Fic: Comfort Me With Apples: R: 2/2: L/R
- Disclaimers in Part 1
Comfort Me With Apples
Over the next two weeks, Rogue put on a brave face and found herself
managing pretty well. Everyone was subdued in the wake of Silver Fox's
death, so her quiet demeanor was not at all out of place, and actually
fairly in character. She taught her classes (English for the youngest
students; piano to those who were interested) and went about her life as
Her solitary behavior had long since become unremarkable, and so her
withdrawal into a gray shadow in the sun-dappled halls of the mansion
went mostly unnoticed.
The third week, she woke up dizzy each morning -- dizzy and hungry and
queasy all at the same time. She found she couldn't keep any food down,
but she couldn't stop eating, either.
It seemed to pass after a couple of days, and she wrote it off as a
stomach virus that had been going around.
Then it started up again, and she began to worry, but she put off going
to see Jean or Hank about it. She lived and worked in a school;
something was always being passed around.
When the nausea hit in the middle of a fight with the Friends of
Humanity, and resulted in her being knocked out cold before the rest of
the team managed to get things under control, she had no choice -- she
woke up in the lab, with Jean sitting next to her, reading a report.
"Rogue. How do you feel?"
She thought about it as she tried to sit up. "Whoa." <Sitting up is
bad,> she thought woozily, lying back down and closing her eyes. She
slipped a foot down to the floor to stop the room from spinning, and
felt a draft.
Her eyes shot open, but Jean was fully covered and nowhere near her bare
leg. She'd risen from her chair and was leaning against the counter.
"A little dizzy?" Jean asked, smiling.
"Yeah. Also, hungry."
"There's some meatloaf and mashed potatoes left in the kitchen."
Rogue wrinkled her nose, her gorge rising. "Uh, maybe not."
"Still a little queasy?"
Rogue nodded, then regretted it as the room started moving again. "I
suppose I have a concussion, huh?"
Again, Jean smiled. Rogue was starting to find that irritating. "No,
actually. You were lucky." She pursed her lips, then, "I don't know how
to break this to you." Rogue bit her lip, heart racing. "No, no. It's
nothing bad. At least, I don't think it is." She sat down again, and
took Rogue's hand between both of her gloved ones.
"Just spit it out," Rogue said, her voice hoarse with fear.
"You're going to have a baby."
Rogue stared at her in shock. She said nothing for a few seconds, then,
"Jean, I think I'm hallucinating. Do hallucinations have sound? I just
heard you say I'm going to have a baby."
"No hallucination, Rogue," the doctor replied, laughing, squeezing the
hand Rogue had forgotten she still held. "I ran a blood test to be sure,
since there were some anomalies... Anyhow, I know you've been feeling
sick and --"
"Yeah. I had what Ginger and Donna had. You and Bobby and Jubes had it
last week and--" Rogue ran out of breath.
"Well, yes, half the county has been down with the Norfolk virus, but
not you, Rogue." Jean's smile widened. "You're pregnant." And she
carefully hugged her.
"I-- I--" Rogue couldn't quite get her mouth to work, and her brain
wasn't in much better shape. "But, but *how*?" she finally blurted,
Jean nodded sagely. "In the normal way, I expect. Condoms aren't one
hundred percent effective, and you're not on the Pill, so--"
"But, but -- It was only the one time."
"Rogue, this isn't an after-school special. You and I both know that it
could happen the first time or the fifty-first time. With the severity
of your mutation, I'm honestly surprised it happened at all."
Rogue nodded, still dazed.
"Do you think it'll be okay? I mean--"
"You're healthy, and the embryo has implanted in the uterus, so
gestation should not be a problem. I'd imagine the amniotic sac will
protect the baby during pregnancy, and we can plan a C-section when
you're ready to deliver. Though -- well, we'll run some tests, and see
what Hank thinks, but it's possible -- it's very possible -- that the
baby could be unaffected by your skin. I know Scott and his brother --
their mutations have no harmful effect on each other. As I said, Hank
and I will be monitoring things closely." She smiled again. "I'm sure
Hank will be thrilled. Do you want me to get him? He's been beside
himself with worry since you got knocked out. You know how he worries
about you, especially with Logan gone." Rogue let Jean's chatter wash
over her, still too dazed to take it all in.
She was having a baby.
However, when Jean said, "Logan will make a wonderful father. I think
you two make a lovely couple," Rogue pushed herself up into a sitting
"Logan?" she croaked, closing her eyes and slamming down her mental
shields. She must be projecting. "Logan and I aren't a couple. Jesus.
Silver Fox --" She pushed her hair off her forehead, suddenly worrying
about what Logan would think of this whole thing.
"Oh. Was it -- do you want to talk about it? I know we've never been
Rogue laughed, joy overwhelming fear for the moment. Time enough later
to be afraid. "There's nothing to talk about. Logan and I -- we're
friends, but we're not-- Let's just say that it was a one-time thing,
Jean, and leave it at that."
