All Eyes On Me: Parts 19-21

by Nova Zion and Dana Night

New Characters Introduced In This Chapter: Lockheed, Pete Wisdom, Angelo Espinosa, Paige Guthrie, and Jonothan Starsmore

Part Nineteen

Jubilee looked back at the new window as Logan came to stand next to her, smoothing her newly washed ebony locks down. She opened her mouth to ask for the banner to be taken down again, torn as it was now, and Jean moved to pull it off the wall, the balloons quickly following. Tears filled Jubilee's eyes and she covered her face with her hands, leaning forward slightly.

She hunched over in the wheelchair, head to her knees, sobbing at the kind gifts from her friends. Logan sank to his knees in front of the chair, cradling her in a hug as best he could. Remy moved to close the door, keeping prying eyes away from the painful scene inside. Logan whispered into her ear, asking what was wrong and what he could do.

"You can all get away from me." she stated, trying to pull away from them all as they came over to help. She pushed herself out of the chair, teetered wearily and Logan moved to help her even as she gripped to the desk, which now held her diary, a new one to replace this one when it ran out, pens, pencils and yet another jewelry box, this one less special than the one on her dresser, just meant to hold her junk. Turning back to them, she began to cry out carelessly, moving back to pick up all the items she'd been sent by her supposed friends and throwing them to the ground, tears streaming down her face. "What was it now? You didn't want me in your room anymore Wolvie? That's fine, but you could have told me! I don't want to be in here, I can't take it in here with all this stuff! It's not me anymore."

She fell on her knees by the bed, overworked and in great pain, wheezing and clutching at her stomach. Doubling over, she moaned and dug her fingers against the flesh on her belly, squeezing the carpet with harsh force with her other hand. Shaking, she began to rock, begging the feeling to make her feel safe in the room she'd come to hate in so few moments. Logan dropped down beside her and she shrunk against the bed in fear, trapped in her memories again; memories of other rooms she'd hated and why she'd hated them so badly. Dry heaves came immediately after each intake of breath, choking her as she recalled her past. She clawed at the covers on her bed for protection as Logan struggled to stand her up and get her breathing normally again without being lit on fire by the flailing hands.

"Get Hank." he called out to no one in particular, though both the other occupants of the room rushed to follow his orders. He lowered his tone as she threatened to fall again; her knees gave out on her and she sagged in his arms, still fighting for freedom. She clutched at her throat as she gasped, hyperventilating and coughing, her stomach heaving painfully, her heart beating erratically in her chest. "Jubilee..."

Holding her up in one arm, he began to rub her back carefully, trying to give her the calm she was looking for as the panic attack took over. Whispering in her ear, he felt her slowing, her heart hammering away. Her nose began to bleed by the lack of air, dripping down her chin in a bright river against the pale skin. Supporting a limp body was an easy feat for Logan as he did it most times in battle, and he held her against his shoulder, soothing her as the other three rushed into the room again. Her heart pounded painfully, stretching to accommodate the rush of blood, and she still panted and gasped, the lungs not agreeing with her moderated air intakes.

"Put her on the bed, I must check if she's done damage to herself with this attack." Logan followed Hank's orders, laying her out on the bed as he sat by her, holding her arms at the elbows, trying to keep her still and to have her calm down even more. Hank called for Remy and Jean to come help Logan, busy as he was trying to stay calm and keep her calm.

Remy sat on her other side, holding her head to stop the shaking and talked to her when Logan took a break. Jean helped Hank by holding the bag he grabbed, acting as nurse for him. He lifted her nightgown a little past her taped ribs and began to gently feel around them, pressing the plastic bone carefully. His furry paws moved down to her belly, pressing around the scars there, the others wincing at the sight as she moaned and clenched onto Logan and Remy's hands, which she now held in her own.

