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FIC: Fault Lines (RR #37): PG: Jubilee, Hank

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  • Jenn
    Title: Fault Lines Author: jenn (jenn@igg-tx.net) Series: RR #37 Codes: Jubilee, Hank Rating: PG Summary: Jubilee talks to Hank. Author Notes: I
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 7, 2001
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      Title: Fault Lines
      Author: jenn (jenn@...)
      Series: RR #37
      Codes: Jubilee, Hank
      Rating: PG
      Summary: Jubilee talks to Hank.
      Author Notes: I absolutely fell in love with "Feeling Cavalier". That was
      an absolutely gorgeous piece of work, chica. <grins> Jubilee disagreed
      with Hank, though. <g>
      Archiving: RRindex at Indulgence, Muses' Fool. I just updated. <sigh>
      God, I got behind. What WAS I thinking?

      *****

      Jubilee saw Hank standing outside of Miss Rogue's room, hand pressed to the
      door Only a couple of hours earlier, she'd seen Logan standing in that
      same place.

      Of course, Logan, like Hank, hadn't opened the door, and personally,
      Jubilee thought that was a severe miscalculation on his part. Leaning
      against the corner, Jubilee wondered if, just maybe, she shouldn't have
      upped the bet. Logan was showing some unwelcome traces of something that
      might resemble guilt. Guilt, usually, did not contribute toward good sex.
      Guilt led to such things as watching him go outside and into the woods,
      perhaps to run down the aforementioned deer or two--in which case, he was
      seriously in the wrong area, but hey, there *were* rabbits.

      Sighing, she picked at a loose thread on her coat. No, in retrospect,
      upping the bet *may* have been a really bad idea. Of course, the pot was
      close to a thousand now. Just a little late to be rethinking the options.
      Shrugging, she turned to leave.

      "Jubilee!" Hank was coming toward her. Damn. "What are you doing here?"

      Technically, Jubilee *did* live in this wing, though certainly not that
      close to Miss Rogue's new room. Hank was one of those rare souls that
      Jubilee had serious issues lying to, and not just because he was a great
      deal bigger than she was. Hank was as honest, as clear, as a glass of
      water. He was also not that great at catching lies, because it never
      occurred to him that anyone was less honorable than he was himself. Double
      whammy with that one. Jubilee sighed and cocked her head.

      "Bobby told you about the bet, didn't he?"

      Reason number two that Jubilee didn't like to lie to Hank--Hank never, ever
      lied to them. Ever. The blue face purpled just a little in a light flush,
      then he sighed.

      "Yes, he did."

      Jubilee nodded and jerked her head toward the stairs.

      "Wanna get a snack?"

      "When you tell me why you were watching Rogue's room."

      Jubilee grinned up at him.

      "Goes better with peanut butter, amigo. Come on. I'll explain
      everything."

      * * * * *

      Hank shook his head over his third peanut-butter sandwich and Jubilee
      leaned back into her chair, playing with her crust.

      "This is not--"

      "Nice?"

      "Something of that sort." He chewed absently before reaching for his glass
      of milk. Jubilee leaned over to fish a cookies from the plate between
      them. "Jubilee, what possessed you to place wagers on your teachers?"

      "A sad lack of other things to do." Pulling a knee to her chest, Jubilee
      took a bite of her cookie, thinking about how she could maneuver Logan back
      into the Mansion. This was difficult enough--the little accident of Miss
      Rogue's had definitely set things back. Miss Rogue was going to be
      stubborn now, even more than she'd been before. "You didn't see when Mr.
      Summers met Miss Grey. It was--" Jubilee stopped, frowning. "You don't
      read romance novels, do you?"

      A smile curled up the corner of Hank's mouth.

      "I have indulged in light recreational reading, Jubilee."

      "Okay, so you know how they always have that love at first sight crap?"
      Hank nodded seriously and Jubilee sent a special thanks to whatever power
      that was keeping Hank from laughing at her. "I never believed it--but Mr.
      Summers and Miss Grey, it was, like, *just* like that. Every time they
      looked at each other, you could feel it."

      "And for some reason, this person Logan sprang to mind as an appropriate
      consolation prize for Rogue?"

      Ooh. Jubilee straightened, hearing something Not Good in Hank's voice.

      "You don't like him. Notice my sheer lack of surprise here." Jubilee
      shook her head. She wondered if Logan was deliberately setting out to make
      everyone dislike him. No one could possibly do that accidentally.

      "First impressions were not--the best possible," Hank answered reluctantly,
      as he set aside the remaining crust and gazed at the cookies.

      "Did he do that 'I'm invincible and also mean, so get outta here before I
      do bad stuff' thing?"

