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FIC: On the Merits of Chicken....: RR #26: Logan, Jubilee

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  • Jenn
    Title: On the Merits of Chicken to Soothe the Savage Beast Author: jenn (jenn@igg-tx.net) Series: Unspoken RR #26 Codes: Logan, Jubilee Rating: PG-13
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 30, 2001
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      Title: On the Merits of Chicken to Soothe the Savage Beast
      Author: jenn (jenn@...)
      Series: Unspoken RR #26
      Codes: Logan, Jubilee
      Rating: PG-13
      Summary: Jubilee tries to stack the deck. Logan wonders if someone is
      spiking the school's water with PCP. And there's chicken, but that's
      another story only the chickens can really tell.
      Author Notes: I blame Andy, Min, Victoria, Jamie, and Shana for this. All
      of you. Just as guilty. You're TEASING me. How the heck am I supposed to
      resist all this delicious angst? Tell me that. Here's a thought--anyone
      know where Rogue's bedroom is? Have we given her one yet or is she
      sleeping on the rec room's couch?
      Timeline: After "As the Mutant Turns", with reference to "Reaction Shot"
      and "Blind Jump". That's all I'm sure of. Andy, your call. <g> Flexible
      am I.
      Archiving: RRindex at Indulgence, Muse's Fool, XMMFC, WRFA.
      Feedback: With soda, accepted with utter delight.

      Shana, two words for you. Chocolate. Warren. <smiles>

      *****

      He'd never even seen the kid approach.

      One minute, he was kicking serious ass across the Danger Room and generally
      letting Wolverine lose from his tether and imagining Scott Summers in a
      variety of painful scenarios--decapitation worked *really* well--the next,
      a small mutant girl in a bright yellow jacket was seated on the floor ten
      feet to his left, watching him with rapt attention.

      *Shit*. Could his life get any fucking weirder?

      "Halt!" At least he knew the commands to stop the program. Turning on
      her, he heard himself growl. She looked unimpressed, to say the least.
      Not a normal reaction from anyone, least of all a little girl.

      "Hey, Wolvie."

      Grrr. Stomping to the wall, he grabbed a towel, wiping off his face with
      angry strokes.

      "How the *hell* did you get in here?" He wasn't in the mood for women.
      Any women. Even adolescent ones.

      "The door." One hand went out to casually point. There was a door there,
      yes, but he was pretty sure he'd locked it. In fact, he was very sure he
      had. Throwing the towel down, he advanced on her--and she looked up at him
      with mild interest and fixed the sleeve of her yellow jacket with total
      unconcern, rolling it neatly to her elbow.

      "Did you know the program was running?"

      "Yeah, the door was locked." She fixed her other sleeve and leaned back on
      both arms to give him a long look. Up and down. He fought the urge to
      squirm. "Yeah. I can totally see it. *Tres* hot."

      Okay. This was descending toward surreal really damn fast and Logan felt
      an instinctive need to dive for his shirt. He prayed he wasn't flushing.

      "Kid--"

      "Jubilation Lee--Jubilee, X-Man in training." Getting to her feet, she
      extended a small hand with a cocky smile. "We haven't met yet."

      No, they hadn't. Blinking, not sure what else to do, Logan gingerly
      reached out and shook her hand. She had a good grip. Drawing back, Logan
      tried to find the momentum of anger--well, that was gone. He'd shaken
      hands with her. Hard as hell to bitch someone out after polite
      introductions.

      "You could have been hurt."

      She shrugged, leaning back against the wall with beautiful nonchalance,
      drumming her fingers against the cool metal.

      "Nah. You were doing okay. Now, if it'd been Mr. Summers in here, woulda
      been different, what with the eye-beams and the fact that he knows I can
      pick the lock." Her eyes flickered to his face in interest when he felt
      the unconscious scowl cross his face. "Why don't you get your stuff and
      we'll get something to eat?"

      Huh?

      "What?"

      She shrugged.

      "I've been waiting for you to finish and missed lunch--and after that
      work-out, you gotta be hungry. Come on--I'll show you where Miss Munroe
      hides the snacks."

      Logan disliked the feeling he was coming in around the middle of a
      conversation in progress. He disliked it even more when the other
      conversant seemed to be unaware of this. Didn't she know who--well, yes,
      she did know who he was. She called him Wolvie.

      Logan could count the number of times on one hand he'd had a nickname--and
      that one time was all it had taken to convince others never, ever to use
      one.

