A Day In The Life

By Jane Westin


Summary: 24 hours of good ol・ fashioned Jubilee fun.

Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters. I just borrowed them. I・ll give them back good as new. J

Author・s Note: I・m well aware that Jubilee wasn・t even in the movie (grr), but in the comic series, she and Wolverine are close friends, so I・m basing this story off that fact. Also, I don・t condone underage drinking. I don・t want to get e-mails from angry parents. J That said, I give you・


I swear to God, I・m going to kill somebody.

First day of summer vacation and who for the love of Pete wakes up at this hour? That alarm has been going off for・

・TEN FUCKING MINUTES!・ someone yells, and something foofy hits my butt. ・JUBILATION LEE, WAKE UP AND TURN OFF YOUR ALARM CLOCK!・

I pull my pillow off my head and sit up, and my sleep-clouded brain slowly registers that there is one very rumpled, very annoyed Kitty Pryde sitting up in the bed next to me. Well, no wonder she・s irritated; she・s been sleeping without a pillow all night, her neck has got to be・oh. Oh, wait a minute, there it is. On the floor. So that was the foofy thing.

Something is buzzing. My God, that・s annoying.

Aha! It clicks. My alarm. That was the reason for the shouting and the pillow. I reach over and turn it off. ・Good morning, Kit-Kat,・ I smile at my roommate.

・I hate you,・ she replies.

・No, you don・t.・ I swing my legs over the side of the bed and kick the pillow in her general direction. ・You love me, and to prove it, you・re going to drive me to the mall and buy me an ice cream cone.・

Kitty pulls her blanket over her head. ・In your dreams,・ she mutters, her voice muffled by the blanket.

・She slices! She dices! She speaks fluent Spanish!・ I announce, finding her ankles under the blanket and pulling on them. ・She drives over the speed limit and preferably to the mall! She・s the one and only・・ I yank the blanket off Kitty and throw it on the floor ・・the amazing Kitty Pryde!・

・AND SHE WANTS TO GO BACK TO SLEEP,・ Kitty snarls. She snatches her bedclothes, gives me the Glare to End All Glares, and turns her back on me.

・Well, fine,・ I pout and stand up. May as well get out of bed now that I・m awake. I turn to see if our little disagreement woke Rogue up and find, as usual, that her snoring hasn・t even missed a beat. She・s looking particularly lovely today・head thrown back, mouth gaping open, long stripey hair all over the place. Smiling wickedly, I pick up the Polaroid camera she got for her birthday and snap a picture. There. Preserved for posterity. I hide the picture under her math textbook.

Now to see about breakfast.

I rummage around in a pile of laundry and find my bathrobe, slightly damp but reasonably unsmelly. My slippers are lost again・safe bet that Kitty・s swiped them and has them under her bed, but I・m too lazy to look・so I pull on some socks and pad downstairs.

The kitchen is empty; everyone・s probably sleeping in. The hysterical laughter and strong smell of Bacardi emanating from the living room last night leads me to believe that a few certain teachers will be very hung over today. Smirking, I start the coffee brewing and wonder if it would be unethical to charge per cup.

・Breakfast, breakfast, breakfast,・ I mutter, surveying the contents of the walk-in refrigerator and considering my options. Definitely not Jean・s anorexic grapefruit-and-bagel combinations; I・d shrivel and die before noon. And definitely nothing involving a stove. Nothing looks appetizing in this sector, so I shiver my way into the freezer.

・And the winner is・ice cream!・ I announce, pulling out a gallon-sized tub of strawberry swirl. I hurry out of the cold, thanking my lordy-lordy that the Professor leaves us up to our own scavenging on weekends. I don・t think I could handle seven mornings a week without a sugar-induced jump start.

I dump four scoops into a bowl and, after a moment of consideration, dive back into the fridge for strawberry syrup and whipped cream. ・Why the hell not,・ I say, proudly topping off my creation with a handful of crushed peanuts and a maraschino cherry. I clean up the mess I・ve made・see, what a responsible person is Jubilation Lee!・and pour myself a cup of coffee, then head to the front porch to sit in the sun and enjoy the first day of summer vacation.

Ahh. Caffeine and a lot of sugar. This is definitely a good way to start the day.

I・ve been outside for approximately three minutes and am happily bonding with my strawberry sauce when I hear the roar of a familiar engine. It takes me about eight nanoseconds to realize that yep indeedy, Logan・s back.

He・s just slid sideways to a stop, half on the grass, half off, looking at me with an expression that clearly says I・m supposed to be impressed. I raise an eyebrow to indicate that he・s going to be sorely disappointed.

