Wolverine's Nightmare

Disclaimer: I don't own the X-Men . . . my bank account is ample proof of that.

Three months passed since Storm and Wolverine first got together and their relationship had grown stronger and faster than either imagined. Both were happier than they ever felt, and it showed in every aspect of their lives. Wolverine was often seen smiling, and occasionally whistling happy tunes; and though Storm was always a very serene person, an aura of happiness now surrounded her peaceful disposition.

It was around then that the problems began; the inevitable block that their relationship was doomed to face in order to succeed. By the fifth month, it was obvious to Storm that something was severely troubling Wolverine - something very bad-yet he refused to talk about it. His attitude forced her to come to the conclusion that he wasn't happy with their relationship. Little did she know how wrong she was or what a roller-coaster ride it would be finding the truth.


"Mission failed-" Logan grumbled in his sleep. "Sierra Foxtrot destroyed-gotta get out!"

"Wake up Logan, you're having another nightmare." Storm said to him as she feverishly tried to wake him.

"Huh-? What happened?" he said as he grogilly opened his eyes and focused on Storm.

"You had another nightmare - worse than before, it took me nearly 5 minutes to wake you. I almost called the Professor. What were you dreaming about?"

"Wha-? Nothin' Darlin, nothin' to be concerned about." His raised vital signs and cold sweat told her otherwise; but Wolverine refused to give her anymore information.

"Logan, Why won't you tell me what these nightmares are about? It's obvious that they are getting worse. If something is bothering you, we should work through it together - we ARE in a relationship."

"Not this Darlin' - this is sumpn I gotta do alone. I know that's not what you wanna hear, but that's the way it is."

"Logan, If this relationship is going to work, we have to solve our problems together. Surely you know this!"

"Yeah Darlin, I know - but this is different. This is my problem - not yers, and not ours."

Having said that, he got out of bed and went for a long walk to sort things out - something he had done way to often lately. He knew that not talking about his problems really bothered Storm, but he really didn't want to discuss this with her. After all, how do you tell the love of your life that she is also the source of your worst nightmare? How could his life be such a paradise when he was awake and pure hell when he was asleep?

Unfortunately, this problem had become much more than just bad dreams and lost sleep; it was beginning to affect his work. The other X-Men noticed on several missions that he'd gone into his berserker rages without his usual provocation. While highly effective - at times, it was obvious that his attitude toward the 'job' had changed; and although the other X-Men hadn't picked up on why; to the astute eye, one couldn't help but notice that it coincided with the birth of his relationship with Storm. Because the two of them always looked happy together, the rest of the team chalked up Wolverine's attitude change to his unpredictability and mood swings; Storm however, knew better.

He returned from his walk nearly an hour later, expecting to find Storm asleep. He instead found her very worriedly sitting on the edge of their bed waiting for him. Her demeanor was calm, but he could smell the concern and anger in the air; and for the first time in their relationship, he dreaded talking to her.

"Logan, why won't you talk to me? You know how much I love you. Whatever it is that is bothering you, we can work out together - if you just let me in."

"No Ro, this is different. I can't tell ya what's goin' on - not right now. But I promise, as soon as I get a bead on it, I'll tell ya everything. Now, go back to sleep Darlin' - I'll get that loose screw in my head tightened down and things'll get back ta normal real quick. 'Think I'll go downstairs and watch some television or sumpn' - I don't want ta keep ya up."

"How am I going to sleep knowing the man that I love is hurting? Do you expect me to stand by and do nothing while you go through this?"

"Trust me Ro, I'll be fine."

By breakfast, everything was back to normal. Logan was his usual self - or so it seemed to everyone except Storm. The frustration he experienced in his dreams seemed to be brushed aside; but then, brushing aside pain and moving on was an integral part of Wolverine's life.

The rest of the day was uneventful; unfortunately that night, his nightmare returned with a vengeance. Storm was abruptly awoken by Wolverine yelling "Storm - watch out - the HAND!!!" Her eyes opened just as he pushed her out of bed - presumably trying to save her from whatever threat they faced in his dream. She didn't know it at the time, but it was a good thing that he pushed her. Just as she fell, his claws came shooting out in a vicious swing that could have seriously injured her had she still been asleep.

"Logan! Wake up!!!! You're dreaming!" she yelled as she jumped to her feet. He swung viciously at the enemy in his dream - tearing their blanket to shreds and not hearing a single word of Storm's plea. "WAKE UP!" she yelled as she hit him with an energy blast. The blast clearly wasn't enough to hurt him, but it did wake him up - much to her displeasure.

"What the flamin'?" he yelled as he snapped out of it and realized where he was and what he had done. He looked at Storm, who was in the process of absorbing her other handful of energy - while keeping a safe distance from him.

