author: Alex L
rating/genre: (R) - Drama/Angst
warnings: Het, language, adult situations, attempted rape
summary: Not all homecomings are happy ones. R for language, disturbing imagery, and references to attempted rape. Featuring Iceman, Wolverine, Gambit, Jubilee, Rogue, and Storm, as well as other favorites.
comments/disclaimers: While I don't own any of the characters (Marvel), this story is mine, mine.
Chapter Fifteen: All That I Know
On the day he was to travel home for the holidays, Bobby found himself mediating a conflict between two of the younger students at the mansion, Artie and Leech. He was almost out the door with his travel bag in hand when he heard the two boys yelling from one of the rec rooms. Curious and not in a particular hurry to get on the road, he decided to see what was going on.
The two were best friends from their days in Generation X. Given that they shared similar appearance and were roughly the same age, they naturally forged a bond. However, like many close friends, the two had their differences from time to time. Today, this was over who was the winner of the latest X-Box tournament. Artie was under the impression that he was the champion since Leech left his seat to grab a soda from the kitchen, and thereby forfeiting. However, Leech did not agree with this conclusion.
Since Bobby did not see any of the instructors around, he decided to intervene. First, he separated the two boys physically from each other (when he arrived, Leech had Artie pinned underneath him). Then he attempted to instill some knowledge about friendship difficulties through an anecdote.
"You boys know Dr. McCoy, right?"
The two nodded wordlessly.
"One time, he and I got into a fight over which one of us was 'Da Man.' That one got ugly. There was crying, screaming, kicking, biting... and that was just Hank. Scott made us go into our rooms so we could think about how silly we were acting. We came back out after a while and apologized to each other. Then we decided that we were both 'Da Man.'"
Artie and Leech exchanged brief, but confused glances. Then they peered up at Bobby blankly. "What's the point?" Leech finally piped up, scratching the side of his head.
"That we all go through these difficulties. In the end, things work out." Bobby raised his brows expectantly at the boys before sighing. Somehow, he thought Jean or Scott would be doing a better job at this than he was now. Coming off as the disciplining adult did not fit Bobby Drake.
The two boys continued to stare at him quizzically before nodding that they understood. Then their eyes began to gaze past him at something. Immediately, both began to smile, nudging each other. Curious, Bobby turned around to see Jubilee, grinning and in the midst of mouthing something to Artie and Leech.
"Hello," she said somewhat nervously, but still grinning. Dressed in a pair of distressed jeans, a green-and-navy argyle sweater, and loafers, she looked quite relaxed. Her long, dark hair was pulled away from her face in a makeshift bun, held in place by two pencils. However, there were some pieces of black-and-blue hair that were loosely framing her face. She was holding a medium-sized box, wrapped in shiny, silver paper.
He smiled wryly at her. "What were you telling them?"
"That you're a fountain of knowledge and not to be messed with, of course."
"Oh really?" Bobby turned to the two boys behind him, who were giggling. "This true?"
"A hundred percent." Leech managed to snort out before he and Artie retreated into the kitchen. Their gleeful laughter could still be heard even after they left the room.
Bobby feigned a stern look as he turned back to Jubilee. "Listen, young lady," he told her, "I don't like that you're undermining my authority."
"Oh, thanks, Jubes. That hurts."
Her sapphire eyes twinkled up at him. Then she said, "So, you're going home. Anything exciting in store at the Drakes'?"
"If you count being asked by my mother why I'm not married and giving her grandchildren by now as exciting, then no." Bobby rolled his eyes, unbuttoning his brown corduroy car coat he was wearing over his charcoal- colored sweater with a Fair Isle pattern and gray wool slacks. "And you?"
She nodded. "Scott and I are going into town today to pick up Jean's present. It's this antique china cabinet we saw a couple of weeks ago. We're going to bring it back here and hide it in the mansion. Other than that, I'm not sure. But, there's going to be some other people around, so I'm guessing we'll be doing something else."
As soon as she said the word 'present', Bobby was quickly reminded of something. He opened his travel bag and pulled out his gift to her, the necklace he had bought weeks ago. Rogue had helped him wrap the box in elegant blue paper with curling white ribbon.
"I wanted to give this to you before I left," he said, handing the box to her.
She smiled at him, and then held out the box she had been holding. "I was looking for you to do the same thing."
Bobby held the box to his ear. "Well, it's not ticking," he joked.
"Very funny. Trust me, you'll like it."
"I'm sure I will."
"Well, whatever this is. Thank you."
"No problem. Thank you for the non-explosive present."
"What, I'm thanking you. Jeez!"
She stared at the travel bag he was carrying, and noticed he wasn't carrying much. She learned from Jean and Rogue that Bobby had been dreading the visit home since he did not get along with his father very well. "How long are you staying with your mom and dad?"
"Until New Year's, then I'm coming back," he replied, bracing himself for the less-than-receptive welcome he was going to receive from his recovering father and the constant clucking about being a single man from his mother. He grimaced. As soon as possible, I'm outta there.
