Deep in the shadows of Jubilation Lee's young mind, an emotional dam was flooding high, opening as a crack appeared to form and break. Tears streaked her cheeks and spilled to the carpet below as she dropped to her knees in front of the tall window. Blue curtains fluttered by the sudden movement so close by and Jubilee curled up against the wall, staring out the window morosely.
She sat in her old bedroom, now a room she had used for healing from her fragile and depressed state of the past few weeks. A pile of clothes, books, drawings, suckers and blankets lay strewn on the bed, a bright pink duffel bag blocked the closet of the room, all waiting to be shipped out to her other home at Xavier's School for Gifted Youngster's in Massachusetts. Her closet was messy with preparation and her des held CD's and tapes, littered amongst pencils, pens, toys and dolls.
Jubilee sat near the window, body cooling in the light breeze. She sobbed, crying out in gasps as the sun set through the window, shrouding the room in deep shadows as the last red and gold light disappeared from the sky. In the dark, Jubilee cried out and threw strong balls and twirls of pyro-technic sparks at the window, swearing as she hunched over and cried out to no one in particular.
"Why?" came a loud yell as she rocked back and forth on her knees, hands gripping her head.
Shadows responded by fleeing from the bursts of angry light. Sitting up, Jubilee picked up unwanted and unpacked objects and threw them at the bed, wanting to hit something. She sobbed hysterically as she threw, only stopping to wipe her blurring eyes. Jubilee turned toward the window and stood, looking outside carefully. Without thinking, she threw her small body against the glass, feeling it shatter and give out under her force.
Jubilee felt weightless as she fell through the window, falling to the overhang two feet below. Smashing into the red-black shingle, Jubilee felt her neck snap with a sickening crunch, spots dancing in front of her eyes as she went limp. Blood flew from the gash in her forehead as Jubilee rolled roughly to the edge of the overhang, glass shards stabbing into her back and arms through the thin green tank top, snapping and scraping the delicate flesh. Blood gurgled from her mouth from the impact of the fall.
Jubilee's body swung weakly with the momentum of falling over the edge of the overhang and fell into the cedar bushes below, blood running down her face and arms. Crying out in pain as she fell through the bushes to the grass, her neck crunched again and she lost feeling in her body, her head calling for sleep. Suddenly, the world dimmed and Jubilee lost consciousness as a man ran to her.
Logan heard Jubilee's screams and cries first, his hyper-sensitive ears picking it up as she sun sank under the horizon. Dropping his empty beer bottle into the sink with a crashing shatter, he turned and ran to the front door and wrenched it open as others began to come from the rooms nearest the doorway, wondering what on earth was going on.
"Jubilee...!" Wolverine burst down the front stoop, seeing the outlined body laying half out of the bushes and half in. As Logan neared the small body, he recoiled in pain. Jubilee lay within arm's reach in front of him, sprawled across the bushes and grass, blood oozing from gashes and cuts, her wrist stretched oddly. Her beautiful, feathery, raven black hair was matted and twisted, the blood stickily mixing with freshly cut grass. Logan slid down on his knees next to her, and gripped her arms carefully. Sliding an arm around her waist, he watched as her eyes rolled back in her head and her mouth hung open. Unconscious. Logan's picked her up totally and ran back into the front hall towards the Med Labs, Beast racing ahead of him.
"Outta my way! Get the hell outta my way!" he cried to the others.
Blood already stained the top and pants she wore, dripping onto his red plaid shirt, and Logan laid her on the examination table so Beast could look at her. Jubilee wheezed as Hank shifted her into an examination position. Hank attached a heart monitor and IV to her arm, watching for signs of internal damage. Pinching her and looking in her eyes, he watched her eyelids and pupils for a concussion.
"No concussion. Let her sleep, Logan, while I clean her up and inspect her." Hank closed her eye and motioned for him to get the disinfectant cream and bandaging behind him. Hank looked at her forehead cut and began to swab some alcohol onto it to clean it out, Jubilee whimpering through the process. Her eyes opened at the vapors and Jubilee groaned in pain, unable to talk.
