Title - Home from the Hill – Chapter 7
Author - Ramos
Rating – PG
Disclaimer – MOST of these characters are the Property of Marvel Comics.
No profit is made from their use.
Feedback: Yes, I am a shameless feedback slut. Please feed my habit.
Logan swore without real anger as he dropped the wrench again. The bulk of
the garage shielded him from the worst of the breeze, but the metal coating
over his bones caused his fingers to chill and become clumsy when exposed
to the elements too long. Although winter had finally released her hold on
upstate New York, she occasionally sent nippy reminders when the late April
sun should have been warming up the ground.
The sound of a car driving up distracted him from reaching for the tool and
he glanced up. No vehicle could have gotten past the front gate without
the security code, and Logan relaxed when he recognized the late model
Caddy Jubilee had given Tweed for passing the GED as well as getting his
driver's license. A backwards baseball cap disguised his short-cropped
blue hair, but his passenger let her long cobalt locks fall loosely over
Dee gave him a timid wave as she climbed out of the car. Tommy called out
a faint greeting as he climbed out of the spacious back seat, but all three
exiles entered the house rather than linger and chat. Frowning, Logan
tried to remember if the school year had come to an end, but he was fairly
sure it was too early for that and too late for spring break. Jubilee
hadn't mentioned that the kids were coming home for the weekend. Then
again, she hadn't said much of anything to him for several days.
Actually, the last time he'd spoken to her, she'd been uncommonly terse and
inattentive. While spending their Friday evenings together hadn't actually
become a habit, he had been slightly annoyed when Jubilee had turned down
his invitation without explanation. He was still doggedly working on
reclaiming their old camaraderie, but it was difficult to for her to find
the time as she organized her team and dealt with the other duties that
went along with her expanded responsibilities.
Half an hour later, Creed roared up on his antique Indian motorcycle. The
huge mutant also passed him without saying a word, bypassing the house and
heading out into the back gardens. Although he'd moved out of the mansion
and bought a place on the other side of Salem Center months ago, he still
came to the mansion on a regular basis. Several members of the team had
speculated that he had a girlfriend, but no one yet had summoned the
courage to ask him.
With the additional people running around the mansion, Logan was strongly
considering taking a leaf out of Creed's book and getting a place of his
own. Although Storm and Rogue had gone to Massachusetts, the newer
recruits were much louder and twice as boisterous. More than once he had
found himself standing beside Bishop, Vic, and Jubilee, watching Scott and
the Iceman run the newbies run through their paces with the jaundiced eyes
of veteran soldiers and exchanging low comments. The three men had had
little trouble, but Jubilee's youth, gender, and small size had invited
challenge after challenge to her authority. Logan considered it a rare
privilege to have been present the day she'd finally lost her temper and
put one of the newcomers down on the deck, hard. The act had brought her a
private dressing-down from Cyclops, but it had the desired effect -- the
new members gave Jubilee a wide berth and their complete attention when she
opened her mouth.
A few minutes later, someone exited the kitchen and slammed the door
emphatically. Exasperated, Logan tossed the wrench in his tool box.
Tuning up his bike might not have been a Zen exercise, but he did prefer to
work without a constant parade of traffic. Half expecting Creed in one of
his moods, or Jubilee in one of hers, Logan's eyebrow raised when he saw
Scott Summers weave between the cars and smack the garage door control with
"Scott!" Jean's agitation was evident as she hurried after her husband;
less obvious was the subject of their disagreement. The couple exchanged a
tense, silent look as the garage door clattered open. Familiar with the
couple's psychic discussions, Logan kept his smart comments to himself.
After several moments, Jean heaved a patient sigh and climbed into the car.
Scott followed suite and started the engine immediately. The tires didn't
quite squeal as the car left the garage, but it was a near thing.
Now convinced that something was up, Logan abandoned the tune up and racked
his tools. The scent of wood smoke hit him as he closed the garage doors
and wandered around the back of the house to see where Creed had taken
himself. Although they weren't friends and never would be, the two men had
made it to the point where they could at least ask the other a simple
question or two.
The smoke lay in ropy drifts across the formal part of the gardens before
the wind caught and dissipated it. The burning smell overrode Creed's
trail, and mingled with it was the combined scents of several people.
Jubilee's he recognized immediately, then Bishop's and Tweed's. On the far
end of the gardens, where the last patch of yard and ornamental flowering
trees gave way to the wilder fields and forest, a large fire burned,
obviously the source of the smoke.
