New Maids, Old Jobs, and General Torment

by JB McDonald

A response to the Neon Nurse's challenge. Heh. I managed to fit that *entire* list of phrases in here!!! And it only took me several hours! *sigh*

Anyway, tell me what you think! :)

Welcome to suburbia; where they tear out the trees & then name streets after them. Today in the thrilling life that is suburbia (and yes, that's sarcasm you hear) the school for "Gifted Youngsters" is getting a new maid. Personally? I'm against the idea. I mean, we'd only just broken the old one! *I* think that Sean should let me be a maid for a day, and that way I could make some money and not have to go to work. But noooooo. He says "Jubilee, las, ye couldnae keep up with the littleuns." Fine. I'll just have to stick with my job. Luckily, K-Mart's close by. After battling powerful mutants? Exciting.


The doorbell rang and Jubilee stood up, still fuming over the fact that they were getting a new maid. Really, they were such pains. But she had already decided to do her best to break the woman before she had to leave for work. And, of course, the others were going to help.

"Hello?" she said as she opened the door. A pleasant woman smiled back at her, sort of fluffy looking.

"Hello! I'm here to help take care of things for you!"

Already Jubilee didn't like her. Talk about patronizing. "So good to see you!" Jubes managed cheerfully. "Allow me to introduce my selves. I'm Jubilee--" she blinked, jerked and smiled evilly, "--and I'm Jubilation."

Paige came running in just then, and for a split second Jubilee thought she was going to ruin everything. "An' who are ya'll?" she said, stopping short of touching Jubilee.

Jubilee frowned. "I'm not sure."

Paige looked worried, and smiled distractedly at the new maid. "What do ya mean?"

"Well, I can't remember if I'm the good twin, or the evil one," she replied.

Paige swallowed hard and looked up at the maid, motioning her inside. "Jubie's a li'l crazy," she whispered loudly.

"I'm not crazy, I've just been in a very bad mood for 30 years!" Jubilee protested as they made it to the living room.

"O' course, darlin'," Paige said, winking hugely at the woman. "Would ya'll watch her fo' a minute?"

Jubilee suppressed a final giggle at Paige's suddenly thick accent, and sat down while the blond ran out--probably to get the littleuns.

"Everyone thinks I'm psychotic," Jubilee told the maid, rolling her eyes. "Well, except for my friends deep inside the earth." She smiled angelically, and the woman patted her shoulder uneasily.

Monet walked in just then, looking as regal as ever. "Jubilee," she said, handing over a Siamese cat, "take care of Shakti for me."

Jubilee took the cat with a large measure of carefully hidden distaste.

"Oh, I love kitties," said the new maid.

Jubilee smiled cheerfully. "I like cats too! Let's exchange recipes!"

The maid's face paled drastically and she started to murmur something about meeting Monet.

"Oh, please, follow me," Monet said, leading the woman to the kitchen where she pulled down food and started to eat. "Your name?" Monet asked.

"I'm Anna," and the woman smiled pleasantly.

Monet smiled back. "Please," she said, "make yourself at home! Clean my kitchen." Then she smiled and started out of the room.

Jubilee tried to suppress it, knowing they were supposed to be fighting against the woman, not amongst themselves, but somehow, it just slipped out. "Nice perfume," she muttered as she handed the cat back. "Must you marinate in it?"

Monet gave her a Look and left.

Anna stood there, slightly flabbergasted. Before she had time to recover, two flying balls of green and pink shot into the room, attaching themselves to her legs. "Mom! Mom!" they shouted noisily.

Anna smiled uncertainly as she staggered about, trying to keep her balance. "Who are these kids, and why are they calling me 'Mom'?" she said, a look of panic easing its way across her features.

"Those are the bottomless pits of needs and wants!" Jubilee said happily, pulling one of the littleuns away. "And which dwarf are you?" she asked seriously.

Leech laughed cheerfully. "Jubilee's having delusions again," he said, struggling over the long word. "She's silly crazy!" he chirped before pulling free and once more attaching himself to Anna's leg.

"There sure are some . . . interesting people here!" Anna said, every motion conveying "HELP!" as Paige walked into the room.

"Oh, well, you know," Paige said, smiling. "They're the run off."

"Run off?"

"Well, yeah. I mean, there's too many freaks, not enough circuses!"

