Team X, hardened mercenaries with questionable morality and more than a taste for violence, enough issues to keep a psychotherapist in business for decades and more than a century worth of combat experience and killing between them. Least, that summed it up for the most part and Logan would more than happily agree with the description though knowing of course that wasn’t all that was to it. Fight hard, play hard, or at least drink hard and with enough alcohol even someone like him could get the buzz, feel relaxed and even playful and as close as it got to getting inebriated. Down here in what passed for Team X’s bar he was in the midst of doing just that, and not alone, but with friends as it could be a special day, if he was sure he’d remembered it right. If not, a good excuse to try and get drunk and well he wasn’t alone. Even the most feral and downright brutal of them all could have his moments.
“Well happy birthday runt, fer however many ya had by now, if ya ain’t lost count yet,” a growling chuckle trailing off into a raspy almost purr as Victor Creed gulped down another straight absinthe and leaned back on his stool, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. A relaxed grin on his hairy face, amber eyes watching for a reaction, though more mirth and lazy contentment in his manner than any of the bloodlust or challenge there might have been. Still Sabretooth had enough alcohol in him now to lay low a rhinoceros, enough to bring out a more playful side, more housecat than feral predator, almost disconcerting to see and he could smell a little uneasiness from John and David, but Logan himself just matched the grin with one of his own.
Dozens of empty bottles littered the floor around the table, along with a carelessly draped trench coat over another stool and a pair of large black boots. The table itself bore a few more bottles but was mostly occupied by Victor’s legs. The man himself, was looking a little dishevelled, scent of alcohol and tobacco clinging to him, some of his shaggy blond hair spilling down, partly obscuring his face, some trickles of vodka having run down his stubbly chin, even soaking his sideburns, and leaving a few stains on a formerly pristine white T-shirt. Not that Victor seemed to really care, more intent on getting himself hammered, at least inebriated enough now to realise it wasn’t the wisest of times to be talking trash. If the vodka hadn’t done the trick, the absinthe certainly would have been enough to overcome even his healing factor.
Being such a tall burly man and having put his feet up, even leaning back on his stool they were near the edge of the table just mere feet from Logan. Victor had taken his boots off earlier, though still wearing his socks they didn’t exactly cover him that well. With such sharp nails they had a tendency to tear holes, and the sole of the white sock bore a large hole, exposing the smooth skin of Victor’s arch, just within reach of Logan’s finger.
“Not as many as you’ve had bub,” Logan grinned as he poked a rough finger at the vulnerable spot, making Victor wriggle his toes, grunting as he suppressed a chuckle and hastily pulled back his foot. It only took a few seconds for the burly feral to recover, baring his canines and glaring at Logan with narrowed eyes. “Quit it, runt,” he snarled, though Logan didn’t stop grinning, since he’d seen Victor’s reaction hadn’t gone unnoticed by Maverick or Wraith, not something that would please Victor very much. It wasn’t something that Sabretooth would admit to, and prefer to keep between himself and Logan if it had to be seen at all, made it harder to keep the fear and respect if you showed any weakness.
“Hey Vic, you’re the one whose always saying if you find a weakness, you exploit it ruthlessly. ‘Sides, it ain’t exactly good manners to put yer feet up on the table and maybe ya ought ta wear yer boots if yer such a tenderfoot,” Logan’s grin was wolfish as he purred out the last word, wagging a forefinger as he pointed to Victor’s feet, noting with amusement that the feral man had curled his toes, his claws just doing a little more damage to the frayed ends. Baiting Victor like this could be a dangerous game, but if he was in just the right mood it was fun.
A smirk broke over Victor’s shaggy face, as he swung his legs out, getting to his feet with a little less than his usual grace, all that vodka having a little effect. Still standing a good six and a half feet in his socks, just two hundred and seventy five pounds of meat, he still managed to look imposing if a little less ferocious than usual. Still Victor squared his shoulders, folded his muscular arms across his chest and tilted his chin, eyes smouldering as he swept his gaze from Logan, Wraith to North in turn, showing just a hint of canine as he grinned.
