The first thing Jean's mind registered upon her slow ascent into wakefulness was the beeping of what she knew to be medical instruments. Inwardly, she huffed.
Please let this be one of the last times I end up in this place because I need medical attention, she begged an unseen presence. Slowly, her eyes fluttered open and she took in the familiar white ceiling of the infirmary side of the medlab. Gingerly she sat up, minding the wires and cords attached to her body, including the IV tube. Her eyes took in the surrounding areas including the occupied beds.
Her family was there.
"Its nice to see one of you finally awake," came a soft female voice.
Jean waited until Ororo walked around to look at her. "What happened?"
"You don't remember?"
"Not much," Jean admitted.
"You've been out for just over two weeks," Ororo said, her voice still soft, as if speaking too loud would wake one of the others. "Our assumption is that each one of you was just too worn out, though Logan took some pretty bad hits."
"Everyone's okay though, right?" Jean asked apprehensively.
Ororo nodded reassuringly. "Hank said it was just a matter of time before you all woke. Get some more rest. You've been through a lot."
Obediently, Jean lay back against the sheets and pillows, closing her eyes against the light. Seconds later, she was again asleep.
Jean and Logan were the first members of their family to be released from the infirmary, though Jane and Michele hadn't woken. It did, however, give Jean and Logan time to talk about what they were going to do with their exceptionally gifted children.
It had been a long chat, both of them bringing up the fears associated with allowing them to fight or sheltering them from the world they lived in. Eventually, it was decided that the final choice would be left up to Jane and Michele. It wasn't a surprising conclusion, especially since the girls had shown remarkable insight while fighting Magneto to begin with.
For now they sat between their daughters' beds, wondering just how long it was going to take for them to wake up. Jean knew the statistics but she also knew what it was like to run down psychic abilities.
"They'll wake up," she assured Logan after sitting the day beside the girls with no movement from them at all.
"But how long?"
"We have to be patient," Jean answered soothingly, even if her own mind was in complete turmoil.
"Patience, patience, patience, that's all anyone ever says," Logan grumbled as they made their way up to their bedroom.
Jean chuckled lightly, knowing Logan was never patient. "I had to be patient when you were injured, you know," she pointed out. "Before the girls were born."
Logan wrapped an arm around her shoulders, taking pleasure in the way she immediately curled into his side. "I didn't get hurt that often," he said.
"When you did in Germany I was terrified," she responded honestly, trying to snuggle even closer into his side.
"I'm sorry," he answered smartly, kissing the side of her head.
"No you're not," she replied smiling. "That's not what matters anyway. Jane and Michele will be up before we know it."
"Mommy?" Jean jumped at the small voice, sending a quick prayer up to the Powers that Be saying thank you for her daughters before she sat on the edge of Jane's bed.
"Hey sweetie," Jean whispered in reply, taking her daughter's hand.
"What happened?" Jane groaned as she tried to sit up. Jean gently pushed her back down.
"Don't sit up yet," Jean advised. "You just woke up."
"I feel fine, Mommy, I just don't remember what happened."
"I remember Michele and Aunt Marie getting kidnapped and I remember you and Daddy going to find them," she replied and Jean could tell her daughter was stepping around an issue. "Not much else."
"You remember stowing away on the Blackbird," Jean accused with a reproachful smile that told her daughter she wasn't actually mad about it anymore. "And I'm sure you remember Daddy and me going missing." Since Logan had promised to have a chat with both girls about what he and Jean did on missions, Jean had decided to stop holding back.
"I might remember that," Jane said with a giggle. When she tried to sit up the second time, Jean let her. "I don't know why I'm here though. I felt perfectly fine when we left."
"You and Michele helped take down Magneto," Jean replied softly, taking her daughter's hand gently.
"Is that why my head hurts a bit?"
Jean chuckled, tears coming to her eyes. "Yeah, that would be it. You girls showed a huge display of power."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Apparently, Michele was awake too.
"You two are probably the reason we were able to win," Jean answered, still sitting on Jane's bed.
"No way," Jane breathed. "You're the strongest."
Jean smiled. "Not anymore. Or, I won't be when you girls are trained."
"We knew it was going to happen." Logan had re-entered the infirmary, working on the notification that Jean had sent when Jane woke up.
Jean took a deep breath. "Your father and I decided we weren't going to hide things from you anymore," she said carefully, her eyes on Logan as he sat on the edge of Michele's bed. "We're going to tell you about the Brotherhood, the mutants and how we are involved."
"Why?" Michele asked, slowly sitting up like her sister.
"Because we decided that eventually, you girls are going to have to make a choice. You are going to have the choice to stay here and teach, to fight for Grandpa Charles and what he believes in, or you can leave and find your own jobs elsewhere and try to become regular, if special, members of society," Jean answered delicately.
Michele and Jane exchanged glances, the way that only twins could. "We're listening."
Jean lay against Logan that night, more than content. Her girls were awake, and she and Logan had made it out of the 'epic battle' in one piece.
"The girls are six now," Logan said softly, breaking the comfortable silence that had enveloped them.
Jean gasped. "That's right! I'd completely forgotten they didn't get a chance to celebrate their birthday."
"That wasn't what I was thinkin' about," Logan replied, amusement colouring his voice, "but you're right."
"We'll have to throw them a party," Jean decided, snuggling closer against Logan. "With balloons and cake and the whole family."
"That's what I wanted to talk about," Logan murmured, brushing a hand against her hair. "Family."
Jean tilted her head until she could see his face. "What are you planning?" she asked, eyes narrowing in mock suspicion.
Logan's hand delved into his pocket, withdrawing that ever-famous little black box. "I'm thinkin' the news that you are I are getting' married will be the best birthday present for the girls," he answered, presenting the box to her."
"Are you proposing to me?" Jean inquired in amusement, already knowing they'd vowed to marry if they made it out of the battle.
"You forget you already have," he shot back, a gentle smile blossoming across his face. "But this will make it official." Gingerly, he opened the box, revealing the small diamond ring.
"You know I love you, Jeannie," he said softly. "Marry me?"
The smile she gave him would have lit up half of Africa with its brilliance. "Yes," she breathed, throwing her arms around his neck and squeezing.
Quite honestly, this is where I want to end it, HOWEVER, if someone can give me a really, really good reason to get off my lazy bum and write another chapter/epilogue I might be able to accomodate it. If not, this is where my journey ends, my dears! It has been a pleasure and HUGE thanks to people like Missy, AliasSpyCrazy, and Dark Phoenix Rising that have reviewed every chapter of not only this, but all of the prequels. You guys are my heroes, thank you.
Missy: Before you go tearing me apart because you don't like how it ends :P, you like angst, I don't... not really anyway and to put any more in it was going to require me to rip my hair out at the roots. Hugs to you anyway for being a sounding board through this whole thing! Looking forward to your chapter 14...