Disclaimers, etc. in part one.
"It's ok, sugah, I'm here," she said, stroking his arm. His speech
was so garbled that she could barely recognize her name. Jean had
predicted this, but Marie was far from prepared for facing the
reality. She turned and rubbed at her eyes, not wanting him to see
Jean came rushing into the med lab hurrying up to stand next to
Marie. Seeing his open eyes, she said, "Logan?"
"Whuuuh... haapnnnd?" he asked.
"Logan, you were injured on a mission," Jean said in a calm
voice. "Do you remember?"
Logan took a moment to think and then shook his head no, wincing at
the pain of the movement.
"Logan, you've been badly injured. Try not to move," Jean said,
turning to adjust the controls on the IV stand. "There. I've adjusted
your morphine drip. That should help take the edge off the pain."
"Wwwhhyyyy, ccaaa... caann..."
Marie watched Jean close her eyes, obviously using her telepathy to
catch his meaning. "You can't speak very well because you've had a
complication, Logan. During the surgery, you suffered a brain
infarction, setting off an ischemic cascade. We were able to stop
further damage from occurring by administering neuroprotective
Seeing his confusion and growing annoyance, Marie cut her
off. "Logan, sugah, you had a... a... well, you had a stroke, but
you're gonna get better. We'll work really hard and do everything we
can. You will get better."
Marie saw the shock and disbelief in his face, an echo of her own
expression the day before.
"Logan," Jean said, "as your doctor, I think you should know that
there is a possibility you might not recover completely..."
"Don't tell him that!" Marie interrupted. "Logan, we're gonna get
through this. It'll be ok. You'll see. You'll be back on your feet in
"Rogue, I don't think you should be sugar-coating this. There are
"GGEEEEOOOU," Logan said in exasperation.
Both women turned to him, their argument forgotten for the moment.
"What did you say, sugah?" Marie asked, leaning closer.
Logan closed his eyes to concentrate and then slowly
said, "Geeeeeet... ouuuut."
"You want us to leave?" Marie asked, incredulous.
"Logan," Jean began again, "we need to discuss your condition. It is
imperative that we explore treatment options..."
As Jean prattled on, Marie looked into her husband's eyes. They were
pleading to her to follow his wishes, and she suddenly understood. He
needed some time alone to absorb what was going on. While he was
unconscious she'd been able to mull over the implications, but the
diagnosis was new to him.
"I'll be back in two hours," Marie said, leaning down to lightly kiss
her husband's bandaged cheek. "Jean, let's go," Marie said, grabbing
the other woman and pulling her out of the room.
"Rogue, I can't leave. Who will take care..."
"Hank can watch over him for another hour or two," Marie replied,
turning to face the other woman in the hallway as the door to the Med
Lab closed. "Having us arguing over him wasn't doing Logan any good.
He needs time to think about what's going on."
"That's just the point, Rogue. We need to do tests to see how the
stroke has affected his comprehension and memory."
"We were upsetting him, Jean. The tests can wait an hour."
"We were upsetting him because we were arguing. If we discuss
treatment options and mutually decide on a strategy, we will be able
to proceed much more efficiently."
"He wasn't ready, Jean."
"No one is ever ready when the news is this bad, Rogue. You just have
to face it."
The door at the end of the hallway swished open and the two women
turned to see the Professor exiting Cerebro.
"Ah, Rogue, Jean, how is Logan this morning?"
"He's awake," Marie said, trying to focus on the positive.
"He's already showing neural deficits," Jean added, in a quiet voice.
"I see... When is the last time either of you has eaten?"
Marie couldn't remember. She'd been offered food a couple of times
during the surgery, but she'd had no interest in eating. She'd either
been with Anna or Logan for the rest of the day yesterday.
Could it have been that long? That couldn't be good for the baby.
When the Professor asked, "Would you care to join me for breakfast?",
she nodded and followed Jean and him to the elevator.
Minutes later, they were all seated at the small preparation table in
The professor looked up from his oatmeal to say, "Rogue, I want you
to know that any treatment Logan needs, he will get. Whatever course
of action you two decide to pursue, I will support you
"Thank you, Professor. I just... I don't want to make the decision
"How is Anna taking this?"
"I don't think she understands how bad things are. I tell her that
Logan's injured, and she thinks he'll heal in a couple of hours."
"That's the way it's always been in the past. Perhaps if she went to
"No. He just woke up, and with all the bandages. I don't think he'd
want her to see him that way. Maybe in a when the stitches come out."
