If anyone here read WOLVERINE, they might recognize a scene from the final chapter of Rucka's first arc since the reboot.

That arc, called the BROTHERHOOD had LOGAN investigating and avenging the murder of a young waitress he's befriended. She's escaped from a cult. They found her and killed. He returned the favor: infiltrated the compound and killed the hell out of 30 guys on a berserker rage.

After that, he tried to drown his sorrows at a bar in Mutant Town. And wanted to talk to Nightcrawler. Crawler was once a priest. Logan confessed and
wanted absolution.

The geek in me always wondered: what if Logan had asked a kindred spirit for advice. And not a priest and a hero.

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BAR,
MUTANT TOWN, NEW YORK
NIGHT-TIME

Logan couldn't the images out of his mind.

Lucy's body. The killers, hacked into meat by his unstoppable rage.

He was drinking heavily. Not that it made a goddamn difference, with his powers-

He caught the scent. His "guest" was here. He caught the stench of death in the bar. It hit him like a punch from Hulk or Juggernaut.

"Suprised you came." Logan said.

"Suprised you called."The Punisher answered.

The barmaid-a pretty 20 something blonde with a small tentacle for a hand-went to Castle.

"What will it be, handsome" she asked.

"Root beer". Castle answered.

"Coming right up"She anwered.

"You drivin'?"Logan asked.

"That and I have work to do later on."Castle answered."In case you don't know, my work doesn't include therapy for suoer-heroes. Why did you call on me. Don't you actual FRIENDS that you could talk to?"

"Nobody that could understand me. Not the way you do."Logan.

Castle was reminded of those times he tried relating to his men back in Nam. Not always easy for tough guys to open up. Best tac: shut up. He did.

Logan had a couple more beers. Several shooters. Castle took a bottle of water. He waited. He'd seen this man take on demons and hordes of killers. Logan is not a friend. But he's developped respect for who he believed to a honorable warrior. He deserved the wait, whatever it was.

The waitress was overtly flirting with him. Logan ignored it. Castle took a swig of water and a shot in the dark.

"Who's the girl who died?" Castle asked.

"Huh?"

"The girl who died. The one you couldn't save. Who was she?"

Logan paused."Lucy Braddock. She was a part of a cult. She thought she escaped. She didn't they caught up with her and killed her. I found out who did."

Castle asked:"You killed them."

"I killed the holy fuck outta 27 people, Castle."

"Impressive. All claws?"

"You think I'm fuckin' braggin', here, bub?"

"What's your problem exactly?"

"I lost it. I killed 27 people."

"Any innocents?"Castle asked.

"Does that matter?"

"Yeah. That's the difference between you walking out of here, or me killing you."

"You think you have a chance at killing me?"

"Yeah. I do."

Logan looked at Castle in the eyes. There was no fear in Castle's eyes. Castle must know that in hand to hand close up fighting he'd be sliced and diced. He must have some other trick. Nobody did what he did that long without a few dirty tricks. Hidden bomb? Pocket nuke? There were scents that pointed in both those directions.

"No innocents." Logan said.

Castle relaxed.

"So what's the problem?"Castle said. "I kill that many people on a daily basis. On slow days."

"Any innocents?"

"Tell you what: if there ever are, you come take me down."

"Deal."

"So...you don't like what you are? You hate yourself? You think you're some kind of monster? An animal?"

"Something like that."

"Bad news, Logan: you are."

Logan stared at Castle.

"Not what you were expecting ? You wanted a pat on the back and a hug: I would introduce you to my kid sister if I had one? I've seen you in action. You're a stone cold killer. You're a monster. A fuckin' animal."

Logan could feel the growl start at the bottom of his throat.

"You know WHY?"Castle went on"Because it's your nature and because you need to be."

Logan paused.

"Most superheroes are inherently good people. They believe killing is wrong. All life is sacred. That's nice. But unpractical. Daredevil, Spider-Man...they beat my ass over and over. Which is fine. But those goddamn lectures that come with the beatings...I could do without. The fact is: you kill Octopus, Owl, the Goblin...they won't hurt people anymore. Period. Right or wrong, it WORKS. Dead people-when they stay dead, sometimes they don't-can't hurt others. It's that simple. The world needs monsters, Logan. To keep other monsters at bay. People can sleep at night because of guys like you and me. Make no mistake. Morality is an abstraction, it'S a luxury when you're at war. Simple rules: don't hurt innocent people and kill who isn't. Fuck the brooding and do what you gotta do.And remember WHY you do it."

Logan heard the words. They made sense. But...

"Sorry, Logan. I'm not the guy you wanna talk to about redemption, but hell, if you can still feel bad after killing some piece of shit, you might be further up that road than me."

Castle looked at his watch.

"Speaking of which."He said."Got some Russian mafia mooks to off. Wanna join?"

"Nah."

"Fine. See you around."

Castle walked out.

Logan was still sober, despite his heavy drinking and felt perhaps worse than he did before. Maybe there was no denying his true nature. Castle accepted his and embraced. Logan spent his life fighting it. Many times he just wanted to quit, like Castle.

But, he couldn't.

He believed that a man should always try to be better and rise above his lower instincts.

Logan just had more work to do than most people in that respect.

And besides, quittin' wasn't in his nature either.

THE END