The Red Queen Chronicles: The Lost Son

BY : MarvelMaster616
Category: X-men Comics > General
Dragon prints: 4863
Disclaimer: I don’t own Spider-Man, Mary Jane, the X-men, SHIELD, Daken, the Avengers, or Marvel and I am making no money off this. They are the property of Stan Lee, Marvel, and Disney. Please don’t sue.

The Red Queen Chronicles: The Lost Son
Chapter 1: Surprise Reunion

AN: This story is based off my “The New Red Queen” series. Mary Jane Watson is the Red Queen and general manager of the Hellfire Club. Emma Frost is the White Queen. Jean Grey is the Black Queen and Cyclops is the Black King. In terms of the timeline, this takes place after the events of “The Red Queen Chronicles: The Leader.”

‘These mean character thoughts or psychic communication.’

Disclaimer: I don’t own Spider-Man, Mary Jane Watson, the X-men, SHIELD, Daken, Wolverine, the Avengers, or Marvel and I am making no money off this. They are the property of Stan Lee, Marvel, and Disney. Please don’t sue.

This fic contains graphic sexual content, more so than usual. There will be some elements of this story that are bit more hardcore than usual. Trust me, you’ll know it when you see it.

If that sort of thing offends, please don’t read this story. As always, I urge everyone to send me feedback on this and every other story. Please send your comments to me via email at or post a review. To everyone who has supported this series and provided so many sexy ideas, I sincerely thank you. Enjoy!

Skies Over Tokyo – Two Days Ago

“Explain it to me again, Logan. And try to put it in a way that’ll make me less upset with you,” said the annoyed, yet caring voice of Jean Grey-Summers over the X-jet’s communication link.

“You’re askin’ an awful lot of me, Jeannie,” Logan replied. “I’m landing this bird in under ten minutes and I got a meeting with Yukio in less than an hour.”

“In other words, you fear her wrath more than mine?”

“To be fair, you both enjoy unleashing your wrath on my ass,” he quipped, “so I guess you’re welcome.”

There was some light laughter over the line. Logan laughed as well, but tried not to enjoy it too much. He still felt bad about leaving her – and the rest of the X-men, for that matter – so abruptly. It wasn’t entirely his fault, but he hated making excuses, especially with Jeannie.

“You’re still an ass for ditching me and the rest of the team,” Jean said after she stopped laughing. “You know we’re short-staffed with Cyclops, Storm, and the Professor taking a team into space to visit the Shi’ar.”

“I know. My timing is fucked,” Logan conceded. “Trust me when I say if I could do this another way, I would.”

“I do trust you, Logan. I just wish you’d trust me more. I know you still like to lone wolf these things.”

“And you thought the fact we have sex every now and then would change that?”

“Can you blame me for my wishful thinking?”

“Considering the effort you made last night? Hell no!”

There was more laugher, but the former living weapon could still sense Jean’s concern. It helped that she understood him better than most. It helped even more that she didn’t keep him at arm’s length as much anymore.

Ever since she and Cyke opened up their marriage, allowing one another to explore their desires, Jean had been a much more balanced woman and not just in terms of her sex life It was as though everything that made her so special had been amplified and all it took was for her to admit that she enjoyed getting kinky with more than just her husband.

One of those lucky men had been him. In fact, shortly after she and Summers joined the Inner Circle, she cornered him in his room where they had a nice long talk. Logan couldn’t recall every detail of their conversation. At some point, they came clean about how they felt about each other. They both acknowledged there was genuine affection between them, but only to a point. It was like he once told her when she and Cyke were having issues. It would never work between them.

That didn’t mean they still couldn’t enjoy each other’s intimate company, though. That had been the most memorable part of that conversation. As soon as they put all those once-unspoken emotions out in the open, they kissed. Then, before he knew it, they tore each other’s clothes off and finally turned the years of simmering sexual tension into a hot, overdue fuck.

“We need this,” Jean had told him, the moment her panties came off. “We need to get this out of our systems.”

Those were the last words either of them said to each other that night. After that, she literally jumped his bone, throwing her legs around his waist and forcing him to catch her in his arms. Logan then carried her to his bed, laid her down, and unleashed years of pent-up desire for her.

He didn’t remember how many times they fucked that night. He got on top of her and humped her like an animal in heat, tasting every inch of her flesh and savoring the sweet scent of her flesh. She did the same, getting on top and riding his dick at one point, achieving multiple orgasms and bringing him to several more. She even that she had a pretty kinky side, taking it up the ass a few times, giving him oral sex, and even using her Phoenix powers a bit to spice things up. While he always suspected she had that side of her, he had no idea it had been that intense.

That night had been a turning point for Logan and not just because he got to finally have sex with Jean Grey-Summers. After laying things to rest with her, he got more serious about looking to the future instead of obsessing over the past. Between Laura coming into his life and developing a closer relationship with Storm, he couldn’t remember a time when he’d felt so balanced. He’d even gotten along better with Cyclops, lately. That, more than anything, showed that he’d made progress.

However, as was often the case with the never-ending shit storm that was his life, his past still found ways to piss him off. That was why he invited Jean to his room the previous night and gave her another round of friendly feral fucking, as they’d come to call it. Then, while she lay naked and satisfied in his bed, Logan slipped away and left for a personal mission that he hoped wasn’t as bad as he suspected.

“As fruitless as my effort might have been, will you at least tell me why Yukio called you?” Jean said after the laughter settled. “I’d feel a lot better knowing what got you to fly to the other side of the world so suddenly.”

“There’s only so much I can tell you, Jeannie,” he replied. “Yukio only sent me a letter – a paper letter with untraceable ink – three days ago through a private courier service. I know it had be serious because it’s the same service the Hand uses to relay assassination orders.”

“You think she needs you to kill someone?”

“Given how deadly she is, in and out of her clothes…I doubt it,” said Logan. “The letter said someone connected to Ogun, my old mentor-turned-pissed-off-spirit, had resurfaced. She didn’t give me a name, but she did say his old clan has been active lately. And that’s saying something, given how most of them disappeared after he died.”

“Well, you know as well as I do how death rarely sticks to some people.”

“Speak for yourself, Jeannie,” Logan said with a snicker, “but I ain’t sure this is the case. Yukio wouldn’t have sent me that letter if something bigger weren’t at work. She asked for me – and only me – to meet her at some town near Jasmine Falls. That’s as much as I know. All she told me is I better be prepared to open some old wounds and rough up some dirt-bags.”

“Isn’t that how all of your trips to Japan play out?” quipped Jeannie.

“What can I say? I’m a traditionalist.”

That didn’t evoke as much laughter. He still sensed Jean’s worry over the communication link. He also sensed that she wanted to assemble a team of X-men and join him. Given how often things went horribly wrong when he visited Japan, he couldn’t blame her. However, there was a good reason why he did these missions alone.

“Look, Jeannie…I can’t tell you everything because this is the kind of shit I don’t want smeared on anyone else, especially the people I care about,” Logan went on.

“I know,” Jean said over the line, “but I still don’t like it.”

“Be as upset as you want with me. Lord knows Storm will let me have it when she gets back from space,” he said. “I’ll take that chance. I’ll pay that price so no one else has to.”

“Except, you DON’T have to,” she said.

“Maybe so, but I want to,” he said in a more serious tone. “Whatever shit show Yukio has in store for me, I’ll handle it. I’ll be back in a few days, just in time to see Cyke, Storm, and Chuck return with the others.”

There was a brief silence over the line. Logan could sense Jean still not liking it. There wasn’t much he could do to allay her concerns. His history in Japan was a painful one, but he always found a way to fight through it. That was the only real assurance he could offer.