"Where does it hurt Jubilee?" Hank asked her softly, pressing again over the beginning of the scar. He was rewarded with a moan and this time she tried to move out of the way, squirming. "I think you have merely pulled a few muscles with the strain you endure during the attack, but we shall do the X-Rays in the Med Lab in a few moments. He pulled her nightshirt back down, moving Remy over so he could listen to her heart and lungs. After a moment, he pulled away and helped Logan lift her.

"You are lucky my dear. Had Logan not asked me to come and you would not have stopped your attack, you would have ruined yet another piece of your body by this." Logan pulled her close to his shoulder and they headed down to the Med Lab's for the X-Ray.

* * * *

Logan watched Jubilee as she watched the ceiling, her eyes full of terror at the impending sleep and loneliness. At his insistence, she'd been placed in his room again for her care. She had explained what had happened in the room, why she'd become scared and angry. The items from her friends in Snow Valley were being returned, as were the cards she had read and tossed to the floor. Logan remembered seeing her cry, the pile in front of her growing smaller, the guilt inside growing larger. She'd been hellbent on reading all the cards and then torching them, setting them on fire, but she'd become even more angry as her power chose that moment to die out from her over-exertion.

Hank had found nothing wrong with her stomach, or anything inside her with the X-Rays and had sent her to her own bedroom, but Logan had disagreed, saying she'd be better off in his room, even if it would have to be for the rest of her life to make her feel safe.

"How'd yer coffee with Kitty go today?" Jubilee's voice, the one that had been sparkling with her normal self only just earlier in the day, had become bitter and depressed again.

"Good. She just needed t' talk fer a bit." Logan sat down on the bed next to her and she placed a hand across her stomach protectively, as he now noticed she did numerous other times since Bastion had kidnaped her. He grinned down at her and then looked out the window at the stars above, watching the moon come out. It had gotten so late since he'd first taken her out; the afternoon had gone by in the Med Labs, the sun had sank, and the rain had stopped, cooling things down considerably.

"I'm sorry about this afternoon." she mumbled, playing with his hand. She picked up and dropped the paw on the bed, feeling his rough, warm skin with her thin, soft, fragile fingers. "Nobody told me I'd be leaving here so soon."

"I know. I wanted t' tell ya. I didn't think Jeannie'd bring ya in without me there or tellin' ya first." he watched her fingers laying over his, the skin contrasting greatly. "I was supposed t' go and stay in there with ya, just like in here, but in a more familiar place for you."

"This is familiar. Why not bring the cot in here? I hate my room. I don't know if I can stay in there alone, but here it's different. I can sleep and spend time with you and it's comfortable."

"Then here we stay." he hugged her and she smiled at him, her eyes downcast to the bed. "But I gotta get a cot in here, the couch is deadly." Smiling even harder, she winced as her stomach growled, stretching the healthier muscles around her pulled ones. "Why don't I have someone bring up something to eat?"

"No. It's okay." she mumbled, pulling the covers up a bit.

"J, don't even think of trying to pull the not eating crap you pulled with your parents. Hank'll give you an IV if you don't eat more."

"Fine. Soup then, and some water. And crackers..." she trailed off, finally aware of how much she had actually wanted this food, had been starving for it. "And something sweet?"

"Sure. How's about tomorrow I go out and get us a little, old TV to bring in here and we get us any movies you want and some chips and pop?" he patted her good cheek and a lock of long hair fell into her face, covering an eye.

"Yeah. That sounds fun. And invite Kitty."

* * * *

Sunday morning shone clear and bright, dyeing the grass a golden green as it rose higher in the sky. Jubilee felt she had finally worked up enough courage to try and lay outside for a time after what she labeled 'The Incident'. Jean helped her into pair of cutoffs and a t-shirt, handing her a silver Panasonic Shockwave CD player and headphones, a bag of sour fish and a blanket that she could use to lay under her on the grass. Logan came out with her, laying the blanket partway under a tree. Sitting back after he helped her stretch out on the grass, he tipped his cowboy hat and rested, one eye always trained on her, determined to watch her as he'd promised.

