A journal of the life of a fellow X-Man through the eyes of a friend. By Scott Summers.
|**Con't from X-Men: Syren's Story**
Wolverine made his way from the Rec room to the library, returning to his daily routine of finding Jean, where she would be seated comfortably near a window reading. Jean looked up from her magazine and smiled as Wolverine entered the room. He was right on time.
“Good afternoon Logan.”
“Hi.” He chirped and sat on a table near by. “What are you reading today?”
“National Geographic.” She held up her magazine. “So, what brings you in today?”
Jean smiled. “You know, I was beginning to miss your daily visits. No more training?”
“With Syren? No, she seems to have things under control now.”
“That was very considerate of you to help her.”
“Well, she sort of talked me into it.”
“So, what do you think of her?” Jean closed her magazine and observed Wolverine.
“I don’t know. What do mean?” Wolverines eyes avoided Jean.
“I was just wondering what kind of impression she’d made on you.”
“Well, she’s a fighter. Got a lot of spirit.”
“Yes she does. You like that don’t you.”
“Sure.” Wolverine shrugged his shoulders.
“What else have you noticed about her?”
“Well, it’s just that you’ve spent a lot of time with her one on one. I’m just looking for a little insight from you.”
“You’re the psychic one. You’d know better than I would.”
“With Syren it’s different though. We can only go by what she says and how she acts, past experience and gut feeling. We can’t read her like we can the others.”
“Right, I forgot about that. But she’s not psychic?”
“Nothing registers. But then that is probably blocked as well, however, no psychic ability has manifested itself, at least, not like we would normally see.”
“So you were just looking for my “gut feeling” then eh?”
“Yes.” Jean smiled.
“She’s a good kid. I think she has some kind of painful past though.”
“Oh, why do you say that?” Jean asked truly interested.
“I don’t know. A look, her drive...gut feeling. Sometimes when you got your own past you can see it in others too.”
“Any ideas as to what?”
“No. Never talked with her about it. None of my business.”
“Maybe you two should talk.” Jean suggested. “Who better to understand than someone who’s had a troubled past as well? You might be able to help each other out.”
“Yeah,” Wolverine snorted, “you know the answer to that one. No thanks. I’m not into the heart to heart talks.”
“Maybe it’s time.” Jean pushed.
“If I didn’t want to go down that road with you, why would I do it with anyone else?”
“Maybe I wasn’t the right person to do it with.”
Wolverine reflected. It reminded him of what Syren had said. Something about Jean not being the right one.
“If you’re not the right one, no one is.” He said somberly.
Jean became tender with Wolverine. “We both know that I am not the right one for you. I do love Scott, Logan. And I choose him, every time you give me the choice. I will always be your friend, but I think that you have an opportunity to share something with someone, even if it isn’t exactly the kind of relationship you were looking for.”
“Maybe.” Wolverine admitted.
“Just think of it as getting another point of view.”
Wolverine chuckled. “You want me to get a second opinion?”
“Yes,” Jean smiled. “I think that would be a very good idea. Actually, I have found Syren to be quite insightful and most understanding. The two of you could probably do a lot for each other.”
Wolverine sighed and was silent for a moment. “Alright Dr. Grey, we’ll see but I ain’t promising nothing.”
“Fair enough. And feel free to come and talk with me about your second opinion. I am still here for you always.”
“Thanks.” Wolverine gave a half hearted smile.
I think this was the first time Wolverine found himself in awkward territory. He wasn’t the kind of guy to ever back down on anything, especially if it was something he was after. So why back off Jean? Hard to say. Jean explained it to me in this way. Syren distracted him at first. Took his mind off of Jean. Sure, Wolverine often tried that himself, otherwise, it would have driven him crazy, always thinking of her.
But this time was different; it was someone else drawing his attention away. And what he came to find out was that the more time he spent with Syren, the less he felt he needed to spend with Jean, without him even realizing it. And when he finally did, he wasn’t quite sure what to do. He was so used to always having feelings for Jean, he didn’t know how not to have them.
One night after a stressful mission where several members were injured, including myself and one left for dead, Wolverine and Syren finally had their talk. Wolverine and I had it out. I thought I had done what I needed for the group. Morph, I regret to say, had died in battle and we were forced to leave him. When we went back to find him, he was gone. Wolverine insisted you never leave a member behind. Who was right? I believed I was protecting the rest of the group, but who could say now.
Everyone’s spirits were low. It’s tough to lose a member. They aren’t just part of your team; they are part of your family. Syren knew Wolverine and I had fought, not just in the Black Bird as we left, but after we returned home. Somehow I could sense her loyalty to Wolverine on the matter, which fueled me more towards being against their friendship, but nothing I was going to say would have stopped it.
