Canadian Football

June 16, 2015:

Stop me if you've heard this one… A German, an Englishwoman, and a Canadian walk into a stadium.


BC Place, a 54,320-seater football stadium on the north side of False Creek in Vancouver.


NPCs: None.


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

The Women's World Cup has come to Canada, and uncharacteristically, Logan has decided to share it with some of his colleagues. Well, to be fair, they decided to invite a Canadian to see what it's all about. Logan's never really been too into sports. His life is a sport. It doesn't leave much time for Manchester United, Bayern Munich, the Dallas Cowboys, New York Yankees, or whatever team is in these days.

They've come to Vancouver, British Columbia, which is "beautiful" or so the licence plates seem to say. It's a bit of an odd city. It doesn't seem to have any kind of highway, freeway, or subway. There is Skytrain, but that's a bit of a joke. A lot of people are on bikes in the downtown area, and traffic is a nightmare. But at least it's pretty.

As the trio approach BC Place, the cables that hold up the retractable roof look like a crown. The sky is blue, with only a few clouds, and everywhere there are people with jerseys, scarves, and other paraphernalia, suggesting which team they are supporting on the day. There's a row of statues outside the stadium, which seem to have a bronze figure at various stages of… deterioration.

It tells the story of a man who was running, but gradually lost a limb, until the last one shows him running with a rudimentary prosthesis. But still he tries to run. It's apparently called Terry Fox Plaza. Turning to his companions, Logan, who's wearing blue jeans and a white Canadian shirt that Betsy made him buy, "so, tell me again, who are we going to see play?"

Kurt Wagner had mostly managed to keep a low-profile, knowing he had to save the energy on his holo-simulator until he absolutely needed it. He wore a hat and scarf, all in the German colours, along with a jersey underneath a long jacket. He kept his hands tucked as much as possible. Of course, hiding behind Logan wasn't particularly effective, but having Betsy along helps - the Brit is particularly distracting, especially for lusty male hooligans. It allows the elf-like mutant a chance to hold off until they're inside to activate his disguise.

"Germany and England, mein freund. One of the greatest of all football rivalries, especially since Germany is so obviously superior," he teases, "The British do make up a lot of ground with enthusiasm, though, for all they lack in hygiene and dental care." he says with a jocular tone.

"These are the National matches, Logan," Betsy says primly, leading the way with those long-legged strides. The men are dressed a bit more casually than she - wearing a brilliant red blazer, tight white women's slacks that loosen around her knees, and the Union Jack for a camisole, she manages to combine high fashion, bright plumage, and even a conservative style of dress. Her bright red heels click with each leggy step she takes. The hat, a bright red fedora with a short brim and a brilliantly intricate lace weave propped up from the back, is worn at a jaunty angle. Her signature, lustrous black and purple hair is in a complex braid that bobs between her shoulder blades.

"England is going to take Germany to task this year, Kurt," she points out to the two men. "After all, if we can beat Germany abroad, then we can certainly beat them in Canada," she says, shooting a sly, baiting smile at Kurt, referring joshingly to the 1938 Berlin games.

A gentleman in a grey suit comes jogging up to Betsy, intercepting her, and she has a brief conversation with him. "Yes, of course, William, thank you. Gentlemen?" she says, turning to Kurt and Logan. "Here is where we part, briefly - William will lead you up to our box seats. Order anything you like from the bar. Do try and avoid the paparazzi. I have to make certain…" she grimaces. "Familial obligations if I'm appearing here publically. I'll join you quite soon." She touches Kurt's shoulder reassuringly and strides off quickly, heading into a milling swirl of fans and cameramen, waving at the cries and applause that greet her before vanishing into the melee.

"Gentlemen," William says, gesturing politely. "If you'll follow me, I'll escort you to the Royal Pavilion while the Countess attends to the people."

Even as Kurt talks about how superior the Germans are, a group of English supporters walk by chanting 'two World Wars and one World Cup, do da, do da, two World Wars and one World Cup, England all the way!' In Europe, supporters are separated by both barriers and security. But in Canada, they can sit alongside each other. Though there are some groups on opposite sides where the core of the support has gathered.

The chant hits home for Logan, since when he was born, Canada was still part of the British Empire, and he fought in the two World Wars the supporters mentioned. "I've lived in England, and I've lived in Deutschland, and I got no complaints." Though Germany are favoured to win, not that the English believe it.

