NEW N/A (12-01-03): I've just had a look at this old story of mine, and I decided to make it look a little better by formatting it again. Sorry, no new content:-S

(ORIGINAL)AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is only my second fanfiction, and English isn't my native language either, so bare with me.

Logan and Max fly to London to visit Logan's grandparents and family. Logan has to deal with their reactions and Max tries to support him. Might be kinda boring.... But the story will take a completely different path, at least for some time. Please review and tell me if it's Ok if I go on, in case you fell asleep I won't- I promise:)

DISCLAIMER: The main characters all belong to James Cameron and his guys, by no means do I intend to steal them. But some are mine.

**

*Europe, here we come*



AN INVITATION

Max found Logan in his kitchen, reading intently.

"Morning. What's up?"

"Hey Max. Don't have to give me a heart attack."

"Sorry, didn't mean to. Got a letter?" She sat down on a chair across from him.

"Yeah, but it's nothing really." He released the brakes of his wheelchair and rolled over to get Max a cup and a plate. When he turned back he found her reading the letter.

"Hey, that's mine!!" He tried to grab it but he had to admit that she was faster, no matter what he might come up with. So he just observed her while she finished the letter. It was an invitation to a family gathering in England.

"So when are you gonna leave?"

"I don't think I'll be going at all."

"Why not?" She took a sip of coffee.

"I don't know, it's such a long flight."

"Logan!"

"I guess I don't wanna face my family." His voice was soft and he stared down at his legs. "I haven't met any of them since..."

"Come on, it would be fun, they can't all be like Margo and Jonas."

"Actually my grandparents are kinda nice. It's my Mom's family." Logan tried to smile at his genetically engineered guest. "It's just that I can't see myself spending a week or even more over there. I won't have a car I can drive, so I'll be pretty much stuck to the house."

Max suddenly got up and walked over to the fridge. Then she leaned over the opened door and look directly at him. "How about you take me along?"

"Max..."

"Why not," she'd found the milk and returned to the table. "Our last vacation ended in a mess and I've never been to Europe."

Logan didn't answer right away. He had to admit it wasn't such a bad idea. "Ok, why not. Yeah, let's go to Europe."

"Wow, that is so cool. I'll be going to England! When is that again?"

"Two weeks from today." Logan wheeled out of the kitchen. "I'll book the flights."

May was as excited as a little kid. Every time she passed by she had new questions about what kind of clothes to take along, how the weather would be over there.

Logan still didn't feel completely comfortable about having to face his family, but with Max by his side it would be a lot easier. That way he could at least pretend he lead a somewhat normal life.

**

The day of the departure finally arrived. Max hadn't slept all night and was at Logan's place by six in the morning.

"Max??!!Is that you? What the hell...?" Logan sat up in his bed, using his elbows to hold his balance. "We don't have to leave for the airport for another five hours."

"I just thought..."

Logan shook his head, grinning. "I think you let me have a shower and get dressed."

While Logan was in the bathroom Max set the table, then sneaked around the apartment like a caged animal. Logan couldn't suppress a laugh when he saw her.

"This is really gonna be fun, are you gonna calm down at all?" He started to make coffee. "No caffeine for you, that's for sure."

**

After what seemed like an eternity to Max, Bling showed up to take them to the airport. Max had watched Logan pack some more stuff and it nearly drove her crazy. How could he be that cool about the trip?

**

At the crowded airport the three made their way to the right check-in. Logan had most of the bags in his lap, and even though he had protested at first, Max was pushing his chair now.

"I hope you know that this is so not an option for London."

"I know,boo." Max grinned at Bling. "Your ego."

"Ok, here we are. Do you still need me or can you handle it from now on. I didn't park very well." Bling handed Max the bag he'd been carrying.

"We'll be fine. I'll call you to let you know how things go." Logan wrestled with the bags to get one hand free to shake Bling's. "Thanks for bringing us here."

"You're welcome. Have fun and take care."

Then the tall man turned towards Max and embraced her. "Take care of him, he's gonna need you."

"I will, don't worry. Bye."

**

A stewardess awaited them to check the tickets and to guide them to their seats. She waited until Logan was settled and then left with the wheelchair.

They were the first passengers on board and still had plenty of time.

"Logan?"

"Yeah?"

"Are you sure you wanna do this?"

He knew she referred to his family and his aversion when it came to pity.

"I couldn't do it alone, Max. Thanks for joining me. I guess it's gonna be OK, I'm prepared for the worst."

She squeezed his hand. "I'm there for you. I want you to know that."

"I do know." He gently returned the squeeze, enjoying the closeness and comfort.

Max still was excited about this trip, but knowing that Logan was probably going to have a hard time damped the excitement. She was grateful she was able to be here with him and to help him- just like she should have done about a year ago.

She sighed and then concentrated on the launch. The city looked so peaceful from up here. The ocean was sparkling and even the sun was shining. For the coming weeks she would not have to worry about any people chasing her, not about work she had to do for Eyes only. She just loved that idea.

Half a day later Max found herself looking down at another city. It was just as rainy as Seattle usually was.

"Wow, weather-wise we'll feel completely like at home." Logan craned his neck to look past Max and to catch a glimpse of London.

"Hey sleepyhead, I didn't notice you woke up."

"Yeah, I got too sore for sleeping. It feels as if even my legs hurt."

"Ask me, I can actually feel them cramp up."

She observed him as he became more and more tense. "It's gonna be fine."

He forced a smile on his pale face. "I know, with you."

**

After landing they waited until the other passengers had left the plane and the stewardess brought Logan's chair. Stiff as he was he even accepted Max's help.

"Have a nice stay in London. Good bye."

