Rising from the Ashes: Parts 1-2

A Tale of Jubilation Lee

by superninja

All characters belong to Marvel. This fan fiction is not intended for profit. No mutants were harmed in the making of this fanfic.

Author's note: One of my main reasons for writing this fanfic was because I felt it was necessary, as much as I would like to see Jubilee and Logan together, to show why they shouldn't be. Yet ;) I hope you enjoy.

Some of you wanted an explanation of Logan・s behavior in the first part. This story [second part] attempts to explain that, as well as show Jubilee really coming into her own and reflect on the events that occurred in the first story.

Part 1


In so many words, he had said no. And nothing had made sense to her anymore. She could've kicked herself for building the last year of her life around that one event. One event, that wasn't even guaranteed to be successful. She'd just assumed everything would fall into place. After all, she knew him like the back of her hand -- he was downright predictable at this point!


Two weeks ago, on her twenty-first birthday:

Everything was perfect; the Mansion yard had been decorated with tiny lights and beautiful ice sculptures, there was lots of champagne for everyone. Romantic and sophisticated, and all that she had ever wanted to signify her transition to womanhood. All of the X-Men were present, as were her former teammates in Gen-X. They all looked wonderful, and she had picked out a special dress for the occasion. Short and sparkly and blue, but with a flattering cut that didn't show too much, but still managed to be fun and flirty at the same time. Then there were the shoes; Manlo Blanc heels that were high enough to finally put her at eye level with most of the X-Men, even though they'd set her back a couple weeks of allowance.

But the best part was seeing Logan squirm a little. She had made the party black-tie. Partly because she'd always wanted to attend a black-tie party, and those were few and far between (unless you were an Avenger, or Warren Worthington III), and partly because she had wanted to see her ol' Wolvie in a tux. When he'd finally come out to the party, she nearly fainted at the sight of him. Even the way he kept loosening the collar with one crooked finger was adorable. Wolverine was as hard a man as she'd ever met, but still there was such tenderness on the inside that she knew adorable could apply to him as well. The adorable side wasn't what she was interested in tonight, however.

Lately, their relationship had become a little strained. She knew that part of it was due to the fact that she was now technically grown-up. Kitty had been kind enough to give her warning on her eighteenth birthday about Wolvie going into "back off" mode the older she became. It was about her becoming a woman, and how affections could be misinterpreted, blah blah blah. She hadn't said by others, or by Wolverine, but it was obvious that was what she'd meant. "Kitty still holds a torch for Logan," she thought to herself smugly. Well, Kitty had made a fatal mistake -- Logan wasn't going to be the one that got away.

So there she was on the lawn, trying to look her best while sinking into the grass in her heels and spilling champagne like a klutz. Great. So far, not so good. Purposely she had avoided Logan all night. Every so often she carefully stole a glance in his direction just to make sure he still cared. Sure enough, she had caught him stealing glances. At midnight -- the witching hour -- that's when she'd make her move. A few more glasses of champagne couldn't hurt either.


The dock to the boathouse was bathed in moonlight. She had slipped away from the party with a bottle of champagne, down to the river. The music drifted down on the breeze, and a conspiratorial smile crossed her face. Her little trap of seduction was set. Now if only Logan would do the predictable and come looking for her. She sipped from her half-full glass, and slipped her shoes off, dipping her toes in the cool water. The moonlight sparkled over the water, and she followed the reflection up into the sky filled with thousands of stars. Her whole future was in front of her, and all she wanted was the right person to discover it with.

"Hey there, kiddo."

The low, soft voice was unmistakable. A smile came over her as the familiar cadence of his footfalls creaked across the dock. He eased himself down on the dock next to her and slipped his shoes and socks off. Rolling up the hem of his tuxedo pants, he plopped his feet down into the water and took a sip out of his beer bottle.

"I must've done something bad to make you whip out the formal attire, darlin'."

"You can squirm a little for a change," she grinned looking over at him. The sight took her breath away. He'd lost the jacket hours ago, his tie was loose around his neck and the first few buttons of his shirt undone with the sleeves rolled up. An unwrapped cigar poked out of the shirt pocket. Rumpled and undeniably masculine, just the way she liked him. Her breathless silence prompted him to speak.

