Nothing super special, just a writing exercise, but reviews would still be appreciated. More to come on my other story soon!

It started out simple, sneaking up on them in the small, unguarded moments. The moments where everything was almost taken away, the moments where the days were quiet, warm, safe the moments that would start with a look, a smile, an innocent touch. One's presence to the other meant simplicity, laughter, security, late night food runs, afternoon motorcycle rides, stability, movie dates, no judgements, companionship.

Blood mingled with her scent meant holding. Wrapping sturdy arms tight around her small body so she wouldn't fly apart from the fear or excitement or the crackling energies at her finger tips. She'd glower or yell or cry or laugh. Laughter was always the best.

"God, Wolvie," Jubilee giggled. "I'm fine--you are such a paranoid loser sometimes, but I..."

But I love you anyway.

She stopped saying it out loud a few years ago. He never asked why. But he knew, with every look on her face, with every grin, every tear, every hug, every firework, he knew that it was implied.

Murder in his eyes meant a Danger Room session. She never left him alone until he submitted to her, let her plug in the scenario, watched him rip and tear and rend in a savage fury, let him rescue her from Sabertooth, Omega Red, the Hand, Hydra, Bastion, Magneto. His tension, his agony, his rage would evaporate as he released her from her bonds and she would give him her wry, humorous, affectionate look until he couldn't help but laugh.

"Oh, Logan, you're my hero, but I..." Love you anyway. "So, now that I got you where I want you, best two out of three?"

Tears in her blue eyes in front of other people meant distraction. A bike ride, a twinkie, a stupid joke, a reason to scream and paff at him.

Tears in her blue eyes while they were alone, meant holding her hand till she blinked them away or holding her till she cried herself out.

Quiet days meant something fun. A basketball game, a movie, a hike. She stopped begging him to take her to the mall when she was fifteen. He never asked why, but showed his gratitude at every possible opportunity.

"You better watch your man, petite, cause Remy's gonna run this ball right past him!"

On days like these, he was always her man because on simple, happy, blissful, euphoric, calm, relaxing days of sports and bare feet and slushy lemonades and boastful shenanigans they were always side by side, partnered, linked.

Death meant the ritual. A shot of fiery whiskey followed by a late night ride followed by a long talk. Sometimes the words were his, mostly they were hers.

"So then Ev smiled that big grin and...Angelo took me to this stupid little Mexican joint in the Village and I refused to eat due to the extreme grossness factor and he manned up like an hombre and was sick the whole night and I laughed so hard...Sean was always really, really, nice, always made me feel like I could do it right..."

"Jeannie always saw the best in people, but never put up with my bullshit...Banshee was old school, he always had your back in a bad fight..."

"Paige stayed in my room all night crying about her brother Josh and it made me feel like shit cause there's nothing you can do, nothing you can say..."

Personal tragedy meant long, sleepless, haunting dark nights. Sitting up all hours watching bad personal televised shopping, so close on the couch, the sides of their bodies were pressed together, shoulder to wrist, hip to ankle, quiet, dark expressions of support and sorrow clouding their faces. Cold nights huddled on rooftops because the bulk of the mansion was too cloying, too oppressing, too overshadowing and her tiny, fragilely built, pyrotechnic hand in his large, dominant, calloused hand represented a line to life.

Absence meant covering up a widening, deepening chasm until, slowly, inevitably, irrevocably, every day together had a moment and every moment had a meaning and with that meaning came a realization that had quietly snuck up on them, seemingly out of nowhere.

"Hey, Wolvster, long time no see!" Her smile was bright, vibrant. "How was Japan?"


"You look like you could use a beer. I know I could certainly use one, and seeing as I'm two teeny little months short of legality, how's about you do the honors and meet me on the roof?"

She coupled her plea with a compellingly tender embrace, pressing herself against him, leaning in for her now signature move of pressing her soft cheek against his stubbled one, taking advantage of the fact that she was one of the few short women in the mansion, one of the few who could match him, line up with him perfectly. Her loose hair blew across his face, full of heady, gunpowedery musk and sunlit honey.

His arm snaked around her waist, held her fast, the corner of his mouth quirked in a longing smile.

"Missed you, Logan," She murmured in his ear. "I hate that you're so damn busy, but I--" Love you anyway.

"Thanks for waiting for me, Jubilation," he murmured back, sensing the shiver his roughened voice sent down her spine. He didn't mean waiting for him to return from his trip.

She tilted her head back, like he knew she would, cheeks flushed a delicate pink, like he knew they would be. And they had their new moment, their almost moment, their moment that never went anywhere. The moment where if he leaned in, just a fraction, just a lifetime, he could brush his lips against hers, shattering the past, creating a whole new world. A moment paused at forever.

The moment passed.

"So!" Jubilee took a single step back. Just one. "Beer. Roof. Then Bobby was gonna find a stupid horror movie since Halloween's next weekend. Yay? Nay?"

His smile was wolfish, sharp. "Wouldn't miss it for the world."

"Uh-huh," she said wryly. "But you're sweet for lying. You don't haveta do the movie if ya don't wanna, Wolvie, I'm not gonna twist you're arm."

"Nah, Jubes. Movie's fine. Could be fun. Meet you in five?"

"Make it four," she challenged, turning smartly and trotting up to the garage door.

He watched her--let her--walk away.