help is bright green [5/13]
- title: Help is bright green
What day was it again?
I thought hard. What was on telly today? ...Spin City rerun. Okay.
That meant Saturday.
My eyes widened. Oh bloody, frigging hell! Saturday! And Moric's
birthday was tomorrow! And I had barely started the story. Damn,
Time to do some bleeding on paper and clubbing of inspiration.
I had to come up with some decent (or at least something resembling
decent) Anya and Faith before tomorrow. I'd promised. I'd obviously
been temporarily insane at the time, but still. I had promised.
I crawled out of bed, trotted yawningly into the livingroom, pushed
the on button on my computer and continued into the kitchen to make
myself some instant cocoa. Remember me telling you about my licorice
and pineapple soda vice? Well, instant cocoa is another for the list.
I'm not entirely sure why I'm so fond of heated water with a
chocolate after taste, but I am.
One of my theories to that, is that I just got used to it after
waiting one time too many for my father to finish working so he could
drive me home. Where he worked there was this 'Clix' machine, you
see, with free drinks. You push a button, and voilà, you get a hot
beverage of your choice. Since I couldn't stand blueberry or heated
orange juice, I used to pick hot chocolate. After a while, I even
started liking it.
Another theory is that I'm just to damn lazy to actually bother to
make real cocoa.
I glanced over at the watch while the water boiled. 11:18. Heh.
Early. I'm usually not up until 1 on weekends. Unless of course I'm
doing an all-nighter in which case I sometimes go to bed at 1...
I opened the cabinet and took down the instant cocoa, shook it and
listened to the charming sound of the package inside being shoved
from side. I ripped open the last package in the box, grabbed one of
my many cups (I collect. I have around thirty) and poured the powder
into the cup.
The water heated pinged a moment later. I poured water over the cocoa
powder, grabbed a near by biscuit package, stuck a biscuit in my
mouth, grabbed both the cup and the biscuits and made my way back
into the livingroom.
As always when I was awake enough to notice, I was amazed by the
amount of books, magazines and comics that had managed to accumulate
during my seven month stay here in New York. Not that it was anything
new, since I never could resist buying reading material no matter
where I was. But I hadn't stayed at the same place for this long
since before I started my gypsey life (so to speak), and I hadn't
realised how much stuff I could collect.
Used book shops usually got my buyings when I moved on, or if I
really wanted to keep something, I mailed it to my parents in Norway.
They stored it in the attic for me. I didn't take much with me when I
travelled. There are, after all, limits to how much you can stuff
into a suitcase and a backpack before the seams rip. And I had to
prioritize things like clothes. And my cups. Oh and yeah, my laptop.
Forgetting the laptop would be a pretty bad career choice for a
graphic designer who works more in Paint Shop Pro than on paper. Not
to mention that I'd probably go nuts if I had to go for long without
scribbling on some story or another.
Speaking of stories...
I dropped down on the chair in front of my desk, carefully placeing
the cocoa within my range, but away from the laptop. I took a sip of
the cocoa, placed it back down, then clicked open a WordPad.
^ Anya embraced human holidays. They were often ridiculous, true, but
there was something oddly safe about them. Like Christmas. ^
I munched at a biscuit and regarded the paragraph. A Christmas story?
I gave a mental shrug. Well, why not? I finished the biscuit, took
another sip of cocoa and continued typing.
When I'd come to paragraph twenty-three and Faith was threatening
some demon to make him give Anya her powers back, I stretched and put
the computer on wait modus. Enough with the clubbing of inspiration
for now. I needed a break.
I picked up the now empty biscuit packet and the cup and wandered
into the kitchen. What to do? Hmm. I pondered that as I washed the
cup and threw the biscuit packet in the trash. My eyes fell on a
Marvels comic book and I grinned. Comicbook buying. Oh yes. Always
good for wasting a few hours.
Now I remembered that the last time I'd talked to Penn, she'd said
something about a Felidae comicbook...