"Easy Hank! It's okay darlin'. I'm here. Hold my hand." Logan offered his hand and Jubilee squeezed it with her good hand, crying as Hank finished cleaning the wound.
"What on earth made this happen Jubilee?" Hank asked the rhetorical question and looked over the glass cuts, poking for feeling. Finally, he lifted her with a grimace as Jubilee gave off a muffled cry. Bending it slightly in different directions, he smiled, hiding his first reaction. "Only sprained or I'd be able to twist it around in all directions. But an X-Ray will clear up all manner of doubt."
"My neck..." Jubilee whispered, looking at Logan through her tears. She smiled a bit, her head pounding and black dots dancing in front of her eyes.
"Easy darlin'. Don't go tryin' t' be the happy one right now, 'cause it's gonna hurt somethin' fierce in a minute." Logan squeezed her hand and stroked a piece of hair from her eyes, wiping the tears off her cheeks.
"D-d-don't ... don't let t-t-them take me ... me ... a-away ... again ... W-Wolvie." Jubilee closed her eyes and sobbed as Hank snapped her neck back into place, holding a cloth against the cut in her cheek as it welled up blood. "P-please don't!"
Wolverine held the cloth against her cheek as Hank turned to get bandages and disinfectant cream. The little girl he had come to think of as his own, sitting here sobbing, had thrown herself out her window in an attempt at death. What had caused it? Was it really that bad in Massachusetts? Or was it that she missed being here with her family?
Jubilee opened her eyes and Logan almost recoiled at the love and trust he saw there, in with the pain and sadness. But they were dull, almost withdrawn as Hank tightened the cloth bandaging around her head and then began to bandage her cheek, arms and wrist. Logan gently lifted her into a sitting position at Hank's advice and cradled her as Hank bandaged the cuts on her back.
Jubilee cried out at the pain and clenched her teeth down onto her lip, drawing blood. The copper tang left a taste in her mouth and Jubilee grimaced as Hank prodded her spine and back of her ribs. Leaning her back a bit, Hank felt her stomach and listened to her lungs. "Two slightly-cracked-but-okay ribs on the bottom, Jubilee. I can feel them in the right spots, but I'll have to wrap them so they heal."
Logan sat on the edge of the bed, his arms around Jubilee's waist. Her head rested on his shoulder and her arms rested over his, hands squeezing near his neck as Hank began to wrap the protective white gauze padding around her rib cage and chest. Slipping a sedative into her IV bag, Hank began a drip of painkillers also and soon Jubilee was sound asleep, laying on the Med Lab table with a white blanket pulled up around her chin. Logan followed Hank to the door and closed it quietly behind him.
"Logan, I'm afraid that our young Jubilee is suffering from very severe and suicidal depression. I believe that it may be at the hands of Bastion and the whole Operation: Zero Tolerance fiasco, but part of me also wants to say that it is because of you and Kitty and perhaps being taken from her only family left."
"I've already talked to her about Kitty and me. She knows not to be jealous, and I know she is anyway, I can smell it. That could be part. I don't know what happened with the whole Bastion thing, but I do know that she won't talk about it."
"I will be advising the Professor and Emma about her staying here for a long time, until she is better. I'd suggest sending Jean or Storm to her room to unpack it and we can move her in there once the window is fixed. Until then, she can stay in here..."
"No. She can stay in my room. I'll take the couch I got up there so I can get her stuff at night." Logan moved to get Jean from the kitchen and Hank stopped him.
"I'd suggest you and Jubilation have a serious talk before she is up and running again, Logan."
"I'll take it into consideration, Hank. Now let me go see Jean about getting some more stuff sent here and unpacked." Logan stalked off in the direction of the kitchen, scowling indignantly. Hank watched his teammate storm off and then re-entered the Med Lab to work on the cure for the Legacy Virus and keep a watch over Jubilee.
