One Year LaterThe cabin had never seen so many people and Logan was concerned that the old place might not hold up to the steady stream of feet pounding its sensitive floors. He hoped all of the improvements made upon it over the past year had been extensive enough.
With a smile tugging at his lips he scanned the room - no longer dusty or dirty or smelling of years of neglect. It looked and felt exactly what it was - home. Like it had been before, when Marie had been Marion, and they had first loved one another. Frustratingly, he may not have had anymore returned memories, but he and Marie were creating plenty of new ones to fill the void.
He inhaled deeply. The room smelt wonderfully of Marie's sweet scent laced with the delicious aromas of home cooking. Glancing across at the lavish buffet spread that Marie, Jubilee and Storm had spent most of the morning preparing he licked his lips, suddenly craving another chicken wing.
As he reached down for one of the more generous sized portions he heard someone enter the room and immediately recognised Scooter's scent. All of the guests were outside, drawn to the barbeque that Bobby and Hank were tending, but, much to his amusement, Scott seemed partial to the tiny crust-free sandwiches Marie had made on a whim.
Abandoning his chicken wing for the moment he turned with a smirk, raising an eyebrow. "You after more of those itty-bitty sandwiches, Summers?" he mocked. "You really are the little woman, aren't you?"
Scott grinned good-humouredly. "You're one to talk. Mr D'Ancanto!"
Logan frowned. Yeah - that last name thing had caused a few problems at the ceremony.
"Well, she could hardly call herself Mrs Logan, could she?" he growled. "I still don't know my full name and Twostep ain't intent on telling me. We had to use something so decided Marie's last name would do. Just until I get my memory back."
"Logan D'Ancanto," Scott rolled upon his tongue teasingly. "Hm. Suits you."
"Yeah and fuck you too, Summers." But despite his gruff retort Logan realised he was grinning. He didn't really care who was called what. What mattered was that they were married. That Marie was his wife again.
"Please don't swear when you're wearing that tux, sugar, it doesn't do it justice," they suddenly heard Marie reprimand and they turned to look at her as she stood in the doorway, hands on hips defiantly. She looked positively stunning, her ivory off-the-shoulder wedding gown sexily figure-hugging, her long hair piled on the top of her head, adorned with a tasteful crown of tiny flowers.
Scott smirked and Logan rolled his eyes, feigning exasperation. "I told you woman, I ain't got no intention of changing who I am just because I'm wearing some fancy suit." He strode over to her, slipping his arms around her waist to pull her close. "Although I might make an exception," his gaze devoured her hungrily. "Since you look so gorgeous."
Marie laughed happily and Logan felt that he had never seen her look so beautiful. "Flattery will get you everywhere." She reached up to readjust the carnation in his buttonhole. "So, are you gonna stay hiding out in here all day or come help us with the barbeque?"
"How can I refuse you anything, darlin?"
Scott passed them clutching several sandwiches, coughing the word 'hen-pecked' as he returned outside.
"Say that again, Summers, and I'll ram those sandwiches where the sun don't shine."
Although Marie grinned at his words she couldn't help but look at him strangely. "You OK, sugar? You seem...kinda tetchy?"
He scrubbed a hand across his face. "Got a bit of a headache brewing, that's all." He smiled warmly. "Probably all the excitement." The truth was, his head had been aching on and off all day and it felt decidedly strange.. With his healing factor he wasn't used to niggling ailments, however minor.
Marie frowned worriedly. "But Logan, you don't get headaches." She reached up to brush her hand tentatively across his forehead and into his hair. "Perhaps you should talk to the professor," she hesitated. "Or Twostep."
"Yeah...maybe," he returned, somewhat reluctantly, feeling bad for putting a damper on her big day. "Him and Chuck still nattering like a couple of old women?"
Marie nodded, smiling. "They seemed to have hit it off really well." She glanced back through the open door and he followed her gaze to where Twostep and Charles sat talking animatedly. "Looking at them," she started. "The Professor in his pressed Armani suit and Twostep in his braids and furs - they couldn't look more different. Yet I think they're more alike than we realise."
"Couldn't agree with you more, darlin,' he agreed jokingly. "Both a couple of smart-asses."
As they turned to look at one another again he found himself casting a lustful stare down at her cleavage, marvelling at how well the bodice of her dress flattered her beautiful breasts. Reaching across he gently teased her bare shoulder with his teeth. "Can't wait until all the X-geeks go. You know what follows a wedding day," he breathed into her neck and was pleased to feel her shudder, the scent of her arousal seriously tempting him to manhandle her into the bedroom and forget all about their guests. "A wedding night."
"Can't wait," she returned breathlessly.
"I also thought it was about time we gave that kid of ours a second chance."
She met his intense stare excitedly. "Oh, yes, Logan. Nothing would make me happier."
