Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: Generation X/X-Men
Challenge/Prompt: 1_million_words Say What Friday: "Quality means doing it right when no one is looking." -- Henry Ford and my own challenge to write a Christian fic at least once a month
Word Count: 730
Date Written: 8 August 2017
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to Marvel Comics and Disney, not the author, and are used without permission.
Jubilee’s snores rattle the windows. Paige erases her answer yet again, starts to pen another one, when Jubilee snores so loudly she jumps. She throws her pen in frustration and glowers over at her roommate. She knows the girl never studies, but she should still have respect for those who want to study!
And why, her tired mind asks her, do you want to study so badly? It’s not like this test is going to make you an X-Man or keep you from becoming one. That’s what you want to do with your life. You proved yourself all day today, saving the world as many times as your team did. You’re going to make it. You’re going to be the woman you want to be, the X-Man you want to be, so why don’t you get some sleep?
Paige sighs wearily. She leaves her pencil where it is on her book and pads over to their open window. She peers out as far as she can see, but she can’t spot any stars for the artificial lights lit up to keep them safe around the school. She can’t see the stars, but she knows they’re there.
A quote she heard once somewhere whispers through her tired mind, Quality means doing it right when no one is looking. She doesn’t remember where she heard it from, but she was only a child when she heard it. She still remembers her first response. When, she’d wanted to know, is no one looking? God’s always looking. Her parents and her siblings used to always be looking.
But her family, or at least what remains of them, are thousands of miles away in Kentucky. They’re out in the country where a girl can still see empty fields and twinkling stars for miles and miles. She hugs herself, missing her homelife, missing the wide, open spaces, missing everything about her home.
But not all of her family are there. Sam’s probably somewhere out there in the world right now, saving the Earth yet again even though it’s been saved a couple of times already today. And her daddy . . . Her daddy’s not on Earth any more. He hasn’t been for years, and that’s part of the reason why she and Sam are both determined to be the best they can be. It’s not just about making him proud, although they do want to; they have a family back home depending on them. Rather that’s depending on them to save the world again or depending on them to send them money from some nicely paying job on the side, they’re still depending on them.
Paige shuts her blue eyes against the tears that well within them. She doesn’t open them again until Jubilee’s snore once more rattles the window. She looks out, and for just a moment, she thinks she sees a star. It takes her a moment to realize the light is coming not from somewhere behind the boys’ dormitory but from within it. It’s Jono’s chest, she thinks, aching for him in more ways than one.
She looks back up toward the sky, then shuts her window and goes back to her desk. No one can see her. “Psh.” She smirks. As if! Somebody is always watching her -- even if it’s just her father and God, but then who does she want to impress more than them?
But it’s not about making an impression, Paige thinks, picking up her pencil again and writing down the correct answer finally. It’s about leaving an impression. It’s about doing the best she can and leaving this world a better place, not for just the world, not for just all the mutants and humans in it, but most of all, for her family, those who remain and those who have gone on to the afterlife, those she misses so much that even now she feels her heart tightening.
It’s about what’s doing right, she thinks, finishing her algebra homework and moving on to the next subject. It’s always about what’s doing right for herself, for her world, for her family. As a good, Christian girl, as a good student, as a good, loving daughter, as a good X-Man, it’s always about what’s doing right, and that’s exactly what she’s going to do, even if she ends up with no sleep at all tonight.