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FIC- "Oh my Darlin'" (1/1)

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  • azorakatherine
    Title: Oh my Darlin Author: Azora Archive: Just let me know Disclaimer: Characters are owned by Marvel/20th Cent. Fox Rating: R probably, the f word is
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 2, 2002
      Title: Oh my Darlin'
      Author: Azora
      Archive: Just let me know
      Disclaimer: Characters are owned by Marvel/20th Cent. Fox
      Rating: R probably, the "f" word is in here twice :)
      Reviews: Comments (constructive especially) are always appreciated

      Summary: Happy (almost hurting-my-teeth sweet) little story: Rogue
      acquires a baby

      Logan woke from a deep sleep, heightened hearing not needed to hear
      the sound of bare feet and the wailing of a child being carried past
      the door. He waited a few moments, the sound growing quieter as they
      went down the stairs, then got out of bed and slid his jeans on. He
      didn't doubt that she could handle things; she'd proven she was more
      than capable over the last two weeks. It was more that he liked the
      way she looked with a baby in her arms.

      He walked quietly down the stairs, not wanting her to know he was
      checking up on her. Rounding the corner to the lounge, he realized
      he could have jumped down the stairs with boots on. The baby was
      screaming. They sat in the only rocking chair in the house, a
      leather recliner, gently rocking. A full bottle sat on the table
      next to the chair. The only light in the room came from the full moon
      streaming in the floor to ceiling windows that looked out over the
      patio. The moonlight made the white streak in her chestnut hair
      gleam silver. Her brows were furrowed and her shoulders tense as she
      whispered gently to the baby.

      "So you're not hungry, you're not wet, why are you crying, sugar?"
      She made quiet shushing noises to the child, who only wailed
      louder. "I know you and me are both new at this, darlin'. Just bear
      with me, okay?"

      Logan started to step forward, but Rogue spoke again. "I'll sing you
      a little song. It's not really appropriate, I reckon, but my mama
      used to sing it to me when I was little." Logan stepped back into
      the shadows as she began to sing.

      "Oh my darlin'
      Oh my darlin'
      Oh my darlin' Clementine
      You are lost and gone forever
      Dreadful sorry, Clementine"

      Her voice was soft and light, and her accent twanged thick in the
      song. As she sang, Logan watched Rogue begin to relax back into the
      chair, and the baby responded, her cries less demanding, a pause in
      between each little surrendering wail.

      "Light she was and like a fairy
      And her shoes were number nine
      Herring boxes without topses
      Sandals were for Clementine"

      She sang the chorus again, and the baby grew silent, but Rogue
      continued to rock and sing to the baby.

      "Drove her ducklings to the water
      Every morning just at nine
      Hit her foot against a splinter
      Fell into the foaming brine
      Oh my darlin'
      Oh my darlin'
      Oh my darlin' Clementine
      You are lost and gone forever
      Dreadful sorry, Clementine"

      Chuck had come into the lounge on a Sunday afternoon, the X-Men
      gaggle huddled around the television. The race was at Richmond that
      week. Stupid NASCAR. NASCAR was something Rogue had gotten them all
      hooked on. Logan thought it was the stupidest thing he'd ever seen:
      a bunch of old men driving fast in a circle? Give him a good hockey
      game any day. But it was nice to be in a room with everyone, not
      worrying about the mission ahead, not wondering who would get hurt
      this time, so he sat and pretended to be mildly interested. It was
      also a great opportunity to pick on Rogue and Cyke at the same time;
      they were both obsessed with the stupid sport. Hank was the only one
      who remained unaffected, but even he migrated to the lounge on Sunday
      afternoons, spending his time instead reading, smiling over his book
      at their antics.

      But Chuck had wheeled in to ruin the day. "Jean, I need to talk to
      you for a moment."
      Jean turned to him with a smile, but didn't move from the sofa. She
      tried to be aloof about it, but she was almost as bad as
      Scott. "What can I do for you, Charles?"

      "It may be better if we speak alone." Chuck's face was somber, and
      Logan wondered what had him upset. He wasn't telling them to suit
      up, so it must be minor. Jean immediately got up and followed him
      into the hallway.

      Jean returned a few minutes later, her face as somber as the
      professor's. "Scott, I need your help."

      "What's wrong?" he asked, standing up. "What happened?"

      "I'll tell you on the way. We need to go to the city. Hank, can you
      watch Nate?"

      The blue beast was playing with the boy at the table, both of them
      making silly car noises with their lips. "It would be my pleasure,"
      he answered.

      "Jean, don't leave us hanging!" shouted Bobby. "What's going on?"

