To Love and to Cherish
DISCLAIMER: These characters don't belong to me, except for Anna, who is back and raring to play again.
Marie was sleeping soundly when she was shaken out of a rather
pleasant dream by Logan's hands on her shoulders.
"Marie, wake up," he ordered as he lightly shook her.
"Whuh?" she asked, still sleep-fogged and confused. Looking around
the darkened room, she didn't see anything out of the ordinary.
"You had a contraction."
"What... what time is it?"
"Uh..." Logan pulled back to look at the bedside alarm clock, "3:13."
"Go back to sleep."
"Darlin', you had a contraction. Don't you think we should be waking
Jeanie and Hank? I can carry Anna over to Kitty and Bobby's and..."
"Logan," Marie said, waking up more and more every second, "if I had
a contraction, wouldn't I be the one telling you?"
"Well... yeah, but I smelled it on you. It woke me up."
"I'm going back to sleep," Marie said, trying to roll over on her
side. She was a few days to her due date, and every movement was
complicated and clumsy. It took her minutes to get comfortable again.
Logan didn't say anything, but she knew he was wide awake. Still,
undisturbed sleep had been so rare for her this past week, she
ignored him and tried to find the comforting oblivion again.
About 10 minutes later, she felt her stomach muscles tense in the
beginning of a contraction. When she'd been pregnant with Anna, she'd
looked up everything she could find about childbirth, but she
couldn't get a straight answer on how it would feel. None of her
peers were even married yet and Jean and Scott couldn't have kids, so
no one was any help. Jean and Hank had given her the standard doctor
response that when you had a contraction, you felt mild discomfort.
She'd soon found out from personal experience that "mild discomfort"
in doctor-speak meant indescribable, cramp-like pain. She was feeling
that pain now.
After the contraction had passed and she could breathe normally
again, Logan asked, "Are you ready to go now?"
She reached behind her and lightly hit him.
"Hey!" he protested.
"You deserved it."
One of the reasons she loved Logan so much was that he was always so
in-tune with her feelings. Right now, he could tell she was in pain,
pissed, tired, and in no mood to argue.
"You're right," he answered. "I deserved it. Now can we go?"
"Ok. I'll call Jean. You go get Anna."
Marie watched him leave in the dim light. Sometimes she still
couldn't believe that he'd almost died over five months ago. His
speech was back to normal and only a slight limp remained of his
debilitating paralysis. Jean had told them that in a few more weeks
the limp would probably be completely gone. Thinking of Jean, Marie
leaned over and picked up the phone on the nightstand.
Logan crept into his daughter's room. She looked angelic lying there,
peacefully asleep. He pulled the covers off and reach down to lift
"Go back to sleep, darlin'," he whispered as he pulled her small
frame into his arms.
"What's going on?" Anna asked, blinking up at him.
"Your baby brother's coming."
Anna rubbed at her eyes and snuggled into his chest. "Tell him to
Logan laughed. "Doesn't work like that."
"Where are we going?" Anna asked, when he pulled open the door to the
"You're going to stay with Aunt Kitty and Uncle Bobby while the baby
"I don't like B.J. He drools on all my toys."
"You won't have to stay long. I'll probably come see you in the
Logan had to knock a few times before a bleary-eyed Bobby answered
the door. "Hey, popsicle. Baby's coming, and you said Anna could
"Bring her in," Bobby interrupted.
Walking over to the couch, the two men arranged the drowsy girl on it
and Logan tucked her in with a kiss and an admonishment to "be good"
before returning to Marie's side. By then, Marie was just leaving
their suite with Jean.
"Should you be walking?" he asked, running up to her. "I mean, I can
carry you if you want."
"I can waddle just fine, Logan." she replied, taking his hand more
for his comfort than to steady herself.
Hank was already in the lab when they arrived. He looked up from his
preparations and walked over to them handing Marie a hospital gown
and Logan surgical scrubs and swimmer's nose plugs. Logan looked down
skeptically at the nose plugs and then back up at him.