It was late. Nearly three a.m. Syren rose from her bed where she was getting no sleep. She had been crying a little for Morph. All she could see was what his last moments must have been like. It panged her.
Wearing a pair of pajama pants and a small t-shirt, she headed to the kitchen. A good drink of milk was what she needed. The tile was cold on her bare feet and it made her shiver. She decided to drink her milk somewhere else, filled a glass and left. There was a place she liked to go late at night; the long hallway with windows from floor to ceiling all along the north side. It was someone else’s favorite place to go as well.
Wolverine had beaten her there. Actually he had been there quite sometime already. Instead of his usual beer in hand, he had chosen a bottle of tequila, and set himself in one of the chairs opposite the glass windows and stared out into the darkness. His thoughts were with Morph too.
He seemed to be having considerable trouble with his death. Perhaps it was because Morph was Asian as had been his wife. Maybe it was a reminder of Vietnam. He’d certainly seen enough of those people die. Oh who knew? Maybe Cyclops just pissed him off. He took a swig on the bottle and decided on the last one for the moment.
His focused moment on Cyclops was interrupted; he could smell someone nearby, an all too familiar smell. Damn the sweetness! Hard to think about hating Cyclops with that flowing through his nostrils, yet he did not leave while he had the chance. Too comfortable where he was, he told himself.
Syren slowly began the walk down the long hallway. She did not notice Wolverine until she was quite close, being lost in her own thoughts. Seeing him made her forget about how she was feeling for the moment. Wolverine had seemed particularly upset over what had happened.
“Hi.” Syren ventured. “I didn’t realize anyone was going to be here.”
“It’s a regular hot spot.”
Syren sat in a chair near by. “Are you doing ok?”
“Yeah, I’m fine.”
“I couldn’t sleep.” Syren confessed.
“Yeah, well it was a rough day for everyone.” Wolverine took another swig on his bottle while Syren sipped her milk. Wolverine looked over to her.
“I guess that’s one way to drown your sorrows.” He pointed to her milk.
“Yeah, I guess you could say it’s my addiction.”
“It’s probably a lot better than this stuff.” Wolverine looked at the liquid swirling around in his bottle.
Syren could smell the tequila in the air and it nauseated her. She sipped her milk again and breathed in its light smell.
“It’s understandable Wolverine. If I had any taste for liquor, I’d be drinking it too. Afraid I can only handle the soft stuff.”
Wolverine gave a little chuckle at her. Somehow it made him feel a bit better for the moment.
“Stick to your milk kid.” He said as he downed another swallow of his drink. He stopped short of his swig and wiped his mouth.
“Sorry, I know you’re not a kid.”
“It’s alright.” Syren smiled. “I know it’s your way of being affectionate.”
The word rang through his head. Affectionate was not how he had wanted to come across.
“It’s habit. Everyone is a kid compared to me.”
Syren smiled. “I know. You’re just an old fart compared to the rest of us.” She looked to her empty glass. “Guess I’m all out. I suppose I will be off; let you back to your privacy. Thanks for the chat.” Syren rose as she spoke and started on her way. Wolverine interrupted her.
“You were right, you know.” Now why did he let that escape his lips?
Syren stopped and turned back towards him. “About what?”
Wolverine sighed. Well, he had opened his mouth; he couldn’t very well let it go now. Damn, why had he agreed to Jean’s suggestion?
“You were right...about Jean.” He said reluctantly.
“Oh.” Syren said, understanding.
“She will never love me.”
Syren came and sat next to Wolverine again. “She does love you, you know. It’s just that she is in love with Cyclops. Your guess is as good as mine as to why.” Syren smirked.
Wolverine looked over at Syren and grinned. He liked her for that, even if she didn’t really mean it, which she might very well have.
“You mind if I ask you a question?” Syren ventured.
“I know that you do sincerely care for Jean, but from what I’ve heard, this has been going on for sometime. Why do you continue to pursue her when you know it’s fruitless?”
“You’ve never been in love with someone, have you?” Wolverine returned.
“That’s not true.” Syren said quietly. “In fact, before I came here, I was in a situation very much like yours…not being able to be with the person I was in love with.”
“Why is that?” Wolverine asked, curious.
“Well, we aren’t talking about me, we’re talking about you.” Syren smiled.
“Ok, then you should understand then why I don’t give up.”
“I can understand not ever giving up on loving that person and always willing to be there for them, even if you were to find someone else, because you never really stop loving someone. But you pursue her; you take an active role. That is what I am curious about.”
