Snowballs, Hot Chocolate and Friends

Summary: Logan and Danielle have finally bonded, but Logan realizes something more

The snow was falling heavily all day in Westchester.  Xavier sensed the anxiousness of the children wanting to put down the school books and go outside and play.  All the children were restless, especially the younger teens.  Most of the adults found other ways to amuse themselves and the older teens were busy with computer games or other indoor activities and games.

The classes ended and the sun was setting.  It was cold out and the children still begged for time outside.  Xavier allowed it only after homework was done and with the supervision of the adults.  Jean, Scott, Kurt, and Peter went outside and watched the children play.  Logan and Danielle had stayed warm in bed having spent a good portion of the day making love and just watching the snow fall.

"C'mon, Logan.  Let's go outside.  I need to stretch a bit," Danielle said tossing off the bedsheets.

Logan growled and followed her to the bathroom where they dressed each other in warm clothes.  She normally hated the cold weather, but Danielle decided she needed some fresh air and to lend a hand to the other adults outside.

In the expansive courtyard, the children were engaged in a snowball fight when Danielle and Logan walked outside.  As luck would have it, SMACK!  Logan was greeted by a snowball hitting him dead center on his chest.  The cold snow melted quickly soaking his flannel shirt and chilling his flesh, and Logan looked up threateningly with narrow eyes and a raised eyebrow.  The child who threw the snowball quickly dodged behind a tree hoping not to be seen.  Danielle tried not to laugh as she took hold of his arm.  

As the teenager continued to hide, Logan walked out eying each youth suspiciously.  Scott, Jean and Piotr waited unsure if Logan was going to turn Wolverine loose and pitch a raging fit.  Kurt was ready to teleport the boy to safety if Logan got angry and unleashed his claws.  Danielle stood there silent with her arms crossed just waiting.  As Logan approached the hiding child, he stood tall and stared.  It was Arnie - and he slowly raised his head and let his eyes meet Logan's.

"So, ya ready for yer punishment?" Logan asked sternly.

Arnie began to quake in his boots.  If it were any other adult, he might have stuck out his forked blue tongue in protest.  Logan, on the other hand, was no one to defy.

"Yes, sir," Arnie responded nervously.

Logan snatched the 13 year old boy holding him in a headlock.  A free hand began tickling Arnie, who laughed deeply.  The other adults watched with great surprise.  This continued playfulness was just so unlike Logan.  The first time he seemed so lighthearted, everyone figured it was just a fluke.  But, it seemed that with each passing day he was surprising everyone a little more.  Jean walked over to Danielle's side.

"Tell me what drug you are using to keep him relaxed," Jean asked.

"My own special potion - patience, perseverence, and sex - lots of it," Danielle replied before laughing.

"I really am surprised with his change of attitude.  Danielle, you really have been the best thing to come into his life," Jean said.

"I think there was a strong foundation made by certain folks here at this school.  I just added a few more bricks," Danielle replied.

Danielle ran out after Logan as he released Arnie.  He took up a handful of snow balling it up between his large hands.  Logan peered around with narrowed eyes spying his opponents.  He tossed the snowball a couple of times in the air before hurling it at the first target he knew he could hit.  A snowball fight unlike anything ever witnessed before at this school broke out and all the children ganged up on Logan.  After all, he was the largest target and the easiest to hit.  Another big surprise - Logan laughed and hard.  

"I knew they belonged together," Kurt said with great assurance.

"I can't deny that," Scott said.  "Hey, wait for me!"  Scott joined the fun.

As play continued, Danielle sided with the children hurling snowballs at her lover.  He snarled deeply and ran after her.  She bolted quickly sprinting off with Logan in pursuit.  His hand grasped her jacket and together they fell to the ground.  Logan tickled her and she laughed out loud - her voice echoing in the chilly cold air.  As he stopped, Logan wrapped his arms around her and together they stared into each other's eyes.

"Oh, no," Arnie said softly.

"What's wrong?" Piotr asked.

"They're gonna do it," a young girl piped up.

They watched Logan softly kiss Danielle.

The children all became silent as they watched this tender scene as a group. Charles watched from his office window.

