Disclaimer: I don't own the X-Men. Mary Chapin Carpenter sings "Jubilee."
Summary: An unexpected addition tests the limits of the family Jubilee and Logan are trying to form… (Part twelve in a series)
Author's Note: Like with parts one through eleven, if you have serious issues with W/J romantic pairings, DO NOT read this! You have been warned. Constructive criticism welcomed. Flames deleted right after I tell you off for being a rude little moron. And people who flame without giving an email address are wussies.
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Back Where the Sun Can Find You XII:
By: Addie Logan
I can tell by the way you're walking
That you don't want company
I'll let you alone and I'll let you walk on
And in your own good time you'll be
Back where the sun can find you
Under the wise wishing tree
And with all of them made we'll lie under the shade
And call it a jubilee
And I can tell by the way you're talking
That the past isn't letting you go
But there's only so long you can take it all on
And then the wrong's gotta be on its own
And when you're ready to leave it behind you
You'll look back, and all that you'll see
Is the wreckage and rust that you left in the dust
On your way to the jubilee
And I can tell by the way you're listening
That you're still expecting to hear
Your name being called like a summons to all
Who have failed to account for their doubts and their fears
They can't add up to much without you
And so if it were just up to me
I'd take hold of your hand, saying come hear the band
Play your song at the jubilee
And I can tell by the way you're searching
For something you can't even name
That you haven't been able to come to the table
Simply glad that you came
And when you feel like this try to imagine
That we're all like frail boats on the sea
Just scanning the night for that great guiding light
Announcing the jubilee
And I can tell by the way you're standing
With your eyes filling with tears
That it's habit alone keeps you turning for home
Even though your home is right here
Where the people who love you are gathered
Under the wise wishing tree
May we all be considered then straight on delivered
Down to the jubilee
'Cause the people who love you are waiting
And they'll wait just as long as need be
When we look back and say those were halcyon days
We're talking 'bout jubilee
*** *** ***
Wolverine could tell all wasn't right between his wife and foster daughter. They spoke to him only when they had to and didn't as much as look at each other.
The only time Logan saw Jubilee smile was when she was with Akira. He was surprised at how easily she took to motherhood. He watched her as she put a puzzle together with Akira. Logan smiled. The child seemed to be as fond of Jubilee as she was of him. He seemed almost desperate for her attention at times, and Logan wondered if Viper said as much as two words to the child a day.
Logan got up to join his wife and the child he was quickly beginning to consider his own. "Need any help?" he asked.
Akira looked up at Logan. "Mommy says I have to make the edges first. Help me find them."
Jubilee looked up at Logan and smiled at him. He smiled back. He was happier when the tension between the two of them wasn't so thick. "Where's Amiko?" Jubilee asked as Logan started helping with the puzzle.
"She said she was goin' outside fer a bit," Logan replied.
"You think she'll be all right?" Jubilee asked. "She does have crazed members of the Japanese mafia hunting her down, after all."
Logan shot her a look. "Behave."
"Her story just doesn't add up for me," Jubilee said softly. " She's been here for a week, and she certainly hasn't been acting like a girl who's fearing for her life."
"I know," Logan replied with a frown. "But she's my daughter. I have to give her the benefit of the doubt. She's had a rough life, and a lot of that is my fault. I wasn't there fer her when I shoulda been."
"All the more reason for her 'visit' to be guided by less than noble intentions. She let you think she was dead for years—why the sudden desire to rebuild a relationship? Her reason doesn't seem to hold up completely to me. It's like there's something missing."
"Mommy, is this an edge?"
Jubilee kissed the top of Akira's head. "Yes, sweetie." She turned back to Wolverine. "Look, it's nothing personal against Amiko, and it's not any sort of jealousy. I'd love for you to rebuild your relationship with her. I just don't think her desire to have one with you is genuine. I just…I don't trust her, Logan."
Wolverine knew he didn't fully trust Amiko himself, but he didn't want to admit that. She was his daughter—someone he'd considered his own since she was a baby—and he didn't like the idea of her being a threat to him or his new family. "Jubilation, she's my daughter, plain and simple. If she tells me she's here because her life's in danger, then that's why she's here."
"I can't believe you of all people would be so trusting in a situation like this! That woman is hiding something."
"Since when were you a telepath?" Logan snapped.
"Since when were you a gullible idiot?"
