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Fic: final chapter Together Again

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  • "Sunshine"
    Together Again Rating: The entire story gets an R rating (so be warned) Setting: two years after the end of X2. Summary: Some startling after effects face
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 21, 2003
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      Together Again


      Rating: The entire story gets an R rating (so be warned)

      Setting: two years after the end of X2.

      Summary: Some startling after effects face Wolverine, Panther, and
      some of the other members of the X Men

      Disclaimer: I claim no ownership of any of the Marvel characters,
      however the creation of Danielle aka Panther is mine. This is the
      final in a series of chapters.

      Feedback – reasonable and not nasty - greatly appreciated. If you
      wish to archive this story please email me first. Trust me, I am
      sure I will be thrilled, but want to know where it is.

      Author's note - I hope you enjoyed this series and I hope to write
      some new adventures based on this beginning full length series.



      It took some time for Danielle to really recover. She dealt with the
      painful memories of the torture quite well, and like Logan, took to
      her new body and claws as if they were always there. Yet, she had
      been so severely tortured into submission that Jean worried about her
      having the nightmares like Logan had suffered from. Because Logan
      worked with her, she suffered little in the way of after effects. He
      was gentle and understanding having experienced the same tortures
      before. After some time, Danielle carried on with a normal life at
      the school.

      She did demonstrate retaining her new gifts – her increased strength
      and metal claws, and a slight change in personality. Panther became
      the newest member of the X Men Team and Logan loved it when they went
      out on missions together. She had indeed become his match and he was
      glad she wasn't his rival and adversary. Her strength was
      incredible, her skills unmatched except by Wolverine, and she was
      cunning - a perfect hunter quite like the Wolverine.


      Danielle sat outside looking up into the clear night sky. It was now
      New Year's Eve and the Professor had arranged a special display of
      fireworks for the children. Everyone had gathered in the courtyard
      to watch. Logan sat down by Danielle. He put his arm around her
      pulling her close. Danielle looked over to Scott and Jean both
      sitting with their arms around each other.

      "I know why you loved her. She's really a classy woman," Danielle
      said.

      "So are you. And, it was wrong of me. I am not really a bad guy. I
      admit I can be a jackass. I knew it wasn't gonna happen. She loves
      Scott, even though I think he is a dork," he said.

      "Logan, it's ok. I'm just glad we are together again," Danielle
      said.

      She looked up into the sky watching the fireworks with great
      excitement. Logan was not enthused with the fireworks tending to
      spend the time looking at her. She seemed a little different than
      what he knew from before. Physically, she was the same with the
      addition of adamantium. But, her personality was a bit different.
      He couldn't quite put a finger on it.

      As he was deep in thought, he realized Bobby and Rogue were missing.
      But, Danielle got his attention again with her excitement. She then
      looked deeply into his eyes and he kissed her.

      "I love ya," he whispered.

      Danielle held onto him and kissed him again. Scott jabbed Jean
      gently in the side.

      "Hey, looks like Logan's got his own fireworks going," Scott said.

      Jean smiled watching Logan and Danielle head inside for some
      privacy. It would be the first time of sharing intimacy since the
      battle.


      Morning arrived and Logan was sitting outside with his cigar. Bobby
      sat down next to him, grabbed the cigar, and took a long hard drag
      from it. Logan looked at him strangely as Bobby handed it back.

      "Hum…what's up with ya?" Logan asked.

      Bobby couldn't say – he had a smile from ear to ear across his face.

      "Don't even answer that," Logan said knowing exactly what had
      happened with Bobby.

      "Somehow I think this year will be a special one. You were right,
      Logan," Bobby said.

      "You sly little devil. Now, whatever ya do, don't break Marie's
      heart or I'll have ta hurt ya," Logan replied extending the claws on
      his left hand.

      "You got it, man. I don't dare cross you," Bobby said with a laugh.


      Danielle was in her room packing up her files and clothes when Marie
      walked in.

      "Where are ya goin'?" Rogue asked.

      "The Professor is allowing Logan and I to move in together," Danielle
      replied.

      "Together?" Rogue asked.

      "Yes, together. I have decided to stay on permanently as your
      teacher," Danielle said.

