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Fic: Chapter 3 Animal Magnestism (Wolverine& Panther)

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  • "Sunshine"
    Animal Magnetism Rating: The entire story gets an R rating (so be warned) Setting: two years after the end of X2. Summary: Primal drives and male posturing.
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 15, 2003
      Animal Magnetism

      Rating: The entire story gets an R rating (so be warned)

      Setting: two years after the end of X2.

      Summary: Primal drives and male posturing.

      Disclaimer: I claim no ownership of any of the Marvel characters,
      however the creation of Danielle aka Panther is mine. This is the
      first in a series of chapters to follow.

      Feedback – reasonable and not nasty - greatly appreciated. If you
      wish to archive this story please email me first. Trust me, I am sure
      I will be thrilled, but want to know where it is.

      Danielle did return to the mansion several weeks later and looked
      around her new quarters. She was happy to have a room to call her
      own, and in a place where she could feel safe.

      Storm and Scott ventured down the hall to assist Danielle in unpacking
      her car. Scott loved her gorgeous vintage black Pontiac Trans Am – a
      fantastic old sports car that seemed in fine shape for a car of nearly
      40 years old.

      Danielle left the door to her room open – with the Professor's
      permission – playing music and allowing the residents to come and go
      and get to know her.

      Wolvie's back. Laughlin was a drag. The only fun I can say I had was
      beatin' the shit outta every punkass jerk that would face me in the
      cage. Sometimes I think fightin' is better than sex.

      I wish I could say I still didn't feel lonely. Them fights were about
      the only action I got – that and drinkin' a whole hell of a lot. Oh,
      there were plenty of offers – plenty of cute little bar maids and
      leather clad bitches to choose from, and any one of them wantin' to
      lay me, as dangerous as I am good-lookin'.

      But, here I am and irritable as hell.

      Who the hell's car is that? Ain't seen one of them in years. Whatever.

      Ya know, the whole time I coulda been getting laid, all I could think
      about was her - that cute little number with long wavy hair. She was
      Jean and Marie rolled into one neat little package, only her dark hair
      was streaked with gold, not white. She wasn't that tall, but what
      curves. I don't think I'd ever seen such curves on a woman. And
      spirited – she was so spirited.

      Aw, hell. I'm too drunk and too tired to care right now or I'd be
      pullin' off the rest of my clothes and makin' myself feel good.

      Man, I drank enough to kill an elephant.

      Why should I care? No one else cares.

      No one even came to greet me upon my arrival. Not even my darlin'
      Marie, and she always knows when I come home. She's too damned busy
      with Bobby – little geek boyfriend.

      Maybe I'm in no condition to be seen anyway. I gotta sleep off the
      booze and hope the nightmares give me a break and don't wake me into a
      fit of rage like usual. Yeah, sleep – makes perfect sense.

      I slowly get into bed – my head is spinning madly from the liquor.
      Oh, here's my pillow – the only thing I got to hold onto to ease the
      loneliness. Maybe if I pretend it's her, I'll feel better.

      His sensitive ears tuned into the sound of music coming from down the
      hall. It sounded like a party.

      Damned kids and that shit they call music.

      Pissed off, he covered his head with the pillow trying to drown out
      the sounds, but to no avail. His head pounded even worse with the
      reverberations of the unusually loud music.

      Finally, Logan ventured down the hall to find out what was going on.
      He peeked inside – the room was flooded with activity. Logan scanned
      around seeing Storm, Jean, Scott, Kurt and several of the younger kids
      having fun dancing to the sounds of N'Sync – and to add insult to
      injury, Logan hated pop music.

      "What the hell is goin' on in here?" Logan shouted. The entire group
      froze upon hearing his enraged voice.

      "Oh, no. Hairball has returned – and a little hung over," Scott
      snidely remarked.

      Danielle moved to the front of the crowd of younger folks, as the
      music was turned down a bit.

      It's her. She's back. I look her over quickly absorbing all the
      lusciousness of that little shapely body she's got. Logan, man, get a
      hold of yerself or yer gonna be doing unspeakable things right here in
      front of the entire school. I call out her name uncontrollably.

      "Danielle!" I say. Oh, man, that was pansy of me.

      "Hey, there studmuffin! Come give me some luvin'!" she replies happily.

      That New York accent fills my ears and I can't help but smile as I
      quickly embrace her tightly.

      "Studmuffin?" Scott asked. Bobby looked to Scott and shrugged his

      "I was worried about ya," Logan said. Do I sound like an asshole or what?

      "I decided to stay here for a while. I wasn't gonna – guess I am too
      damned independent. But, what the hell'," she said.

      I hold her close not wanting her to escape my clutches acting like a
      jealous boyfriend again.

      "OK, OK, big guy. We got plenty of time. I'll be hanging around here
      for a bit," Danielle giggled.

      I sit down on her couch rememberin' the ache in my head, but it has
      lessened enough to allow me to study her every move. I watch her
      continue unpacking and giggling with the kids. Her happy expression
      brings a smile to my face. It's hard to believe she's 35 or something
      like that. She has all the energy of them kids and all the maturity
      of a classy woman.

      But, now a thought pops into my head that strikes me funny – all this
      activity and noise.

      "Ya know, Wheels is gonna be pissed. This place is out of control,"
      Logan said.

      "I gave permission. No worries, Logan," Charles stated as he rolled
      out from the corner of the room where Jean and Scott were sitting.