Choosing to ignore my cool-and-smooth demeanor, he parks the bike and takes long strides up the steps. I give him another raised-eyebrow look. ・What・s happening, tall dark and hairy?・

He responds by wrinkling his nose in a manner that・s kind of endearing. ・Ice cream for breakfast?・

I stick my tongue out at him. ・You・re one to talk, Mister Carnivore.・ I take another defiant bite of my strawberry swirl and continue, opening my mouth extra-wide so he gets a good view of the half-melted goop. ・Want to tell me what you・re doing back here, stud man?・

Wolvie flinches ever-so-slightly at my little display. I・m amused. So the all-powerful Wolverine is squeamish about see-food. Who・dathunkit?

He recovers quickly, however, covering up his little ooh-ooh-icky moment by lighting a cigar. Ahh, The Man is back. He doesn・t speak for a moment, just puffs away. I make a horrible face at him. ・Doesn・t it bother you, Wolvie, that in addition to smelling like burning dog poop, those giant cancer-joints are an undeniable phallic symbol? And you put them in your mouth?

Logan grins at me, one eyebrow going up in amusement. ・Nahh. What bothers me is that you thought about it long enough to point it out to me.・

I roll my eyes exaggeratedly. ・You・re so annoying. Do you want a cup of coffee?・

・One minute she・s firing barbs, the next minute she・s offering to get me a drink,・ Logan muses, his hazel eyes twinkling. ・Sure, kid, thanks.・

・I am sooo nice to you, and lookit the thanks I get.・ I sigh loudly and get up, trying to look especially mournful to illustrate my perpetual suffering on his behalf. I am rewarded with a snort and a chuckle.

Halfway to the kitchen, it occurs to me that I don・t know how he takes his coffee, so I turn around and dash back to the front door. Lo and behold, there before me is Logan, and in his hands is・

・My ice cream!・ I screech, running forward and kicking Logan in the side. Ow, dammit!・ I sit down hard on the porch, massaging my foot and glaring at Logan ferociously. ・I leave my poor defenseless ice cream alone for two seconds・・

Logan reaches out and pats the top of my head. ・Just makin・ sure it didn・t go and melt,・ he says, giving me a very irritating grin. I scowl at him. ・You are a big mean man!

I make sure the door slams hard behind me to mask the sound of my laughter.

When I get to the kitchen, I discover the pot of coffee already half gone and Dr Grey, Miss Munroe, and Mr Summers sitting around the table looking positively pathetic. Miss Munroe is hugging her coffee cup as though it・s her life support; judging by the big circles under her bloodshot eyes, that may very well be the case. Mr Summers is trying forlornly to open a bottle of aspirin, and I snicker, because he・s failing miserably. Dr Grey・s got her head on her arms, ignoring her mug of coffee, and I・m pretty sure it・s her mumbling ・Light・bad・light・bad・・

・And how are we all this morning?・ I chirp, loudly clattering ceramic mugs as I pour Logan・s coffee, realizing that in the ice cream confrontation I have completely forgotten to ask him how he likes it.

Rough, I think to myself as an afterthought, and snort rather loudly.

The only reply to my cheerful salutation is a weak groan, probably from Dr Grey, but I・m not entirely sure. A pretty sorry bunch, they are. ・Who was nice enough to make you guys coffee?・ I continue in a singsong, dumping a bunch of sugar and milk into Logan・s cup.

I bounce over to the table and pat Dr Grey・s head. ・Buck up, buttercup, Logan・s back and all is right with the world.・

Dr Grey・s only acknowledgement is another muffled whimper, but the horrified look on Mr Summers・s face is positively priceless. I hear the aspirin bottle clatter to the floor as I skip out of the room.

・Wolvie, sweet thing, got your coffee, just how you like it,・ I sing, sitting down next to him on the porch. I notice, sadly, that my ice cream is no more. ・I guess you were hungry.・

・Ugh!・ Logan makes a face and peers into his coffee cup. ・What・d you put in here, kid?・

I give him my sweetest smile. ・I figured since you helped yourself to my ice cream, you wouldn・t mind a little sugar in your coffee.・

・You・re incorrigible.・

・I learned from the best.・ I give him another charming smile and rest my head against his leather-clad shoulder, and we sit like that for a long time. Finally I speak: ・How long are you staying this time?・

A shrug. ・Dunno.・

I lift my head from his shoulder. ・Rogue・ll be thrilled to see you.・ This is true, of course, but it・s also true that she・ll spend most of the time he・s home crying in our room. It・s the one thing that annoys me to death every time Logan comes back. I swear to God, his presence brings on a state of constant PMS. She・s positively no fun to be around when he・s here. I wish he・d just pay attention to her already・it・d make everything a lot more pleasant.

He nods once. ・I know.・

Not exactly the reaction I・d expected・or hoped for. ・She really missed you.・

Another nod. Apparently this topic isn・t an area of interest, but I set my jaw and persevere. ・So, you want to go get her out of bed, or what?・ I tilt my head and look up at him with big innocent eyes, but his response is just a shrug. ・I don・t want to wake her up.・

I feel like growling in frustration. ・Okay, then, what do you want to do?・

He stands up abruptly, and I can see that his eyes have darkened. ・Unpack,・ he says tersely, and disappears into the Mansion.

