Author: Kat Lee
Character/Pairing: Dazzler, mentions of Longshot/Dazzler, X-Women Ensemble
Challenge/Prompt: halfamoon Day 10: Women Being Awesome
Warning(s): Slight AU
Word Count: 1,566
Date Written: 12 February 2017
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to Marvel Comics and Disney, not the author, and are used without permission.
"We should totally do this more often!" Rogue exclaims as she, Alison, Betsy, and Ororo step away from the stage. She slings her arms around Alison's and Betsy's shoulders as they walk together.
"If only we had more time to do so," Ororo agrees, lamenting, "but between our duties as X-Men constantly keeping us busy and our very own rock star here," she nods at Alison, "always on the road, I'm afraid it leaves little time to get together."
"We did rock it, though, didn't we?" Betsy's eyes sparkle with her delight.
"'Course we did, shugah. Like Stormy said, we have our very own rock star."
"You ladies didn't do too bad, either," Dazzler remarks. "You have a beautiful voice, Elizabeth, and I had no idea you knew how to play guitar."
"Neither did Ah, but Ah guess pickin' up others' memories leaves a few things behind." She shrugs off her comment. She truly hadn't realized she knew how to play guitar until she'd followed her instinct and picked up the guitar kept on the stage for any one who wanted to use it. She also knows too well that there are constantly things left behind in the recesses of her mind from those whose memories she's either had to absorb for whatever reason or taken by accident. She glances at Dazzler, glad Alison no longer holds against her what happened to Carol Danvers all those years ago.
Catching her wary gaze, Ali reaches over and pats Rogue's shoulder. "It's okay," she tells her, still grinning. "We get it." She almost adds, I get it, but those days were truly very long ago. She doesn't want to bring them up again. She'd much rather not think about the past tonight, like her marriage to a wonderful guy who she doesn't even know how to find again.
"You guys rocked!" Jubilee exclaims the moment they approach their table. She's bouncing on the balls of her feet with her enthusiasm. Shogo gurgles happily on his adopted mother's hip.
Alison shakes her head, watching the two. "It doesn't seem possible," she admits aloud, "that you've got a baby now, Jubilee. You're still just a baby yourself."
"Well, it's not like I had him," she points out, but they all know that age, especially in their line of work, is only a number. None of them typically feel their actual age; their souls and even their bodies, showing marks of a war to create a peace between mutants and humans that seems to never happen, always feel older than they are.
Kitty bumps Jubilee's shoulder playfully as if to say, Lighten up. "You were great!" she enthuses aloud.
"We were, weren't we?" Rogue agrees, grinning from ear to ear. "Ah told 'em we should do this more often."
"We totally should! And not just the karaoke, but everything! The whole get together," Kitty says, looking around the table at the other X-Women.
"It is kinda nice," Rachel admits, "to be able to not worry about saving the world for one night."
"Shut up!" Illyana warns. "You'll jinx us!"
If Longshot was here, Alison thinks, their good luck might actually hold. They might actually be able to spend one whole night without having to interrupt or even cancel their plans in order to save the world again or at least to stop one mad man from destroying their part of it.
"We should do it more often." Ororo nods, looking at their table that seems to grow smaller every time they do get together.
"Ah thought ya said ya didn't know how we'd make the time, Stormy?" Rogue asks.
She's teasing, but Ororo's answer is somber. "I didn't, but we should make it. There's so few of us."
"Mutants," Rachel comments softly, but Ororo shakes her white-tressed head.
"Not just mutants," she replies just as softly, "but us."
"Women?" Kitty supplies thoughtfully.
"X-Men," Jubilee murmurs. Their numbers are always dwindling.
"No. Just us. Women like us. Ladies like us." Her blue eyes go to the shadows of Harry's where she can see young women willingly offering themselves up for certain prices and others giving up their very humanity for the drugs the men are passing them.
