Jubilee closed her eyes and lay back against the pillow, head nodding off to the side. Her hands rested on her abdomen, carefully avoiding her rib cage and any possible pain involved with touching it.
"You okay J?" Bobby whispered, his hand clenched against the chair backing. "D'ya need something?"
"No." one hand clenched a card of Sailor Moon tightly as she shook her head softly on the white cotton. "I don't need anything. Well I do, but you won't let me have it."
"What...?" Bobby stared questioningly at her and then realized what she was saying. "J, we all love you. And we do care..."
"No really, we do. It's just that you were so strong and were able to take care of yourself for so long before we came along, and all of us thought you could do it again ... after ... uh, after Bastion..."
"Do you know everything about what happened? Is Hank blurting to everyone yet?" Jubilee's face became bitter and her hands clenched on her stomach, trying not to shake with terror at her secret being known.
"J, I had t' beg for him to tell me anything. I care about you. I woulda missed you if you'd made it. You can't leave me alone here again." A tear slipped from Bobby's eyes and he wiped it away desperately. "Don't leave me J."
"Bobby..." Jubilee opened her sapphire eyes in pain and looked at the older boy beside her bitterly. They were like brother and sister, oldest and youngest in the pair and linked through stupidity and practical jokes to each other. But Jubilee still saw past it to the family that had abandoned her when she'd needed them.
"I didn't know it bothered you that much. Here I was thinking that I was a pain in the ass and got in the way to much for everyone's comfort. Thanks for showing me the difference between your pain and mine." she replied sarcastically. Her hurt was evident in her voice and she covered her face with her hands so that he couldn't see the shame and confusion that masked her face at the attack.
"J, I know I deserve that. And I think you should rest now." Bobby stood and moved to help her lay down again so she could sleep. "Logan'll be back soon and he'll be mad at me if you're awake..."
"No, it hurts too much. I had to be totally checked out today and Hank hasn't come to give me any sleeping pills yet. I'm in too much pain from the tests..."
Bobby grimaced at her light weight and looked away, out the window to the pond below. He could see the distant specks of two people sitting on the dock, but the features where indistinguishable. Shaking his head, he patted Jubilee's hand and kissed her forehead. "I really would have missed you."
Kitty gave a small smile behind her hands, almost giggling at the easy way she'd convinced Logan to come out of his room when all the others from the team had abandoned the idea. Now she'd get to spend time with Logan and help him stay sane while Jubilee didn't get him all to herself. But a thought still rang out true and clear in her head and she struggled to push it back and remain calm and cool as she looked at Logan. The stubborn thought pushed at her and she resolved to ignore the pangs of guilt.
"Jealousy leads to selfishness." the thought said, ringing almost painfully.
"Kitty? What's wrong?" Logan asked gruffly, glancing at her.
"Nothing. Just thinking."
"You wanna say hi to Jubilee? Bobby's watching her, so even though she shouldn't be, she's probably still awake..."
"No. We don't really get along with each other. I'd probably make her worse..." Kitty stuck her toe in the water and swirled it around to the fish playfully.
"Kitty, you should try to get along with her."
"Logan, she does everything for attention and then berates me for doing anything like talking to you. This is just a show to grab everyone's attention and I'm not falling for it." Kitty stopped suddenly and closed her eyes, feeling the emotions in the air change to anger. She hadn't meant for her conversation with Jean and Storm to get to her, but it evidently had and now she'd hear about her selfish thoughts.
"Don't ever say anything like that again." Logan growled menacingly, the hair rising on Kitty's neck. "Jubilee may do thing's for attention at times, but to make something as major as suicide attempts and torture into something so trivial is unnecessary. The reason she does thing's for attention is because every family she trusted left her alone and she feels she needs to do something to keep them. She went through hell Kitty and I wasn't there. Now, it's my job to bring her back."
With that said, Logan stood angrily and stormed away from Kitty, leaving the young girl to sit and stare at his retreating back, angry as hers had been only the other day. Sighing miserably, a sob escaped her throat and she covered her face with her hands again, crying to the goldfish below.
Bobby looked up as the door to Logan's room opened and Remy slipped inside. Remy watched Bobby's face as he slipped to Jubilee's side and planted a kiss on her uncut cheek softly, watching for signs of pain on her face. Jubilee looked up at him angrily and moved her face away, avoiding his gentle touches.
"What be wrong petite?" Remy sat down on the bed and looked at the tiny, almost weightless body in front of him. "You in a lot o' pain?"
"D'you want me to go an' fetch Hank from his lab work?" he asked, glancing at Bobby.