・Well, that was an overwhelming success,・ I mutter to myself. I stick my tongue out at the front door. ・Pig.・

When I return to the room, Rogue is sitting up in bed. Her brown-white hair is everywhere, and she looks sleepy and confused.

・Oh, Roguie, you・re so cute when you・re befuddled!・ I coo, patting her on the head as I sail into the bathroom. She follows me.

・Where・s Kitty?・ she asks.

I yank a brush through my hair. ・Dunno. I think she took off after I woke her up this morning.・

・Was that what all that yellin・ was about?・

・I thought you were asleep.・

Rogue rolls her eyes. ・I was tryin・ to be asleep.・

・Not my fault she wakes up at the drop of a hat.・ I scrub at my teeth with a toothbrush. ・I gust ahked her to hrive me hoo ha mall.・

・Do you have to go to the mall every weekend?・

I stick my tongue out at her, too.

Ten minutes later, after hastily dressing and smearing gel into my uncooperative hair, I bounce down the hall to Logan・s room. ・Yo, wolfman!・ I yell, pounding on the door. ・How・s about giving a girl a little attention!・

I hear a loud sigh from the other side of the door, but it opens nevertheless. Logan・s arm rests on the doorframe, blocking my entry. ・Whaddya want, kid?・

I duck under his arm and tweak his hair. ・Wolvie, my main squeeze, what・s happenin・? Long time no see!・

・Whaddya want?・ he repeats, sounding exasperated. He shuts the door and turns around, glowering. He・s trying to look menacing. It・s kind of cute.

I flop down backwards on the bed and put my hands behind my head. ・Didn・t anyone ever tell you that it・s rude to walk away from a lady?・

・I wasn・t aware that I had,・ Logan replies.

I sit up and kick at him. ・Unfunny and tasteless! Jubilee 10, Logan zero.・ Now he・s smiling.

・Sorry, kid.・

I stick my lower lip out as far as it will go. ・I・m still wounded. I didn・t even get a hug hello.・

He rolls his eyes, still smiling, and pulls me into a big bear hug (Wolverine hug? I wonder). ・I missed ya, kid.・

I glare up at him. ・Yeah! ・Bout damn time you got back. No one else here has the ability to turn into a brick wall while I talk at them,・ I complain.

He laughs and lets go of me, and I pull my feet up onto the bed and cross my legs. ・So, are you gonna tell me what I said to piss you off, or what?・

・Not a chance.・ He turns and resumes unpacking.

・But you have to,・ I say, jabbing a finger into his back. ・Otherwise how can I not do it again?・

He turns around and catches my wrist. ・Must you be so violent?・

・Only when it・s necessary,・ I reply cheerfully. ・C・mon, Wolvie, out with it. What・s up with Marie?・ I use her given name because I know that・s what he calls her, and he blinks a little. To me, she has always been Rogue, and it catches him off guard.

The face he makes at me is positively horrible. ・Leave me out of your gossip-ring, whaddya say, kid.・

It finally clicks. ・You think Rogue put me up to asking you about her!・

He grunts and resumes unpacking. I throw my hands up in the air. ・Logan, Logan, Logan. Don・t you know Rogue would sooner die than ask me to talk to you about her?・

He doesn・t even indicate that he・s heard, just keeps putting jeans into a drawer. I roll my eyes. ・Well, she didn・t. And since it・s obvious that you won・t tell your favorite person in the whole wide world what・s wrong・・

Logan snorts rather loudly.

・・I guess it・s safe to say that you really don・t want to talk about it.・ I cross my arms and stare at him. When he doesn・t say anything, I throw a pillow at his head. ・Pay attention to me!・

Before he can reply, there・s a soft knock on the door.

I don・t need to be a psychic to figure out who it is.

When Logan opens the door, Rogue・s standing before him. She・s got her head down, big brown eyes gazing up at him hopefully through the curtain of her hair. Despite himself, he cracks a smile.

・Hey, kid.・

And, as always, that・s all it takes. Rogue・s grinning her fool head off, flinging her arms around him, demanding to know how his trip・s been. He・s chuckling, fending off her insistent questions as best he can, and I smile to myself. They don・t even notice me slip out the door.

***

I・m sitting under the big tree by the basketball court, listening to Christopher Lawrence spin and drawing a picture of a moose. Maybe she won・t come. Maybe this time he・ll be content to stay with her.

I fervently hope this time will be different.

The past three times Logan・s returned to the Mansion it・s been the same・Rogue・s overjoyed to see him, he・s glad to see her, they talk, and an hour later she・s in our room clutching his dog tags and sobbing that he doesn・t see her as anything but a kid. I mean, jeez! First off, it・s partly her fault for falling head over heels for a guy who・s positively ancient, but it doesn・t help that he・s denser than lead. The entire mansion knows she・s half crazy for him, but he・s either up to his eyeballs in denial or completely blind.

