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FIC: The Longest Day - The Proposal : 1/1: PG-13: St. John, Jubilee, St. John/Bobby

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  • Jenn
    Sorry, I m soo behind. Next parts coming soon. Thanks to EVERYONE for the feedback! I appreciate it! jenn Title: The Longest Day: Proposal Author: jenn
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 30, 2001
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      Sorry, I'm soo behind. Next parts coming soon. Thanks to EVERYONE for the
      feedback! I appreciate it!

      jenn

      Title: The Longest Day: Proposal
      Author: jenn (jenn@...)
      Codes: St. John, Jubilee, St. John/Bobby
      Rating: PG-13
      Series: On Love and Lust at Mutant High #27
      Summary: Rogue's not getting much better. Gotta do something about this.
      Author Notes: This required research. Count 'em--one comicverse fanfic
      archive = 45 stories, most of which were Rogue/Gambit or Rogue/Magneto.
      Please, mourn my shell-shock with me. One Comic Rogue FAQ. So far losing
      my mind as to entreat smug fanboy friends who always said I'd come to them
      one day. After all that, I STILL don't have a clear idea of what exactly
      happens inside Rogue when she gets a person dead in her head for keepsies.
      So the following authors need to be thanked--Nacey for Causa Anima, Karen S
      for Obsession, Diebin for most of her stories, and the ittybitty fanfic
      archive for about fifty ways it could be or is or will be, I'm not sure
      anymore (dizzy am I). I interpreted heavily from those areas and all of
      them deserve adulation. For a bibliography of stories I went through,
      email me, and I'll give 'em to you in detail.

      *****

      Jubilee was one of those rare people that St. John always felt just a
      little off-center around. Her mall obsession, love of the color yellow,
      her slight air of ditzy inattention--she could fool you. Fool you bad,
      make you think that there wasn't anything else to her. Make you *not*
      wonder what went on behind her eyes because you thought you already knew.
      Dangerous things with her--she could play you like a trumpet and you'd
      never, ever know.

      Jubilee, like most people, was far more than the sum of her parts. Unlike
      most people, she took considerable pains to hide it. Which was more than
      just a little interesting. Who had the highest number of calls to Mr.
      Summers' office for disciplinary action? Jubilation Lee. Who got caught
      pulling some of the coolest and most interesting stunts around the school?
      Jubilation Lee. Who got regularly grounded to the point where Mr. Summers
      had to actually revise his punishment curve? Jubilation Lee. So that's
      the impression--pure energy, troublemaker extraordinaire, mall rat.

      Big mistake. Huge.

      So she fooled you like that, like she was all surface action and reaction,
      that she couldn't keep a secret or work out a good plan. Like Kitty in a
      way, except Kitty hid under disturbing quiet when she could pick any lock
      on campus if she couldn't walk through the walls and hack most of the
      computers without breaking a sweat or a nail. St. John supposed, on some
      level, it made sense--better that your enemies underestimate you than
      otherwise, and if she practiced her dissimulation on her friends first, who
      was gonna blame her for it?

      So okay, got that much. St. John knew these things. Knew them in his
      blood, knew better than to assume that just because Jubilee was living
      energy and seeming openness didn't mean jack shit, that she could be as
      subtle as anyone else and had a truly amazing ability at strategy when she
      felt moved to use it.

      Or, like Kitty, she could beat anyone in the Mansion at chess in under
      forty moves. And if you didn't make the connection, then you deserved to
      be surprised when she turned dark eyes up and said something that could
      have been outrageous except somewhere in you, you knew she'd already worked
      it out. It was *not* an accident that she was his primary companion for any
      bomb-activity. She just had that kind of mind.

      "We gotta see her." Heels drumming against the bottom of the couch, yellow
      jacket pulled over her blouse and shorts, utterly and completely blase.
      Normal Jubilee.

      Uh-huh. St. John sat down on the edge of the couch beside her, glancing at
      very-asleep Bobby curled up in the corner. Bobby, who could sleep given
      opportunity and a decent period of time. Hell, in captivity, when
      prisoners were hit with insomnia and fear--that'd never be Bobby. Forcing
      down an odd grin, he leaned back into the couch.