"You promised, Logan. I cannot help but recall how upset you became
during Anna's delivery when you detected the odor of Rogue's blood.
My fractured humerus was not pleasant in the slightest."
Logan slipped the rubber plugs onto his nose and replied in a
slightly nasal voice, "Happy, Hank?"
Logan looked around for his wife, and saw that she had gone behind a
curtain to change into the hospital gown. He knew that it was only to
protect her modesty during the initial preparations since she
couldn't wear it for the caesarian section. Given her deadly skin,
that was the only way their baby could be delivered. Then they'd have
to wait the six or so months until the baby was old enough to try a
skin test. It had been wonderful when Anna had proved immune to her
skin, but they couldn't take the risk that this baby would be, too.
Logan had the scrubs on when Marie emerged from the curtain, one arm
behind her back clasping the ends of her gown together. He was struck
by just how beautiful she was. Even nine months pregnant,
uncomfortable, and wearing a cheap, cotton covering, she was
"I love you, Marie."
She stopped, and her expression softened. "I love you too, Logan...
Now, Hank, Jean, let's have ourselves a baby."
There was a lot of things in life that Logan could endure, but
Marie's pain wasn't one of them. As she sat on the surgical bed, her
hands clutching his gloved ones as Hank put in the epidural, it was
all he could do not to release his claws and gut the doctor. Not
being able to smell her helped, but by the strength of her grasp, the
tension in her posture, and her heavy breaths, he could tell it hurt.
Hank was good, though, and it was over quickly.
When Marie was finally positioned and prepared on the operating
table, arms spread wide and stomach bare among the blue drapes and
towels, Hank rolled a chair over by Marie's head for Logan. The
surgical drape had been pulled up so neither of them could see the
operation as it took place. Logan had been told to remain behind the
drape no matter what, and he'd agreed wholeheartedly. He knew he
couldn't take seeing Marie hurt.
"Ok," Jean said, "making the first incision."
Logan leaned down and kissed his wife on the cheek through the
surgical mask covering his face. "This is it, darlin'," he said,
excitement creeping into his voice.
"Wait," Marie suddenly said, her voice filled with alarm. "We haven't
picked a name yet."
"I thought you were going with 'Mike,'" Jean said.
"Well, that's what Anna's been saying, but we haven't actually picked
one yet," Logan corrected her. "We'll choose one later, Marie."
"What's the difficulty with 'Mike?'" Hank asked. "It's a fine name."
"I just want to pick one on our own," Marie replied.
"Well, how did you decide on Anna's name?" Jean asked, trying to be
"She's named after my mother. Her name was Rachel Anna, so we named
our daughter Anna Rachel."
"Why don't you do the same with your son?"
"Look," Logan interrupted, getting annoyed. "Shouldn't you two be
focusin' on the whole surgery thing for now. We'll talk about this
"My dad never liked his first name," Marie answered Jean's question,
"Well, what was his middle name?"
Marie paused for a moment and Logan was relieved that she'd stopped
talking and started being a patient when she replied,
thoughtfully, "Michael. His name was George Michael Trent."
"In that event, I propose you christen him 'Michael Trent Logan,'"
Hank suggested. "Then both you and Anna will be pleased."
"I like that," Marie said. "What do you think, Logan?"
"Fine, whatever, if it'll get those two doctors to stop jabbering and
start concentrating on their work."
The minutes passed slowly after that, Jeanie and Hank speaking their
technical, physician-ese, and Logan speaking in a low voice to Marie,
whispering how much he loved her and how excited he was for the baby.
He was the first one to notice when something went wrong.
Marie's eyes got a far away look and glazed over. He asked her a
question and she didn't answer.
"Marie?" he asked, but she didn't turn to look at him. "Marie?!?
Jean, Hank, something's wrong."
"We know, Logan. We're working on it." Jean answered, her voice tense.
Logan heard a dripping sound. Looking down at the floor below the
bed, he saw blood pooling on the metal. Logan ripped off his latex
gloves. "Can I touch her? Should I touch her?"
