Author: Kat Lee
Character/Pairing: Skin/Jubilee, Synch/Jubilee, Ensemble with cameos of several other couples, Shogo, and Pixie
Warning(s): Future Fic
Word Count: 1,712
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to Marvel Comics and Disney, not the author, and are used without permission.
Author's Note: Sorry for being late posting this!
"It's a strange night," one of her students comments, looking out the window as lightning cuts jagged fingers across the dark sky.
"What do you expect?" Jubilee asks with a sly grin. "Tomorrow night's Halloween."
The girl shrugs her shoulders. "Ain't like that's a big deal any more. We can't exactly go trick or treating."
Jubilee ruffles her hair partially because she can and partially because she knows it annoys her as much as she used to be annoyed by Wolverine doing it when she was her age. "There's much more to the holiday than trick or treating," she tells her.
The girl snorts. "Yeah, for Pagans."
"And for others, too," Jubilee muses, looking out the window. She's almost as tall as this child she helped rescue so many years ago. "Besides, isn't it pass your bedtime?"
"I'm a mutant," the girl tells her. "Society doesn't let me go trick or treating or go partying out there with the normies. Why do I have to go to bed at a certain time?"
Jubilee's dark eyes trail to the girl's mouth as she asks her question. She can tell the kid's hiding a yawn despite her argument. She's tired but still doesn't want to go to bed simply because she told her to go. She keeps her grin in check. It's funny how many of these children remind her of herself when she was younger, but this one does especially so.
She looks up at the call as Shogo raps his knuckles on the open door. "You called?"
"Yeah. Can you make sure everybody's in bed?" she asks. "Lights out by the end of the hour, and before you complain again," she adds, looking back at the younger girl, "getting a good night's sleep is important whenever we can when we never know when we're going to be called out on the next mission or be caught in the field and unable to sleep for days. Don't do it for me or for yourself. Do it for the ones we'll be helping next time you're missing sleep."
The girl's mouth twitches as though she still wants to argue but she can't find the words. Jubilee smirks at her own version of a speech she was given many times so many, many years ago. She stretches, feeling so old. Shogo bends down as she walks pass him, and she kisses his cheek. "Where are you going?" he asks.
"But then why . . . "
"It's Halloween, Shogo," she reminds him gently. It takes only a moment for the recognition to click in his eyes. "Yes, ma'am," he says, nodding instead of arguing, and she wishes all her students were as obedient as her baby boy who, clearly, is no longer a baby. She pats his cheek with her gloved hand as she walks out of the living room and heads to office.
She doesn't click on a light when she enters, but she does shut the door behind her. Her red eyes can see find in the darkness just as she is almost always seeing things these days that the others can't, such as the figures outside. She crosses over to her window, opens it, leans against her ledge, and looks out over the grounds of Xavier's School For The Gifted. It's good to be back on the original grounds of her home and even better to have the school rebuilt and reopened. The Jean Grey Institute just didn't have the same ring to it, and she knows both Jean and the Professor would prefer the school to be Xavier's.
It's Jean Grey's red hair that she spots first. Even in the darkness and wrapped in shadows, it still somehow seems to shine like fire. She's dancing with her husband, but not too far from them Charles dancing with the X-Men's greatest enemy. He whirls Erik around, enjoying the full use of his legs tonight. It's good to see both of them so happy, and she's no longer angry with Magneto after reading one of the Professor's lost diaries.
Her own mentor and father figure seems to have also forgiven Mags as he spins Ororo just a few feet from the dancing men. Storm has always been a beauty of elegant, almost regal grace, and tonight is no exception. The wind seems to caress her body as she dances with the man Jubilee knows she's loved almost all of Jubie's life.
Another pair of red eyes similar to but different from her own catches her attention. They wink as she looks to them. Remy's having the time of his life, finally getting to show Rogue the love he's held for her for so long as he pulls her close into a steamy kiss. Jubilee sighs. If they weren't ghosts, that kiss could not only melt the both of them but put Gambit in a coma as well. She's almost surprised Joseph isn't here, still trying to vy for the Southern belle's hand.