      All of a sudden, Marie began to giggle uncontrollably.

      "OK, give it up. Why are you so giddy this morning?" Danielle
      asked.

      Marie couldn't speak – she just giggled more.

      "You and Bobby?" Danielle asked further.

      Marie nodded affirmatively and with a sly look in her eye.

      "The Professor helped me learn total control of my power – it
      happened when I helped Logan to save you. But, Bobby and I...ya
      know, we found the way too ," Marie said.

      She touched Danielle's face without her gloves on. There was no
      damage to Danielle. Danielle hugged Marie tightly.

      "Oh, girl. I am so happy for you," Danielle said.

      "I can help you pack if you need help," Marie said.

      "Sure. Then, maybe you and I need to go out shopping later. This is
      reason to celebrate and you and I both need some new clothes,"
      Danielle said.



      Spring arrived and the leaves on the trees were just beginning to
      sprout. Tulips and hyacinths bloomed around the campus and Danielle
      went outside to get some fresh air. She lay down in the grass under
      the warmth of the sun.

      Logan looked outside and eyed her suspiciously. Jean walked down the
      hall seeing him looking out the window.

      "Everything ok?" she asked.

      "I don't know. I don't remember her sleeping this much," he said.

      Jean looked out seeing Danielle stretched out in the sun.

      "Very typical cat thing. Cats love the sun and love to sleep," Jean
      giggled.

      "Hum…" Logan mumbled.

      "She has taken on quite a feline personality since that battle," Jean
      said.

      "She has changed. I can't begin to tell ya," Logan said.

      "You aren't sounding too comfortable with it," Jean said.

      "Well, it's just something I gotta get used to," Logan replied.

      "You want me to check her over again? I can later on today if you
      like," Jean responded.

      Logan thought hard about it. It seemed like a reasonable thing to do.

      He joined Danielle outside, nestling down behind her molding his body
      to hers. She stretched and yawned and pushed her back into his chest
      as his arm fell around her. She smiled to herself knowing it was
      Logan – she smelled him without even having to look. Danielle loved
      him – his rugged maleness and strong disposition, and he was hers,
      all hers.

      "You feelin' alright?" he asked.

      "Fine. Don' ya just love the sun?" she replied.

      "I was thinkin' maybe we could go out for dinner tonight. Just you
      and me," he suggested.

      "Sounds good. Seafood I hope," she replied sleepily.

      "Whatever ya want," Logan said.

      Afterwards, they both got up. He kissed her gently feeling her body
      go limp in his arms. She held onto him absorbed in his kiss. Just
      then, Danielle felt a little faint. She quickly grabbed onto his
      shoulder.

      "Hey, you ok?" he asked.

      "God, I feel really weird right now," Danielle replied.

      "You been like this for weeks. Something's wrong," he said. He felt
      her knees go out from under her and he lifted her into his arms and
      carried her down to the lab.

      Jean asked for some privacy and Logan reluctantly left the room. She
      took Danielle inside the lab and began checking her over. Danielle
      informed her of these same fainting spells she kept having. Jean
      suspected it being caused by after effects of Danielle's trauma.
      Nothing was turning up – she seemed normal – very normal for her
      condition.

      "I'm pregnant, right?" Danielle asked.

      "Looks that way. About eight weeks. No morning sickness?" Jean
      replied and questioned.

      "No. Just really tired. And, hungry all the time," she replied.

      "Do you want me to call Logan in? I can assume he has no idea of
      this," Jean asked.

      Danielle nodded yes and Jean was at the door to let him in.

      "What's up? Hey, you ok? What's wrong?" he asked with great
      concern.

      Danielle lay on the exam slab and took Logan's hand. He leaned into
      her as she pulled him to her for a hug.

      "I need to tell ya something important," she started.

      His eyes were wide with fear thinking something was terribly wrong.

      "I hope ya don't hate me. I know yer not all too crazy about kids,"
      Danielle started.

      Logan cocked his head wondering what she was driving at.

      "Yer gonna be a father," she said.

      Jean showed him the ultrasound. Danielle watched Logan's expression
      of shock.

      "Logan, I won't ask ya to do anything if ya don't want to be
      involved," she said.

