|Happily After? New Beginnings
Author: Lucinda PM
Ororo attempts to help Logan heal, and possibly find a new future with her. Fourth in the Happily After? series.Rated: Fiction T - English - Wolverine & Storm - Chapters: 9 - Words: 46,455 - Reviews: 62 - Favs: 33 - Follows: 19 - Updated: 08-25-11 - Published: 08-19-02 - Status: Complete - id: 923172
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Logan worked with Remy on hand to hand, noticing that the Cajun seemed to be in a good mood this afternoon. "Nice t' see you smiling, but it won't help you keep from getting pummeled."
Remy laughed as he tried a leg-sweep, "Non, but maybe de bruises get Remy some sympathy on his date tomorrow."
"Ahhhh, that explains the smile. Since Clarrie's calling me your new dad, do I need to have a little talk with you before this date?" Logan teased.
"Remy t'ink he know how to have a good date. An' Remy know all about de birds an' bees an' how to play safe," Remy flipped out of the way, his feet lashing towards Logan's head as he moved. One heel connected with a thump, knocking Logan backwards as Remy tumbled towards the ground with a startled curse.
"Damn, you're twisty as a pretzel there, but it takes a bit more force to knock me down, and a lot more to keep me from getting back up." Logan shook his head to quiet the ringing, moving towards Remy.
"Dat's supposed to hurt you more dan me," Remy glared back at him, favoring his left foot.
"What can I say, I'm hard-headed," Logan punched at Remy, confident that Remy would be able to dodge the blow. He was trying to push the Cajun, not for skill but for endurance. If he could figure out just how long it took to wear Remy out, it would give him an idea how to adjust his training. For this spar, his goal was to keep Remy moving, with moves fast enough that Remy considered them actual efforts to attack and slow enough that Remy shouldn't get too bruised or think that he was taking it easy on him. This definitely wasn't 'taking it easy' on Remy, it was just a different sort of trial for the Cajun.
"Hard-headed like a rock," Remy grumbled, twisting away from another punch.
"Like adamantium," Logan growled as the memories tried to swim upwards. "Damn meddling scientists…"
"An' what else you do t'day, other than tryin' to leave Remy exhausted?" Remy attempted to change the subject, his face flushed from the exertion.
"I helped Hank make a couple adjustments in the Danger Room so he could run a test sequence or two on the new kid. Late teens, maybe twenty – definitely not done growing. We'll have to see how he fits in," Logan replied. He wasn't sure how much to share about Starsmore.
"What makes you so sure de new homme not done growing?" Remy looked thoughtful, but the thoughts of the new student weren't enough to prevent him from tossing a few more explosive acorns at Logan. The explosions were aimed to force Logan to move to the right.
Logan grinned at the strategy that Remy was showing. Using his abilities to herd an opponent a certain direction was a sound idea, and would probably work against most people. Logan ignored the explosions and refused to be herded, punching at Remy through the smoke. They only left small scorches on his chest and arm, little more than burns on his shirt and tiny scorch marks on his skin that were no worse than sunburns by the time the smoke cleared away. "He's got the gangly look of a teenager. Good news is that this one already knows that life isn't always fair, and that our abilities can be as big of a pain in the ass as they can be a gift."
"Dat be one way to look at dem," Remy admitted, wiping at the sweat on his face.
Logan chuckled, and kept after Remy. Remy had an excellent grounding, and he was adaptable, but there was always room to improve. Always. It wasn't enough that his almost-son be able to beat any single foe that he might encounter – though Logan wasn't ready to assume that would be possible. Any ordinary human, or ordinary thug, easily. A master of a fighting technique, someone who had spent decades of dedicated effort and focus? Not without a hell of a lot of luck, and it was a bad idea to count on luck. Even a mutant with just the wrong set of abilities could be a disaster for Remy to face. And that was before bringing in the idea of multiple opponents… Which brought him back to the simple idea that there was always room to improve.