"I want Logan to be here. He promised he'd be back in an hour..." Jubilee started to cry, the silver tears dropping rapidly down her cheeks to the bed sheets. She struggled to roll onto the healthier side of her body and Bobby helped her carefully, feeling the cracked ribs stretch and move under his fingers. She curled into a ball and sobbed into her hands as the two men helplessly looked on. "He promised..."
Jubilee cut her sentence off as the door opened and Logan walked quickly into the room, anger and pain written into the lines on his face. He stopped at the foot of the bed and looked at the Cajun team mate on her left side. "What're ya doing here?"
"I came to visit wit' de girl..." Remy stood and looked down at the weeping figure below him. Jubilee curled up as tight as her broken body would allow and sobbed, her actions speaking volumes of her mental state at the current moment. Bobby stood and went to the door. "But we'll go now. She was asking for you, Logan."
Logan nodded and took Bobby's seat in the chair, facing Jubilee as she cried quietly against her thin hands. Her body shuddered and she moved away as Logan reached out to brush her hair back. The two men left and Logan stared at the little child in front of him, feeling her pain and wondering why Kitty would say such things about her. "Jubes, it's okay ... you're okay..."
"Please ... why did ... y-you have to save me? I wanted ... t-to die..." Jubilee stuttered on and Logan sat back in the chair, watching her. "I don't ... w-want to feel ... this way ... a-anymore..."
"J, I had t' save you, like you'd do ... you did ... fer me. You're like my kid and I have to make sure you get better 'cause I love ya." Logan wiped a tear away and focused on Jubilee, watching her stop and look at him. "I couldn't survive without ya. You tamed me too long ago."
She smiled a bit at the lecture he'd given her when she'd found a baby bird and wanted to keep it and thought back to that memory with ease.
"J, the bird has to go back. If you raised it, it wouldn't be wild anymore. They can't survive well at this age without their family and you'd have tamed it too much to go back if ya kept it."
"But, I could keep it as a wild bird."
"No, the bird's just learnin' t' fly and you can't teach it that. It's an animal and you'd tame it and it would never be able to survive without you."
And now, Logan was using the same speech for himself and her. She'd gotten him used to having her around and if she wasn't there, he couldn't survive.
"I don't want these feelings anymore..." she croaked, tears welling in her eyes again. "I want to die and leave them behind. I don't want to know what happened anymore..."
Logan was speechless at the chord these struck inside him. Reaching out to wipe the tears from her cheeks, he recoiled as she pulled away from him with a gasp and continued to cry.
"Please don't touch me...I don't want to hurt anymore..." she sobbed and clutched her doll to her chest.
(Written by Nova Zion)
Hank shut the door to Logan's room and glanced upon the small crowd of worried faces, wishing he had better news.
"She's asleep," he said, bringing the best news first. "I gave her some sedatives and she is no longer in pain." He sighed. "However ... I believe Samuel Butler was mistaken when he first said 'He that is down can fall no lower,' It seems she has regressed in her emotional healing. The window in her room is being fixed tomorrow, and I believe it will be better for her to be in familiar surroundings. Logan, I also think it best if you continue to stay with her, at least most of the time. We can put a cot in her room for you to sleep on, just for reassurance, should she awaken in the night. Jean, have Jubilee's things arrived from Massachusetts?"
The redhead nodded somberly. "The boxes are in her room, though they aren't yet unpacked. Do you want us to...?"
"Please. If you could arrange things as closely as she had them originally, when she was still staying with us, I think it would do her well."
The audience dispersed, and Hank began to make his way back to the Med Labs, when Logan caught him by the arm. "Will she be all right?" he asked, overwhelming concern for the small girl in his indigo eyes.
The doctor hung his head, not wanting to see the other man's reaction as he stated simply, "I would not leave her alone while awake, Logan." With that, he moved down the hall and away from the man whose world he had just slipped from beneath him.
Shattered glass had been vacuumed from the plush carpet, curtains that had snagged and torn on the jagged glass removed and tossed, so all that remained of the horrible incident of but a week prior was the irregular shards of broken glass planted firmly in the window frame, and the gaping hole between them that let in the blistering breeze.
Flicking open the pocket knife, Jean made quick work of the clear packing tape that sealed the five medium - sized boxes that had been shipped from Massachusetts. She recognized Paige Guthrie's handwriting across the tops, and thought how troubling this must be for the members of Jubilee's former team; to learn that she had attempted suicide and would not be returning. If she knew Jubilee, the girl had instantly endeared herself to the hearts of everyone there, just like she had here. Snapping the knife shut once more, she could imagine the Kentucky blonde slowly packing her roommates things, other members of Generation X standing around in silence, watching, all of them either weeping or close to it.
