Author: Kat Lee
Challenge/Prompt: myth_fan's Summer Solstice Fest
Word Count: 1,282
Date Written: 3 July, 2016
Disclaimer: All recognizable characters within belong to Marvel Comics and Disney, not the author, and are used without permission.
She used to love days like today. The sun was so bright that it hurt her red eyes, and the day was the longest they'll have all year. Unfortunately, because of what she is now, it means she's been cooped up all day. The sunlight was too powerful for a Vampire to be out in it. She can't work on a tan any longer; she can't have a tan any longer. She can't splash in the surf with the others while the sun shines down. She can't grab a board in the bright light of day or roller blade down the sidewalks.
She could do it all now, but everybody else is turning in for the evening, exhausted from the fun they've been enjoying all day. There actually wasn't a mission today. It's the first time she can remember in months where they didn't have to leave to save the world. Her friends are exhausted truly from having fun, fun in which she still could not partake in. She tries to ignore their laughter and chatter as they buzz pass her.
No one looks at her. No one wants to look at her, and she knows why. She caught a few of them looking at her today, watching her watch them from the shadows of the school. She quickly dropped the curtain and backed away every time. Just because she can't be out in the sunlight doesn't mean they can't enjoy it.
She hears a flutter of wings and looks to the doorway to see Pixie standing and watching her. "What?" Jubilee asks, fighting down her primal instinct to snarl.
"You ready to have some fun or what?"
She eyes her warily. "Figured you'd be plopping down in front of the TV like the rest of them."
"Are you kidding? It's the Summer Solstice!" Pixie's wings buzz with her excitement. "I don't want to miss a minute of it," she grabs Jubilee's hand, "and you've already missed too much!"
She has missed too much, but she misses too much every day. She misses the sunlight. She misses the heat baking into her skin and enjoying its warmth. She misses the friends she used to have, the family she thought she had whose members now watch her like she's a monster. They're always pissed when humans eye them the same way too many of them eye her, but they don't recognize the same look among their own kind. They don't realize they're shutting her out. She knows they're not doing it intentionally. It's all instinct, instinct to protect their own kind from a threat she could never allow herself to be to them.
There's a few who don't look at her that way, but she doesn't know where any of them are tonight except for the Blue Fuzzy. He's locked away in his lab and has been for hours. Nobody knows where Gambit or X are right now. Storm's away in Africa again, and Logan . . . Wolvy . . . Her Wolveroonie . . . Jubilee swallows hard as tears well in her blood red eyes. She knew she'd outlive the others -- that was going to be hard enough --, but she never planned on outliving him.
Megan pulls hard on her hand. "Hey now, don't go getting all emotional on me! The night's young! Let's go have some fun!"
"What do you have in mind?" Jubilee asks, choking down her emotions.
"Just watch me." Megan laughs and winks, and then she flies. She flies so fast from the room and out of the building that, if not for her Vampire super speed, Jubilee would have trouble keeping up with her. Instead, she zips along behind her, running so fast that she actually does forget the memories that were holding her down so hard.
Until Pixie stops on the beach. She doesn't know that this is one of the spots where she and Logan used to go to have long, uninterrupted talks. She doesn't know that Jubilee can still smell his husky scent here in the sand. She doesn't know that it's Logan's face Jubilee sees first instead of her own, smiling eagerly up at her, nor does she witness the tears already filling her friend's eyes again.
Realizing that Jubilee is near tears again, Megan grabs her friend and turns her forcibly to look at the ocean. It's only then that Jubilee sees the sparkling lights over the darkened waves. The water has lost its beautiful, blue shine that it radiates with in the daylight, but it's shining again now, sparkling with golden lights that remind her, at first glance, of the fireworks she used to be able to shoot from her fingers. That seems like so very long ago now, almost another life.
But there's something different about these lights. They're not fireworks, and they're certainly not made by man or mutant. Staring at them, Jubilee can almost make out tiny bodies within the gold lights. "Magic?" she asks in surprise.
She blinks hard and looks closer at the sparkling lights. Some are skimming the waves, but most are spinning in the night air above the water. She gasps, fangs showing unconsciously. "Are those . . . Fairies?!"
Megan's grin is wide and proud. "Sure are," she answers without hesitation. She knows Jubilee is one of the few with whom she can ever share this vision of magic and Nature dancing together. "Beautiful, aren't they?"
"Yeah," Jubilee whispers. Peering close, her enhanced vision makes out the couples waltzing in the air. They're smiling and laughing and don't even seem aware of their vision. "They're not flying away from me," she whispers to which Megan shrugs.
"You're with me," she explains as though it's obvious. "They know you're not a threat."
"But I'm a Vampire!" Jubilee almost says. Almost, but she can't bear to say the words out loud. She may be a Vampire, no longer a mutant or even an ordinary human, but it doesn't change who she is, even if so many of those she once considered her friends think it does.
"You're still Jubilee," Pixie answers with a smile. "You're still my friend." Jubilee hears her heartbeat quicken. She looks up at her in surprise, almost expecting her to say more, but Megan doesn't. They've never voiced the other thing that hangs on to their friendship: the rush they get when their skins touch, even if it's just one of their hands in the other; the way they can always reach other, something that the only person with whom she's ever shared such a connection was her Wolveroonie; the way their grinning mouths have sometimes come very, very close . . .
"Celebrate with me?" Megan asks and holds out her hands.
"How?" Jubilee asks doubtfully, wondering if Megan's really asking what she thinks she is.
Megan laughs, a beautiful sound whose musical rings are echoed by the Fairies. "Dance with me, silly!"
Jubilee takes her hands in hers, and she lets Megan lead. The younger woman spins her around on the shore. Suddenly, Jubilee can hear music. There are harps and flutes and a slow, steady drumming that might or might not be in tune to Megan's heart. But she doesn't ask questions. She only gazes into her friend's eyes, and for the first time this whole Solstice, Jubilee smiles. She smiles, letting go of all the questions of the present and the hardships of the past, letting go of the things she can not change, the people she can not change. Megan spins her and laughs again, the sound of her fluttering wings adding to the music. Jubilee's laughter answers hers, and the night is young, after all.