In the danger room, Logan worked to sharpen his skills as he did at least once a day. In times like these, you couldn't rest. A mutant had to be at his best in order to survive. When a familiar scent came to him, he paused the program. Sure enough, Kitty entered the room and strode over to him with a smile.
"Hey Logan. Forge wants us all in the lab. He said he had something to show us."
"Now? I'm kind of busy."
"Well, he did seem pretty excited…"
Logan studied Kitty for a moment, then nodded. "Alright. I'll be there in a minute."
"Yeah, you might want to brush up on your fighting skills some more. You have been getting kicked around a lot lately. Remember our last battle against the Brotherhood when they had Nitro?"
Logan gave a little growl. "I could have taken them all if you guys hadn't kept saving me!"
Kitty gave a wry smile. "Sure…Well, come to the lab when you're ready, kay?" With that, she turned and left to find the others. When Logan did arrive in the lab, the others were there waiting for him.
"Finally!" said Forge. "Where've you been? Doesn't matter. Take a look at this!" He took something from a case and handed it to Logan. "You know that collar that inhibits mutant powers? Well, I was working with something like it, only this one strengthens your powers. I thought it would be pretty useful against the Brotherhood. I…heard you were having a little trouble with them last time…"
Logan looked back at Forge and glared at him. "I was doing just fine! I never said anyone had to save me!"
For a long time, the room was quiet. Then Scott spoke. "So, who's going to try it out first?"
"Oh, I'll do it!" said Bobby. "Maybe I can freeze the entire Institute!"
"Um, no," said Kitty. "I think Logan should try it out first."
"I agree." said Emma. Logan turned to look at her. "Unless…you're afraid…"
Logan scowled. "Why would I be afraid?"
"I don't know, but I have a hunch that this isn't going to be what we expect," said Emma.
"I can't help agreeing with you," said Ororo. "Something doesn't seem right."
"Aw, you guys worry too much," said Bobby.
"It'll be fine, I promise," said Forge. "Beast and I worked with some of the programs from the danger room that analyze mutant powers and the strength of those powers, so it won't overload you with energy you can't handle."
"But remember," said Beast. "This is only a prototype and all mutants have different powers, so we don't know exactly how it will affect you."
Logan gave a smirk and amused little laugh. "I aint worried. Besides, what do you want to do, try it out on the Brotherhood?" Logan looked at the collar in his hand for a moment, then put it around his neck. It took a few seconds before it began to work. Then, almost instantly, he felt a surge of power flow through his body, like every nerve was a live wire. His heart beat faster and he shut his eyes against a force he didn't recognize.
"Logan?" called Kitty becoming worried.
"Logan? Are you okay?" asked Beast. "What's happening?"
"Gr…I don't…know…" gasped Logan as he felt a change in himself. What was going on? This couldn't be right…
He let out a growl and electricity began to erupt from the collar. With a crack, the collar broke and a quick flash of light blinded everyone in the lab. When the light vanished, there was a cloud of smoke and tiny sparks could be seen from the broken pieces of the collar that lay on the floor.
"Logan?" called Kitty again, choking on the smoke. "Logan?"
"Logan? Can you hear us?" said Ororo.
"Where is he? I don't see him," said Bobby. Everyone looked, but nowhere did they see the short, burly man. "Logan?"
"Logan, where are you?" called Emma annoyed. "If this is some sort of trick-"
"Look!" said Ororo pointing to the floor as the smoke cleared.
On the floor lay a little, black dog with pointed ears, a small snout and a chain around its neck. Ororo, Kitty, Bobby, Beast, Scott, Emma and Forge all stared at the little mass of fur, eyes wide, as it stood slowly and shook. Its paw came up to its head as if to rub it. The he looked up to see Forge in front of him.
Wait…Something doesn't seem right here. I'm standing, but…What's wrong with Forge? He's looking at me like I just said I wanted to join Magnito. The dog looked down and gasped when he saw little, tiny, black paws. He looked back and saw a tail, then spun around trying to get a better look at it. What the hell? He stopped and looked forward again. I'm a dog?!