"Not yet, Logan. We have to get the baby out first," Jean reminded
"What if I touch her and then you start again?" Logan tried.
"No good. The baby's already showing signs of distress."
"What? Hurry! Do something!" Logan said, frantic with worry. "Marie?
Hang on, baby. Stay with me... Hurry, Jean!... Marie? Look in my
eyes. Look at me, Marie!"
Her skin was starting to pale and her breathing slowed as he heard
Jean swear, "Dammit, Hank! Suction that area. I can't see. We have to
stop this hemorrhaging!... I've got the head. C'mon... C'mon... Ok,
shoulders are coming... Baby's out. Take him Hank..."
No crying. Logan's heart fell as he realized the baby wasn't crying.
"Ok... Got the after-birth... Ok, touch her, Logan!"
Logan immediately clutched her face with both hands, and placed his
cheek on her forehead, thanking everything that was holy when he felt
the pulling sensation of her mutation take effect. Then, he fell into
Marie assumed that she was dying as she watched her life flash before
her eyes, but then she noticed something odd. Her life was running
backwards, starting from the moment she had passed out on the
operating table and running back to this morning and to then last
night. That wasn't the only strange thing. She was seeing her life
from a different perspective. Logan's!
It had been over four years since he had last touched her. Four years
since she'd been shot next to the empty field that used to be her
home. When Logan had touched her that time, the presence of the
police officer she'd recently absorbed had kept her from assimilating
most of his new memories. Now, his memories flooded her mind as his
healing factor took over her body.
Anna looking up at him as he shaved one morning.
"Can I do that, Daddy?"
"No, pun'kin, little girls don't shave."
"But I wanna!"
"Your mommy doesn't shave. Don't you wanna grow up to be beautiful
"No. I wanna be like you."
"That'll be kinda difficult, darlin'," he said, with a laugh.
"You said I can be anything I want when I grow up," Anna replied with
a pouty-lipped expression that made his heart melt. Where had she
learned to do that so well? Marie, of course. He could never say "no"
Wiping the excess shaving cream from his face and splashing on his
aftershave, he glanced back at her. With a sigh, he slapped some on
her face as well. She beamed and ran off, trailing the scent of Old
Spice behind her.
Pain! Mind-numbing, indescribable pain. In an instant, he had been
reduced from a man to just a cluster of nerve endings burning in
agony. His vision took on a red haze as blood flowed from everywhere.
He wanted to give in to it, to surrender and leave the anguish
behind, but he'd promised.
"I'll see you tonight," Marie had said as he left her and Anna
behind, abandoning their picnic to go on this mission.
"Tonight," he'd promised. He had to hold on, if only to see
her one last time, tonight.
"Give your daddy a kiss," Marie said, handing Anna over to him.
She leaned against his face, giving him a slobbery, wet kiss against
"Thank you," he said, grimacing as he rubbed at the saliva remaining
on his cheek.
"Daddy, don't rub it off," Anna said, face turning down in a frown.
"UmÖ uhÖ I'm not rubbing it off, pun'kin. I'mÖ I'm rubbing it in.
That way, it's with me all day."
"Are you sure about this, Jean?" he heard Marie ask, worry and fear
in her voice.
"The only way to tell is for you to touch her."
"LoganÖ you'll pull her away if anythingÖ"
"I've got her, darlin', but nothing's gonna happen."
He followed Marie's gaze down to Anna, cradled in his arms, wearing
nothing but a diaper. It was a frightening amount of exposed skin,
but this was the only way.
'Please, if anyone's out there, if anyone can hear me,' he
prayed, 'let her be able to touch Anna. I know I'm probably not high
on your To Do list, but please just let Marie have this. I'll do
anythingÖ She needs it so much.'
He watched as her bare hand reached out and stopped, hovering an inch
away from the delicate, vulnerable skin. Taking a deep breath, Marie
closed her eyes and brushed against the warm, pink softness.
