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L. Burke


 

The Warriors Code

DISCLAIMER: The characters belong to Marvel, and are
used without permission for entertainment purposes only.


 

            I found him standing by his tombstone in the cemetery.  One kiss in a moment of passion had let this genie out of the bottle.  I was here trying to put that particular four thousand year old genie back in.  I had messed up.  I knew it.  Jeannie was his wife and one kiss had been too far.  I knew that too.

            He was standing at his grave looking down at his tombstone.  He was wearing a black cloak.  I just took that information in.  Cyke was not the dramatic type.  Maybe, just maybe, New York was a little cold for his new dessert blood these days.   He looked like something out of hell itself with that black cloak blowing in the wind and his eyes glowing under the hood in the dark.   None of the X-men really knew whom we had gotten back from Old Lips.  Man or demon none of us really knew yet.  Jeannie least of all.  That's what had lead us to that kiss.  Tonight I had a feeling I was going to find out.

            "What do you want Logan?"  Scott asked coldly.  No point in hiding, I was going to face the music.  It was always what I did best anyway.  I never avoided a fight.

            I cleared my throat.  "I wanted to tell you what happened, happened.  It wasn't planned and it won't happen again."

            He was quiet for a really long time.  "I wonder how Jean would take you speaking for her?"  He finally stated rather coldly.

            "It won't happen again on my end."  I stated mater of fact. 

            Apparently he was ignoring me.  "I always wondered why she never had them take the tombstone down after she came back.  Now I am starting to understand.  Mine is rather fitting.  Scott Summers did die that day." 

            He was purposely trying to irritate me and succeeding admirably.  "I told you it won't happen again.  It was my fault, not Jeannie's."

            Those glowing eyes studied me for a long time; suddenly he threw up his head and started laughing coldly.  "Always the noble Samurai Logan, protecting your lady love.  Always living by your code of honor. "

            I growled at him.  He cackled harder.  "I told you that it was my fault.  I took advantage of her at a weak moment." 

            "It looked quite the other way.  That just leaves me my original question.  What do you want?"  That was a very interesting question.  What did I want?  Why was I here?

            "To finish this."  I announced.  Cyke just studied me for a moment.  I realized one thing Scott Summers was through running, from himself, from Jean, and from me.

            "To finish this.  Such simple words." I felt the temperature in the area drop at his words.  "Do we let our monsters out to night Logan?  Do we let them run free?  Do you think there will be anything left of us if we do let them out?"  His words were so calm.  That was an interesting question.  If I let the beast out would I be able to put him back?  I realized Scott and I both understood something about monsters at that moment.  We had both been used and molded by them.  And sometimes we got a good look at monster when we looked unguarded in to a mirror.

            "No quarter asked for."  I replied.  I was going to choose the time and the place for this fight.  Here was as good as any.  No one to stop us,  no one to see what we might become with the mask off.  I felt the ugly dark side of me rise up in anticipation.  I felt the slow burn behind my eyes.  My monster was all fire his was all ice. 

            "None given."  He responded right back at me as he pulled his cloak back so I could see his face.  "You chose the time and the ground Logan.  That means the opening volley is mine."  With that I just caught a glimpse as his wrist moved.  Next thing I knew I was seeing spots, and had nothing but the smell of sulfur up my nose. 

            "Flash bulb."  I said out loud.  Scott's dark cloak was lying on the ground next to me.  Sun Tzu once wrote in "The Art of War" that choosing the ground is one of the most important aspects of a fight.  It was the difference between defeat and victory.  I thought I had done that.  I was starting to figure I thought wrong.  I hadn't picked this ground at all.  Scott had just let me think I had.  This damp, foggy graveyard didnít give me too many advantages.  The fog damped my sense of smell as well as the distance I could see.  I didn't do myself any favors by picking this ground.

            The hunter in me rose with anticipation.  All my instincts for the hunt were starting to rise.  This prey was cunning and dangerous.  That dark side of me that I always tried to control was going to enjoy this.  It was going to enjoy not knowing who was the hunter and who was the prey tonight.