“I gotta go now, Jeannie,” Logan said, not waiting for her to tempt him with more coaxing. “I don’t know when I’ll check in. It all depends on how many dirt-bags I gotta stab or how many wounds I gotta re-open.”

“Can you at least promise you’ll be back before Nightcrawler, Laura, and Gambit lead the new recruits into another Level 10 Danger Room scenario?” Jean asked, still temping him with that worried voice of hers. “There’s only so much I can do to dissuade them and they listen to you.”

“Sorry, Jeannie. You know I don’t make promises I can’t keep…especially to you,” he replied. “Just trust me. I’ll take care of this and be back as soon as I can. If you get a chance, tell Laura I owe her a trip to the motorcycle shop.”

Jean responded with silence, which was as close as Logan could hope to get in terms of assurance. Rather than risk further stress for either of them, he closed the communication link, hoping that he could deliver on whatever trust Jeannie, Laura, and the rest of the X-men had in him. Whatever trouble Yukio had in store for him, he intended to return. Nothing short of an assault by Galactus would change that.

With the link down, Logan waited until he got clearance from the tower to land. Once the signal came in, he directed the X-jet towards a runway reserved for private jets and chartered planes. The landing was uneventful. Once on the ground, some airport staff led him into a private hanger that he’d reserved ahead of time.

After powering down the plane and confirming his status with the tower, he gathered his bags and exited the plane. Shortly after he stepped off, he saw an old man in a chauffer’s suit waiting for him near the rear gate. He was standing behind an unmarked SUV with his name written in Japanese on a piece of white board.

Never one to accept a bit of luck when he visited Japan, Logan gazed at the driver suspiciously. He also sniffed the air, but couldn’t make out much, due to the thick smell of grease, jet fuel, and what must have been the most overpriced aftershave he’d ever smelled. The chauffer didn’t look too imposing, but Logan remained hesitant.

“Mr. Logan-san,” the driver greeted in heavily-accented English. “I am here on behalf of Ms. Yukio. I am to transport you to Jasmine Falls at once.”

“How nice of her,” Logan said dryly. “Hope she paid you up front because I intend to find my own way. No offense, but I ain’t got a good history with accepting random gifts in these parts.”

“Even from old friends?” the driver said.

Especially from old friends,” said Logan. “If you need me to sign for the tip, I’ll do that. Just don’t expect me to do much else.”

The chauffer frowned, more so than Logan expected from someone who looked old enough to have a few grandkids running around. He was probably not used to a spitting, swearing Canadian telling him off. Then again, given how many enemies he already had in Japan, he doubted one more would make much of a difference.

“I apologize, but Ms. Yukio was rather insistent,” the chauffer, his voice sounding oddly terse.

“Yeah, she’s like that, even on her best days,” said Logan. “Trust me. You’re better off telling her I blew you off and hit the nearest sushi bar.”

“I’m afraid it’s not that simple.”

“Then, it’s your lucky day, bub,” he said, “because I’m making it that simple.”

Logan, not waiting for the chauffer to argue, turned away and walked towards the front entrance to the hanger, hoping the old man took the hint. Then, with more energy than should’ve been possible for someone his age, he heard him run up behind him and grab his shoulder.

“I believe you are misunderstanding the situation here, Logan-san,” the man said.

“Bub, you’re gettin’ on my nerves,” said Logan, “and trust me…that ain’t something you want.”

“You see, that is where you’re wrong. That’s exactly what I want.”

What happened next was a fitting summation of his history with Japan. The old, unassuming chauffer attacked, attempting to strike him with a series of ninjitsu moves that included a few acrobatic jump kicks and punches that only a handful of people could pull off. It should’ve surprised the former living weapon much more than it actually did, allowing him to block and counter the attacks.

Upon shoving the old man back, Logan drew his claws and prepared for a bigger fight. It wasn’t so much that he’d just landed and was already under attack that bothered him. It was the familiarity of the attacks and how effective they’d been.

“Don’t know if it matters now, but you can forget about the tip,” snarled Logan.

“I’m not worried. I’ve been told you’ll repay me in other ways,” the old man said flatly.

His voice shifted dramatically. It no longer sounded like that of an elder man. In fact, it sounded like someone much younger, but with a distinct undertone…one that evoked a strange bit of reservation in the former living weapon.

“That voice,” Logan said, “I ain’t heard it before, but it sounds familiar.”

“I certainly hope so,” the man said. “That’ll make what I do next much more satisfying.”

Logan snarled again and prepared for another attack. However, none came. Instead, the man activated something within his suit. All the buttons along the front and side lit up and let out a strange hissing noise. At first, Logan thought it was some sort of beacon to summon backup. Then, his heightened sense of smell picked up on something and it hit him harder than any attack ever could.

“The scent,” he groaned, “It…fuck, not this again!”

“Believe me,” the man replied, “the feeling is mutual.”

He tried to turn around and sprint in the other direction. It was too late, though. The suit the man wore had filled the surrounding area with an invisible cloud of a very familiar, but very dangerous scent. To most people, it didn’t smell like anything. Only those with enhanced senses knew it was there, but Logan had sensed it before while dealing with someone he’d hoped to never fight again.

The effect of that scent was immediate. Logan fell to his knees, his claws still drawn as his body became rigid and paralyzed. His vision blurred, his thoughts became incoherent, and the monster within him that years of bad memories and brutal torture emerged, but in a very different form.

“Pheromones,” Logan said before his last shred of control shattered.

“My specialty,” the man said. “It’s one of the few things I didn’t inherit from you or…”

His words devolved into a jumped mess as Logan’s senses became obscure. Between the scent and the sound of the man’s voice, his fragmented memories and his feral rage were in overdrive. As he fought the influence of the pheromones in vain, he looked up at the figure as he approached. In the process, the man activated something else within his suit.

His visions remained blurred, but Logan could still see well enough to notice the face of the old man fading. He quickly recognized it as a hologram fading out, not unlike the one Nightcrawler used to disguise himself in public. The face that took the place of the old man wasn’t one he recognized, but it was still familiar.

He saw a face that looked half-Japanese and half-Caucasian. He also saw dark hair that had been shaved and shaped into a Mohawk. It was a very strange look for a man, even by X-men standards. Then, just before his senses completely failed him, the figure knelt down and revealed that he too had a set of familiar claws…one that had very distressing, but very personal implications.

“We meet at last…father,” said the man. “I wish the circumstances were different. I wish…I were the one who got to hurt you like this. Unfortunately, choices other than our own have turned against us.”

The Hellfire Club – Present Day

“Emma…Mary Jane…we have a situation,” barked an urgent Jean Grey as she stormed into the Hellfire Club’s spa, wearing her Black Queen attire.

“Damn it, Jean! Can’t it wait?” groaned an overly-content Mary Jane Watson.

“Darling, I’m trying to hate you less these days, but you’re not helping,” said an equally-bemused Emma Frost.

Jean had a feeling she would face some initial resistance and significant annoyance from her fellow queens. She’d known for nearly a week that today had been reserved as a spa day, one where they dedicated an entire morning to being pampered and cared for to wipe away the stress of the past week.

That pampering often included a facial, a manicure, some skin treatments, a hair treatment, and a thorough massage by a couple of well-trained, well-paid, and well-endowed men. The massage often involved the men either giving them oral sex or fondling their pussies to orgasm. If that didn’t do the trick, they just fucked them on the spot. Emma and Mary Jane often did it together, as part of a tradition they’d shared during their days as strippers. As such, they hated being interrupted.

