Someone has been keeping secrets, that come to light in tragedy.
Categories: AU Characters:
Angst, Drama, ShipperTags:
1. Chapter 1 by erro
2. Chapter 2 by erro
3. Chapter 3 by erro
Jubilee swore as she pulled the earbud out of her ear. Who the hell drained the battery right before she was getting ready to go out, damn it? As she paused for breath in the middle of her mumbled rant, she heard a muffled wail, like someone was in great physical and emotional pain. It took her a moment, to realise where the sobs were coming from, before she rushed to the nearest door across the hall... Rogue's room.
"Roguey, are you alright?" she called, as she turned the handle and pushed her way into the room. There was no sign of Rogue, until she heard another sobbing moan from the ensuite.
"Rogue, what's wrong?" Jubilee asked again, not waiting for a response before rushing into the bathroom.
"Oh my god!" she gasped, when she saw Rogue on her knees on the floor. Blood was smeared on the floor, the toilet, and a little on the wall where one of her hands was bracing her. Shuddering sobs were being wrenched from her as she bore down as if pushing.
Without a second thought Jubilee fled, almost colliding with Scott as she flew into the hallway again.
"Get Jean, now, hurry," she demanded, pushing Scott toward the elevator before she turned and rushed back to Rogue's side.
She sat by Rogue's side, silently begging Jean to hurry, gently brushing a cool damp cloth over her friends face as she sobbed and moaned before with one final, heart wrenching scream she pushed, and out of her body slid a tiny, barely formed baby. The tiny child would barely fit into the palms of ones hands but it was so perfectly formed there was no mistaking what it was.
And Rogue began to sob even harder.
All Jubilee could do was hug her as she waited for Jean, who rushed into the room moments later, followed closely by Scott.
"Oh god," Jean murmured, kneeling down beside the two girls, trying to push aside the doctorly instinct to examine her patient in the face of Rogue's anguish. Eventually settling on cleaning up around the girl, Jean began to mop up the blood and amniotic fluid on the floor, before reaching for the stillborn foetus.
"Don't touch him!" Rogue growled suddenly, forcibly shoving both Jean and Jubilee away, before she reached onto the vanity. Snagging a washcloth, she gingerly picked up the tiny form. Gently laying the baby on the face cloth, she slowly and softly began to clean him, crying as she did. When she was finally unable to see through her tears, she wrapped the baby in the face cloth, tenderly cradling him in her hands and just holding him.
"We need to get you downstairs, and get you checked out Rogue," Jean instructed softly. When she received no verbal response she continued, "Can you walk, or would you like Scott to carry you?" she suggested. Still getting no response, she telepathically instructed Scott to fetch a robe or a sheet to wrap the young woman in, so she could be moved.
Rogue didn't respond as Scott gently wrapped her robe around her, before picking her up carefully. She was focused on nothing but the tiny child in her hands.
Jubilee stayed behind, to quickly clean up the rest of the bloody bathroom, before she rushed down to the med lab, her earlier plans for the day forgotten. Jean and Rogue were locked in an argument when she arrived, the former trying to take the deceased foetus from its mother, who refused her at every point, even going so far as to growl and snap her teeth at her.
"It's okay Rogue, we're just going to give him a bath and wrap him up all snug for you," Jubilee coaxed, after inserting herself between Jean and Rogue in an attempt to diffuse the situation. "Jean, can you show me how to bath him? I’ve never bathed a baby before but I’ll be careful chica," Jubilee said with a smile, thinking to Jean that they needed to placate Rogue if she was going to cooperate, especially important when the Wolverine in her was agitated as it so clearly was.
Jean took her hint, and moved away to collect a small basin, gauze, and warm water, and after a few more words of encouragement Rogue finally relinquished her child to Jubilee's care.
As Jubilee gently bathed the tiny body, she spoke softly to Rogue, trying to get her to finally speak. "So chica, what colour blankie are we snuggling this little guy up in?" she asked. When Rogue stayed silent she teased a little more. "Blue is like all kinds of boring and predictable for a boy... we could try and throw everyone off by wrapping him up in pink?... Of course, if you can't decide, I'll just have to pick for you, and you know what that means girl, yellow all the way!" she declared, as she began to pat dry the now clean form, catching the watery chuckle Rogue let slip as a small smile turned up one corner of her mouth.
