TITLE: Cold Passion
AUTHOR: Jos Mous
DISCLAIMER: I don’t own anyone and I’m not making a profit.
UNIVERSE: X-Men Legends
NOTE: X-Men Legends hopefully marks the start of a trend that hasn’t been around since the days of the 16 bit gaming consoles; namely X-Men games that don’t outright suck. Even though Legends is technically based on the comics, I have no clue which comics so I’m treating it as a private, self-contained X-Universe. Unfortunately, it also doesn’t have a great deal of characterization, but hopefully it has enough for me not to make a complete mess of things.
Human-mutant tensions were at an all-time low, which was good, of course. Being persecuted was not one of Emma’s favourite pastimes after all. Unfortunately, periods of relative peace and quiet were also quite dull and Emma Frost wasn’t very good with dull.
Perhaps that was why she visited the Xavier Institute more often lately. At least there things happened. Not particularly important things, but rather amusing ones nevertheless. Large groups of hormones containing teenagers were bound to explode at any one time and the fact that they were all mutants didn’t make things any better.
It was all rather petty, really, but amusing nevertheless.
Take young Alison “Magma” Crestmere over there. The girl saved New York City from a meteor shower with admirable heroism, but was now nervous as hell about giving her mother a tour of the mansion.
“And this is my friend Bobby,” Alison said, the quavering of her voice just barely suppressed. “He can freeze anything he wants.”
“Really? That must be very useful when the refrigerator breaks down.”
Alison chuckled nervously. Emma wondered if Magma’s mother knew that the refrigerator had in fact been accidentally blown up two weeks ago as a direct result of Alison and Bobby meeting in the kitchen around midnight and… letting things fly.
Probably not. That’s not really the kind of thing parents get told, after all.
“Come on mom, let me show you my room,” Alison said, desperately tugging her mother’s arm before any kind of conversation between her and her boyfriend could take place.
With a great amount of fuss, Alison managed to get her mother up the stairs and away from Bobby. Bobby smirked in his own particular way and headed for the door to the gardens. He was probably going to brag to his friends about this, even though there wasn’t really that much to brag about.
Emma briefly debated following Bobby to the poolside, but decided against it. The amount of testosterone would be unbearable. Still this did mean that Emma didn’t really have anything to do for the moment. Perhaps she could pay a visit to the Danger Room or maybe she really ought be getting home before…
Jubilee had emerged from the classrooms. She was still tiptoeing that precarious line between teenager and young woman that quite fascinated Emma. Not wanting to be seen as a child any longer Jubilee moved with an attitude that screamed “don’t mess with this grrrl”. Emma wondered if Jubilee really realised that she also screamed “hey guys, check these out”.
She probably did, come to that. Emma wondered who the intended target was, if there was one.
Well, that was easy enough to find out. Especially if you didn’t have quite as many scruples as, say, Xavier.
Emma frowned. There was someone, featuring prominently in Jubilee’s thoughts. Yet, contrary to most of her age, Jubilee wasn’t screaming the name, she was hushing it up. Insecurity, confusion and downright fear all gathered around to keep her… interest… down in the depths of her subconscious.
Jubilee left the room and Emma noticed how the girl had very carefully not acknowledged her existence at all. Emma debated what to do next. Scanning over loud surface thoughts was all very well and, it had to be said, quite amusing, but if she wanted to find out where Jubilee wanted to aim her pheromones Emma would have to dig deeper.
Emma got up from her chair, ignoring the looks of the male students, and left the room as well, giving off every indication that she wasn’t actually following Jubilee, but that she just happened to be walking in the same direction by a stroke of sheer coincidence.
Jubilee sauntered into the empty recreation room, flopped down on the couch and turned on the TV with a bored look on her face. Emma walked over to the pool table and set up a game.
She could dig deeper and quite easily so. The blocks Jubilee put up were only to keep herself out.
She and Jubilee had fought side by side against the Brotherhood, not to mention the Sentinels. That kind of thing couldn’t be forgotten easily. Burrowing around inside her mind would be rather impolite.
Jubilee turned the television off and stalked out of the room. Emma walked around the pool table and sank a red ball.
Jubilee angrily slammed the door to her bedroom shut and let herself fall down onto her bed.
Damn her! Why’d she have to be in the library just as she left the classroom? Why’d she decide to go play a game of pool just as she’d entered the rec room?
