Chasing Jubilation

March 05, 2016:

Logan and Storm discuss their mutual friend's blood addiction. Some NSFW language and hugs.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

SOME TIME AGO

"I know it ain't much," Logan says while leading his sometimes teammate to a reasonably intact table in an unreasonably dive-y bar, "but I hadta get outta the house for a little while, an' this joint's pretty quiet when the sun's out. Thanks for mee—"

Logan is interrupted when a man wearing a bulky, warthog-themed costume charges through the doors of Marc's Tavern while bellowing, "Fuck YOU I'm fired, you fuckin' pissboy!" at the man behind the bar(who may or may not be Marc). He keeps right on charging after turning the door into shrapnel, crushing tables and chairs alike as he barrels towards the bartender. The place is fairly empty - four patrons, counting Logan and Ororo; this means plenty of hiding places for those who'd rather not be crushed.

"Ah, for fuck's sake…" Logan grunts while glancing sidelong towards Ororo and pushing his chair back.

NOW

With Disgruntled Warthog Man vanquished and waiting to be picked up by the cops, Logan heads for what was the door of Marc's Tavern clutching a free bottle of booze in one hand and bracing the other against the taller woman's arm for a measure of support. Maybe fifty percent of his shirt survived the encounter, but the tusk-wounds along his side are closing up nicely.

"Like I was sayin'," he mutters, "thanks for meetin' me— been a while since we've spoken, since I ain't been around much. How've you been? How's everything back at the— place?"

Ororo is worse for wear, in terms of damaged clothing. It's not that she's been reduced to fifty percent of her shirt — actually, just a few rips, one of which reveals part of her bra. The 'worse' part comes in here: she's wearing a cashmere sweater that was undoubtedly very expensive. Her long skirt is also a bit torn, slitted up one side such that if it wasn't such a ragged tear, it might look like part of the design. She has her own trophy, a bottle of wine.

"Things have been well," Ororo says. She's got a fat lip swelling up but she'll live. "The place is still the place. I have been trying to reach out to my friends more — especially ones who are not part of day-to-day life there. You, Rogue… Jubilation…" Ororo maybe sounds a bit pained when she says that last name, but it might also be the actual physical pain she feels. "I will be honest, I feel that your presence is missed, as much as it was ever truly there. Some people feel perhaps that the school has grown… I do not know. Predictable? Not enough warthog men, apparently. Aside from Eric, the boy whose powers made him look like a warthog."

"Big difference between a warthog boy and a warthog man," Logan replies with a smirk that doesn't last for very long. Mostly, he's grimacing as they walk, as much because he's still taking stock of Ororo's injuries as anything else.

"Sorry I ain't been around— things've been. Complicated, this year; chasin' demons that think they're still the other thing." Which is a fancy way of saying 'terrorizing Purifiers'; a couple of dead bigots even ended up in the news a few months back, thanks to him.

"I appreciate the effort, though— 's good to be reminded I ain't alone out here." He twists his bottle open, throws back a healthy swig, then holds it up to Ororo as he adds, "What's up with the firecracker?"

Ororo fared pretty well, as far as injuries. The fat lip is from flying debris. Most of the torn clothing is, as well. She did take one body blow that'll give her a nasty bruise on her belly, but luckily it's not bikini season in New York.

"You are never alone, my friend," Ororo chimes pleasantly, in her melodious, serene voice. "I am always but a call away. Even if you only wish to hear the voice of another for a moment or two."

Ororo walks confidently, helping to support an adamantium-laced gentleman while still in her high heeled boots. "Jubilation is… troubled, Logan. I worry for her. She is in Gotham City, attempting to live under the radar. I found her — but she is scared of what happened to her, possibly ashamed. She does not want to come home. I fear I offended her. She ran away, and I have not caught up with her since." Ororo doesn't sound very happy about any of that. Logan's a grown-ass man, to the extent that he never really gets the Den Mother treatment from the weather-witch. But when Ororo speaks of Jubilee, that Den Mother gene is very much active in her voice.

Ororo is a grown-ass woman in her own right, but Logan tends not to be too crazy about his non-regenerative friends getting beaten up around him. The grimace will eventually fade; having free whisky helps.

"Ashamed— what happened to her?" he wonders as his brows arch. With his intermittent schedule of X-Manning, it's likely that Jubilee's brush with death came and went while he was off scaring campers in the Canadian wilderness, or whatever it was he disappeared to do that time. "What happened to her that she'd wanna run away to goddamn Gotham—"

He takes another swig, then grunts once it's down. "Christ." After another small sip, he sighs, shakes his head, and mutters, "You're a good woman, Ororo— tryin' to keep us from gettin' too lost in our shit. How do you do it— you gotta have plenty'a shit'a your own…"

"I trust my friends to help me from getting too lost, myself." Ororo tries to smirk, but her heart isn't really in it. She hasn't drank any of her wine. Perhaps she plans to save it for a rainy day. Or re-gift it. Ororo tugs at her sweater, pulling up the bottom edge of one of the rips, perhaps feeling she's a bit too exposed.

