Disclaimer: I don't own the X-men, I never will, I'm just playing in Marvel's toy box. I promise to put everything away when I'm done. I also don't own anything to do or to be associated with Dido, having said that I would like to note that since I've heard this song I've wanted to write a fic for it. It took me a long time pick a char to use with it, I finally ended up with Jubilee. I only hope I do her and the song justice. This is a repost since the first time I posted this is wasn't very readable. In response to that this fic is now dedicated to the two people to took the time to read it and review it: immortal17 and vas17uk.
Author Note: Due to some rules on this site changing I've removed the song portions of this fic, I think it still flows okay, but if you'd like you can read the fic in it's original form on my livejournal.
Thanks again. As always, reviews and flames are welcome.
Her head aching Jubilation Lee stared blankly into her cup of tea, it was the only thing she could do. Her whole body ached, down to the bone, down to her soul, so that at this moment, this point, all she could do was stare at the clouds swirling in her tea. The clouds that swirled much the same as the rain clouds just above her apartment, the ones that last night had threatened to drown her on her way home from work. Instead they waited till this morning, when her head was pounding, to downpour on her roof.
She let out a sigh that was more a groan of pain and let her eyes drift from her tea to the wall across the room. For a moment the sight there raised her spirit. Pictures, tons of them, taken from her old life with the X-men and Generation X, covered the wall. There were team photos: one from some crazy picnic that everyone had gone on, a picture her, Hank and Scott had engineered, one of her scaring the hell out of Bobby, a shot of her and Logan, a few with her and other Gen X member, especially Paige, some were even with Artie and Leech. There were two Sean had taken of a baseball game Ev had engineered. There was one of her and Angelo, it'd been taken on their cross country trip to California, in an old fashion restaurant they'd stop to eat at. In it they were both grinning like idiots, they had declared their undying hate for each other two hours later. Lastly there were a few of a little boy. The most resent shot of him was as a two year old grinning proudly at the camera while showing it the sucker in his hand. Scott and Jean had sent her the pictures and letters diligently, of course they still ended each one asking her to come home. They still couldn't understand that she couldn't. She refused to be a liability to the team and without her powers she felt she was just that.
It had happened before the little boy was born, just weeks before he was born. She'd come home months before, having found that LA just wasn't the same, she had missed her friends, her family. Upon hearing the news that Jean was pregnant she found herself drawn home. It had been so much fun, joining the rest of the team in fussing over Jean. Everything had been going great, no complications whatsoever, even Cyclops had started to relax; then out of the blue it happened. The rest of the team had been out, somehow it had been only Jean and her in the house. They were going to spend the entire night pigging out on popcorn, watching ridiculous movies, and of course just plain gossiping. She could remember everything perfectly, as though it were just happening. She'd been in the kitchen making popcorn when Jean had called out to her in panic from the living room. She'd rushed to the scene. Someone had broken through the estate's defenses. That same someone had whacked Jean upside the head. She could still remember every ounce of horror that had coursed through her body at seeing Jean's prone and pregnant body lying on the floor. She paffed the man good and grabbed Jean. She thought if she could just dragged her down to ...if she could just...she hadn't distracted their attacker long enough. They had exchanged words and he managed to get Jean away from her. He threatened to kill Jean. That is when she, Jubilee, had lost it. She had watched the whole X-family grow close over this baby's arrival, even Logan had gotten into the sprit of things by making the perfect rocking chair for the baby's room. She had watched how tense Cyclops was, not even being able to trust that this was going to turn out happy for any of them. It had been just that day that he had started to relax and talk excitedly of the future. Just that day! She couldn't let some psycho with a thing against mutants ruin all that! Her mind went blank and she blasted him with more control that she had ever had before. When she was done, Jean was safe, but their attacker was nothing but ash.
Nobody had know how she'd done it, not even herself. Nobody, save Jubilee herself, could figure out why she couldn't use her powers either. The only thing Hank could deduce was that she had worn herself out and it has caused her mutant powers to regress to the point where she couldn't use them. He had searched and searched, but in the end he couldn't find any physical reason why. There wasn't one. She couldn't use her powers because she couldn't bring herself too. She had killed a man. Granted he had been threatening to kill her and Jean, but not killing their enemies had been ingrained in her since joining the X-men. She was sure she had caused death before, but she had never had to look into the face of the person she killed, she had never felt it, and she never made the decision herself. It was the one thing she didn't tell anyone, the one thing she kept hidden in the recesses of her brain where no one could find it. As her power had hit him, she had felt him, his emotions, his burning hatred, and his life ending. She had known in that instant if she stopped he would live, but she didn't stop, some part of her hadn't been able too, and when she did pull away all that had been left was ash. She had killed in cold blood and she couldn't live with that. Subconsciously unable to use her powers and haunted by the knowledge of what had happened she had left the team.