(Written by Nova Zion)
Jubilee awoke to sunlight in her face, streaming in through half-shut blinds; buttery bars of warmth that deepened the hue of her skin and made her wispy hair gleam almost white as it splayed out on the pillow, an ebony puddle on a snowy background. Not surprisingly, it was the confusion that first hit as the sedative tried to wear off. Her surroundings were both familiar and foreign, until she remembered that she had been placed in Logan's room for the time being. The musky scent of his cologne and the bittersweet odor of his cigars assailed her senses as she took a deep breath and tried to sit up. It was the pain that stopped her.
Crying out, she fell back against the pillow and gritted her teeth, squeezing her eyes shut as a tear leaked through her thick lashes and rolled down her cheek to land in the curve of her ear, where it flashed in the sunlight before dripping into her hair and vanishing amidst the obsidian locks. The part of her that was amazed she was not dead wished she were, for then she would not have to suffer this excruciation. Why had they saved her, when what she had wanted was to die?
She breathed shallowly, for every inhalation brought a tightening pain to her rib cage, just above her stomach, and she wondered where they were now. Probably gone like they always are when I need them, she thought bitterly, but low voices outside the not-quite-shut door informed her of her erroneous assumption. She couldn't quite make out what they were saying, but she was sure she heard her name at least twice. After a few drawn-out moments, Logan entered the room, followed closely by Hank, with the worried faces of Jean and Sabine hovering in the doorway before drifting off to another reality where pain and suffering did not exist.
"Well, well, well," commented the blue-furred physician, a toothy grin a mask that could not hide the sorrow he was feeling at seeing the resident firecracker in such a state. "It would seem your pyrotechnic protegee has recovered from her sedated slumber. How are you feeling, my fine fractious friend?"
Jubilee didn't respond, for she had been paying no attention to the royal blue of her doctor's face, but rather the indigo of his companion's eyes, which were clouded with fatigue, self-blame, and above all, intense concern for her. Reaching up with her good hand, she smiled slightly when he took it, his hand rough and warm.
"I'm sorry," she rasped, meeting his gaze so he could understand the sincerity of her words. He only stared back, but in his eyes, she could see he condemned himself even more. Sliding her hand from his grasp with a frustrated sigh, she looked to Hank again, who was busy checking her blood pressure. "I feel ... like hell," she told him, and when he looked up, he once again smiled.
"Very understandable, considering the trauma your body has endured. I'm giving you another sedative, and you should be out until dinnertime."
"Don't leave." A sudden wave of panic overtook her, and she looked helplessly to Logan.
"Please..." The sedative began to take effect, and her fear rose as she fought to keep the beckoning sea of darkness from overwhelming her. "Don't go." With that, she fell silently into the black folds of slumber.
The two watched her a moment, then Hank moved to shut the blinds. As the bars of gold vanished and the room was bathed in chocolate shadows, Logan, never straying his gaze from the angelic face that rested peacefully on his pillow, wearily inquired, "What can we do, Doc?"
Hank placed a comforting hand on his friend's muscular shoulder, but his words were less than consoling. "I have not an answer for you, Logan," he replied softly, "except stand vigil and pray, for what ails her is not in body, but in mind and spirit." With that, he turned, then hesitated. "Oh, and don't forget to talk to her when she comes around again."
Logan could only nod as he listened to the rustling of cloth and the door clicked quietly shut, leaving the room silent, save the slow, steady breathing of the girl he almost considered his own flesh and blood.
(Written by Dana Night)
Logan watched the little girl for a long time, silently sitting beside her on the bed, waiting for her to awaken from her painless slumber. She looked so innocent and free as she slept, the only signs of pain visible above the navy blue blanket being the cut on her cheek and the large red and purple bump on her forehead. Logan looked down at her skeletal hands, one clutching the blanket, the other resting peacefully on her stomach as she lay there, asleep.
