Jubilee groaned groggily, rolling over to peer up at the man standing above her in jeans and leather coat. She blinked a few times, rubbing her eyes.
"Wolvie?" she whispered.
"Yeah, pumpkin. Whatchya doin' on the couch?"
Jubilee sat up, yawning. "Iwokeupcouldn'tfindSormwantedtowaitforher."
Wolverine tensed, his voice a soft growl. "Couldn't find her? Where is she?"
The screen door opened and Gambit strolled in carrying a sleeping Ororo. "She's 'ere, homme."
Wolverine straightened, his heart rate doubling at the sight of his beautiful wife, curled content against Gambit's chest. Her hands fisted in his shirt, her hair slightly damp and curling around her face. She looked peaceful. He moved towards them, holding his arms out to take her.
Gambit took a step back, pulling Ororo tighter against his chest. He wasn't ready to let her go yet…
"Gumbo." Wolverine growled the warning softly.
Gambit strived for a nonchalant smile, "She's been out like a light for awhile." He relinquished his hold, two fingers pressing his lips, then hers. "G'night, Stormy." He cleared his throat and left the boathouse like he was being chased by the hounds of hell.
"What's up with him?" Jubilee asked, not missing the distressed look on Gambit's face as he left.
Wolverine didn't reply, he was staring down at Ororo. He had missed her like nothing else, wanting her near him. He had really needed her when he had learned he was responsible for Mariko's condition. He had felt like a monster of the worst kind, and he knew his Ororo would banish the darkness.
"Mmmnn…" Ororo snuggled in his arm. "Must be… dreaming, Remy. I could swear you were Wolverine."
He bent his head, his mouth brushing her ear. "That's Logan to you, 'Ro."
Ororo opened her eyes, a small gasp escaping her supple lips. He was here. He was home. She smiled, one hand raising to stroke his whiskered cheek, her sky blue eyes dancing into his dark grays. "Logan," she breathed.
"Much better," he rumbled, lowering his head and claiming her lips. She parted for him on contact, their tongues meeting in a duel of love and possession.
"Weeellll…That's my cue to scoot…" Jubilee grabbed her slicker from the couch, and headed for the door. "No, no, don't trouble yourselves…I'll see myself out. Stay? No, wouldn't want to be a bother…Okay, bye-bye now, bye-bye…" She rambled all the way through the door.
Logan tightened his hold on Ororo, his teeth nipping her lower lip. He growled in longing and she whimpered against his lips. "Logan." She whispered his name, clung to him. Her slender arms circled his neck and she deepened their kiss.
His body was trembling, she could feel it. She impatiently pushed at his clothes, demanding that he be rid of them, needing to feel him against her. Her own clothes felt suddenly heavy and burdensome. Logan walked with her in his arms up the stairs, his mouth never leaving hers. He lowered her to the bed, both of them stripping each other hurriedly, a blend of restless hands and fiery kisses until they lay naked before each other.
He felt so good, so right in her arms. She nestled closer, wanting to crawl inside of him, wanting him buried deep inside of her. Logan trailed hot kisses along her neck and down over her collar bone. Ororo tangled her fingers in his dark hair, arching her back, moaning his name.
"I love how ya say my name," he groaned. He gripped her hips firmly in his hands, and for a moment contemplated the wonder that was the woman before him. Firm muscles, soft skin, and snow white hair, the smoldering sexiness of her sapphire eyes, the rose petal softness of her lips. He trailed one hand along her body, curving against the new swell of her stomach. He smiled. A baby. Their baby. Nestled right here, another tie that bound her to him for eternity. She was such a miracle to him, such a beautiful blend of light and goodness, and for a moment tears shimmered in his eyes before he could blink them away.
Ororo saw them and pulled him to her, kissing him with wild abandon, reminding him that she was also a creature of the night, as wild and hungry as he was. His other half. His hands tightened possessively on her tight bottom, pulling her against his hardness. Her heat beckoned him, called to his inner animal, her wild scent intoxicating, driving him mad with lust and longing.
His body was hard and aggressive, pushing her into the soft cushion of their mattress, his hands parted her silken thighs, wrapping her long limbs around his waist. His teeth grazed her neck, her name a ragged growl/groan. He pressed his mouth to hers in a kiss that was raw and aching. She shuddered against him, and he smirked. Goddamn, she felt good.
Ororo moved her mouth over the muscled wall of his chest, her tongue flicking against his skin, tasting, urging. Flames licked along her body as he pressed himself fully into her, holding her tight, rocking slowly. Ororo bit his neck, a tiny nip, but a mark just the same and her name burst from his lips in a hoarse plea. Ororo smiled, her pearly teeth sinking into the corded muscles between neck and shoulders, claiming him.
Logan was blinded by searing pleasure. She had just marked him! He growled, his own teeth sinking into her shoulder. He heard thunder rumble in the distance, the rolling sound coming closer with every passing second. He felt the sting of her nails across his back, felt her body clench around him. He heard his voice shout hoarsely, unable to stay silent. He buried one hand in her hair, locking eyes with her, the other curved around her buttock, pulling her tight. The deeper he drove the more she responded, the wilder she became, her body gripping him and releasing him, excruciatingly erotic…
"Logan. I love you."
He flashed her a smile. "I love ya, too, baby." He grabbed her wrists, locking them over her head, stretching her so that he could have undeterred access to her flawless breasts. She cried out when he brushed the very tip of his tongue over her taut peaks, making her quake with need.
"Logan, please…" Ororo felt her body coiling tighter and tighter. "I can't take it, please. Please," she begged for release.
His mouth moved over her throat, his teeth nipping, his tongue soothing. He trailed kisses along her chest, along every inch of exposed flesh. She tried to free her arms so that she could pull him to her, to hold him, but he held her fast, the lines on his face etched with indescribable hunger. The wildness was on him now, and he was raw heat and need. He rode hard, surging into her over and over, making her whimper and sob with pleasure.
"Just like this, 'Ro. Always like this," he surged harder. "I want ya so much. I need ya, darlin'. So wild and hungry, that ya can't think."
"Ahhhh, Goddess, Logan. I never want this to end…" She was crying now.