Damn her, damn her, damn her!
Jubilee sighed into her pillow. It probably wasn’t Emma’s fault. It was probably all just coincidence. After all, Emma couldn’t possibly know that she was-
That she was not-
Anyway, Emma couldn’t know either way. Well, OK, she could, but she probably hadn’t so she didn’t.
Well, it didn’t matter anyway because she was not-
A hand was put on Jubilee’s shoulder. Jubilee turned onto her back and saw Emma sitting on the edge of the bed. She was smiling faintly, as if she’d just heard something that wasn’t really funny, but had amused her all the same.
“Hello Jubilation,” said Emma. “Bolted right out the recreation room, did you?”
“What do you care?” Jubilee said.
“It was rather impolite of you, wasn’t it?”
“Why? We weren’t even talking.”
“You know why,” said Emma. “Mere common courtesy.”
“You’re one to talk about courtesy,” Jubilee snapped.
Emma just smiled. “Come now. Are you really that mad at me?”
Jubilee sighed. “No. I’m not mad at you.”
“Well then, should I try to take away some of that anger?”
Without waiting for a response, Emma leaned forward and kissed Jubilee. Jubilee quickly wrapped her arms around Emma, pulling her closer. Pushing her tongue past Jubilee’s lips, Emma managed to move so that she was more or less on top of Jubilee. Jubilee didn’t mind the sudden weight one bit.
Jubilee whimpered quietly when Emma withdrew her lips from Jubilee’s.
“There. Still mad?”
“No,” said Jubilee, screaming “just kiss me again” with every part of her except her voice.
“Do you know something, you seem to be rather proud of these,” said Emma conversationally, her finger running over Jubilee’s top. “Almost as if you want someone to notice them. Do you? Jubilation?”
“Yes,” Jubilee admitted quietly.
“I thought so,” said Emma, moving her hand onto Jubilee’s bare stomach and then up again.
“Ah. Too fast?”
“Well, take your time,” said Emma, running a hand through Jubilee’s black hair. “But don’t wait too long. You know how I can be.”
“Could you just kiss me again?” Jubilee asked, quietly hating how pathetic she sounded.
“Oh, if you insist.”
Emma leaned forward again and Jubilee felt the pleasant heat spreading through her again when their lips met.
Jubilee sighed into her pillow. She was lying on her arm and part of it had gone asleep. Wincing a little, Jubilee withdrew her hand, then turned around onto her back and looked up.
“Oh, so I’m not, am I?” Jubilee asked the ceiling.
The ceiling didn’t respond. It never had.
Downstairs, Emma looked up for only a moment, a ponderous look on her face. Then she shrugged, refocused, and put the pink ball into the corner pocket.
* * * * *
Jubilee was sitting in a lounge-chair near the pool, trying to read her comics. The sun was shining brightly, but that wasn’t the reason why she was wearing her shades in front of her eyes for once. Everywhere around her people were flirting, bragging, gossiping or just plain messing about, which was completely fine in Jubilee’s opinion. It was just that, right now, she didn’t want to take part in it.
Finally, the one thing Jubilee had been hoping for happened. A ball landed in her lap, knocking the comic book from her hands.
“Hey watch it!” Jubilee yelled.
A young boy, just barely into his teens, grinned at her sheepishly from the edge of the pool. “Sorry, it kinda got away from me.”
“Well then pay attention you moron!” Jubilee yelled, hurling the ball back at him, a few annoyed sparks leaping from her hands.
Jubilee got up and stormed off, walking in long strides towards the mansion. Once she was inside and had made sure nobody was around, she leaned against the wall, put her shades back where they belonged and exhaled slowly. She decided to go get something to drink and went to the kitchen. There, she saw Emma and Jean sitting at opposite ends of a table, a simply clay mug sitting exactly halfway between them. They were staring intently at each other.
“Hey guys,” said Jubilee. “What’re you up to?”
“Hush,” Emma hissed, not breaking her eye contact with Jean.
Jubilee opened her mouth to retort, then thought better of it and kept quiet.
Slowly, hesitantly, as if she really didn’t want to, Jean reached out, grabbed the mug and pulled it towards her.
“Dammit,” Jean swore under her breath.
Emma relaxed visibly and didn’t even try to hide her smirk. “Oh dear, looks like I win again.”
“Only because you have more experience with this kind of thing,” Jean snapped.
