Weightlessness. That was the first thing Logan felt when he regained conciseness. He shook his head to clear it, to figure out what was going on. He opened his eyes and all he saw was red. Blood, someone was bleeding; then it hit him. The girl, where was the girl? He tried to inhale but started choking as salt water invaded his lungs stinging his throat and lungs. Suddenly he felt something grab him and pull him towards the surface.
Nate held him under the arms, pulling him towards shore as Logan coughed trying to ride his body of the foreign water.
"The girl?" Was all he could gasp.
"Forget the girl, she tried to kill us and she failed. She got what she deserved." Nathen's strong strokes brought them to shore where he dropped Logan unceremoniously on the ground.
Jean rushed to his side, stroking his back as he continued to cough up water. She turned to the water and looked at Nate questioningly but he only shook his head.
"We've gotta find her Red, I'm not leaving without her."
"Logan," Nate started only to be cut of sharply by Logan.
"No way Summers, I'm not budging on this one."
Nathen looked at Jean pleadingly, but she only shook her head in reply.
*Jean, that girl just tried to kill us, why are we going out to search for her?*
*First, because we are the X-men and that
is what we do; secondly because she believes that Logan is her father.*
Jubilee stepped out of the cab as it pulled up to the door of the school. She sighed in relief as she paid the cabby and walked up the front stairs of the mansion. She needed to rest. Lately things have been moving to fast, getting out of control. Everette's death had only sealed the deal. She had to face what everyone else had been worrying about for some time - she wasn't coping. She opened the front door and listened, the house appeared to be silent.
"Lucy, I'm home," she whispered soft as she climbed the main staircase to drop her things off in her room.
"Well isn't this a fine greeting," she muttered as she threw her duffel bag on her bed. Sure she hadn't called or anything, but the place was full of the worlds most powerful telepaths, you would think they would see this one coming. Course that never really seemed to matter where she was concerned now did it? She pulled a sweatshirt out of her bag before she went to see if anyone was around.
A half-hour later Jubilee sat in front of the TV in the den, having found no trace of anyone, and channel surfed while she waited. She suddenly stopped when she came across the Professor's face on the screen. As she watched she realized that the X-men were at this debate with the Professor. Guess he wouldn't take it personally, not this time anyway.
Logan and Nathen surfaced again and looked at each other. Nothing, they had been searching for over an hour and they hadn't found a trace of the mysterious girl that had brought them here.
"Logan, come one, she's gone, besides she is probably dead by now anyway. No one can survive without air for this long."
Logan sighed, "Yer right, but let's dive one more time, and then I'll give up - for now."
Nate looked at his teammate for a moment before agreeing. Logan needed to do this, he didn't know why, but he would help him, even if he didn't like him. "All right, one more dive."
Logan broke the surface in one more attempt to find the girl who thought she was his daughter. It was quite apparent to anyone who looked at her that she was completely out of her gourd, but what if it was true? It was that thought that kept him doing, made him swim harder and dive deeper in an attempt to find him. He was a man who had no link to his past and this girl, the one who had just kidnapped the woman he has loved and tired to kill him might be that link that he has been searching for as long as he can remember. The irony of the situation was almost enough to make him laugh - almost. He stopped swimming and studied the area around him. He was down deep enough that it was getting hard to see form lack of light. On a hunch he turned left and kept swimming, she was down here and she was hurt. Suddenly he felt something-soft brush up against his hand, it was as light as a cobweb but he paused. Reaching down he came into contact with a head of hair. Rapping his finger in it he started swimming towards the surface.
He broke the surface with a gasp and pulled his find to the surface. The face was covered by wet matted hair, but he could tell it was her. Just like he could tell that she wasn't breathing.
Cable broke the surface soon after and saw Wolverine swimming towards shore with someone in tow. He quickly caught up without the burden of extra weight and helped Logan carry her to the shore.
After they laid her down they surveyed the damage. There were multiple wounds to her chest, she wasn't breathing. Jean put her fingers on her throat.
"There's still a pulse." She leaned forward and tilted her head back and breathed into her mouth trying to force the water out of her.
"Even if we get the water out of her, those wounds might have punctured her lungs. We need to get her to a medical center."
"First things first Summers."
They both turned as they heard a fit of coughing and saw Jean turning her onto her side so she could purge her body of the water. Then she leaned back and rubbed her eyes as she looked at her surroundings. When she saw the trio before her her eyes narrowed, but she didn't say anything.