"What happened?"

"You pushed me out of bed - just in time too-your claws shot out and nearly cut me to shreds!"

"What?!" he said looking down at the bed, then at his protruding claws. "Oh God! Are you alright?" he asked as he ran and hugged her. "I didn't hurt you did I?"

"I'm fine Logan! But you could have easily hurt me. NOW will you tell me?"

"I-I can't Storm! I gotta get outta here before I hurt you. I'm sorry Ro-I gotta get outta here."

He ran from the room - not bothering to change or get dressed. That was the last she saw of him that night - or the following day.


"Outta my way Cassidy! I came ta get Jubilee. Where is she?"

"She's in class Logan; but I highly object to yeh interfering with her studies like this - in the middle of the week no doubt! Yeh cannae just land a jet in our back yard any time yeh feel like it. It disrupts everyting y'know."

"Can it Cassidy! S'got nothin' ta do with you - less YEH and Frost are itchin' fer a throw-down. Now are YEH gonna call her or do I have ta sniff her out myself?"

"Wolvieeeeeee!" Logan turned around just in time to receive a flying hug from Jubilee - almost knocking him to the ground. "I knew it had to be you ya big lug. No one else would have the guts ta land a jet on the Academy lawn and face the wrath of Mr. Cassidy or Ms. Frost."

"It's damn good ta see ya Jubes." He said, returning her hug tenfold. At this point, Cassidy new he wasn't going to win the argument. Seeing their interaction, he knew enough not to even try. Had this been the parents of one of the other students coming to visit, there wouldn't have been a question - except about the jet landing on the Academy grounds of course. Wolverine was the closest thing to a parent Jubilee had - with all rights reserved; and if Cassidy and Frost had and beefs about it, they would have to grin and bear it - or pick a fight with a man that had no concept of losing. Cassidy quietly slipped away; Wolverine and Jubilee never noticed his departure.

"So, what brings you up here in the middle of the week? And why haven't you come to visit me in the last couple of months? Storm keepin' ya that busy?"

"I know it's been awhile since I came ta visit, sorry 'bout that - things been a little crazy lately. But I've missed ya Jubes - I really missed ya. What say you an' I go campin' in a couple of weeks and get caught up on things? I've been itchin' to get back ta Lake Berryessa, and we can drop in on yer old stompin' grounds while we're away." Not many people knew of Logan's favorite camp grounds in the hills of Northern California; but Jubilee was one of the few and proud. The distance away from Salem Center gave him a real sense of "getting away" from it all when he needed a break, and Northern California's climate always intrigued Logan - no matter when he came, it was always the "perfect time of year." In her mallrat days, Jubilee would never be seen camping; but she really enjoyed trips with Logan. They both used the time to talk about things going on in their lives and fill in the gap created when she joined Generation X. She also liked the fact that on these trips, Wolverine seemed to push 'working knowledge' over book smarts. Burying her face in the books that Frosty and Sean gave her never took priority over the real-life experiences they both shared - and with Wolverine's unique history; there was always plenty to share. Their camping trips also gave Jubilee the opportunity to drop in on old friends in Southern California. Though Logan usually objected, Jubilee always convinced him to spend time with her there. She even once convinced him to go see the premiere of a popular summer movie with her favorite star - Hugh Jackman.

"Sure thing Wolvie - so, what's goin' on? You look like you haven't slept in weeks, and I know you didn't come all this way just ta ask me to go camping with ya."

"Oh, heard you were gettin' pretty good in the sim, thought ya might like ta take the real thing out for a spin. You up for a couple hours in the minijet?"

"Am I?! You just hold on to your hat!"

A half-hour and many 360's later, Jubilee streaked the skies in ecstasy. Very rarely did she get this chance, and the smile on her face showed it. She really loved it when Wolverine let her fly. He was the only X-Man that ever trusted her with such equipment; but in his eyes, trusting her with the minijet was nothing compared to how many times he put his life in her hands-and vice versa.

"So, what's bothering you Wolvie?"


"Don't give me 'wha!' What's bothering you? You come up to the Academy in the middle of the week looking like hell, disrupt my classes, yell at Mr. Cassidy, then let me fly the minijet. On top of that, I've been flying for over a half an hour and you haven't said more than two words to me. What gives? You and Storm havin' problems? And when was the last time you got some sleep? You really look like crap?"

"If you were so worried, why didn't you say anything back at the academy?"

"In front of Mr. Cassidy? Right! Like you would talk about your problems in front of him. Now c'mon-out with it."

"I don't wanna talk about it."

