Chapter 7 -- Happily Ever After... More or Less

Tavi had assumed that her life would get less frustrating when she was released from the hospital, but she had been wrong. She had never realized how much effort went into making breakfast in the morning, or taking a shower, or working in the lab. The others did what they could to help, but this only increased her general level of frustration. She cried herself to sleep most nights, and frequently threw things when frustrated. Jinx quietly assured the others that these mood-swings would diminish as she recovered, but they were all worried.

"God, I feel like a newborn kitten!" she complained to Logan one afternoon after her physical-therapy session with Bling had ended.

"I know you do, Tavi, but Bling and Jinx both say that you're getting better."

She nodded bitterly. "So slowly that I don't even notice any improvement at all. It's not fair!" She angrily rubbed at her watering eyes. "And this has got to stop."

"Jinx says that it's fairly common for people with brain damage to have emotional difficulties."

"Easy to say, harder to deal with." Tavi rubbed her suddenly throbbing forehead. "Great, now I'm going to need a shot of morphine and I won't be good for anything all day. It's not fair, Lo."

Logan brought her prescription and sat down next to her as she administered it. "Trust me, Tavi, I do know the feeling."

Tavi looked up, surprised. "Oh, that's right. I guess you would. I'd almost forgotten." She capped the needle and dropped it on the coffee table. "Ten years ago, if you had told me that this is how my life would be, I would have laughed in your face."

"Ditto." Logan nodded and smiled at her. "My mother used to say that life is what happens while you're making other plans."

"She was a wise woman, Lo." Although she was still crying, she smiled. "A lot of it rubbed off on you."

He grinned back at her and wiped her eyes. "You're going to be just fine, Tavi, trust me."

She sighed and nodded. "I do, Lo, I'm just so frustrated." She leaned against him as the morphine started to take effect.

"Dizzy?"

"Just a little. I'll be fine." She pushed herself back into an upright position and smiled at him. "God, look at the two of us."

"None of this would have ever happened if you'd married me when I'd asked you to..." Logan pointed out.

"But then you would never have met Max and I would never have met Cindy."

"Which would have sucked for both of us." Logan smiled at her.

"You know, I'm not sure that any of us are ever going to have a happily ever after, but I think we're going to be alright."

Logan smiled and nodded. "I think so, too."

"I've got Jinx on Paxil."

"Really?" Logan smiled. "Is that working for her?"

She nodded. "It seems to be. She says it's better than Prozac." Tavi laughed.

Logan laughed and shook his head. "Coming from Jinx, that's high praise for a drug."

"She's even having the nightmares less often now."

"That's good. The things she's been through, she deserves to have a good life from now on."

Tavi smiled at him. "Mister Idealism. That's why the girls love you."

Logan scoffed. "So far, though, Max is pretty much the only straight woman I've ever dated. Except my ex."

Tavi sniggered and shook her head. "Poor Logan. You just have the worst luck, don't you?"

He nodded. "Want to lie down?"

"Yeah, I think I'd better." Tavi nodded and started to climb to her feet. "You know, on second thought, the guest-room is kind of far away. You mind if I just rest my eyes on the couch?"

Logan smiled and nodded. "Go ahead. I'll get you a blanket."

"Thanks." Tavi smiled at him and stretched out on the couch. When he brought the blanket out and covered her, she said, "You're a good friend, Lo. I could have done a lot worse for a husband."

He smiled and tucked her in. "I could have done a lot worse for a wife."

"Lucky for us we both came to our senses in time." Tavi smiled at him, then looked suddenly serious. "I'm going to find a cure for the virus, Logan, no matter what it takes. I promise."

"I know you will." Logan smiled and kissed her forehead. "I have complete faith in you."

"Good for you." Tavi smiled at him and yawned.

"Sleep well, Tavi."

"Thanks, Lo."

***

Logan sat on top of the Space-Needle, staring thoughtfully at the city bellow. Max was right. At night it was beautiful, peaceful.

"I thought you were scared of heights."

Logan looked up with a smile. "Evening, Max. Care to join me?"

She nodded and sat down. "What're you thinking about?"

He shrugged. "Stuff."

"Tavi?"

He nodded. "I know that she's going to be okay, but I'm worried."

"The mood-swings and the headaches?" Max asked.

He nodded. "They're so hard on her. I worry."

Max grinned slyly at him. "Maybe I can help..."

"What?" Logan stared curiously at her, smiling. "Max?"

"I was talking to Jinx earlier tonight."

"Really?" Logan smiled. "You know, Tavi says that the anxiety's getting a lot better."

Max nodded. "It shows. She seems a lot more confident in herself."

Logan smiled. "That's good." He glanced at her. "So, you were talking to Jinx today?"

"Yeah." Max nodded and lapsed back into silence.

"No fair teasing!" Logan protested with a grin, resisting the temptation to take a swipe at her. He wanted to wrestle her to the ground and kiss the information out of her, but that was not going to happen until Tavi or Lydecker came through with a cure.

Max, who seemed to sense his thoughts, smiled and nodded. "Okay, I'll stop. Since you're the last one to know, I guess it's not fair to keep you in the dark."

"Last one to know what?"

"About Tavi."

"What about Tavi?" Logan asked, shaking his head. She was actually enjoying making him suffer.

"Well, Jinx just got the results of her last PET scan back, and compared them against the previous two, and, well..." Max shrugged. "She's getting better."

"What?" Logan asked, frowning.

"She's recovering brain-function that the doctors, and Jinx, had assumed would be permanently lost."

"How is that possible, though?"

"I'll give you three guesses."

Logan frowned. "The Manticore DNA?"

Max nodded. "That's what Jinx thinks, anyway."

"Wow." Logan smiled. "That's... amazing."

Max grinned and nodded. "Sure is. As far as Jinx can tell, and Lydecker seems to agree, part of the X7 intellect-boosting gene-sequence was a built-in ability for the brain to repair itself, even in adults."

"Wow..." Logan breathed. "So, that stupid stunt that she pulled ten years ago is actually helping her?"

"More than that." Max leaned forward and lowered her voice, as if afraid of being overheard. "Jinx thinks it might actually have saved her life."

"Wow, again." Logan shook his head. "Unbelievable."

Max smiled and nodded. "Jinx says that her brain probably started repairing itself as soon as she got sick, and that, if it hadn't, the delay in getting treatment would have killed her."

Logan shook his head and began laughing gently. "Unbelievable."

Max grinned and nodded. "You know, the only thing this story needs for a happy ending?"

"A kiss?" Logan sighed.

Max nodded. "Oh well. Soon."

Logan smiled up at her. "Very soon, I hope."