"Jubilation was bitten by a vampire," Ororo says. "I hope that you will forgive my bluntness, but there is no easier way to lead into it. She does not feel comfortable with the school so long as the vampiric urges within her exist. As far as I know, she is not feeding on live human prey — she is likely subsiding on rats or other vermin she can catch in the city." Ororo lets out a deep sigh. "She is still herself — her irrepressible self — but it is burdened now, with the sorrow of being undead."

Logan pulls back from leaning on the weather-goddess while she attempts to summon a smirk, probably because those ugly gashes in his side are just about gone. The two of them draw some stares, between the blood and the injuries and the damaged clothes; this being New York, however, plenty of pedestrians pass without a second look.

"She needs someone lookin' after her," is his immediate, softly spoken thought once he hears more of Jubilee's plight. "Keepin' her human— bein' alone ain't— can't imagine it's doin' her any good." Following a beat, he screws up his features and shakes his head while muttering, "A fuckin' vampire, Jesus. Like it ain't hard enough bein' one'a us, she's gotta worry about assholes with sticks gettin' in her business now. Guess it's a good thing she ain't been— hh. 's good she figured out the right diet."

After another swig, the cap goes on what is now about 3/4ths of a bottle of whisky, and then he reaches for Ororo again. This time, he aims for the shoulder— to offer a little support, rather than taking it. "I know I been squirrely, lately, but that offer'a yours— it ain't one way," he quietly notes while squeezing. "Might not have the same number from one week to the next, but just the same." Once that's said, his hand leaves her shoulder so that he can flip some guy with a StarkPhone pointed at them the bird.

Ororo breathes out deeply through her nose and lifts her chin when Logan touches her shoulder. "I do have a favor to ask of you, Logan," Ororo says, after a pause. She either doesn't notice or doesn't care about the man with the smart phone. A woman in ripped up clothes and a mohawk, carrying a bottle of wine? She's either on a meth bender or a follower of the latest bizarre Brooklyn fashion trends.

"Find her. Speak to her. Make her know that we — me, you, all of us — are here for her. I tried, but I feel that… though we are part of the same family, there is a space between Jubilation and I, one that I cannot easily cross, especially in a time of trouble such as this. But you, Logan… you are her hero, as far as I am aware. When you speak, she will not take it lightly."

Ororo looks down and over at her Canadian companion, and there's a subtle tightness in her face that's not often seen. Ororo rarely lets herself show things such as 'blatant concern.' "Would you do that for me, Logan? Please?"

Logan, meanwhile, has 'Flipping Off Nosy Bystanders' listed under 'skills' in his old Alpha Flight file; his hand doesn't drop from being turned towards Phone Guy until they're basically out of view.

Simultaneously, the smaller mutant's eyes widen with surprise at the weather-witch's request. "I ain't anybody's hero, 'Ro— an' I've barely been—" He pauses to press his tongue against the edges of his teeth and makes a quiet rumbling noise. His own words from just moments ago come back to him and Ororo's look of concern melts whatever resolve is left after that.

"I'll talk to her," he acquiesces following a groan, "but I can't promise nothin'— for all I know, she shows up tellin' 'em I told her to and Cyke might just send her on her way for a while." The bottle twitches towards him momentarily, only to come down as he mutters, "You got any idea where I can find her, or am I gonna be followin' the dead rats?"

"I will e-mail you what I have," Ororo says, her resolve toughened by Logan's agreement to her scheme. "I do not expect you to work a miracle, Logan. I simply want you to let her know that help is possible. Whether it comes from you, or from me, or… in all honesty, the school is probably not a terribly safe environment for her at the moment. As much as I wish it was so." One way Ororo's tension shows is how she doesn't speak in paragraph-long sentences, like she's addressing the masses — there are pauses between her thoughts like sentence breaks.

"Logan, thank you." Storm stops in her tracks, luckily out of view of Mr. Phone Man, and moves to pull Logan into a hug. She's strong but graceful. She couldn't bench-press Logan, but she can redirect him, and her timing is impeccable to keep him from accidentally sloshing any liquor onto himself. Her hug is tight, friendly, and warm. It's a worthy question whether everyone gets hugs like this, or if Logan is benefiting from Ororo using him as some kind of Jubilee-surrogate.

Logan is hard, heavy, and still a bit bloody as he's pulled into the hug. Surrogate or not, it takes him a moment to reciprocate the gesture by wrapping an arm around her for a moment of tightness before relenting once he remembers the injuries. And the freaky mutant cyborg strength.

"Only right," he quietly says while patting her back. "You mostly done right by me, all'a you; payin' a little of that back - without hurtin' anybody, even - that's the least I owe ya." Once that's said, he steps away from the mohawked mutant and adds, "If she ain't ready to go back, she still won't be alone. Girl's old enough ta take a break from school for a while anyway, I reckon."

Ororo laughs softly. "She's not much older than I was when I /started/ my formal schooling," the windrider notes. Not much room for high school when you're running around being a local weather goddess. Ororo is released from the hug, and then fixes her sweater again — one of the rips got a little stuck on Logan's sideburn. She doesn't apologize for the hug even slightly.

"I knew you were strong, Logan, but even so, I did not know you were THAT strong." Ororo delivers the comment with what might be a playful little smile — it's hard to tell with a goddess, sometimes. Still, she sounds like she approves. "I will have your information by tonight."

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