Or, I suppose, it could be the whole ancient thing. I mean, she is nineteen, but he・s・really old. Like, Ensure-old. Maybe he thinks it・d be nasty for them to get together. Which it would, kind of, but at least it would make her happier・maybe he really is all hung up on Dr Grey. Here I thought it was just a sex thing. But she・s with Mr Summers, anyway, and・

My head・s starting to hurt from thinking about it. I decide that Rogue should just get over Logan already and find herself someone who wasn・t alive during the Stone Age.

Of course, when she comes running out of the Mansion an hour later, bawling her head off・I check my watch, right on schedule・I sigh and resign myself to reality. It・s just not gonna happen.

She flings herself on the grass by my feet and buries her face in her hands. I take off my headphones and put down my moose. ・Hi, Rogue.・

No response but a muffled wail.

・You know what you need?・ I stand up and yank on her wrist. She sniffles and looks up at me with red-rimmed eyes. ・A shotgun?・

I shake my head. ・Rogue, Rogue, Rogue. When will you learn that he・s just a dumb guy? What guy is worth crying over every time you see him? Plus, he・s really old.・

Rogue reluctantly lets me pull her to her feet, swiping at her eyes and kicking at the ground. ・I know I・m being stupid. I just can・t help it.・

・Sure you can.・ I find a crumpled Kleenex in my pocket and hand it to her. She looks at first at it, then at me.

・It・s clean!・ I exclaim indignantly, and she smiles just a tiny bit and blows her nose. I sling an arm around her shoulders. ・Rogue, my dear, I think I know exactly what you need.・

Two hours later, Rogue・s laughing as though the incident with Logan never happened. I mean, after your best friend in the whole wide world rounds up all your friends for a fierce game of pool volleyball just so you・ll feel better, how can you be anything but happy? For a moment, I allow myself to indulge in a little smug satisfaction, and am immediately brought back to reality when St. John splashes me in the face. I shriek. ・Loser!・

・You just lost us a point.・ He・s laughing.

Thus begins the Great Chlorinated Battle of Xavier・s Pool.

Five minutes later the boys have the girls backed into a corner and Bobby・s threatening to freeze the pool if we don・t surrender. Rogue somehow convinces him to have a chicken fight instead・naturally the boys jump at the opportunity. She climbs on Bobby・s shoulders, I climb on Remy・s, and Kitty claims St. John. The fight doesn・t last long. Rogue laughs so hard she falls off Bobby・s shoulders and I easily outmuscle Kitty. I・m pummeling the air with my fists and hooting in victory when I notice Logan standing in the trees near the pool. He・s watching us in the water.

I get a very weird feeling indeed when I realize he・s watching me.

Of course, I reassure myself quickly, falling backwards off Remy・s shoulders, I am wearing a very cute swimsuit, and damn if men don・t look my way. It・s to be expected, right? I mean, Remy was practically drooling.

But Logan?

I shake my head and climb out of the pool, because Dr Grey・s brought us popsicles, and I want the blue one.

***

・I・m bored,・ Bobby announces.

Dinner・s over, and we・re sitting around the game room. Rogue and St. John are involved in what sounds like a killer game of foosball, Remy・s playing cards with Kitty, and Bobby is watching SportsCenter. I・m sprawled on the couch. I・m exhausted.

・Let・s go out,・ Kitty says, not taking her eyes off her cards. Her voice is a deadpan. She・s better at poker faces than anyone I know.

・Hey, yeah!・ Rogue sounds interested, and I・m glad. We・ve seen neither hide nor hair of Logan all day; it seems that I・ve succeeded in distracting her from his obnoxious presence. I, however, am positively pooped from the effort.

・Where we going?・ St. John asks.

・How about the Shack?・ Kitty suggests, and even with my eyes closed, I can see the evil little glimmer in her eyes. For such a goody-two-shoes, she can be so bad when it comes to clubbing. She somehow managed to find someone to make all six of us fake I.D.s; they cost a fortune, but I, at least, have gotten quite a bit of use out of mine.

Now Rogue definitely sounds interested. ・Yeah! Let・s go to the Shack!・ The Shack, for the record, is a noisy club on the outskirts of Westchester. Kitty

・I・ll drive.・ Kitty・s raring to go, and I hear the rest of them putting away playing cards and gathering purses. ・Jubes, are you coming?・

I pick my head up off my arms and open my eyes a crack. ・Not today, Kit-Kat,・ I say, stretching my legs out. ・I・m too tired to move, and besides, I・m not in the mood for country music.・

Bobby looks amazed. ・Jubilation Lee, too tired to go out? I don・t believe it.・ Then he frowns. ・And don・t crack on country music.・

Rogue, who・s holding onto his arm, laughs. ・Yeah, Jubes, come on. You can wear the jacket you got last weekend.・

I roll over. ・Seriously, guys, I can・t move. I・m so tired my hair hurts.・

Kitty pouts a little. ・C・mon, Jubes, you・re the one who rounded everyone up.・

I yawn melodramatically. ・And the effort positively exhausted me. Seriously, guys, go ahead. I・m going to take a nap. If you・re going to be there all night, I・ll get one of the other kids to drive me over later.・

Kitty and Rogue exchange a glance. ・If you・re sure,・ Kitty says slowly.

