All Eyes On Me: Part 4-6

by Nova Zion and Dana Night

Part Four

Jubilee gripped her wrists, feeling the little imperfect scars that trailed her veins as if in a game of tag. Sighing miserably, she stopped her fight, feeling Logan's arms holding onto her as tears dripped onto his pants.

"You've got Kitty now..." was all she said, repeating it as if it was a life line. It was almost silent, quiet as it was, but Logan delicate ears picked it up, his heart breaking as he heard her whisper it over and over, rocking a bit and rubbing her wrists harshly. Her breaths drew in ragged and shallow, rasping as they caught in her throat. Her ribs expanded and Logan heard the weakest cracks as they moved with each breath as though in a rhythm. "You've got Kitty now..."

Logan had to break the silence. Stir crazy as he was in this small room, it was worse to hear her unknowingly accusing him of not wanting her. He'd known she'd been in bad shape after Operation: Zero Tolerance; he'd told Cyclops when they'd first walked through the desert away from the Hulkbuster base and towards the X-Men. But Kitty had been having a hard time with her break-up with Pete and when she'd turned to him for help, he dived in, making any excuses to not talk to Jubilee, to not find out what happened while she was with Bastion. He'd been scared, and now he would pay for it. But the mantra Jubilee spoke now would surely drive him mad if he didn't stop it.

"Darlin'?" Logan tucked a hand under Jubilee's chin and lifted her head, looking at her tear stained face with the dull, drained eyes. A skeleton stared back at him, cheek bones drawn in and black circles marking her experiences. Limp hair fell against his hand and the purple and blue bruise splattered across her cheek like a painting. "Yesterday...why'd ya ask me if the scientist's hands were cold?"

"I dunno." she wrenched her head away from him, looking down again. Logan gently pulled her into his lap, her head cradled against his shoulder softly. She still rubbed at her wrists, her eyes sparkling with tears like stars in the sky. The tone in her voice changed and Logan knew she was lying, the stench of fear permeating his senses. "Just a question I guess..."

"What'd they do t'ya in the base J?"

"Y'know...starving me...beatings..." she mumbled as she picked her brain for the pieces of knowledge she had let them know. Logan shook his head as the stench grew stronger, filling his brain.

"What else darlin'?"

"Experiments." she whispered, rubbing her wrists harder. "Horrible..."

"What'd they do Jubes?"

"They tested on me mostly ... and they gave me so many drugs that sometimes they'd hafta pump my stomach out after. I would fight back and try t' be strong like ya told me, but they beat me back."

"Is that why you cut yer wrists?"

"I cut my wrists with a rock ... after the third test and they ... put me in a straight jacket so I would couldn't try it again. Their hands were cold. They cut my hair off...and they..." she mumbled off, scared to admit to anything further than the experiments and beatings. "They didn't actually starve me ... I threw up any food they gave me 'cause I was so sick from the pumping and drugs."

She felt relief at pouring the story out to someone she could trust, someone who loved her. But her face hardened slightly as a voice in her head said that he hadn't been there, he didn't love her because he hadn't tried to save her at all.

"Why didn't ya tell anyone?" he whispered near her ear, saddened at her past lack of trust. He'd thought that Bastion was disgusting for trying the mass-murder and imprisonment of mutants before he'd even met him and now he felt even worse, knowing he had harmed Jubilee so badly and hadn't paid for it.

"I'm scared." she whispered quietly, staring at the silver disk of a moon through the nearby window. Logan hugged her carefully and kissed her forehead. Jubilee closed her eyes, wrists glowing crimson with the rubbing, and cried against his shoulder, her back and ribs aching as her cuts moved with the inhalation of each heavy breath.

(Written by Nova Zion)

* * * *


Logan snapped awake from his position on the small, shabby couch that had been his bed for the past few nights. It was uncomfortable, too small with a spring trying to pierce his back every time he shifted, but he hardly noticed. He would have slept on a bed of nails if it would have done anything for the bruised seraph that occupied his room. And that had just whispered a desperate plea in her haunted slumber.

The blinds clicked softly against the windowpane as the breeze picked up through the open window, and somewhere a lamp flickered, buzzing loudly. Standing to check on his young charge, he slid the window shut, then knelt beside the bed, gazing through the shroud of darkness at her battered and bandaged face. A look of pain crossed her delicate features and a tear slid silently down her rose petal cheek as she breathed, "No..."

Reaching over to flick on the bedside lamp, Logan smoothed the feathery tresses from his little girl's drawn face, calling softly, "Jubilation."