"Hey Gumbo." he said, lighting up a cigar. Jubilee wrinkled her nose in distaste and popped a fish in her mouth, eyes watering. Glancing into the tree, she saw the Cajun laying as a panther does on a branch, stretched luxuriously to watch her from above.

"What're ya doing up there?" she asked, shielding her eyes from the sun. She smiled after she'd swallowed the fish. "Trying to eat a bird?"

"Ha! I be watchin' you, petite." Remy sat up, swinging down onto the blanket gracefully. "I tried to do it inconspicuously, but les bete here foiled my plans wit' his super sniffer." He lay down next to her on the blanket, on her opposite side to Logan. Stretching out, they pointed out cloud shapes while eating sour fish until Logan lay on her other side and helped, occasionally stealing a fish when he said they tasted awful.

(Written by Nova Zion)

Part Twenty

She held the doorframe in both hands, slowly thrusting her head against it, watching the scene that was playing out before her. Logan, the man she'd come to consider a mentor; someone whom she could trust completely. Jubilee, the girl who'd taken him from her for the past week or so with one swift and startling action; to whom Kitty had been so cruel.

The small girl sat on the bed, covers pulled over her thin legs, back propped against the wall, a bag of original flavored Ruffles potato chips open on her lap. Logan had moved the shabby couch so it faced the small television that had been placed on a wheeled cart at the foot of the bed, and now he sat on the decrepit piece of furniture, his back to her, talking softly to the child as her skeletal hand moved methodically from the chips to her mouth, chewing each slowly before swallowing and popping another onto her tongue.

Kitty sighed and lifted her head, then pushed it back against the doorframe, and could almost hear the voice of the mare Falada, scolding, "If she could see thee now, thy mother's heart would break." It was true.

What she had become in the past week was horrifying even for herself. How could she have been so terrible to the poor creature that lay sickly and thin before her, too scared to even sleep in her own room; see the gifts her friends from Massachusetts had sent her? Meanwhile, she had let the best relationship that had ever happened to her slip through her fingers, and had done nothing about it but run.

Gently, Lockheed lighted on her shoulder, nestling her ear fondly. She turned her head to gaze upon him, and found a long white cylinder dangling from his reptilian lips. She tugged it from him and recognized the cigarette brand: Marlboro.

"So Pete wasn't crazy," she muttered, stroking her dragon's nose with a delicate finger. Lockheed gave her a pathetic, pleading look and snatched the cigarette from her once more, flitting off. It seemed even the jealous dragon missed the Englishman.

"You gonna stand there mutterin' t' yerself all day, or are ya gonna come join us?" Logan called without looking. She should have known he knew she was there. And probably Jubilee did, too, unless her ... illness had dulled her senses.

"Yeah. I'll be right there. I ... I just want to make a phone call. I'll be back in a minute." She launched herself from the threshold and made her way downstairs.

* * * *

She wound the long, black chord nervously around her slender fingers, listening to the phone ring again and again. Finally, a voice that sounded half-dead picked up. "'Allo? Wot the bloody 'ell d'ya wont?"

Tears stung her hazel eyes as she imagined him lying amid drained whiskey bottles, mind blurred by alcohol, trying desperately to grasp who would be calling him, especially at this hour. She did a few quick calculations and found it was nearly one in the morning in London. "Pete?" she asked softly. "It's Kitty." There was a long pause, and for a moment, she thought he was going to hang up on her, when suddenly, he spoke.

"Kitty?" He sounded as if he wanted to say more, but couldn't find the words.

"Pete, I'm sorry. For everything. I ... I want to come over there. Would you let me?"

"No." A bolt of pain shot through her heart at his abrupt answer, and a tear slipped down her satin cheek. She opened her mouth to protest, but the line went suddenly dead.

Biting her lip to keep it from trembling, she swiped at her eyes and wiped her nose on the sleeve of her blouse. What had she expected? For him to just accept her back, just like that? She shook her head scornfully and pushed the thought aside, making her way upstairs once more. She entered Logan's room without a sound and curled up on the couch opposite him. He had a bag of Smart Food cheddar popcorn on his lap, which she reached into and grabbed a handful of.

