Chapter 10: Mr. Tough Guy

At first things were a little fuzzy. The drugs were still heavy in Logan’s system leaving him very muzzy. He didn’t hurt, though, and that was a plus. He couldn’t sense Marie anywhere around him, though, and that was bad. Very bad. Logan could clearly remember falling asleep with Marie curled up next to him. His last conscious memory had been Marie’s arm around his waist. It was a good way to fall asleep and Logan had hoped to wake up the same way.

After a brief bit of thought, Logan decided that it was actually a good thing that Marie wasn’t there. Sure Logan would have liked to wake up with Marie there, but this way he could attempt to get up on his own. Logan was determined to get downstairs without having to call to Marie for help. As much as he loved having Marie take care of him, Logan was used to being independent. He hated that he had to depend on Marie to get around and wanted to prove to her that he could do it on his own.

Being extremely quiet because of the voices he heard coming from below, Logan rolled over onto his side and swung his legs over the edge. That accomplished, Logan hooked his left foot under the bed and used it to help lever himself into a seated position. He tried to use his leg muscles as much as possible because the instant that he put any amount of strain on his abdominal muscles it put pressure on his broken ribs. It took a few minutes, and several times he had to stop because of the pain, but Logan was able to get himself into a seated position.

Difficult as it was, Logan knew that it would be even harder for him to actually get up. His ankle was still pretty sore which would make putting pressure on it hard. Logan was determined to do this, though. Bad ankle or no bad ankle.

Squeezing his eyes shut tight, Logan gathered all of his strength and began reaching forward. Once he got the momentum going, he focused his strength into his legs and attempted to push upwards. The first time it didn’t work, but, with the fifth try, Logan was able to get himself up and remain standing. Walking would still be a bit of a challenge since his right leg refused to hold more than a little of his weight. So, hobbling slightly, Logan slowly made his way towards the staircase. He was out of breath and sweating slightly by the time he reached the stairs, but Logan was damn proud of himself for making it that far. Knowing that his descent wouldn’t the quietest, Logan hoped that no one would notice him until he was most of the way down. With the TV on, and Kurt and Scott arguing the way they were, Logan thought that he might actually make it.

However, Logan didn’t count on Marie’s extreme sense of hearing. By the time he’d reached the third step Marie had spun her seat around and was staring at him with a wide-eyed expression.

“Logan, are ya sure that’s a good idea?” Marie asked, keeping her voice even as she slowly rose from the chair and made her way to the stairs.

Logan managed a tight grin as he made his way down another step. He waited until he was sure he wouldn’t go toppling down the stairs before speaking. “Don’t care. Wanted to get down. Myself. So I am.”

“Didn’t it occur t’ ya that ya could fall?” Marie tried, doing her best not to show her worry.

Logan’s grin was wider this time. “It did.”

Logan took another very cautious step down. Only seven more to go.

“An’ that didn’t stop ya?” Marie inquired, rushing to the bottom of the steps.

Logan shook his head and slowly made his way down another step. “Nope.”

It was very easy to tell that Marie was half terrified about what would happen if he should slip and fall. Normally Logan would have been worried as well, but his determination won out. He wanted to show Marie that he could get down by himself. That he wasn’t completely dependent on her.

Of course, it might not have been so bad if Marie knew that he had no intentions of doing this again until he was sure that his ankle was better. It was a hell of a lot harder than he’d thought it would be. Not only was his ankle killing him but his ribs ached something fierce and he couldn’t quite keep his breath. However, Logan was bound and determined to do this. He was going to get to the bottom of the stairs on his own two feet if it killed him.

“Can’t Ah just go up there an’ help ya? Ah’d feel so much better if Ah was helpin’ ya,” Marie pleaded, chewing nervously on her bottom lip.

“Fine, Marie. Not much farther,” Logan gasped out, making his way down another step.

Four steps to go.

Marie snaked her fingers into her long hair, pulling it from her face. “How ‘bout if Ah help ya down the last two? It would be a shame fer ya t’ fall when yer so close t’ the bottom.”

“If I’m so close I should do it myself.”

“But, Logan....” Marie moaned, shifting from foot to foot.

With a shake of his head, Logan went down to the third step.

“But these two steps don’t even count. It doesn’t matter if Ah help ya down them,” Marie insisted, reaching a hand out towards Logan.

Logan bypassed her hand as he stepped onto the second last stair. “If they don’t mean anything, I can do them myself.”

“Logan,” Marie whined. “Ah’m real nervous ‘bout this. Ah don’t want ya t’ fall.”

“If I haven’t fallen yet, I think I’ll be all right,” Logan pointed out, taking the last step.

