Lost In Time

by ice princess deluxe

Standard disclaimer. Marvel owns ・em, I don・t. I just sneak around and grab them every once and a while to play with in my stories. Note: There are some cases of dialogue that are taken directly from the Origin series. Those are not mine. Those words belong to the very talented writer Paul Jenkins.

Author・s note: Okay, just to attempt to cut back on the amount of flames, here・s a little note. Yes, this is a Wolverine and Jubilee story. No, Jubilee is not thirteen here. She・s twenty-one. Therefore well above the age of consent. Also, this is a romance, my very first Wolverine/Jubes pairing. Just giving everyone that doesn・t like the pairing enough time to bail out without having to waste their time reading only to give me a ・Eww, that was just disgusting having them paired together!・ review. And as it is my very first try writing Jubilee, please be kind if I don・t get her character down just right. Also, I am not a doctor. I have no clue how to perform any type of on the field medical first aid. I just worked with what I thought would be right for the moment.

Okay, long author・s note finished. It was written in its entirety over at the Wolverine and Jubilee Interactive Hub (www.wolverineandjubilee.com ). Thanks everyone who read it there and gave me words of encouragement. You don・t know how much that means to me. Thank you Yez, as always, for listening to me flesh out story ideas over our mail conversations. Many of the later goings on in the story were inspired by what you put in for suggestions.

Thank you・s over, here・s the story. ~regular text~ is thoughts, ~italic text~ is telepathic speech.


Jubilee ran through the wooded area surrounding the mansion, ignoring the branches that left little scratches over her face and arms or tugged at her hair. Even the smallest bit of pain was preferable to what she was feeling now.

~Stupid, Lee! Why do ya do this to yourself?~ she mentally chastised herself, wanting to paff something just to release the anger that was boiling up in her system. She finally made it to one of her favorite spots where she could be alone and sat down, taking deep breaths to calm herself.

Why was she mad? Well the answer and cause lay within one entity: Logan. She snorted back a bitter bark of laughter, thinking of him by using his 'adult' name. It seemed that name was forbidden in her vocabulary, seeing as she was forever doomed to be his sidekick and nothing more, even though they hadn't been together on a team for several years now. All she was allowed to call him were variations of his codename, be it Wolvie, Wolvster, or just plain Wolverine.

"Wolver-jerk should be more like it..." she grumbled, absently kicking a loose stone from the nearby creek bed that ran through the back of Xavier's property. Things hadn't changed since she decided to take up Charles' offer of becoming an X-Man again after so many years. Her room was the same, albeit barer in decor. No rock star bands or glaring colors adorned the walls. Her boom box didn't shout out punk rock style music at the ungodly early hours of the morning either. Instead there was a quiet calmness to her living space, organized instead of disorderly, clothes (and boy did she have a lot!) put carefully away on hangers instead of jammed into the closet. She tried hard to show everyone that at the age of twenty-one she was a more mature woman than the thirteen year old that had left to join GenX or the eighteen year old that had gone off with no real plan of action to L.A.

Her room wasn't the only thing she kept up to prove that she was older. Living with the glamorous X-Women such as Rogue, Ororo and Jean, she had strived to make sure her appearance wasn't that of a disheveled mall rat in a yellow trench coat. She ditched some of her outlandish outfits for conservative yet alluring pieces of apparel, wore sneakers or loafers in the mansion instead of rollerblades and silently chewed bubblegum instead of loudly popping bubbles in the middle of a mission briefing.

Yet for all her efforts, everything was blind to Wolverine. All these years and she still held a torch for him, even when it was blatantly obvious he still thought of her as a kid, as just some tagalong that worshiped at the pedestal she had set him on. Didn't he see that she loved him? Didn't he know how much more she was than just a 'kid'?

Jubilee kicked harder at the pebbles, thinking back to what had caused her to run to her thinking spot in the first place. Of course it was him, that was plain. They had been in a Danger Room session with most of the safeties turned off. Wolvie had been hesitant to do so, but a flick of Jubes' short cropped black hair and an insolent pop of her gum had him vocally overriding the controls.

"I warned ya little girl," he said, dropping into a battle crouch as the first robotic opponents made themselves known. His claws sprang out from between his knuckles and he scanned the area to get a general sense of the place.

"Don't call me a little girl, Logan," she answered back, still chewing furiously on her gum, bright auras of light emanating from her hands as she worked up her plasma pyrotechnics to what she liked to call 'stun mode'. If things got hairy later on, she would stick them on 'kill'. Until then, the paffs she created were relatively backup for Logan's claws. They fought hard, finally ending the session poorly. Jubes wasn't hurt, but Logan had taken a dive towards her as a robot attacked, getting the whole of the hit meant for her. She crinkled up her nose as she smelled the stench of burnt cloth, followed by the smell of blood and hot skin, then the intoxicating scent of man and clean sweat that was covering her.

"You okay?" she asked, trying to push him off her so she could look at the damage that was surely already healing.

"I just got shot with a laser. You think I'm okay?" he growled out sarcastically, wincing as he rolled fluidly into a sitting position, his back away from her. She winced at the look in his eyes. "That was a careless move Jubes. Ya coulda gotten killed."

"But I didn't," she retorted, realizing that she had swallowed her gum when he had tackled her. "I can look after myself."

"Oh yeah? Then what do you call that? If this was on the field, ya would be the one with the hole in yer back, not me. Jeez kid..."

"Look, willya stop calling me that?" she demanded, the scowl on her face matching his.

"What? Kid? Well, yer actin' pretty much like one lately, so I guess ya deserve me callin'..." he didn't finish his statement because she dove at him, ramming her index finger against his solid chest.

"Look. I'm twenty-one. I stopped being a kid many years ago. You just haven't seen it like that." Logan let out an exasperated breath and ran a hand through his mop of sweat soaked hair.

"Oh, so it's my fault, huh? Maybe if ya would start actin' different then I wouldn't see a need ta call ya that." Jubes' indigo eyes narrowed and she stood up as Logan stood up. They were pretty much the same height, so it didn't take much for her to get into the feral's face.

"You want different? I can give you different," she ground out from gritted teeth. Without warning, she pressed herself close to him and grabbed the sides of his face in both hands, kissing him thoroughly on the lips, refusing to let him go. Suddenly, he stopped struggling and she felt large hands rest on her shoulder blades and the small of her back. She relaxed into their warmth, her bones melting like the finest of wax under the spell of his lips playing on hers, taking in all the sensations of being held by the one man she could probably ever love: the scent of him, all at once musky and overwhelming, the feel of his sideburns brushing against her cheeks, his hands skimming over her back, the sound of his sharp intake of breath as she nipped at his bottom lip, the taste of him on her lips.

Then as fast as it began, it was taken away from her. Logan bodily pushed her away, breathing hard. He shoved a hand into his hair, the other in the back pocket of his jeans, looking for some place to stick them where they wouldn't be tempted to reach out and grab for her again. Jubilee stared at him, made a move to come closer to him.

"Stay where ya are," he warned, breathing hard. "Just stay put."

"What was wrong Logan? Didn't you like that? I know I did." That brought a low moan from his mouth, she didn't know if it was from desire or frustration.

"That's the problem. I liked it too much. Jubes... Jubilation...this ain't right, you an' me. Not like that." Now it was Jubilee's turn to sigh in frustration.

"Look, I know how hard it is to get stuff through that thick metal skull of yours, but get this. I. Love. You. Yeah, you, the big hairy dude in the front row. I have for the longest an' it's time you finally realized it. Now what's so wrong with that?" she stopped staring at him and started pacing around the suddenly confined space in the usual cavernous Danger Room. Why had she gone and said that out loud? Surely she hadn't mean to, but kissing him...

"You get this now. We're friends. Yer my best friend, Jubes. I don't want anything messing with that. I don't know what I'd do if that happened. I'm too old for ya for another."

"Oh please. You're too old for every woman out there! You're older than dirt, Logan!" Logan stopped her tirade with one hand held out.

"That's exactly my meaning. I've got years on ya an' I don't want to...aww hell Jubes! Yer just not old enough an' that's it!" he bellowed. Jubilee stared at him hard and felt the unbidden tears start to burn behind her eyelids.

"Fine. But you have this all wrong. I'm not too young for you. You're too young for me, seeing as you're acting like a little boy when I put my heart in your hands, hoping you won't drop it." She took a deep, shaky breath. "I've never been disappointed in you Wolvie, but today just might be the first time." With that, she walked calmly out of the room, then walked down the hallway towards the large elevator that took her up to the ground floor, then out the back door. Only when she was sure she was alone did she start to sob and run.


Now alone, she let her anger go in small, concentrated paffs, flipping the pebbles over and leaving scorch marks in their wake.

"What would make Logan see that I'm not too young for him? What could make him understand that I love him no matter what?" She thought and thought, but nothing came to mind. She knew how stubborn her Canucklehead was, after all.

"Oooh dammit! If only I could get him to see! she finally shrieked, letting go of her newfound maturity for once and enjoying a thorough temper tantrum. She stopped though when she felt as if she wasn't alone any more.

Turning around swiftly, she gasped as she saw the dark skinned man floating several feet in the air.
"Gateway. What do you want, dude?" she asked, wiping at her cheeks to get rid of the residual tears. As usual, he didn't answer. It seemed the only time he had talked to her was so long ago in Australia.

Without warning, he raised his arm and started swinging the familiar object over his head, going faster and faster. A portal opened right under her feet and she barely had time to shriek as she fell.


Jubilee rubbed her sore behind as she stood up. ~Guess I would have had to land on my butt, huh?~ she thought, thinking how her new white shorts were now ruined with dark brown dirt. ~Ah well. At least the tank top isn't ruined...~ Then she realized where she was. From the alleyway she was standing in, she saw the bright light ahead that showed a busy town, wooden horse drawn carts laden with goods littering the streets, men in suits and ties, women in clothing reminiscent of her 1900's era history books back in college. Dazed, she made her way out to the sidewalk, only to be leered at by a man and gasped at by another woman. The muttered phrase 'loose virtues' caught her ears and she saw that many, okay, all of these women were covered from neck to wrist to ankle in cloth. Not knowing what to do, she bumped into another young girl, not even thirteen by the look of it.

~Woah, she looks a lot like Jean!~ she thought, instantly forming an apology.

"Gracious, are you all right? Did you get attacked?" the girl asked, looking at the small scratches covering Jubes' forearms and cheek.

~Okay Lee, this is yer chance to get help in this crazy place. What do ya do?~ "Yes," she said tearfully, fluttering her eyes into a downcast gaze. "They took my clothes and money...I have no place to go..." The girl gasped and put her hand to her mouth.

"Lordy be! Well, I'm here to be picked up for service at the Howlett Estate, maybe they have need of another," she offered, taking out a delicate plain white square of linen and handing it to Jubilee. Jubes wiped her eyes and then the bit of dirt on her face with it.

"Thank you," she said quietly, her mind racing as to where, or when she was at. ~Dang Gateway! What did he throw me here for?~

"My name is Rose, by the way. What's yours?"

"Jubilation," Jubes said instantly, somehow knowing that Jubes wasn't going to cut it in this era. ~Hoo kay. Prim an' proper time, no friends to contact, no money, no nothing. Jubes my girl, somehow I don't think we're in Westchester any more.~

Rose looked about and thought that she had plenty of time before the person from the Estate would pick her up.

"Come on Jubilation, we'll get you fixed up," she said gently, taking Jubes' arm and leading her towards the nearby hotel. Jubilee got many looks from the owner, but after hearing Rose tell the story Jubes had made up, she received a sympathetic look.

"Well of course she can get freshened up. Go to the back, towards the employee's quarters. Does the girl need any Laudanum to calm her nerves?" the good natured man asked. Jubes shook her head at the offer and quietly thanked him. Rose led her towards the mentioned place and Jubilee had an urge to tell her she didn't need her hand held or the quiet, comforting words, but decided against it, thinking not to bite the hand that helped her. Rose once again told Jubes' story and the hotel cleaning maids that were in the room crooned their sympathy, leaving to let Jubes get dressed in one of the dresses from Rose's bag. They were about the same size, so it fit pretty well. She wasn't used to the billowy skirts or the somewhat itchy lace at the wrists and neck, but she didn't complain.

"Oh, look, there's the coach I was waiting for," Rose said, walking beside Jubilee. The man sitting in the driver's seat was probably in his late thirties, early forties with a graying handlebar mustache and a bowler hat.

"You must be Miss Rose," he said, tipping his hat. "I'm Mister Kenneth."

"Pleased to meet you Mister Kenneth. This is my friend Miss Jubilation," Rose said, gesturing to Jubilee. Jubes smiled slightly and nodded her head. "She's come along to see if there's any work to be had at the Estate." Mister Kenneth's face darkened slightly, as if he was in thought.

"I don't rightly know, but that doesn't mean anything. Come on then young misses. Master John is waiting." With that, he got down and helped both of them up on the wagon, Rose taking the front seat, Jubes sitting in the back. She closed her eyes and listened to Rose and Mister Kenneth talking, making note of what kind of people they were. Rose was only twelve years old, a kind hearted girl, but a chatterbox. ~And everybody at home thought I was bad...~ Mister Kenneth was a different matter. Where Rose was easy to read, Kenneth was not. There seemed to be a shadow over him whenever he talked about the Howlett Estate, as if there were some deep secret that needed to be hidden there.

The ride was pleasant enough, Jubes loved the feel of the breeze on her short hair, making it whisper around her neck. That's why she cut the once long locks to her shoulders. The longer hair had seemed like a hindrance, like it was a tie to GenX and her past. She had needed to make a clean break in L.A., and she did just that, both realistically and symbolically. ~Just thank goodness I didn't get that tattoo. These people wouldn't know what to think about it!~ They rode up to the estate's gates and Jubes was compelled to reach over to the left and key in her password, so alike was the setup from the Westchester mansion. But the gates aside, everything was different. The house itself was just plain huge, tall towers and many windows. Somehow it made her think of a fortress as the sun hid behind the clouds, sending things into shadow. She shivered, a feeling of foreboding filling her bones. Then the sun peeked out again and everything was normal.

They kept on going towards the front and Jubes held a hand to her lips as she saw a man trimming hedges. He wore a yellow flannel shirt that was riddled with holes and a brown hat jammed on his unruly black hair. The prominent black mutton chops that graced his face almost had her crying out for Wolvie, thinking that he had gotten sucked in with her by Gateway. Then he turned towards them and she knew it was wrong. There was just something different to him, something cruel and nasty clinging to the surface of his personality. The arrogant swagger he had told her he was drunk, or slightly tipsy as he worked. His face was set in a scowl that seemed permanent and his dark brown eyes were cold, almost lifeless.

They got down from the wagon and walked towards the doors of the house. A boy about Rose's age walked over, his hands behind his back. He told Rose that she was pretty and that he liked her hair. She smiled and started talking to him, not noticing that he was fidgeting.

"He's got something in his hands," Jubes said quietly out of the side of her mouth, so only Rose could hear her. Of course, it was too late. Jubes shielded her face as the cloud of dirt showered over Rose's, sending her into a fit of coughing. An older, heavyset woman came out and cleaned Rose's face off with another white linen handkerchief.

"An' just who are you?" the woman asked, looking at Jubes with a disdainful arch of her eyebrow. Jubes was about to open her mouth and tell her, but Rose beat her to it.

"...and she was robbed, all of her things taken! She really has no place to go, I was hoping that there might be a place for her here," Rose concluded. The woman, Mrs. Hopkins, eyed Jubes and made her hold out her hands.

"This ain't any of my place, but I can tell you Master John is a kind man. Surely he'll find a place for you," she said, taking both of them by the shoulders. They went down a long hallway until Jubes could hear the sounds of two men arguing. They stopped when the younger of the two spied Rose and Jubes.

"This is young Rose from the village, sir. You inquired about her bein' young Master James' new companion," Mrs. Hopkins said. Jubes noticed that Rose had suddenly become shy and withdrawn.

"And who is this?" Master John asked, standing up and going towards Jubilee.

"My name is Jubilation Lee, sir," Jubes said before Rose could open her mouth. Truth be told, she was starting to get tired of the girl. ~Jeez, was I like that when I was her age? Sheesh...~

"She came with Rose from the village, hoping to find work here. She said she was robbed and she has no other place to go," Mrs. Hopkins said. The old man gave a snort.

"Well, looks like every little ragamuffin is coming here to find a place to work. Why don't you just rent out rooms, seeing as you're wasting my money..."

"Father, I am not going to argue with you here," Master John said, narrowing his blue eyes. Jubes stared up at him, and even though he was much taller than she, there seemed to be something familiar about his character, his friendly attitude. Sure it was more refined than Wolvie's, but it was just about the same.
"I'm sure there's an opening somewhere that we can put you to use, young Jubilation. Tell me, can you read and write?" The older man behind him had a doubtful expression on his face that Jubes instantly hated. Before she could stop her mouth, she opened it.

"In which language?" This raised Master John's eyebrows

"You know more than one?・

"Sure. I know Spanish, German, Cantonese, a bit of Japanese, Shi'..." she caught herself before she said she knew a tiny bit of Shi'ar and Kree. "That's about it." she said, blushing.

"And how did you come to learn so many languages?" Jubes looked at the ground, then back up at Master John.

"I had a very good teacher." ~Yep, stick around Wolvie long enough an' you pick up all sorts of things. Now let's see if my knowledge of the fine art of drinking boilermakers while kicking butt playing pool gets me any points...~

"How are you with arithmetic?" he inquired, his smile getting broader as he circled her.

"Um...not that well sir. I sometimes get the numbers confused." It was from her mild case of Dyslexia. She had never been that good in any of her college math classes. "But I do know how to work algebra equations pretty well." Master John clapped his hands together once, the sound echoing through the silent room.

"Then that settles it. I think my son has a need for a teacher as well as a companion. Rose, are you fine with that?"

"Oh yes sir," she said, daring to smile up at him.

"Good. Then Mrs. Hopkins will show you two up to your room upstairs. I think my son James will like meeting the two of you very much."


Jubes sighed, helping Rose unpack her things into the trunk on the side of the large bed. They were to share a room together. She stared out the window and watched as a skinny little boy ran about, chasing a hoop on a stick. He was laughing and whooping it up out there. ~That must be James.~ she thought, pressing her nose to the glass. There was the boy from earlier standing by, pulling weeds from the flowerbeds. He had a stance to him too, like she had seen it before somewhere...~Gateway, why did ya stick me here? Am I supposed to do something?~ She was lost in her thoughts, contemplating the reason she had been dropped off in this time and she jumped when someone tapped at her shoulder. Unbidden, a small sparkle issued out from her fingertips. She quickly mentally controlled it to appear like the sun's reflection on the glass.

"Did you want to take a walk? Mrs. Hopkins said that we should get to know the estate grounds better," the girl offered. Jubes nodded, thinking how much she needed to stretch her legs out anyway. They went outside and walked along the neatly tended paths, stopping when they saw a boot sticking out from the cover of a tree trunk. Jubes heard the muttered grunts and knew they came from a drunk.

"Oh no, that's Mister Logan," Rose whispered, her eyes large. Jubes' head snapped around to look at her.

"Didja say Logan?" she asked, her feet already taking her towards the prone man. Even though she had seen his face earlier, she just had to know something. Could this be an ancestor of Wolvie's? Was that what she was here for, to figure out his past for him?

"Jubilation, come back!" Rose hissed in a harsh whisper. Jubes waved her off and kept on walking, thinking to say something. The man was leaning against the large tree trunk, bottle in hand and his head shadowed by the brim of his hat.

"You want somethin' little girl, or are ya just gonna gawk?" he growled, pushing up his hat to show glinting amber eyes that were tinged with bitterness.
"Not gawking, just..." Jubes said but was cut off.

"Starin' at the old man. Gonna run to Master John an' tell him I was drinkin' on the job? Trying ta get me fired on yer first day here, huh?" Jubes shook her head and decided it wasn't the best time to ask him about anything. ~Well, we can nix the idea that he might have a healing factor. He's drunk as a skunk. Might not even be a mutant. Or maybe he is, if terminal crabbiness is a mutant power...~

"Yeah, that's right! Keep on walkin' little girl! An' if ya see my no good fool son Dog, tell him he had better be workin' or I'll put a strap to his hide!" Mister Logan yelled, taking a big gulp of his bottle. Jubes didn't say anything, just kept on walking.