"... Green," Rogue eventually murmured. "There's a green coat in my wardrobe... long, with a hood... wool... could you go get it for me," she whispered, as Jubilee handed her back the baby, after Jean swaddled him in a square of white fabric that Jubilee thought was meant to be a sling, after making him a cosy mattress, out of a thick wound pad, so the tiny body wasn't so floppy and squishy. "And the jewellery box Logan got me, bring that too," she added.
"Sure thing, I'll be right back," Jubilee promised, darting out of the room as Jean began to gently give Rogue instructions so she could do a physical examination of her.
As Jubilee hurried upstairs, to carry out Rogue's request, she couldn't help but wonder who the father of the untouchable girls baby was. She didn't know Rogue had a boyfriend, and she was her closest friend, well, second closest friend. Logan was Rogue's best and closest friend, had been since probably before they arrived at the mansion six years earlier, even with all his frequent trips away. She was conflicted in her thoughts as to whether it was good or bad that Logan wasn't there right now, sure he would support Rogue emotionally but he would also want to rip apart whoever had knocked her up... At least she assumed he would, he had always been insanely overprotective of Rogue when it came to boys.
She made the mad dash to Rogue's room and back in record time, arriving back before Jean had finished her examination, and helped Jean by passing her sterile wipes and absorbent pads to clean Rogue up, before they covered her with warm blankets.
"You're going to bleed for probably a couple of days, and right now you need to rest," Jean advised, gently smoothing Rogue's mussed hair. "I'll get you some food, and if you need them I can give you some sedatives too to help you sleep," she offered, smiling tolerantly at Rogue's immediate refusal before excusing herself. Jean sent a telepathic message to Jubilee as she left, to try and get Rogue to say who the father was.
"Alright, now that the doc’s out of the way, what am I doing with this stuff?" Jubilee asked, indicating the jewellery box and coat. She'd had the good sense to dump out the jewellery when collecting the box, she hoped Rogue didn't mind. It's not like she had much anyway, almost all of it was from Logan, and she never really wore any of it, it wouldn't matter if it lived in a pile on her dresser for a while.
Gently Rogue lay the swaddled baby on her lap, before she softly asked for scissors, the coat, and finally the jewellery box. Carefully she cut the coat, and Jubilee watched, tears in her eyes, as Rogue turned the jewellery box into a tiny casket for the equally as tiny child. Lining it with green wool, before wrapping the swaddled baby in a layer of green.
"He needs a hat, something to keep his head warm," Rogue whispered sadly, as she placed a kiss on the tiny naked head.
"I'll sort something," Jubilee heard herself offering. One of the art classes was currently doing a wool craft project, surely one of them could make a teeny tiny baby hat, as soon as Jean came back she would go ask.
She sat with Rogue for about an hour, until Jean returned with food, and shooed Jubilee away so Rogue could eat and sleep. Jubilee felt her heart twist as she watched her friend kiss her baby again, and lay him down in his little jewellery box casket on the table trolley Jean slid over the bed so she could eat.
Jubilee spent a couple of hours with the art class, several of the girls had been learning to crochet, and had fine yarn and tiny hooks. After searching for patterns online they quickly stitched up a tiny hat, minuscule booties, and a tiny little all-in-one, all to the size Jubilee gestured for them from what she could remember from bathing the baby.
Word spread quickly of the birth, and death, of Rogue's baby. The mood throughout the school was unusually sombre for the rest of the day.
Logan dragged himself off his motorcycle, rolling his shoulders and cracking his neck to relieve some of the tension from the ride. He couldn't wipe the grin off his face at the thought of what would come next - he could just picture Marie running down the stairs to jump into his arms, maybe intentionally trying to knock him off balance... Or she would try to sneak up on him like she sometimes did, trying, always failing, to catch him off guard.
Then they would head up to his room, his arm around her shoulders, hers around his waist, so he could 'unpack'. He would lock the door, and press her up against it, and kiss her softly through the scarf she was always wearing. Then he would throw her onto the bed, unpacking forgotten, and ravish her. Then while she was laying in his bed, sweaty, and sated, and out of breath, he would slide the ring he had bought onto her finger.
The ring was perfect, he had known the minute he spotted it in a second-hand store window that it was meant for her. The green emerald, guarded by three small marquise diamonds on either side, all set in platinum... just what he needed to accompany their announcement.
They had decided to wait, until he had returned from this latest trip, to finally reveal they were a couple. They hadn't intended to tell anyone, ever, it was their business and no one else's. Recently however, a miracle had occurred, one neither of them had expected, not with the precautions they had to take when together due to Marie's mutation.
