Logan had a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other as he sat by himself in the garden by the roses. 'Ally had loved roses'. This is where he had brought Ally before. 'Was Ally dead?' He reached in his pocket and took out her wedding ring. He put his stogie and beer down and removed his dog tags. He undid the clasp that held them together and slipped Ally's ring over the chain and put his dog tags and Ally's ring around his neck. He could still hear her in his head. 'How clearly had she been thinking?' She told him she was sorry she had to leave and that even death couldn't separate them from each other or the children. He didn't understand. Did he make it any easier for her? It was very hard for him to be the last one she spoke to, he felt very responsible for what happened to her. 'Why hadn't she stayed behind?' He knew of one other person he could talk to who might understand him right now, he needed answers and they could answer them. Then he thought about the twins and hoped they would be as happy to see him as he would be to hold them.
Hayley sat on the steps on the X-mansion alone with a cigarette in hand. She had tried to get Magneto and failed. 'Everyone was back except for Ally. How the hell had somebody gotten so close to one of them?' They had always fancied themselves as untouchables. Then a shadow crossed her face as she remembered how she and Justice were captured very easily and how they had taken hard beatings and been compromised. Hayley began to weep silently to herself. Hayley didn't usually cry but when she did it was usually alone.
Logan was in the infirmary and stood by the twins as he looked at Storm. She was hooked up to a lot of machines. They said she was in a coma. She didn't look like she was hurt. She was still beautiful; her lips were slightly parted as if she would speak; yet she didn't move. Logan half expected her to jump up and talk to him. She remained unmoving and still. Just as the others she had put her life on the line. She had known the risks he knew that but it didn't make it any easier that she was laying there now.
"What did Magneto mean about merchandise?" Scott wondered aloud.
Justice looked mournful but tried to be polite. "I would guess that he paid for us. He might have wanted us to work his labs or be hired killers." His look fell on the twins as he wandered to them and Logan. He turned up a corner of his mouth to Logan in attempt of a smile when he saw the babies. He had just met his niece and nephew and he knew Logan would watch them closely after what happened. He stood by them like a guard dog. The sight of them made Justice miss his sister. Logan looked good he showed no signs of having been in a battle now. Justice was thankful for Logan's healing gift or he may have been dead. "Why didn't the healing trick work as well this time?"
Jean looked at them and then to Beast and Alex.
Alex knew the answer she knew it during battle too. "Ally didn't have much, Just." She sighed. "She had just given birth. What I gathered from her was that she swapped with you. She gave you her strength but you weakened her greatly." Justice's face fell. She felt like a heel for telling him the truth but he would respect her enough to do the same for her.
Logan and Justice both looked at each other over the twin's bassinets. "What?" they said together.
Justice was noticeably upset. "She took my damage from me?" Alex nodded. "So she was fighting as beat up as I was?" he was very upset now.
Logan walked over to him. "What choice did you have?" Justice met his eyes. "She gave you both half a chance to get outta there. Ally knew the risk, none of us could stop her." He saw something in Justice's eyes.
Justice said what most people in the room felt. "It doesn't make this any easier." Justice had always tried to protect his younger sisters. He felt Alex' hand on his shoulder. He knew it was Alex, even though he didn't look to see. His telepathy had become greater. 'Did Ally share her strength and ability instead of the healing factor? Did she share both?' He had to know so he concentrated on something.
Logan's claws popped as his newborn daughter raised slowly into the air. Everyone stared with his or her mouths opened. They all looked at Jean.
She stared back at them, "I am not doing it" She confessed.
Alex gave Logan a gentle nudge as she noticed Justice. His eyes were glowing as he stared at Amber.
"Hey muscle head." Logan called as he cleared his throat.
Amber went back down to her bassinet.
Alex held a hand up. "What?"
"I have Ally's power." Justice sighed.
"What?" Logan looked confused.
"She gave me energy and her ability. She used the sharing gift to heal me." He looked around to everyone. "I don't know why I still have it?" Then it dawned on him. "Unless she's....?" he aimed the question as Alex. Who nodded solemnly at him with tears in her eyes.
Beast went to Alex and held her.
"Whatever Ally did saved Justice." Beast said. "We will eventually figure it out."
Justice looked at the newborn babies. "They look like Ally."
Logan wanted to kick him. "They look like all four of you. Ya knucklehead." He laughed at him.
This lightened the mood slightly.
The babies started to make more noise now.
Alex went to them, "I think they are hungry." She reached under the bassinet for the small formula bottles. She picked up Michael and offered him to Logan. He touched his face gently but didn't hold his son. Instead he stepped back.
"I will be back." He raised an eyebrow at Alex and she understood. "Can you?" he gestured to them.
She nodded. "Sure" She knew he wanted to be alone. They had to deal with this before.