      "Are ya crazy?" he asked.


      *I stood there staring – just staring. I was completely unable to
      move, frozen there as if Magneto had me in his grasp. Danielle took
      my hand and I still couldn't move. My eyes were just glued to that
      video monitor and the image of the child Danielle was carrying –it
      held me defenseless. Then, I go and say somethin' in Logan style.*

      "It's mine? It's really mine? We did this?" he asked.

      "Well, unless someone else has been wearin' yer shorts, then it's
      yers," Danielle joked.

      *Here is bad ass Logan – strong, solitary, feral animal – and I am
      gonna be a father. We're gonna have a family of our own.*

      Logan started out of the room like wildfire.

      "Where ya goin'?" Danielle cried out.

      "I gotta make arrangements. We gotta get ready!" he said.

      "Logan, you still got 7 months before the baby comes," Jean said.

      "I don't mean that," he said and was out the door before any more
      questions could be asked.

      It was lunchtime and the entire campus was gathered in the expansive
      hall to eat. Charles sat at the head of the table watching the
      residents gather together for lunch. Bobby and Rogue sat down next
      to Danielle, who was unaware of Logan's whereabouts. Scott and Jean
      were across from them and all the rest of the younger residents
      filled in around the table.

      "It is with great pleasure that I wish to announce to you that
      Danielle has indeed accepted to stay on permanently with us. I am
      sure Logan had something to do with it. I also hear Logan has a
      special announcement to make. Logan, the floor is yours," Charles
      said.

      Logan entered the room. Danielle could see he was nervous about
      something.

      "I am really bad at expressing myself, but I just wanted to thank you
      all for puttin' up with me these last few years. I came here angry
      and lonely – I still don't know who I really am, but it doesn't
      matter now. This is my home, my family - people like me and who
      understand me. And because of that, I wanted to share something with
      ya all," Logan started.

      He pulled out the dog tag from his pocket. Silently, he stared at
      it. Danielle began to wonder what was going on. His attention
      turned to her as he got down on one knee.

      "Danielle, I know this ain't much and that I had given it to you
      before, but it is the only thing I have to offer you – you already
      have my heart," Logan said softly.

      Marie grabbed Bobby's arm – she was awestruck by his popping "the
      question". Danielle couldn't move – she felt Logan's hands place the
      chain around her neck and she looked at the dog tag – "Wolverine 458-
      25-243".

      "I'll ask ya official like, would you be my girl?" he asked.

      "Yer stuck with me, Logan. I love you," she responded and hugged
      him.

      Kurt sat down holding his rosary as a wide smile crossed his face.

      "God has blessed these two souls and given them the faith in
      themselves to find the strength to love again," Kurt said.

      "Well, now, I think we ought to have a toast for this special
      announcement," Charles said.

      Logan stood up and moved behind Danielle's chair.

      "Before ya go ahead with that, there's something else I need to say.
      Danielle's pregnant," Logan added.

      Marie nearly cried with jubilation.

      "I never imagined the pitter-patter of young feet around here. It
      ought to be a real blessing. Congratulations to both of you,"
      Charles said.

      Scott walked around the table to stand before his former adversary.

      "Congratulations," Scott said extending his hand to Logan. Logan's
      eyes were welling up and Scott hugged him.

      "I know I have been a real jerk to ya, but I think I need someone to
      be a best man or somethin' like that. Ya think ya wouldn't mind?"
      Logan asked.

      "I'd be honored to – with one condition," Scott started.

      Logan waited figuring he was going to have something nasty said to
      him. "You promise to take care of her forever."


      Kurt married Logan and Danielle a month later, inside the dining hall
      of the mansion. The entire school was present. Scott and Jean
      announced their expecting a child of their own. Bobby and Marie
      became engaged.


      November – Logan was working outside fixing a few things around the
      mansion. He was called on the intercom to immediately report to the
      lab. He dropped everything and bolted inside. Scott and Marie were
      outside the lab.

      "It's time, Logan," Scott said.

