by Somogyi

This is my first time posting a story. Any comments and/or criticisms would be welcomed. The story features Jubilee and takes place after Wolverine left the team (following the loss of his adamantium) and before she joined Generation X. Jubilee, Wolverine, and all other featured characters are property of Marvel Entertainment. Some dialogue taken from Wolverine #75, by Larry Hama. Characters are used without permission and no profit is being made. Enjoy!


It was a beautiful spring morning. A slight breeze caressed the trees and flowers lovingly, making the air crisp and cool. The sun pierced through the few clouds that floated in the bright sky, and shone through one of the second-story windows of the mansion that stood at 1407 Graymalkin Lane, in Salem Center, Westchester County. The teenager who occupied the room was fast asleep when the beam of light traveled across the room and landed on her bed.

She stirred, and rolled over. The light fell across her face. Her nose twitched and then her eyelids fluttered before she reluctantly opened her eyes and greeted the new day.

Yawning, she sat up, running her fingers through her short-cropped black hair. She then stretched her arms over her head and looked around the room groggily. Her eyes stopped at the window when she caught sight of the deep blue sky.

Eyes widened and mouth curled in an enormous grin, she jumped out of bed and hurried to the window. Pushing it open, she stuck her head out and took a deep breath.

"Perfect!" she exclaimed, pulling her head back inside.

She dressed quickly, putting on jeans and a sweat shirt. Before she left, she walked over to the mirror.

"Can't very well go anywhere without my shades," she said, watching her reflection as she put them on top of her head. "Tres cool, or what?" Smiling, she grabbed her blades, slung them over her shoulder, and left the room.

She scampered down the stairs and, upon reaching the first floor, made her way to the front door.

"Getta load'a that air!" Closing her eyes, she inhaled deeply. "An' those killer rays!" She pulled her sunglasses down over her eyes. "Definitely a perfect day to go blading!"

Sitting down on the steps, she put on her roller blades and laced them up. Then, being sure her sunglasses were secure, she skated away.

She loved to go blading. It were as though the skates were made for her. Not only had she mastered using them- the natural agility and sense of balance she had developed during her years of gymnastics training obviously contributing to her skill with the blades- but she also loved to use them. Whenever she wanted to be alone, all she had to do was put them on and go wherever her legs took her.

It was a great feeling. With the wind blowing in her face, the adrenaline flooding her veins, her heart pounding, her blood racing, and every muscle straining to go faster and faster, she felt truly alive. She was exhilarated when she pushed herself to the limit. Not only could she keep in shape, honing her agility to the peak of perfection, but she could also prove that she controlled her body, and that it never got the best of her.

Blading also gave her the perfect opportunity to think. With no one around to bother her, there was no way for her to be told what to do or what to say or what to think. There was no one there to tell her what she should be feeling. No one there. She was alone . . .

Hot tears filled her eyes.

*No!* she thought defiantly. *You promised yourself you wouldn't do this! Why now? It's been weeks since it happened. Why should it get to you now?*

She increased her speed, trying to leave the thoughts behind. But, try as she might, she could not; they would always be there.

"I ain't hardly the best any longer. I am just a liability to the rest of the team. I should retire my pinstripes before I get traded to the minors."

The words burned at her heart.

*Why did he have to do it?* she thought angrily, moving her legs more quickly. *We were best buds! I could've helped him!*

She skated faster and faster. Beads of sweat formed on her forehead. Her legs began to throb with pain. She wanted to collapse, but still she pushed on, never yielding, straining herself to near the breaking point.

"I understand that you are going through a difficult time right now. I wish I could be here for you, but it just cannot be."

*Yeah, right! After all I've done for you, Wolvie: I saved you from the Reavers an' nursed you back to health. I fought by your side 'gainst creeps like Omega Red an' Sabretooth. Hell, I even put up with your stinkin' macho poop! An' whaddaya do? You cop out on me! You go an' leave me all alone! Is that how you show your gratitude? Is that how you show your lo-* "OWWW!"

Her foot struck a rock and she flew several yards across the road. She reached out her arms, flailing them wildly, in an attempt to slow her fall. All she succeeded in doing, however, was ripping her jeans and skinning her knee as she hit the ground hard.

At first, she did not move. She just lay there silently, unmoving. Then the tears came.

It was not the physical pain that made her weep, but her emotional agony. Her heart ached. All the hurt and anger that had been pent up inside her for the past weeks finally found its way to the surface. Her body racked with sobs.