Picking up her translucent hand to tuck into his own, Logan noticed a faint raised mark on the underside of her wrist. Turning her hand over, his super-sensitive hunter's eyes spotted the pale pink-purple welted scar almost immediately.
So this ain't the first time the kid's done somethin' this desperate, Logan thought, rubbing his large thumb over the line, following it down her blue veins.
Turning to the closed door, he could hear Hank out in the hallway talking to Jean and Sabine quietly about Jubilee's current condition. Logan dropped Jubilee's hand and walked to the door, opening it softly. "Hank ... can we talk a sec?
"What is troubling your mind my furry counterpart?" Hank turned and walked back to Logan's doorway. "Is something wrong?"
"Yeah ..." Logan looked over Hank's shoulder at Jean and Sabine, who still stood in the hallway behind him, listening. As they turned to leave, Logan motioned for Hank to come inside the dark room, moving to sit on the bed. Hank perched himself on the edge of Logan's small and rather beaten and shredded green couch and stared intently at young Jubilation's face. "This ain't the first time she's tried t' take her life Hank..."
"How would this information be so readily available to add to your vast intellect while our young sparkler is still heavily sedated and has not had time to converse with you of her own will?"
"How is it that you know this while Jubilee is still asleep and hasn't talked to you as of yet?"
"Feel her wrist right here..." Logan motioned him over, lifting her hand to show the pale underside to Hank's eyes.
"It is her veins that are able to be felt due to her starvation during Operation: Zero Tolerance, no?" he said, running his fingers over the veins Logan pointed to.
"No. There's a mark...faint, but it's there." Logan reached to his left and twisted open the blinds to allow some light in through the window. The sparkling light of the last hours of sun splashed across the bed, once again shining on the pale, sleeping body beside the two furred men. Logan pointed along her wrist and Hank exclaimed, seeing the very faint, purple welt now as the light turned her skin to ivory and porcelain.
"My stars and garters, you were right!" Hank followed the trail along her veins with his eyes and Logan reached across the bed and gently pulled her hand from the bedcovers. An almost identical welt appeared on the others wrist's veins, but longer and deeper by the color, visible slightly even without the light shining on it.
Logan shook his head sadly. "These weren't here before the whole Zero Tolerance thing. She tried it while she was there, probably first thing she did considering I found her in a straightjacket in the desert. And now this..."
"She is indeed sick my friend. Emotionally, spiritually, physically and psychologically."
"Well, third time's the charm, Hank."
"Indeed. The third time is the charm as the saying so suggests."
"I gotta stop her from gettin' to the third time."
Logan folded Jubilee's hands over her stomach again and sat still on the bed as Hank went back to his perch on the couch. Wiping a piece of hair from her eyes, Logan dropped a kiss on her forehead and turned with a pained look to Hank to await the time when she would wake again, a tear slipping down his face as he looked to the floor.
Seconds slipped to minutes, minutes slipped into hours and as Jean telepathically called the team to dinner, Logan waved for Hank to leave, saying he would get something to eat later. Hank glanced worriedly at his teammate and friend. The man hunched over the still body on the bed, watching the young girl's face expectantly for signs of her waking and Hank realized that he couldn't move the small man if he had wanted to, intent as he was.
"Go on, Hank. I said I'd stay and when she wakes up I plan t' be here..." Logan looked at the blue furred hulk in front of him through the dark shadows and pointed at the door as Jubilee's eyes fluttered once, twice and then opened painfully to the dark room.
(Written by Nova Zion)
"Wolvie.." the angel spoke, her voice but a breath of air, holding no substance to the ears of normal humans, but to Logan's hypersensitive hearing, it held all the anguish, love, agony and confusion that those two syllables ever had. "It hurts."
"I know, darlin'." And indeed he did, for so great was the bond that held the two together, he could practically feel the pain that each intake of breath, each subtle movement, each throbbing sore brought.
