The Cost of Memories (An X-Men/Street Fighter II Crossover) by Victor Moore

Disclaimer: Okay Marvel owns everyone from Marvel, and Capcom owns everyone from Street Fighter II.
Continuity Watch: The SF characters are from the Animated Movie and NOT the games (Though info from those games will be used to fill in some blanks. This story takes place a couple of months after my other fan-fic "Rememberance".
-Enjoy

CHAPTER II

The black leather couch groaned as Elisabeth sat down. In the matching love seat, Logan set the photo album upon the marble coffee table. The room was spacious, as was the rest of the penthouse apartment, but sparse in its decor. Most of it was in a monochromatic color scheme, with a touch of blue here or red there. All of it spoke out in expensive volumes, as if saying 'look, but do not touch'. At times she felt cold, uncomfortable, and distant here, especially when the owner was not present.

It belonged to one Warren Worthington III, her boyfriend. Lately though, he never seem to be around. They were drifting apart and she knew in her heart that it was probably for the best. But it still hurt, and she grasped on to any hope of the two of them being together, like a person washed overboard would grab a lifeline. She wanted their relationship to work out, but it was unraveling, ever since she gave up her telepathic abilities.

Shaking her thoughts back to her guest, after sipping on some tea she asked, "so what can this ex-X-woman do for you?"

"Once a X-Men darlin', always a X-Men. You know that."

She shook her head slightly. She was not a member of the team any more, for her powers were gone. Because of that she had left.

"I need a favor. A friend of mine called in a marker, and I want someone to watch my back. I would like it to be you."

"I'm flattered of course, but why me? Why not Rogue, or Katherine, or even Jubilee?"

"Good choices, but not experienced it what we'll be doing. I need someone I can trust in a fight, someone I'd trust with my life. I need you Betts."

For a few minutes, she was silent. Looking deeply into his eyes, she softly answered, "It has been so long since someone told me that, Logan. You have no idea how much that means to me. For a while I've felt as if I no longer belonged with the team, that I was an outsider. Now, I am alone, in both mind and spirit. If it wasn't for the class that Katherine and I teach, or your infrequent visits, I would have moved back to England, to be with my family. Just so I could feel that someone needed me."

"Betts..."

"No don't apologise Logan, especially not for the team. I know they been through many hardships, but only you two have ever contacted me." She pushed her long dark purple hair behind her right ear and sighed. "But sometimes even that wasn't enough to cure my loneliness. No, I won't go in to detail about Warren. Maybe later, but not now.

"So what is the plan?"

"We have to go back to Hong Kong."

"The Hand?"

"Yep. An old friend called in a debt."

"Let me guess, a woman."

"Yep, " he grinned, and then continued, "you know me Betts, in some ways better than anyone else, I always repay a debt or favor. It's a matter of honor."

"I know. So when do we leave?" She asked as she got up from the couch.

"As soon as your ready."

"Let me get my gear together and we'll be off." At the doorway Elisabeth Braddock paused and looked back at him. "Logan?"

"Yea darlin'?"

"This time we'll do this as ourselves, no costumes, no codenames. Just you and I."

He saw the quiet determination in her eyes, and then nodded his head knowingly.

...

An hour later, Cammy was perusing one of the many discarded books, trying to take her mind off her friend's absence. It was not helping. She wanted to search for her, but knew that Li could take care of herself. Sighing, for what felt like the thousandth time, she closed the book, got up, walked over to the photograph on the wall, and began to examine all of its nuances and details.

"How many times are you going to stare at that?" Rose asked without looking up from her book. "Relax Cammy, she'll be fine."

"I know, but I feel so useless. It's driving me insane."

At the sound of the front door opening, Rose got up and smoothed out her skirt. "Well, maybe now you can relax."

Cammy turned around ad saw Li enter the place. She looked a little worse for wear with a few rips and dried bloodstains on her clothes. Her hair was matted with sweat and grime.

"Nei hou..." Li grunted as Cammy enveloped her in a tight hug. She smiled and hugged her back. "Nice to know I was missed." After freeing herself, she turned to Rose and bowed respectfully. "Sorry to drop all this on you Wu, but there was no other choice. We need help if we want to live. I am calling in my marker."

"I know. Logan has been called and said he would be coming shortly. I actually expect him in about ten minutes or so."

"That's impossible!" Exclaimed Cammy. "You said 'e's in the colonies, but it would take 'alf a day to get 'ere by plane from there!"

"By plane yes. But Logan is a very resourceful man."

"But..."

"Wait and see, child. He just may surprise you."

.

Chun Li turned quickly and examined the room. Something made her instincts tingle. A lifetime of training had honed her fighting skills and awareness to almost beyond human capacity. She was the first to see it.

On the far wall, were the lights touched least, tendrils of dark shadows began to rise from the base and entwine with each other, until a single black oval about two meters high appeared. "Cammy! Wu! We're not alone." She stated while entering a battle stance. Her limbs felt too tired to co-operate, but she ignored them. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw her friend do the same and Rose pull out a powerful looking pistol from under her coat.

