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The Loss
Chapter 14

disclaimer:  see chapter 1

Logan opened his eyes to the familiar sight of the gray metallic ceiling in the med lab.  He could hear the low hum of the generator and the slight hiss of the oxygen tube in his nose.  The lights had been dimmed, and it was probably night time.  His butt was sore from lying on the hard table.  He decided to have it out with Jean, to get her to install softer beds.


He then heard a familiar voice.  "Logan?  Welcome back, old friend."  It was the gentle voice of the professor.  Logan turned his head to see the man seated next to him, a warm smile on his face.  "How do you feel?"


Logan sighed, feeling the tubing and wiring and bandages covering his once injured, now healed body.  "Jean outdid herself this time."  He paused when he felt an odd sensation.  He looked down, and carefully lifted the sheet covering him.  He saw what was causing him so much discomfort.  His head flopped back onto the small pillow.  "You have got to be kidding me.  A catheter?  I'll bet she got a big kick out of putting that in."


He looked back at Xavier, and saw the man blush slightly.  "You have been unconscious for several days.  I believe she felt it necessary."


"Several days?  Like how many?"


"Four.  You were in bad shape when we got you back here.  You had lost a great deal of blood.  You suffered a very severe wound.  Your heart stopped briefly, causing us a bit of distress to say the least."


Logan looked back at the ceiling.  "My heart stopped?  Shit.  Well, at least it started beating again."  He absently rubbed at his still tender stomach.


"Yes.  Much to our relief.  But then, we had little doubt that it would.  It was right after Francis punched you that it began to beat once more."


Logan raised an eyebrow.  "The kid punched me?"


"Yes.  He has quite a powerful arm."


It was then they both heard a loud snort.  Logan turned his head and saw the boy seated in a chair, head back, mouth open, snoring loudly.  Logan smiled, and had to wince at the boy's position.  "He's gonna have a stiff neck."


"He's been there since we brought you back.  And so have Maggie and Toni.  In fact, I just sent them up above to get something to eat."


With his eyes still on Francis, he responded.  "Maggie and Toni?  Why?"


"It seems Maggie feels responsible for your injuries.  She wants to have a few words with you, when you get better."


Logan smiled.  "I'll bet she does."  He thought for a moment.  "Those two were down here?  They know?"


"Yes.  They both do.  We could not keep it from them any longer.  Toni was extremely worried about Francis, and you.  She handled herself quite well.  As did your son."


Logan's heart jumped, and a feeling of sadness swept over him.  He slowly turned his head to the man in the wheelchair.  Xavier lowered his head, and sighed.


"Yes, I know what he told you.  We will have to wait and find out the results of-"


Logan cut him off.  "Shh.  Do what you have to, but don't say a word to anyone.  No one has to know."


"I understand."  He sighed again.  "Well, I will let you get some rest.  I can send some sandwiches in, if you feel up to it."


"Sounds good."


Logan watched his friend glide from the room, and then turned to Francis, who was still snoring loudly.  He reached out his hand, and gently touched the boy's arm.  Francis jumped and yelled.  "WHAT!!"


Logan giggled a bit, seeing the wild, not quite awake look in the boy's eyes.  He rubbed his neck and then his eyes, and finally focused on his father's face.


"Hey!  It's about time you woke up.  How ya feel?"


Logan grinned and closed his eyes.  "Like shit."


Francis leaned forward, and Logan opened his eyes again, seeing the dark bruise on the side of the boy's face.  "You were out for a long time.  You were so pale, you were almost gray.  I thought you were dead."


"I hear you punched me."


Francis winced and reddened.  "Yeah.  I got mad at you when your heart stopped beating.  I guess I got carried away.  Sorry."


"No harm done."  He turned to the boy, and found him studying his face.


"What did Sabertooth mean when he said 'son or no son' and 'I'll just make another one'?  Was he talking about me?"


Logan thought for a moment.  He hadn't realized that Sabertooth had said anything like that to the boy, or that Francis would make the connection.  "I don't know.  He was just ranting."


"No he wasn't.  Don't lie to me."  Logan could see an intensity in the boy's eyes he had never seen before.  "He was talking about me.  He was saying that I'm..."  His voice trailed off.


Logan's stomach knotted.  "I don't know what he was saying.  You can't trust him.  He could have been saying stuff to make you mad.  Or me."


Francis lowered his head, and leaned back.  "My hair is the same color as his."  He looked up now, the saddest he had ever looked.  "I know that my dad wasn't really my dad.  That's why he left.  My mom was always screwing around."  He paused and sighed.  "She really sucks, you know that?"  His eyes lost their focus for a moment.  "No wonder she did what..."  His voice trailed off.


Logan needed to stop this, for both their sakes.  "Hey, it changes nothing.  Nothing at all.  We don't know anything yet.  It just doesn't matter anymore."


Francis gave what Logan knew was a fake smile.  "I know.  Doesn't change a thing."  He grew silent, and again his eyes lost their focus, his smile fading.  "They didn't find him.  He wasn't there when the cops showed up.  How'd he get away?  I thought I kil-"  He swallowed hard.


"I don't know.  Don't worry about it.  He won't mess with you again."


The door to the med lab slid open, and Toni and Maggie walked in, and noticed Logan was now awake.  Both smiled widely.  Toni bounced to Francis and hugged him.  Francis again wore the phony smile.


Maggie strolled to the bed side.  "About time you woke up.  I figured I'd bake something, and maybe your super sensitive nose would wake you up.  How you feel?"


Francis wrapped his arms around his girlfriend as she slid into the chair next to him.  "He feels like shit."


Logan felt empty now.  He knew, by looking at his son, that this time the kid was not going to bounce back so easily.  If the information was true, it would be devastating.  He gave the boy enormous credit, for putting on a brave face.  He wanted to spare all those he cared for his enormous sorrow and pain.  Suddenly, he was a boy no longer.


"Here, if you're up to it, a nice warm oatmeal cookie.  And I have sandwiches for everyone."  Maggie shoved a cookie into Logans mouth, and placed the tray she carried on the table, before grabbing a sandwich for herself, and seating herself next to the two teenagers, for a long chat about what they had been through.



Chapter 15

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