Her blue eyes flew open in terror, and she lifted her hands to defend herself, but her mentor caught them, gently curling them into fists in his large palms before any drastic measures were taken. Sweat dripped from her hairline and into her almond-shaped eyes as they focused on his face and recognition flittered through their glassy depths. Falling back against her pillow, she lay trembling and weeping, too exhausted -- mentally, physically, emotionally -- to speak. Logan wanted to hold her, but dared not as she was in such a delicate state. He released her hands and instead brushed her ebony locks from her damp forehead, his touch gentle, each movement speaking volumes of his love for her.

"I-I-I ... I didn't ... I didn't tell ya ... everythin', Wolvie," Jubilee hiccupped once she had gathered her strength. "Th-there ... there's more." She looked up at him, her eyes pleading for him to ask her to go on, and it took everything he had to comply.

"What'd they ... do t'ya, J?" he choked, wishing he did not have to hear.

"Th-th-there was ... was an ... an o-operation. Th-they ... I ..." She stopped, squeezing her eyes shut and, with her one good hand, pushed her covers to her hips and drew her nightshirt up to her taped ribs. There, on the tender, pale flesh just below and to either side of her bellybutton, Logan's keen eyesight picked out two pink scars, each about an inch in length. And for the first time that he could remember, the Canadian felt bile rising in his throat. Pushing it away, he turned his gaze to her taut face.

"Th-they were ... t-t-tryin' ta b-break my s-spirit. B-B-Bastion said h-he didn't ... didn't wanna b-be responsible fer ... fer any ... any m-more a m-m-my k-kind bein' born. Th-th-they ... so cold ...." She stopped, staring at the ceiling, her lips curling in a silent sob. "Th-they ... they took ... I can't ... I'll never be a mom."

She looked at him and shook her head just barely, her voice dropping to but a breath as she went on. "Then they ... Bastion watched as they ... they all got a turn ... a-an' it was like I ... an' all I could ... could think was ... was 'Wolvie'll save me.'"

(Written by Dana Night)

Part Five

Logan shuddered, his stomach cramping and his head swimming with sickness and pain. Below him, Jubilee began to sob and suck in deep breaths of air. Stroking her face, he tried in vain to soothe her with words of calm and peace, wishing to god that he'd actually been there for his little girl. In her worst hours, she had wished for him and he'd done nothing. He hadn't even known she was gone until he'd smelled her in the desert. Gently, he pulled her nightshirt back down, tucking the bandaging back into place. "That was the third experiment..."

Jubilee tried to speak more clearly, but her voice came out in a strangled half-gasp, half-whisper. "They ... they gave me s-some drugs and ... and put me in my c-c-cell after. T-t-the last person in there ... picked apart a-a rock a-a-and I slashed my ... wrists. I was ... s-so cold and they ... came again ..."

"Okay Jubes. You're gonna be okay. We'll get Jeannie and Chuck t' help ya through this..." Logan leaned over and hugged her, feeling her bony hands gripping to his shoulders tightly. She sobbed near his ear, where her cries were heard ten times louder than a normal man would hear. The sound pounded into Logan's brain, erasing all other thoughts and after a time, he cried with her, holding onto her for dear life as she did to him.

* * * *

Remy LeBeau tossed in his sleep, rolling to the walled off edge of the bed and curling into a ball. Twisting, he shed his covers and lay out on the shadowed mattress, staring at the ceiling. The black silk of the sheets shone in the moonlight, appearing to be a lake of dark water, surrounding the lean, slender body. Clad in red boxers, Remy swung his legs over the edge of the bed and grabbed the jeans he had been wearing earlier from the pile on the floor. Something was wrong, and he'd find out what tonight, while the others slumbered still.

Slipping down the hall, the shadows consumed the figure and covered him from any watchful eyes. He heard sobbing down the hall, silent to others ears, but audible to him by his thieving abilities. Lesson one was to be aware and right now, somebody was in a very sad state in Logan's room. He slipped the door open a crack, then a bit more, and looked inside. This room radiated with hate, pain and anger, mostly from the man hunched over the bed, but the little girl on the bed itself pushed terror and fear at him, his empathic abilities absorbing it until his head swam.