"Oh. Well." Jean squeezed her hand again, and then stood, brushing a
tendril of hair behind her ear. "We'll all be happy to help you. Scott
and I are trying to conceive, you know."
It was Rogue's turn to say, "Oh." She smiled again. "Good luck. Have
"Believe me, we are."
And they both started giggling uncontrollably.
When they finally stopped, Rogue's sides hurt and tears were streaming
down her face. Jean was dabbing at her eyes, as well.
"I'm pregnant," Rogue whispered, awed.
"Can we not tell anyone just yet? I think, I think I want to get used to
the idea first."
Jean's expression was knowing. "You want to tell Logan first."
Rogue looked at her, startled. "Uh. Well, he is my best friend." She
didn't say, 'He's the father.' She wasn't sure she could say it out loud
yet, though Jean seemed to have no problem.
"Of course. I understand. He'll be so excited. I think it's wonderful,
you know. Give him something to focus on other than the past and
vengeance. Vengeance is an ugly thing, Rogue, and I don't want it to
Rogue nodded, her joy only slightly damped by the idea that the father
of her child might not want a child, and certainly not with her.
"But I also think we have to tell Scott why you're going to be removed
from active duty. And Hank, of course, so we can do some more tests."
Jean continued to talk, but once again, Rogue found her mind wandering,
and her hand curled over the flat of her belly, simply amazed that life
had taken hold there.
Jean stopped talking, finally, and Rogue said, "It's going to be okay,
"Yes, Rogue. Everything is going to be all right."
And Rogue believed her.
There were some days Rogue thought she'd never be well again, that she'd
spend her life puking into garbage pails and toilets.
Every time she got in the car to go somewhere, she had to stop and throw
up. If she wasn't throwing up, she was peeing. If she didn't have to
pee, she was hungry. But eating just led to vomiting.
It was a vicious circle.
She lost weight, and worried about it, though both Hank and Jean told
her it was all right.
She finally discovered that eating saltines and drinking seltzer about
half an hour before eating any actual food, and then chewing minty gum
afterward, calmed the nausea somewhat, and by week ten she was able to
keep food down for a good part of the day.
By that point, the news had spread through the school, though she'd
tried to keep it quiet, and she had a steady stream of well-wishers
offering to baby-sit and do other things for her once the baby came. It
made her feel loved and wanted in a way she'd never quite experienced
before, and she blossomed under the attention. It made the constant
nauseous yet hungry state she was in more bearable. The only thing
missing was Logan. Although the other adults had all pleaded with her in
turn about calling him, she wasn't ready to face him yet.
She'd sat in Xavier's office as they others discussed the situation as
if she weren't even there. They'd had this conversation daily since the
day they'd discovered Rogue's pregnancy.
"I still think he's got a right to know," Scott said.
"And it is Rogue's right to tell him," Ororo answered.
"If it were my child, I'd want to know," Hank chimed in, as he always
"You're not Logan," Jean said.
"That is patently obvious, Jean, but the fact remains, I would want to
know if my lover became pregnant, and I am sure that Logan would, also,"
"Exactly. You know he's got that sense of obligation. He might be
irresponsible with himself, but he's always been there when Rogue needs
And that was as far as she let it go. She didn't want to tie him to her.
She didn't want to be that woman on "Jerry Springer" who made her
boyfriend marry her for the baby, and they ended up hating each other.
She stood, clutching her chair tightly as she rode the wave of dizziness
that accompanied standing these days. "And I will tell him when he comes
back," she announced. "He'll come back and when the time is right, I'll
tell him. Me. Not you. In person. Not on the phone. Not to make him feel
guilty or pressure him into something he doesn't want to do. But because
it's his baby, too."
It was the first time she'd admitted it out loud, and even Scott backed
down at the determination in her voice.
The subject was dropped.
She was convinced this was her chance -- she was going to have something
of Logan's, something no one else would ever have, and she wanted to do
it right, to make sure nothing happened to the baby. She figured Logan
might never love her unconditionally, but his child surely would. She
didn't want to screw that up by making Logan hate her, by forcing him
into something he wasn't ready for. She would, as he always told her,
follow her instincts. They'd yet to steer her wrong where he was
concerned, and she was sure they wouldn't now.
Logan, meanwhile, wandered his old haunts, unable to get the image of
Marie out of his mind. He told himself he didn't -- couldn't -- care.
They were friends. Nothing more.
He'd never had a problem separating sex from emotional attachment. Not
He just had to find his way back to that place, the one where he could
walk away without looking back, without wondering how she was or what
she was doing, and if she was thinking about him while she was doing it.
He fought at the bars that would still have him, tales of his claws
still circling in some of the more remote regions of Alberta, even after
six years. He did some work for a pair of Russian mobsters in Vancouver.
