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FIC: In Sickness and in Health 3/8

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  • rimmette@earthlink.net
    Disclaimers, etc. in part one. ***** Marie collapsed to her suddenly weak knees. Logan d had a stroke. No, Jean had to be wrong. That didn t happen to vital
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 29, 2001
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      Disclaimers, etc. in part one.

      *****

      Marie collapsed to her suddenly weak knees. Logan'd had a stroke.
      No, Jean had to be wrong. That didn't happen to vital men like
      Logan. It happened to old men in nursing homes who had lived their
      lives. Men who didn't have a wife, young daughter, and new son on
      the way.

      Grandpa Morgan'd had a stroke when Marie was just seven. Momma had
      taken her to visit a couple of times, but he'd acted different and
      walked with a funny limp. A couple of times, he'd forgotten that
      they were even there. That couldn't happen to Logan!

      "Rogue," that was Jean's voice. She felt Hank's strong hands lifting
      her up and helping her into a chair. All she could do was stare at
      Logan's still form on the bed before her as Hank returned to wrapping
      his wounded face and head. This couldn't be happening.

      "Marie," Jean said.

      That caught her attention. No one called her Marie but Logan. To
      everyone else, she had always been Rogue. She turned to look at the
      other woman's weary face.

      "I won't lie to you," Jean continued. "This is a serious
      complication."

      Jean looked so grim, but Marie felt a whisper of hope. "What about
      his healing factor? It's slowed down, but when it comes back, he'll
      be as good as new, right?"

      "I honestly don't know. Normal humans are born with a set amount of
      brain cells. Once those cells die, they can't regenerate."

      "But Logan's a mutant. He heals."

      "I don't want to give you false hope, Rogue. We can't be certain
      that he can heal brain damage. You have to be prepared for the
      worst."

      "I don't want to. I want to hope for the best."

      "We all do, but Logan is going to need your help. You have to be
      prepared."

      Marie nodded, trying to prepare herself to hear some harsh
      realities. "What do I need to know?"

      "Logan has had a left-hemisphere stroke. He is exhibiting right
      hemiplegia, or paralysis on the right side of the body, because of
      it. You already noticed signs of that on his face, the way the right
      side seems to droop."

      Marie was crying now, and Jean paused, walking to the supply cabinet
      to get her some tissues. Marie could tell she was uncertain if she
      should continue, "Don't stop, Jean. I have to know."

      "Ok... He might have memory problems, especially with his short term
      memory. Also, he will probably develop aphasia, since the left side
      of the brain controls speech and language. This problem can be
      highly specific, affecting one or more language skills. His ability
      to talk might be impaired, but he might still be able to write, read,
      or understand speech. There is no way of knowing what's affected
      until he wakes up."

      "He won't be able to talk?" Marie asked in a small voice. It was
      unimaginable. Logan was always so strong, so healthy. This couldn't
      be happening to him, to them. "When will he wake up?"

      "He's still under sedation from the surgery, and his body will be
      demanding sleep to start his recovery. He probably won't wake up
      until late tonight or tomorrow morning. You should go get some sleep
      now, while he's resting."

      The idea was ludicrous. "I can't sleep. I can't leave him."

      Jean sighed, and looked around, obviously wanting to shoo Marie out
      of the Med Lab, if only for a little while. "What about Anna? Maybe
      you could go see her?"

      'Anna!' Marie thought. "What time is it?" she asked.

      Jean looked at her watch. "Almost noon."

      In her worry over Logan, she hadn't noticed how much time had
      passed. Anna needed her. Logan would want her to go.

      Pushing herself out of the chair, she shuffled over to his still
      body. She leaned over and kissed his bandaged brow, promising to
      return quickly, then she left the Med Lab to find their daughter.

      -----

      "Anna-banana," Jubilee said in a teasing voice, "look who's here."

      "Mommy!" Anna squealed running to her mother's arms, her hazel eyes
      sparkling under the wavy, dark brown hair. Everyone said she had her
      father's coloring and her mother's features, but as she ran across
      the room, all Marie saw was the Logan in her. It made her want to
      cry all over again.

      "Hey, Anna," Marie said, giving her daughter a tight squeeze.

      "Mommy, you're squishing me."

      Marie half-smiled. "Sorry, sugah. I'm just real glad to see you."

      "Where have you been all day, Mommy? Where's Daddy?"

      "Daddy went on a mission, remember?" Anna nodded and Marie
      continued. "Well, Daddy got hurt, and Aunt Jean and Uncle Hank are
      making him better."

      "But that was yesterday. Daddy's all better today," Anna replied,
      knowing how quickly her father could heal.

      "No, sugah. Daddy got hurt real bad."

      "Did you kiss it better?" Anna asked, confused as to why her father
      wasn't all right. He'd been hurt before in her short three years,
      but he'd always recovered almost immediately.