Opening the first box, the psi discovered bright clothing, all neatly folded and pressed, and this box, she passed to Sabine, who waited by the dresser. The next box was also clothes. The third and fourth boxes contained various personal items; an ET alarm clock, Sailor Moon candle, Pokemon sheets, a Winnie the Pooh jewelry box full of assorted earrings, all very overstated. Each item was carefully removed and placed in its proper place; the bed stripped and remade, stuffed animals clustered around the bedside lamp, CDs placed in a holder beside the desk. When Jean finally reached the fifth and final box, she was emotionally drained from the task and picking up heavy psychic signatures on each item she touched. Those of Generation X. They missed her dearly, she could tell.
Seeing her mental distress, Sabine moved toward the other woman and placed a hand on her shoulder. "Let me," she said softly. "You go rest."
Relieved, the tall, fiery woman nodded and stood, turning to leave when she heard, "Oh mah God!" uttered from her friend as she opened the box. Facing the room once more, Jean looked up in time to see a shiny Mylar balloon float to the ceiling, confetti printed across the face and the words, 'We Love You!' in bright pink over it. From the box, the southern belle pulled a banner that was curled into a tight tube, and Jean returned to help her unroll it. In neat blue, 3-D hand-drawn letters, the words, 'WE MISS YOU!!' shouted cheerfully, with various signatures and comments in neon colors proclaiming that the statement was true. The psi recognized but a few of them -- those of Generation X. The rest, she supposed were from the non-mutant students at the academy, those who had also been touched by Jubilee's buoyant personality. Tears came to both women's eyes as they removed the remaining items from the box, including several merrily wrapped gifts, two big stuffed teddy bears, and a large pile of cards, ranging from tastefully hand-made to expensively bought.
"I wish..." Jean found herself saying, but was unable to end the sentence.
"Ah know," Sabine murmured softly, a rueful smile touching her lips, "but at least the kids still know how ta brighten a gal's day."
(Written by Dana Night)
As pain re-registered in Jubilee's mind, she opened her eyes and tears welled up. Memories raced across her brain, searching for the cause of the aching ribs, spine, neck and the cuts in her back and face. I should be dead, not here anymore, she remembered sadly. A shadow loomed over her and she whimpered, curling up as much as possible without the sharp stings.
"Easy Jubes, easy." Logan grabbed the hands that once again threatened to fire against him and curled them up near her face so she could see he wasn't trying to hurt her. "It's okay darlin'..."
"Don't...no..." she whispered quietly, the pain evident in her eyes. The regularly bright electric blue was dull and unfocused, her mind having pulled away to another time for the moment. "Please ... don't!"
As her voice got louder, Logan struggled to keep her hands from firing the hot pyrotechnics at him, holding them tightly. She settled, her face curled into the soft pillow as if asleep again. Logan could hear her heart beating erratically, pounding as she struggled to calm herself. Logan let go of her hands and she clutched at her hair, sobbing quietly as he watched on, unsure of what to do for the first time in his life. He pulled away and sat at the edge of the bed, watching her work through the nightmare.
"Wolvie?" Jubilee lifted her tear-stained face to him wearily and reached for his hand, groping the sheets blindly as he held out his massive paw. She moved a little closer and he wrapped his arm around her, pulling her close as she sat up to be nearer to his comforting bulk. "I'm sorry..."
"No, it's okay. It was just a nightmare." he patted her shoulder lovingly. "I get them too sometimes."
Jubilee sniffled a bit and touched her cheek. "It's going away, isn't it?"
Logan lifted her head, as he had the night before, and inspected her face. "Be gone in a week. It's just the cut that's gotta clean itself up, the bruise's green now." He sighed. "But, ya gotta get better on the inside before we can trust ya alone again."
Shaking her head, Jubilee tightened her grip on his hand sleepily and wiped her nose whispering, "I don't know if I can get better again."
"You will, but it'll take a while. Look at me, darlin'. I got messed up just as bad as you a long time ago and I'm not totally better. And people still don't trust me alone all the time." Jubilee curled up against him, her head on his lap as he brushed her hair away from her eyes. She was desperately holding onto his words, but he knew they were slurring in her mind as she fell into the folds of sleep. "The important thing is that I'll be here to help you out, since I know how."
Eyes fluttering, Logan picked her up from the bed, cradled her and walked her over to the window, holding Jubilee so she could see the sinking sun and the rising night sky. "Tomorrow we'll go outside and see everything. Hank's got you a wheelchair and he'll give ya something to travel with."
"I ... love ya ... Wolvie." Jubilee mumbled between a yawn. "Don't ... let me ... go..."
