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Chapter 2

I was keeping a mental count of the number of streetlights the car passed by on the way back to the mansion. If you really pay attention you'll notice that there is way more light on the road than is actually necessary to keep the streets illuminated.

Way to conserve energy there Public Works Department.

Remy had been unusually silent on the ride back, but thankfully it wasn't an awkward silence, more like a contemplative silence. I think he was trying to come up with the best way of approaching breakfast in the morning. I didn't want him to feel obligated to protect me from the coming storm. I already had a plan to deal with the morning assault. It consisted of walking into breakfast in a bikini top and a pair of sweat pants and than while everyone was staring in stunned silence eating one piece of everything in sight. Of course I was also really hungry so there was a tiny possibility that my logic was flawed.

A small picture in a frame hung from the rearview mirror of the car. I was willing to bet that it was taken sometime recently at Mardi Gras. In it Remy was smiling mischievously next to a young African American woman who was extremely beautiful in an exotic sort of way. I recognized the woman at once; Ororo had cut her white hair into short style a la Halle Berry her bright blue eyes were several shades lighter than mine. She had a gigantic smile on her face, and an impressive number of beads around her neck; one of her arms was around Remy's shoulders the other clutching a bottle of beer. Storm was usually more reserved than that… well most of the time, short stint with her Mohawk excluded, so I was surprised at the beer but even more curious about the beads. Last time I had heard anything she was still in Africa and married to that Black Panther guy. Curiosity not only killed the cat but it was a hell of an icebreaker too.

"Is 'Ro back in the United States? I mean correct me if I'm wrong and all but that picture there looks pretty recent," I pointed quickly to the photo, my voice was a little too loud after such a long stretch of silence.

He spared a quick glance my way and than a short one at the picture in question before eventually returning his gaze to the road.

"Stormy be back in the states again her and the Black Panther," I could see him struggle for the right phrasing, "dey didn't work out like she planned."

I couldn't be positive but I was pretty sure that there was a note of happiness in his voice about that fact. Remy had been less than thrilled when he'd heard that Storm was getting married to the Black Panther. In fact there had been a rumor spread that he had tried to talk her out of it.

I have never seen two people more clueless about how much they wanted each other in my life. Granted I haven't exactly lived a long life and all but as it is, I think it's still a relevant statement.

"So…" I couldn't help but push the conversation a little further. We were pulling up the driveway to Xavier's at an alarming rate the clock read close to 3 a.m. I was more than willing to hold off the inevitable a little longer with gossip. I mean hey, I could think of worse ways to stall the time, "those are an awfully large amount of beads she seems to be wearing around her neck there. I never pictured 'Ro as being an avid flasher and all."

He laughed loudly in response to my question. The car was already parked so he could afford to turn his body to face me completely.

"Stormy there she be a constant surprise. Now Cherie that all you be getting out of me on the subject Remy knows when someone is stalling," he flashed a devilish grin at my poor attempt at distracting him.

"Can't blame me for trying," I laughed and he laughed with me. The parking garage was filled with all types of cars from varying members of the staff and I could only assume students. Some vehicles I recognized and some I didn't. I knew enough to see that Logan was somewhere inside, that Kurt was either visiting or living here now. Enough to know that Rogue was out and that Pryde would be lurking about somewhere. All these little familiarities coming at me all at once was overwhelming.

I didn't belong here anymore. Just being in the garage made my heart hurt I couldn't even imagine what it would be like surrounded by memories everywhere I turned. If I didn't need to be here so much I would have never come back. Vanishing away like I did had put a band-aid on all these old wounds and I was beginning to feel the first tug at the corners of the adhesive.

No one likes exposing them self and now I had more than just me to think about. I had to think about the best interests of the little sea-monkey swimming around in my stomach. Not for the first time did I concede to myself that all of this was totally wrong.

