Chapter 9: Baby Steps
Disclaimer: I don't own any characters 'cept Logan's family... so ask me if you want to use them in a story. The rest of the characters belong to James Cameron and Charles Eglee and the writers at FOX
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Sometime during the middle of the night, Max woke up and noticed that Alexis was trying to suckle on Logan's chest. She knew instinctively that her daughter must be hungry. So she gently picked her up and sat up cradling her in her lap. She then took off her top and attempted to breast feed her daughter. It was actually quite amazing that she even knoew what to do, she thoughtabout how much her instinct was really guiding her. She was fairly sure that she had never had this kind of attention when she was first born, but she was very sure that what she was doing at this moment was correct. It only took a few minutes for the mother and daughter to get the process down. Max just watched in amazement as her daughter sucked on her nipples. It was the weirdest feeling, at first it hurt slightly and then the feeling started to grow more comforting and normal.
"So Alexis, what do you think? A girl could get used to living like this, huh?" She whispered to her daughter. Everything about the moment just felt so right. She looked over at Logan who was still sleeping. She had forgotten how he looked when slept, how his mouth curled up on one end, like he was smiling in his sleep. Max then looked at her daughter and tried to determine exactly which of his traits she had. "Let's see I would have to say that you have his eyes and his ears. Not bad." She really was amazed with this little being that she was holding. "I can't believe I made you." She whispered and kissed the baby's forehead. Almost like a response to this statement Alexis looked up at her mother. "You look so normal, I hope that you are. I promise you that I will do everything in my power to make sure you have a wonderful life, that you are safe and happy. That you always know how much I love you."
Logan awoke sometime during this conversation and watched the two of them. It all looked so perfect, he thought. "Max, she'll be fine." He whispered as he pulled himself up and sat next to the two of them. He couldn't believe that less than 48 hours ago, they were not in his life. He couldn't believe that he and Max had created this being who was now drinking from her mother's milk. "It's amazing."
"Yeah, it is." She smiled at Logan's goofy smile.
"She's so tiny." He then allowed her to grab his finger in her tiny hand and hold on. Alexis looked up at him and then at her mother as she did this. "Do you think she knows who I am?"
"Of course, she does. Besides I talked about you to her all the time."
"You talked to her about me." Logan smiled.
"Yeah, I told her every little detail, all the way down to your stubbornness."
"I see, so you were already ganging up on me." He teased and then puts his arm around around Max. "This feels so surreal. A mean on Monday I was this bachelor, with no family and now I have a daughter and a..."
"And a ... " Max teased. Every since she was about seven months her emotions were on this weird roller coaster ride. She cried all the time or got really angry or happy. But the annoying thing was how sappy she had gotten, stupid little sentimental things like Meg Ryan movies would get her crying. And now Logan was trying to figure out what to call her and he was fidgeting, something about the scene was appealing to Max's softer side.
"And her mother, my love. I have my Max back." He smiled.
"Logan..." Max was about to bring back the reality in their life about how she might need to run again, about how this perfect family night not always be perfect, and how she was not quite a normal mother.
"Not tonight. We can discuss everything later, but give me tonight to live out this fantasy before you dose me with the reality, okay?"
"Max, can you promise me something?" Logan didn't even wait for her to respond. "Don't leave me again. At least... don't leave me without discussing it with me first. Promise me that we are a team now."
"Logan, " She could tell from his eyes that he meant it. He didn't want her to leave him, that she knew. But he had also given her an out, in case they did need to separate, he wanted her to discuss it with him before she made any decisions. Her Manticore instincts were telling her that it was a bad idea, but her mother instincts were telling her that she had to. She couldn't leave them, not anymore. "I promise, we're a team, a family." Alexis had finished feeding and needed to be burped.
"Yeah." Max answered as she calmly rubbed her daughters back.
"How did you know to do all that?" Logan was amazed with the amount of instinct that Max had, especially considering her cold upbringing.
"I don't know, I just knew."
They both fell asleep again. Sometime in the morning Logan had gotten up. He decided not to wake them both because he knew Max was tired. Bling had been in to finish setting up the guest room. As he walked into the room, he was suddenly aware that maybe the crib needed to be moved into his room. And so the two moved the crib in, along with the chair. Max slept through it all, much to both of their amazement. The baby was sleeping on Max's chest and he saw her move slightly to the noise, but out of comfort she didn't move.
Logan decided that he was going to cook something special for Max when she woke up. The problem was the ingredients that he needed were across town. He didn't necessarily want to leave the two of them, but since they have been sleeping so soundly and Bling was here, he figured it wouldn't be much of a problem.
"Bling," He called out as he walked into the training room where Bling was working, "I'm going to go get some food from the market, do you want anything?"