"I won't..." Logan sank back down on the bed and lay her under the covers, pulling them to her chin softly. He couldn't help but feel something wrong in the air, but he dismissed it quickly, knowing she would be safe with him if anything came their way. Settling down on the battered, shredded couch, he sat and watched her for a long time, just staring as she breathed each breath and tensed and un-tensed with the horrendous nightmares that must plague her mind nightly after the experiences she had gone through.
Remy leaned back on the bay window in his bedroom, a smoking cigarette dangling from his lips. Inhaling, he exhaled without motion, the smoke making clouds of white in his room. Cracking the window, stifling heat blew through the room, and he wondered if they'd ever get rain again, judging by the heat searing through the grounds for the past three days. The grass was still green, the pond water providing sprinkler water for it, but Remy was sure it would be brown and dead if it hadn't been for that.
"Come in." he whispered as an almost silent knock sounded on the wooden door. Bobby cracked the door and entered, closing it silently behind him. The slightly older man walked up to him at the window and sat across, fidgeting in his seat. His hair was messy and his pyjamas wrinkled, giving the appearance of sleep, though Remy knew he hadn't had a wink that night.
"What happened with Jubilee today?" Bobby whispered, looking the Cajun in the eye.
"The petite started cryin'." he answered, watching the other man's face for any sign of emotion. It filled his eyes, the crystal depths watering with pain. Sitting up a bit, Remy swung his hair over his shoulder and threw the cigarette butt out the window. "She 'ad some memories come up, I can tell."
"Yeah, but I mean ... is she ... okay?" Bobby turned his head to stare out the window, watching the pond shimmer outside. "Will she ever be ... Jubilee again?"
"She had a nervous breakdown, Bobby. She be okay, jus' don' know when. Logan'll take good care t'ough and she get better, you see."
"Remy, she's tried twice to commit suicide."
"How?" Bobby stared incredulously at the demon eyes, searching for his source of the knowledge. "Hank won't tell anyone, I had to look for myself while she was playing with the cards I gave her..."
"I foun' out de same way. I tol' her, don't worry, Remy keep your secret 'cause I know what it feel like to be dis way." the Cajun replied softly, briefly touching his own wrists where once scars had been. "She prob'ly mad at herself, everyone who didn't let her die, de world, de memories and some oder stuff."
"Oh. Well, I just wanted to know if she'd be okay again, you know, Jubilee." Bobby stood and began to walk toward the door, scratching his head thoughtfully.
"She will. An' Bobby? It ain't your fault she started cryin' dis afternoon. Findin' out people care when you t'ink dey don' get you goin', you know?"
The sun rose all too soon, splashing the ground with white-gold. The stifling breeze was cooler, but still hot, another unbearable day upon them. But the horizon held dark, black clouds, filled with rain and speeding towards them; Logan knew it would soon be drenching them, afternoon probably.
"J, ya wanna go outside?" he asked the little girl who, for the last half hour, had stared at him with lifeless eyes and fidgeted with the pillow as he lay on the couch. She had refused any offers of help or games, just content for the moment to lay still and not do anything except watch Logan as he rested.
"I dunno..." she muttered, blinking. Her bony fingers played with the pillowcase, twisting it and untwisting it. Black circles marred her under eyes, making her face seem whiter than it already was.
"Well darlin'? We could go and look. It's gonna rain soon."
"Okay then." she watched him as he sat up on the couch, stretched and walked to the door to get Hank. from his room, where he had moved his computer research to be closer to Jubilee in case of crisis. Stopping as the door opened, Logan spun around and watched as Jubilee sat up with ill ease and swung her legs over the edge of the bed, waiting for him. Pain marked her face and she held the rib that caused the most aches, clutching the bed as waves of dizziness washed over her. Hank had said not to leave her alone, but he would just be down the hall and she couldn't reach anything without him seeing. Turning again, he quickly went to Hank's door and knocked, asking him to come to his room with the wheelchair.
(Written by Nova Zion)
"Good morning, Jubilee."
Dizziness washed over the girl as she snapped her head to the right to find Katherine Pryde lounging on Logan's battered couch, a teasing smile playing on her lips. Jubilation knew she should be apologizing for all the times she had been angry at the older girl for no reason; for all the times they had fought and squabbled, but she couldn't find it in her. Only the words, "Look what the cat dragged in," emitted, low and strangled, from her cracked lips, and somehow, she held Kitty's gaze until the other girl broke it off.
"Actually, I came to bring you breakfast," the brunette said softly, looking down at a tray she had set on the floor when she had phased up. "Coffee and toast. I figured you liked your brew doctored, so I made it blonde and sweet, with a touch of vanilla. Logan's is black." Picking up the tray, she stood and crossed the small room to set it on the bedside stand, clearing the dishes from the night before as she did.
Again, the apologies struggled to be put to words, but pride kept them at bay. "Why?" was all the small girl could muster.
