Summary: Hisako can’t sleep. Pixie is perky. Logan makes sandwiches.
Fandom: X-Men Comics
Characters/Pairing: Hisako, Pixie, background Scott/Logan
Spoilers and/or Warnings: Spoilers for all of Astonishing X-Men and Uncanny X-Men so far, though nothing major. No warnings.
Original story: I'll make it up to you somehow by handyhunter
Author's Notes: Many thanks to likeadeuce for a very helpful beta, to Bruce Springtseen for the subtitle, and of course to handyhunter for writing such an awesome story to begin with, and for being the biggest Hisako supporter in fandom .
Logan's Infamous Canadian Sandwiches (The Young and Glorious Remix)
Peanut Butter Cereal Surprise
Hisako can’t seem to avoid the nightmares.
She never had nightmares as a kid. She never had to curl up in her parents’ bed after some terrifying dream of bogeymen and monsters. She was a tough kid, afraid of nothing. She climbed trees and passed notes in class and watched horror movies on late-night cable when her parents thought she was in bed. But that was before the monsters came to her waking hours.
Nowadays, her dreams are wisps of painful memories enhanced with whatever details her battle-scarred mind decides to invent: Wing, bleeding and broken on the Danger Room floor. Ms. Pryde, floating in a bullet somewhere in space, lost and delirious. And Hisako herself, unable to help anyone, throwing up her armor and running as fast as she can from Breakworlders or Forge’s man-made mutants or her own mind-controlled teachers.
When she wakes up, she finds her armor deployed, and it takes several minutes of panting and concentration to lower it again.
So she decides she won’t try to sleep. She’ll just stay up as late as she can so that when she does find slumber it’s more like passing out, a dreamless unconsciousness. And she’ll spend her evenings waiting for that moment, wandering the halls of her dorm at Worthington Towers and looking for something to do, something to distract her from her racing thoughts.
That’s when she first finds Logan, sitting alone in the kitchen, biting into a sandwich that might actually fail to fulfill a single nutritional requirement.
“Are those Cocoa Puffs?” Hisako asks, raising a disapproving eyebrow.
Logan looks up and snorts. “Which one of us is the teacher here?”
“Neither.” They haven’t had any lessons since they moved to San Francisco. The adults keep talking about starting classes again, but one attack after another keeps pushing back the first day of school.
Logan shrugs. “Fair enough.” He lifts his sandwich and gestures with it as he speaks. “Guess you never seen one of Logan’s Infamous Canadian Sandwiches.”
Hisako shakes her head and wrinkles her nose. “What’s in it?”
Logan peers down at the sandwich. “Tonight? Peanut butter, jelly, fruit roll-ups, marshmallow fluff. And, yeah, Cocoa Puffs.”
Logan looks her up and down, and Hisako can feel his mind putting the pieces together: the bags under her eyes, the worried crinkle of her forehead, the scent of exhaustion. She knows she can’t hide anything from him. But he doesn’t comment, just gives her a curt nod. “Want one?”
Hisako tries not to look as grateful as she feels. She’s supposed to be the cool snarky one, after all. “If you’re offering.”
Logan gets up and moves to the cabinet. “Anytime, kid.”
Garden Salad on Bread
It doesn’t happen every night – sometimes there’s an attack, or Logan’s gone off on a secret mission, or Hisako’s managed to find something else to occupy her time. But it happens often enough that it becomes a ritual of sorts – sitting together at the kitchen table, silently munching on whatever combination of foods Logan’s managed to throw onto that night’s sandwiches.
One night, on her way to the kitchen, Hisako passes one of the dorm’s common rooms, where an unexpected light is shining. She’s used to being the only one up this late, and she can’t help being curious about the identity of her fellow night owls. Peering into the mostly-empty room, Hisako finds Megan Gwynn – Pixie – perched on the arm of a couch, reading a book, the lamp in the corner illuminating her pages and the glimmer of her iridescent wings. Next to her, in the shadows beyond the lamp, Laura Kinney is practicing one-armed handstands.
Hisako steps into the room, feeling somewhat awkward. She’s never really been friends with either of these girls, despite the fact that they’ve been sharing a room for the past two months. If she’s honest, she’s never really been friends with any of the other students at the school. There was Wing, of course, but ever since she lost him Hisako’s kept mostly to herself.
It’s not that she doesn’t like her fellow students. Sometimes she even chats with them on Twitter. But they’ve always felt so remote and inaccessible, like they speak a language Hisako can’t quite understand. As an only child, Hisako grew up spending more time around grown-ups than other children; here, with the X-Men, it’s no different.
Still, Megan’s always seemed nice, and Hisako would feel rude if she didn’t say anything now that she’s walked in here.
Megan looks up. “Hisako! Hey! What are you doing up?” She drops her book on the couch and flaps her wings so that she’s hovering a few feet above the couch cushions.
Hisako had almost forgotten how… enthusiastic Megan could be. “Couldn’t sleep,” she lies. “I was going to go get a sandwich from Mr. Logan.” She pauses, then decides she’s gone too far to turn back. “Do you want to come with me?”
