When the time came for Alexandra’s christening, there was no evidence that anything had happened to Logan six months before save a few small scars. Most of them were focused around his right shoulder along with an almost invisible scar near his left temple and cut into his eyebrow. Many long hours of discussion with a psychiatrist had helped Logan to work through all the issues that had come up not only because of his abduction but also as a result of his family’s sudden appearance in his life.
The fact that it had all happened in under two weeks was still a shock to Logan. One moment, Logan had lived without a care in the world as he and Marie waited for the birth of their first child, the next he had been existing in the middle of hell. Logan’s battle to banish those memories was a difficult one. Marie and Alexandra had done wonders to help Logan put it all behind him. They acted as a living reminder of what his life had become. Madison was Logan’s link to his past. The only link that he trusted.
“Why do we have to go?” Logan grumbled as he fidgeted in his seat on the plane. “Couldn’t we just have Alex baptized at some church here?”
Marie rolled her eyes and glanced over at Madison who sat on the other side of the aisle. “Has Logan always been such a baby or is this a new trait that he got when he bumped his head?”
Madison started to laugh, a wide grin on her face. “You’d be surprised how childish Logan is capable of being. I swear sometimes he sounds like a five year old.”
“I’m sitting right here. You are aware of that, right?” Logan reminded them, waving his hand to gain their attention.
Thinking that her father was playing a game, Alexandra began to laugh and reached for his flailing hands. At six months old, Alexandra was a little bundle of energy. Everything amused her, especially Boris. The large rottweiler had taken to Alexandra right away, claiming the tiny infant as his own. Boris looked over her at all times and didn’t seem to mind her latest attachment to yanking on his drooping ears.
“It’s time t’ face facts, Logan. We’re goin’ t’ Mississippi which means yer gonna hafta see Scooter again,” Marie told him, speaking as though she were talking to a small child. She shifted Alexandra in her arms, holding the young infant securely against her chest. Since she was still so young, either Marie or Logan would hold Alexandra during the flight rather than place her in a seat.
“You still haven’t told me why Alex has to get baptized in Mississippi when there are perfectly good churches close to where we live,” Logan insisted, reaching down to grasp his daughter’s waving hands. “Why does she even need to be baptized? It’s not like we go to church anyway.”
“Alexandra is being baptized in Mississippi because she is goin’ to be baptized in the same church that every member o’ mah family has been baptized in as far back as our family has lived in Mississippi,” Marie told Logan, her tone of voice indicating that it was a very important thing. “An’ since ya somehow managed t’ talk me out o’ gettin’ married there, we’re at least goin’ t’ baptize Alex in the same church Ah was.”
Logan knew that Marie was very anxious about the baptism so he decided against reminding her that they weren’t getting married in Mississippi because the church they would have had the ceremony was booked solid for the next two years. Since neither of them wanted to wait that long to get married, they had opted to get married in a huge Victorian-esque mansion a few miles outside of town. The ceremony itself was to take place in the glass enclosed solarium in the rear of the house with the reception following immediately afterwards in the mansion’s ballroom.
The fact that their wedding was just over three weeks away was another reason Marie had been hyperactive the past week. On the calendar in their kitchen, Marie had a countdown going on that led not only to the day of their wedding, November 2, but, incidentally, the day they had met two years before. The first time he had noticed the date on the calendar, it had caught Logan completely off guard that he had known Marie for two years. In some ways it seemed as though he had known her for less than two years, while at other moments their time together seemed much longer. Marie was the only constant he had ever known and he planned on keeping Marie as his constant for the rest of his life.
“Hey, small fry!” Kurt called as the foursome passed through customs.
Handing Alexandra over to Logan, Marie took off running into her brother’s arms. It had been six months since Marie had last seen her brother so Logan could understand her enthusiasm. Whenever Madison would go away on one of her photography trips, Logan would be eager to see her again.
“I think that you have a rival,” Ron teased as he came to stand beside Logan. “You’re lucky that she’s her brother or else you might be short a fiancée.”
Logan rolled his eyes and turned his attention towards Madison who stood on his other side. “And you date this guy because....?”
Madison furrowed her brows and ended up simply shrugging. “I’m still trying to figure that out, but as soon as I do know, I’ll be sure to let you know.”
“Only if it’s something that won’t send me back to therapy,” Logan told her, grinning slightly. “I’ve had enough of that, thankyouverymuch.”
Madison wrapped her arms around her brother’s shoulders and rested her head on his shoulder. “Don’t worry, Logan, I’ll love you no matter how screwed up you are.” Grinning, Madison unwound her arms from about Logan and scooped Alexandra out of his arms. “Isn’t that right, little miss Alexandra? Yes it is! We love your Daddy and all his complexes.”
“Gah!” Alexandra shouted, placing her chubby little hands on either side of Madison’s face.
“I do not have any complexes,” Logan said, reaching out to cup the back of Alexandra’s head. “My shrink said so.”
“Now where’s my little Goddaughter?” Kurt said as Marie led him and Kitty over to them.