Even as he caught sight of the people around the fire and picked out
Jubilee's dark mop, her head came up, eyes searching as she sought out
Logan's position. She often did that, as though aware of his presence the
instant he came within eyesight of her. She turned back and spoke briefly
to the man beside her, who nodded, then clambered to her feet and made her
way through the expansive garden to Logan's side. Her energetic stride
covered the ground quickly; in moments she was in front of him, her hands
tucked in the back pocket of her jeans.
"Hey yerself. You guys having a barbecue or something?"
"Something like that," she answered. "Are you busy?"
"Not especially." He held out his greasy hands. "I gotta clean up, but
no, not really."
"Good. Um, listen. Chibar would like you to attend his ceremony. I told
him you probably wouldn't make it…"
Logan caught the oddly flat tone in her voice, and for an instant wondered
if Jubilee was only asking to be polite, but that didn't jibe with what
he'd seen earlier. "Nah, I'll come. What, now?"
She nodded. "We're just about to eat. There's some beef, a couple of
rabbits, and I'm gonna scare up a loaf of bread. Vic brought some ouzo."
"Ugh. No, thanks. I'll grab a couple of beers, if it's all the same."
"Sure. The ceremony doesn't start for…" she held her fingers out,
measuring the distance between the sun and the rolling horizon showing
above the western tree line. It was a trick Logan had taught her years
ago. "About another hour." She folded her arms, and he realized she was
wearing the worn boots and sleeveless shirt from her days on Hearth. "Why
don't you go ahead and wash. I'll wrestle Vic for the last steak for ya.
"Don't take too long."
With all but the last line of grease removed from his nails, Logan made his
way back to the fire, a six pack of long necks in his hand. The warm fire,
dying down to a steady burn, gave off a comforting heat as the spring day
waned. Chibar and the rest of Jubilee's exiles greeted him quietly as he
claimed a spot on the ground. Stretching out his legs, he muttered a
thank you when Jubilee handed him a piece of steak. Folded in half and
impaled on a long stick, it was heavily marbled with fat, frizzled black on
the outside, still bloody on the inside. It was amazingly good.
"Hell, Jube. You can finally cook."
She laughed, along with the rest of her pack. "Not me, Wolvie. Tweed
On the verge of making a joke, Logan glanced at Tweed and realized he, too,
was wearing the tattered remainders of the uniform he'd worn when he'd
first come to this planet. Bishop wore his usual trousers, but his shirt
was the old uniform as well. As he looked around, Logan realized that
Chibar was the only member of the gathering, save himself, whose clothing
was not a relic of Jubilee's rag-tag army. Instead, the older man wore a
pair of loose red trousers and a short red robe that overlapped in the
front, belted by a braided red and white cord.
Other incongruities nibbled at Logan's consciousness. Although Vic took
healthy swigs of his bottle, and the unique licorice tang of ouzo reached
Logan's nose, the big man was serious and reflective as he talked quietly
with Dee. The bottle had found its way into Dee's hands when Jubilee's
back was turned, and the teenage girl had surreptitiously sipped at it. It
was no surprise when the harsh liquor made her cough, but Creed hadn't
laughed or teased her, just patted her back gently with a hand big enough
to rip her head off.
On the other side of the fire, Tommy and Tweed were discussing something in
low undertones, which was puzzling since Jubilee normally had to separate
the two. The young men were only four years apart and had been as close as
brothers, which meant any time they were together they were either
cooperating in some mischief or elbowing each other in a disagreement that
nearly always ended in an argument.
Wolverine drew his wandering attention back as Chibar pulled a squat round
bottle from a cushioning wadded blanket near the fire and held it up,
sloshing it gently. The conversations around the fire died as everyone
focused on the amber glass in the man's brown mottled hands. The cork had
been removed earlier, and Chibar held the bottle up to the waning daylight
in a salute before he turned to his companions.
"You will all be in my heart, always," he said in a firm voice, and took a
deep swallow. He smacked his lips appreciatively, then passed the bottle
Bishop held the bottle loosely in his hand for a moment, then lifted it to
the sky. "You were a good soldier, my friend. Safe journey." He
swallowed hard, the first time Logan had ever seen Bishop drink anything
Bishop handed the bottle to Tommy, whose green skin darkened with
embarrassment as his voice cracked. "Thanks, for everything you taught
me." He, too, took a swallow of the bottle, and did his best to suppress a
cough as he handed it to Tweed.