They had made a baby.
Every time Logan thought about his child, growing big and strong, cosy and warm inside Marie's womb, he couldn't help the feeling of peace and joy that washed over him. He had never thought about children, truth be told he had never deemed himself worthy of having a family, he didn't deserve something so precious. Children were for 'good people', not animal men with no past... but children were for loving women like Marie, and if she wanted his children, he would give her as many as she cared to have.
It wasn't until he was standing at the bottom of the stairs that he realised, Marie wasn't there... Double checking his surroundings, he confirmed she wasn't hiding somewhere trying to sneak up on him either. With a frown, he jogged up the stairs, maybe she was already waiting for him in his room... laid out on his bed, in that sexy lace lingerie she had shown him before he left, telling him he would just have to hurry back if he wanted to see it on her.
His room was empty too.
Dumping his pack unceremoniously on the floor he turned on his heel, and headed across the hall to Marie's room, a voice catching his attention as he reached for the door handle.
"Logan! ... Uh, Rogue's downstairs, I'll take you to her," Jubilee called to him, somewhat nervously, as she gestured for him to follow her. She had the elevator at the ready by the time he caught up to her, shrugging and making the excuse that it was 'faster than the stairs' when he cocked a brow at her questioningly.
He didn't see what button she hit but when the elevator doors opened onto the steel lined sub level hallway, he began to feel an ominous weight settle in his gut. Jubilee didn't wait around for him to ask her what was going on, leaping out of the elevator she hurried down the hallway with Logan hot on her heels, before coming to a stop at the infirmary doorway, wordlessly pointing him through the door.
Pausing momentarily, his blood ran cold as a litany of images ran through his minds eye as to what he might find on the other side of the door. Hurriedly he shoved his fear aside, and stepped through the door.
The first thing he noted was the thick scent of tears and misery, the second was how pale her skin was, as Marie laid asleep on a hospital bed. Silently approaching the bed, his gaze running over her trying to figure out what was wrong with her. His eyes followed the trail of her arm, to where her hand lay, resting protectively over a tiny body. As the scent of blood reached through the haze in his mind, he immediately knew what had happened.
His eyes, burning with unshed tears, turned to Marie's when he heard her release a stifled sob. "Oh Marie... I'm so sorry baby, I'm so sorry," he murmured into her hair, gathering her into his arms and tenderly holding her as she began to sob, obviously not for the first time if the wastebasket full of tissues was anything to go by.
She clung to him for a long time, great shuddering sobs heaving her shoulders as she clutched at his shirt. After a time, her soft, muffled, voice met his ears, scratchy and thick from tears.
"I'm sorry, I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to, I didn't..." she sobbed.
"You didn't mean to what, darlin?" Logan asked in confusion.
"I didn't mean to lose him," she whispered, "I'm so sorry."
"Hush now, none of that darlin, it wasn't your fault, you didn't do anything wrong, it- it just happens sometimes is all," Logan murmured softly, a new worry settling in his mind now. How did he stop Marie blaming herself for losing the baby?
"D- do you want to hold him?" Marie asked, with a miserable sniffle.
"Soon darlin, I've got to make sure you're alright first," he told her honestly, hugging her tighter as he felt her relax a little more into his arms.
After several minutes he felt her shift, pulling away from him. She wiped her tears away, smiling at him softly as he quickly kissed her tear stained cheeks. He brushed her hair back from her face with his still leather gloved fingers, trying to smooth it some. "You feeling a bit better now?" he asked gently.
She nodded, though her smile was still somewhat strained, before she shifted on the bed to sit up and reach around him. He sat down on the bed beside her and watched, as she scooped up the tiny swaddled form, barely large enough to fit in the palm of his hand, and she held it out to him.
For several minutes he sat in silence, just taking in the image before him. His thumb gently ran over the tiny face, and the tiny hand that peeked out from the woollen fabric it was wrapped in.
Not 'it', his brain screamed, helpfully reminding him this was his son. His tiny, dead, son. He felt the first tears run hotly down his cheeks, as Marie wrapped her arms around him, her head resting on his shoulder, as her other hand cradled their child together with him.
How long they sat together and cried over the tiny, still body of their child Logan would never know. Eventually the automatic lights in the lab dimmed, signalling it was well after dark outside, and carefully he extracted himself from Marie's grasp. Laying the tiny boy back in the little crib someone had made for him - in what he recognized was the jewellery box he had bought Marie on some trip several years ago - he turned his attention back to Marie, who was gazing forlornly at the child.