*She's been the best thing for him,* Jean projected to the Professor.

*I absolutely agree.*

Logan carried Danielle back to the group.  He again looked into her eyes before setting her down.

"Well, are ya gonna do it?" Arnie asked.

Logan walked over to the young boy.  He crouched down to be eye level with Arnie.

"Do what?" Logan inquired.

"You know - it," Arnie replied.

"Hum.  Ain't ya a little young to be askin' them questions?" Logan asked.

"I ain't so young," Arnie balked.

"Logan, it's not like the entire school doesn't know what you guys do," Jubilee piped up.

"You guys spyin' on us, Yellow?" Logan asked.

"Who?  Us innocent kids?  Naw?" Marie replied.

Danielle disappeared while this conversation was going on.  After a short time, she returned with her horse, Duke. She turned Duke loose letting him run around the courtyard with the kids chasing him.  The big bay gelding trotted elegantly and Danielle played tag with him to the delight of the children.  After a bit, she brought Duke over to where the adults were.

"Logan darlin', could ya bring that harness over?" she asked.

Logan obeyed.  He assisted her in harnessing Duke.

"Logan my love, fetch me that snow sled," she then requested.

He brought over the sled.  She hooked up some long lines to the harness Duke was wearing and between Logan and Danielle, they took batch after batch of kids for long sled rides around the courtyard.  Charles smiled.

"I am glad Danielle is here.  She is a great asset to this school, the children, and Logan, Charles projected to Jean.

"I am glad she and Logan finally hooked up.  I don't think we could have handled any more of their fights."

Charles smiled in silent agreement to Jean's comment.

After a couple of hours, it was time to head inside.  The children were rounded up, Duke was stabled for the night, and everyone met in the dining hall for hot chocolate and cookies.  Danielle took Logan to their room for a hot shower.  Logan needed a little extra care in warming up, for once the alloy chilled it took longer to warm his body.  He let the hot water beat down on him for several long minutes.  Satisfied that he was comfortable, he toweled off and dressed.  They met with everyone else in the dining hall, got their mugs of hot chocolate and a dish of cookies, and seated themselves with the rest of the residents.

Charles sat at the front of the group and began to tell a story of two friends, who in their youth, discovered their special gifts.  He didn't name any names, but his story seemed all to well known to him.  The point of the story was how these two friends bonded together - how close they were despite the turmoil of the times - the rising threat of a dictator named Adolf Hitler, who persecuted people he felt were different.  Yet, the two friends didn't let their differences get in the way, but instead looked to each other because of their differences as well as their similarities.

He explained that the Xavier School - with all its residents hailing from different nationalities, different walks of life, and different generations, was a place for friends.  This was a place to learn, to bond, and to seek help.  Xavier also explained that he hoped in time all people would learn the values of true friendship, to look passed the differences and to put aside the fears of being different.  His referals to the 'mutant problem' struck everyone very deeply, as it raised questions concerning the "Mutant Registration Act," that was still a threat hanging over the heads of every mutant.

"Why do regular people fear us so much?" one youth asked.

"They fear us because we mutants have unusual gifts that they do not have.  They believe we are a danger to them," Xavier answered.

"But, we wouldn't hurt anyone," another child said.

"Of course, that is true.  However, regular people have not been convinced of that, and there are those mutants who are using their powers for evil," Xavier replied.

"Can't we just all be friends?' a third child asked.

"Some day it may happen.  But, for now we must be patient and be aware.  Even among mutants, there are those who wish to do harm and they too must be convinced that it is wrong," Xavier said.

As Xavier spoke, Danielle had seated herself on Logan's lap and he tightened his grip around her waist and looked around the room.  Something very profound entered his mind - he was surrounded by friends both young and old.  Logan, for so long, had deemed himself a loner never making the time to have friends, let alone one very special friend - Danielle - and now he had an entire school of them.  He spent years running from those who feared him - from those who hated him - and here he could relax and call home with those of his own kind.  He also realized how Xavier's hopes for a peaceful future could be had once all people learned to put aside the differences and look at the similarities instead.  Logan had crossed into new territory.