Remy slipped into the shadows and shut the door as quietly as he had opened it. He watched as Logan pulled the folds of blanket up over her small frame. Jubilee sobbed quietly as she stared at the ceiling, clutching her small doll, Bamf, to her chest. Logan stroked her hair down and she mumbled something about pain and fear again. Lifting her wrists, Logan patted one finger to her veins and then kissed the upraised blue lines tenderly, tears shining in his eyes. Jubilee nodded and continued to watch the ceiling as her voice raised slightly.

"I-I-I don't ... want to talk a-about it anymore. It ... still hurts. I can s-still feel i-it..." she cried out shrilly. "A-and it's all I can ever t-t-think ... about a-anymore."

Remy stepped softly from the shadows, eyes blazing ruby and onyx in the sudden moonlight from the window. Looking at Logan, he fell down beside the bed and Jubilee closed her eyes, silent tears slipping from the corners. Remy's hand laid across her forehead and she quieted a bit at the warmth it radiated through her body. "Remy can feel your pain and sadness t'rough de whole house petite..."

"Let her go t' sleep Cajun..." Logan growled, snapping his hand away.

"You..." he pointed at Logan with his other hand. "You be radiatin' anger an' pain. You need t' take a walk an' let de petite get away from de hate..."

"I'm stayin' right here."

"No. Remy watch de petite f' a bit while you go an' drink a beer f' an hour. Go t' Harry's 'fore it closes an' Remy watch Jubilee sleep. You too angry right now..."

Logan began to shake his head, but Remy gently took his hand and made him stand, propelling him near the door. "Go. One hour and den you can stay forever."

Logan slumped in defeat as Remy sat beside Jubilee on the bed, picking up her hand. Logan opened the door and looked back as he began to brush Jubilee's hair away from her face. Shutting the blinds as the door swung shut silently, the room filled with deep black shadows, slivers of moonlight illuminating the carpet in stripes.

(Written by Nova Zion)

Remy looked down at the pyrotechnic's tear-streaked face as the door clicked softly shut. Her blue eyes glistened with dampness, but her crying stopped as he pulled a chair from the hall into the room. He watched as her gaze wandered about the room, glancing over items he was sure she had seen a thousand times in the past few days, to finally settle on his chin, unable to meet his own "devil's eyes," as they had so fondly called them in the Thieves' Guild, way back when.

Reaching out, he tried to brush the tears from her pale cheeks, but she turned away, snapping, "Don't touch me."

"Dat fine, petite," he assured her, drawing away. "Remy understand."

Leaning back in the old chair, he put a foot against the bedframe and pulled a deck of playing cards, seemingly from nowhere. "Wanna play?"


"Pour quoi, ma chere?"

She met his eyes for the first time, stating flatly, "You cheat."

Gambit's hand flew to cover his heart as he threw his head back in feigned hurt. "Oh, petite, you don' trust Remy?" She made no reply, but her silence and the look she gave him was answer enough. Shrugging, he brushed his straight brown hair over his shoulder and shuffled the cards. "How 'bout Remy tell you a story?"

Jubilee cocked an eyebrow at the lean man, feeling the pull of her healing flesh beneath the bandage on her cheek. "I dunno." Despite herself, she was intrigued. "Okay, shoot."

All the while staring at her, the ex-thief shuffled his cards once, twice, three times, then pulled the top one off, laying it face-up on the mattress beside her. One eye of a blonde jack stared off into the distance, feather and battle axe held at ready. Next, he flipped over a queen, placing it next to the jack, a four-petaled flower with a straight stem clutched at her side in one tired hand. "Now," began the Cajun, shuffling his cards again, "De Jack o' Hearts t'ought de Queen o' Hearts was a real tart. So one bright, summer day, he steal de Queen o' Hearts, t'inkin' she was a tart. Well," and he lay a white-haired king beside the other two, one hand covering his heart, the other holding a small dagger that was thrust into the back of his head, "De King o' Hearts, he hear o' dis, an' he go an' capture de Jack o' Hearts, an' he bring home his Queen o' Hearts, who was a tart. C'est finis."

Jubilee studied the cards laid out beside her and looked up at her former teammate. "A pastry," she said quietly.

"Excusez moi?"

She licked her lips. "A tart is a pastry," she informed him. "It's like a little pie, but with no top crust."

It was Gambit's turn to scrutinize the three cards before scooping them up and announcing, "Well, dat change de story, non?"

Despite her best efforts not to, Jubilee had to smile, and she looked away, not wanting to admit that he had performed this small miracle. A huge weight seemed to be lifted from her soul, and for a fraction of a second, all pain, every iniquity against her, was forgotten, and there was just happiness.