Hazel eyes clouded with sadness, she shrugged, looking away. "Because it's apparent I won't get to share coffee with him; there's no reason you shouldn't." Thoughtfully, she picked up the Bamf doll that Illyana had given the small girl and examined it closely before laying it back down on the pillow, saying wistfully, "They always did like you more." With that, dirty dishes in hand, she sank into the carpet like a beautiful early-morning phantom.
Closing her eyes and feeling her heart throb in pain for the older girl, Jubilee drooped back onto the sheets, which now had a musty smell to them that had nothing to do with the fact that they adorned Logan's bed, but rather that a very ill girl had slept in them for the past week, and she curled into a tight, fetal ball, ignoring the pain that this created. All this time. All she had wanted to do was die, and now all she *was* doing was taking. Taking precious time that Wolvie could be spending with Kitty. Precious time that Hank could be spending to work on the Legacy Virus cure. Precious time that the other members could be using to go out and have fun, especially in these last waning days of summer.
Voices could be heard outside the door, and it burst open to reveal a flushed, furious Hank, followed closely by a very concerned and chastised-looking Wolvie. She barely looked up at their entrance, only hated herself further as the blue physician turned to her mentor and scolded, "You are lucky, Logan, that this child is not in worse condition than this. It only takes a few moments to commit suicide, especially when one has been planning to do so for some time."
Logan ignored him, rushing to her side. "Darlin', are ya all right?" She didn't answer, and the scent of coffee and toast filled his senses, bewildering him a moment until he spotted the tray on the night stand.
"Where'd this come from, J?" he asked, though he really didn't need to; his other surrogate daughter's scent filled the room as if she were standing before him.
"Kitty," the girl replied tearfully, squeezing her lifeless blue eyes shut as a tear trailed down her cheek to drip into her ear.
"Kitty...God, Hank, I promised her I'd have coffee with her." Weary hands reached up to scrub a face lined with ancient creases, and he wondered just what to do.
"It would seem that Jubilation is in dire need of your attentions at this moment," the doctor responded. "And it would do her well to take a lengthy promenade through the grounds of this affluent establishment, especially since it would appear that precipitation will fall before the sun's meridian."
Hank sighed. "Jubilee needs you now. Take her for a walk before it rains. Kitty is a strong girl; mentally sound. She can live without you for a few hours. I shall talk to her, if you like. And once the rain has begun, you may go to her and leave Jubilee in the fine care of one of her other former teammates. Shall I go get the wheelchair?"
Logan hesitated, hating to have to decide between his two girls. A promise was a promise, and he never went back on his word, especially to Kitty. But from the bed, there came the soft, moaning wail, "I just want to die."
(Written by Dana Night)
Logan went to the bed and sat down, rubbing Jubilee's back as the lifeless eyes stared ahead, the fingers clenched into fists and her lips cracked from not eating or drinking since the flight through the window. Logan knew he never broke promises for Kitty, but every time he'd made a promise to Jubilee, who was younger, more alone, he'd never kept it. He knew that if he left now to join Kitty, he'd just be breaking another promise, one which now mattered because it held the little child before him from finding her wishes.
"Go get the chair Hank and tell Kitty that I'll come for coffee around lunch time." Logan watched Jubilee shudder and she turned her head to meet his eyes. Turning to the furry man before he left, he called out, "And get Jeannie t' come up too."
"I shall return to your company in but mere minutes." Beast called as he exited Logan's room and bounced down the hall towards the stairs.
"Can't he ever talk in English?" Logan muttered, stroking Jubilee's hair down from the ever-persistent cowlicks that had graced it for the last few days. "Jeannie can help ya get washed up and dressed and I'll make the wheelchair nice fer ya."
"No." Jubilee pushed his hand away from her head and stared at the corner behind his head, waiting for a response from him.
"Why not darlin'? Ya wanna go like that?" Logan waved a hand at her and watched her blank face for a sign of emotion. Sighing, he closed his eyes and searched for something to say, anything to take away the anger and pain pouring off of her. "I said I'd help ya and I'm not leaving you alone."
"I take up too much of everyone's time. If I'd just gone back to the Academy, you'd all have something else important to do instead. I'm not that big of a deal and I'm not supposed to be here. I want to be dead and let you get on with your lives." Jubilee pulled away again and Logan grabbed her wrist as gently as possible, stopping her from blasting him away.
"I could never get over losing ya Jubilation. Never. No matter what you think, you matter to me and to everyone in this house. Everyone would be affected by your death and to think they wouldn't is wrong. If you died, I'd leave this team again and never come back."
"Fine, whatever." she saw the hurt that it put in his eyes and hung her head, not wanting to see.