      "They won't let us down there." Tried several times--Dr. Grey just shook
      her head with stress-tightened lips and Mr. Summers was on constant
      Logan-watch. Which was all kinds of weird as hell, St. John admitted, but
      of all people at the Mansion, he supposed Mr. Summers would know what Logan
      was going through best. After all, he'd stood over the bed of an injured
      Dr. Grey before, and whether or not he approved of Logan's decidedly
      unfilial attachment to Rogue, he *would* get what went on in Logan's head
      better than anyone else could.

      Or knew how to dodge fast during Danger Room scenarios, which was probably
      equally as valuable. Logan took out his emotional unbalance the
      old-fashioned way.

      "That part's obvious, babe. Sit your ass up and pay attention." Jubilee
      moved one leg, wincing a little as the bandages pulled. "The codes to the
      level with the isolation chamber and stuff are changed--and anyway, we need
      help for this one."

      "Jubes." St. John thought carefully. "Look--what makes you think us being
      there will make any difference?"

      She ignored him. That was fine.

      "What little I could get outta Wolvie says there's not much of anything
      comin' out of her." Jubilee sat back, giving St. John a long, curious
      look. "She's fighting it all interior, she's not emoting like she did last
      time. But last time, she wasn't scared of losing herself either. It's
      been a fucking week and we don't know anything because we're too young or
      some crap like that." A pause. She had something on her mind. "They're
      at a stalemate, that's what I got from McCoy before he disappeared back
      down into there. Carol has a good grip and so does Rogue. They're equal
      powers sorta--weird though that sounds--and Rogue can't just save any
      strength back because she's holding Carol down and trying to rebalance all
      the personalities in her head, and holding whoever the else is in her head
      and sees this time as easy pickings to take over her body."

      She was going somewhere with this. He was getting a headache trying to
      keep up. Another glance at still-sleeping Bobby and hit with an insane
      urge to wake him up just so he could sit through this too.

      "Carol asked 'bout you, Johnny." The blood in his body froze--hell, even
      thought froze. "She got out and started sayin' things--Rogue got her back
      under and was stronger afterward for awhile--Carol drained herself to get
      control." A pause. "Rogue's scared to death that if she lets go even a
      little and regroups, Carol'll get control for good. But--but Hank thinks
      that's not exactly right, you know? He thinks--he thinks that if Rogue
      makes Carol fight and then lets her take over, Rogue'll have a chance to--I
      don't know, sort of gather herself together. She's good at balancing those
      within, she knows how to use them--she used Wolvie to burn Remy outta her,
      you know? It's just it was such a shock and she took so much, she lost her
      balance. So--"

      "You think if Carol gets control and burns herself out doing it, Rogue'll
      have enough time to get stronger and balance everyone else, then go after
      her." Dr. McCoy and Jubilation Lee discussing advanced mutant
      neurology--he got the feeling Jubilee was breaking it down into layman's
      terms for him specifically. Hmm. She'd always been brilliant at biology.

      "Yeah. 'Specially if the Prof gets in her head and helps her center
      herself--she's so scared right now. You remember last time."

      It would never cease to amaze him. That Jubilee was loads smarter than she
      ever let out. That Jubes could do some seriously advanced thinking--and
      not simply because she was smart and quick, but because she remembered
      things and put them together. Jeez.

      "So--"

      "We gotta wake up Carol. Logan can't do it, though she's made a few
      comments that are giving everyone somethin' to talk about, you know?" That
      was mildly amusing--he'd figured from Rogue's few whispered words on the
      plane that Logan had known Carol. No huge shock--the girl was good at what
      she did. Just--awkward. Icky, even. "Logan calls Rogue and you--."

      "I call Carol." Flat. He knew why. He and Danvers shared some memories,
      that was for sure.

      "Looks that way." No sympathy--you weren't called out on your past but you
      were certainly expected to deal with it when it showed up at the door and
      fucked with you.

      Fuck.

