It felt like hours they stood there, facing off in the middle of the living room, as Logan watched Marie's indecision and anger warring in her eyes. When he saw her eyes harden he felt like he had been sucker punched, she was going to deny him, he just--
The burn of Marie's power surged through him so suddenly it almost knocked him off his feet. It felt different though, his energy wasn't being sucked from him, it just felt like he was being torn to pieces, specifically his head. As he clamped his eyes shut against the pain and its resulting nausea, he watched images of his life, playing before his eyes as they poured into Marie. He forcefully pushed his most precious memory into the vortex - the two of them, lying sated in bed, wrapped up in each other as he whispered to her how much he loved her as he drifted to sleep.
When the rush abruptly shut off, he finally collapsed, still conscious but mentally drained, and with a splitting headache.
"I need to process these," Marie snapped, turning to walk into her bedroom. She paused at the door and turned back to him. "You can sleep on the couch, there's spare bedding in that closet."
With that she was gone, leaving him too weak to move on the floor. All he could do was pray, pray she had seen it all, pray she believed him.
He woke late the next morning, a crick in his neck, from sleeping on the too short couch, that he quickly stretched and popped back into place. He could hear that Marie was awake, awake and pacing around her room but he didn't think it was a good idea to try and talk to her yet. She would come out when she was ready; he hoped.
Wandering into the kitchen he perused the contents of her refrigerator, trying to decide if he should make them breakfast. The nauseating somersault his stomach made at the thought of food put him off, and he eventually made his way back to the couch.
He was sitting, with his head in his hands, elbows propped on his knees, when he finally heard the bedroom door open. He didn't dare look up.
Silently Marie padded over, and sat on the armchair opposite him. "I saw what you saw, I... I need you to see what I saw," she whispered softly.
"How?" Logan asked immediately, confused but willing to do whatever she needed.
"I didn't only learn how to turn it off," Marie answered, with a hint of a grin as she held out her bare hand to him. Her smile grew wider when her took her hand without hesitation. Closing her eyes and concentrating, Marie pushed her way up to the psychic barrier that separated her consciousness from Logan’s, joined by her skin. With a gentle nudge she pushed her memories of that night through the barrier and into his mind. Everything from her giddy excitement, to her shock and hurt, all the way up until she fell asleep on the train to Tennessee, crying as her heart shattered.
She watched in silence as Logan sat with his eyes closed, his frown deepening as his eyes began to move behind his lids while his brain processed the images that had been fed to it. Very quickly his expression changed, his mouth falling open in shock, then anger, and finally anguish taking over until he whined unconsciously when he felt her agony. When he finally opened his eyes, he was worried.
"Whose memories are real?" he murmured, after a moments silence.
"I think there's only one way to find out, Jean was either there or she wasn't," Marie replied tightly. She had been able to come to only two possible conclusions over the course of her sleepless night, either Logan had figured out a way to fake memories and pass them on to her, or someone had played the both of them. His reactions were leading her believe the latter.
"Will you come back with me to New York so we can sort this out?" Logan asked, hope shining bright in his face.
She didn't even need to pause for thought. "Yes, but promise me if it turns out that bitch is responsible for this you'll stay out of my way and let me have my revenge, if that bitch has cost us almost two years of life together, and all this heart ache, I'm going to make her pay," Marie growled dangerously.
"Only if you promise to leave some for me," Logan replied, with a dark grin.
They took two vehicles to get back to New York, Logan on Scott's motorcycle, and Marie in her beat up pick up truck. Logan had eyed the hunk of junk warily when he had first seen it, expressing doubt that it would even start let alone make it to New York, until he had taken a look under the hood.
"It's just got to look the part enough not to get stolen," Marie replied, tapping her temple to remind him just how much of him she still had swimming around inside her - of course the him in her head had made sure her vehicle was road safe and reliable.
They pulled up outside the mansion gates just before midnight, both so eager to get to the bottom of this that they didn’t stop for more than gas and toilets. Marie parked her truck in the shadows across the street from the main gate, before climbing onto the motorcycle for the short trip up the driveway. Leaving the motorcycle parked out front, they let themselves in with Logan's access code, it still worked despite the fact he hadn't been back to the mansion in nearly a year.
"Now... where would the good doctor be?" Marie asked coyly, a hint of malice in her eyes.
"Let's try the lab first, it'll be more private than her room," Logan suggested, summoning the elevator as he spoke.
The light filtering from the med lab doors immediately told them someone was in there, and they confidently strode right in. Jean was distracted by whatever was on the screen in front of her and didn't notice their approach, until Marie stepped right up beside her and cleared her throat.
"Rogue!?" she asked in shock, before her eyes flickered to Logan, instantly becoming wary and guarded. "You found her Logan, that's good, are you back to stay?" she asked, hoping her voice didn't give away the quick thrill of fear that stabbed through her when she saw the dark look in both of their eyes.
"No, we're here for answers, answers that you have in that pretty, stupid little head of yours," Marie stated, her tone overly sweet, as she reached out without warning and wrapped her bare hand around Jean's throat. Jean's reaction to seeing them told her the woman knew damn well why they were there and what had happened, shame for her she didn't realise the danger she was in until it was too late.
Feeling her mutation reach into Jean's mind and begin sorting through, and tearing out the images she wanted. She reached out with her other hand, catching hold of Logan's wrist, sharing the images with him. After a moment she felt Logan wrench his hand away, and heard his furious roar as he began to take his fury out on the inanimate objects of the room around them.