Akira looked up, his eyes darting between Wolverine and Jubilee. "Are you fighting?" he asked. "Mo—my old mommy—she always fights with people."
Jubilee smiled as best she could at Akira. "We're not fighting, sweetheart. We're just…having a discussion."
"Is that a bad thing?" Akira asked.
"No," Logan replied. "We're fine, kiddo." He ruffled Akira's hair before standing up. "I'll talk to you later, Jubilation."
Jubilee winced at his use of her full name. "Fine, Logan. Later."
Wolverine went outside to smoke a cigar.
*** *** ***
Amiko sat alone on a tree stump not far from Logan's cabin. She'd been there for a week already, and she knew she should have been long gone by then. Wolverine had caused her more pain in her life that anyone she'd ever known, but she couldn't bring herself to complete her objective if it meant betraying him. Her life hung in the balance, and she was worried about hurting the Wolverine. She had to laugh a little at that. Whether or not Logan was hurting should've meant nothing to her.
"I thought you would've been back in Madripoor days ago."
Amiko stood up quickly, trying not to tremble. "Princess…I didn't…I'm biding my time," she said, "Waiting for the right moment."
Viper grasped Amiko's chin, pulling her face up so she could meet her eyes. "I want my son. You promised me you'd bring him to me, and you haven't. Do you want your little problem taken care of or not?"
"Princess, please, I'm trying! Jubilee doesn't let the boy out of her sight!"
Viper scoffed at that. "You mean to tell me that you can't handle that little girl? You're a trained ninja for God's sake!"
Viper dropped her hand, and Amiko looked away. "I'm trying."
"No, you're not," Viper said, grabbing Amiko's hand this time. "I've had enough of you, child. I've come to collect you and bring you to your ex-boyfriend personally."
Amiko fought to pull herself free. "No, please, don't! Don't bring me to him. Please, Princess!"
"Then will you fetch my son now?"
Amiko thought about it. She feared her former lover more than anything, but she couldn't bring herself to turn Akira over to a mother who would only neglect him—especially if his father was Keniuchio Harada. She held her head a little higher. "No."
"No? Do you wish to die?"
"Better me than a child," Amiko spat. "He's with people who love him. I won't be party to putting him under your control again."
"Then you've chosen your own death," Viper said with a grin. "I guess it's an attempt for you to finally go noble, albeit a pitiful once, seeing as I'll get my son back whether you die or not." She raised her voice. "Guards!"
A group of men dressed in green stepped out from the trees. Amiko took a deep breath, wondering if this was really how it was all going to end. She decided she wouldn't let them take her alive. She'd rather die there than suffer unspeakable tortures at the hands of a member of the Yakuza.
Before Amiko's life could flash before her eyes, a terrible roar sounded from behind her. Amiko ducked as the guards began to fire at the wild animal attacking them. Viper barked an order for the guards to stop, but they were reacting in fear to whatever was coming at them and refused to let up.
Amiko suddenly realized what it was—Wolverine! Her heart leapt for a second when she thought he was rescuing her, but she soon realized he was most likely protecting Jubilee and Akira. Amiko's mouth set in a grim line of determination. She'd do what she should've done from the beginning—help Logan and his family.
Amiko stayed down, keeping out of the way of the gunfire and the berserker Wolverine. She walked into the house, only to find Viper already there, attempting to pull a screaming Akira away from Jubilee. Amiko moved silently into the room, grabbing a poker from beside the fireplace, and hitting Viper on the back of the head. Viper collapsed, and Jubilee jumped back with a scream.
"It's just me," Amiko said, dropping the poker. "Logan's out back, fighting Viper's guards. We need to get Akira out of here. I know a place where Viper won't think to look."
"Where?" Jubilee asked, holding Akira possessively.
Jubilee gave Amiko a disbelieving look. "You honestly think Akira will be safe from Viper on the island she's declared herself princess of?"
"I have a friend there who can help us. He's the nicest guy in the world—wouldn't double-cross anyone for anything."
"Who is this guy?" Jubilee asked.
Amiko shrugged. "An assassin I know."
"You think we'll be safe with a Lowtown assassin? Did you hit yourself on the head with that thing before you came after Viper?"
"Just trust me," Amiko said, holding out her hand. "I don't want to cause anymore problems."
"You did this, didn't you?" Jubilee asked, gesturing to the unconscious Viper.
"Yes." Amiko looked down. "I made a mistake. I don't want to hurt you—I only want to help. Just come with me. You can trust me."