Jean started forward to examine her but the girls snarl stopped her. "You've been hurt we need to get you to a doctor."
"I'll be fine, just give me awhile. 'Sides, don't put much faith in doctors."
"Look, I'm enjoying this as much as you two are, but now that we got her what are we going to do with her? In case you've forgotten she just tried to kill us."
"Not us, me." Logan said as he looked at the girl on the ground. She had long dark hair, he couldn't tell much about her features beneath the dirt that was on her face. Even laying down he could tell that she couldn't be much taller than 5 feet. She was looking at him and he could see her clear blue eyes, it almost unnerved him the way she kept looking at him without blinking, but then he realized that she wasn't looking at him, but instead over him.
"What in the hell?" she muttered, and Logan turned to look behind him.
"Sentinels," he growled as his teammates turned .
"It will be fine the Professor said, it will go off without a hitch. It never does so why do we keep buying that line?" Cable grumbled.
"Cause we're suckers, now quite your whining and start fighting!" Logan yelled as he started towards the Primes.
Claire lay there as the Primes landed and started towards the group. One of them looked at her as the three X-men started toward them.
"Insubstantial, not a threat." Was all it said before it turned its back on her. It was all she could do not to grin.
"That's right dumbass, write me off, I guess you'll learn how bad a tactic that is soon enough." She sat up, hissing at the pain in her chest, but ignoring it as she got up and prepared to join the fight. She crept up behind them and watched them before she jumped in. The tallest one was fighting with some sort of spear, Red was standing back concentrating on something, and he ran into the group swinging.
One of the machines shot the tall one and he dropped his spear as he flew. The machine followed him, and seeing her chance she ran and grabbed the spear. It was cold and heavy in her hands, but well balanced. She twirled it in her hands, deciding that it would have to do. She ran silently up behind the machine that had the tall one in his hands, his right eye was glowing as he seemed to be trying to break it's grip to no avail. It was irrelevant because Claire leapt into the air and hit the machine in the upper back with her feet and severed its head with the bladed spear as she rebounded off of it. The machine dropped the man as it fell to the ground. She stood over the man as he rubbed his neck.
"So you are what is standing between the world and certain destruction. Forgive me if I have to say we are all screwed." She sneered at him and turned to find her next victim.
"Give me back my weapon."
"Come and take it from me."
Cable gritted his teeth as the girl ran away from him and attacked another Prime. No one took his weapon. He took off after her but was stopped as she was shot back into him. The force was strong enough to send them both sprawling onto the ground with the spear between them. They both lay there gasping for a moment before they looked at the weapon and then at each other. They both made a move for it and grabbed it at the same time.
"Let go." Claire hissed.
"I'm warning you," she gave it a tug.
"I'm shaking," he tugged back, he'd be damned if he was gonna lose to her.
"I warned ya," she drew her other fist back and punched him square in the face. He felt blood stream down his face as he realized that she had just broken his nose.
"Thon ofa bitcth!"
That was all Claire need to tug it out of his grasp and roll away. When she was on her feet again she saw him fighting a second Prime, with another closing in behind him. She took off at a run towards the trio and raised her weapon.
"Behind you!" Was all she said as she impaled one of the Primes on her flipping it over her. With the machine out of the way she turned to face the man in front of her, intent on slaying him while he was distracted by the machine.
Instead she found her arms bound to her sides in a vice like grip as she was lifted off of the ground. "Ah don tink so," came a low growl in her ear. She started kicking at her attacker in an attempt to free herself. She felt power emanate from the man behind her as he lifted the last prime off of the ground and pulled it's body apart.
Logan turned when he saw the prime lift and saw Cable standing about one hundred yards behind him with a kicking snarling girl entrapped in his arms.
"Now if ya don shtop ah'm gonna do da same t you." Cable growled in his prisoner's ear.
Logan shifted his gaze as he saw the prime behind them start to rise and take aim at the pair in front of it. ""Cable! Behind you!" Logan yelled as he started running towards the pair.
Cable swung around to see the Prime rising off of the ground. He started to raise his defenses muttering, "oh sthit,"
"This is gonna hurt," Claire finished for him. A red glow started to surround him and the Prime fired at them. Claire's mouth opened, but she wasn't able to even scream. Suddenly the world dropped away from her and she saw strange images. Darkness, fighting, a bird of fire, a smiling man with red glasses, a small blonde child, a wedding, a pale dark haired woman, funerals, tombstones, pain. It didn't make sense.