Glancing from the floor to Marie and back again, Logan took a deep breath and edged his toe off the step. It slid to the ground very slowly, the tip touching the ground first. Without anything to hold onto, Logan had to trust his balance in order to remain upright. With one last deep breath, Logan pushed away from the wall and moved to put his other foot on the floor.

Logan managed to hold his balance for all of two seconds before his right foot decided that it didn’t want to hold his weight any longer and collapsed under him. He was on his knees before Marie had a chance to react and was in the process of toppling forward when she caught him in her arms. Moaning loudly, Logan leaned forward, resting his head against her thigh.

“Ah told ya that ya’d fall,” Marie said softly, not reprimanding him, merely stating a fact. “The doctor said that it’d take at least a week fer yer ankle t’ get better. It’s barely even been a day. Give yerself time t’ heal ‘fore ya start pullin’ these sorts o’ stunts.”

“Like doin’ things for myself,” Logan told her, grunting in pain. “Like bein’ independent.”

“Ah know that ya do. That’s why Ah’m not yellin’ at ya fer bein’ an idiot right now,” Marie said evenly, a sad expression on her face. She then looked over her shoulder towards the couch where her brothers were still arguing. “Both o’ ya get yer asses away from the TV! Kurt, Ah need ya t’ help me get Logan t’ the couch!”

Immediately, both men jumped into action. While Scott remained standing just to the side of the couch, Kurt rushed over to the stairs. At the moment, Logan was perfectly content to just not move. He may not have been exactly comfortable, but the pain was at a minimum which was good enough for him.

“You know, this is beginning to become a habit,” Kurt commented as he crouched down in front of Logan.

Even though the other man couldn’t see it, Logan smirked. Logan’s smirk soon turned into a grin when he felt Marie’s lips brush against the back of his throat. He almost had himself convinced that he was comfortable and was willing to remain so as long as it meant he got to stay in Marie’s arms.

Kurt had other ideas, though, because Logan soon found himself being hauled to his feet far too soon. Biting the inside of his cheek to keep from crying out, Logan slowly rose to his feet with Marie and Kurt’s help. He was moving faster than before, but that was more necessity than actual speed. The longer he kept his right foot on the ground, the less longer he was able to hold his weight and the more likely he was to fall down.

“An’ now that ya’ve proven ya can get down the stairs, how ‘bout ya hold off doin’ it again fer another few days,” Marie suggested as she helped him get situated on the couch.

Clenching his jaws tight in order to ride out a sudden wave of pain, Logan attempted to ease himself into a more comfortable position. There were still enough drugs in his system to deaden part of the pain, but there was still enough to annoy him.

“Ah really don’t see why ya had t’ come down here. Ah know ya were perfectly comfortable up in yer own bed. Ya could stayed up there a little longer or just called fer me. It would saved ya all this pain,” Marie rambled on as she fiddled with the blankets behind Logan.

By this time the pain had abated enough for Logan to manage a full-fledged smile. “I wanted to see if I could do it. And I could.”

Marie rolled her eyes, leaning forward to brush a kiss against his cheek. “Yeah, well ya made a real mess o’ that, didn’t ya? So no more attempts at gettin’ down the stairs. Got it, Mr. Tough Guy?”

Logan’s smile only grew. “Yeah, I got it. No attempts at the stairs till you say it’s all right.”

“Exactly what Ah wanna hear,” Marie said with a broad grin. She then looked over at her brothers who were standing side by side at the other end of the couch. “Ah do believe the two o’ ya were gonna head inta town and pick up dinner. So get yer butts in gear an’ get goin’. If ya insist on stayin’ here, there’s no rule that says Ah hafta feed ya. So if ya wanna eat, ya hafta go get the food.”

“You know, I’m actually starting to feel bad for Logan being at Marie’s mercy,” Kurt said to no one in particular.

Before Marie had a chance to retaliate, Kurt and Scott rushed for the door. Marie glared at them, but there was no malice to the look. She merely threw a pillow at the closed door before turning her attention back to Logan.

“Just in case you’re wondering, I’m quite happy here,” Logan told Marie, reaching out to take hold of her hand. “Can’t remember having someplace to stay for more than one day. I’m used to just kinda drifting around. Sucks, but you get used to it.”

“Well, Ah hate t’ break it t’ ya, but yer not goin’ anywhere anytime soon,” Marie informed him, bringing his hand to her lips and placing a kiss on the back of it. “Ah’m beginnin’ t’ be quite fond o’ havin’ ya here with me. That means yer not allowed t’ leave.”

Logan chuckled quietly, as much as his broken ribs would allow in the way of a full blown laugh. “You won’t get any protest from me. I’m not gonna leave the only person who’s really ever given a damn about me.”