"What's the line up?" she asked, and received a sharp look from Logan.

"Six hours of the mindless bliss created by Jackie Chan," Jubilee replied cheerfully. "First up is 'Who Am I?' followed by 'Rush Hour' and concluded by 'Rumble in the Bronx'."

"We ain't stayin' up till two a.m., darlin'," Logan told her.

"Maybe YOU won't." She seemed her old self at least for the moment as she reached for another chip with one hand and pressed the play button on the remote with the other.

As the previews rolled, Logan turned back to Kitty with a concerned expression. "What's wrong?" he asked quietly, so only she could hear. She shook her head, dismissing the question and stole another handful of popcorn.

"I'll be fine," she told him, and hoped she sounded more convincing than she felt.

(Written by Dana Night)

* * * *

Jubilee had fallen into a deep sleep by the middle of the second movie. Logan rolled the half empty chip bag up and lay it on the table behind him, turning back to tuck her in and set her up more comfortably than the position she was in at the moment. He picked her up partially, laying her back down flat, instead of sitting. As he pulled the thin blue blanket up to her shoulders, she mumbled and turned over her hand clenching on her stomach involuntarily. Logan sat back down on the couch, one arm draped over the side to hold her own hand on the bed.

"I think I'm gonna go to bed Logan. It's been a long day and I don't feel like watching any more Jackie Chan movies, no matter how good they are." she kissed her mentor's forehead quickly and patted his hand. "You go to sleep soon too."

"Like I said to Jubilee, I'm not planning to stay up 'til two in the morning. And, Kitty?" he asked her back as she retreated through the closed door. Phasing back in, she turned to hear what he was saying. "Anytime ya wanna talk, ya come and see me. Jubes is doing a little better and if I lay some ground rules with the others, I'll take time away to see you too. Just slowly at first."

"Okay. Coffee at breakfast tomorrow?" she smiled as he nodded, turning his attentions back to the screen for the end of the movie. Crumpling up the popcorn bag, he grabbed the blankets from the floor, where he'd moved his bedclothes and pillow also. Throwing the blanket over himself, he was content to lay back and doze as he half-listened to the movie and his eyelids closed slowly. Flicking the VCR off as the white snow came on the screen half an hour later, he looked over at Jubilee, who still slept soundly, her hand relaxed under his, small and translucent. Stuffing a pillow under his head, he went to sleep in a position to watch Jubilee, happy to see that the nightmares had left, if even for this night alone.

* * * *

"Wolvie?" Jubilee opened her eyes, the question a faint croak. Looking at the burly man who lay nearby, hand still holding her own, she propped herself up on her elbow a bit and he flinched in his sleep, waking at her movement. The blinds hid the sparkling sunlight that Jubilee longed to see after her day watching the clouds with Remy and Logan, having the first fun she'd had in a long time.

"Mornin' darlin'." he grunted, opening one eye to look at her. He patted her hand and then stood up and stretched. Sitting back down, he hunched over and leaned against his knees, rubbing his eyes. "How're ya feelin'?"

"Okay. My ribs feel a lot better and my back too, but my stomach is doing this shaking muscles and pain thing again. My stomach feels like it's hollow or something. Like after ... um ... the operation."

"I'm not surprised, girl. You put up quite a fight the other day." Logan smiled and leaned over the edge of the couch, brushing hair back as he rested, still waking. "Just like I taught ya."

"Yeah well, I think in few days I'll be able to walk around on my own, maybe with someone nearby, but on my own, without the wheelchair." she looked at the ceiling, then the window, stretching an arm out to reach for the handle and twist open the blinds, sunlight pouring across Logan and her. Birds flew by with thin chirps, fluffy white clouds sped across the sky quickly and Jubilee smiled, watching it all.