Cable didn't know what was going on but he knew it was bad, when the Prime fired he saw a blast of light then images stung together half-hazardly, a woman holding him, a whip, lights, blood, doctors. The noise roared in his ears, hundreds of voices all talking at once. My god, what has happened to this girl? Suddenly the light stopped and there was only silence.
Jean covered her eyes as the light exploded off of Cable and the girl, the heat and intensity caused her to fall to the ground and cover herself for protection. As quick as it came it was gone, and so was the Prime. Cable lay with his arms around the girl on the ground, smoke rising from them. She got up and ran to them, dropping to her knees at Nate's side. She felt for a pulse and sighed in relief when she felt one strong in his neck. She looked up to find Logan pulling the girl out of his arms and doing the same, he looked at her and nodded. She knew that they were physically all right, as well as could be expected considering the circumstances, now she had to see if their minds were intact. That energy release was not normal, it was not supposed to happen.
She reached out with her mind searching, Nate was all right but something was different. She dug deeper and stopped at what she found. Somehow the blast had melded their minds. They were now connected, she couldn't tell how strong the link was but it was sturdy and possibly permanent. She opened her eyes and looked at Logan.
"We need to get them back to the mansion right away, I'm going to contact the others and have them come and get us."
Logan simply nodded and turned back to the girl in his arms. She looked almost peaceful laying there, breathing softly. There was a bruise forming on her cheekbone and her eye was swelling shut, but as far as he could tell she was all right. Suddenly she opened her eyes and looked at him.
"Welcome back," he said softly, "My names Logan."
"Logan." She whispered.
"Do you have a name?"
"Wildfire." He paused, unsure if he should ask but unable to stop himself. "Do you know who I am, where I came from Wildfire?"
She didn't say anything for a second, simply studied him and then nodded her head, wincing at the movement.
"Will you tell me about it? My past?"
She gave him a small smile and his heart soared and she opened her mouth to reply. He bent to her ear so he could hear her.
"No." She held her eyes for a moment before she lost consciousness.
"Figures, just as soon as I find something good to watch instead of all that educational crap someone beeps in. Yeah, wadda want?" She stood in front of the screen grudgingly holding a bag of chips.
"Jubilee? What. . .never mind. Is anyone else there with you?" Psylock said from what appeared to be the blackbird.
"Nope, here by my lonesome. Wadda need?"
"Ready the medlab, we have some injured here."
"Ok, um Psych, is . . ."
"He's fine Jubilee, don't worry." The older woman gave her a small but worried smile.
"Ok, I'll have everything ready when you get here."
The screen went blank and Jubilee took one last longing look at the TV before turning it off. With a sigh she walked down to the medlab to lay out the supplies so they could patch their friends back together - again.
"Good thing I came here for a rest; things are always nice a peaceful."
Jubilee was sitting on a stool waiting went everyone burst in carrying two people with them. One was clearly Cable, distinguishable by his metal arm; but the other was dirty and bloody so Jubilee couldn't tell who it was. They were both unconscious. The X-men worked quickly and smoothly like a well oiled machine, using what medical technologies they had regained since Bastions destruction to monitor their patients. Beast was next to the Cable putting salve on his burns, Jean was watching the monitors and writing things on a clipboard, and strangely enough Wolvie was wrapping the woman's wounds. She got up and walked over to him and watched him while he worked before putting a hand on his shoulder.
"Wolvie, you ok?"
"Huh? What are you doing here kid? Never mind, yeah I'm fine why?" He placed another bandage on the wounds of her chest. Jubilee looked at her and realized that there were six puncture wounds across her rib cage.
"Wolvie, did you. . .?"
"Leave it alone Jubilee."
"LEAVE it alone!"
"Fine." Jubilee turned and stalked out of the medlab leaving Jean and Beast staring at Logan.
He turned to look at the empty doorway, seemingly undecided for a moment and Beast came up to Logan and took the bandages from his hand.
"I can finish here my friend, why don't you go and rest. I've got some tests to run anyway."
Logan looked into Hank's eyes and shook his head in understanding and turned to leave. He was sorely in need of a hot shower and a beer. He paused in the doorway to look and Wildfire one last time.
'Hank, when you know, will call me?"
Hank turned to face his haggard friend, studying him for a moment, "first thing."
Logan nodded and left the room.
Jean turned to Hank in question. "Do you think there is a chance that what she claims is true?"
