Last Caress

by Rattlesnake

NOTE: I am not the author of this fic. I'm posting it for another, who is desperately searching for feedback and tips. Feedback for this story can be sent to [email protected], or [email protected]

DISCLAIMER: All characters mentioned are property of Marvel Comics, and neither I, nor the author, are making any profit off of this. Requests to archive will be passed on. Mo MSTing of this story, please, without the author's express permission.

"NO!! It can't end like this!

"It shouldn't end like this!

"She didn't have to die as a hostage damn it! " his mind screamed. "She's not even out of graduate school! She's in her prime! Why, you bastard? Why did you have to end it?" he howled as he finished giving a 25 year old punk the worst and final beating of his short-lived criminal career.

After he threw the final punch the punk's lifeless body started to fall down to the sticky, wet floor. He ran through the dark and vacant house where the punks had holed themselves up to try to get away with what they did that morning, there in that crowded restaraunt outside the Empire University campus.

That was yesterday. This is now.

In the sitting room of the mansion, friends and family are gathered for the ceremony to lay their friend to rest. Downstairs the man who took vengeance for her stands beside her lifeless body that lay awaiting to be placed in her last bed. Then to be taken to the small cemetery next to the second home she knew in her life.

He mumbles words to her still form, telling her about the weather, her favorite things and how their friends are doing. All the while three shadows appear to creep on him from behind. He gently lifts her up as if she was alive and gives her one last hug or a parental caress and a peck on her forehead before laying her down again in her shiny polished coffin.

"Slim, Red, 'Ro. It's time. Help me with this." he manages to say through his tears.

Still fighting the urge to weep, they take the coffin on its wheeled stand to the elevator that emerges in the study where six of her friends await, poised to carry the coffin into the sitting room where her services are to be held. After setting the coffin on the stand the service begins.

Later, at the wake he drinks a fine 25 year old scotch with her friends thanking him.

One of her friends from her school days approaches him. "I'm sorry about what happened. Jono and I are expecting twins." the very pregnant Paige Guthrie-Starsmore softly says.

"I think you should know, if one baby is a girl, we've decided to name her after her."

He downs the last of the smooth scotch and mumbles "Thanks Paige. Jubilee would have loved that"

"You're welcome, Mr. Logan."