Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: Generation X/X-Men
Character/Pairing: Jubilee, one-sided Banshee/White Queen, Shogo
Challenge/Prompt: I wanted to write a St. Patty's day story regardless, but as my original Leprechaun fantasy turned out to not really be an actual St. Patty's Day story, I'm using this one for both my annual fic and my faerie_wish13 challenge entry this month.
Warning(s): Future AU, Spoilers, Character Deaths
Word Count: 1,821
Date Written: 17 March 2017
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to Marvel Comics and Disney, not the author, and are used without permission.
She keeps a wary eye on her students tonight. They know there's an enemy on their grounds. It's just a matter of time before they find him. She knows they can take him down, especially working together, but her mind keeps flashing back to a time that almost feels like a different lifetime with a different enemy and a different group. She was a student herself at that time, and despite all her experiences with the X-Men, Emplate still managed to get the jump on her and take her down. A chill runs down Jubilee's spine at the memory.
"It's a night like tanight when th' ghosts are out," Angela whispers, the wings on her back flexing nervously.
"Yeah." One of the boys smirks. "Big, full moon, big, scary night."
"What're ya tryin' ta say? Ya don't believe in ghosts?"
"Hush, both of you," Shogo snaps, earning an approving grin from his adopted mother. "You'll give us away if you don't stop talking, and yes, ghosts do exist."
"What?" the same boy challenges. "You think because your mother's a Vampire, ghosts gotta exist too?"
"No. I know they're real. I've seen them, especially around here."
"What?" one of the girls asks nervously, looking quickly around them. "Previous students?"
"Previous students," he admits, "and headmasters. And tonight's a good night for it."
"What?" the first boy questions again. "Because of the big, full, scary moon?"
"No," Shogo shoots back just under his breath. "Because it's Saint Patrick's Day."
"What? You think we're going to see Saint Patrick?" He snickers.
"Of course not, you idiot. But it's likely we'll see the former headmistress, Miss Frost. She haunts these grounds more than any one else, and she -- "
"Hush." Jubilee makes shushing noises at the entire group. Shogo stops mid-sentence, looking at his mother. Jubilee motions silently with her hands, and he comes closer, looks closer at the darkness around them, but he can't see what she's spotted. Up ahead, in the midnight shadows, a woman in white stands, pointing. Jubilee nods to her, a silent thanks, and motions for her students to sweep out into an arc.
Another motion of her hands has a blonde girl lighting up the night just in time to catch sight of their enemy who's only a few feet ahead of them. Before Jubilee can say or do anything, her students react, all moving forward at one time, but although she thinks they're going to blow it, they prove her wrong, tackling their enemy to the ground and wrapping him up in a matter of seconds.
"Good job," Jubilee acknowledges, nodding to them and cutting Brian off before he can crow. The boy's gone from laughing to wearing a huge grin, and she knows he knows he's done well -- but he almost didn't. "That could have easily gone the other way, though, with you all gabbing so much. You've got to learn to be quiet on a stake out."
Realizing what she's saying, Jubilee stops with a grin. She remembers well how much she used to talk and how often the people around her complained about her gabbing too much. She accidentally surrendered the element of surprise more than once by talking too soon when she was their age. Don't do as I did, she thinks. Do as I say.
Some nights, she feels like she's lived too long. It's a wonder she's lived as long as she has, or even survived long enough to become a Vampire, considering how much she was like these very kids when she was their age and younger. She thinks back on those days with a mournful glitter in her red eyes until Shogo's clearing his throat brings her mind back to the current matter.
"Haul his ass away," she tells her son, flicking her thumb toward the school and the prison that waits just inside the basement. They'll get him moved to the light of day to somewhere where he can't hurt her people again. "Shogo, Rockslide, take the first watch. The rest of you, you have a test tomorrow. Either get your butts back in the bed or get to studying."
She watches them disperse, muttering underneath their breaths words her Vampire ears hear plainly. She smirks. Whispering does about as much good to keep their opinions hidden from a Vampiress headmistress than keeping her own comments to her thoughts had done to hide her remarks around a telepathic headmistress. Remembering the spirit she'd seen, the very one who had pointed their enemy's presence out to her, Jubilee turns toward it, noting, as she does, that none of her students, rather they believe in the Supernatural or not, had seen the woman.
"Still looking after us all this time, eh, Frostie?"
Emma Frost smiles down at her, her blonde hair floating out in the cool, night wind behind her. She smiles, but her eyes are still sad. Jubilee understands too well. "Thank you," she says, clearing her own throat. "He would've gotten the jump on us if you hadn't been here. Kids. They don't know how to be quiet, ya know?" She laughs, almost scornfully. "Of course you know."