・I am.・ I grin at them. ・I・ll probably be over there before too long. I just want to sleep for a while, okay?・

Rogue smiles. ・Okay.・

I watch them leave, then roll back onto my stomach and shut my eyes. Oh, it feels so wonderful to relax・relax・

I・ve nearly drifted off to sleep when I hear a familiar rumbling voice.

・Hi, kid.・

I groan loudly, roll over, and open my eyes. ・Damnit, Logan!・

He smirks at me and sits down on the couch by my head. ・Where is everybody?・

・Out.・ I throw my arm up over my eyes. Why can・t he leave me alone? I only ask for a few things in life: a cute wardrobe, a few cute guys, and sufficient napping time.

・I didn・t think you were a SportsCenter kind of girl.・ He sounds amused.

・I・m not, usually,・ I say too loudly, reaching over my head to poke at his leg. ・I turned it on just for you.・

・Again with the violence. You wanna stop with that already?・

・You・re one to talk!・ I take my arm off my eyes and look up at him. ・Whaddya want, anyway? Can・t a girl get any peace around here?・

His hazel eyes crinkle when he smiles, I notice. ・Just wanted some company,・ he says, patting my head. ・That okay by you?・

・I guess,・ I grumble, ・but I・m going back to sleep.・

He doesn・t appear to hear me; he・s already flipping channels.

***

Poke.

Poke.

Poke.

・Nngh.・

Poke. ・Jubilee!・

・NNGH!・

I try desperately to cling to the last remnants of the lovely dream I・m having, but in vain. I open my eyes. ・Damnit, Logan!・

He looks at me, wide-eyed. ・What?・

I sit up and glare at him. ・I was having a positively wonderful dream about Heath Ledger. I hate you.・

・Ororo says Remy called. They want you to meet them at the Shack.・

・Now?・ I squint at the clock. 8:23. I・ve been asleep for two hours. Oh, and what a wonderful two hours it was! ・You gonna drive me?・

・Nope.・

Ten minutes later we・re flying down the road on Scott・s bike.

I love this guy.

It・s a busy night at the Shack. The parking lot・s full, there are people milling around outside, and the music is blasting into the night air. Logan looks like he・s getting ready to leave, but I grab his hand. ・Oh no you don・t.・

His eyes widen. He yanks his hand away. ・Oh yes I do.・

I attach myself to the sleeve of his jacket and give him my best puppy-dog eyes. ・But Wolllllll-vie, if you leave, how will I get back home?・

・Aren・t all your friends here?・

・Their car・s fu-ull.・ I stick out my lower lip and sniffle, trying to look as pathetic as possible. He rolls his eyes. ・All right, all right, all right. But if you think I・m dancin・, you・re crazy.・

I hide a smile as I lead Logan into the club. ・We・ll see about that,・ I mutter under my breath.

Once inside, I latch onto the back of Logan・s jacket and he shoves his way through the crowd. He・s taken me to countless bars since I got my I.D., but most of them are either your standard dumpy beer-and-cowboy-boots establishments or sports bars. The look on his face as he brushes past twentysomething women wearing next to nothing is priceless, and I stifle a laugh.

Suddenly there・s a loud yell to our left. ・Logan! Jubes!・

We turn and there・s Kitty, waving madly. She・s sitting in St. John・s lap and looking very tipsy. We make our way over to the table.

・Hi!・ Kitty screams, trying to make herself heard over the music. Logan looks appalled, and I snicker. ・Hi, Kitty. Where is everyone?・

・Out there!・ She gestures wildly in the general direction of the dance floor. I peer into the crowd and spot Rogue, covered neck-to-foot in some sort of lace bodysuit thing, dancing very close to Bobby. I raise my eyebrows, and so does Logan. I detect a faint growling noise in his chest and smack his arm. ・Lay off, big boy.・

He raises his eyebrows at me. I shrug. ・She can take care of herself.・

St. John shouts something unintelligible into Kitty・s ear, and she slides off his lap. ・We・re going to go dance,・ she explains to me, and I nod. Logan and I watch them weave their way deep into the crowd.

We sit for a moment, then Logan jerks his head in the general direction of the bar. ・Buy ya a drink?・

His voice is loud but gruff, almost awkward-sounding. I widen my eyes and place a hand against my chest, fluttering my lashes. ・Why, Wolvie, I・m flattered!・

・Don・t be.・ He gets up and I grab his jacket again as we make our way to the bar.

He orders a Labatt Blue; I opt for Corona with a lime. The first time we went out, it surprised him that I drank beer. I remember him telling me that I seemed more like a ・screwdriver girl.・ I・d given him shit for a long time about that particular comment.

