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FIC: To Love and to Cherish 2/2

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  • rimmette@earthlink.net
    Whoops! I forgot to mention. This is the fifth story in the Wedding Vows Series. Disclaimers, etc. in part one. ***** Marie assumed that she was dying as she
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 30, 2001
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      Whoops! I forgot to mention. This is the fifth story in the Wedding
      Vows Series.

      Disclaimers, etc. in part one.

      *****

      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.

      *FLASH*

      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
      like Mommy?"

      "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"
      to Marie.

      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.

      *FLASH*

      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>"I'll see you tonight,"</i> Marie had said as he left her and Anna
      behind, abandoning their picnic to go on this mission.

      <i>"Tonight,"</i> he'd promised. He had to hold on, if only to see
      her one last time, tonight.

      *FLASH*

      "Give your daddy a kiss," Marie said, handing Anna over to him.

      She leaned against his face, giving him a slobbery, wet kiss against
      his muttonchops.

      "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.

      "Um… uh… I'm not rubbing it off, pun'kin. I'm… I'm rubbing it in.
      That way, it's with me all day."

      *FLASH*

      "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."

      "Logan… you'll pull her away if anything…"

      "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
      anything… 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,
      hands, everywhere.

      "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
      to notice.

      'Thank you,' he thought, gratitude filling his soul.

      *FLASH*

      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
      up again.

      "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.

      *FLASH*

      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
      bundle.

      "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
      beautiful.

      "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
      next."

      "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
      assessment.

      *FLASH*

      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.

      *FLASH*

      "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
      fittin'."

      "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."

      *FLASH*

      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.

      *FLASH*

      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
      mouth.

      After taking a few sips, Marie asked, "What happened? Logan? The
      baby?"

      "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
      Jean.

      "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
      back down."

      "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."

      *****

      Next: 'Til Death do us Part.
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