Happy Families: Broken Promises

by Dyce

As promised, here is the beginning of the companion story to 'Maturity in B Minor'. Actually, it's turning out to be more of a series of loosly connected short stories and vignettes, exploring the reactions of various people to Jubilee's suicide attempt and disappearance. Entitled 'Happy Families', it will hopefully cover the varying emotional reactions of Jubilee's two 'families' - the X-Men, and Generation X.

The first part of the series, 'Broken Promises' is the viewpoint of, naturally, the person most deeply affected by Jubilee's loss.

She was gone.

She had tried to kill herself.

She had run away.

She was *gone*.

Logan shook his head aimlessly, staring at the ground in front of him. She couldn't be gone. She couldn't. There had to be some sort of mistake. Jubilee wouldn't just go like that. She wouldn't run off without a word to anyone・

・like he did.

Like he *had*.

He buried his head in his hands, trying to shut out the words that echoed in his mind. **F'r god's sake, Logan, what were ye thinkin'? How could ye abandon the wee one right when she needed ye the most? She even called ye ta ask ye ta come, and ye didn't bother ta show up!"**

He'd been so stupid・ so selfish・ why hadn't he gone to see her? Why hadn't he realised that she'd needed him? She'd never asked him to come before. He should have known・ he should have *realised*.

**"But・ she was fine. She said she was fine."**

Just like him. Just like he always did. She'd done everything he always did when he didn't want anyone to know that there was something wrong. Every single thing. And he'd let his own tricks fool him. Stupid, stupid・

He crumpled in on himself, hugging his knees as he crouched against the base of a tree, staring blankly at the dirt in front of him. Emma was wrong. It had never been・ like she said it was. Not Jubilee. Never her. She was just a *kid*, dammit, he'd never even thought・

・never even thought of her as being a girl. As someone who needed to be taken care of. Not like the others. Kitty was so gentle and quiet, so insecure, that he'd been fiercely protective of her, as any man would be of a daughter. Amiko was a child he had to protect, his role in her life was so simple. But Jubilee・ she'd always just been *there*, a somehow reassuringly loud-mouthed figure in bright colours that were eclipsed by her brilliant smile. And he'd never given it a thought, that she was just a little girl, that she wasn't as resilient as she pretended to be, that she was growing up with all the trials and tribulations that came with adolescence and he'd never been *there* for her like he had for the others he'd just thought she could take it・

And she'd almost died because he'd been wrong.

He'd let her down.

She'd needed him, and he hadn't been there for her.

**"She tried to kill herself, Storm. That usually means that someone needs help."**

Jubilee had tried to kill herself. The harsh, ugly truth was like a thousand knives digging into him, slashing at his heart. His precious girl had thought so little of her life that she'd actually tried to end it・ and it was his fault. All his fault.

Someone, he didn't know who, had faxed details of her suicide attempt to Westchester. The note. The pictures. Of what her room had looked like. Of what she'd written on the walls with her blood.

They lay scattered around him, some torn, some crushed, but the words and images were burned deep into his soul. The frantic, incoherent apologies for not being able to bear what she had become. The ineradicable hurt that he no longer needed her.

**I do need you, I do, I do・** But what right did he have to think that? He hadn't been there when she needed *him*. She had been a whisper away from death, alone in a cold room, because he had failed her・

It was his fault.

All his fault.

**I didn't mean to・ I just didn't think, I didn't *mean* to・**

Logan whimpered softly, pressing his head against the trunk of the tree. **So what? So what if you didn't mean to? You said you'd be there for her whenever she needed you you lying bastard you promised her and then you let her down and you *promised* her・ you said she'd never be alone again・ you promised・**

He'd failed her.

Just like he'd failed everyone else in his life.

He rifled through his memories, searching for something, anything・ a promise kept, a need filled, anything・

He'd promised Mariko that he'd protect her, and she was dead.

He'd promised Amiko's mother that he would protect the child, then gone away and left her.

He'd promised Sabretoth that he'd kill the murdering sonovabitch, but Creed still walked among the living・

He'd promised so many things・

He'd meant every one of them at the time, but something always happened・ something always came up. He never meant to let people down. He always tried to keep his word, but the siren call of the wild was so strong and the duties he'd taken up as an X-Man took so much from him and it was like trying to hold onto a handful of eels, it was only to be expected that he would drop one or two・

And up until now, he'd been able to tell himself that the bad things weren't his fault, that he couldn't be everywhere at once. Bad things were bound to happen.

But this time it *was* his fault, and he *hadn't* been there.

The full enormity of what he'd done struck at him, and the indomitable Wolverine was shaken with sobs, tears pouring down his face. **Oh, darlin', how could ya think I didn't want ya anymore? I did, I do, I miss ya every day, but I thought it was better, I thought ya liked the school, so I tried not ta let ya see how much I wanted ya back with me, where I could see ya smile and hear ya talk a mile a minute about nothing and everything and I love ya so much・** The tears soaked into the dirt as he pounded his fists on the ground, howling in pain and loss. It hadn't been enough. She'd needed more than love, she'd needed him to *care*, to *be* there, and he hadn't.

Logan cried helplessly, curling up on the ground, his spirit finally broken. He pleaded with the earth and sky for forgiveness that he knew would never come. He didn't deserve it.

He hadn't loved her enough.

He'd failed her one too many times.

She hated him.

She was gone.

It was his fault.

It was all his fault.