“All the more reason to practise harder, don’t you think?” said Emma.
Jean’s eyes narrowed dangerously. “You’re loving this, aren’t you?”
“Even though it’s completely immoral?”
Emma rolled her eyes dramatically.
“OK,” said Jubilee. “Could someone please fill me in on what’s going on?”
“Oh it’s quite simple, really,” said Emma. “A little telepath’s game, you might say. We both try to convince the other to take the mug.”
“What, through mind control?” said Jubilee.
Jubilee pondered this for a moment. “Cool.”
“Hardly,” said Jean. “But it’s useful for training your mental defences.”
“Not just your defences,” said Emma. “But I’m afraid Jean’s far too ethical to truly embrace all aspects of the art. It’s really the only reason I keep beating her.”
“Mind control is a slippery slope, Emma,” said Jean. “You should know that better than anyone.”
“Perhaps,” said Emma. “But that doesn’t take away its usefulness.”
Jean’s expression indicated quite clearly that Emma could take that usefulness and do something highly inappropriate with it. Without saying another word, she stood up and left the kitchen, taking the mug with her.
“Boy, is she always such a sore loser?” said Jubilee.
“She’s just upset I managed violate her five times in a row,” said Emma calmly. “She’ll get over it.”
“Well, that’s how she sees it,” Emma said. “By the way, shouldn’t you be at the poolside celebrating the summer holidays with the other young ones.”
“I just came here to grab a drink,” said Jubilee, walking to the refrigerator.
She opened a can of coke and took a swig, then turned around and looked at Emma again. Emma was looking back at her. It was starting to make her feel very uncomfortable. She took another swig to hide her nerves.
“So… you think you could teach me?”
“Teach you what?”
Jubilee vaguely gestured with her can. “You know, the whole defence against mind control thing. I mean, no telepath is gonna try to only control other telepaths, right?”
“Quite right,” said Emma. “But I don’t think Charles will be too pleased with me dominating the minds of his students.”
“Yeah, well, he doesn’t need to know, does he?”
Emma smiled, causing Jubilee to take another swig.
“Oh very well, if you insist.”
”Hey, I’m not…”
“How does six sound?” said Emma. “I’m sure your room will give us the privacy we need.”
“My room?” Jubilee said. “OK, sure, why not? My room. Fine.”
“Good,” said Emma. “I’ll see you there then.”
No one word could describe how Jubilee felt about her bright idea to ask Emma to dig around inside her mind, but as she paced up and down her room, she tried to find one anyway.
Stupid was too standard and too weak.
Moronic lacked a ludicrous element.
Ludicrous, in turn, wasn’t quite sane enough.
Pretty goddamn terrifying, however, was a good contender, but sadly was more than one word.
And so the clock ticked its way to six o’ clock. Jubilee sat down on the edge of her bed, trying not to let her shoulders slump too much.
Whatever it was, it was her own damn fault, really. She was drawn to Emma in a way that she wouldn’t, that is, couldn’t quite define. It probably had something to do with her personality or something.
The door to Jubilee’s bedroom opened and failed to creak ominously, much to Jubilee’s disappointment. Emma looked over the room before carefully making her way through the debris and finding a chair to sit on.
“So, here you are then,” said Jubilee.
“That’s right,” said Emma, her face beautifully blank.
“Should I close the door?”
“Not yet,” said Emma. “But you will.”
“Ooookay,” said Jubilee.
“How are you feeling?”
“Good. You should be,” said Emma. “If we really are going through with this it will not be pretty. I am going to tear through your mind and I will use anything I can find to make you submit to me. And the first several times you will submit to me.”
“Yeah, I know,” said Jubilee.
“Well I do now, at least,” said Jubilee. “Uhm… will there be, you know, damage?”
“No,” said Emma. “I don’t work that way. You might get horribly embarrassed, though.”
“Now then, do you want to back out?”
“Hey, I trust you. Gimme your best shot.”
Emma suddenly smiled. “Thank you. Now I suppose I should tell you to calm your mind, but you’re much too nervous for that so I’ll just say this – focus on keeping the door open.”
“I’m going to force you to close the door, Jubilation,” said Emma. “All you have to do is to really want that door to stay open.”
“OK, sure, I can do that.”
“I doubt it. But I admire your confidence. Now if you’d be so kind as to look into my eyes.”
