Boris was less than impressed with the fact that his morning jogs were to be further disrupted by the arrival of Alexandra. Marie couldn’t help but laugh at the way he had been sulking around all morning. For the first time since rescuing Logan, Marie had spent the night at home. With her family back home in Mississippi, it meant that Marie had to take Alexandra home for the night herself. She hated to leave Logan alone for such a long period of time, but it couldn’t be helped. Alexandra woke up at least three times a night and Logan needed as much rest as possible. Those two scenarios didn’t mix so that meant Marie had to take Alexandra home for the night.
“I don’t want you to go,” Logan had mumbled sleepily the night before.
Running a hand along his right cheek, Marie had leaned over to press a kiss against his forehead. “An’ Ah don’t wanna go, either. Ah hate the thought o’ leavin’ ya alone so long, but Alexandra can’t sleep through the night like ya need t’. So that means Ah’m gonna hafta start goin’ home at night. But so long as ya behave yerself, ya’ll be comin’ home with me in two days so it won’t be that long.”
“I still don’t want you to go,” Logan insisted, frowning slightly.
“Don’t worry, Madison came in while ya were dozin’ off an’ told me that they were headin’ t’ their hotel. Yer safe fer tonight,” Marie assured him before kissing him a final time. After moving Alexandra closing enough for Logan to kiss on the cheek before leaving him behind to sleep.
It had pained Marie to leave that room knowing that she wouldn’t be back for at least nine hours. After having spent five days not knowing whether he was alive or dead even nine minutes was too long for them to be apart. If it had been just her, there was nothing that could have been done to keep her from Logan’ side. But it wasn’t just her. There was also Alexandra to consider. Not that Marie would begrudge her daughter anything. So she went home, leaving Logan to fend for himself for the night.
Wanting to get back to his side as soon as possible, Marie was awake at six, beating Alexandra by mere minutes. She laid in bed for a few minutes, allowing Alexandra to play with her fingers before she starting demanding her breakfast.
“Yer as bad as yer Daddy,” Marie said softly as she pulled her sports bra off over her head. Leaning over, she scooped Alexandra into her arms, holding her close. “Now as soon as we get ya fed an’ cleaned up we’ll head back t’ the hospital so that we can see Daddy. Now Ah bet that Daddy’s already wide awake an’ waitin’ fer us. He’s a very impatient man. He was prob’bly awake at the crack o’ dawn waitin’ fer us. So we’d better get there quick as we can so he won’t get lonely.”
Alexandra made a grab for the chain that was hanging around Marie’s neck, missed it then clutched at Marie’s breast instead.
“Yer Aunt Madison gave me these,” Marie told Alexandra, reaching up to touch the dogtags which rested comfortably between her breasts. “They were yer Daddy’s ‘fore he lost his memory. He was in the army an’ everyone in the army has a pair of these. When he left home he gave them with yer Aunt Madison t’ keep safe. She thought that Ah should have them an’ keep them fer ya when ya get older.”
Marie held the dogtags lightly in her hand, feeling their weight and trying to imagine them around Logan’s neck. Since talking to Madison the day before, Marie had been trying to imagine Logan as he had been before Creed had run him head first into a tree. Madison had shown Marie a picture of her and Logan she carried in her wallet. The twins were wearing swimsuits and Logan had Madison thrown over his shoulder, threatening to throw her into the pool in front of them. Logan looked so happy and alive in the photograph and it was more than obvious that he loved his sister a great deal. Something that Marie hoped would continue in his new life.
About an hour after waking up, Marie and Alexandra were on the road, heading towards the hospital. Marie had an uneasy feeling in the pit of her stomach as she drove down the highway towards the hospital. She didn’t know what was causing it, but hoped that it was just the fact that she’d eaten her breakfast a lot quicker than she should have.
Ignoring the uneasy feeling, Marie instead concentrated on getting to the hospital. She hoped that she beat Logan’s family there. She didn’t like the idea of Logan being stuck alone with his mother and Tanya. They would try to hurt him, to make him believe things that weren’t true. Maureen had told Marie, point blank, that she was a poison to Logan. Able to disregard most of what Maureen said, but that hurt. It had taken longer for her to put Maureen’s words from her mind. It hadn’t been totally gone until Logan had woken up and had smiled at her. At that moment all of her fears vanished because she knew that Logan loved her and what his mother thought didn’t matter.
When Marie pulled into the hospital’s parking lot, she felt a wave of panic rush over her at the sight of Bruce jogging towards the jeep. Pulling into the first available spot, Marie quickly parked the jeep.
“I suggest that you get up to Logan’s room right away,” Bruce said as Marie jumped out of the jeep.
Marie spared Bruce a quick glance as she reached into the back seat and began unfastening Alexandra’s car seat. “Bruce, what happened? Is Logan’s mother back?”