He kissed her tears, licking them from her cheeks, still moving, nuzzling her throat. "I want ya like this, crying out fer me, needing me ta release ya. Pleading with me ta end this, but never wanting it ta stop."
Lightening slammed the ground outside the boathouse, the winds rattling the windows, thunder booming and echoing as Logan took her completely, staking his claim on her heart and soul. She locked her legs around him, lifting herself into him. The pleasure was so intense it bordered on pain as he found release, pouring himself into her endlessly, her name roaring from his lips between clenched teeth.
Logan tangled both hands in her silvery hair, kissing her slowly, lingering over her plump lower lip, drugging her with his lazy seduction. "I missed you," he confessed, still slightly rocking his hips, moving slowly against her.
"I can tell," she whispered back, smoothing his hair from his brow, her eyes alight with tenderness and love.
Logan shifted his weight from her, pulling her against him so that she lay draped over his chest, her moonlight tresses tickling his sensitive skin.
"How was your trip?" she asked after their breathing had slowed to near normal. Logan sighed, a heavy sigh, and Ororo hugged him. "We don't have to talk about it."
He kissed her fingertips. "Not now," he said.
"All right." She lay listening to the steady drum of his heart. Soon she felt his breathing deepen and even out, a soft rumble as he shifted, asleep. Ororo pressed a slow kiss to his slightly parted lips before slipping from the bed.
She padded quietly to the stairs, then down to the kitchen. After downing a glass of cold water Ororo made her way to the bathroom. Her entire body ached, and she knew it wasn't from Logan's lovemaking, and she needed a hot bath. She turned the handles, adjusting the temperature. Splotches of crimson splashed on white porcelain. Ororo glanced in the mirror, angrily wiping the blood from her nose. A long bath and some meditation and she would feel better. She ran one hand over her slight swell. "Not much longer now," she whispered. She closed her eyes, wishing the wistful dreams of a mother that knew she would never know her son.
Logan rolled, reaching across the cool mattress for Ororo only to come up empty. He opened one gray eye, noticing that even her pillow was barely indented. Where ever she was, she'd been gone for awhile. With a frown he swung his legs over the edge of the bed, grabbing his hastily discarded jeans from the night before and tugging them on. He moved silently through the boathouse, wondering if she was in the bathroom suffering from morning sickness. He had no idea how long that was supposed to last. Hell, he didn't even know how far along she was, he'd left with Fury before he could find out.
"'Roro?" he called. The bathroom door swung open easily, and the room was empty. Huh. He glanced at the overhead clock. It was just a little past six, so she was probably outside. Logan made his way outside, along the taller grass of the lake shore, towards the large Oak tree with tire swing that sat behind his and Ororo's house.
Ororo was floating in the air, her legs crossed and her eyes closed. A gentle breeze stirred her snowy locks, lifting wispy tendrils and dancing with them. He stood in the shadows a few feet away, watching her, unable to move as he was completely arrested by the sight of her. So beautiful. So much a part of nature herself. He was in awe of her ability to control the elements. No other mutant on the planet had that ability as far as he knew. She was unique, even amongst their kind.
The wind picked up and Logan stepped forward, a frown on his face as he noticed how tense she had suddenly become. Lines of strain etched along her mouth, her brow furrowed in concentration. He could see tiny tremors coursing through her body. Suddenly her head snapped back, a low sound of distress coming from her, lightening snapping from her fingertips. She dropped the few feet to the ground, her body arcing and tensing.
"'RO!" Logan ran to her, kneeling beside her. She didn't seem to hear him, her eyes were rolled back in her head, her slender frame jerking with harsh spasms, blood was flowing from her nose in thick trails. Her body wracked so hard it was hard for him to hold her. CHUCK!
Hank is already prepping the lab and Nightcrawler is en route, Wolverine.
Logan tried to cradle her close to his chest, to keep the spasms contained. He could smell the ozone crackling in the air around them-- Building. The wind increased, and the sky darkened into a swirling mass of rolling thunder clouds. "I'm here, baby…" he tried to soothe.
"You have to let go, Wolverine." Kurt said gently, reaching for the convulsing Storm in his lap. "I'll get her to the lab faster without you."
Wolverine growled, but relinquished his hold. BAMF
Ororo sat up, rubbing her eyes. She had a splitting headache.
Ororo removed her fingers from her eyes, looking for the source of the voice. Charles?
You're giving Wolverine quite a scare.
Ororo pressed her forehead. I'm not awake, am I?
It wasn't pleasant, if tat is what you want to know.
You sound strained, Charles.
It's hard to maintain contact when your mind is constantly trying to kick me out.
Ororo smiled, remembering the very first day at the institute. Old habits. She glanced around. She was in the boathouse. Why can't I see you?
You are where you are most comfortable. It is a place I do not belong.
Oh. She closed her eyes, concentrating. When they opened again she was in Xavier's office and he was seated behind his desk.
Jean's been helping me. She sat in one of the chairs. It's bad, huh?
Will I wake up?
Ororo closed her eyes again, seeking within herself. Warmth. Peace. Innocence. A fighting spirit. Definitely his father's son… Ororo gave a startled hiccup sob. Her son.
He is furious.
When isn't he? She teased.
Xavier chuckled. True. You have been a great soothing balm for him.
Ororo fought the tidal wave of sadness washing over her. He'll need someone…Keep Jubilee near him.
Charles nodded. Henry is prepping the lab now.
You're taking him?
It's the only way.
But, it's so soon.
He has a great will to live, Ororo. He will pull through.
He's so small…
You are small, Ororo. The baby is relatively healthy. Xavier stood. At Ororo's surprised expression he smiled. In the mind I am anything but crippled.
Can I…Can I see Logan?
Of course. I will bring him to you.
"She is asking for you," Xavier said opening his eyes, looking at Logan.
"What the fuck is going on here, Chuck?" he demanded angrily. "What happened while I was gone?"
"Not while you were gone. While she and Cyclops were detained by Weapon X."
At the name Wolverine's lip curled back. "What'd those fuckers do ta her?"