There was a long silence, then…
"It's a puppy!" said Bobby.
"I think it's a wolf pup," said Beast.
"Aw, he's so cute!" squealed Kitty.
Logan stared at Forge, then slowly his face turned to one of anger and he growled taking slow, deliberate steps toward the man responsible for this.
Forge backed up a few steps until he hit the lab table. "Logan…Logan, I'm sorry. I had no idea…it was a mistake I swear! Logan…Logan!"
Before Forge could react, the little black puppy had leapt up and was attacking him. All the others could see was a black fur ball on Forge's face.
"Ah! Logan! Stop! I'm sorry! Logan! Somebody! Help! Get it off! Get it off! AAAAHHHH!!!!!"
"Logan, stop!" yelled Kitty. She was about to run to save Forge, but Emma stopped her.
"I've got it," said the telepath. She touched her forehead and tried to get inside the dog's mind.
Logan couldn't think of anything but killing Forge at the moment. He was not a dog! Or a puppy! This was humiliating! And there was no excuse for it! It was carelessness on his part! Now Logan was a puppy! AND FORGE WAS GOING TO DIE FOR THIS ONE!!!!!!
Suddenly Logan felt a pull somewhere in his mind, like someone was trying to control him…Frost. Get out of my head! he screamed as he fought against her for control of his actions.
Stop attacking Forge, Logan. You're overreacting.
Overreacting?! You're not the one who was just turned into a dog! Let me go, Frost!
Come on, be a good doggy.
Good doggy? Good doggy?! GOOD DOGGY MY ASS!!! LET ME GO, DAMMIT!!!
Oh, such a potty mouth. Have you been drinking from the toilet?
Not funny, Frost!
Really? I thought it was hilarious. Now be a good boy and stop this nonsense.
No…You…can't…make…me!!! But in the end, Emma won, and the wolf pup jumped down from Forge's head. When he felt Emma tugging him, forcing him to walk toward her, he fought against it, pulling back on the invisible line that attached their minds. Let…me…go!!!
"Okay, if you insist." Emma released her hold on his mind, and Logan fell backwards, head over tail because he'd been pulling against it. He rolled over and stood growling at Frost. When she reached a hand down to pick him up, he tried to bite her. He missed though, and she grabbed him by his scruff and held him at her eye level. He flailed his limbs, barking and growling, wanting to attack her next, but he couldn't reach her.
"Cute," said Emma. "But still as bad tempered as ever."
"Sheesh, that's one evil dog," said Bobby. "Then again, it is Wolverine, so…I guess you can't expect a lapdog."
The puppy turned it's head to growl at Bobby. Then he felt a strange sensation come over him…like he was tired. He knew he wasn't tired…So it must be…But no more coherent thoughts formed in the pup's mind as his eyes closed. He now lay in Emma's arms asleep, no longer threatening to hurt everyone who angered him further.
"Aw, he's so cute and harmless when he's asleep," said Kitty, her eyes sparkling. She kept forgetting that it was Logan. She'd always wanted a puppy, but with this whole mutant business, there was no way she could have one.
"Right…" said Forge. "Well, I have another collar that I started on-just another prototype. But I'll get right on fixing it. I don't know what happened, but I'll find the problem."
"And I'll help," said Beast.
"You'd better," said Emma. "Something tells me that he's going to be a hand-full even if he isn't barking orders at people."
Bobby laughed. "But he probably will still be barking. Logan's always gotta say what's on his mind, even when we can't understand him."
"That's true," said Beast.
Emma turned to leave the lab, Logan still in her arms, when Kitty stopped her. "Wait! Can I hold him?"
"Oh, me too!" said Bobby. "I always wanted a dog!"
"Let me pet him," said Ororo, her hand outstretched.
"He is a cute little guy, isn't he?" said Scott. "At least when he's asleep."