"Was Remy at least able to stagger off to get ready for his date?" Ororo chuckled as she walked towards Logan. He'd mentioned that he wanted to improve the stamina and endurance of both of his kids, and some of his reasons. While all of his reasons were depressingly sound, she wished that the whole mess wasn't necessary. That they didn't have such a strong reason to believe that Remy and Clarice would need to be able to defend theirselves. That they wouldn't be persecuted for the way they were born.
That any children that she and Logan produced or took in wouldn't face the same dangers.
"I didn't push him to the point of collapsing," Logan protested. "It was just close enough that he thought he'd fall down."
"Was there a reason?" Ororo moved closer, sliding one arm around Logan.
"Once I know what he's capable of, I can figure out how to make him stronger, better. More prepared for the next enemy." Logan sighed, "There's always a nastier situation waiting, I don't want it to be too much for him when he finds it. Whatever it might be."
"At least you're using a gentler training program for Clarice," Ororo sighed.
"She's a bright girl, cute as a button and she gives me her all when we train, but she isn't ready for the same sort of program that Remy is. Hell, the weights could do her some damage if she took them up to a heavy weight, instead of just enough to feel the effort. She's still got little bones, and they aren't done growing. For her, I want her to build flexibility, and endurance, and to learn some basic moves. Building lifting power can come later, when she's grown. Remy's bones can handle that now, and he's more likely to get into fights and be attacked," Logan paused, considering the way that some nasty people would react to a little purple girl. An obvious mutant without the appearance of being able to defend herself. "But there's enough bullying bigots that would pick on a little kid that I want her to build some endurance, to learn to think under pressure, and to know how to defend herself and get away. Because there are some nasty pieces of slime out there that might not wait until her bones are ready for weight training."
"Dismal and depressing words," Ororo sighed, "that I wish were not so true. I will hope that you are being a bit paranoid in your goals for Clarice."
"That'd be a great thing. But I'd rather have her more prepared than she ever needs to be than to have something awful happen to her because she couldn't think on her feet, because she got tired before the people chasing her, or because she didn't know what to do against someone with a knife." Logan shook his head and stared off at the distance. "I'd like it to be the world that Charlie dreams about, one where it doesn't matter if you're peach or brown or green or blue. One where kids can be kids and don't have to worry about anything more than homework and sports practice."
"Maybe one day," Ororo whispered.
"Maybe. But today isn't that day. And I want our kids to survive to see that day," Logan murmured.
End part 40.
Remy and Clarice managed to start some of the students wondering about how they would handle a baby at the school. Remy asked a few questions about where a baby would stay, and if the baby would keep others up at night. Clarice asked questions about if Marie would need babysitters, and if anybody knew how to take care of a baby. Before long, the idea of a baby was being talked about, and Marie had plenty of people taking to her with advice, or stories about things that had happened to their friends or relatives. She had some offers to help with babysitting, and several people had found her some books about pregnancy, new babies, and other things relating to caring for infants.
As unsettling as the whole thing could be, it was much better than everyone talking about a near-death experience, or someone getting into a terrible fight. And it was better than worrying about soldiers attacking, or giant robots, or stupid legislation, especially since half the students couldn't vote yet anyhow. A few comments about 'helping each other means more than hitting an enemy' and 'there's more to life than fighting' were being passed around, with nobody thinking about where they'd started.
Ororo had a few suspicions, and decide to ask Logan herself. After catching him in the greenhouse and kissing him, of course. "Have you been listening to the rumors?"
"Enhanced hearing. Of course I know what the rumors are," he'd shrugged.
"Logan…" Her fingers trailed over his chest. "Do you forget that I talk to Remy and Clarice after your lessons?"
"There is more to life than hitting the other guy, and it's always good to be able to count on help with other situations," He paused. "Don't get me wrong, it's great to be able to call for a few more people to hit the bad guys. Or help find them to hit them. But you can't solve every problem by hitting someone else."
