ghost_hare_22 (ghost_hare_22) wrote in gh22_fanfic,
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ghost_hare_22
gh22_fanfic

I Never Wanted - Chapter 43

Jubilee had outlined her plan to Hank more than once, the huge Mall they were on the outskirts of was still shining brightly in the darkness. They'd gotten over the border in the early evening and they'd made good time in the stolen army truck.

Convincing him to stay put with both injured men was sense and Hank had seen it himself but he still felt uneasy at the sight of Jubilee walking over to the large shopping area. She'd put on her most winsome smile and taken the american dollars they'd stolen from the soldiers. "Trust me Hank....I'm on a promise and *thats* something to come back to." She hadn't expected it but he'd kissed her then, pulling her into his vast grip and holding her tight to him, his gaze filled with worry.
"Take care Jubilee....." she'd put her fingers on his lips then, her own eyes threatening to spill tears over the edges of her lids. She'd left at a swift jog, her legs powering her toward the centre of heaven, a mall complete with shoppers, money, food and transport. All she had to do was get them and out of there before security found her. She hadn't been the Queen of Beverly Hills for nothing, a dark smile on her lips as she entered the first set of toilets she found.

Ten minutes later she was out and cruising the mall's highways and by-ways, spotting the security was easy, they were still using 'eye-in-the-sky'. Easy to confuse when you were asian featured, she took a casual glance up to the camera watching the 'street' she was on. Yup, looked like a series three, Monika brand, that meant she had at least a three hundred foot radius to work in. The strip malls outside of her home had used these, they were useful if you wanted a general description of the person who'd robbed you but not if you wanted to catch them. An as of yet there hadn't been *one* security guard she couldn't outrun.

Smiling she went on her mission and let her hands drift as she passed through the crowds. Testing her dipping skills without lifting anything she worked her way toward the food court. The vast area was always a place to pick bags up, returning goods was a sure fire way to gain currency. She had to look for the chain store bags, boutiques were too small and would remember the person who bought from them.
It didn't take long, a Target bag, filled with boxes, and an asiatic family to boot! Thanking the gods who were looking after mutant theives tonight, she easily swiped the bag and made off with it. She even waved at the child who'd seen her take the bag making it look like she was part of the family.

When she was away from the food court Jubilee checked for the reciept, it was there at the bottom and her eyes scanned for the method of payment. Her luck was holding...they'd paid in hard cash, american cash at that. Seeing the time stamp on the reciept and noticing it was only an hour previously she made off for Target her body language taking on the harried stance of a seasoned shopper. She blended into the stream of people, just another shopper trying to get her bargains, no one even gave her a second glance.

The line for returns was long, something was telling her to go and come back later but the family wouldn't take long to notice that their bag was missing and they'd soon be back here. So she decided to push forward, putting her best 'American in a hurry' voice on she barged her way through the polite line of waiting Canadian customers.
"Excuse *me*," Jubilee pushed her way to the front desk and dropped the entire bag of boxes on the desk. The woman who's turn it had been was patiently waiting behind her, her anger making the hair on the back of her neck prickle.
The clerk looked at her obviously unused to such rudeness she just stood there looking at her. Jubilee entered full 'Beverly Hills Bitch' mode, "I don't know how you *people* manage to even run a *store* here in this god-forsaken country but what I do know is that I *need* these returning *now*. I don't have time to wait, we have to be back home before the morning rush and I *don't* expect to spend whatever time I have left waiting in a queue with the rest of *humanity*."

Maybe it was the way she'd been so brazen or maybe the way the rest of the queue had gone silent on her. Jubilee felt she'd made a huge error and was about to run for it when the clerk began ringing back her stolen purchases. She handed over the reciept from her pocket and waited for the cash to be given over, when it was she dropped a twenty in the clerks hand. Only to have the woman slap it back into her hand saying, "I get paid to be *here* an' if givin you this will get your bony assed carcass out of here I'd pay you *myself*!" Jubilee looked affronted at her and the queue of now simmering Canadians behind her, they were angry with her but to them she was just another rude American.

Jubilee left the store with just under a thousand dollars, tucking it into her pocket she went after the second target of her mission....supplies.

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Logan had been driving for an hour when he'd noticed the dark blue suv, a family vehicle, obviously well cared for but it looked out of place here on the dark roads after midnight. It was about three cars back and seemed to be following every move they made, ahead was a truck stop a planned stop on the route. Fifteen miles ahead lay the stop, Mason was still out for the count and Marie was napping. Keeping his thoughts open as the sky Logan kept the speed under the limit, his eye flicking back toward the car that was still on their rear. If it was trouble he was in the mood to finish whatever they started, cracking his knuckles Logan gripped the large steering wheel and waited. They'd make their move; then he'd make his, inside Wolverine was smiling, he needed some exercise and they'd be perfect.