"Cat got your tongue, kid?" he said pulling the cigar from his pocket and raising an eyebrow for effect.

Nervously, she sipped from her glass. "Just taking a drink," she replied, "and I'm not a kid." She picked up the bottle of champagne and began to open it.

"Let me get that," he said, shoving his cigar in his mouth and grabbing the bottle from her. He started to open the bottle, but then a thoughtful look crossed his face and he glanced over at her slyly. "You didn't shake it up, didja?" he said narrowing his eyes.

"I guess you'll just have to try it and see," she answered coyly.

He popped the bottle open as the cork went shooting out into the water. He poured the overflowing champagne into her waiting glass, then lifted his bottle of beer to her.

"Cheers. And happy twenty-first."

Glass clinked and their eyes locked as both were left with a loss for words. Jubilee was the first to put her glass down, but her eyes never left his. His defensive demeanor kicked in and his face changed from open to guarded immediately.

"So, you're all grown up now, huh?" he ventured, taking another long sip of beer. "How does it feel."

"The same," she said. "Except for a one Logan, a.k.a. Wolverine, failing to acknowledge that I'm actually an adult and still treating me like a kid."

"Old habits die hard, girl," he said with resignation.

"But that's the problem, Logan," she said leaning in towards him and crossing her legs. "I'm not a girl anymore. I'm a woman."

Her use of his real name and her tone of voice made him uneasy. "That so?" he replied with a challenging edge. "So what does Jubilation Lee 'the woman' want?"

It was now or never. She knew that he was calling her out, giving her the opportunity to make her move. Dammit. Why did he always have to be so direct? Couldn't they flirt a little first? Well, two could play at that game・

She leaned against him, brushing her toes again his brawny leg. The shiver that went through him was perceptible. Glancing over at him, she could see his instincts were kicking in, helping him to remain cool and collected. She reached over and pulled the cigar from his mouth.

"These things stink," she said plainly, and tossed it out into the water. His brow furrowed in annoyance.

"That was a Havana, darlin'. They ain't cheap or easy to procure."

She ran her thumb down the side of his face and over the corner of his mouth, stilling his protestation, moving towards him. His hand came up quickly and grabbed her wrist. Another challenge.

"You should play fair, Wolvie," she smiled, wiggling her hand.

"And you shouldn't play games," he replied, releasing her wrist and standing up on the dock. "If you wanna talk," he said down to her, "that's one thing. This little 'seduction' racket you're runnin' ain't cuttin' it."

The accusation made her furious. She stood up immediately with both hands on her hips and yelled back at him. "Scuse me?! It was innocent flirtation Mr. High 'n' Mighty! And just for the record you ain't got a clue about how・"

"Watch out, girl. Your lowbrow's showin' through that uppity veneer!" he interrupted.

"How *dare* you!" she yelled with outrage, and slapped his face. The furious look that appeared would've caused any other X-Man to back off, but not Jubilee. "All I wanted," she fumed, putting a finger in his face, "was the opportunity to tell you how I felt about you." Tears started welling in her eyes. "First you treat me like a kid, then you throw it all back in my face."

"That ain't my problem, darlin'," he said coolly. "Maybe you shouldn't have gotten your hopes up."

A tear ran down her cheek, as she watched him look away, hiding behind an unemotional mask.

"I'm in love with you, Logan." She watched as he closed his eyes. His eyebrows came together in a pained expression. "I have been for a long, long, time," she continued. "But I was always afraid you would reject me. Afraid of this!" she said, gesturing between them.

"It ain't your fault, darlin'," he said with a sigh, and put an elbow on his hip that divided them.

"Then whose fault is it?" she demanded.


"Then how can it be wrong?"

"It just ain't right, babe."

She was tired of looking up at him and seeing him hiding from her. Grabbing his arm, she spun him towards her.

"How is this not right?" she asked.

And then she kissed him.

