saga/title/fandom: Homecomings

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 Eighteen: The Luckiest

Logan tossed his worn, leather jacket on the back of a chair in his bedroom. He had just gotten back from a long bike ride around town, which was becoming a force of habit nowadays. Almost like clockwork, if you will. It was a hell of a lot better than picking fights with other people around the mansion. There were no judging stares or comments when he rode. It was simply him and the elements. The speed and the wind combined together to create a rush, emptying his mind of its conflicts and concerns.

That night at the bar with Ororo was a long one. He never admitted that she was right about her suspicions. He never gave anyone the satisfaction of doing something like that. Instead, the two spent the rest of New Year's Eve, engaged in superficial conversation and knocking back a couple of beers. Logan was impressed with the fact that she was keeping up with him. However, she was not going to go as far as to smoke one of his cigars. That was where the weather goddess drew the proverbial line.

He stepped into his private bathroom to splash some water on his face. The warm and gentle water was like a caressing hand to his weather-beaten face. He leaned over the sink, sighing. Then he grabbed a towel from the rack and buried his face in the mothering darkness. He stood in the bath for several minutes, head in the towel. Things were so much easier if one didn't have to face the world on a daily basis.

His musings were interrupted by a knock at his door. He groaned, throwing the towel on the rack and stormed to the door. This better be good, he snarled inwardly, I don't do people at this hour. He yanked it open, preparing himself to growl at the person on the other side. Logan softened when he saw who it was.

"Can I come in?" Jubilee asked, nervously playing with her scarf around her neck. She wore with it a V-neck, cream-colored sweater with gray wool elbow patches, faded jeans, and a pair of brown boots.

He nodded gruffly, closing the door behind her. "Where's your coat?" he asked in greeting. "It's cold outside, kid."

She gave him a strange look, and then shook her head, her long, ebony hair spilling over her slim shoulders. "I left it on Sarah's bed," she explained, seating herself on his bed. Her blue eyes peered up at him solemnly.

"So, what's going on?" he demanded, suddenly feeling uneasy. It unnerved how she looked at him like that sometimes. He hid his discomfort by frowning back at her.

"I know you're mad," she began, palms resting on her thighs. "No one told me. I just know."

Logan raised a brow at her and grunted. "What makes you think that?"

"You've been gone a lot since Christmas."

"It is the holidays, Jubes. Time for celebrating, you know."

"By yourself?"

"I don't do the people scene."

Her sapphire eyes appeared distant as she mused, "Yes, I guess I forgot about that, Wolvie," she said softly. "But you never said you weren't mad."

Logan grimaced. She was using that tone of voice she used when she was around the younger students. To him, it sounded patronizing. Anyone else, they would have seen adamantium. He forced restraint when it came to Jubilee. "So what?"

"You don't have to be angry," Jubilee told him, crossing her slender ankles together. "Scott's not taking your place."

He frowned at her, pretending not to know what she was talking about.

She continued. "You see, it's different with him, but he's not replacing you, Wolvie. I still need you."

Transfixed by her confession, he sank on the bed next to his Jubilee. "Kid?"

She turned to face him; lovely as the day he first met her all those years ago. "I just need you in a different way."

"What does that mean?"

"It means I'm not a little girl anyone. I'm going to hang on every word you say or jump out of my skin when you come around. I haven't done that in a long time."

"Because I left you?"

"No, because I grew up. I'm responsible for making sure I'm happy, not you, not Scott." She sighed and then pressed on. "It's not that I love you any less, but you can't expect things to be the same. If they were, I'd be committed by now."

His green eyes stared ahead for a moment. He then peered back at her. "So how do you need me now?" he asked wearily. Logan wasn't sure whether or not he was going to like her answer.

Jubilee's brows knitted together as she pondered. "I don't know," she said finally, "it's like knowing that you're here no matter what and that you care about me is enough. You don't have to protect me from anything. I can handle things just fine."

"And One-Eyed?" he inquired, wondering if Ororo or Jean said anything to her about his recent episode. Listening to her determined tone of voice, she sounded as if she were talking about issues in general.

"He sets the boundaries. As much as I hate to admit it, I need that structure. Otherwise, I'd be a total anarchist. Just don't tell him that. It would kill me."

Logan snorted, pulling her against him. He kissed the top of her head and stroked her long, silky hair. "Trust me," he told her, "there's no chance of that happening."

Bobby Drake arrived at the mansion late in the evening New Year's Day. To his relief, traffic on the roads from his parents' Long Island home was light, which allowed him to make it back in record time. He peered around the front hall, noticing some activity in one of the rec rooms. He could hear Tabitha, Dani, Theresa and Sarah deciding on a movie to watch with the other children. Most of the students were beginning to trickle back from their vacation with their families. School was scheduled to start again later that week. Those that were back did not acknowledge his arrival, but continued to focus their attention on their leisure activities. Smiling, he climbed up the spiral staircase that led to his room so he could unpack.

As expected, his mother immediately greeted him with questions about possible girlfriends. This was soon followed with a point-by-point report on people he had grown up with and how they were married. Adding to her fervor was a visit from his cousin, Joel, who announced that he was engaged to be married. Bobby's mother was overjoyed and began to chirp about how she would be more than happy to help. At the same time, Bobby could sense her disappointment with him. Needless to say, he kept a low profile as Joel and his mother went over the news.

For his part, Joel was sheepish over the attention his Aunt Madeleine was giving him. Later on that night, he quietly approached Bobby and asked him to serve as his best man. Bobby was taken aback, but realized his cousin was the closest thing he ever had to a brother. Before contemplating the repercussions of his decision, he said yes. Looking back, he wasn't sure this was one of his better choices. He would have to put up with possible machinations from his mother's pursuit of finding him a wife and future bearer of grandchildren. Knowing his mother, she was probably interviewing the bridesmaids by now.