**********************************************************

Picking a small pharmacy Jubilee shopped for the items Hank had told her he needed, canula or plastic tubing, scalpel blades and handle (she bought a stitch cutter the blade was small but sharp enough), liquid food (Jubilee had seen enough diet programmes to know that Slim-Fast was as good as any meal; plus it had a binding effect on the colon so no messy on the other end), bandages, first aid kit, water sterilisation tablets, painkillers, sanitary wear for her (just in case), a fresh set of underwear in plain cotton and some condoms (extra large if Hank was as big as the rest of his body). Taking her haul to the counter she watched the teller put her purchases through the scanner.

Her eyes drifted to the small television that was playing to amuse customers, ti was showing the riots in the major cities of America. People were dying at the hands of the military, human and mutant alike were dying. Her mind went back to the day she'd picked up Hank with Bobby, when the whole thing had collapsed around her. She suddenly felt so alone as she passed over the money, the woman who had served her caught her eyeline and commented on what she was watching. "Sad isn't it? All because someone couldn't remember what God had told us," when Jubilee didn't answer her she elucidated. "Judge not, lest you too be judged by my hand." The womans sentiment cut through all the bullshit and suddenly Jubilee felt like a leper. Grabbing her bag she went out of the store, her breathing a little erratic and her face flushed. Shoving her way through crowded streets she just went into the crowd not seeing or feeling, just moving against the flow of humanity that threatened to drown her within it.

She almost screamed when the hand grabbed her arm and pulled her into a seat, she looked up bemused at a kind face under a security hat. His eyes were soft and kind but he had hard lines along his nose and mouth, this was a face that had heard everything and he'd never found it amusing in the first place. He looked through her and Jubilee tried to get her 'face' back in order but she was failing under his scrutiny.
"Are you alright miss?" His hand was still on her arm and she felt her skin burn as she thought about the things she'd just done in here. "Is there anything I can do for you? Do you need assistance?" His hand was straying to his radio when Jubilee finally opened her mouth, her fingers lighting on his own. Blinking back her tears she shook her head.
"No, no I'm fine. I just took a fright that's all, I really shouldn't come into large spaces with lots of people..." The security guard nodded as he steered her away from the stream of people and into the lee of a store window.

Just being out of the stream made her nerves settle and she looked around for a clock, her mind suddenly on the time and how soon she'd have to get out of here before they went searching for an asiatic thief answering her description. She tried to move her arm out of the guards grip but found herself held tight, her eyes widened as she looked at the man holding her.
His eyes were dark brown, hair thick and stuck under a hat that was obviously trying to come off his head. Even his body was built solidly and Jubilee had one name on her lips as he moved her over to the store window to get a good look at her.....Logan.

He looked like Logan!

The name badge was missing on his uniform but he thumbed his radio, tuning out the squawking that was coming through it. He let her get her breath and when she seemed settled he let her go, his hand smoothing down her shirt. Noticing the pharmacy bag he motioned to it, "Everything all right with you?" His eyes held Jubilee's for a moment and she saw the resemblance in the movements of Logan in this man. Although he was older, he had salt and pepper in his dark hair, what showed through from his ill fitting hat.
"Yes, I'm shopping for a friend, he's sick and I need to get back now." The guard stood in her way and Jubilee felt her powers course down her hands tinging the air with ozone. The guards nostrils twitched as he moved back and allowed her room to move, his eyes still on her as she moved away back into the stream of people.
"You sure your okay? You don't need an escort to your car?" The man's face showed concern, something that smoothed out all the lines on his face and lit the warmth in his dark eyes. For a second she was looking at Logan, that was until another guard caught up with them, the hand slapping on Logan's double making him break the contact with her. She heard the conversation and decided to get out while she could.

"Come on Logan, we're needed, there's a fight over at the food court. An asian family is accusing a group of kids of stealing from them." Jubilee watched as Logan's double and the other security guard left her at a jog, even though he was older than 'their' Logan he still moved like their version. Low slung to the ground with a dark smile hinting at his mouth, fists clenched as he wove in between the shoppers. Looking for all the world like a wolf running through the standing pines, hoping to escape the hunt Jubilee left the first exit she came across. Now all she had to do was boost a car, one big enough to hide Hank in. Striding out across the carpark she headed direct for the furthest pieces, going for the now shaded parts of the place. Her eyes glued on the sizes and shapes of the vehicles until she found something that could fill their needs.

