WARNING: ABBA and talking gummy bears.
I did warn you. I did.
Just a few words before I start; this is unfinished. The idea came to me over a car trip from Munich to Colonge while I was in Germany and so I started to doodle on the plane home. Now, I've had a bit of fun writing it so far, but it does take time, and before I continue it, I wanted to see if there was a market for it. If not, I'll take it down and get back to my other fics. So, I would really really REALLY appreciate some feedback. Thanks.
Beta'd by WandaW
Thank You For The Music
And I've often wondered, how did it all start?
Who found out that nothing can capture a heart
Like a melody can?
Well, whoever it was, I'm a fan
'Thank You For The Music' – ABBA
To be certain, Jubilee was a genius. In her own mind, at least. She was one of those unappreciated geniuses, she figured, but so not the type who went and did like Kurt Cobain, blowing out their brains 'cause they weren't getting enough love. The type that goes unappreciated until they do something totally kickass and then, finally, get the respect they damn well deserve. Yeah, Jubilee was that kind of genius. Jubes with the moves had become the man with the plan. Or, well, the woman, at least.
So, with much sneaking and stealth, she spread her plan around the institute. First she went to Storm, who said it was wonderful idea and that Heavens they could all do with a good laugh, and then she went all misty-eyed and stared out the window and said something awfully morbid about the sound of children laughing was missing from the halls, to which Jubilee just said, cool, and backed out of her office sharpish. Hank was next, and Jubilee caught him down in the med lab, taking a break from whatever it is large blue diplomats do, and then Warren and Piotr, who agreed with a pair of such conspiratorial grins that Jubilee felt as if her plan might not actually be her plan after all, but theirs, which they managed to plant in her brain through a series of tag-teaming attacks where one would flash her that smile and flex those pecks, thus reducing her brain to mush, while the other whispered in her ear.
"Be there," she threatened them in her most threatening voice. "Or be square."
Yeah, you heard me, bitch. Be square.
"Can we be there and be square?" Warren chirped.
"You can be freakin' tetrazoidals. Just be there." And that was that.
Next came the Wolverine, and Jubilee wisely buttered him up before asking, getting him a fresh beer and offering to massage his shoulders. She gave up getting a coherent word out of him after the fifth beer and left, hoping very much that grunt-grunt-grunt-gr-grunt-grunt meant, why yes, Jubilee, I'd love to play a part in your little matchmaking/merrymaking scheme, so much so, in fact, that I'll put on a clean wifebeater and bring cheesy nachos. But she wasn't quite sure. The new Cajun guy, Renée or whatever his name was, was a little more reluctant, though as soon as Jubilee dropped a subtle hint that, yes, a certain stripy-haired Southern just might be in attendance, his schedule miraculously seemed to clear. Bobby was surprisingly easy to convert, so easy, in fact, that Jubilee worried if there was something he wasn't telling them. Rogue, also, was a quick catch. The moment Jubilee mentioned 'Kitty', 'Pyro' and 'ABBA', she declared well and truly in to the bitter end. She even pledged responsibility for making sure Pyro turned up, "even if Ah have to drag him by the hair, kickin' and screamin'," she vowed.
"Especially if you have to drag him by the hair, kickin' and screamin'," Jubilee confirmed. As far as she was concerned, Pyro was getting off lightly. Anyone who hurt her friend deserved to be dragged to symposium on geologic tools in the middle ages, naked, across broken glass and other large spiky objects designed purely to inflict maximum pain, all dipped in the lemoniest lemon juice there was, by a hook through their nose/lip/left nipple. Why the left, she didn't know. It just sounded cooler. "And see if you can bump his head off the stairs on the way. That'd be sweet."
Rogue bit her lip, obviously thinking hard. "But if he's such an ass–– "
"You're doubting Pyro's an ass?" Jubilee spluttered. "Hello? Am I or am I not hearing this. Because I don't think I am." Though, now she thought on it, he did have a rather cute tush. She could see what Kitty saw in that, even if the rest was a complete mystery to her. Yeah, sure, bad boys were totally in this season, what with Mickey Rourke making a comeback, but there was a fine line between bad boys and wanted terrorists.
"No one could doubt Johnny's ass-iness, but Ah'm jus' sayin' that if he's such an ass, why are we botherin'?"
Jubilee blinked. "Duh. Kitty."
