The entire time his doctor was checking him out, Logan kept his eye on Marie who was standing just outside the window. She held Alexandra in one arm and had her other hand pressed up against the window. Logan wanted to her to stay with him when the doctor came in, but the doctor had insisted that Marie leave the room. Logan had nearly exhausted himself, pleading the fact that he needed Marie there with him.
“Calm down, sugah,” Marie pleaded, lightly cupping his cheek as she sat next to him on the bed. “Don’t get yerself so worked up. Ah’ll just outside the room an’ ya’ll be able to see me through that window. Ah won’t move from that spot the entire time an’ as soon as the doctor says it’s okay, Ah’ll be right back in here.”
“Don’t want you to go,” Logan whispered fervently, his hand once again clasped tightly to her arm.
Carefully balancing Alexandra in her arms, Marie leaned over and brushed a kiss against his forehead. “Ah’ll be back very soon, sugah. Nothin’ is gonna keep me away from ya.”
It was with great reluctance that Logan released Marie’s arm and let her leave the room. He had kept his eye on her the entire time, agonizing for the few seconds that she was out of his sight until she reappeared once again at the window.
Logan was barely even paying any attention to the doctor who was examining. His entire being was focused solely on Marie. It felt as though he couldn’t breathe without her there and then realized that it was because the doctor was putting pressure on his damaged ribs.
“Ow! What the fuck do you think you’re doing?” Logan wheezed, weakly batting away the other man’s hands.
“I’m sorry, Mr. Hunters, but I am merely determining whether our earlier diagnosis was correct,” the doctor said regally with no hint of emotion.
Logan scowled at the man. “Look, asshole, I already know what’s wrong with them and I don’t have no fucking medical degree. My ribs are cracked. Now stop trying to break them.”
“And just how did you come to that conclusion?” the doctor inquired, maintaining his superior airs.
Logan’s dark look didn’t waver. “‘Cause in the past two years I’ve broken and bruised my ribs. Right now they don’t hurt as much as when I broke them but they hurt more than when I bruised them. So that means they’re cracked. Now leave me the hell alone and let Marie come back in.”
The doctor stormed out of the room in a huff and marched over to where Marie was standing. From his erratic gestures, Logan could tell that the man was throwing a fit. Not that Logan cared. With a subdued, sleepy yawn, Logan slowly allowed his right eye to drift shut. Logan had absolutely no desire to fall asleep and it annoyed him that his body wasn’t cooperating with that wish. No matter how hard he tried to fight it, his eyelid just kept drifting shut time and again. He kept his gaze focused on Marie the entire time, wanting to keep her in his sight as long as possible.
Suddenly, Logan’s eye flew open and he was startled to see Marie sitting next to him on the bed. She was no longer holding Alexandra, but was instead just staring down at him with a soft smile on her face. He must have fallen asleep at some point because he didn’t remember Marie entering the room or sitting down next to him.
“Ya know,” Marie said evenly, “ya really shouldn’t be such an asshole t’ the doctors. They’re only tryin’ t’ help ya get better.”
“Yeah, well they don’t have to try and break my ribs to do that,” Logan pointed out, still pretty pissed off at the pompous doctor. “Besides, he made you go away.”
That got a bright smile out of Marie who began smoothing her fingers through his hair. “Yes Ah had a nice chat about that with yer new doctor-- the other one refuses t’ come back --an’ he assured me that Ah can stay in the room when he comes t’ examine ya. They don’t want ya t’ get worked up fer the next little while. So yer gonna hafta behave yerself an’ do what the doctors tell ya to. Especially after the second surgery an’ they start ya on physical therapy. Yer gonna get bossed ‘round a lot in that an’ Ah don’t want ya bein’ an asshole t’ yer physical therapist.”
Logan nodded his head, completely disregarding the stuff about the physical therapy. “Good, no more of that bastard. Now lie down next to me. I want to hold you.”
“Ah’m not sure, Logan,” Marie said with a pensive frown. “Yer not s’pose t’ be jostlin’ around a lot ‘cause o’ yer shoulder. Ah might accidentally hurt you.”
Logan gave her a pleading look, reaching out to grab hold of her hand with his left one. “Please, Marie. I’ve been waiting since Wednesday to hold you. I need to hold you. I promise I won’t move around too much, I just need to have you in my arms.”
“Ya only have one workin’ arm right now. Yer other one is strapped t’ yer side from yer shoulder t’ yer elbow,” Marie told him, but Logan knew that she had already caved. Every so carefully, Marie was maneuvering herself so that she could lie down next to him. “If Ah get yelled at, this is all yer fault.”
