Leave Well Enough Alone: Part 2

by Polka Dot

Life was compromise and though she hadn't liked it, she had agreed. He of course had to pay a terrible price. At least he thought it was a terrible price. The other X-Men were not supporting him on this. In fact he was currently in the process of trying to ditch the Cajun who for some reason, had decided to side with Jubilee.

His little girl was out there somewhere with Sam Guthrie, doing who knows what. Now he liked Sam. In fact Sam was probably one of those guys that most men would feel secure sending their daughters off with. Logan however was not convinced. For one thing Sam came from a large family. He might want to start his own clan with Jubilee. That would not do. Secondly and most importantly, Sam was a man. There was no such thing as a trustworthy young man when it came to dating. He knew.

They couldn't convince him that this was just a simple date. Dating was not simple. It left deep emotional scars. It warped young minds and made women bitter. Of course Jubilee was smart. He did have faith in her. He knew that she could handle herself. He wasn't worried about that. It was just that with this whole spontaneous aging thing that she was going through, he really felt that she needed to take time and just get a handle on everything before doing something drastic like going out on a date with a guy.

Now she had told him that he was being silly. Specifically she had said that the date was useful mainly for pissing Paige off, because Paige had been wholly against Jubilee and Sam going out. There was something about boundaries and Jubilee finding Sam attractive that crawled under Paige's skin and sent her into a fit pleading with Jubilee to request. Actually he thought that Paige's request came from a concern for her brother. He had heard certain mutterings to the effect that Jubilee was too wild and poor sweet innocent Sam. He felt it was the other way around but if Jubilee really was dating Sam just to piss off Paige then he could live with it.

Unfortunately Logan was equipped with hyper senses that picked up on a few things that Jubilee hadn't mentioned. For one thing, everytime Sam and Jubilee had been in a room together the last week, Logan could smell the slight increase in perspiration on both thier parts. Also he could hear their heartrates increasing. It had been quite unsettling. In fact he had been caught growling quietly at the table two days ago when Scott had his general 'State of Mutants in Society' meeting, which was basically a summary of recent headlines. It was something he would've skipped if Jubilee hadn't told him she was cutting short thier excercise session early in order to get a good seat. It turned out that a good seat had been next to Sam.

Now all Logan wanted to do was check up on them. Maybe offer Jubilee an early ride home in case she was bored out of her mind. He didn't think that that was intrusive. He glanced over the back of his hand lazily, wondering how many claws he'd have to pop in order to convince the Cajun of that.


"He didn't hurt you did he?" Jubilee frowned, making a tiny wrinkle in her forehead. It was a definite sign that she was aging past her current seventeen years.

"Non but I feel bad, petite. I saw dat your date ended early yesterday."

Jubilee snorted. "Yeah Wolvie's definitely a third wheel, but it's okay. Sam and I weren't really hitting it off."


"No, we had a couple of things to talk about but mainly there was a lot of uncomfortable silences. You can only dis Paige so much before it gets boring. Who knew?" Jubilee smiled and shrugged. "Besides after a while he kinda got defensive. I mean he's a bit of a bumpkin himself."

Remy nodded. He was really surprised that Jubilee had expressed any interest in Sam. The boy just didn't seem her type at all, but he wasn't one to judge. "So you disappointed with your first date?"

Jubilee rolled her eyes. "Oh please don't call it that. I mean technically it was, but no one really dates anymore. We were just hanging out. Anyway it's not a big deal. I'd totally go out with Sam again, I'd just wanna make sure there were other people around so I had someone else to talk to. We're still friends you know."

Jubilee stopped fidgeting for a moment and then cocked her head to the side. It was a very endearing gesture. "I can see why Wolvie was worried. I don't blame him, what with Kitty having an emotional breakdown every time she gets dumped, but I'm just not like that. I thought he'd know that, you know."

Remy smiled and nodded. "I t'ink he knows, he just can't help it. You've brought out the overprotective father in him. It's rather amusing to watch 'im lose 'is cool, every now an den. Makes life a lil bit harder for the rest o' us though."

Jubilee frowned and apologized again. Then she got that twinkle in her eye and smirked. "I'm totally sympathetic an all, but I haveta admit I was a little surprised to hear that you folded with just one claw. I figured you'd have held out for the full hand of three."

Remy glanced around the room for a moment and then sighed. "It ain't de number o'claws petite. It's where he aims 'em."


It wasn't the nature of the story that disturbed Jubilee, although it was horrifying. A young girl burned herself to death in her bedroom. According to the reporter (and Jubilee wondered just how the hell he would know this), the girl handcuffed herself to the bed and then tossed the keys across the room so that after she set the bed on fire, she wouldn't be able to free herself. It was the fact that Jubilee identified with the girl so much, that had her worried. Not particularly the desire to shake off this mortal coil, so to speak, but the desire to really try and feel everything that the human body was capable of. She wanted to see just how much her nervous system could take before it shut down completely.