"Seein' as he's such an ass, don't ya think …" Rogue gave a little shrug, uncomfortable. "Don't ya think that she'd be better off without him?" Jubilee gave her a long look. Maybe it was the power of the look, or perhaps the blinding pink eyeshadow, but, either way, Rogue recanted. "Guess ya jus' can't help who ya love, right?"
Jubilee nodded. "Amen, sister … But he does have a nice ass, and speaking of nice asses, did ya get a load of that new Cajun dude at breakfast?"
"When ya accidentally on purpose dropped yahr spoon an' he bent over tah pick it up fohr ya?" Rogue asked innocently.
"Oh yeah. Praise the Good Lord."
So, then came the hard part, the one teeny-weeny, itsy-bitsy, microscopic window in which The Plan, flawless as it was, might fail: persuading Kitty to A) leave their room, B) be in the same room as a certain unnamed pyromaniac, C) stay in the same room as said certain unnamed pyromaniac, at least until Jubilee had gotten a photo of Pyro in flippers (she didn't doubt Pyro's devotion to the plan; Rogue would see to that), and D) leave the room for another, much less populated room, with the twice afore mentioned unnamed pyromaniac and not come out for at least a week – Hence the plan complete.
After much careful deliberation, Jubilee came to the conclusion that there was no easy way she could go about achieving this, so she just did.
"Kitty!" she announced, hammering on their door. "I'm coming in. If you're doing anything indecent, like colour-coding my panties, please stop now. Pining does not mean you can touch the untouchable." And so she opened the door.
Mercifully, Kitty was not colour-coordinating her underwear drawer, or anything for that matter. She sat on her bed, a picture of dejection, flicking morosely through a copy of Harry Potter so old Jubilee swore mould would soon start to fester along the spine. It was The Goblet of Fire. A bad sign. Kitty had a different book for each dominating emotion and the great gobs of fire meant death, depression and desolation and other dreary words beginning with d. Jubilee swallowed.
"Kitty?" she called softly. "You here Kit?"
"Hey, Jubes," Kitty replied. Her tone suggested that Jubilee was on her deathbed, dying some imaginably drawn-out and painful death due to an incurable disease brought on by deprivation from peanut butter. "What's up?"
"I," Jubilee declared triumphantly, "have a plan." And she waved it, a conquering hero turning the flag, and thrust it under Kitty's nose.
Kitty heaved a gloomy sigh and gazed out the window. It was one of those days when the weather couldn't make up its mind, so the sun was out, the sky was grey and the air was wet, so Jubilee was pretty miffed that Kitty thought it was more important than her plan. Sure, if the sun had been exploding or if it had, finally, starting raining men, she would have understood, even though her plan was ten times better than anything the sky could do – except possibly raining Jake Gyllenhaals. Now that would be good.
"Hem hem," Jubilee cleared her throat loudly and rapped her knuckles on Kitty's desk. "As I was saying, I have a plan. You know – a plan. Like an idea, only, I dunno, more smart or something."
"An idea's a thought or a conception, whereas a plan's a scheme of doing something prepared in advanced," Kitty said wearily, her chin resting in her palm. She sighed again and fiddled with a hole in her quilt.
And then Jubilee sighed because she felt left out of the sighing club. "Look, chica," she said, sitting down beside Kitty. "I know life totally sucks for you right now, lover-boy being back and Bobby being a complete dick – which, FYI, I told you so – but today we are going to say screw you to those assholes and have ourselves some fun, okay? 'Kay babes? Now repeat after me: screw those assholes. Screw those assholes. C'mon, Kit, with feeling this time. Screw those assholes …"
Jubilee had gotten more feeling from the dead frog she had been supposed to be dissecting in Dr. Grey's biology class, back when everything was okay, but then John had slipped a handful of frog guts down Kitty's sweater and Kitty had screamed and phased through Bobby, who fell over and brought a test tube full of hydrogen peroxide with him, which then––
"Fun?" Kitty murmured the word like in was a foreign language, strange, new, hard to pronounce and thoroughly pointless. Like French.
"Yeah," Jubilee said slowly, nodding. "Fun. Did I mention that I, your BBF, have a plan?"
"Yeah, I think so." Kitty's brow furrowed. "To do what?"
"Everything. It'll get you and Romeo back in black, cheer up the Wolverine, make or break it for Bobby and Rogue because that cute Cajun guy was totally making eyes at her at breakfa–– "
"Jubes, I don't know …" Kitty trailed off into incoherent mumblings and stared into the middle distance.