"Nice welcoming." Grunted a gruff voice from the shadow as Logan walked out of it along with Elisabeth, who towered over him, touching his shoulder. After stepping through, the spot on the wall broke up and slithered down until it melded with Elisabeth's own shadow at her feet.

"Logan! Elisabeth!" Rose exclaimed, while her companions looked astonished. Putting away the firearm, she rushed over and hugged them both in turn, though she held Logan slightly longer.

Cammy looked carefully at the two newcomers. Logan looked the same as in the photograph, with the exception of his clothes, a brown leather jacket, black tee shirt, and blue jeans and cowboy boots. The woman had an expensive trenchcoat, pants which molded to her body like a second skin, blouse, and designer boots, all black and all leather. On her back was a katana still in her scabbard. What caught Cammy's attention though more than the clothes, or even the blood red tattoo over her left eye, was her hair. It was purple, though a darker shade than the woman in her vision.

He began to introduce Elisabeth to the young women, when she interrupted him. "Detective Li, it's a pleasure to see you again." She stated grasping Li's outstretched hand. "And it's good to meet you again as well Miss White."

Cammy shook the woman's hand, but her face was puzzled. Looking around she saw that the others were surprised as well.

"Well I'm glad I'm not the only one with a mysterious past." Logan grinned at his partner.

"Umm... do I know you?" Li asked with a nervous smile.

"Oh sorry about that, my appearance has changed since the last time we met Detective. You probably remember me in a Caucasian form. I'm Elisabeth Braddock."

"Chun! She's the one from my vision earlier, her voice confirms it!"

"Are you sure, Cam?"

"Yes."

Turning towards Elisabeth, Chun saluted her formally. This surprised every one in the room even more. "Sorry Lieutenant."

"Lieutenant!? Now this one I gotta hear." Logan stated as he pulled a cigar from his jacket pocket. He was about to light it, when he saw the scowl from Rose. Nodding he put it back.

"Not anymore Detective. My days as a S.T.R.I.K.E agent have been over for quite some time."

Logan raised an eyebrow at that as Rose began to usher them to the couches. "Well it's nice to see that everybody knows the other, if you'll have a seat we can discuss what to do about the Hand."

.

When they all were seated, Ruth came in and served them tea and egg rolls. Elisabeth studied Rose's granddaughter for a bit, then turned her attention towards the others. She sat beside Cammy, who was next to Li. Rose and Logan were in the couch across from them.

"So darlin', tell me why I'm here." Logan said with a smile.

"Well little dragon, apparently the Hand want to kill my friend Cammy here. For what reason I don't know." Chun stated.

"The Hand are assassins. Betts and I have had our fair share of run-ins with 'em. So have you darlin'. We know how they operate. They take contracts and provide services to whoever can afford them."

"So what you're saying is that we 'ave to find out who want's me dead, right?"

"Yep. For all of their abilities, they're nothing more than hired guns."

"Can you think of why they would go after you, Cammy?" Rose asked.

"No."

"Maybe you saw something, or interfered a operation?"

"Nothing I can think of."

"How about something from your past then? Does anyone hate you, like an old enemy or lover?"

"I... I wouldn't know."

"It's possible. Cam can't remember her past from prior to when I first met her." Offered Chun as she grabbed an egg roll.

Logan stood up and looked at them. "Hmmm.... don't worry about it kid. So the answers aren't ready yet. They'll come. They always do."

"I hate not knowing answers 'little dragon'."

"All of us who has been in 'the business' does darlin'. It just means we work harder, that's all."

"Excuse me but what is this 'business'?" Cammy asked.

"Well, with your exception, all of us here have been in the intelligence community in some form or another."

"Then that makes all of us Logan. Miss White used to be with M.I.6, though those memories have been erased from her."

"That is interesting." Rose stated as she tapped a finger on her chin.

"Can we capture a 'and member and extract the information we need?" Cammy asked.

"A genin wouldn't know, Miss White."

"Cammy."

"Cammy. The genin are only told what to do and they do it, without hesitation." Elisabeth took a sip of her tea before continuing. "The Jonin would have the information though."

"Then we'll get it from him." The young British woman sighed as the others slowly shook their heads.

"It would do no good. I know the Jonin, and he would rather die first than give us the information."

Logan nodded in agreement. "Look, we'll try alternate methods tomorrow. For now I suggest the two of you get cleaned up and get some sleep."

"Ruth will show you to your rooms." Rose said as Ruth smiled and waited in for the two women to follow. Once they were gone, she frowned. "You and your stupid promises, Logan."

"Yep."

"Well since I'm also included in this bargain, any bright ideas?"

"Got a couple."

"Well."

"Well what?"

"What are they? Your ideas."

"I'm gonna call in some favors. S.H.I.E.L.D. owes me a couple. If that doesn't pan out, I'll try reaching the 'Courier'."

"You're not fooling me Logan," Rose grunted. "You're leaving something out. You don't expect those options to have any success."

Elisabeth frowned. "You're going to ask 'her', aren't you?"

"I would rather force Matsuo to tell us than ask her." He snorted and stood up.