“That’s my Goddaughter you’re talking about, Kurty boy,” Ron reminded him good naturedly.
Kurt arched an eyebrow at the other man before leaning over to brush a kiss against the top of the infant’s head. He pulled back and smirked at Ron. “This is my niece so I get to be the Godfather.”
Marie rolled her eyes and slipped into Logan’s waiting arms. “Can we please not have this conversation right here? Our plane just landed an’ we hafta get Alex over t’ Daddy’s so she can have her nap. ‘Sides, the two o’ ya are well aware o’ the fact that yer both gonna be her Godfather. We went over this when she was born.”
Both men consented defeat, but they were still arguing when they puled into the driveway of Daniel Fraser’s home the two men were still bickering like a pair of little old men. It had been someone’s brilliant idea that all of them would travel in one vehicle while the women travelled in another. While it normally would be a good idea seeing as how they would not all fit in a single car, Ron and Kurt were enjoying arguing too much to stop.
“You guys are giving me a headache,” Logan complained from the back seat.
“Oh quit whining, you big baby,” Kurt called back as he pulled the car into his father’s driveway. “You’d think that living with Marie would mean you were used to lots of noise.”
Logan unfastened his seatblet and climbed out of the car. “At least when Marie talks she has something worthwhile to say. Unlike the two of you who sound like a pair of five year olds.”
“Hey, I’ll have you know that we’re both older than you, young man,” Ron said as he got out of the car as well. He placed his arms across the hood of the car, grinning at Logan who stood across from him.
“First of all, you are the most immature person I have ever met,” Logan said, pointing at Ron. He then turned his attention over to Kurt who was standing next to him. “You, on the other hand, are barely a week older than me.”
“I’m still older than you, Mr. Hunters,” Ron said, grinning like a madman.
“And that’s what frightens me, Mr. Fraser,” Logan said back, turning around when he heard the other car pull into the driveway. “Finally, some sane people are here. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’d like to go see my fiancée and my daughter.”
After first opening the front passenger door for his sister, Logan went to the back door and opened it lavishly, pretending to straighten a tie he wasn’t wearing. “I trust your ride was pleasurable, Madame,” Logan said in a snooty English accent.
“But of course,” Marie said in an equally snooty accent, sticking her nose up in the air to complete the image. “Now would you be so kind as to hold my daughter so that I can get out of the car?”
“Madame has no need to ask twice,” Logan murmured, reaching in to take Alexandra from Marie’s arms. Alexandra was grinning around her pacifier when Logan reached in to pick her up. “You know you are going to have a nap in the soon to near future, little miss,” Logan told Alexandra, holding her against his chest with one arm while he reached his other hand towards Marie to help her out of the car.
“Ba!” Alexandra cried, spitting out the pacifier and bopping Logan on the nose at the same time. “Ba! Ba!”
Marie caught the pacifier before it hit the ground and held it up in Alexandra’s line of sight, arching an eyebrow. “Now what are ya doin’ spittin’ out yer pacifier, Alexandra Marie?”
“Ba!” Alexandra cried happily, a huge grin on her face.
Logan rolled his eyes and dipped his head down to brush a kiss against the top of Alexandra’s head. “You are too stubborn for you own good, Alexandra. Now why don’t you go inside with your Momma while I get our bags out of the trunk.”
Alexandra made a whining protest as Logan handed her to Marie. Logan rubbed Alexandra’s back and kissed her on the back of the head, succeeding in quieting her. Marie and Logan had long ago discovered the fact that their daughter was her Daddy’s little girl. Whenever Marie took her somewhere that Logan wasn’t going, Alexandra would make her disapproval known and would only calm down after Logan made it clear that nothing bad was going to happen. Alexandra’s pediatrician, Dr. Vallier, believe that it had something to do with everything that had happened the first two weeks of her life. The constant upheavals and Logan’s erratic disappearances.
“You certainly look better than you did the last time I saw you,” Daniel greeted as Logan entered the old Victorian house that Marie’s father called home.
Logan laughed boisterously and embraced the older man. “That’s probably because the last time you saw me I was flying high on morphine.”
Pulling back, Daniel squeezed Logan’s shoulder. “I’m so relieved to see you up and about and looking just as healthy as you did the first item we met. It would have killed me to see Marie lose you. She loves you a great deal and has already lost too much.”
“The feeling’s mutual,” Logan told his soon-to-be father-in-law. “I love Marie more than anything and never want to see her hurt.”
“Glad to hear it,” Daniel said with a nod.
The two ventured into the living room then where Alexandra was marveling everyone with her newfound ability to sit up on her own. Something she’d mastered barely a week before. Since then, Alexandra would sit up whenever possible, her balance teetering only when she got sleepy.
Logan’s smile faded almost completely when he caught sight of Scott sitting on the couch next to his sister. Logan was less than impressed by it, especially when Madison started laughing and placed her hand on Scott’s thigh.
“Scooter,” Logan said sternly, crossing his arms over his chest.