"I can explain." The double doors hissed open and Beast strode through, wheeling an IV stand and monitor. "Storm was infused with a virus that I breaking her down on a cellular and genetic level." Beast slid the pole beside Ororo's head, hooking the monitor up to her arm. "In essence this virus is attacking her body, eating at her."
Logan's hand tightened on Ororo's. "So what'd we do?"
Beast looked away.
"Ya've gotta be fuckin' kiddin' me!" Wolverine exploded. "We can save the goddamn world from destruction, take out the most powerful mutant fucks on the planet, save yer furry ass with illegal medical practices, save norms that hate us, want us dead so bad they have fuckin; committees, but we can't save the one person on this worthless rock worth saving?" He was panting, his teeth bared in a look of savage anger.
"We wanted to help her, Wolverine." Beast said softly. "She refused."
"The treatment put her pregnancy at great risk," Xavier explained.
Wolverine wanted to throw something. He glared at Ororo. How could she make that decision without talking to him? He growled, "Take me in. And then get the fuck outta the way."
Ororo lifted her head from the cloud she was resting on. Logan.
How could ya, darlin'?
I had no choice.
You should've talked ta me.
You had enough to deal with.
Don't do that, Ororo. We're supposed to be married. Together.
Ororo narrowed blue eyes, a flicker of anger in their depths. Like you tell me everything.
I have never kept life threatening information from you! You seem ta make a fuckin' habit of it!! He was pissed.
Logan… she whispered his name.
He closed the empty space between them pulling her into his arms, lifting her. He was trembling, she could feel it, all of his anger dissolving the moment they touched. She lifted her face and saw stark terror reflected in his black depths. He pressed his mouth to hers. Ya can't leave me, 'Ro. I need ya. He tightened his thick arms around her.
I know. I know. She pressed closer. I'm sorry, Logan. So sorry.
Don't say that, ya never have ta be sorry fer wanting ta save our baby.
The air around them crackled, the white fluffy clouds swirling and darkening.
I need ya here with me. His mouth moved over hers again with a mixture of fear and rising desire. Ya can't leave me alone, I need ya 'Ro. I need ya so damn much.
I don't want to leave you. She was crying, her hands sliding under his shirt to touch his solid chest. It was all in her head, she knew, but if this was all they had, she wanted to embrace it. Whips of lightening flashed and thunder cracked and boomed. She circled his neck with her arms, taking comfort in his shoulder. He was hurting, she felt it radiating from him, deep and intense, along with the terror gripping his soul. She lifted her face into his for a kiss, wanting to comfort and be comforted. He took possession of her mouth and the heavens opened up, drenching their suddenly bare flesh.
Logan was consuming her, devouring her, his mouth everywhere, licking up the rain on her bare skin. It took Ororo a moment to realize that he was still enraged, the terrible ferocity of the storm raging around them was his doing, reflecting the blackness of his mood. In her mind they were linked, sharing everything.
I need ya ta stay with me, angel. Fight fer me. Without ya I have nothing, no reason ta live.
Our son. was her whispered reply.
Logan closed his eyes. I need you. he repeated. He lifted her against him. Put yer legs around my waist. His teeth scraped her frantic pulse. Right now!
Ororo obeyed almost blindly, enveloping his hard body with her softness. His hunger was intense, the psychic storm increasing in intensity, a good indication of his emotional turmoil.
You can't leave me alone to live in this empty world, with no light. No laughter. His mental voice was raw.
Ororo clutched his head. His hair was soaked, thick ebony strands hanging in his eyes. He looked wild and untamed, he looked what he was; dangerous. Ororo sobbed. The thought of never being with him again tore at her. She clung to him, driven by a mind numbing urgency to meld with him. The storm intensified, lightening slashing through their bodies, but doing no harm, only heightening their feelings. Tears were streaming down her face, strangled sobs wracking her as she clung to him.
His arms were like steel, holding her tight, yet his mouth moved on hers so heartbreakingly tender she was assailed by a fresh bout of tears.
Please, don't cry, baby. Please. I can't bear it when ya cry.
Jagged bolts of lightening danced overhead. I love you, Logan. I love you so much. I love you. She held him close. She felt him tremble and shudder, felt his tears in her mind, heard the mournful howls of agony he was keeping locked inside. She covered his face with kisses and held him like she was never going to let him go, but that was a lie. She was going to have to leave him…
I ain't letting' ya go.
I'm sorry. She kissed him softly, opening herself completely so that he could feel everything she felt for him.
Logan staggered under the emotions she let him see and feel. God, she loved him so much. He could feel it and it humbled him. He clutched her to him, burying his fingers in her sodden tresses, squeezing her like he could keep her locked to him.
I love you. Blinding white light and pain.
"ORORO!" Logan roared.
Warm breeze danced in the tall reeds and long lakeside grass, the crickets singing their sweet life song into the dusk. Logan leaned his black tee shirt covered back against the rough bark of the oak tree that was currently being used as a makeshift chair. He shifted position, lifting the small bundle in his arms a bit higher, once again marveling at the deep gray eyes so much like his own. The baby blinked up at him, one hand swinging aimlessly in the air, a disgruntled coo coming from the tiny bundle as if in protest of the disturbance his father's movement had caused.
"Ya've got yer Pappy's temper." Logan chuckled.
"Great. Like we need two of ya," Jubilee teased from her position on the tire sing. This had become their nightly ritual over the past few months. Walking to the oak, watching the sunset behind the horizon, welcoming the blanket of evening and watching the stars. Logan would rumble stories to his son, naming constellations, telling tall tales and always, always telling him of his beautiful mother. Tonight, instead of just the three of them as it had been, Jubilee had invited the others to join them.
"Two of who?" Ali asked, waddling towards them, Remy in tow.
Wolverine smirked at the sight of her. Ali was huge, her belly protruding out so that it was hard for her to walk at times, and only five months along, but he supposed twins would do that to a person. She and Gambit had reconciled over Storm, both realizing how short and fragile life was. She looked like a punked out blimp.
To Remy Ali had never looked more beautiful. She glowed with an inner light. Her normally spiked hair, grew quickly, and was a deep ebony wave to her shoulders, her aqua eyes were always alight and she smiled frequently. He remembered well the day she had decided to give him another chance...