~Talk about grouchy! Maybe this dude doesn't even have anything to do with Wolvie, but still, there's this feeling...~ Ever since she learned about her latent clairvoyant powers, she kind of let her instincts lead those weird feelings. She was getting one of them now, making the hairs on the back of her neck stand on end.

~Don't know why ya sent me here, but I'm gonna do my best to figure this puzzle out,~ she thought. ~Then I hope ya come back an' take me home ASAP...~


The days turned into weeks, which turned into months. Jubes sighed as she stared out the window, the handwriting book in her hands. It was now summertime and the heat was almost unbearable under the itchy lace. The corset she wore pinched at her back where it was laced up painfully as a droplet of sweat trickled down her back. She longed to go up to the room she and Rose shared and tear the confining object off, to run around in her tank top and shorts with only her bra and flower printed underwear underneath instead of the layers of petticoats and frills. The one upside to the whole clothing issue was that her posture had greatly improved.

"Hey, how do you guys feel about taking a break?" she suggested, noticing how fast James had closed up his book and tucked away the quill and ink bottle in their place beside the blotter. He looked at Rose, as if to see if she wanted to come along.

"You go ahead. I'll catch up," she said happily, watching as James ran along outside. When he was out of earshot, she turned to Jubilee.

"Are you all right? You've been quiet this week," she said, touching Jubes' sleeve.

"Yeah, I'm fine. Just a little homesick I guess," Jubes replied, closing the book and putting it away on the shelf in the study. "I'm going to go up and take a nap. Go have fun outside." She then turned and went towards the large stairwell in the middle of the Grand Hall. Going towards her room, Jubes sighed and fingered the necklace she had on the night that Gateway had dumped her where she was at. She flopped on the bed, skirts going all akimbo, and stared at it. She smiled, running her fingers over the little polished blue turquoise stones and the silver beads scattered here and there on the piece. Wolvie had given it to her for her twentieth birthday.

"Here ya go kiddo," he had said, gruffly handing her the narrow box adorned with only a pale blue ribbon. She had opened it and squealed her delight, putting it on immediately.

"Thanks Wolvie! I love it!" she laughed, reaching over to hug him tight around his neck.

"Can't be gettin' ya somethin' stupid fer yer birthday, can I? Yer growin' up on me fast."

Jubilee blinked her eyes and shook her head, shaking herself out of her reverie.

"Yeah, too bad you didn't mean what you said Logan. I'm still a kid to you, huh?" Her eyes suddenly filled with tears and she didn't bother blinking them away. "But I miss you so much." She sniffled and hugged her pillow, wishing there was the familiar gruff yet gentle guy that held her when she cried with her now. But all she got was a companionable silence, broken only by her quiet sobs.

Her head jerked up when she heard the sounds of voices in the main hall again. Wiping her eyes and blowing her nose, she made herself look presentable and went down, only to find the Logan・s arguing with the Howlett・s. Then on closer examination, it was just that the older Howlett was giving Mister Logan a tongue thrashing about how his son, Dog, should be better behaved. The look on Mister Logan's face was something that sent Jubes' blood turning to ice.

~God, he's going to beat Dog again, I just know it.~ she thought, narrowing her eyes at the cruel man. Nobody saw her, so she watched in silence. Rose ran up the stairs, still sobbing when she ran into Jubes.

"Oh, I'm sorry Jubilation! I didn't see you," she cried, rubbing at her eyes.

"What happened?" Jubes asked, looking at the sopping wet boys, one of them shaking with pure fear as his father Logan...no, Thomas, took him away. Rose sniffled through her explanation about how James had fallen into the water and Dog had fished him out up in their room.

"Well jeez, it looks like Dog was just helping. I don't see any harm in that. What did that old geezer want him to do? Let James drown?" Rose lifted her head.

"Oh you mustn't call him such disrespectful things! He'll have you beaten for sure!" Jubes scoffed, rolling her eyes.

"Just let him try. I'll pull a move on him that would make the Old Canucklehead back home proud..." her voice trailed off and she looked out the window again wistfully.


Again the months changed, turning from hot summer to cold winter. Jubes never did see Dog any more after the incident at the river. Rose said he was still lurking about, but would run whenever anybody got close. December rolled on and Christmas came and went. The next day was Boxing Day, and the entire staff laughed as Master John served them for a change. Jubes laughed along with them, then went outside for a walk.

"Jubilation? What are you doing out here?" a man's voice asked. Jubes turned her head and saw Master John bundled up in a coat. Jubes quickly dissipated the little plasma blobs she had created to keep her hands warm without him noticing.

"Oh, just taking in the snow, that's all," she replied.

"You've been very melancholy these past few months, I've noticed. Is everything all right?" Jubes stared up at him, wondering how he could have noticed. She thought that she kept all her unhappiness inside where nobody could see it.

"Everything is fine, sir."

"You don't have to lie to me Jubilation. Are you homesick? Is there anything I can do to help?" Master John walked up and came in step with her.

"There's really nothing anyone can do. I'm not homesick, just heartsick for a certain friend." she looked down at her hands, then back at Master John. "Do you know how one thing can bring a memory back?" she asked suddenly, wondering why she was telling him things like that in the first place.


"Well, this friend of mine...every time I see a huge flannel shirt I think of him. Back home, when he went off traveling for months on end, I'd go into his room and get one of his shirts from his closet. Then I'd put it on and I wouldn't feel so bad."

"Yes, well, I wish I could help you. Just do one thing for me, will you Jubilation?" he asked. "Do try to feel like your name says you should. People around here miss that sunny smile of yours." With that he walked off back towards the house. Jubes stayed outside for another hour or two, but then it got too cold for her and she had to go back in. Going back to her room to put away her heavy cloak, she blinked. There on the bed lay a folded up piece of material in a familiar red plaid pattern. She shook it out and noticed it was in fact an oversized shirt. Hugging it to her, she reached inside her neckline to touch the turquoise necklace at her throat.

"Thank you sir," she whispered.


The new years that followed brought along trouble though. Old man Howlett was stopping by more and more, and when he did it meant lots of loud arguing from Master John.

James was growing up as well, turning from a sickly little boy to a similarly sickly teenager. Jubes never inquired, but it seemed that he was now fifteen or so. That was another thing. After all the years she had spent in the Howlett's estate, she had never once aged past her own twenty one years. She attributed it to Gateway wanting her to watch and play along, not particularly growing old while she was at it. She was fine with it, she always had looked younger than her real age, so nobody questioned it.

Then came the night that James ran home sobbing. He couldn't be understood coherently, spittle and blood marred his face. What had happened was that Dog had finally gone and crossed the line between threats and actions and had killed his beloved pet Callie. Jubilee watched as that same night Master John had Thomas and Dog banished from his property. ~Nothing good is going to come of that, I'm sure...~ She went back to the house then, the threats and shouts Thomas issued still ringing in her ears.


Jubilee stirred from sleep when she heard the sounds of voices in the hall. Getting out of bed, she wrapped the now well worn flannel shirt tighter around her body and crept on silent bare feet towards the door. She creaked it open and saw with wide eyes Thomas leading Rose along the hall with a shotgun pointed at her head the entire time. Without a word, she ran after them, stopping occasionally to blend in with the deep shadows. She reached the door only to find that Master John had reached it first. Then the screaming began as Thomas hit him with the butt of his rifle.

"Don't you talk to me like that! You understand me, Soft John? Don't you ever!" Thomas screamed, pointing the rifle straight at Master John's forehead just then.

"Papa? Is that you?" James asked, rubbing his eyes.

"No, get away!" Jubes yelled, pushing James aside as she dove in the room, large blinding lights aimed straight at Thomas' face. She was too late. The man screamed in pain as he pulled the trigger, the unavoidable happening to Master John. Rose was screaming, Mrs. Howlett was screaming, everything was a blur.


"My eyes!" Now Dog was holding a gun to James・ head. Rose dove for it, causing Dog to fire wide. Jubilee's lights filled the room as she kicked the gun away from Thomas. His vision recovered and he backhanded her, sending her sprawling. James let out a growl.

"You leave Miss Jubes alone!" he yelled. "You killed my Papa and now I'm going to kill you!" Jubilee couldn't stop him from rushing Thomas, even when she saw the gleam of metal in the older man's hand.

"Watch out! He has a knife!" She sent another blinding and burning paff at Thomas' face, causing the man to scream as he threw James aside. He stood there breathing hard, then Jubes saw something dark trickle out from his shirt. Gasping, Thomas held his chest and fell to the floor, dead.

Turning her head towards the unearthly sound that couldn't have come from such an innocent boy's throat such as James, Jubilee's eyes widened, mirroring Rose's and Mrs. Howlett's looks of horror.

There beside his father, James knelt, his head thrown back, throat convulsing with his scream. That wasn't what caused the terror from the two women though. What caught Jubilee's eyes were the six small claws that stuck out from his knuckles. She put a hand to her mouth. ~All this time...he was here all this time...~

"Oh God... Wolvie?"

Screams. That's all she heard. The high pitched scream that came from Rose's mouth as she couldn't take her eyes away from Master John's body, the low sorrowful moan from Mrs. Howlett as she stared at Thomas, Dog kneeling in the corner, screaming that he couldn't see.

What got her the most was the howl that ripped itself from the very depths of James' soul. A howl she had heard before, coming from a much older man once upon a time in Japan, when he had lost his would-be bride Mariko. The howl was full of rage, pain, and confusion, all mixed up together that made her heart bleed for him. Standing up on shaky legs, Jubilee went to him and held out a hand.

"James..." she almost cried for him, seeing him kneeling there, the blood of his father seeping through his nightshirt at the knees where he knelt in the puddle, his own blood mixed with that of Dog and Thomas' speckled on his poor hands that were mangled and torn, short protrusions of bone sticking out over his fingers. ~God, those are his own claws! Weapon X didn't stick those in...Oh Wolvie...~

"Miss Jubes? I can't feel my hands! Why can't I feel my hands?!" He was in a panic now, thrashing away from her, his hands thrust out towards them all. "Mama, why are these people here? Where's Papa?" he suddenly asked, going over to his mother for support. All he got was a sharp backhand.

"Get out of my sight! You are not my son! You're an animal!" she screamed, throwing a heavy object at him and causing him to run down the stairs.

"You bitch!" Jubilee screamed, rearing back and slapping her in turn. "How dare you talk to your son like that?"

"How dare he turn into one of those monsters?" the woman screamed back. "How dare he?" Jubilee turned her back on the woman and ran after James, calling out for him all the while. She didn't have to hunt for him long, she found him curled up in a fetal position in the garden maze.

"Oh James," she whispered, kneeling down beside him. He flinched when she came near.

"Miss Jubes?" Jubilee reached out and smoothed his hair out of his face, running her hands softly down his back in a comforting manner.

"Shh...it's me. It's your Jubilee." ~Oh Wolvie, no wonder you don't remember this.~

"My ears hurt," James whimpered, pressing his overstretched arm against his head to try and block out the noise. "There's a fierce thumping in my head..." Jubes bent over and held James, cradling his body in her arms.

"I know. I know. Don't you worry about anything. I'm going to protect you. It's my turn now Wolvie," she whispered, dropping a little kiss to his forehead. She turned her head when she heard Rose step forward.

"Oh Lord have mercy," the girl whispered, holding her hands to her mouth, her eyes riveted on James' claws that were deforming his hands, causing them to shift and look twisted about. Then they both jumped when they heard the sound of a shotgun going off. Rose looked confused, Jubes curled her lip in disgust, shaking her head as she saw the scarlet bloom that marred Mrs. Howlett's bedroom window. Without thinking, she knew whose blood it was.

"We have to leave here." she said matter of factly, still holding James. He was coughing up a storm and shivering so badly that Jubilee herself was shaking as she held him. "He's in shock, go get a blanket or something from somewhere," she ordered, her mind racing back to all the first aid courses she had taken, remembering what Scott had first taught her, then when she had gotten to GenX, Sean. She looked up to see Rose still frozen in terror.

"Dammit Rose! Go get something to keep him warm! That's an order!" she yelled, surprised at the intensity of her voice. When the girl ran off, Jubes created small, multiple blobs and positioned them around James to help in the meanwhile.

"Rose? Is that you?" James asked, his voice strained and painful. "My skin...it's burning...Mama, I want my mama..." Jubilee felt tears trickle down her face as she watched subtle changes happen to him. His coughing had gotten worse to the point where he was spitting up blood. His hands, she saw, were trying to heal themselves up, but the bone claws wouldn't retract into the housings in his forearms like they should. It seemed like his entire body was expelling all the illnesses he ever faced, like his healing factor was finally starting to kick in ever so slowly. She used the hem of her huge flannel shirt to wipe his mouth, then the sleeve to clean the sweat from his brow.

"Shh...I'm here," Jubes said quietly, still smoothing his hair.

"I hurt so much Miss Jubes...I hurt...my hands, there's something wrong with my hands," he moaned, his eyes rolling to the back of his head as he fainted. Jubes looked up and saw Rose holding a blanket from the stables. Jubes silently took it away from her and wrapped it over James, then knelt and hefted him up as best as she could. Between the two girls, the half carried him, half helped him stumble along to the shelter of the stable.

"What are we going to do Jubilation? What if they think it was us that did it?"

"We can't go back then. Is there any other place we can take him? He needs a doctor," Jubes said, deciding to rub the muscles of his forearm. Just as she thought, they felt as if they had been strained and torn from the inside, much like an athlete tearing a muscle when they hadn't used it before or if they hadn't warmed up correctly.

"Where am I? Who are you?" James suddenly asked, his voice quiet. Jubes stared at him, noticing his bright blue eyes had glazed over.

"Oh child..." Rose crooned, touching his face.

"I can smell so many things. Like apple dumplings. And you smell like lilacs," he said, swinging his head towards Jubilee. "But not really, it's an old smell." She crinkled her forehead at his statement, then realized he was smelling the lilac scented soap she had used that morning for her bath.

"James, don't you remember or understand what's happened to you? It's me, Rose! And that is Jubilation!" James blinked, his eyes not really focusing.

"I remember now. You two work for my Papa, right?"


"She's not going to help us James," Jubes said as she rubbed her hands roughly over his arms, trying to keep him warm as Rose pleaded with her aunt to let them stay for the night.

"Why can't we go back home? Papa is there, and he'll let us stay."

"No James, we can't ever go back. There are bad people there and..." Jubes paused, looking at his hands. "They're going back inside. Are you making them do that?" she asked. ~Jeez, I wish I had asked Logan how he popped them in and out when I had the chance!~

"Rose, can we go back home where it's warm?" Rose looked at Jubilee, who turned her head down. ~Looks like I'm gonna haveta take the reigns an' be the leader. Just hope I can do an okay job...~

"We're going to have to. Maybe I can sneak inside and grab some clothes for us all, and maybe some money," Jubes said, wishing again that she had listened harder to Gambit when he had tried to teach her how to pick locks one day when there was nothing else to do.


"You two wait here, I'll be back in ten minutes. If I'm not, then find the next house and keep him safe, you hear me?" Jubilee asked, staring straight at Rose. The girl nodded.

"Miss Jubes?" Jubilee ran a finger over James' face softly and then turned away, her borrowed boots from the stables crunching lightly in the snow.

"Stop right there!" ~Crap!~ "Show yourselves or I'll shoot!" Jubilee sighed and came out, hands extended in front of her. Behind her slowly walked Rose and James.

"Ah, so you've come to finish the job, haven't you?" Old Man Howlett asked, his eyes narrowed into mean little blue slits.

"Look, James is hurt and he needs help. You going to let me grab some clothes for him before he dies of exposure or not?" Jubilee barked, crossing her arms over her chest.

"What a way for a murderess to talk, seeing as you two are the ones that killed my son and his wife, not to mention that servant Thomas."

"That's a lie and you know it! Let us in, at least for your grandson's sake!" Jubes cried, wrapping an arm around James' shaking shoulders. She narrowed her own eyes as it looked like Howlett was actually thinking about it, then followed him as he motioned for them to come inside.

"You, go and get clothes. You," he said, directing the order to Rose, "Stay here." Jubilee ran up the stairs, grabbing a medium sized traveling bag from James' room and stuffing it with plenty of warm shirts. She then turned to her and Rose's room, taking only the thickest dresses. While she was there, she backtracked to James' room and pulled out a pair of thick pants. Slipping them on, she knotted the long tail of the flannel shirt so it hung about her waist and jammed on the boots she had taken from her wooden chest. Even through all that had happened, she let a little laugh escape her lips and a flippant thought run through her mind. ~Still wearing Wolvie's clothes. Girl, guess ya can't break some habits...~ Shouldering the bag, she picked up three woolen caps from James' collection and ran back down the stairs to see Howlett giving Rose some money. By the looks of it, it wasn't even enough for them to leave Canada on train.

"...And get that monster as far away from me as possible," he seethed practically throwing them out of the door.

"He's not a monster! He's your grandson!" Jubilee yelled, her temper overflowing.

"As of yesterday, I have no grandson." With that, he slammed the heavy door in their faces. Rose bowed her head and comforted James as he stood there shaking still, Jubilee reached out and kicked the door, venting some of her anger.

"Coldhearted bastard," she muttered, one hand going up to touch her necklace again. "Come on guys. Let's get out of here. He said he wasn't going to have the cops at the train station, so if we hurry, we can get there before out ten hours are up."


The train was packed and noisy, full of people from all walks of life. In the very far back the trio huddled together, the two girls holding onto James. Jubilee was glad he had stopped shaking finally. His eyelids kept on drooping and his head bobbed to the side as he fought sleep.

"Hey, don't worry James. Just let go, don't fight it," Jubilee whispered, running her hand through his hair as he settled his head on her shoulder. She had torn the lining of her jacket a little to pick out pieces of cotton that was stuffed inside. She then had put the cotton in his ears so that the noises wouldn't be so harsh for his newfound enhanced hearing. She hated every moment he cringed in pain whenever anything loud to her own ears sounded.

"Miss Jubes..." James sighed, finally falling asleep.

"Nope. Just Jubes now. Just Jubes."


With James asleep, the two girls finally stared at the other.

"Where are we going to go?" Jubilee asked, looking at Rose.

"I don't know. I thought you knew." They were silent, their faces a portrait of torment as they huddled closer together, James' deep and even breathing sounding in their ears.

"My father told me about the mines in northern Canada. We could go there," Rose offered. Jubilee thought for a while. ~You know, if you say no and take him south to the US, it could change everything about Wolvie. Do ya want to do that?~ Then she thought about their surroundings. ~Just left Alberta...where was Buffalo National Park? Isn't that the area that the Hudson・s found Logan before? If we go there, then that could have been the reason Wolvie is so drawn to the place...~

"Okay. We'll head there." ~I just hope you know what you're doing Lee.~


They got off the train at the next stop and used the remaining money they had to buy food. Then Jubes managed to snag them a ride up to the mines with some men that were looking for work there. The road was bumpy, but the company was friendly. Rose let out a gasp during the ride as she saw James' face where there used to be an angry bruise riding along his jaw from where his mother had hit him had vanished. Jubes pushed up his sleeve and felt his forearm again, nodding to herself as she felt the muscles had knitted back together. She didn't dare peel back the gloves from his hands, not wanting to risk checking if his claws had retracted just yet. Throughout the entire trip, James slept, his body exhausted, much like Jubilee had seen Wolverine crash out after a mission gone bad where he had gotten the brunt of the injuries or when he had been hurt almost to the point of death from a run in with Sabretooth. The one memory that clung to her mind as she held James was when she had gotten Wolverine off the cross that the Reavers had stuck him on in Australia. He had passed out much like this then too.

They reached the camp and immediately the men that were with them walked towards the main house where a large man in a dark overcoat stood. Jubes instantly knew he was the boss of the place, not by the good condition of his clothing in comparison to the ratty and hole riddled outfits of the others, but by his stance and bearings. He practically screamed out 'I am the leader!' with his body language. As the men surrounded him, his powerful voice rang out so that everyone in the group could hear him.