It still haunted her every waking moment, except when she looked at those pictures on her wall. Then, just then, it wasn't so bad.
Head still pounding but pain of heart somewhat eased Jubilee took her tea into the kitchen and numbly poured it down the sink. She couldn't really afford to do that, but she couldn't drink it either. She had been hoping it would ease her stomach before she went into work, unfortunately she had only managed a few swallows. She went back into the small room that served as her rather cramped living space and began to pick up the empty beer bottles. She knew she shouldn't have, and it wasn't something she did often, but last night the pain had been so bad all she could think to do was numb it. After dumping the empty bottles in the trash she collapsed on the couch and checked the time.
She promptly sat up too fast, and went back down hard. She'd missed the bus by at least ten minutes and it was an hour till the next one. She was going to be late for work, again. This time she was going to get fired, she was sure of it. No one there gave a damn about her, they always told her how it was her last day anyway. She was only nineteen, how did things in her life get so bad? She'd survived in the real world, before the X-men, how come she couldn't seem to do it now? Oh yea, she'd been able to use her powers then. She sighed and tried to hold back the tears.
A single one had managed to fall and roll a path down her cheek when the phone rang. Tired, hung-over and depressed she answered with a low, "Yea?"
There was an uncertain pause and then a familiar voice asking, "Jubilee?"
She froze, she hadn't heard his voice in ages and he barely wrote.
"Jubilee? Is that you? Darlin are you there?"
"Yea it's me Darlin. I'm calling you to convince you to come home. This...this thing with you being out on you're own has gone on too long and we want you to come home. I want you to come home."
Her first instinct, always her first reaction to this request, kicked in, "I can't, I'd be too much a liability to the team."
Every part of her screamed to hang up on him, to end this before he had her convinced and in a cab.
"How...How did you get this number?"
"A friend of mine. Where are you staying? It's been two year and I don't know how you managed to do it, but I can't find you. I know Scott and Jean write, I tried to find out through the post office, but...It took me this long to get your number. Jubilee you need to come ho..."
"I...I need to go. I have to get to work."
"Don't you dare hang up on me!" The anger, the desperation in his voice made her pause.
"I have to get to work," she repeated weakly, "I'd be a liability to the team and I can't live like that."
Someone near Logan said something, he answered back softly and the phone was shifted.
She barely recognized Sean's voice, it was tired, it was older, and his accent had faded, "What are you thinking Jubilee with this liability crap. Why do you think I taught you kids to fight without your powers. Jubilee listen to me, because I'm only going to say this to you once, yer the one of the team that was always best at it. You were even better at it than Monet. So would you please give up this liability nonsense and come home."
Sean handed the phone back to Logan, "Look, kid, if that doesn't convince you this should."
The phone was handed to yet another person. Something was whispered. The person on the other end let out a giggle. It was the giggle of a little boy, at last he shouted, "Come home, please!"
Logan took the phone again, "That all Jubilee, I promise. Please at least seriously consider it. We miss you here and everyone would be happy if you would just come home. Now I have to go. I have to sneak this little tyke back to Cyclops before Scott loses his mind or attempts to kill me for kidnapping his son right out from under him. You know what they named him, don't you?"
"Yea," she whispered softly, " I know." Lee Alex Summers.
She felt small standing there in front of the house, holding her small suitcase as the cab drove off in the rain. She was soaked to the bone, literally, but that wasn't the reason she was shaking. She felt tears spring to her eyes and fall. She wasn't sure she could do this and all she needed to do was take a few steps towards the door and enter. Doubts began to ebb at her brain and she knew at that moment, she did this now or never.
She held her breath and walked towards the door, it opened on it's own accord, and past it she saw the familiar faces of the friends, the family, she hadn't seen in two years. Seeing them smile at her caused her to drop her hesitation and step inside. She set her suitcase down. They were all smiling, all so happy she had come back to them. Someone hit her in the head with a towel. She turned to see who it was and through her tears of joy she was barely able to make out Logan. He was standing next to Jean who was standing next to Scott who was holding his son, the towel culprit. For the first time in two years she laughed. She was so happy she barely heard them welcome her home. She was home, she was finally home.