For a moment Jubilee thought they had her, then Sean entered. She sighed.

"Are these beasts tormentin' ye?" he asked, glaring all around. "Jubie, go get ready. We're leaving f'r ye're work in a few minutes. Anna, why dinnae I set ye t' work somewhere where these hooligans cannae get t' ye 'til A get back?"

Anna agreed readily, and Sean led her to his office. "A ken tis a wreck," he said, looking around sadly, "but it'll keep ye busy until A get back." He smiled, gave her a pat on the back, and left.

Anna looked around sadly. "This isn't an office--it's Hell with fluorescent lighting," she sighed.


Bobby had heard about Jubilee's new job. Personally, he thought it was hilarious. And, with that thought firmly in mind, headed down to see her. Well, headed down to harass her.

"Here I am!" he cried, finally finding her in a dull blue pinafore. "Now what are your other two wishes?"

Jubilee's eyes widened as she recognized the jokester, but they quickly narrowed. "One," she answered, "don't bother me. I'm living happily ever after."

Bobby laughed and ruffled her hair, mostly because he was aware of the fact that it annoyed her. She'd been working for two hours, and it was apparent she was in a bad mood. "So explain your thinking as to why you're working *here*," Bobby asked, glancing around.

"Oh, well," Jubilee said, rolling her eyes, "I'm just working here 'til a good fast-food job opens up."

Bobby grinned. "Just as I thought. Seriously, though, what's with the job?"

Jubilee picked up a shirt that had been knocked to the floor and hung it back up, sighing. "I thought I wanted a career. Turns out I just wanted paychecks."

Bobby laughed.

"But this is okay. I mean, I pretend to work. They pretend to pay me. All in all, a good set up."

"How much are you making?" Bobby asked, grinning.

"I started out with nothing and still have most of it left," Jubilee grinned.

"You sure that's not because you spend it all?"

"Hey! I work forty hours a week to be this poor!" Jubilee protested quickly.

"And shop the other forty, right?"

She grinned sheepishly and didn't answer.

"You look like shit," Bobby noted. "Is that the style now?"

Jubilee turned and glared at him. "Well, whatever kind of look you were going for, you missed."

"My dear Jubilation," Bobby said, grinning, "you seem a little grouchy! Could it have something to do with the public you're working with?"

Jubilee turned and glared at Bobby--again. "Bobster, do I *look* like a freakin' people person?"

"Honestly? At this moment? No. But really, you should practice random intelligence and senseless acts of self-control. It'll help with the job."

Jubilee turned and cocked her head, looking at him.

"What?" he asked after a bit.

"I'm trying to imagine you with a personality."

"Ouch!" Bobby cried, his hand over his heart, "I've been slammed!"

"Excuse me," a woman said, holding up a dress. "Could you help me?"

"And just how may I screw you over today?" Bobby whispered in Jubilee's ear.

She suppressed a giggle and went to see about the woman.

Left to his own devices, Bobby wandered into the "New and Improved" computer isle. A heated debate was taking place in one corner over two computers and which was better. After listening for a bit, Bobby shook his head. "I like the IRC25438," he said, "but it's got a PBS mind in an MTV world."

"You are all so wrong," said another newcomer.

"And your cry-baby whiney-assed opinion would be . . .?" Bobby asked, thoroughly enjoying the fight he was starting.

"Who you calling 'cry-baby'?" the man asked, pulling himself up to his full height--only slightly taller than Bobby.

"So you admit you're whiny-assed," Bobby commented.

The man stepped forward, getting right into Bobby's face.

"Back off!" Bobby shouted. "You're standing in my aura!"

Jubilee, off to one side, heard the commotion and came hurrying over. "Oh lord," she groaned as she saw the situation. "Can I trade this job for what's behind door number 2?"

"All right guys," she said, stepping in-between the two men. "Let's all just calm ourselves, shall we?"

The larger man stepped closer, crushing Jubilee. Seeing that tact wasn't working--well, not seeing that actually, just getting angry--she shoved him back. "Hey! Did I mention the kick in the groin you'll be receiving if you touch me?" she snarled.

The man backed off and, after she'd glared around the circle, the group dispersed.

"God, men are *so* annoying," a nearby woman sighed.

Jubilee smiled snottily. "Not all men are annoying," she said sweetly. "Some are dead."

