Disclaimer: I do not own the X-Men. I wish I did, because I'd be rich and live in a big house!
I wrote this years ago, and have only just plucked up the courage to submit it for all to read! It was written just after Jubilee joined the team and doesn't really follow any natural progression from the comics - I just enjoy writing about the characters I love, so I often let my pen and my heart dictate the story! Kristi Marsters is my own creation - apologies if she shows any similarites to any other character in the comics universe. This was not intended and is purely coincidental.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this chapter - it would be greatly encouraging and would prompt me to upload the rest of the story if you would like to read more! Please be kind!
Death By Healing
"For Heaven's sake, Jubilee!" Scott Summers jumped back as a small figure wearing rollerblades almost ran him down as he stepped out of his room. "You are so grounded if the Professor catches you rollerblading in the corridors!"
Jubilee tossed a cheery wave over her shoulder as she headed for the stairs. She knew she shouldn't tease him – Scott was their leader after all – but, for the moment, she just didn't care. It was Saturday, there was no training and at last the weather actually looked warm enough for a person to brave the outdoors without being in imminent danger of freezing to death instantly.
Reaching the stairs, she stepped down them carefully one by one, holding onto the banister for support. It would be so embarrassing to slip now and break her fool neck. Of course, it would have been so much simpler to put the 'blades on at the front door, but where was the fun in that? Jubilee had never been one for doing things the easy way. If there were two ways to achieve an outcome, Jubilee would take the hard path every time.
Finally reaching the freedom of the front door, Jubilee let herself out, slamming the large heavy wood door behind her in her eagerness to be off. A tour of the mansion grounds proved uneventful and relatively boring. A few early spring bulbs were just beginning to show through the thin covering of snow that still held on here and there but, overall, there was nothing to hold a teenager's interest among the winter darkened shrubs and trees of the formal gardens, so she skated down to the lake, hoping to spend some time skimming stones. But the waves across the lake were too choppy for skimming, so she sat beneath her favourite tree, idly tossing pebbles into the water. Her thoughts flitted like quicksilver from one thing to another, as the thoughts of a teenager are inclined to do, until the beginnings of a cool breeze and the onset of boredom forced her to think of returning to warmer surroundings.
She skated slowly back towards the house, expertly avoiding the lingering patches of snow. As she crossed the front lawn, she was surprised to see a car parked outside on the driveway. She paused for a moment to admire the sleek lines of the antique Ford Mustang, idly wondering who owned it. It certainly didn't belong to any of the mansion's current residents. Probably a visitor then, but who? Jubilee looked around, but she couldn't see anyone, so she guessed the car's owner was already inside, most likely with the Professor. She felt a flash of annoyance that she'd missed their arrival during her trip to the lake. Visitors to the mansion were rare, especially ones that were actually invited. In Jubilee's so far short experience with the X-Men, visitors didn't announce themselves at the front door, usually preferring to sneak in the back way, cloaked and shielded, with all guns blazing. Causing mayhem was an optional extra.
Turning back to the car, Jubilee let her hand trail along the Mustang's sparkling chrome finish and envisioned herself behind the wheel. It was a heady vision for the young fourteen year old. Wolverine had recently started to teach her how to drive, but his dusty old Jeep just couldn't compare to a classic car.
Thinking of her teammate forced a grunt of annoyance from the young mutant. One of his characteristic disappearing acts was the reason why she was moping around the mansion alone, instead of hanging out at the mall, checking out the latest fashions. Infuriating man!
Jubilee snorted in disgust and let herself back into the mansion, slamming the door with a little more force than was actually necessary. "Oops!" She cringed, awaiting shouted reprimands, but the hallways were quiet – uncharacteristically so, even for a weekend. Breathing a heartfelt sigh of relief, she removed her rollerblades and placed them on a chair by the door, before padding in her socks down the hallway to the senior rec room. As it was only mid-morning, she half expected the room to be unoccupied, but Ororo Monroe looked up from a book as the young mutant entered and smiled warmly. Rogue, seated in a comfortable chair near the fireplace, was listening to music on a personal walkman, her foot waving vigorously to a beat only she could hear.
Jubilee dropped dramatically into a chair and drew her legs up beneath her with a loud sigh, calculated to attract attention.
Rogue removed her headset and regarded her teammate keenly. "What's the matter, sugah?"
Jubilee shook her head. "Nothing, really. It's just so quiet. Not that I didn't expect it, this being Saturday and all, but this is major depressionville!"
"Be careful what ya wish for, sugah! When ya'll have been an X-Man for as long as Storm an' Ah have, ya'll learn ta treasure these quiet moments. They're far too rare."
"Hey, I'm not asking for a Sentinel attack, or a major invasion by the Brood," frowned Jubilee. "Just something to do."
Ororo closed her book, marking her place with an elegant finger. "If you are so bored, Jubilee, why don't you find Logan and ask him to run you through a training session in the Danger Room?"
"No can do, Storm. Wolvie's gone into town. Said something about bike parts." Jubilee snorted, forcefully. "I swear he thinks more of that stupid bike than he does about me!"
"A man an' his motorbike are not so easily parted!" Rogue turned off her walkman and set it on the seat beside her. "Wolvie's just being Wolvie, is all, sugah. He just needs his own space from time ta time. Ya should know that better'n all a us."
"Yeah, but ….."
"Jubilee, Logan loves ya like a daughter ….." Rogue began, but Jubilee cut her off with a wave of her hand.
"Ah, heck, I know that! But why does he have to be so darn stubborn? Wouldn't let me go with him. An' I know why, too! I'll give ya three guesses an' the first two don't count!"