Wolverine took a good drink from his bottle. He couldn’t decide whether he really wanted to talk about this or not. Actually, he knew he didn’t want to talk about this, but in a strange way, it was kind of nice for once having someone say they understand instead of chastising him like a little kid.
“Alright, if you really want to know…in the beginning I hoped she would lose interest in Cyclops…”
“And now?” Syren pressed.
“Now, well, it’s become habit I guess. It’s the way our relationship has carved itself out.”
“Like mine with Gambit.” Syren added.
“Yeah, I guess you could say that. It doesn’t mean I don’t really care about her. There is nothing that would make me happier then for Jean to come to me one day and tell me she was choosing me over Scott. Just wishful thinking though. I know that she will never do that. It’s probably all for the best.” Wolverine took a swig.
“I’m sorry for you Wolverine. Like I said, I know what you’re going through.”
Wolverine eyed her for a moment. He had a hard time believing this girl besides him who was so young could really have experienced the pain that seemed to be on her face. He couldn’t tell if it was for him or her own.
“The truth is I always hoped that Jean would love me because it would prove that I’m not the animal everyone thinks I am.”
“Goodness, who do you need to prove that too? Cyclops?” Syren suddenly blurted out, sounding a bit annoyed.
Again, Wolverine appreciated her for that. “I guess…myself.”
“Is that really why you continue with Jean? You want to prove something about yourself? Wolverine, I’ve known you not nearly as long as everyone else here, and I don’t think of you that way. You’re very physical, you speak your mind and you have a spirit that is wild and free. You can be a bit grumpy and you have a small problem with authority,” Syren grinned, “but that doesn’t make you an animal.
In fact, the only person I’ve ever heard refer to you that way is Cyclops and I have a hard time imagining that you actually care what he thinks about you. Jean certainly has never thought that way about you, nor has the professor. Those are the only two that I would think in the end would matter.”
Wolverine laughed to himself. Jean was right; Syren was easy to talk to. He couldn’t believe he just told her all he did and even more strange was that it surprisingly seemed to lift a load from him. As much as he loved Jean and as much as she always defended him to Cyclops; he couldn’t remember Jean ever making him feel the way Syren just did.
Wolverine was silent for so long that Syren began to feel that she had over stepped her boundaries. She felt embarrassed and was afraid she’d made a fool of herself. “I’m sorry. I know you don’t like to talk about personal stuff like this. I won’t do that again.”
Syren got up and was preparing to leave when she felt a hand on her arm.
“Hey, it’s ok. Actually, I appreciate everything you said. I know I ain’t the easiest person to talk to. It took a lot of guts on your part.” He had noticed Syren fidgeting from time to time.
Syren smiled. “I’m glad I didn’t piss you off.”
“Look, anytime you feel you need someone to talk too…I’d be willing to listen.” Wolverine said slowly. “I know I’m probably not the first person you’d pick, or even the second or third, but I just want you to know that I’d be there.”
“Thanks Wolverine, that means a lot.” Syren smiled and gave his hand a quick squeeze. “Have a good night.”
So here begun the relationship. Wolverine looked at Syren in a totally new light. He felt respect for her, for many reasons; for her courage to speak with him, for keeping their conversation private but mostly for not treating him any differently later on. The next time they saw each other, she did not act as though they had had a meaningful talk, nor did she shy away from him, she was just friendly. She was his friend. One willingly, not out of pity as he at times felt was the reason for Jean’s friendship.
Soon they were seen everywhere together. Wolverine craved her presence whether he realized he did or not. And for Syren, well one could not say how she felt, because no one really knew what it was Syren needed or wanted. Jean suspected that Syren simply trying to keep their relationship as uncomplicated as possible. But there was no doubting that Syren was developing feelings for him, whether she too realized it or not. She talked about Wolverine all the time. She was constantly seen with him and she would go out of her way to make time to talk to him.
During this time, the politics of Senator Kelly and his followers were becoming fast popular. His ideas for mutant registration were becoming more appealing as more dangerous mutants were making themselves public. Professor Xavier and Dr. Jean Grey both were working hard at debating and trying to enlighten the Senator and the public. At times we were our own worst enemies, as in the case where Jean was speaking at a meeting, a particularly nasty mutant had decided to crash in on the press conference.
“As I was saying, it is unfair to judge all mutants by the few that have chosen to use their powers wrongly; just as it would be unfair to judge every normal human by each murderer, thief and rapist.” Jean spoke clearly into the microphone before the numbers gathered to the press conference.
