Sequel to Home
Summary: Jean deals with being at Xavier's Institute after her death at Alkali Lake with some help from the one person who understands what it's like to be considered an outcast in a place you're supposed to feel safe... and some help from a few fuzzy friends!
Author's Note: I've wanted to write a story based on the Care Bears. Don't worry, it isn't completely and totally based on them but one makes an appearance in every chapter. Technically, it makes a character OOC (you'll figure it out way quick, not to worry) but suspend your disbelief for a while.
Also: I promise this won't be utterly and complete fluff. There will be some, not to worry, but it won't be go-brush-your-teeth-after-reading-this fluffy. Remember, we still have to solve everything with the others...
Dedication: N4PCE for reviewing the prequel and telling me it was hard to tell it was my first.
Jean was sure they were just being cruel. She'd been back at the Institute for almost a month an a half now and still people were afraid or nervous around her. In general, it wouldn't have affected her, but because she was having problems sorting through the jumbled emotions in her brain, it just frustrated her.
It was one of the things she just couldn't figure out. Logan had stood beside her since he'd come back a week ago and had checked up on her at regular intervals. In fact, she looked forward to the five minutes they had every two hours or so, just for some sort of normal human contact, even if she could feel the worry rolling off of him in waves.
Now he'd gone off for the day.
She didn't hold him responsible. The professor had asked him to chaperone a trip into the city with Ororo and he couldn't fault Logan for doing as the professor asked. Still, part of her wished he was going to be around all day, especially since it hadn't started out so well.
She'd woken up in her room – with Scott's misgivings about her sanity and side she'd moved back to the old one she used to occupy – to a cloudy day. Normally she would have sighed, pouted slightly and moved on, but something about the clouds that day made her feel especially saddened.
Logan hadn't sat with her at breakfast. Again, she'd berated herself at the new necessity to see him. She chalked it up to the fact that he didn't avoid her and checked on her every once in a while, just to make sure she wasn't letting everyone's treatment of her dictate how she ran her life. Therefore, the meal had been eaten largely on her own.
She made her way sullenly down to the medlab, not realizing she'd glanced into the hangar where the Institute's transportation vehicles would be on a regular day. Now, two of the larger vehicles were missing, a physical representation of the fact that there were people missing from the Institute.
Jean sighed as the doors to the lab slid open, then closed behind her, making her way absently to her desk. In her time back she'd changed the lab somewhat, installing shelves for the books she absorbed herself in and a computer for her research. She finally looked up from the floor an her eyes locked on a surprising object in front of her screen.
The bear was pink. It took her a few minutes to recognize the object for what is was, and then place the concept. It was a Care Bear. She picked it up tentatively, her heartbeat racing when she noticed the folded page under the bear. She unfolded the page, her gaze darting back and forth from the quickly scrawled note to the bear in her hand.
Cheer Bear, I'm told, is to cheer you up. She's in charge of watching over you today while I'm 'chaperoning'.
Jean couldn't stop the smile that spread over her face as she hugged the bear to her chest. For a few moments she felt like the world wasn't coming to an end and she could breathe again. Even if Logan wasn't physically there, he was there through the bear, to help her through the day.
Then she got analyzing.
Sure, Logan had indicated his feelings for her before she'd 'died' but she wasn't sure if they'd carried over. He'd come back at the urging of the professor, had he not? Maybe he'd been holding out hope that she wasn't really dead…
Jean dropped her head into her hands in confusion. The bear still sat on her lap and she couldn't stop the small satisfied smile from creeping across her face as she looked closely at it. Instead, she happily settled the bear in front of her, just to the left of her screen and settled in for a day of work.
She tentatively knocked on his door late that night, when she was sure everyone else was in bed. Logan didn't give tokens like the bear and she wanted to thank him. However, since she was watched like a hawk when with a group of people, she'd decided it was a better thing to do in private. He opened the door groggy and shirtless. She breathed deep.
"Thank you," she said softly, her eyes finally, tentatively, meeting his.
"For what?" She couldn't stop the smirk from creeping over her face. Something about Logan had her acting less depressed and more like the Jean that wouldn't mind bantering back and forth with him.
"Kids wear you out today?" she asked as he stood back to allow her entrance to his room. He nodded with a yawn.
"Went a'runnin' all about. Couldn't keep tabs all the time," he mumbled out sinking down onto his bed. She smiled, slightly embarrassed.
"Then I'll let you get back to sleep. I just wanted to thank you for the bear," she told him, childishly hugging the pink animal to her chest. Logan smiled.
"Rogue told me about them one day when I was sitting watching TV with some of the kids. I figured she could watch you better than I could," he answered with a wink. Suddenly she got serious.
"Why are you doing this?" Logan sighed. He really wasn't ready for this in depth conversation, but he knew she needed it.
"Because people do care, Jeannie. Plus, with the down and depressin' mood you've been paradin' about in, I figured you needed her." This time Jean gave him a smile that was full and genuine, the first one since she'd found herself breathing again.
"Thank you, Logan," she said sincerely. "Good night." She left.
"Good night, Jean."