Logan was about to reach up to claim her lips when a searing pain suddenly shot through his skull, taking him unawares. He quickly pulled away from her, clutching at his head. "Holy fuck!"
He staggered back into the room, crashing into the buffet table with a thud and didn't even register Marie's screams for help.
Continuing to squeeze his head in his hands in a desperate bid to quash the pain, he fell forward, his knees slamming down onto the hard wood floor. He had never experienced pain like it and his eyes blinked back tears of agony as he hunched forward with a strangled groan.
He was vaguely aware of commotion around him, people talking at once, and Marie's sobs, as she demanded to know what was wrong with him. He longed to reassure her but the pain was so debilitating that all he could do was wait for it to pass. Hope for it to pass. But it seemed to be getting worst. So much worst...
He couldn't tell whether the cry that ripped through his senses came from within him or were expressed aloud but when his torment reached its peak and he felt that his head was surely about to explode everything suddenly went dark. But to his relief the pain was gone. The cutting silence that followed came as a welcome respite and he allowed it to sweep around and devour him without resistance.
And just before he lost consciousness he suddenly knew everything. Exactly who and what he was.
His prayers had finally been answered.
He only hoped the knowledge wasn't going to cost him his life.
Logan awoke with a start, his mind surprisingly clear and focused, and so light it felt as if every last trace of adamantium had been drained from his skull. He blinked, focusing on the woman who sat at his bedside, her face tear-stained, make-up smeared.
He felt terrible.
"I had to fucking ruin your big day, didn't I?" he growled.
She sniffed, wiping her nose on the back of her hand. "You didn't mean it." She laid her head on his chest. "I'm just glad you're OK."
"How long have I been out?"
"A couple of hours."
"Christ," he reached up to stroke her hair. "I'm sorry, Darlin'"
She pulled away and forced a smile. "Stop apologising."
He glanced around him. "Where is everybody?"
"Hank is still here to keep an eye on you; everyone else returned to Charles' cabin." She shrugged. "They wanted to stay but I insisted they go. I thought you'd prefer to wake up without an audience."
"Always thinking of me," he whispered lovingly. "I don't deserve ya, darlin'"
Marie rolled her eyes. "Don't let's go down that road again."
He laughed. "Sorry."
At that moment Hank McCoy entered the room, his face erupting into the warmest yet most peculiar smile that could only be expected from a blue furry mutant with a heart of gold. "Ah! He wakes!"
"Hey there, doc."
Hank checked his heart rate. "Any pain still?"
The doctor proceeded to pry his eyelids higher, examining his pupils with a tiny penlight. "How do you feel?"
"I feel great."
Moving away Hank frowned. "I would really like to return you to the Institute where I can give you a full brain scan."
Hank nodded. "I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. But at the first sign of any further pain -"
"You'll be the first to know," Logan cut him off. "Thanks."
Hank reached down to give Marie a farewell squeeze. "We'll be staying at Charles' cabin until tomorrow afternoon. We'd love to see you both again before we leave."
Marie smiled into his soft fur. "We'll try to make it."
When he had gone Marie stared at Logan urgently. "What happened?"
He smiled, suddenly feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. "They came back."
She gasped. "Your memories?"
"You betcha-ass they did!" He started to rise from the bed. "Twostep still here?"
Marie frowned. "He disappeared after we put you to bed. I admit I was a little thrown by it."
Logan's grin widened. "He knows."
"That you got your memory back?"
"Yeah. He knows that I know exactly who he is." Throwing back the covers Logan began to search for his clothes.
"Logan, should you be out of bed?"
"I'm fine, darlin'" He pulled his jeans up his legs. "I've just got to find him."
"Twostep?" she looked disappointed. "But aren't you going to tell me who you are? I've been waiting for these elusive memories too, you know."
Bare-chested, his jeans undone, he reached for her, cradling her face in his hands to claim her stare. "I've got to do this, baby. It's important. I know that I'm a shit for doing it, but I'll be back in no time at all, and then I'll tell you everything."
Her eyes searched his face desperately and to his relief he saw sudden understanding flare into them. "I trust you, Logan," she whispered gently and she reached across to kiss him. He responded passionately, never tiring of her soft warm mouth, of her sweet addictive taste. When they finally pulled apart he smiled a smile straight from his heart. "I'll be back in no time at all," he repeated firmly.
Marie grinned. "Promise?"
He smiled back. "Yeah."
"I'll be waiting."
Logan hurried through the snowy landscape, the memories sweeping through his mind now and he didn't think he could stop them if he tried. It was like his brain had suddenly become a mini Cerebro and he was quickly becoming overwhelmed by the images as, one after another, they battled for attention.
Cigar wedged between his lips, he searched the sky constantly for Twostep, every bird cry making him start, but the heaven's remained frustratingly empty of shape shifters. He hoped that the old man would be back at his cave - he didn't have time to search the wilderness for him -not when he had a beautiful woman waiting for him who didn't deserve to be abandoned like this on her wedding day.
