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Fic: Comfort Me With Apples: R: 2/2: L/R

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  • victoria p.
    Disclaimers in Part 1 Comfort Me With Apples Part 2 *** Over the next two weeks, Rogue put on a brave face and found herself managing pretty well. Everyone was
    Message 1 of 1 , May 27, 2002
      Disclaimers in Part 1

      Comfort Me With Apples
      Part 2


      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.

      Logan's 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
      position again.

      "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
      close, but--"

      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
      consume him."

      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.

      Jean sighed.

      "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,"
      Hank said.

      "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
      until *her*.

      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
      and friendship.

      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
      no exception.


      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
      shirts gape.

      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
      his mind.

      "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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