He had figured it out. Five years of keeping it a secret from him—from everyone—and Wolverine finally caught on to what everyone else missed. He'd been out barhopping the first week I was back from college and happened to wander by my room on the way to his own when he heard me cry out in my sleep. Thanks to this jackass frat boy who managed to fondle me just a little too much while I was drunk at a party, the old nightmares were particularly bad. Luckily, I had been sober enough to not use my powers on the asshole because I would have lost control. I would have killed him. Instead, I kneed him in the balls so hard he puked all over his jersey. I puked later that night too, but not from the alcohol and not from an injury.
My nightmares really do suck.
So there I was in the throes of yet another. I couldn't see anything. They had blindfolded me so there was only the darkness. I never knew what was going to happen to me until it happened. What had happened wasn't long, but it was straight-forward and to the point. Help the X-men escape the Hulkbuster base and earn some personal time with one of Bastions over-affectionate guards. Who apparently couldn't score on his own and had a thing for teenagers. My choice, my sacrifice. My shitty luck.
My nightlight had gone out. I was enveloped in darkness, and in my dream I was powerless so I couldn't summon my fireworks to rescue me from the darkness, from the dream.
Logan found me thrashing in the bed. I wasn't conscious, so I don't know what he saw, but I have pretty damned good idea. Lex told me it didn't take a genius to figure out what happened to me if you witnessed one of my nightmares. Logan's a smart guy and he's seen a lot of horrible shit in his day. He tried to wake me, but he couldn't. I couldn't see him; I couldn't see anything save the darkness. I couldn't hear his voice, only my screams. Once the cycle had ended, once the memories ran out, I woke up. And ran for the bathroom, barely making it to the toilet in time before puking up dinner. Logan followed me in and pulled my hair back in an effort to help.
I blasted him into the wall.
"GAHHHH." I'd recognize his scream of pain anywhere.
"SHIT! Oh God, Wolvie, I'm so s-s-sorry!"
Thankfully, he didn't hit the wall behind my bath tub hard enough to break it, but his chest was smoldering from third-degree burns.
"God, Logan, I didn't know it was you—what were you doing in my room?! Oh, God, are you okay?!"
He looked awful; his skin was a blistering, oozing mess and he didn't seem conscious. He tried to say something, but all I could hear was a strained growl. I knelt over the tub, crying from the nightmare, from what I did to him, and tried to help him out, but physical strength was failing me. He curled up on his side in the fetal position, face contorted in pain. I knew he was starting to heal, I could see it—had seen him heal form worse. Feeling utterly helpless, I rubbed his back and waited, still sobbing.
It felt like forever, but in a few moments he was completely healed and crawling out of the tub of his own volition whereas I was so strung out I couldn't even manage to stand up.
"Hey, Jubilation, no, darlin' it's okay, shhh…"
"Wolvie, I'm sorry, so sorry…"
"Ain't your fault, darlin'. Hang on a sec, and let me wash the blood off."
Utilizing my sink, he made quick work of the mess and, before I knew it, had me gathered up in his powerful, comforting arms and into his own room. He sat me on his bed and I must have managed to look questioning because I was crying too hard to talk and he offered up the explanation of "Your sheets are sweat-soaked, darlin'." Then he held me while I cried myself out, my face buried in his neck, his hands rubbing my back, all the while whispering "Shh, darlin', it's okay" like a mantra.
I finally stopped and Wolverine offered me another Kleenex which was quickly added to my impressive pile on his night stand. We sat like that for several moments more, with me clinging to him like a lifeline and him stroking my back.
"Wolvie, I need water." My voice was scratchy and utterly worn out.
"I gotta glass in my bathroom; I'll be right back."
Once he got me water, he knelt on the floor in front of me. I'll never forget the look on his face as long as I live. He looked tortured. His eyes were stormy yet full of concern and more. His face was white, from anger or grief, I couldn't tell. Probably both.
"Jubilation." It was a request to tell him everything. Or at least as much as I was willing. But I didn't have the strength for this particular conversation. Not tonight. My head felt like it was going to explode from pain without any help from super powers at all.
I shook my head at him. Which made it hurt even more.
"Wolvie, my head is killing me and I'm freakin' exhausted. I just wanna sleep."
He swallowed hard; I knew the questions going through his head were driving him close to berserk. "Please," I pleaded. "I promise I'll talk to you tomorrow."
He sighed heavily in defeat and nodded. "You can stay in here tonight…if you want."
"Let me get you a clean shirt or somethin'. That one's sweaty and has some of my blood on it."
I would have nodded, but learned from experience. "K."
He grabbed a black tee-shirt from his drawer and handed it to me. After a moment of hesitation, he turned his back on me, allowing my privacy without making me move to the bathroom.
"And covered up," I replied having already curled up on his bed.
"I'll be right back," he muttered and grabbed a pair of sweatpants before disappearing into his bathroom.
"Leave the light on?" I asked tentatively as he came out. He halted, surprised. That's right; the resident firecracker was now terrified of the dark.
"Sure," he said.
He made a move for the couch in his room and I stopped him again. Having been comforted by his arms wrapped around me, I selfishly wanted more. I desperately wanted that feeling of safety and security. Sure, I might be a rape victim and curling up with one of the most dangerous men on the planet isn't every girl's notion of an ideal sleeping arrangement, but I'm not every girl. And, Logan is Logan.
"Hold me?" I hated how weak I sounded, even if I usually don't mind letting my guard down around him. But dammit, it had been a long, hard night.
He didn't say anything; he simply slipped underneath the covers and gathered me to his chest. I buried my nose in his chest hair, inhaling deeply. Cigar smoke. Pine trees. A faint hint of motorcycle grease. The masculine scent underneath all that. He smelled as he always had and it lulled me to sleep.
I don't think he slept at all that night.