Author: Kat Lee
Challenge/Prompt: 1_million_words Bingo: Beach Day Picnic
Word Count: 1,362
Date Written: 27 June 2018
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to Marvel Comics and Disney, not the author, and are used without permission.
“Everyone ready?” Bobby called. “Let’s get this party started with a BANG!” He held up his hands, and ice shot out of them. He formed a sled that rose up into the air, over the steps of the school, curved through the air outside, and finally dropped down in front of the vehicles the group would be using to go to the beach. Various, excited shouts followed him as the kids and adults alike rushed down the slide and around it to the vehicles.
Ororo paused and looked back to Jubilee. “Jubilation, are you not coming?”
“Nah. You guys go on ahead of me.” She bounced Shogo on her hip. “The sun and I don’t exactly mix these days, and a baby doesn’t need a sunburn.”
“His mother does need to have fun,” Rachel said thoughtfully.
“Are you sure you don’t wanna come?”
“I -- “ Jubilee hesitated in answering Kitty. She had not said she didn’t want to come. She’d love to be able to go and enjoy the sun and surf, but those days were behind her. She yawned instead and stretched. “It’s daytime. We Vamps like to sleep in the day.”
Kitty narrowed her brown eyes in suspicion. Beside her, Ororo added gently, “You know I could give you your own cloud just to make certain you were shielded from the sun’s rays.”
Jubilee grinned, but it only partially met her eyes. “Thanks, ‘Ro, but it’s not needed. You guys go on ahead and have fun.” Have fun for me and the others who can’t go, she thought forlornly.
The X-Women looked at one another, but then one by one, they shrugged and went on ahead without their friend. Kitty looked back as she hit the school’s last step. “Roxy, are you coming?”
“I don’t think so,” Bling said, shaking her shiny head. “I think I’ll just hang here.”
Rachel paused beside Kitty and also looked at the young mutant. A smile stole over her face. “Yeah,” she said thoughtfully. “You do that. Come on, Professor Pryde.” She grabbed Kitty’s hand and pulled her along with her. “Let them make their own fun.”
“You think those two are an item?” Kitty whispered. “She’s so much younger than Jubes.”
“I think Roxy definitely wants to be more than friends. How far Jubilee lets it go -- “
“ -- is entirely up to them,” Kitty said, narrowing her eyes at her own secret girlfriend. “No peeking.”
Ray smiled. “Wouldn’t dream of it,” she declared though her wink said otherwise.
Back inside the school, Roxy quickly caught up with Jubilee, who was yawning again. “Why don’t you let me take Shogo for a while,” she offered, “and you can get some sleep?”
She grabbed the baby before Jubilee could give her permission, but Jubes just grinned. “You’re the best, Roxy,” she said. She gave her baby to her without hesitation, never dreaming that, in just a short while, Roxy would pass Shogo on to Broo.
Some hours later, Jubilee woke to the smell of popcorn frying. She stumbled from her room, her red eyes blinking wearily. She didn’t have far to go when she heard the distinct sounds of waves slapping against a shore. She frowned and walked into the living room, expecting to find a movie on. The lights were turned down low, and the first people she’d seen since she had awakened were Roxy and Danger.
“What’s goin’ on?” she murmured, blinking up at the wall that was covered with a hologram. She heard the cry of seagulls and the rush of the ocean water.
“You couldn’t go to the beach,” Roxy said, looking up from where she sat, cross legged, on a checkered blanket laid across the floor, “so the beach came to you.”
“Roxy?” Jubilee asked in surprise. She stumbled forward and half-sat, half-fell down onto the blanket. She was still blinking in disbelief and sleepiness as she looked from the hologram to her friend to the food spread out between them. There were two buckets of popcorn; a cooler full of ice, sodas, and blood bags; nachos; and chili cheese fries. Her mouth literally fell open as she looked at the fries. She gaped in surprise. “Is that blood on top of the chili?!”
“Yup! I know how much you used to love them.” Roxy giggled as she impersonated Jubilee, using her fingers to make quotes in the air, “Does a mall babe eat chili cheese fries?”
Jubilee’s mouth was still open as she looked around them at the food. Tears were beginning to well in her red eyes. There was blood sprinkled over the popcorn and running with the chili and the cheese in both the nachos and fries. Roxy had two sets of everything on offer, one for herself and the other for Jubilee and tipped with the blood that she knew she needed . . . she knew she needed, she understood and accepted, and she obviously didn’t mind.
“Wow!” Jubilee breathed in disbelief. A thought hit her suddenly; her head jerked up to attention. “Shogo?” she asked.
“Is safe with Broo and Lin.”
“Lin didn’t go?”
Roxy shook her head. “She doesn’t like all the litter at the beach. All three of them are hanging out in the back yard with her animal friends instead.”
Jubilee grinned. “I bet Shogo’s having the time of his life!”
“What about you?” Roxy asked hesitantly. “Are you . . . “
“This is by far the coolest thing anybody’s done for me in a very long time!” Jubilee leaned over, took Roxy’s hand, and squeezed it gently. “You are so good to me, Rox.” Maybe it was the dim lighting, but Jubilee could almost swear that Roxy’s diamond skin darkened. She leaned over and kissed her mouth gently, chastely, something she had not thought she would ever do again after losing both Angie and Everett. “You make me want to believe again,” she whispered, the words escaping her surprising her.
“Believe?” Roxy repeated, blinking, in confusion. “Believe in what?”
Jubilee grinned. The cat was out of the bag; she might as well follow through. “In everything good again,” she said, laughing and grinning. “In . . . In the ability to just let go and have fun, in the ability to be loved again.”
“Oh, you are loved!” Roxy exclaimed in a sudden rush. “You are definitely loved!” She leaned over and kissed Jubilee this time, but unlike Jubes’ kiss from before, she didn’t let up easily. She stayed kissing her, her pierced tongue dipping gently into the older woman’s mouth. She felt her fangs against her tongue and didn’t shy away but deepened the kiss still instead.
She would have kept on kissing her, too, if Danger had not spoken up. “Excuse me, Bling, but I find myself growing uncomfortable -- “
Roxy reluctantly and hesitantly lifted her mouth from Jubilee’s. She cast a dark, warning glare over her shoulder at the robot. “If you want that fancy programming I promised you, you’ll keep doing your job, Danger.”
“Yes -- “
“Nah.” Jubilee shook her head and entwined her fingers with Roxy’s. “Let her go.”
“But -- But that’ll end the illusion.”
“I don’t need an illusion.” Jubilee grinned at her. “I have everything I need to make a perfect beach day picnic right here.” This time Jubes knew she didn’t imagine Roxy’s blush.
“I can make the illusion stay,” Danger said, surprising them both. She stood, walked to the entertainment center, and inserted a few wires from her own body into the DVD player. It took over the beach projection, and she slipped silently from the room, barely being noticed by the other two.
“So what do you want to try first?” Roxy asked, looking at the foods between them.
“As yummy as that all looks,” Jubilee acknowledged, “and as thankful as I am you didn’t mind bloodying it up for me -- “ She paused to actually giggle. “Now there’s a term!” she exclaimed. Roxy laughed with her but then grew silent as Jubilee lifted their joined hands. “I think,” Jubes concluded, “what I want to try first is right here.” She tugged on her hand, pulling Roxy closer and kissed her again and again before the tide-kissed shore and the crying gulls.