A/N: welcome one and all to my first X-men fic! I hope you all enjoy it!
Chapter 1: History Lesson
"What's the last thing you remember?" Charles asked Logan, who stood in the doorway of the Professor's office.
"Drowning," Logan replied, honestly and quite literally. His consciousness had left his younger self at some point after he had drowned. "What happened after—?"
He frowned in wonder at the unfamiliar voice before turning to see a petite woman with fire red curls bouncing around her shoulders and down to her waist as she hurried toward him, a bright smile over her lips that reached her sky blue eyes, her cheeks sprinkled with adorable freckles.
"There you are!" she grinned as she stopped next to him, taking his hand as he only stared at her in confusion. "I've been looking everywhere for you! I covered your classes up to now, so you owe me dinner at that place I like tonight. Why are you looking at me like that?"
Logan stared down at her, trying to place her in his past life…the life no one else remembered but him. Her gaze changed to confusion as well before she lifted a hand to snap her fingers in front of his face, breaking him from his trance.
"Seriously, what's with the confused look?" she smirked, lowering her hand to hold his in both of hers. "Pretending not to know me? You sure you wanna play one of these games in front of the Professor?"
"Huh?" he grunted, making her frown again as she leaned back to get a better look at his expression.
"You're not kidding, are you?" she realized, panic rising in her blue gaze.
"Paris," Charles called, having been silent the entire time to watch the exchange before finally stepping in and drawing their attention to him. "We spoke about this, remember?"
"Paris?" Logan frowned in confusion, still trying to figure out who she was. She looked back at him and something shifted in her gaze to recollection as she released his hand and took a step back. He could also see hurt and disappointment in her gaze before she lowered her gaze slightly to hide it. "Sorry, but…who are you?"
Charles watched Paris closely, noting the stab of hurt that reflected in her gaze before he cut in to introduce them…for the second time in his timeline.
"Logan, this is Paris Girdwood," Charles introduced, making Logan glance between him and Paris. He was certainly intrigued by her, and he could scent himself on her, so they must have been close…but he couldn't remember. It made him feel sorry for her. "Paris, you recall the story I told you about those days in 1973, yes?"
Logan watched as she nodded once, solemnly.
"He's returned," Charles explained. "He is not the Logan you've known these past years."
"I know," she nodded again as Logan watched her intently, wondering how she was going to react. She looked to Charles, pointedly avoiding Logan's stare as she reported, "I'll be moving into one of the empty rooms, Professor. I'll have Storm cover all my classes, if that's alright?"
"If you'd like," Charles nodded, and that brought Logan back as he glanced between the two in wonder.
"Wait a minute," he urged, looking to Paris. "Why would you need to move into another room?"
"I don't think you wanna share a room with a complete stranger, do you?" Paris retorted, and Logan could almost taste the venom in her words as she nearly glared at him.
"I'm sorry, Professor," she cut in as Logan only stared at her in wide-eyed wonder. "Excuse me. I have some packing to do."
She turned and marched out of the room and the men watched her before Logan looked to Charles in shock.
"What the hell did I do?" Logan wondered.
"Paris is a very reactionary woman," Charles replied. "I explained that this would happen when the two of you began your relationship, but it seems she has proven to be as unpredictable in this as she is in everything else."
"What am I supposed to do?" Logan wondered. "I can't help what happened. What's she mad at me for?"
"She wanted to know everything that had happened in the timeline you had come from," Charles explained. "She knows everything I found in your mind when my powers returned."
Logan frowned in wonder, still confused as to why she was angry, until he recalled the only thing a woman would be upset about when it came to men…was another woman.
"Jean," he sighed in realization, lifting a hand to rub at his temples. "She knows about Jean."
"If I were you—"
"Yeah," Logan groaned, lowering his hand and turned to head the same way Paris had left. "I'll go talk to her."
He marched through the house to head back to his room, his angry expression keeping the students from getting in his way, but when he reached his doorway, he found Storm standing there as if she were leaving.
"Logan," she began when she saw him, meeting him a few steps away from his room. "Why is Paris packing?"
"It's complicated," Logan sighed, trying to step around her, but Storm gripped his arm as tightly as she could, surprising him with her strength and making him stop to look at her with wide eyes.
"It always is with you," she nearly ground out, meeting his gaze. "Do you remember what I told you when she turned eighteen?"
Logan drew a blank and he wished he could have the memories of both his lives instead of just the one. She was gonna strike him with lightening if she got any angrier.
"Uh…" he hummed, his eyes shifting slightly. "Jog my memory?"
"Storm, it's ok," Paris called from behind her, standing in the doorway of the bedroom. "Believe me, you don't even wanna know how complicated it is."
"I don't think that helps me look any better, sweetheart," Logan retorted, glancing to Paris as Storm released his arm and looked to Paris in wonder.
"Thanks for covering my next class," Paris nodded to Storm. "I'll be able make the one after it, I promise."