“That’s all fine and good, but these mutants have powers that exceed our means of stopping them. A mere thief can be captured with little harm to police, or even shot if necessary. There are mutants who can with stand bullets! I have here a report of a girl who can walk through walls. How can we apprehend someone if they can so easily escape?” The Senator’s voice was rising. “We must find out who and where these mutants are and what it is they can do!”
Cheers went up from the onlookers as Jean tried to reply over the applause. Faintly over the clapping, somewhere in the back ground, yells could be heard and a crashing noise was coming nearer. Wolverine was out of his seat before it reached the back doors of the courtroom.
The doors burst open, splitting and falling off their hinges. There stood a man nearly seven feet tall, full of blonde hair flowing from his head and covering most of his body. His strength and sharp fangs had won him the name Sabretooth.
“You want to know where we are? We’re right here!” The giant growled as he began to make his way forward. He hardly took two steps before he was in a tangle with Wolverine, the two being arch enemies.
“Get everyone out of here!” Xavier instructed his team. Screams were echoing through the court room, combined with confusion and people scampering about for their lives. One of the long windows in the court house shattered and a short stocky man bounded through. Toad! Another one of Magneto’s henchmen.
Senator Kelly was busying pointing an accusing finger. “This is exactly what I was talking about!” He yelled to Jean. “Do we want these people coming and going as they please?” But no one was listening, they were fleeing.
“Please Senator; we must get you out of here.” Jean pleaded with him.
“I don’t want a mutants help!” He yelled and brushed aside her barely being missed by a flying chair coming their way. Jean froze it in place and brought it down gently to the ground, protecting the Senator.
Meanwhile, Wolverine and Sabretooth were making match work of the courtroom throwing each other and everything else about. Syren was tired of trying to help these people running about like sheep instead of listening to the help that was being given them. They were going to do their own thing, so she decided on the same.
Syren made her way through the crowd closer to where Wolverine and Sabretooth were fighting. Sabretooth had just succeeded in launching Wolverine against a wall. Syren came up behind Sabretooth and called to him.
“Hey!” She yelled. He turned to see a small girl before him and a fist round housing its way to his face. Syren dealt him a full blow square on the jar which sent him flying back through chairs and a few remaining people.
Sabretooth shook his head to try and free himself from the pain and the shock. He hadn’t expected her to send quite a punch. It didn’t take long for him to be on his feet. Ah, flesh blood!
“You’ve had it girly!” He growled with pleasure. He was making his way back to Syren when he was caught hold by Wolverine.
“Now that’s no way to talk to a lady.” Wolverine handed over his own full fisted punch and sent the beast flaying through the air again.
Sabretooth pulled himself up again, but then paused. Suddenly, instead of advancing, he retreated. Jumping through a nearby window, he left the stunned X-men behind. Rogue was off after to see where he’d went, but he seemed to have disappeared.
It was later we discovered that Sabretooth and Toad had been a mere distraction and they had done their job well. Senator Kelly had been kidnapped, but it was some time before we discovered the truth of this as a mutant called Mystique, who can change shape to look like other people, had taken his place. We were later able to find Senator Kelly and retrieved him from imprisonment by Magneto, but later that night after the initial fight, two of our X-men had become closer.
Wolverine was rubbing a sore shoulder. Most of his injuries from the day had been bumps and bruises, and though he was a fast healer, a deep cut from Sabretooths claws left him sore at the end of the day. The next morning he would be fine though. Pain only reminded him he was human, so he didn’t mind it. In fact, usually when he was feeling sore, he spent extra time in the Danger Room, feeling the pain over and over.
This was where Syren found him, in the middle of a program, once again fighting Sabretooth and winning. Syren watched for awhile in the observatory, until he was finished. He had a look of satisfaction on his face.
Syren entered into the Danger Room, surprising Wolverine a bit.
“Sorry, didn’t mean to startle you.”
Wolverine was wiping sweat from his face with a nearby towel.
“You were denied your victory today, I know.” She said.
“Yeah, the coward.” Wolverine agreed.
“I wonder why he just left.”
“I don’t know.” Wolverine confessed, sitting on the floor with his back against the wall. “It’s not like him. I don’t think he just quit. There must have been a reason he left.”
“I was kind of thinking that too, but I haven’t any idea as to why.”
“Neither do I.” Wolverine sighed and then was lost in thought.
Syren sat down on the floor near Wolverine and thought for a moment as well. Wolverine broke the silence.
“Sabertooth is one tough customer. You could have gotten hurt today.”
Syren looked closely at him with a little grin. “Haven’t we had this conversation before?”
“Yeah, maybe we have.” He chuckled.
“And I remember telling you, that next time I would be saving your life.”
Wolverine looked at Syren and grinned. “Ok...ok, thank you for saving my life.”
