A loud shrieking noise is what wakes me up. I grimace as I try to block it out. What the hell is that noise? It's like nothing I've heard before, and it's extremely annoying.

That's when it hits me, and I remember. My eyes fly open and I sit up in the bed. I'm in a decent size room that is painted a light gray, with dark wood flooring covered by a gray rug. A small, long white desk sits about a foot from the bed I'm in, against a wall. And by the bed is a pink metal nightstand, and on that nightstand is a cell phone that is lighting up. An alarm that is set for eight-thirty in the morning. I turn it off and stand up.

Where the hell am I? I'm certainly not in Transigen or Eden. Am I at the X-mansion? I move over to the dresser on the other side of the room and open the drawers. It's filled with frilly shirts and skirts and dresses. Where the hell did these come from? I doubt these are my clothes since I hate dresses and skirts. But every piece of paper that litters the desk has my name on it. And about that… instead of the papers reading "Laura Kinney", they read "Laura Howlett." I shake my head and get dressed in the most comfortable thing I can find, which is a pair of black leggings and a gray long-sleeved shirt. I quickly brush my hair, and then make my way out of the room.

I'm definitely in the X-mansion. I recognize the hallways, save for some minor differences. But one thing I do notice is that it's surprisingly empty. No one walking the hallways. No sounds coming from behind the closed doors. The only sound I can make out is some whispering coming from downstairs. This should be good.

I slowly make my way down the stairs, only to see that a large group of people have gathered in the living room and each and every one of them are facing the stairs, as if they're waiting for something. Or someone. I raise my eyebrows at the large group. I don't recognize half of the people, but I see some familiar faces.

"Laura," someone calls out. I look in the direction that the voice came from and see a boy my age walking up to the stairs. He has dark brown hair that hangs into his brown eyes, and he's looking at me as if he knows me.

"I'm sorry, do I know you?" I ask. Then I cover my mouth and my eyes widen. My voice sounds different. Like, really different. I frown and look around the room at everyone. "Does my voice sound different to you?" Jean takes a step towards me.

"Well, we're used to it now, but yes, your voice is different. You weren't born and raised in Mexico, you were born and raised here in New York. So, you have an American accent." I frown.

"It sounds weird." Then I get a whiff of something that's coming from the kitchen. It smells so delicious that my mouth starts to water. "Oh my god, what is that smell?" Jean smiles widely at me.

"Guys! She's awake!" she yells in the direction of the kitchen, and I frown. Who is she talking to? But a moment later, I find out. Dad walks through the archway with flour sprinkled on his black t-shirt. And he looks good. He doesn't look a day over forty, and he looks strong. His brown hair doesn't have a hint of gray in it, and his eyes are full of life. Beside him is my mom, and when I see her, my heart skips a beat. She's more beautiful than I could have ever imagined. Her skin is smooth, save for a couple wrinkles around her eyes. Her dark hair only has a few grays in it, and it's pulled back into a half-up, half-down style. And she's smiling widely, happy as can be.

"Mom?" I gasp. She turns her gaze to me, and her smile widens.

"Laura," she whispers. I climb down the rest of the stairs and walk up to her in awe. Everyone else has their eyes on me, waiting to see what I'll do. I know that I should greet my dad, after all he's the reason why I went back in time in the first place, but I can't help but go to my mom first. Tears fill my eyes as I look at her.

"I can't believe you're alive." Mom nods.

"I am. All because of you." She pulls me into a tight hug, and I squeeze back. I manage to hold back my tears, as crying in front of everyone would be embarrassing, but I'm still in a state of shock. I know that I asked Dad to save Mom, but I don't know if I expected him to be successful. I'm just glad that I have my mom. When I pull back, I turn to Dad. He's smiling down at me.

"Ya know, kid," he starts. "I've waited fourteen years to tell you this, and now I can because you remember what happened. Thank you, for everything. Because of you I have a family." I look between my mom and dad, curious.

"Are you guys…?" I gesture in between them. They share a look, and then turn back to me.

"No," Mom answers. "We're friends. Best friends… who happen to have a daughter together. C'mon, we made you breakfast. Well… I made you breakfast, your father made you burnt pancakes." She shoots dad an amused look. Dad rolls his eyes.

"I never claimed to be a chef. I wanted to go out to eat, but your mother insisted that we cook." Mom elbows him in the ribs.

"Let's eat, and we can talk about everything that you… don't remember." We walk into the kitchen, and that boy that said my name comes with us. I look over at him and frown slightly. Who is this guy?

"Um… I'm Alex," he introduces himself.

"Good for you?" I say, not really sure what else to say. I take a seat at the table and a moment later Mom sets a plate of food in front of me. Waffles, bacon, scrambled eggs and a bowl of cut up strawberries. Mom laughs when she sees the look I give the bowl of strawberries.

"It's strawberries covered in honey, your favorite." I sigh and look at her.

"Can we just get straight to what I missed? Please? Where are my friends? Who is he? Where's Charles?" When I mention Charles' name, Mom, Dad, and Alex become sad. "What is it?" Mom takes my hands in hers.

"Mija, I'm so sorry that you have to find out this way… but Charles committed suicide six years ago," she whispers. All the blood drains out of my face, and my heart skips a beat.

"What? Why?"