He drains his beer in record time and orders another, which he finishes before I・ve even made a dent in my first. It・s too noisy to talk, so we sit in silence and watch the gyrating bodies on the dance floor.

When my second beer is gone and I tire of trying to retrieve the lime from the bottle, I jump to my feet and grab Logan・s hand. ・Ready, Freddie?・

・What?・

・Come on.・ I tug on his arm and am annoyed when he doesn・t move. If I can get him close enough to Rogue, maybe he・ll dance with her. Besides, I・m bored just sitting here. ・Logan, I am an attractive female who wants to dance with you. You・d have to be stupid to turn me down.・

He grins at me. ・Guess I・m stupid, then.・

What a lump! I narrow my eyes. ・If you don・t get off your big old hairy butt and come dance, I・m telling the Professor you buy me beer.・

・No, you won・t.・ He knows damn well I wouldn・t give up my beer supply. I scowl at him. ・Fine, be a boring old person. I・m going to go dance.・ I stalk away.

I・ve spotted Remy, anyway. He is, as usual, surrounded by a gaggle of adoring, scantily-clad females. Something about that stupid accent and the fact that he talks about himself in the third person seems to really appeal to them. They think it・s cute. I tend to think it・s more along the lines of character dissociation, but who listens to me, anyway? I・m just a stupid mallrat.

I shove my way through the women surrounding Remy. One of them, I am amused to note, is a shot girl old enough to be his mother. They glare at me as I grab Remy・s hand. ・Remy darling, be a dear and come dance with me.・

Remy grins at me. ・Certainly, chere, Remy would never miss an opportunity to dance with such a charming mademoiselle.・ He flashes a dazzling smile at his admirers, who go from looking steamed to looking positively lovesick. Disgusting. I・m relieved when Remy leads me far away from them.

・Nice entourage,・ I tell him as we begin to sway to the music, and he smiles at me. ・Remy does not know what he does to make dem surround him,・ he says, and laughs. ・Remy thinks that if he can attract dese other women, why can he not attract de Mademoiselle Rogue?・

Jesus, the Untouchable Woman certainly does have them flocking to her. ・Keep trying, Remy,・ I shout over the music, and he smiles and shrugs in response and falls silent. He・s a good dancer, but I get the feeling he・d be a lot more comfortable gliding through some high-ceilinged ballroom. The song isn・t exactly a slow waltz; it・s Brad Paisley crooning How Do You Like Me Now. This song cracks me up, but then, most country music does.

As the song ends, a large body shoves itself between Remy and me. ・You don・t mind, do ya?・ a deep voice growls at Remy.

・Why, Logan, how positively rude of you,・ I shout up at him, and he gives me a feral grin. But Remy steps back obligingly, and over Logan・s shoulder, I see him wink at me.

Now what on earth would make him do that?

・What are you doing out here?・ I yell up at Logan. ・I thought you weren・t gonna dance.・

He responds by shrugging and putting his hands on my waist. Oh well, I think, and move with him as the next song begins.

She・s got you wrapped up in her satin and lace

Tied around her little finger

She・s got you thinkin・ you can never escape

Don・t you know your heart・s in danger

There・s a devil in that angel face

If you could only see the love that you・re missin・・

I can love you better than that, I know how to make you forget her

All I・m askin・ is for one little chance, ・cause baby I can love you

Baby I can love you better.

I laugh and he laughs with me at the lyrics; females are so damn manipulative, aren・t they, Logan, but of course you wouldn・t know that, you womanizer you. I raise my hands over my head and sway into his body, and it occurs to me for the first time that for an old guy he・s pretty damn sexy. Looking up at him, I realize that even those horribly overgrown muttonchops he won・t let me trim are kind of attractive, and I think I might kind of understand why Rogue has a thing for him.

Of course, that might be the beer talking.

It・s not until he・s got one leg between mine and a hand on my back and our bodies are moving together like liquid that I realize I・m bumpin・ and grindin・ with Mr. Ensure-and-Polident. Oh my God, I・m not even old enough to legally drink!

I begin to freak out. I can・t imagine what would happen if Rogue saw us right now. She・d probably have a nervous breakdown.

Jubilation Lee is a responsible young person. And I therefore cannot, as a responsible young person, allow that to happen!

So I do what any responsible young person would do in a situation like this.

・I need another drink,・ I yell.

Four Corona-and-lime and six dances later, I・m drunk and still pondering the incident on the dance floor. I don・t find Logan attractive, do I? Of course not. He・s old. That・s icky.

Isn・t it?

I begin to get confused. The alcohol・s making my thinking all fuzzy, and trying to make the fuzz go away is making my head hurt. ・Logical confusion,・ I say to myself decisively, wrinkling my forehead, ・issoo sop sinking until momorrow.・ Good lord, was that me talking?

I think I・m about ready to go to bed.

Suddenly Logan appears out of nowhere・・Where were you?・ I ask him, bewildered.