Bruce took both the baby bag and Alexandra from Marie. “We’re pretty sure Logan had a nightmare. He woke up screaming about half an hour ago and has been frantic ever since. He kept insisting that we call you, but there was no answer at your house and we couldn’t get Logan to give us the number of your cell. All he does is keep mumbling your name so I need you to get up there right now. If he starts moving around too much he could cause some serious damage to his shoulder. I’ll bring Alexandra in once he’s calmed down.”
Marie brushed a brief kiss against Alexandra’s forehead before rushing towards the hospital entrance. She had to get up to Logan as soon as possible. Now that she knew the source behind the uneasy feeling in the pit of her stomach, Marie wished that it had only been indigestion. It had been so long since Logan had had a nightmare that Marie had just assumed that they were a thing of the past. Though, considering what he had just been through, Marie realized that she should have expected them to make a reappearance.
The only plus to the situation was that Logan’s family wasn’t there to see it. Marie knew from experience how agitated Logan was after one of his nightmares and didn’t think that he’d want people he didn’t even know to see him like that. It would be bad enough that the doctors and nurses see it without having to worry about Logan’s reaction to Maureen or Tanya seeing him like that. Logan would not take that well, something Marie knew for a fact.
So Marie rushed to Logan’s third floor room, barely avoiding people milling about the hallways. One of Logan’s other doctors, Hank McCoy, was standing outside the window, a pensive look on his face. Marie paused long enough to give him an encouraging smile before disappearing into Logan’s room.
The sight that greeted Marie when she entered Logan’s hospital room broke her heart. Logan was restrained. Tied down to the bed at his wrists, ankles and across his chest. Marie knew that it was most likely to keep him from injuring his shoulder further as he struggled to slide off the bed, but the sight of it brought tears to her eyes. Logan’s monotonous mumbling of, “Gotta find Marie. Gotta find Marie,” made the first tears slide down her cheeks.
“Logan, Ah’m here, sugah,” Marie said softly as she cautiously approached the bed.
Logan’s head whipped towards hers at the sound of her voice. “Marie,” he mumbled, his eyes drilling into her. “You’re real?”
Marie nodded her head and carefully began removing one of the leather cuffs on his ankle. While she undid the buckle, she ran on hand up and down his shin so that he would know she was really there. “Ah’m real, sugah. Now Ah need ya t’ calm down so Ah can take these things off o’ ya,” Marie said calmly.
Logan stilled his body completely then and Marie took it as a sign to continue. Marie silently removed the other cuffs and the velcro strap that held his upper body immobile. The tension seemed to bleed out of him with each moment that passed. Marie could still see the fear in his eyes, but it was no longer quite so intense as it had been when she first arrived.
The instant Marie removed the strap around his left wrist, Logan wrapped his arm around her shoulders and pulled her tight against him. Marie was hard pressed to keep from hurting Logan, but understood his need to hold her and didn’t attempt to pull away. Rather, she buried her face in Logan’s shoulder, allowing him to hold onto her as long as he needed to.
“Not letting you go. Never letting you go. Not gonna lose you,” Logan mumbled in her ear, his breath warm against her skin. “Can’t lose you. Not gonna let it happen.”
“Ah’m not goin’ anywhere, sugah,” Marie assured him, running her fingers through his hair. “Ah just had t’ go away fer the night, but Ah’m back now. Ah’m right here.”
Logan’s hand slid up into her hair, pulling her head back so that he could see her face. “I’m not gonna let anyone take you away from me.”
“Logan, ya need t’ calm down,” Marie said softly, lightly smoothing his hair away from his face. “Yer startin’ t’ scare yer doctors. So Ah need ya t’ relax. Ah’m not goin’ anywhere. Ah’ll be right here till ten o’clock at night. Then after that ya only hafta wait nine hours till Ah come back.”
Slowly, Marie felt the tension begin to leave Logan’s body. Every muscle in his body began to relax, his hand slipping down to tangle loosely in her hair. When she saw the faint smile curling up the corners of his lips, Marie knew that Logan was all right. She sat up slowly, keeping her hands on him at all times. Logan’s eyes were still a little haunted, but Marie knew that it would slowly fade.
“Ya can bring Alex in now!” Marie called over her shoulder.
Right away, Bruce came in with Alexandra in his arms. Hank was right behind him, concern flashing across both men’s faces. Marie gave them a reassuring smile before turning her attention back to Logan.
“I am relieved to see that Logan’s peril is at an end,” Hank said as he began removing the restraints from the bed. “It is most difficult to watch a patient suffer and know that there is nothing one can do to help.”
“Logan just had one o’ his nightmares,” Marie told them as Bruce handed Alexandra to her. “He tends t’ freak out a bit if Ah’m not there when he wakes up.”
Logan said nothing. He kept his left hand on Marie’s leg at all times, not giving the two doctors a second look. His attention was focused solely on Marie and Alexandra. Nothing else seemed to matter to him.
Marie reached one hand out and combed her fingers through his hair. “Ya can relax now, Logan. Everything’s all right.”