"Hank's here. He'll get you somethin'." As he spoke, the furry physician moved back toward the bed, where he injected a clear liquid into her IV, then, satisfied that his patient would be all right for the time being, he left the room, knowing protegee and patron needed this time to themselves to discuss matters of life and death.
"Wolvie," Jubilee whispered once the medication had begun to take effect. "You cryin'?"
Knowing this was not the time for showy machismo, he truthfully replied, "Yeah, darlin'." Her blue eyes, large and slightly glazed, questioned him, and not a word needed to pass from her lips. "Because I don't wanna lose ya kid."
"Lose..." She winced as the effort of speaking aloud brought pain to her tender ribs and the many cuts in her back. Lowering her tone to a whisper once more, she lifted one frail hand to his damp cheek, assuring him, "Hank said I'd be okay. I'll be all right, Wolvie."
He shook his head, taking her hand in his large one. "Not if this keeps up."
"Whaddya mean, Wolvie?" Panic and concern in her voice drew his gaze upon her thin face, where her eyes, which had always been so bright and lively, now stared in terror back at him from the deep, purply hollows in which they had sunken. Without saying a word, he turned her hand over and showed her the scars he had discovered just hours before. The girl snapped her hand away and turned her face from him, tears glistening in her eyes as she tried vainly to blink them away.
The golden light that had been resting lightly on the closed blinds faded to a pale rose, then a bright red that pushed impatiently at them, trying to get through. A single sliver of crimson escaped, slipping silently inside and landing on the navy blue blanket where the ailing girl's heart beat imperceptibly. Disturbed by the sight of the blood-red laceration of light, Logan reached over and brushed the blinds with the back of rough knuckles that had seen many a fight and, more importantly, brushed many a tear away. The light vanished, and the sun sank from the sky, allowing the shadows of night to scatter across New York.
Logan sighed, looking about the room, his eyes never resting until they once again reached Jubilee's face. "I r'member -- vaguely -- when the Weapon X Program caught me. I don' r'member much b'fore that, but I think. ... I think the fear I felt ingrained the memory into me, whether they wanted t' take it or not." Slowly, her head rolled back to him, and their eyes met.
"Y-you were scared?"
He nodded. "I was madder 'n' hell, and scared outta my mind, girl," he replied softly. "They took me 'gainst my will an' tested on me."
"Were their hands cold?" He gave her a blank look, and she cleared her throat slightly and repeated, "The scientists who tested on you. Were their hands cold?"
"I honestly don't r'member, darlin'. I jus' know that, when they started, I wanted t' kill 'em, an' by the time they were done, I wanted t' kill myself." Her eyes widened at this, but she did not interrupt. "Then they started takin' my memories." He shook his head as if trying to rid himself of mental cobwebs as the shadows that would probably never be revealed beckoned to him, begging him to remember. "If you could know how frustratin' it is, not t' even know yer real name fer sure or not.. Not knowin' whether or not yer memories are true ones, or ones some twisted mind made up.."
The room fell silent once more, and through the floor, they could hear low voices as the rest of the team enjoyed the evening meal. It was Jubilee who finally broke the silence. Looking to the far wall as if the scene were playing there, she confessed.
"When I was ten, my dad hit me. Slapped me across the face. I'd used some document o' his ta spit out my gum in. He got mad an' slapped me. I was so relieved, I ran ta my room an' cried fer half an hour. I'd finally gotten an emotional response from him. After that, I started lyin' an' skippin' class. I still kep' my grades up, so that if the principal ever called 'em in, she could tell 'em how bright I was. Never happened. After a while, I started takin' stuff, first from teachers, then candy an' stuff from the convenience store down th' street from the mall, 'til finally I was takin' stuff from the mall; bracelets an' toys an' stuff. All I ever wanted was fer one of 'em ta say, 'I love ya, J.' I knew parents were supposed ta say that to their kids. I mean, I'd seen it on TV an' stuff, an' I'd even heard one o' my friend's moms say it. My friend got all embarrassed an' stuff, an' I couldn't help thinkin' how stupid an' how lucky she was." Her eyes refocused, and she looked to the burly Canadian. "I made it a point from then on t' tell people I love 'em."