"Why, Logan? Why?" she moaned, raising her head and staring out at the road through tear-filled eyes. "Why d-did you go? Why d-didn't you st-stay an' let me h-help you? We c-coulda s-seen our w-way through this- together- l-like we always d-did. W-Why'd you h-have ta g-g-go an' . . . an' . . . "

". . . and leave you behind?"

The words echoed hollowly in her mind. Though she would never admit it, she found it comforting to hear the familiar voice. She looked up at the red-haired woman who had unexpectedly appeared.

"Because he needed some time alone to mend, and to sort things out in his head," the woman explained.

As of late, the girl had been coming to rely on her a great deal. She did not like to have to depend on anyone - especially not now, since the last person she had come to trust went away, just like all the others. Opening herself up was difficult, and although deep down she truly desired the help, she could not stop herself from lashing out.

"What are you doing here, Jean?" she snapped, the words harsher than she had intended.

"I was out for a morning jog when I saw you skate by. You looked upset. Jubilee, talk to me. I want to help."

The teenager hesitated. It seemed as though every person she had come to care about had left her. First her parents, then Logan. What if she got close to Jean, too? Would Jean leave her, as the rest did? She did not want to be hurt again. But, right now, the last thing she wanted - or needed, for that matter - was to be alone.

"Why, Jean?" she cried out abruptly. "Why'd he leave? Didn't . . . Didn't he . . . love me?" The final words caught in her throat as a fresh set of tears streamed down her cheeks. She sobbed despairingly, burying her face in her hands.

Suddenly, Jean was kneeling beside her, holding the girl in her arms.

"Of course he loved you, Jubilee," she assured her as she gently stroked her back. "He cared about you a great deal- he still does. But there was nothing you- nothing *any* of us- could do to help him. This was something he had to do by himself. As hard as that is for us to understand, we have to respect his wishes."

Jubilee wept for what seemed to be an eternity. Eventually, the sobs came less and less frequently until the tears stopped flowing entirely.

Slowly, she pulled away, wiping her cheeks with the back of her hands.

"I-I'm sorry I lost it like that."

"There's nothing to apologize for, kiddo. You didn't do anything wrong. I would have been worried if you didn't let your feeling out like this sooner or later."

"Yeah, I guess," she whispered, looking down at the ground.

"I sense a 'but' coming on. What is it? What else is bothering you?"

"I know this sounds really stupid an' all, but, Jean, is it selfish of me? To feel like he abandoned me, I mean? After all, *he* was the one who was hurting."

"It's perfectly understandable, Jube. You know, I was a little upset that Logan wasn't here for my wedding. I wished he could have been here for me, but I came to realize that it just wasn't possible. That didn't make it hurt any less, though. So I just told myself that wherever he was, he would be thinking about us. And it worked, because I swear to you - I could feel his presence with us that day. He was in our hearts and minds, even if he could not be there in person.

"Honey, you had been alone so long before you met him. Logan was the first adult to truly care about you since your parents' deaths. You two shared a special bond. The pain from his leaving is to be expected. It's going to take some time for *you* to heal, too."

She took Jubilee's hand in hers. "I'm here for you, kiddo. Whenever you need to talk."

Jubilee blinked back tears, touched that Jean would confide in her. She felt closer to Jean at that moment than she ever had before. And she felt an overwhelming desire to return the gesture. "I've never told anyone this before, but sometimes, when I get really sad, I wish my mom was still around, so I could have someone to talk to 'bout things. I know that she can't be an' I'll always miss her, but . . . well . . ." She paused a moment. "I'm glad you're here, Jean. Thanks," she whispered, embracing her.

This time it was Jean's eyes which became misty. "Any time you need me, Jubilee, I'm here. Remember that."

"I will," she said, nodding her head.

"What say we get beck to the mansion? We'll get you cleaned up and bandaged, and get something to eat."

"Okay," Jubilee agreed, getting to her feet. She winced, barely able to bend her injured knee.

"Here, lean on me," Jean said, helping her as they began the trek back toward the house.

They walked in silence for a few moments. Jubilee was the first to speak. "Jean . . . ?"


"Do you think that . . . do you think Wolvie . . . that he misses me?"

"As much as you miss him," she replied, putting her arm around Jubilee's shoulders. "Don't worry, sweetie. He'll be back soon. You'll see."

"Think of me sometimes, and smile, because that is how I will always remember you. And remember that I will always miss you more than you will ever know."

*I love you, Wolvster,* Jubilee thought with a smile. *Now and always.*

Jennifer Sorowitz
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