The world around Logan was bright and crisp. The towering evergreens of the temperate rainforest surrounded the natural clearing at the edge of the cliff. He could hear the surf pounding the rocks below, saw the blue expanse beyond. Standing near the edge was a woman.

He walked up behind her, pressing a light kiss on her neck, resting his hands on her very pregnant belly.

Soon now, he thought. The weight had dropped as the baby moved into position. Their baby.

She leaned back into him and Logan was at peace.

A noise behind him shattered his calm. She didn't seem to notice. Looking around, he saw nothing. He brushed a kiss across her temple before going to investigate.

He headed towards the house, set back in the protective arms of the trees. He didn't make it. Men in black came out of nowhere, grabbing him. He fought, desperate to get back to the woman. To protect her. To hold her.

He broke free, running towards her. As if sensing him coming, she turned towards him. No longer pregnant, she held a perfect baby in her arms, wrapped in a pink blanket.

He was grabbed from behind again, and this time he couldn't get away. Tears ran down Logan's face, a howl of rage filled his throat.



Logan sat up in bed, the word 'Red' on his lips.

He could hear the water running in the shower, glad that Alex was safely away from him. Taking a deep breath, he tried to relax. It didn't work. Every muscle in his body hummed. He wanted to go find someone to rip apart. The way he always did after waking from one of his dreams. And, as usual, the dream had already faded into nothingness. Leaving him drained, both physically and mentally. But this time he was left with 'Red'.

Logan laid back against his pillow. The warm smell of Alex chased the anxiety of the dream away. He could get used to having her around, if he could make sure he didn't kill her.

Logan smiled, remembering waking up in the middle of the night. He hadn't been in the grip of a nightmare, for the first time in a long time, but had woken up slowly, comfortably. He had found Alex curled to his side. It felt so natural to have her there, warm and soft.

The shower turned off. Swinging his legs off the bed, Logan got up and quickly exchanged his sweatpants for jeans. He was pulling on his shirt when Alex walked back into the room.

Dressed in a t-shirt and jeans, her damp hair falling around her face in gentle waves, she took his breath away. She moved past him and tossed her bag back in the closet.

"Sleep well?" he asked, moving up in front of her. Color spread across her high cheekbones before she met his gaze.

"Yes," Alex said, her eyes daring him to challenge her. But Logan didn't want a fight, he wanted...

He bent his head slowly, giving her plenty of time to avoid his kiss. She didn't move, her eyes locked with his till they slid closed at the last second.

Her lips were warm and responsive, her body tipped itself into him. Logan's hand tangled itself in her wet hair, stirring up the sweet smell of her shampoo.

The knock on the door was an unwanted intrusion. Alex froze but did not pull back. Logan rested his forehead on Alex's, fighting to control his breathing. One hand was still tangled in her hair, the other rested on the small of her back, the heat of her skin warm against his palm. Her own hands rested on his back under his shirt.

Alex pulled away from him slowly and walked to the door, tucking her t-shirt back into her jeans. Logan started to button up his shirt as Alex opened the door to Jean. Logan smiled over at her, knowing that Jean could pick up on the tension in the room as easy as he could smell it.

Jean looked back to Alex, trying to hide the question in her eyes, "I think I have a way to get to LeAnna."



Alex sat at the head of LeAnna's bed, her daughter's head in her lap, Syrus curled up, listless, at her feet. Charles reached out and placed his hand over hers. He sat in his chair beside the bed, preparing once again to make contact with LeAnna, this time to bring Alex with him. Maranda stood behind him, in case this little experiment required medical attention. Jean was at the end of the bed, to lend what telepathic help she could. Kat was sitting on her own bed, her arms wrapped around her legs, her chin resting on her knees.

Logan stood by the door. He had stood behind Alex as Jean had explained her idea, lending her much needed support. He had followed them into LeAnna's room with out so much as a word, to lean against the wall, his arms crossed over his chest as if to dare anyone to tell him to leave. Alex could see beyond the relaxed pose, to the worry that lay beneath. It was strange, he had only met LeAnna briefly, but he seemed to be as invested in this as any of the others in the room.

"Ready?" Charles asked. Alex tuned her eyes from Logan and nodded at her uncle.

The world began to dim around her and she instinctively closed her eyes. She only opened them again when Charles gently called her name. She found her self in her kitchen, Charles standing beside her, holding her hand. He smiled down at her.

She felt the icy chill of the wind through the window even before saw the gaping hole and glass shattered on the floor. LeAnna lay curled on her side, thankfully away from the glass. Charles stepped forward, looking concerned, "Syrus?"

Alex looked around, not seeing the dog anywhere. She moved quickly to her daughter, pulling her into her lap.

"Mom?" LeAnna said, looking up at Alex. Her eyes were red from crying, her cheeks streaked with tears. As Alex watched, LeAnna's open, pleading face closed up. LeAnna turned away from her, "Go away."

Alex felt everything start to fade around her.

"No," Her voice was strong, her Mother voice. Instantly, the world clarified. "I'm not going away."

She held LeAnna as the girl shook with tears, "Shhh, it'll be alright."

"No, it won't," she said pulling away violently, "I...I killed it! I killed a defenseless little bird."

"I know," Alex said, letting her have her space, "And that pain is something you'll have to live with for the rest of your life. It'll get better, but it will never go away."

LeAnna turned an accusing glare at Alex, "How would you know?"

"I can still remember the faces of every person I've killed," Alex fought to keep her face calm, "You learn to live with the pain, you grow from it."

She reached out and touched her daughter's shocked face, "You'll be more careful in the future, more aware. But you can't stop living. That won't bring the robin back."



Alex opened her eyes to her daughters' bedroom to see LeAnna smiling up at her, tears pooling in her eyes. She returned the watery smile with one of her own, reaching down to give her a quick hug.

Syrus nearly vibrated up the bed. As soon as Alex let her go, LeAnna wrapped her arms around the dog's neck, burying her face in his fir. The large dog's tail thumped a happy rhythm on the bed.

LeAnna let of Syrus and swung her legs off the bed. She exchanged a quick smile with Charles, before Kat caught her up in a tight bare hug.

"Damn, girl," Kat said after finally pulling back to smile down at her sister, "You need a shower!"

Everyone in the room laughed, even Logan. The girls moved off, quickly surrounded by Maranda and Jean, both surreptitiously giving LeAnna a quick once over. Syrus wove himself around LeAnna's feet, doing a pretty good impersonation of a giant cat.

Alex scooted over to the edge of the bed to sit beside Charles.

"That's quite the secret you're keeping," he said, his voice low, his eyes still on the girls.

"I'm not the only one with secrets," Alex matched his tone and gaze. They watch as Jean reached up and tucked her hair behind her ear. "She's going to find out eventually on her own, you know. It might be better coming from you."

"I know," he said, "But it never seems to be the right time."

Alex laughed, "It never is."

"The longer you wait the harder it becomes."

"Maybe we should take some of our own advice."

For the first time in the conversation, they looked at each other, both wearing the same sad smile. Both knew they wouldn't.