"Bar?" asked Ororo, hesitantly.
"Bar" confirmed Jubilee, with a nod.
Ororo laughed at Jubilee's pained expression and disgusted snort. Jubilee had considered herself Wolverine's unofficial 'sidekick' ever since saving his life at the Reaver's base in Australia. After Psylocke had tricked the other X-Men into the Siege Perilous in order to save them from the Reavers , who were waiting in ambush, Jubilee, who had been hiding at the base unbeknown to the X-Men, found herself alone, living in hiding and fearing for her life. Then Wolverine had returned alone from one of his frequent jaunts to Madripoor and walked right into the Reaver trap. Horribly tortured and finally crucified, it looked bad for Wolverine, until being rescued by Jubilee, who had nursed him back to health. They then travelled back to Madripoor where they encountered Psylocke, newly expelled from the Siege Perilous, her persona completely changed. From there, it was just a short haul to finding the rest of the X-Men, whereupon Jubilee was casually accepted as Wolverine's companion and unofficial member of the team. The girl constantly ran the man ragged but, for his part, Wolverine never complained. Moreover, he seemed to have completely taken it upon himself to train Jubilee in the ways of combat, putting her through grueling sessions in the Danger Room. Jubilee seemed to revel in the attention bestowed upon her by her 'hero', was fiercely loyal and immensely proud of him. Ororo often suspected that a bond had formed between the two due to being thrust together during a time of crisis. It was the only way to explain Jubilee's adoration of the gruff mutant, and Wolverine's uncharacteristic patience and tolerance of the over-talkative teenager.
Ororo was forced from her reverie by the realization that Jubilee had asked her a question and she'd missed it. "I beg your pardon, child."
"I said, there's a snazzy car out on the driveway, Ororo. Any idea who it belongs to?"
Ororo nodded. "I believe the Professor is conducting an interview in his study."
"An interview?" Jubilee leaned forward, excitedly. "A new X-Man?"
"This I do not know, Jubilee. I do know that the Professor left instructions not to be disturbed for the duration."
Jubilee's eyes were aglow, lost in her musings. "I bet he's interviewing a new X-Man! It's about time too! Our numbers have been a bit low lately."
"Jubilee, you know as well as I do that it does not work that way. People do not simply 'apply' for the position of 'X-Man'. Only after they've completed their training and graduated will they be even considered for the team and even then it isn't that straightforward. Not all mutants desire to be an X-Man."
"Aw, Storm …."
"Besides, sugah," added Rogue, with a grin. "He could be just as easily be interviewin' for a new gardener!"
"Well, whoever it is, I hope it's a 'he', for a change," remarked Jubilee, decidedly, oblivious to her teammate's words. "We could do with some new male blood around here to give our guys a run for their money! Maybe about seventeen years old ….. with dark, wavy hair …."
The door opened, forcing Jubilee to abandon her list, for which Ororo breathed a sigh of relief. Thank the Goddess for timely interventions.
Professor Xavier entered the room, smiling warmly. "Ah, good. I was hoping I would find some of you here. Come in, Kristi, and meet some of my X-Men."
A young, sandy haired girl stepped into the room behind him. She was wearing a blue sweatshirt, jeans and trainers, looked to be in her late teens / early twenties and was obviously nervous.
Ororo put down her book and rose gracefully to her feet.
"Ororo, I would like to introduce you to Kristi Marsters." Xavier beckoned the girl forward. "She is to spend some time with us, learning how to use her powers safely and wisely. Kristi, this is Ororo Monroe, also known as Storm. She is one of the teachers here. And this is Rogue and Jubilation Lee."
"Jubilee, Professor!" She shot Xavier a quick glare and then waved at Kristi. "Hi! Welcome to the X-Club!"
Ororo moved forward to shake the girl's hand. "We are very pleased to have you join us, Kristi. Please do not be afraid. You are among friends here."
The girl smiled, prettily. "Thanks, Ororo. I guess I am a bit nervous. This is a big day for me."
Xavier pivoted his wheelchair. "Well, I'll leave you all to get acquainted. I have some rather urgent business to attend to in the war room." He paused in the doorway. "Oh, and Jubilee? Please see me in my office after your last lesson on Monday. If memory serves, I believe you are aware that I will not tolerate rollerblading in my corridors?"
"But, Professor ….."
"No buts, Jubilee. My office. Monday."
"Yes, Professor." Jubilee looked crestfallen.
Xavier nodded once in satisfaction and left the room, closing the door quietly behind him.
Jubilee scuffed at the carpet with her foot. "Rumbled. Not cool." She made a mental note not to try outwitting a telepath ever again.
Ororo turned to the youngest X-Man. "Jubilee, I am sure Kristi would appreciate some help getting settled in. Why don't you help take her luggage upstairs?"
"Well, okay. Which room?"
"How about Alison's old room? It has a nice view over the gardens."
"Great! That's right next to mine, Kristi! We're going to be neighbours!" Jubilee took Kristi's arm and headed for the door. "Come on, let's get your cases! Did ya leave 'em out here somewhere …..?"
Kristi was duly propelled from the room by the enthusiastic Jubilee, given only the briefest of moments to wave goodbye to Storm and Rogue before the door closed behind her.
Rogue settled back in her chair and picked up her walkman. "Was that wise, sugah?" she asked, lightly. "What a way ta welcome the poor mite! Spendin' a day with Jubilee will have her runnin' for the hills!"
Ororo smiled as she regained her seat. "If she can survive a day with Jubilee, the girl can survive anything," She paused, thoughtfully. "Consider it an impromptu Danger Room session!"