Jean ended up barging in at the worst possible time because Emma and Mary Jane were already naked on a couple of massage tables. One masseuse was on his knees, eating Mary Jane’s pussy out. The other was fingering Emma’s pussy while fondling her breast. The fact the men were already shirtless and had noticeable erections hinted that they’d hoped to get more than just a rub-down and a happy ending. The Black Queen would have to make it up to them later.

“Um…should we leave?” asked one of the masseuses.

“Yes. Please go,” said Jean. “I’ve already added a bonus to your check. I expect we’ll need your services again sooner than usual.”

“Hey! Are we not getting a say here?” Mary Jane protested, scorning the masseuse after abruptly ending his oral teasing.

“You can hate me later. I’ll even let you decide the theme of the next five orgies,” said the Black Queen, channeling the same authoritative poise as her husband. “This is one of those rare problems that involves X-men matters, personal affairs, and Hellfire Club business all at once.”

“I’m still waiting for sufficient justification for disturbing the spirit of spa day,” said Emma harshly.

“It also involves Weapon X, Wolverine, and Donald Pierce. Is that enough justification, for you?”

Almost immediately, the room became silent and tense. The fact that it happened to be a massage room, complete with candles, massage tables, and stacks of hot towels made that a remarkable feat, in and of itself. Emma and Mary Jane exchanged glances and cringed. Jean had a feeling that as soon as they heard that last name, they understood the gravity of the situation.

The two male masseuses, who were already packing their stuff and putting their shirts back on, lingered for a moment longer. Eventually, Emma cast them an exasperated look and sighed.

“You heard the Black Queen. Go,” she told them. “Stay on call, though. I may need way more than a massage after this.”

“Me too,” groaned Mary Jane. “Donald Pierce is one of the few names besides Shaw that can totally kill the mood.”

“Believe me. That gap may narrow after you hear about this.”

“I already believe you,” said Emma, “and between you and me, that’s rarely a good sign.”

The two women went from relaxed and pampered to frustrated and anxious. Jean watched as her fellow queens got off the massage tables, retrieved a couple of silk robes, and put them on. They then followed her out of the room and towards the throne room, as they called it. That was where they did most of their business as the Inner Circle, including serious matters and festive orgies. Unfortunately, this matter required much more of the former rather than the latter.

“You picked a hell of a time to drop that name on us, Jean,” said Emma as they neared the throne room. “Cyclops, Charles, and much of the team is still in space with the Shi’ar. We’re hardly equipped to fight a battle that involves Donald bloody Pierce.”

“And I hope you weren’t banking on the Avengers providing backup,” Mary Jane said. “They all went on a mission to the Savage Land yesterday. Spider-Man even warned me that any response to a sudden Chitari invasion was going to be delayed.”

“I’m well-aware that the timing couldn’t be worse,” said Jean. “Lucky for us, this is one of those issues that doesn’t need the X-men, the Avengers, or some other elaborate effort. In fact, the Hellfire Club might be in the best possible position to deal with this.”

“You sound so confident, but you know as well as I do that your husband is the one with the tactical skills,” Emma said with folded arms. “You think they’ve rubbed off on you just because you rub up against him more often these days?”

“Trust that Scott has influenced me enough because we’ll need more than just tactics. Many lives depend on it…specifically Logan’s.”

“What kind of trouble did he get into this time?” asked Mary Jane.

“I’m not entirely sure yet, but I have a vague idea.”

Upon arriving at the entrance to the throne room, Jean led her fellow queens inside. She already had several computer monitors set up on the conference table, complete with holographic displays. She’d already transferred the relevant data from the Xavier Institute to the Hellfire Mansion. In addition to the convenience, there were some parts of that data that she preferred didn’t remain in the institute’s servers.

She already had one of the monitors queued up with some old files. As part of their effort to keep the new Inner Circle free from the influence of their predecessors, they maintained files on all former members, including those presumed dead. Donald Pierce was one who’d been listed as deceased for quite some time, having fallen shortly before Shanobi Shaw was arrested by SHIELD. Knowing better than most how death rarely deterred certain people, Jean never assumed they were completely safe from that influence.

“Near as I can tell, it started a couple days ago,” said Jean as he loaded some of the files. “Logan pulled another one of his lone wolf stunts, packing up and heading to Japan without telling anyone.”

“At a time when he knows damn well we’re under-staffed and have spa days on the calendar? That’s telling,” said Emma with dripping sarcasm.

“I tried not to assume the worst. I really did,” said Jean with an exasperated sigh.

“I suppose you can only try so much with a guy like Logan,” said Mary Jane.

“I didn’t expect him to check in. I didn’t even make him promise that he would. I still felt inclined to do a few psychic sweeps of Japan, just in case I sensed something other than undead ninjas.”

“Let me guess. You found something,” said Emma.

“That’s the disturbing part. I didn’t find anything through the usual methods. Cerebro revealed nothing out of the ordinary and SHIELD didn’t send us any alerts. When I used some less conventional methods, though…”

Jean let her words trail off as she loaded a few more files from the Hellfire Club’s private database. Among them were some old financial records from Pierce’s various companies, some of which had ties to Shaw Industries. Both Mary Jane and Emma were familiar with those. It was the newer files that got their attention.

On one of the holographic screens, a series of statements and images came up. Among the images were public and private video feeds that depicted a Japanese company securing several deals, putting on a legitimate public face, and securing distinctly illegitimate resources. Anyone with even a passing familiarity with Weapon X would recognize some of those resources.

“What exactly are we looking at, Jean?” asked Emma in a more serious tone. “And while you’re at it, tell me why it looks like the same ghastly hardware we encountered when we met Fantomex.”

“It’s as bad as you think and then some,” Jean affirmed, her gaze narrowing on the feed.

“So that is an official statement saying that Pierce’s old holdings were transferred to some Japanese biotech company several months ago,” said Mary Jane. “The fact that didn’t raise any red flags tells me there’s something unofficial going on.”

“And you’d be right, Mary Jane. That biotech company that has all the right paperwork and no shady affiliations is a total farce,” Jean continued. “I found out through the Hellfire Club’s old dossiers that it was a front for the Yashida Clan, an organization Logan knows all too well.”

“Who also have many reasons to hurt him,” Emma added.

“It gets even worse than that. This front was supposedly shelved decades ago. I’m talking World War II era backlogs that nobody has touched for a long time. The fact anyone even knew about it means we’re dealing with someone who plays the long game.”

We knew about it, though,” Mary Jane pointed out, “or more specifically…Shaw knew about it.”

“And he’d probably be just as suspicious if he saw this little tidbit that came up less than an hour ago.”

Jean closed the older files and opened the latest batch of info. It included an encrypted log that the Hellfire Club’s old servers had detected whereas SHIELD, the Avengers, and the X-men couldn’t. It said a lot about the network the Hellfire Club had and still maintained that something so nefarious had occurred under everyone’s nose.

The Black Queen let the message from the log play out for Mary Jane and Emma. If her barging in on their spa day hadn’t completely ruined their mood, this sure did.

“Fuck me,” Emma groaned, “and I hate saying that ironically.”

“I’m seeing emblems associated with the Hand, Hydra, AIM, the Serpent Society, and some other groups I don’t recognize, but assume are total assholes,” said Mary Jane. “I’m not liking any of that.”

“You shouldn’t,” said Jean. “That’s because according to the Hellfire Club’s contacts, representatives from each of these organizations are on their way to Osaka for an auction…one that involves the juiciest fruits of Weapon X.”

“They’re not even trying to hide it,” said Emma. “You’re saying this came in an hour ago? And Logan has been in Japan for two days?”

“Yep,” said Jean.

“And near as you can tell, everyone associated with the auction hasn’t been horribly maimed by adamantium claws?”

“Unfortunately yes,” the Black Queen affirmed, “and to show that this is the real deal, they even sent these out.”