Jubilee did so and found that she couldn’t look away. There was Emma and then there was everything else around her. In fact, there was no everything else, just Emma. There wasn’t even Emma, just the darkness at the centre of her eyes.
This was… elsewhere. Jubilee looked around and saw that this wasn’t her room at all. There was no glass in the windows, the walls were made from clay or something and the heat was slowly living way to the cold of the desert night.
Desert night? What the…
The large bed in the centre of the room caught Jubilee’s eye. It certainly wasn’t her bed. Her bed didn’t have semi-transparent curtains reaching all the way to the ceiling.
Wait a sec. There was no ceiling. The walls went upward and then just… vanished. Well, not vanished, they were still there, but you just… couldn’t see them.
“Come here my love.”
Jubilee looked back down to the bed and saw the vague female outline behind the curtains. Yes. Yes, of course this wasn’t her bedroom. This was the Queen’s bedroom.
The White Queen, obviously.
Oh yes. Obviously.
“Do you really wish to keep me waiting?”
Jubilee scurried towards the bed, tried to find some way to get past the curtains and, eventually, fell gracelessly onto the soft bed. The White Queen looked upon her servant’s clumsiness with amusement.
“Ah, here at last,” she said.
“Yes,” Jubilee mumbled.
It was then that she got her first good look at her Queen. She was magnificent, there was no other word for it. She wore the finest white silk, the most beautiful diamonds, but their earthly appeal could not possible hope to add to the Queen’s divine beauty.
Ew. When the Hell did she start thinking like that?
Well, how could she not in the presence of this… this Goddess.
The White Queen beckoned her closer and Jubilee eagerly complied. The White Queen wrapped her arms around her and kissed her deeply, lovingly.
“I must admit I have longed for this moment, my servant, my love.”
“As have I.”
As have I? What the crap was wrong with her?
Then again, would she really want to spoil the moment with primitive language like ‘yeah, me too’?
No. No of course she didn’t want that.
“Oh but look, you left the door open after entering,” said the Queen. “Any servant that walks past might look in and see our passion.”
Jubilee blushed. How stupid of her! Why had she not thought of that?
Wait a sec… door. There was something about that door. Something that was… something.
“Hurry now. Close it so that I can devote myself to your pleasure.”
Right! Jubilee sprang to her feet and…
The room was back. The one with the mess and the bed without curtains and a visible ceiling. Jubilee blinked. What happened to the other one? Wait, what other one? And by the way, why was her hand on the doorknob?
Memories started trickling back into her mind.
Jubilee closed the door fully and sat down on her bed again.
“So, how long did I hold out?” Jubilee asked with a nervous grin.
“Hardly any time at all,” said Emma. “As was expected. Still, I must admit you put up a bit of a fight.”
“Oh, that’s good,” said Jubilee.
“Yes,” said Emma, slowly and ponderously.
“Not good?” Jubilee asked.
“Jubilee, there are basically two forms of mind control. One is rather primitive and crude and the goal is simply to overpower the victim’s mind and crush. It’s a waste of energy and generally not particularly satisfying because the end result is a mindless puppet.”
“Well, I’m glad you didn’t use that one on me,” said Jubilee.
“I don’t use it on anyone,” said Emma. She paused briefly before continuing. “The other form is simply finding something the victim wants and then promising it to him if only he’d do as you say.”
“Right,” said Jubilee. “So I take it you found something I really, really wanted?”
“You could say that,” said Emma. “Now then, is there anything you’d like to tell me?”
“What? No. I mean, no. Why?”
Emma sighed. “Oh, no reason I suppose.” Then she suddenly smiled. “The human mind truly is a remarkable thing, don’t you think?”
“Yeah, I guess,” said Jubilee, unsure where Emma’s comment suddenly came from.
“Well, I really must be leaving now,” said Emma, getting up.
“Can’t I try again? I mean, it’s barely five past six.”
“No, not today,” said Emma. “Tomorrow, perhaps, depending on the circumstances.”
“Jubilation, I believe I stirred something up inside your mind. Something I believe you try to be unaware of. You may not remember it now, but it will come out eventually. Perhaps you’ll dream tonight and if you do perhaps you will have something you’d like to tell me.”
“Geez, could you be any more cryptic?”
“Oh yes, quite easily,” Emma said as she left the room.