"I said he doesn't love me anymore."
Jubilee began to laugh, great incredulous hoots of laughter, until she realised that laughing, even though it was the natural response to a statement as fucking retarded as Kitty's, was not the right move, so she hastily turned her laughter into a cough. But then she started to choke and Kitty had to whack her on the back.
"Look. Kitty. I saw you guys in the library the other day. You were all like, 'Can I have that book when you're done?' and he was like 'sure. Here you go,' and then you were like 'Oh. So you're done, then,' and then he was like 'It would appear so, wouldn't it,' and then you were like 'Okay,' and he was like 'Okay.' And then he left. Sheesh! Talk about sexual tension you could freakin' cut with a knife, chica? A freakin' chainsaw, more like. And then when you sai–– "
"If he loved me, he wouldn't have left."
"And if he didn't love you, he wouldn't have come back. Why the Hell d'you think he came back? I tell you, chica, it wasn't for me and it sure as Hell wasn't because he missed Storm's meatloaf. Even I want to leave–– "
" –Bobby," Kitty mumbled.
"Oh puh-lease!" Jubilee exclaimed. "For a chica so smart, you're being a, like, total dumbass right about now." Screw the sugar-coating: here's the truth – take it or leave it. "I was there in the library, Kits. He loves you. Loves you. Luuuurves you."
A little dusting of pink rose up in Kitty's cheeks. She flailed about, searching for another excuse.
"He won't come."
Jubilee raised an eyebrow. "Wanna bet?"
Kitty knew that voice. That was the Don't-Mess-With-The-Jubinator voice. And no one messed with the Jubinator voice.
"What did you do?" she whispered. Trepidation, excitement, a certain element of awe; Jubilee liked her tone.
"Oh, you know," she breezed, shrugging. "A little bit of this, little bit of that. Sicked Rogue on him–– "
"Sicked Rogue on him," Jubilee cackled. "He'll be there, Kitty-kat, so if you don't show your face you'll totally look chicken." And she did a chicken impression to prove her point. "See? Nobody likes a chicken. Except foxes."
Kitty's giggles faded away and she heaved yet another weighty sigh. "I just don't know Jubes. Maybe I'll stay here …"
Jubilee scarified twelve prize bulls to the Gods for patience. "Look, Kitty," she growled, her best Wolverine impression, seizing her friend by the shoulders, shaking her a little for emphasis. Something rattled. Not a good sign. "I bet you anything fireboy and Rogue are having the exact same conversation right now. He won't want to come because he'll be all angsty thinking you don't love him, which, excuse moi, you totally do. So let's cut the crap and hit the road, please. Pretty please … with a me on top?" And she did the puppy dog eyes that no man had ever been able to resist. Probably because no man had ever seen them, but, boy, when they did …
Kitty pulled a non-committal face.
Jubilee tapped her foot on the ground, arms folded.
Kitty grinned weakly. "I guess I don't have a choice, do I?"
"Do you really want me to answer that?"
"It was a rhetorical question."
"I have no idea what that is, but if it means that, Hell yeah, you don't have a choice and are just asking stupid questions to annoy me, then, yeah, it's a rhetorical freakin' question. And besides, Warren and Piotr have been practising their routine for ages and if they couldn't do it, they'd be, like, totally torn up, which would totally defeat the purpose of my ingenious plan to make everyone feel good – And you really don't want Piotr's crushed soul on your conscience, now, do you? Huh? Huh? Huh?" Jubilee did her best pigeon impression. "Huh? Huh? Do ya? Do ya?"
Kitty shook her head.
"Thought not. Now let's go!" Jubilee cried triumphantly and, grasping Kitty's wrist, proceeded to half-lead half-drag her from the room.
Kitty frowned. "I thought we were going to the Rec Room."
"Of course we're going to the Rec Room! Earth to Kitty! I know you're suffering from SAS withdrawal symptoms, but come on, chica."
"SAS?" Kitty repeated with unease.
"St John Allerdyce Syndrome."
"Oh ha ha ha!" Kitty snapped, punching Jubilee on the arm.
"Hey!" Jubilee objected, rubbing her arm. "I thought it was pretty clever," she admitted modestly, retrieving the plan and brandishing it dangerously close to Kitty's nose. "You guys are doing this one here. I figured it'll be good because, maybe, if you pretend you're hopelessly in love, you'll remember how amazing it was to actually be in it, you know? And who wants more angst, anyway. Angst is sooooo two hours ago. Well," she finished with an air of expectation. "You can say it now."