Logan is no stranger to royalty. Even though his invitation to the wedding got lost in the mail, he was invited, and the Queen did ask about him. Living a vagabond lifestyle can be murder on the social calendar. Looking at how Betsy caressed Kurt's shoulder, Logan will give him a knowing look as William escorts them to the Royal Pavilion. "How long?" he asks simply, but directly.

Kurt Wagner smiles, "It depends on where you live in either, I suspect, mein freund. Of course, football mania transcends all boundaries of class and upbringing, as you can see by our Betsy being dragged off to hobnob with the aristocracy while you and I muck it out among the hoi polloi," he jokes.

"BEER!" he calls out to a passing vendor, activating his disguise as he holds up a few Canadian bills, "And you might want to keep them coming, Herr Beerman. Between me and my friends, we tend to have a rather vigorous appetite for hops. Ah, I do not know how the Protestants handle it, doing without alcohol," he jokes.

The two men are escorted smartly up to the private pavilion. Royalty and celebrity alike are in abundance, but their escort uses back routes, private elevators, and hidden passages that keep the two men well insulated from the rest of the stadium. Several movie actors, a few American celebrities, and members of the Candadian peerage are in attendance - but, as Logan and Kurt are far from members of the noveu riche or aristocracy, they're largely ignored.

The fellow lets them into the luxuriously appointed box seats, dressed in a classic European style with real wood, soft furniture, and a wet bar with a discreetly placed attendant ready to serve them, smiling and offering hot towels and ice water to the fellows. "The Countess Windsor instructed me to make sure you gentlemen were comfortable, eh? Can I pour you a drink?" he asks with a polite and clear Canadian accent.

On the pitch, the ceremonies start - the Canadian flag goes out first, anthem playing, followed by the German and English flags, being trotted across the pitch. Various anthems play and the game commissioner speaks briefly, addressing the crowd and welcoming them to the game.

Most of what they serve at BC Place could hardly be considered beer by a German palate. But at least it's not as bad as what they were serving last year. During the off season, they added a few local microbreweries, which are far better than the Budweiser they usually serve. Plus there are some other products owned by Bud, like Stella Artois.

And Stella is what Logan opts for, though he does give the Thirsty Pigeon some serious consideration. It's a little known fact that British Columbia has the highest liquor prices in the Western Hemisphere, but that's part of the charm, or so they say.

"Thanks Kurt, I'll get the next round," Logan promises as he takes a swig of his Stella. He can't get drunk, not with his healing factor, but he does enjoy the taste. "So, when do you think Countess Windsor will deign to join us?" And as the match kicks off, the turf reveals itself with the noticeable way it bounces, sand coming up in a soft, small plume. This tournament is being played on artificial turf.

Kurt Wagner barely keeps himself from hopping up onto the arms of his chair and gripping with his feet, his instinct to do so to make sure he can get the best possible view. But, he should show deference to the people behind him, not to mention not look like a complete and total weirdo as long as his holo-disguise is working. He's got a nice lager for himself, the kind of beer that's so dark it's impenetrable, like darkness with foam poured on top.

"Ah, I'm sure she will detach herself from the blue of blood soon enough, Logan. For all her privileges, there are many responsibilities that come with a position like that - I do not envy her, most especially because she likely has to do most of them in high heels."

The pre-game warm-up ends, and an old-fashioned trumpeter steps onto the pitch, blowing a royal cadence that is echoed by massive loudspeakers. The entire stadium gets on their feet as Betsy strides onto the pitch, moving with a fast, long-legged stride to where the two team captains stand. "And now for the ceremonial first kick and the coin toss - Countess of Windsor, Lady Elizabeth Braddock!"

The woman walks out and greets the captains and the referee, taking the football from them. Much to the crowd's delight - in her heels, no less! - she starts juggling it expertly from foot to knee to foot, even removing her hat and bouncing it on her head, then lets it hit the turf. With a phenomenal kick, she sends it flying across the field - to land squarely in Germany's goal!

The English crowd goes berserk and cheers explode. Betsy waves at everyone, supervising the coin toss, and the ref indicates first kick to Germany. She waves once more and walks off the field again, too much applause and a spontaneous rendition of Windsor county's fight song.