Jubilee lay down on her bed and looked up at the ceiling. For some reason that Jubilee couldn’t quite explain it was very comforting to see it. She also felt pretty good. All warm and glowy as if something really great had happened. It wasn’t exactly the kind of feeling she’d expected to feel after having someone trample around inside her mind, but Jubilee wasn’t complaining.
Oh well, all things considered, it could’ve been worse.
* * * * *
Chez Echt Heel Erg Duur was one of the finest restaurants in town, which was probably why Emma had insisted on going there. Mere moments after Emma and Jubilee had set foot inside, they were accosted by the maitre d’.
“Ah, Miss Frost, what a delight to see you again,” he said.
“Thank you,” said Emma. “I believe we have a reservation?”
“Oh even without a reservation you would be most welcome here,” said the maitre d’.
“Yes, yes,” said Emma. “Could you please show us to our table?”
“But of course. If you would please follow me, Miss Frost, Miss Lee.”
Jubilee followed Emma and the maitre d’ towards a table in a small, secluded corner. She was having great difficulty keeping her expression carefully blank, but she persevered.
“Pray, be seated,” said the maitre d’. “Here are your menus. Would you care for some wine?”
“No thank you,” said Emma. “That will be all for now.”
“Of course milady. Enjoy your evening.”
Jubilee waited carefully until she was sure the maitre d’ was out of earshot before putting her menu down.
“Did you see that?” she said.
“See what?” said Emma.
“That guy was naked.”
“Yes?” said Emma, as if this was some perfectly ordinary thing.
“He didn’t have any clothes on!” Jubilee exclaimed.
“Nobody does,” said Emma. “You’re the only here who’s dressed. If I wasn’t so fond of you I’d be quite embarrassed by it.”
A waiter appeared near the tables. “Are you ready to order?”
“Yes please,” said Emma. “I’ll have the caviar and my companion will have a hamburger. Make sure the lettuce is wilting, though.”`
“That’s how I like it,” said Jubilee.
“But of course,” said the waiter before hurrying off.
“See? He wore clothes,” said Jubilee.
“A single bowtie does not count as being dressed, Jubilation,” said Emma. “It counts as having professional standards.”
“That’s not normal,” said Jubilee.
“Nonsense,” said Emma.
“Here are your orders,” said the waiter, putting down two plates. “Enjoy your meal.”
“Thank you,” said Emma.
“So why is it nonsense?” said Jubilee, taking a bite from her hamburger. Some complete idiot had put ketchup on it, but fortunately there was plenty of mayonnaise.
Emma carefully some caviar onto her fork. “Oh I don’t know. Perhaps you enjoy restricting yourself, but the rest of us don’t.”
“I’m not restricting myself,” said Jubilee.
“No. Of course your not.”
A naked violinist suddenly appeared near the table.
“Would the ladies care for a little light music?” she asked.
“By all means,” said Emma.
Marrow smiled politely, pulled one long, thin bone from her back and started playing.
Bring to me
All I’ve got
Enchanted enough for you to be
Lost with me
Illusions passing through your mind
“Look, I just have a couple of standards, you know,” said Jubilee.
“Oh I know,” said Emma. “But that’s no reason to hide.”
If you don’t think you can handle what you see
Ready to run for cover
“I’m not hiding for anything,” said Jubilee.
“No? Then why are you so afraid to show who you are?”
If you might think this is fantasy land
Move my way
I will cast a spell on you
“I’m not scared,” said Jubilee.
“I would like to believe that,” said Emma. “In that case, will you dance with me?”
Emma stood up and only now did Jubilee really notice that she was naked as everyone else.
“Dance with me,” she said, extending her hand.
You’re scared of the dark
Walk through the night
Give me your hand and let me take you through the night
Jubilee looked at the extended hand as if mesmerised. Then she took it and stood up as well. Emma smiled.
You’re scared of the dark
Walk through the streets
Give me your hand and I’ll hold all the things you find
Jubilee followed Emma onto the dance floor, followed by Marrow, who didn’t seem to be very interested in stopping any time soon. Jubilee looked back at the table and saw all her clothes lying haphazardly on her chair.
She smiled. She felt… free this way. Liberated.
But she’d kept her shoes on, because the floor was cold.
Jubilee found Emma sitting in the library, reading a book and enjoying a cup of tea.
“You!” she screamed.
Emma looked up, one eyebrow delicately arched. “Yes?”
