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FIC: In Sickness and in Health 8/8

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  • rimmette@earthlink.net
    Disclaimers, etc. in part one. ***** Without conscious forethought, acting on the pure, panic-induced instinct to save his daughter, Logan released three,
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 29, 2001
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      Disclaimers, etc. in part one.

      *****

      Without conscious forethought, acting on the pure, panic-induced
      instinct to save his daughter, Logan released three, nine-inch, razor-
      sharp bone claws from his right hand and embedded them in the rusted
      gutter at the roof's edge, stopping their fall. He had Anna's arm
      tightly gripped in his left hand, but his weaker right arm was
      already starting to burn from the strain of holding them up.

      Anna was screaming and squirming in his grasp. He tried to call to
      her, to tell her to hold on, but her yelling mixed with his
      stuttering made the message indecipherable. Then, his claws started
      to slip.

      -----

      They say a mother can distinguish her baby's cry from any other child
      within days after birth, and Marie was no different. Anna's panicked
      shrieking tore through her soul like a knife, and she was running
      through the kitchen and out the door before she had consciously
      registered that something was wrong.

      Following the crying sounds, and mimicking everyone else on the lawn,
      she looked up to see Logan and Anna hanging seven stories in the air.
      Her heart stopped for a second, and then started beating itself out
      of her chest. She was inside again and running up the stairs to the
      roof before anyone realized she had even been out there.

      -----

      Marie wasn't the only one who'd heard the screams. Scott and Ororo
      came running from the front of the mansion where they'd been teaching
      soccer. They were expecting a battle, thinking someone was attacking
      the mansion. When they saw Logan and Anna suspended precariously
      from the edge of the roof, they were stunned.

      Scott immediately went into full, fearless-leader mode "Storm, can
      you create a wind draft and blow them back on the roof?"

      "It doesn't work like that. They could be blown off the roof instead
      of back onto it."

      Scott went through the abilities of his team members. Only Jean's
      gifts might be of use, and she was no where to be seen. He called to
      her through their mental link, telling her to come as soon as
      possible, and then started evaluating the students' powers in case
      one of them might be able to help.

      When Logan slipped an inch and Anna screamed harder, he knew they had
      to act now, but Jean was nowhere in sight.

      The roof's door opened, and he thought that Jean must've gone
      directly there. Of course, when the figure emerged onto the
      shingles, he realized how wrong he was. It was a five and a half
      months pregnant Rogue starting to slowly scoot down the slope to her
      endangered family.

      -----

      "Logan, hang on, sugah. I'm here."

      Marie!?! Panic overtook him. With her pregnant belly, her center of
      gravity was thrown off. What if she came close to the edge and fell
      over?

      "NNNOO! Mar-ee, ggo bbakk."

      "No." Marie said in a tone that made it clear she'd allow no more
      arguments. Sitting down on the roof before him and planting her feet
      wide to give her leverage, she reached out both hands and
      commanded, "Hand Anna up to me."

      He slowly raised his left hand up and over his head. The movement
      loosened his claws even more from the worn and rusted gutter, but he
      didn't fall. Anna was still crying, and Marie tried to calm her.

      "Sugah, Mommy's right here. Come to Mommy. Shhh, stop wiggling.
      Give me your hand. It'll be ok... I've got her, Logan. Logan, let
      go. Logan, I can't pull her up if you don't let go."

      It was one of the hardest things he'd ever have to do, letting go of
      Anna when her feet were still dangling over the side of the roof, but
      if there was anyone he trusted completely in the whole world it was
      Marie, and he finally forced himself to release his grip.

      He watched with fear and then relief as Anna was pulled up to the
      relative safety of the roof. Marie started to scoot back up the
      incline to get Anna inside. "I'll be back for you in a second,
      sugah."

      "Ddon' bbothrr," Logan said, unsheathing the claws on his left hand
      and embedding them in the wooden edge of the roof just as his other
      claws slipped from their hold in the storm drain. His right arm was
      numb by now from the effort of holding his and Anna's combined body
      weight. Still, he was able to move it just enough to give the claws
      a good hold so he could move his left arm again. Wiggling and
      shimmying, he finally pulled himself up far enough to get his knees
      on the roof's surface. After that, it was much easier to climb up to
      the door and back into the stairway where Marie and Anna were waiting.

      Once he was finally on a safe surface, he allowed himself to
      collapse, sucking in air in an attempt to catch his breath.

      "What happened? Why were you up there? How did you get on the edge
      like that?" Marie was asking.

      "I fell, Mommy," Anna said, still shaking a little in her mother's
      arms. "Daddy saved me."

      "But what were you doing up there in the first place?"

      "Daddy was up there."

      Marie turned to look at Logan, her face questioning. He shook his
      head. Still trying to catch his breath, he puffed, "Wwuz... think-
      nn."

      "Rogue? Logan? You guys ok?" That was Scott's voice calling from
      the flight below.

      "Ya, we're fine. Just had a scare." Marie answered. Then, looking
      at his bloody but already healing hands, she asked, "*Bone* claws?"

      Logan shook his head. "Dunn-no."

      "Should we go get Jean to look at them?" Marie asked, uncertain.

      Logan shook his head. "Ttoo ttirrdd."

      She nodded. He seemed to already be healing. They could wait until
      he'd gotten a chance to rest. She helped Logan back down the stairs
      to his chair, and they went back to their suite.

      -----

      A knock on the door drew Marie's attention away from Elmo dancing
      around on the television. It was one of Anna's favorite videos, and
      it was keeping her distracted and relatively quiet while Logan napped
      in the other room.

      When she opened the door, she found Jean, Helen, and Hank with huge
      grins on their faces.

      "Rogue, we have some news," Jean said, almost euphorically. "Where's
      Logan?"

      "He's resting."

      "He's gonna want to wake up for this," Helen added. "It's big news,
      Rogue."

      Their excitement was almost contagious, and she felt herself starting
      to smile as well, even though she didn't have a clue what she was
      smiling about. "Ok, um, take a seat. I'll go get him."

      Logan rolled out of the bedroom a few minutes later, followed by
      Marie. His hair was even wilder than usual, and he was still blurry
      eyed from his nap.

      "Wuzz up?"

      "Logan, your progress in therapy has been amazing," Helen
      started, "and today with the roof incident. Well, you shouldn't have
      been able to do that."

      "Hhadd tto."

      "No, you don't understand. I mean you should be physically incapable
      of the strength and speed necessary to do that. I brought it up to
      Jean and Hank."

      "We were reviewing your CT results when she entered," Henry
      added. "Upon further examination, we have determined that not only
      has your right hemisphere synapses increased in number, but your left
      hemisphere has started to regenerate."

      Logan looked at him like he was speaking Portuguese, his sleep-fogged
      mind still not completely cleared. When Marie whooped and reached
      down, hugging him so tight his lungs started begging for oxygen, he
      got the impression that whatever Big Blue had said was good news.

      "Logan, you're healing, sugah! You'll be gonna be good as new!"

      Once the truth sunk in, Logan was surprised at his feelings. This
      was what they'd been hoping for. He should feel relief,
      thankfulness, happiness, something. The truth was that it didn't
      change anything. He had found out what was truly important to him
      while hanging from that roof earlier today. Even if he never got
      better, he still had Marie, Anna, and a new son on the way. They
      were all that mattered. He wanted to explain all of this to Marie,
      but his speech was still too slow. He could wait.

      "LLuvv yooo... ddarrlnn," he said instead. That was enough for now.

      *****

      Next: To Love and to Cherish.
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