"My name is Smitty, remember it well," he started, laying out the ground rules. "Now go inside an' register fer tomorrow's shift." he said as a way of dismissing them all.

"Come on then," Jubes whispered, lining up with the rest of the men.

"Hey, you! Stop right there missy!" Smitty said, putting a large hand on Jubilee's shoulder. "What you think yer doin', signin' in with the men?"

"I thought you just said that everybody earns their keep around here. I was just..."

"I ain't one to stick a frail up in the mines. Got a name kid?" The tone of his voice was friendly, even if his words reminded her of a mix of Creed and Wolverine. Her back straightened out and she looked him in the eye.

"Jubilee. An' I ain't a kid an' I ain't frail." It felt so good to actually talk like she was used to instead of having to remind herself to speak in proper English. She stuck her shoulders out and jutted her chin defiantly, daring Smitty to call her kid again. He looked at her face for a while, studying her bright almond shaped eyes and short cropped hair. Then he let out a deep chuckle.

"Well Jubilee, ya got grit. Now I said I don't stick women in the mines, an I mean it. But there's some work that I could use a gal like you for. You afraid o' hard work?"

"No sir. Done my fair share of it before."

"You afraid o' big men brawling right in front o' ya?" Now Jubilee had to laugh long an loud.

"Nope. See my nose?" she asked, pointing to the barely distinguishable bump in the bridge. "Broke it brawlin' with a few guys. They started it."

"What happened to them?"

"My pal came back from the bar an' helped me finish 'em off." She sighed. It was her first time to go to the Auger Inn and be treated like a grown woman by the trash that inhabited it and she had taken on two of them at once. Wolvie had come back from talking to the barkeep and saw one of them swinging a pool cue at her while her back was turned. He busted their skulls and then took names later. She had wound up with a busted knuckle, bloody lip, and a slight broken nose from the first one. The guy in a crumpled heap had ended up worse. Jubes giggled, thinking that he was probably still singing soprano from the knee in the groin she gave him.

"Good. I need a barkeep. Last one up an' left. You up for it?" Smitty asked. Jubilee smiled.

"When do I start?"

"I like ya kid. The bar's over that way. Now you..." he said, going over to Rose. What's your name girl?"

"Rose, sir." she answered meekly. She then blurted out her virtues, hoping that she wouldn't be put in a spot like Jubilee. She was utterly terrified of the larger men and didn't know what she would do if she had to try and break up a fight.

"Hmm, you any good with numbers?"

"Yes sir!"

"Good. Then ya can keep the books for me. What about that lad?" Before Jubes could say anything, Rose blurted out that James was her cousin.

"Let me see his hands!" Smitty commanded.

"No!" Rose said, then tried to cover her fright up. James was already taking off the gloves, looking at Jubilee first.

"It's okay. Just do what he says," she whispered. Rose gave a shocked gasp as she saw what Jubilee had known she would see. The claws were once again under his skin, the only evidence anything was there were the three slightly red marks on his knuckles.

"Hmm. Ain't done a hard day's work in yer life, have ya runt?" Smitty asked.

"He can do his share! He can do twice his share!" Rose piped up, hoping that they wouldn't get kicked out.

"You start tomorrow. I'll have Pauline show ya to yer house after the lad signs up for a shift. Got a name Lad?" Smitty asked, looking down at all of them. Both Jubilee and Rose were silent, their minds racing. ~Should I tell him James, or should I go with Wolvie's name? What should I do? This could change Wolvie's past completely!~ She didn't have to wait long because Rose opened her mouth again.

"Logan, sir. His name is Logan."


The three of them settled down in their one room shack at the end of the row of houses, nearest to the woods, quickly. Pauline, who was a wife of one of the miners, showed Rose to the camp's office and then pointed towards the quarry where James...no, Logan was to go tomorrow morning.

"There's the bar," she said, pointing to the long, dirty looking building in the middle of the town. ~Hoo boy. Do I got my job cut out fer me.~ Jubes thought. Pauline left them back at their cabin and they sat on one of the two beds.

"You better get some sleep Logan," Jubilee said, wondering just why it was so easy to call the boy she had only known as James by the 'adult' and almost forbidden name she knew to belong to the man she loved with all her heart. ~Because he is Logan. That's why, you dummy.~ "You've got a busy day ahead of you." It wasn't hard to coax Logan into the empty bed, he curled up in a tight ball and fell asleep almost instantly. Rose looked at Jubes for a moment.

"You take the other one. I'll use the chair," she told the redhead. They settled down for the evening, Jubilee curled up in the chair, staring out the dingy window until she heard Rose's breathing even out. Standing up, she stretched and padded softly over to Logan's bed. She looked at his sleeping face, seeing his eyes move slightly behind closed lids. Without thinking, she went around and crawled beside him on the narrow cot, curving her body behind his. She breathed in the scent of his hair, thinking all the while why it had taken something so drastic as the first appearance of his mutant power to show that James was her Wolvie. Closing her eyes, she draped an arm over Logan's waist and let his body warmth lull her to sleep.


Jubilee opened her eyes and wasn't surprised that it was still before sunrise. Since she had started living in L.A., she had gotten into the habit of waking up around five in the morning so she could do her shopping early when the stores first opened to avoid the rush of people and to avoid being late for her college classes. That habit had served her well when she moved into the Howlett Estate, and it looked like it was going to serve her well here too. She reached out and let one pyrotechnic blob float from her index finger towards one of the candles on the nearby bench. It's job done, she made it implode on itself instead of exploding with a loud pop. Times like this she wished she was a telekinetic so she wouldn't have to move to make a grab for the light. She winced as her bare feet hit the ice cold floor and instantly shoved her feet into her boots before doing anything else. Going over to the window, she saw that men were already walking towards the office to register for their morning duties.

"Logan, wake up," she said, softly shaking his shoulder. He hadn't moved a muscle since he fell asleep it seemed, and come to think about it, neither did she. She had woken up still spooned to his back, the hair at the back of his head tickling her nose.

"What is it, Jubes?" he asked, sitting up to rub the sleep out of his eyes.

"Time for you to go to work. Come on, I'll walk with ya." Jubes dug in their shared bag for another shirt to wear instead of the bloodstained flannel. Turning away, she slipped the soiled shirt off and the new yellow one on.

"Here. Wear this one today," she said, handing him a blue button down shirt. Once he had changed, she reached out for his hands. "Hmm, looks like everything healed up okay," she murmured, half to herself, half to Logan. Leaving his side, she shook Rose awake.

"Well, let's get our noses to the grindstone," she said, shaking her head. ~Next thing you know I'm going to be quoting Cyclops all the time...~ They bundled up and headed out, mixing with the other workers that went up the way.

"You just work real hard Logan, everything will be fine," Rose said, waving as he left with the other boys to do barrow duty. Jubilee walked Rose to the office and helped her start a fire to warm the place up in the old potbellied stove. Rose lit a candle and gasped at the mess the light exposed.

"Lordy be, how did they get along this far being as messy as this is?" she breathed, going towards the biggest mess. Jubes left her to walk towards the bar. On her way she ran into Smitty.

"Good to see you, Jubilee. I meant to give ya the keys an' set the ground rules fer the bar earlier, but got sidetracked," he said, walking with her to the large building. Reaching into his coat, he pulled out a key.

"This door stays locked during the day, hear me? Don't want none o' my men throwing axes or hammers while they're silly drunk. This door stays open from sundown till sunup, an' if there's any stragglers, ya kick 'em out an' into the quarry. I'll not have anybody lazing around during the day when there's work to be had." Smitty told her, unlocking the door. All of a sudden the rank smell of a typical bar greeted Jubilee, almost knocking her off her feet.

"Yer job is ta make this as clean as ya can. Last barkeep didn't do anything, just let this place go to pot. I won't have that problem with you, will I?"

"No sir."

"Good. I expect this place to be ready for tonight. These men work hard all day long an' like to come in for a good drink after. Miss Jubilee." Smitty said, tipping his hat to her as a farewell. Jubes turned to the mess and sighed. Leaving the door wide open, she moved to the windows, opening each of them to get some air circulating in the stale place. She took off her ratty coat and pushed the sleeves of her shirt up to her elbows.

"Come on Jubes. This isn't going to get cleaned by itself."


Jubilee's back was turned from the front door as she scrubbed the old bar top, wailing out a tune at the top of her lungs. In the course of one day she had gotten the entire floor scrubbed clean, the windows washed, and she was working on clearing the grime off the scarred table top. She hadn't gotten to the booze behind the counter, but figured she could do that during the night. The tables were cleared of the last night's mess, everything piled away for later on.

"All along the watchtoweraaaah!" Jubilee screamed, stopping singing in mid lyric, feeling somebody tug on her pant leg. She whirled around to find a little boy staring at her with wide eyes. His black hair stuck out in all directions, a prominent cowlick right in the back of his head.

"Hey you. Didn't anyone teach you that sneaking up on people isn't very nice?" Jubilee asked, putting her hand on her hip in a mock angry stance. The boy shrank away, but then looked up at her again when she started laughing.

"Hey, come on, I've got some tea I brewed for lunch. I'll give ya a glass," she offered, motioning for the boy to come closer. She picked him up under his arms and set him on one of the stools, going behind the counter and draping the towel she held over her shoulder. She poured a measure of tea out for him in a clean shot glass, seeing as he was so interested in them. He stared at her and took the glass, knocking it back like he had seen the other adults do. He wound up getting tea all over his face.

"Well, ya got the idea, but next time try to keep as much liquid in yer mouth, not over yer face," a man's voice said from the door. "Thought I said no customers till nightfall," Smitty said, coming in himself to sit beside the boy. "Hey there little Fowler," he told the boy, ruffling his hair playfully.

"Well, he asked so nicely for a glass of tea I couldn't refuse. Care for a cup?" she asked, "Or would you rather the strong stuff?" She set out a bottle of whiskey in front of the foreman instead.

"Cleaned up pretty fast in here 'Lee. Better than the last 'keep did." Jubilee didn't have to try and understand his words, she knew them to be an offhand compliment. ~When ya got super hot water, dirt just melts off.~ she thought, smiling at the pail she had found and how she had nearly boiled the floor with her paff-heated water till all she had to do was scrub with a worn broom.

"I came ta talk about Rose's cousin Logan. How old is the boy?" Smitty asked, taking a pull from the bottle.

"Fifteen. Look, if he's not doing his job, I'll talk to him. He might look shrimpy now, but just give him time," Jubilee said, continuing to scrub the countertop.

"It ain't that he's not doin' his job, I just want him ta know I'm not a man ta baby boys like him. He can't do his job an' he's gone. It took him forever to haul barrows today." Jubilee felt a fierce need to come to Logan's defense, but smothered it. She didn't think yelling at the man that held their livelihood in his hand would be the smartest thing.

"I'll talk to him then."


That night Jubilee thought she was going to die right on her feet. All the muscles she had used cleaning the place decided after the fourth journey across the place with a tray heavily laden with ale to go on strike. Her arms were on fire, as was her lower back. She tried drinking a shot just to numb things, but grimaced at the obvious moonshine and decided to stop at one slug before she pickled her liver. She almost cried with relief when the last miner shuffled off on careful feet out the door. She had to stop three fights, yelling and directing them outside to brawl it out. Gingerly, Jubilee closed the door and locked it, limping back to the shack. She kicked off her boots and crawled into the empty bed, cuddling into the slightly warm indentation Logan's body had left. Rose and he had passed by the bar as she was closing up, waving hello both cheerfully and halfheartedly. The latter was from Logan as he looked like he dreaded going back to work.

The years passed on as such, Jubilee closing up before dawn and walking back to the house to sleep for a few hours before going back to the tavern at sundown to serve beer and rotgut whiskey to tired miners. She'd get into a scuffle here and there, sometimes coming home with a bruised jaw where she had taken a loose punch meant for the other guy, other times coming back nursing a bruised fist where she had to gently tell the combatants to take their fight outside. After that first week, there were no more bruises. Everyone knew better than to start anything in her bar. Some nights Logan would come by and sit with her, telling her about his day. Then he would complain to her about Rose, telling her how she wanted him to remember stuff.

"That's what I like about you Jubes. Ya don't want to talk about things that happened." he said, leaning towards her. Jubilee sighed, thinking how handsome Logan had grown up. He was now eighteen, yet he looked much older. His hair had grown out into his normal two points at the sides of his head, and his blue eyes had a glimmer of what they had when Jubilee had known him when she was thirteen. Working in the quarry had built his frame up nicely so that Jubes was sneaking glimpses of him when he didn't notice. She still slept in the same bed as he since they missed the other by an hour in the mornings and she didn't see any harm in it. ~Boy Wolvie, you're a looker when you're older, but wow!~

"What's the point in rehashing things that already happened? Ya can't change them," she answered, biting back a laugh when she realized she had just given the Canucklehead back one of his own quotes. He stayed for a while, talked a bit, then left, the stub of his cigar still smoking on the crude wooden ashtray. Jubilee sighed, putting away his glass and stubbing his cigar out when she heard the shouting coming from outside.

"I'll show you proper, ya little thief!" Cookie was yelling. Jubes poked her head out and saw the fat man shove him to the ground.

" Hey!" Jubilee shouted, leaving her doorway and stalking towards the man that was rubbing Logan's face in the dirt. "Pick on somebody your own size, ya tub of lard! Like an angry grizzly bear!" she yelled, her hands fisting up. Cookie laughed at her and kicked Logan in the side.

"You want a piece of me little girl? Haw haw!" he laughed, kicking Logan again.

"You leave him alone, ya big jerk!" Jubilee yelled, running towards him and landing a punch in the big man's gut. It didn't do anything, but then she swung at his face and contacted with his jaw somewhere under the layer of chin. He snarled and swiped at her, sending her head snapping to the side, a thin arc of blood splattering in the air.

"No!" Cookie yelped as he felt another pair of fists hit him and he shoved Jubilee away, causing her to land on her side as he leveled Logan with two punches.

"That the best you got boy?" he taunted, kicking Logan's face.

"I warned you Malone," Smitty said in a quiet yet deadly voice as he grabbed Cookie by the collar and gave him a punch of his own in the face. Then he kicked Cookie's legs out from under him till the fat man was quivering at his feet. He turned to Logan and shook his head.

"What the hell is wrong with you Bub? Didn't I tell you to stand up to this imbecile on yer own?" he scolded, going over to help Jubilee up. Both of them watched as Logan ran off into the woods.

"You okay 'Lee?" he asked, helping her dust herself off.

"Peachy." She had an urge to run after Logan, but figured that he needed some time alone. At least that was what a pissed off Wolverine did, yelling at her when she tried to follow at a particularly bad moment. So instead she stood there and wiped at her busted lip.

"Go on back home. It's late an' the place can look after itself for a night. You've been putting in some hours."

"You sure?"

"Yeah. 'Night Jubilee."

"Night Smitty." Jubilee walked back to the cabin, pausing when she heard the distant howl of a wolf echo through the trees. She pressed a cloth to her lip and lay down, honestly exhausted from her night's work. Before she knew it, she was dead asleep.

The only time she woke up was when she felt something prod her gently. She turned her head sleepily, looking Logan in the eye. Without a word, she scooted over so he could lay beside her, sighing when he wrapped his arms around her waist.

"I'm...I'm sorry Jubes," he whispered, his head at the crook of her neck.

"For what?" He was silent, but the tension in his arms was evident. Jubilee turned until she was facing him. Touching his smooth cheek, she stared into sad eyes. He winced and put a fingertip to her bruised lip.

"I promise I'll protect you better next time, I swear." he muttered. She smiled in the dark and cuddled next to him, enjoying the feel of him so close. Before she dozed off, she burrowed her head against his chest, her words muffled.

"Oh Wolvie, I wish you knew you've made good on that promise already..."



Another two years at the mining camp passed by, the peace returning to normal. Cookie silently held a grudge against the three friends, shorting them out of their weekly food supplies. Logan's eyes always narrowed, but he made up for it by going out into the woods and hunting deer. Rose kept herself busy in the camp's office, having finally caught up with the horrible mess the record keeping books had been in before they got there. Jubilee still tended the bar, and in her own way got the men there to act more civilized. They still fought, but each of them knew the unwritten rule that it never take place in 'Jubes' Place' as they had dubbed the tavern. Too many of them had been the recipient of slaps that for some reason had burned hot from her hand that sobered them up fast.

One evening Jubilee sat behind the bar and idly twirled a glass of beer around, watching the sudsy foam slosh around. She poured a shot of whiskey that she had gotten an acquired taste for and gulped it down, slowly sipping her beer afterwards.

"What are ya doin'?" Logan asked, walking up to the place and sitting down at one of the stools. He frowned and took the shot glass from the table. "That looks nasty tasting." Jubes cocked an eyebrow at him and laughed.

"Oh, I think some day you'll love boilermakers. I bet you'll drink 'em like water too," she mused, merriment sparkling in her eyes. Logan snorted.

"Not flamin' likely," he muttered, taking a thick cigar from his pocket. "Got a light, Darlin'?" Jubilee's fingers fumbled at the matches and scattered them on the bar. Her throat seized up and her heart hammered in her chest. ~I haven't heard him call me darlin' in so long...~ The way he had said it reminded her of him as an older man, when she had first fallen in love with him. "Hey, you okay Jubes?" Logan asked, leaning over the bar, a concerned look on his face. Jubilee blinked back the sudden tears and smiled.

"Oh yeah. Just clumsy, like usual."

"Jubes, there ain't nothin' clumsy about ya. Now Stan, that's clumsy," he said, lighting a match and taking a long, satisfying pull from his cigar, nodding over to the drunk man who was trying to dance with one of the camp's prostitutes, or as they were known in their profession, "lovies". They usually set up shop for solicitation in the bar before heading out with their clients to their own cabins, and Jubilee didn't mind. She ran a clean bar, not a moral one. She knew about them and didn't wish them any ill will, seeing as they were a part of this mining town's life just as the little seen priest was.

Jubilee giggled at Logan's comment, then stopped when she realized he was holding one of her hands in his own large ones. She stared at them, noticing how tiny and delicate her own hands seemed in comparison to his work roughened hands. Tiny hard pads had been worn on her fingers and palms from her work, but his were scarred with calluses from lifting sharp rocks and wielding the heavy pickaxes and sledgehammers he had graduated to when he was too old for the barrow duty. Her eyes moved up to his heavily muscled forearms and chest from his endless days of hauling and lifting, yet they were still a ghost of what she knew he would grow into. His face caused her to pause and enjoy what she saw. Gone were the hard, deep creases and lines from years of torture in medical labs and life. In their place was smooth skin that covered a strong bone structure: high cheekbones, a stubborn point to his chin, the strong angle of his jaw line. His nose had grown into his face now, for before it had been almost too large. In profile, he looked like a brooding hawk, the end of his nose hooking ever so slightly, his nostrils flaring slightly almost unconsciously as his enhanced sense of smell was on the work at all hours. His lips were almost always in a frown though, but it never bothered Jubilee like it sometimes bothered Rose. She was just too used to his brooding silence already, she guessed. His thick winged eyebrows still shadowed his brilliant blue eyes, the right one quirking upward when something piqued Logan's interest.

"What?" Logan asked, the eyebrows Jubilee was admiring unabashedly gathering in the middle in a look of confusion.

"Oh nothing. You've got some leaves in your hair," she commented, giving herself an excuse to run her fingers through the thick, silk-like strands of ink black hair that touched the collar of his worn work shirt. "See?" she asked, picking several out.

"Yeah, well I was out in the woods tonight," he mumbled, averting his eyes as if he had a secret that he still wanted to keep to himself. Jubes knew better though. She knew he went out in the woods and ran with the pack of wolves that lived nearby as an outlet to release his animal side before it got too much for him.

"Yeah, I could tell. You want me to try an' mend those pants later on?" she asked, noticing a long slash across the shin where one of the wolves had probably been a little too rough in their play with him.

"Yeah, thanks." With that, he stood up and ambled over to the table where Smitty and some of the other miners were sitting. Jubilee admired the unconscious animal grace in him that caused him to walk so fluidly, almost gracefully. She smiled as Smitty clapped him on the shoulder as Logan sat, involving him in the conversation immediately. Then she sighed.

