Disclaimer: See Part One.
It was dark. That was the first thing he noticed. Dark and silent. Well, no, not exactly silent. If he concentrated, he could hear a steady electronic beeping. He listened to it for a while, and soon he didn't have to try at all to be able to hear it.. At first, he had found the rhythm comforting, but it was quickly becoming annoying.
He tried ignoring it, but it was getting louder. He tried to think of other things, but not even his worst memories of the Weapon X program would make that damn beeping go away. And what was that smell?
He realized that he was surrounded by the strong smell of antiseptics mixed with a hint of strawberries and kiwis. The antiseptics stung his nose, but the fruit smells were pleasant. They weren't the smells of real strawberries and kiwis. Instead, they smelled artificial, like a smell you would find in shampoo or skin lotion. Where was that smell coming from, and what did it have to do with that freakin' beeping?!
He was floating in a beeping, stinking, insubstantial darkness, and then all of a sudden, he wasn't anymore. There was a solidness at his back. In fact, it was pressing down on the back of his entire body. And there was something in his hand. It felt hard and soft all at the same time, fleshy and warm. He squeezed it.
He heard a loud gasp and felt the pressure of a hand squeezing his back. The whispered, "Logan?" was so loud it almost hurt his ears. He realized that the annoying beeping noise must've been much quieter than he'd first thought.
A shouted, "Dr. Summers!" did hurt his ears, making him wince.
It was getting brighter where he was. Before, it had been pitch black, but now the light was rising to a rosy glow. He still couldn't see anything, though.
"Logan, open your eyes," a different voice commanded.
Squinting, he opened his eyes to see Dr. Jean Summers and Jubilee leaning over him. What had happened?... Wait... Rogue. He'd tried to help her, the part of him she'd absorbed a few days earlier was driving her crazy.
"Rogue?" he croaked. He had that damn oxygen mask on again. Well, at least it wasn't the oxygen tube.
"It worked," Jubilee answered. "The new you she absorbed is more mellow."
Logan chuckled and then coughed. He couldn't imagine any incarnation of himself as mellow. "Where?"
"She was with you all day," Jubilee said. "I'm the night shift. It's about time you woke up."
Logan looked at Jean and she answered his unspoken question. "Three days, Logan. It was close. Jubilee saved your life... again."
"When you touched Rogue, I was unconscious," Jean explained. "She helped you breathe until I woke up."
"You said, 'again.'"
"Oh, yes. When you first came back and tried to kill yourself. Who do you think called for help and kept you alive until I could get the medical equipment out there?"
He couldn't believe it. This young woman that he hardly knew had saved his ass twice when all he'd done to endear himself to her was attack her friend. Why? He'd asked her that before and she'd said that he reminded her of herself. She was wrong. She'd had horrible things happen to her, she had told him that much, but she wasn't bitter or angry about it like he was. She had learned to put it behind her. Despite her sad and depressing past, she had a bright future.
He remembered what she'd told him about the night butterflies. They flew too close to the electrical lights during the night, burning themselves up because they mistook the brightness for sunlight. They'd wanted quick solutions, cure-alls, like he did. It didn't work. He needed to work through his past, and then find his own future, not rely on Marie as a crutch. He needed to have patience to make it through the night and fly in the sunlight again. She had offered to show him how.
"Thanks, kid," he said, smiling at Jubilee.
"For flyin' lessons."