"How long have you been down here?" he asked softly, gathering her back into his arms.
"Since yesterday," Marie answered softly.
"Have you slept?" he queried, the dark circles under her eyes told him no.
"I've dozed some I guess," she replied.
"And Jean checked you out, you're okay?" he questioned.
"Yeah, I'm fine," Marie answered, her tone telling him she was physically fine but mentally was a whole different story.
"Want to go back upstairs, sleep in your own bed?" he asked, placing a soft kiss on her crown.
"No, but I'd sleep in your bed," she murmured, sounding as lost and alone, but not quite as terrified, as when she used to sneak into his room after their nightmares when she was younger.
"That sounds like a good idea," Logan agreed, with a smile. Turning, he picked up the jewellery box, and its precious cargo, handing it to Marie before he scooped her up into his arms, and made his way back to the elevator.
The mansion was dark and quiet as he moved down the hallway, everyone else having long retired to bed. His bedroom door was still partway open, so it wasn't an issue to nudge it wider to allow them to pass before he softly kicked it closed. Gently lying Marie on the bed, he stripped the hospital gown off her, before wrapping her in the silk sheets that adorned his bed. He kicked off his boots, and stripped off his belt, jacket, and button-down shirt before he lay down behind her. Spooning her to him, as he watched her small pale hand smooth over the tiny stunted features of their child.
"Sleep darlin," he encouraged, holding her tightly until she fell into a deep restful sleep, before he relaxed enough to join her.
Marie woke to blessed silence; Logan had already left. She hated not getting a chance to say goodbye to him but after the last few sleepless nights she’d had, it was also welcome to sleep undisturbed.
She took the opportunity of being alone and undisturbed, to take a long, hot shower. After drying herself off, she combed out her hair, opting to preserve the silence longer by shaking her hair out and leaving it to air dry rather than blow drying it, before she headed into the bedroom to dress.
As she tugged her shirt over her head, her eyes fell on the calendar standing on the dressing table. Today's date was circled in green marker, and decorated with glitter. Logan's handwriting marking the date as 'Gabriel's 5th Birthday'.
With a sad smile Marie moved over to the shelf, where their little memorial stood. Photos of their first child, the tiny urn that contained his ashes, a small figurine Jubilee had given her - a little baby with angel wings hugging a teddy bear - and a replica of Logan's dog tag but with Gabriel's name and birthdate stamped on it, completed their memorial.
"Happy birthday little man," Marie murmured softly, pressing a kiss to her fingers before pressing it to the photo.
A soft cry behind her drew her attention and she turned, with an even bigger smile, as she made her way across the room, to the cause of her earlier sleepless night.
"And hello to you too little lady, you were such a good girl letting mommy sleep," she cooed softly, as she unwrapped her week-old daughter, and gently picked her up out of the bassinet.
Settling herself comfortably in the leather armchair that sat in the corner of their room, she tucked a pillow under her arm and settled in to feed the hungry baby. The contented snuffles baby made, as she suckled and dozed, were almost enough to pull Marie back to sleep. Until she heard excited chatter, and the quick stamping of little feet approaching the bedroom door.
"Hush little man, we don't want to wake momma or the baby," she heard Logan growl softly outside the door. The chattering voice immediately fell silent as the door quietly clicked open.
Marie smiled toward the door, when she saw Logan peer around the doors edge, a second face appearing lower down.
"Mommy!" the little boy whisper shouted, as he pushed his way into the room, not waiting for his daddy. He ran to her side and breathlessly recounted his outing that afternoon - Logan had taken him to see a hockey game that was being played at a local rink. "And I got dis," the boy exclaimed excitedly, brandishing a hockey puck. "I'mma gib it to Gabe for he's birfday... but I gets it back when I wanna play wif it, 'kay mommy?" he asked.
"I'm sure Gabe won't mind you playing with it for him," Marie replied with a smile, ruffling the little boys thick, dark hair as he grinned broadly, before running over to the wall and asking daddy to 'reach him up to Gabe'.
Logan picked him up, and helped him to gently place the gift on the shelf, beside the little urn.
"Happy birfday, Gabe," the little boy said, blowing a kiss to his brother's memory before Logan set him back on the floor.
"Daddy, does Ella know it's Gabe's birfday?" the three-year-old asked, moving back to where his sister was still silently suckling and placing a gentle kiss on the top of her head.