"That I'm a genius. Duh."
"I don't know …" Kitty bit her lip looking sceptical.
Jubilee narrowed her eyes. "You don't know if I'm a genius or if the plan will work? 'Cause if it's the second one, that's okay, but – Hey! Wait! No … By thinking my plan won't work, the plan that through its flawless ingeniousness made me a genius, you're indirectly doubting my genius!"
"What?" Kitty asked absently.
"Forget it," Jubilee grumbled. "I'll just stand here and wallow in unappreciation, shall I?"
"Of course I appreciate you, Jubes. You're my best friend. I'm just not sure about this, okay?"
"Didn't I just say it was flawless?"
Kitty nodded in a tortured sort of way. "It's not the plan. It's–– "
But whatever it was, Jubilee was doomed to eternal ignorance, because Rogue chose that very moment to come bounding out of the Rec Room in a highly un-Rogue-like fashion. "Jubes! Kitty! Ya're here!"
"That we are. Yes. Here," Jubilee confirmed with steely authority. "We're here, we're clear and we don't want anymore tears."
"Nice," Rogue complimented.
Jubilee stuck her tongue out at Kitty. "See? Someone appreciates me."
"I just told you appreciated you, like, two seconds ago."
"Yeah, well, Rogue did it one second ago, so you're gonna have to do it again."
Kitty's response was interrupted by a loud bellow of frustration. Jubilee swore loudly and Kitty jumped about a foot into the air, phased through Hank, who cried out in shock and dropped the punchbowl he was carrying on a hundred-year-old white Bengal tiger pelt.
"Oh dear," said Hank.
Lucky for him, all three girls' eyes were fixed on the main source of the commotion, that being a surly-looking Logan inches away from setting into the TV with his claws because he couldn't figure out which plug was for the DVD and which was for the X-Box. Jubilee clapped Kitty on the shoulder. "Go. Do your thing, chica. Hey, Logan!" she yelled across the room. "Lookin' surly!"
Kitty sent her a disparaging look. "Do you even know what surly means?"
After making sure that Kitty was safely occupied in teaching Logan that the red cord went into the red socket and blue cord into the blue socket, Jubilee rejoined Rogue where she and Storm were conversing in low voices. "This," she was saying, "is eithah gonna end really well or really badly."
"Which one is which?" Storm asked, her grin balancing out the cynicism.
"Ah'm thinkin' minimal loss of limb is good."
"Good thinking Batman," Jubilee piped up, always one for throwing in her two cents. She glared around the room. "Where is everyone? Piotr and Warren pinky-promised they'd be here. And no one goes back on a pinky and gets away with it."
"They're coming. They're getting snacks," came a new voice. It was Bobby. And he was wearing …
"Oh mah," Rogue giggled, her Southern belle's manners deserting her like a brother in a foxhole. "Bobby. Ya look really–– " But words alone could not describe Bobby's appearance, so Jubilee took over.
"What she meant to say was you look like a complete …"
For the first time in her life, words failed Jubilation Lee. She simply stared at the apparition before her and wondered vaguely if a few of her ribs had snapped in her efforts to keep from laughing.
Storm smiled diplomatically, recovering. "It's so nice to see a committed student, Bobby."
"Committed?" Jubilee muttered to Rogue.
Rogue grinned. "Good thinkin' Batman."
Jubilee looked around her again. "Speaking of committing, where's …" She lowered her voice to throaty mystical proportions. "You-know-who?"
Bobby frowned disapprovingly out the window in such a way that made Jubilee fear him possessed by Professor's Summers' spirit. "Smoking outside with the sketchy Cajun new guy."
"Remy is not sketchy," Rogue protested instantly.
"Remy?" Jubilee exclaimed. "So that's his name. I thought it was Renée. Guess that clears up why he kept looking over his shoulder when we were talking at breakfast. Thought he had an invisible friend or something."
Bobby opened his mouth, doubtlessly to say something wholesome and Boy Scoutish, but another bellow from Logan heralding the functioning of the TV thankfully cut him off, and he frowned some more to make up for it.
Jubilee clambered up on top of the nearest chair, waved her arms about and yelled in squeaky voice, which annoyed her, because people who waved their arms and yelled in squeaky voices generally got laughed at and not obeyed. But, people in general, even those with waving arms and squeaky voice, did not have the murderous look in their eye as Jubilee had.