His father was still recovering physically, using a cane to make his way around the house. While he and Bobby were never all that close, the elder Drake had made an effort when his son visited for Christmas. He was still wary of his son's adventures and status as a mutant. However, there was a calm and understanding when they spoke. Bobby found it easier to relax and spend time with him, finding a respite from his mother. Unlike his wife, William Drake knew his son was young and did not worry about him living a lonely life for long.

Bobby opened the drawers and placed his freshly laundered clothes inside. His mother had insisted on doing his wash before he hit the road. No matter how old he was, she still considered him her little baby, much to his father's chagrin.

He stared at one of the new presents he had received this past Christmas. On his desk, was a set of Three Stooges bobble head dolls. Out of the presents Bobby received, he had to say this one was his favorite. He smiled fondly as he remembered the card that accompanied the gift. To the biggest Stooge I know. Merry X-Mas, Jubilee. He fished the card out of the pocket of his coat and placed it next to the bobble heads.

I wonder what she thought of the necklace, he thought. Is she wearing it now? He remembered how nervous he was when Rogue was wrapping the gift for him. It was silly, really. Why was he getting wound up over a little present? He kept attempting to rationalize the situation in his mind. After all, he wasn't anxious about the gifts he was giving his parents or his closest friends at the mansion. What reason could he possibly have to get bent out of shape over something that was going to a friend? It was almost as if----

Just then, there was a soft knock at the door. Startled, Bobby almost jumped. It took a brief moment to compose himself. "Come in," he called out, his back still turned to the door and tossing his empty travel bag into his closet.

The door slowly swung open and slow, methodical footfalls crossed the floor in his room. "Hello, Drake."

Bobby immediately whipped around. His gray eyes were surprised when he discovered who the visitor was. "Hello, Emma," he greeted, uncertain to what think of the cool blonde's appearance this evening. "What can I do ya for?"

The corners of the White Queen's full mouth curled up slightly in a smile. "I knew you were back," she told him, crossing her arms around her curvy chest. She was dressed rather conservatively that evening---well, conservative by her standards---in a knee-length, white silk dress with spaghetti straps and matching stiletto heels.

She continued to talk, her tone aloof. "Anyway, I've been bored since I've gotten back. I need a real adult to talk to."

He smirked. "Gee, Emma, that's the best compliment I've gotten from you. A real adult, huh?" Given their past history together, he was right to be somewhat wary of her intentions. After all, she had taken his body hostage and warped his mind in the process. That, and she relished in using his loneliness for her own amusement, often teasing, inciting a chase before leaving him to dwell on his frustrated state.

"Well, I thought you might appreciate it..Maybe now you won't be thinking about little girls and whether or not they like you." She laughed softly at the end of her sentence.

Bobby scowled at her defensively. "You and Gambit have a meeting of the minds?" he snapped, gray eyes narrowing.

She circled around Bobby and stood behind him. "No," she purred, her arms sliding around his waist. "I know you think about her or have you forgotten what I can do?"

With that, she untucked his shirt from his chinos. Her manicured nails traced patterns around his taut stomach, drawing a gasp from his lips. Her mouth began to nip at his earlobe. Then her tongue began to flick at his one earlobe in quick darts. Meanwhile, her other hand continued to pull his shirt up.

"Like that?" she whispered.

He didn't answer. Instead, his eyes were closed tight as he willed himself to ignore her and what she was doing now. At the same time, he was summoning the mental strength he had left to tell Emma to leave. She laughed, instantly reading his mind.

"Bobby, you can't do that," she informed him snidely, "I'm afraid you like this too much. You're having too much fun."

Suddenly, she froze and her hands dropped away from his torso. "Hello, Jubilation."

Alarmed, Bobby turned around, frantically straightened his rumpled shirt. A blush crept across his cheeks as he pulled away from a smirking Emma. There was Jubilee, standing in the doorway, the door partially ajar. Her face was a mixture of many things just then----shock, confusion, and something else he could not put his finger on at that moment.

Bobby stepped towards her, still flustered. "Uh, hey. Didn't know you were there." His gray eyes immediately noticed his necklace around her neck. "You're wearing my gift." He tried to smile, but it came out as a grimace.

She fingered the pink beads gently. "I wanted to thank you for this and to see if you wanted to catch up before I leave." Then her blue eyes warily traveled to Emma. She never felt comfortable around her former headmistress since Emma murdered her own sister for money to keep the school afloat. "But I see you're busy, so we can talk when I get back." This is incredibly awkward to say the least. I wish I were Kurt now and just teleport right outta here.

He watched her turn on her heel to leave. "Wait," he said, gripping the doorknob. "Where are you going?"

Jubilee's eyes were cast down on the floor, feeling very embarrassed for some unknown reason. "Scott and I are going to Paris for a week. We're leaving tonight to stay at a hotel near JFK. Tomorrow morning, we'll be flying out."

"Wow, that sounds great. Maybe I can come by with you to the house and we can talk."

"Actually, I'm not going to be there for long. Scott wants to get in the city as soon as possible so we can rest. It's an early flight and all."

Bobby's face fell in disappointment. "Oh," he said quietly. "Well, I guess I will see you when you get back. I hope you have a great trip."

She gave him a small smile, fiddling with her scarf. "Yeah, me, too." Then her eyes went to the bobble heads she had gotten him. Instead of commenting, she decided to nod her head emphatically and sauntered away.

He watched her leave, his disappointment giving way to something else.

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