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Masquerade in X 1/?? [Movieverse] (Jubilee)

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  • Dyce-Elihara
    Disclaimer: This is an X-Men Movieverse story, and none of the characters mentioned herein belong to me. I do not have permission to use them, nor have I made
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 9, 2001
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      Disclaimer: This is an X-Men Movieverse story, and
      none of the characters mentioned herein belong to me.
      I do not have permission to use them, nor have I made
      any money by their use.

      This is a spin-off series from the Godless Arc, which
      can be found at
      http://www.geocities.com/minisinoo/dyce.html . You
      don't really have to have read the Godless Arc to read
      this one, although a few scenes will make more sense
      if you have. Clarification on the plot-twist can be
      found in my live-journal, at
      http://www.livejournal.com/talkpost.bml?itemid=17068807
      . I hope.


      This story was written for Pebblin, who asked really,
      really nicely. I like Pebbs. ^-^


      Masquerade in X
      By Dyce

      She was hot.

      She supposed that meant she wasn't bleeding to death.
      According to television, if you were bleeding badly,
      you got cold.

      That was just great, wasn't it? Bleeding to death was
      a relatively quick way to go. She was pretty sure she
      had a broken leg. Judging by the stabbing pain and
      all. And the rest of her was pinned under an
      assortment of heavy stuff.

      She almost wished she was bleeding to death. Thirst
      was a much less pleasant way to go.

      * * *

      The plan had been a long weekend in the mountains.
      Tabitha, Dani, Jubilee, Paige, and Monet, along with
      Bobby, John, Remy, and Mondo. Scott and Jean had
      brought them to Xavier's palatial eight room 'cabin',
      which had a spa and a well-equipped gym, but no
      television.

      Jubilee had been seriously ticked off about the lack
      of television. "How are we going to keep up with the
      real world?" she demanded, waving a finger in Scott's
      face. "Huh? How're we going to know what's going
      *on*? ARMAGEDDON could happen while we're stuck up
      here, and we wouldn't know about it! We'd wind up
      being the only people alive, and we'd all have to
      breed with each other, and I swore a solemn oath that
      Drake was never going to reproduce, so we have to get
      back to civilisation before it's too late to die with
      everyone else!!"

      Scott did his little self-assured grin thing.
      "Jubilee, I promise, if we're the last survivors of
      the human race, you don't have to breed with Bobby.
      You can breed with John. Now go wash up for dinner."

      Jubilee stalked off, waving her hands and mumbling.
      Everyone else - including John and Bobby - was
      collapsed around the den in hysterical giggles.

      It had been a good start to the weekend. By the time
      they'd finished dinner, everyone had been having
      enough fun to let the adolescent dignity slip a bit.
      Even Remy, who'd been melodramatically mooning over
      Marie ever since she got thrown into a jeep and driven
      out of his life, unbent enough to demonstrate a few
      card tricks.

      * * *

      Oh, god... she didn't want to think about this now.

      Take a breath. Take another breath. Blood in the
      mouth from a cut lip, want to spit it out. Swallow it
      instead, don't know when there'll be anything to
      drink.

      Try to move. Left arm has a little give under the
      beam that's pinning it. Good. Work that. It's slow,
      but there's lots of time.

      Lots of time.

      * * *

      Jean and Scott eyed each other over the kitchen table.


      "You miss Logan, don't you?"

      "Of course I don't miss him. I hardly knew him. I
      didn't like him all that much."

      "Oh, you did too," Jean teased. "You just didn't want
      anyone to know, because it'd ruin your tightass
      image."

      Scott produced his sexily lopsided grin. "Well... he
      had his good points. Good with kids. Didn't hit on
      you *too* often."

      "He wasn't hitting on me, he was hitting on the white
      picket fence that surrounds me like a halo," Jean
      returned, smiling back. "I guess he doesn't meet many
      nice girls."

      "Probably not. And I don't think spending all his
      time with Sabretooth and a bunch of mutant adolescents
      is going to get him any dates." Scott made a face,
      slicing carrots absently. "I'm still not sure that
      was a good idea."

      "Neither are they, you know that." Jean said softly.
      "But their cubs are in danger, and they're afraid.
      The Professor and I both think it's a very encouraging
      sign, at least in Sabretooth's case."

      "I know, I know," Scott mock-grumbled. "If he can
      feel compassion for the kids, then it's possible he's
      not entirely evil. I think you're coming at this the
      wrong way."

      "Oh, really?" Jean raised an eyebrow. "You don't
      think he's showing compassion?"

      "Not really. I think he's doing what his instincts
      tell him is right." Scott waved a handful of
      cauliflower for emphasis. "I spent a lot of time
      working with Annie, and I think she and Creed are...
      different. You know how she keeps saying stuff like
      'I'm a cat, not a monkey,' and 'I don't get
      primates'?"

      "They are both of feline-like physiology," Jean agreed
      cautiously. She... and the silent eavesdropper who
      was hiding in the shadowy doorway... both knew Scott's
      Building-Up-To-A-Point voice.