"I was thinking that we could go away in two weeks or so. Yer ribs'll be completely healed, yer back should be better and yer insides can have some time to sit and rest instead of gettin' all worked up. And maybe yer head'll be a bit better too." Logan pulled out a cigar and opened the window all the way, letting the now cool breeze wash over them as he lit up. "What do ya say?"

"Yes. I'd love to go away, even for a little bit, but be able to come back here." she pulled the covers around her again and curled against her pillow, eyes heavy lidded with weariness still.

"I'll be there to help you the whole way, darlin'. And you can stay in this room as long as you want, I don't mind bein' here with you, and you don't seem to mind staying in here."

"I know you'll be here. And I will go back to my room anytime you want. This is your room. I just wish someone had told me that I was going the other day, 'cause it freaked me out seein' all that stuff and having the window fixed." with that, she yawned and turned over to bury her face in the pillow, eyes closed as waves of sleepiness claimed her again. Logan sat up and went to the bedroom door, opening it to check if anyone was in the hallway.

"Remy!" he muttered as the tall man's door opened and he walked out in a pair of jeans. Turning toward the gruff voice, he smiled a charming smile and headed down towards Logan.

"What you need? De petite need anyt'in'?" he leaned against the doorframe and glanced at the small sleeping figure that lay in the bed, sheets tangled around her legs and a pillow curled under her head, hair hanging against her skin to her ears.

"I need to go have coffee with Kitty and someone's gotta watch her when she's up, so can you sit in fer a half hour or so?" Logan looked up at the younger man and he nodded, moving into the room. His brown hair was messy and hanging loosely past his shoulders, as it had the few night's before when he'd come the first time to watch her. He took Logan's spot on the couch, moving when a spring jabbed him in the back and shooed him away, smiling as he took out a pack of cards and watched Jubilee sleep, feet propped on the bed near her knees.

"I'll bring breakfast up fer you and her when I get back." Logan left, closing the door with a quiet, yet firm thud against the doorframe.

(Written by Nova Zion)

Part Twenty-One

"Hey, Kitty."

The Jewish girl looked up, deep dark circles under her bloodshot eyes, and gave him a small smile. From the look of her, Logan did not think she had slept at all that night. There was something honestly bothering her, no matter what she told him.

He crossed to the coffee maker, where the red light burned, indicating it was still on, and the pot was half full, but found that the coffee was stagnant and stale, probably left over from their last break, the day before. He dumped it out and rinsed the pot, emptied and refilled the filter, then dumped another pot of water in the appliance, satisfied when it began to make the throaty purring that told him coffee would soon be brewed. This done, he walked back to the table, where Kitty warmed her hands on a mug of the old, graying beverage. Gently prying it from her fingers, afraid of the consequences if she actually imbibed some of the deadly brew, he looked into her saddened face with eyes cool and calm, and she blinked languidly. "What's wrong?" he asked at last.

She dropped her gaze to the table, tracing her fingers along the ring left by the cup on the glossy surface. For a long moment, silence hung, thick and pregnant as she thought of what to say in response. Finally, she opened her mouth, full lips parting in preparation for her answer, but was interrupted - much to her relief - by the doorbell. "I'll get it," she said hoarsely, as if she had been crying all night, and her throat was raw from the efforts. Standing, she made her way to the door leading to the foyer, but Logan stopped her with a hand on her shoulder.

"I'll get it," he said sternly. "You stay here. We still need t' talk."

With that, he brushed by her, fully aware as she followed him into the next room, but pleased that she lagged behind a few feet, her motions tired and sluggish. With a quick glance over his shoulder at her, he swung open the door and was greeted by a familiar face covered in dark stubble, with long, dark bangs falling into bloodshot blue eyes.

"Pete." It couldn't have been more than a breath, but both Logan and the visitor looked up as Kitty's hand flew to her mouth, eyes widening and filling with tears. Without giving her mentor a second thought, Pete Wisdom brushed past the short Canadian, inviting himself into the mansion. He stopped a few paces from the young brunette and shoved his hands into his unusually wrinkled suit pants, head hung in shame. From every pore came the scent of alcohol, and Logan had to wonder how they had even let him on the plane.