      "And, Logan, you know how I feel about drinking on campus," Charles

      Asshole me, I knew that was comin'.

      "I wasn't drinking on campus," Logan retorted.

      "At the bar in town, right? Probably cleaned it out," Scott
      sarcastically said.

      "Scott, enough," Jean whispered to Scott trying to stop him from
      provoking an already irate Logan.

      Thanks Jean or I just might intimately introduce hubby to what a gut
      full of metal feels like.

      "Thanks, everyone for helping me unpack," Danielle said.

      "Need any more help?" I shyly ask. Now I sound like a total dork.

      "I think we have everything under control," Danielle said before going
      on goofing around with a couple of the younger kids.

      She looks to me every so often – tossing that long hair of hers
      playfully. I look around again and see Marie was especially enchanted
      with her. They were hanging around pretty close to each other and
      giggling a lot.

      Bobby noticed Logan watching her thoroughly and nudged Scott. Bobby
      and Scott walked over to him. Bobby leaned over Logan's shoulder to
      whisper in his ear.

      "Down, boy," Bobby said trying to hold back a snicker.

      "What?" Logan asked sternly.

      "You are drooling," Scott snidely said.

      Scooter, that little punk. Like I am not allowed to look. I can't
      help it.

      Danielle ran out of her room and returned hauling in a large box. I
      immediately jumped up to assist her lifting the heavy box onto my
      shoulder with little effort. I think that got her attention – she's
      staring at me now. Oh, yeah, I'm wearin' my tight tank top – that
      always gets the girls' attention. Maybe I should flex a little more.

      Charles smiled widely as he observed all the happy faces.

      "Looks like you have met most of the children, and you obviously know
      Logan from beforehand," Charles said.

      "We met – the riot at the nightclub and in Canada. Hey, thanks for
      cuttin' me a little slack with the music and open house," Danielle said.

      "OK, children it is time for dinner," Charles announced.

      "Danielle, looks like you are in capable hands – Logan, I am sure you
      won't mind taking over," Charles said. Logan nodded affirmatively.

      "Thanks again for all the help," Danielle replied.

      "Yeah, come on kids. It is time for all of us to go," Jean said
      escorting everyone out.

      Scott held back for a moment as Logan cast a hateful glare at him.
      Scott smiled slyly before exiting.

      Danielle quickly dashed for her ringing cell phone. It was her best
      friend checking in with her.

      "I'm fine. The place is cool and hell, I even got me this total stud
      of a guy right here helping me unpack…Yeah, Wolverine…the one and only
      (she glances over at Logan)…yes, I am behaving…trouble? Who, me?
      Nonsense (she snickers)…why would I do that? Yeah… Hey, catch ya
      later. Gotta finish up," Danielle giggled.

      I peer at her as she chats on the phone – I am sure she must think I
      am being nosy. Aw, hell. It's kinda cute being thought of as a stud.
      She hangs up and I just gotta ask it.

      "Stud, huh? Never been called that before. Freak, mutant, dangerous
      guy – been called them plenty of times," he said.

      "Well, you say freak, mutant, dangerous guy… I say stud - just my
      humble opinion," Danielle replied while looking around her new
      quarters. " I think that about does it."

      "I suppose ya wouldn't have a beer packed in with any of yer stuff?"
      Logan asked.

      Danielle peered strangely at him. Logan growled then sat down again
      on her bed holding his head again.

      "Looks like you had enough already," she replied. She stood before
      him and gently rubbed his temples.

      "Easy way to get rid of the headache," she said.

      I can't help but sigh. Her touch is so gentle, so full of warmth and
      caring. Hell, I like being doted on too.

      "Ya want the full tour?" I ask. Danielle was thrilled.

      "I'd love it, if ya have time," she answered.

      "I got time," I say.

      I reach out my hand and she eagerly takes it. Not noticing a stray
      wire crossing her path, she tripped and I instinctively grab her and
      pull her near me avoiding disaster. Oh, man, those deep brown eyes of
      hers and the warmth of her body near me. Logan, cool it. Think cold
      shower right now. She looks into my eyes – man, kill me now before I
      do somethin' stupid.

      "Sorry. That was clumsy of me," she said shyly pulling away from him.

      "No harm done," I reply. Oh, yes there was. Logan, you dog, you just
      got yerself a cheap thrill.

      I show her all around the campus. She was most thrilled with the
      expansive and well-manicured grounds. Near the stables, a few of the
      girls were out for late afternoon rides on the horses.

      "Hey, there's Danielle!" Kitty called out.

      "Hi, girls. Gorgeous horse," Danielle responded.

      "You ride?" Kitty asked.

      "I taught huntseat and a little saddleseat back home," Danielle replied.

      "This guy is aching for a real run. Wanna take him out?" Kitty asked.

      "Can I?" Danielle asked.

      Kitty jumped down and Danielle quickly mounted up and whirled the
      horse around. With a loud `yah!' she prompted the horse to take off
      at a full gallop.

      The horse ran like the wind – its long strides eating up the ground.
      I watch nervously as the horse began defying her will – fighting the
      bit, bucking and trying to rear. Do I run and try to help her? I
      could see she had a handful of mane in her hands to hold on letting
      the horse have his way, and then she took command. I could see her in
      the distance leaning over the horse's neck. The horse slows looking
      more relaxed and obedient and she rides safely back to me without
      further incident.