"Right, men!" she yelled. "Two minutes and counting! Battle stations! We have a mission here and no one leaves this room until it's complete. Rogue, go get that sketchy Cajun dude and P–– "
"––He's not sketchy!–– "
"Whatever. Bobby, go stand behind the curtain or somewhere I can't see you. Your spandex is hurting my eyes. Warren and Piotr! Did you milk the freakin' cow to get the ice-cream? Jeez. I was about to send out a search party."
They hung their heads in respective shame.
"Don't just stand there maggots! Put the food down! No, not beside the fire. It's ice-cream. It'll melt. Duh. Kitty, get away from that door. Put down the X-Box, Logan, it's your friend. Hank, stop cleaning the carpet."
"But it's a hundred-year-old white Bengal tiger pelt," Hank protested.
Jubilee shrugged, cold-hearted. "We have a mission, soldier. You can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs."
"Eggs? Where?" Hank twirled about on his knees, searching for eggs stains. "Where?"
At this moment Rogue returned, accompanied by two of the finest specimens of masculinity Jubilee had ever seen, beside Logan, and maybe Brad Pitt in Fight Club.
"Well, hello, sketchy Cajun dude–– "
" ––He's not sketchy!–– "
" ––Nice of you to join us at last. And you." Jubilee stabbed an accusing finger at Pyro. "Don't burn anything."
"Don't give him ideas," Bobby despaired from behind the curtains.
"Rogue, don't think I don't see you! If you want ice-cream, take ice-cream, but don't steal all the fish out of the phish food! Other people gotta eat too! Storm, stop being a responsible adult and sit down! God help me, Allerdyce, if you so much as think of flicking that thing I will shove it so far up your ass you're gonna be puking metal. Sketchy Cajun dud–– "
" ––He's not sketchy!–– "
" ––Stop stealing the gummy bears!"
Remy froze, incredulous, offended and smirking in a way that Jubilee was so not appreciating, especially as it made Rogue, her second-in-command, drop all the gummy bears Remy had dumped on her and drool.
"Who? Moi?" he asked, hands surreptitiously behind his back.
"Yeah, you. And don't look at me like that. I saw you." Jubilee heaved a great sigh a sigh to rival the sigh of God when he looks down and sees people cutting down the rainforests to make fake burgers. One would really think that if one's gonna to doom the Planet, one better be making some fine burgers, but no! "Warren. You're up first. You ready?"
Warren snapped to attention. "Aye-aye, sir!"
"Now that's more like it. Okay, Logan, fire away!"
Pyro stopped his brooding, sniffing like a shark that's caught the scent of fresh blood and Logan quirked an eyebrow, grunting.
Jubilee folded her arms. "Press play."
Logan's eyebrow dropped, John hastily rearranged his expression and Kitty pressed play. Jubilee leapt of her chair, scrambling over Remy's lap and into the last free space on the couch. Only for Kitty to phase through her a split second later.
"Drop dead, Kitty. I was here first."
"Mon Dieu," Remy muttered, getting seamlessly to his feet and dusting down his trench coat. He grinned at the tangle of limbs that was Jubilee and Kitty. "Y' can take m' seat, if it means dat much t' y'. Remy'll just go sit by de belle femme here."
Jubilee pushed Kitty into Remy's empty seat with the hiss of, "You see? Told you my plan was ingenious."
Kitty snorted. "You did not plan that."
I have a dream, a song to sing
To help me cope with anything
It was Warren, singing. And he had the voice of five-year-old boy.
If you see the wonder of a fairy tale
You can take the future even if you fail
All in all, they considered it a most rousing opening number, what with Warren unleashing his wings while singing I believe in angels and riding a unicycle, andthe music contorting from a gentle strumming to some sort of mad Greek polka, at which point Piotr started Russian dancing, Rogue choked on her punch and Remy attempted to give her CPR, when Bobby, the picture of manliness in his seventies spandex, complete with headband and flares, asked him did they need to step outside and solve this problem men, only for Remy to say, "Désolé, mais Remy don' hit girls.", before cringing at the look Storm sent him, that be good or else look that no one, not even Remy LeBeau was tempted to find out what happened when you evoked the or else clause. Meanwhile, Pyro was calculating just how many steps to the nearest exit (the window and the fireplace were both eight) when Logan declared, "I need a beer."
"I second that."