Scott raised his eyes, smiling tersely at Logan. “You look better, Logan.”
At the sound of Scott’s voice, Alexandra began to pout and was soon whimpering and sniffling. She turned her upper body towards Logan, waving her small arms to indicate that she wanted to be picked up.
“Come here, Alex,” Logan said as he scooped Alexandra off the ground. “Daddy’ll save you from scary Uncle Scooter.”
As soon as Logan had her in his arms, Alexandra grinned brilliantly at him and burrowed her head against his chest. Pressing a kiss against the top of her head, rocking slightly back and forth to soothe her into sleep. She had been awake all day, napping only briefly on the plane, and was undoubtedly getting cranky.
“Logan, Ah thought Ah told ya not t’ corrupt our daughter,” Marie said as she came to stand next to him. “We’ve been having this conversation since Ah first got pregnant and since ya know what Ah’m gonna say off by heart Ah’m not gonna bother sayin’ it again.”
“You’re Momma’s weird,” Logan said softly to Alexandra, smiling softly when she yawned. “Someone’s sleepy. Hey, Daniel, where’s that crib you have set up for Alex?”
“Up the stairs, second door on the right,” Daniel instructed, pointing towards the stairs.
Shifting his hold on Alexandra, Logan grabbed onto the diaper bag Marie handed him before starting towards the stairs. Logan loved putting Alexandra down for her naps. Just watching her sleep was something that could keep him fascinated for hours.
Logan remembered one afternoon in particular when Alexandra was about a month old. Marie had gone to help Madison buy furniture for her new apartment in town leaving Logan alone with Alexandra. Everything had been fine until he had decided to lie down on the couch to watch Sesame Street with Alexandra lying on his chest. She had fallen asleep about halfway through the program. Not wanting to sit through the rest of the kiddy show, Logan had started to reach for the clicker only to discover that he had foolishly lain with his left arm pressed against the back of the couch. With his right arm still in a sling he had been unable to reach for the remote control. He couldn’t roll off the couch either because he was holding Alexandra with his left arm and as soon as he put any pressure on his right one, he would have ended up screaming or falling to the ground, neither of which he was prepared to do. In the end, Logan had ended up taking a nap with Alexandra on the couch.
Only to be woken up a short while later by the flash bulb on Marie’s camera as she took a picture, Madison cooing in the background.
“Wow, look at that,” Logan said softly as he entered the guest bedroom. He dropped the diaper bag on the bed before walking over to the ancient wooden cradle. “Do you know what this is, Alex? This is the same bed your Momma slept in when she was as big as you. You’re Gramma also slept in that bed when she was a little girl. You don’t know your Gramma because she died a long time before you were born. But, do you know what? Even though you never met her, she loves you a whole lot. She’s looking out for you always, watching you from heaven. I know you don’t know what that is yet, but you’re Momma and I will explain it better when you get older. Just remember that your Gramma will always look out for you no matter what happens.”
Walking back over to the bed, Logan gently laid Alexandra down on it, smiling as she automatically rolled over onto her side. While Alexandra got herself settle, Logan reached into the diaper bag for her Snugglebye footie pajamas. It took a great deal of coaxing for him to get Alexandra to willingly roll onto her back in order for him to change her out of her little pink dress and into the pajamas. Eventually, Logan had her changed and once against picked her up, earning a protesting cry from his daughter.
“Don’t worry, Alex, I won’t bother you anymore,” Logan whispered as he set her down in the crib. He waited for Alexandra to get comfortable before pulling the blankets up over her. He quickly set up the baby monitor on the dresser next to the crib and was unable to stop himself from brushing a finger against the back of her hand which was resting next to her head. “I’ll see you when you wake up.”
Grabbing the other monitor, Logan turned it on and headed back down to the living room where everyone else was gathered. Daniel had gotten some snacks out for the weary travellers and everyone was immersed in a conversation about the christening which would take place in two day’s time. Making a beeline towards Marie, Logan sat down right behind her. He checked the baby monitor one final time to make sure that he could hear Alexandra before setting it down next to him.
“Did Alex go down all right?” Marie asked as he pulled her onto his lap.
Logan lowered his head down onto her shoulder. “Like an angel. She’ll probably be out for hours.”
Marie leaned back against him, lacing her fingers through his. “Ah hope so or else she’ll be cranky all night.”
“Hey, Marie, have you gotten your wedding dress yet?” Kitty called, gaining Marie’s attention instantly.
Unwinding his arms from Marie’s waist, Logan flopped down onto his back with a groan. There would be no saving Marie. She was lost to him, having been taken over by the Wedding Dictator. So close to their wedding date, whenever the word was mentioned, Marie became unrecognizable to him as she began rattling off details of their coming nuptials.
As Marie began describing the gown to Kitty in minute detail, Logan reached for the baby monitor and brought it close to his head. Hooking his left arm under his head to act as a pillow, Logan contented himself to listen to Alexandra breathing while he waited for Marie to return to normal.