      "He was feeling a little spry and wanted you to take him for a real
      run," Danielle said.

      "How do you know that?" Kitty asked.

      "He told me," Danielle replied. Logan cocked his head curiously.

      "He told you?" I ask.

      She shrugged her shoulders.

      "What is it about girls and horses, anyway?" I ask curiously.

      She stopped walking and looked me right in the eye. This could only
      mean trouble.

      "There ain't nothin' like 1500 pounds of raw power between yer legs –
      raw power you are in control of – very exhilarating," she replied
      quite bluntly.

      OK, it was trouble and I had no clue how to respond to that one.

      "Hey, thanks for showing me around. I promised to meet Jean and Scott
      for dinner. I will see ya around," Danielle said giving Logan a hug.

      Scott and Jean – the perfect little couple. Well, she hugged me
      before leaving. Spirited and sexy – hum… what a combo.

      Later that evening, the compound was silent. Not a soul stirred,
      except in Logan's room. The nightmares were rather intense tonight –
      detailed visions of the torturous experiments he suffered through,
      flashbacks of the first time he extended his newly implanted metal
      claws – the intense pain he felt as they pierced the skin of his hands
      for the first time.

      He awoke in a fury of anger and rage – his metal claws ready to slash
      at anything near by. It was only 1am in the morning and he knew he
      was not going to sleep any more tonight.

      He silently walked to the kitchen with the hopes of finding something
      to drink and maybe a sandwich to eat. He rifled through the fridge
      only finding milk, juice, soda and alas, a couple of beers. He pulled
      them out – popped the tops of both of them and with little time
      wasted, downed both one after the other.

      He wasn't satisfied and wanted more.

      The lower cupboards housed more soda. Shit, isn't there anything
      harder here? The top cupboard revealed a stash of bottles – hard liquor.

      Xavier's keeping it for a special occasion. Well, hell, this is a
      special occasion for me – freakin' nightmares.

      Grabbing the first bottle, he downed it with little thought – he
      neglected to look at the label – it didn't matter. The burning
      feeling of the alcohol sliding down his raw throat felt so good.
      Finishing the first bottle, he reached for the second before sitting
      down at the table. He began working on this one quickly downing it
      without taking a breath.

      The fire began to burn in his gut and his head began to pound with
      intoxication. He sat at the table burying his face in his hands.
      Logan was hurting now – but this pain he enjoyed. It was so much
      better than the heart-wrenching pain of his nightmares, or of
      loneliness, of seeing Jean happy with Scott, or of seeing his sweet
      Marie with that geek Bobby.

      His latest obsession was now only two doors down from him – just out
      of his reach.

      And now, his finely tuned hearing caught the sounds of voices and
      giggling. Jean and Danielle entered the room shocked to find Logan
      completely drunk at the table. His sorrowfully bloodshot eyes
      revealed the emotional agony he was in.

      "More nightmares, Logan?" Jean asked not acknowledging his drunken
      state. She was fairly accustomed to seeing him this way
      periodically. Logan painfully shook his head affirmatively. Danielle
      was taken a little by surprise having noticed the empty booze bottles
      and Logan attempting to find something to eat in the fridge.

      The girls continued their idle chatting as Storm joined them. Logan
      sat down again with a sandwich, stealing glances at Danielle without
      being too obvious. Jean noticed it and of Danielle returning those
      glances in Logan's direction. It became dead silent as Logan and
      Danielle's eyes locked on each other.

      Wish I had ya to myself. I am entranced with her – I love the way she
      looks at me, and how she playfully tosses that long mane of hair over
      her head. She's flirting with me – man, is she flirting with me. And
      why wouldn't she? I'm the dangerous guy to be flirted with.

      "So, how do you like the mansion?" Storm interrupted.

      "Very cool. I must remember to thank the professor for accepting me
      into the clan for now. I really didn't know what I would do. I
      couldn't stay with my best friend and her husband any longer – I know
      they would do anything for me, but I felt like I was intruding,"
      Danielle replied.

      Scott entered the kitchen and right away Logan tensed up.

      "Jean, everything OK?" he asked before giving her a kiss on the cheek.

      "Fine, fine. Just girl talking with Danielle," Jean replied.

      "Still? And Logan? Yer looking chipper tonight," Scott taunted.

      Logan growled.

      "Ya know, I am really tired of you pestering me," Logan said holding
      his pounding head again.

      Scott stood behind Jean resting his hands on her shoulders.

      "So, I sensed a little feral streak in ya," Logan directed to Danielle.

      "Just a little on the wild side," Danielle replied.

      "Logan is so feral…" Scott started to say.

      I cast a hateful glare at Scott. Danielle got up and started walking
      around the table towards the refrigerator. I sense her halt right
      behind me – she's got on that light vanilla perfume that fills the air
      around me and I can't help but take in a deep breath.

      "Nothing wrong with being feral – it's very natural – back to basics
      without all the nonsense," she replied.

      I glance curiously over my shoulder at her and she lightly drags her
      finger over my long sideburns. I musta looked like a geek tryin' to
      hide that smile I could feel starting to rip across my face.

      "Hey, is Logan – like – blushing? Oh, my God! Yes, I think he is!"
      Scott tormented.

      Logan pounded his clenched fists on the tabletop – not a bright idea –
      loud sounds ringing in his ears.