Jean loaded a few more pictures that had been attached to the encrypted files. They depicted some pretty brutal images, showing the maimed bodies of a few Hand ninjas, Hydra agents, and AIM robots. The photos were all dated yesterday and had the distinct claw marks that were so indicative of Logan’s brutal style. It painted a clear, albeit dire, picture of what they faced.

“Fuck, I’m glad I skipped breakfast,” Mary Jane groaned, not used to such graphic imagery.

“Weapon X has that effect on people, darling,” said Emma. “Just wait until you meet Fantomex.”

“That’s just it. I’m not sure this is all Weapon X. The fact Logan has disappeared, hasn’t checked in, and isn’t answering any com-links makes me wonder whether there’s something else at work.”

“Or someone, as often tends to be the case with Logan’s sordid history,” said Emma.

“Anything’s possible,” said Jean, “but Logan’s history aside, this is unfolding as we speak. That auction is happening in less than twelve hours from now and Logan is probably at the center of it.”

“That’s probably a safe bet,” said the White Queen. “He always finds his way to ground zero of a shit storm.”

“And you brought this to us instead of SHIELD,” said Mary Jane.

“There’s a reason for that.”

“I already know the reason,” said the Red Queen, already sounding overwhelmed by the predicament. “The Avengers are on a mission. The X-men are off-world. The fact SHIELD hasn’t already pounced on this yet hints they’re probably caught up in something.”

“It probably has something to do with the Hulk this time,” said Emma under her breath.

“Which means if anyone is going to stop this, it has to be us…the new queens of the Hellfire Club.”

Jean said that with such confidence, as though it were the sorts of things the Hellfire Club did all the time. Both Emma and Mary Jane cast her a bemused glare, reminding her just how little she’d thought through her plan. She didn’t argue the less-than-ideal circumstances, though. As Cyclops had taught her, both as leader of the X-men and as her lover, such circumstances often required bold plans with unfamiliar tactics.

The Black Queen could only hope that more of her husband’s skills had rubbed off on her as she closed the files. There wasn’t much more that needed to be said. Logan was in danger. The shadow of Weapon X had reared its ugly head once more and some of the most dangerous organizations of the world were in position to exploit it. The new Hellfire Club might not have been the Avengers, SHIELD, or the X-men, but they had the power and the responsibility to do something.

“We don’t have much time to act,” said Mary Jane. “I’ve already got a private jet waiting for us at JFK, along with a change of clothes and some off-book resources.”

“Cyclops would be proud,” said Emma, rolling her eyes, “and probably a little turned on.”

“I’m all for keeping dangerous people from acquiring deadly weapons, living or otherwise,” said Mary Jane, “but need I remind you that I have no super-powers.”

“Only if you don’t count your ability to seduce every straight man into oblivion,” teased Emma.

“I know this isn’t your domain, Mary Jane,” said Jean, “but even without mutant powers, you’ve carved a pretty powerful position for yourself. As Red Queen of the Hellfire Club, you still have influence…the kind that gives you opportunities to do things that SHIELD and other heroes never get.”

“I use sex, decadence, and kink to help good guys fight bad guys,” said Mary Jane. “How can I possibly contribute for something like this?”

Jean had hoped that the Red Queen would ask her that question. It led her to one of the few parts of her hastily-conjured plan about which she felt confident. She cast her fellow queen a telling grin, if only to let her know that she had a part in the mission and it would play to her strengths. She might even end up being the deciding factor that allowed them to stop the auction and save Logan.

She soon noticed Emma Frost grinning as well. She was probably still upset about her spa day being ruined, but there were certain aspects of her plan that helped make up for it. Jean knew better than most that while Emma could be an annoying rival, she did her best work in situations where she got to flex her strengths. That would be critical as well if they were going to succeed.

“Fair warning, Mary Jane,” said Emma, “I just gleaned some details from my fellow queen’s mind. You’re going to love, hate, worry, and embrace what she has in store…although not necessarily in that order.”

“I’m almost afraid to ask,” muttered Mary Jane, “but if I have the power to contribute something, I guess I have the responsibility to see it through.”

“Glad to hear it,” said Jean, offering her fellow queen an encouraging gesture. “I’ll explain on the plane and prep you for the juicy bits. I don’t claim to know who or what we’re up against, but if Logan is involved, it’s probably pretty bad.”

“Between Deadpool and Fantomex, I shudder at the thought of meeting more of his affiliates,” said Emma.

“If all goes according to plan, we won’t have to,” said Jean, “although if the intel is any indication, we should be prepared to meet some pretty nasty people along the way.”

Unknown Location

“Can you hear me, father? Are you aware enough to recognize your own blood, as it stands before you?”

Those questions rang hollow before the unmoving, half-conscious figure of Logan. That was to be expected. The side-effect of the pheromones that filled the room, combined with the amplification catalyst coursing through his system, ensured the former pride of Weapon X remained in a docile, ignorant state. For Daken Akihiro, it was a bittersweet, but infuriating moment.

For many years, he’d imagined the moment when he finally encountered his father. That was only natural for anyone who had been adopted and raised by a family that only ever saw him as a placeholder until they could have a child of their own. Every child that never had the privilege of knowing their birth parents felt that way. Most of those children, however, never found out the role their biological father played in the death of their biological mother.

That turned all a typical curiosity of an outcast orphan boy into a life-long vendetta. Upon learning that knowledge, Daken swore that he would go to any length to confront his father again. He wanted to look him in the eye so he could see the breadth of his hatred towards him. Only after he understood that hatred would he make the man called Wolverine suffer for his mother’s death.

Unfortunately, the price of creating such a moment turned out to be higher than he’d anticipated. He expected that price to keep rising as the hidden hand guiding both their fates continued to operate.

“He heard you,” said the voice behind that hidden hand. “He knows who you are, Daken. He doesn’t deny it. He’s just not in a position to think much of it…and neither are you.”

Daken’s expression tensed as he remained fixated on his father’s unmoving form. He angrily clenched his fists as a tall, menacing figure walked by him. He then stood by the special containment gurney that held Logan in place.

It had him stripped naked, strapped in with adamantium shackles, and dotted with various IV tubes. From those tubes, a series of exotic chemicals were pumped into his system. Daken knew the effects of those chemicals all too well because they flowed through his system too. The extent of the effect it had on them both only further infuriated him.

It was like being a prisoner in his own body. For him, a man who took such pride in his body and his ability to use it in pursuit of his goals, it was not a pleasant feeling. The man still pulling the strings showed little concern. He cast a large, imposing shadow over him and his estranged father…a shadow that had been following them long before this moment.

“Acknowledge my presence,” the man said.

“Yes, Romulus,” Daken said obediently, hating every word in the process.

“The catalyst is working,” he said, “the unique genetic marker that I grafted to his DNA at birth…the same marker that he passed to you…it remains active. Weapon X tried to use it, but never fully understood it. They couldn’t possibly grasp its potential.”

Romulus wasn’t telling Daken anything he didn’t know or hadn’t found out the hard way. He could do nothing other than fume. He got the sense Romulus wanted that. He needed his enemies to despise him. It was how he manipulated people and beyond showing a high capacity for deceit, Romulus had demonstrated an uncanny ability/fondness for manipulation.

“I can tell he’s still fighting his purpose,” Romulus went on, “just as I can sense you fighting yours, Daken. We all have a role to play. From Weapon X’s part in weaponizing Wolverine to Donald Pierce’s part in synthesizing the catalyst to your part in producing the pheromones that make that catalyst work, Daken…each piece has its place.”