Nothing happened. No flash, no suddenly visible, bulging veins, just
skin on skin. Marie's eyes shot open and she grabbed with both hands,
pulling Anna into a warm embrace and kissing her cheeks, chin, hair,
"Ma ma," Anna said, squealing in delight at all the sudden attention.
The joy Logan felt was overwhelming, and he allowed the hot tears to
roll down his face, knowing that Marie and Jean were too distracted
'Thank you,' he thought, gratitude filling his soul.
A spine-rattling scream broke the silence of the night. Anna was up
again. Five times this night alone, and it was only 4 a.m. This colic
thing was going to kill them one way or another. He could hear Marie
moan and shift beside him. He knew she'd hardly gotten any sleep
tonight, and despite his own bone-weariness, he couldn't let her get
"I'll get it, darlin'. You rest," Logan said, dragging the covers off
and levering himself up to a standing position on the cold, wooden
floor. Shuffling like a zombie, he made his way to the baby's room.
Even with a healing factor, this month of 2 to 3 hours of sleep a
night were running him down. He didn't know how Marie managed it.
After shutting the door, he turned on the light, flinching away from
the jarring brightness like a vampire entering the sun. Anna's
shrieking took on an even higher keening at the sudden illumination.
With his sensitive hearing, the screaming was agonizing, and he felt
that if he put his hands up to his ears right now, they'd almost
assuredly come away bloody.
Trying to quiet her, he picked up his little daughter and held her to
his chest. It had taken weeks before his worries that she would break
when he picked her up had started to fade. Even now, he was still a
little nervous, but he had her in a good hold.
Pacing the small room, adding a little bouncing to his walk, he tried
to stop her crying. She screamed all the louder. Raising his voice to
a falsetto and desperately hoping no one heard him, he tried to calm
her with the baby talk he'd heard Marie use at times like this. No
effect. He growled in frustration and then the room fell silent.
He looked down to see the baby's suddenly calm face. As he watched
in wonder her features reddened again in preparation for another
crying fit. He growled again and watched as the baby snuggled into
his chest, comforted by the low sound and vibrations. Continuing to
growl, he settled down into the rocking chair that Marie used,
thankful for this reprieve and desperate to at least be off his feet.
Minutes later, he fell into restful oblivion, Anna already peacefully
asleep in his arms.
The metal door, covered in slashes that he had inflicted over the
past hour, finally slid open.
"You can come out now," Jean said, standing by the entrance.
Sniffing the air, he ran past her, following Marie's scent. Running
down the hallway and rounding the last corner into a private room, he
stopped, taking in the sight of Marie lying in bed and holding a pink
"Are you ok? Is she ok?" Logan asked, worry filling his voice.
"We're fine," she said, and he could tell by her scent that she was
all right. No more blood, no pain. Immediately, his panic faded, and
calmer now, he took in her appearance. Tired, tousled hair, drugged
half out of her mind, and full of joy, she'd never looked more
"Hank's not so fine," Jean added to Marie's statement as she walked
into the room, "but he'll recover."
"Yeah," Logan replied, running a hand through his hair. "Sorry.
Seeing Marie like that..."
"I understand, but you might want to apologize when you see him
"Sounds like good advice," he agreed.
Looking up at him, Marie said in awe, "Oh, Logan, she has your hair."
Logan walked to her side for a better look, and sure enough, there
was a tuft of dark brown hair poking out from under the cotton
wrap. "Poor girl."
"Stop that! I love your hair."
"She's healthy, right? She's ok?"
Marie nodded, "Healthy, strong lungs (wait'll you hear her cry), ten
fingers, ten toes, practically perfect in every way."
Logan couldn't help but agree wholeheartedly with her last
He desperately needed a good, stiff drink. It had been so long. He'd
settle for one of those piss-poor American beers. Hell, he'd settle
for a wine cooler. He was desperate for alcohol, any kind of alcohol,
but he couldn't indulge.
He knew how hard the pregnancy-long abstinence would be on Marie,
what with his appetites still floating around in her head, and he had
decided to go teetotaler with her. The only problem was that he
couldn't take it anymore. What with her mood swings, strange
cravings, and all the other things that went along with pregnancy, he
needed a drink or twelve and a few good cigars to take the edge off
before he went insane.