Storm nodded before turning to head down the hall again, throwing a glare at Logan as she passed him and once she was a good distance away, he let out a breath he didn't know he had been holding. He looked to Paris as she stared at him from the threshold as he remained a few feet away from the door and when their gazes locked he felt a stab of guilt at the hurt in her gaze. He wasn't the man she knew. They both knew it. But that did nothing to dull her pain, and he knew that, too.
"I'll be out of here in an hour," she assured him, and he could hear the lump in her throat threatening to make her cry. She didn't say anything more as she turned back into the room and disappeared, making Logan sigh in exasperation before heading after her. He stepped into the room and shut the door behind him before crossing his arms across his chest and leaning back on the closed door. Paris looked up at him, unfazed as she continued packing a duffle bag on the bed. "Here to toss me out yourself?"
"I hadn't planned on tossing you out," he replied, but she only continued packing. "Can you stop for a minute so we can talk?"
"What is there to talk about?" she shrugged, not looking at him. "You don't remember me. And like I said, I doubt you wanna share a room and a bed with a complete stranger. You may not know me…but I know you." She suddenly stopped, her eyes settling on something sitting on the nightstand she was next to. "At least…I did."
Logan watched her lift what looked like a picture frame from the stand and stare at it for a moment. Paris slammed the frame face down on the stand, a slight, purple glow emitting from it, briefly before she turned back to packing.
"Look, I may not know anything about you anymore, but I know a thing or two about women," Logan began, but she didn't stop, and it looked like she was being more forceful with her things as she packed. "You don't strike me as the kind of girl that would be this mad just because I lost my memory or whatever, so that leaves one thing any woman would be pissed about: Another woman."
Paris yanked the zipper shut on her duffle bag and lifted it to pull it onto her shoulder and marched toward the door. She stopped an inch away from him but he didn't move, both staring each other down.
"Out of my way, Wolverine," she snarled, her blue stare never wavering for his hazel one.
"If Charles told you everything he saw from the future I knew, then he told you about Jean," Logan continued, their gaze still locked. "And I'm guessing he told you about my feelings for her."
"He may have mentioned it," Paris muttered, and though she tried not to, he could see her giving a slight pout as she sulked. He had to admit, even though he didn't know her, the fact that she was jealous made him feel that sense of pride he hadn't felt in a long time. Paris gave a sigh, bringing him out of his thoughts as she turned back toward the bed to sit down on it with a huff of a breath before she looked up at him with glassy eyes. "You wanna know the truth?"
"Yeah, that would be nice," Logan scoffed, pushing off the door to step toward her and sit next to her, leaving a decent space between them. She glanced at the space and seemed to become even more depressed, sending another jab of guilt through his heart. "Geez, could you stop looking like I kicked your puppy and talk to me? You don't have to leave here, ok? I don't want you to."
Paris took in a breath before swallowing hard then sighing, "You're right. It's not just that you don't know who I am. Don't get me wrong, it hurts…but what hurts even more is that…you're in love with someone else. It would've made things easier if you had told me how you felt once in a while, but…"
She trailed off as Logan only watched her, listening intently before she took another deep breath to continue.
"I always told you. Every day I told you. But you never told me how you felt about me, and now…now you're not my Logan…you're hers," she shuddered her last few words before facing away from him, not wanting him to see the tears gathering in her eyes as she gave way to them.
Logan's heart clenched tightly as he heard her quiet sobs, her shoulders shuddering with them before he finally shifted closer to her, taking her duffle bag from her shoulder and tossing it on the bed behind her. She turned to him with wide, teary eyes, but he said nothing as he wrapped an arm around her shoulder to pull her against his chest, making her gasp in surprise.
"Shut up for a second," he cut in, unmoving. "It's my turn now. I may not be exactly the man you knew, but I'm most of him. I've just lived a different life. I must have chosen to be with you for a reason, Paris…you just gotta remind me." He shifted back to look at her, but when she didn't look up at him, he lifted a hand to grip her chin and bring her gaze to his. "Think you can do that?"
She gave a small smile and sniffled before lifting a hand to wipe her tears away, nodding, "I can try."
"Good," Logan nodded with a small smile, lowering his hand from her chin, his other hand from her shoulders to let her sit back. "You get unpacked again, alright? You're not going anywhere. You're staying right here, got it?"
Paris brightened up instantly and nodded again with a grin before frowning when he stood and made for the door and she asked, "Where are you going?"
"I gotta talk to the Professor," he explained, gripping the knob of the door and smirking as he opened the door to step out and he gave a wink as he added, "History lesson."
Paris gave a giggle, making him stop and stare at her for a moment, but she seemed to understand why he was now frozen in place as she smiled, knowingly.
"You looked at me like that the first time you heard me giggle," she smirked before leaning back and grabbing her bag to start unpacking. "You promised to make me giggle like that more often, just to hear it. Go on…before you're late for class."