"Something that a few people might be surprised to hear you admit," she murmured.
"A sad but true fact. Some problems don't go away if you hit someone," Logan gave an exaggerated sigh. "Not everybody is good at everything, knows everything, or can find all the answers. If this is supposed to be a place where we can count on each other… at least, where some of us can count on each other…"
"Most of the students have stopped considering you as some sort of dangerous wild-man," Ororo narrowed her eyes and tapped his nose with her finger. "No self-pitying brooding about that from you."
"As you command, my lady of the wind and rain," he grinned at her.
"Logan…" she began to chuckle.
"Marie's going to have a baby, maybe twins if the midwife's right. Marie isn't the only person to have a bit of sex, and she's not going to be the last. Sooner or later, someone else is going to wind up pregnant. Maybe on purpose, maybe not. Shouldn't we... the school, I mean, be as ready for a baby as we are for someone attacking the building? Shouldn't it be easier to help with babies and parenthood than memory loss, obsessive scientists, and powerful men with plans?" Logan waved at the main building, "And they're happier talking about babies than the chance of giant robots or attacking soldiers."
"Annnd?" Ororo drew out the word.
"Being a parent is a lot different than fighting in a cage, or running away from home, or chasing bad guys. Different, long-term. She isn't sure what to do, where to begin. She's afraid that she'll do something wrong. I can understand every one of those fears," he admitted.
Ororo snuggled against him, and sighed, "Those are normal fears for new parents. Would you worry if I were the one expecting a child?"
"I'd be terrified," he pulled her closer, and sighed into her hair. "As it is, I feel glad that I'm not going to be the daddy of a newborn just yet, and guilty about being so glad. Biology isn't everything, but it can be scary. Ten years ago, I would be long gone instead of here in the middle of something like this. Of a school, of new babies, of someone even thinking about me being responsible for more than myself."
"Do you regret that?"
"Mmmmm. From the memories that I've got back, I'm sure that I was well past that before the adamantium. After, well… I didn't remember anything, so I had to grow up all over again. And it took a while. I'm not sure that I like the person in those memories. And I don't think he would have wound up here, with you."
"Marie won't be alone, she'll have advice and help with her babies. So will anyone else who has a baby. Maybe one day we will have our own. As for who you used to be and who you are now? I rather like the man that you've become, even if it did take you a long time to get to this point," Ororo's hand slid over the muscles of his stomach. "Good things are worth waiting for."
"She's starting to make friends. Friends mean that she won't be so desperate for someone that she'll fall for some charmer. Friends mean people to help her figure out things like babies and parenting and self-confidence. Friends will help her grow up, and it'll be less painful than the things that made me grow up this time," Logan paused, and then offered, "I heard that she'd going to be showing Starsmore around the place."
"Are you suggesting…" Ororo twisted so that she could look at him. "Marie and Mr. Starsmore?"
"All I'm sure of is that she's playing tour-guide. Who knows if they might wind up together? At least they both know that their abilities can be as much of a problem as a gift," Logan shrugged.
"That is something that not everyone understands at first. Oh, the way that others react is simple enough, but that our gifts are challenges as well as powers often escapes some people," she murmured.
For a while, they just sat in the garden, snuggled together. After a while, Logan spoke. "What about a spring wedding? Outside, in the garden with the flowers and hedges. Spring's all about new beginnings, why not have ours in the spring as well?"
"Our new beginning?" Ororo kissed him, whispering, "I like that idea."
With his arms around her, Logan decided that it was worth it. Everything that he remembered and had lost, all the challenges… they were all worth it for the chance to have a life with this woman. Ororo Munroe, his Storm, his weather-goddess. With her help, he'd carved a place for himself, started to make a family, bound by choices instead of blood. With her encouragement, he'd become a man with more than the ability to fight and keep getting back up. Logan couldn't help wondering if life had changed as much for 'Ro as things had changed for him.
But life was definitely better now.
End part 41.
End Happily After? New Beginnings.