"No, I'm good."
"Okay, I shouldn't be more than an hour." Logan then left. Bling laughed at him as he left, he swore that grin was on there permanently.
Max woke up a little bit later and realized that Logan wasn't there, she then noticed that it was already 12:00 and he probably was up. He has closed the blinds so the room was still dark, even though the sun was shining outside. She saw the chair and crib that had been moved in earlier, in the side of the room. 'It looked so normal,' she thought, "as if it had always been there." Alexis was laying on her chest and started to move a little when Max woke up. Max went to sit up a little and cradled her daughter in her arms.
"Hey little one. You ready for your first day in the world." Alexis just moved her mouth slightly and looked up at her mother. "So what should we do today? I could go up to the space needle and show you the world or we could just lay around all day and let your daddy wait on us? Right let's stay here today. Plenty of time to see the world." In truth, Max knew that her body wasn't quite ready for any real physical activity. She wondered how normal women did this. Because of her advanced healing, her body was recuperated quickly. Her belly was already reduced significantly and her hips only hurt her slightly. But she still wasn't quite ready to get up, just yet. She was enjoying this time alone with her daughter, especially since at this moment Alexis was searching her body for some milk. Max smiled. "You hungry?" This all seemed so natural and again she was spooked. All of her life she never needed or depended on anyone. Logan had been the only person that she had ever become attached to, but she had always had those moments when she checked herself and detached. But now, she knew that she was attached to this child and she would never let anyone separate herself from her. A tear fell down her cheek, as she realized for the first time what her mother must have felt the day of her birth. Alexis had her heart and Max was certain that it would break if they were separated. The whole time she was pregnant, she knew that the bond was strong but she never imagined how deep it went within her soul. 'God, I am starting to sound sound like Logan,' she thought and smiled at the thought.
For this moment in time, she had peace. That was something that she was going to cherish. She smiled at the thought and looked down at her daughter. She was in awe. This had to be the most amazing experience that she would ever go through in her life. For the longest time, she regarded the baby as an extension of Logan and that became her reason for keeping them both alive. She thought only that this was her gift to him, something simply selfless. But now her feelings were pure selfish, she had this baby for herself. It was not only an extension of Logan and their love but of herself.
She heard somebody knock at the door and shuffling. She heard Bling's voice and another. That one was oddly familiar, where had she heard it before? She then heard the shuffling of feet as Bling invited them in. She kept waiting to hear Logan's voice, but it never came. Must be some friends of his, like Erin, because she wasn't at all threatened by the tone of their voices. The best bet she thought was to keep in the bedroom and be silent, until she heard Logan's voice or until he came in. In the meantime, she thought maybe the two of us should get dressed.
Logan stood in the elevator with a bag of fresh food he had gotten at the grocery. When he stepped onto his floor, he heard voices emanating from his apartment. And suddenly it dawned on him, that it was Sunday afternoon and he was supposed to have lunch with his Bennett, Marianne and his parents. He had completely forgotten. Bennett was wanting to visit a little with his cousin. Since Max had left, Logan had reconnected a little bit with his family. Mostly it was Bennett and Marianne that spent time with because of Daphne, who Cindy had seen for a little while. Marianne had suggested this lunch and Logan had made a mental note to find some excuse to get out of it. But of course, he had forgotten and now they were at his apartment. 'Great,' he thought, 'just what Max needs questions that we both haven't had time to ask of each other.'
He entered the apartment, shyly and found Bling entertaining his family in the kitchen. "Hi. Sorry. I completely forgot to call you all."
"Logan. No need to apologize, I am certain that the Poulez will hold our reservations." His Uncle Jonas said as he shook Logan's hand.
"I need to head out. It was nice to meet you all." Bling nodded to these people as he winked at Logan. Both knew that Bling was weaseling out of helping Logan in this situation.
"Bye." Logan quickly responded with a quick glare added for effect. He then turned back to his guests. "Actually, I can't go to lunch today. I completely forgot to call, some things have come up that I need to take care of."
"As in you making lunch?" Bennett nodded towards the food in Logan's bag. He knew perfectly well that Logan was weaseling out.
"What could have come up dear?" Aunt Margo replied, completely oblivious as usual.
Just then Max, who had heard Logan come in, decided to join the party. However she started to double back as soon as she saw who Logan was talking. But just as she had turned Alexis decided that she was going to start crying and everyone looked directly at Max. Logan quickly walked over.
"What's wrong?" He whispered.
"I don't know she just started doing that." The baby was getting louder and Max was a little confused. She gently started rocking her daughter, but it wasn't helping.
"Is she hungry?"
"I just feed her."