Logan snorted, sizing up the pyromaniac. "Yeah, and you're, what, how old? Twelve?"
"Good goods come in small packages," Pyro retorted lamely. He was, after all, trying to be good.
"Small being the operative word."
There are certain buttons that should not be pressed, not even by adamantium-claw wielding immortals. And Logan just pressed that buttons. There was an awful stench of burning hair and Logan ran around the Rec Room twice before Hank dumped the fishbowl over his head. The water put out the fire, but the bowl got stuck and the fish started to protest.
"Stop yelling!" Storm admonished the pair. "Warren's singing!"
("Dude," said a pear-flavoured gummy bear with an extra leg to his raspberry bro. "Get a load of this, dude. This is sweet.
Raspberry nodded. "Totally, dude.")
Kitty slowly turned to Jubilee, her eyes roaming over the chaos (mainly Storm standing on a chair to avoid the fish while trying to talk Hank through pulling the fishbowl off Logan's head) and on to meet her friends.
Completely speechless, her eyes asked the question.
Jubilee nodded, grinning like the Cheshire Cat. "All part of the plan, chica. All part of the plan."
After that, Logan's rendition of Honey Honey left no lasting impressions, other than permanent ear damage to all involved. Storm's Money Money Money was a slight improvement, backing vocals done by Rogue and Jubilee, popping out from behind different bits of furniture as the song progressed, as Remy catcalled, "Sing it Stormy!" so that the lyrics were constantly punctuated by yells of, "Damn it, Cajun, if you call me Stormy one more time, I'll–– "
"Y'll what? Sing Remy a lullaby?"
"Can it, Cajun!" Logan growled from inside the fishbowl.
"Détendez, Spaceman," Remy chuckled. "Relax. Stormy an' me are jus' catchin' up on old times."
Rogue's eyes flicked from one man to the other like a spectator at Wimbledon, only minus the strawberries and cream. Warren and Piotr were complimenting Bobby on his trendy new threads. "Whoa, man," Warren whistled appreciatively, taking in the spangles. "I thought I was a real ABBA fan, but I guess I'm just some lame amateur."
"Wish someone told us we could dress up," Piotr lamented.
Pyro just sat in corner and picked the fish out of the Phish Food. He didn't like chocolate so he melted them and wiped his hands on Jubilee's yellow jacket. His reasoning was she shouldn't have left it hanging around.
There was relative calm while the movie progressed and then it was time, and Jubilee patted Kitty on the shoulder in a gesture of sympathetic encouragement, which failed completely as Kitty looked like a very small rabbit caught in the headlight of a very large Panzer division tank complete with a nuclear missile launcher and driven by that black guy from the A Team who did the Snickers' commercials. Seeing that Kitty was not going to get up by herself, Jubilee ousted her unceremoniously from her spot, roaring, "Get some nuts!"
That failed too and Kitty stared at the microphone Storm was trying to hand her like it was a cobra gearing up to strike. Jubilee was about to find a megaphone and yell some more encouraging slogans from commercials at her friend when Rogue, ever gracious, came to the rescue. Leaping gracefully from her seat on Remy's lap (Jubilee wondered vaguely how she had got there), she prised the microphone without much difficulty, or any at all, in fact, from Kitty's cold not-so-dead hands. And, looking at no particular member of the male audience, no one at all, she sang,
I've been cheated by you and I think you know when
So I've made up my mind this must come to an end
("Dude," said the pear-flavoured Gummy Bear to his gelatinous compatriot, "did that chick just do what I think she just did?"
"I dunno, dude. What were you thinking?"
"That she totally dumped his ass … by song."
"Oh, yeah, dude. It's, like, totally the new IM."
"That's wack, dude," said the Pear Bear, looking from Rogue standing triumphant, hands on hips, to Bobby, still blissfully unaware as to what had just happened, to Kitty, who looked more than guilty, to that sketchy Cajun dude, who looked like Christmas had come early.
The Gummy Bear began to drool. "Sweet."
"Like, stop eating me, dude."
"Oh, sorry, dude."
Look at me now, will I ever learn?
Not to go out with dweebish nerds
"Hey!" Jubilee yelled. "Stick to the lyrics on the screen, chica, or pass the mic on!"