Kitty took the puppy from Emma and held it to her, stroking it's head. "Aw, he's so precious…"
"Give him to me," said Bobby taking the dog from Kitty. Ororo took him next and then he returned to Kitty. Emma rolled her eyes. Soon they were all fighting over him. With all the yelling, the dog was woken and he began to growl and try to break free from their clutches.
Emma reached for him then. "Would you all grow up?! Now you've woken him and he's trying to bite you!"
When Logan found himself pressed against Emma's bosom, he turned his head and growled up at her. Put me down, Frost! I know you can hear me! PUT ME DOWN!
"What should we do with him?" asked Bobby. "He's sort of wound up…"
"Well he wouldn't be if you had just left him with me," stated Emma annoyed.
Logan struggled against Emma's arms. He wanted down! He didn't want to be held, especially by her! He still hated the woman, and this felt really awkward.
Suddenly he felt light-headed and his fighting became less and less. He knew it was Frost controlling him, but he was powerless to stop the feeling of exhaustion that swept over him. Soon he was drifting into unconsciousness…
"I know. It would be cool to be a dog, but Logan's too…well…"
"He's too caught up in what's happened to see the humor in it."
"That's nothing new."
"Well hopefully Forge will be able to fix the collar."
"Yeah. Hey, maybe when Logan wakes up, he'll be settled down."
"Doubt it. He's too temperamental. You should have heard him. He sounded like a child throwing a tantrum."
The pup's ears shot up and his eyes opened. Temperamental? Child? He was no imbecile: he knew they were talking about him. He stood and growled. He had been lain on the couch in the living room while he slept. He peered over the back of the couch and saw the others standing in the hallway talking.
"I can believe that," said Scott. "He does have a bad temper and this probably set him over the edge."
"Yeah, but you can't blame him," said Kitty.
"When it's Logan, of course you can," said Scott. "If you ask me, he had this coming to him. He's been a constant pain in my ass since the rebuilding of the Institute, always in my face about my attitude. Well excuse me for caring about Jean. He's just mad is all."
"Give him a break, Scott. I'm sure he misses her, too," said Kitty.
"Yeah, right. He's just jealous, that's his problem."
"I don't think that's fair," said Emma. "I've seen his thoughts the same as yours. He does care about Jean and misses her terribly, he just knows there's other things that need to be done. There's no use sulking about it."
"Guys, look!" shouted Bobby. Kitty and Ororo gasped. Scott and Emma looked down to see the little black dog using Scott's leg as a fire hydrant.
"WHAT THE HELL?!?!? DAMN IT, LOGAN!!!!!!!" shouted Scott. The little dog seemed to smirk before running off, Scott running around the room after him. "GET BACK HERE, YOU MANGY MUTT!!!! I'M GOING TO KILL YOU, LOGAN!!! BAD DOG!!!! BAD!!!!"
"This place is like a zoo," sighed Emma. "You're all crazy, every single one of you."
"STOP IT, SCOTT! DON'T HURT HIM!" Kitty shouted running to try and save the puppy from an irate Cyclops.
"Kitty, look out!" yelled Bobby. Scott sent a solar beam at the dog, Kitty ran to intercept it, then Bobby pushed her out of the way and he ended up being the one to get hit.
"DAMN YOU, LOGAN! AND THESE WERE MY BEST JEANS!"
"You can say that again," said Ororo agreeing with Emma's statement.
Emma sighed. She placed her fingers to her temples as the dog ran past again. Sit!
Since Logan had been so focused on getting away from Scott, he had no time to prepare for Emma's mind control. Abruptly the pup skidded to a halt in front of her. When Scott came around the couch, Emma made Logan jump up into her arms before releasing him from her control. Scott had dove for the dog, but ended up flat on his face in the carpet. When he pulled his head up to look at Emma, the dog stuck its tongue out as if taunting him.
"Why you little…"
"Enough!" yelled Emma. "Logan, that was not necessary. And Cyclops, just go and buy a new pair of pants instead of destroying the living room. Honestly, you are all pathetic, running around here and fighting like children."
"He started it!" yelled Scott as he got to his feet."
"I don't care. You're both being ridiculous."