      Jean sighed and ran a hand through her hair. "A baby was born last
      night at St. Mary's Hospital in Brooklyn. She's apparently a mutant,
      with her gift already manifested when she was born. She has killed
      her own mother and two nurses." She looked at Rogue as she
      spoke. "They can't touch her. They think her skin might be
      poisonous. The hospital called the police, and one of Charles'
      informants called him. He thinks we might be able to help."

      Jubilee reached over and flipped off the TV. "Jeez, that is

      Rogue stood up. "I want to go."

      Scott shook his head. "The less people, the better. The media is
      probably already there, and I think Jean and I should be able to
      handle it."

      "Scott, I'm going whether you like it or not." Rogue's lips were
      pursed, her shoulders squared. Logan smiled to himself. The twenty-
      one year old had a stubborn streak, and when she wanted something bad
      enough, she refused to back down. Logan had been in Scott's shoes
      before, and he hoped the man was smart enough to let it go.

      He did, but not before pointing a finger at Rogue. "I'm only letting
      you go because we don't have time for this." He stalked out of the
      room, Rogue and Jean close behind.

      It was after seven when they got home, and Logan was surprised to see
      a bundle of blankets in Rogue's arms. She and Jean had gone directly
      down to the lab, leaving a tired Scott to tell the story. He set
      down a sack full of baby things and flopped into a chair.

      "When we got there, it was chaos. The media was everywhere. Someone
      recognized Jean and figured out why we were there, and practically
      jumped on us."

      "We saw you on the news," stated Bobby. "They assumed you were there
      to `protect the rights of the mutant child' and then played a whole
      bunch of clips from their mutant terrorist file."

      "It seems that some individuals think the child should be aborted
      post-partum," added Hank.

      Scott shook his head. "It was just fucked up." Logan raised an
      eyebrow. Cyke rarely cursed. "They had no clue what to do. The
      baby's father was sitting in a chair like a zombie. He wouldn't
      speak to anyone. The kid was in one of those clear bassinets by
      herself, locked in an isolated room. She was screaming because she
      was hungry, and everyone was afraid to touch her to feed her." He
      rubbed the bridge of his nose. "It was probably a good idea we took
      Rogue. While Jean and I spoke with the doctors diplomatically, she
      went right to the room and opened the door. One of the nurses put a
      hand on her shoulder to stop her, and she turned around and pushed
      her right down on her ass. Rogue went right over and picked up the
      baby. Then she shouted, `Someone get me a fucking bottle, right
      now.'" Scott let out a strained laugh. "That nurse got her ass in
      gear. Rogue sat right down on the floor in the isolation room and
      fed the baby. I think if Jean or I had tried that, we would have
      gotten ourselves arrested. We talked the hospital administration
      into temporarily releasing her into our care, until they figure out
      what to do. I think they were happy to see her go."

      "So what are they doing downstairs?" Logan asked.

      "Jean wants to run a few little tests on her, to see how she's doing
      it. She wants to make sure the poison can't soak through clothing."

      Logan's eyes narrowed. "You tellin' me you weren't sure about that
      and you let Rogue fuckin' hold her all the way back?"

      Scott stared at Logan. "First, the baby rode in a car seat. Second,
      I haven't been able to tell that girl a thing since we left here.
      She won't listen to me at all."

      "She feels a kinship with the baby," added Jean, walking in the
      room. She looked as worn out as Scott. "She wants to take care of
      the baby for now, and she's upstairs with Charles to plead her
      case." She grabbed Scott's hand. "I think she's determined. Could
      you go get Nate's bassinet out of the storage closet and take it up
      to Rogue's room?"

      Scott turned to her, surprised. "I guess I thought we'd take care of
      her. Are you sure this is a good idea?"

      "No, not really. But Rogue's careful. She doesn't want to hurt the
      baby anymore than she wants to get hurt. She wants this bad, and her
      heart is in the right place. I think Charles will give in to her."
      She cocked her head to the side, listening. "Yup, he's decided. She
      can take care of the baby." Scott nodded, and left the room in
      search of the bassinet.

      "Is she in any danger?" Logan asked. She wasn't a kid anymore, but
      that didn't mean he had to stop watching out for her.

      "I'll be honest with you, Logan, I don't know. The baby doesn't
      secrete the poison, so it looks like it's only skin to skin contact
      that is the problem. Hank and I will run more tests tomorrow. It's
      late tonight. The baby needs her rest." Jean shook her head. "Poor
      Rogue doesn't know what she's in for."

      That was an understatement. Rogue had a hard time for the next two
      weeks, but Logan watched her attack it with the same stubborn streak
      she had used to make Scott back down. Jean and Scott were there to
      answer her questions, and everyone else pitched in to help. Bobby
      learned how to change a diaper with latex gloves on, and Logan was
      surprised to learn he knew how to burp a baby. "Done this before,
      sugar?" she had asked with a wink. Logan had shrugged. If he had,
      he certainly didn't remember.