First he tensed against her, but she wasn't going to let him get away that easily. She pulled him even closer to her, gripping at the lapels of his shirt, her knuckles brushing against the hair on his chest. He sighed into her mouth defeated, and she felt his arms around her waist, pulling her towards him passionately. Deepening the kiss, he ran his hands down her body and pressed her length against him. Small arms wrapped themselves around his neck as their passion built to a crescendo, his mouth moving over her chin and down her neck. She moaned with pleasure.

"Don't stop Logan. It feels so good."

Then he stopped.

She looked up at him with surprise as his hands gripped her forearms, and removed her arms from his neck.


"I shouldn't have done this!" he said angrily, moving away from her. "It's not right."

"How can you say that?" she said in disbelief and reached for him.

"You're too young for me, Jubilee," he replied backing away. "I'm an old man. You need someone your own age, someone that understands you. Jubilee・I'm over a hundred years old," he pleaded.

"What does that have to do with anything?" she said angrily. "I love you! That's all that matters!"

"No kid. It ain't."

Then he turned and walked away from her, running out into the woods. She looked down at his empty beer bottle, and his dress shoes still resting on the dock. Tears flooded to the surface, and Jubilee collapsed on the dock in tears.


Professor Xavier's birthday present had come in mighty handy. Instead of sitting around the Mansion depressed over Logan (who had up and disappeared), she had headed to the Halekulani Hotel and Resort in Maui, Hawaii.

Being twenty-one had its advantages -- the bottomless Mai Tai glass for starters. Endless days spent on the beach in a bikini, tanning in the bright sunlight, letting it sooth all her problems away. But she knew she couldn't continue on this path forever. As much as she'd like to remain in a constant state of drunken stupor, there was the matter of her future to consider. If she became an X-Man, Wolverine would surely disappear・maybe for good. Life wasn't fair, but she wasn't going to become some antagonizing presence that would drive him off. And she'd had enough of Emma's Academy. She had really hit the books during college, so maybe she could finish early and enter into some kind of apprentice program -- something that would keep her away from the X-Men for a few years so things could settle.

Archaeology. The mutant phenomenon in particular was a new topic of research, and there were still large holes in the fossil record about the emergence of homo superior -- it had fascinated her. She had long considered following it as a professional when school was over. If she could get an apprenticeship, she could easily get funding for her own research in a couple of years. There were plenty of sources that could provide money -- Magneto, Prof. Xavier, Warren・ She could build a name for herself, maybe even help contribute to helping the population-at-large understand that mutants belong on this planet as much as they do by providing irrefutable proof that the two are linked in a natural, evolutionary manner. It was a good cause, and a great distraction. She needed distraction these days.

And then she could pick up the pieces of her life, and make some lemonade out of lemons for a change.

Part 2


Near the Jarmo Ruins, Iraq ・Five years later・


Water was poured onto the ・asaba on top of her head, giving her temporary relief from the blistering sun up above. Her long, tanned legs ached for a stretch ・she had been in a crouched position for so long, her joints were beginning to rebel.

Slapping her hands on the tops of her legs, she gave orders for the crew to take a break, and then looked out over the horizon across the barren stretch of desert. Waves of heat radiated from the parched earth, creating the mirage of water in the distance. Her eyes narrowing, she spotted a small cloud of dust coming their way. It would take at least another twenty minutes for the approaching caravan to reach them. The desert was deceptive that way. She decided to retire to the ma・gad, a brightly colored tent of woven cloth that had been erected for her by her Arabic crew over two months ago.

Removing the damp head wrap, she went to the water basin and splashed her face to erase the thin layer of dust that had settled there. The dark tan accentuated her bright blue eyes, making them appear larger than normal. She knew she would appear somewhat different from the last time they・d seen each other, and the thought made her a little nervous. He had laughed and called her a "desert rat" the last time, when they had met in Egypt. Her hair had been longer then, and her small frame more curvaceous than the now sinewy figure that had adapted to months in the desert and a Bedouin lifestyle.