            I heard Scott's voice echo out.    I couldnít tell from where.  "How does it feel to know you failed Peter Logan?  You were the one who taught him the warrior's code?  How does feel to know that he killed himself?   That you as his teacher failed him and failed him badly?  How do you feel knowing the others let him do it?"  

I should have known the SOB would bring up Peter first.  Scott could be a really cold psycho sometimes.   Peter was still an open wound for me.  I felt I had failed him.  Most of all I felt like the rest of the X-men failed him.  I know he injected himself to cure the Legacy Virus.  I still was pissed at Chuck and the rest of them.  We were the ones who left him in a room by himself, with a loaded syringe.  I just didn't think Peter would do it.  I thought I had taught him better than that.   Hell, I thought we had taught him better than that.

Sun Tzu once wrote that if your opponent is quick to anger seek to irritate him.  Scott Summers could push my buttons better than anyone and he knew it to.  Except for maybe Victor Creed.  Hell, Scott even won against Creed.  Scott had pushed Creed to a full killing rage with just words once or twice.  Scott played head games.  I don't.  I never really gained a taste for them.  I preferred hand to hand, man to man.  Scott on the other hand played head games and played them well.

"Good try Cyke."  I stated coldly "but you aren't climbing in to my head."

I heard his cold laughter filter out from the night "Logan I've been in your head for years.  It's easier than you might think.  The two of us are different sides of the same coin."  I was still trying to get a fix on where his voice was coming from.  It was echoing all around me. 

Two could play it this way.  "How does it feel to know you were never quite enough for Jeannie?"  Silence.  Maybe I drew some blood. 

"Let's talk about being Death Logan."  I heard his voice echo out.  "I know you miss it.  Killing with out the guilt, without remorse.  Being able to let the monster loose.  Part of you still hungers for it.  Does Jean know that a little blood really turns you on?  Maybe that's why you won't walk away from the killing fields.  When you look down at someone you just killed are you horrified or turned on?"  I set my jaw.  The blood thing was my dirty little secret. 

"Does Jeannie know that when you look at a person you only see objects?"  I fired back.  "Makes it a lot easier to see friends as losses doesn't it?"  I asked coldly.  A sick part of me was starting to enjoy this.  "Does Jeannie know the monster you hide deep inside Scott?  The part of you that is so frozen that you use the rush you get from the fight.  So you can feel anything at all?  What happens when the fight isn't enough anymore?  Have you shown that monster to her?"  I heard him laugh again. 

Oh yes, the monsters were out tonight.  I started realizing that my vision was changing.  I was losing colors, and seeing motion.  My monster was coming to the surface.  I was starting to realize that Scott was right.  If we let our monsters out completely, would we be able to put them back again?  The part that was scaring me was the part that wanted to let go.  The part of me who wanted to take another's monster's measure and damn the consequences.    What frightened me more was that I didn't care anymore.  I wanted it out.  I wanted to let loose to taste blood.

Chuck always knew it would come to this.  Scott and I are polar opposites.  Antimatter and Matter we are pulled towards each other and then we destroy each other.  Chuck always knew if one of us turned it would be the other that would hunt the other down.  It was an unspoken pact.  Chuck's greatest strength had been his deep understanding of people.  Chuck always understood Scott and me better than we knew ourselves.

"I'm growing tired of this game Scott.  Let's finish this."  I snarled.  I was letting my monster loose and I was going to enjoy ever minute of it.  I saw a shadow move and I leaped for it. 

Sun Tzu once stated that all warfare and tactics were based on deception.  Scott had always been a master.  I wasn't that surprised when the shadow I leaped at was nothing but a decoy.  He was good.  That's one of the reasons I've followed him in to hell and back and never thought twice about it.

"Let's talk about Kitty and Jubes, Logan."  I heard his voice call out again.  "How does it feel to know you only let them down?  You couldn't protect Mariko.  What makes you think you will be able to protect them?  Tell me something?  Do you have nightmares of finding only they're dead bodies and entrails in the snow?"

