on the floor.”

“Wolverine can survive,” Stryker had argued, “and he will. That’s what he does, survive.”

“Not this time, General.”


Ah, but who had been right, and wrong? Logan had regained consciousness this morning, with no appetite and rather blank eyes. But that would change, as they continued to inject him with Mit-2, a chemical that caused the patient to have direct control over his hunger, bladder needs, and comfort level. The only problem with Mit-2 was that it was known to destroy its patients’ minds. But that was all in the past—Gerard had made a breakthrough.

“Well, Wolverine, let’s see how you’ve handled my Adamantium.”

***

Where was this? It was different. Colder. Wait, this was his cell? Why was it sunnier?

They must have moved it again.

Logan glared at the wall, garbled as his vision was. Why were they always moving him? Was he some sort of animal attraction at a zoo, moved from exhibit to exhibit? Moving hurt, and so did thinking, so he stopped both, laying his head back against the concrete.

But, he couldn’t stop the memories, and the thoughts that came with those. And, he could hear footsteps, down the corridor.

No, no, don’t … His thoughts were a mental sob. Leave me the fuck alone … Don’t hurt me again … Not again …

When Stryker finally did enter, barking out some sarcastic comment (no doubt at his weakness; Logan didn’t care), he was weak and unable to fight back when he yanked ho hio his feet.

“Look at you,” the older man sneered. “Pathetic.”

YOU fucking live through what I just did.

When he didn’t reply, Stryker was at him, but it wasn’t him, it was his … his hands … No, no, no, no … “Leave me,” he whimpered, pushing at his chest. “Leave me!” Such weak words. But they were the only thoughts he was able to articulate, panicking.

“Wolverine, Wolverine … James … did you really think I wouldn’t give myself an upper hand … ?”

Torn between fear and confusion, then, Logan stared at him. “What … ?”

Liquid sunshine and cold marrow fled straight into his mind, one of Stryker’s hands brushing his inner thigh and making him shake, sagging against him; utterly helpless.

There was a time when I thought he loved me. More touches. There was a time when I needed his attention to survive, to breathe … Now I know—I don’t need him. But, he needs this. Oh God, I HATE this. Logan gritted his teeth. I HATE YOU, flew through his mind, as Stryker continued, the night becoming a grotesque blur.

***


“He’s depressed.”

“Of course he is. I asked him to stop it, but he wouldn’t.”

“But, he’s destroying him. He’s already practically a wreck, why would he … ?”

“General Stryker is a sick man, Miss Pierce.”

“I know. Can I see him?”

“I’m not sure if—”

“Just for a moment. Please.”

“…alright. But be quick.”

“Thank you, Dr. Gerard.”

He was worse than she suspected he would be. And that was bad. Natalie Pierce had an abundant imagination. The man she’d only heard of, Wolverine, was crumpled in the corner, unmoving and seemingly unbreathing. Behind her, she knew Gerard was watching. That made her feel more confident. “Logan?”

Slowly, she watched the head surface, overly bright hazel eyes looking at her, as though startled. Natalie knew that no one used the name often, or at all. She’d hoped to get to him this way. As far as she knew, he recognized the name as his own, not the one he’d been born with. “What do you want?” There were deep shadows about his eyes, and heked ked skeletal.

“I’m Natalie, Logan. I need to ask you a question.”

“What kind of question?” He sounded awful. Like someone had repeatedly kicked his throat. Natalie, her stomach churning, had an idea why. “Why would you care?”

“Has the General been abusing you, Logan?” Natalie had switched on her pocket recorder. “Please answer. He won’t know, I promise.”

Such a thick silence followed. Gerard had cleared his throat twice, telling her to go, but she hadn’t, sitting patiently. Finally, as if this was a tooth-pulling experience, Logan muttered, “Yes.”

“…Thank you, Logan.”

When she left, Natalie missed the soul-searched gaze at her back. Gerard and he locked gazes quietly, before he shut the door, leaving Logan alone again.

***


During the following weeks, Stryker continued his acts on the broken man, threatening Gerard with his life should he tell. Knowing that Pierce had Logan’s confession on tape madm nem nervous, as he wasn’t sure what she planned on doing with it. Bringing down the project was not a plan—they wouldn’t. Not because of one mutant’s abusal. A patient, at that. The President had a blind eye for Stryker.

Finally, Gerard thought The Wolverine was done. He delved deep into unconsciousness, discovered very suddenly when they went around to feed the patients, and nothing would bring him out of it. Even Stryker looked concerned, although Gerard knew it was onhat hat the officials would discover that his project had failed, or was going to. The best doctors on the Project were puzzled, and so were the technicians; although, secretly they weren’t surprised at this. Hadn’t they warned him of this? Wolverine being a mental vegetable?

Gerard kept checking on him, but he was convinced of no change.

***


… Mom? Is that you, Mom? Dad? … Rose?

Shadows, nothing more.

Where am I? Where do I go from here?

Up.

Up? Why up?

Don’t you see the light? Follow the light, Logan.

But it’s so bright! Why do I have to go there? It hurts.

Change is never easy. Please, trust me.

Okay. Okay, I’ll go.

Good boy.

***



Hazel eyes opened, taking in the sunny room with a quiet calmness. I’m back, echoed in his head, as he sat up and looked around. There didn’t appear to be anyone here besides him, and no attendants. Considering, Logan frowned at the various tubes connected to him. He pulled at one, and was rewarded with a sharp, sharp pain to his arm.

Ouch. Oh, you’re brilliant.

Glaring at himself, Logan remembered he had another way of cutting them, those now-metal-sheeted claws. And they slid out with remarkable smoothness, after that quick pain when they sliced through the skin. And past the claw guards, too, the pieces of metal clinking to the ground.

When several tubes were cut, he was able to stand, hurrying to the door and listening.

Now’s your chance, chanted a voice, in his mind. Go, go, seize the moment.


***


“Sir!” Michael Dodgers might have not been a panicky man, but he certainly was now, scuttling up to General Stryker and Miss Pierce like a hyper dog, throwing a hasty salute to his General. “The Project’s awakened!”

Pierce threw a look at Stryker, who only nodded.

“Sir, that’s not all. He woke up and—and—well, he got out!”

There was certainly a reaction this time. Stryker glared daggers at him, having halting stepstep. “WHAT?

Pierce looked startled. “How did he get out?”

“Forced his way. His claws went right through those restrainers. The Adamantium works. But he then used it to get through, to the outside. We can still catch him, General. Orders?”

But, contrary to what the other two might have expected, Stryker merely nodded, looking thoughtful. He glanced at Pierce. “Well … maybe it’s better if we … let him go.”

“General! After—”

“Make everyone forget, Miss Pierce,” said Stryker quietly, a complacent look about him, before he vanished into his office and the door shut, hard.

“He can’t possibly…” Dodgers stared at Pierce unseeingly. “After so much money invested?”

“Forget what you’ve seen, soldier. Forget it.” Natalie Pierce felt triumphant.

Go, Logan. Forget all of this, she thought.

***


Deep, deep snow. And cold. But he was leaving them. And they weren’t following. Logan scarcely dared to believe it—was he really getting away? Surely they were just out of his vision, ready to bring him back to Hell?

You’re free, you’re free. In the land of peace and tolerancack ack amongst people who won’t experiment on you. Hurt you. Kill you.

That was too much to believe. But he was better.

And it was better.

Well … until it surfaced …


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