Megan’s black eyes widen, and she giggles. “Mr. Logan makes you sandwiches? I knew he was a big teddy bear at heart!” She flies over to where Hisako is standing. “Let’s go!”
Hisako glances over at Laura, who hasn’t even paused her handstand practice. Hisako doesn’t like to admit it, but Laura scares her a little bit. No one knows exactly what she went through before she came to the X-Men, but whatever it was has turned her into something mechanical and almost soulless. The teachers say she’s Logan’s clone, but most of the time she just seems to be everything that’s terrifying about Logan without – as Megan put it – the teddy bear parts.
Still, Hisako thinks, she doesn’t deserve to be left out. “Do you want to come too, Laura?”
With more grace than Hisako knew a human could possess, Laura flips her body so she’s standing upright. Her face is bright red with drained blood. “I would like that, yes.”
In the kitchen, Logan looks up at the unexpected influx of girls and frowns. Hisako gives him her best smile. “Your Infamous Canadian Sandwiches have some new potential fans.”
Logan grunts. “You girls better like veggies, then, ‘cause that’s about all we got. Summers did the shopping last.”
“Vegetables provide vitamins and nutrients necessary for survival,” Laura notes, voice flat. Megan just grins. Logan grumbles and shoots out his claws to chop up a cucumber, and the girls sit down to their cucumber-lettuce-avocado-tomato-onion-an
Hisako isn’t totally sure, but by the end of the snack, when Megan is giggling her way through some anecdote about Dazzler and Northstar and something incredibly vulgar a guy said at a club, she thinks she might finally be making some friends.
Lunch Meat Madness
The thing about Megan is that Hisako doesn’t understand her.
Laura is different. Nobody understands Laura. But Megan seems to get along with everyone, and Hisako is left feeling like the only one at the mansion who can’t comprehend her. How can someone who’s been through the things Megan’s been through be so relentlessly cheerful?
It’s a question Hisako’s been asking herself every time they’ve hung out, which has been more often than not the past few days. Megan has a motor inside of her that never seems to let up. Her words fly fast and furious, tangling together almost incomprehensibly with her Welsh vowels. This night is no different.
"Mr. Summers. . .shirtless. . sleeping on the couch. Shirtless! Did I mention that part?" Megan babbles, still breathless from their encounter with the (shirtless) leader of the X-Men ten minutes earlier.
"17 times," says Laura, in an even tone. Hisako isn’t surprised that she’s kept count.
"He's our teacher," Hisako tries to protest, her usual quibble about the technical definition of "teacher" forgotten, but she can hear herself giggling as she speaks. Mr. Summers had certainly seemed startled by their appearance in the common room, and the adrenaline from the embarrassment is only just beginning to fade.
When they reach the kitchen, ready for their sandwiches, Logan is nowhere to be found. Laura sniffs a few times. “He vacated the room approximately 2.4 minutes ago,” she informs them. Hisako pokes her head out the door leading back into the common room and notices Logan settling down into the couch next to Mr. Summers.
“I guess we’ll have to make do without him,” Hisako says, pulling her head back in.
“Bah,” Megan says, “I’m not that hungry anyway. Come on, let’s go play a game!”
In the game room, Megan paws through boxes, looking for something that meets her approval. Finally she settles on Scrabble, and the girls sit cross-legged on the floor with their tiles.
As they play, Hisako finds herself remembering M-Day. Before that day, the school had had almost a hundred students; afterward, only 27 powered kids remained. Hisako remembers how scared she was in those first few moments, calling up her armor without knowing whether or not it would work. She remembers seeing Megan in the hallway, crying, trying to comfort some of her friends who weren’t so lucky. And then, just when things were starting to calm down, the Purifiers blew up the bus, killing so many of their depowered classmates.
Hisako feels guilty remembering that. It was a shock, of course, to see that kind of slaughter. But Hisako wasn’t close to any of those kids. Wing’s death had numbed her; after that, everyone else seemed little more than a statistic. For Megan, it had to have been different. Those were her teammates. Her friends.
And yet here she is, chattering away about how it felt to perform with Dazzler and placing the word “glitter” on the Scrabble board.
Hisako just doesn’t understand.
Hours later, after Laura’s used her unfailing logic to win the third game in a row and Megan’s finally given up and gone to bed, Hisako wanders back into the kitchen and finds Logan nursing a beer.
“Is it too late for a sandwich?” she asks, quietly.
Logan turns his head, surprised, and gives her a long, level look. “You need to get some sleep, kid.” But he stands up nonetheless and moves to the refrigerator, sifting through the lunch meat to throw together some combination of turkey and ham and roast beef and mayonnaise and mustard and potato chips.
Hisako wonders who Logan sees, when he looks at her. She knows he has a history of taking on girls as pseudo-sidekicks. When Hisako was growing up, she followed every news clipping about Jubilee, the second girl to fill that role. She was young, and female, and Asian, and she was an X-Man – in short, she was what Hisako had always imagined herself becoming, even before her own powers emerged. But Hisako knows she’s nothing like Jubilee. The teachers talk about her, from time to time. About her playfulness, her bubbly personality. Megan is more like Jubilee than Hisako could ever hope to be.