“Wow, I didn’t expect an admittance.” Syren announced. “But actually, I didn’t save your life; I just distracted Sabretooth for a moment for you. Next time I will save your life.”
Wolverine laughed. “You’re determined.”
“To return the favor? Yes.”
“Alright, next time I will be sure to be helpless for you.”
“Thanks.” Syren smiled. She hesitated for a minute and then asked,
“I’m starving. Want to grab some dinner?”
Wolverine looked to her. “Together?”
“Well we could eat alone, but then that would require you making your own meal.”
“Yeah, well last time you asked me to eat, it was peanut butter and jelly.”
Syren laughed. “I promise, no P, B and J this time.”
Wolverine thought for a moment. “Alright,” He agreed, “Do you mind if I get a shower first?”
“No, take your time. I’ll need time to cook.”
“What are you making?”
“It’s a surprise.”
“Which means you don’t really know.”
Wolverine scrubbed the dirt and sweat away with his Irish spring soap. The hot water pelting his body felt good. Perhaps time spent in the shower was the only time he allowed his imagination to run free. He’d seen the blow Syren given Sabretooth. He recalled it to memory over and over again in his mind. It was a beautiful sight. Her movements graceful, her muscles all working together and she enjoyed it; he’d seen it on her face.
He shut the water off. Why was he thinking these things? Wolverine grabbed his towel and wrapped it around his waste. Running a comb quickly through his hair, he toyed with the idea of shaving his beard. No, he didn’t have the nerve. He had that thing for years.
He entered his room and grabbed his usual garb; pair of comfortable jeans, white t-shirt and his boots. As far as he was concerned, he was dressed for dinner. He checked himself in the mirror one more time, an unusual habit for him and left for the kitchen.
Syren was busy stirring sauce and noodles when Wolverine arrived.
“Oh hey,” She called to him when he arrived, “I didn’t bother to find out what it is you like to eat, so I hope you don’t mind something simple.”
“Italian is one of my favorites.” He said.
“Oh great, mine too.”
Dinner was enjoyable. Wolverine sat back with a bottle of bud in his hand while Syren had a glass of wine in hers. They went over the days events again, speculating as to what the purpose had been. Wanting to really relax and get their minds off the day, they headed towards the Rec Room. Oddly there was no one there. Figuring everyone else was probably calling it a day early, they decided to sit and watch TV. There seemed to be nothing on. Finally they settled on Blade Runner and both of them eventually fell asleep half way through the movie.
Long after the movie had ended Wolverine slowly roused himself. He had been sprawled out across the large couch, head back against the cushion, snoring slightly. When he woke, his eyes blinked against the brightness of the TV which was airing some type of infomercial for vitamins. He rubbed his eyes and then looked over, looking for Syren. He expected her to be long gone, figuring she’d gotten bored and left.
To his surprise, she lay curled up near him on the couch with a cushion under her head. He checked the time; it was in the a.m... He wasn’t sure if he should wake her or not. While trying to decide he realized he was studying her. The first thing he noticed were the long dark lashes that rested against her cheeks. Even in the dark, with only the light from the TV, her long hair looked soft and silky.
Just as Wolverines gaze began to wander elsewhere, Syren’s eyes flashed open and she sat up quickly. She swallowed hard and took a deep breath. As she started to become aware of her surroundings Wolverine tried to gently catch her attention, so as not to scare her.
“Hey, you ok?”
Syren looked over to where the voice came from and began to wake up more. She rubbed her eyes too. “Yeah. I didn’t even realize I fell asleep.”
“You sure? You looked like something startled you.”
“I’m fine. Just dreaming; the influence of Blade Runner I’m sure.” She smiled. “What time is it?”
“Late. Around 1 I think.”
Syren’s eyebrows went up. “It is late. I bet there will be talk about us tomorrow.” She teased.
“Would you mind?” Wolverine ventured, trying to sound casual.
“Not in the least.” Syren answered quickly.
Wolverine smiled at her. “Thanks.”
Syren stood up and stretched. “I’ve got to go to bed.” She yawned. She began making her way toward the door and wished Wolverine a good night.
“Syren.” Wolverine called after her. She stopped at the door and waited. “I wouldn’t mind it either.”
Syren smiled at him, wished him goodnight once more and left.
Of course a little rumor did go around. Nothing serious, mostly just an opportunity for a few to tease Wolverine, but privately it irritated me greatly. The trouble was I had had good reason to resent Wolverine for so long that I couldn’t see my way to admit that even he deserved to be happy, even if it was with some besides Jean. My mind was stuck on the idea that Wolverine was good for no one.