Leaning over, Logan brushed his lips lightly against her one pristine cheek in a soft kiss. "I love ya, Jubilation," he choked, and the girl was amazed at the level of barely-controlled emotion in his deep blue eyes and gravely voice. Love, swirled with guilt and anguish at seeing her in such a state; but above all, love.
"I know," she whispered sadly. "I love ya, too, Wolvie."
"You can tell me anythin', darlin', ya know that."
"I know." She gazed in pensive sorrow up at him, then away. "Right now, though, I'm real tired."
"Sleep, darlin'. I'll be right here when ya wake up." At his reassurance, her eyes fluttered closed like butterflies lighting upon her sickly face, and her breathing became even as she fell into silent repose, and finally, asleep.
Logan watched her a long moment before moving onto the couch. His stomach growled, but he ignored it. At that moment, a pack of wild horses couldn't drag him from her presence. At least, he thought with a tired sigh, at least I've made some progress. He knew it was only the tip of the iceberg, but that was one step further than he had been before, and one step farther down the road to her recovery.
(Written by Dana Night)
Over twenty-four hours later, Logan sighed and leaned back against the couch, aware of the noises from downstairs and the creaking of the couch as his muscular framed shifted comfortably. Jubilee's shallow breaths came sharply as her ribs stretched and cracked with each inhalation. One fist still clenched the bedcovers as pain wracked her body and her face was set in a look of fear, pain and sadness as she slept. The day had wore on with him sitting and watching her as she drifted in and out of consciousness, only vaguely aware if someone was in the room with her or not from the sedatives she was on again.
Logan turned away, knowing that it was his fault she was like this, sleeping in his bed with body broken and spirit shattered. He heard footsteps and hushed voices coming down the hallway to stop outside his door. Pulling himself up as a quiet, almost silent knock was administered to the wood, Logan walked over and opened the door softly, the rustle against the carpet humming in his sensitive ears. Hank stood quietly between Logan and a very nervous Kitty.
Hank lifted a tray of soup they had eaten at dinner to Logan. Handing it off, he bounced quietly over to where Jubilee slept, beginning to take her blood pressure. Logan set the hot tray on the old desk across from the bed. Kitty stepped into the room a bit, always staying as far away from Jubilee as possible and handed Logan a six pack of beer.
"Remy said he drank all of yours so he sent this up to put in the fridge." Kitty whispered, walking to the bachelor's mini-fridge in the corner or Logan's room. She kept her eyes to floor and phased the beer through the fridge door. Turning to leave, Logan avoided her eyes as she wondered about his sanity at staying locked in this small, dark room until Jubilee had recovered. Muttering softly about good wishes and health, she began to walk down the hall, Logan watched her retreating back.
"How is our young girl faring as of now?" Hank asked as Jubilee sleepily opened her eyes to the noises in the room, seeing the Beast smiling his toothy grin.
"Worse." she croaked, throat closing in pain. "I wanna die..."
"Now, now. You'll be up and around, rather slowly mind you, once your back and neck heal. You'll be good as new in a month or so, the cracked ribs having mended themselves I'm sure."
"Oh..." Jubilee's head rolled to the side, staring at the corner wall the bed fit into. Her favorite doll, Bamf, a tiny replica of Nightcrawler that had been Illyana's before her death, had been placed next to her on the pillow and Jubilee looked at Logan, tears in her eyes as he nodded at the gift. Hank patted her arm as he finished taking her blood pressure and then left her alone with Logan, closing the door silently behind him.
Jubilee sobbed once, then twice, letting the depressive feelings pour out of her in tears, whimpering at the pain and sadness as it rolled like waves in an ocean over her small, broken frame. Lifting a hand, she struggled to wipe the tears away as they came, hating to show the weak side of her soul, wanting it to be done without the feelings of hate and painful memories rising to the surface.