      "Ok, enough of this shit. Why don't we take this outside, One Eye?" I

      I get up out of my chair. He had enraged me and I was ready for a
      good fight – the booze heightening my anger and shortened my temper.
      It normally didn't take much to set me off as, especially when taunted
      by One Eye.

      Scott stood his ground having provoked Logan.

      "Logan! Don't! Scott, please stop," Jean and Storm both said sternly.

      Jean knew Scott would definitely deserve any beating Logan may give him.

      "Why can't you two get along? You act worse than a couple of kids,"
      Jean pleaded.

      I'm still standing – snorting in anger and feeling my metal claws
      itching inside for release. What I wouldn't do to impale Scott
      Summers right now. Then, I feel Danielle take hold of my arm.

      "Hold on there, Big Guy. Let it go. He's just breakin' your balls,"
      she said pulling my arm.

      I sit down slowly. Gently, she kneaded my shoulders. She must have
      been sensing my anger and the tension between me, Scott, and Jean.
      She knew there was no love loss between Scott and me. But her touch –
      her soft, gentle, understandin' touch has me under her control and I
      obey her.

      She did know, especially after hearing how both Scott and Logan were
      vying for Jean's love. He and Jean had both said enough for her to
      understand the situation nearly completely.

      Jean and Scott watched Logan's unusually obedient response to
      Danielle, even in his drunken state. Logan's muscles were so tense –
      she could feel he would leap at Scott with any further provocation.
      She leaned close to Logan to whisper in his ear.

      "Logan, relax," Danielle said.

      She could hear him growling softly.

      "Scott, why do you provoke him? Not for anything, why would you want
      to instigate a fight with someone like Logan? I sure as hell wouldn't
      mess with a guy with 12 inch metal claws," she added.

      I huff deeply since I was really pissed off and everyone knew it,
      especially Scott and Jean. But, I relax as Danielle wrapped her arms
      around my neck and rested her chin on my shoulder. The booze was
      wearing off now – just in time.

      "Besides, some of us think being feral is kinda sexy," Danielle
      responded – again brushing her fingers over his sideburns - then she
      let him go and retrieved a soda.

      Jean tried to hide her own feelings – she did agree with Danielle –
      Logan certainly had a charm about him that she too found very

      Sexy, huh? She thinks I'm sexy. Take that, you little shithead. I
      know even Jeannie is agreein' with her. I sit back and cross my arms
      over my chest – yeah, check me out.

      Logan allows a smug look to dance across his face. Scott smiled
      sarcastically. As things seemed to settle down, conversation continued.

      "You don't mind being a mutant?" Storm asked.

      "Look, being different doesn't bother me. I prefer it – sets me out
      from the crowd – not that it doesn't have its drawbacks," she responded.

      "So many still think we don't deserve to live. Even you should know
      that," Logan replied with a little anger in his voice.

      "Yes, I do. And, things take time to change, and accept," she said.

      "Danielle, maybe we should change the subject. It is a very sensitive
      topic around here," Jean said noticing Logan was still a little riled up.

      "Maybe we should go to bed – it is very late," Scott said taking
      Jean's hand. She said good night and obediently followed Scott.

      Logan was still angry – he really didn't like Scott's continued
      gloating about having Jean back and his overall snotty behavior
      towards Logan.

      Logan silently exited the kitchen with Danielle and Storm watching,
      and he headed down the hall to the gym. His blood was boiling hot
      with restrained rage.

      You know I just really hate being around Scott Summers any more than I
      have to. So, here is Logan – bad ass Logan and the wild animal is on
      the loose and needs to release his rage, which I begin to do on the
      heavy bag.

      I pound on it with all my might makin' myself work up an intense sweat
      and hittin' that bag until my hands were hurtin'. I pretend the heavy
      bag was Scott and that made my attack even more intense.

      Maybe I will be able to sleep after this workout. It certainly felt
      good to pound on something, although I really would have loved to
      pound on Scott himself. Rotten little son of a bitch just loves
      pissin' me off.

      Meanwhile, Danielle had followed and peeked at him from the doorway.
      His rage was in full flight – he danced around the bag landing each
      punch with a loud bang.

      The door creaked open a tad more and he halted his attack on the heavy
      bag as his enhanced hearing listened for any further sounds. His
      animal senses were at work – his ears tuned in to even the slightest
      noise, and he sniffed the air to pick up any strange scent.

      Danielle knew there was no getting away without him knowing – she
      sensed he was very much aware of her presence – her senses working
      very much like his - so she went ahead and entered the room.

      "I'll leave if you want to be alone," she said in response to the
      rather annoyed look on his face.

      "Wish I had a beer," he said while cracking his neck.

      "It's 1:30 in the morning, man, and you certainly have enough alcohol
      in your system," she said.

      "And your point is?" he asked.

      She wanted to say something in return.

      "Look, I don't need ya tellin' me what to do," he said and returned to
      continue his attack on the heavy bag.

      I see her watchin' me with great interest. Looks like she's checkin'
      me out pretty thoroughly and she ain't just lookin' at my face mind you.

      Danielle was indeed marveling at how every muscle worked.

      "I hear you are like the campus watch dog – only more vicious," she

      I turned to her, sweat pouring down my face and chest, my furrowed
      brows of anger, and heaving deep sinister breaths. I place my
      clenched fists out at my sides and extended my metal claws. I was
      expectin' to scare the hell out of her with the mood I was in. I
      awaited her reaction.