The hall was empty when Gambit had stepped out of Storm's room, he had been in that room for the better part of two hours, saying his goodbye to the woman who had been his best friend, his sister and his greatest love. He staggered against the wall, bracing himself with one gloved hand and the other covered his face as he sobbed brokenly. He bit into the leather on his knuckles to keep from screaming, his chest heaving, each breath more labored than the last.
"Rem…?" Ali had entered the hall from the elevator. She had become increasingly worried about him when he hadn't returned to the upstairs, where the would be mourners were gathered. Seeing him there, braced against the wall, his entire being exuding infinite sadness, Ali was struck by how much she loved him, loved him like she could love no other. She had approached him slowly, almost afraid to startle him, he was so consumed. As she got closer he seemed to sense her but all he did was lean against the wall with one shoulder and slide to the floor. "She's dying…" Ali heard him say in a raw whisper. "My padnat…"
He had looked up into her eyes then and the despair in his broke her heart. "I can't lose you too, Ali."
"You won't," she had whispered, lowering herself in front of him and opening her arms. "I'm here, Etienne."
She had held him all through that night, neither one talking. They had gone up to the loft, a place of shared memories for them as well as a reminder of the sister they were losing. It was dawn, the first rays of the sun creeping through the skylight when Gambit had murmured into her hair, "Je t'aime, Alison." To which she had replied with a slow kiss, telling him in the language he knew best that she loved him as well. Long hours later they had fallen asleep, still locked in each others arms, her face pressed to the hollow of his throat and his hands tangled in her short ebony locks.
Jubilee pointed towards Logan, saying, "Two Wolvies," breaking Remy's daydream.
"Lord 'ave mercy on us all." Remy walked over to Wolverine's opposite side, staring at the baby in the older mutant's hands with obvious adoration. "'e gots Stormy's nose."
Logan grunted. "Yeah. He does." He touched his son's soft cheek with the tip of his index finger. "He's perfect."
"'E be Stormy's bebe. Did you expect anyt'in less?"
"No, Cajun. I didn't." There was a gruff edge to Logan's voice and all became silent. Logan grit his teeth against the waves of pain he felt against the still raw wounds he had thinking about 'Ro. His 'Ro…Fuck.
The baby cooed in gleeful happiness, bringing him from his dark thoughts, reaching for the rim of his father's cowboy hat.
"Are we late?" Kitty asked.
"No. Wolvie hasn't even started the fire yet." Jubilee said, kicking against the tree and swinging back and forth.
"I'll take care of de fire, non." Gambit said with a wink at Ali.
"You certainly make me hot," she said with a smile.
"Okay, eeewwww. Honestly." Jubilee scrunched her face. "You're all preggers and stuff."
"Pregnant women are the most horny women in the world." Ali said. "Trust me."
"Lalalalalala," Jubilee covered her ears.
"I think we got the point, Al," Logan said with a tilt of his lips.
Kitty stepped towards him. "Can I hold him?"
"Sure, Sprite." Logan stood, gently handing his son to Kitty.
Kitty cooed, rubbing her nose against the baby's. "Ooohhhh, he's so tiny." A little fist came out and bopped her in the nose. Kitty raised her head, one brow quirked. "And so much like his father."
"May I see?" Kurt stood next to her, smiling down at the boy. He and Kitty were now moving forward, slowly, but together. He slung one arm over her shoulder, his long tail wrapping around her waist in a surprisingly possessive gesture. Kitty smiled at him, a dull blush creeping along her freckled cheeks. She thought of how close they'd gotten in the past two months...
"Come now, Katzchen. You must open the door. You need to eat." Kurt pleaded, rapping one large knuckle against the wood of Kitty's dorm room.
"Go away! I don't must, gotta or wanna do anything! Go away!" She was crying into her pillow so her voice was muffled, but Nightcrawler had heard it just the same. He sighed. They were all hurting since Storm's departure, but Kitty seemed to be taking it rather hard.
BAMF He stood inside her dim room. "Kitty." He walked to her bed, where she sat on the edge, her copy of the Vegas wedding picture in her hands.
"It's not f-f-fair." she had cried.
"I know, liebling." He sat next to her, offering the broad expanse of his sweatshirt clad shoulder. He stroked her thick chestnut hair, trying to ease her suffering.
Kitty clung to him, her shoulders shaking as she cried. "It's not fair!" she cried harder.
"Sshh." Kurt kissed her forehead.
Kitty looked up at him, her honey and brown eyes glittering against the shadows. Tentatively she leaned forward, pressing her lips to his silken blue ones. When he didn't pull away she pressed closer, wrapping her arms around his neck.
"Katzchen?" Kurt pulled back slightly.
"I just want to be held." she whispered.
"Then I will hold you," came his slightly thickened accented response. He pulled her tighter against his chest and began to sing a familiar hymn. Kitty had stayed in his arms for a long time, listening to him and sniffling.
"I love you, Kurt." She said after a long while, when the shadows had deepened to night and the last of the light faded from the room, the only illumination coming from Kurt's glowing yellow eyes.
"Kitty, the urge to be close and say things out of grief is under--"
"Shut up." She pulled his mouth down to hers. "I love you."
"C'mon, Gumbo, lets get the pit lit." Wolverine strode a few feet away where they were going to build their bonfire. It was a beautiful night. The sky was clear, the stars twinkled like diamonds on a blue-black velvet sky. Logan inhaled deeply, taking in all the scents, and for a moment, just a moment he thought he smelled her. Innocence and vanilla, flowers and the coming rain…Storm, his 'Ro. He felt it, that horrible kick in the gut he always felt when he thought of her. So painful it was hard to breathe, unable to move.
He glanced over his shoulder at Kitty and Kurt, still holding his son. Chance. Alison had told him Storm had wanted to name him Chance. He cursed inside. He should have known that. It should have been something they did together. He should have been there. But no. He was off in another country, hunting down a past that seemed so less relevant now. Hell, he should have known months ago that she was pregnant, and he was certain if he hadn't been so wrapped up in his own shit, he would've. His left hand clenched, his ring biting into the flesh on his finger. Two months she'd been gone and it hurt worse than ever…
"Wolverine." The Professor was in front of him, they were alone in the lab.