"Wolvie, we go through this every time you have a problem. I ask you what's bothering you and you say 'I don't wanna talk about it.' We go back and forth for about 15 minutes and you finally give in. So let's skip to the chase - what's botherin' you? Did you and Storm have a fight?"

"Nothin' like that Jubes - we haven't had any fights-not really.

"Then what is it?"


"Spill it already . . . " Her impatience was growing.

"I think I love her Jubes."

"You THINK you love her? I hope you didn't tell HER that - it's not very romantic ya know!"

"Of course I didn't tell her that!"

"Is that what this is all about Wolvie? Either you love her or you don't. You've been around long enough to know that. So what is it?"

"I do Jubes, I love her - more than I've ever loved anyone . . . "

"So what's the problem? Wolvie-?"


The next day back at Salem Center-

"Professor Xavier - you have to do something about Wolverine! He can't just disrupt our classes and abscond with Jubilee like that. She's missed OVER a full day's classes; and do you know how many sensors he set off with that jet?" Emma yelled into the phone.

"I'm sorry Emma, I didn't know this. I'll look into it and talk to Logan when he returns." He knew Wolverine wasn't in the mansion and immediately sent a psi call to Storm asking her to come to his office. He then continued his conversation with Emma.

"Jubilee isn't there is she?"

"Neither of them are here."

"So where's the minijet? Are you tracking it?"

"Wherever they are, I assure you she is in no danger - Logan will take good care of her."

"That may be true, but she doesn't need this type of instability in her life Charles, you know this."

"Emma, when it comes to Jubilee; nobody takes better care of her than Logan. Do not worry; they will return soon."

Storm walked into Professor Xavier's office and immediately knew it was bad news. She saw him sitting at his desk with his trademark look of concern - the look that told her his next words would not be good.

"Storm, have you seen Wolverine or Jubilee?"

"I have not seen Logan since the day before yesterday. Is Jubilee with him?"

"He went to the Academy and picked her up yesterday - disrupting classes and arriving in a pretty foul mood - even for him. Emma hasn't heard from either of them since. Was there anything bothering him?"

She hesitated - not wanting to answer his question but he already knew.

"Yes-" Professor Xavier knew it was more of a personal nature and that Storm wouldn't reveal all of the details. He hoped at least she would reveal enough for him to lend a helping hand.

"Logan has not been sleeping well lately. He's been having nightmares - nearly every night; and with the amount of sleep he's had recently, I am surprised he is able to walk . . . let alone, think straight."

"His mutant abilities probably take care of his physical needs. Those of us that don't have his unique regenerative capabilities need a full night of sleep to recover - both physically and mentally. I'm sure he will be okay - physically-it's the mental part I'm concerned about. If he hasn't had the proper amount of REM sleep, it will affect his conscious state and he will become increasingly more distracted. This probably explains his recent behavior and performance."

"You noticed?"

"Yes, he has become a lot more unpredictable lately. His berserker rages are increasing in occurrence - nearly one-third of his mission during the last couple of months."

"He will not tell me what is bothering him and the more I press the issue; the more upset he gets."

"I understand, Logan is an intensely private person. Very rarely does he share his thoughts, and even more rarely does he ask for help."

"I fear our relationship is the source of his nightmares."

"I thought you two were getting along well."

"We are-we were. I don't know anymore. Everything between us is fine when he's awake, but his nightmares are clearly about me and I think that deep down, he is having reservations about us."

"Would you like me to talk to him Storm?"

"No, that would only anger him. We have to work this out ourselves."

"Well, for his sake I hope this gets worked out soon. If he becomes more unpredictable, I may have to remove him from active duty."

"Professor, you can't - that would devastate him."

"I know, but our work is dangerous enough as it is-I can't take the risk of introducing an unstable element into the equation."


An hour later, Storm called Emma-

"Emma, this is Storm. Professor Xavier told me Wolverine came by yesterday and picked up Jubilee?"

"I'll say he did! Bad mood and all-landing that jet in the middle of our lawn! Do you know what a raucous he caused? Then he came in here, snapped at Sean, grabbed Jubilee and left. They still aren't back yet-you know how much class she's missed? I think Professor Xavier needs to put a leash on that animal!"

"Emma, that is not fair. You don't know what he is going through right now."

"He's always going through something-always has an excuse to be rude."

"He is what he is. If he comes off as rude, it is because you don't know him well enough to understand him. I assure you, if you knew him like I do, you wouldn't want to go on a mission without him - there's no one more reliable."

"I don't know enough about him, nor do I care enough to find out. I care about this academy and its students; and right now, one of them is missing; and the longer she goes missing, the more harm it causes her."

"I do not wish to argue with you Emma. Logan and Jubilee have a history that you could never understand. The structure of their relationship goes so far beyond anything you can offer that it is pointless to sit here and debate the issue. Will you please have Jubilee call me when she returns?"