Logan listened vaguely to Tweed's toast as he inspected the brown man
across the fire from him. Chibar alone of the exiles had lost weight,
rather than recovering from months of low rations and constant fighting
he'd endured on Hearth. His mottled skin, variegated between a mocha brown
and deeply tanned Caucasian hues, hung in wrinkles around his neck and face
like that of a fasting Ghandi. Resting on the ground beside him, a long,
stout stick lay beside a small duffel bag.
From the corner of his eye he caught Jubilee taking the bottle. She held
it for a moment, then lifted it high. "Chibar… I've learned many things
from you, on how to be a leader, and how to treat people… I don't think we
would have survived for long without you. I hope you find your clan
quickly, and I hope they realize how lucky they are to have you." She took
a few swallows and handed the bottle to Logan.
"Can I talk to you for a second?" he hissed under his breath as he took it.
"NO!" Jubilee hissed back. "Just take that and say something nice," she
ordered with a scowl. Logan scowled back, and her eyes flashed with an "or
"All right," he muttered. Lifting the bottle, Logan gathered his thoughts
for an instant toast. "Chibar, I wanta wish you a safe journey. And I
wanted to thank you for watching Jube's back when I wasn't there to do it.
That means a lot ta me." He took a slug of the bottle, startled slightly
when the warm brandy and hard cider combination rolled over his tongue. It
was surprisingly good.
He thrust the bottle at Dee, not even considering the fact that the girl
was only fifteen, and grabbed Jubilee's arm. "We gotta talk," he said,
dragging her to her feet and hustling her away from the campfire. When he
was confident they were out of earshot from the rest of the group,
including Creed, Logan let Jubilee wrench her arm loose.
"You wanna tell me what the heck is going on?"
That earned him another scowl. "Chibar has asked us for a Sending
ceremony. He wants to go find his clan."
"Jube… they're dead."
"I know that! I helped bury them! But he was their historian, the keeper
of the clan's legends. It was his responsibility to keep the clan on an
even path. And without him, they're lost."
"What part of dead am I not clear on here? And how can you even think
about lettin' someone who's obviously not a full human go walkabout?"
Jubilee's jaw set stubbornly. "He's not going walkabout, Logan. He's
going on. To the next plane."
He stared at her in dawning disbelief. "He's gonna kill himself," Logan
stated flatly, daring her to deny it.
"Chibar's clan believed that they cover several planes of existence on a
journey. This life is only one step on that journey. They've gone on
without him, and he feels that they need him."
Logan swore under his breath. "This is stupid, Jubilee. He's not going
anywhere but six feet down!"
The woman at his side swallowed hard. "I know that. But he believes,
Logan. He dreams about them, every night, calling out because they're lost
and they need him."
"So you're just gonna to let him kill himself? I never would have thought
you'd stand by.."
Raged flared in her eyes and two small hands shoved at his chest, pushing
him violently backwards. "Don't you dare come in here and get opinionated
on me! I have not spent the last month arguing with Cyke and the Professor
on this for you to add your two cents' worth now!" She shoved at him
again, and Logan let her, realizing she needed to release some of the
tension and anguish that was tearing her apart inside. "You can just keep
your mouth shut!"
His own arms came up and circled her shoulders as she pushed ineffectively
against him, but she didn't struggle as he drew her closer. Instead, her
head sagged down to his shoulder, and he put his arms around her as he had
a thousand times before, when she was a thousand years younger.
Jubilee inhaled shakily, and her voice was muffled against the flannel.
"We've been trying to help him for months, Logan, but he's not depressed.
He truly thinks his clan needs him, and he's dying inside." Her head shook
hopelessly. "I've spent hours discussing this with Xavier, and Storm, and
with Tweed and Chibar. We – you and I – have no more right to tell him he
has to live than we do to kill him. And he's made up his mind."
"So he's gonna go on to the next plane, huh?" Logan asked gently, trying
not to examine why the feel of Jubilee in his arms made him feel the way it
did. The skin on her arms was cold, but she didn't seem to notice the
chill. "Guess that's why Cyke took off in a tizzy."
"Did he?" she mumbled.
"Yeah. No way he'd condone a suicide ceremony." Logan glanced at her ear,
all he could see of her. "Can't say I blame him, though. I still don't
think this is right, Jube."
"Funny," she said dryly, pulling her face away from his shoulder. "I
remember having this same conversation with you when Mariko died."
