Fire and Honor by paxnirvana Format for use with submitting fanfic.
Fire and Honor
by paxnirvana

Rating: PG

Author's Note: Mature themes. Just wanderin' through Ororo's lovely, lonely head now. Thanks to reviewer 'niala' for the kick in the butt. And yes, I believe Logan does have the eloquence in thought, he just doesn't have the words for it out loud. With the stunning exception of his speech to Marie on the train. Meant to do this for 'Ro earlier, but other tales begged to be told first.

Disclaimer: Marvel. 20th Century Fox. Do you see my name there? Didn't think so. Just for fun, once again.

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He is not quite like the rest of us. The Wolverine. Logan. Oh, he's a mutant, like us, and human, but something else lurks inside him. Something primal and wild. As it does in me.

From the moment I first saw him, fighting in the snow, I felt it. The pull. His rage called to me, to the fire inside me that wars constantly with the ice. I learned long ago that to give in to anger was to subject the sky to torment, the land to destruction, others to physical suffering. So I built the wall of ice to keep the fire from consuming the world about me.

Distance brings serenity. Detachment enhances control. And separation brings aching loneliness.

He is fierce, feral, belligerent. Protective of Rogue, he made certain she settled into the school, despite having known her for less than a day longer than the rest of us. Jean he bothered by asking her leading questions about life at the mansion and openly lusting after her. Scott, normally even-tempered, became brittle and tense. I watched this intruder closely, disturbed by his fire, by his odd impact on our small world. He was impressed by the school, intrigued by the Professor's ideals, but was reluctant to stay, as if something threatened him here. Something that challenged his concept of self and place, perhaps his very worth.

As if rage was all he had left to define himself.

The Professor had Jean study him, to try to deduce the intent of our enemy. Why did the Brotherhood seek one such as he? We learned then the terrible things he had endured. Torture. Mutilation. Loss of self. Because he was a mutant. Because he was like us. Like me.

I watched him explode among us from my safe distance, saw his interest fix on Jean. So intent and feral, he stalked her, the force of his need nearly palpable. This disturbed me. Why would such a man focus on a woman who's heart belonged so fully to another? Long had I envied Jean Scott and their closeness. Not that I craved Scott for myself, but I craved the connection, the sharing, the loving between them. They have been together as long as I have known them, strong and secure in each other. Then he came along, bringing his own envy. For that I scorned him.

I still hear his voice in my head, from that strange night when he nearly killed the girl he had saved. The selfless fear. The utter helplessness. He had unwittingly stabbed her in his torment, reliving the torture he had once endured. Only her own strange power had saved her from death, yet she almost took his life in return.

But nearly his first words upon awakening again had been for her.

His concern when he discovered Rogue had run was genuine. His fear goading him to reckless anger. I did not know, then, what Mystique had done to her to drive her fully away from us. I tried to reassure him, but he brushed me aside. In this, his instinct was right and my cool logic wrong. The ice faltered, failing me.

He tried to save her at the train station, but the Brotherhood surprised and overcame us. We were too complacent this close to our home. We will not make that error again. He was enraged when he awakened and knew her gone. Driven to find her, determined to get her back. He became wilder then, as if caring was a weakness. I argued with him, because of the memory of his helplessness, when he tried to leave us behind. Daring him to choose, to leave off anger for a time. He mocked me. But he stayed. My will began to weaken toward him then.

The Professor succumbed to more treachery; Jean risked herself to find the Brotherhood. We followed them and engaged them in battle, still not fully prepared despite all our training, but we perservered. Then we fell to Magneto. Even in the midst of a seemingly hopeless trap, his scorn for Magneto's cowardice lifted my heart. Then, Goddess, he drove his own claws through his body to get free. Determination, strength, courage. He fought wildly at first, until he realized he could not defeat his foe alone. He turned then to us, to our talents, needing all of us to help him if he was to fulfil his promise to a young girl.

He offered the ultimate gift. To the girl drained by a madman's device, her life slipping away for a twisted dream of equality, Logan offered his own in exchange. Because he'd promised to protect her. My heart made the final journey with my will. Here was a man of honor. Here was a man worthy of respect. Perhaps even love. If only he could learn to see beyond the rage.

He searches now, somewhere in the distant North. For he left us to seek that part of himself taken from him by those who see us as less than human simply for the gifts we have been given. See us all just as what they tried to make him; as animals.

But he is far more, if he would only let us show him.

Rogue waits for him, clutching her precious talisman. And his promise.

As do I.