"Does she need changed?"
"Just did that too. Here maybe she's cold, I'll get a warmer blanket." The two were whispering, completely trying to avoid the four set of eyes that were staring at them in confusion. But at this moment the two new parents were trying to figure out what was wrong. Max handed ALexis off to Logan, who held her a little awkwardly and followed Max into the bedroom. Max having gone through the bags finally came up with another blanket. "Voila!" She hailed as she turned around to show Logan who was still looking worried. It was only at that moment that they realized that Alexis wasn't crying anymore. The look of amazement passed between them. "Oh, so she wanted her daddy." Max smiled.
"That can't be it."
"It has to be." Max said as she peaked at her daughter who had comfortably nuzzled herself against Logan's chest. "She heard your voice and she wanted you to hold her." Logan just smiled that same goofy grin. He still didn't quite believe that was the reason that his daughter stopped crying but given the circumstances he was still pretty enamored.
"Good morning." Max smiled at the two.
Logan looked up and smiled back, "Good morning. How are you feeling?"
"Fairly good, given the circumstances. So where have you been?"
"I went to get some groceries."
"Ugh, always thinking with your stomach."
"I just wanted to cook you something special."
"I see you got the crib."
"Yeah." They both walked over and stared at the crib. It was odd, for an outsider it would seem like there was an awkward silence between the two, but for them the silence brought comfort and meaning. Sometimes it is more important what you don't say, than what you do. Both had too many questions that neither one wanted to face at the moment. And so their conversation was comfortably stilted.
"I like it. The chair is nice also."
"Do you like it? I thought it looked comfortable."
"Thank you. You know Alexis, I hope some day you will realize how lucky you are that I chose your father." Max peaked in on her baby daughter who was cooing at her father. "I have a feeling that you are going to be a daddy's girl."
A knock at the door interrupted Logan's train of the thought. Bennett peaked his head in. "Is everything all right?" He asked.
"Everything's good. We'll be out in a minute." Max answered before Logan had a chance to. Bennett shut the door and Logan just stared at Max. "So. . . your family is here." Max laughed at Logan's face.
"Looks like it. I completely forgot that I had planned to have lunch with them this afternoon."
"Your developing a habit of that."
"Yeah, I am aren't I?" Logan answered mockingly. "And you know I think you are the one responsible for my lack of memory."
"We will have to work on that now, won't we? But as for now Mr. Cale, let's go out and greet your Aunt and Uncle."
"Max, we don't have to if ..."
"What are you ashamed of me and your daughter?"
"No, I am not..." Logan responded quickly to Max's mock accusation. "More like I'm ashamed of them. It's just that they are going to be asking questions that I don't think we are ready to answer do you?"
"But, are we just going to sit in here all day and hope that they leave?"
"We could." Logan weakly responded.
"Wuss." Max said right before she turned around and headed out of the bedroom. Suddenly, she had become very brave and instead of simply ducking and running, she was walking straight into the war zone. Ever since she had met these people at Bennett's wedding she wanted to show them how wrong they were about Logan. She hated that they made him feel ashamed of who he was and what he did. She gave him one more look as if to say 'come on' and then she jumped into the battlefield. They stared at her as she walked in. She wondered how long Logan and her had been in there. "It's so good to see you again." Max had a fake smile plastered on her face.
"You too dear." Margo responded. It was obvious that she had no idea who this girl was, but she was definitely curious.
Max had learned a long time ago about the fortune in Logan's family. His father was the oldest and so he, after his father's death, inherited all of the money. When Logan was little, his father had set up a Logan family trust. The point of this trust was to make sure that the money remained in the family, the money was to go to his grandchildren. However, if he didn't have any grandchildren than the money would go to Jonas' grandchildren. She wasn't quite sure how much money was in the trust, but she did know that it was a good deal more than either Logan or Jonas could get their hands on. Although, she knew that Logan never actually thought of it and it actually never occurred to her either. Until at this moment, when what was left of Logan's family stood staring at her. She knew that they were all thinking about it.
"So how long has it been?" Jonas broke Max's thoughts and the awkward silence.
"Our wedding." Bennett smiled. He remembered her, almost every guy there remembered her. "Max, right?"
"Yeah." Max was a bit relieved that somebody did remember her. I mean how many woman does Logan bring home with him. She always knew that there was something that she liked about Bennett.
"And who is this?" Bennett asked. It was the first time that Max realized that Logan had followed her in.
"This is Lindsay Alexis Cale." Logan smiled as he said her name out loud.
"Hey, little one. I guess Congratulations are in order, Pops." Bennett said sweetly. "She is so small. When did this happen and when were you going to tell any of us?"