But it had been worthwhile. She had spent the last two years of her life digging in what had once been Mesopotamia, or the Fertile Crescent. For many archaeologists, including her, it was the birthplace of mankind, and the best place to look for the origins of homo superior as well. After she had graduated college, she immediately enrolled in an apprentice program, and had managed to get her own dig off the ground a year later with the help of Professor Charles Xavier. Life had been a roller coaster ride ever since. She was now on her fourth independently funded dig, researching the link between possible human experimentation by the alien race the Kree on early humans in the Tigris-Euphrates river valley and the emergence of the mysterious super powered beings who were revered in the region as gods during their time.

She ran a wooden comb through her tangled shoulder-length hair and then changed out of her sweaty tank top and shorts and into a white linen dress and slipped on a pair of sandals. Quickly she rummaged over the tend tidying up, and then pulled out a flask of whiskey and couple of handmade tin cups and set them out on the small table in the center of the room. She glanced at her reflection in the small mirror tacked onto the basin one last time, and then sat in one of the wooden chairs and poured herself a glass, sipping gingerly on it.

A hand appeared at the entrance, and whisked the flap aside and entered. Jubilee glanced up at him with a broad grin, and saw the smile returned. Jumping out the chair, she went to him quickly, as he folded his arms around her tightly and kissed the top of her head.

"You・ve been away too long," she said, pulling out of the embrace to gaze over him. "I・ve missed you so much, Eric."


There it was again. She sat up this time trying to decide if it was worth crawling out of bed for. She glanced over at Eric, his white hair peeking out from beneath the thick woolen blankets to keep out the near-freezing temperatures of the night desert. The sound pierced the night air again and this time she drew back the blankets and slipped out of the bed, throwing a heavy robe over herself.

"What is it?"

She looked over at Eric, still in the same position, but with one luminous eye open. She knew the tension was building in him. If there was one thing Eric hated, it was to be caught unprepared. Getting used to his near-paranoia had been one difficult aspect of their relationship over the last year.

"It・s nothing," she whispered. "A wild animal."

"Then why are you going out?" he asked.

"I・I don・t know," she floundered. "It・s making me nervous." Rising, she stopped at the tent entrance and turned back towards him. "I just want to make sure whatever it is, it・s not disturbing the dig. I・ll be right back," she finished, giving him a weak smile.

The wind was howling outside of the tent, making her think momentarily that perhaps it was just her overactive imagination ・she had been having trouble sleeping lately. She stumbled out towards the dig, and found it undisturbed, the canvas tarp covered the open earth protecting it from the ravages of nature. Hair on the back of her neck stood on end. An inhuman howl rose above the wind and she spun around in a panic. Nothing was there.

"Just the wind," she told herself. "That・s all it is." Wide-eyed, she headed back towards the ma・gad and to another fitful night・s sleep.


"I have something for you," he interjected.

She looked up from her breakfast and stared at him. The black circles under her eyes were a dead giveaway as to how well she・d slept. But her unusual silence was what bothered him most. Most of the time she would talk his ear off until he had to beg for a moment・s peace.

"What is it?" she asked between chugs of coffee.

"It・s from Charles."

When she nodded, his raised hand brought his jacket towards them and he clasped it in midair digging through one of the deep front pockets. A letter was produced, and he handed it to her gracefully then used his mutant abilities to effortlessly replace the jacket.

She remarked inwardly that everything Magneto did was graceful. It was one of the things that had attracted her to him. After spending all her time with her nose in a book instead of at the mall, she had gradually learned to appreciate the finer pleasures in life. Eric had only helped further refine that. Back in Europe and in Genosha they had attended and hosted lavish dinner parties, held museum exhibitions highlighting her research, spent hours pouring over old manuscripts, taking turns reading them to each other. She had shopped in Paris, toured the Louvre on more than one occasion. They had even stayed in an apartment for one week in Venice and did nothing but lounge about, and eat and make love. Eric gave her absolutely everything she needed・

"Do you want to read it?" He asked, waiving the letter in front of her.

Roused from her distraction, she took the letter from him and opened it, scanning over it. He watched her facial expressions register varying degrees of emotion.

"Rogue and Gambit are back together -- again," she said aloud, rolling her eyes.