The shadows did their job but her fingers weren't as nimble as they used to be and she'd ended up popping the trunk. Climbing into the car by the back seat, she pushed her way through the belts of the family suv, finally in the front seat she noticed it wasn't a gear shift. Cursing her luck she slammed her hands on the steering wheel, a slight jingle met her ears and she did it again. Definately a jingle and her ears triangulated where it was coming from, under the dashboard, just along the column. Her fingers found the depression and the keys that were taped inside, smiling and thanking the gods that had looked after her so far Jubilee looked at the keys.
A small silver moose was on them, it's antlers were encrusted with diamonte as were it's hooves. Snapping off the moose and taking a box from her supplies Jubilee dropped the silver charm along with two hundred dollars into the box and left it where the car she was stealing had been. At least she was leaving them some money to get home on, she'd done her best and soon they'd all be travelling better and away from the lights of Ottowa. The outisde lights that illuminated the signs leading into the mall were put out. Time to leave.

As she pulled out of the huge carpark she caught sight of her security guard, he was holding a man twice the size of himself in a headlock. He looked as happy as a pig in shit, eyes blazing and a smile locked onto his face. Her eyes caught his for a second and she felt his stare go right through her. She had a few questions for Logan when she saw him next....Jubilee edited her thoughts to *if* she saw him again. At the moment they were still running and they were too close to the border for relaxing. Gunning the engine she drove over to where she hoped Hank was hiding with the army truck. She'd need some down time after this her nerves were shot and she didn't want to fry the engine just because she'd gotten tired.

When she finally saw Hank stood with Howard a smile broke over her face, the lights from the suv lighting up the wan face of their guide. When she finally handed everything over she just clambered into the back of the suv and left the rest to the two men. She'd been through the wringer and she needed a rest, her dreams were filled with the security guard. His eyes, his face as he'd pulled her out of the stream of people, only this time he'd been wearing a different uniform. No longer a security guard, he wore the green of a soldier, his eyes had widened as she'd found the wooden haft of a spear in her hands. The accusing look in his eyes as he'd fallen into a bloody heap, the words on his lips snapping her out of a thin sleep. "I only wanted to help you.....", Hank noticed her shake herself awake, his head raising from the map across his lap, Howard was driving slowly down the road.

Taking his time and making sure they kept below the speed limit, he put them between a semi and a tractor-trailer. Hank turned to her fully, noticing her tired face, the aged look in her eyes and the sorrow that seemed to bleed from her. Howard was concentrating on driving when he announced that a truck stop was ahead did they think it was worth a stop? Hank looked at Jubilee, her face was pinched and peaky, she hadn't eaten much at all over the last few hours. He hadn't either and there seemed to be a sense in taking what they could when they could. Agreeing to the course of action Hank turned back to the road seeing the semi ahead of them turning into the truck stop also. They'd wait until the driver went inside before risking themselves outside, he'd have to stay with Xaiver and get the liquid food into him. Jubilee had done well today, she was holding up okay but he didn't know how long she could go on without some hope. Reaching out to her Hank stroked her face and found her fingers gripping his hand to her skin. She didn't let go easily and Howard left them to it, Jubilee cradled in Hanks arms. Wrapped up in his embrace as he went to get them something warm and filling not seeing the pair of eyes that was watching his progress from the side of the semi.

**********************************************************

The damn thing had even followed him into the truckstop, whoever they were they didn't know jack about surveillance. Logan watched as the driver went into the truckstop, Marie was already walking over to the lit diner area, he'd told her about his fears and he wanted her to keep an eye on him as he went to have a look at the vehicle.

Even now he could see Marie talking to the man, her eyes taking in everything about him, her body language telling him that she was confident, capable of taking him down if need be. Logan pushed away from the semi and made his way over to the now quiet suv, every sense blazing as his claws slid free. He was ready for trouble, he only hoped whoever was inside the suv were.

**********************************************************

Jubilee had fallen asleep on him, holding her close to his chest Hank had felt something he thought he'd never have, peace. She fitted so well into his arms, she was so fragile this little firecracker, she looked so tough but in reality she was as brittle as frost under the sun. Smiling he brought her closer to him so he could scent her as she slept, behind him Xavier was being fed via a stomach tube. A slow drip feed that would take an hour to complete, it would give them time to get organised and maybe find somewhere to hole up for the day before setting off to the rendezous. Howard had pointed it out to him on the map, just in case they got split up later. It'd take a couple of days of travelling but they were relatively safe for now and he was going to take advantage of everything he could while he could. The battle back at the school had taught him that much, he was about to shift over when a shadow reflected in the rear-view mirror made him freeze. Adrenalin flooded his system, there was someone out there and he had Jubilee asleep on his lap curled around him. If they tried to get in she'd be in the firing line, keeping his breathing steady Hank moved forward with his precious cargo. Keeping her down and laid over the drivers seat he raised himself up and over her form, protecting her from any hurt that might come through the drivers door. Hanks hand was stretching out to lock it when it was torn open and a hand filled with deadly claws stopped just shy of his skull. A voice he recognised whispered..."Hank?"