"Flamin' hell, I'm falling in love with him all over..." she whispered, putting her elbows on the bar and propping her chin up in her hands. "This time I'm not too young for him too, there's nothing standing in my way..."

"Hey Lee, you goin' stand there and mutter to yerself all night or are ya gonna serve some beer?" a man shouted, holding up his mug for a refill. Jubilee shook herself out of her thoughts and pulled another mug full of the amber liquid.

"Alright already Frank! Don't get so testy!" she shouted, grabbing another bottle of whiskey while she was at it when one of the men from Smitty's table called for it. She served Frank his beer and handed the bottle to David, who immediately grabbed her around the waist and pulled so she was sitting in his lap.

"Thanks Sweetheart," he said, lowering his head to give her a playful smacking kiss on the lips.

"Get yer hands offa her," Logan growled, putting a hand on David's shoulder, squeezing none too gently.

"Hey, I was just playin' around, wasn't I Jubes?" David said, helping her stand up. "Tell 'im," he implored, knowing that there would be finger sized bruises along his shoulder come the morning. Jubilee's eyes lit up for a fraction of a second at the purely possessive sneer that curled Logan's lip, hope springing in her chest. Then she banked it before anyone noticed.

"Logan, he was just playing around. No need to get all caveman on him," she said, taking the other men's empty glasses and requests for refills. She leaned over the table and got the last one, sending a playful smirk and a wink towards Logan, who was now brooding. He looked up and then quickly down, as if something was on his mind. "Tell ya what, I'll make ya one of those boilermakers, how 'bout that?"


Jubes closed up for the morning, turning around just in time to catch Logan walking towards the offices to sign in for quarry duty and pick up his supply of dynamite for the day. Smitty had made him in charge of the explosives ever since the last man had blown his hand off in a careless mistake.

"Mornin' Logan!" Jubes said, waving at him. He stopped and talked with her, seeing as he was early. Then he suddenly stopped and a large, hardly ever seen smile lit up his face for a moment.

"Hello Rose." ~Oh no. Not again. First I had to deal with Wolvie's torch bearing for Jean, now I gotta deal with Rose's. Why does he have this thing for redheads?~ she thought bitterly, smiling at Rose's welcome anyway. ~Maybe I should go out and rinse my hair with some of that red ochre I found over by the quarry...~ she thought sarcastically. She bade them goodbye for the day and wandered back to their cabin, flinging herself on the bed and clutching the pillow that still smelled like Logan's hair to her chest. Taking out the usually hidden strand of turquoise stones from under her shirt, she sighed.

"Am I ever going to get Logan to love me?" she asked the empty room, closing her eyes before frustrated tears fell. "Or am I always going to be just his sidekick?" Of course, the only answer she got was the utter silence, then the loud boom as Logan's explosives sounded off in the distance.

The explosions were still going on when she opened the bar, then later on in the evening as well. Smitty had ordered many of the workers to put in some extra time during the night to make up for the week of vacation he had given them earlier. The bar was deserted, Rose had come by for a cup of tea, then she said she was going to do some overtime on the books and run them by Smitty. That left Jubilee alone for the time being. Bored out of her melon, she held her hands out and played a version of 'cat's cradle' with her paffs, making them stringy and thin as if they were pieces of yarn twirling over her fingers in little patterns. She looked out the window, noticing how hard the rain was coming down. The booming thunder was muted by the explosions and she let her mind wander, imagining what Logan was doing. Her head turned when she saw one of the men run past the bar, skidding in the mud and heading towards Smitty's personal cabin. The man was in such a rush, that it caused Jubilee to dissipate her paffs and stand in the doorway. Moments later, the man and Smitty both ran out, Smitty still putting on his cap. Rose ran out after them, her hands to her mouth.

"What's going on Rose?" Jubilee asked, frowning as she heard Smitty yell something, but over the thunder she couldn't make it out.

"Oh Jubilee, up at the rock face...oh God...there's been a cave-in!" Jubilee paled. ~The rock face...that's where Logan was assigned to mine tonight!~ Without bothering with a jacket, she took off in a sprint to catch up to Smitty, her heart hammering in fear.


"You stay there!" Smitty yelled over the thunder, shoving Jubilee away from the main pile of rubble. He grabbed a lantern and ran in, shouting orders to his men. Jubilee shivered, looking to her left where some men had already pulled out bodies.

"Logan?" she yelled, running towards them, hoping against hope that he wasn't among the dead. She let out a sigh that was part relief that he wasn't dead yet, part grief because she had gotten to know these men.

"Oh David," she whispered, closing the man's sightless eyes with a hand. She looked up to see Rose standing near Fred, one of the regulars in the bar.

"Fred, Logan's in there, is there any way..." Rose stammered, shivering in the cold rain.

"It don't look so good Rose," Fred replied, lowering his gaze sorrowfully.

"No! I refuse to give up that fast on Logan!" Jubes yelled, turning on her heel and running to the last spot she had seen Smitty at.

"I thought I told you to stay away!" he told her, shoving rocks and debris out of the way.

"And I thought I told you I was stubborn! Logan's in there and I'm not leaving until I find him!" Jubilee yelled, the rain plastering her hair to her scalp and making her thick shirt cling to her skin. She gritted her teeth as the sharp rock cut into her hands, but she didn't say anything about it. Smitty saw her stand up and close her eyes, saw her weaving on her feet.

"There! There's someone over there, I can' feel it!" she said, pointing towards an unlikely mess of rock. If there were anyone there, it would be highly unlikely that they would be alive. She snatched up a shovel and started picking at the rock, Smitty going over to help her.

"You know this is useless. Them poor bastards were goners the minute the seam went," a man said, holding out a jacket for Jubilee. She grunted and threw the shovel aside, reaching for a nearby pickaxe instead.

"I ain't losin' any more of my men, you hear me? I'm not givin' up on them that easily!" Smitty yelled, still prying at the rock.

"You already lost 'em," the man told him. "Now get aside before we lose you to pneumonia."


"Wolvie, don't you dare die on me! You let me know where you are, dammit!" Jubilee screamed through her tears, her cut hands aching and making her work slippery. "Don't leave me, don't you dare leave me!" She wished she had a better grasp on her powers, wished she could use her limited clairvoyance better to be exact. The fact of the matter was that in trying to pinpoint Logan, she had concentrated harder than she had ever before and was starting to feel ill to the point she was going to ralph all over the place. She had done stunts like that before. Brown outs, that's what she called them, because everything went dull in her vision but brown around the edges. Kind of like when the power in a home doesn't go to a complete blackout, just only part way. When she had used her pyrotechnic powers to the max, she had suffered one of them, her body not able to keep up with the energy she exerted.

~You ain't givin' up on Wolvie! He never gave up for you, you're not going to start now! He's your partner, your friend...~

"Logan you tell me where you are so's I can tell you I love you without you chickening out on me, you big gallute!" Jubes sobbed, pulling away some more rocks. Then she heard it. Somehow she heard over the sounds of the men toiling around her and the booming thunder the sound of something barely human crying out for help.

" Hey! Get over here!" she shouted, screaming for Smitty and the other men. She herself darted in the hole, reaching an overturned wheelbarrow from where the sound was coming out from under. Debris covered it and she shoved the rocks aside. "Somebody, help me get this turned over," she whispered, fearing that any noise she made would cause the already fragile roof to collapse on them. Men came in and hefted it over, staring in shock at the sight that lay before them.

Logan lay in a fetal position, his body curled over that of a young boy. His right arm was bent at a funny angle and blood pooled under his head and leg. His eyes opened a tiny bit and the first thing he saw was a teary eyed Jubilee. He closed his eyes and relaxed his hold on the boy's body as he fell into unconsciousness at last.

Jubilee stepped out of the men's way as they carried him out, mindful of his arm where she saw a sharp protrusion of slightly opaque bone stick out from above the elbow. She winced, knowing it must hurt something fierce and knowing that she'd have to be the one to set it before it healed wrong and she'd have to break it all over again for him. The other workers had unearthed more men in various stages of injury, from the barely scratched little boy Logan had shielded with his body to the old man who looked as if his foot had been smashed beyond recognition. The men put Logan on a liter, intending on taking him down to the bar where she had heard Smitty say was going to serve as a temporary shelter and a place to have all the injured for the town's doctor to look at all at once.

"No, take him to our cabin," she ordered, steering the man at the lead away from the bar.

"You sure Miss Jubes? I mean the doctor is..."

"Going to be really busy. I can take care of Logan, don't worry about me," she said, nodding as they followed her. She bade them to set Logan on his bed for now and move the long table away from the side of the wall and more towards the middle of the room. Then she had them heft up the litter and put him on top of it. While they were still there, she took out the lone bucket she possessed and set it outside, letting it fill to the brim with rainwater. When she was ready, she told the men to go back home to their families if they had them, or to see if their help was needed elsewhere.

"Jubilee! Is Logan all right?" Rose asked breathlessly, coming in from where she had ran all the way down.

"No. We're going to have to set his arm," Jubes said, putting her hand inside the bucket of water and creating a hot paff to heat it to the right temperature while Rose's back was turned getting more lanterns for them to see better with. "You watch his claws, I have a feeling he's going to pop them," she warned.

Just as she predicted, Logan's eyes snapped open, his gaze blind as his mouth contorted into a grimace of pain at the mere touch of Jubilee's fingers to his arm. Rose screamed when he growled, his hands bunching into fists and a sick sounding schluck coming when his claws burst from the skin between his knuckles.

"Jump on his good arm for crying out loud! Don't let him cut you!" Jubilee yelled, holding his other arm down by extending her leg up and stepping on his wrist. She pressed down on his shoulders with her arms and put her lips right against his ear. "Hey! It's me, don't fight," she screamed, trying to get him to come to his senses. "It's Jubes, yer pal! Come on Logan..." Trying anything, she rubbed her head against his lips, hoping the scent of her hair would trigger some sort of nonferal memory. Thankfully, he stopped struggling.

"Logan? If you can understand me, nod your head." Jubilee breathed a sigh of relief as he slowly nodded. Rose let go of his arm and backed away.

"Lord, I forgot how it was...how they looked..." she stammered, her eyes wide. Jubilee turned to her and saw that she was terrified. It finally came to her that she hadn't seen Logan's claws since that terrible night all those years ago.

"Rose, go to the bar and get me that bottle of brandy that's under the counter and bring it back to me. Then go back and see if Smitty or anyone needs any help. I think I can handle Logan fine now," she said, gently turning the girl towards the door.

"Are you sure?"

"Yeah." ~Like I don't have enough on my hands without having to worry about you freaking over Logan's claws...~ When Rose was gone, Jubilee turned towards Logan again.

"How you doin' big guy?" she asked, going over to the small chest against the wall and taking out one of her shirts. She winced as she tore it into strips, her hands giving protest.

"Hurt. You're bleeding." Logan sat up.

"Woah buddy! Don't go sitting up on me when you're not ready to!" she shouted, fearing that he would topple over from whatever blood loss he had suffered. She noticed that his claws had inched back under his skin and that the flesh they had penetrated had already started to slowly heal. "Yeah, I know I'm bleedin'. Happens when you get cut." Jubilee said gruffly, wrapping up her injured palms before she touched Logan again. Logan grimaced in pain as he used his good arm to rip the sleeve of his shirt off, showing Jubilee a bloodstained arm and a clean break to his forearm.

"Okay, this is gonna hurt," she whispered, taking hold of his arm in both of her hands. With his free hand, Logan squeezed her shoulder. "I'm gonna push on the count of three, okay? Just don't skewer me," she said, a ghost of a grin forming on her face. Logan nodded his head and took several deep breaths. "One, two, three!" Jubilee shouted, shoving with all her might until the bone was pushed back in it's proper place. Logan let out a howl of agony and squeezed Jubilee's shoulder until she shrieked with him. They sat/stood there afterwards, both of them breathing hard and shaking.

"I hope that worked," Jubilee breathed, resting her head on his shoulder.

"Hope so too," he answered back, his head drooping to touch hers. Rose came running in then and handed the bottle to Jubilee. She thanked her and took the cork out with her teeth, spitting it aside after the redhead had left. She then pressed the bottle to Logan, who drank a big gulp before handing it back to her. She took a drink and then poured some right on Logan's arm, causing him to yell in pain.

"I know it hurts, but I don't want anything infecting it, making your healing factor work double time than it is already." She poured a little on another rag and dabbed at his leg where she saw the mean gash already trying to heal. The wounds at his head were gone, the only thing there were little white scars that were slowly fading. Dipping another cloth into the hot water, she bathed his skin, cleaning the blood away. Suddenly, she leaned against his knees, holding the sides of the table with painful palms.

"Jubes?" Logan tilted up her face and stared at her with worried eyes.

"How well are you healed?" she asked breathlessly, already weaving on her feet.

"Starting to get better."

"Oh good." Logan jumped from the table and caught Jubilee in his good arm when her eyes rolled to the back of her head and she sagged backwards, her legs crumpling out from under her.


Jubilee felt rather than saw Logan when she came to next. Then her eyelids fluttered open and she was faced with his broad chest covered in a clean shirt. His left hand stopped making idle circles over her shoulder and tilted her face up.


"Hey. How long was I out?" she asked, sitting up in the low bed and staring down at him.

"Long enough to sleep through Rose coming in and putting my arm in a sling," he replied. Jubilee looked at her freshly bandaged hands. "Slept through that too. Ya had rocks and stuff all in there Rose had to pick out." Jubilee sighed and lay back down, burying her nose in his shirt.

"Thank you," Logan said, hugging her tight. "For fixing my arm, taking care of me...not giving up on me. Smitty told me what happened up there with you." Jubilee turned her head so she was looking at him.

"Would you have done the same thing if it had been me trapped instead of you?" she asked.

"Yeah. We've been through a lot together; you, me and Rose. We'd all do the same for the other. I know it."

"Yeah. We would." She didn't have the heart to tell him how horrified Rose had looked when she saw his claws again.



"I've got a secret I wanna tell ya. But you have to promise not to tell anyone else, all right?" He moved so he was propped up on his left elbow, staring right at her. Jubilee was almost frightened of the intensity of his azure stare, she hadn't seen him that focused in a long time. ~Not since back in New York...~

"What is it?" she asked. Logan took a deep breath and let it out slow.

"I've been thinking these past few days. Thinking about stuff. Ya know, love an' everything." ~Oh my god, here's where he tells me he loves me! Okay Lee, ready to tell him you love him back?~


"Yeah. I love Rose so much, I can't keep it to myself any more. Since you're my best friend, I wanted you to know first that I'm going to ask her to marry me." Jubilee was quiet, staring at him without really looking at him. "Jubilee? Didja hear me? I said I'm going to ask Rose to be my wife. Jubes? Yer scaring me. Yer not gonna pass out again, are you?"

Jubilee looked at him finally and blinked. She carefully stood up and on shaky legs went towards the little chest she had gotten a shirt out of. Reaching inside the collar of the shirt she wore, she tugged with all her might at the necklace around her throat. The metal clasp silently groaned at the strain, but soon the delicate piece broke, making the turquoise stones fall into the palm of her hand. She bundled the piece up in a scrap of cloth and shoved it to the very bottom of the chest, a single tear escaping between closed eyelids.

"I'm fine," she said, "I'm happy for you." In reality though, she felt as if her heart was bleeding out. A pain that had nothing to do with being physical began in her chest as she let her shoulders slump out of Logan's line of sight. "Really happy for you."


Jubilee turned and swiped at her eyes at the sound of Rose coming into the house, a bundle of clothes in her arms.

"Good afternoon Jubilee," she said. "Are your hands hurting?" ~No, my hands are fine. It's a couple of other parts that hurt now...~ Jubilee smiled and shook her head.

"No, they're doing good. Thank you for cleaning them up." ~Hey, stop being so stiff Lee! She's going to think you're angry at her or something!~ For all her thoughts, she just couldn't get herself to even register a tiniest bit of resentment towards the beautiful woman. She sighed, knowing that Logan had made up his mind and that was that.

"I'm gonna head off to the bar, see if anyone needs any help," she said instead, giving Logan a wink as if to say "there, you have some time alone with her now". She went towards the bar, but decided to stop along the way at Pauline Fowler's house. The woman was out at the side, washing clothes and hanging them up on the line.

"Hello Pauline," Jubilee said quietly. She had seen her husband Matthew in the line of lifeless men the night before. Pauline didn't say anything, she just smiled weakly. Then her lips crumpled and she let out a loud sob. Jubilee had always liked the woman. She was a young wife, probably no older than she or Rose. Pauline and Matthew had spent many a night in the bar keeping Jubilee company while their son played at their feet. Jubilee immediately went to hug her, whispering soothing words in her ear.

"I miss him so much already," Pauline cried, clutching Jubilee's shoulder tightly. "It's just as if he's at work still and won't be coming back till almost nightfall. But this time he's never coming back..." The woman let out a shaky breath and wiped at her red rimmed eyes. It had looked like she had already been doing a great deal of crying since last night. "I loved him so much..." Jubilee's own eyes started to tear at the sight of the woman in so much pain over losing her husband. She thought about Logan and how scared she had been. He could have easily been one of the dead men in the quarry as well. Then she thought about how his eyes had shone when he professed his love for Rose to her. Somehow she felt that her pain and Pauline's pain were almost one and the same.

"I want to thank Mister Logan though. He saved my son's life. And I hear that you were the ones that found them. Thank you so much. I don't know what I would have done if I'd have lost both Matthew and Gregory." Jubilee stayed with her for a while, then decided against going to the bar. She'd see to it later on in the evening. When she got back to the cabin, she saw Rose and Smitty outside talking together. They turned when she came closer.

"Shouldn't you be resting?" Smitty asked, taking her hands and examining the bandages. "You have the rest of the week to recover," he told her. Rose smiled and bid Smitty good bye as she went back into the house.

"Jubilee, I have to tell you something," Smitty started. "I ain't got no clue as to how you knew exactly where to look for Logan an' the Fowler boy, but I ain't gonna pry. An' I noticed lights comin' around ya last night as ya dug. Didn't see any lanterns around either." Jubilee's eyes went wide as she realized that he had seen her daring to use her paffs in the eyes of others. Ever since she had been dumped in the past, she had been so careful not to be caught using her mutant gifts. The night that she had attacked Thomas Logan, it seemed as if no one remembered it. Rose had blocked the majority of the details out of her mind ever since she wrote the account in her journal. Jubilee had taken a look at it while the girl was out and saw that there was nothing to be said about her powers in it.

"But like I said, I ain't gonna pry. You saved Logan an' little Gregory's life. Don't make no difference to me one way or another. I just told Logan the same thing. By all rights, he should have died along with the rest of them men, seeing as his injuries were so bad."

"Oh, no they weren't. They just looked a lot worse than they really were. Only a sprained arm and a few cuts to his leg, not to mention a bump on the head." Jubilee quickly said. Smitty raised his eyebrow and shook his head.

"Whatever you say Jubes. You take care now, an' remember what I said about staying away from the bar 'till yer good an' ready to come back." Smitty said, touching his cap as he turned to walk off.


The atmosphere around camp for the following days was a somber one. With the free time that they had, Logan and Jubilee spent it talking. For no apparent reason, he wanted to know everything about her. She tried to tell him in the most roundabout way about her parent's deaths, skipping over the time she had spent with the X-Men and GenX, explaining hazily about her stint in L.A.

"You ever have a beau?" he asked suddenly.

"Why do ya wanna know about that?" she asked back, staring at him as she sat in a nearby chair changing her bandages.

"No reason. Ferget I asked."

"No, you asked an' ya wanted to know. Yeah, I had a few boyfriends," she said, remembering her very first one when she had still been a pre-teen mallrat, then smiling at Ev's memory, then shaking her head at the thought of her very latest one. Funny, she couldn't remember his name, but she remembered that she had hooked up with him only to make Wolverine jealous. Hadn't worked. He still saw her as his sidekick.

"Did you love any of them?"

"I don't think so. I know I liked them in one way or another, but I never really loved them. There was only one man I ever loved," she said, thinking about the broken necklace in the chest so close to her.

"Oh? What happened?"

"Why you wanna know?"

"Because I think yer tired of listening to me talk about Rose all the time. Let's talk about you." Jubilee sighed and didn't turn around.