Daken fumed even more, his thoughts focusing less on his father and more on Romulus’ manipulations. He could only watch as he extracted more of the exotic red substance from Logan’s body, a portion of which came directly from his pheromone manipulation abilities. He suspected that was part of why Romulus had gone out of his way to use him. Like his father before him, he simply played a part in his grand plan.

As he synthesized the substance – the catalyst, as he called it – a team of Reavers entered the laboratory. Daken had no idea if they had been manipulated to the same extent as him and Logan, but they had been the ones aiding Romulus since before he got involved. They were the muscle that helped organize this ambitious endeavor…one, for which, his role remained uncertain.

“You still have a role in this, Daken,” Romulus said as he held up a sample of the catalyst. “While it’s not quite as critical as your father’s, it’s still necessary. Confirm that you understand that.”

“I understand,” said Daken, hating that he sounded so obedient.

“As with every chance, there’s the distinct possibility that there might be interference,” he continued. “I’ve taken precautions, but I’m not foolish enough to believe they’ll suffice. That’s why I’ll need you to be extra vigilant on my behalf.”

Daken’s lips quivered, his brain ordering his mouth to cuss Romulus out in every way possible. His body remained uncooperative, still trapped within the old man’s manipulations. It enraged him to no end, so much so that he almost despised Romulus more than his father. The breadth of his hatred was a moot point, though. He remained standing over his unconscious father, awaiting whatever perverse role Romulus had in store for him.

With a fresh batch of the catalyst in hand, Romulus walked over to him. His large stature and imposing shadow had a very intimidating presence. Considering who he’d invited to the auction scheduled for this evening, he had to convey a certain sentiment.

Daken remained unafraid, though. As much as he despised his father, there was one trait he was glad he shared. They both despised people like Romulus who sought to use him. Even if it meant delaying his vengeance on his father, he intended to make Romulus pay. However, he doubted the old man would make it easy for him.

“I know you want to hurt me, Daken. I know you’re still resisting,” Romulus said while holding up the catalyst in front of him. “I don’t expect you to stop, but I can’t have you disrupting this evening’s activities.”

Through sheer will and burning hatred, Daken managed to scowl at the imposing man before him. His fists clench and his hands twitched, hinting the intensity with which he despised Romulus. The old man barely noticed. He even seemed to delight in his animosity towards him. As he opened the container holding the catalyst, he cast him a cold grin.

“That’s why I synthesized this special batch of catalyst for you,” he continued. “It’s probably best you not know how it’ll effect you. Just know it’ll keep you in the necessary mindset, so to speak.

That could mean any number of terrible things. Daken didn’t bother speculating. He just kept seething with hatred, still anticipating the moment for when he would get his chance to exact vengeance on both Romulus and his father. That moment didn’t come, though.

With that cold grin etched firmly in Daken’s memory, he watched as Romulus released the catalyst into the air around him. As soon as it hit Daken’s senses, his entire body tensed and he let out a feral roar that echoed through the entire facility. Then, everything went dark.

Hellfire Club Penthouse – Two Weeks Ago

“You’re doing great, MJ! And looking damn good, as well!” said an enthusiastic Peter Parker.

“Thanks, Tiger,” replied a breathless, but energized Mary Jane. “You know…I like…to go the extra mile.”

Under the watchful eye of her lover, who also happened to be a superhero, carefully went through a series of self-defense motions. What started as a simple suggestion by Peter had become a critical part of her rigorous workout regimen. Even though being the Red Queen of the Hellfire Club afforded her money, resources, and a legion of obedient male guardians/sex servants, she still needed to protect herself.

Most successful prostitutes, particularly the high-end ones, learned how to defend themselves in some capacity. While many relied on pepper spray and hired muscle, Mary Jane preferred a more personal approach. She’d learned during her days as a stripper at the Hellfire Club that some basic fighting skills were critical, given the clientele they served. Until she met Peter, she’d never gone beyond the basics. For the most part, she didn’t need to defend herself because she had been so careful with screening her clients.

Since meeting Peter and becoming the Red Queen, she began learning more advanced techniques. Peter, having had too many bad experiences with loved ones not being able to defend themselves, went out of his way to teach her. While she’d gotten a few lessons from Iron Fist, she preferred training with Peter, if only because his presence gave her more motivation.

Dressed in her tight-fitting workout clothes, sweating heavily after over an hour of training in the private gym located several floors under her pent house. She went through several motions with Peter in front of her, acting as both a guide and a counter. He mimicked common attacks so she could act out various moves, some riskier than others. It made her training more active. It also gave her and Peter a reason to get hot, sweaty, and close with their clothes on, for once…although, that didn’t mean they stayed on.

“Counter one…strike two…end with the stunner,” said Mary Jane as she worked through the motions, following Peter’s guidance.

“And if that doesn’t work?” said Peter, pretending he wasn’t stunned.

“Use the knee if you can,” she said instinctively, pretending to knee him in the gut, “or if that’s not possible, use the elbow to the sternum…right here.”

She mimicked the movement perfectly, demonstrating control over her reflexes that would’ve impressed any superhero, regardless of whether she was sleeping with him. Peter gave her an approving grin, putting his hands up to signal that she’d done it right. It had taken them much longer than either of them had intended, but she’d done it. She’d mastered another move.

“That’s it,” he told her. “A hit like that, even at half strength will knock the wind out of anyone that isn’t wearing Rhino-level armor.”

“Hopefully, I won’t have to use this against people like that,” said Mary Jane, remaining close to him.

“I’d rather you never have to use this against anybody, but I’ve learned the hard way – the very hard way, in fact – that you can’t always be there to save the people you care about. The next best thing is to make sure they can kick enough ass to buy time.”

“You think I’m capable of kicking that much ass?” she said curtly.

“Between this and those lessons you took with Iron Fist, I’d say you’ve long-since passed that point,” said Peter. “Like you said, though, you like to go the extra mile.”

He grinned at her ambition, even as she finally relaxed her defensive stance. At the same time, though, Mary Jane sensed some unspoken anxiety within her lover. As much as she loved him, he wasn’t always the most open when it came to his insecurities. Luckily for her, he did a piss-poor job of hiding it.

“You’re still worried someone will come after me…like the Green Goblin did with Gwen,” Mary Jane told him.

“Would you be mad if I said yes?” he replied.

“Not at all,” she said with a reassuring smile. “That just shows how much you care. It also reminds me why I’ve made this part of my life, learning to defend myself and being ready to fight through rough situations.”

“I thought part of being the Red Queen meant not being in those situations anymore.”

“See, that’s the thing, Tiger. The first lesson you learn as a prostitute is to never assume you’ve seen it all. And I’m not just talking about peoples’ capacity for kink.”

“Yeah, I can understand that,” said Peter awkwardly, having only a vague idea of some of the kinks she’d encountered.

“You can’t play it by ear. You can’t always prepare, either. One way or another, you’re going to put yourself in vulnerable situations, sometimes by choice and sometimes by circumstance. The key is having a good contingency plan and the skills to make it work.”

“Sounds like you’ve been working on both since we crossed paths.”

“Peter,” said Mary Jane in a more serious tone, “what makes you think I ever stopped?”

Still sensing some lingering concern, she drew her lover into an affectionate embrace. She didn’t’ care that she was still sweaty and disheveled. She didn’t care that he was just as sweaty too, having not showered since last night when he came in late from patrol. She didn’t mind though. If anything, the heavy musk of his heroic efforts turned her on and she made sure he knew it.

Peter smiled back at her and embraced her as well, clearly getting the message. He gently parted her sweaty hair behind her ear, casting her that affectionate glance, even when she was at her most disheveled. Along with his affection, she also felt some noticeable hardness through his dirty sweatpants.

“I’m never going to stop worrying about you, Mary Jane,” Peter told her.

