Iron Fist has received a tip-off that a Rand Meachum truck full of valuable equipment is being hijacked. Iron Fist intervenes, knowing it’s a trap, and deals with the four goons involved in his own inimitable manner. Apart from using his martial arts skills, he also uses a garbage can lid, Captain America style, to take out a machine gun toting member of the gang. With all four goons out for the count, he wonders why he went to all that trouble. The place is as silent as a grave. Maybe he should have left it to New York’s finest to deal with.
Suddenly, from out of the shadows, Steel Serpent attacks Danny, who doesn’t even sense the attack coming. A kick to the back of the neck and a punch to the chin sends Danny to the floor. Danny recognizes his fighting style as being the same as the man who ambushed him before he left for Canada. He warns his opponent that he has been beaten before, but he never gives up. He delivers a swinging kick to Steel Serpent’s jaw, but it takes more than that to put his guy down.
Serpent asks if Iron Fist thinks his boyish bravado will help him. Danny replies that he should ask him again when their duel is ended. As he sizes up his enemy, Iron Fist realizes that his fighting style could only have come from K’un L’un. Before he can think out a strategy, Steel Serpent grabs Danny and gives him a bear hug. An Iron Fist glow erupts all around them, and Danny feels his energy, his chi, being drained from his body. He can’t resist. Soon, Danny falls to the floor, as the serpent symbol on his foe’s chest smokes. Through gritted teeth, Steel Serpent taunts Danny by telling him that his life is his for the taking. However, he wants more than that. He wants what Danny’s cursed father denied him; he wants the Iron Fist, and all of Danny’s vaunted skill cannot stop him.
Wolverine stands in the shadow of a tree, across the street opposite Jean Grey’s apartment just off Washington Square. As he lights a cigar, he thinks he’s crazy standing there, mooning over a lousy frail. Love ‘em and leave ‘em; that’s always being his way ‘til now. He looks at a photograph of Jean standing next to Scott Summers in their civilian clothes. Jean is different. He can’t get her out of his thoughts. How can she love a gutless wimp like Summers? He rips the photograph in two, straight down the middle, and scrunches Scott’s image in his fist. “He ain’t fer you, lady. I am.” Suddenly, he notices someone sneaking across her roof, climbing into her apartment. He pops his blades and swings into action.
Meanwhile, five floors above Wolverine’s position, Iron Fist enters the apartment which Jean shares with Misty Knight. He calls out, but no one answers. He then remembers that Misty is on a special assignment in the Caribbean for D.A. Tower. His battle with Steel Serpent must have rattled his brain.
In Cutlass Bay, on the island of Ste. Emile, Misty is taking a swim. The island was once the haunt of pirates, but is now exclusively for the rich. For the first time in ages, she is thinking of Iron Fist. She still aches inside, like she’d cut out a piece of her soul when she walked out on him. She tries to get him out of her mind. This job is dangerous, and she needs to concentrate.
Misty meets up with D.A Blake Tower in Manhattan. Blake explains to Misty that the man they’re interested in is John Bushmaster. He’s taken over the European mobs over the past few years, and intelligence says he plans to expand his activities to the United States; starting with New York. Interpol, the FBI and even the CIA has tried to infiltrate his organization, without success. Now, it’s their turn. Another gentleman, Lt. Rafe Scarfe cuts in, and asks Blake to tell the whole tale. He adds that every agent who was sent in came out dead. “If Bushmaster sees through Misty’s cover…” Misty replies that she can take care of herself.
A third man, Mr. Hao, rummages through a small pile of documents. He explains that they’ve spent six months building Misty a foolproof cover. Her new identity of ‘Maya Korday’ can survive any security check, because she exists. Scarfe says fair enough, but Hao won’t be the one paying the price if he’s wrong. Blake orders Lt. Scarfe to back off. No one is forcing Misty to take this job. She volunteered. He asks Misty if she wishes to back out now. It’s her last chance. Misty puts on a large, stylish hat, and replies, “Misty? No one here by that handle, friend; just Maya Korday.”
