Hidden Underneath

by Eiluned

Date finished: 27 June 2001

Author's Site: http://www.phoenixfyre.net/Eiluned

Archive: Yes to Alex and WXF. All others please ask first.

Disclaimer: They belong to Marvel, which is really unfair. They like what I do with them a lot more. :)

Rating: R

Summary: A Wolverine is not an animal. Wolverine/Jean. Ultimate. Angst, Romance. Jean's POV.

Warnings: Unhealthy amounts of angst. ::eil grabs the keyboard away from Ultimate!WolvieMuse:: Bad language and non-explicit sex.

Notes: Takes place just after Ultimate X-Men #6. For my own evil purposes, I've inserted a day or two between the end of that ish and when Logan leaves for Arizona.

Big thanks and whipped-cream Wolvies to my betas, KA, Alex, Mara and Meg. I don't know what I'd do without you. :)

The first time I saw the man behind Wolverine was when I walked in and found him watching the rest of the team goof off outside. He was sitting in a chair, staring out one of the tall windows in a sitting room, watching Bobby conjure snowballs out of thin air and pelt Storm and Beast with them.

He didn't notice me, so I stood in the doorway and watched him. There was such a look of longing on his face... It was strange to see it.

I can't deny that I was furious with him. Two days earlier, we had just had the most mind blowing sex I could ever imagine having, and he suddenly confessed that he had been sent to kill the Professor.

Now that I think about it, blasting him into a wall and demolishing the hotel room was probably not the best solution. You don't always think straight when you're heart's being broken. But just hearing those words coming from his mouth... I was angry and hurt and so very scared. All I could see was the animal.

For the short while that Logan and I were lovers, I never really saw the person underneath the ass-kicker exterior. I guess I never really tried.

I saw it today.

He watched everyone outside with such a wistfulness about him... It broke my heart to see it.

In that moment, I saw the man, the man who was hurting and lonely and didn't know which way was up. And I wanted nothing more than to take that hurt away.

"Is this why you can't kill the Professor?" I asked quietly.

He didn't jump or make any other movement of surprise, and I realized belatedly that he could probably smell me. "Part of it," he said gruffly, still staring out the window. "You don't understand what it's like. I've been livin' an animal's life. Kill or be killed. I thought those were my only options, but comin' here... There's somethin' else to it. It's... it's like a family."

I felt my throat clench up. "You've never had anything like that before."

He shook his head. "Not that I can remember. Charlie showed me that there was somethin' more to life than killing."

Logan turned and looked at me, dark eyes piercing. "And ain't it just grand that I finally found what I really wanted, and now I have to leave it."

The words stung. I dropped my head and looked at the carpet, blinking back tears.

"I guess I shoulda fuckin' expected it. Anytime things get too good to be true, they blow up in my face," he continued bitterly.

"I'm sorry," I whispered.

"I'm sure you are," he snapped.

My nerves were already frayed, and my temper flared. "Pardon me, but what the hell was I supposed to do? 'By the way, Jean, I came here to kill the Professor...' How was I supposed to react to that?" I shouted. "How was I supposed to trust you?"

He lifted his chin defiantly. "I thought maybe I'd proved that to you in Croatia. I thought for goddamned sure I proved that to you in Washington. If I was Magneto's lap dog, why the fuck did I nearly get myself killed tryin' to protect Charlie?"

I bit my bottom lip, feeling suddenly foolish. It's funny how clear hindsight can be. "I'm sorry," I whispered again. "I guess I'm just a stupid kid who can't get it through her thick skull."

He just stared at me for a minute, not saying anything. "You're not a stupid kid," he said finally, "and I guess we're both too goddamn stubborn for our own good."

I couldn't help smiling at that. "Yeah, I guess so," I paused, watching him stare out the window again. "So... what happens now?"

He shrugged. "I leave for Arizona in the mornin'. You go back to your life."

He didn't say it, but I could hear the silent 'with Scott' hanging on the end of it.

"Scott's my friend, Logan. I've never thought about him in any other way. I know how he feels about me, but I don't feel the same way," I told him.

He snorted. "Are you tellin' me that I don't have anything to worry about?" he said, a bit sarcastically.

"Maybe I am."

He looked surprised at that. "What are you saying, Jeannie?"

I cracked my knuckles just to release some tension. "I guess... I guess I'm saying that I should have been a little more trusting. And that you should have been a little more open."


"Yes. I wish I could have seen this side of you earlier."

He gave me a disbelieving look. "What side is that?"

"The human side. I wish I had seen it earlier. You're human, just like the rest of us, no matter how hard you try to seem indestructible. You're hurting. I wish I could make it all go away for you."

His jaw tightened, and for a moment, I thought he was going to get angry again. Instead, he surprised me completely. He put his face in his hands, and it took me a moment to realize that he was crying. It didn't escape me, either, that this was probably the first time he'd cried since he was a little boy.

I crossed the room without really noticing, and I slid my arms around him, kneeling in front of his chair. He wrapped his arms around me, pulling me into the chair with him, pressing his face against my shoulder. It felt good to be in his arms, good to know that I could offer him this little bit of comfort.

He didn't cry for long, but he kept holding me anyway, and I could feel him drawing all the solace I could give into himself. I shivered when his lips touched my neck, letting my head fall back. He slowly kissed his way up my neck, damp cheek brushing against mine, and kissed my lips so softly that it made me want to cry.

He lowered me to the carpet, and our clothes seemed to melt away under his hands. We made love right there in the sitting room, clinging to each other desperately, climaxing intensely.

"Don't go," I whispered as he came down from his orgasm.

He kissed me, running his fingers over my cheeks. "I have to," he whispered back.

I swallowed hard, nodding. "Then, at least... come back to me."


Now that I've seen what's hidden underneath, I can wait.


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