      "OK, I get the point – no pun intended," she said with a giggle. She
      could hear him growling lightly and then he retracted his claws.

      "Remind me never to piss you off," she said. Logan cracked his neck

      "Hey, how about a little one on one?" she asked while raising her
      fists and dancing around him on her toes. He looked at her with

      "You, take on me? What are ya, nuts?" he asked.

      I snickered at the thought that I tower over her – being 6'3" as
      compared to her maybe 5'5" and I definitely outweigh her in both
      muscle and bone. But, I remember how she fought that ex-boyfriend and
      his buds – and she was no slouch.

      "Don't underestimate me. Or, maybe yer afraid I might surprise ya and
      knock ya on yer ass?" she asked.

      I shake my head in disbelief – this chick is crazy. But, somehow I
      find it kinda like a turn on. She's tapping me lightly on my bicep
      with her clenched fist.

      "I'll go gentle," she said.

      I know she was tryin' to lighten me up, so I decide to entertain her a

      She started in with some light punches to his body – actually
      surprising him with her accuracy. She put a little more effort into
      the attack – her shots to his sides did sting a bit.

      OK enough of the playing. Wolverine moved into attack mode –
      snarling. She ducked and dodged my onslaught of strikes, surprising
      me with her abilities, but I grew tired of goofing around. OK, I just
      didn't feel like being outwitted by her. I grab her around her
      midsection and we tumble to the ground – Danielle landing on top of my

      She feels the heat of his body – his warm, sweat-soaked hard body –
      and she quivered a bit.

      He lays still on the floor loving the feel of her body on his. It
      wouldn't take much to fully arouse him at this point. He could
      already feel a throbbing sensation in his pants.

      I bet you'd look incredible in one of them X Men suits – black leather
      huggin' all yer curves just like that leather you wore when I first
      saw ya.

      She tried to hide the rush of feelings – thinking this guy really
      didn't belong to her - she began to tickle him and he laughed heartily
      and uncontrollably trying to fight her off. He gave in to her
      supremacy begging for mercy.

      Logan stared deep into her eyes. Just then, she completely backed
      off. He sensed fear.

      Then, Logan's ears caught the sound of someone coming down the hall
      and they both quickly got up. Danielle took a long swig from the
      water bottle sitting on the bench. Logan sat down on the bench and
      toweled off stretching his aching muscles. His nostrils filled with
      her light vanilla scent, and then he felt a pair of hands sliding over
      his shoulders. His instinct would normally be to attack, but he held

      She stood behind him – her hands gently kneading the muscles of his
      shoulders. He began to wonder why she backed off from him.

      Aw, maybe she's just bein' nice. Well it ain't freakin' nice getting
      me horny, damn it.

      "How does that feel?" she asked him.

      He couldn't help but growl with satisfaction, leaning back towards
      her, and Danielle smiled in making Wolverine more comfortable.

      Her touch – her intoxicating touch.

      At that moment, Rogue passed by and peeked into the room.

      "Come in, it's ok," Danielle said. Rogue entered.

      "I just wanted to see if you were alright, Logan. Oh, I guess you
      are," Rogue said wondering what was going on that Danielle was
      massaging Logan's shoulders.

      "Logan was a little upset. Scott teased him and Logan didn't take it
      too well," she said softly.

      Her voice was kind and tender and genuine. I could sense no deceit
      from her – she wasn't looking for brownie points – only to offer her
      shoulder to lean on. But, I'm Logan – I'm strong, a survivor, a feral
      animal with no sense of need of anyone, and I trust nearly no one.

      Yet, she's turning something in me on – not just sexually – she's got
      that down packed already – probably not even realizing it – then
      again, anything gets me off if I think about it in some sick way long

      I begin to sense emotions – those same feelings I had for Jeannie –
      feelings I thought I had again tried to bury deep inside. I wanna
      trust her – I can feel that need to trust growing. My hand reaches up
      gently touching hers – I don't say it but I know she understood that
      look on my face expressing my silent thank you cause she smiled at me.

      She continued massaging the tension from my muscles – I began to feel
      so relaxed, almost drowsy. In all her kindness, she finally moved
      aside allowing me time with Rogue. I tapped the bench for Rogue to
      sit down.

      "Yeah, well we all know how Scott and Logan hate each other. You've
      been drinkin' again, huh Logan?" Rogue asked.

      Oh, shit. Scolded again and by my little Marie. I don't need to
      answer – she already knows. She knew me well enough that I couldn't
      hide the truth from her, so there was no sense in denying it – the
      smell of alcohol was all over me.

      "It's early in the morning. What's up, kid?" Logan asked softly.

      "Nothing, really. Bobby and I… we had a little fight yesterday,"
      Rogue replied.

      "What did he do to you?" Logan asked angrily.

      Danielle could sense his fury and witnessed the special bond between
      Logan and Rogue. She witnessed the protective way he was with her,
      even though she didn't know he sometimes had distasteful thoughts of
      the young woman.

      "Nothing, and that's exactly the point. He and I, well, you know –
      it's the same thing. Logan, I wish the professor could help me to
      fully control my power," Rogue said.

      She hinted to Logan her desire to be able to touch without hurting
      someone – to learn a way to control her power that takes the life
      force of other beings. Logan put his arm around Rogue trying to
      comfort her. There were times Logan had wished Marie was older – as
      much as she thought of him like a father figure, he knew she felt a
      little more – a girlie crush on the feral man – and he did feel
      something for her.