"I never told him I loved him. We were really close, just like you an' I are, and I was always his sidekick, the girl he called 'kid'. I guess I deserved it, I was young enough to be considered his kid sister or his daughter," she said studying her hands as she cleaned them again. "It didn't bother me though, the age gap. It bothered him though."

"What happened?"

"One night I came right out and told him I loved him. He went all weird on me and things went bad. I never saw him after that." It was the truth, she had been whisked away soon after. "I don't wanna talk about him anymore, I'm gonna go for a walk, okay?" Jubilee said, getting up and heading out the door. When she was alone, she looked up at the clear sky.

"Because I'm tired of always being brushed off for some other woman."


It was late when Jubilee finally started back. She had spent the entire day sitting out by the little creek nearby collecting her thoughts. ~Maybe Gateway sent me back because I was supposed to realize that Logan's never gonna be mine. Maybe he wanted me to see it for myself...~ She sighed, thinking that she had been sighing way too much as of late. She was going to head over to the bar just to see how things were going when she saw Logan freeze outside Smitty's office window. Scrunching her eyebrows up in confusion, she watched as his face held a certain level of disbelief mixed with anger and pain. Then he turned on his heel and ran off towards the woods. She decided that with the look on his face that he didn't need to be alone. She ran towards him, wondering what had set him off in the first place.

Jubilee skittered to a halt when she saw Logan face to face with a large male wolf. Even thought she knew that he spent his nights among them, she didn't realize the size of them. This one was obviously the leader of the pack. She cringed as Logan flung himself at it, claws extended. They both growled, the sound fierce and not at all playful. Logan yelled out as he was bitten in the arm and slashed at the wolf, sending it sprawling several feet away. Logan crouched low, his face in the familiar berserker rage expression Jubes had gotten to know. The wolf got up, its tail between its legs and whined, lowering its head as well. Logan stood up, breathing hard as the once alpha male limped off away from the pack. Logan watched it go, then threw back his head, howling his pain to the skies.

Jubilee watched, her heart wanting to go to him, but stayed where she was. Suddenly his head snapped to where she was hidden and he growled, the hair at the back of his head bristling as if his hackles were raising. He still had his claws out, and the blood that dripped from his arm stained his shirt. She had the distinct feeling that she should get up and run, but she ignored it. Instead, she stood up and walked towards him.

"Logan..." she was cut off by an animalistic snarl. He stepped towards her, his blue eyes glazed over in rage. His nostrils flared as he showed his teeth, his almost too sharp canines shining in the moonlight.

"You knew," he growled. "You knew about Rose."

"I knew what about Rose? What's going on?" Jubilee asked, backing away slightly. Logan growled and jumped towards her. Only instincts saved her from getting caught be his left set of claws as she rolled to safety.

"Don't you play stupid with me!" Logan roared, lashing out again. Jubilee once more dodged him. Crouching low, she held out her hands, her fingertips glowing.

"Don't make me hurt you," she whispered, her pyrotechnic blobs forming already, their heat warming her hands. "I don't want to hurt you." He gave her no choice as he lunged again, catching the hem of her flannel shirt, the sound of material ripping sounding loud in the sudden silence. She shot a volley of low level paffs at him, wincing when he snarled in pain as they hit his chest. They circled, the look in Logan's eyes never changing from that crazed glare. He would lash out, she would jump and fire at him. Between trying to tire him out, she heard the story.

"You knew about Smitty wanting to see Rose alone, didn't you? How he had always taken a liking to her..." ~Oh! Logan caught Rose and Smitty together, that's what happened! Now this all makes sense.~ Jubilee jumped out of his way again.

"I didn't know anything of the sort. But I'm glad it happened! I'm glad you saw it!" she yelled, her anger going over the boiling point. "I'm fed up with having to sit on the sidelines while other women worm their way into your heart without deserving to! Rose never loved you like that! She still thinks you're a little boy that needs to be sheltered and taken care of by her." ~I'm the one that loves you like that, you damn nimrod!~ Her words caused him to pause. He stood there a few feet away from her, breathing hard, his chest exposed from the burn marks her paffs had made to his ruined shirt. Then his shoulders sagged. Letting out one more howl, he turned around and struck out on a nearby tree, leaving three deep gouge marks on its bark. Then he retracted his claws, leaning against the wounded tree. His back shook as Jubilee realized he was crying. She carefully made her way towards him and put a hand on his shoulder. He turned and she felt her heart tugging at the helpless face he gave her.

"It's true, isn't it?" he whispered. Jubilee nodded her head.

"It is. I'm sorry you had to find out the hard way, Logan." He sank to his knees in the grass, Jubilee going with him. Without thinking, she wrapped her arms around him and felt his strong arms squeeze her waist. They sat like that for a long while, not saying anything, just simply holding the other.


There was a subtle change in Logan ever since that night in the woods. Neither he or Jubilee said anything about it, but he became a little more withdrawn, quieter than he had been before. If Smitty or the others noticed anything, they didn't say so.

"Hey darlin'," Logan said one night several weeks later, sitting at one of the stools. He lit his evening cigar and gave a tiny grin when Jubilee set a glass of whiskey in front of him.

"Hey. How was your day?" she asked, pouring three mugs of beer for waiting miners.

"Busy. We cleared part of the west pile. An' you?"

"Busy too. Stopped a fight some of the newer men had in here earlier." Logan laughed, looking at the two men she pointed at with her eyes. One of them was nursing what looked to become a black eye, the other held a rag to his mouth.

"Don't think they'll be starting anything in here for a while," he mused, throwing back his drink. "You hear the news?"

"What news?"

"Rose an' Smitty are gonna get hitched. Smitty actually came to me an' asked for her hand." Jubilee put down the whiskey bottle and reached for his hands. Logan stared down at them and shrugged. "Don't bother me no more. 'Sides, everybody thinks she's my cousin." He moved his hands till he was holding onto hers and brought them up to his lips.

"Gonna turn in early. Night Jubes." Jubilee swallowed hard and nodded.

"Night Logan." She tried not to be completely obvious when she watched him amble towards the tables where the men in his crew sat and talked with them for a while. He moved over to Smitty and Rose and said something to them, then turned towards the door. She caught herself before she started staring like a fool after him in the doorway. Some of the men at the bar looked at the other, then one of them elbowed another in the ribs.

"Well, looks like Miss Jubes is all starry eyed over Logan," one of them said, nodding his grizzled beard at Jubilee.

"Yep Toby, an' it's about time. A lady as pretty as she is needs a man in her life."


Jubilee smiled as Rose came over and told her about her happy news. She looked the woman over and noted how bright she looked. Her cheeks were flushed slightly, her eyes all aglow.

"And I just love Mister Smith so much," she gushed, still smiling as Jubilee poured her a cup of tea.

"Oh Rose, you don't know how happy I am for you," Jubes told her, honestly meaning it. She listened as Rose went on about the details of her planned wedding, pouring drinks and carting them to different tables all the while. After a while, Rose and Smitty left hand in hand, causing a loud round of applause for the new couple. Morning came along and Jubilee only had to prod one old man out and back to his home before locking up. She walked to her cabin, thinking how soon it would just be hers and Logan's when Rose moved in with Smitty. A smile came to her face as she looked at her hands, still feeling the prickly stubble on Logan's chin as he had bent down to kiss them. She kicked off her boots as soon as she got inside and undressed down to a plain white shift. She was getting into bed when she saw the little yellow daffodil on the pillow. Picking it up, she grinned, placing it on the table next to the water pitcher. She frowned when she lay down, feeling something hard scratch between her shoulders. Sitting up, she gasped as she saw the turquoise and sliver necklace laying there, the broken ends connected with a strong yet thin piece of leather knotted together. She beamed, slipping the piece over her head and feeling a sense as if it should always belong there.


The months that followed went by in a blur. Rose was now happily married and living with Smitty in the large cabin at the top of the hill as a contented housewife. Jubilee hadn't seen her this happy ever. Logan remained a little bit on the morose side whenever somebody mentioned Rose's name, but it quickly passed. He spent more and more evenings at the bar with Jubilee, leaving some nights almost the last one out. Or there were the mornings when he walked to the office to sign in for work earlier than he should, stopping by to help Jubes close up.

Rose had been married for a year and a half when Logan one day fidgeted around in his cabin. Smitty had given his crew the day off since they had mined well over quota for the past week. The bar had been closed for a while since the newest shipment of supplies hadn't come in yet and they were all out of booze. So with nothing to do, Jubilee lay on Rose's old bed on her stomach, reading a book that Smitty had loaned her.

"Let's go out and do something," Logan said suddenly, shoving aside the piece of wood that he was trying to whittle at with a tiny knife. Jubilee looked up at him and raised her eyebrows.

"Okay, what?" Instead of telling her, he went over to the bed and pulled her up, taking her hand and heading over to the mess hall where the new cook that had taken Cookie's place worked. Logan told her to stay outside and she complied, laughing at his serious manner. He came out a few minutes later with a basket and a blanket.

"Ready?" he asked, taking her hand again. He led her into the woods, deeper than she herself had ever gone. She gasped as she saw a beautiful piece of land before her. A waterfall roared as a river carried the water away. All around her, the trees grew a lush green. Large gray boulders covered here and there with light green lichen protruded from the ground. Birds sang in the branches above them. Logan grinned at her and let go of her hand to spread out the blanket, then bade her to come sit with him. They ate their lunch, taking in the brilliant sun that filtered through the canopy of trees and enjoying the rush of the water to their right.

"How did you find this place?" she asked him, leaning back on her elbows and wiggling her toes, her boots and socks over in the grass.

"One night I came across it. I like it, don't you?"

"Yeah. It's beautiful. Thank you Logan for bringing me here." They were silent for a while, just sitting or laying down, enjoying the other's company. Logan's eyes drooped and he fell into a doze. When he woke up, he couldn't find a trace of Jubilee anywhere.

"Jubes? Where ya at?" he asked, looking about. Then he saw her pale gold feet sticking below a branch. Reaching up, he caught one in his hands and tickled the sole of her foot till she shrieked and kicked about, laughing all the while. "Ya look like a squirrel in that tree, Lee," he laughed.

"Oh? Well, you look like a...a..." she said, leaning backwards until she hung upside down by her knees. "A big ole' bear!" she giggled. Logan's eyebrow quirked upwards and he showed his teeth.

"A bear, huh? I'll show ya a bear!" he mock growled, pulling Jubilee off the tree until her feet touched the ground. She shrieked and went off in a run, looking behind her periodically. She stopped when she didn't see him anymore.

"Gotcha!" Logan yelled, jumping out from behind a bush in front of her. She shrieked again and ran back, by he caught up with her and tackled her legs, sending her sprawling on top of the blanket, his fingers torturing her sides. She flipped over and reached around his shoulders and their tickle fight became a friendly wrestling match. They rolled around the blanket until Logan pinned her down. He looked down at her and grinned, breathing heavily from their fight.

"Do ya give?" he asked, smiling broadly.

"Never." She squealed again as Logan tickled her sides. "No fair! No fair!"

"Oh? How come? Oh, that's right, I don't have a ticklish spot!" Logan growled against her throat. Suddenly, both of them stopped moving. Logan lifted his head and stared down at Jubilee's face, she opened her eyes and stared up at him. As if in slow motion, Logan's hand snaked up her side and cupped her cheek, his face moving down to meet hers. She sighed as he kissed her, closing her eyes and wrapping her arms around his shoulders. She tried to enjoy it while it lasted, seeing as if she knew Logan he would back off and move further away from her, unattainable as ever. What surprised her was when he let her mouth go only to move down to kiss her throat.

"Tell me to stop Jubes. Tell me because I can't," he moaned, licking her collarbone. It was as if her wildest dream had finally come true: Her Logan was barely holding onto his control, about to ravish her there on the forest floor. A wave of desire flowed through her and she threaded her fingers into his hair. Lifting his head up, she kissed his lips tenderly.

"Don't stop. Don't ever stop Logan."


Hours later they lay together, the sunlight coming through the trees and creating dappled shadows over their bodies. Logan's hand caressed her side, marveling at the softness of her golden skin. Jubilee stirred in her sleep and moved to snuggle up closer to Logan's body. He bent his head down and kissed her forehead, causing her to cutely crinkle up the skin there and mumble in her sleep. She didn't stir when he gently rolled her to her back and started covering her face with butterfly light kisses though. He smiled against her lips when he felt her kiss him back as passionately as he was kissing her.

"Thought you'd never wake up, darlin'," he murmured, his mouth busy with her suddenly fascinating earlobe. Jubilee sighed happily and stretched languidly against him, wrapping her arms around his neck.

"What? Got lonesome?" she asked playfully, tilting her head as he pressed open mouthed kisses along her throat.

"Yeah, somethin' like that." He moved up to stare at her face, a dead serious look in his eyes. "I love you, Jubilation Lee," he said. Tears sprang to her eyes and spilled over onto her cheeks.

"Hey, what's wrong?" he asked, catching her tears with the tip of a finger. Jubilee closed her eyes tight and bit her bottom lip. Letting out a shaky breath, she stared at him.

"You have no idea how long I've been waiting for you to tell me that. I love you so much Logan," she whispered. Logan let out a pent up breath that he hadn't realized he had been holding and swallowed a lump that had gotten thick in his throat.

"Then I'll tell ya that every day Jubes. Every day, I promise." His head moved downward again and there was no more need for words.

They arrived back at the camp well after dark. Going to the mess hall, they returned the basket to the new Cookie. Jubilee liked the man. He was tall and skinny as a reed, but he made even the simplest of foods taste divine. He had a friendly nature to him too, and a booming laugh that shouldn't have come out of such a thin person. At first glance, Logan had been wary of him, growling whenever he got in the chow line. Then as the months progressed, Cook was accepted by him.

Now Cook laughed, passing them both two plates of food. He eyed Jubilee and winked. As she thanked him, he leaned over to whisper something in her ear.

"I'd eat in your cabin, Sweetie. You forgot to button your shirt right." Jubilee blushed as she saw that all her buttons were off track. Cook laughed again and heaped up another helping on both of their plates. "You two look like you need the extra...nourishment, no?" Jubilee laughed with him and turned to Logan, who was actually blushing. She thanked Cook and took Logan's hand again, the both of them heading towards their home. Once they got there, Jubilee took Logan's plate and placed it with hers on the scarred table. As Logan closed and bolted the door, she lit a few candles. He advanced towards her with a wolfish glint in his eye.

It was late when they finally got to eating, scarfing down the food like they hadn't eaten in weeks. They couldn't stop touching the other, be it her hand on Logan's knee as they ate or the sleek glide of Logan's hand up her thigh. After they ate they curled up in bed together, staring at the other's face, smiling contentedly. Jubilee fell asleep soon after, the sound of Logan's heart beating so close to her ear lulling her under.


She woke later on when Logan kissed her goodbye, sitting on the edge of the bed to put his boots on.

"I'll see you later tonight," he told her, bending down and nuzzling her shoulder.

"You're going to be late for your shift," she said, at the same wrapping her arms around his waist and tugging him closer to her.

"Aww, Smitty'll understand." Jubilee giggled and then kissed him again.


The supply wagon came later on that day, so Jubilee had to drag her tired body out of bed to oversee the stocking of her portion. She grinned ruefully, knowing full well why she was exhausted and not regretting a moment of it.

As promised, Logan stopped by the bar as soon as his shift had ended, never once leaving his seat next to Jubilee's station.

"Will you look at that Toby?" Emmalou, one of the camp's older 'lovies' asked, pointing towards Logan and Jubilee. "She's positively glowing."

"Didn't I tell you she was due for a handsome man to take interest in her? Didn't I Toby?" Frank asked, chuckling as he drained his mug.

"That you did Frank. An' I don't recall arguin' with you either. It's good to see a smile on both of their faces," Old man Toby said, grinning and standing up, holding onto the gnarled cane he had for support. "It's real good," he said as he hobbled up, his mangled and smashed foot dragging slowly behind the other.

The days passed by quickly, Jubilee closing up before morning broke, almost running back to her house to catch Logan before he left to work in the quarry. Logan spending the evening beside her at the bar, some nights leaving early others leaving right as she closed up. Then there were the mornings where he jumped from bed and hurried to surprise her when her back was turned as she locked up the door to the bar. He'd take her in his arms and turn her around, pressing her to the door as he kissed her goodbye for the day. The rare days that they did have off together they spent in their hidden spot in the woods or behind closed doors in the privacy of their home. Jubilee had never been so happy. She felt like sending off fireworks into the sky, just to let some of that happy feeling go before she burst from it.

One day they were relaxing beside their waterfall, cuddled up in the other's arms. Logan bent his head down and kissed her ear.

"Marry me," he told her. Jubilee froze in his arms. She had never once thought about being more to him than just a lover. ~If I say yes, what would that do to his future?~ she asked herself, but then shook her head. She honestly couldn't remember anything specific about her own past, and she realized that she didn't want to. She didn't want to think about the time when it was mutant versus human, or when she had to pit her superpowers against evil. She liked it here much better and it looked as if she wasn't ever going back. ~Maybe I can change his future,~ she thought, ~Maybe somehow prevent him from being tested on!~ Logan turned her around to face him, worry written on his face.

"Jubie? Will you say something?" he asked, fear flickering in his eyes. Jubilee smiled and cupped his face in her hand.

"Yes." Logan stared at her, a happy smile breaking over his face. "Yes, I will!" Gathering her into his arms, he shouted out his joy, hugging her tight to him. She smiled, hiding her face against his chest in the warm folds of his shirt.

Later that night, Jubilee lay tucked under Logan's possessive arm that he had wrapped around her waist. She sighed, feeling his deep and even breathing against the back of her neck and the soft scrape of his stubble against her shoulder as they lay spooned together. She was about to drift off to sleep again when there was a knocking at their door.

"Wuzzat?" Logan sleepily mumbled, tightening his hold on Jubilee. She pushed his arm aside and grabbed one of Logan's long shirts, buttoning it up quickly. Pushing the hair out of her eyes, she opened the door.

"Miss Jubes, there's a man that wants to see ya outside yer bar. Won't tell me his name," Henry, one of the newer miners said. Jubilee frowned, wondering who it was.

"Okay. I'll be out there as soon as I get dressed," she said, closing the door again. Logan was already up and shoving on boots.

"Where do you think you're going?" she asked, heading over to the floor where her discarded patched up trousers lay. She tugged them on quickly and tucked her shirt into the waistband.

"With you. I got a funny feelin・, baby." It was odd, because Jubilee had the same feeling in the pit of her stomach too. She nodded and took his hand as they walked together. Jubilee stopped in her tracks when she saw who was sitting on her bar's doorstep.

"No. No, you can't be here!" she whispered. The grizzled dark skinned man turned his head and looked at her. With one finger, he beckoned for her to come closer.

"NO! I'm not going anywhere with you!" Jubilee screamed, clutching tight to Logan. The man shook his head sadly and raised his arm, sending the item he had in his hand spinning in the air.

"What's going on?" Logan demanded, holding her tighter against him. Jubilee's eyes spilled over and she kissed him as if her life depended on it. A wind had picked up, blowing her hair away from her face. The little man still swung his arm in the air, another wind forcing Logan to let go of Jubilee. She screamed as that wind stopped and the wind that pushed her towards the little man intensified. A bright light appeared behind the man and Jubilee stared at it in horror.

"I love you Logan! Don't ever forget that, even if you forget anything else! I'll always[ love you!" she cried. Then she was swept into the portal and was gone.


Jubilee fell from the sky and grunted as she hit the ground. Gateway was nowhere to be seen. She pounded the dirt in front of her with a fist, giving up to her tears. Great sobs wracked her body and she shook. Curling up into a little ball, she had no idea where she was; all that she knew was that the man she loved was gone.

Her head jerked up weakly as she heard the almost soundless approach of footsteps.

"Jubilee? Is that you?" a quiet voice asked. Jubilee turned her head and saw a tall man in a brown trench coat. At first, she didn't recognize him, but then his devilish red on black eyes sparked a memory. "Logan! I found de petite!" he yelled behind him. There came a rush of feet and before her stood a much older man than the Logan she knew. Her eyes filled with tears and she sobbed, watching as the yellow and blue costumed man shoved his hood off his head and gathered her into his arms. There was something wrong to it all. He held her like a father held a daughter, not as a lover held his future wife.

