The Hunter and the Hunted
".... and don't forget to hand your projects in next Monday. Class dismissed."
Jubilation Lee blinked suddenly and jerked her head up from her arms, looking around blurrily. She had been asleep for the last half hour, and now suddenly she found the rest of the class clearing out of the room, gossiping excitedly amongst themselves.
"What did you get? ... really? Awesome..."
"Aw, cool! A rebellion! All I got is dumb Henry the Sixth, I don't know a single thing about him..."
"Napoleon? Great, I just had to get the short French guy...."
"No, not Marc Anthony, Mary Antoinette ... you know, that royal chick who had her head chopped off..."
Oh, great, Jubilee thought, groaning inwardly. What did I miss this time?
Jubilee silently cursed all the desks in the History classroom; why did they have to be so darn comfortable? They always managed to lure her into a nap ... although the desks in the Chemistry lab were pretty comfy too...
"Oh, thank goodness, you regained consciousness." Kitty Pryde grinned and poked Jubilee playfully between the shoulder blades. "I was starting to think you had blacked out or something ... look, I did a really good sketch of you asleep..." Kitty held up a detailed portrait, drawn in pencil, of Jubilee slumped across her desk with her mouth open and her hair sticking out in a very unflattering way.
"I see you even managed to capture the drool slipping out of my mouth; very flattering, Kit, I'm truly honored," Jubilee said sarcastically, getting up and following Kitty out of the classroom.
"So, what project was Storm talking about?" Jubilee asked, as soon as they had come out into the crowded hall.
"Miss Munroe," Kitty said pointedly, reminding Jubilee to address the teachers properly, "paired us up and gave us all topics for a History assignment. Luckily, I volunteered to be your partner, or you would've been left out."
"Thanks, chica," Jubilee said, rewarding her friend with a smile. "So, what's our topic?"
Kitty pulled a paper out of her notepad and showed Jubilee the single line written in her neat, curly writing.
"Witch hunting in the seventeenth century? What, they were all out of bloody wars?"
Kitty raised an eyebrow, but didn't comment. Instead, she suggested they visit the library and start looking for information, because, as she put it, "I don't think we've done much on witch hunting before."
"Yeah, but the library? Can't you just dig up something on the computer?" Personally, Jubilee thought the library was to be used only as a last resort; being seen in it might affect her social status, after all.
"And what are you planning to do? Just sit around and --- umph!"
The next thing Kitty knew, she was smacked hard on the forehead by something very much like a speeding football; the books she was holding spilled onto the ground, along with loose notepapers that flew in all directions.
"What the ---- oh, not again! Guthrie!" Jubilee glared at the golden-haired boy who suddenly appeared on the scene. "How many times, Guthrie? What, are you out to get her or something?"
"It was an accident," Samuel Guthrie muttered, trying to pick up some of Kitty's already trampled-over papers.
"Yeah, the third accident in a row. Gees – other guys send flowers, you send flying footballs," Jubilee muttered angrily, putting an arm around Kitty's shoulders.
"Hey, cool down, Sparky. He said it was an accident."
Jubilee whipped around to face St. John Allerdyce,
giving him her most piercing glare. "What did you call me?"
"So now you need to get your ears checked, as well as your brain..." St. John drawled, enjoying the effect his words were having on Jubilee; she hated the name Sparky, and he knew it. For some reason, the two had never really hit it off, and although they weren't exactly enemies, one of them always managed to get on the other's nerves whenever they met.
"Yeah, well, one more word out of you and I'll do more than just check your brain – I'll mutilate it. Capiche?" Jubilee hissed, glaring at the teenage flamethrower. St. John looked as if he was about to retaliate, but he was cut short when a hand was placed firmly on his shoulder.
"Come on, man, cool it. There was no harm done, anyway – right, Kitty?" Robert Drake said calmly, glancing at Kitty, who still had a throbbing red mark on her forehead.
"Yes, I'm fine, thanks. Come on, Jubilee, let's go – the library, remember?" Kitty tugged the sleeve of Jubilee's yellow leather jacket and picked up the last of her papers from the floor.
"Look, Kitty, I'm really sorry –" Sam started, running a hand through his hair.
"It's okay, Sam. Just ... just make sure that football flies in the right direction, okay?" Kitty said, trying to ignore the sharp pain in her head.
"Yeah, sure." Sam grinned and walked off with Bobby and St. John; St. John had been glaring coldly at Jubilee (who had been glaring equally as coldly at him), but he slowly removed his gaze and headed off with the other two without another word.
"Phew. Now that we've got rid of the Three Stooges, maybe we should go get something to eat," Jubilee said, grinning as her stomach rumbled at the end of her sentence.
"Honestly, Jubilee, not all of them are all that bad... I mean, Sam's okay, and so is Bobby – and St. John is –"
"Hush! Don't mention that spawn of Satan when I'm around, chica. It makes me want to kick something," Jubilee said, darkly.
"Spawn of Satan?" Kitty fought back a laugh and
raised her eyebrows. "Where did you get that?"
"I dunno," Jubilee said, shrugging. "But it fits. Anyway, what about grabbing lunch?"
"Okay – we'll just grab a quick snack, and then we have to get to the library; I'll do a computer search later, if we need any additional information."
Jubilee rolled her eyes and linked her arm comfortably with Kitty's. "How much information do we need? In the seventeenth century, a whole lot of people got burned just 'cause a bunch of loonies said they were witches. Period."
"Somehow, I think it'll be more interesting than that..." Kitty said thoughtfully.
She had no idea how very right she would turn out to be ...
Author's Note: Short chapter, I know, but it's going to get real interesting from here on... ;-)
Anyway, feel free to post your opinions – I totally and utterly love reviews, even silly ones (although, like any other writer, I'd appreciate civilized reviews – you don't have to like the fic, but you don't have to flame it to a crisp, either. Be fair, people :-)
And I'm planning on having the rest of the X-Men in the next chapter, in case you're wondering. I could never, ever leave Logan out of a fic, but I can do with leaving out Rogue a little... Oh, and in this story, there is no Marie. Only Rogue. See, I think of Marie as this sweet and innocent little mutant who could never bear the name Rogue or act anything like a rogue... On the other hand, the brassy, Southern belle, comic-and-TV-series- Rogue I know and love is the one I think of as the real Rogue, which means that she fits in with the older X-Men, not Kitty and Jubilee. Just wanted to clear that up :-)