      "Kid--"

      "I'm sure they have something raw and bleeding in the fridge if you're
      interested in less cooked items of food." She tilted her head slightly,
      brushing her hair back from her face and tossing him an ingratiating grin.
      "And if there isn't, why, I'll show you where the deer congregate so you
      can go run something down personally."

      He couldn't help a smile at that.

      "Where do you hear crap like that?"

      "Here and there." A hand fluttered in the air vaguely. "Come on."

      Grabbing his towel and bottle of water, Logan tried to reclaim some of his
      dignity--or at least his anger.

      "Look, kid, I'm not--"

      "Normally so very friendly?" She pushed the door open--he'd give money to
      know how she'd cracked that lock--and waited patiently as he made his way
      toward her. There really wasn't anywhere else to go. "Yeah, I'm really
      impressed with your people skills myself. Hurry. Adults are out doing
      things and they don't like between-meal snacking."

      Logan found himself, to his own shock, following her to the elevator.
      Something was very wrong with him. As she stepped inside, hitting the
      correct sequence of buttons, Logan took a moment to also wonder how she got
      the combinations.

      "Anyway, whatcha think you're doing exactly?"

      Logan blinked, looking down at her.

      "Huh?"

      "You know--meandering around in a huff, working the upper level Danger Room
      scenarios, scaring the boys outta the rec room. It's like, funny and all,
      but then they come to my room, since I have the only other TV in the house.
      Sort of annoying when a girl wants to do a facial and there are boys in her
      room."

      Logan felt his back tighten.

      "Nothing."

      "Have anything to do with Miss Rogue looking all confused and Mr. Summers
      ordering another overhaul of the jet?"

      That was it. Logan almost opened his mouth to tell her to mind her own
      business when--

      "I sort of have money riding on this, so you gotta understand my position
      here, Wolvie."

      What?

      "What?"

      The elevator opened and Jubilee tripped out, turning slightly to watch him
      until he stepped onto the hardwood floor. With a bright smile, she
      backstepped to grab his arm, and damned if the kid wasn't *dragging* him
      down the hall toward the kitchen. Bemused, Logan forgot to dig in his
      heels, and when it occurred to him that he really could stop her if he
      stopped, they were pushing through the kitchen door.

      Pushing him toward the table, she ducked into the fridge and Logan knew he
      had to regain control of this conversation.

      "Kid, I don't know what you think you--"

      "You like cold chicken?"

      It was meat. Of course he did. But what--

      "Yeah. Kid--"

      "Jubilee." She dropped a platter on the table between them and returned to
      the fridge. Logan was hungry, given. That didn't mean he needed to sit
      here and-- "Here ya go."

      Logan took a breath at the sight of a bottle of beer. They had beer.
      Leinekugel's Red, but still beer. Jubilee, opening a soda, got hold of a
      chicken leg and took a bite, eyebrows raised until he finally reached into
      the pile and fished out a breast.

      Oh how ironic.

      "Anyway, as I said, I got money riding on this, and I figured you'd be the
      kind of guy to understand the position I'm in." She took another bite of
      her chicken and fixed the dark eyes on him.

      "You have money--"

      "On how this all ends up. You play poker, right?"

      Logan nodded. So far, that seemed the safest bet.

      "Johnny told me, but I wasn't sure where he heard it." Jubilee nodded to
      herself. "Anyway, I have forty riding on you right now, and I'd like to
      collect, you know? Odds are against you, but I figure, you know, you'd be a
      good bet."

      "On what?"

      "On whose bed Miss Rogue is sharing in about--twenty-six days or so."

      Logan spit out the chicken in shock. Before he could recover, a paper
      towel was thrust into his hand.

      "That was totally gross, dude. You and Johnny gotta stop that." Through
      watering eyes, Logan looked up at Jubilee and saw her absently finishing
      her leg. Quickly, he cleaned up the half-chewed chicken and set the paper
      towel aside.

      He had to be dreaming. Had to be.

      "What did you say?"

      "Which part?"

      The women of this damn school were utterly insane. Had to be in the water.
      Logan looked at the bottled water he'd been drinking. This wasn't a good
      sign.

      "The part about Rogue."

      "Oh, that." She waved the leg casually in the air. "I got forty that you
      and Miss Rogue are doing the rabbit thing in twenty-six days."

      Dear God.

      "You bet forty dollars on--" He couldn't even get the words out.

      "You and Miss Rogue, Mr. Summers and Jean Grey will be screwing like
      bunnies on speed. Respectively." She finished the leg and put it on a
      spare paper towel.

