A sudden pounding on the front door caused the few residents of Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, who were up and about early on a Friday morning, to jump in fright. Heads peered out of the kitchen and rec room doorways toward the front door. No further knocking was heard, and whoever it was clearly didn't know that the door was always unlocked, as odd as that may seem to outsiders. People began to wander away again, assuming it was a prank someone was playing, and no one wanting to be on the receiving end of a bucket of water or bag of flour by opening the door. That was until a high-pitched, piercing wail began on the other side of the door.
Eyes widened in shock as several teens rushed for the door simultaneously, wrenching it open suddenly to reveal a baby capsule sitting on the stoop, a large fluffy blanket hiding the tiny wailing child within from view until it was pushed back.
"Someone go get a teacher!" One of the kids nearest the front of the gathered crowd, called to those still inside. The direction was followed by the heavy pounding of feet as several people ran, some for the teachers’ wing, others ran for the dorms to spread the news of the baby found on the doorstep.
A crowd had gathered by the time a procession of adults wandered down the stairs.
"Alright, everyone out of the way, what do we have here?" Scott asked, making his way through the crowd, which parted enough to let him through while the kids at the back continued to crane to try and see what was happening.
At the centre of the crowd was a tiny squalling baby, waving its arms around as it screamed, obviously unimpressed that it wasn't in its cosy bed, or its mothers’ arms. Despite the young girl beside it, trying to shush it by gently rocking the carrier, it continued to scream unabated.
"We should get it down to the med lab," Jean said, staring in wide eyed shock at the infant.
Scott picked the baby carrier up and began to work his way back through the crowd, toward the elevator to the underground medical facility. "'Ro, go check the security cameras and see if you can get an ID on the mother,” he instructed. She nodded in response, and joined them on their trek below, heading to the security office.
Logan stepped out of the locker room, giving a final swipe at his damp hair before lobbing his towel back into the room, in the direction of the laundry hamper. If it missed someone else would get it, that was part of the reason he always took the earliest DR session. The other reason was that it was helpful to work off whatever memories had assaulted him overnight.
He was heading for the elevator when a high-pitched wail filtered down the hall. As he got closer he realised it was a baby, a very unhappy baby.
"The fuck is going on in here?" he asked, over the sound the tiny infant was making, as he walked into the med bay. The baby was in a capsule, on one of the exam tables as Jean was untucking a large fluffy blanket from around it.
"I'm going to assume the little one is a boy," Jean smiled. The baby was dressed in a little blue all-in-one, and snugly wrapped in dark blue knitted mittens, booties, hat, and hooded jacket. Whoever had left the baby had done their best to make sure he was warm and cosy for as long as it took for him to be found.
Logan grimaced as the child's cries increased in volume, as Jean lifted him out of the seat. "I'll get filled in later," he called across the room before turning and walking out, sighing in relief as the door slid shut behind him, muffling some of the noise from within.
"Wait, Logan!" Jean shouted suddenly, just as the elevator door slid open before him. She rushed out of the med lab, screaming baby in one arm as she waved a piece of paper at him. "This was in the capsule, it appears to be addressed to you," she said confused. Noting Logan's pained grimace, she tried to bounce the baby in a soothing manner, to hopefully calm him a bit, as she moved back into the med bay to put some distance between the two of them.
Logan turned the paper over in confusion. His name was written in a neat script on the front, the paper folded into an origami envelope to seal its content from prying eyes. Untucking the paper carefully Logan pulled it open to read the short, personalised note.
Yes, I know your name, the bit of you I absorbed is really nice even if he was a little annoyed with me at the beginning, not as much as you'd expect for what I did but we've come to an understanding about that. He's told me a lot about you, which is why I trust you to do what I can't, and I trust you not to hold what I did against baby.
I never meant for this to happen but I opted to keep him, the Brotherhood didn't know, I went dark which is why you haven't seen me around. I don't know how they found out but they know now, and because of that our son is in danger. I can't protect him, you can.