"Rogue," Jean said in a calm voice. She didn't want to upset her any
more, but she felt she could help. "I've had some experience with
this sort of thing in my residency. It's always easiest if the kids
come sooner rather than later. Right now, he looks bad, but without
the bandages, he'll look much worse. There will be a lot of
Marie started to sob, pulling her napkin up to her face to catch the
tears. She hadn't considered that. Everything was moving so quickly.
Logan was injured horrendously, then he had brain damage, now he'd be
scarred for life?!?
"I'm just..." Jean continued, trying to comfort the other woman. "I'm
just saying it might be easier if Anna knows about this sooner. Logan
can't hide from her forever."
"Jean, do you think... the scarring... will it..." Marie hiccuped
through her sobbing.
"When his healing factor comes back, it will take time, but the
scarring will most likely disappear completely."
That statement caused Marie to cry even harder, this time in relief.
"I just..." Marie said when she regained control of herself. "I just
can't take any more of this. Do you have any good news for me, Jean?"
"Yes," Jean said, surprising Marie with the quickness of her
response. "His speech is better than I'd expected."
"What? I could barely make it out."
"Yes, but at least he was trying to form the correct words. Sometimes
with aphasia, the patient will say completely understandable words,
but will mix up their meanings, leading to incomprehensible
speaking." Seeing Marie's confused expression she added, "Like if I
were to say to you, 'Bicycle wings bread run get.' instead of
saying 'Please pass me the milk.'"
"You mean it could've been that bad?"
"Yes. I won't know until we do further testing, but in Logan's case
it seems that he just has problems moving the speech-related muscles
to talk properly. That can be aided with physical therapy. Also, and
most importantly, he seems to comprehend what we are saying to him.
He can understand speech."
After breakfast, Marie took a walk outside around the lake. Dawn was
just breaking when she reached the place that she and Anna had
picnicked the other day. If only Logan had stayed with them instead
of going out on that mission, he'd be fine now. She sat on the dew-
damp grass for a few minutes, wishing that the day had gone the way
they'd planned it.
She remembered Scott's description of the battle and figured that if
Logan hadn't been there, Scott, Jean, St. John, and Jubilee would
have died, maybe even the whole team. She didn't know what she felt
about that. Deciding she didn't like thinking about it anymore, she
got up and headed back to the mansion and their room.
Upon entering, she found Kitty burping little Bobby, Jr. in the
rocking chair. Peeking into Anna's room, she saw her daughter was
still blissfully asleep.
"Thanks for doing this, Kit. I know you've got your hands full with
B.J. there, but your door was on the way, and I was so frantic."
"No prob, girl. We're all worried about Logan. How's he doing?"
"He's awake, but... it's just..." she sighed, "It's going to take a
while.... Dammit, Kit, I feel so helpless."
Kitty rose, cradling B.J. in her left arm so she could hug Rogue with
the right. Rogue clung to her friend, crying out all the rage and
helplessness that had built up over the past couple of days, holding
back nothing. She realized she was babbling between hitching breaths,
but she didn't have the strength to stop herself anymore, just
letting it all come out. Kitty for her part, patted her friend's back
and made comforting noises, like you would to a crying baby.
Marie didn't know how much time had passed by the time the tears
dried up and she was able to breathe normally again.
"I'm sorry to dump all of this on you, Kitty."
"It's ok, Rogue. Listen, I'll watch Anna. Why don't you go down and
talk to Logan now that he's had some time to himself?"
Marie nodded and, after washing her tear-streaked face in the
bathroom, headed back for the Med Lab. She was so preoccupied, she
didn't notice the sound of a door opening and closing or the quick,
light footsteps behind her.
"Logan, sugah, Jean thinks that Anna should see you now."
"Logan, I know you don't want her to see you like this, but it's
going to take time to heal. She's already asking for you. I can't
keep her away forever."
"I didn't catch that, sugah."
Marie heard the Med Lab doors whoosh open and assumed that Jean had
returned. She steeled herself to hear the more of the woman's therapy
arguments. Couldn't she understand that she and Logan needed time to
discuss it and decide together? Instead of Jean's voice, though, she
heard a small, uncertain voice say, "Mommy?"
Rogue spun around to see her daughter, still in her Winnie-the-Pooh
pajamas, standing at the entrance. When she'd turned, she'd moved her
body back and it no longer blocked Logan's face.
She saw the shock register on her daughter's face as she gasped and
See part five.