"Who?" Rose asked.

Logan pulled out his cigar and left the room without answering.

"Elisabeth?"

The purple haired woman cast her eyes down on the carpet. "If those other leads prove futile, the he's going to contact his... his wife."

"He's married!? To who?"

Elisabeth's eyes hardened, "The mistress of Hydra. The Viper."

"Oh my god! When? Why?"

Rose's voice seemed panicked which sounded odd to her. "It was some months ago when it happened. Why? I don't know for sure. He doesn't talk about it, and neither does Kitty who witnessed the 'blessed' event. All I know is that she called in a marker."

"Damn him and his oaths! Why couldn't he for just once ignore them?"

"You know as well as I, that keeping his word is far more important than his own life. It's what makes him what and who he is. Without that, he would lose himself to what he fears most, the beast that rages in him."

"And I suppose he would honor a promise even if Sabretooth called it forth? Yes that damn fool would." Rose looked at the photograph.

Elisabeth followed the other woman's gaze. "You still love him, don't you?" After a moment of silence without looking away, she asked, "does he know?"

"I think so, but we both know... knew it wouldn't work out. So when his job took him away, I didn't follow. Over the years we sort of dropped out of touch. But he still sends me flowers on my birthday.

"And what of you Elisabeth, do you love him as well?"

"I suppose in some way, I do. It's not the type of love between intimate lovers, nor the love of a sibling or relative. However it's more than just friendship, more than that I can't say. Or rather, I do not know how to express it." She stared at Rose who glanced back knowingly with a smile.

"I understand. Has he ever kissed you? No. Let me tell you something that little terror can kiss! You'd be lucky if you can stand after it."

"So Jean tells me!" They both erupted in laughter for a bit.

After a couple of minutes, Elisabeth lowered her voice when she spoke. "Does he know that Ruth is his granddaughter?"

Rose sighed and shook her head. "Please don't tell him. Maybe someday I'll inform him, but not yet."

Putting a hand on the other's shoulder, she squeezed it gently. "I promise Rose. You have my word."

...to be continued


NOTES: Continuing the tradition of having the girls Logan rescue call him 'Little' something. The Black Widow used 'Little Uncle', so I'm having Chun Li use 'Little Dragon'. Ruth being Logan's grandaughter is not entirely accurate from Marvel's standpoint, however it is a possibility that was never explored in the X-Books.

And now Bic presents...

OMAKE THEATER:

The smell of freshly toasted muffins brought Elisabeth out of her sleep. Wearing only her pink silk undergarments, she wandered out of the bedroom and headed towards the kitchen. This was the spacious penthouse apartment her boyfriend, Warren Worthington III. Lately though, he never seem to be around. They were drifting apart and she knew in her heart that it was for the best. But it still hurt and she grasped on to any hope of the two of them being together. "Maybe he's making breakfast for me as an apology for staying out all week." She thought to herself while yawning. When she reached the kitchen, she stopped in mid-stride. It was not Warren.

"Mornin' Betts."

"Logan!? What? Why?" Elisabeth spouted out in shock.

"Sorry darlin', but I need your help and I didn't want to talk over the phone. But first help yourself."

She looked at the spread on the table. Toast with a slice of butter on each piece, some sliced strawberries draped over a couple of waffles, and some tea all arranged in an elaborate fashion. "You did this!?"

As she sat down, he stated, "hey, you're the first woman I made breakfast for in years. I do know how to cook, ya know."

"This is delicious, Logan." She exclaimed after her first bite. Then, she looked at him teasingly and said, "marry me."

Pretending to be nervous, he looked at the floor and stated, "I don't know, this is kinda sudden, Betts."

Elisabeth smiled at him, as she took finished another bite. "Thanks Logan, I needed that."

"Welcome." He looked at her as she ate. "Betts?"

"Yes?"

"Are you sure you want to talk in what you're wearing? I mean it makes this old man happy, but I rather see you comfortable." Logan heard her chuckling. "What's so funny?"

"You."

"Me?"

"Yes. Think about it. You already have seen parts of me that the others have not. Remember my old ninja uniform."

"I always wondered about that. I could see how it would ride up or suddenly shift in the middle of a kick. But only I seemed to notice it."

Elisabeth got up and strode to him gracefully, letting her fingers slide across the white marble tabletop. "Go on."

"Of course, you were telepathically convincing them that nothing embarrassing had happened. Why not me?" She touched his nose gently than walked behind him and ran her fingers across his broad shoulders. "I only tricked their eyes luv, not the rest of their senses. When we left Hong Kong after freeing ourselves from the Hand, you put your trust in me. In some small way, I returned that trust. Selfish, I know, but at the time it felt right." Draping her arms over his shoulders, she brought her head next to his. "Well I'm going to take a shower and change into something slightly less comfortable. I have a feeling you didn't come over because you were lonely." When she kissed his cheek, he raised an eyebrow. "That's for breakfast." Then changed her position and kissed his other cheek. "And that's for being there for me."


Well I hope you've enjoyed the preview! - Bic