      She had touched him to the point of death, shared memories when their
      minds melded, and he wouldn't hesitate to give his life if it meant
      making Marie happy. But, he distanced himself from that idea – she
      was too young for him and he knew he would only hurt her.

      "It will happen. You have a very strong power and it takes time to
      learn control," he said knowing it had to be frustrating to be in love
      and not be able to get close physically.

      God knew he had those feelings. There was Jean – the woman who stole
      his heart in the past and refused him. Every day was torture to not
      be able to express the feelings he had – both emotionally and

      His gentle look into Marie's eyes eased her concerns, and she headed
      off to bed.

      "Goodnight, Logan. By the way, my door is always open if you need to
      talk," Danielle said before following Rogue.

      Logan's brain became a mass of confused thoughts. He instantly
      realized he really liked Danielle – a lot. But, Logan could hear
      Jean's words swimming in his head again – her words of how women love
      to flirt with dangerous men and then marry the good guy.

      Was Danielle flirting with him only, he wondered?

      "Logan, man, you are sucha jackass. When are ya gonna learn. Women
      love to play with ya and she probably is too. But, she brings out the
      man in me. Or, is it the animal? God, she makes me so horny. Chill,
      Logan. Yer makin' yerself horny just thinkin' about her. But, I can
      be the good guy. Does she care about that? What has Jean told her
      about me? Did Jean make me look like a sex-hungry old man – the
      dangerous guy to flirt with only? Will I just be a toy for her to
      play with? Can I trust her? I want to trust her. I want someone to
      love too."

      "Marie – I don't think I got to talk with you earlier," Danielle said.

      Rogue turned around to her.

      "How do you know Logan?" Marie asked.

      "He got me out of a spot of trouble with an old boyfriend. We were
      just chatting and he was upset and a good massage always helps,"
      Danielle giggled.

      "You know, Danielle – I think Logan kinda likes ya. I hear ya are a
      mutant like Logan," Marie said.

      "Yeah, I have similar gifts," Danielle replied. "You and Logan are
      very close I see."

      "He's my friend," Marie responded. The girls bid goodnight before
      going into their rooms.

      It was now 3 am. He lies in bed, closing his eyes and drifting off to
      sleep. The nightmares began again making him toss and turn in his
      sleep growling and groaning like an injured animal. He awoke in a
      fury. There was no way he would get any peace tonight.

      He pondered going to talk with Danielle – it was so early in the
      morning and she probably was asleep by now.

      She did say her door was always open if I needed to talk. I need to
      talk – to someone, anyone. Shit man, this is so pansy of me. These
      fuckin' nightmares.

      Silently, Logan walked down the hallway – halting in front of her
      door. He listened carefully for any signs of Danielle being awake.

      Aw, shit. What the hell ya doin', man?

      Just as he was going to head back, the door opened slightly.

      "Hey. Somethin' wrong?" Danielle asked softly.

      Logan's eyes were filled with a silent pleading for a shoulder to lean on.

      "How did you know it was me?" he asked.
      "I sensed ya," she said. "Why don't ya come in and tell me what's
      bothering ya," she said opening the door fully.

      Logan stood in the middle of her room and was silent. Danielle sat
      down at her desk painting a horse statue. Logan peered over her
      shoulder curiously watching her work.

      "I couldn't sleep – new bed, new place…I am gonna need some time to
      get used to the new surroundings. Painting always helped me relax,"
      she said.

      He peered over her shoulder watching her apply dabs of paint to her
      latest creation. She sensed his deep interest but his continued
      agitation. Halting herself, she put down the horse and brush.

      "Well, this is rude of me," she said.

      Taking his hand, she walked over to her bed. He began to wonder what
      her intentions were. She hopped onto it and motioned for him to sit
      with her. He hesitated but then obeyed. She noticed he was very
      uptight – this was more than just the fury caused by Scott earlier on.
      Gently, she put her arm around him.

      "I can't help ya if ya ain't gonna talk to me," she said.

      "I hope you don't think the worse of me. Scott Summers is such a
      dick. I don't think I will ever see him any other way," he said.

      Danielle giggled.

      "You guys – like two rival stallions. What will we do with ya both?
      Look, I think I understand both your points of view. I mean, come on
      – how would you feel if someone tried to steal your girl?" she began.

      I hang my head in shame. She's right – I was an asshole.

      "I know – I was an ass for doin' that. I couldn't help what I was
      feelin'," he responded.

      "I'm sure. You can't always control who you fall in love with. Nuff
      said on that subject. What else is on yer mind?" she asked.

      Logan tensed up. She sensed his fears and anger.

      "Turn around," she demanded.

      Logan was a bit unsure of what she wanted until she got on her knees
      behind him and started deep massaging his shoulders.

      I love when ya do that. I couldn't help it and a loud groan slipped
      out. That musta sounded really obnoxious. Maybe she just loves
      getting' her hands on me. The tension began seeping away.

      "So, what's buggin' ya? Those nightmares I keep hearin' about?" she

      "I dream stuff about my past. I can only remember little bits –
      things that happened to me. I don't know who I really am," he started.

      He looked over his shoulder before continuing, "I hope that doesn't
      scare ya or freak ya out."

      "It's ok. I meant it when I said I'm here if you wanna chat," she said.

      "They made me this way – the claws, I mean," he said raising his
      clenched fist and extending his claws.

