Notes:  This was started just after issue 54 where GenX was in Madripore.  I'm going to ignore everything that happened afterwards.  I was inspired by the single Viper scene in the issue.  Also, at this time Sean is with his daughter.  A briefly appearing non-powered teacher named Tom was at the school.

            Also, the villain Trance is from Gen13, but I'm shamelessly using him anyway.

            This was also set soon after Wolverines wedding to Viper.  Also ignore anything else that happened after those issues.  As for who was at the X-Mansion and what was going on there, I don't really know, so I'm also making it up.

RED LINES

CHAPTER ONE: NIGHTMARE

The small girl paused for a moment, glancing quickly over her shoulder, hopelessly praying that she had lost him.  For a moment the street behind her resembled an ordinary midnight-covered street.  Then it erupted into a chaotic fury. 

She started running again, even though her strength had long ago reached the edge of its limits.  Just a little further.  If she could reach the end of the street, then maybe, just maybe, she would be able to escape.  Around that corner was safety.  Two feet left.  One.  Then she was through, into the crowd.  He'll never find me in this crowd she thought, hope giving her momentary strength.  New Years Eve celebration, how she loved these revelers at this moment, more then they would ever know.

She sent a prayer of thanks to whatever God had been listening.  Pausing she looked around.  There, a magic shop, she could hide in there.  The only thought that was in her mind now was the burning desire for rest.  She had not rested for so long, the will to live alone kept her going. Nothing more, nothing more.

Inside the shop it was dark, with a staircase leading to the upper level.  An old man sat shuffling cards at the counter.  Slowly he looked up at her.  His smile of greeting died on his lips as he saw the bloodstained girl. 

She was about to ask for a place to hide when the door behind her burst open. 

"Thought you could get away from me, frail?  It ain't that easy," his voice sounded more like a growl, low and scratchy.

Behind him another man came.  His white hair gleamed in the candlelight.  "Tell me about the X-men.  You will tell me what I want to know."

She backed away, her mind screaming for her to run.  But her feet wouldn't move.  She looked down to see them tangled in vines. 

She began to scream in earnest now.

Slowly the blond creature advanced on her.  With a feral grin he raised his arm and began a swiping motion.

______________________________________________________________________

"Jubilee, wake up."  Paige had been startled by the screams she heard upon returning from her morning jog.  "Jubilee, wake up!"

The smaller girl's eyes opened.  With a rather bemused look she turned to Paige.  "Wha' 'appen'd?"  She looked rather blurry this morning.

"You were having a nightmare.  Want to talk about it?"

Jubilee looked at Paige and frowned, "I don't remember...."

Paige nodded uncertainly and turned towards the bathroom.  She wasn't sure what to do, a leader should know what would cause a teammate nightmares, but Jubilee always evaded her questions.

Just as she reached the door Jubilee called out, "When's your date with Tristan?  And I don't know why you're gonin' on that date, he's blackmailing you for goodness' sake."

Paige cocked her head and replied, "Saturday night and none of your business."  With that she shut the door behind herself.

"Sheesh, you'd think she was enjoying herself. Grumble mumble grumble."  Jubilee turned over, trying to go back to sleep, but couldn't.  The vestiges of the nightmare wouldn't let her settle down.

The nightmares were beginning to affect her performance on the team.  Today was the first time that she had woken screaming, though.  If this kept up Frosty or Banshee might notice.  The new teach had already commented on her lack of attention, but luckily it had been attributed to her seemingly flighty nature.

Jubilee stifled a yawn and started getting ready for classes.  Two more days until the dance.  Hopefully a good party would put a more cheerful face on the world.  If she got asked to it.  If nothing went wrong. 

Jubilee buried her face in the pillow, letting the feather soak up her tears.