The memory of the aftermath of her fiancée's loomed in Logan's mind, and he
stiffened. That handful of days after Mariko's death had been some of the
most painful he'd ever had to endure. His intention to commit seppuku and
end his own pain had seemed a logical and correct action, until a certain
thirteen-year-old firecracker had flatly refused to accept his death wish.
She had yelled and screamed until she'd reached him in his spiraling
Unfortunately, the only people that might have given Chibar a reason to
live had already died. Unable to argue any longer, Logan sighed and let
his arms fall from around Jubilee's shoulders. She gave him a sad smile,
comprised equally of sympathy and apology for bringing up old wounds, and
turned to lead the way back to the others.
When they returned to the fireside, Chibar was seated on the folded fabric
that had cushioned the apple brandy earlier. Faced into the strong evening
light, he was meditating while the others finished eating and cleaning up
their mess. As sundown approached they gathered around, waiting.
Eventually the bottom of the setting sun touched the distant horizon.
The man meditating on the grass rose slowly and straightened his clothing.
He went to Dee, the youngest there, and embraced her. Tommy was next,
clasped firmly by the wrist, with a small joke about how large he'd grown.
Tweed, Bishop, and Victor were bid goodbye. At last, Chibar stood before
Jubilee and Logan. The olive-skinned man bowed to him, and Logan had to
admit the peace on the man's face was a tremendous change from the usual
mixture of pain and hopelessness usually seen.
Chibar attempted to bow to Jubilee, only to be hugged fiercely. When she
stood back, he smiled fondly at her as he gave her a formal bow, then
reached towards the sheath at his side.
"Clan Mother you are not, Warleader, but very close. Close enough.
Midwife me, Jubilation Lee. Deliver me safely to the next world."
Wordlessly Jubilee took the wickedly curved blade from Chibar's hands and
bowed over it. He bowed again, then returned to his meditation mat. A
shallow bowl waited at the corner of the fabric, and he saluted the setting
sun with it before draining the contents. Settling back, he arranged his
robes and closed his eyes.
The group waited, watching, as the sun went down.
"It's s'posed to work by the time the sun's set all the way," Creed
"That muck he drank?" Logan hazarded. He still had a hard time interacting
with the man he'd spent so many years fighting tooth and nail. "Where'd he
"He brought it with him." Jubilee said flatly.
Logan watched the shadows lengthen and considered the fact that the man had
been planning on killing himself for some time. At last, twilight filled
the garden, and he cleared his throat. Creed glanced at him, and he knew
the big man's enhanced senses could hear the same thing he could – the much
slower, but still steady cadence in the older man's chest.
"His heart's still beating. If those weeds were old..."
"They wouldn't work as well. I know." It took everything Jubilee had not
to let her feet drag as she moved to the prone man's side. Sinking to her
knees, she pressed a kiss to his wrinkled forehead. "Goodbye, old friend."
Only at the last moment did Logan fully grasp what she intended, when the
blade Chibar had given into her keeping lined up with her fingertip over
his aged chest.
"Wait a minute," he interrupted, grabbing her wrist. Creed joined him, and
the two of them listened as the heartbeat faltered again. Struggling
gallantly, it fluttered, steadied, and then skipped again. Two of
Jubilee's fingers found a pulse point on the inside of the prone man's
wrist, and she, too, felt the uneven rhythm. She moved to Chibar's throat,
but could not find a pulse. Her blue eyes, huge and tortured, clung to
Logan's face as he listened to the last wavering contractions in the man's
chest. He exchanged a glance with Creed, and after a minute the hairy head
The others joined her as she tucked the knife reverently under the folded
hands. Together, they folded the meditation fabric over the still face of
their comrade and lifted and carried Chibar to the stone lined grave he'd
dug days ago. More stones lay nearby in a neat pyramid.
"You've done this before, haven't you?" Logan asked Jubilee. "Helped
Jubilee's shoulders hunched, and she nodded. "Never again," she vowed in a
vehement whisper. Logan remained at Jubilee's side as darkness stole
rapidly over the garden. The only sounds were the insects and the
occasional chunk of a stone as they placed a layer of rocks, then rich
loamy soil, over the body of their deceased companion.
When Bishop dropped the shovel and called her name, Jubilee wiped her eyes
on her sleeve and joined them around the slight earthen mound. Together,
they stood silently around the grave, until Jubilee spoke, repeating the
poem by Robert Louis Stevenson as she had over countless graves on Hearth.