Besides, I didn’t think he really would ever be serious about anyone else but Jean; he had hounded her for so long. From past experience I knew there was no talking to him, so I took it all out on Syren. At the time I convinced myself I only had her well being in mind. Surely she just didn’t realize what she was getting into; she was young and so needed someone to guide her. Who better than her team leader? Especially since I’d known Wolverine for as long as anyone there.
None of my little talks with her ever turned out how I planned them to. At first she tried to assure me that my concerns were unfounded, but eventually she became defensive, argumentative and down right defiant. Sometimes I wonder if I hadn’t been so against her spending time with Wolverine, perhaps things wouldn’t have went as far as they did. But then, that could just be my ego.
It had been a long day. Rescuing Senator Kelly hadn’t been easy. Nearly 24 hours without sleep, a hard battle with Sabretooth and the other Brotherhood and on top of that, more of Cyclops bull about him not being a team player. Next time he was going to let Cyclops deal with that animal himself. Animal…that was the word Cyclops used often. “One animal fighting another” Cyclops words rang through his head.
Syren came to mind. She didn’t think of him that way. It wasn’t just that she said that; she never treated him any different from anyone else. He could always be himself around her, just like with Jean.
Both women floated in his mind as he tilted his head back and took a long draught of his ice cold beer. If he couldn’t sleep, then he’d drink. Jean and Syren; he didn’t think he’d ever find someone else that made him feel the way Jean did. And Syren wasn’t attached to someone. But Jean was older, more sure of herself, experienced, a real woman. Syren was young, fresh, energetic, sweet, but also a real powerhouse. The girl could handle herself. Drink and don’t think about it, he told himself. Besides, what would Syren really want with him anyway? He was ancient compared to her.
Wolverine’s keen ears picked up a familiar voice in the small kitchen down the hall. When he heard “son of a bitch” ring out loudly, he decided to check out what was up. Peaking through the doorway, he saw Syren breaking open a bottle of whiskey. She poured a hefty amount into a half glass of ginger ale and ice and then took a long drink.
“Take it easy.” He teased her.
Startled, Syren stopped her drink short and set her glass down. “I didn’t even see you there.” She said, almost breathless.
“Just got here. Someone’s voice had caught my attention. Thought I’d see what was up.”
Syren was a bit embarrassed. “Yeah, that was me.”
“I thought you’d be in bed like everyone else.”
“I couldn’t sleep.” Syren confessed.
“What’s up?” He asked.
“I don’t want to talk about it.” Syren returned quickly.
“Yeah.” She reaffirmed.
Wolverine was silent for minute while he watched Syren drink her whiskey more slowly and then stare at the glass.
“You want to get out of here?” He finally asked.
Syren turned to him, surprised at first and then said, “Yes, please.”
Wolverine led her to the garage where they hopped onto his bike and rode off. Syren had never ridden a motorcycle, but she loved every minute of it. At first she was a little uneasy about holding onto Wolverine and being so close to him, but after a few minutes of ridding, her anxiety disappeared. She held onto him tighter, feeling his strength under his shirt and smelling even more deeply his familiar scent.
She could feel herself relax and she didn’t want the moment to end. It suddenly dawned on her that she liked being near Wolverine. She always like spending time with him, but she now realized this physically. It felt good to wrap her arms around him and lay her head on his shoulder. It felt natural to her; was the only way she could explain it. With Gambit she had always felt awkward and nervous being close to him. There was no trace of that with Wolverine.
The engine of the bike roared down the road. Wolverine was in no hurry to end the ride. The cool air rushing past him felt wonderful along with the warmth of Syren’s body behind him. He had no definite idea of where he was going, he just headed towards the hills and let the road lead him.
At least ¾ of an hour had passed as the two found themselves near Bear Mountain State Park. As a small clearing came into view that let the stars shine through, Wolverine came to a stop at the top of a hill looking out over Hessian Lake.
Syren hopped off the bike with Wolverine close behind. The view was beautiful, even in the dark. They were both quiet as they stared up at the sky and looked out over the water. The air was crisp, cool and refreshing. Syren wrapped her arms around her to cradle herself and became aware of the chill that had come over her from the long ride. She rubbed her arms as she shivered a bit and stepped out further into the night. Thankfully the moon was out, so there was some light there in the wilderness.
Wolverine noticed her shiver and realized that even though it had been a warm autumn day, he should have thought of grabbing a couple of jackets. He apologized but Syren said she was fine. She continued to rub her arms now and again though.
Wolverine walked up behind her and gently laid his hands on her upper arms. “You’re cold.”
“I guess I am a little.” Syren admitted with a smile.