      "Yeah, baby. But it's still gonna take some time to heal."

      "I'll draw him a picture."

      "I think that's a real good idea, honey. You draw him a picture, and
      I'll take it to him."

      Remy colored with Anna while Jubilee came over and sat by
      Marie. "Have you gotten any sleep, Rogue?"

      "I can't, Jubes. I close my eyes, and all I can see is the blood.
      He's hurt so bad, Jubes. Jean doesn't think he'll recover."

      "Then he'll get better just to prove her wrong. You know how Logan
      loves to do the unexpected."

      "I just can't help thinking that this time yesterday, he was fine,
      life was great. How can everything change so quickly?"

      "Life'll be good again. You'll make it through, Rogue."

      -----

      "Daddy!"

      Marie was awakened by Anna's cries in the adjoining room. Even
      though she had checked on Logan throughout the rest of the day,
      taping Anna's picture to one of the IV trees, she had finally been
      persuaded to go to her own room to sleep that night. Hank, who had
      taken the night shift, assured her that he would contact her if Logan
      started to wake up, but that he probably wouldn't until the next
      morning.

      "Anna, what's wrong?" Marie asked, switching on the light.

      "Where's Daddy?" Anna whined.

      "He's hurt, sugah. I told you that."

      "But I need Daddy."

      Marie sat down on her daughter's bed, pulling her into a sideways hug
      and stroking her cheek with a bare hand. It had been a gift from God
      that Anna was immune to her deadly skin. She hadn't shown signs of
      any other mutation, but she had the mutant gene and would probably
      manifest in her teens.

      "Why do you need Daddy, honey? Can't I help?"

      "You can't growl," Anna replied.

      "What?"

      "When I have a bad dream, Daddy comes and growls all the monsters
      away."

      Marie couldn't help but laugh at that mental image, then she started
      to cry when she thought of Logan now.

      "What, Mommy?" Anna asked, noticing her mother's tears.

      "Mommy's just a little worried about Daddy, honey." Marie replied,
      wiping her eyes. Then in a stronger voice, she said, "But don't you
      worry. He'll be ok. Now, let's scare some monsters."

      "But you can't growl."

      "What makes you think your momma can't growl?" Marie said. Pulling
      up the faded remains of Logan's personality that she'd absorbed a
      couple of times over the years, she let out a deep, rumbling growl.

      Anna's face brightened with surprise and delight. "You can do it,
      Mommy!"

      "Yes, now, what does Daddy do first?"

      "Well, he sniffs around to find the monsters. They always hide in
      the closet first."

      Marie took some quick whiffs and said, "Yep, they're in there now.
      What does Daddy do when he finds them?"

      "He opens the door and growls and says, 'You better get outta there,
      monsters, 'cause I'm Anna's daddy, and I'll hurt you good if you
      don't.'"

      Marie was really laughing now. "And what do the monsters do?"

      "Then run and hide under the bed, 'cause Daddy can be real scary."

      Marie followed her daughter's instructions and then asked, "What does
      Daddy do now?"

      "Then he picks up the bed and drops it on 'em, and growls at 'em to
      go away before he gets really mad."

      So that's the thumping sound she'd heard those late nights when
      Logan'd got up to check on Anna. She didn't really want to attempt
      bed-lifting when she was four months pregnant.

      "Do you think Mommy could just growl at the monsters to scare them
      away?"

      Anna thought about it for a moment. "Only if you growl really scary."

      Marie tried and her efforts seemed to satisfy Anna. "Where do the
      monsters go after that?"

      "Well, then they run outside with all the other monsters. Daddy
      growls and says they better stay out there if they're smart, and he
      shuts the window."

      Marie completed the ritual and then tucked her daughter back into
      bed, kissing her forehead.

      "Mommy, can I see Daddy tomorrow?"

      "We'll see, sugah."

      -----

      The ringing of the telephone woke her at 5 a.m. Still only half
      awake, she answered it.

      "Rogue," Hank said, "he's waking up."

      Marie dropped the phone and ran, stopping at Kitty's door on the way
      only long enough to ask her to watch Anna.

      She was running so fast, she almost ran into the doors of the med lab
      before they had a chance to detect her presence.

      Hank looked up and said, "He's not awake yet, but he's starting to
      move around."

      Remembering what Jean had told her yesterday, she went to Logan's
      left side, and stroked one of the few small patches of undamaged skin
      she found there with a gloved hand.

      "Logan, open your eyes, sugah. Wake up and open your eyes for me."

      Logan moaned and she watched as his eyelids started to flutter. He
      finally managed to get both eyes open, but the right eyelid drooped,
      almost closed. When he focused on her face, recognition flashed in
      his eyes, and Marie could feel the tears forming in her own.

      "Welcome back, sugah. I missed you."

      "Mah... Mar..." he slurred, trying and failing to say her name.

      *****

      See Part Four.
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