"I never could see what she saw in him," he trailed off, sipping some coffee. "A bit too rough around the edges for someone like her."

"Maybe that・s what she likes about him?" she offered.

A slow smile spread across his face. "Well, perhaps. But that says quite a bit about her, don・t you think?"

She ignored him and kept reading the letter. Sometimes Eric could be such a twit. It was just like his problem with Wolverine. Whenever Jubilee brought him up, Eric always had something negative to say. "Neanderthal, animal, ruffian・," she ran through all the adjectives in the back of her mind.

Finishing the final page, she turned over the letter to see if there was more. Crumpling it in her hand with annoyance, she threw it to the floor.

"What・s wrong," he asked.

"Nothing," she fumed.

"Jubilee. Tell me."

"I said it・s nothing, Eric," she snapped and pushed her way past him out of the tent.


"That bastard," she thought to herself. "I can just see it now: ・Just leave me out of it Chuck, not one word・." It had been five years. FIVE years! And he couldn・t even be bothered to be included in one of Charles Xavier・s very infrequent updates on her friends and family back in New York. She・d quit trying to call over two years ago, since he never returned any of them. Typical Logan to think the solution to any problem is to just disappear. They used to be so close. He used to be the most important thing in her life. And she had eventually got over him, except・

Her dreams of late: that・s what the howling reminded her of. Logan. In pain, suffering. It brought emotions to the surface she thought she・d buried years ago. No! She was in love with Eric now and they had built a life together.

"What life?"

That inner voice echoed through her head again. He lived in Genosha as Magistrate. She lived・wherever her work took her. They were only together for weeks at a time. It had been fun at first, but now・now what? It wasn・t like they had talked about marriage. Where was this all going?

Sometimes it seemed to her like Eric had already lived his life. She knew he loved her sense of adventure and wonderment, but although he tried to hide it she could tell at times she could be exhausting to him. Still, she・d always been that way, and Eric loved her for it nonetheless. A memory came into her head of Logan hugging her on the dock back at the Mansion what seemed like a century ago. She had been just a girl then, and mourning the death of a friend. He had told her that no one could take a bite out of life like she could. It was just the right thing to say, and she'd never forgotten it. What had happened to that friendship?

It was time to go back. The dig would be complete soon, and there were enough artifacts to keep her and her research team in the labs back in Genosha for months. She was also looking forward to throwing another benefit for the museum, and inviting all of her friends. It had been ages since she'd seen them all gathered together in one place.


Genoshan Museum of Natural Science -- Three weeks later

"And this little gem was uncovered just as we were ending our field work," she said, gesturing to the cuneiform tablet behind the glass case. "It's written in Sumerian, and has a description of non-native peoples that resemble the Kree very closely."

"That's fascinating, Dr. Lee," said Reed Richards, stepping closer to the case. His eyes became giddy at the thought of such a find. "I would love to discuss this more with you further! Actually, my studies on the Kree have quite a bit of information I'm sure you would・"

"Reed," his wife Sue broke in, "later. It's supposed to be a party."

He smiled over at Jubilee sheepishly but the twinkle was still in his eyes. "Of course. I hope we can meet sometime as professionals Dr. Lee and resume our discussions. Now if you'll excuse us・"

"Of course," Jubilee replied with a grin. She watched the two of them walk away bemusedly. Reed was sort of cute in his own mad-scientist/Gilligan's Professor kind of way. She turned back towards the tablet and read over the inscription again. What she had failed to tell him was that there was something sinister recorded there as well, but she didn't want to get into that kind of discussion in the middle of a party. Besides, both Eric and Dr. Richards had relatives that were distant relations of the Kree, genetically speaking anyway.

She spotted Jean across the way and waved to her. A moment of sadness passed as she habitually looked for Scott Summers as well. No, Scott was dead. Had been for several years now. Jean was so beautiful, but Jubilee sensed emptiness, a void, without Scott at her side. A throwaway thought entered her mind only to be tossed back to her in the most impossible way.