      "So many times I wanted to die, but I can't. I tried suicide, but the
      wounds just healed up. I tried drugs only to awaken later as good as
      new. Forget booze – I get a hangover that doesn't last too long.
      Fifteen years I spent runnin'. But, Rogue came along and well, I hurt
      her accidentally – she tried to wake me from my nightmares and I hurt
      her. She took my powers to heal herself and had me near death, and I
      realized how much I didn't like it – I didn't want to die anymore,"
      Logan said and heaved a heavy sigh.

      Danielle listened very intently as he spoke then wrapped her arms
      around his neck laying her chin on his shoulder – she could hear the
      pain in his voice. This insight into his recent past brought chills
      to her body. Her eyes began to well up with a hidden pain of her own.
      She took a deep breath.

      "But the nightmares still haunt you," Danielle said moving to sit at
      his side.

      Logan nodded affirmatively.

      "You helped save all those delegates in New York, you helped Rogue,
      and you saved me. You are strong, loyal, and honorable – even though
      you can be a headstrong pain in the ass," she said.

      He listened to her carefully.

      "You are a lucky man, Logan. You have lived through some very tough
      times, but you are stronger because of it and hell, you got some
      really great friends who care for you. I wish I could stop the
      nightmares for you," she added.

      He thought about what she was saying and buried his face in the crook
      of her neck as he hugged her.

      She's holdin' on to me so strongly. I think she really means it. I
      feel her hand gliding over my back. It's so nice.

      She lies down on her bed and pulls my arm for me to do the same,
      tellin' me to just chill a while. I find this really enticing just
      for the simple fact that I was cravin' a little human contact (well,
      in our case, mutant contact), and it didn't have to be nasty. I did
      lay down by her side, with my back to her mind you. I guess I felt a
      little nervous. No one has ever made me feel so good about myself.

      Again, I felt her gentle hands on me. Her caressing relaxes me, but
      bein' the jackass that I am, I started thinkin' nasty thoughts – yeah,
      I am a brat. But, what struck me about this woman was that she
      listened to me – really listened to me and kept listening until I said
      my peace, and she offered her opinion and understandin' with all the
      kindness I would never have expected. I want to believe this is all
      for real, but something is keepin' me at a distance.

      "You feel any better?" she asked.

      He nodded yes.

      "I'm sorry if I kept you up," he replied starting to get up from her bed.

      He looked deeply into her eyes sensing he had somehow connected with

      I knew I had better get outta there or something was gonna happen.

      "Nonsense. Anytime you need to talk, I'll be here. And, you can stay
      if you want. I trust ya," she said.

      I hesitated for a moment. She trusts me. She obviously doesn't know
      what's on my mind right now. This was one hell of an offer I debated
      with myself about.

      I could go back to my room and risk being up all night – and alone -
      or stay here and feel good and take a risk that I do something primal
      that maybe she's not interested in. Then, she'd really hate me.

      Guess what bad ass Logan did – I stayed – and fell asleep to her
      gentle stroking. I woke up about an hour later and realized I was not
      in my bed – hell, man, not even in my own room. What would Wheels
      think of this? Who cares? I certainly don't.

      I glance around with half opened eyes and see her at her desk – she
      had fallen asleep there. I went to her – she had been painting again.
      I pulled the brush carefully from her grip and placed it down. She
      looked so peaceful – but this had to be so uncomfortable.

      I lift her out of the chair and lay her down on her bed, gently
      covering her with the sheets. Oh, Logan – what kinda trouble you
      could get in now.

      But instead, I sit by her side, brush her hair to the side and kiss
      her forehead before leaving for my own room – where I should have been
      to begin with.

      It was breakfast time at the mansion. Everyone gathered in the large
      hall. Charles sat at the head of the table and I hear him officially
      welcome Danielle to the group.

      I walk in late as usual – and in my typical grouchy and irritable
      mood. The younger residents would hesitate to wish me good morning
      and bad ass Logan would just about grunt out a hello unless I was
      really in a crappy mood. In which case, I would snarl and show claws.

      I am such a son of a bitch.

      I had a soda and a steak with me – yes, this is breakfast for Wolverine.

      I sit at the table in back – alone – and extend my metal claws. One
      set of claws held the meat on the plate while I used one single claw
      on the other hand to carve off little bits.

      I began to eat as everyone stared at me. I raise my eyes to them and
      glare at them all. Guess they never seen a guy eat with his hands
      before. I could hear the younger children giggling and I shot them a
      narrow-eyed stare. That certainly shut them up quick.

      I caught sight of Jean rolling her eyes. Yes, this was pathetic,
      even for bad ass Logan. Had I sunk down to a new low? Naw. I just
      like pissing everyone off or scarin' the hell outta them kids.

      "Logan, is that really necessary?" Jean scolded half-heartedly.

      I looked up at her and snarled again then peered at Danielle. Jeannie
      and Marie were giggling – it was normal to get the flirtatious giggles
      from the women. I was feeling a little obnoxious, but hearin' them
      kids start laughing just got me a snarlin' that much more.

      I got a smile from Danielle – and that was important to me. I musta
      looked like such a schmuck trying to hide a smile as she playfully
      tossed her hair to the side and gleamed at me with them big brown eyes.

      "Logan, I would tend to agree with Jean. Children, this is why we have
      forks and knives," Charles said.

      Scott turned away – a fight was brewing. Logan was the rebellious one
      and hated being told what to do.