      Panic filled Logan's heart. Jean was already assisting Danielle, who
      had gone into a hard, fast labor. Logan quickly entered the lab and
      took her hand trying to encourage her. A short time later, a baby
      girl was presented to Logan. He held the defenseless infant in his
      arms crouching down for Danielle to see. The child took a strong
      hold of his finger and Danielle watched his expression – that of the
      proud new father. Scott and Marie joined them. Scott laid his hand
      on Logan's shoulder.

      "Oh, Logan. She's beautiful," Marie said.

      "Just like her momma," Logan said.


      Back in their room, Danielle lay in bed nursing the baby. She was
      smiling softly watching the child at her breast. Logan had gone to
      get dinner. She was still too tired to venture down to the hall. He
      returned and lay down near Danielle.

      "Have ya settled on a name yet?" Logan asked as his finger traced the
      outline of the child's face.

      "Actually, I have – that is if you like it. I kinda like the ring of
      Jean Marie," Danielle said.

      "Jean Marie. Hum…Jean Marie. Yeah, I do like it," he agreed.



      DADDY'S LITTLE GIRL

      *I had been the object of his desire several years ago. I don't know
      what I did to deserve his attentions, but I had to push him away. It
      was very hard to do – the man is handsome, courageous, and all the
      more – feral and dangerous. He is an effective predator – a killer
      with 12-inch adamantium claws embedded in his arms – but never once
      did he ever try to hurt any of us at the school. A sworn protector
      he has since become. For me, I resisted the temptation of his
      excitement – the wildness, the thought of not being so regimented,
      and his seductiveness. I was already engaged to someone – someone I
      had known for a long time, who was strong, reliable, and
      responsible. Yet, he plagues me with thoughts of sharing unbridled
      passion, uninhibited pleasures, setting free the animal inside me –
      the animal we all house inside.

      Then, Panther entered his life - a perfect match to the Wolverine –
      fitting together with him like two pieces in a jigsaw puzzle. She is
      as feral as he is, as wild and unbridled as he, and most of all - she
      understands him thoroughly and loves him deeply. I had told him he
      would some day encounter this special someone. Their courtship was a
      rocky one for he obsessed on the heart-breaking words I had said to
      discourage him, and she assumed he was still pining for me and
      refused to interfere. As wild as she was, she still held on to her
      morals. A year ago, he became a father. I never imagined this feral
      man being such a loving, doting father. The child – the apple of his
      eye – has become his latest object of obsession. He flies into a
      rage whenever there is any threat towards his offspring. It now is
      only Panther's kind and loving ways that will calm the rage of the
      Wolverine again.

      There are days I sit back and reflect on what could have been. I
      watch him carry his daughter around – cradled in his broad, strong
      arms so protectively. The way he spent hours being angry, hiding
      away in his room, or wanting to run again has all changed. He will
      sit with her on the floor and growl and grunt at her just to make her
      laugh only to sit back and smile himself. She is already exhibiting
      the mutant abilities she has inherited from both her parents – a
      strong-willed feral personality and the ability to heal. I have kept
      records of her progression as she grows – a continuing study of
      mutant evolution. But the one thing I fall back on is how I
      misjudged him – and I let him go.*


      *There's my special friend – the man who almost left me alone on that
      desolate snow-covered road in Canada. He changed his mind and that
      began the change in him. My friend never thought much of caring for
      anyone but himself. I could understand that – no one cared for him.
      He was a wild ferocious animal capable of slicing you to bits with
      them metal claws of his.

      He wanted for nothing, cared for no one, and lived life in a feral
      way. Home was the camper attached to his pick up truck – his refuge
      and escape when it was time to move on. Our first few months
      together were a little awkward now that I think about it. Everyone
      just thought I had a little crush on him. And, why not? He is such
      a handsome man, even though he is so much older than I – and he took
      care of me. He never broke that promise to protect me and I will
      always love him for that. There were so many times I wondered what I
      was doin' thinkin' about him all the time – maybe it was when our
      minds joined them two times and for so long I had him in my head.

      I began to feel I possessed him because only I knew him and
      understood him so intimately. But, when he left – only leaving his
      dog tags and those binding thoughts he shared with me when our minds
      became one – those things he left in my care to remember him by – it
      was then that I began to realize it was only a crush on the man who
      saved me. Bobby began to take his place – and it was right – we
      loved the same things, enjoyed being together, and growing into full
      adulthood together.

