Another Day Approaches

by Jen

Hey! I've got the sequel (sort of) to 'Nine Lives'! Finally, I've defeated that evil EVIL thing called writer's block! Well, here it is!! Yeah for me! :) (It's absolutely amazing what staying up 'till 5 am can do to a person).

It is night and all is still and quiet at the Xavier School For Gifted Youngsters, its ・students・ having retired to their beds hours ago. The Harvest Moon hangs low in the sky, its radiance casting shadows across the ground, and the wind toys with the leaves in the trees. A lone man walks slowly out of the darkness and approaches the Mansion, his thoughts turned inward, his eyes wary. He ignores the huge front gates and continues around the wall until he is almost behind the Mansion where a woman awaits him.

She is Ororo Munroe, co-leader of the X-Men, code-named Storm. Yet she is not here to command her team-mates into battle. No, she is here to welcome home an old friend.

・Logan,・ she says softly, reaching down and embracing the long missing mutant. Then her eyes fill with sorrow and tears as she gazes upon the stricken mutant. ・Oh, Logan. How bad has it gotten?・

Logan shrugs. ・Legacy・s deadly, darlin・. Ya know that.・

・Yes, but to have this much effect on your appearance....・

He has aged so much in the past 5 years that he is almost unrecognizable. His once black hair is now white, his once sharp eyes dull and his body shakes with an old man・s weariness.

・Legacy took out whatever was keepin・ me young, ・Ro. Plus my healin・ factor and even got ta my claws.・ He looks at her sharply. ・I・m diein・ an・ there・s no gettin・ around that. That・s why I came back an・ contacted ya. I need ta say my good-byes.・

・But why not say it in person, Logan?・ Ororo says quietly, frustrated. ・Jubilation would .....・

・I can・t let her see me like this. I want her ta remember th・ good times, not when I was diein・・. Ya understand?・

And she did. Though she hated it.

・I will do as you asked me to. The security is set so that you will be undetected. Do you wish for me to accompany you?・

He hesitates, remembering when he could have moved in the Mansion undetected by either person or machine without help. Now, it seems he must lean on someone to get through this last mission. As much as it galled him.

・Yeah, ・Ro. Let・s do this and get it done with. I got a little place up North that・s waitin・ for me.・

She picks him up and flies over the wall, and nearly cries out loud at how light he has gotten, but she bites her tongue. This is important to him and nothing she will do with spoil his last act.

In a few minutes they are inside, and the scents are almost heady to the man once known as Wolverine. This was home. No matter how you sliced it, no matter how you looked at it.

He was home, if only for a short while.

Logan carefully takes out a packet, filled to the brim with envelopes addressed to the members of the X-Men.

He nods at his companion and together they slowly walk through the house.


Jubilee・s room.

Logan stops. This is the last one, the one he had been dreading and at the same time straining to get to. She was one of the most important people to him.

・I gotta do this alone, darlin・.・

・You are sure that is wise, Logan?・

・Yeah. Wait fer me out here.・ With that, he takes a deep breath and quietly pushes open the door.

Logan just breaths for a few precious moments, trying to memorize her scent, trying to burn it into his brain. He makes his way slowly over to bed, and fingers the letter he has written to her.

She is peacefully asleep, looking younger than her twenty-one years. He knows, from a source, that she is dating Gambit, and very very happy. He also knows just how much it hurt her when he left, but he didn・t have much of a choice. Not only did he find out what hideous acts he had done under Sinister・s control, he also found out that he had contracted the Legacy Virus, and he was not going to endanger her or his other friends like that.

He wishes now that he could explain in person, but too little too late. As soon as this is over, Storm is flying him to his cabin where he is to be buried.

・I wish I coulda been there fer ya, darlin・,・ he thinks as he places the letter next to a picture of her and Gambit hugging. ・But ya grew up jus・ fine without me, a little sadder but grew up. I・ll watch over ya, I promise kid.・

And with that, he leaves and heads towards the waiting arms of Ororo and of Lady Death, whom he has danced with many a times. It seems, though, that she wants one slow one for the road.


Just before sunrise....

Jubilee stretches, and shakes her head. She could have sworn someone had been in her room, but decides its a dream. Until she spies the letter on her nightstand.

Warily, she takes it up and nearly cries out when she sees the handwriting. Even after five long heartwrenching years, she knows its him. Logan.

Tears streaming down her face in rivets, she hastily rips open the envelope and reads.

Dear Jubilee,
Kid, this is my last good-bye. I know I caused ya a lot of
heartache, and tears me up inside. But I had ta do it. I contacted the
Legacy Virus....

Sobs are know shaking her small body, but she pushes on. She needs to know.・ didn・t want anyone ta become infected ・cause of me. I know
you, you probably tried ta blame yerself. Well, darlin・, don・t. It
wasn・t anybody・s fault.

You・ve come a long way, Jubilee, from the little firecracker who
pulled me off of that cross. Yer know a beautiful young woman, with your
life ahead of ya. Don・t waste it. Enjoy it ta the last.
I・ll....damn this is hard....I・ll miss ya. Remember everythin・ I
taught ya. ・Bout life, ・bout death, ・bout fightin・, and especially ・bout
tickin・ Cyke off. Now that I・m gone, yer gonna have ta take my place in that.

Darlin・, I・m goin・ to Canada ta die. This is the last time I・ll see
ya before ya make it up here(better not be too soon!). Take care o・that
Cajun, but most importantly, take care o・yerself.

You were always my daughter.


The letter fell from her fingers as Jubilee sobbed. It was a cleansing, of sorts, and Logan had known it would be just what she would need.

As dawn flickers on the horizon, another day approaches, lesser a great man but stronger a great woman.