DISCLAIMERS REPOSTED IN PART 0
* * *
"Now try getting the other side."
"Nope, not quite. Keep smearing your warpaints on crooked." Logan
wasnt giggling, or even smiling, but Marie could see the amusement
lurking in his eyes.
The source of all this mirth attempted once more to summon the phenomenal
degree of hand-eye coordination required to eat a spoonful of strained
yams. So far hed gotten orange mush all over his high chair, bib, hands,
and face, but very little had actually been eaten.
"At least youre getting it up to your face. Now you just gotta find your
mouth..." Logan leaned his crossed arms on the table, watching as Max
took the spoon clutched in his sticky fist and stabbed it clumsily into
the sweet potato on his plate. "Thats the first part keep going..."
Bringing the business end of the spoon to his mouth proved a bit trickier
the more so since Max was holding it pointing downwards from his fist.
Gamely he attempted to bring it to his mouth, but succeeded only in
globbing more mush onto his chin. "So close..."
"Hes just smearing it all over the place. Maybe you should try feeding
"Nah, the baby book said to let him try feeding himself when he wants to.
Otherwise we may still be spoonfeeding him when hes two..." Indicating
his orange-bedaubed offspring with a tilt of his head, "Besides, isnt
this entertaining?" Entertaining, but messy. Logan having learned his
lesson from the mouthful of smushed blueberries lovingly smeared across
the design on a Harley-Davidson shirt some months ago, removing his shirt
before uncapping the jars of baby food had become as much a part of the
routine as putting a bib on Max. A few random splatterings of orange on
his bare arms confirmed the wisdom of the habit.
Marie giggled again. Max, perhaps reacting to being found overly amusing,
flung down the spoon with a "Ba!" of annoyance. Eliminating the middleman
along with any semblance of table manners, he stuck both chubby hands
into the yams and brought them to his face. Aside from adding another
coating of potato to his cheeks, he managed to get a reasonable amount
actually into his mouth. Marie graduated from giggles to full scale
"Okay, now *thats* cheating. Time to bring in a pro..." Picking up the
used spoon from the floor and taking it to the sink, Logan found another
baby-sized spoon in the silverware drawer. Max quit sucking on his sticky
fingers and happily opened his mouth to accept another dollop of yam.
Marie propped her chin up on her hand and watched Logan expertly scraping
goo off the babys face and transferring it to his mouth. Fun and games
over, the laughter died away and the lingering smile gradually
Catching her face out of the corner of his eye and watching the humor
leave it, Logan asked, "Something wrong?" without turning away from his
"Oh, just..." Marie shook her head. "Its nothing. Not important."
"Important or not, you look like its bothering you."
"Well, it... It just... I was getting dressed this morning, and Remy
asked why I never wore the green sweater he gave me any more..."
"And I dont like wearing it because, well... Its a stupid reason..."
"So... Its what I was wearing when... when I lost... the first time..."
She paused and swallowed.
Looking around from Max for the first time, Logan saw the overly-bright
look in her eyes. He nodded at her to show that he understood, and that
she didnt have to finish.
Saved from having to refer to her first miscarriage too directly, she
took a deep breath and continued. "So after that, whenever I saw it
hanging in the closet, Id remember... And I quit wearing it unless Remy
actually asked me about it because he liked it, he liked the color on
me and it was a really nice sweater and all that. And then when I got
pregnant the second time, I didnt want to wear it *ever* because,
well... Remy said I was being superstitious, but he didnt make a big
deal about it. But this morning..." Another pause, followed abruptly by
an apparent change in subject. "You know we did everything different the
second time. We told everyone we were expecting the first one as soon as
we knew, we barely told anyone about the second one because we were
waiting for me to start showing. We were all excited picking out names
and planning the babys room the first time, we were waiting until later
on for the second one. Like we didnt want to jinx it, you know? And Remy
was doing all that the same as I was but this morning, he said that I
was being superstitious, cause it hadnt done a bit of good helping me...
helping me keep the second one, so why didnt I just see that it was a
nice sweater and put it on and quit treating it like a... mark of ill
omen, I think he called it." An unhappy laugh. "Like hes just been
humoring me about it all this time, but hes sick of it now."