"Sure Storm - whenever that is."

Later on that day Storm heard the minijet approach and quickly flew to the landing pad to see if it was Wolverine. Much to her relief, it was; and as soon as the jet's VTOL engines shut off, she flew up to the cockpit and awaited his departure. The look on both of their faces said it all-her concern and anger; and his regret.

"I'm sorry Ro" he said before she could ask about his absence. "I really didn't mean ta be gone that long. I just went down ta visit Jubilee and lost track of time."

She could see it in his eyes - he wasn't lying, but that didn't excuse him from his actions.

"Why is it you can talk to Jubilee about your problems but you cannot talk to me?"

"It's not like that Ro! I just went to visit for awhile - we didn't talk-"

"You were gone for over a full day and you expect me to believe you two did not talk about our relationship or your nightmares?!" Her anger was starting to rise off the top of her head - so much so that Logan could see the storm coming-literally.

"You look a lot more rested than before you left Logan - why is it that you find solace in Jubilee, but not in me?!"

"It's not like that - you don't understand. We didn't-"

"I don't want to hear anymore Logan."

In a huge gust of wind, she took off knocking Logan to the ground. She took off so fast that she was outside hearing range before he could even regain his composure and call to her.

"STORM!!!" he yelled. "WAIT STORM!!! COME BACK-IT'S NOT WHAT YOU THINK!!" It was too late though - she was heading north - fast and furious.

The flight to the academy gave her time to think about everything that had happened in the last 2 days-and the last 5 months. She realized how much pain Logan felt from their relationship and how even though he didn't want to hurt her, it was obvious he didn't want to be with her. She thought about all the sleepless nights he had because of her, and how one night with Jubilee - a child - seemed to be what he needed. Though she was coming of age, what could a mere child offer that she - a woman in every way - couldn't? She thought about their strong friendship and how this would change it forever. She thought about how much she had dedicated to him over the past 5 months and how it was all for nothing. She loved him so much, and to have it end like this hurt her deeply. As strong as she was, this was too difficult to bear. She opened herself up to him fully; exposing all her emotions and vulnerabilities; and what did she receive for it? A broken heart.

It didn't take Storm very long to arrive at the Academy - in her current state, she probably could have broken the sound barrier. Unlike Logan though, she didn't land a jet in the back yard, or arrive with an attitude. She quietly and gracefully descended and walked through the main door. As she walked through the halls looking for Jubilee, she ran into Emma.

"Storm, I just left a message for you back at Salem Center. Wolverine dropped Jubilee off just a little while ago."

"Where is she?"

"She's in her room-I think she just got out of the shower. You're not going to disappear with her are you?" she said with a sarcastic tone. The look Storm gave her was hard enough to kill and Emma knew her remark was a mistake.

"I'm sorry - that was uncalled for." Emma said as Storm walked by-not giving her another glance.

She quickly walked through the halls to Jubilee's room and knocked on her door.

"Come in."

"Jubilation Lee." Storm said as she opened Jubilee's door. The look on her face was confusing - a mixture of joy from seeing her longtime young friend and disdain at what had conspired during the previous day.

"STORM!" Jubilee yelled, running and giving her a hug.

"It has been such a long time child. How are you?" Storm was the only person that could call someone a child and still make it sound grown-up. Her mannerisms made everyone she spoke to feel like they were on the same level . . . no matter what she called them. That's probably why Jubilee never objected.

"I'm fine Storm, how about you? I kinda thought I'd hear from you - I just didn't think it would be this soon."

"You were expecting me?"

"Yeah, Wolvie called me-he told me you were headed this way and that I should look out because you might not be in a good mood. I also kinda figured you'd be stopping by sooner or later because of Wolvie's problems, I know it has something to do with you."

"Then my fears have come true-he IS having regrets about our relationship"

"What? I didn't say that!"


"Let's take a walk and talk about this Storm . . . outside the Academy."

They walked around the perimeter of the academy near the forest. Storm seemed deep in thought - carefully choosing her next words before she spoke to Jubilee.

"I don't think Logan loves me."

"Why would you say that?"

"He has never told me he loves me, and we've been dating for 5 months. He cannot sleep because of the nightmares he's been having and I know they are about me."

"Oh! That's why he looked the way he did yesterday. He looked like he hadn't slept in weeks."

"He hasn't had a peaceful night in nearly 2 months - except for last night, when he found solace in you. Tell me child, what is it he sees in you that I cannot give him?"


"For the last two months, he has needed something that I could not give him. I thought he was longing for another woman, now I see that what he seeks he has found in you. I must know why."