Something on my face must have shown my discomfort because Remy reached out to grasp my hands in his own. He silently traced the identical scars on both of my wrists. All those depictions or Jesus being crucified are wrong, when it really happens they nail you through the wrist and not the palms. I should know I experienced that bit of history up close. He wasn't there for that though; he wasn't around to see me strung up on the front lawn like some twisted statue. I died that day. Peaceful and serene, dying was one of the easiest things I've ever done. Waking up after that, being revived, it was a mixed blessing. Standing over Angelo's body that day with Paige and Jono I cried because we'd lost him and I cried because I was jealous. He was at peace finally and me… I got to pick up the pieces.

"Jubilee," Remy's voice interrupted my solemn thoughts, "I ain't gonna ask you what happened right now. I want to be able to plead ignorance when the shit hits the fan. That doesn't mean your alone Cherie; I promise you that you're not alone. Remy, he knows that sometimes in life we make mistakes and the consequences they last a lifetime. You got a lifetime of atonement for one bad decision ahead of you but that doesn't mean that it's gonna be a bad outcome. I know it's hard coming back to a place that cut your heart out. Remy been there but he can promise you that it does get better. Everyday you find things ain't as bad as you thought, you pick your head up and keep walking. Girl, those people who should really matter to you their going to shine through in the end you'll see." He kissed the scars on my wrists and smiled.

I was lucky to have him in my life.

Walking down the hallway to my new room was surreal. As I passed by door after door nothing seemed right. Empty rooms were now filled with teenagers and kids sound asleep all of which were probably silently thanking the heavens that tomorrow was Sunday. Each door gave a glimpse of the people who resided inside, posters, stickers, and dry erase boards filled my vision. Apparently my old room belonged to two boys name Aaron and Oliver both of whom were very much in love with Megan Fox. It was just as well that they have the room; honestly, I wouldn't really want to live in it now anyway.

Remy had insisted carrying my duffle bag as he walked me to where I would be sleeping from now on. The bag wasn't heavy at all I really only had about enough clothes to last me exactly seven days but I didn't argue with him. If it made him feel a little more in control of the situation to carry something than he was more than welcome to carry me down the hallway if he'd like.

My room was the furthest down the hall right were the students rooms turned into the teacher's rooms. The bedroom looked as if it had been intended to be for a teacher as opposed to a student. There was a private bathroom and more than enough space to fit a couch as well as a bed. I'm pretty sure Remy had something to do with the choice. The plus was if it had enough room to fit more than a bed and a closet than it had enough room to fit a crib.

See, I can be practical when I want to be.

"Remy figured you technically being the youngest X-Men ever entitled you to your own bedroom. Happy I chose it now too circumstances being what they are and all," from his tenor I could tell that he was talking more to himself than me.

"Thank you Remy for everything," I tried to put all my gratitude into that sentence too. He reached out to give me a quick hug and than put my duffle bag down.

"You sure you want to go to breakfast Jubes, I mean it starts at nine and that don't give you lots of time to sleep. Remy he used to it and you may be too but I don't think it be good for the little one. Emma is de only one who knows you're here but I'm sure she'll want Hank to see you at some point in the day. It gonna be a long day Cherie maybe you and de baby need some sleep?" I wasn't sure if he was trying to talk me out of breakfast or not but I wanted to get it all done as fast as possible anyway.

"Thanks but I'm going to stick with the breakfast plan. Sooner or later I'm going to have to face everyone and I'm choosing the sooner option."

He nodded in response, "I'll knock on your door at eight than so you have time to dress and all. Sleep well petite." I waited till he almost closed the door completely to respond.

"Good night Remy, Oh and by the way tell 'Ro I said hello and goodnight when you see her in a couple of minutes," he grinned at me clearly caught and winked before shutting the door.

Alone at last I stared at the bed for a moment before deciding against it no matter how inviting it looked. A shower would do me a world of good more so than sleep would.

Nervous, hungry, feet and back aching sleep wasn't in my immediate future.