“I know,” she replied with a coy grin.

“At some point, you’re going to be in a position where you’ll have to use these skills in ways you haven’t trained for,” he added. “Between being Spider-Man’s girlfriend and the Red Queen of the Hellfire Club, it’s only a matter of time.”

“I know,” she said. “I won’t pretend I’m ready for it. Being the Red Queen has already put me in many interesting predicaments…some more dangerous than others.”

“That doesn’t seem to bother you.”

“That’s because I’m not afraid,” she told him. “You can’t be the Red Queen, Spider-Man’s girlfriend, or a successful prostitute and be scared. You have to be willing to take a chance and use those skills when the time comes. The most you can do for me…the most we can do for each other…is give ourselves a damn good reason to make it through.”

Her voice took on a more emotional undertone, reminding Peter how much he meant to her. She then kissed him softly on the lips, belaboring that sentiment to the utmost. Worried or not, her lover eagerly returned the feeling, wrapping her in his powerful arms and giving her plenty of motivation to make use of her skills.

That embrace also had the effect of inundating her with that sweaty, manly musk of his. Mary Jane hadn’t been planning to act on her arousal so early in the morning. Both she and Peter had busy days ahead of them. However, another part of being Spider-Man’s girlfriend and a good Red Queen was making every opportunity count.

When their lips parted, she remained in his arms. She also rubbed her thigh up against the hardness in his pants, causing his demeanor to shift, along with his embrace of her.

“Mmm…that’s a good reason,” said Peter.

“Care to give me another, Tiger?” she said seductively, trailing a finger down his chest to get the point across. “You think you’ve got the strength?”

“Well, we’re already hot, sweaty, and sore. We might as well hit for the cycle.”

“Baseball puns and keen observation…you know how to turn me on, Peter Parker.”

They laughed and kissed again, now for different reasons and with different motivations. Their soft lips gave way to eager tongues as she sensually trailed her hands down his upper body while he felt up her womanly curves, giving her butt a firm squeeze in the process.

When she reached the hem of his shirt, she pulled it up off over his head, taking some of the sweat with it. He returned the favor, pulling down her tight-fitting yoga pants, kissing down her thighs along the way. Any soreness she’d felt from over an hour of training quickly faded. Her arousal had granted her a second wind.

“These workout clothes…so sweaty and dirty,” Mary Jane said.

“That’s easy to fix,” teased Peter.

Once her pants were at her ankles, he pulled her down onto the floor with him, which also happened to be a padded mat she’d often used for yoga. He then embraced her in his arms again, kissing her and smothering her with his exposed upper body. That prompted Mary Jane to shed the rest of her clothes, kicking off her shoes and removing her athletic shirt, along with her sports bra.

As soon as her breasts came tumbling out, Peter smothered them with her lips, not all minding the lingering sweat or stickiness. He kissed and fondled her tits as only he could, sending shivers of bliss up through her body. It was both arousing and an effective way to cool down from a workout, as though she and Peter needed any more reasons to make love.

“Peter…your pants,” she said.

“Way ahead of you,” Peter replied.

“Still not far enough!”

Showing more energy than lesser men after a rigorous workout, Mary Jane pushed Peter back so that he lay flat on the mat. Then, while flashing him that seductive gaze she knew he loved, she grasped the hem of his sweatpants and pulled them off, boxers and all. As soon as she saw his semi-hard cock pop free, she threw his dirty clothes to the side and went for it.

“Mary Jane,” he said, already breathless, “allow me catch up.”

Sensing what he meant by that, she crawled on top of him and shifted her body so that they were in a 69 position. She now had a perfect view of his growing cock and he had perfect access to her pussy. After elevating her hips a bit and removing her panties, he went for it, gorging on her moist womanhood while she did the same with his cock.

Still energized from her workout, Mary Jane was direct and thorough with her oral teasing, grasping the base with both hands and taking in his length as much as her gag reflex would allow. Peter took a similar approach, lightly parting her folds with his fingers and flicking his tongue within her moist flesh. It created a perfect cycle of mutual teasing, evoking both pleasure and arousal.

Deep grunts and blissful moans followed, each muffled by one another’s efforts. As was often the case when they had sex, she and Peter mirrored each other’s vigor. As Mary Jane worked her lips up and down his shaft, slithering her tongue along his rigid flesh, Peter returned the favor with every bit of intensity. The way he probed her pussy with his tongue while stimulating her clit with her thumb sent more shivers of pleasure coursing through her body. It also ensured they achieved optimal arousal together.

“There…all caught up,” said Mary Jane, giving the tip of his cock one last lift after becoming fully erect.

“Your endurance…amazes me, MJ,” commented Peter, who did the same with her clit.

“Then, let’s use what’s left of it to make hot, sweaty love!”

Showing some endurance of his own – the superhero variety, no less – Peter shifted their bodies so they could make the kind of love they both desired. Mary Jane soon found herself lying on her back, the dirty, sweat-stained gym mat under her while her eager lover got on top of her. Despite having finished a full workout less than ten minutes ago, he showed no signs of fatigue.

Ignoring her own exhaustion, Mary Jane eagerly spread her legs and welcomed him into her embrace. With their dirty, sweaty flesh now so closely entwined, Peter guided cock towards the wet folds of her pussy. He then delivered a hard thrust, driving his dick up into her pussy and filling her core with a welcome dose of pleasure to balance out the strain.

“Ooh Peter!” Mary Jane moaned. “This…is my favorite workout.”

“Gotta…stay in…shape, right?” he teased.

They laughed playfully as their naked bodies moved simple, yet determined rhythm of sex. Mary Jane bent her knees back, holding her thighs apart so her lover could penetrate deep with each thrust. Peter made the most of every movement, holding onto her thighs and really digging his knees into the gym mat for leverage. It wasn’t as heated or kinky as the many other sex acts they enjoyed, but it was still every bit as meaningful.

‘He makes me stronger in so many ways. Even when he makes love to me, Peter reminds me of that strength.’

As Mary Jane soaked in the pleasure, moaning and gasping as their naked bodies moved, she caressed her lover’s face and kissed him passionately. He still had morning breath. She still had no makeup and messy hair. It didn’t matter. If anything, that made their sex more raw and genuine. It also made the approaching orgasm all the more enjoyable.

Whether by luck, experience, or her just being in a good mood after a workout, Mary Jane’s peak approached quickly. As the feeling drew near, she arched her lower back a little harder with each thrust. She also grabbed onto his biceps, which felt extra hard after doing free-weights earlier. That helped let Peter know just how close she was.

“Peter…I’m close,” she gasped. “Ooh I’m so…so close!”

“Guess that means…you’re in great shape…already!” Peter said in between labored grunts.

Mary Jane would’ve laughed with him again if the rush of orgasm hadn’t washed over her. It struck her hard and fast, like finishing the final set of a workout. As soon as she crossed that threshold, she leaned back sharply, squeezed her breasts, and let out that familiar cry that she knew Peter loved hearing.

As her pussy tightened around his cock in conjunction with her release, he ceased his movements so he could admire the sight. Usually, Mary Jane enjoyed putting on a sexy show when she climaxed with Peter. It was part of spectacle she’d prided herself on, as both a former prostitute and the Red Queen. For once, though, she skipped the spectacle and just soaked in the pleasure. Peter certainly didn’t seem to mind.

“Only you can make regular training this fun, Mary Jane,” Peter said.

“Mmm…I like mixing work with pleasure…a lot,” she purred.

He laughed and leaned in to kiss her neck, still not caring about the sweat or her disheveled hair. She returned the favor, embracing her lover as the ripples of pleasure coursed throughout her body. As soon as they passed, though, Mary Jane went to work sharing in that mixture she mentioned.