Logan gave her a compassionate look, actually going so far as to put the
spoon down. "But you still dont want to wear it anymore."
"I know, I *know*, it *is* silly and superstitious and stupid, but..."
"But you cant help feeling that way."
Marie silently shook her head.
"Ab! Daaa..." Max impatiently slapped the tray of his high chair,
demanding resumption of the potatoes.
Logan turned back to his son, but continued speaking to Marie. "I dont
like doctors or labs or any of that shit. And I know that Hank and
Jeannie arent anything like the fuckers that had me before even if
Hank *does* get a little in-your-face about some of his research
questions sometimes and I know that Im fine going down into the
Medlab." A pause while he scraped up another spoonful. "But that doesnt
mean that I like it there. I dont let it keep me out of there when Ive
got a reason to go but I dont go wandering in for no good reason
either. And I keep watching my back whenever Im there." Another
thoughtful pause. "Feelings dont follow logic. You shouldnt let them
get in the way when you wanna do something. But when its something
little like not wanting to wear something because it reminds you of
something bad that happened once when you were wearing it well, could
be you need to get past that and move on. But could be that its just a
sweater and if you dont want to wear it anymore, then dont. Youve got
Marie sighed. "Too bad Remy doesnt agree."
Logan looked like he was debating something with himself for a moment,
then said, "Everyone deals with grief their own way. Hes trying to get
past it, too just not the same way you are."
She frowned. "Shouldnt he let me deal my way while he deals his way?"
"Could be you keep reminding *him* of it the way you keep avoiding
stuff... Could be he wants you to get some *good* memories to do with
that sweater so you can start wearing it again and it turns into just
another sweater instead of bad news."
Resting her folded arms on the tabletop, Marie dropped her face onto them
for just a moment. "Could be hes just being shallow again and cant
stand seeing me not liking something that *he* gave me."
A short chuff of laughter, followed by another squeal from Max. Raising
her head, Marie saw Logan carting the plate and spoon to the sink before
returning with a washrag in an attempt to clear the worst of the goo off
his son. Resisting the scrubbing, Max kept trying to turn his face away.
"That was almost a, Da, there are you *sure* he isnt starting to
"Ah, he makes enough noise, *some* of its gonna sound like words."
"I dont know, I think hes edging up to a Da-da..."
Logan chuckled. "Aah, I think he can do better than that." Scooping Max
out of the chair, "How about it, kid? Gonna learn from your Uncle Hank,
start with something *hard*?"
"Antidisestablishmentarianism, Max! Antidisestablishmentarianism..."
Getting caught up in the spirit of things, Marie stood up to get closer
to the baby. "An... ti... dis... es... tab..." At such close range, she
had a good view of not only Max but his father, so she saw the exact
moment when the playful light in Logans eyes went out.
Breaking off her playful chant to ask what was wrong, she got her answer
before she even had the question asked, as Logan turned his head to the
kitchen door. And there was Cicely, just walking into the room clearly
Logan had heard (or scented) her approach.
Marie caught her breath Cissy was *not* a sight that should have taken
the joy from *any* mans eyes, especially not her husbands. Right now
she was obviously fresh from the shower, her damply-curling hair in a
naturally tousled style that many women paid good money to simulate with
perms and gels. Snug-fitting jeans and a white button-down blouse open at
the top showed off a figure that had clearly bounced back from
childbearing and then some. Knowing that Ciss had in fact just finished a
workout helped but not much. At least Cicely had to put in a *little*
effort to look that good but she was still starting off at an
advantage. Feeling small and drab by comparison, Marie wondered, [Why the
hell did I have to end up sharing a house with a bunch of frickin cover
girls and outright goddesses? Jean, Ro, Bets, Cissy I might as well
shave my head and wear sackcloth, it wouldnt make a bit of difference in
the amount of attention *I* get...]