      "But--"

      "It'll fuck over Rogue, I know." Jubilee flushed. "She's gonna be flooded
      and Carol's gonna take over and scare the crap outta her. She's gonna be
      pissed. But that's what she needs, okay? We're family, we're not here to
      coddle her to death. She needs to get mad and she needs to regroup and she
      needs to bring this crap to a stop. And if Carol takin' over does it, then
      so be it. I'm willing to put up with her temper after it's over if you
      are."

      "It's a risk."

      "A massive risk. But nothing is happening now and it's been a week,
      Johnny. If she was strong enough, if she could do it, she woulda done it
      already. We gotta do it another way."

      A pause. St. John wondered suddenly what it was like--because nothing in
      any of their mutations would ever have prepared them for what was for Rogue
      literally a battle for her own survival. Fighting her own mind. Probably
      the closest thing would be the Professor and Dr. Grey--but there were the
      differences. And smart as they were--and Johnny admitted that they
      probably knew much more about the situation than he or any of the other
      kids did--they just didn't know Rogue the same way. Because they didn't
      stay with her every day, they didn't eat with her and sleep with her and
      fight with her. They didn't get the unguarded day-to-day interactions.
      And they didn't really know what moved in her, what she was really capable
      of. Rage blinded her, but anger was useful--she could think through that.

      "McCoy'll go for it?"

      "McCoy gave me the idea. He'll go for it. We just gotta get to him and
      the Prof, lay it out so to speak." Jubilee took a deep breath. "You're
      the only one, Johnny--been thinkin' about this, after I talked to Wolvie
      and McCoy. You go in, distract the bitch from the outside, Rogue fights
      from the inside, and voila, the bitch is toast on a paper plate. She's
      goners--when Rogue gets control, she can start breaking her down finally,
      instead of just holding her off." Jubilee took a deep breath. "You can do
      this, Johnny."

      A long pause. Jubilee searched his face and he wondered if she'd ever
      doubted he'd do it. Shit, he'd known he'd do it from the first words outta
      her mouth.

      "So who do we ask?"

      A mischievous grin, like she'd suggested stealing Logan's whiskey for a
      wild night or something. Pure Jubilee. Shit, she knew how to play them.

      "I know who to talk to."

      *****

      St. John had been in the Professor's office only a few times--though
      Jubilee, troublemaker extraordinaire, was way too familiar with the room
      and it showed. To his surprise, Dr. McCoy was also present--how the hell
      had that happened? But a good thing. Definitely a good thing. Put the
      plan forward once, not give him time to panic. All good.

      Carol Danvers did *not* scare him. He was not a kid anymore.

      "Jubilee, St. John, please, come in." The Professor was smiling--all good.
      St. John nodded, taking three steps before he noticed the other chair--and
      ran into a frozen Jubilee.
      Logan, slouched in a chair at the left side of the desk, watching them with
      a curiously muted expression. And St. John shivered just a little,
      wondering how long it had been since the older man had slept. He looked
      more than wired--he looked just on this side of homicidal.

      Fuck. So Carol Danvers didn't scare him anymore. Cool. Logan *did*. The
      Professor, being both wise and a telepath, immediately picked up their
      not-so-subtle panic and smiled, motioning them toward the chairs in front
      of his desk. Jubilee got the one closest to Logan--if he was throwing
      himself on his sword and confronting Carol Danvers, she could damn well be
      his buffer against Logan.

      "Dr. McCoy is present in his capacity as Rogue's physician." A nod at the
      doctor while the Professor's eyes never left them as they took tentative
      seats. "Logan is here as Rogue's guardian."

      Guardian? Seeing their expressions, the Professor smiled again, obviously
      trying to put them at ease. "In this case, power of attorney and ability to
      make decisions when she is unqualified to do so, since she's reached the
      legal age of consent. It's a standard precaution for all students entering
      the school without parental permission. Each of you has a designated
      guardian--I think you remember the judge that writes the orders--or someone
      who is designated to give consent if you are unable to."