Showing she still had plenty of strength too, Mary Jane rolled Peter over so that he was now the one on his back with her on top. The sound of their sticky flesh on the gym mat filled the room, almost as much as their playful moans. Peter’s dick was still hard, having briefly withdrawn it from her pussy during her orgasm. Despite her lower body still throbbing – and not just from her orgasm, either – she positioned herself on top of him so they could finish the workout.

“You’re turn, Tiger,” Mary Jane said with a seductive tone. “Consider this your cool down.”

“Cool…right,” Peter snickered.

Before he could joke about the irony, Mary Jane reached behind her and guided his dick back into her pussy. Her moist folds still dripping wet, his rigid flesh filled her easily. Once he was all the way inside her, the Red Queen planted both feet firmly at his side, held onto his waist, and began riding his cock with the same simple, yet effective fervor that he’d used so effectively with her.

“Feeling…in shape…yet?” Mary Jane teased.

“Mmm…among other things,” Peter moaned.

She flashed a seductive glance and watched as he took in the blissful feelings that followed. She was very thorough with her movements, really working her pussy along the full length of his cock. She emphasized quantity over quality, making sure he felt the full extent of her depths. It proved effective, evoking a very vocal reaction from her lover.

“Oohhh fuck!” he grunted. “Mary Jane…already…so close!”

Taking that as motivation, Mary Jane stepped up her efforts. She tightened her grip on his waist and dug her feet into the gym mat, driving her pelvis down against his with extra vigor. Peter, having done plenty to exhaust himself, even before they started having sex, was content to let her do much of the work.

He still tried to contribute, holding onto her hips and squeezing her butt as she rode him. She still made it a point to carry him over the edge, working his dick inside her pussy until he neared the brink. Having become so intimately familiar with his proclivities, Mary Jane knew the signs well. The way his grunts deepened, his face twitched, and his grip tensed – it let her know he was ready and she gladly carried him into the ecstasy.

“You train me, love me, and fuck me…so well,” she said to him. “Why not…embrace it?”

With a few thorough gyrations of her hips, Mary Jane sent her lover into that world of ecstasy. As soon as she felt his dick tense inside her, she ceased her movements and held onto him as he climaxed.

Like her, it wasn’t quite as theatrical as usual. She watched her lover’s messy, sweaty face contort to the pleasure. There was a deep grunt, followed by a burst of cum that shot up into her pussy. At one point during the blissful release, she took his hands in hers, their fingers becoming entwined for the duration of the feeling. She lingered in place until every last drop of cum and every last bit of sensation had passed.

Once certain that her lover had enjoyed his share of the pleasure, she rose up off his cock and laid down on top of him, resting her chin on his chest and letting him catch his breath. Now laying in a sweaty, naked heap on the floor of the gym, they had exhausted themselves even more than usual with their latest workout. While Mary Jane hadn’t planned to push herself that hard so early in the morning, she couldn’t help but feel even stronger than usual.

“That…was a hell of a workout,” said Peter.

“I take it you’re also referring to the actual workout, too,” Mary Jane teased.

“Yeah, what you said,” he quipped.

They laughed, still dazed from the afterglow of their sex. Even a quick morning fuck in the gym put them in that special mood and, given the erratic schedules of the Red Queen and Spider-Man, that feeling was critical.

“For the record, this training I give you still matters,” said Peter in a more serious tone. “It matters a lot, MJ.”

“I know,” she told him.

“You say that now, but at some point, it’s going to annoy you…me wanting you to be strong and skilled enough to protect yourself.”

“I don’t mind you annoying me, Peter. You always make up for it in the end.”

“It can’t just be about good workouts and makeup sex,” he went on. “Me being Spider-Man, there will definitely come a time when I have to be away for a while. Whether it’s chasing Doc Ock to the South Pole or just helping the Avengers clean up after Hulk, my responsibilities will sometimes keep me from giving you great post-workout sex.”

“I understand that,” she told him, “and I don’t want to keep you from those responsibilities.”

“And I don’t want you to vulnerable,” said Peter with more affection in his voice. “I’ve already lost people I love because of that. I don’t want it to happen again.”

It was one of the most difficult issue of her and Peter’s relationship, her being vulnerable because of his life as Spider-Man. He’d expressed those concerns the night they first met and for good reason. It cost his first love, Gwen Stacy, her life. That still haunted him a great deal. Mary Jane saw it in his eyes whenever he brought this subject up.

It might not have been an easy topic for him, even after they made love, but Mary Jane understood why he belabored it with her. To some extent, it reaffirmed just how much he loved and cared about her. His life as Spider-Man took him to so many different places and into many different conflicts. He needed to know she was strong enough and capable enough to be there when he came back. It was up to her to assure him.

“Peter, I know you’ll always worry,” she told him. “No matter how much I train or how much I invest in protecting myself, you’ll still worry about me.”

“Hope you don’t hold that against me,” said Peter.

“Your heart’s in the right place. It always is. That’s why I want to be strong for you…as strong as I can possibly be without super powers.”

“I still content that you have the power to be irresistibly sexy to men, but that’s beside the point.”

“Whatever power I have or don’t have, I’ll keep pushing myself to get stronger…just as you push yourself,” Mary Jane told him, strength echoing in every word, “so don’t worry about pushing me with this training. Whenever and wherever the time comes for me to use it, I want to be ready!”

“Hopefully, that time comes later than sooner,” he said.

They shared another caring smile. While there was only so much assurance she could give, even as the Red Queen of the Hellfire Club, Mary Jane did her best. She gave him a soft, loving kiss, one that conveyed both strength and passion. It helped communicate that she was just as determined to be there whenever their responsibilities bred conflict.

Skies Over Osaka – Present Time

‘I hope I’m ready for this. After all that training and worry from Peter…this may be my biggest test to date.’

Mary Jane Watson spent a good chunk of her life adapting and adjusting to less-than-favorable circumstances. A big part of being a good prostitute, beyond just being good at sex, was navigating stressful situations and utilizing her various talents to get her through. Whether it was her social skills as a party girl or her sex skills as a prostitute, she had been in dangerous predicaments with dangerous people, including Shanobi Shaw, the Kingpin, and Dr. Doom.

For the situation before her, she faced a very different challenge. Her skills as the Red Queen, a former prostitute, and Spider-Man’s lover were about to be tested in a major way. Standing in front of a full-length mirror aboard the Hellfire Club’s private jet, Mary Jane began mentally preparing herself for that challenge, knowing there were still plenty of unknowns.

‘Peter would not be comfortable with this plan. Hell, I’m not entirely comfortable with it, either. But if ever there was a time for Mary Jane, the Red Queen of the Hellfire Club, and Mary Jane, the former prostitute to combine their talents…this is it.’

The Red Queen scrutinized her appearance in the mirror. She wore a custom-made variation of her Hellfire Club outfit. Emma Frost called it the business-casual version of Hellfire attire. It consisted of a low-cut dress, a matching blouse, and stiletto boots to complete the ensemble. Combined with Emma’s imported makeup, she had the look of someone who knew both the business and logistic aspects of sex.

It was not the first time Mary Jane had donned such attire. She often wore it when conducting the Hellfire Club’s various business matters. For the plan Jean had laid out, though, she would have to put it to use it in other, more targeted ways.

“Yeah…okay, fine. We’ll be there shortly after you arrive,” said Jean, who’d been talking into a secure communications link for nearly a half-hour. “Don’t worry. We’ll be there and you’ll be well-compensated…I know. You expect more than just money these days. You can lay out your terms after we’re done. Over and out.”