"Storm, you're scarin' me - you don't think that Wolvie and I have something going on do you? I mean-that's illegal you know - I AM only 17."

Storm's judgement was severely clouded, and all of this came pouring out onto Jubilee. Realizing what she had accused Jubilee and Logan of, and the fact that both of them were much to honorable to ever hurt her in this way, she quickly apologized. Jubilee could see the frustration on her face, and knew her remark came out of this - not out of clear thought.

"I am sorry Jubilee - I do not know what came over me. I-I am just so frustrated. I wish he would let me in and tell me what is going on in his life. That is the reason I came to you - to see what he told you and find out what you did to ease his mind."

"We didn't to much of anything - he slept most of the time."

"What? But the two of you were gone for over a day - what did you do during all of that time?!"

"Nothing really-homework, hiking . . . We went flying for about a half an hour before I finally got Wolvie to open up and start talking about what was bothering him. He didn't say much though. He told me that he loved you-that he REALLY loved you, then he fell asleep- he slept the rest of the time - over a full day. After he woke up we went fishing, ate, then flew back here. That was it. He didn't say another word about you two."

"He told you he loved me?"

"Yeah - more than he's ever loved anyone. I know it's true Storm - he never opens up like that."

Storm almost broke into tears. It seemed her worst fear had not come true; all evidence was in fact to the contrary. Jubilee was quite shocked as well. Though Storm and Wolverine were quite opposites in mannerisms, the one obvious similarity was that NEITHER of them openly showed emotion - less it was in a rage of anger; and ALL the X-Men knew to avoid them at that point. Jubilee kept a cautious eye out for strange weather as Storm continued.

"Did he say anything else?"

"Not really-just that he really needed the sleep."

"What did you do while he slept?"

"I landed the jet in the forest and camped out for the night. I thought he would wake up after a couple hours, but he didn't. With all the supplies stocked in the minijet, we had everything we needed, so we stayed and I let him sleep-I also got a lot of studying done - much to Frosty's surprise! Gotta tell ya though, it was pretty tough haulin' his hairy hide outta the minijet, but I managed. He must weigh close to 300lbs. with all that adamantium in his bones."

"Why didn't you report in?"

"Didn't feel there was a need to I guess - Ms. Frost and Mr. Cassidy knew I was with Wolvie and that I was safe-"

"Of course. I understand"

Having resolved the issue of Logan's love for her, she quickly refocused on the cause of his problems - his nightmares.

"I wish Logan would tell me what his nightmares are about. I even contacted Maverick and John Wraith about something he mentioned in his dreams - Sierra Foxtrot. They never heard of it."

"Sierra Foxtrot?"

"Yes, he said that many times in his dreams."

"What else did he say?"

"Bits and pieces of stuff - Mission failed, Sierra Foxtrot destroyed, Watch out - the Hand! I know Sierra Foxtrot is a military phonym for the letters S-F, but I have searched our databases and found nothing; and neither Wraith nor Maverick could offer any suggestions on the matter. It must not have a literal meaning. In his dream, we are on this mission together, and the Hand somehow endangers my life. The strange thing about it is when he wakes up, he stares at his own hands - like they had something to do with it. I came to the conclusion that the reason my life was in jeopardy was because Logan did not want me in his life."

"Storm?! For being such a brain, I'm surprised you haven't figured this out yet."


"Sierra Foxtrot isn't a place - it's a person. S-F stands for Silver Fox. You know how much he loved her right? He lost her once and lived with the pain of not being able to stop her death for years. Then he found her and all of those feelings came rushing back - only to see her get killed again - in exactly the same way. He was SO CLOSE to saving her, but couldn't do anything about it-it tore him up for months after that. Don't you remember how screwed up he was?"

"I remember."

"And the hand - you know what that's about right?"

"Mariko-I think I understand now."

"Right, the Hand put a hit out on her, but in the end it was HIS hand that killed her. That's probably why he wakes up looking at his own."

"Then his nightmares-they're because he's AFRAID of loving me-afraid something will happen to me because of him."

"That or he's afraid something will happen to you and he won't be able to stop it. It's not like he wasn't around when Mariko and Silver Fox died. Both times, he was right there! It happened literally right in front of him and he couldn't do anything to stop it."

"My God - the pain he must be going through. Every woman he loved has tragically died in front of him. That must be why he told me it was HIS problem and not OURS. But how can I help him if he won't let me in? How can we get past HIS past?"

"I don't know Storm. You know how he gets when people wanna help him."

"Thank you Jubilee - you are such a dear friend."

Storm hugged Jubilee and thanked her once again; and as quickly as she came, she was off, headed back to Salem Center.