Rogue shrugged and passed it back to Kitty. "Go for it, sugah." And, somehow, Rogue succeeded where Jubilee had failed, and Kitty went for it, and it was cheesy, and it was glorious, and it was so deep and meaningful that Benny Andersson felt like his life had not been a complete waste and Sweden declared May sixteenth a national holiday, Kitty Pryde Appreciation Day, and the gummy bears began to cry gummy tears and everyone leapt from their seats and began to dance and jive like robots from nineteen-eighty-four, all except John, who just couldn't take all the deep and meaningful emotion, which was understandable, as all the deep and meaningful emotion was directed directly at him.
I've been angry and sad about the things that you do
I can't count all the times I've cried over you
So he did what he always did in times of great personal crisis. He set something on fire. Thankfully, he was outside (open window; twelve steps) and the something was only a cigarette, but he could still hear the singing through the open window. He contemplated closing it but the sky was threatening rain and he really did not want to be stuck outside in the rain. Even ABBA was preferential to asking Bobby, nicely, to let him back in.
Mamma Mia! Here I go again
My my! How can I resist you?
Mamma Mia! Does it show again?
Just how much I've missed you
"Oui, I've been broken hearted
Blue since de day we parted
Why, why? Did I ever let y' go?"
John exhaled in an angry way, rather like a dragon sending smoke curling out his nostrils before he barbecued your ass back into the Stone Age. "What do you want Gambit?"
Remy stopped whistling and looked surprised and rather hurt. "Can't a homme whistle no more wit'out his ami dinkin' dat he got some sinister ulterior motive?"
John thought about it for a moment, blowing smoke rings into the muggy autumn air. They hung around their heads like personal storms, preserved by the moisture in the air. "Because said friend knows you only whistle Yellow Submarine when you've got some sinister ulterior motive. Bit of a giveaway, don't you think."
"Oh. D'accord … What 'bout singin'? Can't a homme jus' sing wit'out rhyme nor reason, jus' 'cause it make his heart feel free?
"I'm just a lil' black rain cloud
Hoverin' over de honey tree
I'm jus' lil' black rain cloud
Pay no attention to Remy."
"Pourquoi pas?" Why not.
"Because most songs rhyme."
Remy gave a little shrug and bummed a smoke. He went for his lighter, but paused and held it out to John. The corner of his mouth twitched in what might have been a grin (or a grimace of nigh unimaginable pain), but Remy was an optimist, so he settled for either, and a tiny serpent of flame slithered across to ignite the tip of his cigarette, fizzling in the damp air.
John merely grunted and brooded moodily, glowering out across the lawn as if each single solitary blade of grass had done him a great personal harm. Remy left him to brood in peace and glance in through the window.
Chiquitita, tell me what's wrong
I have never seen such sorrow
In your eyes there is no hope for tomorrow
His chére and that punky Asian girl with serious dictatorial issues had descended on a very grumpy-looking Wolverine (still encased in the fishbowl), armed with feather boas and pink glitter nail polish and Remy stopped for a moment to analyse the situation. He considered himself to be a hardy specimen who ate risk for breakfast and danger for a mid-morning snack, he reckoned such an endeavour as the one his chére was embarking on right now about as advisable as poking an sleeping Emma Frost in the eye with a kitchen plunger, stealing Pyro's lighter AND swapping that, admittedly rather dorky-looking, helmet of Magneto's for a Powerpuff Girls one. A pink Powerpuff Girls one. With sparkles. Lots of sparkles.
So, naturally, Remy joined in. Sidling up to Pyro with seamless stealth, he said, "Chiquitita, tell Remy de truth. He's a shoulder y' c'n cry on." He gave John's shoulder a comforting rub. "Y' meilleur ami, Remy's de one y' must rely on."
John snorted. "Me? Rely? On You? You have got to be kidding me."
Remy shrugged. "Worth a try."
Back inside, the Smile Squad had finish drawing a face on Logan's fishbowl in lipstick and moved on to the petite brown-haired girl with the cute button nose and big brown eyes.
Chiquitita, you and I know
How the heartaches come and they go and the scars they're leaving
You'll be dancing once again and the pain will end
You will have no time for grieving
And Remy wasn't the only one looking at her.
"Dat's y' fille, d'accord?"
John's jaw clenched. Remy had few friends, but the ones he had, he had for life. And Pyro, God help them both, was his friend. So he whipped out his romance hat (a rather fetching maroon beret that matched his shirt perfectly) and pulled John down onto a stone bench for a good tête-à-tête.