      Jubilee watched in amusement as Hank strangled a laugh, and reached for
      another cookie. Sometimes, Hank had a weird sense of humor. One of her
      favorite things about him.

      "I think it was more his thoughtlessness, Jubilee."

      "Oh." Jubilee sat back in the chair, twirling the cookie around. "You
      mean letting Miss Rogue touch him."

      Hank nodded slowly and the clear brown eyes met hers.

      "It was thoughtless and perhaps even selfish."

      Jubilee nodded.

      "Yeah, I suppose. Must have been nice though." Jubilee saw Hank's
      expression and smiled, shrugging a little, shifting in her chair. "I
      wonder if anyone else in the world can really honestly say that someone
      loved them enough to die to touch them."

      Hank froze, cookie suspended in one hand.

      "It's not love, Jubilee."

      "Oh?" Jubilee looked reflectively at her cookie, setting it down. "What's
      love then?"

      Hank tilted his head, and Jubilee recognized the look. She'd seen it on
      Miss Rogue's face during English class the day after Mr. Summers had
      proposed and they'd been studying the Romantic poets.

      "It's many things. I don't understand it myself sometimes." A thoughtful
      look crossed his face, and Jubilee remembered that once, Hank had been in
      love too. Very much so, though he'd never discussed it with her or anyone
      else, as far as she knew. Only whispers of the woman he'd been dating, the
      quiet speculation in their dorm rooms--then nothing. It was probably the
      only thing at the school that was a true mystery to everyone, and more than
      once, Jubilee had wanted to ask. But the expression on Hank's face forbore
      comment. "It's more that merely lust or desire--it's sacrifice. It's a
      willingness to think of your partner's needs before your own. It's putting
      someone else above yourself in all things."

      Jubilee was suddenly very, very glad she hadn't asked. There was something
      coloring Hank's voice that had something very like pain.

      "So Logan doesn't love Miss Rogue."

      Hank blinked, flipping back into the here and now, and the brown eyes met
      hers, the pained look fading.

      "Attraction, yes. Perhaps caring. But if he can't understand Rogue's own
      limits and respect them--"

      "You mean, the touching thing."

      Hank nodded.

      "It hurts her. He should have thought before he acted."

      "Yeah." Jubilee mulled that. "So should she, I guess."

      Hank frowned.

      "It's not Rogue's fault, Jubilee."

      "But if she wanted it--"

      "Logan should have known better. If he knew her even a little--if he
      understood how very difficult it is for her, to be denied human
      contact--then he never would have put her in that position." Hank shook
      his head. "I will never understand--"

      Jubilee sighed softly.

      "Yeah. It's definitely all his fault. You're right." Jubilee tilted her
      head a little, giving Hank a long look. "You know, I went into the Danger
      Room the other day while it was running." She mulled her cookie. "No
      safeties were on and Logan was cutting a mean swathe through the
      animatronics. Very cool to watch."

      Hank dropped the cookie in shock. Hank was so rarely in shock that Jubilee
      had to take a moment to enjoy it.

      "Jubilee! What has Scott told you--you could be badly injured--"

      "It wasn't my fault." As the brown eyes widened in disbelief, Jubilee
      shrugged. "Logan should have known I'd pick the lock. Right?"

      Ooh, a Look. Adults looked at her like that a lot.

      "Jubilee, those are two different things."

      "I know. What I did was on purpose, so there's a fault there. Accidents,
      you know, aren't anyone's fault." Tilting her head, Jubilee took in Hank's
      steady gaze. "I like Logan. He's grouchy and he's weird, and really,
      really moody. But he likes fried chicken and he tried to die for Miss
      Rogue before he even knew her very well, and he didn't yell at me too much
      when I barged in on his Danger Room session and didn't bitch to Mr. Summers
      about it." With a little smile, she grabbed a handful of cookies from the
      plate. "He felt bad that he brought Jean here, you know, and messed up Mr.
      Summers and Miss Rogue's engagement. He was outside Miss Rogue's door
      earlier looking all guilty; I'll bet he thinks it was all his fault that
      the accident happened in the lake." Jubilee shook her head, tucking the
      cookies into her pocket and standing up. "And if he feels bad enough, then
      he'll leave, and we'll never have to worry about another accident
      happening, because Miss Rogue will never want to go swimming again. I'll
      see you later."

      Hank was looking at her as if she'd grown horns. She got that look a lot
      from adults.

      "Where are you going?" he asked, as she pushed open the door.

      "Take him some cookies and apologize for barging in during his Danger Room
      session. If I'd gotten hurt, he would have blamed himself too, and I think
      maybe he needs to know that it wouldn't have been his fault."

      The End

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

      On Published Versus Fanfic (simplified)

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