Chapter Fifty Three
Laura and Jubilee somehow manged to talk Logan into escorting them to the mall, to visit "Santa" with the babies. They knew it was the only way Lee would be comfortable at this point with them going to such a crowded place. Once the kids were all out of the house, Remy and Lee began wrapping. They were about a third of the way through the huge pile of gifts when someone knocked at the back door.
"Well, that's oddly familiar." Lee said as Remy helped her to her feet.
"What, no one comes to the door often." Remy replied, as he headed toward the kitchen.
"This time last year we were wrapping presents when Kitty came to the door, remember you fell on your face." Lee replied, not bothering to follow him. Remy nodded remembering after she mentioned it.
He answered the door to find Kitty,Rachel,Bobby, Rogue, and a rather large tree. He stared at them for a moment, while Kitty explained "We thought you guys probably needed a tree still, and we thought that it would be nice to get it for you so you wouldn't have to take the babies out in the cold to look for one, and if you don't want it they can always set it up at the school, but I haven't been Christmas tree shopping before and it was kind of exciting to pick one out, and I hope you don't mind."
"We got you a tree, Merry Christmas." Bobby translated, since Kitty had rushed it out so quickly that she had been hard to understand. Remy nodded and invited them in.
They carried the tree into the living room where Lee had returned to wrapping the gifts, after she had heard several voices, guessing the nothing was wrong. Remy asked them to hold on for a moment while he got the tree stand, which they had bought the other day, and was still in the closet.
While Bobby and Remy situated the trees, the women offered to help Lee wrap the presents, which she gladly accepted. Soon enough Remy had rejoined them with Bobby bowing out with the explanation of other things he had to deliver. Kitty followed him out, after a quick good bye. Rachel and Rogue stayed until everything was finished and put away, so Lee offered to have them for lunch.
They both agreed, so Remy held out his hand to help Lee off the floor again, while stating. "You gotta start sitting on the couch, what if I weren't here?"
"When aren't you here when I'm sitting on the floor?" Lee replied, before straightening her shirt which had ridden up slightly when he pulled her to her feet, and revealed a small baby bump.
"Actually, I'm going to have to take a rain check. I just remembered I promised to have lunch with Logan." Rogue said, standing as well.
"Logan's with the kids at the mall?" Remy said, as a question.
"Ororo I meant. I meant Ororo. I promised to help her in the greenhouse after. Maybe next time." Rogue replied, as she shrugged back into her coat. Rachel just stared on, as did Lee, but Remy frowned confused at her antics. Rogue quickly left through the front door and the others went into the kitchen to make lunch, Remy trailing behind them.
"That was weird, I thought she was having a good time." Remy said as Lee made them all sandwiches.
"She was." Lee replied, and Rachel nodded.
"Then what was that about? Ororo isn't even in town right now." Remy said, as he set the table.
"Being around Lee makes her uncomfortable at times. She is trying to be your friend and Lee's, but seeing the obvious state of Lee's pregnancy made her feel jealous so she left because she was worried she would start a fight." Rachel said.
"You read her mind or something?" Remy asked.
"No."Rachel said as Lee added. "I knew that too."
"How'd I miss it?"
"She's always jealous of Lee. Lee is raising this family, has a baby on the way, and is married to you. She has the life Rogue always wanted." Rachel said. "Never mind that she threw that life away, when it was given to her, she can't help how she feels."
"I'm not going to hold it against her, unless she tries to hold it against me." Lee added.
"I still don't understand how I missed it." Remy said.
"Because, you're are too close to the whole thing, and because your view of her is tainted by her actions, rightly so, but then you would never expect for her to feel that way, even though you accept that she regrets her choices." Rachel said. "And no no one told me anything, I figured it all out months ago, and have no intention of telling anyone else."
"Maybe she started seeing someone new, and just didn't want to mention it." Remy said, still having a hard time believing the women. Both women rolled their eyes at him, but dropped the matter.
Logan had a headache building. He wasn't sure if it was the noise or the smells, or just the over all crowding, but they had been at the mall for hours. It didn't help that Jubilee kept darting into stores, or that Anton was getting cranky. It started when it turned out that Adalyn was terrified of Santa, but had been steadily growing from there. He finally reached his breaking point, felt as almost a physical break, when the old woman scooped up Anton.
True she seemed harmless, and she set him right back down again. True Anton had slipped away from Jubliee's grasp and was dangerously close to the stairwell, even as they rushed toward him. He felt the vein in his forehead throb, and his heart rate quicken when he saw she scoop up the child. She was looking around as Jubilee caught up to them and picked the boy back up, as she scolded him for running off.
The woman saw Laura and Adalyn right behind Jubilee, and started to say. "Dears you really must watch children more carefully. Anything could have happened to him, and then what would you say to his parents? When I wa-"
"Is there a problem?" A security guard asked as Logan arrived his face brick red in barely control anger, misplaced though it was he would never admit even to himself that it was fear.
"This child nearly fell down the stairs." The woman explained. "As I was saying to his babysitter-"
"Don't tell me how to take care of my brother!" Jubilee said, offended. "He slipped away from me and I was chasing after him. You had no right to manhandle him, and then you jump all over me on top of it."
"I did not manhandle him,I rescued him, which would have been completely unnecessary if you had been watching him properly." The woman insisted.
"She was watchin him proper. He yanked away, she ran immediately after." Logan ground out, his head killing him which was not helping him keep his temper. Neither was the woman's perfume which was extremely strong, as Jubilee and Laura moved closer to him, he could smell it on Anton as well, which did nothing for his temper.