"I 'ad this dream last night," he said, and winced, bringing one hand up to rub his temple in pain. "I wos bloody sleepin' an' the rot phone rang. I picked it up, an' I 'eard your voice. You said you were sorry, but I didn' know for wot. You asked if you could come ova, an' I said no. I was about to ask if I could come ova here, but the sodding line went dead." He paused and looked up at Kitty, his bright blue eyes full of hope. "I woke up a couple a 'ours later, an' I could only think 'ow much I missed your voice. I 'ad the bloody phone receiva in my hand, 'am all I could think was, 'Was it a dream?' The phone was unplugged from the wall, so I took a chance. I 'ad the worst sodding 'angova from 'ell, but I caught the nex' flight out. So if you'll forgive me ..."

Tears streaked down Kitty's face as she launched herself at the Englishman, throwing her arms around him as if her life depended on it, and Logan took this as his cue for exit, stage left.

* * * *

"What's this crap?" Jubilee stared at the bowl of pasty mush that Logan had brought her up for breakfast, then eyed the paprika-laden omelet Remy had received.

"It's called oatmeal," the Canadian told her, ignoring the bitterness in her voice as he settled on the couch and turned on CNN to catch the latest news. "As in, somethin' y' can digest after not havin' much t' eat fer the past week."

"I had chips last night!" she protested, but her argument fell on deaf ears as Kitty entered the room, absolutely beaming.

"I just wanted to say goodbye," she told Logan softly, leaning down to give him a hug. "I'm going to London for a while. Thank you." She straightened and turned to Jubilee. "And I wanted to say I'm sorry for how I've acted."

The girl shrugged, watching the pale sludge drip from her spoon as if she were engrossed in it.

Kitty waited a moment, as if expecting an answer, then faced Logan again. "I'll call. And send a postcard or something."

"What, no goodbye for Remy?" the Cajun asked, feigning hurt as she was about to leave. The young woman regarded him awkwardly. They had only just met, when the ex-thief had returned to the team after being abandoned in Antarctica, and she hadn't quite gotten her bearings on him.

"Umm ..."

Remy stood, considering sweeping her off her feet with a passionate kiss, then spotted Pete standing just outside the doorway, and, remembering the white-hot daggers the former Excalibur member could pull from nothingness with but a thought, decided it wasn't worth it and extended a hand. "Au revior, Kate."

She smiled, relief washing over her visibly, and shook his hand, "Bye," and bounded from the room. The three remaining occupants watched the general direction she had gone for a few moments, then returned to normal abruptly, Logan's attention shifting to the TV while Remy suggested that Jubilee try the oatmeal with milk and brown sugar.

(Written by Dana Night)

* * * *

Jean moved quietly in the kitchen, moving between the coffee pot and the refrigerator, to the table and back to the refrigerator in a steady pace. Ororo Munroe watched her with some aggravation, sighing again as she sipped at her tea. "Jean, really, you must sit down and stop with your continuous worrying."

"I can't Ororo. I didn't mean to upset Jubilee. I actually thought that it would help her out by being around the thing's she loved, as did Hank and yourself." she sank into a pulled out chair beside her friend at the wooden table. "Her friends at the Academy asked that the decorations be put up, and I only did as they asked. I should have known."

"You can't have known. When one is depressed, they are unable to function properly. They do not act as a normal person should. You had no way to know what would happen if the decorations were put up." Ororo sipped at her rose hip tea again, watching her best friend as she twisted one curl of bright red hair around her finger. Chewing her lip, she reached out and patted her hand, hoping that she could take some of her guilt away by the simple gesture. "Please Jean. Trust me, Remy continues to have the same problem as Jubilee, as did Logan at one time. She is in good hands and speeding towards recovery with those two in charge of her."