Wolverine rubbed her arms briskly trying to help her warm up and apologized again.
“Really I’m fine.” Syren insisted. “I feel great actually.”
Syren’s sigh told him that she meant she was feeling more relaxed. “You want to tell me what happened?” He ventured.
“Oh, it’s nothing.” Syren tried to wave it away.
“Something must have got you riled up for you to be swearing at the kitchen appliances.” Wolverine joked.
“No…yes…I mean, it was my own fault.” Syren admitted. “I need to learn to keep my mouth shut sometimes.”
“I have to know now. Who were you running your off mouth to?” Wolverine pressed.
“Old one eye, eh? No wonder you were upset. What was his problem with you?”
“Nothing; I started it, but I should never have said anything because now he is always going to look at me differently.”
“I wouldn’t worry about what Cyclops thinks of you.” Wolverine said, still rubbing her arms, but more slowly. “He’s an overgrown boy scout. No one ever seems to measure up.”
“He has high expectations and really, I respect that. I just didn’t agree with him this time.”
“Me?” Wolverine sounded genuinely surprised.
Syren sighed and fidgeted a bit. “Well, I heard him lecturing you again and I just found it really irritating, especially after everything we’d just been through. Besides, it all came out fine, what could possibly be the big deal?”
“I don’t think Cyclops feels we’ve had a complete run if he doesn’t give me hell about one thing or another.” Wolverine admitted.
“Well, I just had heard enough from him and I told him to back off you. I think he ended up being more pissed off at me then he was with you.”
“You really told him to back off?”
“Yes, unfortunately. I ended up telling him to go take his jealous testosterone inflamed attitude off to someone who gave a damn.”
Wolverine threw his head back and laughed long and loud. Syren smiled to hear him and laughed herself as she said, “Don’t laugh. You should have seen how red he got.” She liked his laugh. She felt like she was really hearing him laugh for the first time.
“I bet! I would have paid good money to see that.”
“Believe me; I’m sure I will pay for it in the end. He had a few choice words to say to me in reply too. I should have minded my own business.”
“I’m glad you didn’t.” He said, slightly pulling Syren back towards him. He could smell her sweet hair mixed with the smell of the woods. Her skin was smooth and she no longer felt cold, but he didn’t let go. He liked that she stood up to that idiot. He liked that she had done it on his behalf, not that he needed anyone to fight his battles for him.. He was sure that was not Syren’s intent, she had just simply had enough. She wanted to tell Scott what she thought of him and it warmed him to think that for once, Cyclops heard it from someone else.
Syren closed her eyes as she leaned back against Wolverine and she felt a tingling run over her, causing the hair on her arms to stand up. Wolverine picked up on it immediately and sensed she had grown nervous, but she didn’t move away. Slightly surprised by this, he felt encouraged to move past any intentions he had had. For one brief moment he questioned himself as to what he was doing, but he quickly decided not to think about it. Slowly he reached up and brushed back Syren’s hair from her neck, exposing her bare flesh there. It was more inviting than he expected and he found himself boldly brushing his lips against her skin.
Syren’s breathe quickened and for a moment she felt extremely light headed. She had no idea he could make her feel like this. She didn’t even realize she had wanted him to make her feel like this but she now knew she did. But she was so nervous from just his touch she felt she had to do something to get herself under control.
Quite suddenly Syren had turned around and was facing Wolverine, taking him by surprise. She stared into his eyes, so deeply he felt like she reached down past every defense he had, every hurt, every hate and anger that dwelled in him, every feeling that he fought that told him he was an animal. She pushed past all that and he felt exposed.
What Syren really wanted to do was to hide her face from him and bury her head in his chest, but she forced herself to face him. She did not want to back down. She often felt like a young girl when she was around Wolverine but it was clear he didn’t think of her that way now and she didn’t want that to change.
Wolverine could feel Syren’s full on nervous excitement, which fueled his own. Pulling her tightly against him, his hand reached up to her cheek. As his thumb glided across her skin he brought her lips close to his till they met. Her hands, which had rested against his chest, now reached around and held him tightly. He wrapped his arms around her in response as his kiss deepened.
When he felt her fingers run through his hair he literally lifted her off ground. His excitement grew and feelings welled up inside him that he hadn’t felt in ages. It became so intense he had to have relief. He set her back down and feeling he had to clear his head, took a deep breath.
He wasn’t alone in that. Syren took that moment to catch her breath as well. Her eyes were wide and her face was flushed. She was glad he had put her down, because she thought she was going to pass out from elation.