"I never understood the appeal of them," Logan says referring to high heels. He's old school, a meat and potatoes man. Makeup, nail polish, none of that matters to him. But when he does see Betsy, he begins to understand some of the modern views. She always looks amazing. "I'd have been fine with a seat up in the bleachers, but I gotta admit, this suite does have a great view."

And that's not just because Betsy showed off her not inconsiderable skills before the coin toss. "Not bad, not bad at all. Scored a goal from her own half. That's Beckham territory." See, Logan knows about David Beckham. Someone might have even gotten him to watch a film about Bending it.

Early in the match, one of the English players just earned her side a corner kick after a German made a desperate clearance. "How's yer beer, Kurt?" Their box suite even seems to have a chef, though the cuisine seems pretty standard to the rest of the stadium. Moving over to that area, Logan orders a good old fashioned cheeseburger with bacon, mayonnaise, ketchup, mustarded, and no vegetables.

Kurt Wagner grins, "It's good, but I can always use another," he says, watching closely and shuffling his feet occasionally. He tries not to get too antsy, having a tendency to jump up and down while he's watching at home, throwing his fist, generally making a ruckus. Which is perfectly okay to do in the den at Xavier's, but not so appropriate here, especially since he's been known to occasionally teleport after a particularly exciting goal. He doesn't need to make –them- the centre of attention.

He orders, of course, a massive sausage. What, he's German, it's allowed! Plenty of kraut, mustard, the whole routine.

It only takes a few moments for Betsy to arrive in the private box, and she immediately shucks her trendy sports jacket and doffs her hat, handing them off to the valet. She stretches her muscular arms behind her, the loose camisole top stretching a bit. "Damn, I scuffed my shoes," she frowns, looking down at her very fashionable footwear. "Still, it was worth it. Auntie Midge will be terribly cross, though, she's always quite vexed with me when I'm unladylike. Vodka martini," she tells the valet with a passing sort of gesture, moving to one of the chairs nearest the inclined windows. The view of the pitch is remarkable, and the stadium reduced to a low background assurance. "Germany is favoured to do well here, they've a bloody strong pair of forwards and their goalkeeper is astounding. Still, I think we've a strong chance - our passing game is superb," she remarks, not really checking to see if anyone's paying attention. The valet arrives with her vodka and Betsy slams it back in one gulp and wiggles the glass at him for a refill, then reaches up and starts tugging on her braid to relax it.

Compared to Kurt, Logan is a sea of calmness. But still waters run deep. He's taking the match in, enjoying the play, appreciating it. He goes a ways back when it comes to football. He even got to see the great Duncan Edwards play. The boy was built like a tank, could play every position. A shame about the Munich disaster.

Drinking his beer between bites of the cheeseburger, Logan asks, "should we order something fer Betsy?" It's a good thing she's not here, as Kurt is about to go wild now that the Germans have earned what most neutrals would call a dubious penalty. She was looking for the call, leaving a trailing foot behind. But as everyone knows, Germans can bury penalties. And of course, she does. "How's the passing game doing now?" Logan asks, not harshly, but he was listening.

The valet returns with another martini for Betsy which she sets aside, trying to finish untangling her braid. "Bloody cheating Krauts," she grumbles, watching that trailing foot and the way the Germans neatly cover it. "This is the 2011 game all over again. And now they're crowding!" she complains, loudly. She waves off Logan's offer of food. "Later, darling, I can't be sitting here for three hours stuffing my face with carbohydrates," she says, ever the fitness fiend.

She gets her hair out and brushes it with her nails, then slips out of her shoes, curling one leg under her and hugging her other shin, chin resting on her kneecap. "I'm glad you two were able to go," she tells the men after a few minutes of boring passing. "I haven't been to a proper football game since I came home. And trying to get someone to turn off the telly and switch to ESPN2 is bloody impossible in that school sometimes."

Logan can drink as much as he wants, eat as much as he wants, and he'll never gain an ounce. He even once spent six months trapped under a glacier, eating the skin off his own arm. After that, Logan was probably one of the few people who didn't mind when the icecaps began to melt, though he does feel for the Polar Bears.

"Did I ever tell you I had United tickets back in '56? Tommy Taylor, Bobby Charlton, Duncan Edwards, Billy Whelan, I saw 'em all." Of course, with Betsy being from down south, chances are she's a Gunner, a Pensioner, or a Spur.

