Most folks didn’t take to his father.
Evening, a plain and a street. Several teenagers have gathered. A thin blond boy with unruly hair and a cocky grin is making out with a girl named Tammy (not that he bothers to remember her name). Is Jimmy gonna win that one for her? she asks. He promises to and she promises in turn to make it worth his while. See her at the finishing line. Hey, Hudson! another built boy calls to him. They haven’t got all night! He in a hurry to lose? Jimmy grins. Both of them get into their cars and Tammy gives the ready sign.
Women on the other hand… Women couldn’t keep their hands off him. One night. Sixteen yeas ago. I hadn’t seen him since Iraq. The first one. The good one. The one they say we won. And cradled in his arms. A baby. Crying so loud you could hear it halfway across the country.
He saves my life over there more than once. Introduces me to Heather. So when he showed up out there in the dark holding that baby it’s not like we had a choice. Everything I’ve ever had I owed to this man.
The two cars race close to each other. But Jimmy’s car hits a pothole; it somersaults violently and falls down the ditch and catches fire.
He told us the baby’s mother had died in childbirth and he wasn’t fit to raise a child. Heather couldn’t have been happier. She’s been talking about having children… but it hadn’t happened. Life has a way of finding the missing jigsaw piece when you least expect it.
Horrified, Tammy runs down, seeing the conflagration. Jimmy stumbles from the wreck, covered in blood, yet not as badly hurt as he should be.
We called him “Jimmy.” Jimmy Hudson. Same initials as his father. Strangely enough, mine too. He gave me his only son. His son. But mine and Heather’s to raise as our own. And all I remember thinking was I could smell a hurricane coming.
He needs help! Tammy shouts. He tells her to run as the cops are coming. She kneels down beside him to see the wounds are healing before her eyes. Is he one of them? she asks accusingly. She withdraws disgusted. And she was going to let him – gross! He begs her to listen. He is not one of them-- but she runs away with the others.
The sheriff’s helicopter lands, it’s his father. Is he all right? he asks Jimmy. He thought he was gonna die, the boy replies. Blood everywhere, he broke, and now he feels just fine! How is that possible? What’s wrong with him? Instead of a reply, his father suggests they go home. He’s sure his mother has been listening to the police band.
Heather’d tease me by calling me the Guardian. It’s a carpet cleaner she brings home from the piggly-wiggly. “Cleans up other folks’ messes.”
Later, James and his wife Heather are discussing matters in the kitchen. She knows what they say about him, Heather states forcefully. That he was born bad. She doesn’t actually listen to that nonsense? he asks. Sometimes it’s hard not to, she replies. The fights at school. His grades. If James weren’t sheriff, he’d be in jail for sure. But he’s their son and she loves him so much. What are they going to do? Maybe it’s time to tell him, he suggests. Don’t you dare! she warns him as they hug.
Jimmy sleeps on the trailer’s roof. In the morning, a voice calls up, asking if he bites. A young girl with curly brown hair refers to the alligator in the garden. Who wants to know? he asks. Me, she replies. She’s Kitty. Kitty Pryde. Yeah, he bites, Jimmy replies with his cocky grin. He’s an alligator. Does he think there’s a place they could talk where he can’t bite? Like, specifically her? Why would he wanna do that? She’ll give him candy, Kitty promises annoyed. He jumps down, dressed only in a pair of jeans. He knows somewhere…. He gonna need shoes? Kitty asks. Nope. Then she guesses a shirt is out of the question… Heather looks after them out of the window.
Jimmy takes Kitty to their boathouse. She has something for him, she tells him. Not candy, he realizes. Sorry, she lied. She gives him a box, explaining it belonged to his real father. Inside there are James Howlett’s dogtags, an issue of Timesweek with the X-Men on the cover, a lock of red hair.
What is all this stuff? Jimmy asks. He doesn’t get it. What’s any of this got to do with him? He takes out a strange round device. Kitty tells him he is supposed to press the button. When he does a hologram message of Wolverine appears, addressing him as Jimmy. If he’s seeing this, then Kitty did what he asked her to. He hopes that means that the world didn’t go to hell and he didn’t die for nothing. There isn’t any way to say this but to say it. Jimmy’s his kid. Don’t bother asking about his mother. That’s in the past and he needs to start thinking about the future. That future? Talk to Kitty about this idea he has. But listen to his folks. The Hudsons raised him and he’s gotta respect them. At the end of the day it’s his life. He’s gotta live with his choice like Logan hadda live with his. For what’s it’s worth, he never regretted havin’ him for a second. The message ends. The hologram disappears.
How long has she known? Jimmy asks. A while, she replies evasively. He gave her that box to give to him just before he died. A while? he asks. He’s lucky she came at all, Kitty replies sharply. Does he have any idea what’ it’s like out there for them? What door to hell she just opened for him? What does she mean – “them?” he asks. He s a mutant, Kitty spells out. If he inherited any of what his dad had he’ll be able to heal from like any wound, he’ll be strong enough and maybe stupid enough to take on the Hulk!
And those claws? Jimmy asks, looking at his fists. The ones that pop out of his hands? Has he tried? Kitty suggests. Jimmy stares at his hands. He concentrates, something moves… he shouts in pain as three bloody bone claws pop out from each hand.
He bends over. Is he going to be okay? Kitty asks: It hurts! he replies, but suddenly the pain is gone. He notices his claws are bone. Kitty explains the Adamantium wasn’t Wolverine’s originally. The government grafted it onto his….
Suddenly metal oozes out from the roots of the claws and covers them wholly. Could he do this? Jimmy asks. No. Has she ever seen anything like it? No… well, she hesitates, maybe. Colossus could turn his skin into metal, so maybe. Yes.
Jimmy stares at his metal claws. He is Wolverine’s son. He startles as the claws suddenly contract. He just thought about it and… What was he like? he asks Kitty. She smiles sadly. Dangerous. And sweet. And horny. And mean. And unpredictable and the only person you’d ever want to watch your back. What was all that abut his “future?” Jimmy asks.
Suddenly his parents enter. James orders him outside while Heather gets into Kitty’s face. She had no right! No, Kitty replies calmly, but his father did. James Hudson is his father, Heather insists. She didn’t come here to cause them any heartache, Kitty explains. There has been enough of that already. By doing this, she put her own life in jeopardy. She loved Jimmy’s dad. He was hard to handle, but he cared and fought for her wherever and whenever he could. Her guess is just like the Hudsons would for Jimmy. Heather calms down and asks what next.
James and Jimmy sit at the pier, staring into the sunset and talking. The law regarding mutants says the sheriff has to run Jimmy in to the government or shoot him on sight. And he knows how his mother doesn’t like it when he discharges his weapon in the house. That’s a joke, he adds.
Why didn’t they tell him? Jimmy demands. He wanted to, James admits. That time he got famous and on the cover of that magazine, he thought it would be easier but it wasn’t.
The truth is I didn’t want to tell my boy. I loved Jimmy so much that I couldn’t stand losing him.
He guesses that means they are not sailing their boat around the world, James states and hugs his son.
I should’ve known better. You can’t hide who you are or what you are if you love someone. Particularly your children. And whether I liked it or not – Jimmy Hudson is his father’s son.