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Lock-Down: Chapter Two

Mac O'Roni

     Sometime in the night, a man with no last name awakened to the sound of his cellmate scrambling through the darkness in apparent alarm.
     “Gumbo, what—” he began, vaulting off the bunk with his claws extended, ready to face whatever danger.
     “S’okay, mon ami,” Remy said. His voice was strangely muffled. “Was just runnin’ ta get somet’in’ t’stop dis up wit’. Got another bloody nose, me.”
     Logan subsided, claws retracting into his knuckles with a muted snkt. “Well, if ya’d keep yer damn fingers out’n it,” he said, with no real malice.
     “Ah ha, ah ha ha,” Remy said, not really laughing at all. Logan’s eyes adjusted to the darkness, aided in part by the dull crimson glow of his companion’s demonic eyes, and soon he could see that the Cajun had a wad of toilet paper pressed under his sharp, angular nose. The smell of his blood, warm and somehow just as spicy as the food the man still preferred to eat even after many years acclimatizing to the blander palates of northerners, stirred feral, gustatory instincts in Logan’s wolverine nature. He fought back the urge to lick his lips in sudden animal hunger.
     “You ben gettin’ a lot of them lately,” he said, leaving off with the jokes. “Ever since we got in this damned place. What’s wrong, Rem? Maybe you should talk to Hank about it, eh?”
     “Nah, dey ain’t nothin’ Henry can do ‘bout it,” he said, taking the paper away from his nose and examining it briefly before returning pressure to the flesh just under his nostrils. “You ‘member all dem times Chuckles an’ Jeanne had Gambit anchor ‘em on de astral plane? I’d always get bloody noses after dat, too, ‘cause I had m’shields down. De inhibitor collar, it drop dem suckers right outta dere.”
     “I thought that happened because your empathy went wild when yer shields were down,” Logan said. “Shouldn’t th’ inhibitor take care’a that problem, too?”
     Remy shrugged. “Shoulda, maybe, but din’t. Gambit’s empat’y,” he said, grinning ghoulishly from under the increasingly bloody wad of single-ply paper, “still in fine workin’ order, cher.”
     He dabbed at his nose and tore a fresh compress from the roll next to the commode. The used paper he tossed into the bowl, staining the water pink. “I’d ‘preciate it muchly, cher,” he remarked as if it really meant nothing one way or the other, “if you wouldn’t mention de fact t’anybody, even from de old team.”
     “No problem, bub,” Logan promised. “Ah…will it do ya any good?”
     Remy grinned again, a less disturbing sight in the red-tinted darkness around his face. “I think it will, mon frère. I think it will.”
     Logan grinned this time, sharp white teeth glinting in the darkness. “Good. I’m countin’ on ya, Gumbo, t’make as much trouble fer these assholes as ya can. I know yer damn good at it.”
     Remy laughed, careful to keep the sound from carrying beyond the confines of their cell. “Oh, mon cher,” he said, “you don’t know de half of it. An’ here’s hopin’ you never have t’find out.”

On to Chapter Three!