"But doing what we do, don't you find these things a bit… tame?" He battles with giant killer robots, crazy Samurai, Russian super soldiers, can a football match really contend with all of that?

Kurt Wagner shakes his head and laughs at Logan, "Mein frend, I tell you, you need to write a book of all your experiences. Even if you take out all of the things which you can't ever talk about for national security of a half dozen nations, there are many who could benefit from your knowledge. Also, football fanatics love reading about the history of the game, when they are sober enough to remember how to read,' he jokes.

"And I could do with a little tame, Logan. I don't need a sword here… very often," he admits, 'If we were in Germany and the game were particularly raucous, of course, things would get a bit more dangerous."

"The '56 United Team were some of the greats," Betsy agrees with Logan, absently raking her nails through her hair again. "Just… phenomenal. I love watching tape of their old games, they aren't quite as fast as… say… /Arsenal/," she says, a sly dig at the older mutant, "but they had a lot of spirit, and I suppose that counts for something."

"Kurt, don't encourage him," Betsy sniffs. "He already prattles on for hours, and his taste in football teams is terribly uninspired. If he somehow kludged his way through a novel, it'd be OH BLOODY HELL, REF!" she bellows, surging to her feet and smacking a fist on the glass. "THAT WAS AN ELBOW, WE ALL SAW IT!" she shouts, stamping a foot with a huff.

Logan isn't much for fame or celebrity. He's not even the type to plan for the future. If he were, he would have made some small deposits in banks across the world, hoping to one day collect a ton of interest. "I'll think about it," he says, meaning the book of course. But he won't think too long about it.

"Bets, don't get me started. But I will say this," more for Kurt's benefit, "Fergie arrived back in '86. We were worried about going down," being relegated to a lower league. "He stayed on until 2013. Under him, we won 13 Premier League titles, 5 FA Cups, 4 League Cups, 10 Community Shields, 2 Champions Leagues, 1 Cup Winners' Cup, 1 Super Cup, 1 Intercontinental Cup, and a Club World Cup." And that's being brief. There's a reason that Alex Ferguson was knighted by the Queen and is now known as Sir Alex Ferguson.

Thankfully, England come back with a strong bit of passing, and have levelled the match in front of them at 1-1, just as the fourth official puts up a sign indicating that there will be 1 minute of additional time before the half ends. "Good goal, she took it well."

Kurt Wagner takes a sip of his beer, "Well, that's why you encourage someone to write a book, Betsy, because then you can just read it and, if you don't feel like hearing it, you can just hold up the book," he says with an amused smile. He listens to the array of statistics, while Betsy loses her cool and starts shouting at the referee. Kurt does enjoy a good match, but, admittedly, isn't quite as rabid as the other two, likely because of matters of temperament more than devotion. Put simply, his blood doesn't get up quite the same way as theirs do. Serenity now and all that jazz.

His watch beeps loudly, and Kurt looks at it. The holographic image blanches. "Mein freunds, our time is finished," he apologizes, gesturing meaningfully at the battery readout for his disguise generator. "I will meet you before the trip home, ja?" And he fairly dashes out the door, and once he finds an isolated spot, vanishes with a *BAMF*!

Betsy sighs loudly and backs away from the glass. The valet, thankfully, is the sort who is trained to /not/ observe it when celebrity and royalty loses their cool during a game. She stomps back to the chair and flops into it, reassuming her folded position and resting her chin on her knee.

"I can count too, Logan," Betsy says, her tone delightedly irritated as Logan starts quoting statistics at her. "We have the /most/ wins and points in the League, twelve- TWELVE, Logan- FA Cups, and remember the 2003 season? Mmm?" sh asks, waggling three fingers at the burly mutant. "Unnnnnndefeaaaateddd," she sing-songs.

"Kurt, somehow I doubt a book would get Logan to shut it," she says, turning those bright amethyst eyes onto the blue teleporter. The game plus the privacy of the box seems to be helping her shed off that sense of icy propriety she seems to carry everywhere with her. "I'm not sure you /can/ get Logan to shut it. The book would be a thousand pages of bar brawls and sordid tales about various members of the peerages and the American nouveau riche."