Jean looked doubtfully at her friend and then moved to stand as the doorbell rang. Glancing at the clock as she pushed the swinging door open, she noticed that it was very early, but opened the heavy oak quickly, a cool breeze pushing in as she did so. Waiting behind the door, three of the Massachusetts Academy's better known students, Angelo Espinosa, Paige Guthrie and Jonothan Starsmore, stood weary and looking frazzled.

"What are you doing here?" Jean asked, inviting them inside to explain. "Jubilee had a hard enough time as it is seeing your items and the decorated room. I don't think she's up to seeing you right now."

"We're very sorry if we've upset the chica more than she already is, but we had to see her." Angelo said, looking at the stairway before him. "We told Ev to stay at home, 'cause he has a way of upsetting people without even knowin' it."

"Angelo, I know this will hurt, but Jubilee has said that she has no friends or family left, here or elsewhere. Logan and Remy are the only people she'll trust right now, and maybe Bobby, but other than that, she is having a hard time with her thoughts and actions around others."

*We jus' wont to see the gel once, say we're sorry an' be on our bloody way.* Jono's telepathic voice spoke through their minds and he turned, hearing a thumping coming down the same kitchen hallway that Jean had just walked from.

"My dear resident red head, please do excuse the interruption of these fine children! I have let them enter the grounds to see our young sparkler to better ease her sickness." Hank stopped, smiling at them and then turned to Jean.

"Hank, that isn't a good know how she reacted the other day..." Jean began to gesture as she spoke with Hank in the doorway, the three students before her waiting patiently.

"Jean, from what I have heard, her first expression was one of genuine caring and only became depressed and angered when she was allowed the time to think it over."

Chewing her lip almost painfully, Jean glanced at the three children before her as they fidgeted nervously in the hallway. Sighing, she looked at the stairs and then back at Hank, unsure of what to do for one of the few times in her life.

* * * *

Remy blinked out of the deep-trance he had gone into, raking a hand through his hair quicky. Sitting up, he glanced at Jubilee and then looked over at Logan, nudging him silently with his sharp elbow. Logan flicked the button on the remote to off, the television screen dying out and going black with a small buzz.

To his left, Jubilee had fallen asleep yet again watching TV though this time her headphones loudly blared into her ears, head tilted to the side slightly. Logan moved to the bed to shift her into a more comfortable position, and Jubilee moaned a bit at a sudden movement in her stomach. Helping her lay down, he pulled the earphones from her ears and turned off the Smashing Pumpkins music, placing the whole twisted mess of wires and machines on the table.

Logan sat still, just near the edge of the bed, listening to the child before him breathe shallowly, sleep easing her face into a mask of calm and happiness. The bruise on her cheek was almost completely gone, only the scratch and a fading dull wash of green showing through. Her hair had been brushed back into a small, short, little ponytail at the base of her neck, but stray locks covered her face, her bangs disheveled.

Remy smiled at Logan and moved the empty oatmeal bowl from the side of the bed. "She looks pretty good for what she been t'rough, don' she?"

"Yeah. She's strong, she'll pull through okay." Logan picked up the thin, bent hand that lay before him, holding it tightly in his own. "She's a good girl and everything that happened to her did this, but she's beating it, slowly."

"She learned from de best." Logan gave a snort and placed her hand on her stomach, where it clenched involuntarily against the whispered voices. "What, you t'ink Remy was talkin' 'bout you? I was referring to me."

Logan chuckled and stood to go to the door, but turned back to speak. "Watch her for a minute, Gumbo. I gotta get some more coffee."

Closing the door behind him quietly, he chuckled to himself again and headed down the still dark hallway, hearing the soft individual voices that no one else could hear floating out of the bedrooms on either side. Remy's door still stood open and Logan moved to close it as it usually was, pulling it shut softly. Coming to the top of the stairs, he stopped, voices and scents floating up from the ground below, near the front door. Jean and Hank were arguing about Jubilee below the landing, but three other people stood below, three of Jubilee's friends from the Academy; Jono, Paige and Angelo were fidgeting as they looked on.

(Written by Nova Zion)