Taking the girl's skeletal hand, Remy kissed her knuckles dramatically, informing her, "In Cajun country, dere a saying: 'Son sourire, c'est soliel.'"

"What's it mean?"

Gambit grinned charmingly and replied, "Your smile is sunshine." He paused, then stood. "I bet dey not let you have chocolate, non?"

"No, I-"

"Well den, you must be gettin' low. Stay here, Remy be back 'fore you can say, 'Tiens.'" He waited for her response, not wanting to leave her alone without her consent.

Rolling her eyes, she replied softly, "I ain't goin' nowhere anytime soon."

His eyes darting around the immediate area to surreptitiously check that there were no instruments of bodily destruction within her reach, the Cajun dashed from the room, feeling better than he had in a long time. He returned a moment later, a long, flat box in hand.

"What's 'tiens' mean anyway?" the young Chinese-American inquired as he resumed his position in the chair beside her.

"It mean, 'Here, take dis.'" He set the box by her pillow and lifted the lid to reveal six by four rows of assorted chocolate.

She looked hungrily at the candy, then at Remy. "Dude, ya didn' get this fer me."

He shrugged. "Dere no one Remy rather share it wit' right now. Eat up. We only got forty minutes 'fore Logan get back."

Another smile, this one composed of half mischievousness and half gratefulness, caressed her bruised lips as she reached for her first indulgent piece of ambrosia. "Thanks, Gumbo."

"Any time, petite."

(Written by Dana Night)

Part Six

"The others'll kill ya if they know I ate chocolate from you. I'm supposed t' only be eating things that taste like cardboard."

"Dat don' sound too good chere. Chocolate is better. However, if Hank were t' find out, I'm sure I'd never get to take care o' y' again, ever." Remy chose another chocolate and than sat up, cracking the window again. A strong breeze blew in and Jubilee looked at him quizzically as the fresh, crisp air blew over them. "Remy just remember Logan's nose. Ah, but nothin' a little open window won't fix." Laying back heavily, she moaned as she moved her ribs.

"What's wrong?" Remy asked, sitting up. He leaned over the bed, his face worried beyond belief at her expression alone.

"Nothing, I just moved my rib cage a bit." she replied, trying to sit very still as the pain radiated through her body and settled slowly. "Be fine in a minute."

"Have you moved at all in de last few days, petite?" he asked, settling uneasily into his chair again.

"Yeah." her voice grew slightly bitter. "I flew and rolled off the roof a bit, then I was put in here."

"'Sides dat." Remy said, looking at her steadily. "Anyone walked ya around?"

"Jean comes in and makes sure I can get to the bathroom and Wolvie's lifted me up t' hug me a few times." she muttered, taking another chocolate.

"Well den. Dat be nothin'! How dey expect ya t' heal when y' gotta stare at de ceiling every day! Sure, y' might heal on de outside, but y' inside's goin' t' mush just sittin' dere!" Remy sat up and leaned over the bed again. "How's 'bout Remy take y' f' a walk down de hall t' my room an' den back. Remy promise t' be careful an' not hurt y'. We only got half an hour an' it only be eight doors down."

"I dunno..." she said, putting down the chocolate she had just picked up. "Hank said I shouldn't move 'til my ribs and back are at least healed a bit..."

"I carried hurt people 'fore. Five star ratings, best in de business. Highly recommended."

"Okay, but just t' yer room and back..." Jubilee let Remy pick her up gently and then settled her against his chest, holding her securely in a fireman's hold. Jubilee buried her head near his neck, breathing in the aftershave as she saw out the window for the first time in days. He wore no shirt and a pair of ripped blue jeans she noted, she'd probably woken him up. His hair fell freely past his shoulders and Jubilee stretched an arm around his neck and held on, feeling the silky locks cover her hand.

Remy used his thieving abilities to open the door silently and they began to walk down to his room, Jubilee sitting quietly in his arms. Once they reached his room, Remy turned the handle and pushed the door open. Sitting her in a stuffed black chair in the corner, he went to his top dresser drawer and pulled it open, searching around inside for a few moments before turning back with his hands covering a gift for Jubilee. "Dis be why I really want y' t' come t' my room."

"What is it?" she asked as he handed it to her.

"Open it chere." Remy squatted down beside her, watching her begin to rip the edges and tape away. Throwing the paper to the side, she looked at a flat, palm-sized, black box for a moment. Then, opening the snap, she looked inside and smiled with delight. Laying in rich blue velvet, a small, silver, locket-sized 'X' shone with the moonlight from the window, a blue sapphire glowing from the center of the cross. A chain hid under the velvet and as she turned the X over, she read her codename across one line.