      She read the books and learned as she went. The sight of Rogue with
      the baby in a carrier against the front of her chest became familiar
      around the mansion. She became less surly, less antagonistic. She
      was not the same Rogue who had thrown a beer can at the wall during a
      Saturday night game of Trivial Pursuit. She was learning patience.
      She was growing up.

      She refused to give the baby a name, even a nickname. "She doesn't
      belong to us," she would say. "If we give her a name, it will be
      harder to let her go."

      Jean and Hank had concluded that the poison was a biological
      substance produced by her body, similar to the venom poisonous snakes
      produce, and unique to her. Hank started working immediately to
      create an anti-venom, if possible. They wouldn't be able to take the
      poison out of the baby's skin, but at least no one would die if there
      were a mistake.
      Other than the poison, she was a normal baby girl.

      Jean had reported their findings to the baby's father. He had
      listened, accepted, and then flat out refused to see her. Two days
      later, Charles had announced that the father wanted to give her up
      for adoption, Logan had not been surprised when Rogue demanded the
      right. Six had met in Charles' office to discuss the matter: Rogue;
      Scott, Jean, and the professor to talk her out of it; Logan, finally
      needed again for protection and support; and the little girl herself.

      Charles began. "Rogue, I do not believe that this is the right time
      in your life to take on such an overwhelming amount of
      responsibility. You are due back at college in August. I would hate
      to see you throw your academic career away."

      "I've already thought about this. I'll take the fall semester off.
      Working moms have children all the time, and they don't have an
      entire house full of babysitters willing to help `em out. I can go
      to classes during the day and come home at night."

      "You have so much on your plate already," Scott added. "With school,
      the Saturday self-defense class you're teaching, and the X-Men, how
      can you find the time to be a mother, too?"

      Rogue rolled her eyes. "Nate's almost two, Scott, and you and Jean
      had much more `on your plates' than I do. And look, you managed to
      get through it just fine."

      "But there were two of us, Rogue." Jean's voice was softer. She
      knew how mothers felt about their children. "You are just one

      Logan put a reassuring hand on Rogue's shoulder. "Jean, I may not be
      married, but I have all of you." She put her gloved hand on top of
      Logan's. "I have all of you to support me." She took a deep breath
      and threw in her trump card. "It is more than possible I will never
      have children of my own. You all know this. Even if I was to get
      pregnant, how do we know the baby won't react to my skin? It's not a
      risk I'm willing to take. That is not something I could live with.

      "And here is a child who can't be touched! This is so right. I will
      know how she feels. I can help her through this. You all know this
      is the right thing to do."

      Jean was smiling, Scott looked skeptical, and the professor looked
      pained. "Even if I agreed, which I do not yet, I do not think it
      will be easy for a twenty-one year old unmarried woman to adopt a

      Rogue smiled. "You've got more friends in high places than the Lord
      himself. I think you can find a way."

      "Ruby lips above the water
      Blowing bubbles soft and fine
      But, alas,I was no swimmer
      So I lost my Clementine

      Oh my darlin'
      Oh my darlin'
      Oh my darlin' Clementine
      You are lost and gone forever
      Dreadful sorry, Clementine."

      Logan walked into the room.

      "How long you been there, sugar?" she asked softly.

      "Long enough." He brushed an errant hair behind her ear, careful not
      to touch her face.

      "You're not gonna call her that, are you?"

      "What, Clementine? Oh, christ, no." She laughed quietly. "Hank
      suggested Cleopatra, since she got bit by a poisonous snake. I think
      he might have been serious."

      Logan sat down on the edge of the coffee table at Rogue's
      feet. "Jubilee and Bobby were throwing around some horrid ones at
      dinner tonight. I think they decided Freida was pretty good."

      Rogue shook her head, chuckling. "I'll decide before I sign the
      final paperwork, of course. I just don't know yet." She looked down
      at the bundle. "Oh, you have got to be kiddin' me, sugar!" She
      sighed, smiling at Logan. "She's still got her nights and days mixed
      up. She's drivin' me crazy!"

      Logan stood and down at the little girl. She stared back, wide
      awake, her already brown eyes almost black in the moonlight. He
      smiled. The baby smiled back.

      "Hey!" protested Rogue. "I didn't know she could do that yet!" She
      rubbed a gloved finger against the baby's cheek. "You're supposed to
      give your first smile to your mama, darlin'."

      Logan sat back down on the coffee table as Rogue began rocking again,
      humming the song softly under her breath. Slowly the little girl's
      eyes began to droop, and Rogue gave him a knowing smile.

      He watched them rock, his untouchables. The girl-child that had
      turned into a woman and her soon-to-be daughter.

      Both could kill you with a touch.

      Or lay claim to your heart with a smile.
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