He was stretched on the bed reading some magazine or other when I walked
in. Stalked in. Staggered in, maybe. I debated the ways I'd break it to
him. There was the circular approach, the gentle approach. The injuring
him approach. I wasn't sure which I'd choose.
I jumped onto the bed and dropped on his waist, planting a gloved fist on
either side of his shoulders. He gave me a curious look.
"You have all those fucking animal instincts, and you didn't pick up
anything was different about me, huh?"
A pause. He put down the magazine and stared me, then reached up and
cupped my face, meeting my eyes.
"I always know when you're--" he stopped, cocking his head. "Huh. You're
He caught me when I collapsed and rolled me over beside him, lifting
himself on one elbow to study me.
"Now you guess?" I groaned.
"Shoulda figured it'd happen." There was a certain air of fatalism in his
voice, and Logan just wasn't a fatalist. I stared at him.
"Logan, I'm on birth control. We use condoms. God, the sperm die on
impact around here. Snowballs have a better chance rolling through hell
intact. How the fuck did one manage?"
His lips twitched a little and he considered my question much more
seriously than I expected him to.
"Strong little fucker."
I rolled onto my stomach and buried my head in my arms.
"This isn't happening," I moaned, and he rubbed my back over my shirt.
"What'd Jeanie say?"
I lifted myself on an elbow. I was waiting for panic. Some sort of
movement for the door. Anger. Something. But Logan'd surprised me since
I met him, and of course, I shoulda guessed he'd take this in a way I
Instead, he just looked thoughtful.
"She said I was pregnant. I threw up on her and she let me leave. We
didn't have a deep discussion about it or anything."
The hand on my back kept moving in slow circles and despite myself, I was
relaxing under the feeling and finally, I curled into the pillows when he
moved to my neck.
"You feel okay?" Another hand added to the first and I sank deeper into
the blanket and shut my eyes.
"A little tired."
"Yeah. That'll happen."
I turned my head and tried to glare.
"How would you know?"
"I 'member Jeanie." He worked back down my vertebrae in the same easy
rhythm. "Relax. Deep breaths."
"I should be telling you that. Aren't you supposed to be throwing things
or yelling or somethin'?"
"Nope." He got to my waist and slid my shirt up and leather on skin is
always a good thing. I purred into the pillow. "You okay with it?"
Wow. I hadn't really thought beyond the 'how the fuck' to get to the
'well, it's there', so that was something I had to think about.
"How d'you feel 'bout it?" I wasn't ready to get to 'well, it's there'
"Not sure." A low rumble. "Still thinkin'. Then he slid his hands under
me and easily flipped me over, running a curious hand down my stomach.
"How far along?"
"Jean can detect at six weeks. I'm guessing 'round that. Didn't really
I wished at that moment I could read him better--but having some of the
memories and personality traits didn't mean I knew it all. A long gaze at
my body, then he unbuttoned the bottom of my shirt, studying my skin as if
he'd never seen it before.
I blinked, startled into looking up at him.
"Just thinkin'. Miracle crap and all that." Both hands cupped my waist.
"Never thought I would, ya know? Didn't even know if I could." A pause,
and his thumbs traced my stomach carefully. I covered his hands with mine,
staring at the slow movements of his fingers.
"We need t'talk to Jeanie, find out--" He stopped again, and I wondered
what was wrong, until finally he looked at me. "You okay with it?"
I didn't know--but I was beginning to think so.
"What's your instinct, sugar?"
His eyes left mine and the slow trace of my skin again--then before I could
pull away, he brushed his mouth across my bare stomach, startling us both,
and I jerked even as he pulled away, a little lightheaded, a smile turning
up the corners of my mouth at all the things he could never say but only
"Yeah," I whispered, when he pulled down my shirt and his head rested on my
covered stomach. "That's sort of what I was thinking too."
* * * * *
"Marie, let them do it!"
But I didn't want it that way--this was natural, and Hank was trying to
explain why I couldn't, that my skin wasn't the problem that it was
something else, something to do with how the baby was positioned, but I
didn't want to believe--one normal thing, just one. That's all I wanted.
"I can give permission," Logan said softly, and I twisted around to stare
up at him. "She's in pain, she can't think, it's an emergency--Jean,
fucking do it! Now."
And one of his hands came up to my chin, jerking my head around so I looked
directly in his eyes, and it was more than fear, more than anger, more than
anything I'd ever seen or felt or understood before.
"Instinct. Trust me, Marie, please. Let her."
Everything he didn't say, I could see in him, feel in myself, the ticking
of the clock that suddenly seemed too loud, that I hadn't heard before this
moment. Dizzy, I tried to focus.
"Hold on, Marie." A little shake, and I could hear Jean's soft curse, the
smell of blood growing stronger. "Trust me."
"Okay," I whispered, and there was movement all around me--the other
medical assistants were being called and Logan was moving away, pulled by
Jubilee, but I grabbed at him. "Stay with me."
"Never leave you, Marie."
* * * * *
He twisted my hair back while I threw up again, then a washcloth was laid
gently over my face as I lay back on the cool tile of the bathroom floor.
"I'm gonna rip your balls off for this," I muttered through the cloth.
"It's all their fault in the first place."
"Yeah, yeah, yeah. It'll all be good. You any better?"
I shrugged, and waited for my stomach to stop cramping. Logan crouched
beside me and took the cloth to warm it again, then slid it over my
forehead. He was worried, I knew that much--I sort of pitied Jean
sometimes after a really bad morning for me, because she had to face him
when I was moaning in bed, calling down imprecations on all men.