"At least you still have parents that care about you to want you home."
"You'd like to think so, wouldn't you?"
"You know it's true, Bobby. You just won't admit it."
Jubilee sensed his dread and placed hand on his arm. "It'll be OK," she assured him softly, "Maybe things aren't going to be as bad as you make them out to be. Who knows, maybe you'll have a great time and never want to leave." The twinkle left her blue eyes as they became quite solemn. For some reason, the thought of him not returning to the mansion struck her as quite sad.
"Maybe," Bobby mused quietly, but silently doubted her words. "Thanks, Jubes." He took her small hand in his and squeezed slightly, gazing into those beautiful old-soul blue eyes.
"No problem." The way he was looking at her suddenly made her anxious. It was an intense stare, something he had never done in all the years he had known her. While she was uncomfortable, she did not want to pull away from him. Instead, she returned the gaze, studying the serious expression on his boyish face.
Suddenly, a familiar, deep and husky voice drawled, "Petite?"
Jubilee turned around to see Remy standing in the doorway, dressed in his brown leather duster over his blue jeans, boots, and a navy shirt. She pulled her hand away from Bobby's and smiled nervously. "Hi," she greeted. "Um, what's up?"
His red-on-black eyes were quite amused with he had walked in on and he made no attempt to hide it. He smiled smugly. "Scott say you and he goin' into town to pick up a present for Jean," he said, surveying the situation and noticing how Bobby was struggling to hide his frustration. "Wants me to come wit' you to help. We be leavin' now."
"Oh, OK." She turned to Bobby and gave him a small smile. "I guess I'll see you when you get back. Have a good time, OK?"
"I'll try," Bobby managed to say, eyes narrowing at Remy who was still smiling coolly at him. He didn't know why or what the Cajun thief had done to make himself so irritating at that moment. However, there was no denying his anger, coupled with a nagging sense of disappointment. Where the latter was from, he did not know. He thinks he's so great because of that stupid accent.. If I could talk like Pepe LePew, then I'd be a chick magnet, too..
"Merry Christmas, Jubes," he finally managed.
Remy motioned for her hurry along. "Come, petite. Scott be waitin' in de car and you know how cranky he gets when he has to wait." Looks I came here just in time, he thought, watching a furious blush stain Bobby's cheeks.
She nodded and walked over to him by the doorway, tossing Bobby an apologetic look. When she reached Remy, the tall, lean man from the Bayou peered up at the doorframe and pointed out, "Look, petite. We be standin' under de mistletoe."
"Oh yeah," she said, nodding. She wasn't too excited about it since Jean had hung bundles around their house, giving her an excuse to make out with Scott in every room. At least, that was Jubilee's impression. As for any possibility of being kissed, Logan had done a good job seeing that no one came near her to even contemplate it.
Remy chuckled, deciding to surprise Jubilee and to test Drake. He then drew the young girl close to him. Very slowly, he planted a gentle, but chaste kiss on her lips. "Happy holidays, petite," he whispered when he pulled away, his arm still draped around her slim shoulders.
Shocked, her knees almost buckled underneath her. That was two kisses from Gambit-in the same month! Now I can say I truly lived, she told herself, her fingers brushing against her lips. Presents be damned.
The Cajun thief smiled down at Jubilee, amused. Then he turned around to face Bobby, who appeared as if he were going to charge at him at that moment. Instead, Bobby mouthed bitterly, "Whore."
In response, Remy mouthed back, "Eternal virgin." Then he gave him a sly wink before ushering Jubilee out of the room.
Professor Charles Xavier folded his hands together, his face grim. Sitting across from him were three of his prized pupils, Dr. Hank McCoy, Ororo Munroe, and Jean Grey-Summers. The four of them were sitting in his study with the door closed and locked this afternoon, an unusual gesture since the Professor often liked keeping the door open to his students and X-Men.
Jean, dressed in a maroon turtleneck sweater, charcoal wool slacks and black flats, appeared uncharacteristically drawn and concerned as she peered over at her mentor, who was sitting behind his desk. She twisted her engagement ring (a 2-carat oval diamond with 8 pavé diamonds surrounding set in platinum) and plain, platinum wedding band nervously. She often did that, not out of conflicted feelings surrounding her marriage, but when she was concerned in general. This afternoon happened to be one of those occasions.
Ororo had just finished retelling her account of what happened several days ago. The usually calm weather goddess struggled to maintain her composure. However, her unease was quite apparent as she fidgeted in her seat. She would smooth the skirt of her black-and-white, jersey shirtdress or brush off imaginary dust from the knee-high, black leather boots she wore.
After discovering Logan in his delusional and hallucinating state, she convinced him to see Hank and Cecilia Reyes to "check things out". She even stayed by his side during the examination, still concerned over what she had witnessed. For his part, Logan was unaware that he had been hallucinating until Hank brought up the possibility during the exam and recommended that he seek help from the Professor and Jean. Surprisingly, Logan, now lucid, did not object. In fact, he saw both telepaths that same day.