"It was because of what you told him. About how he was going to have that seizure that would kill and injure a lot of people. He had spent years trying to find a way to prevent it, but everything he did failed," Dad tells me. "And six years ago, he decided to kill himself to keep everyone else safe."

"And that's another thing," Mom cuts in. "In his will, Charles named you the sole heir to everything, querida." I raise my eyebrows.

"I'm sorry, what?" I exclaim.

"In Charles' will, he stated that when you turn eighteen, that you will take over running the school. And you will also inherit all of his money." Okay, I must be dreaming. Like how else could this be real? Charles is dead and he left me everything. When I had warned him about the seizure I had honestly just expected him to just figure out how to stop it from happening. But then again, I guess he had. Just not the way I had expected.

"This can't be real," I whisper in Spanish. "You've got to be joking." Mom shakes her head.

"I'm not."

"Did Charles tell you why?" I ask in English.

"He said that because you were the one who brought the seizure to his attention, therefore saving the lives of a lot of people, that you deserve it more than anyone." I don't allow myself to cry for Charles now. I have too much information to learn to grieve right now. I'll do that later.

"Okay, so what else has happened?" Over the next hour the three of them tell me everything I've missed. After I left the past, the gang started to track Transigen down, and once they did, they kept a close eye on them until about a month before I was born. That's when they attacked Transigen, killed Pierce and Doctor Rice and their goons. Then they released all of the nurses and let them go—Gabriela is still in Mexico City with her family. As for all the kids, they all live here, but most of them are out on a field trip.

And I still have my adamantium claws. Dad made good on his promise to me, at least something is still the same, and I'm happy for that. And the mutant population? Well it's back up…by a lot. Mutants also have rights now, and they are able to live freely without worry. I can't believe that there's more of us. It makes me happy to see that I did some good.

After Mom and Dad tell me everything that's happened, I finish my breakfast and go to try and track down some of my friends, when Alex comes up and starts to walk beside me.

"So," I start, and look at him. "I know almost everything that I missed these past years, but I have yet to learn who you are." He nods and gives me a smile.

"I'm Alexander Sanchez. Most people call me Alex," he tells me.

"That doesn't answer my question. Why are you following me? Do I know you?"

"Well, we're kinda best friends." My mouth drops open.

"Best friends? I never thought I'd have one of those." He laughs as we make our way outside. I end up sitting in the grass, the warm June air is refreshing.

"I know, I can't believe it either. But really, we've known each other since we were ten. My parents dumped me here when I was ten and started to display "symptoms" of being a mutant. You were the first person I met. I was crying my eyes out and you came up to me and told me to stop feeling sorry for myself because that sort of thing happened all the time." I roll my eyes.

"Sounds like me." We reach the back yard and sit down in the grass. It's a warm May morning, with enough breeze so that the warm isn't smothering you. "What's your mutation, anyway?"

"Age manipulation. Basically, I can control the age of any living and non-living organisms. And because of that, I'm probably going to have a longer than normal life." He sighs. "The reason why my parents dropped me off here is because I accidentally aged my dog to the point that he was too weak to walk. Within a week he was dead of what the vet said was old age. I was an only child at the time, and my parents obviously didn't do it. They tested me on a couple of other things, and it was confirmed. And when my mom got pregnant, they didn't want to risk me around my sister, so they dumped me off here and ran off into the sunset."

"I'm sorry." I can't imagine what he must have felt when his parents dropped him off here and never came back.

"It's okay, it's not your fault." We're quiet for a minute.

"Look," I start. I look down at my hands. "You know that I only know a past in which you probably didn't exist. Where I was kept locked up most my life. And so, I don't know how to have friends. I guess what I'm trying to say is: what kind of friends are we? What do we like to do?" He thinks about it for a second.

"Well, we usually hang out at the mall, we play video games, play four square and kickball. On weekends we walk down to Stewart's to get ice cream."

"What's a Stewart's?" I ask, confused.

"It's a gas station slash convenience store. Anyway, that's what we do mostly. Otherwise we talk and joke around and stuff."

"Are you still willing to be my friend even though I don't remember any of the time we spent together?" Alex looks hurt that I'd even ask that.

"Of course, I still want to be friends, Laura. Why wouldn't I?"

"Because if I don't begin to remember, then we'll basically have to start again."

"When everyone else was scared to come near me, you were there for me when I needed someone. And so, I'm going to do the same for you."

I look out at the blue sky, and the other mutants doing their own thing.

"Ya know, I may be here. My body may have grown up here, but my soul… my soul is still stuck in that alternate reality. And so, I don't know how to do all of this. Have friends, have a family. And while I may not have physically gone through all of those horrible things, and while I may not have physically killed anybody, my mind is still in that defensive mode. I was bred to fight and kill, and I'm not going to lie to you. It's going to take me a while to get used to all of this. To you."

All of a sudden, Alex takes my hand in his. I reflectively go to yank my hand away, but he holds on tight.

"That's okay. We both have plenty of time. Trust me, we're going to be friends for a long time. You're not getting rid of me that easy." I sigh and look at him.

"So, what do I do now?" I've completed my mission. I managed to save most everybody, save for poor Charles. I'm now living a perfect life with a mom and a dad and a best friend. Nobody's trying to kill me and nobody I care about is in danger. But I'm so used to being on guard and fighting for my life, that I don't know how to live a normal life. I share this with Alex.

"You enjoy it," he tells me. "Every second of it."

A/N: Please review!