"Okay, let's get you something to eat."
I opened one eye.
"You're reading those books again--the ones Jean gave you, aren't you?"
He'd never admit it, but he'd memorized the first one. What To Expect by
Dr. Someone-Or-Other. He knew what to expect, and with the most annoying
regularity, he could name off my symptoms and God help us all, he quoted
statistics at me one morning with my head in the toilet. He'd upgraded to
Jean's medical texts, much to her shock, but Hank, being the type to sit
around and analyze, pointed out it was all of a piece--I was his mate, I
was carrying his child, and his instinct said know as much about it as
possible. Which he did--more than I did, to be perfectly honest. I just
don't have his recall--what an odd thing to think about a man who had only
twenty years worth of memories out of God know how long a life.
"You need to eat something," he answered. God, he was stubborn. I
extended a hand and he gently pulled me to my feet--he would have carried
me but I put my foot down--hehehe, both my feet--and told him no. When I
got into our room, he placed me on the bed--which was fine, I didn't feel
like doing much moving--and went hunting for something I could keep down.
So far, crackers and peanut butter. And bread. And more vitamin
supplements than any human really should need. Yay for me being a mutant.
When he got back, he glanced down at me before sitting the tray on the
floor and ran a hand curiously over my stomach. Three months and he had
picked up the heartbeat before the ultrasound did. It utterly fascinated
him--I'd woken up before to find him on an elbow, staring down at my
stomach in total concentration.
"I'm getting fat."
"You just want to fuck me later."
A small smile, and he stretched out next to me. Brought a gloved hand
across my face and traced the line of my nose.
"Jean sent somethin' for ya," he said. I nodded and he levered himself up
enough to grab whatever it was off the floor. I took a look at the
magazine and groaned, rolling onto my side.
Suffice to say, the whole pregnancy thing had utterly delighted everyone
involved. When we went to the lab to discuss the possibilities--skin
issues, possible mutations, vitamin supplements and apparently nursery
colors--Jean and Hank both propped me up on the bed like an invalid--and
*everyone* knows better than that. Logan took the seat beside me and when
Hank began to take my blood pressure, he growled suddenly, and he looked
surprised himself when he did it, too.
I laughed while Hank looked immensely interested in Logan's instinctive
"What is it?" Logan asked, and I threw it at him. He flipped through the
magazine absently "Why would she send you color samples?"
"Wedding colors," I muttered. "Fucking wedding colors. Yesterday it was
the film of her wedding. And how easily she can alter her wedding dress to
fit someone else. And how good white looks on me. Fuck."
"You don't wanna get married."
I turned over and pointed to the closet.
"Look at the closet." Logan looked. "My father isn't in there with a
shotgun and this isn't the nineteenth century. We don't have to get
That was all I could take--I sat up, staring at him.
"You don't wanna get married."
"Didn't know that." He sounded thoughtful and sat up, eyes narrowing in
interest at the closet again. "You figure that out on your own?"
My mouth opened and shut abruptly, because I couldn't think of a damned
thing to say to that.
"Well, if you're gonna refuse before I even ask--"
He turned to look at me, amused, pleased, a little wicked, like the kid he
couldn't remember being, and it stopped my heart. I took a breath, then
another, then stared down at the floor.
"How do you do that?"
"Surprise me like that."
"Happens." He shrugged slightly, sliding an arm around my shoulders and
drawing me close.
"I love you."
"Good to know."
I paused, thinking about it for a second.
"Let's go to Vegas."
* * * * *
They put me under general anesthesia, so Jubilee told me what happened in
as much detail as she could remember. She also administered the sedative
to Logan, so he could stay without killing someone, and he held my hands
the entire time.
It went fast and easy--textbook, Hank told me later, and gloved and
protected, the c-section released my son into the world twenty-nine hours
after Logan woke me up to tell me it was time. I woke up feeling so high I
thought I'd float away and Logan was sitting beside me, watching my face.
My hand was still in his.
I remembered, for no particular reason, the day the baby kicked me for the
first time--lying in bed, startling Logan completely and utterly awake,
feeling the slide of his fingers across my abdomen, utter amazement in the
dark eyes. He slid down the bed and pressed a hand against me and didn't
move the rest of the night.
"How--how--" I couldn't focus enough to find the right words, to ask the
important questions--to even think of the important questions.
"Fine. Boy. Eight pounds and six ounces, twenty inches. They're running
tests." A trace of a gloved hand over my face, utter wonder and sheer
exultation coming off of him, and I tried to smile, tried to find more
words, more questions. He knew.
"He didn't react to your skin, baby."
I breathed out and smiled and Logan moved me over, sliding over me gently
and then covered my lips with his, fingers buried in my hair, tongue
sliding into my mouth opening up every sense. The connection snapped open
so suddenly I could barely breathe through it and somewhere I heard voices
and I know he was pulled away, still holding my hand, and I curled around
him when Jean let him lay down beside me.
"I knew all that," I told him, tapping my head as he drew me close.
"Always have, sugar."
"Thought you'd like to know, anyway."
--Hi, My Name Is Jenn, and I have Serious Issues with Marie wearing gloves
to bed. On Principle.--Sare on "Evil Plot Bunny #1: The Evil Sare
Tortures Jenn Via AIM One Night"
--Yeah, it's like being in love with hospital gravy.--Nacey on Jean's