"Thanks." Max smiled at the young woman then followed Logan to get the luggage.

"OK, here we go." He took a deep breath and grabbed his wheels with pretended determination.

Max took a few quick steps to catch up with him. Now it was her who carried most of the bags. "Does anybody pick us up?"

"I think so." With that Max took the lead, feeling that Logan would like to hide a little behind her.

But right after Max stepped out in the hall a little girl came running towards them, stopping right before them. "Are you Logan?"

He smiled at the little girl who was nearly on eyelevel with him. "Yeah, hi. And who are you?"

"I'm Emily. My Mom's over there." They all looked to where Emily pointed and saw a tall and elegant woman waving at them. Max decided instantly that she liked her.

"Hello Logan, it's great you could come. Your grandparents are gonne be really surprised."

"They don't know?"

"No, we decided it would be a nice surprise." Then she turned her attention towards Max. "It's a pleasure to meet you."

"Thank you, ditto."

"I'm Karen. Logan's cousin." She shook Max's hand then made sure Emily was still close by. "Ok, I think I'm gonna take you to our place first, guess you are both tired. You can relax; maybe have a shower before you have to play present."

"I like the shower part, but why is it I can't imagine myself to jump out of a fake cake?" Logan looked up at his cousin.

"Don't worry, it's not gonna be formal tonight. Most of the relatives arrive only tomorrow." Max could sense Logan relax immediately.

Emily suddenly grabbed her hand. "Come on, I'll show you where we parked." Before Max could protest Emily had pulled her towards the exit. Karen and Logan followed.

"It means a lot to them that you came, Logan. Ever since your Mom died, they are looking forward to the next time they can see you. They need the link you provide, and they need to see you."

She looked down at her cousin. "It's good you brought Max. You know that not the entire family will be able to accept...it easily."

"I know, I had to deal with my Dad's relatives. It can hurt pretty badly." He hadn't seen Karen in years, but he felt comfortable in her presence. "I'm sure we're gonna have lots of fun, and I missed grandma and grandpa as well."

**

They reached the car and while the women took care of the luggage, Logan climbed in the front seat, hoping Max would take care of his chair. Of course, she did.

Emily climbed on Logan's lap. Once more he realized how weird it was to have somebody sit there and not feel it. "May I stay here Mom?"

"I'm sorry sweetie, but no. Please sit in the back with Max."

It took them close to an hour to reach Karen's house. When Karen stopped the car she eyed Logan.

"I'm afraid it's not the best place for you to stay, but you'll get to sleep at grandparent's anyway. That should be a lot better."

"No problem."

Max unloaded the wheelchair and a small bag with extra clothes and some stuff to refresh for both of them.

At first Karen offered some lemonade and sandwiches. It was only noon.

"You can have a shower upstairs Max." Again she shot a glance at Logan, but he only shook his head.

"It's fine, Karen, really."

"Emily has an appointment at the dentist, we'll try to be quick, but we still won't be back before three. Mark, my husband, is at work and will be home even later. I hope you don't mind staying alone."

"No problem." Max smiled. "Thanks for your hospitality."

"You're welcome." Karen got up with a sigh. "Come on Emi, let's get done with it."

"Bye Logan, bye Max. Can we play something when we are back?"

"Sure, we'll wait right here."

**

Finally they were on their own.

"I really don't know why you ever worried, Logan."

"Believe me, I have my reasons." He rolled over to the living room. "Go have your shower Max."

"What about you?"

"It's upstairs."

"Nobody's at home. I can carry you."

"And how are we going to explain that?"

"They don't seem to worry much about your disability, or the extent of it. They'll buy any story we cook up. Or we go for not mentioning it at all."

Logan hesitated, but the prospect of a refreshing shower was too promising.

"Maybe it's worth a shot." He grinned sheepishly. "Let's try."

"Great. Gimme a sec to check out the bathroom." Max was back downstairs immediately. "Looks like you gotta have a bubble bath. The shower is not accessible I'd say."

"Then forget about it."

"Logan, come on. You really look like you need it and there is nobody around but me. Relax."

She looked straight into his eyes. "You needn't hide from me, and you can keep your boxers on. You wear some, right?"

"But this is gonna be really humiliating for me."

"If you'd stop worrying for a sec, it wouldn't be. And now shut up. Listen, I'll bring you up first. If you feel like you need your own chair, I can get it for you as well."

Logan sighed as he laid his arms around Max's neck. Without much effort the petite woman hoisted Logan over her shoulder and carried him upstairs.

"Ok, sit down right here." She'd put a chair in the bathroom. "Do you need your own chair?"

"Not right now, thanks."

Max let water run into the tub, glancing at Logan over her shoulder.

"Don't you think it would actually be better to undress before taking a bath?"

"Max," he wasn't able to look her in the eyes. "It's not just that. I don't feel very comfortable in the water. You know, I can't really keep my balance with half my body not corresponding."

"Well, that's a problem." Max suddenly became silent. Slowly she sat down on the edge of the tub, eye-level with Logan. "I can help you." Her voice was only a whisper.

"Max..."

"I know you don't like to accept help. But why can't you just acknowledge that you might need it sometimes? See, I can't cook, so I have you do it for me. I come to you when I have seizures and let you help me. Why can't you just accept my help now?"

They both knew this was not just about taking a bath anymore.

"Look, the chair is not an issue; it has never been, not for me. But I can't pretend it's not there. It's a part of who you are, no matter how much you hate it. I can accept that, why can't you." She took a deep breath, what she was about to say now might change everything.

**

TBC

Well, I really don't know if this is a good beginning. I'd like to get some reviews. Otherwise it doesn't seem to make sense to continue. And please let me know whether my style is too bad.