Logan didn’t say anything because Marie was curled up against his side. She was pressed up against him, her head resting next to his on the pillow. As he wrapped his left arm around her waist, to hold her even closer, Logan turned his head towards hers so that he could see her face.
Letting out as deep a breath as he could manage, Logan allowed his eyelid to fall shut. “This is what I missed. The whole time I was there I wanted to do nothing but hold you. And now I can.”
Marie brushed her lips lightly against his. “Ya can hold me as long as ya want t’. Ah’m not goin’ anywhere.”
“I’m gonna hold you to that,” Logan mumbled sleepily.
“Ya need t’ rest, Logan,” Marie said softly, reaching up to brush a stray piece of hair away from his face.
Logan shook his head slightly. “No sleeping. I want to stay awake as long as possible. Want to stay with you.”
“Ah’ll be here the entire time,” Marie rushed to assure him. “There’s no way Ah’m goin’ anywhere that yer not. Not fer a very long time. Under no circumstances whatsoever do Ah want t’ ya outta mah sight.”
That eased Logan’s peace of mind and he relaxed willingly under Marie’s gentle touch. He still wasn’t ready to fall asleep, but he let his guard down, simply enjoying the feel of her fingers dancing over his skin, soothing away hurts and pains with her delicate touch. There were a few times that Logan felt himself drift off to sleep only to awaken a few moments later to the feel of Marie’s hands on his body.
Had he the energy, Logan would have growled when he heard a knock at the door, interrupting his quite time with Marie.
“No people,” Logan grumbled, burrowing his head into Marie’s throat.
It was Ron’s laughter that answered him. “Figured you’d be in a possessive mood. That’s why I was nominated to come in here and deliver the little noisebox to Marie.”
Much to Logan’s annoyance, Marie rose from the bed and went over to where Ron was standing. She was cooing softly as she carefully removed the squawking, blanket wrapped bundle from Ron’s arms.
“Just give me a shout when you get hungry and I’ll get you something to eat,” Ron said as he left the room.
Once again the small family was by himself again. Alexandra continued making a series of fussy cries as Marie crossed the room and once again sat down next to Logan on the bed. With some careful movements and coordination that Logan hadn’t known Marie possessed, she laid down next to him, Alexandra resting on her chest.
“Ya just missed yer Daddy, didn’t ya?” Marie said softly to Alexandra who was now silent. Her wide blue eyes were focused on Logan’s face, taking him in.
Since Marie was lying on his left side and his right arm was more or less strapped to his side, Logan couldn’t touch Alexandra the way he longed to. He could just barely brush the bottom of her foot with his fingers and that wasn’t enough for Logan. He longed to hold her in his arms. To feel her curl up against his chest like she was doing to Marie.
“Please let me hold her,” Logan pleaded, tearing his gaze away from Alexandra’s small face to look up at Marie.
Marie seemed to hesitate for a moment before slowly easing herself into a seated position. Logan noticed that she was exquisitely careful with Alexandra, cradling her securely in her arms and cooing softly in her ear.
“Yer Daddy’s gonna hold ya now, Alex,” Marie murmured in the infant’s ear. “Now yer gonna hafta be careful with him ‘cause he’s got hurt real bad. So none o’ that squirmin’ yer so fond o’.”
With great care, Marie slowly lowered Alexandra down onto the left side of his chest, that being his least damaged side. Keeping one hand on Alexandra’s back to steady her, Marie gently guided Logan’s left arm so that he could hold her more firmly against his chest. Then suddenly Marie’s hands were gone and he was holding her. He was holding Alexandra. His little girl. After months of talking to her and feeling her kick within Marie’s womb, he was finally able to hold her.
With great care so as not to jar his shoulder, Logan moved his right hand so that he could touch her feather soft skin. Alexandra took notice of this and reached out to grab his index finger with her own tiny fist. She held the digit tightly in her grasp, waving it about slightly and grinning madly.
“Hey there, little one,” Logan whispered hoarsely, rubbing the back of her small fingers with his thumb. “It’s nice to finally meet you face to face. You look a lot like your Momma which is a good thing. I don’t think my face would look very good on a girl. And you’re going to be a very beautiful girl, just like your Momma. I’m real sorry that I wasn’t there when you were born. I wanted to be there.... God, I wanted to be there more than anything. To see you take your first breath.... Hear your first cry. I wanted to be... I wanted to be right there. Right there....”
Logan hadn’t even realized he was crying until he felt Marie lightly cup his cheek. She pressed a thumb over his lips, silencing his words with a few soft murmurs. Her other hand was brushing across his forehead as she pressed light kisses against his tear-stained cheeks, carefully minding the bandage on his left cheek.