Logan looked around frantically, his lip curling back. "What happened?"
"Calm down, son, and I'll explain--"
"Don't take that fuckin' condescending tone with me, Chuck, and don't call me son. For all we know, I'm twice yer fuckin' age. Just give it to me straight."
"Very well, Wolverine. Storm's dying."
Wolverine glowered. "I know she's sick. I know it's bad."
Charles shook his head sadly. "I mean right now. She is…" he closed his eyes. "Her mind is gone."
"I don't believe ya."
"Wolverine. I'm sorry."
"No." As if he could simply command it not to be.
The doors hissed open and Jean walked in, glancing uneasily between the two men. She exchanged a few mental words with the Professor before giving Wolverine a heartfelt look.
Xavier cleared his throat. "You can see your son now."
Wolverine stood dumb. "My…"
"Son." Xavier finished for him. "He survived. Storm's sacrifice was not in vain. You two have brought forth the next generation in our family."
For a long moment Wolverine remained frozen, his black eyes glittering with repressed emotion. "Chuck…If ya wanna live…GET THE FUCK OUT!" He swept his arm across the counter, bottles and vials smashing onto the floor. His claws slid in and out of his hands, blood splattering the ceramic tiles with the intensity and veracity of each extension and retraction.
Charles left without another word.
If rage was a physical being it would have been him in those moments. He had roared before, many times, but he had never screamed and he did so then. With rage and longing and raw heartache. He slashed and kicked and punched holes in the wall. The pain seemed unending and relentless and he would have continued like that for days if not for the feeling of fingertips against his neck and the fresh scent of the earth washing over him, soothing him.
Logan had opened his eyes, taking in the destruction to the small room. Needing to out of that place, he left the med lab, intending going to the infirmary, his sole purpose to see his son, when he noticed Henry rolling Storm from the OR into one of the rooms. He raced down the hall.
Hank had spotted him and waited, a empathetic look on his blue face. "My condolences and congratulations," he murmured.
Wolverine ignored him, lifting Ororo's limp hand in his. "She's still alive," he rasped.
"Her body is." Hank clarified. "She's comatose. Her brain is…not functioning."
Wolverine gave him a narrow look a low growl issuing from his very depths. "She's alive."
Henry wisely chose not to respond.
It was that night, laying beside Ororo when Wolverine had the first dream.
Their phone was ringing.
"Ignore it." Logan grumbled, licking his wife's delicious collar bone.
"It could be important." Ororo said softly, her velvet voice teasing his ear. "I need you to wake up." She gently pushed against his chest.
Reluctantly Logan rolled off of her, picking up the phone. "Hello?"
"Hiya, Wolverine". He answered himself.
"So, how's Storm? Did you kill her yet? Like Mariko?"
Logan glanced at the bed where Ororo sat, a soft, sad smile on her face. She was alive, right? He turned his attention back to the phone. "Wolverine?" No answer.
This was wrong. Something was wrong. How had he gotten Ororo in his bed? Wasn't she elsewhere?
Logan hung up the phone. Wasn't he the Wolverine? "Is this real?"
"Who is to say what is real".
Logan stretched with animal grace, his smile darkly sensual. Never one to argue with good fortune he shrugged. "C'mere."
Ororo shook her head. "I can't."
"You can." he growled.
Ororo hung her head, blood spilling across the sheets in scarlet ribbons.
Logan felt his heart rate double. '"Ro?"
Ororo looked up and smiled. "You were my only. I loved you more than the sun and rain." Orchids drifted across the bed, dancing up her arms.
The phone rang again.
Logan growled as he picked it up. "What the fuck do you want!"
Bright white light. Pain. Holy fuck, the pain!
He had jerked awake, sweat dripping into his eyes. Their son was crying, his plaintive wail having awakened Logan. He rose from the bed, lifting the tiny bundle, uncertain as to how to handle a baby. His son immediately ceased his crying the second Logan's strong hands had enfolded him. He walked back over to the bed, laying down beside Ororo again, with the baby nestled between them. "This is yer mama. Ye'll get ta meet her real soon. She's just a little sleepy now." He felt his throat tighten. "She wanted ya real bad, Chance. Wanted ya so much that she'd have moved heaven and earth ta have ya. Yer mama loves ya, buddy, and so long as I'm here, I ain't never gonna let ya forget that."
That had been two months ago and Ororo wasn't improving, and the nightmares were getting worse.
Henry had begun the gene therapy on Ororo immediately upon Chance's birth, but the odds, he was honest, were severely slim. Still Wolverine had held hope that she would recover, and had remained steadfast by her side until Jubilee had gone to see him one day and lectured him on fresh air and life. He grinned a bit. His firecracker girl, all of fifteen years old, lecturing him on life.
"Don't you think Chance might like to see the sun?" Jubilee had asked. "If he's anything like Storm, he needs to be outside, Wolvie."
Using Storm as motivation was clever on Jubilee's part, because it got him motivated quickly. He set up a play area, and changed the guest room of the boat house into a nursery. Well, not him so much as every female at the mansion. Flamin' chicks had swarmed on the room like vultures on dead meat. A fuzzy blanket here, a Noah's ark toy there, Baby Einstein and Winnie the Pooh crap all over.
However, it was Jubilee and Ali that had finally put the room together. The ceiling had been painted sky blue, with clouds, done by Colossus, and a beautiful Canadian mountain scene taking up one wall. The windows had been redone and childproofed, and Kurt had given Chance a 'bamf' doll. A mini version of the Fuzzy Elf that the damn kid had to have in the crib every night.
"Hey, Elf. Quit pretendin' interest in my kid just ta get near Sprite and toss me a brew."
Kurt complied, flipping a tall bottle towards Logan. Wolverine snatched it easily from the air, popping the top off with a flick of one claw.
"See, told you der was a million and one uses for dem t'ings." Gambit said to Ali.
Ali laughed. "I'd watch it Rem, you two might be heading for another DR session from hell, if you keep that up." Although she said it in jest Ali remembered all too well the panic she felt when she couldn't override the Danger Room to get Gambit and Wolverine out and away from each other...