The two were speechless. Syren wanted to say something, but she couldn’t find any words. Sensing this, Wolverine grabbed her and held her against him. His arms were tight around her with her head resting against his shoulder. It was in that moment that he realized that he suddenly felt what it was he had wanted his whole life…peace. It was in her sigh, in the way she held him, even in her breath that relaxed deeper the longer he held her. He didn’t want to let go. He didn’t want to lose that feeling.
Syren did relax. She felt warm and safe. She breathed deeply and held on tightly. She so badly wanted to tell him not to let go; to not let the moment end. She couldn’t believe how relaxed she felt with Wolverine. He always made her just a bit nervous. Everyone said that was normal when first getting to know him. But now, she felt like she belonged right where she was.
Eventually, Wolverine knew they would have to get back, even though it was clear neither of them were in any hurry. He sighed deeply and rubbed her shoulders.
“We should go.” He said in a hushed voice. Syren didn’t reply; she just smiled. Wolverine took her by the hand and led her over to his bike. They were soon off back towards home.
Once home the silence between them had not changed, and Syren was feeling just a bit awkward. She felt compelled to say something, but she was finding it hard to come up with the right words. As Wolverine got off his bike, he turned to Syren, not sure of what to say either.
Syren blurted into an explanation of how she wanted to say thank you for the evening, but somehow saying thanks didn’t sound right. She wanted to make it clear that she was thankful he had suggested getting away, but it just didn’t seem to come out of her mouth the way she wanted. Wolverine said he’d make sure to have jackets next time. They both laughed and then Syren said goodnight and made a quick exit.
Syren was so excited she felt there was no way she was going to sleep now. She made a bee line to Rogue’s room, but it appeared that Rogue was fast asleep. Not that she expected her to be awake, but it sure would have been nice. She had to settle with being alone in her room with her excitement and thoughts, trying to find a way to get some sleep.
Wolverine too thought there was no way he was going to sleep either. He made his way to the kitchen to get himself another beer and resume what he had been doing before he was interrupted by Syren’s outburst. Only now he had a lot more to think of.
His feelings were conflicting inside him and if he didn’t know himself, he’d swear he was getting a knot in his gut from it. The moment had been wonderful, but Syren seemed eager to be off once they were home. Or was that his imagination? And now that he was away from the heat of the moment, he felt he must have scared her. She was always fighting off Gambit and what does he go and do? Move right in where Gambit leaves off.
But he couldn’t get the image of her eyes or the feel of her touch out of his mind. It had all been very powerful. Wolverine told himself it had been too long, that was all. Of course it felt like that. When was the last time he’d been with a woman? Sober that is.
After the thought ran through his mind, he felt guilty. That was not how he thought of Syren. He had a lot of respect for that girl. The word girl rang through his mind again. He had a hard time thinking of her as a grown woman, even though she certainly was. He was too old, he told himself. He was making of fool of himself, imagining feelings for someone so young. Beer would make it all go away. He’d have a few more beers, be back to his usual self and eventually make his way to bed. It was 5 a.m. before he found himself there.
The next morning, Syren was up early. Usually when she woke that early after going to bed late the night before, she would just roll over and go back to sleep after seeing the time. Not today though. The previous night’s events quickly came back to her and she became wide awake.
She was soon out of bed and in the shower. Before long she was fervently looking for Rogue.
Syren found her in the Danger Room, getting a little morning exercise. Beast was in the control room, running a program for her and Syren joined him.
“Morning.” Syren chirped.
“Good morning. How are you this fine day?” Beast returned.
“Fine.” Syren answered quickly. “Has Rogue been in there long?”
“No. She’s only been in there about 15 minutes.”
Syren sat down, disappointed. She was able to sit there for about 10 minutes before she became too impatient. She stood next to Beast and had her hand on the control for the microphone.
“Can I talk to her?”
”It would be better not to interrupt her while she is in there.” Beast suggested.
Syren pressed the control anyway. “Rogue. How long are you gonna be?”
“Syren?” Rogue called out getting distracted a moment and then having to dodge an object flying at her.
“Yeah. Are you going to be long? I need to talk to you.”
“Can it wait?”
“It can.” Syren admitted. “But I’ll hate every minute of it.”
“Ok.” Rogue laughed. “Give me a minute.”
Syren made her way out the door to wait for Rogue to emerge, while Beast was shaking his head with a grin. A few minutes later Rogue came out of the room wiping her forehead with a towel.
“We can’t talk here. No one can hear. We have to go somewhere else.”
“Well, how about I shower and then we go somewhere?”
”Have you had breakfast?”
“Ok, you shower and I’ll have it ready in the small kitchen.”
“Sounds good. I’ll meet you there.”