Before the Breakworld, Hisako had started to hope she’d grow up to be like Ms. Pryde, the first of Logan’s girls. Ms. Pryde was smart, and sharp, and way tougher than she looked – maybe a little quick to anger, but Hisako knew that feeling all too well.
But now Ms. Pryde is in a magic bullet, floating through space, more dead than alive. Jubilee no longer has her powers, and as far as Hisako can tell she and Logan barely talk. Hisako knows that her class has been through a lot, but the more she thinks about it, the more she realizes they aren’t unique. If she’s learned one thing in the past few years, it’s that being an X-Man means experiencing pain. And Logan’s seen more than his share.
Hisako only makes it halfway through her sandwich before she starts to wilt. She wakes up the next morning in her bed with no memory of how she got there, and wonders if Logan carried her.
Grilled Cheese Supreme
A few weeks later, after Logan has made the sandwiches in a rush for the third time that week and hurried off with vague mumblings about “business to take care of,” Megan advances a theory. “I think Mr. Logan and Mr. Summers are having an affair,” she says, matter-of-factly, as she bites into her seven-cheese sandwich.
“Megan!” Hisako exclaims, nearly choking on her own sandwich. They’re alone tonight; Laura’s been away for a couple of days on some mission nobody will talk about.
“What?” Megan asks, all innocent and sparkly. “Haven’t you seen how they’re spending so much more time together? And how Mr. Summers isn’t sleeping shirtless on the couch anymore, even though he and Ms. Frost are still sniping at each other constantly?”
“They’re our teachers,” Hisako repeats, like she’s reminded Megan every single time she’s waxed rhapsodic about Mr. Summers’ physical virtues. “I don’t want to think about them that way.”
“But it’s hot!” Megan exclaims, loudly enough that Hisako is sure Logan’s enhanced senses can hear it.
Megan lowers her voice. “Can’t you just picture it? Mr. Logan, all rough and growly, telling Mr. Summers to take his pants off? Ooh, I bet Mr. Summers is even blindfolded…”
Hisako remembers what she’s seen of Logan and Mr. Summers on their missions and can’t help thinking that maybe Megan’s got it backwards. Then she hates herself for even considering it. “Would you just shut up?” she hisses.
Megan looks hurt. “What? Can’t I have my fun?”
“Fun?” Hisako cries, and her body is suddenly flooded with anger. She can feel the power surging inside of her, her ancestors ready to envelop her with their energy and protection if this leads to a fight. “What’s so fun about any of this? Our home gets attacked every other night, the government’s trying to stop us from reproducing, half our classmates are dead, and all you want to do is gossip about our teachers’ sex lives!”
Hisako’s never seen Megan like she is in the next moment. Her black eyes grow blacker, her wings stiffen, and her soul dagger appears in her right hand.
“Do you see this?” Megan asks, brandishing the dagger, her voice steely and so unlike her normal giggling soprano. “This is what I got for losing part of my soul. A piece of me is gone, and there’s nothing I can do to get it back.”
“So why don’t you act like it!” Hisako exclaims, throwing up her arms.
“Why? Should I spend every day crying over my lost soul and my lost friends? Should I hide in my room because some guy on the street might mutant-bash me again? Tell me how I should be acting, Ms. High-and-Mighty.”
Hisako is starting to feel guilty, but her brain has never let her back down from an argument. “Just act like it affects you once in awhile, instead of flitting around like some hyperactive child!”
Megan just stares. “You think it doesn’t affect me? You think it isn’t on my mind all the time? You think you’re the only one who can’t bring herself to go to sleep at night?”
That stops Hisako cold. All of these nights, she’s never bothered to notice the obvious: if Megan was hanging out with her, she wasn’t sleeping, either.
“I…” Hisako starts, but she has no idea what to say.
Megan shakes her head. “When life knocks you down, you can either curse the past or look forward to the future. I’m happy with my choice. What about you? Sihal Novarum Chinoth.”
Before Hisako can respond, Megan has teleported herself away.
The next night, Hisako finds Megan in the common room again, reading.
“Hey,” she says.
Megan looks up but doesn’t respond.
“I, uh…” Hisako’s never been good at this kind of thing. She holds out the plate she’s carried in. “I brought you a sandwich. It’s just tuna fish, but since Logan’s asleep on the couch on Mr. Summers’ shoulder, I couldn’t get him to help.”
Megan bites her lip. “I’m sorry for yelling yesterday.”
Hisako shakes her head. “Don’t. I’m the one who should be apologizing. If we’re gonna face this kind of stuff all the time, I’d rather have somebody like you around to get us through it.”
Megan flutters over and picks up the sandwich. “Did you say Mr. Logan is asleep on Mr. Summers’ shoulder?”
Hisako grins. She’d passed them on her way to the kitchen. It was the first indication she’d gotten that Megan’s assumptions may not have been entirely baseless. “Yep.”
Megan grabs Hisako’s hand. “Well, what are we waiting for? Let's go spy on them!”
Hisako’s seen enough of death to know that there’s nothing glorious about dying young. She and Megan may be tired, and they may be hurt, but they’re alive. And for the first time in months, Hisako thinks that might be enough.