The elevator doors dinged open and Gambit strolled down the hall. He was restless, agitated and angry. He needed some release, and not the kind Ali could provide. He needed to make something hurt.
He made his way t the danger room and once inside the sterile looking room he commanded, "Exercise 27-J, opponent: Wolverine."
As the program started, the ground and room shifting before him Gambit cricked his neck, and snapped his staff to full extension. He immediately went on the offensive, charged cards flying from his fingertips and his bo twirling with eye defying speed. It felt good, but not satisfying. The DR Wolverine wasn't as cunning or as agile as the real one and Gambit grew frustrated.
"How 'bouts ya try those fancy twirly moves on the real McCoy, Gumbo." Wolverine stood in the open door way, ankles and arms crossed, watching the tall Cajun repeatedly whoop his imaginary ass.
Gambit straightened. "Why ain't you wit' Stormy?"
Wolverine moved away from the wall. "She's in treatment."
Gambit nodded. "Jus' wonderin' when you was gonna walk out on 'er again."
Wolverine's eyes narrowed. "Ya got a problem, Cajun?"
"Wit' you? Absolutely." Gambit collapsed the bo and shrugged out of his trademark trench, stretching his arms wide, the black spandex of his top going taut over tight muscles.
"Well, quit yer preening, pretty boy and come get some." -SNIKT-
"Wit' pleasure, homme. Wit' pleasure." Gambit charged three cards, whipping them from agile fingers.
Wolverine dodged easily, launching himself from his doorway position into the room. He crouched low, moved fast, and was on top of Gambit before Gambit knew what hit him.
Gambit swore violently as the top of Wolverine's head smashed into his, making him see stars. Two claws punctured the steel beside Gambit's head the third only partially extended. Wolverine grinned with feral intensity.
"Yer a bigger pussy than Scooter."
Red on black eyes glowed angrily. "And you're a dumb Canadian fuck." Gambit slid a card into Wolverine's pants pocket. "I 'ope dey don' grow back." He smiled.
Wolverine jumped off of Gambit, slicing the pocket open just as the card exploded, singeing the hair on his legs and burning skin. "Ya keep yer filthy Cajun hands away from my package, ya fuckin' fruit." Two quick punches rendered Gambit semi-conscious. "This is gonna hurt," Wolverine smirked. He lifted his leg and brought his heel down on Gambit's chest, not hard enough to break bone, but hard enough to hurt. Like hell.
Gambit groaned, trying to roll away from Wolverine.
"Where ya goin', Gumbo? Not havin' any fun?" Wolverine followed, his voice a menacing taunt.
With a quick flick of his wrist Gambit snapped open his staff once again, swinging it in a smooth arc, catching Wolverine in the knees, taking his legs out from under him. Gambit levered himself on one hand and kicked, his heel crunching the cartilage in Wolverine's nose. Blood spurted across the floor and Gambit smirked. "Looks like your not unbreakable after all, non?"
Wolverine was on his feet in an instant, wiping the back of his hand across his face. "Naw. Not unbreakable, but a real quick fix." Already the blood was slowing and the tissue repairing itself.
"Wit'out dat 'ealing factor, you'd be a bigger pussy den Scooter. What Stormy ever saw in you is beyond me."
Wolverine's teeth bared, his longer canines gleaming. "Keep pushin', Gumbo."
Gambit shrugged, skirting a few feet away, regrouping. "I wonder if she jus' didn' feel sorry for your hairy, worthless ass. She was always tryin' t' fix t'ings for people. Maybe she thought she could fix you. It's ironic, no? Dat da angel falls while da devil roams free."
Wolverine could feel the blood thrumming in his head, his vision going red. "Shut up."
"You and Stormy. Fuckin' joke." Gambit spat on the floor. "Too goddamn busy t' see. Too goddamn self absorbed t' know she needed you."
Wolverine growled. "We talkin' 'bout me here, Cajun? Or you?"
Gambit grit his teeth. "Both." He flung several charged cards, and Wolverine stood still, taking each hit like he deserved them. As the flesh burned from his chest and arms he grimaced but remained silent. "She needed you!" Gambit hollered, rushing forward and launching himself with help from his staff. Both feet connected solidly with Wolverine's chest, sending him back against the wall. Gambit spun the staff, striking viciously and repeatedly, blood spraying the walls and floor. "She needed you!" Gambit's anger was intense, and Wolverine bore it stoically.
Gambit took a step back, panting, his gaze resting on the very bloody man in front of him. Wolverine stepped away from the wall. "Ya done? My turn." His foot caught Gambit under the chin, sending him flying. Wolverine stalked forward, growling, his eyes blazing black fire. "Ya don't get ta be righteous with me, Fucker." He lifted Gambit by his shirt front, head butting him, bloodying his lip and cracking his nose. "What about you, you bastard. Ali needs you. She needs you now. And here ya are playing rock 'em sock 'em with me in the Danger Room." Wolverine flung Gambit over his shoulder. He turned, following. "Take care of yer own!"
Gambit rolled onto his knees. "Stormy is my own."
"No. She ain't."
"Fuck you." Gambit kicked weakly. Wolverine stomped on his ankle, pinning his leg to the floor.
"Stop." he growled. "I don't wanna hurt ya, Cajun. Storm would never forgive me."
"It's not like she'll know, Wolverine." Gambit twisted, locking his other leg around Wolverine's waist and dragging him down.
-SNIKT- Claws brushed Gambit's inner thigh. "I know yers ain't growin' back." Wolverine growled. "Now stop. I hear yer girl, Gumbo. She's freakin' out."
Gambit looked up at the turret and sure enough Ali had been standing there, slamming her hands into the glass, yelling for them to, "Cut the fuckin' shit!"
Gambit slowly untangled himself, moving away and wiping his still bleeding nose. As both men rose, Gambit realized the Wolverine hadn't even broken a sweat, wasn't even breathing heavy. "You were letting me score." he said quietly. "You could've taken me at any time, non? You were just toyin' wit' me."
"Ya needed ta get it out," Wolverine grumbled. "Besides, I don't want ta tangle with Ali if I break you, I don't think I could handle that kinda hurt."
"She didn' wanna fix you." He said as they were leaving.