      "I think that's a big part of what's wrong with
      Sabretooth," Scott continued, falling into
      lecture-mode. Both Jean and the observer sighed
      quietly. "He functions mostly on instinct. Annie...
      and Clarice, by extension... are his cubs, so he
      protects them. It's not necessarily an act of
      compassion, it's an act of nature. Logan's doing the
      same thing, although he doesn't know it. Marie is
      like a daughter to him. He thinks she's in danger,
      and he's trying to protect her by moving her to a new
      den, somewhere hidden. It's what a lot of animals
      do."

      "Uh-huh. So, this isn't a hopeful sign for
      Sabretooth?" Jean prodded. She liked it when he got
      all lecturey. She was the only one who did.

      "Oh, no, it is, but not because he's finally showing
      human traits like compassion and mercy." Scott was
      getting into it now, abandoning the preparations for
      dinner and leaning his hip on the edge of the table
      while he gestured with his hands. "He's not showing
      'human' traits, Jean, because he's not thinking like a
      naked pink ape. He's reacting like a lion. Well,
      mostly... there are some cheetah and panther traits
      there too. You can't expect a feline to think like a
      hominid." He cupped the air with his hands. "It
      makes sense, when you think about it like that. His
      whole history... he's like a rogue lion, lashing out
      at humans because he fears them, but with a few normal
      instincts occasionally surfacing, like his submission
      to Magneto as the pride leader, and his urge to
      protect what he identifies as his cubs." His
      shoulders slumped a little. "As much as I utterly
      loathe having to say this about a mass murderer, his
      actions may not be entirely his own fault. He's
      functioning on a very primitive level. So is Annie.
      When something hurts or scares them, they lash out,
      without moderation. Like when she got into that fight
      with Roberto."

      Jean raised an amused eyebrow. "And you put all this
      together all by yourself, Pontification Man, in
      between teaching classes and saving the world?"

      Scott blushed. "Uh... no, actually, I asked Annie.
      She told me a lot of other stuff about body language
      and scent-traces and stuff that I didn't quite follow.
      But she seemed pretty sure about it all. Actually,
      she seemed surprised that we hadn't figured it out
      already."

      "Huh." Jean shrugged, looking dubious. "Maybe."
      Then she grinned. "I like it when you get all
      analytical."

      Scott grinned lopsidedly. "Oh, yeah?"

      "Yeah..."

      Jubilee grinned, and sneaked away before things got
      any mushier.

      * * *

      Now she paused to take a few deep breaths, trying to
      gather her strength. She could feel an empty space
      around her head and shoulders that echoed the sound of
      her breath back to her. It was loud enough to tell
      her that the room was probably mostly intact, if she
      could get out from under the layer of debris that was
      pinning her to the floor.

      Her leg was definitely broken. But if she could dig
      herself out, there was enough broken wood lying around
      that she could probably splint it. Then...

      The cabin might not have collapsed completely. Or
      maybe there was some kind of escape tunnel. There
      usually was, in Xavier's places. He was a man who
      liked back-doors.

      Left arm was free. Bruised, scraped, sore, but free.
      Wearily, she lifted it again, and started pushing at
      the debris on her chest.

      * * *

      "Get down!" Scott grabbed Dani and Jubilee and hauled
      them into a doorway as a chunk of wall hurtled past
      them.

      "What do they want?" Dani whimpered. Jubilee was
      silent and trembling, mouth a thin line in her pale
      face.

      "To scare the hell out of us," Scott said grimly,
      smoothing Dani's hair gently as he risked a quick look
      out. "The Professor contacted Tom Cassidy a few days
      before we left. I don't think he wants Theresa to go
      to school with us."

      "This is his way of turning down a scholarship?"
      Bobby managed, huddling beside them in the doorway.
      "Geez, I'd hate to see him when he gets a parking
      ticket."

      For once, Scott didn't say anything about
      inappropriate times for jokes. "We've got a problem,"
      he said grimly. "Jean's gotten the others close to
      the plane. They're relatively safe. Cassidy and
      Theresa aren't trying to kill anyone, just smash up
      the house and scare us a lot. That doesn't mean
      they're making an effort *not* to hurt us, though. And
      they're not going to stop smashing the place up so I
      can go down to the basement and open the hangar
      doors."

      The hangar was well-hidden... so well that it
      literally wasn't possible to get in from the outside,
      unless you knew where the release switch in the
      basement was. Scott had told them that, but he hadn't
      gotten around to telling them where it was.

      "You can't go," Jubilee managed, trying to keep her
      hands from shaking. "You'd get killed going back in
      there."

      "I have to," Scott said grimly. "I want the three of
      you to head for the hangar. When it opens, get
      inside. Jean's not a great pilot, but she can get you
      out of here."

      Jubilee looked at him almost wistfully. She'd been at
      the school for over a year now. Scott and Jean and
      Ororo had found her in a mall in LA, making a fair
      living off her wits after being orphaned more than a
      year before that. And when they'd found her... well,
      they'd seen a cute little kid, plucky, scrappy, all
      those cute words. Who just needed a home, a little
      love.