"Yeah," chimed Kitty taking Logan from Emma again. "So he peed on you. That's no reason to hurt the poor thing."
"Or me," groaned Bobby, just now getting up off the floor after being hit by Cyclops's optic beam.
"Hey, don't start! You jumped right into it, you and Kitty! I was aiming for the dog!"
"Well I'm not going to let you hurt him!" cried Kitty. "He's my dog!"
"He's not a dog!" yelled Scott. "It's Logan!"
"I don't care if it is Logan, you're not touching a hair on his head!"
Logan didn't really care about Kitty holding him too much. As long as it wasn't Frost, he was fine. He seemed to smirk again at Scott as Kitty pet his head.
"Hey, it's not my fault if that mangy mutt tinkled on my best jeans!"
Bobby cracked up laughing. "Tinkled? Since when do you say tinkled?"
Scott turned on him. "In case you didn't notice, there are ladies in the room."
"So? That didn't stop you from cussing."
"Shut it, Drake," warned Scott.
"You two can go ahead and fight all you want. I'm taking Logan to my room where you can't hurt him," said Kitty.
Emma turned and walked down the hall wanting to check on Forge and Beast's progress on the collar. "If you can control him, then that's your job, Katherine. Keep him away from the others. I'm tired of all this yelling."
Ororo accompanied Emma to the subbasement and Kitty went upstairs taking Logan with her. When they got to her room, she shut the door and placed the puppy on the bed before heading to the closet. Logan lay down on the soft blankets. At least Frost was gone and Scott wasn't trying to kill him anymore-not that Logan was scared or anything. He was just tired of running. Maybe he could just lay here and go back to sleep, and maybe when he woke up again, the collar would be fixed and he'd be back to normal.
Logan replayed the scene with Cyclops in his head again and smiled to himself. That would show him. He wouldn't dare talk about Logan behind his back again. Logan was almost asleep when Kitty sat down next to him on the bed.
"Hey Logan, wanna play?"
The puppy opened its eyes and found Kitty holding a bouncy ball. Okay, maybe he did feel more like a kid-or a mischievous puppy-but there was absolutely no way he was going to play with dog toys. No way!
He glared at the bouncy ball for a moment, then turned away and lay his head back down to rest.
"Come on, you know you want to play." Logan just grunted without opening his eyes. "Come on boy, fetch!" The ball was being held to his nose and he did open his eyes then. He sat up and looked down at it as if it were month-old salami. Then he turned his back to Kitty and the ball, snout up. He was not stooping to that level.
But when he heard the ball hit the floor, Logan jumped up off the bed and skidded across the floor to get it. When he did, he rolled over on his back and began bantering it around with all four paws. This was fun!
"Yay! Good doggy! Good Logan!" Kitty said going over to kneel beside him. She took the ball and put it aside before picking him up again and hugging him. "You are so adorable! That was so cute!"
Logan's eyes went wide. Wait…did he just chase a ball? And…did he actually play with it? And why was Kitty smothering him? Suddenly Logan felt like he couldn't breath. He fought against Kitty's arms just as he had done with Emma. Right now, he thought he'd be better off with that annoying telepath. Logan ran to the door and began scratching at it. He was going insane! He was not a dog! He was a human-er, mutant!
Let me out of here! Let me out! Bobby! Hank! Forge! Ororo! Frost! Frost, where are you when I need you?! FROST!
"What's the matter, Logan?" asked Kitty, her eyes sad. "Did I upset you? I was just playing around."
When Logan heard the hurt in her voice, he stopped his panicking. So Kitty was excited, that wasn't a crime. He didn't want to make her feel bad. He turned and walked over to her, rubbing his nose against her knee and whining an apology.
"Sorry, Logan. I guess I got carried away. You're not a dog, I know that. It's just sort of cool…If you want me to take you back downstairs, I will. I won't keep you prisoner in here." She smiled.
He gave a bark and wagged his little tail.
"Okay then, let's go find the others. But you have to promise to be good, okay? Or I'll give you back to Emma. And I know how much you'd hate that."