"Thank you..." she whispered, fingering the necklace.

"You're welcome petite." Remy said, kissing her forehead. He took her hand and kissed the knuckles again, holding her wrists. "What dis be?"

Turning her wrists over, he examined them carefully, his ruby night-vision allowing him to see the marks. "Oh Jubilee..." Remy turned over her other wrist and the chain dropped, the X hanging between her fingers solemnly.

"Please ... don't ... they're going away ... please don't tell..." Jubilee cried, her head hanging in shame as her arms went limp. Remy wound his arms around her and she flinched noticeably and tried to pull away from his firm hug.

"Remy not tell anyone. I know what it feels like, I tried dis once when I was young. But chere, de scars may go away, but de pain still stay inside if y' don' talk 'bout it..." Remy fastened the necklace around Jubilee's neck carefully and then picked her up, preparing to go back to Logan's room. Walking carefully, Remy made it back to his room and sat Jubilee on the bed, covering her up again and packed up the chocolates, stashing them beside the chair to quickly take with him when Logan returned in fifteen minutes.

"Thank you for the necklace Remy..." she said quietly. He took out his cards again and flicked them. "It's beautiful."

Nodding, Remy began to deal out cards. "One game an' den I gotta go."

"Okay..." Jubilee cracked a smile and picked up her cards. "Let's play blackjack. Angelo taught me how before ... uh ... Zero Tolerance..."

"Okay, but only since you sick. Or else we be playin' poker." Remy began the game and they played with hushed laughs and whispers of cheater amongst each other until Remy's head snapped to attention. "Logan be home petite. His bike pullin' in outside."

Jubilee picked up the cards and stuffed them back into the box, pulling her covers up carefully around her chest again, as they'd been when Logan had left. Remy closed the window until it was only opened an inch and leaned his chair back, talking with Jubilee quietly until Logan opened the door.

(Written by Nova Zion)

A few moments later, Logan entered the room, slightly favoring his right foot, a black bruise a rapidly fading shadow over his left eye. The scent of alcohol seemed to permeate from his very pores, and Jubilation and Remy exchanged a glance at the sight of him.

"Out, Gumbo," he commanded, looming threateningly over the half-dressed Cajun. "Time's up. Been an hour."

"I got two minutes," LeBeau coolly protested, suddenly wondering how he would get the chocolate from the room without his teammate smelling it, the close proximity that he was, if the Canadian hadn't already caught a whiff. The room immediately grew very small, and Remy couldn't help but think how little panic became him.

Realizing what was happening by the tenseness in Gambit's biceps and the way he nervously shuffled his cards, along with the deadly look in Logan's eyes and the way he kept curling and uncurling his large hands, Jubilee held up a hand to interrupt. "Leave him be, Wolvie. He was only tryin' ta help. Thanks Gumbo." Her tone was sincere, but final.

Taking the hint, and the remains of his box of chocolate, Remy nodded politely at the girl and left the room. Logan moved the chair aside and sat instead on the edge of the bed.

"What happened ta YOU?" Though her voice was stern, her blue eyes were soft and full of love as she nodded slightly at the now green bruise covering his eye.

"Huh? Oh, I, uh, ran int' somethin'."

She smirked. "Someone's fist?"

"Um, now that I think 'bout it, it mighta been a fist, yeah."

The room fell silent, the very shadows seeming to be holding their breath as the velvety darkness began to be washed from the eastern horizon as the rosy blush of dawn began creeping in. It was Jubilee who finally spoke, her voice a strained whisper, hovering in the cool air of the room before dissipating. "Was it a good fight?"

Logan sighed. "Wasn' much of a fight. I let some drunk bruise his fists on me before I got tired o' him an' sent him sprawlin'. One punch, it's over. I jus'... couldn' find the ol' enjoyment in it, y'know?" He paused, staring for a moment at the little beaten angel before him. "It ain't never gonna be th' same, is it?"

The girl didn't respond, but looked away, her eyes shining with tears or exhaustion, Logan could not tell which. Standing, the Canadian tucked the covers securely around his little girl and kissed her temple softly. "You should get t' sleep, darlin'," he whispered. "D'ya want the light on or off?"

"On," she barely replied, though she had no intention of closing her eyes until the new dawn had stripped the night sky raw and rosy, with the sun shining golden above the eastern horizon.

(Written by Dana Night)