That was one of those thoughts that kept Jubilee sane during her time with Bastion. She would look at her 'treatment sessions' as a sort of game. She wanted to see how much she could take. She began to accept and even desire the pain. She thought of Wolvie and all he had been through and she wanted to be as strong as he had been. She wanted to prove that she was an X-Man already. She figured if she could take what Bastion had to dish out, then they would see how strong she was. Of course after it was all over, she just wanted to push it all from her mind and never told anyone about what she went through. She thought it was best that no one peek inside her head, not because she thought that she was insane. She just didn't think that anyone would understand her little coping mechanism.

Then she read this story and realized someone understood. Someone out there wanted out and wanted to get every drop out of life before going. It was too hard to experience all the joy life had to offer. Joy seemed elusive and costly. If "the greatest thing in the world was to love and be loved in return" then that required a willing participant of which Jubilee could find no volunteers. Therefore it was necessary to go to the other extreme: to experience all the misery that life had to offer. Were not agony and ecstasy often portrayed as twins? Wasn't it said that if you experienced too much of one or the other than the line between them became blurred? If you stick your hand in a freezing lake then don't they say that your skin feels a burning sensation?

It seemed logical to Jubilee that the girl in the story was merely trying to push herself beyond her ability to discern one extreme from another. Jubilee burned the paper into black flakes that hit the table as ash. She knew there was another level to her power. Hank said she had reached full adulthood past the point where her powers would mutate any further. However she still had yet to learn the many facets of her powers. She knew that she could expel all her energy and reduce herself to the appearance of a normal human, but she had yet to completely hold in her energy for more than a week.

They had finally figured out a way to keep her clothes from becoming transparent when she was in her 'normal' form. Jubilee decided it was about time that she found out just how bright she could shine.


Logan was at a loss. He had gotten from Remy the names of all the people involved in Jubilee's 'treatments'. He planned on getting the information that wasn't contained in the files. He knew Hank wouldn't have to stomach for this kind of detective work, but he also knew that Hank desired the information and if it helped Jubilee, then he really didn't mind getting his hands dirty.

Unfortunately he was too late. Someone had gotten there first. It was a purge and a government sponsored one too. He recognized the signs, knew what to look for. Even though some of the key personnel were killed years ago, the nature of their deaths screamed foul play. Was it just to cover up the government's involvement in Operation Zero Tolerance? If that was the case then the files Remy obtained shouldn't be in existence.

Logan growled. This wasn't his arena. He didn't like mysteries. He wanted to find someone, stick a claw in the right place and get all the information that he desired. That was now impossible. There wasn't even a lab tech. left around to question. He had to find who was responsible for ordering the purge and then he had to find out why.

At least he already knew the killer. It was a familar signature and he knew that with the right amount of cash, he wouldn't even have to threaten the guy to get what he needed.

Logan smirked as he got on his Harley. He wasn't into mysteries, but he had to admit a certain curiosity. How did Terror ever get in good graces with the US government? Not to mention the irony of sending a mutant mercenary to cover up a government operation aimed at eradicating the so-called mutant menace.

Logan pulled over and sat back. He had to ask himself, what good would solving this little mystery do? Any real information that could help Jubilee was gone now. Did he really care why the government was covering it's tracks? Would that information benefit Jubilee? Probably not. It would be a lot of effort to find out who was pulling the strings and in the end he doubted that that person had enough scientific knowledge to even understand the operation that s/he was hiding.

He wanted to help. He felt so helpless watching Jubilee bounce back for horror to excitement to depression. Just offering comfort wasn't enough. He wanted to offer solutions, but once again it seemed he was incapable of doing this. He revved up his Harley and headed back towards Worchester. He would just have to play the rock for a little longer.


Jono was in shock. A sort of heavenly shock. Energy surged out of him and into him and the energy merged and fluxed. It sent waves down into the bottom of his stomach and he supposed that this feeling was akin to butterflies. It was joy on many levels. The shock was totally gone now, it was just pleasure, a totally different pleasure than anything he had experienced before. He had kissed before his accident years ago. He had a faint recollection of what that had felt like. He had never kissed since then.

This was new. It was totally inhuman for one thing. There were no lips or tongue to provide physical sensation. Instead it was just Jubilee's energy pouring into him and his energy pouring into her and the friction between their separate signatures and the smooth melding as the currents matched. A sort of destructive and constructive interference like the peaks and valleys of a wave.

He wanted to grab her. He wanted to pull her close into his arms and have a physical sensation to match up with whatever this new feeling that he was experiencing was. But the kiss was over already. Jubilee had pulled away and he was perhaps the only one capable of seeing the immense smirk on her face. It turned all his lust and joy into anger.

