A/N: I have finally climbed out from under my rock. Here's the next installment after a very very very long time (as usual). Thanks to my recent reviewers, for you guys motivated me!
PART 16: Jubilation
Elizabeth excelled at most of her studies, except in her Self Defense class. Logan began to notice her reluctance to fight her fellow students in the class sparring sessions once a few more punches were introduced to the students. It was tickling something in the back of his brain, but he couldn't put a finger on it.
His eyes roamed over the rest of the class. Today, he had Kitty's group and his own. He had partnered them with people from the other team to get used to the variety that other fighters could display. Granted, they were all using the same methods – the ones he and Betsy had been teaching – but each person chose a different move under the same conditions. It was what made these sparring sessions worthwhile, in his estimation.
Kitty's students were mostly on the older side, two eighteen year olds, two nineteen year olds and one fifteen year old. His own students were slightly younger mostly, but the groups worked well together. So far, her team, Delta Squadron, worked the best with his own Omega Squadron during these sessions.
Cyclops had decided that the term 'squadron' more accurately reflected the groups of students, so it wasn't "Team" Omega anymore. Logan had almost rolled his eyes during that meeting – it had been such a pointless discussion over semantics. Only One-Eye could find something wrong with "team".
" Katrina, keep your left up. " Logan instructed in Russian. While the students could all speak English thanks to Jean, he found that the foreign students still liked to hear their native tongue spoken from time to time.
Much like Kitty, Katrina Bogdanov had a passive power, so it was important that she learn how to defend herself, more so than other students. Katrina could see heat signatures, which would be helpful in the field, Logan mused, but in order to be more helpful in the field these sessions were necessary.
" Yes, Mr. Logan. " Katrina quickly replied, lifting her arm.
Elizabeth was partnered with Katrina and flinched slightly as Katrina lifted her arm up to protect her own face better. It was a quick flinch and had Logan been looking elsewhere, he would have missed it completely.
It was something he would have to discuss with the other teachers, he decided. Usually that sort of flinching meant bad news. He had noticed how badly she reacted when he had to scold the team (or squadron, he mentally groaned). Maybe some therapy sessions were in order. Maybe.
He turned his attention to Galiana and Richard Harrison, whose power was the ability to generate rather loud concussive blasts and explosions. The power manifested itself when he hit both hands together generally, but some small level of force was generated whenever his hands hit a solid surface. Logan had paired them together since Galiana's super strength should give her some level of protection from his hits.
The two sparred well, although Richard had a clear advantage. His height and larger build made his reach much larger than Galiana's reach. Happy with their progress, Logan looked over to another pair.
Shawn and Casey were paired together, more so due to their age. Shawn was sixteen and Casey was only fifteen. Both were going to need a lot of practice before they could move on to older targets. Although, Logan thought, the same could be said for any of the students right now. Shawn was more reluctant to hit Casey, but the girl had no problem hitting him. That was something he would need to work on with the students, but not today. For now, he decided to let Casey feel she was doing well against Shawn because of her abilities, not because of his manners.
Justin was paired with Chris Sanford, an older boy (or young man, Logan corrected himself) who could generate plasma blasts from his solar plexus. It was a dangerous power, much like Justin's. As a compromise for their safety and the safety of their teammates, both students wore thin metal bracelets on their wrists. They were new power dampeners that Forge recently designed for the school. While their powers were dampened, they could still access their abilities and easily remove the bracelets should they need to. Logan had argued against the idea strongly, just as he had when the semester began, but even he had to agree it was for the best until they learned to control the lower level of their powers. The incidents of him being electrocuted had dropped dramatically, which was nice, he silently admitted.
Justin was able to duck under the older boy's reach and swept Chris to the floor.
"Good work, Justin." Logan complemented as he walked by.
"Thanks, Mr. Logan!" Justin happily replied, turning to face his teacher. Chris took the opportunity to tackle Justin to the floor. Logan chuckled and moved on.
Kyoko was paired with Kitty's final student, Kenneth Daniels. It was an unfair match, but unfortunately Kyoko exceeded all of the students in self defense. Kenneth was able to land one hit or sweep for every ten of hers. It was frustrating for Kenneth but he held his temper well.
"Break!" Logan barked after watching Kyoko pummel Kenneth for another five minutes. All of the pairs broke apart and bowed. Then the ten students turned to face Logan.
"Time for a short demonstration." Logan said, cracking his neck. "Kyoko, front and center."
"Hai, Sensei." She replied obediently. The small-framed young woman stood in front of her teacher, waiting for his instruction. He could hear her heart race increase slightly in excitement.
"Alright, I'm going to show you a few joint locking maneuvers used in Jujitsu." He explained. "This is a grappling technique, something you haven't seen before. Anyone know what grappling is?"
The lesson continued for another hour. All of the students had been subjected to at least one demonstration.
"All right, that's enough fer today." Logan announced, shocked to see the hour and forty-five minute session was almost done. "We'll continue with grappling next time. Class dismissed."
Jubilee sat alone in her room, mulling over thoughts that had been annoyingly persistent since her leg was broken. Whenever she got a moment alone, her mind instantly began to swirl about the events of that day. Usually she could let things lie, but not this time. It had been weird between her and Logan since she broke her leg. He didn't really talk to her much anymore, except in Self Defense class. And even then, it was usually an order and not a conversation. They had stopped their weekly katana lessons, too, and that had really annoyed her. Just because she had a cast didn't mean she couldn't at least listen and watch a lesson or two.