Logan sat beside her on the bed, clutching her hand. Jubilee gripped tightly and Logan gently and carefully pulled her into a sitting position as she sobbed, hugging her tightly to him. Jubilee's skeletal arms wrapped around his neck as she sat in his lap, his muscular arms holding her steady as he comforted her.
"Let it out Jubes...let it out..." Logan stroked her short hair down against her head and kissed her forehead, his own tears of guilt and anguish hiding amongst the ebony feathered locks under his chin. Shaking, Jubilee's tears stopped, but she still held to Logan with thin arms, gripping onto his shoulders for dear life.
"I-I-I-I'm sorry I'm such a f-f-failure Wolvie..." she whispered into his ear as her head rested against his shoulder, wet and cold from the tears. "I-I'm sorry I'm in t-t-the way all the time..."
"No, its not like that...you're not a failure. Ever."
"But I d-did fail." she replied sleepily, breaths te. "F-f-first I wasn't g-g-good enough to be with any family. They all left me alone, all m-my foster families. Then I wasn't g-g-good enough to stay here with you and I was sent away to t-t-the Academy...and now I'm alone..." Jubilee felt the scars on her wrist behind his neck, looking at the dark shadow she knew housed the purple welts.
"Don't ya ever say that. You can go anywhere ya want, and I need ya. I love ya..." Logan rubbed her back as she tried to take in enough breath through her lungs, ribs aching painfully. Her head swam with black dots and her shredded back pulled at the bandaging and gauze as he moved his hand lightly over the cuts.
"No." her voice was suddenly stronger, colder than before. "Ya got Kitty now. All I was, was second string. I was good fer a bit and then I was sent away to the lower class again. It's happened before, with my real family and everyone else who ever said they loved me. No, you've got Kitty."
Jubilee struggled to pull away from him, her ribs and back cracking in protest. Sobbing at the pain, she stopped and clung sadly to Logan, feeling his strong hands holding her to keep further damage from happening. The crown of Jubilee's head fell against his barrel chest and she held her wrists as she had all those weeks ago in the Hulkbuster base when they bled to the floor, draining her of her life supply as she wept the cruel tears of anguishing pain, sadness and death from her soul.
(Written by Nova Zion)
"What is on your mind, Kitty?" Ororo Munroe did not turn as her good friend phased up through the floor to perch on the couch in the attic bedroom. Moving among potted plants with a watering can and an indescribable grace, she heard the younger woman sigh and she turned, her piercing blue eyes meeting the Jewish girl's sad hazel ones.
"I'm concerned," Kitty admitted, pushing her waist-length brown curls behind her shoulder and twisting the tiny gold star of David necklace she wore nervously in her delicate fingers.
Ororo set down the watering can and crossed the hardwood floor to sit beside her teammate and friend. "Concerned?" she inquired.
"About Logan," the brunette explained. "I'm afraid he might be going a little crazy, seeing Jubilee like this."
The Egyptian woman paused, then stood to resume watering her plants. The light of the full moon rained down on her as it climbed in the sky, making her long white tresses glow like a halo about her.
"Kitty, do you believe Logan would die to save your life?"
"Without a doubt," the Chicago native replied quickly.
"What about Jubilee? Would he die to save her?"
Katherine paused before answering, "Yes."
"Then why should he not hesitate to give up his sanity for her life? Jubilee is very sick right now, and she needs someone who is willing to stand by her side, no matter what." She glanced back to Kitty, who looked either rebuked or skeptical, Storm couldn't tell which. Setting down the watering can and picking up a pair of pruning sheers, she added, "Logan is able to take care of himself, Kitty. The one you should be concerned about is Jubilee."
"You're right, Storm," Pryde said, though her voice was a mask over her emotions. "Thank you. Good night." Without waiting for a response, she drifted back through the floor and out of sight.
"Good night, Kitty," Ororo sighed, wondering if Jubilee knew just how many people she was affecting.
(Written by Dana Night)