My first X-Men attempt, thank you very much. I'm an avid fan of X-Men, and an even bigger fan of Wolverine/Storm, so I hope this doesn't turn out to be a dud. Basically, this is the X-Men that you saw on screen, with this exception; maybe we misinterpreted Logan's feelings about Jean. Maybe it wasn't her that he was really falling in love with. You get the idea. Enjoy!

Part One: The Scent of a Storm

Logan threw one last punch at the drunken fighter and tossed him aside, stalking to his designated corner of the cage to pick up his cigar, which was still burning in the ashtray. He ignored the three short chimes of the bell that signaled the end of the match. He ignored the two men that bustled into the cage to drag out their unconscious friend. The cheers and boos of the crowd were nearly deafening to his sensitive ears, and the announcer was only trying to excite the intoxicated spectators more, but he ignored that too. Over the years, Logan had learned to ignore a lot of things.

"Gentlemen, in all my years, I've never seen anything like it," the announcer shouted excitedly. Damn straight, Logan thought, taking a long, well deserved drag from his cigar.

"Are you going to let this man walk away with your money?!"

Logan resisted the cocky smirk that tugged at his lips. I dare someone to stop me.

The crowd got louder still, but above the jeers and cheers, Logan heard some fool shout, "I'll fight him!" The cheers of encouragement were overwhelming, but Logan simply rolled his eyes. Like the ego boost will do you any good, bub. He downed a double shot of whiskey as the man's lumbering steps signaled his arrival to the cage.

"Ladies and gentlemen, our savior!"

More cheers answered the announcer's declaration. It was loud enough that the man could lower his voice so that only the new fighter – and Logan – could hear. Covering the microphone, the announcer spoke normally, the energy and enthusiasm in his voice gone completely. He spoke as though he was offering a dying man a few last words of wisdom. "Whatever you do, don't hit him in the balls."

"You said anything goes," the fighter protested. He's practically whining, Logan thought as the respect he might have had for the human evaporated.

"Anything goes, but he'll take it personal," the announcer warned.

Logan snorted. Who the hell wouldn't take it personally? And if this man were truly stronger – Logan finally allowed himself a small smirk at the hilarity of the thought - why would he have to give himself that kind of advantage, anyhow? A real man would fight blow for blow, face to face. No cheating, no back stabbing, no hitting below the belt, no unfair advantages.

Well, for the most part…

Perhaps Logan did have an unfair advantage, but even without his superhuman speed, hearing, sense of smell and ability to heal – not that he was tooting his own horn – he was sure that he'd hand this guy his ass, no problem.

The announcer stepped out of the cage and with three short rings the fight began. Logan had had his back turned up until this point, and before he even got the chance to turn around, he heard the fighter get closer, undoubtedly to strike him. Excellent, he thought without enthusiasm. Another hero…

The fighter kicked him in the lower half of his back, and Logan let the blow knock him to the side. The man didn't wait half a second before punching him in the face once, and then twice. The punches didn't hurt, per se, but they weren't light caresses either. Logan was slouched down, almost on his hands and knees when the man kicked him in the abs, and then kicked him in the groin. Hard. The smug chuckle he heard was enough evidence to prove that he had done it intentionally.

Logan heard the men around him groan, and was sure that a few of them were clutching themselves in pain, just as he was. Inhuman strength didn't matter when it came to getting hit like that. A man felt that kind of blow, whether he was a regular human or the Incredible Hulk (although he briefly wondered if anyone alive had the courage to do such a thing).

His opponent stepped back, chuckling more as he listened to the crowd cheer him on. Logan inhaled deeply, quickly listing the reasons why it might not be a good idea to kill this man tonight. It was hard to think clearly when his vision was tinted pink, but he'd learned acceptable self restraint over the years. Had this exact event had taken place two years ago, Logan would have impaled him by now.

Taking another deep breath, he noticed that the smell of alcohol was absent from the immediate area. Perhaps it made sense that this guy was hitting harder and aiming better; it was the first man tonight that Logan had fought that wasn't severely intoxicated. All the more reason to kick his ass, he thought savagely. If someone was drunk and they weren't fighting fair, Logan could grudgingly accept that – hey, he'd been there plenty of times. But if this jackass was perfectly sober, what reason did he have to fight dirty?

People these days… no dignity…

This back and forth in Logan's mind had taken only a few seconds, but he didn't need to think too hard to come to a decision. The man charged at him and Logan got up on one knee, balling his hand into a fist and throwing a punch. Their fists collided and he heard a faint ring echo in his ears above the chaos, as well as the soft cracking of bones in the other man's hand. Had any of the humans possessed hearing as acute as Logan's, they'd probably have found the sound sickening. Logan, at the moment, was rather fond of the sound.

The fighter cried out in surprise and clutched his hand, shock and confusion clear in his eyes. It was certainly broken, and Logan probably would have smirked if he wasn't so pissed. He stood up fully and punched the man across the face, and another faint ring confirmed that the fighter would probably have a concussion. Still, Logan watched the man stagger back with no pity. Jerking his head to the side, he cracked his neck before head butting the man as he tried to stagger forward, knocking him out completely.

Logan flexed his neck again, breathing slowly and resisting the urge to continue his beating. Unlike some people, he knew when enough was enough. The guy would certainly be embarrassed when he woke up, and stooping to his level didn't interest Logan one bit. The bell rang three times and the crowd booed him loudly.

"Ladies and gentlemen, tonight's winner – and still king of the cage – the Wolverine!"

Shrugging off the crowd's dismay at his victory, Logan kicked the man in the ribs before returning to his corner and finishing off his cigar. At least I'm getting paid for putting up with this, he thought. And I get to blow off a little steam too. The perfect therapy session…

Questions or comments are welcome and appreciated!