      "What? Hey, they're clean," Logan argued.

      "I think Logan is being something of a showoff for our new resident,"
      Storm said.

      The rest of the residents watched as Danielle walked around behind the
      feral man.

      He sniffed the air inhaling her scent and hunched over his meal like a
      predator protecting his kill.

      Another animal on campus. This could be trouble.

      She didn't care as she moved more to his side.

      Everyone could hear the low growl he was emitting and watched him bare
      his teeth. The kids sat in silence – frozen with fear. Charles had
      no idea how to respond to this show of animal aggression. The
      thoughts he was picking up from both Danielle and Logan were very odd
      – they didn't seem harmful in any way – perhaps just mock attack.

      But, Logan was so unpredictable and no one really knew if he would
      seriously leap at her. After all, he looked threatening enough just
      with his eyes lowered and claws unsheathed. She held her ground not
      moving any further.

      He settled down a bit and continued to eat. As he carved off another
      piece of steak, Danielle approached him slowly, sitting down in the
      chair by his side and letting off her own low sounding growl.

      Logan extended the rest of his claws so that all six were poised for
      attack. She lowered her eyes in defiance with her long bangs flowing
      in waves over one eye hiding it sexily, and she ran her hand down his
      bare arm.

      His growling got slightly louder and she responded by increasing the
      volume in her voice. Her fingers slid over his wrist and slowly up
      his hand until she gingerly removed the steak chunk from the shining
      metal claw popping it into her mouth.

      They both continued to growl, but as she got up she brushed her finger
      over his sideburns and traced around the underside of his chin. He
      stopped growling – raising his eyes to her and sheathing his claws.
      She looked to everyone sitting at the main table.

      "He only thinks he's tough," she said before walking out of the dining
      hall to return to her room.

      Logan dropped everything and jogged out after her. Kurt sat back in
      his chair watching the fire beginning to burn between Logan and Danielle.

      "Me thinks Logan likes her," Kurt whispered to Marie.

      "What the hell was that all about?" Scott asked.

      "Animal magnetism," Jean snickered.

      Bobby and several of the other boys ran out to follow Logan and Danielle.

      "Danielle," Logan called out. She turned around nonchalantly.

      "Yo," she responded. He looked her over as she stood before him.

      "I promise, I won't bite," he said. "Can I talk to you a moment?" he
      asked as he opened the door to his room.

      She entered the room and looked around. It was very much like her own
      – spacious with a small couch, bed and coffee table.

      The boys had run outside and were peeking into his window. His
      enhanced hearing tuned into the chuckles and giggles of the kids.
      With a quick move, he extended his claws and flashed them menacingly
      at the kids. They moved out of sight. Danielle wondered what he was
      so uptight about. He returned his attentions to Danielle.

      "You must think I am such a jerk – I'm sorry," he apologized.

      "It's ok. I was just teasin' ya," she said.

      He again saw several pairs of young curious eyes looking in through
      his window. Logan grabbed a pillow off the bed and hurled it at the
      window, again spooking off the kids. With all the excitement,
      several other kids joined the growing crowd of observers.

      "Damn brats," he growled.

      Again, the kids peeked in. He pulled down the shade part way –
      leaving it open just enough for the kids to still peek in and observe.

      "I really don't know why they are still so enchanted with me," he said.

      "Probably because you are such an animal and certainly interesting,"
      she replied.

      "Oh, really?" he asked slyly.

      Now, Logan was getting a bit pissed seeing the kids again looking in.
      He walked out of the room slamming the door closed.

      "Can you see anything?" one girl asked.

      "I can only see Danielle right now," Bobby answered.

      "You think they are gonna do `it'?" another boy asked.

      "I bet they will. That would be cool – Wolverine doing `it'!" another
      girl piped in.

      "I wonder if he does `it' like a dog," the first kid pondered.

      They all giggled and strained to see what was going on in Wolverine's

      Creeping outside, Logan rounded the corner and stealthily made his way
      closer to the collection of kids near his window. With a loud roar
      and extension of his metal claws, Wolverine rushed at the pack of kids
      slashing at the trees in mock attack. Kids scattered in all
      directions screaming in fright.

      When he was satisfied with having scared the crap out of them, he
      returned to his room.

      Danielle was sitting near the window trying to restrain from laughing
      at what he had done to scare the kids. A smug look crossed his face.

      "Oh, Logan," she giggled.

      "Damn brats," he said.

      I know I'm bein' an asshole right about now, but how else am I gonna
      keep them kids out of my hair without givin' them a good scare every
      now and then. And, hell, I did a damned good job this time. Bet it
      will be weeks before they try that shit again.

      "Look, I wanted to thank ya for talkin' with me last night."

      "Anytime. Well, I was gonna do some stuff outside. Catch up with ya
      later," Danielle said with a giggle.

      "What are ya gonna be doin'?" Logan asked.

      "Scott offered to assist me in fixing a leak in my car," Danielle

      Logan turned away with a sneer. She instantly sensed his lack of
      enthusiasm with the mention of Scott's name.

      She started to walk out the door when he said, "Danielle, if you
      wanted a piece of my steak, you coulda just asked me."

      Danielle propped herself in the doorway – her shapely form hugging the
      door jam.

      "I wasn't interested so much in the steak. I was hungry for somethin'
      else," she said coyly and left his room.

      Logan stood there silent and in awe of her spirit.
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