Title: Keep Moving
Word Count: 303
Rating: PG
Summary: A brief look at Logan, pre-X1
Author's Notes: I own nothing. I am a Textual Poacher.

The bar has a chain-link cage in the back room and a hand-lettered sign on battered plywood above the door:

FIGHTS every Saturday nite all comers


It smells like old blood and sawdust, flat beer and stale sweat and humanity – men, mostly. This is a men's town, a logging and mining town; thus the cage. What else do men in a town like this do for entertainment?

He put his last ten buck on himself. He'll spend the night fighting, taking "all comers", make enough to get moving again. Gotta keep moving. The old lady at the gas station across the parking lot will push a pack of cigars across the counter with a weary look.

Been on the road long?

A while.

He won the truck and the camper in a fight – the bike and trailer, too, in a different fight, later on. He pulled punches both times, and he won – he always does.

Win, that is. He only pulls punches when he has to.

The crowd's gathering, humming with the pent-up frustration of dead-end men in a dead-end nowhere town. He strips off his shirt and rolls his shoulders, feeling the muscles in his back coil and move over bones clad in . . .

Adamantium. He only knows the word because it comes to him, sometimes, in his dreams, low and half-hidden behind his own drowning screams. Someone in the background, explaining the process – but not to him. Whoever he was, he wasn't worth explaining to.

He shrugs it off, cracks the bones in his neck. Gotta keep moving. In a fight, on the road, in life; gotta keep moving. He doesn't know why, except that he knows the alternative is worse.

He mutters his name to the announcer -- Wolverine -- and steps into the cage.