She arrived back at the mansion a little after 1am. Had it been anyone else flying around like that, they probably would have froze; but for Storm, temperature was not a problem. As she gracefully descended through the moonlight, she saw a lone figure sitting out by the pond. She knew immediately who it was. Whenever Logan needed to be alone, the pond often served as his recluse. She landed on the shore and walked up behind him on the pier.

"I'm sorry Ro" he said without turning around. Of course he knew it was her-he had that figured out before she even landed. "I want to tell you what's been going on - I really want to tell you-that is, if you want to listen."

She knew his pain - it was written all over him. Wolverine was always a straight shooter, but there was something very wrong with him now. His voice was low and drawn, and he never talked to her without facing her. She sat beside him and put her arm around him, holding him closely.

"I know Logan - I know what is bothering you."

"Let me say this in my own words. Ro, I love you. I really do. I know you may not believe me, but it's true."

"I know you love me Logan-and I love you."

She held his hand and looked into his eyes, reaffirming his words. She could see a faint smile form as he realized the damage done by his nightmares and subsequent actions hadn't permanently hurt their relationship. His face then turned serious again as he started telling her about his problem.

"A lot of things have happened in my life, but none more important than falling in love with you. I never thought I could have this much peace or be this happy. But that happiness comes at a price-the women I love tend ta end up dead - either because of me, or in spite of me; and I couldn't live with myself if I let that happen ta you."

"Logan, you and I both know that the lives we lead are dangerous. At any moment, any one of us can get killed. We've both seen more than our share of death, and we have to take our happiness where we can get."

"I know that, but-"

She sensed there was something that he wanted to tell her but couldn't find the words. She patiently waited for him to come to terms with it and tell her.

"I'm-I'm afraid that if I love you-if I lose you, I'll die inside."

"Logan, you cannot let the fear of love stop you from loving me."

"I don't intend to. I just don't know how to get past it."

"WE will get past it - together Logan. WE will find a way."

She kissed him and they walked back to the mansion. That night, they crawled into bed together and settled in.

"Are you sure you want to do this Ro? The last time we played this song, I almost sliced and diced you."

"Do not worry about me Logan-I am tougher than you think."

"Just promise me that if things get bad, you'll get outta here fast, kay?"

"I promise."

Logan laid down and closed his eyes. Though his anticipation got the better of him, he eventually fell asleep. Storm on the hand, stayed wide-awake-though for Logan's sake, she pretended she was asleep. Shortly after Logan fell asleep, she started holding his hand-lovingly trying to reaffirm to him that they would both get through this together. About an hour later, she finally fell asleep - still holding his hand.

Storm was awoken abruptly a little after 4am. Logan had just begun his nightmare, and Storm in her heightened awareness, awoke quickly. She heard him talking about aspects of the mission he was on-the mission to save Sierra Foxtrot. He had already violently begun to move about the bed, and Storm knew this was an indicator of an even more violent dream than before. She didn't know if she should try to wake him or let him get through the entire dream. Her concern quickly turned into action as she thought to herself that he could better understand his dreams if he was conscious and clear in thought. She grabbed his arm and tried to wake him, but it didn't work - he was too far into his dream to be woken. She gave him an energy blast, but it had no effect on him. He incorporated it into his dream and kept going. As she tried desperately to shake him awake, Professor Xavier gave her a psionic call.

"Storm, what's the matter?" Xavier sensed something was wrong - not from Logan, but from her.

"It's Logan - he is having one of his nightmares, but I cannot wake him. I'm afraid if he doesn't wake up soon, he'll go into one of his berserker rages. Who knows what will happen then."

"I'll be there shortly - keep trying to wake him!"

Professor Xavier reached their door and heard Logan yelling - things that didn't make sense to him-things about the mission he was on. When he entered the room, he saw Storm desperately trying to calm him down and control his now violent actions. He was sitting up in bed trying to stand, but Storm was holding back.

"LOOK OUT STORM-!" Logan yelled. "GET OUTTA THE WAY-!"

"Storm, get away from him before his claws come out." Professor warned. "He's too dangerous to be that close to right now."

"But Charles - what can we do? She said as she let him go and climbed over the bed to reach Xavier. "We have to wake him!"

"I'm trying." Xavier said, putting his fingers to his head as he tried to telepathically reach Wolverine.

*Wolverine, wake up. Listen to me - you must wake up.*

"What is going on Professor? Can you reach him?"

"No Storm, I can't. This nightmare has his defenses up. With his psionic shield, I can't reach him or see what he's dreaming about."

Logan's yelling had awoken several of the other X-Men and they were starting to assemble outside his door. Xavier quickly told them to return to their rooms - or at least leave the immediate area. There wasn't anything they could do except exacerbate the situation should Wolverine awaken. Although they were curious, they all did as they were told.