Logan appeared next to Jean and put his arm around her waist, gently directing her out towards the balcony. She couldn't believe it. Years go by, and this is how he decides to show up! Some nerve・he wasn't even invited!


"I don't feel comfortable here, darlin'," he said to her under his breath.

"Neither do I Logan. Neither do I."

They made their way out onto the balcony with their arms intertwined when Logan suddenly stopped in his tracks.

"What is it?" Jean asked.

Logan turned and looked over towards a man leaning over the far end of the balcony. His white hair was neatly combed back, held in place with what Logan's heightened senses determined to be some sort of metal-laced hairspray substance.

"Christ," Logan thought to himself. "Control freak・"

"I heard that," Jean said, entering into his mind.

"Mind your own business, Red."

"Mind YOUR manners. Let's not forget just whose party this is."

"Like I can forget," he said answering aloud and turning towards her. His eyes flashed again towards Magneto. "Tell me why I'm here again?"

"Because I needed a date," Jean replied blankly. And then to herself, "Because you need to make amends." Her arm freed itself from his. "I think I'll go get myself a drink," she said, heading towards the bar.

Logan gave a malicious glance in Magneto's direction.

"And no funny business," she echoed in his head.


"Hello, Logan."


"Please, in this setting, at least do me the courtesy of calling me Eric."

"Alright. Eri-k," he replied, accentuating the last consonant. The silence between the two men hung heavy in the air. "You know, Eric," he finally said, "I never liked you・"

"Likewise," he interrupted.

"But," Logan said continuing; "I do like Jubilation."

Eric turned towards him with a bitter laugh. "Really?!" he said exaggeratedly, raising his eyebrows. "I'd have never known with the way you've ignored her the last several years."

Logan's nostrils flared as he tried to control his temper. He didn't like this man. Talking to him was bearable. Being judged by him was intolerable.

Then he was in his face. "You broke her heart," Eric said harshly in a whispered tone. "So before you give me any lectures on human frailty, I suggest you decide who here is capable of inflicting the deepest wound, old friend!"

The claws popped out on Logan's right knuckle as he stared the other man down. Then he turned away and sheathed them.

"I'm・sorry・for that," he replied. "I・don't handle that sort of thing very well."

"Obviously," Magneto sneered.

"But it doesn't make what you're doing right," he retorted.

"Oh? And how so?" he said, beginning to circle Logan. "I love her, I provide for her, I support her emotionally・what else is there?"

"Are you going to marry her, Eric?" he asked point-blank. "Are you going to give her children and spend the rest of your life with her?"

Eric guffawed at Wolverine as though he were the most insolent, stupid creature on the planet. "Logan, this isn't the Middle Ages. No one authority dictates what makes one's life worthwhile. It is her decision."

"Really?" Logan asked. "How come it's not 'our' decision, huh?"

Eric squared his jaw as his eyes became cold and hard. "Don't you dare insinuate my intentions are anything less than・"

Logan backed off for a moment and casually took a sip of his beer. "I ain't insinuating nothin', Mags."

"Then get to the point, Wolverine. I'm growing weary."

Just then, Jubilee appeared in view of the archway. She didn't see them, but Logan motioned towards her before continuing.

"That, Eric, is a girl in the prime of her life. A girl that's startin' fresh who has never been married, who has never had children, who has never reflected on their life as a whole and wondered 'where did I go wrong'? That isn't someone who's looking behind at their past mistakes, and is afraid to act in case they might make them again." Eric's eyes began to soften as Logan continued. "She's not someone at the end of her life, Eric, she's someone at the beginning."

The hatred in his eyes was gone when he turned back towards Logan, silent for a moment as he considered his words.

"My God," he said. "You love her."

"Yes," he replied. "I do."

"I'm truly sorry for you," he said, retrieving his glass. "Goodnight, Wolverine."

He turned and walked away towards the party, leaving Wolverine alone with his demons.

Continued in Part 3


P.S. ・Don・t freak out over the Magneto thing. We all know his age has fluctuated several times during the book・s continuity, and that makes him not so different from Wolverine. And he apparently likes women much younger than himself from what I've been able to tell. ;P