Logan growled to confirm this. Kitty picked him up again and she took him back downstairs where the others sat again in the living room. Scott wasn't there, of course, but that was just fine with both Logan and Kitty.
When they entered, Bobby stood up to let Kitty take a seat on the couch beside Emma. "Here, I'll sit over in the chair."
"No, that's okay. I'm sure Logan would rather be over there anyway," said Kitty.
"Aw, he'll be fine," said Bobby. "It's not like Emma bites."
But I might, thought Logan.
"I heard that," said Emma and he turned to growl at her as Kitty sat down. "Intimidating," said Frost sarcastically before looking away again. The television was on, but no one was really paying attention to it. When Logan heard Emma laugh, he turned to glare at her.
What are you laughing at, Frost?
Please, I can see everything that happened upstairs. So, you like to play fetch?
Again Logan growled.
And you were waiting for me to come and rescue you?
Watch it, Frost! In case you haven't realized it yet, I'm not going to stand here and take that!
What are you going to do, use me as a bathroom next?
Don't tempt me. I have a small bladder you know.
You wouldn't dare.
Logan wanted to so bad. It would serve her right. No, I can't do that. Scott's one thing, but I can't do that to her. She's a woman, that wouldn't be right…He fought with himself so long he wanted to attack her instead, especially because she was watching him with a smug smile on her face. He growled trying to hold back his sudden rage. Don't do it, you can't…Don't do it…
Before Kitty could stop him, Logan jumped out of her arms and over Frost to attack the pillow that was next to her. He drug it off the couch and began ripping it to shreds. Hey, it was either the pillow, or Emma's face.
"Logan!" called Kitty. She went to grab him, but again, Emma stopped her. When the telepath reached for the dog, he jumped away from the desecrated pillow and growled at her. He jumped back again when she came closer. Finally Emma stood up.
Fine. If you want to do this the hard way, then so be it. Emma took another step toward him and he began to run. She sighed and straightened her arm, palm out facing him. A spiraling energy shot from her hand and wound around his neck as it had earlier that day when he'd wanted to resume his attack on Forge. Logan was snapped backwards again with a yelp.
What?! What the Hell is this?!
Hm. That's better. Now you can't run off and cause mischief.
Logan pulled on the imaginary leash, wanting to get as far away from this woman as possible. Let…me…go! Frost! Aw, come on! You've gotta be kidding me! Frost!
Emma just smirked. "Do you really have to hold him like that," said Kitty.
"Better to have him contained than running around everywhere and causing chaos."
"And ruining people's pants," laughed Bobby.
Kitty sighed. "I guess you're right: it's for the best."
For the best?! I don't think so!
"Come along," said Emma heading for the door. "I think you need to blow off some energy."
I can not believe this, thought Logan as he walked beside Emma, his back arched and his ears back. This is humiliating.
Well it's your fault. If you'd just been a good little puppy-
And behaved instead of using people as fire hydrants and destroying pillows and running rampant around the house, maybe you wouldn't be in this situation.
No. If Forge had just checked his calculations on that stupid collar, then I wouldn't be in this situation!
"So, how long do you think it will take them to fix the collar?" asked Bobby. He and Kitty had accompanied Emma and Logan on the walk through the quieter part of the city.
"I can't say," said Emma. "They hadn't made a great deal of progress when I went down to check on them last."
"Poor Logan," said Kitty. "I hope he doesn't have to stay like that…"
That makes two of us, thought Logan.
"I'm not sure whether or not I want him to go back to normal," said Bobby. "I mean, he's probably going to kill Forge. And maybe he and Scott will get into a fight…That wouldn't be pretty."
What do you say, Logan? What are you going to do when you're back to your old self again? probed Emma.
I'm not sure who I'll go after first: Forge, Cyclops or you.
Just then, an orange striped cat jumped out from the bushes and ran out into the road. Logan couldn't control the erg to run after it. He bolted for the cat and Emma did all she could to keep him with her and the other two.
"Logan, no!" cried Kitty running to grab him.