Hank looked up into the face of Logan, the face creased with anger and confusion. Jubilee woke and seeing the face of someone she thought she recognised spoke up. "I didn't take everything officer, only one bag, honestly I wouldn't have if I hadn't needed....." Logan looked at Hank as Jubilee fell back to sleep her face calm and her scent troubled by guilt. Hank shrugged as he pulled her into his grip allowing Logan to climb into the suv. Pulling his claws in he threw a look into the back and Hank had to restrain his arm when he saw Xavier laid out behind him.
"Not here, not now." The words were enough, there'd be a reckoning soon enough but not right now. It was too public, Hank looked up to see Rogue walking over behind Howard, he looked unconcerned as if he knew who was behind him. Which for Howard he already did more than likely, when Rogue reached them she just looked inside the suv. Seeing Jubilee curled around the big doctor she smiled at him and went round to Logan's side. She whispered to him and he nodded, leaving her with them he went back over to the semi, his back hunched to the pre-dawn cold.

**********************************************************

Mason was dreaming about home, the way the sun came in through the windows and through the little suncatcher his wife had made in her art class. It's glass face always made him smile, the bright colours never failed to lift his spirits even in the darkest days of winter. He could feel her hand shaking him now, telling him it was time to get out of bed and get back on the road. Mumbling he slowly fought his way out of sleep and back into the cold pre-dawn light.

Opening his eyes he saw Patch sat at his steering wheel, the man's gaze was outside the windshield and he knew without a doubt they'd be parting ways here. "So...you're.."
"Yup...."
"Got every...." Patch looked at him and there was no need to say anything more, he held out his hand to him. Mason took Patch's hand feeling the warmth of the grip, the solidity of it. These hands had seen more hardship than happiness, his skin seemed to scream it at his own. He'd shaken hands with enough men to know the difference between hands worn with life and those that were made. Patch's were riddled with life and suddenly it felt as if he should've made a better effort to know the man he'd smuggled over the border.

Propping himself up on an elbow Mason did something he'd never done before, he took down a number from his small flip down board and pressed it into Patch's open palm. "Just in case......friends are hard to come across, for people like us."

Logan looked through Mason, he was being honest, he offered friendship, a link beyond his past, beyond what Xaiver had done to him, into something else. If Marie could see him for something else, maybe others could too? He looked at the small number, it was a name and number code, Mason cleared his throat and spoke in the small space. "It's my families getaway, we'll be headin' up there soon. If you need somewhere or someone...." Logan dropped his head, he didn't know what he was offering and he was about to refuse when he saw the look in Mason's face. He meant it, he was willing to hold out a hand to them, to help without price, to defend someone who he thought was worth helping.

Feeling his throat constrict Logan shifted and tucked the number into his pocket, picking up their stuff he made to leave. Mason getting up and moving into his driving seat, yawning and stretching as Logan handed back the keys and the maps. Before he climbed down he looked over to where Marie was sitting eating breakfast with Jubilee. Mason looked over and saw Hank's form shift out into the dawn light. Wiping his eyes he nodded to the large man, "Better get him some overalls, that way no-one'll look twice, make em blue and he'll be taken for a mechanic. Everyone expects mechanics to be big guys."
Logan gave the suggestion some thought and it might work if they could get him a cap too, as if reading his thoughts Mason threw his own at Logan. "Here, he'll need it."

Logan couldn't let the man leave without being honest with him, after all he'd done for them, even though he'd paid him to get them across he didn't have to help them. Didn't have to be nice to him or Marie, didn't have to trust him enough to let him drive the rig and have Marie in the cab with him.
"Mason?"
Mason looked at Logan, his eyes now aware and awake, face a little rumpled but alive with intelligence.
"Yeah?"
"Thanks.....for everything." Mason just smiled and waved at the windscreen, as if to say 'it was nothin'. Just before he let himself down for the last time Logan met Mason's eyes and let him see everything he was. The way his eyes widened and softened as the pain in them flowed from their depths.
"Be seein ya Patch....can't say it hasn't been fun." Smiling Logan nodded, his voice quiet in the morning air as he dropped down to the gravel his head just above the seat.
"Yeah...it has hasn't it?" Mason smiled and made to turn away when Logan spoke again, "Names Logan, Mason....Logan and Marie." Mason smiled as Logan finally turned and walked away toward the group of people waiting for him.

It was something he'd always remember, the way the faces of the people had smiled at him as he'd driven away that day. The hope on their faces, the light in their eyes as if they'd been hanging on to hope until they'd met up again. Throughout the troubles that had followed he'd hoped that they'd found what they'd been looking for. But he'd been busy enough with his own family at the end of things but he'd always kept an eye out for them, just in case. He'd had a thought that maybe one day he'd see them again this time in better circumstances and he'd always kept a room empty for them. Hope for a better future had burned in him and it was something his son remembered to the people he'd hoped to see again one day.
 
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