Music notes are starting to play through Alison's head as she reaches her seat. "When are you going on tour again, Ali?" Lorna asks, but she only vaguely hears her. A new beat is starting in her head as Ororo's words swirl around her mind. She hasn't felt like writing any new songs since she's been back in this world without her husband, but now . . . Now she starts to feel the old touch of inspiration once again.
Women like us, Ororo had said. Ladies like us. Awesome ladies. Ladies who kicked butt and only worried about the names later. Ladies who did what they had to to survive in a world that wanted to eat them alive because they were different -- and not just because they were different from humans but because they were different from men in general as well. Men always seemed to have it easier than women who have always had to fight to make a clean, powerful name for themselves in any business, herself included.
Ladies who ride the air, like Ororo, but she could also dismiss that line easily in a song as female pilots. Ladies who have always had nothing but trouble when it comes to love, like Rogue, whose heart, she knows, is still broken from LeBeau. Ladies who have to grow up too fast, like Kitty and Jubilee and Rachel and Illyana too. Ladies who step up to the plate and do what's right as a mother even when the rest of the world won't, like little Jubie. Ladies who think they have to hide who they are, like Betsy and Lorna each once did, like they all have at one time or another. Ladies who can knock a guy out with a single thought, like Betsy again, but she'll have to find another way to word that line.
"Here's to us," Elizabeth says, lifting her glass in a toast.
"Not just to us," Ororo amends, lifting her own glass and clinking it against Betsy's, "but to all women everywhere."
"You got that right!"
Alison nods. "To all ladies everywhere," she murmurs in agreement, raising her own glass and feeling the beat of the song beginning to form in her head filling her being. Her long legs shift in tune to the beat that begins to step out of her white boots.
Lorna watches her move over the rim of her own glass as she lowers it after taking her sip. "Did you hear me?" she asks.
"Yeah." Alison nods. She hadn't thought she was going to come out of retirement. She has so many other things to do, so many other responsibilities. She needs to find a way back to Mojoworld. She needs to find her husband again. She still needs to save the world. But the world also needs to hear the song that's singing through her tonight. "I don't have a set date yet, but soon."
"You are going back on tour?!" Kitty asks in surprise.
"It was inevitable," Betsy speaks, gazing into Alison's eyes so intently that Ali thinks she might even be hearing the song she's starting to create. "It's a part of her, and we all need to embrace every part of ourselves."
"I don't know about that," Illyana murmurs, but her voice is lost in Rachel's boisterous, "Pay up," as the redhead holds her hand out to Kitty.
"You girls had a bet on me?!" Alison asks in surprise.
"Of course!" Rogue admits, holding out her own, gloved hand to Kitty.
Kitty laughs as she places bills into both her friends' outstretched hands. "Boy, am I glad I didn't make a bet with anybody else." She then looks up at Alison, beaming. "But I am really glad you're going to make a comeback, Ali."
"I don't know about that," Alison admits honestly. "Making a comeback means I'll be successful, but I think I do have at least one more song left in me that the world needs to hear."
"I bet you have more than one," Betsy murmurs softly next to her.
Alison looks up at her in surprise, but her old friend is watching her with such gentle and earnest belief that she has to grin. "Maybe," she admits.
Betsy nods. "I'm sure of it," she insists.
"Here's to Ali," Rogue says, holding up her drink again.
Betsy is the first to agree. "Here, here!" she cries, lifting her own glass.
"The world needs to hear our voice, Alison, and I can think of nobody better to give it to them." Ororo smiles and sips her drink.
Shogo gurgles and claps his hands together. It's almost as if even the baby is agreeing with them. Alison brightens, her honest, happy smile a reminder of her codename, the Dazzler. As much as things have changed, some things have also stayed the same. Her friends are still behind her, still supporting her after all these years, and still inspiring her too. She knows exactly to whom she's going to dedicate her reunion tour and the first song on her next album. She shakes her head as she lifts her own glass. "To us all," she repeats and downs the remainder of her drink.