*What the hell was that for?*

"Oh like you didn't like it." Jubilee quirked a florescent eyebrow at him.

She was dimmer now, he noted. He had sapped some of her energy. Maybe that was what she wanted. He couldn't tell. He had never understood Jubilee very well. Now that she was all grown up it was even worse. Was she toying with him? Was she just being capricious? Did she like him? He was glad he didn't have cheeks, now no one could see him blush.

*I'll admit, I enjoyed it, but I'm not looking forward to the hole that Logan's probably gonna rip into me now, thanks to your little stunt.*

"Don't worry about Wolvie. First off, he knows that I ain't a kid anymore. Secondly I doubt anyone could tell what the hell we were doing. Most people can't even look directly at me or your chest without seeing spots for an hour afterwards and when we come together," Jubilee smirked but it was in a seductive way that made Jono's breath catch, "well I think it's safe to say we could light up the night sky."


Jubilee couldn't help teasing him a little. She was pretty nervous right now. She really didn't know what had gotten into her, but she saw Jono, realized that she was not alone in her incredible freakiness and just got this incredibly wild impulse. She was really expecting him to blast her across the lawn. She figured she could survive a direct blast, in fact she was really curious to see just how much of his energy she could deflect or absorb.

Instead he didn't move. He poured his energy into her and she poured hers into him and it was incredible. It was a wonderful feeling that she wouldn't mind repeating, but she knew there were at least one or two curious eyes on them right now. In a way her heart hurt a little because she knew that there probably wasn't anyone else in the world that she could do this with other than Jono and they were not destined to be together.

Jubilee saddled up to the brooding young man and fluttered her eyelashes at him. "You know that was my first kiss, I think I did pretty well. What did you think?" She asked as coyly as she could manage, while surpressing an embarrassed giggle.

*Quit yer joking lass. You know this is how young girls like yourself get bad reputations.*

Jubilee gawked for a second and then decided that this was Jono trying to make a joke. She chuckled appreciatively. It was fair, she'd just shown him a new side to herself. Perhaps he was trying to be a little more open with her as well.

Jono's brow creased as he started them walking back to the house. *Please tell me this isn't another one of your attempts to get under Paige's skin.*

Jubilee laughed outright. "You know I hadn't even thought of that. Oh this would definitely irk her, but I won't be the one to point it out to her. I do have a reputation to maintain." Jubilee pointed out. Jono chuckled appreciatively. His telepathic laugh was like a tickle to Jubilee's brain. "Hey you didn't answer my question."

*I don't kiss an tell.*

Jubilee linked her arm through Jono's. She would've made an attempt at his hand, but her palms were sweating. She had a few witty remarks running through her head about gentlemen in black leather and black bandages, but she kept them to herself. She was thinking about destiny. She was destined to become a pure plasmatic energy being, but Bastion had almost changed her destiny. Shouldn't she have a say in it as well?


She was not human. That she had accepted a long time ago. A new question arose. Was she even mortal any longer? This all started over age. She was not aging, then Hank changed that. Now she was an adult, a mutant who had reached her full potential and age mattered not at all to what she was now. Her skin would hold no wrinkles while she chose to wore it. At this particular time she had cast it aside.

The sense of touch was replaced by a sort of radar. The energy that radiated out from her would ripple when it came into contact with anything that could hold form. Her energy extended beyond the visible spectrum. She could expand herself to several feet in any direction, but as one moved closer to her core the energy became condensed. She could send a daisy rocking on its stem by mere thought but if her fingers were to brush against it, it would wilt and die immediately.

She had power. Power beyond any limits she had known before. Perhaps Bastion had not kidnapped her for knowledge of the X-Men or scientific inquiry. Perhaps he knew of just what she would be when she grew up. She had to admit that her own power frightened her. It was enough to level the city if she grew to such a rage. She could never allow herself to be controlled. Her mind was strong but there were those that were stronger. She would have to learn to resist them.

Jono's energy fluxed as she expanded to near where he was. They had learned to detect each other. She saw him now as a single sun within the solar system. He had the potential to become more, but he would never cast off his human shell. He was much too frightened to do such a thing and in that she pitied him. She could call her own shell back upon her if the need arose. She knew she would soon. It took a great deal of concentration to pull all her energy back to her. She had to go against the nature of the elements within her that oscillated at too high of a frequency to remain within close contact of each other for too long. Once she pulled everything as tightly to herself as she could, she would have to harden the outer shell, bind the molecules into a solid tightly woven skin.

Even then she had only gained the appearance of a human. Beneath her surface the energy still flowed like lava under the earth's crust. She was elemental now, stab her and she would not bleed. She still retained her human emotions however and her heart pushed something, not blood, out into her cheeks reddening them deeply when she realized that her clothes could not be reformed and she was standing in the danger room completely naked.