Misty remembers that she pulled it off, beyond their wildest expectations. Suddenly, Bushmaster appears and says her name. She is surprised to see him. Bushmaster explains that the conference in Port Harcourt ended early, and he motored back to spend the evening with her. He tells her he wants a candlelight dinner, and that her beauty overwhelms him. As they kiss, Misty realizes that she’s not only in Bushmaster’s organization; she’s as close to him now as any human living - but at what cost?
At that moment, Iron Fist wanders around Jean and Misty’s apartment. He’s impressed. From the looks of things, someone’s planning a party. There is plenty of food on the table, and it tastes good. Fist is then startled by noises coming from outside. Someone’s rushing the door!
The door explodes into a thousand pieces as Wolverine comes crashing through it, claws at the ready, and wearing Fang’s costume. He warns Iron Fist that he’s trespassing in his woman’s place and, for that little crime, he’s gonna cut Fist to pieces. Danny doesn’t know Wolverine, but he knows danger. He reacts by delivering an uppercut to Wolverine’s chin. The Canadian smiles; it’s been a while since he’s been hit like that. He’s gonna enjoy this fracas.
As Danny uses his agility to evade Wolverine’s slashes, he wonders what the runt means when he said his woman’s place. Misty told him that Jean Grey loved Scott Summers. And, if he means Misty Knight… no way. He kicks Wolverine in the face, but the X-Man keeps on coming. Danny feels weak from the earlier ambush, and feels he has no choice but to use his ultimate power. He tries to focus his chi, but nothing happens. Wolverine comes at him again, and his ferocity reminds Danny of Sabretooth, whom he encountered recently.
With no power at his disposal, Wolverine’s next charge has to be met with brains instead of brawn. Fist grabs him as he attacks, and throws him over his body (a modified aikido ryote mochi throw). He gives it all he’s got, but to his shock, he sees Wolverine crashing through the window - leading to a five-story drop. “I’ve killed him,” cries Danny.
Meanwhile, on the street below, Nightcrawler and Colossus are strolling by. Kurt is in costume, and adamant that he will not hide behind an image inducer ever again. Piotr tries reasoning with him, to no avail. Suddenly, Wolverine comes crashing through the window, and Nightcrawler teleports to catch him. Piotr asks what’s happening, and Wolverine replies that there’s some burglar in Jeannie’s place. He has no time for details, and asks to be thrown back up there. Colossus delivers a fastball special, and follows on foot, making his way through the door, literally, and up the staircase.
Nightcrawler teleports to the apartment, and appears, just as Wolverine comes flying back into the apartment. Iron Fist can only think that he came here looking for help, and now he’s fighting for his life. Instinctively, he punches Kurt in the face, and flips Wolverine on top of him. Colossus then comes storming in, and Iron Fist can feel the odds swing in the opposite direction. It’s now or never. He concentrates hard, and summons the power to his right hand. This time it works, and he sends Colossus flying to the wall, much to the big Russian’s surprise.
Outside, Storm soars on the winds. She’s enjoying herself for a change. For these past few months, the X-Men have been struggling simply to keep themselves alive. They’ve had little time to relax and get to know one another. They’re all friends, but in so many ways, they are still strangers. She hopes Jean’s party tonight will change all that. Without another thought, Storm steps inside the apartment, and her fate is sealed.
As Colossus falls, he lands on the table holding all the food. A cake flies off one end as the table pivots in the middle, and sails straight up to the balcony where Ororo has entered. Kurt calls out a warning, but it’s too late. Ororo, the beautiful goddess and the very essence of grace and beauty, finds a trifle hitting her square in the face. “Mein Gott!” utters Kurt, “We’re in for it now, I think.”