Logan finally came out of his trance and stepped into the hall, not bothering to shut the door behind him as he made his way back down the hall. Paris couldn't help but smile before looking to the picture frame she'd slammed down on the stand, then lifted her hand toward it. It was surrounded by a purple glow as it rose from the stand and floated toward her into her hand. She sneered at herself when she noticed she had slammed it down so hard that the glass cracked and splintered.
"Me and my heavy hand," she sighed, picking at the glass, slightly. "I'll have to get Glazer to fix it for me."
Paris couldn't help but stare, fixedly at the picture in the frame. It was a selfie she had taken the day of her graduation.
She was covered in X-Men yellow of the cap and gown, the blue tassel hanging down in front of her cheek as it was turned toward the camera while she pressed her lips to the cheek of the man in the picture with her. Logan was giving his signature brow raise as he looked at her out of the corner of his eye, but he had an amused smirk over his lips. He had been forced to wear a suit that day, by her and the fact that he was handing out the diplomas, and he looked very dashing, even with his hair finally starting to grey at his temples. She thought it just added to his rugged handsomeness.
She sighed, unable to keep herself from wondering what would happen, now that the man she loved didn't even know her.
Logan made his way back toward Charles' office, unable to shake this feeling of intrigue for Paris. She was cute, he couldn't deny that. From the mass of red curls on her head to the freckles sprinkled over her cheeks and even when she was angry she looked adorable. It was easy for him to see why he'd been attracted to her in this timeline. And then there was her power. He didn't know what she could do, but he had caught a glimpse of it when she slammed that picture frame down on the stand in anger.
He was definitely going to ask Charles about her…and he was definitely going to try to get to know her better. He meant what he had told her about choosing to be with her for a reason. He must have…he just needed to find out what was.
Logan frowned when he caught a familiar scent close by just before he was suddenly pulled from the hall and slammed back against a wall. He quickly recovered from the shock to see Jean standing in front of him, nearly glaring at him.
"Are you insane?" she growled, making him frown in confusion.
"What?" he blurted and she stepped closer to him to glare into his eyes.
"Reaching for me like that in front of Scott!" she snapped, quietly. "He's gonna find out!"
Logan's frown deepened, as did his confusion. Jean rolled her eyes, folding her arms in front of her as she still glared at him.
"Now you play dumb," she muttered. "We'll meet up tonight and you can explain yourself then."
He watched her turn to the hall, but finally recovered long enough to grab her arm, stopping her and drawing her gaze back to him.
"Where?" was all he could ask.
"Where we always meet," she replied.
"Um…which is..?" he prompted.
Jean frowned in wonder before reporting, "The woods behind the mansion."
"Ok, got it," he nodded, releasing her arm, but she stepped back toward him.
"Logan, are you ok?" she asked. "You're acting strange today."
"I'm fine," he lied. This was the third woman to be angry at him today…and all after he went and saved the world. "Just…have a lot on my mind. I'll see you tonight."
Jean gave her small smile before stepping toward him and pressing a kiss to the corner of his lips. His eyes fluttered shut, savoring the contact and resisting the urge to pull her closer and kiss her properly. She stepped back with a smile and turned to saunter down the hall.
His mind was reeling. Did that really just happen? And if it did, did it mean what he thought it meant: He was dating Paris and having an affair with Jean? He couldn't believe that. Sure, there had been women in his life but they rarely overlapped…mostly because he ended up outliving them.
"One thing at a time," Logan sighed to himself as he made his way back into the hall. "Talk to Charles, then worry about the mess I made for myself."
His mind still reeling and his pace now quickened, he made his way to Charles' office, glad to find him alone when he reached it. He glanced around before stepping in as Charles finished looking something over.
"Close the door, Logan," Charles urged when the other man stepped. "We have a lot to talk about."
"Yeah, my history lesson," Logan recalled, shutting the door and stepping toward one of the chairs on the other side of the desk where Charles sat.
"Actually, I was referring to the other issue on your mind," Charles replied, making Logan falter as he pulled out his chair, then he sighed, tiredly as he sat.
"Tell me you've known about it all along," Logan muttered.
"Yes, I've always known, but you never knew I did…until now," Charles replied. "And for the record, I never approved of it."
"Hey, Prof, I'm not too crazy about the arrangement either," Logan confessed. "To be honest, I would've rather fought Scooter for her than have all this sneaking around."
"Perhaps what you meant to say was, you would've rather to leave well enough alone?" Charles hinted, making Logan give a small scoff and Charles sighed. "In any case, I believe it goes without saying that you have a choice to make."
"Might help if I knew a bit about the man I was, and the history you know," Logan retorted.
"The history, I can tell you, but I'm not sure you want to know the kind of man you were before."
"Was I that much of an ass?"
"I wouldn't say that, but there may be some that would disagree with me. For now, let me tell you what happened…"