"Not yet Cole, she's a little small yet, all she really knows at the moment is mommy, and you, and me, and drinking lots of milk," Logan chuckled, "When she's a bit bigger she'll know about Gabe though, you can tell her all about him one day."
"You're wrong daddy... she knows 'bout yelling too," Cole replied seriously, after a moments consideration.
"Did she wake you up last night too little man?" Marie asked with a smile, catching Logan's chuckle when the little boy responded with an emphatic uh-huh and a vigorous nod. "Well, sorry about that, that's just the only way she knows how to talk at the moment but as she gets bigger she'll learn other ways, and then she won't be so noisy.”
"Was I dat noisy when I was Ella's small?" Cole asked curiously.
"You were so noisy that for a few days daddy had to go sleep down the other end of the hallway because you made his ears bleed," Marie replied in amusement, "But then we figured out why you were yelling so much, then you didn't yell so loud anymore, and daddy could come back." In hindsight it was kind of funny, at the time it hadn't been though. Thankfully, they realised quickly that it was the formula they were trying to feed Cole that was causing his little tummy to be so upset. That had led to several incredible discoveries, discoveries that let Marie not only touch her children, but touch Logan too. Of course, with a newborn baby, and many a baby-related sleepless night, it was some time before they had been able to make use of that discovery.
"Oh, sowwy daddy, I di'n't mean to," Cole said, turning to hug his daddy before he sat in Logan's lap for a cuddle, while mommy cuddled Ella.
"I know you didn't little man," Logan assured the boy, hugging him and kissing the top of his scruffy little head. "Now, what else should we do for Gabriel's birthday?" Logan asked Cole, in a tone that hinted he was forgetting something.
"CAKE!" Cole yelled at the top of his lungs, leaping to his feet with an excited gasp. Immediately Ella opened her mouth, dribbling milk everywhere, as she began to cry loudly. "Ooh, sowwy Ella," Cole whispered, kissing her head softly again as Marie rocked her gently. Once the baby was quiet again, the little family began to get ready to head downstairs.
Every year on the anniversary of Gabriel's birth Marie had baked birthday cake for everyone, her own little tribute to her son. This year, with Marie still recovering from Ella's birth, Jubilee had offered to bake for her. As they stepped into the cafeteria though, the whole family was shocked to see the entire room decorated for a party, a large banner strung up along one wall announcing 'Happy Birthday'. Party poppers went off around the room as they entered, and everyone cheered in celebration before a special dinner was served.
During their meal the Professor approached. "I wanted to check with you first before I made any announcements but with your pregnancy being so timed it didn't seem like a good idea to bring up sooner... we were wondering... would you mind sharing Gabriel's birthday, as a remembrance day for all our little mutant angels who are no longer with us?" he asked gently. There had been a difficult mission several months earlier, where the X-Men had raided a lab, only to find five young mutant children already 'terminated', their little tortured bodies had been recovered and buried on the mansion grounds in a service that had shaken them all.
Logan and Marie shared a glance, both smiling softly, even as Marie felt her eyes flood with tears. "We'd be happy to, Chuck," Logan answered for both of them, sliding his arm around Marie's shoulders, and watching the older man's face light up.
As cake and ice-cream were being served Charles made his announcement, that from this year onward, this date would be a school holiday, to remember all the mutants lost to this world, and unveiling a remembrance wall titled 'Gabriel's Birthday Wishlist'. Gabriel Logan was the first name on the list, and though there were far too many names under his, each name was recognized.
"But... is it all they's birfdays daddy?" Cole asked confused, when the whole room erupted in a horribly off-key rendition of 'happy birthday', giving each lost soul, their own line of recognition.
"They're all kids who live in heaven with Gabriel," Logan explained, "Some of them we don't know when their real birthday is, so Gabriel decided to share his birthday with all of them, so they can all get to have a birthday party with him in heaven and down here with us."
Cole considered this for a moment before replying, "That's nice... I like birfday parties," he added, before stuffing a massive spoonful of cake and ice-cream into his mouth.
Later that night, once the kids were asleep, Marie once again found herself standing in front of their little memorial. It wasn't long before Logan joined her, sliding his arms around her waist, as he kissed her temple tenderly. Eventually he murmured softly, as he tugged her gently toward their bed, "Come on darlin, let him go take care of his angels."
As she closed her eyes, wrapped in Logan's arms, Marie smiled softly as she imagined her son, leading a band of merry little mutant children through heaven, getting up to all sorts of mischief.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters and settings are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.