She considers again the woman she is now versus the girl she was when she was here at the Massachusetts Academy before, and she wonders how much would have been different if she'd known then what she knows now. Would Angelo, for whom Paige named Angela, still be alive? Everett? Banshee even?
The night air suddenly seems heavy with the losses she remembers, her heart aching again with each one. Could she have stopped Logan's death? Prevented Scott from killing the Professor? There are so many ways things could have gone differently, better . . .
Her thoughts are interrupted by Emma's soulful, blue eyes zeroing in on her and the ghost's slow, small shake of her head. Don't, her fading eyes seem to warn her. Don't think about what could have been. Don't think about what could have been different, better, because living in the past will never save you in the present or preserve your future. Learn from it, by all means, but don't dwell on it.
Jubilee laughs. "Fine advice, Frostie, but let me ask ya. If you're not so focused on the past, what are you still doing here?"
Emma's eyes seem to see straight into Jubilee's very soul. This time, the ideas she gives her are not simply things felt within her mind and soul. She says out right instead, "Don't be like me, Jubilee. Don't live in the past so much that you condemn yourself in it."
The words hang between them on the midnight wind. Jubilee gazes up into Emma's eyes, understanding so much more about her now as an adult than she ever did as a child. "He was nuts about you, you know."
Emma smiles thinly, and again they reach a mutual, if silent, understanding. Sean may have been crazy about her, but he never once acted on his feelings. He remained true to Moira and, in so doing, condemned them both to lives, and deaths, without love.
"And I get why ya did what ya did," Jubilee adds. "Now. I'm sorry we turned against you." It had been an easy thing to join the others in walking away from Emma when she'd killed her own sister for killing Everett, easier by far than standing up and admitting that she thought she did the right thing. After all, as long as Adrienne had lived, she would have kept coming after them until either there had been no one left or somebody had killed her. Emma couldn't use her powers against her sister, so she'd stopped her the only way she had.
Emma nods slowly and smiles sadly, and once again, Jubilee wonders. She wonders if things had been different, if she and the others hadn't turned against Emma, how many of them might still be alive today. As it is, she hasn't heard from Chamber in years. Monet disappeared even longer ago in Algeria, and Paige has settled back in her home town, raising a brood of her own, with a husband who will never understand half the things they've done or been, a husband who, Jubilee knows, will never, truly understand her, just as they had refused to understand Emma back in the day.
"He was a fool, you know," Jubilee adds and sees the sorrow respond in Emma's naked eyes. "He had love right in front of him, and he turned it away." Emma smiles at her, then nods at something behind her and abruptly vanishes.
Jubilee turns around to see Shogo standing between two trees in a very spot where she'd once enjoyed hanging out with Angie and Ev and watching her intently. "I thought I told you to take first watch."
"Rockslide has him," he says quietly. "I came back for you."
Jubilee nods. He was worried about her, she understands and is thankful to him for that and for simply being a part of her life. He's kept her sane many times over the years when it would have been so much easier to just stop trying to live her life and surrender to the darkness she now, as a Vampire, understands is a part of everybody, living and dead. "I'm fine."
He doesn't argue, but his eyes do trail back to the spot in the night air where his mother's former headmistress had been floating. "You saw her?" Jubilee asks. He nods again.
"Shogo, promise me one thing," Jubilee says softly, stepping into place beside her son.
"Anything," he replies, looking at her curiously.
"If I ever have to do anything you . . . don't understand to protect you, don't hold it against me. Love me any way." She's lost so many friends and family over the years she's worn the badge of the X. If she loses him, she knows it will be the last loss to drive her over the edge.
"You're not getting rid of me ever that easily, Mom," he promises.
She grins. "Good." They walk together in silence for a while until she speaks again, "Happy Saint Patrick's Day, Shogo. Now get your butt back on Watch Duty."
"Yes, ma'am, and Happy Saint Patty's, Mom."
She nods. She may not be Irish, but the day will always hold some special memories for her. Hearing a whistle in the wind, she looks back behind them as Shogo walks on into the school. She sees a flash of yellow and black above the trees and shakes her head, knowing he's alone. "Happy Saint Patty's," she whispers again, feeling their pain and wishing they could have united in life. If they had, maybe they'd still be alive, but even if they weren't, maybe they would at least be happy. She sighs, knowing so much more now as an adult than she ever understood as a kid, and goes back into her school.