Charles was coming into the room as Logan was going out. He looked at Logan and like the others in the room and tried to smile.
Logan could tell he knew something, "What?"
"Logan, I am very sorry," Charles began
"What?" Logan repeated in a slightly more astonished tone.
Justice and Alex exchanged glances. To start a sentence with 'I am sorry' didn't sound hopeful.
"They found Allyson." Charles said as he watched Logan as he sighed and looked hopeful. "Logan, they found her body." Logan's face went blank. "I asked them for this" He held out a large envelope for Logan. He was worried how Logan would take this and hope his children would help keep him together.
"Logan, I am sorry." He repeated. He genuinely liked Ally and the difference she made in Logan.
"Her body was badly mangled. They will send the remains in a week or less." He looked at Logan's now furlong expression. "With your permission, we would like to honor her with memorial service.
"I want to see her." His jaw was set.
Alex and Justice held it together. They had to for Logan.
"No, Logan." The professor said politely.
"Then how do you know it is her?" Logan narrowed his eyes.
"Look in the envelope, Logan." He gestured to envelope Logan had taken from him.
He reached in and everyone gasped. Logan pulled out something that nobody could deny was Allyson's hair. Logan missed her as her could smell her scent. He could feel the something more. He reached in and produced part of his flannel shirt she had worn that day. Except now it was bloodied and torn. He could smell her on it. The other ring Allyson had been wearing fell to the floor. Logan recognized it immediately.
Alex lost it. "NO," she began to cry and Hank held her. Justice only stood there with his mouth opened.
Scott and Jean stood there incredulously. The X-men had fought along side her and had become fond of her too. "Son of a Bitch." Scott said loudly. Jean's eyes were cloudy and she hit him.
Charles went to Storm and watched his fallen X-man. He was now worried about Ororo.
Logan stood as if he was rooted to the spot. He finally just nodded and walked out with the envelope in his hands. Logan knew of the other person who might understand what he was thinking and if she was in as bad a way as he was she would need to talk. He wanted some answers from her.
Logan finally found a solitary figure sitting on the steps a puff of smoke circling her head like a halo. He knew it was Hayley. Logan sat next to her and lit his cigar.
He sighed. "So you gonna meet your niece and nephew?" He put a gentle hand on her back.
She shook it off. "Yeah, just not this minute." She snapped and took a drag of her cigarette.
He sighed again she was in a funk already. He probably would be too but he had two babies to think about.
She had a beer on the other side of her. She passed it to Logan with a hint of a smile.
"You up to talking?" he asked her as he watched her reaction.
"Sure, why not?" she sighed. "What?"
"Ally was in my head before Creed made off with her." He began.
"Yeah I know," she flicked the ashes from her cigarette.
"I am not sure if she was making sense." He whispered this was harder than he had thought.
He gained her curiosity, "Why? What did she say?"
He took a breath, "She told me she was sorry for leaving and that death would not separate us or the children. It sounds familiar but I think she wasn't thinking to clearly."
"Gee you think?" she said in mock surprise. She turned to take her beer from Logan and took long drink "You have heard it before." She handed the beer back to him. "Ally said it before about you. It means no matter what happens she will be my sister and a grave won't stop that fact ever. Or that she is a mother she would still be the twin's mother death wouldn't change that. She meant the same about you and your vows."
He could tell she was close to tears. It was something they had saved as a goodbye to each other he remembered that now. She had told him that after her father had told her Logan had died in that car crash. He put an arm around Hayley's shoulders to comfort her but she shook him off of her.
"None of us could move fast enough." She sniffed. Her tears weren't far behind. She missed Ally. Without Ally she would not be complete. She would be a triplet minus one, as if a part of her body had been severed.
"How is that Munroe chick? I mean Storm." She asked.
"Same." He looked at her trying to determine what she wanted him to do. Then he took another drink of her beer finishing it off. He gave her a rueful smile as he handed her the empty bottle.
He watched her. "Hayl, they found Ally's body." He said flatly.
She started to protest but her handed her the envelope. She looked down at the all too familiar curls in her hand and the ring and cloth she had been wearing. "No, it's not true Logan" She looked at Logan for confirmation. 'Could he smell her on this?'
His look told her it was Ally's. "Hayl," He started to say and then fell into his arms. Then she pushed him away.
She met his confused look. "NO, it's not true. I can feel her," She whispered as she gestured to her head, "here." Then she stood up.
"What?" he said as he stood to met her eyes.
She lowered her gaze at him. "It's not true." She said simply and jumped into the air.
He sighed. 'Well that went well or as well as it could with Hayley.' He watched her disappear in the air as her small figure got smaller. He noticed all the extra empties. 'How many did she have? Did he have any beer left?' He would have gone after her if he could fly. 'She will be crashing into trees tonight'.