Absorbed in feeling dowdy, Marie almost missed it when Ciss asked,
"Rogue, you wouldnt happen to be free to watch Max for a few hours
tonight, would you? If its not too much trouble?"
Before Marie could reply, Logan answered, "Sokay, Ill be home to watch
him. I wasnt planning on going anywhere tonight."
Cicely frowned. "Actually I was thinking we could go out, get some
dinner. You know a little time to ourselves?"
Logan forestalled Maries agreement again. "Nah, thats okay. You go on
out I think Jeannie and Betsy and Ro were driving into New York a
little bit later. Go along, make a chicks night out of it. I wasnt
really wanting to go anywhere."
The frown wasnt going away, but Ciss was considering. "Well, maybe we
could make a night of it right here at home, if we could just get someone
to watch Max for a little while..."
"Sure, no problem " Marie began, but Logan ran right over the top of
"No! You go on and have a good time you havent done anything like that
for *months*. I go out all the time, Ill just stay home tonight. Go.
Marie almost missed noticing Cicelys glare, caught up in gazing
awestruck at the spectacle of a man noted for his raging and untamed
libido turning down guaranteed sex with a goddess. The faint trace of
Logan still lingering in her mind whispered to her that *something* had
to be up there was no *way* he could have missed the fact that his wife
was trying to set up a romantic evening.
Cicely obviously didnt have a Inner Logan. Clearly she could have used
one. "Actually, I was thinking less in terms of getting out of the house,
and more of you and I getting some alone time."
"We see each other all the time. We *live* together."
"Yes, but I meant *alone* time. Without Max."
"Nothing wrong with Max being around. Is there, kid?" he asked,
attempting to defuse the situation by redirecting attention to the
[Oh, I am *not* believing hes gotten *that* bored in bed not with
*her*! Thats what shes *good* at!] Marie thought to herself.
That little shadow of Logan murmured in its time-faded voice, [Thats not
it, thats not it at all, it *cant* be...]
"No, but sometimes itd be nice just to get some *alone* time. Without
having to worry about him waking up at the wrong minute..."
Logan shrugged. "Im sure hell be sleeping all night soon enough..."
Ciss actually gritted her teeth. "Not soon enough for me."
Logan gave her a brief, wary look before returning his outward attention
to his son. "No hurry, kid. I dont mind."
Marie tried to disprove her growing suspicion. "Its all right, Id be
thrilled to take him for a while. Give you two some time to yourselves."
Standing almost directly between Cissy and Marie, Logan had the luxury of
being able to look at one without the other seeing his face. He took full
advantage, keeping the tone of his, "Dont worry about it Marie Im
sure you have better things to do tonight," mild, while glaring at her
[Somethings wrong,] Marie thought to herself, echoed by that spectral
Inner Logan. [Somethings *really* wrong. He doesnt want to be alone
with his wife...] Responding less to the threatening glare and more to
the mute pleading she saw lurking beneath it in his eyes, she slowly
replied, "Well, if youd rather I didnt..."
"Sokay, he and Ill be fine. Cissy, you go. Have a good time." Without
giving either woman a chance to reply further, he grabbed the shirt left
draped across his chairback and left the kitchen, Max still tucked in one
Ciss glared at her husbands departing back, bewildered. "What? Is there
some kind of sporting event I dont know about on tonight?"
Finding a puzzled expression extremely easy to assume under the
circumstances, Marie shrugged. "Ah, he must have had some heavy male
bonding on the schedule. Maybe he had something planned with Kurt..."
* * *
She Whose Quotations Are Both Exotic and Appropriate
Keeper of his Deadly Startle Reflexes, Guardian and Examiner of the
Adamantium-Revealing X-Rays, and Official Listener for the Occasional
"You see, my real dad is an angel. One of the really _important_ ones.
But I don't care. I really don't. Because I'm on the _devil's_ side.
Because he keeps promises. And he has the most _amazing_ eyes."
-- Elaine, LUCIFER #15, by Mike Carey
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