Two squat, dark-haired men who drank vodka all day and laughed coarsely
at their own jokes.
He worked as a debt collector, cracking skulls and breaking legs. He
detached from people, and after a few months, he thought he was ready to
go back. He'd just beaten a man unconscious without a qualm; the man's
pleas for mercy had fallen on deaf ears. Logan made three thousand
dollars doing it. His utter lack of caring seemed to be a signal that
he'd moved on, and he decided to go home.
He called the mansion, and growled when Scott answered the phone.
<Fucking great,> he thought. "I'm coming back," he growled into the
"It's about time," Scott answered. "Rogue needs you here."
"Whatever." It came out casual, distant. He told himself he didn't care.
He hung up as Scott started blathering on about responsibilities.
He didn't care.
And maybe if he kept telling himself that, he'd finally start to believe
Marie didn't rush down the stairs and fling herself into his arms when
he arrived back at the mansion.
He didn't know why he was expecting her to, and he tried to pretend he
wasn't disappointed when it didn't happen.
He didn't catch sight of her until dinnertime, and even then she didn't
speak to him, though he knew she knew he was there. If that was how she
wanted to play it, that was fine with him. Made his plans easier to
carry out, since he didn't think he could manage to be indifferent to
her if he was actually faced with her big eyes and full lips, and the
way she smiled and her nose wrinkled when she laughed.
He rose and left the dining room, disgusted with the maudlin turn of his
Scott followed him out into the foyer, but he wasn't interested in
hearing One-Eye's spiel about responsibility.
"Save it," he said tersely.
Scott nodded. "She needs you, even if she doesn't show it."
There was nothing to say to that. "I'm going to town."
"You'll be back, though?"
"Yeah." He was at the door when he said, "If she needs me, I'll be
That seemed to satisfy Scott, though it didn't come close to explaining
his feelings for Marie. But he wasn't thinking about that, because if he
didn't think about it, he could pretend he wasn't feeling it. And God
knows, he didn't want to *talk* about it, and he was afraid that's what
One-Eye was going to suggest, so he left hurriedly.
He spent almost a week avoiding her. Six days of listening to her pass
his room, going out early and coming home late so he didn't have to face
her, face the fact that things were different between them, and he
didn't know how to fix that.
He brooded a lot, and refused to talk to anyone about it, though Jean,
Ororo and Hank all tried to corner him. He sensed that something else
was going on, that perhaps they knew how he'd screwed up, how he'd taken
advantage of Marie, but none of them seemed angry. They were all concern
It was definitely odd, but he chose not to dwell on it. Nothing good
ever came from dwelling on his feelings, and he was sure this would be
Rogue had successfully avoided being in the same room with Logan since
his return. She was sure it was hurting him; it was killing her.
But she wasn't ready to face him yet, to tell him the truth. She knew
he'd be able to sense it, smell it on her before she even got the words
out, and she wasn't sure what his reaction would be.
She had discussed it ad nauseum with Jean and Storm and even Scott and
Hank, trying to get the male perspective. She had planned what she was
going to say, even tried to write a speech at one point, but she knew
that wouldn't work with him, that whatever she said had to be true and
heartfelt or he'd know she didn't mean it.
She practiced evasion, and she noticed that he didn't try all that hard
to track her down. She knew that if he'd wanted to see her, nowhere on
earth would have been safe from him.
So, she played the game, knowing that sooner or later she'd have to face
him. And really, she thought, trying to find something to wear that
wasn't too snug, sooner rather than later. She was sort of grateful that
he wasn't pushing for a confrontation, even as she was hurt.
She discarded the black jeans as too tight and tried on the blue ones.
They didn't fit either, and she settled on a stretchy black skirt that
didn't need to be zipped over her newly-rounded abdomen. Now she had to
find a shirt that would fit.
Her breasts, which had always been perky and small enough for her to go
braless comfortably, were now swollen and tender. She liked the fuller
look, even if it meant she had to strap on a bra every single day, but
it made her t-shirts and turtlenecks pull tight and her button-down
She found herself crying in frustration after trying on and discarding
almost every shirt she owned. She couldn't take it; she refused to buy
maternity clothes and she was horrified at the idea of becoming huge and
bloated, like a beached whale.
She could handle the nausea and the vomiting. She could deal with the
constant hunger and the mood swings. But the fact that her clothes were
too small pushed her right over the edge.
She sank down onto the floor at the foot of her bed, and wept.
Logan waited, tense and wary, seated on the edge of the bed.
He did this every morning, waited for Marie to walk by so he didn't have
to see her.
He looked at the clock and noticed she was late. She was always
downstairs by seven-thirty; classes started promptly at eight, and she'd
been at the school long enough for Scott's lessons on punctuality and
appropriate behavior to have sunk in. She was never late. It set a bad
example for the students.