“Well, in case yer wonderin’, Ah plan on givin’ a damn about ya fer quite a long time,” Marie told him, her face drifting slowly towards hers.

Logan knew what was coming and he liked it. Unlike the other woman who had ravished his mouth and attempted to shove their tongues down his throat, Marie’s kisses were gentle and tender. Even though they had shared very few kisses in the time they’d known each other, Logan had become quite fond of the feel of Marie’s lips against his.

“Thank you for giving a damn,” Logan murmured just seconds before Marie’s lips descended on his.

Almost instantly, Marie’s lips parted under his. He could feel Marie’s tongue poking tentatively against his. Smiling against her lips, Logan tilted his head a bit to increase their contact and slipped his tongue out to touch hers. Not too sure how to kiss gently like Marie did, Logan let her lead only doing as she did when she did it. Logan didn’t want to do anything wrong that would make Marie stop kissing him so gently and so tenderly.

Logan felt Marie shift, her upper body lowering towards hers. He slid his hand up to her upper arms, close to her shoulders, in order to keep her more stationary. He wanted to keep kissing her, but knew that would become an issue if she happened to lean against his ribs.

However, Logan was having a hard time keeping track of his thoughts as soon as Marie began to suck on his lower lip. Then her hands went up into his hair and he was lost. Utterly and completely lost. All of his senses were completely full of nothing but Marie. The feel of her hands against his scalp, her hair brushing against his skin, her body pressed against his and, most importantly of all, the feel of her lips brushing against his.

Despite how hard he tried to hold it in, a low gasp escaped his lips. It got no further than the inside of Marie’s mouth, but she heard it nonetheless.

Pulling back quickly, Marie cupped his cheeks, concern written across her features. “Logan, are ya all right? Ah didn’t hurt ya, did Ah?”

Logan shook his head, his features tightening. “I’m all right, Marie. I’m still doped up enough so that I don’t feel it too much.”

That answer didn’t seem to satisfy Marie who pursed her lips and carefully lowered a hand to his abdomen. “Ah’m sorry, Logan. Ah didn’t mean t’ hurt ya. D’ ya want some painkillers? Gawd, Ah can’t believe Ah was so stupid! Ah’m so sorry, Logan. So unbelievably sorry.”

“I’m all right, Marie,” Logan assured her, doing his best to keep the grimace from his features and the pain from his voice.

“No yer not. Yer just bein’ bein’ tough. So knock it off an’ tell me whether or not it hurts. Ah mean it, Logan. Did Ah hurt ya?” Marie demanded, suddenly very agitated.

Logan reached up and placed a hand on her arm. When she finally calmed down enough to look at him, Logan met her eyes straight on. “I’m all right, Marie. It only hurt for a few seconds. Pain’s all gone now. I promise.”

“Ya promise?” Marie whimpered, chewing nervously on her bottom lip.

“Yeah. Yeah, I promise.”

Satisfied, Marie pulled back, brushing her hair over her shoulders. “We’re gonna hafta be careful ‘bout doin’ that till ya get better. Ah don’t want t’ accidentally hurt ya. Movin’ is hard enough fer ya with me floppin’ over her crushed ribs.”

“It’d be worth it,” Logan said with a lop-sided grin. “Sure beats gettin’ wailed on by a bunch of roughnecks. They never kissed me quite so nice as you.”

Marie rolled her eyes, swatting Logan on the arm. “Creep.”

Logan pretended to look shocked. “Now really. Is that any way to talk to a wounded man. And to hit me! That’s even worse!”

“Have ya always been this much of a clown?” Marie inquired with a smirk.

The smile left Logan’s face. “I don’t know. I’ve never really felt happy like this before. At least not that I can remember. Never really had a reason before now.... You make me happy.”

The smile that appeared on Marie’s face then made Logan’s smile return. He relaxed against the pillows, reaching to pull Marie with him. If he had to stay still and on the couch, Logan at least wanted some company and Marie was the best for that. She protested a bit, but it didn’t take Logan long to convince her to lie down with him.

“Ah don’t wanna hurt ya,” Marie murmured even as she allowed Logan to pull her down on the couch with him.

“You’re not gonna hurt me,” Logan insisted. “If anything, you’ll make me more comfortable. I like having you curled up against me. It feels nice.”

“Feels pretty nice here, too. But Ah really don’t wanna hurt ya.”

Logan rolled his eyes. “How many times do I have to tell ya, you’re not gonna hurt me. Now just relax.”

Marie did just that, nestling her face against the crook of his neck. Logan had his arms wrapped around her and Marie’s left hand was draped across his waist. Turning his face into her hair, Logan pressed a kiss against the top of her head then let out a long sigh.

By the time Scott and Kurt came back with the pizza, they were out like a light.