His smile is cute, I decide, before stumbling directly into his arms.

・Come on, Jubes,・ he says, and his voice is surprisingly gentle. ・It・s time to go.・

***

FYI: It・s really, really hard to stay on the back of a motorcycle when you・re drunk.

Logan・s steering with one hand, which I know isn・t safe, but the thing is, he・s got the other hand wrapped around both of mine, which are clasped around his waist. I think the only thing keeping me on the bike is sheer terror.

・I・M NEVER DOING THIS AGAIN!・ I scream into the wind.

・Not a bad idea,・ he says over his shoulder. ・How ya doin・ back there, kid?・

・OH, PEACHY.・ In truth, I・m feeling extremely queasy. I・m not sure what to do to remedy this situation, however. I think we・re almost to the Mansion, but my sense of time has been severely affected by the alcohol. I don・t want to ask him to pull over, but・

・LOGAN!・ I scream.

・Yeah?・

・PULL OVER!・

・Oh, God,・ he groans, and pulls the bike off the road.

I practically fall off my seat, but Logan is quicker and catches me before I land flat on my face. I double over, hands on my knees, and retch. He holds me up and strokes my hair. I・m crying. Damnit, Jubilation Lee doesn・t cry. Jubilation Lee never cries. Jubilation Lee・oh, my head!

I moan and clutch at Logan・s leather-clad arm, but I slump to the ground anyway. He・s kneeling beside me and I・ve never been more ashamed of myself in my life. I・m sobbing and can・t seem to stop. ・Sorry・sorry・・ I hear myself moaning.

He・s still stroking my hair and I hear him murmuring gentle words. I can・t understand what he・s saying but it・s calming nevertheless. I take a deep shuddery breath. ・This sucks,・ I manage to say, my chest hitching.

・It・s okay, kid,・ he says. There is good humor in his voice. ・It・s no big deal, happens all the time.・

I mutter something about not going out since he was here last time and he chuckles.

・What say we get up off the ground and get back?・ he suggests. ・Can ya stand up for me?・

I sniffle and assess my condition. Actually, now that I・ve gotten all that beer out of my system, I・m feeling a little better. Of course, now I just want to go to sleep.

But I nod anyway and let him help me to my feet.

The rest of the ride back is considerably slower. Logan obviously figured out the connection between his breakneck speed and the little upchuck incident. We・ve made it to the mansion and are halfway down the hall when I feel that good old nausea swirl around me once more.

・Bathroom,・ I say urgently, and he half-carries, half-drags me into his bathroom. He supports me while I yak into the toilet, stroking my hair again. When it・s finally over・oh, my stomach! I・d forgotten how much that hurts・I slump to the floor, hugging the toilet and moaning. He reaches down to help me up; he・s saying something about my room, but I can・t understand what it is. The room begins to spin, and everything goes black.

***

The minute my eyelids crack open, someone drives ice picks through my eyeballs.

・OWWWW!・ I whimper, putting my hands over my face. I feel my eye sockets. No ice picks. Why does my head hurt so bad?

Then it comes back to me. Ahh, I remember now! Six beers and a ride on the back of a motorcycle. Now I know what・s wrong with me. I・m massively hung over.

Cautiously I open my eyes again, peering between my fingers. Dear Lord, it・s bright in here! Where am I? This isn・t my bed! Oh my God, what did I do last night? I・m supposed to be at the mansion! Who did I go home with?

I begin to panic, which only makes my head hurt worse. The hyperventilation doesn・t help either. I roll over, hand still over my eyes. The bed is empty. Well, that・s a good sign, isn・t it?

Wait a minute! I know this room!

It・s Logan・s room!

Oh my God, I slept with Logan? ICK! ICK ICK ICK ICK ICK! I grab my head and burrow under the blanket. Oh my God oh my God oh my God oh my God pleeeease tell me I didn・t sleep with・

・Kid?・ It・s the man himself. Is that laughter I hear in his voice?

・Kid, you all right?・ It is! He・s laughing at me! I sit up indignantly, ready to tell him that you don・t laugh at Jubilee, no siree bob, but my stomach lurches and I have to lie down again. I whimper.

・Can you shut the blinds?・ I croak.

He snickers and the room suddenly dims. ・Better?・

・Unngh.・

I feel him sit down on the bed. ・I brought you some coffee.・

I crack an eyelid. Logan brought me coffee? In bed? Oh my God, I did sleep with him! I whimper again and cover my head with my hands.

・Drink it, you・ll feel better.・ I hear him snicker again. ・Not that I would know.・

That・s it!

・I hate you,・ I say, opening my eyes and squinting up at him. I feel like shit. ・You and your stupid healing factor, too.・ I snatch at the coffee and nearly drop it. He catches my arm. ・Careful, champ.・

Coffee・s black, thank God. I don・t think I could stand any sugar, not this morning, anyway. He puts a plate of dry toast on the bed next to me. ・From Ororo. For the coffee yesterday.・

How nice of her to remember me in my time of need. She・s a wonderful woman. I want her to deliver the eulogy when Rogue kills me.