Something was wrong.
He heard her as soon as he opened the door. She was only three rooms
away, and she was crying.
That was bad.
He'd never liked being around crying women. It made him nervous in the
way few things could. But a crying Marie was doubly bad, because he had
no doubt that somehow, some way, he was the cause of those tears. He
grabbed his gloves, pulled a flannel shirt on over his t-shirt, and
walked down the hall.
He knocked and tried the door. It was open, so he pushed his way in.
She was curled up on the floor at the foot of the bed. Clothes were
strewn about the room and she was only half-dressed. Which was all kinds
of interesting, at least to his body.
He was overwhelmed by the scent of her, warm, spicy, still somewhat
innocent. There was something different in it, though. He couldn't put
his finger on it, but it was richer, softer. It nagged at the back of
"Go away," she sobbed, keeping her face buried in what looked like a
shirt. "I'm not ready to talk to you."
So she did resent him, was avoiding him for a reason and not just
because he was avoiding her.
"Okay," he said, "but stop crying."
She finally looked up at him, her face a mess. She was a pretty crier,
he recalled, the tears seeming to slip down her cheeks like drops of
crystal, but now she was red-eyed and red-nosed, her hair a tangle and
her skin blotchy.
"I can't," she moaned.
He slipped down to the floor next to her, exasperated. "Well, I can't
leave until you stop crying."
She hiccupped. "Then you're going to be here a while."
He sighed and gently pulled her into his lap, cradling her against his
chest, his chin resting on her hair. He rocked her as she cried, and his
hands stroking her back in what he hoped was a soothing motion. It
certainly wasn't soothing him and he shifted so she wouldn't be able to
feel his response to holding her so closely, even if she was a sobbing
He closed his eyes and just inhaled her scent, glad that she was letting
him do this for her, and worried that the crying was going on far too
long. "You're going to make yourself sick," he murmured.
She hiccupped again, and laughed, which was a start, though tears still
streamed down her face. "If it's not one thing, it's another," she said,
but she quieted down.
He turned that cryptic remark over in his mind and continued to run his
hands along her back, and, when he could get away with it, up her sides
and around her belly --
It took his mind a moment to process what he was feeling and hearing.
Since she'd gone quiet, he could hear her heartbeat in tune with his,
and also --
"Marie," he said slowly, afraid of insulting her if he was wrong. But he
knew he wasn't wrong. And it would explain a lot of things. "Are you
She looked up at him, then, and he felt his heart stop for a moment.
There was something in her eyes that just brought all his feelings --
everything he'd tried to deny or forget -- rushing back to the surface.
His grip on her tightened, and he kissed the top of her head.
"I'm so sorry," he whispered, feeling the tears sting the back of his
He realized that maybe that wasn't the best thing he could have said. He
hurried to clarify. "I'm sorry I left. I ran. I should have been here.
Oh God, we're gonna have a baby."
"So why are you crying?"
She sniffled. "None of my clothes fit anymore."
He blinked. "Well, we can't have that. I mean, my girl and my other
girl," his hand cupped her abdomen gently, "can't be walking around
half-dressed." She giggled and he felt like laughing himself.
"Am I your girl?"
"Always," he said. "Sit up for a second." She did and he slipped off his
flannel -- a nice one, all dark blues and greens that would look good on
her -- and wrapped it around her shoulders. She slipped her arms into
the sleeves and buttoned it up, before turning and throwing her arms
around his neck.
"I love you, Logan," she said, and he could smell her fear. "I don't
want to have this baby without you, but I don't want you to feel
obligated. I know how you felt about Silver Fox, and I know that I'm
just your friend or whatever, but--"
"Shh." He placed a gloved finger over her lips. "I've loved you since I
saw you," he whispered. "I didn't know what it was, but I knew, I knew
you were the future. Silver Fox -- I loved her, too. But she was the
past. I just, I didn't think you wanted me. You never responded when I
flirted with you--"
"You flirted with me?" she squeaked. "When?" He opened and closed his
mouth. Apparently, his skills at charming the opposite sex weren't as
good as he'd thought they were. "It was only ever you for me, Logan. But
I thought -- we couldn't touch, and you thought I was too young and then
you and Silver Fox--"
He silenced her with his lips this time, a butterfly kiss brushing over
her mouth so quickly her skin couldn't react. He didn't know how an
absorption would affect the baby, and he didn't want to take a chance,
so he hoped this would be enough.
And it was.
On January twenty-fourth, Rose Marie Logan was born. She was eight
pounds, four ounces and as she grew, she showed no adverse reaction to
her mother's skin.
Her mother glowed with love and her father couldn't stop bragging about
her. It was the start of a beautiful life.
"I go online sometimes, but everyone's spelling is really bad. It's
depressing." Tara, _Buffy the Vampire Slayer_
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