Hank slipped off his wire-rimmed glasses before placing them back on again. Like the women, he was worried about his old friend's state of mind. While he and Cecilia ruled out chronic mental disorders (primarily schizophrenia, delusional disorder, and schizophreniform disorder), deep down Hank realized something was quite wrong. He knew that Logan had a history of trauma, stemming from the implantation of his metal skeleton and claws. However, he, like many around the mansion, believed he had already come to grips and moved past what happened to him. To see him relapse was quite disheartening for those who were close to him.
"What now, Charles?" he finally asked, startling the two women next to him.
Professor Xavier frowned before responding. "Logan has had a setback and he realized it during our session," he began. "He allowed me to scan his mind briefly in order to discover what triggered the latest episode." This had been quite a feat given Logan's fear of being vulnerable. To him, allowing the Professor or any other telepath to do that made him feel quite exposed.
"And?" Ororo raised her brows expectantly.
"And, he has shields so entrenched in his psyche that it was nearly impossible for me to even scratch the surface." The Professor's blue eyes narrowed while he shook his head. "There is a great deal of pain and rage so deep inside that it came back and destroyed the work Jean and I had initially done with him when he first arrived. Very characteristic of post- traumatic stress disorder, particularly the bad cases."
Jean chewed on her lower lip. "Then I suppose we will have to start another round of sessions with him?"
"I'm not sure if that will be at all helpful."
"What do you mean? It worked before. Why can't it work again?"
"We could. I'm not sure it would do any good."
Hank gave him a quizzical look. "Why not?"
The Professor sighed. "In addition, to the deeply entrenched shields, I sensed that Logan is desperately engaged in a fight. It is a struggle to keep himself under control. This makes it quite difficult to engage him in the therapy we conducted with him in the beginning."
Ororo shook her head slowly, not liking the resigned tone in his voice. "So there is nothing we can do for him. He's simply going to be treated as a liability or a freak, forced to stay here during field missions? Professor, his delusions and hallucinations centered around that theme. I heard him telling himself that during his episode. If we give up, then we are, in a way, fulfilling.."
"I'm not saying that all, dear Storm," Professor Xavier replied.
"Then what is it?" Jean asked quietly, now wringing her hands.
The Professor sighed. "I will be conducting private sessions with him. To have you, Jean, in the room would be quite dangerous, I think."
"Because he thought he hurt her during his hallucinations," Hank piped up, nodding.
"Exactly. In a vulnerable state, I'm not sure how he will react with your presence in the room." The Professor looked at Jean.
Jean nodded in agreement. "Understood. However, I'm not sure if I'm all that comfortable with the idea of you being alone in the room with him during the sessions. According to Ororo, Logan was quite violent during his episode, exposing his claws and slashing in the air. I just don't want anything to happen to you."
"I understand your concern and I appreciate it, but I assure you I can hold my own. I am not afraid." His blue eyes were kind, but firm.
She was relieved, but still determined to be worried. She feigned a smile, knowing that the Professor could sense her apprehension anyway. Ororo reached out and patted her friend's arm comfortingly.
"When do these sessions start?" Hank inquired, furry brows stony over his eyes.
"As soon as possible," Professor Xavier answered. "I wanted the three of you here since all of you were aware of the situation. I have already talked to Cecilia and Annie about this as well. Logan has asked to keep this as much under wraps as possible. I will say that I agree with him. It's not going to be helpful for the rest of the mansion to know." He turned to Jean and said, "This means not telling, Scott."
The statuesque redhead sighed wearily, realizing that keeping Logan's condition from her husband was going to be difficult. Given their psychic bond, what the Professor was asking was going to be quite a task. "It's not going to be easy, but I'll try."
"Does this mean that Logan will not be able to go on field missions?" Ororo asked. It was going to be quite suspicious if Logan was suddenly excluded. She did not even want to think about how she was going to fabricate an explanation to Scott.
The Professor pressed his lips into a thin line and shook his head. "No, Ororo. That would draw more attention to the situation. I suppose we will have to hope that by the next one, Logan will be stable."
"What is Logan's reaction to all this?" Hank folded his hands together thoughtfully. He couldn't imagine Logan passively accepting the situation.
"He took it well, but was a little hesitant about what I had proposed." The Professor admitted. Hesitant was an understatement. Logan was furious with the idea of being treated as the Professor's special patient. It took Professor Xavier over an hour to first calm Logan, then to persuade him that the solution was the only one.
"He has our support. He has to know that." Ororo declared firmly, as if in an effort to convince that her words were true.
"Of course, Storm. Although I would not make it a point to let him know that you know what is happening. He might see that as threatening as well. I would advise to interact with him as you do regularly."
There was a pall in the room as soon as the words left Xavier's lips. To help save the sanity of the most troubled member of the team, would mean having to lie to everyone else, even those closest to them. The three members sitting across the older man exchanged wary looks, unsure if they could truly live up to these terms.
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