He woke to a blinding light and a throbbing feeling behind his forehead, like something pounding against the inner walls of his skull. He shut his eyes, his lips falling back to reveal his teeth in a sneer. In the process of bringing his hands up to his face, he realized that there was something in his arm, tugging at it.
His eyelids fell open, his head frantically moving to get a better look at just what was protruding from his skin.
He followed the tube that extended from his limb, up a stand next to him, and to its end, in a bag of clear fluid.
The thought consumed him as he began to realize he could not, for the life of him, remember, and as time went on, he grew frustrated. Frustrated he could not remember why he was in a hospital bed. Frustrated he could not pinpoint the last memory he had. Frustrated to the point his heart rate increased, his breathing getting heavier by the second.
“Calm down, Logan.”
He responded to the name, recognizing it as his own, and his attention went from his current inability to conjure his past to the two men who were in the process of entering the room.
“You’ve experienced quite the trauma,” the blue-furred man stated, coming to stand at the foot of the bed. He placed his hands inside the pockets of his lab coat and gave his patient an assuring smile. “You’re lucky to be alive.”
Logan internalized this for a moment before letting his eyes fall upon the man in the wheelchair, a man he recognized to be Professor Charles Xavier.
“Why can’t I remember anything?”
The question caused the blue man’s eyes to widen as he turned to look at Charles.
The Professor gave his companion a short nod. He then focused his gaze back on the confused Wolverine, a small smile resting upon his thin lips. “You must understand, Logan, that what you experienced cannot go without consequences, especially with the injuries you sustained. That being said, what do you recall?”
Logan hesitated for a moment before answering, “…I remember my childhood, my namesake, my mutation, and, though some bits and pieces are fuzzy, I could tell you everything that happened to me up to the point of our meeting.”
He looked up from the cream sheets of his bed, his blue eyes falling on his doctor, “He looks familiar, though.”
“I’m Henry McCoy.” He rounded the bedside, his hand outstretched for Logan to shake.
Logan just gave him a crooked grin, shaking his hand with a strong grip, the one of a friend, “Hank. Sorry I was blanking on ya.”
“It is all right, my friend.” Hank grinned, patting him on the back. “Amnesia in your situation is normal, and I will not blame you for something you cannot control.”
“Speaking of situations…” Logan turned to look at Charles. “What is mine? What caused me to forget everything?”
The doctor and the Professor shared another glance, one that left Wolverine feeling slightly uneasy, but before he could point it out, Charles began to explain, “You time traveled. It was an experiment gone wrong.”
“And who was conducting this…wonky test?”
“S.H.I.E.L.D. had contacted me about a month ago, asking if anyone among us was willing to try a trial run on this time machine they had been working on. When you got wind of it…”
“…I volunteered,” Logan finished for him, knowing that it was something he would attempt. It was a second chance at making things right again, at giving himself a better life.
“Yes,” Charles sighed, his expression turning grave. “Unfortunately, something went wrong, and we were having trouble bringing you back to the future from the past. Communications went awry. In the end, we were able to return you to our future, which was the present five days ago.”
“And I’ve been nappin’ since then?”
Hank nodded, “When you returned, you were unresponsive, but alive. After examining you closely, I noticed that you had retained some injuries, deep scratches that only required stitching and were nothing your Healing Factor couldn’t handle. The damage to your head, however, was forcing you to remain unconscious.”
“And…now that I’m awake, Doc?” Logan asked, his gaze falling upon Beast.
“Well, it is obvious you are experiencing some memory loss, but anything else…I’ll have to monitor you the next few weeks. You may experience some PTSD, and your memories may return. I have no way of knowing, really. This isn’t a usual case.”
“That being said, I think it is important that you lay low for a while,” Charles interjected, folding his hands in his lap. “That means no training or motor biking.”
Logan rolled his eyes, crossing his arms over his chest, “Sure, Mom, but last time I checked, I’m a big boy now.”
Charles just smirked at him, “It’s good to see you have retained your sarcastic humor. Now, why don’t you get dressed, and I’ll round up everyone for introductions, assuming you don’t remember them?”
“Sounds good to me.”
“You’ve really outdone yourself with this school of yours, Professor.”
Logan was amazed by the rich buildings and never-ending hallways as he walked through them with Charles by his side.
“A lot happened after you joined the X-Men,” Charles replied. “We now house over a thousand students, all of which gifted with special powers, and we’re trying to teach them how to control them.”
“Well, it’s nice to hear that your vision was realized. To be honest, I wasn’t sure this idea of yours was gonna fly.”
Charles simply chuckled. “It is strange hearing you say that, considering you helped in making this all possible.”
Logan went silent at his statement, and the Professor noticed, immediately apologizing.
“I am sorry, Logan. I shouldn’t have—“
“No.” He cut him off, “it’s fine. It’s…freaky for me, too, but Hank did say there was a chance of regaining my memories. I can’t imagine that being easy…”
“No,” Charles agreed, stopping in front of a large double door. “I suppose it can’t be, but you must know that we are all here for you.”
Logan scoffed, but his lips curved into a smile, “Don’t get all sentimental on me, Professor. I was never one for that mushy stuff.”
Charles chuckled, shaking his head, “A truer statement hasn’t been spoken.”
Then, he opened the doors, revealing a gigantic room that resembled a place someone would have a dance or wedding reception at, with its white and black marble floors and eggshell-paneled walls. But Logan didn’t notice that; what his eyes took in were the people.