"Huh?" Wolverine was removing his tattered shirt.
"Stormy. She didn' wanna fix you. She loved you."
Wolverine nodded, quiet.
"Where are all the damn marshmallows?" Jubilee grumbled, lifting the tops off the coolers.
Wolverine put the discarded top back on the red and white cooler. "What're ya gripin' about?"
"The marshmallows. We can't make s'mores without them."
"Here they are!" Kitty exclaimed, waving the bag over her head. "I can't believe you've never had s'mores before," she said to Kurt with a kiss on his cheek.
"Ja. Well, fur and sticky in general are not a good combination." he said with a wink.
"Boy 'ave you led a dull life," Gambit said with a sultry smile directed towards Ali.
"Geez, Ali, can't ya get that boy a muzzle?" Jubilee walked by them, punching Gambit in the arm playfully.
"Easy, chere, Gambit might like."
"Pervert." Jubilee rolled her eyes.
Wolverine glowered at the tall Cajun. "Flirt with 'em if their drinkin' age, Gumbo, and only if ya dare."
"Yes, Rem. Only if you dare." Ali said from her seat on the front stoop where she was holding the baby, one foot tapping.
Gambit held up his hands in mock surrender. "Jus' a little funning' wit' da petit."
"Yeah, well 'da petit' is off limits, Bub."
Jubilee laughed, pushing her ever present sunglasses through her dark hair. "I'll be sixteen in a couple months, Pappy. Can't keep me from dating forever."
"Wanna bet." Wolverine grumbled, walking across the yard to where Ali was cradling Chance. "Looks good on ya, darlin'." he commented.
"What does?" Ali glanced up.
Ali blushed. "Thanks. He's out, should I go put him down."
"Nah. I'll do it." Logan reached for the tiny bundle, his normally fierce features softening instantly. "You go keep Gumbo in line."
Ali gave a dramatic sigh. "It's a full time job."
Inside the boathouse Logan walked with Chance to the nursery. He carefully placed him in the crib, turning the mobile so that the faint tinkering sounds of 'Hush Little Baby' filtered through the room. He then turned on the monitor and latched the portable onto his belt. As he closed the door he flicked on the nightlight that spun stars along the ceiling. "G'night, little man." Again he caught he scent of freshly fallen rain with a trace of vanilla. Damn.
He returned outdoors where the others were seated around the bonfire, roasting marshmallows and laughing. Storm would have loved it. Her family together and happy. Wolverine pushed the wave of anguish swelling in his chest down.
"You heading up to the Mansion?" Jubilee shoved the last of garbage into the trash can, cleaning the yard. She noticed Logan on the front porch, cigar in his mouth, pensive frown on his face.
"Yeah. If ya don't mind watchin' Chance fer a bit."
Jubilee smiled, and gave an exaggerated moan. "Oh, no. Anything but spend time with a cute boy who drools all over me."
"Thanks, kid." He strode over the grassy incline separating them from the mansion, a look of grim determination on his face.
"Good luck, Wolvie…" Jubilee sighed.
Logan pressed Ororo's lifeless hand to his cheek. It felt cold, the pulse in her wrist barely discernible. He rubbed it against his stubble, breathing her in.
"I love ya, 'Ro. I love ya so much." He had repeated this to her thousands of times in the past few months, at times so much so that his voice went raw. For months she hovered on the brink of death. She had left a will, saying she didn't want machines to keep her alive, so none were used, yet here she lay, clinging to life. Logan kissed her palm, watching her with shadowed eyes. With each shallow breath she took his heart ached more because he always wondered when would be the last, when would she breathe no more.
A painful knot lodged in his chest. It was his fault, all his fault. He should have seen, should have known, should have…done…something…anything. He took a deep, shuddering breath, bowing his head over her hand. "I know yer in there. I knew it before and I know it now. Come back ta me, 'Roro. I know I ain't perfect. I've done things…terrible things, that I regret, wish I could change…but not you, darlin'. Yer perfect. My angel. I've failed ya time and again, 'Ro. I know this, but because of you I'm different now. I'm a new man, a better man. I know I don't deserve ya. But I can't lose ya. I won't. Come back ta me."
Logan sat back, releasing a painful sigh. He felt like roaring when she gave no response, not even the faintest twitch in her slender fingers. She lay still, a goddess frozen in time. He wanted to scream and cry, but Ororo didn't need that. She needed his love to bring her home. He closed his eyes, taking a deep breath. Calm strength and love. That's what he'd be for her. Calm strength and--
"You will not fuckin' die! Ya hear me in there, Ororo Howlett! You will not leave our son without a mother!" he raged, pacing the floor. "Open those big blue eyes you stubborn witch!"
She didn't move.
Wolverine continued to pace, his strides taking on a predatory lope. "I'm tired of arguing with ya. Yer stubborn and willful, and never listen ta a goddamn thing I say, but ya bet yer sweet ass yer gonna listen now. Wake the fuck up!"
She didn't wake.
"I love ya, 'Ro. Chance needs ya…I need ya." He was growing weary, his anger fading in his sadness. "I'm tired, 'Ro. So fuckin' tired of bein' alone. It's dark without ya, baby. I need my light. I'm sorry I wasn't here fer ya, but I am now, and I need you ta be here fer me. Please, I love--" He was going to say more when he realized her eyes were open. He'd finally snapped, gone over the deep end. All the months of stress and strain had finally done it, fried his brain. He was crazy. A goddamn--
"Say it…" she whispered, bringing him back to reality.
Logan dropped to his knees beside her, shaking. "I love ya. I've loved ya since ya took me inta the woods and made lightening dance. Maybe even before that."
"I'm not going to die," she assured him. She said it with conviction.
Logan smiled. God, he'd forgotten how good that felt. Smiling. "No ya ain't, I won't letchya."
Ororo beamed. "Can I see my baby?" she asked.
Logan gave a short laugh. "In a minute. Let me just have this moment."
"Okay." She gazed up at him. She reached for him, touching his lips, his nose, his cheek. "I saw you. I felt you. Thank you for brining me back." she smirked. "Again."
One month later...
"Ororo! Damn it woman, get yer ass back down here!"