Jubilee decided that although it was against her better judgment, she'd go. It wasn't like they had any other options at the moment anyway. "We need to get Logan."
"I know. Is there a gun around here?"
"Left kitchen cabinet, top shelf," Jubilee replied.
Amiko nodded. "Get the boy in the car. I'll go for Logan."
Jubilee ran from the cabin, grabbing a coat for Akira on her way out. Amiko got the gun from the cabinet then started towards where she'd last seen Wolverine. She stopped when she got to Viper and noticed the green-haired woman was still breathing. She leveled the gun, cocking it to shoot. After a brief moment, she lowered it again, her hands trembling. She couldn't bring herself to kill someone in cold blood—not even someone as heartless as Viper. She went out to Wolverine, who was surrounded by felled guards. She'd thought she might have to take some out herself, but apparently Wolverine hadn't needed help. "Logan!" she called. "We're getting out of here! Viper's down!"
Wolverine turned, his nostrils flaring. He met Amiko's eyes before collapsing to the ground.
"Well, shit," Amiko muttered, sticking the gun in the waistband of her jeans then running to Logan. "C'mon, Wolverine," she said, kneeling beside him. "Ya gotta get up. Jubilee and Akira need you."
Logan fought to stand again. "I…I couldn't let them hurt ya, pun'kin," he said.
Amiko's heart constricted. He had been trying to protect her! "We need to get out of here, Dad," she said softly.
Logan smiled then pushed himself to his feel. He could ignore the pain—he'd heal soon enough anyway.
Amiko helped Logan to his Jeep, where Akira and Jubilee were waiting, before getting into the driver's side. "Where's the nearest airport that can get us to Madripoor?" she asked.
"Edmonton," Logan said with a labored breath. "Can you get there?"
"Yeah," Amiko replied. "It's where I flew in. Just didn't know if there was anything closer. Hold on." Amiko hit the gas and pulled out of there as quickly as possible. It was time for her to right some of the wrongs she had caused.
*** *** ***
For once, Amiko was actually happy to be back in Lowtown. Anywhere else, a man in torn clothes full of bullet holes followed by a haggard-looking woman carrying a mess of a child might cause a stir. As it was, no one noticed.
Amiko thanked her lucky stars that she'd been able to hide her association with David O'Connell from Viper and her ex alike. She stood at his door with Wolverine, Jubilee, and Akira, straightening her clothes and wiping off her runny eye make-up before knocking.
As soon as the man opened the door, Jubilee understood Amiko's last minute primping. He was tall, with sandy blonde hair, blue eyes, and a remarkably good tan for the dark conditions of Lowtown, Madripoor.
Amiko smiled as best she could. "Hi, Dave."
Dave frowned. "'Miko! Where the hell are you doin' here?" he asked in a Southern accent that Jubilee thought was heavy enough to put even Rogue to shame.
"I know you don't want to see me, but I really need your help," Amiko said. "Viper wants to kill me—and them." Amiko gestured to the three people standing behind her.
"Who are they?" Dave asked.
"My father, his wife, and their son—sort of."
Dave sighed, running his fingers through his hair. "Fine, ya can hide here. But don't try anything with me, 'Miko. I ain't in the mood fer that."
Amiko nodded. "Thank you, Dave. I owe you for this one."
Dave just stepped away from the doorway to let them in. "There's a futon in the bedroom closet. I'll get it. It looks like y'all could use some rest. 'Miko, could ya help me?" Amiko nodded, following Dave into the other room.
Jubilee looked over at Wolverine. "What have we gotten ourselves into?" she asked. "Amiko's obviously just about the last person Dave wants here. What if he hands us over to Viper?"
Wolverine shook his head. "No. There's probably some bad blood there, but I could smell the attraction—and somethin' stronger, too. They want each other somethin' bad, darlin'."
Jubilee held the sleeping Akira tighter in her arms. "Well, I hope that works in our favor and not against us," she said.
Amiko and Dave came in then, dragging the futon, complete with pillows and blankets. "Here ya go," Dave said, arranging it on the floor. "Hope it's comfortable. There's a chair over there, 'Miko, if yer stayin', too. If that's not good enough, I'm sure I could dig up a rock, or spikes, or somethin'."
Wolverine was surprised to note that Amiko's lip trembled a little at that. "The chair will be fine," she said.