Spotting a flash of apprehension in Jean's eyes, Marie knew she hadn't discovered all the woman’s secrets yet. Delving deeper, she faltered and gasped when she found what the woman was trying to hide. Immediately Jean began to struggle. Hoarse, unrecognizable words gurgling from her throat, that was clenched in Rogue's hand, as her grip tightened and a malicious smile turned up her lips.
"Thank you, you've been very helpful," Marie said sweetly, right before she shifted the focus of her power to zap the other woman’s energy, rendering her unconscious. Stepping away from the crumpled body on the floor, Marie caught Logan's arm as he advanced, claws drawn.
"Let me go Marie, you had your revenge it's my turn now," Logan said, in a barely coherent growl.
"Oh you'll get your revenge Logan, but she needs to stay alive to enjoy it." He turned to Marie at her malicious tone, seeing fire and hatred burning in her eyes.
"Okay, I won't kill her," Logan agreed, withdrawing five claws before advancing on the unconscious woman again.
Marie knew she should probably feel bad as she watched Logan carve the woman up, he sure was skilled with blades. Poor Jean was going to scar horribly from those cuts... she deserved it. When Logan was finished, though still humming with pent up rage and the desire to kill, she tugged him over to the labs washroom, silently helping him clean himself up, before leading him back to the elevator.
"Where are we going?" Logan asked, as they stepped out of the elevator onto the teachers wing.
"Jean has a gift for you," Marie replied, leading him down the hallway, and silently opening the door to what had been designated the mansion’s 'nursery'. This room was used for babies, or small children that were recovered from labs or abandoned, and needed more adult interaction and supervision than the dorms offered.
Silently crossing the room toward a crib in the corner, careful not to wake the two other children in the room, Marie carefully picked up a sleeping, dark haired, little boy, turning to hand him to Logan.
"What...?" he started to ask, pausing when Marie laid her hand on his arm and pushed more information into his head.
It turned out, Jean, the idiot, had forgotten she and Scott had decided to stop using birth control, in the hopes of starting their own family. Logan, being just so good at everything he did, had knocked her up first when she slept with him. She hadn't told anyone about her despicable actions but Scott had gotten suspicious at the close dates to his week out of town. Then the blue eyed newborns eyes had begun to change colour at around four months old, going a deep, dark hazel. He had confronted Jean with DNA results two weeks later that said he wasn't the father, demanding to know who was. The minute she let slip Logan's name, Scott walked out on her.
Logan stared at the baby in his arms, his son, his son with a woman he hated more than anyone on the planet. Hell, she had even managed to rank herself higher on his hate list than Magneto and Sabretooth, who both barely beat out the unknown scientists and lab workers who fucked him up and took his memories, but... it wasn't the kids fault.
Turning to Marie he clarified. "You want to take revenge on her by taking her kid?" he asked.
"She only kept him because she thought it would give her leverage to win you over, we can give him a better life, we can love him better," Marie replied, a soft smile turning up her lips, as she ran a finger over the child’s forehead, down his cheek and over his tiny little lips.
"It doesn't bother you that it's hers?" Logan queried uncertainly.
"You thought it was me, she made sure you thought it was me, so from your perspective, me and you made that baby, I don't care what his DNA says, I will love you, and I will love this baby, until the day I die," Marie stated, softly but decisively.
Without a word Logan slid his hand behind her head and pulled her forward, kissing her the way he had wanted to for so long. "I love you too Marie, and you're his momma, no matter what," he assured her.
A soft rustle behind them, turned their attention to the other occupants of the room. Before the little three year old, who was now blinking and staring at them sleepily, could make a sound, Marie turned to her and bobbed down.
"Hey sweetheart, it's time for you to be sleeping," she whispered softly.
"I need a pee pee," the little girl replied, yawning as Marie helped her out of bed and to the bathroom, before tucking her back into bed.
"Goodnight little one, sweet dreams," Marie said, kissing the little girl on her forehead as she closed her eyes with a smile and drifted off back to sleep.
Logan was waiting in the hallway, once she was sure the small child was back asleep, and not about to scream bloody murder and give them away. He took Marie's hand and led the way out of the building, the sleeping baby boy still in his arms. They ignored the motorcycle parked on the driveway, it had a tracker in it and neither of them wanted to risk the X-Men coming after them now.
Back at Marie's truck, Logan settled Marie into the passenger seat and handed her the baby, before he walked around the truck to drive.
"We'll need to stop somewhere for bottles and formula," Marie broke the silence, as the truck began to roll away, "He'll be hungry soon... and diapers, some more clothes, and a carseat," she listed off, turning to Logan with a soft smile. "I love you Logan, I'm sorry for running and not sorting this out, I'm sorry you were alone, and I'm sorry I was alone."
"That's all in the past Marie, hell if we'd figured this all out back then, and left then, we wouldn't have found him, all's well that ends well," Logan replied, reaching over the space between them to take her hand in his. "What are we going to name him?" he asked after a moment, watching the child sleep out of the corner of his eye. The kid was totally dead to the world but maybe that's what people meant when they said 'sleeping like a baby'.
"Jean named him--" Marie began.
"I don't give a flying fuck what that bitch named him, what are *we* going to name him?" Logan interrupted with a disgusted growl.
Marie got a dark little grin on her face before she replied innocently, "I like the name Jack."
Logan grinned. "I like that name too, nice, sturdy, easy to remember... and if Jean ever finds out she'll hate it," he said, echoing Marie's malicious thoughts.
They rolled down the dark highway, smiling and happy, with baby Jack snoring softly in Marie's arms, off to start the rest of their lives, together, as it should have been all along.