Title: "Can Long Distance-Love Survive?"
Author: Pirate Turner
Rating: G
Spoilers: Cannonball's time with the X-Men
Summary: Can Cannonball and Boomer's relationship survive his promotion to the X-Men?
Disclaimer: Samuel "Sam" "Cannonball" Guthrie; Tabitha "Tabby" "Boomer" Smith; Domino; Teresa "Siryn" Cassidy; Cable; Professor Charles "Professor X" Xavier; the X-Men; and X-Force are © & TM Marvel comics and are used without permission. Everything else is © & TM Pirate Turner. The author makes absolutely no profit from this story.

It was a cool Fall morning. X-Force was visiting the X-Men at Xavier's Institute For Higher Learning. Tabitha Smith had just located Samuel Guthrie.

Tabitha caught Sam's attention by saying, "Hey, Sam. We need to talk."

"What's up, Tabby?" Sam replied with a boyish grin.

"WHAT'S UP? IT'S MORE LIKE WHAT'S DOWN!" Tabitha hotly exclaimed with her hands on her hips.

Sam laid his hand gently on his girlfriend's shoulder. "What's wrong, Tabby?" he asked gently.

"DON'T TOUCH ME!" Tabitha snatched Sam's hand and threw it off her shoulder.

"But, Tabby . . . " Sam began, but Tabitha broke him off in mid-sentence.

"DON'T YOU 'BUT TABBY' ME, SAMUEL GUTHRIE! I'LL TELL YOU WHAT'S WRONG! WHAT'S WRONG IS YOUR 'GRADUATING' TO THE X-MEN IN ORDER TO LOSE ME AND FREE YOURSELF OF OUR RELATIONSHIP! THAT'S WHAT'S WRONG, GUTHRIE!" Tabitha snapped her fingers in the air. Her face was pure red from anger.

"B-b-b-but Ah-ah-ah-ah! d-d-d-didn't!" Cannonball protested.

"You can tell your little lies all you want, Guthrie, but you'll have to tell them to the hand, 'cause the face sure ain't listening to them!" Meltdown waved her hand in Cannonball's face before marching off indignantly. Before she turned the corner, she shouted over her shoulder to Cannonball, "AND WE'RE THROUGH, SCUM!" With those words, she turned the corner and ran to the guest room she was sharing with Domino and Syrin. She slammed the door behind her, locked it, flopped down on her bed, and buried her face into her soft pillow, crying. It had taken all her mental strength to tell Sam off like she had, and now her heart was aching because it was breaking. She heard someone leave her bed, walk over to her, and kneel down beside her. "Go away," she said between sobs.

"We're not going to leave until we cheer you up," replied a voice that Meltdown recognized as that of Domino's. Someone laid a comforting hand on her back. "What's wrong? Why are you crying?"

Meltdown made herself stop crying, jerk out from under the hand, and sit up. "There ain't nutin wrong and I wasn't crying," she lied.

"Nae now, but ye were," Syrin softly disagreed. "It's okay, Tabby, ye can tell us. We're your friends, and we will nae tell anybody. Right, Dom?"

Domino nodded. "Right. You can trust us, Tabitha."

Meltdown looked at her fellow female teammates warily. "Promise?"

"Aye," Syrin nodded.

"You have my word," replied Domino.

Meltdown sighed as she hit her pillow angrily, "I just broke up with Sam."

"Why?" Syrin asked.

Knowing that Meltdown would only tell them when she was ready to, Domino remained silent and waited patiently for her sad teammate's response.

Meltdown sighed. She opened her mouth to tell her friends what they wanted to know, but was interrupted by a knock at the door. "I'm not here," she whispered. "If it's Sam, don't let him in. If you won't make up a lie for me, at least say you don't know where I'm at." She leaned against her bedboard, her arms folded across her chest.

"Who is it?" Syrin asked in a melodic voice.

"It's me," replied Cannonball from the other side of the door. "Tabby?"

When he got no response, Sam said, "Ah know ya're in there, Tabitha. Ah just came to tell ya that Ah really did graduate. Ah didn't just get mahself kicked up. Ya've known me long enough to know Ah wouldn't ever do something like that. Besides, ya know Cable and the Professor would never let me get away with that! Who told ya that anyway?"

As Samuel spoke, Tabitha couldn't help but to remember all the good times they'd shared as well as the bad times that their love for each other had gotten them through.

Minutes ticked by. When Tabitha didn't answer or move towards the door, Domino decided to take matters into her own two hands. She picked Meltdown up, carried her outside the room, put her down in front of Cannonball, went back in, and locked the door behind her.

Meltdown pounded on the door, "LET ME IN THIS INSTANT!" Finally realizing that Domino was not going to let her back in until she and Sam handled their problem, she turned to Cannonball and looked at him shamefully. "Hi, Sam," she greeted him meekly.

Samuel Guthrie took Tabitha Smith's hand in his. "Tabby, Ah want to keep you. And Ah want ya to be happy." He took a deep breath. "And if it takes quitting the X-Men and returning to X-Force . . . well, let's just say we'd be on the same team again."

Tabitha knew that being an X-Man had always been Samuel's dream. She threw her arms around him and hugged him tightly.

"Ya forgive me?" Samuel asked hopefully.

"What do ya think?" Tabitha kissed Samuel. "Of course, I forgive you!"

"About time, you two," a voice declared from the women's room.

Tabitha and Samuel turned to see Domino standing at the doorway, leaning against the wall with her arms crossed and Syrin leaning against a nearby wall.

"Thanks, Dom!" exclaimed Tabitha with a goofy grin.

"Yeah, thanks, Domino," echoed Samuel.

"No problem. Any time," smiled Domino.

The End