"Let me know if you need anything," Dave said, very obviously directing his words to Wolverine and Jubilee only. "I'm goin' to bed myself. Night." He gave a nod before going into his bedroom and shutting the door.
Amiko curled up in the chair and didn't say another word.
*** *** ***
Jubilee could tell Logan was asleep from the heavy snoring. She figured that was good, since sleep was the fastest way for him to heal.
Amiko, on the other hand, was not asleep. Jubilee could tell that from the soft crying. She got up and went over to her. "Are you all right?" she asked.
Amiko wiped her face roughly. "Why should you care?" she asked. "I showed up and brought all this down on your family."
Jubilee frowned. "Look Amiko, I don't know what you did exactly, but I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt. I can tell you had to swallow a lot of pride to come here, and you genuinely seem to want to help us."
"I don't want that child hurt. Or Logan…"
"Everything will be fine," Jubilee said, wanting to say something to comfort Amiko, although she didn't feel so optimistic herself.
"Dave hates me, y'know," Amiko sniffled.
Jubilee realized the root of Amiko's tears—she was in love with Dave, but had done something to drive him away. "I'm sure he doesn't hate you," Jubilee said. "Why don't you just go talk to him?'
Amiko shook her head. "I couldn't. Dave's such a sweet guy, and I'm well, no good whatsoever. And I was so mean to him."
"Didn't you say he's an assassin?" Jubilee asked.
"Then how sweet can he really be?"
Amiko wiped at her eyes again. "He's really just a simple guy from Georgia. Loves his mother. He's picky about who he kills, and he always apologizes first."
Jubilee raised an eyebrow at how normal that seemed to Amiko, but she figured when your parental figures where Wolverine and Yukio… "Well, if he is such a nice guy, maybe he'll forgive you for whatever it was you did."
"Do you really think I should talk to him?'
"Do you…do you really love my father?"
"With all my heart."
Amiko stood up, a small smile on her face. "I'll go talk to Dave." She ran off, and Jubilee got back on the futon with Logan and Akira. She watched them sleep, vowing to protect her family with everything she had.
*** *** ***
"Dave, are you awake?" Amiko asked as she quietly walked into his room.
Dave sighed heavily. "What are you doing in here?" he asked. "You're not going to make an attempt to seduce me, are you?"
Amiko couldn't help but smile a little at that. "No, Dave. I'll…respect your wishes. I just wanted to apologize."
"For what?" Dave asked, sitting up in bed and crossing his arms over his chest.
Amiko should've known he wouldn't make it easy for her. "For running off when I said I loved you. For being such a raging bitch. If it makes you feel any better, I got myself in all sorts of trouble after I left you."
Dave looked down. "That doesn't make me feel better. I don't like to see ya in trouble, 'Miko." He took a deep breath. "Did ya mean it?"
"Did I mean what?"
"When ya said ya loved me."
Dave held out his arms, and Amiko moved into them, kissing him. After a moment, Dave pulled away. "Still living like a monk?" Amiko asked.
Dave grinned at her. "Until I'm married. It's one of the few things Mama ever asked of me."
Amiko rubbed herself against him. "But doesn't that make things…hard for you?"
Dave moved her off his lap and gave her a stern look. "Behave yourself, Amiko."
Amiko pouted. "Must I?"
"Yes," Dave replied. "And tell me what's goin' on."
"'Miko, ya know me. I ain't gonna rat ya out, and I ain't gonna kick ya out either. I just need t'know if I'm riskin' my life, and if I am, why."
Amiko sighed. "I guess I do owe you that much. That child we came in with, well, that's Viper's son—Prince Akira. After some trouble I got in, Viper told me she'd help me out of it if I got her son away from Wolverine. The problem was to do that I'd have to betray my father. I thought I could. Dave, he's hurt me so much, and I thought hurting him back would be easy. But I couldn't. Viper came after me, and I ran. I didn't know where I could go where we'd be safe, and I thought you'd help me—if you didn't hate me too much."
Dave pulled her against his chest and kissed the top of her head. "I could never hate you, 'Miko, no matter what you did. And I'll always help you."
Amiko felt tears forming up in her eyes again and tried to hold them back, figuring she probably already looked enough like a raccoon. "You shouldn't love me, Dave. I'm the kind of girl your mother warned you about."
"I don't think so. I think Mama would love you. I still want to take you to meet her."
"I might take you up on that," Amiko replied. "If I live through this, that is."