“You… you… you…!” Jubilee screamed.
“I take it you’re looking for a phrase more insulting than ‘bitch’?” Emma said calmly.
“What did you do to me?”
Emma sighed and put down her book. “Ah,” she said. “Please, sit down.”
“Like Hell I will!”
“Sit down Jubilation,” Emma said forcefully.
Glaring, Jubilee sat down.
“So I take it you had a dream last night?” Emma said.
“Oh I dreamt all right,” said Jubilee. “It involved you and me and a lot of nudity.”
“Really?” said Emma.
“It was all because of you, wasn’t it,” said Jubilee. “You practically said you did it yesterday. Well, undo it.”
“I can’t,” said Emma. “Because it was all you.”
“No it wasn’t,” said Jubilee. “I’d never dream something like that.”
“I think you would,” said Emma. “Sooner or later. Granted, my… interference made it sooner, but still.”
“I’m not gay.”
“I never said you were.”
Jubilee glared at Emma, but her heart wasn’t really in it any more. It was hard staying mad at Emma. Jubilee could stay angry at anyone for as long as she wanted fuelled solely by irrational stubbornness, but she couldn’t do it with Emma. Not even when she had some actual legitimate grounds to be mad.
“Did you enjoy it?” Emma asked.
“What?” said Jubilee. “It was a dream. Of course I enjoyed it then.”
“And when you woke up, were you instantly disgusted or did you enjoy a kind of afterglow until realisation started to dawn?”
Jubilee gave Emma another obligatory glare before standing up abruptly. “I’m going to take a shower.”
Emma shrugged, and picked up her book again.
The water was a little too hot to be comfortable, which was exactly the way Jubilee wanted it. She needed the burn on her skin right now, because she remembered
She remembered seeing Emma naked.
She remembered their bodies pressed together as they danced.
She remembered waking up.
Jubilee turned her head around and felt the drops splash onto her eyelids.
She remembered, but that wasn’t the worst of it. She’d wanted it to happen again, she still wanted it to happen again and that just couldn’t be. She wasn’t like that, couldn’t be like that.
She remembered remembering.
She remembered touching herself.
She remembered enjoying it more than every other time she’d done it.
She felt her back pressed against the tiled wall and reminisced.
What had it felt like again? Emma’s body against her own?
How had she imagined how it would feel in reality?
Could it possibly be better than this? Would it be better than everything?
And then realised what she was doing.
She was standing in the shower, one hand on her breasts, the other between her legs, thinking about Emma. Again.
She sank down and sat on the cold shower floor.
Was this Emma’s doing again? More after-effects or whatever? Was she messing around with her again?
Jubilee sat in the shower and thought.
Less than a minute later, the first sob could be heard.
* * * * *
“Think you’re bad, mutie?”
The GRSO soldier came at Jubilee, his club raised. Jubilee easily blasted him into the wall, but he was quickly replaced by two more colleagues. Once they were dispatched, four entered the fray, eight more after that, then sixteen, thirty-two and more. Eventually, Jubilee stopped using her powers, slugging away at wave after wave of Danger Room generated ‘bots, taking far more hits than she was dishing out, but she didn’t care.
Right now, pain was good.
One GRSO soldier clubbed her at the back of the head and Jubilee went down. The ‘bots swarmed over her, each being hindered in beating her because of everybody else trying to hit her as well.
Jubilee blinked and slowly crawled to her feet, silently cursing the safety protocols. Things would’ve been so much easier if only they’d beaten her into senseless oblivion. Wincing with every step, her muscles screaming in agony, Jubilee left the Danger Room and headed for the elevator upstairs. Just before the doors closed, Wolverine managed to slip into the elevator with her. He glanced at her once, then looked at the door.
“Tough day, huh?” he said.
“Yeah,” said Jubilee.
“Wanna talk about it?”
“Yeah, but not with you,” said Jubilee. “No offence.”
“None taken,” said Wolverine. He glanced at her once more. “So who’s the guy?”
“You heard me.”
“There’s no guy,” Jubilee said.
“If you say so, kid,” said Wolverine.
“Look, I said I didn’t want to talk about it, alright?” Jubilee snapped.
For a fraction of a second, Wolverine looked almost surprised. “So you did. So go talk to someone else then. Right now.”
There was a ping and the elevator doors opened. Wolverine stepped out, but Jubilee kept standing, even though this was her floor as well.