Wolverine's claws were popping out and withdrawing erratically. He obviously had some control over his dream - had he been completely lost in it, his claws would have remained out. This was the only saving grace from Xavier ordering someone like Rogue or Colossus to physically restrain him.

"Professor! What can we do?" Storm asked emphatically.

"I don't know Storm - there isn't much we can do short of letting him work through it."

"But Professor, look at him-he's a danger to himself."

"I cannot penetrate his mind. There is nothing I can do for him."

"Well, there is something I can do for him." Storm said with a very determined look on her face.

She ran back to the bed and grabbed him, narrowly missing one of his jabs. She hugged him close to her and started telling him over and over that she was there and that things were going to be okay. The more he tried to push her away, the harder she held on.

Xavier ordered her to get back but she ignored him. Predicting the worse, he gave Beast a psi call and told him to prep the med lab and come to Storm and Logan's room with a medical kit. Though Beast was curious, he didn't hesitate to follow Xavier's orders.

Back in the room, Storm's attempts to calm Wolverine down seemed to be working - for the moment. It was clear that he was in the midst of the same dream, but his violent actions ceased. Xavier pleaded with Storm to step away, but his attempts were futile. She was at her wit's end, and this was her last ditch effort to help Logan. She wouldn't leave him even if her life depended on it-which it very well might have.

The inside of Wolverine's dream was a living hell. It was a dark and dreary place composed of many of his worst nightmares: the woods where he buried Silver Fox, the spiral computer center where she died, Clan Yahida's secret razor maze, other Japanese sites that reminded Logan of that fateful night, things from the Danger Room, and bits and pieces of Wolverine's violent and often dark past made up his unconscious universe. This hellish place - Sierra Foxtrot - epitomized everything in life he hated; and there he was, right in the middle-with his beloved, Storm. All the structures in his dream were crumbling and falling-Sierra Foxtrot had indeed been destroyed and Wolverine and Storm were fiercely trying to escape, but that proved very difficult. Hand in hand they ran; but everywhere they went, obstacles blocked their escape. Inside his dream as well as out, Logan called for extraction; but to no avail. Then, out of the gray and rain-drenched sky came the enemy Logan spoke so often of - the hand-with 3 adamantium claws protruding and heading straight for them.

"LOOK OUT STORM!" he yelled as he pushed her out of the way of one of the giant claws. They both narrowly escaped the effects of the claw as it dug in and created a trench in the ground before returning to the sky. Wolverine took a few swipes at it, but to no avail. "N.D.E." (No Discernable Effect) he yelled to Storm as she hit it with two energy blasts. Storm's blasts were equally ineffective. They quickly regathered themselves and started running again.

In the waking world, Hank had finally reached their room and was approaching Xavier when he was ordered to grab Storm and pull her away from Logan. Unfortunately for Beast, he wasn't as impervious to Storm's blasts as the hand in Wolverine's dream. Although the blast she gave him was a mild one - a warning shot so to speak - it was enough of a jolt to convince Beast not to try forcibly removing her again. She had shifted her position and was now holding Logan from behind - giving her an excellent view of Beast and his actions.

"It would appear that removing Storm from Logan's side at this particular juncture is easier said than done Professor."

"I understand! Get your med kit ready - just in case we need it. Wolverine is in the middle of a nightmare and we can't seem to wake him. His actions are very unpredictable right now."

"Done Professor."

Back in Wolverine's dream, he and Storm feverishly tried to escape the 'hand.' As it made another pass, they again split up; unfortunately, this time it singled Storm out. It knocked her down, pushing her into some rubble and cutting through her uniform before returning and covering her - crushing her under it's immense weight and blocking Wolverine's attempts at a rescue. He knew she was injured and bleeding, and he could feel his berserker rage starting to rise as he frantically tried to free her.

"STORM!!!!!!!" he yelled - in his dream and in reality; and just as in his dreams, in reality he frantically began fighting to save her. Xavier could see the berserker rage starting and again yelled for Storm to step back. His claws were out again, and although the way she held him gave her some protection, she was still very much in danger; the shreds of clothing in the areas he could reach were ample evidence of that.

"No!" she yelled "We're going to get through this - together!" Xavier could see the white in her eyes forming and knew not to make another attempt. The unnatural breeze that lightly emanated from the room told him and Hank that she meant business and that they could do nothing but stay there and watch. Hank prepared a liquid sedative in case he needed it to sedate Wolverine.

"I'M COMING STORM!!!" Logan yelled as he fought his way to her in his dream. In reality, she could barely hold him. The strain on her face was evidence of how difficult her struggle was; but still she held on.

"I'm right here Logan! I'm with you-all the way!" she yelled, frantically trying to calm him down.