Jubilee, like Logan knew she had overreacted to the woman grabbing Anton. Even if she was a busybody, she wasn't trying to hurt or take the child. It didn't stop either of them from reacting to her grabbing him. The situation was starting to escalate, and the guard didn't help when he asked Logan's relationship to the children.
Logan didn't want to have to call Remy and Lee over this. He was hoping they would never hear about it at all. With this in mind, he used the easiest excuse he could think of, since Anton already handed it to him when trying to reach for him. " I'm their grandfather, and yes, the girls are adopted, no we don't make an issue of it in our family."Logan began. "I took the kids out for the day to give their parents a break, I didn't think it would become an issue."
The guard turned to the girls for confirmation, though he had clearly heard the toddler refer to Logan as "Papa" which he had recently begun doing. The girls confirmed his story, Jubilee going as far as to pull out her phone and show them the pictures on it which included him at their house. The guard decided that was good enough, since the only real issue here seemed to be that the child had ran ten feet after slipping away from his sister, and gave them all permission to leave.
The old lady who had grabbed Anton was told she was free to go as well, and glaring once more at the family she considered irresponsible, walked away. Logan rubbing his forehead led the children back to the car while mentally swearing never to go shopping in the mall at Christmas again.
Christmas at the LeBeau house found Lee safely past the first trimester. At sixteen weeks on Christmas day, it was for Lee, and Remy, another reason to celebrate. All of her losses had occurred prior to this, so while she was still high risk it was a huge step.
Lee's nightmares were ever present, though she was trying to pretend they weren't. She had learned by accident earlier this week that the baby calmed her. She felt him or her move for the first time following a nightmare. Somehow the soft fluttering was enough to cam her down instead of having to get up and wait it out.
Logan and the girls were glad that she had never learned about Anton's 'scare' at the mall, and had no intention of telling them. None of them wanted to see the panic such a story would cause for Remy and Lee, some days it felt like both of them were just hanging on by a thread.
Rogue had avoided them after she had helped with the wrapping that day, and Remy had begun to wonder if the other women were actually right about her behavior. He wasn't sure what to do about it, because though he did want them to remain friends, he didn't want either woman uncomfortable around the other. In the end he decided the best choice was to leave it be. He was surprised however when Rogue arrived early Christmas morning along with Logan who they had been expecting.
After the two had arrived, Remy decided they had forced the children to wait long enough to open their gifts. All four kids had been up since dawn. Which though wasn't unusual for Adalyn, the other three it had been pure excitement. Anton seemed to actually have some understanding this year, at least that all of the gifts under the tree were special.
Lee and Remy had informed them they had to wait until everyone was around, before Lee went to make breakfast and Remy had gone to dress the children. Jubilee and Laura were already dressed at this point and distracted as they sat around waiting for Logan.
With in moments of the adults giving them permission the kids were under the tree. The elder two made sure to hand out the gifts, while the younger two happily ripped up the paper with Remy and Lee's help.
As soon as everything was opened, and the kids had wandered off with their new things, Lee excused herself to take a nap. Logan looked concerned at this, before Remy shrugged it off, by saying that she got tired easily at this point.
Logan frowned further before asking. "Is she still having nightmares? Is her iron levels good? Is she coming down with something?"
"Logan, I was tired a lot at that stage too." Rogue supplied.
"The nightmares aren't going away any time soon. I know, and so do you. Her iron is fine, and she came down with 'pregnancy' and is expected to recover in a few months." Remy said. His final assessment meant to diffuse any hurt feelings over his shortness.
"You know what I meant." Logan grumbled. "Is she sleeping enough at night? Maybe she should begin her leave now. She can still come by the school, but just relax instead of trying to cook for everyone."
"She's fine. She'll tell me if it's too much, and I'll tell you. If you put her on leave now she'll feel like she's in the way. Please Logan, don't start in today, it's Christmas."
Logan nodded, reluctantly, before he wandered off to visit with the girls for a bit. Once he was gone, Remy thanked Rogue for her input. She nodded in return, as they both tried to think of a new topic. Ever since the others had told him Rogue was jealous he had both looked for the signs they seemed to see, and avoid saying anything that might make it worse. It was both a help and a hindrance to this plan that school was on break. He had only seen her a couple of times since then.
Rogue for her part, had been trying to avoid both LeBeaus. She knew she was being ridiculous in her jealousy. It didn't help her with how she felt though. Everyone was celebrating this child's upcoming arrival, and no one had said anything when it was her. True logically she knew that it was her own fault, and that she had hidden it from everyone. She still felt like it was unfair. Not that she would ever plan to voice these feelings.
Eventually they settled on a safe conversation about the roster for the upcoming term. They talked politely until Logan came to retrieve her and tell her it was time to get going. Rogue went to say good bye to the kids, before she and Logan left.
It wasn't until she was saying her good byes, that Remy finally saw what the others were talking about. The way she lingered with Adalyn, until the child babbled something about 'mama' not directed at Rogue. Then she quickly made her excuses about running behind, and was out the front door before Logan could grab his coat. Both men noticed the sheen of unshed tears in her eyes as she walked out.
"She needs therapy. More'n Lee does Logan." Remy said. "She needs someone who isn't us to tell her she'll be okay."
"I know. I've been trying to talk her into it." Logan replied. " She's walking around with her emotions all over the place."
Remy nodded, and vowed to talk to her about it the next time he say her. She needed to let it go, and forgive herself. She made her mistakes, but he didn't feel she needed to suffer like this, clearly as time past it bothered her more and more that she had given up her daughter. He hoped, still, that one day she would accept his offers to be an active part of Adalyn's life.