“Talking trash boy, I’m gonna have ta school ya,” Victor wagged a finger of his own tipped with a razor-edged claw, and Logan guessed it wouldn’t involve beating him bloody or giving him some gashes like one of their fistfights or full-fledged brawls, but the roughhousing, the wrestling when it was more playful. If Victor got a pin and couldn’t get a submission, then the claws might come into play, under the arms or over the belly or the soles of the feet until exhaustion or surrender. Sometimes smaller size and agility might take it, and under the ribs could double him up and then the armpits, would coax even Victor into surrendering.
Logan got to his own feet, fairly confident in this if only because he was better attired, flannel shirt over his T-shirt, a good pair of denim jeans and he was still wearing his boots. Even slightly tipsy, Victor looked like he’d be a little off balance, maybe slightly clumsy tilting the agility advantage further in Logan’s favour. Victor’s attire, that T-shirt was thin, no protection at all really, the jeans worn at the knees leaving a nice hole to exploit, and just those slightly tattered socks on his feet. Bringing Victor down wouldn’t be that hard and he owed him a little payback, like the time he’d caught a nap on the sofa and awoke to claws being slowly scraped down the soles of his feet.
As for the room itself, the bar/rec room of the base, the bartop itself, the pool table, numerous tables and chairs, lots of empty bottles scattered around, crowded tactical environment and probably liable to get even more crowded and potentially hazardous, but equally hindering to Victor as himself or David and no hindrance to a skilled teleporter like Wraith. Besides Victor was the only one without any real foot protection so that was a tactical disadvantage to him
“Too much a pussy ta face me boy? Come on, I’ll take on all of ya, no claws even; show ya all if ya ain’t too frightened. How about ya Wraith, gonna ‘port away again? What about you, North, ya too much of a chicken without yer guns,” Victor bristled, flexing his arm muscles, as he growled out his challenge.
Now this was great, he must have wounded Victor’s pride a little, making him feel the need to throw his weight around though from the scent, still no real bloodlust, not even all that much anger. Probably they just needed to back down, acknowledge who was the biggest dog, sorry cat in the room or it would be roughhousing, bruises and scratches, sore heads and lying in groaning heaps on the floor at worse, followed by a good dose of bragging.
Together though if John and David were foolhardy, crazy or just wanted to take Victor down a peg, they might well stand a good chance of victory. Logan had a couple of pleasant images pop into his mind, one being a supine Victor laid out like a bearskin rug as he stood along with David and John lightly resting a foot on Victor’s back. The other was even more amusing, Victor lying on his back roaring with laughter, tears in his eyes as David bent over him, burying his wriggling fingers in those hairy armpits, while he and John each had hold of a large and now entirely bare foot as they ruthlessly tickled the soles.
Victor must have noticed him grinning, glaring back at him with a grin of his own which displayed considerably sharper teeth and he had no doubt he was being assessed. Those claws were lethal weapons, though his flannel shirt would provide a little protection until it got shredded but with multiple adversaries and Logan being the smallest, not to mention having a teleporter distracting him it might not be so easy for Victor to get in close. Maverick might prove the major target, a large man himself only two or three inches shorter and a couple of dozen pounds smaller than Victor and if he got his kinetic absorption in use he could easily boost his strength to match Victor. John Wraith, he’d be teleporting all over the place, hitting Victor from multiple angles at once and helping to wear him down. That was if either or both of them would rise to the challenge. He was sure David would have his back like always but John might be a little more cautious. Then again Victor might not give them that much choice in the matter.