“Shhh.... Don’t get yerself worked up,” Marie told him, her voice infinitely tender. “It’s not yer fault that ya weren’t there. We all know that. It wasn’t yer fault.”
“But I should have been there,” Logan lamented, staring up at the blurred image of her face. “Maybe if I’d been paying more attention I would have noticed him coming. I could have avoided him. Done something to stop what had happened. Anything....”
Marie shook her head, her face hovering inches above his. “No. Ah’m not gonna let ya think like that. There was nothin’ ya coulda done, Logan. Nothin’ at all. Ya didn’t remember Creed so there was no way ya coulda known what was gonna happen. No way at all. An’ all these ‘what ifs’ aren’t gonna change anythin’. So Ah want ya t’ ferget about them, okay. Ferget all about the ‘what ifs’ an’ just remember the fact that yer with me now. Where yer safe. Just keep that in yer mind an’ everythin’ will sort itself out in the end.”
“That’s what I told you,” Logan mumbled, a few more tears sliding down his cheeks despite his will.
Marie nodded her head, giving him a broad, if watery, smile. “An’ now Ah’m tellin’ ya the same thing. Granted, things were a little worse fer ya, but the fact remains that ya were hurt, very badly, an’ that it’s up t’ me now t’ help make it better. Which is exactly what Ah’m gonna do.”
“Thank you,” Logan murmured, pressing his lips against hers in an intense, though very tender, kiss. He turned his face towards Alexandra then and placed a kiss to the top of her head, inhaling the comforting scent of baby powder. “I promise I’ll be around from now on, Alexandra.”
Judging by her lax grip on his finger, Logan guessed that Alexandra had fallen asleep during his little outburst. Alexandra’s small body fit against him so perfectly, much the same way that her mother’s did. In her sleep, she snuggled herself more tightly against him, her tiny fingers clasping at his chest hair.
“I still can’t believe that she’s real,” Logan whispered in awe, his right eyelid once again succumbing to the downward pull.
“Trust me, when she wakes ya up at three in the mornin’ she’s very real,” Marie said softly as she ran her fingers along Alexandra’s back. “Speakin’ o’ which, ya should be asleep.”
“No, yer not gonna argue with me this time,” Marie interrupted him. “Ya’ve been t’ hell an’ back this week, Logan an’ ya need t’ rest. So just shut yer eyes an’ go t’ sleep.”
“You’ll still be here when I wake up?” Logan mumbled, mostly asleep by this time. He forced his eye open, though, so that he could see her face and know that she was still there.
Marie brushed a kiss against his forehead then pulled back to look directly into his face. “Ah’ll be right here waitin’ fer ya t’ wake up so that Ah can see those amazin’ eyes o’ yers. Yer beautiful, hazel eyes with the little flecks o’ gold near the center. So Ah’ll be sittin’ right here so Ah can see those eyes o’ yer as soon as ya wake up.”
His energy nearly gone, it was all that Logan could do to manage a smile at that point. With his daughter in his arms and Marie’s fingers moving softly through his hair, it wasn’t long before he felt himself drift off once again.
“I know who you are,” a low voice whispered in his ear. His breath smelled of alcohol. The man had had way too much to drink that night and wasn’t thinking clearly if he was going to tangle with the Wolverine.
More annoyed than anything, Logan continued drinking his whiskey. “You lost your money. Keep this up and you’ll lose something else.”
Oddly, as though he were both the viewer and the participant in this strange scene, Logan was aware of the other man pulling a knife and advancing on him long before he heard a familiar shriek.
“Look out!” Marie screamed, her panic tangible in the air.
Logan spun around before the words were even out of her mouth. He grabbed the drunk man by the throat, pushing him against a nearby wooden column. Without so much as flinching, three long, slender pieces of metal extended from between his knuckles. They were sharp and pointed, reminding Logan of the blades on a bowie knife. Two of them pressed on either side of the other man’s throat while the middle one was resting right against his skin.
Those aren’t normal. People don’t have things like that inside them, Logan’s subconscious was shouting.
Suddenly there was a shotgun barrel pressed against his temple. “Get the hell outta my bar,” the bartender sneered, cocking the hammer of the gun.
Logan cast a quick glance at Marie who was staring at him with so much worry in her eyes. Not wanting to see her hurt, got rid of the shotgun with a quick flick of his other hand which was also armed with the three metal claws. It sliced through the barrel, rendering the weapon useless.
Not waiting for anything else to happen, Logan stormed out of the bar....
Logan didn’t dream anymore after that. He slept silently and awoke to Marie’s smiling face. As soon as he saw her, Logan put the dream behind him.
Nothing mattered besides Marie and Alexandra.