"Actually, she is almost a day old and the not telling was, I'm afraid, my fault." Max spoke up before Logan could answer. "You see when I found out that I was pregnant, I freaked. I didn't have a stable childhood, basically swapped around from one parent to the other. You see they never really wanted me, they only had me because they would finally get their inheritance if they produced an heir. Long story short, I had always promised myself that I would never let my child be raised like that and I'm afraid when I found out about this one, my hormones kicked in and I ran. It took some good friends to bring me back her and help me realize that this one would never be treated that way. Whatever Logan is, he is not his money. Instead, he is a good, kind and generous man who would do anything for the people that he loves. I fell in love with him the moment I met him, when he made a pathetic attempt to pick me up in a bar. So when I came back, he being the man that he is, welcomed me back with open arms." Ma x smiled at him. The story was a total sham, but it got the point across. "I have realized though, that there is no doubt he will be an amazing father." Max kissed his cheek.
"Well then, Congratulations Junior." Jonas patted him on the back. "She is beautiful. I think you two make a very beautiful child, don't you dear?"
At the same moment that Margo started talking, the baby started crying. "I think someone wants some lunch." Max smiled at her daughter's loud request. She also smiled at the pride that was written all over Logan's face.
He handed his daughter to her mother. "How about this? Instead of us going out, how about I make us lunch here?"
"Sounds like a plan." Bennett smiled.
So the rest of the day was spent with Logan's family. Max could have thought of a million other ways to spend it, but she kept her mouth shut and played the adoring girlfriend. She complimented Logan at any chance that they gave her. Surprisingly, she really enjoyed Bennett and Marianne. With Aunt Margo and Uncle Jonas though, she had to bite her tongue more than a couple times. But she did this for Logan. She wanted to show them up and prove to them finally how amazing he really was.
They finally left some time around six. Alexis had fallen asleep in her father's arms and he was sitting on the couch.
"Hey." He whispered.
"Hey." Max smiled back.
"Have you noticed how her mouth moves when she sleeps?"
"I think she's dreaming."
"Thank you." He winked at her as she sat down beside her.
"Your welcome. You know Bennett and Marianne aren't that bad."
"No, they're not."
"Now your aunt and uncle..." she teased.
"Thank you." Logan stopped her. He knew what she was about to say and he had truly appreciated how she had handled herself today. The old Max would have ran, but this Max stayed and fought. This Max was a lot less skittish than he remembered and a lot more soft and loving.
"So daddy, what do you think?"
"You are the most amazing woman I have ever met."
"I meant about being a daddy." Max smiled as she corrected him.
"Oh.... I think I like it. How about you, mommy?"
"I definitely could get into this family thing."
"Could you now?"
"Yeah." The tone of their conversation was a lot lighter than the actual meaning of their words.
"So I was thinkin' ... maybe we could make this family a permanent thing."
"Logan, you know that I may ..."
"No." Logan stopped her before she could say another word. "You are not allowed to run anymore. Not now. If you run, we run. Understand. I lost you once Max and I don't think I could do it again. You have a daughter here who needs her mother and you can't jet on that responsibility."
"So you would come with me if I ran?"
"I think I just said that."
"So by the word permanent, you mean 'till death us do part' permanent?"
"That was the idea I was going for."
"How about this?" Max took her hand and placed it on Logan's cheek, stroking it gently. She stared into his eyes. "I, Max Guevera, take you Logan to be my lawfully wedded husband. I promise to love, honor, cherish and protect you , forsaking all others and holding only to you. To have and to hold, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, I promise my love to you forevermore."
"I, Logan Cale, do take you Max to be my lawfully wedded wife. I promise to love, honor, cherish and protect you, forsaking all others and holding only to you. To have and to hold, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, I promise to love you forevermore." And with that they kissed. Two people committing to each other for the rest of their lives.
"Good, so if this doesn't work out, we don't have any public embarrassment." Logan teased and Max hit him lightly on the shoulder.
"If this doesn't work out, buddy, I think public embarrassment will be the least of your worries." Max teased and Logan laughed.
"So what next?"
"I don't know." Max honestly stated and she didn't know. This whole time she had been making all of these plans about what to do when Alexis came, but she had never thought about this scenario. She had no idea where to go from here.
"How about we take it one step at a time?"
"Sounds like a plan. You know that we may have to leave Seattle soon."
"I know, why don't you think I made you sit through the torture of my family?"
"You okay with that?"
"Max, as long as you two are in my life, I am okay with anything."
"Good." The two spent the rest of the night huddled on the couch, watching their baby daughter. Neither knew exactly what was going to happen tomorrow, but both felt safe in the knowledge that whatever happened they wouldn't be doing it alone.
- THE END -