"Katherine, wait, don't-"
But it was too late. Kitty stepped in front of the beam of energy breaking the tie between Emma and the dog, and he went bounding down the street after the cat.
"LOGAN!" Bobby and Kitty screamed. The three of them ran after the dog. Emma tried to wrap the invisible string around him again, but he was too fast. Suddenly a van was coming towards them. It fishtailed in the middle of the street a few hundred yards away. The driver side door swung open and a big man with a net jumped out.
"NO!" screamed Kitty.
"LOGAN, WATCH OUT!" yelled Bobby.
Again, Emma tried to grab the dog with her powers, but it was too late. The cat ran past the man, but Logan jumped right into the net with a yelp.
"LOGAN!" The three of them dashed for the van as the dog catcher threw the dog in the back and climbed into the driver's seat. But by the time they reached it, the van was speeding away.
"Bobby, do something!" commanded Kitty.
"Right!" Bobby ran and was suddenly riding a band of ice. When he caught up to the van, he tried to freeze the tires to the road, but since he wasn't watching where he was going, he ran into a telephone pole and fell to the ground. He sat up rubbing his head. "Ow…Aw, man…"
Kitty and Emma caught up to him then. "You lost him?" yelled Kitty. "How could you lose him!"
"Sorry! What about you guys? I didn't see you doing anything!"
"I couldn't reach that van, but you could!"
"You could've done something!"
"Quiet!" commanded Emma. "This is no time to argue. Let's be logical. We know that was the dog catcher. So we know where Logan is going."
The other two looked at her as if she were a genius. "Yeah! The pound!" said Bobby. "All we have to do is go there and get him out!"
"Brilliant!" said Kitty.
Logan sat there in that small, fenced in area at the dog pound. This was worse than having to walk beside that damn Emma Frost while she had a mind grip on him-literally! How could this have happened? It was ridiculous! A cat? He chased a cat? And look where it had landed him-in doggy prison!
Hey, look at the little runt over there.
Yeah. What is he, ten inches tall?
Hey squeaks! What are you, a dog or a mouse?
Logan stood, bristling and growled. Neither! I'm not a flea-bitten mongrel like you!
Sure looks that way to us, laughed a German Sheppard.
Yeah, agreed a bulky pit-bull. What are you, a human? The dogs around him all laughed.
Hell no! growled Logan. I'm not one of them, either!
Oh, said a Chi Wawa. Then, if you aint a dog, and you aint a mouse, and you aint a human…then what are ya? A cat?
Grr…Don't make me break down these cages and tear you to shreds, pip-squeak!
The other dogs just laughed again.
"Logan!" The black puppy looked up at the sound of the familiar voice. He'd never been so happy to see his friends-and Emma-in his life!
"You idiot, why did you have to chase that cat and get yourself caught?" said Emma, her hands on her hips.
I don't know and I don't give a damn! Just get me the hell outta here!
A guard came to unlock the door and Logan jumped up into Emma's arms-only because she was the closest one to him.
"That's one energetic little pup," said the guard.
"You have no idea," said Bobby.
"Alright," said Forge. "It should be good to go now. I found the problem and was able to reverse its effects, so it should turn him back to normal."
"You'd better hope so, or Logan won't be the only one who'll kill you," said Emma. The little dog had sure given the others a work out that day, and no one wanted another second of it.
"Okay," said Forge. "Put the collar on him." Emma obeyed, setting the dog on the floor and gently placing the collar around his neck. Like before, a few seconds passed, then a flash of light blinded them all.
When the smoke began to clear, they could all see Logan standing in the middle of the room.
"Logan!" yelled Kitty and the others. Kitty ran to him and he turned around glad to be back to normal. Then suddenly, Kitty stopped and shielded her eyes. "Logan!" The others all groaned and looked away.
"Oh dear God, my eyes," groaned Emma. "I'm going to need years of therapy now…"
A/N: I hadn't thought about the ending until I got there. Lol Anyway, I hoped you liked it. Again, a little OOC, but I enjoyed writing it. And I hoped you enjoyed reading it. Please review!