The space was filled with people.
Logan’s blue orbs scanned the crowd, trying to pick out a familiar face…even a familiar feature, but no one stood out to him until his gaze fell upon a woman who stood towards the back.
She did not ring any bells or whistles within him; as far as he knew, they were strangers, but what really intrigued him was the smile upon her lips and how it didn’t reach her eyes. Man, those eyes held nothing but sadness.
“Allow me to introduce you to some people.”
Logan’s attention was brought to the group right in front of him. It consisted of three people, two being girls and the third being a guy with a pair of shades on.
“Logan, this is Ororo.” Charles pointed to the lady sporting long, bleached hair.
“It’s good to see you again, my friend.” Her ruby lips curved into a kind grin.
“This is Jean.”
Jean beamed at him, extending a hand for him to shake. “It’s good to see you up and about again.”
“Uh…thanks,” he responded, taking her hand gently to shake it.
“And this is Scott.”
Scott saluted him. “It’s been a while. You feeling any better?”
“I’m alive, so I guess that’s a start.” Logan snickered, making the man before him laugh.
“Yeah. It’s good to have you back, Logan.” Scott patted him on the back before placing resting his arm around his shoulders.
“Ororo, Jean, and Scott are all instructors here,” Charles explained. “They all can control their abilities…” He glanced at the man in sunglasses. “for the most part.”
“Hey! I resent that statement!” Scott exclaimed, leaving Logan’s side to argue with Charles while the girls laughed; Jean would insert a comment here or there, mostly proving the Professor’s point.
Logan, though a bit happy that these weirdos were his friends, scanned the area again, becoming slightly deflated once he saw that the woman with sorrowful eyes was missing from the hordes of people.
“Who you looking for?”
Logan nearly unleashed his claws, jumping back from the sudden face that appeared before him.
The girl giggled, her chestnut ponytail falling over her shoulder as she leaned towards him. “I’m Kitty Pryde, a student here.”
“Did I um…know you?”
Kitty pouted, placing her hands on her hips. “Of course you did! You trained me on multiple occasions.”
“And don’t forget me!”
Now, Logan did let his claws out, startled by the sudden appearance of a man with blue skin, pointed ears, and a devil’s tail.
“I’m Kurt.” He extended a two-fingered hand. “You also used to train me.”
“Jesus, Kid.” Logan extracted the blades coming from his knuckles. “Don’t scare me like that.”
Kurt grinned, looking at Kitty. “He’s still the same, old Wolverine.”
“That’s for sure,” she agreed, sticking her tongue out at Logan.
Logan scowled at their immaturity, crossing his arms over his chest. “Now, what is that supposed to—”
“Sorry I’m late, guys!” A woman ran over, clad in all black and combat boots.
“Ah, just in time, Rogue,” Charles spoke up. “Everyone was reintroducing themselves.”
The brunette turned to look at Logan, a shy smile on her lips. “Hey, Big Guy. It’s good to see you back on your feet!”
“Yup. That’s me,” she said, her southern drawl coming out.
“Shall we continue on, Logan? There are many other students here, wishing to greet you,” Charles asked, rolling himself up next to him.
“Sure.” He shrugged. “I got time.”
“Good.” Charles continued forward. “After we all get reacquainted, we’ll have some dinner, and then we’ll debrief you on some of the recent happenings.”
“Believe it or not,” Charles looked over his shoulder at Wolverine, pausing for a moment, “a lot has occurred since you left.”
Logan’s skin crawled as he saw the mutant in the hologram before him.
“He’s been showing up around here lately,” Scott stated, placing a hand on the back of Logan’s chair. “No doubt he knows you’ve been incapacitated, and without you around…”
Charles coughed, effectively ending Scott’s statement and raising alarms for Wolverine.
“Without me around…what? No one to make him into a shish kabob?”
“Um…sure…” Scott averted his gaze, ignoring the piercing glare Logan had turned in his chair to grace him with.
“Anyway, we just wanted to make sure you knew his movements.”
“What about Mystique?”
“She’s still part of the Brotherhood.” Charles breathed, shifting the hologram to a group of mutants that Logan couldn’t recognize.
“Yes, a group of mutants like us…”
“Except they believe we should have superiority over humans,” Scott finished for Charles. “Every once in a while they like to shake things up around here, but it’s nothing we can’t handle.”
“Still, it is important you are aware of our adversaries.” Charles pressed a button, turning off the projected pixels. “Do you have any questions for us?”
There was a bunch of things Logan wanted to ask, especially about his life before the…accident, but he couldn’t think of which ones he would like to pose first. None, except about that woman earlier, who had disappeared on him, and he didn’t understand why she was sticking out in his brain so much.
“Who was that woman?” he found himself uttering.
“What woman?” Charles blinked, folding his hands in his lap.
Logan looked up at him. “There was a woman in the room when you were introducing me to everyone, but you never brought me before her.”
Charles’ stare wavered, finding Scott’s anxious gaze before returning to Logan’s determined one.
“She had E/C eyes and H/C hair…”
“Yes.” the Professor sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose. “I know whom you are talking about. Her name is Y/N.”
For some reason, it didn’t feel foreign to say it. It was like his lips had memorized each syllable, knowing exactly how to form them, but the name did not resonate within him.
And for some reason, he felt even more frustrated.