      "What makes you think--"

      "Oh please." Waving a second chicken leg, she pointed it at him. "You
      watch Miss Rogue like a starving dog eyeing a dying deer, and Mr. Summers'
      Playboy collection is being taken out and whittled down to only redheads."
      She tapped the table sharply. "Pay attention here. Comprende? Get to it.
      Twenty-six days sounds like a lot of time, but you gotta at least get Miss
      Rogue on a couple of dates first. She took a damn long time letting Mr.
      Summers in her underwear and you have a lot less time than that."

      Logan looked at the water bottle. This had to be a hallucination.

      "Now, I have all kinds of faith that you can live up to your side of
      things, Wolvie. Just, you know, do your thing."

      "Thing?"

      Jubilee blew out breath in a rush. Logan couldn't tear her gaze from her.
      Literally.

      "The manly growling thing you do when you get all--you know, Wolvie-like.
      Come on, do the shirtless thing and drop her in water again and let things,
      you know, proceed." With another bite of the chicken, she nodded her head
      positively and fixed him with a long look.

      "Look, kid," he said finally, realizing that he had to take control now,
      "Rogue is--"

      "Really interested."

      Okay, it was the water. These people were delusional.

      "Kid--"

      "Jubilee. It's not that hard to remember." She shrugged a little, pointed
      the chicken at him again. "Look, she's, you know, Miss Rogue. She's weird
      sometimes. She's not a real big risk taker, you know? But she's also,
      well--" Jubilee paused, and apparently, though Logan couldn't be really
      certain, he thought she was trying to be tactful. "She gets these weird
      starts. Like--okay, here's an example. She walks around her room naked."

      Logan stopped breathing. The imagery alone was.... Jubilee winked and
      shook the chicken leg at him.

      "Yeah. Thought so." She leaned back in her chair, taking another bite
      from the leg, giving him a smug smile. "It's her rebellious streak--she's
      got one, though you never, ever see it. Little things, you know? So when
      she's alone, she strips down to nothing. To prove to herself that she's
      not scared of her skin. Even though she is." Jubilee nodded, almost to
      herself, Logan thought, before she looked at him again. The clear brown
      eyes were perfectly serious. "It's all in the little things with Miss
      Rogue. She's like, all about control and all that crap, you know? Draw a
      line here, don't cross it, don't get too close 'cause of the skin-sucking
      thing, always wear the gloves and the scarves and God help you if you try
      and touch her without them. She's been like that, like, forever. But the
      thing is, that's not everything she is. It's not even close. She's the
      type that'll watch thunderstorms through the window because she loves them,
      but can't take the step outside and stand under the sky. You get my drift
      here?"

      Logan remembered the way her hand trembled in his, the convulsive
      tightening of her fingers before he felt her let go and jump. He'd felt it
      move in her, the snap that was just below the surface. That one moment
      that was total terror and total freedom, when she'd made the decision and
      said to hell with the results.

      "What makes you think that--"

      "She's interested?" Well, that wasn't what he was going to ask, but for
      some reason, he didn't correct her. "Easy one. You make her lose control.
      And I know her, Wolvie. She's my teacher and she'll be my teammate when I
      graduate, so I gotta know her pretty well." Her head tilted a little.
      "The trick isn't what she wants, amigo, because people want all sorts of
      freaky things, you know? It's in what she is. Know the difference and you
      won't have any problems at all."

      Logan thought about that, absently finishing off the breast. Jubilee
      waited in contented silence, nibbling on her drumstick as if they'd been
      discussing nothing more taxing than the weather.

      "What's the pot right now?"

      "On the bet? Five hundred, but if I get some assurances from you, I'll
      jump it to a hundred each player." A sunny smile. "Make things
      interesting."

      Logan leaned back in the chair and regarded the girl before him. There
      were a lot of things he could have said and might have, a lot of things
      he'd told himself and a thousand things he could have believed. Her back
      against the wall with Summers pressed against her or the wet warmth of her
      body in the cold water and the laugh that had slithered through them both
      when she knew she could swim.

      He could forget a lot of things, but not that laugh.

      "Put me in. You know what side."

      Jubilee grinned and finished off the second chicken leg.

      "I thought we'd get along, Wolvie."

      The End


      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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      *****

      On Published Versus Fanfic (simplified)

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      A: And fanfic writers are... what? Slightly scuzzy methadone addicts, as
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