"Logan!" Ororo protested, flipping through the air. "I feel fine."
"I don't care how ya say ya feel. Until hank gives ya the all clear, yer grounded."
Ororo rolled her eyes. "Papa's such a grumpy pup, isn't he?" she cooed at the little boy in her arms.
"Dammit, 'Ro. Is Chance up there with ya?"
"Yes." She lowered herself to the ground, her bare toes wiggling in the grass. It was late evening, the silence of the night broken by the croaks of frogs and the chirps of crickets, and the growls of an irritated Wolverine.
Logan pulled her into his arms the second her feet touched the ground.
"You need to lighten up," Ororo murmured, pressing her lips to his in a feather light kiss. "You'll give yourself an ulcer."
"Now is not the time ta be flippant, darlin'." he growled.
Ororo held chance up in her arms. "He's all bark, Chance. No bite. Can you grr, baby boy?" Ororo playfully bared her teeth at chance and to her and Logan's astonishment he mimicked the act. Ororo laughed and Logan let it wash over him. God he loved her smooth voice and silky laugh.
Chance yawned, blinking bleary eyes. "I'll put him down," Logan offered.
"No, I'd like to. I'll be up in a few minutes." Ororo took Chance inside, laying him in his crib. She leaned against the rail, brushing her snowy hair over her shoulder as she spoke.
"Mama's going to tell you a story, little man. It's about a beautiful princess and her mighty warrior. Once upon a time there was a princess with dark flowing hair and pale skin. She had kind eyes and a warm smile. Her name was Mariko. Mariko lived in a faraway land of dragons and legends, of warriors and noblemen. It was in this faraway land that Mariko met a brave warrior named Wolverine. Wolverine was a fierce and loyal fighter, but his loyalties were not with Mariko's family. She loved him anyways, even though she knew he would have to do something not nice to her. Princess Mariko's daddy was not a nice man. He was bad, bad, bad, and hurt many people. It was the Wolverine's job to stop the bad man from hurting more people. Mariko knew this. She accepted it. But still, in her magic garden when she saw the warrior in his animal form, she became frightened and turned away from him. This hurt the warrior and he left his love. But he never lost her. She was always in his heart, even when he didn't know it, and he in hers. Princess Mariko was brave and noble but sadly, the princess never got to tell her warrior how much she loved him, and would always love him. One day another woman fell in love with the warrior and they were wed. The new love of the warrior was hurting, she was sick and was forced to rest, like sleeping beauty. She was pulled far away from her Wolverine. So far away that she feared never getting back to him, or their handsome prince. All alone this spirit was, lost and afraid, but she fought on, needing to get back to her warrior. She swore to tell him that none of it was his fault. That he was brave and true, and honorable, and that he was loved."
Ororo straightened from her long asleep son and slowly turned, already knowing he was behind her, hearing everything.
Logan stood in the doorway, clad in his jeans and nothing else, his face reflecting wary hope.
Ororo walked towards the door, slowly closing it behind them. "I don't know how, but for a while I was in your mind," she whispered. She had no idea what it meant, and from the look on Logan's face he didn't either.
To his credit Logan didn't look skeptical or disbelieving, he instead looked as vulnerable as she had ever seen him look. "I love you," Ororo said. "Hold me." She went to him and slid her arms around his neck, pressing her soft figure to his.
Heat slid through him, making his body rock hard in an instant. It had been too long since he'd had her. "Ah, hell, 'Ro…" Then he was kissing her, taking her mouth tenderly, his tongue slipping past her parted lips and dancing with hers. He was shaken by just how close he'd come to losing her, really losing her.
"Logan," she whispered his name on a note of longing.
"I've missed ya, darlin'. Every day was sheer hell without ya."
She pressed closer so that he could feel all of her through her long nightdress.
"I need ya," the words were harsh with barely contained desire and longing. He captured her lips again, this time hard and demanding. She kissed him with equal urgency, making the fire in his blood blaze. With a groan he lifted her and carried her to the couch in the living room, lowering her gently. He didn't remove her clothes, he wanted her far too badly for that. Instead he slid her nightdress over her slender hips, unbuttoned his jeans hurriedly, found her hot core and sank himself in.
He groaned as her heat gripped him. He was where he belonged, where he so desperately needed to be. She slid her fingers through his wild hair, pulling his hed down to hers for a kiss.
"I've been waiting for you my whole life." She lifted her hips against him and he gripped her hips tighter.
He wanted to be gentle with her, afterall she had been damn near dead for two months. His muscles shook with restraint and sweat glistened on his body.
Ororo sensed his urgency, locking her legs around him and moving against him in wild abandon. "Make me yours, Logan," Ororo moaned.
He inhaled her scent, a smile on his face. "I love ya, 'Ro."
"I know." she grinned. "I love you too."
"I can't explain it, but the virus is completely gone." Henry went over Ororo's chart with the professor. "The gene therapy was effective, but not to this degree. Her brain was in effect dead for two months. I can't figure it out."
"I don't think miracles are meant to be figured out," Jean said from her seat at the conference table.
"Miracles. Come now, Jean. We're scientists." Hank said with a raised bushy eyebrow.
"Well, you just said yourself science couldn't explain it. Maybe we should just take it on faith."
Xavier gave her a long look, his brow furrowed. Jean had been quite attentive to Ororo during the last few weeks of her coma. "Faith." Xavier repeated. "We'll see. You are both dismissed."
In the hallway, Ali met Jean. "Well?"
"I think the Professor suspects."
"Are you serious?' Ali hissed.
Jean shushed her. "Well, yeah. Storm was damn near dead and all the sudden she's all better. Yeah I think he's suspicious."
"Let's hope not because if they ever find out what we did to get that cure…"
"There's no need for anyone to ever know, Ali."
"Yeah, right. You know what they say. No good deed…"
On the front lawn the girls stopped to observe Ororo and Logan on a blanket with baby Chance. They looked happy and peaceful and blissfully in love.
"It was worth it." Ali said quietly, but she couldn't quite shake the feeling she and Jean had opened Pandora's box.
AN: Thank you to all of you that left such encouraging reviews! I can't say how much i appreciate them!
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters created and owned by Marvel Characters, Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.