      Then, he returned and when I thought it would be bad, it turned out
      so good, for she came to reside at the school. He had met his match –
      a feral female of quick wit, intelligence, beauty, and having the
      same ability to heal. She comforted him when he was having his fits
      of rage; listened to him when he needed to talk – pouring out the
      pain of a fractured heart and a fractured life; and stood up to him
      when he was being stupid. He fell head over heals in love with her –
      abandoning the doctor as a part of his recent past – yet, never
      abandoning me as his true friend.

      I pushed him to her – pushed him to realize his heart needed her, and
      I don't regret one bit of what I did even though at times I was
      terribly mean to him and part of me wished I could be her. I pride
      myself in thinkin' it is because of me that he learned to love again –
      he learned to care – casting aside the feral ways of self-
      preservation and inability to trust and love. I believe it is
      because of me that he is now happy.

      This couple has honored me – she has presented him with a daughter a
      year ago, and this child bears the names of both of his past loves.
      I enjoy babysitting – giving the weary parents time to spend
      together.

      But, this one day will forever remain plastered in my mind. I go to
      their room to pick up the baby. It is well passed feeding time. I
      knock on the door to find mommy looking out the window – camera in
      hand – I had seen her do this so many times before when she was
      spying on the dad before they started actually goin' together.

      "Danielle," I begin to address Panther, "where is Jean Marie?"

      "Look out the window," she replies with a gentle softness in her
      voice and afterwards, a big smile.

      I go to the window and look outside. It is wonderfully sunny out –
      mildly warm, but comfortable. Just about 20 paces away is a tree,
      and under the tree is the dad. He lays out in the shade, in the
      freshly cut grass, on his back. He is wearin' his trusty blue jeans
      and a white tee shirt. The delight of this image is the child –
      lying on his chest – her tiny frame must have gone to sleep to the
      sound of the beating of his loving heart. He has protectively
      embraced her in his powerful arms and he too has gone to sleep – the
      light wind caressing his feral sideburns. I smile widely. My friend
      has indeed changed – and I like to think it is because of me.*



      *Who ever would have thought Hairball would be a father – well, not
      in the ideal sense of the word. Any man can make a child, but it
      takes a special man to be a real father and this man certainly has
      done just that. I have to admit that when we first met, after I
      dragged his arrogant ass away from his exploding truck, that I would
      end up being his friend. It was a reluctant friendship – we had to
      learn to count on each other for the benefit of the Team.

      As much as I hated it, I understood his wanting Jean. She's my girl –
      a really special woman. But when Panther came along and stole his
      heart, it made way for us to put aside our rivalry. Instead of
      making rude comments, he now comes to me for advice – to give him
      answers to questions on keeping Panther happy. Now, there is a
      child – his daughter – his special girl. I pity the jerk that dares
      threaten this child. I've seen him in action – seen his berserker
      rage – the fits of anger and the bloodshed from the metal claws of
      the Wolverine. He is fierce when it comes to protecting the children
      of this school, but I am sure he will be ten times fiercer if anyone
      hurts his little girl.*


      *I haven't been around much as of late. The winds of time whirl me
      in new directions – new things to explore. I have learned to not
      fear those who feared me. There are those who still think ill of us
      mutants, but my teaching skills are reaching out beyond the Xavier
      School. I have a position at the local college – for all people –
      mutants and regular people.

      But, I return every so often and I have come home to visit with the
      little one – Jean Marie – Little Jeannie Marie as she is
      affectionately called. I sit with Panther and watch the Wolverine
      with his child – a special bond between them – an unbreakable bond of
      father and daughter. I would suspect someone getting a belly full of
      metal if they dared tried to interfere. She is a delight – very
      personable and spirited and knows very well, even at this young age,
      that she has her father wrapped around her tiny finger.*



      *When I set up this school, it was for the young teenagers who
      discovered their new mutant gifts. It never dawned on me that we
      would have little ones here. Logan and Danielle brought a new life
      into the world – the first to be born right here at this
      establishment.