People don't get nicknames like the Wolverine for being calm and collected. He's a lot better than he used to be, his time in Japan having given him some balance, but he has a long way to go on that journey. The insult doesn't go unnoticed either, but it does go unremarked. It wasn't meant to be mean, it just turned out that way. "Betsy, to go undefeated, you can't lose any games. The Gunners lost plenty of games, just not in one of the four competitions they played in."

And with the match in front of them now in half time, Logan gets up from his seat, stretching, making some of his bones make this funny popping sound. They get that way when coated in adamantium. "So, who's up fer some more beer?"

"Oh, why not," Betsy says, looking discouraged as Germany pulls into the half leading by a point and with a more dominant presence on the field. "Instead of celebration vodka, I'll eat consolation nachos." She gets up with a lithe motion and moves to the bar, walking on tippy-toes for a few steps to stretch her legs, and then hops the two steps up to the bar nimbly. She finds the other stool and wiggles onto it, resting her elbows on the dark-stained wood.

"I'm glad you're here, Logan. We've missed you around the Institute," she admits to him. "It's not been the same with you gone. Don't mistake me," she tells him reassuringly, touching his shoulder in a small gesture. "I know you had your reasons. I'm just glad you're back and I have someone to root for Britain with me today." She offers a small, flickering smile to him, more significant for its rarity than expressiveness.

Gary Lineker once said that 'football is a simple game. Twenty-two men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans always win.' It was true then, and it seems to be true now. "I like to keep busy." He's a globe trotter all right. A typical week for him involves at least one transcontinental flight, if not multiple ones. And S.H.I.E.L.D. has him busy, on top of his commitments to the X-Men, and a few other teams.

Joining Betsy at the bar, he appreciates the touch of his shoulder. "I always root for Britain, 'cept when they play Canada, naturally." He's a proud Canadian, though he doesn't show it as often as he should. Kind of makes him even more Canadian, now that he thinks about it. But he's fought for so many countries, the United States, United Kingdom, Greece, Madripoor, Japan, a few others. To the bartender, he says, "make it a double," meaning the natchos, and to Betsy, he grins, "might have to use the danger room to work this stuff off later."

One lip goes up in a sneer of self-disgust right before Betsy bites the nacho, and she narrows her eyes at Logan in a mock threat. "Not all of us have perfect metabolisms, Logan," she says, a bit primly. "Some of us actually bother to exercise to stay in shape. This is why I don't understand why all these children of Jean's keep popping up from various timelines. The poor dear is a bit curvy as it is. Two kids will turn her into a pumpkin." She shudders visibly, flexing her trapezius. "Disgusting affair. You'll never see me wandering around with a brat on my hip."

She picks up another nacho, scooping it high with ground beef and guacamole and salsa, and opens wide to crunch down on it. She chews with her mouth shut, poking the pile of toppings around, then takes a few quick chugs of her beer, a dark lager. "I've modified your Madripoor program," she says, feigning diffidence, eyes sliding to look sidelong at him. "I made it properly challenging now," she says, her tones subtly and slyly teasing in a way only someone familiar with Japanese custom would appreciate.

Ah, she had to bring up Jean. Logan's got a thing for the redhead, but all these alternate universe, future children, with Scott, well, it wears a man down. She made a choice, and so far he's respected it. He's got too much honour to ignore it, no matter how little it makes sense to him. He drowns most of his beer as he quietly contemplates what could have been. "You ever want someone to spot for you, just ask." He does actually exercise, he just doesn't need to as often as most people do.

"A challenge huh? What'd you do, give them all magnetic ray guns or something?" He's actually curious, and will test it out at the first opportunity. But for now, natchos. He seems to especially like the cheese covered ones, though the ground beef and the vegetables are good too. "An for what it's worth, I think you'd make a great mom, if that ever happened."

"Liar. You're sweet, though," Betsy says with a roll of her eyes and unable to suppress another small smile. It's hard not to take that as praise. She turns around on the stool and leans back, resting her elbows on the bar behind and literally putting temptation behind her back. "I'm likely to take you up on that offer," she tells Logan with a grateful nod, sipping her beer. She crosses her legs at the knee, one foot bobbing absently in the air. "Really, you and Kurt are the only ones who can give me a realistic workout, anyway. Most of the students aren't as well conditioned as we are. Jean cries a lot when it's leg day."