"Under the wide and starry sky,
Dig the grave and let me lie.
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.
This be the verse you grave for me:
Here he lies where he longed to be:
Home is the sailor, home from the sea,
And the hunter home from the hill."
"Amen," intoned Bishop and Logan as Tweed, Dee, and Tommy each made a
gesture with their fingertips over their chest, then pressed the heel of
their hand against their forehead. Creed merely grunted and walked off
into the darkness. Jubilee stared at the grave for a long moment, then
made a parade ground about-face and headed for the house.
Logan watched her walk away, then realized Bishop was watching him just as
closely. The challenge in the taller man's eyes was older than recorded
history. 'If you don't I will,' it said, plainly, hotly. The inner beast
in Logan answered before he could think, growling with clear warning in the
soft night. Without conscious intent Logan followed Jubilee into the
house. Her scent paused briefly in front of the refrigerator before
heading straight up the stairs, went past the floor where the team's
bedrooms were, and up to the top story of the house.
Other architecture styles would have decreed a widow's walk on the roof,
but Xavier's mansion had only an access hatch and a flattened peak. Like a
narrow sidewalk it led to various nooks, great for people who wanted to be
alone as long as they had a head for heights.
Refusing to consider whether or not this was a good idea, Logan followed
Jubilee's scent. It led to a small space at the far end of the house which
overlooked the lake and the trees but not the narrow grave they'd just
left. Breakstone Lake was choppy in the light of the newly risen moon; the
nippy breeze from earlier in the day had turned bitter and gusty.
Dry-eyed, but looking easily twice her age, Jubilee glanced up as Logan
slid down the slope of the roof. "I wasn't expecting you," she said
quietly, then settled back down on her hip, her knees bent, one elbow
propping her up.
"Were you expecting Bishop?" The words were out of his mouth before Logan
could stop them.
"I wasn't expecting anyone," she replied. A bottle gurgled as she drank
deeply; Logan frowned as the scent of clear water reached him. She noticed
his expression and held the water bottle out to him.
"My version of comfort food. Weird, but if you've ever gone a couple of
weeks drinking out of a dirty river, you start fantasizing about fresh,
cold water." Jubilee tilted her head to one side, and the weight of her
depression and pain drew around her like a dark cloak. "'Course, you're a
beer an' whiskey man, so maybe that's what your comfort is."
Settling on the shingles beside her, Logan considered the question while he
watched her. "It all depends, darlin'."
"I wonder what Scott drinks," she mused. "Do you know what he drinks when
someone on the team dies?"
"Scotch, I think," he answered, after a moment's reflection.
"Well, maybe I should give it a try," Jubilee said. She popped the spout
down with a blunt blow of her palm and then tossed the bottle out into the
night. Pulling her knees up within the circle of her arms, she rested her
forehead against her wrists.
"I thought I was done with this," she said in a bleak voice. "I really
did. All those graves I left behind on Hearth, all those people who died
following me… I thought, Okay, I'll get back home, and this nightmare will
all be over. But this is just a different nightmare, isn't it?"
Logan slid closer to her and laid a light, tentative hand on the back of
"Ya can't blame yourself, Jube."
A dry, mirthless laugh greeted his words. "Blame? Ya gotta be kidding me,
Logan. We're way past little words like blame. If one person dies because
of something I did, that's when you'd say, well, this is to blame. A
serial rapist attacks a fifteen-year-old girl when you told her she'd be
safe, and that's your fault.
"I'm talking about over two thousand people, Logan," she continued, her
voice flat. "Five hundred rifle troops. Seven pulse cannons crews. Hell,
eight hundred troops with nothing but swords or longbows, and every single
one of them calling me Warleader, trusting me not to get them killed."
"That's all behind you now, Jube," he reminded her.
"Is it?" She turned her head enough to meet his eye. "What happens next
time, Logan? You've read the papers, you've seen the projections. If the
unthinkable happens, worse case scenario and we end up in a human-mutant
war, it's all going to happen again. And the really horrible thing is I
think I can win this time. I'm just not sure I can pay the price.
Her midnight black hair scrunched up in various directions as she scruffed
her fingers through it. "As much as I hate to say it, it was actually
easier when there were so many people dying. That part of you just gets
numb, ya know? It's not numb any more. It hurts. It hurts so much, and I
don't think I can do it, Logan. I just don't think I can do it."