~I trust you, Logan~. Her words washed through his senses, riding the waves of his new memories. She was his light, no fucking doubt about it. His wife, his friend, his lover - his world. And not for the first time that day he thanked time for giving them this second chance.
He practically ran up the gently mountain incline to Twostep's dwelling and by the time he reached his destination he was wheezing like an old man, his healing factor trying desperately to catch up with him.
Twostep sat before his small fire, exactly as he had just over a year ago, when Logan had first told him about Marie. Catching his breath, Logan scowled at him. "Why'd you leave? I've got a wife waiting at home, you know."
The old man looked up at him and Logan only just made out his shrug beneath the layers of fur. He raised an eyebrow. "I do believe that my wise old friend is wordless for once in his life."
"There's a first time for everything," Twostep insisted quietly.
Logan squatted down in front of the flames, shaking his head in disbelief. "Why didn't you tell me? I can understand - even accept - the reason why you didn't tell me about my other memories, but to keep this one from me?"
Twostep looked at him steadily. "Would you believe me if I told you I was scared?"
Logan frowned, puzzled. "Scared of what?"
The old man shrugged again. "I don't know."
Logan still couldn't believe what his new memories were telling him. "I never would've imagined having a native Indian for a father."
"Your mother was American," Twostep reminded, assuming that Logan now had the memories to back up his words.
Logan nodded, the image of her suddenly bringing a lump to his throat. "I can see her now," he revealed quietly. "She was a beautiful woman. And a devoted mother."
Logan was sorry that he would never see her again. "You must miss her."
"We had our time together. I will always cherish it." Twostep summoned a fleeting smile. "Besides, she continues to sing to us on the wind. I told you this when you were a boy."
"I remember," Logan grinned. Fuck, it felt so good to remember again! To remember anything!
Logan suddenly recalled a snatch of conversation that he and Twostep had shared the last time they had sat face to face. ~"You're not a mutant, are you?" he had asked the old man, who in return had responded with: "I never said I was."~
"We're not mutants, are we?" he shrugged watching Twostep questioningly. "Can't seem to find a memory to answer this one."
Twostep frowned. "Yes and no. You could say that our ancestors were the first mutants. When animals evolved into humans, some of us continued to cling to our more feral heritage, desiring the best of both worlds. We evolved into shape shifters, part animal, part human."
"But I can't shape shift," Logan pointed out.
"No. Your mother was human so your inherited gene became diluted. But the animalistic part of you continues to reside within you. You know him as Wolverine."
Logan shook his head, bewildered. "Everything is so clear now it almost hurts. The doors are wide open and everything is competing for acknowledgment at once."
"But it feels good, yes?"
Logan took a deep breath. "Fucking good."
Twostep looked concerned. "But your time with this - Stryker?"
Logan scrubbed a hand across his face. "Let's just say I did some things I'm not proud of, but they weren't as bad as I feared. I'm gonna keep that door locked."
Twostep nodded, grinning teasingly. "How does it feel? Being almost a century old?"
"To be honest, I was worried it was gonna be a lot more." He hesitated, before adding: "I can live with it."
"That is good to hear."
Logan stared into the fire a moment, once again mesmerised by the rise and fall of the flames. Eventually he focused on Twostep once more. "Wanna know a secret?"
"There was a part of me that always thought of you as my father."
"And I never stopped looking at you as my son."
Logan slowly stood up. "I've got to get back to Marie."
Twostep also rose. "Of course you do. You have new memories to make."
Logan watched him for a moment, feeling the love for Twostep swell within him. Unable to stop himself he moved across to embrace the old man. "Father," he growled emotionally, feeling like a child again - the child he now had memories of - the child who had grown up in this wilderness and made it a part of him - every tree, every mountain, every lake, every living creature - like mini pulses of life racing through his soul.
And he suddenly realised that his heart was no longer conflicted, no longer in pieces, it was finally whole again.
"My son," Twostep soothed back. "Welcome home."
NOTE - I know that I've probably been a bit sketchy with the returned memories situation but I thought it better that way. I'll let you fill in the blanks - create your own memories for Logan. Since he's such a great character to play with. I'm not sure what you made of Twostep being Logan's father but it just felt right, to me at least. I didn't include any smut in the end. I was tempted but I finally decided against it. Hope you don't mind. *Grin* *Relieved sigh* There - finished! I like angst but I can never resist a happy ending. Thanks for reading. Please leave feedback, good or bad. I always appreciate it.
I'm not sure what you made of Twostep being Logan's father but it just felt right, to me at least.
I didn't include any smut in the end. I was tempted but I finally decided against it. Hope you don't mind. *Grin*
*Relieved sigh* There - finished! I like angst but I can never resist a happy ending. Thanks for reading. Please leave feedback, good or bad. I always appreciate it.