She rotates slightly and reaches back for the nachos, scooping up some toppings, and eats it carefully, chewing. "I wouldn't mind someone to duel with, either. Swordsmanship is a very perishable skill and very few people actually know proper katana form." THAT's new. Formerly, Betsy was a very mildly competent fencer, as many blue-blooded aristocrats are - but fisticuffs and swordsmanship were not something in her skillset.

Absently running his thumb up and down the side of his face, between his chin and cheek, he plays with the facial hair. It's not long, but he has stubble. He often has stubble. There's a rumour going around the school that he has to actively will his hair to grow or not to grow. No one's sure if it's true, but his healing factor seems to return his hair to its previous state when he gets injured, yet he can sport some slightly different styles, such as clean shaven, stubble, beard, and so on.

"I meant it Bets." There are others who are well conditioned, but Logan has the nice niche of being superhuman without really being superhuman. He has all the skills you'd expect of a man with his longevity, but nothing really puts him into the same category as the Justice League for example. He heals, he has claws, but he's pretty much just a very well trained, very tough, old guy. Not that he looks it.

Sizing her up, Logan's eyes linger a little longer than they probably should, so it's a good thing the game is about to start again. "That sounded like the whistle." And as he rises from his seat, he says, "if yer nice, I'll even show you my katana." Yep, he has his own katana. Technically it's a crime to take it out of Japan, but Logan's on good terms with the Emperor.

"Buy a girl a drink first, Logan," Betsy chides coolly, slipping out of the stool. She leans over and punches his shoulder, firmly but affectionately, careful not to spill anyone's beer. Ultimate party foul, no matter what side of the pond one is on.

She follows Logan to the chairs, but instead of moving to her high backed seat, she follows Logan to the wider chair he's in. When he sits, she stares at him pointedly. "Shift," she says, gently bumping his hip with her foot. The leggy Asian drops into the seat next to Logan and drinks her beer, sitting primly upright fairly close to him, and looks sidelong at the man again. "Don't get any notions," she advises him quickly, crossing her feet under her. "I want some platonic cuddling, is all. Jean's not here and you're one of the few gentlemen who isn't so churlish as to read too much into it."

"I would have, but you already have one," Logan reminds her after she chides him. "Come on, the game's already started." England have made a substitution at half time, probably hoping to get that equaliser after conceding a goal in stoppage time. And they were playing so well, having scored themselves a few minutes earlier.

When he gets to his chair, he gets settled, but she tells him to scoot, so he makes space for her to side beside him. He didn't expect that, or the flirting, but she is right. He's not some young pup. He knows good things come to those who wait. Raising one arm, he lets her move closer if she wishes. It may spoil the mood, but he decides to ask at that exact time, "Somethin's been bugging me. How the hell do you keep warm wearing that uniform o' yers?"

Betsy bonelessly flops against Logan's shoulder and chest, sitting more or less sideways and curling her legs up tightly under her. She takes a few sips of her beer, watching the game scrawling across the pitch and hissing victory at a particularly brilliant play, an English midfielder snaking possession from a juggling attacker and passing it to her own left midfielder who was pushing towards the goal.

"It's the same material as yours, Logan," she points out. "Removing a bit of fabric around my shoulders and hips gives me a good bit more mobility. Being chilly is just a matter of chi and discipline, after all," she points out, echoing a definitely shinobi mindset when it comes to body control. "And if I'm actually freezing, then I can always heat myself up psionically."

"You show a lot more skin than I do, Bets." Logan's costume leaves only the area between his gloves and shoulder pads bear, plus the lower half of his face. The rest is covered up. Of course, Betsy's new costume doesn't leave much skin visible either, but he remembers one of the earlier designs.

As she curls up against him, she might find him unusually warm. It's one of his lesser known powers. His body runs hot, stays hot. It's great for being in subarctic temperatures, but doesn't really help him down near the equator. He can endure that heat, but there's a reason he spends little time in the tropics.

As the suite's waiter comes by, Logan hands him an empty beer, and asks for another one. "And you can throw whatever the lady's having onto my bill, too. Vodka martini was it?"

"I'm also much prettier than you are. That can be a decisive advantage in a fight," Betsy points out to the man, sipping her beer and watching a complex passing game erupt on the pitch. "Everyone expects you to be a burly, ham-fisted fistfighter. No one expects me to able to smash a steel beam apart in a snit," she explains. "Particularly if I'm wearing something that tends to make me look more like a woman than an armed and armoured fighter."