A knock on the door distracted him from his silent rant, and he
yanked it open with a growl. Scooter was standing at the entrance.
"Hey, Logan. I'm looking for Rogue."
"She's taking a nap," he practically snarled.
"I'm up, Logan," Marie said from the doorway to their
bedroom. "What's going on, Scott?"
"Um, I've been elected to give you this," he said, presenting her
with several pages of paper.
"What's is it?" Marie asked, opening the pages and glancing at the
list of names.
"Well... it's a petition. Everyone signed it: students, teachers,
even the professor. Basically, um, we want Logan to start drinking
again. He's driving everyone crazy... No offense, Logan."
Logan's face screwed up in a scowl at Fearless Leader, but when Marie
nodded thoughtfully and told him to go visit Lily Page's Tavern,
relief flowed through him, and he knew he owed Scott, big time.
"Logan, you don't have to keep doing this," Marie protested as she
was once again carried over a threshold.
"I wanna do it, darlin'. This is our first apartment. It's only
"Yes, but you also did it on our honeymoon at every hotel we stayed
at, at the mansion,..."
"What can I say, Marie?" Logan interrupted with a sly grin. "I love
having you in my arms."
Logan was overcome by sensations. The sight of Marie, floating down
the aisle, accompanied by Xavier, made his heart skip a few beats.
She was stunning, hair pulled back and up away from her face except
for two white ringlets brushing her cheeks. Her dress was
traditional white, simplistic but devastating in its beauty. Her
smile was radiant and as their eyes met, his spirits soared. Then,
she looked down at the professor and for a moment, just a moment, a
frown clouded her features. Just as quickly, she recovered and again
graced him with that gorgeous smile, but he knew something had
happened there. He made a note to discuss it with her later.
Soon, she was by his side, and as he turned to face the minister, the
smells surrounding him took precedence over the sights. Her perfume,
the pure scent of her happiness and joy, and the scent of the roses
in her bouquet. The scents were soon overpowered by the sound of her
voice as she took the vows, but that was just as quickly overcome by
the sensation of her hand on his, slipping a ring on his finger that
he knew he would never take off.
The best sensation by far, though, was the taste of her lips on his
as he kissed her through the veil. It didn't matter that they
couldn't touch. It never would. He had Marie and he would spend the
rest of his life loving her.
The sounds of a baby crying brought her back to consciousness.
Opening her eyes, she was forced to squint at the blinding light of
the med lab.
"Logan?" she croaked.
"Rogue, you're awake." Jean said, appearing at her side with a glass
of water. "Slowly," she advised as she put the straw in Marie's
After taking a few sips, Marie asked, "What happened? Logan? The
"You started hemorrhaging. Probably a placental defect we didn't
detect on the ultrasound. Logan had to touch you."
"I know... Is he... will he be ok?"
"He's resting right now." Jean said in a calming voice. "Hank's with
him. I think he'll wake up tonight or tomorrow, since he wasn't
injured before he touched you."
"The baby? Logan thought there was a problem."
"He's fine. It took a bit of stimulation to start him breathing, but
that's more common than people think with Caesarian babies. He's
pinked up, and you can hear that his lungs are working wonderfully."
"I want to see them," Marie said, pulling herself up to a sitting
position. The room started spinning, and she immediately swayed into
"Whoa, even with a healing factor. You've lost a lot of blood.
It'll take a few more hours before you're completely healed. Lie
"I want to see Michael and Logan now," Marie demanded.
It took some time, but Jean was finally coerced into letting her out
of bed as long as she used a wheelchair. Sitting by Logan's bed,
holding their sleeping son, she remembered all the things she had
experienced through his eyes. Throughout all his memories ran one
theme: his love for her and Anna. Every day in every way, he was
saying, "I love you."
Reaching out and stroking his hair with one gloved hand as he slept,
she whispered. "Right back at ya, sugah."
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