The Black Queen sounded exasperated as she closed the link, setting aside her laptop and taking an extra-large gulp of her alcohol-laden drink. She sounded more stressed than either her or Emma Frost. Mary Jane couldn’t blame her, either. She was still very worried about Wolverine.

On paper, it should’ve been a typical rescue mission for the X-men. They’d probably done plenty of them, including a few involving Logan. Jean and Emma even wore their X-men uniforms, looking ready for combat. However, given their lack of manpower and unique circumstances, they needed a different approach to this mission.

“This plan of ours…the margin for error is going to be distressingly small,” said Jean, shaking her head in dismay.

“Is it because of the favors we’re calling in, just to be in position?” Mary Jane asked.

“It’s not just that,” she said. “We still don’t know who or what we’re up against. Even with the combined resources of the X-men and the Hellfire Club, I haven’t uncovered anything other than location and credit requirements for this high-stakes auction. Given the figures involved, it’s no wonder this is attracting every evil organization from Madripoor to Wakanda.”

“Always a telling sign,” said Emma Frost, who’d been sitting in one of the passenger seats. “The fact they managed to get representatives from all those organizations shows that Pierce’s old contacts are still active, even if he’s not.”

“Are we sure that’s the case? Could this just be some of Pierce’s people auctioning off some high-end hardware to the highest bidder?” asked Mary Jane.

“That would be the best case scenario,” said Jean, “but it wouldn’t explain Logan’s disappearance or why there was an influx of adamantium restraints into Osaka three days ago.”

“That’s even more telling,” said Emma. “Any luck finding that Yukio woman that always seems to get Logan into trouble?”

“Kind of,” Jean groaned. “One of our contacts confirmed what I’d feared. Yukio somehow ended up in a coma at a Madripoor hospital…two days before she sent Logan that letter. She should wake up in a day or two, but that just shows someone went to a lot of trouble to get Logan to Japan for this auction.”

There were a lot of disturbing possibilities. Going into a situation with so many unknowns was always risky. Ironically, the X-men’s concerns for a mission mirrored those of a high-end prostitute. That gave Mary Jane some assurance that she was equipped to handle her role. That didn’t make the risks any less serious.

“He’s definitely involved, somehow. I’m sure of it,” said Jean, her concern for her friend showing as she paced throughout the plane. “He’s got a lot of enemies here in Japan.”

“Technically, you can say that about everywhere he’s been,” said Emma, gulping down the rest of her drink.

“The enemies are a uniquely tenacious in this part of the world. Logan once told me both his roots and his scars run much deeper in Japan.”

“Sounds like Logan is terrible when it comes to pillow talk,” said the White Queen.

“He also told me those same enemies know how to hurt him worse than most,” said Jean, “and you know as well as I do that Logan’s enemies rarely stop at hurting just him. A lot of innocent people tend to get caught in the crossfire.”

“You can blame the man for a lot of things, but you can never say he doesn’t make quality enemies,” Emma said with a sigh.

“Which is why stopping them and saving Logan has to be part of the plan,” said the Black Queen strongly.

Jean stopped pacing and turned towards Mary Jane. The Red Queen showed as much strength as she could. While she didn’t have the same personal stakes to the mission as Logan, she understood why she had to be part of it.

Emma had warned her about it the day she took the job as the Red Queen. Being part of the Hellfire Club also meant being part of a world that put her in the path of some pretty devious individuals, even more so than her previous life as a high-end prostitute. Jean hadn’t been part of that world. Despite her and Emma’s power and status as X-men, their role was limited.

“I know I’m putting you on the spot, Mary Jane,” Jean told her. “Believe me when I say I wouldn’t have gotten you involved if we weren’t so short-handed.”

“I believe you,” said Mary Jane with a confident smile, “and don’t worry about it. We’re Hellfire queens. We share lovers and orgies together. It’s only fitting that we share our problems too.”

“This is more than a problem. This is a threat that the Hellfire Club is in unique position to confront. The X-men aren’t usually in this position and we need to make it count.”

“I think Mrs. Grey-Summers is trying to say a lot of her plan hinges on you doing your part and doing it damn well,” added Emma Frost.

Jean scolded Emma for her remarks, but didn’t contest them. The White Queen then set her empty liquor glass aside and approached Mary Jane as well. This plan wasn’t as personal for her, but it still mattered a great deal for her, the Hellfire Club, and the X-men.

“This is one instance where the X-men can’t just fly in, throw around some psychic attacks, and hit up a sushi bar after,” Emma continued. “Beyond not knowing Logan’s status, this auction is taking place in one of Pierce’s old robotics factories. Before he met his untimely death, he made it a policy to retrofit all his facilities with robust psychic shielding and advanced anti-mutant counter-measures.”

“If that weren’t enough, the auction has a very strict no-mutant policy,” said Jean. “Nobody with an X-gene can get within 100 feet of the place. Someone even hired Pierce’s old Reaver buddies to enforce it.”

“I get it, guys,” said Mary Jane with an exasperated sigh. “I have to get in. I have to create an opening so that you two can be X-men. That’s my role.”

“Ideally, that’ll be your only role,” Jean continued, “but be ready for the possibility that the plan will change. It always does when it involves Logan, Weapon X, and this many unknowns.”

“You can stop warning me about the danger, Jean. I get that too,” said Mary Jane. “I’ve been putting myself in danger since the first time I charged for a blowjob. I’m not going to fold under the pressure.”

“I expect you to be more resilient than most. That’s why you’re the Red Queen,” said Jean, offering a friendly gesture. “Just understand that these are unique dangers…the kind that test X-men and Hellfire queens alike.”

She gave the impression that she didn’t think Mary Jane was ready for something like this. Had it not involved Donald Pierce, Wolverine’s enemies, and any number of other criminal organizations, she might have been insulted. Knowing the greater implications, as well as the personal stakes in play, the former prostitute didn’t take too much offense. She accepted Jean’s concern as genuine, but maintained the poise befitting of the Red Queen.

“I appreciate the sentiment, Jean,” said Mary Jane, “but I intend to do my part. I may not have mutant powers, but I can take care of myself. I just have to do it my way.”

“Keeping in mind that you’ll only get so far with these people by flashing your tits,” commented Emma.

“Maybe in another life, I’d rely on those tactics,” said the Red Queen, “but for this, I intend to employ others I’ve learned since joining the Hellfire Club. You know better than most I take my responsibilities seriously. Rest assured I’ll find a way to get you into this auction so you can rescue Logan.”

She probably came off as more confident than she actually felt, which was somewhat redundant in the presence of two powerful telepaths. Her thoughts must have reflected that confidence because the two women smiled back at her. Emma looked especially proud, as though she spoke with the power of a true Hellfire Queen. Mary Jane couldn’t help but take pride in that.

As they all mentally prepared themselves for the plan, the felt the private jet shift. Outside, the clouds gave way to the Osaka skyline in the distance. According to the local time displayed on the TV monitor hanging from the wall, they had less than two hours before the auction began. It promised to be the most dangerous, yet ambitious mission the new Hellfire Club had attempted to date.

“Attention, my queens,” said the pilot from the cockpit, who had been paid extra to keep Hellfire activates private. “We are beginning our final approach. I can confirm that your private transport is waiting for you on the tarmac.”

Checking her appearance once last time in the mirror, Mary Jane gave her fellow queens one last sign of confidence before returning to her seat in preparation for the landing. All the training she got from Peter and the mental toughness she’d gained from her years as a prostitute was about to be tested.

“I’m ready!” said the Red Queen as she strapped herself in. “These guys think they’re safe from the X-men, the Avengers, and SHIELD. Let’s show them they don’t stand a chance against the new Hellfire Club!”

Up Next: Dangerous Games

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