"I know that bothers ya Jubes, no matter what ya say. Someday when yer better, I'll take ya away from here, just us two fer a while." Logan pulled her into a hug and she complied, wrapping her arms around his back and locking them. Logan was once again amazed at how thin she was, the knots in her spin poking into his arms as he hugged her. He rubbed a hand up and down her back to reassure her as she let out a sob into his shoulder.
"Ya can say whatever ya want to get people away from you J, but I know how ya really feel. I've been there, you can't hide it from me. Remy's been there, he knows what you feel like right now. If you ever think we don't care about you, ask one of us and we'll smack some sense into ya. Once yer better of course."
"You don't treat me like you care." she whispered into his neck, breathing in his aftershave with a strangled sob. "Yer like my parents. You always promise me things and you always say you love me, but you break all those promises and you don't act as though anything I do affects you..."
Logan stopped rubbing her back, choked by her words. "Jubes..."
"No. You think that I can just be told something and sent away to the corner until I'm needed again. You've promised me so many times that you'd take care of me and never let anything hurt me..." she paused and lifted her shirt to her ribs, grateful for the matching shorts she wore. She touched the light scars across her belly and sobbed again, the bony fingers clenching her stomach.
"And then you let something like this happen...and you think that this was just a problem to get over..." she showed her wrists to him and then dropped her shirt back down and touched her face. "And that this will all magically go away again like it did all those other times. Let me tell you something Wolvie...this isn't the second time I've tried to kill myself. This is the fifth time! I was committed when I was younger because I tried to off myself so many times!" she finally stopped spewing out her hurt and anguish and huddled in the corner, watching him for the disgust she thought would come into his eyes at her truthful revelation.
"Why?" he asked, moving back on the bed to sit near her. Shocked at his wanting to know, she moved a bit and began to fiddle with the drawstrings on her pants, waiting for him to get comfortable. "Why did you try it when you were little?"
"'Cause my parents didn't love me." she whispered. "I heard my father say it when he was talking to my mom. They didn't want me and they wanted to send me away to my aunt and uncle in China. I was a mistake that they didn't want and they never even thought of pretending to love me."
Logan didn't know what to say. The anger coursed red and fiery through his veins and he would have killed the Lee's if they hadn't already been murdered. "When did you do it?"
"When I was ten. I stopped eating until I weighed so little that they had to notice because the school sent me home from fainting. My dad punished me, but all my mother did was stuff me until I threw up. She didn't mean to, but she didn't know how to take care of me, so I just got worse knowing she didn't love me and all I was, was a burden to her because she was supposed to be busy."
"When did you do it again?" Logan wrapped an arm around her back, but the little girl was lost inside herself, staring ahead blankly as she recalled her horrifying life of neglect and suffering. Tears filled Logan's eyes and he wiped them away as she absently put an arm around his waist, leaning against his shoulder like they used to do when she was on the X-Men team.
"A month later. I cut my wrists. Those are the scars you saw, not from Zero Tolerance." she fingered the pale purple welts on her skin without looking. "I used my dad's letter opener when I was supposed to be playing in my room but I pressed too hard. He found out it was missing and came upstairs, calling my mom. She started yelling that I was staining the carpet and my dad called the hospital to come and get me. I woke up in the hospital bed with my wrists in casts and they were signing the papers in my room to send me to China with my family. They took me home that night and then they were murdered."
"J, I'm sorry this had to happen to you..." Logan stroked her hair as tears slipped down her face, but she stared straight ahead still and clutched his shirt, wetting the fabric with salty water.
"And then I went to the Juvenile Hall and I was stuck with a girl who said she wanted to kill me. I knew she had a knife so I teased her and she stabbed into my ribs, but a guard broke it up and I was stitched up, good as new." Jubilee snapped out of her thoughts and buried her head into Logan's side, sobbing. "And then I came here...and everybody treated me nice and I got you to take care of me, but you left and they sent me away. And Bastion got me and gave me the operation and let the guards do whatever they wanted to me and nobody knew..." she started to pull away from Logan, sure he was disgusted with her, but he pulled her back, knowing she needed any kind of love right then. He hugged her and she finally gave in tightening her grip around his neck. Logan felt her shaking in his hold and she began to whimper in hurt as he sat with her, the sun rising in the sky.
"And then I was alone at the Academy and I called and you wouldn't even come and visit me unless the whole team came. And I missed you so much. You were the first person who loved me, but you broke your promises just like everyone else. So when I came here again, I decided to try again, but you found me...and now I'm being selfish, just like I was with my parents. You have better thing's to do than watch me. Let me die if you don't care enough to love me." she shook harder, beginning to hyperventilate. "I suppose you think I'm just a crazy mess now? Go ahead, you can tell me how disgusting I am. My parents made sure I knew after I tried to kill myself there. They told me I was a waste of time and they made sure I knew how much of a mess I was..."