I pulled on my grey trenchcoat and black boots, wandered outside,
locked the door and was on my way to Jamie's Comicbook Paradise.
One of the things I really like about living here is that there are
entire shops dedicated to just selling comicbooks. Believe me, we
have nothing like that in Norway. Well, there's Avalon, but that's
only three shops in two big citys. And where I lived the book shops
weren't much to write about either, so whenever I'm in a big bookshop
or comicbook shop now, it's like letting a kid go crazy in a candy
store. Complete with wide eyes and a never ending grin.
I walked inside Jamie's. Ahh... The sight of new comicbooks... I
never tire of it.
I made a bee-line for the Dark Horse section to see if Felidae had
been published. I couldn't remember what date Penn had said, so for
all I knew it wasn't due for launch until February. Still. I had to
Heh. I grinned as I spotted the comic. As known from the books, the
card game and the numberous collectors cards. Penn sure knows how to
keep herself busy. I picked the comic up (nice picture of Chasa on
the front) and flipped through it. The tale of the Sanctuary's
origins, part one of three. Nice art. Not much surprise in that.
I curled the comic up to keep it with me while I went hunting for
other comics. Or sci-fi books. I'm not discriminating.
Another glace at the DH section told me that I could move on to
without missing anything. That didn't stop me from flipping through a
few more comics though. Just for fun.
Did I have the newest 'L'Amitié?'
It got curled up along with Felidae.
I was eyeing a Vertigo TPB, wondering if I could afford it, when
someone nudged me. I turned and grinned. "Cassie! Lin! What are you
Cassie held up a couple of comics and smiled. "Shopping day."
Lin nodded. "Yup, me too. Ran into Cassie here over at the Blonds Are
"Why am I not surprised?" I sniggered. Cassie's fondness for blonds
was legendary. Had she been at the Corner yesterday, John and Warren
would probably been attacked imidiately. She makes no excuse for it
either. Shameless, she is.
Cassie aka Cassiopeia-with-the-impossible-last-name grinned brightly
at me and bounced. "Many, many blonds!" She waved her comics. "Oh and
have you seen the newest Valhall?"
"Valhall...No, I don't... Hey, wasn't Declan going to have a series
of covers for that one?"
"Yup!" Lin nodded, then looked at her watch. "Oh, I've got to go!
Nice to see you, bye!" She rushed off.
I looked after her. "Is she always in a hurry?"
"Yes, I think so. Anyway, look!" Cassie held up a copy of
Valhall. "Ennit gorgeous?"
I oohed at the painted cover. "It is indeed. Where can I get one?"
I wandered over.
I walked out of the shop with five comics. And a semi-decent Sci-fi
book. I'd turned a used-comicbook case more or less upside down and
managed to find an old copy of a Louise Glochester comic as well as
an old Rose Inc. I liked Rose Inc. Marty and Kal have chemistry. A
screwed up, based on hate sort of chemisty, but still. And Glochester
art is always a good thing. Even if the Emperors of Dawn wasn't
precisely my favorite comic book.
One day I'd probably write slash about Marty and Kal. Provided I
could find something they had in common besides being really
compeditative and having the same profession. I know people who can
slash just about anyone and do it decently, but I just can't do that.
I have to base it on _something_.
Well. Except that Ethan Rayne/Spike thing which I based pretty much
only on the fact that they're both bad guys... But that one wasn't my
fault. That was all Rick's fault. Honest.
See if you can have him nagging at you for two weeks straight without
Two paragraphs away from finishing Moric's birthday present, and the
phone rang. I paused my typing and leaned over to check the caller
ID. It was Mai Lee. I grinned and grabbed the phone. "Hey, Mai Lee!"
"Could you not do that? It freaks me out every time."
I chuckled. "Why do you think I do it?"
"Why are you calling?" I grinned.
"Oh that. Um. Are you doing anything today?"