She does seem to enjoy the added warmth. Being able to ignore cold, and /being cold/ because of having low body fat content, are two very different things. And because it's the Great Frozen Wastes of Canada, it's cold in there!

"Logan, right now, this is the Royal box," Betsy points out when the waiter moves off, looking confused. "I'm here officially representing the Crown today - I didn't come out in that ridiculous hat for the sake of getting seen. That gets us access to the box and my family will pick up the cheque for our refreshments. So do be a dear and stop worrying about it," she says, reaching up and giving his stubbled cheek a brief and affectionate pat, before reassuming her comfortable lean.

"Another vodka martini, please!" she calls over to the server.

"You'll get no argument from me on that" she's much prettier than he is. Though it's a bit unfair to call Wolverine a ham-fisted fistfighter. He has technique and expertise. But long ago he learned that the direct approach is usually the most expedient. Less chance of someone else getting hurt if he's drawing fire. He'll survive. They won't.

Canada may be cold in the winter, well, most of it, but Vancouver's always been a bit different. Because of a variety of factors, it enjoys warm summers and mild winters. It gets rain, but not snow. And today it’s a beautiful sunny day.

"You know Bets, you take all the fun out of trying to buy you a drink." And though hands wander, he remains a gentleman. "Right, Countess of Windsor. Does that mean I should call you Your Royal Highness?"

So she's not curled up with Logan for /entirely/ temperature related reasons! He's a gentleman and a friend, and not entirely bad looking, and she's had at least five drinks in the last hour or so.

"Don't be daft, Logan," Betsy says primly, words just a bit slurred. "I know you've been around long enough to know how to address a member of the British peerage," she says, a bit owlishly, finishing her beer and setting it aside. "You," she says, poking his rib with a finger a nun would admire, "may address me as LADY Braddock, and I my formal title is Elizabeth, Countess of Windsor." She sits up when the waiter's footsteps approach, accepting the martini carefully with both hands, and takes a quick sip of it while Logan gets his next drink in hand.

And those drinks are the reason that nothing untoward will happen, either here, or elsewhere. Logan can drink alcohol as if it were water and be stone cold sober, but Betsy doesn't have his healing factor. She's lucky in that way.

Of course he was teasing, "right, Lady Braddock. Does that mean I'm supposed to call you that when yer drenched in sweat from saving the world, or working off those natchos in the gym?" He continues to tease her. But at least he's got another pint. The beer's not bad, but it's no Molson. "I keep it simple. I just go by Logan. Or hey you in a pinch."

"Yes, darling, I know," Betsy reminds Logan, insinuating herself against his side again, martini held carefully out of the way with an elegant wrist. "We've known each other for how long? It's me, Logan, it's Elizabeth."

She pushes a hand against his chest for leverage so she can sit upright, looking at him with a frustrated expression. "I know I don't …. I know I don't /look/ like myself anymore, but it is me, still. All those memories are in here," she says. "Jean trusts me. Charles does. Even that wanker Scott does." She bites her lower lip, frustrated, and bangs a fist softly against Logan's chest.

"And if you make fun of my noble titles while I'm sweating off these bloody carbohydrates, I'll make you think you're a sixteen year old girl. Who likes ballet. And wears /tutus/." She narrows her angular eyes in an attempt at menace that excels are sincerity but largely falls flat in terms of follow-through.

He knows the story. He's barely surprised by it. He's already seen so many things that are far stranger than a woman changing body's. So he was one of the first to accept her. Sure, her scent has changed, but her body language hasn't. She's still Elizabeth. Still Betsy. Just, she looks different.

"Did I say I don't trust you?" He asks rhetorically. "And I ain't about to make fun o' you. 'sides, I like a good workout." And he really would prefer not to think he was a sixteen year old girl, who likes ballet, and wears tutus. Telepaths have already done enough damage as it is.

"Good. I'm glad we had this talk." She covers up her smile by giving the side of Logan's face a playful shove and leans back against him once more with a companionable sigh, looking largely relaxed and quite comfortable as she finishes watching Germany and England playing on her friend's home soil, until the game is called and it's time for both of them to make arrangements to head back to New York. But, even superheroes need to stop and enjoy life sometimes.

And good friends help make those rare times even more special.

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