      I delighted in being able to expand this extended family – this group
      of mutants – who had no family for the most part. This school filled
      the void for them. I take pride in seeing how it was through the
      interactions of all my residents – "my children" I think of them all
      as – that this large family has come about. Many came in frightened –
      unsure of who or what they were and how to cope with it. Others
      were angry.

      One in particular was the Wolverine. He was so difficult to handle
      at first. His rebellious nature left one to wonder. But, Rogue
      started it, Jean assisted, and Panther continues to keep the
      Wolverine in check. He has learned a great deal – learned to put his
      anger aside and to think of others beside himself. If this school
      has done anything for him it was to bring back the human inside the
      feral man.

      Now a father himself, we spend more time chatting about kids – about
      expanding the school for younger mutants – those born to mutants.
      His protectiveness of his own child and his adopted family is
      intense. Yet, he has learned to curb his anger and react with
      reasoning before violence. Although, when provoked, he will not
      hesitate to fight.*



      *I thank Jean for her understandin' and love. I thank Marie for
      bein' a true friend to an old jackass like me. Charles – Wheels – he
      gave me a roof over my head and never expected anything in return.
      Storm – she's a goddess with a heart of gold. The kids – well now,
      maybe my experiences with the kids haven't exactly been too great,
      but that's changed too. Guess bein' around them helped warm me up
      for what was to come about.

      I sit here in the grass cradling' my little one – my special girl –
      and thinkin' how this all happened. I prided myself on bein' a
      loner – never needin' or wantin' anything. I was an animal – no
      home, no past, nothing but myself.

      I found myself carin' for others – Marie – my sweet Marie – who was
      my first real friend that I can remember. Jean reminded me that I
      was still a man capable of loving someone. Then along came my
      Panther – she stole my heart when I was ready to give up on love
      again. She loves me, understands me, and doesn't stand for my crap.
      Now, she's mine – really mine – and has given me a future – her full
      love and a gorgeous daughter.

      Danielle sits at my side with her camera taking pictures of me
      goofin' around with her. I have lost my heart to a little girl with
      curly brown hair and light brown eyes. I can't say what I would do
      if anyone ever wished to do her harm. I still have a berserker rage
      that can fly at a moment's notice.

      But, this child overwhelms me with a feeling of pride and I will not
      hesitate to kill if someone dares try to hurt her. She has her
      mother's eyes and she already knows how to use them to melt my
      heart. She's only a year old but she can easily win over anyone's
      heart. I think about all the boys she's gonna bring around askin' my
      approval and damn if I ain't gonna find fault with all of them.
      She's Daddy's little girl and I ain't gonna let her go to just
      anyone. I know it's a long way off, but time has a way of just
      passin' by quickly.*


      *Lord knows I wanted him from the start. But, I couldn't get between
      two people who I thought were still in love. I later learned it
      never happened and that's when we got close – really close. We
      bonded deeply – both of the same feral ways – like two animals now
      mated for life. Sounds really primal, but that's how we are – very
      basic. All I wanted was his heart – all he wanted was to trust.

      I knew from the start that he'd make a great father some day – his
      unrelenting protection of the Xavier residents, especially of Marie,
      proved it to me. I learned of his growth after arriving there, but
      the pains of his past still haunted him. We shared that too – me not
      to the same extent – but I was aware of what was to be done to me at
      the installation, which did happen later on. And, here we both are
      augmented into a lethal weapons. We learned to put the past aside –
      to put a leash on the nightmares and harness the rage for the greater
      good.

      He treats me like a queen – his girl he calls me. When I first heard
      him introduce himself to my best friend as my `boyfriend' I have to
      admit I was tickled to have captured the Wolverine. I have a new
      life now with Logan and our daughter. My new claws and feline ways
      allow me to help other mutants and to protect the weak.

      When she was born, I saw such love in his eyes. He dotes on her for
      everything. The moment she would cry in her bed, he would be up and
      rocking her back to sleep. He needs to know her every whereabouts
      and usually is never out of her sight. When he returns from a
      mission, he is immediately looking in on her – and she knows it –
      raising her arms up for him to hold her. This kid is gonna be so
      spoiled – what will I do? She's Daddy's little girl.*
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