"Have two paragraphs left on a story, but after that, I'm free. Why?"
"Oh, just this party I have to go to, and roomie has to study and I
don't want to go alone, so I was wondering..."
"...What kind of party?" Yes, this was Mai Lee so the party was
probably not that outre but one could never be too sure... I let Izzy
talk me into going to a party once. I'm still not sure whether or not
he knew that chains and leather was mandatory. And then there was
that other time with the Hawaii theme, but, really, that one was...
Um. Nothing compared to the chains and leather party. And while I'm
on the topic, some people should really face up to their limitations
and realise that black leather catsuits just isn't for everyone.
Iz hadn't looked that bad though. Despite being short, kind of stocky
and cursed with eternal cuteness (old ladies pinches his cheek). I
would've liked to see Rick in something like that. Him being tall,
kind of skinny, and having a blue stripe in his hair. He claims it's
a part of his mutation. Everyone else says he dyes it in. Goes well
with his eyes at any rate.
Note to self; Mention this to Izzy when he comes back tomorrow. See
how long it'll take him to convince Rick to wear leather.
"It's a school paper thing. At seven tonight. So. Can you?" Mai Lee
There goes my anti-social day... "Yeah, sure. You going to pick me up
"No, I can do that. Six-thirty all right?"
"Yup. See you then!"
"Yes. And thanks!"
She hung up.
The phone rang again.
I looked surprised at it. Geez. Amazing how popular I had suddenly
become. I picked up to phone. "Yeah?"
"This is Liz Braddock. I'm calling from the Xavier school?"
"Oh yeah. Yeah, I know who you are. Why're you calling?"
"Have you seen Jubilee? Today, I mean."
I blinked. "She's not appeared yet?"
"No. I take it you haven't seen her?"
"No, I haven't. If I do see her, I'll be sure to call the school,
"Okay, thanks." She hung up.
I eyed the phone.
It didn't ring.
"I forgot to ask. There's not going to be any overly mutant-fobic
people at this party, is there? Because I really prefer being
prepared if that's the case."
Mai Lee frowned thoughtfully then shook her head. "No. 'Least I don't
"Great. Let's get inside and kick some social butt," I suggested.
Mai Lee giggled, grabbed my arm and wandered inside the building. I
looked around, spotted the buffet table and saw a brunette I thought
I recognized. I stared at her for a bit hoping to jog my memory.
Mai Lee elbowed me. "You're staring."
"I know. I'm trying to remember where I know her from."
Mai Lee glanced in the brunette's direction. "The tv probably. That's
I snapped my fingers. "Oh right! Izzy likes to spend time following
her around with his camera!"
"Isn't that his job?"
There were no overly mutant-fobic people at the party.
I mean, I did get stared at. Hey, I'm green. I've gotten used to it.
But no one started talking about 'registrating mutants' and 'camps'.
Yes, I've actually heard people talking about mutant camps. In the
States that is. If it was mentioned in Europe, it would lead to a
long discussion on Hitler and the Nazis two seconds later. It might
have been over fifty years since the war ended, but believe me, it's
not even close to forgotten. Just look at the schools in Norway; The
kids get force-feed information about the war from day one. When I
finished the Norwegian equiqualent of High School, I was so sick of
the whole war I was tempted to start one of my own just to give the
school's history books something else to go on and on about.
Anyway, nice party. Entertaining Mai Lee. I didn't regret giving up
my anti-social day all that much. Besides I could always have it
It wasn't more than ten when we left the party and Mai Lee drove me
home (pausing for a moment at SilverShoe so I could rent a few
movies. They know me by name there. I hardly ever need to show my
card). I stepped out of the car and bent back in. "Want to come up?"
"No, I can't. I still have a paper to write," Mai Lee smiled.
I shrugged. "Okay."
"And I think you rented Dead Man on Campus. Again."
"I like that film!"
"Yeah, I know. Believe me, I know."