"Darlin, we've been lookin' all over fer ya! You've been gone for almost three weeks now," he said, hugging her close. She looked up and stared at his face and more tears stained her cheeks. Her vision became blurry and black around the edges. Just before she passed out, she opened her mouth.

"You're not my Logan..." she whispered.


Wolverine stared down at the slight girl he still held in his arms. For three weeks she had been missing, and at first it hadn't seemed like a big deal. Sure, they had a fight in the Danger Room, things got intense, then she had kissed him. ~Yeah, an' ya kissed her back too.~ he thought, shifting her weight so her head rested against his shoulder. He had thought that she had first run off to cool down, to get her emotions in check before she faced him again. Then the next day she was nowhere to be found. He had frowned at that, he had spent the entire night tossing and turning in his bed, thinking of a better "We should just be friends" speech and feeling how wrong everything he thought of sounded. Then he didn't find her that afternoon, or that evening either. Another day passed. No Jubes. Then another and another. He stopped being annoyed and started being honestly concerned. Then he panicked when there had been a rash of FOH raids on known mutant groups. He feared that Jubes might have gotten caught in the crossfire somehow. He asked Charles to try and locate her, just to see if she was okay. With Cerebro on his head, Charles' forehead crinkled in confusion.

"What is it Chuck?" Logan had asked.

"I'm not sure, but I can't locate her anywhere." That had set off Logan. He didn't wait for Charles to finish the sentence that was hanging in the air heavy between them That there's a possibility that she could be dead... He ran off and conducted his own search, going everywhere he thought she would go. ~Hell, I stopped short of sticking up 'Have you seen me?' posters on every light post...~ The only other teammate he could stand to be around while he was looking was Gambit. He couldn't even stand to be around Jean after a while. She kept on looking at him with sad eyes. None of them told him that they believed she was gone, but he just couldn't stand their looks.

Now seated in the backseat of his yellow Jeep, Gambit in the driver's seat, he wondered where his buddy had been. Three week's time shouldn't have changed her as much as she was now. Sure, her arms had been thin in that post-teenage phase, but not as muscularly slender and toned as they were now. She had a series of long, thin scars cutting into the palms of her hands that had never been there before, the pale yellowish white surface of each one contrasting with her honey colored skin. And then there was her hair. She had just gone to the salon a day before she had disappeared to get a trim, three weeks shouldn't have had the once barely shoulder length hair swinging almost all the way down to her waist. She was thinner too. Not by much, but it was still enough to get his attention.

She stirred in his arms, her fingers clutching to his shoulder. Her eyes moved behind her closed eyelids and she moaned.

"James..." Logan looked down at her and frowned. Who was this James guy she kept on calling out for? Since they had found her in the woods in upstate New York, that was all she had said.

"Oh darlin', where have ya been?" he whispered. Then he caught it. It wasn't that obvious, but the scent still clung to her skin. Gateway. Logan knew that man's scent anywhere. Under it, even stronger than the grizzled time traveler, there was another familiar scent. Logan frowned, tilting his head closer to her to catch a better whiff. He inhaled, frowned, and inhaled even deeper. If he wasn't mistaken, the scent that was all over her body almost as strong as her own was his.

Remy parked the Jeep in the back, then opened the door for Logan so he wouldn't have to let go of Jubilee. Then the Cajun went at a run for Hank, saying that he needed him in the Medlab pronto.


Jubilee tried to open her eyes, but they were gritty. Her vision was blurry to say the least. She felt with her hand and her back that she was laying on something soft. There was a soft glow coming from her right, and she turned her head towards it. Her vision cleared up enough so that she saw a tall, beautiful redheaded woman sitting close by.

"Rose? What are you doing here?" she asked, groaning and putting a hand to her head. She laughed and closed her eyes. "You can't imagine the crazy dream I had last night..."

"Jubilee, my name is Jean. You remember me, don't you?" the woman asked. Jubilee's eyes flew open. She stared at the woman and noticed subtle differences between her and her friend Rose. Then she caught the room she was in. Pale green paint covered the walls, a pile of books at one shelf, more clothes than she had ever seen in a long time in the open closet.

"Jean, don't stress her too much. I haven't had time to do any tests," a man's voice said from her left. Jubilee turned and her eyes grew large at the sight of a huge blue furred person leaning over. He smiled at her, but it wasn't friendly looking to her as he had meant to convey it. The showing of sharp canines had her huddling closer to the head of the bed, her hands out in front of her.

"Stay where you are! Both of you!" she screamed, confused and scared. People crowded the door to the room. She screamed again at the sight of a man with wings attached to his back, than at the sight of a woman with bones sticking all out of her body. "Stay away from me, all of you!" the woman named Jean had carefully backed off, as did the blue manlike thing in a white coat.

"Dude, what's up with the Jubester?" another man asked, almost invisible puffs of steam or frost coming off his exposed skin.

"Freaky lil' Upworlder, she's spazzing out on us," the girl with the bones poking out of her face said, a scowl making her look all the scarier to Jubilee.

"Hey, all of ya! Leave her alone!" Jubilee's head poked up at the familiar voice.

"Logan?" All of a sudden, her knight in shining armor came into the room. Jubilee leapt out of the bed and clung to him, shaking all the while. She was glad that there was that familiar feel of his strong arms coming around her body as they had done so many times before. She buried her face against his chest, inhaling his comforting scent. "Oh Logan, I thought I lost you," she whispered, her tears soaking into his flannel shirt. She never saw the frightening scowl he sent all the other onlookers, warning them to leave now or suffer the consequences.

"Shh, kiddo. It's me," Logan crooned, sounding very un-Wolverine-like at the moment. He didn't care. Jubilee's head lifted at the name 'kiddo' and she stared up at him with big, tear-filled eyes. Then she closed them tightly and rested her head on his shoulder. Without any warning, she just let go of everything, sobbing until her chest hurt and she had exhausted her reserves of tears. She cried there in Logan's arms until she fell asleep, Logan leaning down to position her back on her bed. He pulled the blanket on the foot of the bed over her, unlacing her boots and sticking them on the floor beside the bed. He was in the process of tucking the blanket over her shoulders when the neckline of her shirt shifted, showing a large red mark on the right side of her throat where her neck and shoulder met. Pushing the material away slightly, Logan's eyes narrowed as he saw that the mark was teeth shaped in size. Shaking his head, he got up and turned to leave.


Jubilee woke up when she saw daylight streaming through the nearby window. She blinked, getting her bearings. ~I'm back.~ she thought. ~I'm back and Logan's back to thinking I'm a kid...~ She pushed her feet off the bed, the warm carpet under her feet a pleasant change from the cold wood floor she was accustomed to. She padded over to her closet and frowned at all the clothes. Wasn't there anything in there that wasn't so... indecent? Everything in there would have shown off her arms more than she was used to and her legs would be bare as well. She shrugged, gathering something at random instead of agonizing about it and went to the adjoining bathroom. She fumbled around in the dark, then winced as bright lights greeted her when she flipped a switch. She frowned, standing there with clean clothes in her hand and spent a few minutes just flipping on and off the lights. Finally getting tired of it, she went inside and stared at the utilities found there. A sink that had running water. A toilet that flushed. This was all at once unusual and familiar to her. She dropped her clothes on the countertop and stripped out of her suddenly grungy apparel. She didn't stuff them into the little chrome chute she remembered was for dirty laundry though. She held the well worn blue shirt to her and inhaled, still smelling her love within the fabric. It had been his shirt she had picked off their cabin floor after all. Folding it up, she tucked it away where others wouldn't likely find it. She didn't want to give up part of her past just quite yet. She stood there and contemplated the shower. Turning a dial brought forth a stream of hot water. She shivered in delight as the multiple jets hit her on all sides, enjoying the once taken for granted luxury of a long shower with real soap instead of bars made out of lye. She grabbed her shampoo bottle and lathered up her head, luxuriating in the scent of green tea that filled her nose. She found her razor and shaved her legs as her hair saturated the conditioner she had slathered on.

Three hours later, she stepped out of her bathroom, feeling like a new woman. Sure, she felt like she was parading in her underwear in the shorts and spaghetti string tank top she had on, but she knew the feeling would pass. She had gathered up her long hair in a ponytail, letting it swing across her back as she walked. Stepping into some sandals, she took a deep breath and walked out of her room.

"Hey Hankster," she said shyly, stepping into Beast's lab. She had her hands clasped behind her back as she stared at all the electronic and high tech equipment he had scattered here and there. The blue genius stared up from his microscope and looked at her over wire rimmed glasses.

"Well salutations Jubilation. Are you feeling better?" he asked. Jubilee flinched at his obvious stiff tone. She bit her bottom lip and stepped forward.

"I'm sorry about yesterday Hank. I shouldn't have acted like I did. It's just...I haven't been around a fellow mutant in like a really long time," she ended lamely. Henry's gaze turned soft and he patted the empty seat next to him. Jubilee went over and instead of sitting first, she flung her arms around his neck.

"I've missed you so much, Big Guy," she whispered, kissing his cheek. It made the furry blue doctor turn a lovely shade of blue violet around his face.

"Well, *ahem*, I missed you too Jubes. But three weeks is a short while, don't you think?" he asked, the tone of his voice fishing for more information. Jubilee sighed and stuck out her arm.

"Okay, okay. You can run yer tests an' I'll tell you all that I can," she told him. "Just if you turn me into a human pincushion I'm not going to be happy."


"Ouch! McCoy! I thought we had a deal!" Jubilee said, watching as he adhered another monitor to her body. She crossed her arms over her chest and frowned.

"We had a deal not to turn you into a human pincushion. You never said anything about turning you into a human suction cup," he chuckled, humming under his breath as he put another on her forehead. "But I do want to do a few more blood tests. Now where were you in your story?" he prompted. Jubilee sighed. She had been poked, prodded, weighed, and measured all day long. The lab was cold to her barely covered body, seeing as she was sitting on top of a medical table in only a pair of neon pink bikini underpants and a matching demi bra. Funny, she had forgotten how much she had loved to collect underwear.

"Well, I was at the cave-in."

"Ah. How you got your scars. I have to say J., your hands healed up very well considering the lack of medical attention."

"Thank you Blue. Well, Rose came to the bar and told me what had happened. Instantly I had panicked over Lo...um, James and hoped he was safe."

"Was he?"

"Thankfully yes. Only a broken arm to speak of." Hank hmm'ed and drew another sample of blood, making Jubes curse under her breath. Something in the corner gave off a ding like an egg timer's alarm going off. Henry went over to the centrifuge and took out the vial of blood he had already separated into its separate components: red and white blood cells, platelets, and plasma. He took another instrument and dropped various particles of the test tube into other receptacles, doing things that Jubilee hadn't understood even before she was swept back into the past.

"What's the verdict, Doc?" a voice asked from the doorway, the mechanical whoosh of the door closing behind him giving his location away.

"She's a bit on the anemic side, but not by much. A little malnourished, something that can be fixed easily by vitamins. Wouldn't you say so Jubes?" Henry asked, tilting his glasses over the bridge of his nose. "I give you my clean bill of health. She's all yours Wolverine." He moved to help Jubilee hop off the table, taking off the sticky pads as he went. He was stopped when Logan shoved him not so gently out of the way.

"What the hell happened here Jubes?" he demanded, kneeling in front of her and examining her waist. There were large bruises at her hips that on a closer look came out to be finger shaped. He looked up at Jubilee and saw that on her exposed skin there were small red marks, as if somebody had run a pad of sandpaper over the outside of her right thigh, her hip near the bruises, and another on her left shoulder. His eyes were alight with anger that felt the need to be avenged when he stared up at her face.

"Oh. Well, you see..." Jubilee stammered, her face turning a bright pink. Logan stood up and ran a finger over the large bite mark on her neck, causing her to shiver, her eyes closing to small slits. She opened them and looked to Hank for some assistance, but he had sagely turned his back on the whole thing, becoming engrossed in checking the newest test results. She gave a frustrated sigh and jerked on her shirt, which did nothing but accentuate the mark. Her shorts at least hid the scrapes from his eyes though.

"Jubes, you tell me straight. Ya don't haveta hide anything from me, especially anythin' important like this," he told her, frowning as she casually waved goodbye to Hank and walked from the lab, Logan in tow.


"Don't go playin' stupid on me Lee. Not ever. Who did this to you? You tell me now so's.." Jubilee turned on her heel and stared at him.

"So's you can what?" she asked.

"So's I can gut the motherless bastard that raped you." Jubilee stared at him hard for a moment, shock written on her face. Then her eyes went back to normal from their formerly widened position and she gave a small smile.

"Oh Logan, it wasn't like that. What we did was purely consensual," she whispered, putting a hand against his face. "There's nothing you can do now anyways. He's...he's...gone." Her throat got tight and she swallowed, willing herself not to start crying buckets again. ~You gotta buck up Lee! No more being a crybaby!~ She walked away from him, leaving Logan dumbfounded.

That night she tossed and turned on her bed, thinking it was far too soft for her to ever get comfortable on. She shoved her pillows off and sat up. Going down on the floor, she felt better, the hardness welcoming from all the years of sleeping on what was like a sheet of wood with barely any cushioning for a mattress. But still she couldn't sleep. Growling softly in frustration, she got up and paced her room. Her internal clock was still telling her it was time for her to be at work behind the bar, not in bed. Throwing a pair of gym shorts on, she padded down the hall, her sock covered feet not making a sound. Just a few doors down lay the one person she wanted to be with the most. She quietly opened his door and poked her head in.

Logan lay on his stomach, the sheets tangled about his legs. Pale moonlight filtered in through his window, giving Jubilee enough light to find her way. She knew he was awake by the sudden tension in his back as she drew closer but he didn't make a move to let her know he knew that she knew he was. Her heart seized up at the sight of his dark hair on his stark white pillow, the contrasts between that and the tan skin of his back. The shadows played in the dips and valleys of his muscles, hiding everything from the small of his back down from her view. She rounded the bed and climbed in, happy for once that Logan liked a firm mattress instead of a soft one. His head lifted and his bright blue eyes stared at her as she draped an arm around his waist. He moved so he was facing her and she took the opportunity to snuggle against his chest.

"Jubes, darlin', what happened to ya? Why won't you let me in?" he whispered, wrapping his arms around her to cradle her close. She whimpered and he felt tiny pricks of wetness against his shoulder. His heart ached to get her to stop crying, but he didn't know what was the cause. So he tightened his hold on her and kissed the crown of her head instead.

"I can't tell you, Logan. Not now. Maybe some day, but not now. Just...just hold me. That's all," she said, clutching his shoulders.

So he did.


The following weeks Jubilee spent reacquainting herself with the fine art of clothes shopping. Driving took a long while to get back into the swing of, but she made sure to go with a partner on her shopping forays. One that was indestructible.

"Shugah, you goin' let me know what's got ya all quiet like, or do ah have ta wring it outta ya?" Rogue asked, pressing a sheer blouse to her chest and eyeing herself in the three way mirror. Jubilee looked up from the bright yellow satin halter top she had in her hands and blinked. As usual, her mind was wandering. ~What would James have thought of me in this?~ she wondered. She had decided to keep Logan's younger self's memory alive in her head and separate from her memories of Logan's present self by calling the 'then' James. She grinned; thinking ruefully that if a half unbuttoned shirt could inspire such passion from the man, she wouldn't have stood a chance if he had seen her in something that barely left anything to the imagination.

"Oh, nothing. Just lettin' the old brain wander off," Jubilee answered. At the end of the shopping trip, both she and Rogue had collected at least three bags each. Jubilee had fought the urge to buy something that was both concealing and functional by buying clothes that she probably wouldn't wear outside her own room until she got the nerve to do so back.

The two women were at the food court when Jubilee lost it.

"An' then that mangy Swamp Rat...Ah tell you, Ah cain't stay mad at him for long! He just went an' apologized fo' whateveah he had done ta get me mad in th' first place with a lil' kiss on mah hand. Ah can barely remember mah own name when he starts nibblin' on mah wrist, let alone whateveah he had done wrong in th' first place..." Rogue sighed. Then she saw Jubilee fidget in her seat.

"Whut's wrong?" Jubilee's lips quivered and she started bawling. Rogue got up and sat next to her, pushing her Coconut Blue Breeze slurpee out of the way before Jubilee hit it when she put her head on the table. Taking the younger woman's hands in her own gloved ones, she squeezed reassuringly.

"Oh Rogue! I'm in love with him and he doesn't know!" she wailed, not caring if she was causing a scene or not.

"Who doesn't know? Bobby? Logan? You'd bettah not say Remy, or Ah'd have ta hurt you." Rogue said, raising an eyebrow and at least managing to get Jubilee to stop crying for the moment.

"Logan. Logan doesn't know I love him," Jubilee sniffed. She reached over and got a few paper napkins from the tabletop dispenser and blew her nose. Rogue put her hand on Jubilee's back, making soothing circles there.

"Well of course he knows you love him! He's known you've had a crush on him since forever," Rogue said.

"Yeah, but he thinks I love him like a brother, or like a daughter loves her dad. Not like a woman loves a man," Jubilee clarified.

"Oh. Then that's a whole 'nutter kettle of fish. Ah take it you haven't told him."

"No, no. I went and told him. The night Gateway showed up. It's just that he still thinks I overreacted to our argument and was just blowing up in his face," she said, staking a sip on her slurpee. Rogue hmm・ed and grabbed her own cup and stared contemplatively at the green ice slush.

"Well shugah, you've come to the raight gal ta help you out. Now let's go home an' start plannin'." Jubilee smiled at her through her watery eyes. She nodded her agreement.

"Bobby? Eww, Rogue that's just plain unheard of when we're talkin' about the same dude that froze every single pair of underwear I own and hung them from the mansion trees as 'Jubesicles'."


"I feel," Jubilee said, staring at her reflection in the vanity mirror, "Like a two bit hooker."

"Mais non! You look tres manifique, chere!" Remy assured from his spot on Rogue's bed. The three of them were gathered in the Southern Belle's room with the two women's purchases for the day strewn in every available spot.

"He's raight, an' ya should know ta trust Remy when it comes to a good lookin' girl," Rogue said, leaning back and admiring her handiwork.

"Oui. You see Remy wit Roguey, neh?" The comment got Rogue to blush and Remy to smirk, his brilliant eyes flashing in the light.

"I don't know though. Isn't this a bit...much for just a night at home?" Jubilee asked, looking down at the yellow and white cropped tank top and the snug faded hip huggers she wore. She tugged at the hair that Rogue had piled up on top of her head in a pretty yet simple knot, a few strands coming down to frame her face prettily. The barely there shimmery blue eye shadow and pink wet glossy lipstick made her almond tone skin glow. A subtle hint of perfume hit her nose as she stared down with a frown at her peeking cleavage.

"Nope! Now let's hit that pool table!" Rogue said, grabbing her by the hand and pulling her downstairs before she had a chance to argue.


Logan frowned, shifting deeper into his seat on the couch, remote in one hand, frosty beer in the other. ~Trash, trash, crappy game, seen it, seen it, seen it so many times even I can recite it by heart...~ he thought, surfing the channels for anything good to watch on the wide screen HDTV they had there. He finally gave up and was about to go down to Harry's for a few rounds of beer and a few more rounds of busting skulls when he was stopped dead in his tracks, his nose putting on the brakes with a loud squeal. That couldn't be Jubilee. Sure, his nose was telling him that it was her scent in the kitchen with Gumbo an' Rogue, but his brain didn't want to believe it. It smelled like her, yet with a light floral overtone and a heady, seductive musk undertone. His Jubilee had an almost girlish fragrance to her, like bubblegum and cotton candy mixed together with gunpowder. his suspicions were confirmed when out from the swinging doors she burst, a tray of goodies in her hands. His eyes went wide when her back was turned at what she was wearing. The top didn't leave much to his imagination ~When did she grow those?!~, and the jeans were slung dangerously low. ~Quit it Old Man, this is Jubes here.~

"Hey Wolvie! Wanna nibble?" she asked, holding out a bowl of pretzels for him, her eyebrow arched slightly.

