The pain between his ribs turned out to be a piece of debris from the building collapse, that had embedded itself on such an angle - or perhaps been worked onto that position by his long cross country hike - so as to not be able to be forced out by his healing factor. It took some painful manoeuvring before Jean was able to extricate the foreign object, Marie and Jean both chuckling in amusement as Logan sighed in relief when his body was finally able to heal up that spot completely and without pain.

"See, you feel better now, I give good advice, right?" Marie teased, after gently kissing the tender just healed flesh, before shifting to kiss him on his lips again.

"You do darlin," Logan replied, with a soft smile, dropping a second kiss of his own on her forehead as he hugged her close again.

"Any other tender spots that need checking out?" Jean checked, though she wasn't sure if Logan would answer honestly.

"Nope, nothing else that won't be fixed by a shower," Logan answered. "You going to let me go long enough for me to grab that?" he teased Marie, who was still wrapped in his arms.

"Hmm, maybe we could go together?" Marie suggested.

"Mm, I'd love that darlin but the baby's awake again and right now they need you more than we need each other, you pull baby duty while I shower, and I promise I'll make it up to you later," Logan murmured suggestively in her ear, as Marie too picked up on the muffled crying of one of the twins... strike that, both of the twins.

"All right but I'm going to hold you to that mister," Marie replied, squeezing him once more before they parted to move through the house to their objectives.

Logan finished his shower before Marie was finished tending to the twins, so he joined his family in the nursery, entertaining Suki with hugs and kisses, and storybooks, until the babies needed burping. Puking aside, that was one of his favourite activities with his babies he had discovered, cradling that tiny, satisfied little person against his chest, and gently patting their little back, as he rubbed his nose over the fuzzy, baby-scented head, as the milk drunk infant drowsed contentedly on him; there was little to beat the contented feeling that produced.

Once the littlest family members were clean, dry, and back to snoozing happily, it was time for the rest of the family to eat. Dinner was just being dished up. Then Logan took Suki outside, to run off as much energy as she could before bed time, though she spent most of her time running back and forward from her toys to her daddy for cuddles.


"Logan... I still don't get it... why did you never tell us about her, about your wife, your child?" Jean asked, once the youngsters were tucked up in bed, and Logan and Marie had joined the team back in the living room.

Logan sighed tiredly, he really didn't want to get into this right now, his explanation in his letter hadn't been entirely untruthful, he had hidden Marie mostly for her own protection. It was that other part of his reason for hiding her where the trouble would kick in for him. Marie smiled down at him softly, she had a slight grin on her face, almost like she knew what he was going to say; not that she could, he had never told her his true reason for not taking her to New York with him.

She settled down on his lap, cuddling up against his chest, as she listened to his heart thumping steadily, assuring herself he was still alive, as she waited for him to speak.

"When I met Marie... she was sixteen, I don't know what it was about her that was so different but I knew it was, I wanted to protect her, I wanted to hide her away from the world to just be mine, and so I did, the next summer, we got married, had to go before a judge and everything to get permission for us to get married because she was under Alaska's marriage license age restriction and didn't have parental consent... Marie was younger than some of my students at the school when Suki was conceived... I didn't think people would be particularly happy if I turned up at the school with a student age wife, and our kid, it was just easier, for everyone, to keep that part separate," he stated bluntly, catching Marie's little smirk morph into a full blown grin. "And it was safer, for my family, no one knew about them, I was always really careful to make sure no one followed me home... they could live their lives without having to worry about having the Brotherhood, or FOH, or the military breathing down their necks. And I was able to... tone down, to Marie, what exactly we did, so she wouldn't worry about me, if she'd seen day to day the aftermath of some of our missions she'd have always been worrying, I didn't want that..." Logan added. There were so many reasons why, some more even that he didn't know how to put into words, this explanation would do.

"It must have been so hard for you, not even being able to talk about them, and being so far away." Trust Kitty to be the empathetic, understanding one.

"Yeah KitKat, it was hard but the best things in life are usually the hardest to get, and to keep, my family's safety and comfort was my primary concern, I was willing to make sacrifices to see to that... and I'm going to make one more," Logan said, a new degree of seriousness entering his tone. He felt Marie stiffen next to him as her heart rate accelerated, and an edge of fear crept into her scent. "I'm breaking my contract Scott, I'm not coming back to the school, or the team, I've done my dash living that life, hell from what the Professor's been able to find out about me I've been a goddamn soldier for many lifetimes, Marie needs me now, the kids need me, they need to be my focus, and as much as I hate breaking my word, well... my word to my wife is more important. I'm sorry."

Marie breathed a barely audible sigh of relief, as she relaxed back against his side, he could scent her tears now but he knew they were 'happy tears', as she liked to call them. Surprisingly, Scott simply nodded in understanding and told him not to worry about it, they understood, they would miss him, and the door would always be open for him to return if he wanted to.

"Unless and until I return, could any records you hold on me at the school keep listing me as MIA, if anyone who shouldn't somehow gets their hands on those records... if people think I'm dead they're less likely to try looking for me," Logan requested.

"Sure, I guess that means you're going to be no contact going forward?" Scott queried, nodding in agreement at the sense of Logan's request.

"Yeah, for a while at least," Logan confirmed.

"I’m serious about you being welcome back Logan, and Marie, and the kids are welcome too, nobody will be anything but welcoming, now, you're probably right about the age thing, if you'd brought her over any younger there might have been a problem, but... it's clear you love each other very much, and your children are gorgeous, can't really object to it now," Scott added.

Logan grinned, he knew damn well what would have been said, not so much to him as to Marie, if he had turned up with a pregnant seventeen year old at the school, and he wasn't willing to risk losing her then, and definitely not now. "I love my family more than life itself One-eye, I’m not risking that for anyone, or so I thought, turns out I've been taking risks that I never appreciated before, that stops now, as does this conversation because I got to get this gorgeous woman into bed, now," Logan said, grinning down at Marie as she covered another exhausted yawn. He had no doubt the emotional rollercoaster of the last week must have worn her out to no end.

Everyone bid the pair goodnight, Logan stopping on his way out to check the two girls he had rescued were sleeping more or less comfortably. He was proud of them, they were tough little critters, he had had to travel slower than normal due to his own injuries but they had managed to keep up okay. They were going to be just fine once they got back to the school.


Closing their bedroom door behind them Logan wasn't at all surprised when Marie immediately wrapped herself around him, tugged his head down gently to kiss him softly but firmly, as her hands began to methodically strip his clothes.

"Not tonight darlin," Logan murmured into her hair, as he held her hands in place, kissing her tenderly all over her face. "Sleep first, that can come later, I'm not going anywhere," he assured her.

"I need you Logan, now, I've missed you so much, and then... then the thought of never seeing you again, I just... I need to feel you Logan, all of you, I need to know you're still with me," Marie begged, tears in her eyes as she spoke.

With a soft, understanding smile Logan gave in, he had missed her too, so much, and had been worrying about her non-stop the last two weeks, knowing the X-Men would likely beat him to her. Gently he took over the lead, and began to methodically strip them both before picking Marie up and depositing her on the bed.

After Marie finally drifted off to sleep contentedly an hour later, Logan lay awake and just watched her sleep, the gentle rise and fall of her chest, and listening to the steady patter of her heart. He fell asleep himself not long after, his world wrapped up in his arms.
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