"My dear, in my many years as an X-man, I have learned one unfathomable truth - anything is possible."
A few hours later Logan was sitting on the roof of the Mansion with a beer in one hand and a stogie in the other. He smelled her before he heard her climbing onto the roof after him. He was dreading this, but he knew that it had to be done, plus he owed the kid one hell of an apology. She sat down next to him, clad in jeans and a T-shirt, her ever-present black sunglasses perched on the top of her head.
'When ya gonna give those things up Wolvie, they kill people ya know."
"Not hurting me any."
"Wasn't talking about you."
"No ones forcing you ta sit here."
He sighed as she moved to get up and leave, "I'm sorry kid, just, having a rough day I guess."
She didn't say anything, didn't even look at him just nodded. He watched her out of the corner of his eyes. Something was different, he couldn't put his finger on it though, yet.
"So, how come yer here?"
"Put it out and I'll tell ya." She said still not looking at him.
With a dramatic sigh he stubbed it out onto he roof and resorted to his beer.
"Pushover." He only grunted in reply.
"Got one for me?"
He raised an eyebrow at her, "not that much of a pushover."
"Hmm, well can't blame a girl for trying."
"Jubes, you ok?"
"Yeah, I guess, sorta, not really."
He turned to look at her studying her looking for a sign, anything, "you wanna talk about it?"
"Not really, just need some down time, to like figure things out, ya know."
"Yeah, I know."
They sat in silence, Logan drinking his beer, Jubilee snapping her gum; bit lost in thought while they watched the clouds pass over the stars overhead. Jubilee wasn't sure what she expected when she came back. For them to welcome her with open arms, to tell her that everything will be all right, it will all work out in the end? She knew they wouldn't tell her that cause they knew that she wouldn't believe 'em anyway. So why did she feel so let down? She watched Logan out of the corner of her eye while she continued to snap her gum. He was deep in thought, but she was willing to bet it wasn't about her. Was he thinking about the girl in the medlab? Who was she anyway? Someone else who has come along to take her Wolvie from her when she needs him most? Just what she needed, another Kitty. She bit her lip, as she looked away, unsure of whether she should ask him.
Logan felt her watching him. She kept snapping her gum in that annoying habit she had so he would think she was occupied in something else, but he knew she was watching him, sizing him up. He would give almost anything to know what was bothering her, to make it better. He knew that things had happened to her, things that she didn't want to talk about, so he didn't pry. Now he was starting to wonder if that had been wrong. Maybe he should have pried, cause whatever was wrong it didn't seem to be getting any better. He took a sip of his beer and saw her bite her lip and look away. He knew she wanted to ask about Wildfire but was afraid to, hell, after the way he bit her head off before he didn't blame her.
"So like, is everyone ok?"
She was gonna skirt the issue and test the waters, "so far yeah, everyone's physically stable. Just gotta wait for 'em to wake up I guess."
"Oh. How long do you think it will take?"
"Not sure darlin, hard to judge on these things."
"Yeah, I guess it is. . .so like what happened?"
"Got in a rumble with a couple of Primes, nothing we couldn't handle."
"Was she one of them?"
"One of who?"
"Well those wounds on her chest, they looked like claw marks, and I guess I just don't see why she has them then."
Logan exhaled loudly, damn. Kid sure knows how to go for the jugular. He hung his head back and saw her looking at him. This was gonna be harder than he thought.
"It's a long story kid."
"I got time."
"Yeah I suppose you do." He told her how the girl in the medlab had taken Jean to lure him away from the debate, and how they had fought while Nate got Jean to safety and the search and fight that had ensued.
"So she attacked you and that how she got those wounds. Wasn't very smart of her. What I don't get is if she tried to kill you guys how come she helped when the Primes were attacking. She could have just left you there." Logan just shrugged.
He prepared himself, here it comes. "Yeah?"
"How come she attacked you anyway? You know her or something?"
Yep, there it is. "No, don't know her, but she seems to think she knows me."
Jubilee held her breath for a moment, not wanting to ask, but knew she had to. "How?"
"She thinks. . .she thinks she's my daughter." He heard her quick inhale of breath and turned to look at her to assess the damage. Her eyes were large, and for the first time since he had known her she had a look of shock and disbelief in her eyes.
"Oh. So now what?"
Logan thought for a second and decided that he didn't have anything to say that could make the girl he had come to think of as his daughter feel better. So he didn't say anything at all, instead he just took her hand in his and they watched the sky.