"Huh?" Jubilee rolled her eyes and held out the bowl again.

"Pretzels. Your favorite," she said. Logan mentally slapped himself for letting his mind wander. "Remy an' Rogue were just gonna rack up a game of pool. Wanna be my partner?" she asked, concentrating as she blew a bubble, the bright pink gum distorting her features for a while before she deflated the bubble and began chewing again.

"Sure Kid. Snag me a cue, willya darlin'?"


Thirty minutes later had team LeBeau ahead one ball to team Lee. It was Jubilee's shot and she missed, cursing under her breath. Remy tisked and sank his own ball, but in the process hit hers into a pocket as well. He missed the eight ball and leaned back against his cue.

"Sapritsi Roguey! Dat ball don' wan' go in!" he said, taking a swallow of his beer.

"That sounds like a personal problem, shugah," Rogue said, her eyes downcast. Remy stared at her in a way that made her knees melt.

"Not fo' dis t'ief it ain't, chere," he whispered in her ear, bringing her close to his body by pulling on the belt loops to her pants. "You wan' find out firsthand?" Rogue laughed, slapping her palm on his chest and pushing back lightly.

"Tease," she said, her tone light, her emerald eyes speaking volumes of unfulfilled desire for him. "Ah guess that's why ah keep ya around."

"Oh? Remy t'ought dat you kept him around 'cause you loved him." Rogue tilted her head to the side, causing her auburn curls to shift over her shoulder and the solid white streak to bob playfully.

"Oh yeah. Ah knew there was anothah reason..."

"Dudes, chill out somewhere else. I'm trying to line up my shot," Jubilee complained, rolling her eyes as she studied the table. The shot was a pretty hard one to sink the eight ball, and she didn't quite know how to do it.

"We t・inkin we'll take yo' advice p'tit. You two won de game. Bon nuit!" Remy called out, holding out his hand for Rogue. Logan missed the little wink the couple gave Jubilee.

"You want to call it quits, or do you want to finish this game?" she asked, leaning back on her cue. Logan drained his beer and reached for another.

"Nothin' else to do tonight darlin'." He sat on one of the tall stools nearby and watched as Jubilee rounded the table, looking for a good spot to hit. She called a pocket and started to draw her cue back.

"Ain't gonna hit anythin' from there," Logan commented.


"Nope. Gonna hit the bumper an' maybe hit the wrong pocket if ya use too much English," he said, standing up and going to the table until he was behind Jubilee. He put his large hands over her smaller ones and bent his body around hers, totally oblivious of their proximity. "See? Now move yer cue to yer right, yeah, a little more, just like that...perfect. Draw back just so..." he pushed back on her hand and made her move her arm.

"Like this, Logan?" she asked quietly, turning her head to see if he approved. Logan didn't notice her movement. His eyes were shut closed as the 'friend teaching his buddy' persona melted away and just the 'man close to woman' one stepped up to the plate. He could feel her warmth radiating from her back and soaking up into his chest, feel all her delicious curves molding into his angles and planes. His nose twitched at the closer inspection of her scent, the inner beast growling approval when it detected a heavy amount of desire there.

"Yeah. Just like that," he said, stepping away quickly before he did something he would regret. Like spinning her around and kissing her senseless. She hit the cue ball and just like he knew she would, sank the eight ball.

"I do good Wolvie?" she asked, turning to face him. Logan stared at her ever so glossy and slick lips and cleared his throat.

"Yeah. Real good kiddo. Listen, I'm gonna call it a night." Logan said, already leaving the room. Jubilee stared after him, a smile plastered on her face.


That night she tossed and turned in bed, finally falling into a fitful sleep. Since that night she had gone to Logan's room, she had been making a habit of sneaking in and cuddling next to him at night. Logan thought it was purely for security reasons, that she had been all alone those eleven years that had been only three weeks for the rest of the team. He didn't press the issue, simply held her when she came in and soothed her with long strokes of his hand against her back until she slept.

Tonight looked like she wasn't going to appear and he wasn't upset about it. Nope. Nuh uh. ~Oh hell, yes I am!~ It wound up that he couldn't sleep without having her warm body curled up against him or spooned with her back to his chest.

~Ya probably scared her off tonight,~ he grumbled, flipping over to his back for the umpteenth time. ~Shut up.~ he told that voice in the back of his mind that was currently remembering how great it had felt to have her pressed up so close to him that evening.

~Make me,~ the voice taunted back. Logan growled, turning to his side. He grabbed the spare pillow and hugged it to his chest, still smelling the faint Jubilee-hair scent from the night before. He inhaled deep, thinking that maybe it would be enough to get him to sleep. No such luck. He finally sat up in bed and raked his fingers through his hair, a scowl set deep on his face. Throwing on a pair of boxers, he didn't bother with a shirt as he opened his door and crept down the hallway.


Jubilee turned slightly when she felt the soft mattress dip as another person's weight was added to her own. Her eyes sleepily opened, but she couldn't see anything in the total blackness of her room.


"Shh, go back to sleep Jubes." Muscular arms wound their way around her waist and a sandpapery stubbled chin rasped against her shoulder lightly. Jubilee sighed and happily leaned into his embrace, one hand reaching over to rest lightly on his hand. She heard his breathing start to even out into a sleep pattern and grinned when he didn't pull his hand away when she laced her fingers with his. Closing her eyes, she fell asleep with a smile on her face and hopes for the new day in her heart.




"You gonna throw the ball or are ya gonna stand there all night?" Logan asked from the settee area of their lane in the bowling alley. Jubilee rolled her eyes and then went down the approach, letting the ball go rolling down the lane. She jumped up when it hit the other pins, picking up the spare.

"Good shot darlin'. Let's see, that's a hundred an' forty five for you, two hundred twelve fer me," Logan said, looking up at the automatic scorer. "You owe me a case of beer." Jubilee frowned, sitting beside him to take off her rented bowling shoes.

"Aww, Logan, can't I just make it up to you some other way?" she asked offhandedly, not looking up at him. It was a good thing too or else she would have seen the smoldering look he had given her.

"If I think of one, I'll let ya know," he answered huskily, taking both of their balls back to the racks where they had gotten them. Jubilee smirked, taking their rented shoes to the counter. They had fallen back into their usual 'Feral and Firecracker' mode, but with a few little tweaks in the system. For one, Logan had stopped calling her 'kid' for two weeks straight and another, they had taken a silent agreement to sleep together. Jubilee sighed, because that's all that was going on in bed with him: sleep. Logan would soon pass out not even ten minutes after she crawled under the covers with him or when he came into her room.

Pushing a hand into her newly chopped off hair, she admired the way he moved as he walked back towards her. He had such a fluid grace to him that she had been privileged enough to witness develop as he grew older. She leaned against the snack counter and grinned, thinking about the overdose of tension that was occurring as of late in her life. Cold showers had started to become a norm for her. The bad thing was that they didn't help much.

"Ready to go?" Logan asked, holding out his hand. Jubilee smiled and took it, running her thumb over the back of his hand lightly.

"Yeah. Where to now?" She didn't have to wait long; fifteen minutes later saw them in a local hamburger joint seated together in a red vinyl booth and sucking on milkshakes. She giggled.

"What Lee?" Logan grunted, chewing on his thick steak fries that had come with his meal.

"Oh nothing. I just never thought I'd live to see the day when the big bad Wolverine drank a strawberry milkshake." Logan frowned and reached over, grabbing hers.

"Well, now you've seen me drink a strawberry one and a chocolate one. Happy?" he asked with a small grin. Jubilee stopped playing with her tater tots and stared straight at him.

"This is the happiest I've been in a long while," she told him. Logan reached over again and held her hand.

"I'm glad then. I missed yer smile, Jubes." For a fraction of a second, Jubilee thought she saw the old James shine through Wolverine's toughened features. Then it was gone and she realized that she didn't miss it. It had been almost two months since she had been brought back and she had continued falling deeper in love with Logan. Sure, she had missed James at first. She had missed him so terrible that there was a burning ache in her heart that wouldn't leave her alone. Then she had accepted the fact that she was back in the present and James was a creature of the past and the ache had lessened until recently it had vanished altogether. Logan was in the present, Logan was her present.

They ate and then rode back to the mansion in Logan's Jeep. Instead of going back inside right away, they decided to walk along the parameters of the grounds, still hand in hand.

"You still think about him?" Logan asked suddenly. Jubilee looked up and stared at his expression.


"That guy. You still care about him?" There was an almost desperate sound in his voice. Jubilee tightened her grip on his hand and stopped walking.

"Sometimes, yeah, I still think about him. He saved me from going bonkers back in the early nineteen hundreds. You still think about Jean?" Logan gave her a rueful look and tightened his hold on her hand.

"Fair enough. Dammit, I just wanna know where we stand." Jubilee reached up and put a hand against his face. He closed his eyes and turned his lips into her palm.

"Logan, we stand wherever we want to. You're my best friend and you know that I've loved you for a long time," ~Longer than you realize...~ "The rest is up to you."

Logan opened his eyes and stared down at her. Very slowly, his hands went to her waist and brought her closer to him. Her own hands rested on his shoulders and she gave a tiny smile as he lowered his head.

"I don't wanna hurt you," he whispered against her lips.

"You never have," she answered back. Then he kissed her.


Jubilee felt weightless while on her feet, so she really didn't register that Logan had picked her up and was carrying her further into the woods. He set her down in the soft grass and soon followed, kneeling before her.

"You're so beautiful," he whispered, gazing reverently at her before his hands went to the buttons on her shirt. He kissed her again, adding more heat into the gesture than he had before. She responded in kind, tangling her hands into his hair, bringing him closer to her than he already was. His lips moved down to her chin, then her throat. He lingered at her collarbone before moving back up to capture her lips again.

"I want you," he groaned, covering her mouth with his in a kiss that was all instinct, no finesse involved. It sent her reeling far more than any of his earlier ones had done. Jubilee's hands moved over his back, untucking his shirt from the waistband of his jeans as she went. She arched her back as his hands explored and tilted her neck to give him access to her throat.

"James..." she moaned, tugging his head up for another kiss. He froze.

"What is it?" Jubilee asked, brushing some of the hair that had fallen over Logan's eyes out of the way. Logan let out a low growl and stood up, grabbing her hand and hefting her to her feet again. He didn't say anything as he led her back to the house, but started calling for Jean.

"What is it?" Jean asked, coming in from the kitchen, a cup of tea in her hands.

"That's what I'd like to know," Jubilee grumbled, trying to button her shirt back up.

"I want you to go in her head an' figure out who this James guy is to her," he growled. Jubilee realized what she had called him in the woods and her hand went to her lips.

"Oh Logan, I didn't mean..." she started. Then she straightened up her shoulders. "No. I think it's time you knew."

"Are you sure?" Jean asked, walking back to the kitchen, the two would be lovers in tow. Jubilee sat at the table and braced herself.

"Yeah. Let 'er rip Jeannie, because I don't think I can explain it to him on my own," she told the redhead. Jean put her cup down on the table and sat next to her. Then she held Jubilee's head in her hands and closed her eyes in concentration. Jubilee felt a warm presence invade her thoughts and brought all of her memories from the time that Gateway had dropped her to the present to the front of her head for easier pickup.

"Oh my God," Jean whispered, her eyes opening. "All this time and..." Jubilee stared up at her and nodded.

"Yep. It's all true," she said.

"Well?" Logan demanded from his seat nearby, his arms crossed over his chest.

"Logan, I don't want you to overreact when I..."

"I don't care Red. Just give it to me already," he said, his temper already on a short leash. Jean sighed and brought her hands to his temples, sending all that she had gotten from Jubilee to his head in a fast burst.

Logan almost toppled backwards, trying to get away from Jean's projections. All he saw were flashes. A boy in a white shirt screaming over a body of a man, claws tearing through his hands. The same boy being hit by a fat man. Then Jubilee. Her and the boy. His head didn't want to pick up the sounds that were vibrating in his brain.


"No, call me by my real name. My real name Jubes."

"James. I love you James..."

"Jubilee? You wanna explain this now?" Logan asked, his brain still processing what had just happened. Jubilee stared at him on the verge of tears. "You wanna explain how come you didn't tell me this earlier?"

"Logan, I couldn't..."

"Yeah, that's what I thought." With that, Logan got up and headed upstairs. Not knowing what to do, he blindly packed a duffle bag of clothes. He snagged the keys to his Harley on the way out and stomped to the garage. Jubilee was waiting for him there.

"So you're just going to run away, huh?" she asked, shaking with anger.

"Why didn't you tell me?" Logan demanded, throwing his bag in one of the saddlebags attached to his bike.

"What did you want me to say? 'Hey Wolvie, remember all the stuff you've been hunting for years to know about yourself? Well, I know what it is!'?"

"Yes!" he roared. "Were you gonna keep it all to yerself, was that what you were gonna do? Maybe when you saw me goin' to look for answers you might have told me about it?" Jubilee looked like she had just gotten slapped in the face. ・Or did ya wanna keep the fact that you slept with me and I didn・t remember it a secret too? What did ya do, go out on yer own an・ find me?・ Jubilee reared back from him and narrowed her eyes.

"Get out. Just go away from me," she said in a low tone.

"Gladly!" Logan yelled, revving up his bike. He peeled out of the garage and down the road. Jubilee closed her eyes and turned to run back to the safety of her own room.

Logan roared down the highway, his mind not paying attention to the road ahead of him. He let instincts handle the driving and let his mind try and sort out what Jean had told him. ~Why didn't she tell me earlier?~ he demanded. He was in such a rage, felt as if his best friend had betrayed him, that he didn't see the turn in the road. His bike skittered, then crashed against a tree. He himself was thrown to the side, basically unharmed. He shook his head, clearing the road dust from it and pounded his fist on the ground ahead of him. Then his eyes flew up to see the dark skinned figure floating above him. Instead of the usual serene expression Gateway wore, there was a look of anger on the old man's face. In all the times that Logan had met up with the man, he had never heard him speak. Now, as the man started spinning his bullroarer in the air, he opened his mouth.

"You will watch," Gateway commanded, his voice full of anger. Then a portal opened up underneath Logan's feet and he fell through before he even knew what was happening.


Logan looked around, stunned momentarily. He blinked at the bright light and found himself standing right next to Jubilee who was sprawled out on her butt in the dirt.

"Jubes, what the hell just happened?" He asked her, then did a double take. She hadn't been wearing a tank top and shorts earlier.

"Great, just flamin' brilliant. Had to land in the dirt with white shorts, huh?" Jubilee muttered, standing up and dusting herself off. "Stupid Gateway..."

"Yeah, no kiddin. Now what are we gonna do?" Jubilee didn't turn to look at him, just kept on walking out of the alley. "Hey!" Still she didn't turn.

"Dammit Lee! I know we had a fight, but we gotta at least get along long enough to get outta this! Listen to me!・ He reached out and grabbed her arm, but to his shock his hand went right through her. He watched as she went by, then jogged to catch up to her. "Jubes?" Again, he reached for her, but his hand went clear through her arm as if she wasn't there. Then it clicked.

"Gateway said for me to watch...is he throwin' me back just to see what goes on?" Quiet now, he stood off and watched the scene going in front of him.

"You must be miss Rose. I'm mister Kenneth."

"Pleased to meet you Mister Kenneth. This is my friend Miss Jubilation." Logan listened as the man in the bowler cap nodded his head at Jubilee's made up plight, then as she was helped into the back of the wagon. Not knowing what else to do, Logan hopped up there with her. From his spot, he could clearly see that Jubilee wasn't paying attention to what the redhead was saying. No, her eyes were darting everywhere, trying to take in as much as she could and process it. He stared as her fingers went into her neckline to touch something there. Then he saw the necklace he had given her for her birthday a year or so ago. ~Didn't know she kept it. Thought she was just bein' cute when she said she liked it...~

They rode on until they came to a huge estate, bigger than Xavier's. Logan froze when they passed by a gardener. He saw Jubilee do the same.

"Wolvie?" she whispered, staring at the mean looking man with the hedge trimmers.

"You seein' what I'm seein' Darlin?" Logan asked, not caring if she couldn't hear him. The man looked so much like himself that it had him wondering if it was him. Then they were passing by him and parking the wagon beside the stables. The Kenneth guy helped both girls out. A boy about Rose's age came by and threw dirt at Rose. There was something about the boy that tugged at Logan's memories. He couldn't put a handle on what it was, but there was something. He watched as a maid or housekeeper ushered the girls inside to meet somebody named John.

"That a gal, Jubes. You tell him," he said with pride, frowning at the old man as Jubilee listed what she could and couldn't do.

"Then that settles it. I think my son has a need for a teacher as well as a companion. Rose, are you fine with that?" John asked, looking at Rose. She smiled and agreed, then they were shown to their room. Logan frowned, trying to grasp at the burst of memories Jean had fired in his head. Truth be told, he couldn't recall much, he hadn't wanted to. Hadn't wanted to understand. Couldn't understand why Jubilee knew everything but still hadn't told him after two months.

Suddenly, the air around Logan swirled and he saw Gateway standing there to his right, swinging his bullroarer in the air. The next thing Logan saw was a classroom-like setting and Jubilee putting away a book.

"Are you all right? You've been quiet this week," Rose said, touching Jubilee's sleeve. Jubilee blinked and nodded her head.

"Yeah, just a little homesick I guess," she replied. "I'm going to take a nap, have fun outside." Logan watched as she exited the room, the broad skirts she wore swinging with each step. He followed her to her room and watched as she flopped on the bed.

Yeah, too bad you didn't mean what you said Logan. I'm still a kid to you, huh?" she asked, holding out her necklace. Logan could smell the tears brimming in her eyes. "But I miss you so much." she cried, grabbing her pillow and sobbing in earnest. Logan sat next to her and wished he could touch her, soothe her. He was a sucker for women that cried. It was one of his well hidden soft spots that could bring him to his knees when hit properly. Just like it was doing now.

"Hey now Jubes. I'm here," he whispered, his hand going through her as he tried to rub comforting circles over her back. He realized then that she had really meant it when she had told him she loved him in that fight they had in the Danger Room.

"Guess ya were right, seein as nothing gets through this thick metal skull of mine. An' I do love you Jubes. I'm sorry. It's just that you were growin' up on me so fast, turning into a woman right before my eyes...I didn't know how to handle it." He sensed someone behind him.

"Okay, I got yer point. You gonna let me go back to her now?" Logan asked. For an answer, Gateway shook his head. Once more the scenery blurred, leaving Logan standing in a darkened hallway. He turned when he heard the sounds of light sobbing and feet shuffling towards him.

"You shut up, you stupid skirt! Just show me where Elizabeth is!" a gruff voice demanded. Logan instinctively pressed himself against an alcove, blending in with the shadows even though it was completely unnecessary. Rose was being pushed ahead by the gardener, the end of his rifle shoving her forward.

"Please Mr. Logan, don't hurt me..." she whispered, tears spilling down her face.

"You just do what Pa says an' you won't get hurt Rose," the boy told her, grabbing his own rifle in his hands.

"Dog, how could you do this? It's wrong!"

"Hey, didn't I tell you to shut up already? Now move!" The trio made their way down the hall and disappeared around a corner. Just then, Jubilee・s door creaked open wider. Logan saw that she had been watching the entire time.

"Jubes, you be careful dammit," he told her, standing beside her as she darted from one shadowy area to the next. They finally stopped when they heard screams.

"Don't you talk to me like that Soft John! Don't you ever!"

"Papa? I heard a noise..." Logan looked and saw a boy rubbing his eyes stand next to Jubilee. Jubilee stared in horror, pushing the boy out of the way.

"No James! Get away!" She dove in, blinding auras of light flashing from her fingertips. She was too late though, the rifle had gone off and John's body flopped to the side. The boy named Dog's rifle went off and Logan swiveled his head, seeing that the boy James was yelling and hitting Dog. Dog let out a scream and dropped to his knees.

"You tried to blind me, you witch!" the gardener hissed, grabbing Jubilee by the throat and lifting her off her feet. She let out a choking sound and kicked her legs around, trying to hit him so he would let her go. That's when Logan saw red.

