Disclaimer: Reiko, Goro, Patch/Logan, Dai Kumo, Jubilee, Matsuo, the Hand, Kojiro, Hydra, Silver Fox, Shingen, Mariko and Gambit belong to Marvel and are used without permission. This piece of not-for-profit fanfic uses text and plot liberally borrowed from Larry Hama, Wolverines 33, 55, 56 and 57. Expansion of personality etc is mine. [Gosh, that sounds ominous...and kinda stupid too, but hey :)]

Thanks: to Kaylee Jaya for setting up the Itty Bitty Logan Archive which reminded me I wanted to explore those small characters he affected and for beta-reading and to Mandy Lever because she made me write. Okay, she didn't want me to write -this-, but that's not the point.

Later, Loser

The daughter of a gambler, a gambler herself.
A losing hand, she lost too many times.
Later, her debts overwhelmed her.
Reiko -- what went wrong?

Osaka, Japan

"Life just isn't fair, is it, Reiko?"

No, Goro, it's not. That's how come you can walk away from this cemetery with proud satisfaction. You killed Patch; he should have killed you -- I knew he could. I'm tired and it's growing cold, but... he was my last hope of being free. He could have repaid my father's debt in the suitable fashion, but he didn't.

Patch -- I don't understand why. Why? Why didn't you kill Goro and free me? I sensed you had the power...why?


"Yes. I left the flower."

The dead man rose; Kwannon, Goddess of Mercy, protected me. That man -- though he cannot be a man! -- he has been sent to free me, I am certain of it. He can kill Goro now...he can fulfil the prophesy that bastard delights in.

Are you waiting for me at the party, Goro? You should not have sealed that prophesy from retractions, because Patch is arriving in my stead and you will get what you deserve.

Wait -- if I have learnt anything from you, Patch, it is that your actions cannot be predicted. But I trust you, and I am covering your back: you will not have to face Dai Kumo and his evil alone.

Tokyo, Japan, long after

"I trust you despatched the poisoner to take care of the brat?"

Matsuo, Matsuo, Matsuo. Didn't you know of my obligation to Logan? Surely you didn't think the child so weak that she would put up no resistance? I am just glad I am not a better assassin -- she had the time to tell me of their connection. The eyesight you took from me is not worth betraying him for. I still owe him my life and my momentary freedom. Matsuo, you should be more careful choosing those you use -- my loyalty is not to the Hand, or to you.


"Who else but Hydra could help you evade the Hand, hmmmm?"

Escaping was not easy enough to be achieved. My mother's pearls were not seaworthy and Kojiro was not to be trusted. A freelancer -- I should have known that there is no such thing. Perhaps if I had had money he would have betrayed Zora de Plata -- though she and Hydra 'need' me. Having the skills and tools to poison may have often saved my life, but it is my own personal prison -- another unnatural handicap, like my blindness.


"I believe this sightless waif is one of yours?"

'Call me Silver Fox' is not to be trusted, either. She hands me back to Matsuo for just a flute of champagne. But truly he needs me this time, and I have a second chance to get my eyes back.


"Excuse me, what is that commotion above us?"

She will not tell me -- her pride is great, but I think it must be to do with the alien -something-. If my four senses do not deceive me, this place will not only be running with the blood of Shingen's daughter tonight. The Frenchman finds our practise barbaric, but I am like Dai Kumo, a pawn of the Hand, gambled away to whoever will use me worst. I will not become as corrupted as him, though...I will find peace in escape soon enough -- when I have my eyes again.

Silver Fox's plan is sound. An unsullied Muramasa Tanto blade in my hand becomes white, fiery death for Mariko against her fingers. She is betrayed -- she should have known that Matsuo does nothing except for his own advantage. But wait -- she cries out! Logan is Mariko's beloved -- What have I done? I have trusted Matsuo! How could I be so foolish again? Logan! I have killed your love! My debt to you is too great to be repaid -- Kwannon's mercy was in vain. Is there no peace other than the long darkness? The steel that kills me cannot be quick enough -- I am truly Yakuza, born to lose.

Mail the author, Cynjen, with comments!