The slight creak of a chair being moved back, as he turned his head to see Wraith had stood up, scent telling Logan the man was sweating slightly even if his expression was hard to read with the Stetson pulled down. “Guess you’re right Creed, I’m just gonna ‘port away again,” John smiled, but the grin through his beard was a little nervous, especially when Victor grinned right back at him. That would be just like Sabretooth if he’d won to track the teleporter down to wherever he might be hiding and exact a little punishment for cowardice. Still Wraith was cautious, pragmatic and maybe he’d wait for an opening and join in to swing the odds when least expected. Otherwise if Logan won he might track him down himself and maybe have a little talk about how he’d really like a new Stetson.
“Looks like the two of you are going at it anyway, so if you’re sure about no claws, why the hell not,” Maverick’s rough voice spoke up, the dark haired man having stood up himself and started giving a slow clap. Logan glanced towards him, feeling glad at least David wasn’t quite so cautious and knowing he’d be a good back up with his abilities. The slow clapping wasn’t just sarcastic either, North charging himself up with some kinetic energy boosting his strength so it would probably be a closer match for Victor and ready to discharge a concussive blast if necessary. If Victor was intending a fistfight rather than claws, well Maverick would just get charged even more being more or less immune to punching.
On the other hand, David was a little underdressed like Victor himself, a black tank top might show off the muscles nicely but provided little protection and Victor might still be cunning enough to go for grappling rather than punching. If Victor was still feeling playful and he might even in a brawling mood, he might well bring the claws out but not to puncture or lacerate and absorbing such light amounts of kinetic energy would be little help, if Maverick happened to be ticklish, which the stoic German might not be. At least he had his boots on.
A faint pop of displaced air and Wraith disappeared to reappear nearer the door, evidently deciding to hang back for now. Really though he was the most protected, not just with being a teleporter but even a little overdressed, with waistcoat over his shirt and still in his jacket, though he did seem to be staring down at his boots. Now Logan did know John was a little sensitive, like that time he’d been trying to hone his reflexes and catch him as he teleported, seemed that even just light touches around the ribs got him squirming and laughing. Still trying to catch a teleporter, you went with whatever worked.
“So, it’s gonna be two on one, huh? Good odds, I like ‘em,” Victor chuckled, grinning very broadly, not the feral sort of grin but the other sort that was almost as intimidating. It looked like it was definitely going to be playful roughhousing, though that could still be painful. The glint in his eyes was not so much bloodlust, just battle lust and he seemed to be taking a moment to assess them both. Even the roar was more boisterous and almost playful, as he leapt right for Logan.
For such a tall, burly man Victor was fast, momentum carrying him forward, barely leaving enough time to dodge, Logan managing to duck, resisting the instinct to pop his claws as he brought his hands up. Even an inebriated, playful Sabretooth would switch to full predatory instinct once the claws came out and there would be blood spilt, even guts spilt and while they all had their healing factors, Maverick’s wasn’t nearly so advanced. Still fingers could be just as effective for these purposes, pressing through the thin layer of T-shirt, feeling the hair and skin beneath as he stroked them upwards across Victor’s ribs, attempting to bring them up to the hairy armpits. Growling chuckles told him he was already having an effect, and he could hear Maverick’s booted footsteps as he came up from behind. Still he braced himself for ripping flannel, feeling those sharp claws scraped across his own skin.
A muscular arm came up, most likely Victor trying to guard his sides maybe try and pin Logan’s arm but even an inebriated Victor could pull off an unexpected move. Instead Logan felt the arm wrapping around his throat, pressing against it and cutting off his air. “Say goodnight runt,” Logan heard the rumbled words, as he felt the pressure and if against his carotid artery he probably only had seconds. Healing factor or not he needed to breathe and once unconscious he’d be out, probably for minutes leaving Victor to give his full attention to Maverick and probably defeat him. Unless Wraith pulled off a rescue, he might well awaken to find himself somewhere more private, most likely restrained, probably barefoot and entirely at Victor’s mercy. Feeling himself starting to black out, scrabbling with his fingers for Victor’s armpits but though he heard chuckles he wasn’t getting free.
Maybe this wasn’t one of his better ideas after all.