"You'll live," Dave said. "I'd give up my own life before I'd let you lose yours." He kissed her cheek. "One question, though. What sort of trouble did you get yourself in to exactly?"
Amiko looked down. "I tried to get back to you."
"Yeah. I told Sanoske it was over. Didn't tell him why, just said I wanted to end it. He said no woman could leave him, and tried to have me killed. Viper said she'd erase the hit if I'd just do this one thing for her. I didn't want to, but I had to get away from Sanoske. Now I've ruined everything."
"You haven't ruined a damn thing," Dave said. Amiko found his words surprisingly comforting. "I'll help ya with yer dad and his family, and then we'll work out everything else. I promise. I'll never let Viper hurt ya."
"We need to get them someplace safe," Amiko said. "Viper knows where they live."
"Have they thought about givin' up the kid?" Dave asked.
"They can't give that little boy to Viper!" Amiko exclaimed. "She's got to be a terrible mother. I certainly couldn't bring myself to do such a thing. Besides, my father and Viper…well, they have a history. That won't stop her from wanting him dead."
"What about the boy's father?"
Amiko sighed. "I know him…from a long time ago. He helped support me as a child. I have a lot of respect for him, but in all honesty, I think he's less than stable."
"So we're pretty much screwed then?" Dave asked with a sigh.
"That's the gist of it."
Dave lay down again, holding Amiko chastely against him. "Maybe things'll look better in the mornin'."
"Always the optimist," Amiko joked, although her tone betrayed her grim outlook. She kissed him lightly. "I love you, David. No matter what, I want you to know that."
"I love you, too," Dave replied, holding her close and deciding that some promises sure were difficult to keep—even to your own mother.
*** *** ***
Dave watched Logan nervously. Like most of the denizens of Lowtown, he'd heard of "Patch," and the reality of coming face to face with him when he was in love with Patch's daughter was a little unnerving.
Logan looked up at Dave. "You have somethin' t'say to me, kid, or do ya just have a habit of starin'?"
Dave turned a little red. "Well, it's just, um, you're sorta a legend around here, sir, and well, Amiko and I, we're um, well…"
"You want to know if I'm gonna kill ya fer bangin' my daughter?"
Dave's face grew redder, and his eyes got wide. "I'm not doin' that, sir. Wouldn't do that unless she was my wife."
Logan raised an eyebrow. "Exactly how gullible do you think I am?"
"It's the honest-to-God truth, sir," Dave said. "I've never done that with any woman. I made a promise to Mama."
Logan could smell Dave wasn't lying, although for once he wasn't sure if he could believe what his senses were telling him. "Wow. I guess Amiko wasn't kiddin' when she said you were the world's nicest assassin."
Dave somehow managed to blush more. "Bein' an assassin doesn't mean ya can't love yer mama."
"No, I guess it doesn't," Logan said, his expression almost a frown. "So do you have any plans fer marryin' Amiko?"
"I'd like to," Dave replied. "When she's ready, that is. Don't wanna rush her."
"Well, I think you'd make one hell of a son-in-law."
"Does that mean ya ain't gonna kill me?"
"Course not. Yer hidin' me, my wife, and my kids at yer own expense," Logan said. "That means more t'me than I could ever tell ya."
"I don't like to see innocent people hurt," Dave said, "And that boy's as innocent as they come."
Logan nodded. "Yer a good man, Dave."
"Well, I try."
Logan clasped his shoulder. He knew that even if he didn't survive this one, it wouldn't be because he'd been betrayed by Dave O'Connell.
*** *** ***
Jubilee found being cooped up in a tiny Lowtown apartment rather nerve-wracking. She felt as if she was just sitting there, waiting for Viper to come and take Akira from her. She wondered if it was even worth it. Why were they risking so much to keep this child from his mother?
Jubilee watched Akira as he took a nap on Dave's futon and knew exactly why she was keeping the boy from Viper—that woman would never be able to offer him the kind of life a child needed. But what kind of life could Jubilee offer? Viper obviously wasn't going to let him go without a fight. If Jubilee tried to hold on to Akira, they'd be forever living on the run.
Jubilee realized she had some important things to consider, and in the end, she may have to consider giving up the boy that called her mommy.
*** *** ***
Will Akira go back to Viper, stay with Jubilee, or start a new life entirely? Find out in part XIII of Back Where the Sun Can Find You…