I named him James but he is only two weeks old, so he probably doesn't know it yet if you would prefer to change it.
Please, please, take good care of him for me.
Staring at the paper in front of him Logan slowly followed the path Jean had taken, back into the med bay. He went directly to the baby capsule, ignoring the cries of the infant who still hadn't quieted. He grabbed the blanket, it would hold scent best, sure enough he could detect Rogue's familiar scent. Shocked, he turned to the baby, realizing when he did so that Jean was trying to talk to him.
"... it say? Logan are you alright?" she asked. "Logan...?"
He didn't respond as he dropped the blanket and moved over to Jean, gently plucking the wailing child from her arms. To everyone's even greater surprise the baby suddenly stopped his yelling, his tiny little baby nose twitching, before his eyes opened and he stared directly up at Logan. After a few shuddering breaths baby snuggled down in his arms and went to sleep, his little face buried in Logan's shirt as he scented him while he slept.
"What just happened?" Jean asked.
Before Logan could answer, Ororo walked into the room. Subdued and teary eyed, she said softly, "You guys need to see this."
They all followed her to the security room where she hit play on the CCTV playback, a second later an obviously female hooded figure walked into the frame, carrying baby in one arm, and the capsule in the other. Gently she set the capsule down on the mansions front step, she sat beside it, carefully unwrapping the baby from the fluffy blanket. For a few minutes she sat, holding the baby, rocking him gently, until, with a gentle kiss, she laid the sleeping baby down in the capsule before she tucked him in. Standing silently, they watched as the hood fell away, revealing familiar two tone hair. The girl silently wiped away her tears, then with one last look at the baby, she knocked loudly on the door before turning and bolting out of frame towards the treeline.
"Oh my god," Jean said, tears in her own eyes proving she too wasn't unmoved by the mothers’ emotional farewell to her child.
"Why would Rogue bring her child here? Surely, she would leave it with the Brotherhood. It does explain why we haven't seen her for a while though," Scott began to theorize.
"Logan, what was in the letter?" Jean asked, as she pulled herself together and back into doctor mode. Without a word he pulled the letter out of his pocket and handed it to her, before turning and walking away. There were things the X-Men didn't know, they were about to find out, and he really didn't want to have to deal with the fallout, not right away at least. He passed the Professor in the hall, directing him into the security room as he walked away.
About twenty minutes later everyone filed back into the med bay where Logan was sitting on the exam table watching the baby sleep in his arms. He braced himself for the inevitable questions to begin.
"What did Rogue do that she thinks you're angry about?" Jean asked softly, indicating to the letter.
"I'll give you a hint, it made a baby," Logan replied, nodding to the child in his arms.
"This was when the Brotherhood had you prisoner?" she queried.
"Mmhmm," Logan replied. All he had previously told them about what had happened during that time was the information the Brotherhood had been after, and that they had used Rogue to try and suck it out of his head. He hadn't told them exactly how she had done that, and really, he couldn't be that mad at her, given the circumstances they'd found themselves in, for taking advantage of her situation.
"It wasn't consensual was it?" Jean continued.
"Well I didn't bother saying no," Logan sarcastically responded, "Adamantium cuffs to a concrete floor make that kinda pointless." He hoped that was enough information for them to stop asking questions.
After a few moments Jean smiled sadly before asking with forced cheeriness, "So, shall we take a look at the little guy and make sure he's on track? I'll get some starting info on him so we can monitor his growth." She quickly moved around the room to begin her check-up.
Logan had to put the baby down for Jean to do her exam but every time he let him go baby would begin to grizzle again, so he kept hold of baby's hand to keep him quiet. Turning to the Professor while he waited, he asked, "Can you find her? If she's right and the Brotherhood are after her for the baby they're going to be pissed as hell when they catch up to her and find out she's handed him over all ready, we need to find her first."
"Certainly, I will do my best, though you know Rogue is as hard for me to track as you are, I can't guarantee a quick result," Charles advised, before he left to begin his search. They needed to find her first.