And the thing she kept returning to was the whole "dad" thing. It was the only thing that could have happened to make Logan uncomfortable, she realized. Jubilation certainly remembered talking to Logan and calling him dad, not once but twice. It had seemed perfectly normal and natural to her in that moment. However, the more she thought about it, the more it bothered her. Logan wasn't her father nor did she honestly see him as a father figure. Sighing, Jubilee couldn't place a title on him other than friend or partner. He was patient with her and treated her like the adult she was becoming. He didn't baby her and never doubted her abilities in the Danger Room or field. His strength and guidance were something Jubilee had come to expect over the years. Staring out of the window, she thought Weren't those the things that made men good fathers? Knowing when to offer guidance or a shoulder to cry on? Knowing when to praise and when to yell?
It also didn't help that Logan was her legal guardian. He had been proud to sign the papers once Charles passed on. It was a topic they never talked about, she mused, but Logan had told her he was happy to do it. Now, however, he was weirded out and it was all her fault.
Frustrated, Jubilee decided it was time to go talk to the man.
"Jeannie, I'm tellin' you, yer pushing Casey too hard." Logan said, his left hand propped on his hip while he was leaning up against the window pane with the other. He was talking to Jean over his shoulder, keeping his eyes on the students tackling each other below. It was the start of November and the students had been playing "no powers" football on the weekends.
"While I appreciate your concern, Logan, I know what I'm doing. While Casey may be in Kitty's group, Kitty has trusted me to train the girl in her telepathic abilities. You should be able to do the same." Jean said, for what felt like the thirtieth time. They stood in silence for a long pause before Jean spoke again. "Hank said she synched with the animal perfectly, which is an amazing breakthrough."
"Is that why her eyes changed?" He asked, glancing at her briefly.
"He believes so, yes."
"Well that's all fine and good that she was able to connect, but it left her exhausted."
"Which will lessen with time."
Logan sighed. They had been having the same argument since he carried the sleeping girl to the Medical Lab three days ago.
"Look, you and Kitty are askin' me t'help train this girl." Logan finally said. "I'll only push her as far as I think is safe. If you want her pushed harder, find someone else t'do it."
He pushed away from the window and walked towards the office door.
"Logan, that's not entirely fair." Jean said, her brow furrowed in annoyance.
"Since when I have been a fair guy?" He replied, closing the door behind him.
As Logan turned from the office, he saw Jubilee standing a few feet away with a determined look on her face.
"Jean's free." Logan jerked his thumb towards the office before striding by her.
"I wasn't looking for Jean." Jubilation replied, falling into step with him.
Logan looked at her with a raised eyebrow.
"Look, you've been pretty much ignoring me since I broke my leg." She began, keeping her voice somewhat low. "I know I said some weird shit, and I'm sorry if that freaked you out, but this is just getting ridiculous."
"Watch yer mouth." He automatically said.
Logan 'hmphed' in response but continued to walk up the stairs, Jubilee hot on his heels. Well, she followed him as quickly as should could. The cast had been removed yesterday and her leg was extremely weak.
"Will you please wait up?" She finally growled at him.
"I'm late fer a lesson." He replied over his shoulder. "Whatever this is, it can wait until later."
"No, it can't!" Jubilee said angrily. "And you don't have a lesson right now! As if I don't know your flamin' schedule by now! Honestly, it's a Saturday and you've already finished with your Danger Room session. I saw your group outside, walking back to their dorms!"
Logan's step faltered then, knowing he had no response.
"Jesus, Logan, just what the hell did I do?" Jubilee asked once she finally stood in front of him. He almost cringed at her use of his real name. It always meant she was steamed about something and it was usually something he did. "It's been six weeks and I've barely got a 'Hey, kid, how's it goin' from you!"
Holding back a deep sigh, Logan knew it was time they had a serious conversation.
"So that's that." Logan finally said, flipping a stone across the top of the pond. Jubilee sat by his side on the dock, staring at the fish below her feet.
Jubilation leaned forward and held her hands apart slightly. A few blue and yellow swirls of plasma danced between her fingers as she let Logan's words roll around in her mind. Ororo couldn't have children, not without inhibiting her powers for the full gestation period. That simply wasn't practical with the way they lived their lives.
"Well, what about me?" Jubilee finally asked, still watching her fireworks as they played through her fingers.
"What about you, kid?" Logan asked.
"Don't play stupid." She said in annoyance. "I'll be your surrogate."
"I'm not askin' ya to."
"I know." Jubilee said, finally looking at Logan as her fireworks popped. "That's why I'm telling you I'll do it. It isn't an offer, it just is."
Logan looked at Jubilee and saw the glint of stubbornness he knew all too well. Her mind was made up and nothing he could say would change that.
"Guess this means I'll tell Ororo tonight."
Jubilee's face almost split in two with her smile and she lunged herself at Logan, laughing. He caught her easily and his laugh came from deep within his chest.
"I totally thought you would fight me!" She admitted as she leaned back from him with a ridiculous grin lighting up her face.
"I know that look." He said easily. "It's the same look you gave me when you wanted t'learn how t'ride my bike, among other things."
Jubilation slid back and her hand fell to her abdomen.
"A baby, huh?" She finally said, smirking. "Guess this means I'll be off active duty for a while."
Logan chuckled. "Guess so."
He shook his head in amusement, but didn't remind her that she would still be going to classes, which he (and everyone else) knew she hated.
"Screw tonight. Let's go tell Ororo now!" Jubilation said as she jumped up and pulled on his hand. Logan couldn't help but be reminded of Jubilee's thirteen-year old self as she pulled him towards the house.
A/N: R&R please! I'm working on the next chapter and I have a few more ideas, so my muse has definitely come back to me!