Back on the sidewalk outside, Sean Cassidy arrives with Moira MacTaggert. He offers a penny for her thoughts, and she replies that she’s thinking about their relationship. She doesn’t know whether she wants to get involved. Sean replies that she’s already involved, but Moira adds that there’s more to it than that. There’s Charles Xavier, and what she and Charles once meant to each other. Before their conversation can get deeper, they look up to see lightning bolts exploding from Jean’s flat. They’re impressive from a block away, and they can imagine what they’re like up close.
Iron Fist can sense that, with Storm’s arrival, he definitely needs some help; maybe the Avengers. He heads for the door, but Nightcrawler intercepts him and lands a solid punch. Teleporting again, he strikes Danny from behind. However, the next time he teleports, Danny knows he has a second between the brimstone stench of his materialization, and the punch. He makes use of this time, and connects with Nightcrawler. Joining the fray next is Banshee, screaming as he flies over Iron Fist. He grabs the stranger and whisks him away from the building.
Moira arrives at the building, and sees the smashed door. She knows they had the devil’s time calming down Jean’s landlord when Firelord attacked her place. If the door’s any indication of the damage, he’ll evict her for sure this time. She heads upstairs, and gasps as she witnesses Jeans’ room, now wrecked from the X-Men’s battle with Iron Fist.
Banshee, meanwhile, carries Iron Fist away, thinking he’s unconscious. Unfortunately, he is only playing possum. Suddenly, he flips his legs over Banshee’s shoulders and clasps Sean’s head between his knees. Their momentum carries them onto a nearby roof, where a hammer blow puts paid to Banshee’s efforts. He has to get outta there, but Storm has other plans for him. She creates a swirling wind from nothing, and it sweeps him back into Jean’s apartment, into the waiting arms of the hulking Colossus. Piotr wraps his arms around the slighter man’s body, and tells his friends that he will not escape again.
Iron Fist knows he’s beaten, and tries to explain that he doesn’t intend to try. There’s been a mistake, he adds, and he wants to talk. Wolverine laughs, dismissively, and thrusts two of his claws up through Iron Fist’s mask. “Wolverine don’t talk, bub. He acts.” A voice in his head suddenly orders him to stop. Wolverine turns and asks, who? The three men are quickly separated by telekinetic force, as Wolverine turns to see Jean enter the apartment in her Phoenix costume. Scott is beside her, carrying a grocery bag. Scott can’t believe it. They left to get some last-minute munchies, and return to find World War III’s been waged.
Wolverine tells him to butt out. He points to Iron Fist, and explains that he found this ‘burglar.’ Jean tells him he’s crazy, and informs him that he’s no burglar; he’s Misty Knight’s best friend. Danny holds his head. ‘Lord of light,’ he thinks, ‘Does everyone know my real identity?’ Scott accepts that Wolverine jumped to the wrong conclusion as always, but asks Ororo why she did likewise. She stumbles over her words, and explains that he doesn’t understand, but she was hit by a bowl of… soggy... smell. She feels really embarrassed.
The party is in full swing. It didn’t take long to clear the mess away, especially with all the arriving guests lending a hand. The police and neighbors are calmed down and everyone seems to be having a good time, listening to music and chatting amiably. Nightcrawler asks Betsy Wilford is she fancies a dance, as Jean tries to explain everything to her landlord, Mr. Hartley. He tells Jean that this is absolutely the last straw. He’ll not risk his building being demolished and his tenants’ lives being threatened again. He’s spoken with the owners; Rand-Meachum Ltd, and they’ve given him full authority to have Jean evicted at once.
Danny joins the conversation. He tells Mr. Hartley that he couldn’t help overhearing, and introduces himself as being Daniel Rand. He explains to Jean that he’ll call the office tomorrow and she’ll have no more problems with her lease. He’s sorry about all the damage though. Jean replies that it’s okay. As far as the heavy work’s concerned, she already has a volunteer to take care of it. She turns to her fellow X-Man “Don’t I, Wolverine.”