“It still feels real,” Logan mumbled and Marie knew instantly what he was talking about. He had tears shining in his eyes and could tell that they were seconds from sliding down his cheeks. “Too real. I’m living it all over again and I don’t want that to happen. It can’t be real. I won’t let it be real.”
Marie ran her hand down the side of Logan’s face and placed her thumb over his lips. “It’s not real anymore, sugah. Creed is gone an’ he’s never comin’ back.”
“If you would like, perhaps talking about these nightmares of yours could be beneficial,” Hank suggested, his kind smile focused on Logan.
“No!” Logan cried, flinching as though struck. He calmed down almost instantly. “No. I want Marie. She’s all I need right now.”
Hank nodded his head, the smile never leaving his face. “It was only a suggestion. But the office stands if you ever change your mind.”
Bruce checked a few of Logan’s vitals before leaving the room. As soon as the doctors were gone, and they were alone, Logan seemed to sag. He sunk back into the pillows, looking more like a lost little boy than the strong man that she had come to love even more over the past few days than the entire time they’d known each other.
“Ya wanna tell me what had ya freaked out so much?” Marie asked softly, bringing Logan’s hands to her lips and pressing a kiss against the back of it. “Ya damn near gave me a heart attack.”
Logan remained silent. Without a word, Logan pulled her down beside him. Marie placed a sleepy Alexandra on his chest. Marie then quickly snuggled up against Logan’s side, holding both him and Alexandra in her arms. Marie waited for Logan to say something and, when he didn’t, she stayed quiet as well. Marie hated being quiet then, but she knew that Logan would only talk when he was ready.
“There’s too much in my head right now,” Logan said softly after many long minutes of silence. He was running his index finger on his right hand up and down Alexandra’s arm. “It’s all crowding around in there. I can’t make any sense of it and I don’t know what’s real and what’s not. I know that you’re real and I know.... I know all that shit with Creed is. Fuck, it’s too real.... Now there’s all sorts of thoughts in my head. Things that could be memories and I don’t know if they’re real or not.... Too many.... I wanted you. I knew you were real-- you and Alex --and I wanted you there. And, when I woke up, you weren’t there. So I tried to go find you, but I couldn’t....”
“Ah’m here now, Logan. Ah’m here now an’ Ah’m not goin’ anywhere,” Marie whispered, rapidly blinking away the tears in her eyes. “An’ Ah’ll be here no matter what. As long as ya need me, Ah’m not goin’ anywhere.”
Logan squeezed her tightly with his let arm, pressing a kiss against her forehead. “I never want you to go. As long as I have you and Alex, I’ll have something that’s real and that’s good. That’s what I want.”
Not saying anything else, Marie simply let Logan hold her. She knew that was what he needed the most right then. Marie knew that Logan hadn’t really been dealing with what had happened to him and his family’s arrival the previous day had finally sent him over the edge and into a state where he had no choice but to deal with it. Not just what happened with Creed, but with the family that he had left behind when he woke up after the accident. There had simply been too much for him to handle.
Marie silently cursed Maureen Vance for forcing it all on Logan. The other woman’s overbearing personality had probably been the key factor in what had happened. If she and her little cohort, Tanya, had just waited until Logan was at least out of the hospital-- on his own turf --it probably would have been easier for him to deal with it. Logan would have felt safe at home and wouldn’t have had to spend those nine hours alone with all sorts of unknown thoughts in his head, jostling for space. Marie would have been with him those nine hours, holding him in her arms as they slept peacefully in their bed.
Now, more than ever, Marie was determined to get Logan back home as soon as possible. The hospital wasn’t any good for him mentally. With the exception of his shoulder, Marie knew that Logan was in pretty good shape. His left eye was open more and he was looking stronger. Ron had been sneaking him in food from Martha’s to replace the awful hospital food they had wanted him to eat. Martha’s hearty cooking had helped Logan put on most of the weight he had lost the five days he had spent in Creed’s cellar eating practically nothing.
Still, no matter how much better Logan looked physically, it was impossible to determine how he was feeling mentally. Marie didn’t doubt that Logan’s mind was a very confusing place at the moment. Before everything with Creed had happened, Logan had been happy with the life he was leading, his lost past barely bothering him. Now, because of Creed and Maureen, Logan had no choice but to confront it and the ghost of Morgan Vance.
Watching him sleep peacefully in her arms, Marie tried to picture Logan as he had been before the accident. As Morgan Vance.
The simple truth was that Logan wasn’t Morgan. Morgan Vance no longer existed. No matter what Maureen and Tanya claimed, the fact remained that Morgan Vance had died the night that his truck had been run off the road. Logan wasn’t Morgan anymore and trying to make him be that person would only hurt him in the end.
Marie’s attention was momentarily distracted by Alexandra who lifted her head from Logan’s chest. Marie grinned down at her daughter, running a finger gently along the infant’s cheek.
“Looks like yer Daddy had a rough night without us, angel,” Marie said softly so as not to wake Logan.
Logan shifted slightly in his sleep, unconsciously squeezing Marie a little tighter.