Dancing couples are filling the yard now, and Jubilee looks at one waltzing pair after another. Every one of them is an X-Man. She misses them all, but she can't deny the smiles beaming on their faces now. "I'll be damned," she chuckles with a flash of fangs, catching sight of some one she didn't expect to see. Emma's whirling Sean around in a flash of white. Moira's nowhere to be seen this evening, but Jubilee doesn't care. Cassidy's loved Emma for years, long before he died in a stupid, if selfless act to save lives and give his own in the process, and it's good to finally see them together.
Jubilee turns at the sound of the voice calling her name. Tears spring into her red eyes at the sight of the two deceased friends waiting behind her. They were more than friends, but they never actually put a name to either of their relationships. And now they're both standing patiently, waiting for her.
"We're all waiting for you," Everett says with a gentle smile.
He always was a gentle soul, she remembers, and then she remembers how he died. And then she thinks of Monet and how he chose her for a time over herself. The memories still hurt, even after all these decades. She wonders when Monet goes from this world who he will choose, but then she reminds herself that such a thought isn't fair. After all, he's never made her choose between himself and Angelo.
She cracks a smile, determined not to cry tonight. She'll save the tears for tomorrow and the next and the next. Her students will keep whispering among themselves about her lack of a love life and wondering why she doesn't go out on dates, why she turns everyone who asks down, and why she's still single when she should be growing old and gray, two things she'll never do. Let them wonder. Let them laugh and giggle and gossip.
They'll never know the truth. They're still too young to understand it even if they did. What was it Emma told Jean once? You don't want hamburger when you can have prime rib? Or maybe that was Logan. She's never been a big steak fan. She's always preferred junk food and misses chowing down on hamburgers and pizza most of all. But these two, steak, hamburger, or whatever else, are two of the best selections to ever walk this earth. They're more than enough to keep this old Vampiress waiting all year just for one night with them.
Jubilee shakes off the sadness and cracks a grin. She won't let sorrow or grief keep her from enjoying tonight, not when her whole family is so near. "Last one down is a rotten egg!" She grins, then leaps backwards out of her window. She spirals to the earth. They flash in beside her just as her boots hit the ground.
"Not bad, Jubie," Angelo winks at her, "for an old woman."
Everett nods his permission as Angie holds out a hand. She knows the routine. She doesn't have to choose. She danced first last year with Everett, so this year is Angelo's turn to begin. She takes his hand and finally feels whole again.
They dance and dance, consistently taking turns. When morning comes, they'll stop and talk. She'll speak with all her old friends, her old family, again. She'll ask advice on leadership from Scott, her hardest problems from Logan, the Professor, and Jean, and motherly advice in raising her nearly grown son from Stormy. She'll laugh with Kitty, tell her Lockheed's doing fine, and update her on his latest mission. She'll tell Everett that Monet's now leading her country and Paige, who'll be with Jono, that her brood is doing fine.
She's got all day, but twenty four hours isn't a long time to be with her family. It's all she's got this year, though, and will have to suffice until she finally meets her end, but she's got to meet it honestly. She's promised them all she won't do something stupid, as Wolvy puts it, but will lead, live, and love to the best of her ability. She does all of that. She just never mentions that the men she loves are no longer exactly the type she can go to the movies on Friday with or fight alongside.
But that's okay. It's all okay now, because her family is here. And she's going to make the most of it this year and every year. As Angelo spins Jubilee again, Everett looks up to her office window where he knows two pairs of eyes are eagerly watching their every move. He nods to the boy in silent acknowledgement and smiles his thanks for continuing to share his mother with them. Then it's his turn to dance again with the love of his life, and afterlife.
Far up above their heads, Shogo sighs and lays his head against Pixie's shoulder. He watches his mother dancing with the men she loves, spinning round and round to music they can't hear between Bobby and Hank and Lorna and Alex. There are tears in his eyes, but he smiles as he hears Pixie's wings flutter.
"She's happy," his godmother whispers to him.
"I know," he says and smiles.