(Written by Nova Zion)
Kitty turned from the ominous clouds that hovered in the east, a refreshing breeze carrying the scent of rain upon Hermes' winged heels; carrying long-awaited relief from the stifling September heat; carrying the small, garbled cries of the small girl in the room above her. Deep inside, she felt horrible for what she had done, and yet she hadn't been able to help it.
She had waited there for what had seemed like hours, coffee growing tepid, watching the sun rise brilliantly over the eastern horizon, shimmering red through the dark clouds before turning a bright silvery gold, wondering when Logan would come. He had promised, and he never broke his promise. But as the house began to stir, she had heard voices coming from where she knew Logan's room was, and the slow, dawning realization that she had been forgotten hit her like a Tiananmen tank.
Standing, she had fixed her rich, black coffee the way she had assumed Jubilee would like it, and drifted up through the floor. It had not been ten minutes after she had left that the sobering, mournful cries had begun, ripping at where Kitty's heart would be, if she thought she had one. She knew Jubilee was in trouble. She knew that she desperately needed Logan at that moment. She knew that her interference only served to make things worse, and to keep her mentor from her even longer. But she simply couldn't help it.
Picking up the thick Patricia Cornwell novel she had been working on, she moved into the living area, which, thankfully, at this hour was empty. Choosing an overstuffed La-Z-Boy, she settled down to read, but found she could not focus on the words. Jubilee's strangled cries echoed in her ears like the souls of the damned. Standing once again, she left the book face down, open to her place, upon the pillowed chair, and crossed the room to where an old-fashioned barometer was affixed to the wall. Silvery mercury indicated the same pressure that it had the day before, and the day before that. According to the useless instrument, no differing weather conditions were detected.
Running slender fingers through her dark curls, the young woman moved from window to closed window, feeling like a lioness pacing her den, awaiting the time when the guards would release her to slaughter yet another feeble Christian. Closing her large, dusky eyes, she pressed her fist to her teeth, feeling an upper incisor slice through a knuckle and tasting the coppery blood as it spilled into her mouth.
She spun to find Hank standing in the doorway, and she quickly swiped at tears she was surprised to discover on her flushed cheeks. She forced a small smile and shoved her hands into the pockets of the faded jeans she wore.
"Hey, Hank," she greeted softly, though her voice trembled and the last word caught on the lump in her throat and dropped into nothingness.
"Kitty, I bring a message from Logan. He regrets to inform you that your rendezvous for coffee must be postponed until after the day has finished its waxing and has begun to wane. Young Jubilee is in a grievous state at the moment, and she is in need of his immediate consideration."
She nodded slightly and looked away, feeling as Ophelia must have as Hamlet cast her aside after so profusely professing his love. Is this what drove people insane? Is this what drove Jubilee to attempted suicide?
She glanced back up to find the resident physician still standing before her, concern in his bright blue eyes. She gave him a questioning glance, knowing that if she spoke, her words would come out less than kind.
"Have you ... heard what went on with Jubilee while under Bastion's possession?"
She felt her jaw tighten automatically, and she replied what she had been repeating to herself so often, without much effect, for the past few days, "She was beaten and tortured. Starved. Forced to tell betraying secrets."
"Then you have not as of yet heard the entire story?"
A wave of horror washed over the young woman as she looked up. There was more?
"I have told the girl I would not betray her secret to anyone, but I believe it would be good for you to hear. Sit down."
(Written by Dana Night)
Logan was shocked at the life the little girl in his arms told. He'd thought her to be old for her age when he'd met her, later thought her insecure with a brave front to hide it. But now, as she cried out her entire life story to him, all the parts she'd left out for the stories she told, all the pain she'd had as a little girl in California, Logan was speechless with rage, hate, pain and fatherly love for her, clutching her as gently as possible in a hug that he never wanted to end, for her sake as much as his.
"You probably hate me now that you know what I'm really like..." she began to pull away from his hold, her head hung shamefully. He let her go from his strong grip, but held her hand as she sat on her heels, back against the wall. She looked awful; her face had paled to a sickly olive white without the sun, the red splotches where tears had turned the skin clammy shining and her blue eyes looked dull and weary. The bruise colored her left cheek, the healing red gash in the middle an ugly reminder of her desperate jump. Logan had never seen her as thin as she was now, the bones poking against the skin, stretching it out and making her appear fragile and delicate. Her knuckles jutted out of her fingers, bony knobs as she clutched his hand and the thin cotton pyjamas she wore housed the bandaging and tape Logan knew was underneath
"Jubilee, I could never hate ya fer anything ya did or anything that happened to ya." he whispered to her. For all of her thirteen years, she had been through everything Logan had been through in God knows how long he'd lived. Logan knew the state her mind must be in, blaming, hating and the death that could solve it all for her. She moved a bit, shifting as she held her ribs to come slowly back towards him.
