Nightmares and Monsters: Part 8

by Misty

DISCLAIMER: Everybody belongs to Marvel. Pringles belongs to that weird guy on the label. Remember, once you pop. . .

Rogue looked up as she heard the footsteps echo in the hangar behind her. She・d been doing an over-all check on the Blackbird・s exterior and could faintly hear Storm inside packing their supplies.

・Yah really cut it close, Jubie-・ The sentence died in her throat as she saw who it was.

Cyclops stood before her, almost at attention. There was something odd about him, and it took her a while to realize what: he wasn・t in uniform. The drab green sweatshirt and jeans looked out of place on his tall frame. She suspected that Jean was the only one familiar enough with him to be comfortable around him in those clothes; including himself.

・You should have known that I wasn・t Jubilee. My steps are too heavy.・ *Despite the fact that he・d been trying to walk noiselessly. It must rile him that he couldn・t accomplish what some team members did naturaly.*

Like Wolvie. . .

・Did ya come by just ta critique me or did everahone send ya ta convince us ta give up?・ she asked crossly.

・Neither. I want to come.・

Never before had four little words baffled her more. It took her a moment to even realize that he said them.

・*Why?*・ she asked thinly.

Rogue couldn・t tell if he looked away from her- *damn them glasses*- but she saw his throat work a moment before he answered. ・Jean・s utterly convinced that he・s dead. Up until a few minutes ago I would have agreed. But. . . you and Storm made sense, I guess.・

It was the first non-committal sentence she remembered hearing him say. He *did* look away from her this time, though. He stared across the hangar at the form coming towards them. A small, rueful smile played at his lips.

・I feel like I owe it to him. He・s the most honorable person I know.・

Rogue sucked in a breath she realized she・d forgotten to take as Jubilee blurred by, a rush of sound issuing from her so peculiar-- ・HisorryI・mlatebutIhadtapacksomestuffan・Ipickedsomethin・upferustamunchon aswelookedseein・ashowwe・llmisssupperan・allan'Hi・Ro!・ -that Rogue wondered if it was some new language; Mallese or something.

She turned back to Scott and his beleaguered expression made her grin. "C'mon, O Fearless One. Ah think we can find ya a seat."

They heard Jubilee call them from inside the plane. She'd already dug into a can of Pringles but strangely her Californian accent did not alter around her mouthful of chips. "Hurry up you guys! We've got a Wolvie ta find!"

Scott shook his head as he marched inside. "And just how are we going to do that? We don't have any idea where he is."

"Easy! Ya see that little gray box over there?" Jubilee pointed vaguely towards the cabin, already absorbed in munching down another handful. "That's a mini Cerebro. I took it from one of the labs when Beast wasn't lookin'. Don't look so shocked, Cyke, I left 'im a note explainin' it all. Well, we can't use that on Wolvie for obvious reasons but we *can* use it on the Dark Riders and the girl. Storm said that Chuck had gotten a lock on 'em with the big mamma in the house before you guys even *left* so it should be a piece o' cake ta find 'em on *this* one. An' where the Dark Riders are, Wolvie's most probably there too."

Scott turned to Rogue to congratulate her on her plan but she shook her head before he could say a word. He turned to Storm but she only glanced mischievously at the beaming teen.

"*You* came up with. . . Jubilee, remind me never to underestimate you."