"So why ain't y' in dere singin' her sweet songs?" Remy accused. "Nuthin' gets a woman's heart faster than song, mon ami. Remy would know. It's the only way he ain't tried yet and d' y' see any filles? Non."
John extinguished the butt of his cigarette against the palm of his hand, a new habit Remy could not help but to notice. "She's better off without someone like me," he muttered, lighting up another and staring steely-eyed off into the middle distance. "I'll only drag her down with me. She's … she deserves more."
"Don't look like dat t' Remy. Looks like she could really do wit' someone t' hold her at night. T'night, even."
John chuckled darkly, a spine-chilling sound. "That was a long time ago."
Remy resisted banging his head off the wall with much difficulty. Why were Australians so stubborn? Damn inconsiderate of them, he thought. "Regard, Johnny. Dis ain't about her. Dis about y'. Now, do y' want her back. Oui or non?"
John swallowed, raised his chin and looked Remy, stubbornly, in the eye. "Yes."
"Den let's go get her."
John sprang to his feet, intent on crashing straight in through the French doors, sweeping Kitty off her feet, snogging her, passionately, right there under the abominable Iceman's nose, procuring some mode of transport (preferably a jumpjet, though a tricycle would work just as well. Especially if it had a bell) and riding off into the sunset with his girl to the theme of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Kitty could be good, he'd be bad and Remy could run along behind them and be ugly. Or Bobby could fill that position. Either way, in John's twisted little mind, it was perfect.
Remy, however, didn't think so. He grabbed John by the back of his jacket, dragging him back down onto the bench. "Attends, attends, attends. Wait. Y' can't jus' go runnin' in dere."
"Why not? It's dramatic. Sheilas dig drama."
Remy pondered this for a moment, but decided he liked what he was going to say next too much to admit that John's idea was actually a rather good one. "De way I'm seein' dings, y' can either do dis two ways. The wrong way and Remy's way."
"What's the wrong way?" John asked in a tone that suggested he was going to do just so.
Remy shrugged. "Everythin' dat isn't Remy's way. Now, homme, here's de plan." He pulled John close, whispering in a conspiratorial way. "When y' two have y' song, you–– "
"Fuck this, I'm going in."
"Let go, Gambit!"
"Let fucking go, Gambit, or I swear I'll–– "
In the name of love, all things holy and cayenne-flavoured Gummy Bears, Remy threw caution to the winds and seized Pyro by the shoulders. "Listen up. Remy'll make dis simple 'cause he can see y'r a little distracted t'day. Do y' love this fille?"
"Do y' want t' hold her?"
He nodded again. Definitely. Holding was in.
"And do y' want t' please her?"
He nodded again, this time not so sure.
"Then y' got t' got t' try a little tenderness!"
John extricated himself from Remy's grip, dropping his hand like a poisonous spider and dusting down his shoulder. "You know what's going to be tender in minute if you don't shut up? Your ass."
"Hey, homme," Remy smirked. "Don't touch what y' can't afford. Now, c'mon. Y' up next."
With the look of a man approaching the gallows, John reentered the Rec Room by climbing in through the open window. No one noticed this, however, as they were all too busy watching Jubilee, having tied Logan up with a skipping rope, paint his nails a violent shade of magenta. Cries of "You call that a cucictle? That's an abomination! I think there are laws against this kind of thing. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Cuticles," were punctutaed by series of muffled grunts.
"Psst! John! Put these on!"
John whipped around at the sound of his name. It was Rogue, and Christ on a motherfucking bike, she was holding a pair of very long, very green flippers and a snorkel to and dancing and deep, meaningful emotion was one thing, but this was another entirely, one which John just could not take.
"And what if I say no?"
Rogue folded her arms. "Ya don't."
John didn't move.
"Y' heard de woman," Remy growled, suddenly at Rogue's side, his stanch all threatening and unified. Prepare for trouble. Make it double. "Put dem on."
"You're supposed to be on my side," John spluttered accusingly.
Remy shrugged. "Side-schmide. An' besides. Remy wants a picture o' y' in dem flippers for his MySpace page."
Okay. So, what do you think? I've never written from Jubilee's POV before. How did it go?
To motivate you, here are some of the pairings I have coming up:
Lay All Your Love On Me - John & Kitty
Does Your Mother Know? - Jubilee and Logan
Take A Chance On Me - Remy & Rogue
Please, I would love to hear what people think. This story depends on you.
ps: remember, all Kyro lovers, check out the Save The Kyro forum