The cell phone was small and light, but still felt like lead in Jubilee’s hand. She was sitting on the edge of her bed, looking at the thing. She knew the number she didn’t want to call by heart, although she didn’t need to because she had it on speed dial.
Oh well, she had to face the music some time.
She quickly pressed a few buttons, trying not to think about it.
“Yeah, hi,” said Jubilee. “Uhm… can we talk?”
“That depends. What do you want to talk about?”
Jubilee let herself fall onto her back. “Stuff.”
“You know what kind.”
There was a sigh at the other end of the line. “Very well then. Do you want me to come to the Institute?”
“Not really,” said Jubilee. “I’d like to have a bit of privacy, you know? How ‘bout your place?”
“Are you sure you want to come here?”
Jubilee felt her stomach twist into a knot. “No. But still, you know, please?”
“Alright Jubilation, you can come. Do you know the way?”
“I suppose I’ll see you then.”
“Looking forward to it,” Jubilee said miserably.
The look on Emma’s face as she opened the door was one of surprise, but was quickly replaced by a stern one.
“Come on in,” she said.
Jubilee hurried inside. She’d never seen Emma’s expensive apartment before and the interior struck her as cold, white and tasteful in an impersonal kind of way. She walked over to the small table at the centre of the room and flopped down onto a couch.
“Please, sit down,” Emma remarked, taking her seat in a large chair.
Emma, her legs and arms crossed, looked at Jubilee. Jubilee looked at everywhere but Emma.
Eventually, Emma spoke up. “Would you like an aspirin or something?”
“What? Oh. No, thanks. It looks worse than it is,” Jubilee answered.
“I would hope so,” Emma muttered.
“It’s just… Look I can handle being gay, OK? I mean, I probably could eventually. But you’re… older.”
”And you’re younger,” said Emma.
“Right,” said Jubilee. “It’s just… weird.”
“So you tried to let the Danger Room distract you.”
”Kind of,” said Jubilee. “It worked too. For a while.”
“Now? I dunno.”
“What do you want?”
“Oh come on, you know that,” said Jubilee.
“I’d still like to hear it out loud,” said Emma.
“I want you, alright? There. Happy?”
”Yes, actually,” said Emma.
“Jubilation, you’re quite… unique. In a good way, of course. It pained me to see you diminish yourself. I’m quite glad you managed to gain some kind of acceptance of who you are.”
“Oh well, if you’re happy then it’s all OK, is it?” said Jubilee.
“No, I’d like you to be happy as well.”
“Yeah, well, there’s only two ways to get that and one of them involves a time machine and the other… well…”
Emma went and sat down on the couch next to Jubilee.
Jubilee swallowed uncomfortably. “Uhm…”
“You are unique Jubilation. And quite beautiful. Why then would you think I would not like to make you happy?”
“But… but you’re…”
“Older. And you’re younger. And we’re both women. And we’re both mutants. And I am rich and you are poor. There are so many reasons why society would not like us to get involved. And do you know what I have to say about that kind of thing?”
“Nothing nice, I take it?” Jubilee said.
“Exactly,” said Emma. She smiled. “Now then, is there anything I can do to make you happy?”
A hundred thoughts flashed through Jubilee’s mind, although only three of them were probably appropriate considering the circumstances.
“Yes,” said Emma. “But circumstances can change.”
It wasn’t very dark in Emma’s bedroom even though it was night. The curtains hadn’t been drawn and the street lights poured into the room, creating a harsh contrast of black and white, with many touches of silver and grey.
Emma looked at the sleeping girl lying next to her. The play of light in the room made the many bruises on her body almost impossible to spot. Almost.
Emma sighed. She probably could’ve prevented that. She could have stepped in force Jubilee to face facts. But then, Jubilee never would’ve got there on her own, would always be doubting, would always be able to slip back into comfortable denial.
Well, there certainly was no going back now.
Emma pulled Jubilee’s naked body closer to her, revelled in the feel of it and deeply inhaled Jubilee’s scent which now clung heavily on many things that were once Emma’s alone.
It wouldn’t last, Emma knew. This was not going to be a relationship that was going to have a happily ever after, but it didn’t have to. They’d break up eventually and Jubilee would go and find someone new in her life, perhaps someone she could settle down with one day.
But those were concerns for tomorrow and not today.
|Jos Mous||X-Men||Main Index|