Her last plea work. Upon hearing her voice, he immediately started calming; but the dream still wasn't over and she knew it. She kept repeating to him that she was there and they would get through it together, and he continued to respond to her.

In his dream, he frantically fought to lift the hand off of her, but to no avail. Then he heard it - her voice; but not muffled as if covered by the hand; it was as clear as a bell "I'm right here Logan. I'm with you all the way." With all their strength - him pulling and her pushing - they finally freed her from the hand's grip. It took off and disappeared into the clouds - giving them a moment to collect themselves.

"You alright?" he asked as he quickly hugged her and checked her for injuries. Remarkably, her injuries were gone - even the rip in her uniform.

"I'm okay Logan-" she said as he helped her to her feet and eyed the hand, which was now starting another attack run. "But I'm through running from this thing."

"So am I Darlin' - it's time we finished this-once and fer all!"

For the first time in his dream, they took the offensive and went after the hand. Just as they did on many of their missions, the two worked in unison: two halves of a whole - a highly efficient fighting machine; each anticipating the other's moves and completing them like they shared one mind.

"You itchin' for a throw-down Bub? Well you got it! Now let's see if you can deal with the Ro-Lo Combo!"

Every move he made against the hand was strengthened by the voice repeating in his head "I'm with you Logan - all the way." Although it was tough, the combination of her energy blasts and his slice-and-dice act finally started giving them the upper hand. This was evident in reality as well; Logan's tone had dramatically changed. Storm, Xavier and Beast no longer heard frantic cries; they instead heard signs of imminent victory. The phrase "Ro-Lo Combo" was new to Xavier and Beast, but very familiar to Storm; and the way he said it told all of them that Logan was now in control of his dream. Storm continued to hold him; with the danger now disseminating, she held him in a much more loving manner.

They dealt blow after blow to the hand - dodging its every attack like it was a clumsy bull chasing after 2 skilled matadors. The final blow to the hand came when it swept down to attack Wolverine and Storm sidetracked it with a gust of wind; forcing it to spin while exposing its fleshy back. As it flew over Wolverine, he jumped; sinking all six claws into its flesh and tearing it lengthwise all the way down. Defeated, the hand crashed to the ground with one finger ticking and finally fading into death.

"And this time Bub, STAY down!" Logan yelled as he gave it one final jab and saw the life drain out of it.

Almost on cue with his words, Sierra Foxtrot started changing. The spiral computer, the Yashida strong-hold, even the gray clouds started fading into darkness. Logan and Storm looked at each other and held each other's hand as the world around them grew darker. Just as everything faded into oblivion, stars began to shine in the sky and the eerie darkness was replaced by moonlight. They found themselves standing not in rubble, but on the pier at Salem Center just beyond the mansion. They stared into each other's eyes as the moon shined down on them. There was but one thing left to do in his dream, and Wolverine knew exactly what it was.

"Ro-" he said as he pulled her closer. "I love you." As their lips touched, their entire world faded to a calm and peaceful darkness.

Logan's eyes blinked a couple times as he regained consciousness and sat up in bed.

"What the flamin'-?" He said as he awoke to Xavier and Beast looking at him. Because of Storm's position, she wasn't the first person he saw. He knew she was there though; the scent of her perfume was strong around him and he could feel her presence even before he realized it was her that cradled him in her arms. He stood up and turned around to face her, only then seeing the aftermath of his nightmare - her ripped gown, and numerous cuts and scrapes from holding him so tightly. Knowing immediately what she had done for him, he pulled her close - nearly crushing her with the immenseness of his hug.

"Logan-?!" she said, slightly gasping for air but happy nonetheless.

"Are you okay?" he asked in a desperate voice.

"I am fine - my injuries are all minor.

"Darlin' I love you so much, and I'm so sorry. You were right all along - I shoulda let you in on this from the getgo, but I didn't, and I'm sorry 'bout that."

"Logan, do not worry, it is all over now."

"It won't happen again Ro - ya got my word on it." His voice was filled with excitement - something very rare for him. "I knew you were there - I could feel you-right there with me. I heard you telling me that you were with me all the way and your voice gave me strength. Storm, we coulda taken on the world! We coulda-"

"Shhhh" she said as she put her finger on his lips. "Just hold me and tell me again that you love me."

They laid back against the headboard and he put his arms around her waist - pulling her closely; never wanting to let go. "Storm, you're all I need and all I could ever want. I love you, more than words can say."

"It would appear that our services are no longer needed Professor." Beast said, turning to Xavier and collecting his things.

"Thankfully you are right my friend." Xavier said as he turned to leave the two lovebirds to themselves. "Good night you two-pleasant dreams."

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