Birthdays

I don't really know where this is going, so hard to summarize. Just a strange idea that entered my head on my way to work this morning. Comments and reviews most welcome. Suggestions of ideas are being pleaded for.

I don't own them. Marvel Entertainment, Inc and Fox Entertainment do.

Prologue

"Come on, Darlin, just one more." He looked into her straining face. God he loved her. Hank was covered in blue scrubs that matched his fur so closely it was hard to tell where the fabric ended and he began.

"We have a head." He said.

"Come on, baby, almost there." Logan smiled at his wife. Her dark hair was limp and stringy with sweat. She had been in labor for sixteen hours. Fur Face kept saying it wasn't unusual, but Logan was still scared. There was a scent in the room, a scent he didn't like.

The loud cry of a newborn ripped through the room, as they cleared its nose and mouth and it drew its first breath.

"Alright, Angela, one more push." Hank said. Her eyes were closed, and Logan could see just how tired she was. She opened her eyes, and Logan helped her sit up a bit, held her as she pushed the shoulders out, the rest of the body slithering out like a snake.

"It's a girl." Hank said, as he clamped the umbilical cord, to cut it. He held the scissors out to Logan, but noticed something was wrong. Logan was focused on his wife, not the baby. Hank cut the cord himself and began to clean her.

"Darlin, Darlin, open your eyes. Stay with me." Logan said to her. Her eyes opened for a second and she looked at him.

"I love you." She whispered, and then the high pitched sound of a flat lined heart monitor pierced the room. They pushed Logan back as Hank and his nurse tried to revive her. The neonatal nurse had the baby in the warming bassinette, checking her over. Logan stood where they pushed him against the wall. He had lost her. Tears were flowing down his face. It had taken years to get over Jean, to find someone else who made his heart race, his breath catch like that, and when he did, he didn't let anything get in his way. Thank God she hadn't had a whole lot of sense, and had fallen as madly in love with him, three months later they were married, and, now two years later, she was gone.

He fell to his knees. She was gone. He could smell it. Nothing they did would bring her back.

They finally stopped trying. Hank looked over at him, sorrow etched on his face.

"I'm sorry, Logan."

He just stared at the floor.

"Logan, we need you to hang on. Your DAUGHTER needs you to hang on."

The cries of the newborn rent the air again. Logan looked up, looked over where that tiny being lay and fell in love again. She needed him. Without a mother, things were going to be hard, and she wasn't going to have to live without a father too. He stood up slowly, and walked to the bassinette. She had her mother's nose, her hands, and her chin. The nurse picked her up and put her in his arms. She was so small, so delicate. He hoped she would have her mother's mutation, and not have to deal with his. Angela was…no had been a teleporter. He prayed to whatever God was out there, that his little girl would have her mother's gifts.

"Logan, you need to name her."

"Mariah." It was what they had decided on for a girl. Her mother's wish and he would make sure that at least was fulfilled. "Mariah Elizabeth Howlett."

He handed her back to the nurse. He turned around. They had removed Angela from the room while he looked at his daughter. Marie walked in, tears in her eyes. "Tha Perfesser said he would take care of tha arrangements. You need ta concentrate on tha baby." He bowed his head. That is what his friends were for, to support him, when he needed it most. It had taken several years, and one temperamental wife to make him realize that. He just nodded, and listened to the nurse as she gave him instructions on how to care for that tiny life that depended on him so completely.

Angela had been the one to read the books, had laughed at him when he picked them up "The big old Wolverine is going to change diapers and make bottles." She had laughed at him. He had just grinned at her. Of course he would, it was his baby. But there were so many things he didn't realize, so many things that were in the covers of those books. Over the next few weeks, those books were his best friends. He learned how to rock her, how to change her, how to feed her, how to hold her, how to bathe her, there was one thing they didn't tell him, though; how to stop the pain.

He started going to see the Professor once a week, let Jubilee or Kitty or Marie take care of Mariah for an hour or so and actually try to come to grips with it; with losing Angela, and trying to find a way not to hurt so badly when he looked at his daughter.

It got better. With time, it got better. He watched her grow, held her hands as she took her first steps, was thrilled when her first word was "Dada." He hurt less and less, and smiled more and more, until her birthday. They threw her a huge party. All the mansion was there, all the teams showed up, and the world seemed to have a day of peace just for her. Everyone except her own father, he couldn't smile, tears rained down his face all day. Mariah didn't notice, but everyone else did. He tried to make it up to her the next day, but she didn't care, she was only one.

The next year was as bad as the first, the whole mansion tried to make sure she didn't notice that Daddy wasn't around. The third was even worse, he handed her to Marie, got on his motorcycle and left. He didn't come back till after midnight, and the injuries were so bad they weren't completely healed before he came home. The fourth was better. He stayed home, but was in a horrible mood, and ended up storming out before she could blow out the candles. They all prayed next year would be better.