Logan looked at the tense shoulders, the rigid back, and hated the hysteria
in her tone. He'd known Jubilee for more than ten years, and in all that
time, he'd never heard so much pain and despair in her voice. It made his
chest ache, and more than anything, it made him angry. So angry, in fact,
that the words flew out of his mouth before he could stop them.
"Jubilation Lee, you are so full of crap!"
Shocked, her head came up, blue eyes locked on his with disbelief.
"You've never backed away from a fight in your life, Jubilee. I've never
known you to back down from anything. Stop second-guessing yourself and go
with what you know."
Jubilee stared at him, appalled. And abruptly burst out laughing.
Biting on the heel of her hand couldn't stop the chuckles, mixed equally
with sobs, and her breath came in jerky heaves. Logan knelt beside her,
and her hands were suddenly clutched in his shirt as she buried tear-
streaked face in his chest.
Easing them both backwards, Logan leaned against the sloped roof and folded
Jubilee into his embrace. Silent sobs shook her, occasionally mixed with
damp snickers. Logan rubbed her back and held her, and when she shivered
and seemed to notice the cold at last, Logan tucked the loose end of his
flannel shirt around her and let her curl up in the shelter of his arm.
Eventually she stilled and lay with her head on his shoulder and looked up
at the stars with him. They never had found the system for Hearth's
primary star, but he knew she found the familiar patterns comforting. In
quiet voices they made small comments about inconsequential things until
Jubilee was ready to talk.
"I made a choice, Logan. I let all those people think I abandoned them,
and I did. And some of them most surely have died because I left them.
But if I had stayed on Hearth I would have been deliberately setting myself
and my people against the Shi'ar Empire, and there's no way I could have
won that fight."
Logan had to agree with her. "No darlin', I don't think you could've. You
weren't in the right place at the right time. But now, you are."
"Am I?" she asked in a small voice.
"Well, you seem to fit right here pretty good," he said, giving her a
squeeze, gratified when she snuggled in even closer. "Right place, right
time, Jube. Ain't that what you said 'bout Vic?"
"And here you are again. No way you're gonna walk away from it." She
heaved a deep sigh, and Logan knew she had accepted it, whatever the future
He pressed a kiss to the top of her head. "Ya know, that's one thing I
wanna learn from you. Takin' off has always been my way. Bar fights,
tanglin' with Creed, that's no big deal. If I die, then I die. But havin'
to live with something... That's always been hard for me."
"Ummm," she returned politely, tired, and he felt, finally, his own
acceptance of what he'd known for fact for far too long. He inhaled the
cool night air, and decided it was time to finally say it.
"Ya know, you were gone the last time springtime rolled around. I was
still worried 'bout ya, but I went up ta Canada to visit Silver Fox's grave
like I usually do. And then I hopped a flight to Japan an' said some
prayers for Mariko." He paused, and she 'umm'ed again to let him know she
was listening. "While I was waitin' to get on a flight home, I kept
looking at the flights to Australia. Next thing I know, I'm on a flight
Down Under. Took a week or so to walk out to our old digs in the Outback.
"And that's when I knew," he finished roughly.
"Knew what?" she asked quietly.
"Knew, that if you didn't come back, I was addin' another stop to my annual
trip. That's where we started - you and me. An' it killed me to think I'd
never see you again."
The body next to his went utterly still. Jubilee carefully raised herself
up on one elbow and looked at him. "What are you saying?"
He raised up on his elbow as well, only inches away from her. "I'm sayin'
I gotta face up to facts – that the only choice we've ever got is to go
forward. If you can do it, maybe I can, too." He reached out one
tentative hand and pushed back some of the wild black mop, noting again the
minute sprinkling of white, every one of them earned.
"I ain't walking away from it, Jube. You're my lifeline. I can't go on
without you. I don't know how exactly we're gonna do it, but maybe we can
work on it, you and me."
By hesitant increments, he drew closer to her. True to form she held her
ground, until the slightest tilt of her head brought her mouth to his.
Like most first kisses, it was short, slightly awkward. The second try was
better, and a faint smile flitted across her mouth. "That was nice."
"Yeah?" Logan could feel a grin trying to surface.
"Yeah. If you ever want to do it again, I won't say no."
"Really," he rumbled, deep in his chest, and leaned in to kiss her again.
This time it was longer, slower, and gradually deepened until Jubilee
pulled her mouth away from his suddenly.
"Poor Vic. He's going to be so disappointed."
"Huh?" Logan asked, confused.
"Never mind," she said, and kissed him again.