"Why don't you blame me for what happened?" she whispered.
"You can't be blamed for wanting to get away from hurt." Logan waited as she sat down beside him again and then squeezed her hand. She tentatively looked at him and then cast her eyes to the blanket below her.
"Why do you act like my parents did then? Why do you leave me alone and not check up on me when you know what happened...?"
"J, I love ya, and that scares me. Everyone I've ever loved has died or turned against me. You are the only person who has been able to live long enough to help me while I can love you. And you do help me...more than anyone has ever helped me, Red included. I'm always scared that something will happen to you and you'll never be able to help me and be loved and love me ever again." Logan paused to take a breath. "And knowing that you went through hell and then finding out is was worse than what you'd told us, it scared me bad to see you. So I stayed away. And I regret it so much J..."
Jubilee leaned forward and hugged him carefully, her ribs pulling in pain and discomfort. She whimpered against her best intentions not to and Logan backed up, holding her steady as another wash of dizziness went over her. "I do love ya Wolvie, but I can't take it here anymore...Remy is nice and Bobby, as much as he tries to be, but having Jean and Kitty and Sabine around is enough. I always get the feeling of pity from them and that's one thing I can't take."
"J, I meant it about taking you away. After your ribs heal up a bit and you can walk better on yer own, I'll take ya to the cabin or my apartment fer a while, to get away. Then you can go back to school and I'll visit whenever you want, for however long you want, no matter what."
"I'm not going back to school." she stated clearly, her hands releasing his. "I can't go back there. I won't leave you again."
"You can't change my mind. I don't feel safe there, I'm alone. Bastion got me there..." her voice petered out as she finished the sentence and tears welled up in her eyes, dripping onto the butter soft cheeks. She shrunk back against the corner and wiped at her eyes as a knock sounded against the door and Jean walked into the room followed by Hank with a comfortable looking wheelchair and a pillow with Pikachu on it.
"Jubilee, why don't you let Jeannie help ya get dressed and washed up while I talk with Hank fer a minute?" Logan slid off the bed and grabbed Jean's arm quickly. He almost silently whispered for her to ignore any scars she saw and be careful with her ribs as she moved to help Jubilee off of the bed to Logan's bathroom in the corner. Hank moved to go outside the door, Logan following after the door to the bathroom was shut with a quiet click.
Jean began to run a lavender smelling bubble bath as Jubilee watched from the toilet seat, where she sat and waited. She began to pull at the clips that Logan had slid into her hair earlier out, the cowlicks falling back into her face limply. A slight blush crossed her face as Jean turned around and reached for some towels to place by the toilet.
"Think you can move enough to dry yourself off after?" she smiled delicately and placed them on the counter near the bathtub, the fluffy royal blue towels obviously having come from her room.
"Yeah. Uh..." she blushed again, a slightly deeper red and then ducked her head.
"Think of me as a nurse. I've done this for a few other female members when they've been seriously injured and I help in the Med Lab, so it's not that far from the truth..." Jean went back to checking the water. "And besides, someone has to be with you and it's either me or Logan. I'll do your hair and back and then I brought a book to read while you do whatever else you want."
Jubilee shook her head and Jean turned around so Jubilee could undress and get into the high, bubbly water. Sighing warmly as she slid into the white foam, she smiled a real smile for the first time since Bobby had visited her. "Thank you Jean."
Jean turned around and smiled, walking to the tub. She lathered the young girl's hair with kiwi shampoo as she lay back, wincing at the scratches and her ribs moving. Taking the shower handle, she rinsed the soap out, adding conditioner next. Letting it sit, Jean turned to get her book to read but Jubilee stopped her with a hand on her arm.
"It's okay. I'm covered, I don't mind if we sit and talk or something..." Jean could see the pain and how alone she felt in her eyes, the evidence that talking to Logan had worn her out, but she was starved for someone who loved her to talk with, preferably a female she agreed with.
Jean shrugged and turned back to her. "What do you want to talk about?"
"I'm sure you're wondering about every single one of these scars." Jubilee whispered slowly.
"No, I know you heard Logan tell me not to ask about them. You're feeling guilty that I won't be able to know or ask and that's why..."
"I guess. But still..." tears formed in her eyes and she wiped them away. Jean reached out to wipe a tear off her cheek, but Jubilee flinched away, unprepared for being touched by anyone but Logan. "No, it's okay..."
(Written by Nova Zion)