      Oh yeah. Just--Logan. St. John swallowed, wondering if Rogue knew--well,
      shit, of course she knew, it was just immensely interesting to think that
      while Logan was chasing his tail throughout the greater northern United
      States and Canada he was obviously also going through a complex legal web
      via the postal service to assure Rogue's safety. That for all intents and
      purposes he was her father--or had been. Ooh. Now wasn't that just a
      strange as hell thought. Almost incestuous. Well, he was used to
      that--he'd worked his way through most of the mutant population of the
      school sexually (pre-Bobby of course), so really, it wasn't so odd. Maybe.

      And he knew he was desperate to get his mind off the coming interview.
      Geez, my boy, get a grip. It's just Carol. Could be much worse. Not sure
      how, but shit, it could be.

      "Dr. McCoy has filled me in on his theory. I'd like to hear exactly what
      you consider would be a method of implementing it."

      No surprise, St. John still couldn't quite speak--Logan was absently
      rubbing his knuckles and St. John *remembered* how those claws looked. And
      how very long they were. And sharp--cut through anything. Hmm. Jubilee,
      however, had two things he did not--one, a good relationship with yonder
      sociopath, and two, an enviable ability to say anything anytime anywhere.
      She had it down to an art. Gotta admire her for that--his tongue was stuck
      somewhere in his stomach.

      "We think--since St. John knew Carol pretty well--that if we send him in
      to--you know, make her upset or something--that she'll get control from
      Rogue." A soft growl and Jubilee drew a hasty breath. "Temporarily. Dr.
      McCoy said that Rogue isn't getting anywhere because all her attention and
      strength are used up holding everyone else off and trying to rebalance.
      But if Carol got control--she could, you know, bring everyone else in her
      head back in balance and sort of--you know, regain her strength."

      Jubilee paused, taking another breath, and St. John felt himself shiver
      beside her--it was beginning to make him wonder exactly *how* this was
      gonna work.

      "So you suggest we allow St. John to go into the room with her."

      Oh shit.

      "Yes." Damn, she was confident. "One on one interaction, let him take up
      her attention. Maybe--do something. Rogue'd never attack Johnny--they're
      friends, you know? Carol knows him, though--she knows him somehow, and Dr.
      McCoy says she asks about him. So let him wake Carol up outta there and
      Carol burn herself out taking control to get to him. And Roguey freaks and
      gets everyone else in line and then starts burning out the bitch by inches.
      Dr. McCoy said that they could keep the stalemate for a long time--and--"
      Jubilee trailed off, switching gears--they *weren't* getting enthusiasm for
      the Plan here. "That's how she burnt out Remy, letting Wolvie there take
      control when she was--"

      "What the fuck are you talking about?"

      Four entire seconds Jubilee froze in place, eyes wide. Oh fuck and a half.
      St. John saw the Professor's eyes dart to Logan's, a pause in the man's
      sudden movement, before Logan slowly relaxed back into the chair. Very
      slowly. And he'd swear that metal flashed on those big hands.

      St. John was determined not to show how very weak his entire excretory
      system had suddenly become. They'd just signed Remy's death warrant. Oh
      shit. Think about it later. Much later. Much, much later. When Jubes
      could take Remy and get *really* lost in New York for, say, a few decades.

      "So Remy was the one that fucked up her head last time." A pause,
      considering--no heat in his voice, which was really chilling, come to think
      of it. "She was in that room? That's why she was sleepin' so bad when I
      got back." A flickering glance at them. "Jeanie and Scooter locked her up
      in there." He was quick, had to give him that.

      "I wasn't present at the time Rogue absorbed Remy, Logan." The Professor's
      voice was gentle. "I have no idea of the circumstances."

      How the hell do you answer that? Jubilee stared, wide-eyed, as Logan
      shifted again, and St. John could almost see the claws come out to do some
      serious damage.

      "It turned out for the best, Wolvie, you know?" Jubilee was back on her
      horse again, talking so fast that St. John wondered if she was even
      breathing. "I mean, that's why she wanted to be locked up this time--she
      let her other personality take control and burned out who she absorbed so
      they wouldn't be a threat to her last time. Concentrated. Probably
      thought it would work this time, too--"

      "But Carol can take control of her body as Remy could not." Dr. McCoy
      leaned forward in his chair, big blue hands braced on his knees. "She is
      too afraid to allow Carol the same privilege she allowed Logan--or to give
      up that much control in order to reorganize her mind. So she is at a
      current stalemate--neither strong enough to control all the personalities
      nor weak enough to break completely and let them flood her body until she
      can recreate herself."