・Logan,・ I say, shutting my eyes in horrible anticipation, ・did anything・happen・last night?・

When he doesn・t answer, I open one eye to discover he・s biting back a grin. I open the other eye. ・Logan?・

He shakes his head, making weird, wet-sounding snorting noises in his attempt to keep from laughing. ・Nothin・ at all, kid, unless you count your pukin・ twice and passin・ out in my bathroom.・

Oh, thank you Lord. I exhale loudly in relief. ・Great.・

・Can・t hold your liquor any more, can ya?・ He sounds terribly amused. I glare at him.

・Shut up and get me some aspirin.・

***

・Are you aware you・ve taken three times the normal dose?・ Logan asks, squinting at the tiny writing on the back of the bottle of Aleve.

I shrug and massage my temples. ・My headache・s three times worse than a normal headache.・

He thinks about that one for a minute, then decides I・ve amused him and laughs.

・Glad I have your approval,・ I mutter.

There・s a knock on the door. ・Hey, Logan!・ Kitty yells through the door. ・Is Jubes in there?・

Kitty・s voice seems to reverberate in my skull. ・No yell,・ I whine, putting my hands over my ears. Logan stands up and opens the door. ・Hi. Yes.・

・Jubes, can I talk to you for a sec?・ Kitty says, glancing at Logan, who takes his cue and disappears into the bathroom. A second later I hear the shower running. Kitty sits down on the bed next to me. For the amount of alcohol she consumed last night, she looks remarkably chipper, and she thanks me in a rather puzzled way when I tell her so.

・What・s up?・ I ask her.

・It・s about Rogue,・ she begins hesitantly. My stomach clenches up. Oh, great. I knew this was coming. Here we go with the jealous Rogue speech.

・She slept in Bobby・s room last night,・ Kitty says.

I wrinkle my forehead and stick a finger in my ear. I must have earwax built up in there. I thought I just heard Kitty say that Rogue slept with Bobby.

・I・m sorry?・ I say politely.

・She spent the night in Bobby・s room,・ Kitty says again.

My eyebrows nearly shoot off my face. ・I・m sorry?・ I repeat.

Kitty rolls her eyes. ・Rogue. Had. Sex. With. Bobby.・ She enunciates each word as though she・s talking to a two-year-old. Of course, I think, it wouldn・t really be appropriate to be telling two-year-olds that Rogue was sleeping with Bobby. I・m not sure it・s appropriate to be telling me.

・Um・・ Very intelligent, Jubilee. ・How do you know they・um・did it? Maybe she just crashed in there.・ After all, I・d crashed in here. Of course, that was after I crashed on the bathroom floor.

Kitty snorted loudly. ・St. John lives next door to Bobby. They were making some noises that you definitely don・t associate with sleep.・

My eyeballs feel like they・re going to fall out of my head. ・Was she drunk?・

Kitty shakes her head. ・She only had two beers, and Bobby drove home・・

Suddenly I・m horrified. ・Was she mad about something?・

・Nooo・・ Kitty squints at me suspiciously. ・Something I ought to know, Miss Lee?・

I・m beginning to get worried. ・Um・・ I twist the sheet in my hands. ・I sort of・you know・had a couple dances with Logan.・

・So?・

I shrug uncomfortably. ・They were sort of・you know・・

Kitty rolls her eyes. ・I don・t know, but I don・t think she saw you. She seemed perfectly happy with Bobby last night.・

・But she・Logan・・ I break off, confused and bewildered. ・Just yesterday she was all upset ・cause he wasn・t・What・s going on here?・ I・m beginning to wonder if I haven・t been passed out for two or three days and these bizarre Rogue-related developments transpired while I was sleeping. Jubilee Van Winkle.

Kitty shrugs. ・I don・t get it either. But it・s・・ she looks at her watch・・ten after twelve, and she hasn・t been back to the room yet.・

・Curiouser and curiouser,・ I mutter.

・And speaking of that,・ Kitty adds, ・I might ask what you・re doing here. I felt like I was back at home with no roommates around.・

I feel my face heat up. ・I sort of puked in Logan・s bathroom.・

・Oh, really?・ Kitty looks interested.

・Yeah.・ I squinch my eyes shut. ・Then I took a nap on the floor.・

Kitty bursts out laughing. ・The great and powerful Jubilee, who・s been drinking longer than I・ve been potty-trained, puked and passed out on the floor?・ She collapses on my bed in hysterics. I am not amused.

・Yeah, but that was only after I puked on the side of the road.・ I sigh. May as well tell the whole unpleasant story. Kitty pats my leg in a manner that・s surely supposed to be reassuring and somehow isn・t. ・Oh, Jubes,・ she says, gasping for air, ・you・re never going to live this one down.・

・Thanks,・ I say.

I have a feeling it・s going to be a very long day.