"You let her go, you bastard!" he yelled at the same time James yelled out "You leave Miss Jubes alone!" Popping his claws, Logan rushed the man, going on pure instinct. He reached the man the same time James did, ghosting through the boy and the man to tumble on the floor. He rolled up to see Jubilee sprawled on the floor nearby, coughing as she held her throat. Then he saw the man grab his rifle and point it at James. But before he could raise it, Logan saw dark blood spill from his chest and the man fell to the floor, still clutching his wounds. That's when he heard it. It was a sound that raised the hair on the back of his neck, sending goosebumps running over his arms. He had heard the sound many a time come from the depths of his own soul as he woke up from a sweaty dream about scientists and tests and pain. Then he saw the six little bone protrusions stick out of the boy's hands. Logan popped the claws on his right hand, staring at how they came out from the skin, then at the boy.

"Those are my own? They weren't implants?" he asked, shocked with the revelations. He looked at Jubilee, who had gotten to her feet, still holding her throat.

"Oh God...Wolvie?"


Logan blinked, seeing that Gateway had dropped him into a stable. He saw Jubilee holding James...no...himself. He tried to get it into his head that the sickly little teenager was him. Crouching close to them, Logan stared at the boy's face, trying to see some similarities. He found none, except for the blue eyes that stared unknowingly at Jubes as she stroked his hair and murmured comforting words to him.

"It's okay Wolvie, I'm here. I get to take care of you now," she whispered, kissing his forehead. The boy shook, groaning in pain as Jubilee tried to rub his forearms. Logan knew that the boy's muscles were probably torn; that's what happened to him when he hadn't used his claws for a long period of time. They hadn't been able to retract back into their housings in his arms for a while.

The scene shifted again, showing the trio standing in line by some cabins. Logan looked up at the lead man who had stopped them.

"Scott?" He snorted, shaking his head. "Guess I can't get rid a' anybody in my past. First here's the Jean look alike, now Cyclops. Wait, I know Chuck's gonna pop up somewhere..."

"I ain't a kid an' I ain't frail," Jubilee was saying, her chin stuck out in a recognizable angle that Logan knew meant nobody could change her mind once she struck the pose. His eyes flashed in pride, thinking that even through all that happened, his firecracker still had her spirit.

"What's the lad's name?" the man named Smitty asked. Logan saw Jubilee and Rose exchange looks, Jubilee chewing on her bottom lip.

"Logan sir. His name is Logan," Rose piped up.


Logan spent several more Gateway hosted fast-forwarded trips in the past, watching as Rose and the boy now named Logan grew up while Jubilee never aged. Sure, she changed a little, like her hair had grown out to her mid back now, but she never aged one single year. Her schedule was pretty much the same: go right before sunset to man the bar, close up at sunrise, fall asleep for a few hours, do chores, then start the cycle over again. She looked happy. Wolverine stayed at her side after seeing that young Logan's schedule was the same day after day too. He hauled rock from the nearby quarry, keeping his head down and intent on his business, not talking to anyone.

Now that the boy had grown up, Wolverine could see that indeed the boy was a younger version of himself. If the hair wasn't a surefire tell tale mark, the boy's stance as he stood or sat still and the loping gait that transformed into an almost arrogant swagger was another. He watched as Logan sat by Jubilee almost every night for a while, then as he joined the men and Smitty.

Another travel through time showed an older Logan sitting by Jubilee. Squinting his eyes, Wolverine guessed he was twenty or so now. Wolverine took his spot he had taken to sitting at during these time trips and stared at Jubilee. She sighed as she watched Logan walk off, Wolverine noticing that the boy had started to develop the fluid, predatory walk that Wolverine now had.

"Flamin' hell, I'm falling in love with him all over again..." Jubilee whispered, propping her chin up with her hands. "This time I'm not too young for him too, there's nothing standing in my way..." Wolverine jerked and stared at her. Once again he kicked himself for being blind to her affections. She sighed again and yelled out to one of the customers, pulling a pint of beer for them.


Logan opened his eyes, looking around. He was standing in the quarry in the middle of the pouring rain. Torches were lit everywhere as people took pickaxes and shovels.

"Fred, Logan's in there...is there any way..." Rose was asking, dread in her eyes.

"It don't look so good Rose," the man replied. Logan saw Jubilee's head swing over to them.

"No! I refuse to give up that fast on Logan!" Jubilee screamed, running over to where Wolverine saw the biggest part of the cave-in was.

"Wolvie, don't you dare die on me! Don't leave me! Don't you dare leave me!" she sobbed, pulling at rocks with her bare hands. Logan watched as she screamed his name, willing him to answer her. Then she yelled to the other men, screaming that she had found somebody. She took the reigns and ordered them to build a litter and carry the young Logan back to their cabin. Wolverine followed, watching as she instructed the men to put him on the long table. After they had left, Rose came running in. They worked to fix the lighting so they could see what they were doing better. Then Rose screamed as his claws came out. Jubilee didn't panic, she just stepped on one of his hands and held his shoulders down. She sent Rose away after they had him clamed down and Wolverine once more was proud of the way she was handling things. It hit him just then how grown up she was forced to become in those weeks she had gone missing from the team.

Logan watched as Jubilee tended to his younger self, wincing as the broken bone was shoved back into place. Then Jubilee had passed out.

"Dammit girl, you had a brown out, didn't you?" Wolverine whispered, his hand going through her hair as he tried to stroke it. The younger Logan tried to carry her as well as he could without using his still healing arm and wound up plopping her on the bed. Not knowing what else to do, the young man curled up with her.

Wolverine curled his lip as Rose came back in and tended to the still unconscious Jubilee's torn hands, picking out pieces of rock along the way. She dressed them in clean pieces of cloth and left again after putting on a sling to help stabilize Logan's arm.

Jubilee woke up and the two had a talk. By the way things were going, it looked like Logan was going to tell her something important.

"I love Rose so much. I wanted you to be the first to know that I'm planning on marrying her," Logan said.

"No you idiot! She's all wrong for ya!" Wolverine shouted, wishing he could knock some sense into his younger self's head. "Look right in front of you for cryin' out loud! Don't you see her heart breakin? Can't you smell her about to start cryin?" He stood and kicked at the nearby stool, his foot going straight through it. Jubilee left when Rose came in and Logan followed her, sickened by his younger self's actions. Then it hit him.

"Oh hell. Jubes, I've been don' that all this time myself too..." He thought about her wisecracks about him pining over Jean, or drooling over her so bad Jubilee had wanted to give him a bib so his shirt wouldn't get wet. All of the smartaleck remarks had been her way of telling him that she didn't know why he even bothered with a married woman when the one that really loved him was standing right in front of his face.

He watched Jubilee run towards the woods a few days later, going after his younger self. They fought and he caught the gist that Logan had seen Rose and Smitty together, his hopes for any romantic involvement with her gone. Logan was lashing out, much like Wolverine had done on occasions such as this, the trees taking the brunt of his anger by the three deep cuts on several trunks.

"I didn't know anything of the sort. But I'm glad it happened! I'm glad you saw it!" she yelled, her anger going over the boiling point. "I'm fed up with having to sit on the sidelines while other women worm their way into your heart without deserving to! Rose never loved you like that! She still thinks you're a little boy that needs to be sheltered and taken care of by her." Wolverine winced, knowing she was talking about all the women in his own past, and boy had there been plenty. He watched as his younger self finally got it into his head that he and Rose never had a future and saw him fall into Jubilee's arms as she held him.


Another Gateway timeslip had Wolverine looking at Jubilee and Logan as they ate a picnic in the woods, then as they ran around like two kids. He was compelled to look away as his younger self kissed Jubilee, but he didn't. He watched as a look of wonder and love touched Jubilee's eyes until it was too much to bear for him. He turned his back to the couple and walked away as he heard the sounds of their newfound love fill the air.

He watched the next few days from a distance, noticing how happy Jubilee had become. That was how she was supposed to look. He had hated the sad eyes that she had tried to hide from everyone. Now the few details that had been there in front of him when Jubilee came back made sense. He had wondered how come his own scent was covering her body almost as strong as her own. It was because they had become lovers and he had a habit of making sure his women were somehow marked as his. That's where the stubble burns on her body and the bite mark on her neck came into play as well.

Then came the night that Jubilee was taken back.

"I love you Logan! Don't ever forget that, even if you forget everything else! I'll always love you!" she yelled, then she was pulled into the portal that Gateway created and was gone, Gateway with her. Wolverine was left to stare with his younger self at the spot she had gone from. Logan ran to it, yelling and pounding his fists into the dirt, hoping for a way to get her back.

"Jubes..." he whispered, holding a fistful of dirt in his hands and letting it sift through his fingers. His back hunched forward in grief and he stood up, going back to their cabin. Once there, Wolverine leaned against the wall, watching as Logan grabbed one of Jubilee's shirts and held it to him. Then his eyes fell to the floor beside their bed. Bending over, he picked up the strands of turquoise stones and slipped it over his head.

"Know how ya feel," Wolverine said. "Yer heart feels like it just got cut out, huh?" he murmured, watching as Logan paused, then howled out his anger and rage at having his mate pulled from his arms. He kicked at the stool, sending it flying. Then the cast iron potbellied stove felt his rage as it was tipped over onto its side. He ran out of the cabin, not looking back as he went into the woods.

Wolverine went after him, but was stopped by Gateway.

Gateway nodded as he spun his arm around. Logan prepared himself for the weird jerking feeling that went with time travel and closed his eyes.

When he opened them up again, he found himself face down in the dirt, his beloved motorcycle wrapped around a tree and still smoking slightly. He moved his head, groaning at the feel of cuts knitting back together. Putting a hand to the top of his head, he pulled it back, looking at the scarlet stain that covered it.

"Okay, so ya went an' knocked some sense inta my head. No all's I gotta do is convince Jubes to forgive me..." Logan painfully stood up and shook his head at his bike. It was a pile of scrap metal now. Dusting himself off, he turned and started walking towards the mansion, trying to formulate a game plan in his head the whole time.


Logan got back to the mansion sometime around three in the morning. He had been a pretty long ways away when his bike crashed in the first place, and now that he had to walk the entire way back...

Rogue greeted him at the front door, a frown marring her pretty face and her arms crossed over her chest.

"She's gone," she said.

"Do what?"

"She ran up to her room an' packed. Ah couldn't stop her." Remy appeared out of the shadows and leaned against the other side of the doorframe, his stance mirroring Rogue's.

"You hurt de petite bad dis time Logan," he said quietly, his eyes glittering in the porch light. Logan closed his eyes, knowing how bad he had blown it. Without saying anything, he passed the two of them and ran up the main staircase.

"You think they can work this one out, shugah?" Rogue asked, looking at her love with worried eyes. Remy shrugged his shoulders and wrapped an arm around Rogue's covered waist.

"Can't say. Love, she be a fickle mistress. But dey've been t'rough so much toget'er...I jus' hope dey can."


Logan opened up Jubilee's door, already knowing that she wouldn't be there. He closed his eyes and inhaled, savoring her lingering scent yet catching the strong hint of tears in the room. He looked around for any clue as to where she might have gone, yet found none. Turning on his heel, he went down the hall and into his room. As an afterthought, he showered, thinking how the sight of bloody hair and skin wouldn't help his case much. Changing into a clean pair of jeans and pulling a black shirt over his head, he sat down on the edge of his bed to yank on his boots. He grabbed a brown duffle he always kept packed when the wanderlust took over and grabbed his Stetson. He passed Jean in the kitchen talking with Scott. A thought hit him and stopped.

"Scott, I'm sorry. Jeannie," Logan said, tipping his hat to her. Scott looked up from his coffee, a puzzled look on his face. Jean nodded her head and went over to Logan. Leaning over, she put a sisterly kiss on his cheek.

"Just go find her and tell her everything that's going on in your head. Good luck," she said. "Good bye," she whispered in his ear. Logan looked at her and gave a little smile as he caught that she was saying farewell to the triangle they had been in forever. By the look on her face, she felt the same about it ending that he did. They weren't sorry.

~Jeannie, I'll always love you, but...~ Logan sent to her telepathically. Jean nodded.

~I know. Just not like you used to. It's okay. I've always loved Scott with all my soul, just like you're finding out about Jubilee. No go, I thought I caught her thinking about heading up to Canada.~ Jean sent back. Logan grabbed his keys from the rack near the door and set off to the garage.

Jubilee sat on one of the roughly hewn wooden benches in the tavern and glanced at the empty spot at the bar.

~That's where I used to stand~ she thought, glancing around at all the long glass encased boxes that held historical artifacts from the little mining town. She wasn't listening to the tour guide at all, in her mind's eye she saw a totally different scene. Tommy, the newest miner was sitting on a stool in the corner, his mouth organ twanging out a tune as some of the lovies coaxed the men to dance. Frank was shouting for a refill pint of beer, Smitty and his main crew were sitting at the table to the far right, the sound of the men's loud laughter ringing through as one of them told a joke. Rose was sitting at the bar, sipping a cup of tea. Jubilee herself was standing at the bar, wiping down glasses and filling mugs or glasses. Then there was Logan. He was sitting beside Smitty, not paying attention to the conversation, his deep blue eyes boring a hole through Jubilee, so intense was his gaze. Her heart clenched tight and she had to bite her lips before she cried out to him.

"Miss Lee? Miss Lee? We're moving on," one of the tourists said, holding an expensive looking camera close to his chest. Jubilee blinked several times and the smoky, happy atmosphere faded away, leaving her in the reality of an empty room, the tables situated differently and everything had a sterile feel about it. Instead of joining the group, Jubilee meandered off, wandering around the camp at her own pace. She stepped into the old camp office and grinned, seeing that it still looked a little cluttered. She half expected Rose to burst in, an exasperated look on her face as she complained with a little laugh that her work was never done.

The mess hall looked the same, Jubilee could almost smell some sort of goodie Cook had concocted. She remembered the time she had conned him into using the majority of his sugar rations to make a birthday cake for Logan to celebrate his twenty-first.

Another turn had her feet going towards a group that was listening to a redheaded woman. Curiosity getting the best of her, she stopped and listened.

"My great-great grandmother Rose Smith loved to keep a record of everything, including the history of her cousin, Logan." Jubilee stood up straighter and tried to look at the medium sized red book the woman was gesturing to. ~Rose's diary!~

"Her cousin's life was filled with tragedy, and it was because of that they fled here and started a life with my great-great grandfather's mining town." Jubilee listened as the woman went on. She herself had read Rose's diary, and she was positive that Rose hadn't put anything in there about Logan's mutant powers. Even though it was a remote chance that any of Logan's enemies would even care to come to the town, let alone read a woman's diary, she still felt reassured about not letting Logan's identity come to the surface. Raising her hand, she waited until she was called on.

"What happened to Rose?" she asked.

"Oh, she lived a long, happy life with Smitty. She died in her sleep at the age of fifty-seven. My great-great grandfather wasn't the same afterwards. He died shortly a year later." Jubilee's eyes went down.

"He was a good man," she said. The look that the woman gave her was puzzled. "Judging by everything here, I mean. He must have been held in high respect by everyone around him," she added. The woman nodded and continued with her story. Jubilee faded back into the rear of the group and walked off, her head turning towards the 'lovie house', then over at Frank's cabin, then at Old Man Toby's. She stopped short when she reached the end of the row, her hand reaching for her throat. She frowned, realizing that there was nothing for her fingers to touch. She had worn her string of stones so long that they had become weightless to her and practically invisible when she looked in the mirror. Her heart let out a pang of loss when she let her mind wander and remember that she hadn't been wearing them when Logan had first found her. Taking a deep breath, she entered her old cabin.

Everything looked just the same. There was the dingy white sheet tacked up to the ceiling to offer her a changing alcove, the long table still shoved against the wall, the potbellied stove in place in the center of the room. Jubilee walked in and looked at all her old belongings displayed for everyone to see. She touched the glass case that held her wooden handled brush and the sting of turquoise stones still attached by a piece of aging and cracked leather.

"This cabin used to belong to a young woman named Jubilee," she read, looking at the card that had her history on it. "She and a young miner named Logan. Folklore says that one night Jubilee was taken by a mysterious light, never to be seen again. Logan went into a rage and disappeared into the woods. When Smitty sent out a search party for him, all they came back with was this necklace." Jubilee sniffed, running a hand under her eyes.

"When they found the necklace, there had been a scene of a struggle and a large pool of blood nearby. We can only guess that Logan was attacked by a bear. Coincidentally, days before there had been a man inquiring about Logan's whereabouts. He was only known by the name of Dog." Jubilee's eyes went wide as she silently read his description, moving over to another case that held eyewitness statements and a crude sketch of the man.

"I knew I had seen Dog before! He was Sabretooth," she whispered. ~They must have fought, both hurting the other and running off to respective corners to lick their wounds, judging by the amount of blood they said they found,~ Jubilee thought. She sighed and looked around one last time. Nodding, she turned her back on the past and gently closed the door behind her.


Logan turned his head as he studied the little camp. Instinctively he knew she had to be there somewhere. His nose picked up on her scent very faintly and he followed. It didn't lead him anywhere in the settlement, but it did lead him further into the woods. Logan followed until he heard the sound of a waterfall and stopped. There she stood, her back to him as she touched the bark of a tree trunk, her fingers tracing over something. She sighed and her shoulders turned inwards. She jumped and twirled around when a twig snapped under Logan's foot.

"What are you doing here?" she asked angrily. "Thought you didn't want anything to do with liars."

"Jubes darlin', listen to me," Logan pleaded, taking another step towards her.

"What for? You're just going to yell at how come I didn't tell you first. What really set you off? The fact that I didn't tell you about your past or the fact that I didn't tell you we were lovers?" She was at full speed with her anger and just let everything blurt out. "What were you thinking? Did you think that I just hopped into the past, found your younger self and jumped his bones since there was no Jean or Mariko or Yukio or Silver Fox in my way to stop me?" She was practically yelling now, angry tears welling in her eyes.

"Well I got news for you mister! I could have done what I did with you a lot earlier, but you were so damn smitten by Rose I didn't stand a chance! I respected you enough that I held back," she hissed, standing so she was toe to toe with him and jabbed him in his chest with her index finger. "Even though I loved you, I still kept quiet!" She looked at Logan, who still hadn't said a word.

"I know. I saw." at her puzzled expression, he clarified. "Gateway took me. He was pretty pissed at my hardheaded attitude. Looking at what you had gone through, so was I." He stepped forward and held Jubilee's hand close to his chest.

"Well, you were acting like an ass," Jubilee said, still not looking him in the eye. Logan smirked and ran his thumb over the back of her hand.

"Yep. Forgive an old ass?"

"Gateway really was pissed?" she asked, not believing it.

"Oh yeah. You should have seen his face. If it hadn't been me in hot water with him, I'd have laughed." Both of them chuckled quietly at the mental image.

"You know, you still haven't said if you forgive me or not," Logan commented, looking at her. Jubilee turned her eyes down to the grassy floor.

"Logan, you really hurt me. I know you hadn't meant to, that you were lashing out, but still. I don't know, you'll have to give me some time to think," she said. Logan lifter her chin with a finger.

"Just know that I love you, Jubilation Lee. Always have, just never knew it until I got ever so subtly slapped upside the head." Jubilee giggled through the tears that had started to fall.

"Next time I see Gateway I'll be sure to thank him," she said. Wiping at her eyes, she shook her head. "Look at me, I'm a mess. I haven't cried this much since...well, I can't remember since when."

"I'm lookin' at you. Yer beautiful." Without hesitating, Logan briefly kissed her.

"That was totally cheesy chick flick movie material, Wolvie," she said, reaching up to cup the side of his face. "But so very." She ran her hand through his hair and brought his face closer to hers again.

"I love you," she whispered. "And I forgive you for being such a bonehead." Logan felt as if his heart would burst as he gathered her close to him. They stayed that way for a long while, then Logan looked past her shoulder.

"What was on that tree?" he asked. Grinning, she took his hand and lead him towards it. Very faintly, Logan could make out "L+J" on the trunk. Frowning, he popped a claw and traced over the old lines, making them stand out once again.

"Much better," he commented, wrapping an arm around Jubilee's shoulder and resting his chin on the other as he stood behind her. Jubilee sighed and leaned back against him. Turning in his arms, she planted a kiss on his chin.

"Come on Logan. Let's go home."