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Radiance and Soot

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It turns out that hydrogen plasma has its own scent. And it's pretty strange.

I know what you're thinking: "Hey, Logan, you're not the brains - not even close - of the X-Men. So how do you know that the solar corona is made up of hydrogen in a plasma form?"

Well, I didn't. But I did hear Hank say something it about just before I went up to the sun to kill people and wreck things.

I'm the best there is at what I do. And sometimes what I do best is drink coffee and nod every now and then while only understanding every fifth word Hank says during a briefing.

Once Hank was done, we went up into space.

And that was a disaster. Eventually, I got my chance to breathe the atmosphere of the sun.

I don't recommend it.

Once you end up on the other side, you learn things. You understand about your other lives and your other worlds. And there are a lot more of both than you might think.

So I know that once, filled with fury and hate, I fought my way out of hell.

And I know that Kurt, full of love and concern, came back from heaven because his friends needed him.

Have you ever noticed that Kurt always seems to be the one who gets it right?

Just before the two of us went off to our last worldly fight, Kurt and I had that talk. That strange and freaky talk.

Really, me - of all folks - asking about... well...


After all, I really believe in Hell, but I've never been too sure about Heaven. So my instincts sent me to the guy who would know.

Hey, I knew I wasn't going to survive what was coming. Even worse, Kurt wasn't going to make it back. Everything had gone wrong and what we were about to do is the kind of thing they call a "Hail Mary play".

So right after Scott and the Prof told us to go out and die, Kurt told me what was coming for us once we were dead. He said something about radiance, and about meeting me with open arms. He said that's what would happen when we got to the other side.

He promised that he'd be waiting for me.

I guess that was what I really wanted to hear.

Thank God he teleported us right then. He never had a chance to see the tears in my eyes.

Hey, I don't do feelings very well.

Sue me.

Kurt was there after I died. I swear, when we finally found one another, the solar wind was still clawing at my back, and I stank of fusing flesh.

I was a still-smoldering pillar of smoke and soot, while Kurt was in robes of white and gold and light. Kurt's look was a lot neater, but then again he's always been cleaner than me. That's never gonna change.

There was nothing to say. And he wasn't kidding about the open arms. We hugged - and I suppose I got him kinda messy, what with all of my darkness.

That's another thing that's never gonna change.

And then we maybe even kissed. We'd never quite gone there before, but I always knew it was somewhere in both of us, just waiting for the right time and place.

Helluva time and place.

"Logan, I need your help," Kurt told me eventually. By then, he actually looked kinda embarrassed.

My eyebrows were mostly back. I raised one of them in Kurt's direction.

"What'dya need?" I asked.

"It's mom," he told me. He sounded resigned.

Oh. Yeah. Mystique. She got air-locked in the next-to-last attack on the Mother-Mold.

"I... have to get her out of..." Kurt stuttered as he tried to find the words. "I mean... she went to... uhm, you know..."

I grinned at him. "Hey, elf. You've come to the right guy."

So then we went to hell. We had to find Kurt's mom - who's also one of my crazier ex-girlfriends. We had to drag her, kicking and screaming probably, back up into the light.

Man-oh-man, the things you do for your friends.

But I didn't mind.