      Break her. That sounded somehow worse--bad enough for her to absorb Carol
      and take on Carol's mind and memories while remaining Rogue. But that
      second option didn't sound quite the same--because he somehow think that
      Rogue just wouldn't come out the way she went in.

      "I think she was hoping that being locked up would break Logan out, you
      know? But Carol's too strong. And it's too much for her--I mean, that's
      *all* of Carol Danvers in there, every bit of pure bitchiness with some to
      spare. It's not like the others--Lensherr and Wolvie didn't die, they
      faded. But Carol--"

      "Carol will never fade entirely." McCoy's voice was expressionless.

      "But she can break her down far enough that she can absorb her instead. So
      it isn't separate. Like she did with Wolvie so she could use his--ummm,
      fighting stuff. But sort of different--" Jubilee stopped, and to his
      shock, St. John saw the Professor nod slowly, almost thoughtfully. A
      glance at Dr. McCoy, then Logan.

      Logan wasn't giving anything away here. Not a single expression that told
      them how they were doing in the convincing department.

      "I have indicated to you, Xavier, that this method is the only one we have
      not tried." Dr. McCoy's voice was even. "As you and Jean have both tried
      telepathic manipulation to help her control the onslaught of the foreign
      personality and it was unsuccessful, my observations during Rogue's
      absorption of Remy indicate that this may be a viable solution. Especially
      should you participate during the submersion of Rogue's identity and assist
      her in sorting and rebalancing her inner personalities. At worst, it will
      simply fail."

      "Or that bitch takes complete control for good." Logan now. Not sounding
      too keen on the idea.

      "Not of Rogue." Jubilee shook her head, and God, how the hell did she get
      that much confidence? "She's stronger than that. She just needs to rest
      and rethink the situation. She's bad about that, she'll react and think
      she's being clear-headed when she's not. She needs to stop reacting and be
      forced to think and not be afraid--and she'll break her. Slice and dice,
      baby."

      Yeah. That actually sounded reasonable.

      "I'd need to be present to assure that St. John is not harmed during the
      experiment. St. John, you've said little--are you certain you wish to go
      through with this?"

      Oh. He had a choice?

      "I'll do it." His voice sounded less convincing than he'd expected.
      Clearing his throat, he tried again, feeling the gazes of everyone. "I
      mean, it'll work. I'm not worried about it. I know Carol--she--" God,
      seeing Carol again. But his knee was better, he was recharged, and he
      breathed out slowly. Carefully. He was eighteen, not twelve or thirteen,
      and she couldn't scare him like that anymore. Mostly. "I'm ready when you
      are."

      The brush of a mind against his, then the Professor nodded, satisfied. St.
      John breathed out, looking curiously around the room, but the Professor was
      focused on Logan.

      "Logan?"

      Nothing for a minute--and St. John shivered at the look he gave them,
      remembering that long time avoiding Logan because of what they knew about
      Remy. He knew Logan remembered that, was putting it together--and this
      wasn't good, wasn't good by a long stretch of the imagination. The
      Professor waited, and St. John felt Logan's steady gaze on him--and
      suddenly, it came together.

      This was Logan's decision. Rogue had given him that power; the decisions
      for her medical treatment, her decisions period, were in his hands. And
      all of that depended suddenly on him, on them, on the kids that had lied to
      him through silence about what Rogue had gone through before.

      And God, what reason had they given him to trust them?

      "All right. I want to be there, Chuck."

      "Of course, Logan. I wouldn't dream of it otherwise.

      The End

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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      --"Extra Small Condoms <tag line: For men who know that size doesn't matter
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      --It's sordid and dirty and messy and a helluva lot of fun, but you can't
      be afraid of the passion. -- Obsession by Karen S.

      --Er.... that's whizzing past Fruedian Avenue, making skidmarks on
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      Hugh Jackman and a sausage
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