I growled under my breath.  Damn that man.  "Can the crap Scott.  We finish this tonight.  Just you and me."

I heard him laugh again.  "I'm still having fun Logan."   I caught sight of a shadow in the mist.  I had him now.  I leaped for it. 

It was another decoy.  He was on me before I knew it.  I threw him and he landed with cat like grace on his feet.  That was a new move or else he had never used it before in my presence.  "Not bad."  I stated.  "Care to try again?"

Cyke started circling.  Old 'lips' had either given him something or brought something out in Scott.    Scott moved with a predator's grace.  Maybe I just never noticed it before.  My claws were itching.  No claws this was man to man.  I wouldn't pop the claws if he didn't use his optic beam.  Scott to me was an unknown factor.  I really didnít know how much he had absorbed from old Lips.  Scott always had the patience for a long fight that I didn't.  My best move was to try to finish this quickly.

I pressed my advantage.  I was a better hand-to-hand fighter as long as my temper was under control.  I have lot more experience, and more techniques to drawn on.  Scott prefers to strike from a distance if given the choice.  I was determined to not give him the chance.  So I pressed my advantage.

 As Scott blocked every one of my moves, I realized I might be wrong about me having the advantage. The old Scott had been good.  The new one that came back to us was better.  I quickly found out I might not had the advantage that I thought I did.  Apparently Scott may have absorbed four thousand years of combat experience from 'Old Lips'.   I don't under estimate an opponent too often.  Mistakes like that can be lethal for even me.

Like I said before, I never had the patience for a long fight.  This one wore on mine faster than I would care to admit.  I lost my temper and popped my claws.  I had just upped that ante and I knew it.  Scott blocked my claws by pulling a knife out of nowhere.  "Good block.  Ro's used it on me before." I stated dryly.

Scott looked at me and stated. "I taught her that move."

 We just continued to stare each other down.  My monster had been bottled to long and it was demanding to be released.  My vision went red.  I was losing to the beast. 

            "Go ahead Logan let it out."  Scott whispered.  "You have been wanting to do it for years.  How good did it feel to pop your claws through Victor Creed's head?"

            I snarled at him.  I know if I could have looked in to Scott Summers' eyes at this moment I would have seen the true essence of his monster.  I know if that I looked in to his eyes at this very moment I would see the void. 

            I leaped for him.  I didn't care anymore.  My monster was out and I had no intention of stopping it from claiming the blood it so desperately wanted. 

            When I leaped for him, I caught him in the center of the chest.  We both went tumbling.   It was a tombstone that stopped our tumble.  I was looking down at him snarling.  I was going to enjoy this.

            That's when I realized we were at a complete draw.  I saw the dagger.  If I popped my claws through him, Scott was going to stick his dagger through my eye with his last dying breath.  I would survive it but I would never be the same person.  Even my healing factor had its limits when it came to nerve pathways.  It would most likely wipe my memory clean.  I would be a blank slate again something I had vowed never to be again. "Go ahead Logan." Scott whispered, "Pop your claws through me.  It's what you want to do isn't?  Which is more important to you?  Making me bleed or holding on to who you are now?"  I snarled down at him.  That's when I made my fatal mistake.  I hesitated.

            Next thing I knew I was looking up at Scott Summer's face and watching the dagger he had right above my eye.  I honestly thought he was going to do it.  I honestly thought he would stick that dagger right through my eye.  If I was going down he was coming with me.  I could still pop my claws right through him.  

Right then something on the tombstone caught Scott's attention though and he hesitated.   Scott looked down at me and whispered, "We're more than just our monsters Logan.  She taught us that."  With those words he threw the dagger down so it embedded in the earth right by my head.  He then got off of me and helped me up.  With those words still hanging in the air, Scott just walked away.

            That's when I read the name on the tombstone that had pulled back us both back from the edge of the abyss.  The name on the tombstone we had tumbled in too was Jean Grey.


 

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