I grinned at her and waved goodbye before I went upstairs. Maybe I
had gone on and on about Dead Man quite a few times... I grinned
wider. This would be the what? Fiftieth time I saw it?
I like this movie. Can you tell?
I climbed the stairs up to my apartment, whistling merrily on 'the
Bridge over Kwai' (which isn't the official title, I don't think, but
I don't know any other name for it). I fished the key out of my
pocket, put the key in the lock and discovered a yellow raincoat
balled up in the corner. I blinked at it.
There was something familiar about that raincoat...
I left the key in the lock and went to poke the raincoat cautiously
with my foot.
It moved. And yelped. "Hey! Where do you get off--"
"Jubilee?" I broke in, incredulous. "What are you doing here?"
The raincoat was twisted around, and now I could see her face. Since
I find it vaguely disturbing to be talking to an inanimated object, I
welcomed the change.
"I wasn't sure where else to go."
"Eh, excuse me, but does 'Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters' ring
any bells what so ever?"
She gave me a Look. "I can't go there."
"Why not? No, wait, don't answer that. Let's get into the apartment
so I can lock the doors and not invite to being robbed blind."
Jubilee seemed to agree to that plan. She got on her feet and
followed me into the apartment, eyeing the bag with the film in
I locked the door behind me and turned to look at Jubilee. I wondered
which hair-colour he'd had this time and whether or not the CIA
wanted her for questioning. Well, the school probably knew how to
deal with this. Provided I could get her to the school, that was. She
didn't seem all too eager to return.
"Want to sit down?"
She nodded and dropped down on the floor.
"I do have chairs..."
"I'm fine, thanks."
I left her sitting on the floor, looking curiously around, and walked
into the kitchen to put a frozen pizza in the stove. I came into the
livingroom again carrying two pineapple sodas. I handed one over to
Jubilee and sat down across from her on the floor. "So. What are you
"I need a place to crash." She gave me puppy-dog eyes. "I'll be out
of your hair tomorrow, honest."
"And back at the school?"
She hesitated a bit, then gave me a bright grin. "Sure!"
"Why am I not believeing you?"
"You listen to rumours too much?"
"Nah, don't think that's it." I looked at her. "Why won't you go back
to the school?"
Jubilee looked down at her soda. "Got something I have to do first."
Okay, that lifted something off of my shoulders. I would've hated to
call the school and tell them that, yes, I did in fact see Jubilee
today, only she didn't want to go to the school and made a run for it
before I could do anything. Where she's now? ...Well...
See, that wouldn't have worked at all.
"But you're going back to the school eventually?" I asked for
She looked surprised. "Of course. Where else would I go?"
I didn't reply to that. I didn't want to be giving her ideas.
We sat in silence, sipping in our sodas until the buzzer I'd set for
the pizza went off. I got on my feet. "Want some pizza?"
"Sure." She got on her feet as well. "This mean I can stay?"
"Yeah, I suppose. You can crash on the couch. I'm going to call the
school and tell them about it though."
"You have to?"
"Yeah. Otherwise I'd blow my cover as a responsible adult."
For some reason, that just made her laugh.
"My parents are dead, you know," she said.
I looked away from the screen and Josh and Cooper's photography
snapping. "They are?"
"Yeah, me too. Some bastards ran them off the road."
"It'll be five years since they were killed next April."
"I know who did it."
I arched my eyebrows at her.
She didn't notice. She stared intently at the glass in her hand. "I'm
going to make them pay."
"And by pay, you mean..."
"Just dying is too good for them."
I made a mental note to have a little chat with Ororo Munroe about a
certain homocidal student of hers.
We finished watching the movie and went to bed.
note: absolute finished, published on the site, etc, version of this
chapter was unavailable due father's rearranging of the computer
files. Some people should not be allowed near a computer. Sigh. It's
one o'clock at night, and I haven't the want to read through this to
check it, but I'm crossing my fingers and hoping it's the correct
version. Sigh. again.