      Part of her was like that. After a year on her own,
      most of her wasn't. But they'd been so nice, and she
      hadn't wanted them to be scared or put off. So she'd
      buried the darker parts of her deep inside herself,
      and used the techniques Jean and Xavier taught her to
      keep them buried, seperating herself out like milk and
      cream. And soon, youthful, bouncy Jubilee was back,
      just like she had been before her parents died.

      But youthful, bouncy Jubilee was no use at all in
      situations like this.

      She could see it in Scott's eyes, the puzzled surprise
      as he looked into *her* eyes and saw the sparkle fade.
      Jubilee sank back into memory, Jubilation rising
      grimly past her. She'd liked being Jubilee again. But
      this was important.

      She didn't really enjoy hitting Scott, but she did,
      hard enough to send him reeling back into the wall
      before he collapsed, unconscious. "Get him to the
      hangar," she told her bewildered classmates, rubbing
      her sore hand. "Now. I'll open the doors."

      "But you don't know how!" Bobby objected. She liked
      Bobby. She hoped he made it.

      "Xavier always hides everything the same way. I know
      where it is." Jubilation peeked around the corner.
      For now, Cassidy and his pet redhead were out of
      sight. "I'm smaller than you guys, and faster. I
      should make it."

      "Okay." Dani visibly pulled herself together, and
      leaned down to drag Scott's arm over her shoulders.
      "We'll wait for you as long as we can."

      "Thanks." Jubilation nodded briefly, then headed out
      into the hallway.

      * * *

      The plane had taken off a few hours ago.

      She'd felt the vibrations in the floor.

      The basement was psi-shielded, she was pretty sure of
      that. When the house had come down, and Jean hadn't
      been able to sense her, they must have assumed she'd
      been killed.

      They'd come back, of course. It was going to take at
      least six or seven more hours, though. They'd have to
      get back to the mansion, get the students to the
      medlab to be checked out, then muster enough X-Men to
      come back to perform the twin tasks of finding her
      body, and hiding the evidence that the cabin had been
      more than it seemed.

      Jubilation wasn't going to lie there that long. She'd
      dug herself out, ripped up her flannel shirt and used
      it and a couple of chairlegs to roughly splint her
      leg. The secret passage wasn't hard to find... she'd
      spent long enough going through Xavier's files late at
      night to know how he thought.

      It had taken her a long time to drag herself up to the
      surface. The tunnel came out near the hangar, and by
      the time she got there all she had the strength to do
      was curl up in the entrance of the tunnel and put her
      head down on her arms. Just a little rest. Just for
      a few minutes. Then she'd go to the hangar, where
      they'd be sure to find her. Just a little rest...

      * * *

      Juggernaut was angry.

      Tom had brought him here with the promise of revenge
      on his weakling stepbrother, but when they got here,
      all there'd been was a couple of do-gooder geeks and a
      bunch of kids. Tom hadn't even let him knock the
      place down. He'd said Terry needed the practice.

      Much fucking good it'd done him. The ungrateful
      little brat had turned on him when he tried to blast
      two of the kids who were dragging the boy in red
      shades. She'd run off with them, in their
      weird-looking plane, and now Tom was still pummeling
      the wreckage of the house in fury.

      Cain had wandered off. He was bored, and it was
      better not to be around Tom when he was like this. He
      said angry, hurtful things. Tom was Cain's best
      friend, but even best friends were assholes sometimes.

      So he was poking around in the woods, and he found a
      weird looking little hatch in the grass, just popped
      up a tiny bit. Kneeling, he pried it up carefully
      with ham-sized hands. He didn't want to break it yet,
      just in case. He looked down inside.

      On the bottom of what looked like a tunnel, a tiny
      Chinese kid was sprawled either sleeping or
      unconscious. She was filthy, covered so totally in
      mud that it was hard to see most of the bruises... but
      not all of them. Her leg was tied up with makeshift
      splints, too.

      Oh, hell.

      He'd seen this before, or something too much like it.


      He told himself firmly that residual guilt was what
      made him power down to his weakest, smallest form, the
      only one small enough to fit down the hole. It was
      guilt that made him pick the kid up gently, cradling
      her clumsily in one big arm. She whimpered in pain,
      and he froze, waiting until she'd settled down before
      clambering awkwardly up the ladder.

      The Juggernaut was impervious to empty, meaningless
      things like guilt, or remorse, or pity.

      But he hadn't been the Juggernaut in Vietnam. It
      still made him cold and queasy inside to remember some
      of it. One small act of expiation might be a little
      out of character, but he could let it slip by. He'd
      just get the kid to a hospital or something...

      ...the X-Geeks had to have realized they'd missed one
      by now, right? They wouldn't just leave her... would
      they?

      (End part one)




      ________________________________________________________________
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      The competition ends 16 th of December 2001.
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