Bobby choked back a laugh from behind her, and Jubilee turned to glare at him. "If I throw a stick, will you leave?" she said nastily.

Bobby just grinned harder.

"And by the way, you're wrong. The IRC25438 does *not* have a PBS mind."

Bobby shrugged. "Yeah, but Macho Law forbids me from admitting I'm wrong."

Jubilee rolled her eyes and turned to help the woman who thought men were annoying.

"I had a boyfriend once who was so annoying, he never would shut up! And he talked about the stupidest things too, like football and computers and never took me out to dinner and was such a pig I mean he used to leave his stuff all over the sink and he never washed the sink which was horribly dirty due to the fact that we had a plugged drain but no one knew how it got plugged we think it might have been my little brother shoving things down it because he liked to shove things down holes once he tried to shove my cat into the sewer but luckily that cat scratched and he couldn't that cat was so lucky that's why we named him what we did, Lucky, because when we found him he was practically starved and we actually thought it was a girl because you can't really tell on full grown cats but he wasn't he was a boy and so that was funny once--"

"Does your train of thought have a caboose?" Jubilee asked, watching in amazement.

The girl stopped and looked at Jubilee. "What?"

"Do they ever shut up on your planet?"

For another minute the girl stood there, speechless.

"You're a bitch!" the girl finally proclaimed.

Jubilee smiled. "You say I'm a bitch like it's a bad thing!"

"I . . . I . . . "

"Maybe she doesn't know how to shut up," Bobby suggested from where he had lurked behind a clothes rack.

"Some people cured me of that," Jubilee said, grinning evilly. She picked up a role of duct tape and started toward the girl. "Let me show you *how* the guards used to do it."

The girl screeched and ran off, throwing warnings over her shoulder.

"That might have been a mistake," Bobby commented, grinning.

Jubilee shrugged. "Errors have been made. Others will be blamed."

"Jubilee!" a self-important, pimpled, sort-of man said, striding up. "What's this I hear about you being rude and threatening the customers?"

"Um. I plead contemporary insanity," Jubilee said, smiling brightly.

"Be careful," the man said. "You're walking a thin line on losing your job!" He turned and walked away, shouting orders that were ignored.

"You! Off my planet!" Jubilee muttered to the man's retreating back. Bobby laughed.

"That guy stresses me out! I mean, this job sucks, I have homework, roommates, and if that wasn't enough the adult child of alien invaders is constantly on my back! *And* I have a date tonight! I'm *so* stressed!"

Bobby laughed. "You don't know what stress is!" he said, grinning.

"Sure I do," Jubilee answered. "Stress is when you wake up screaming and you realize you haven't fallen asleep yet!"

Bobby thought about that for a minute. "Yeah, I suppose that's about right," he said finally. "A date tonight, huh? You remember the rule?"

Jubilee grinned up at him. "See no evil, hear no evil, date no evil. Got it."

Bobby laughed again and walked with her to where they started re-stocking shelves full of cans of corn.

"I just want revenge. Is that so wrong?" Jubilee asked pitifully, thinking once more of her manager.

"*I* don't think so," he answered. "Is there anything I can do to make you feel a little better?" he asked, grinning.

"Yeah. Whisper my favorite words: 'I'll buy it for you.'"

Bobby started laughing in earnest, shaking his head. "I don't think my wallet's that big!" he cried.

"One of these days," Jubilee announced, "I'm going to go get a stress-free desk job."

"Stress free? Don't you know there's no such thing? If you've got a desk job, even if no one is there to boss you, you'll have an office to take care of."

"I'll have a cubicle. With no one beneath me to have to supervise."

"Ah. Well, you know, a cubicle is just a padded cell without a door. I should know," and Bobby grinned.

Jubilee glared at him. "Then I'll have to think of something else." She was silent for a minute, then brightened. "I'll just stay a kid!"

"Too late," Bobby said.

"What? I'm only sixteen."

"I know. But you owe Hank money from that last shopping spree, and everyone knows adults are just kids who owe money. Under those rules, you're ancient."

Jubilee sighed again and moved down the isle, away from the pest.

"You two seem to march to the beat of a different drummer," said Martha--Jubilee's co-worker and friend--as she cleaned up a mess.

"Ha. It's just Bobby, and he's more like meandering to a different drummer."

Martha laughed. "Hey, I just got called to the computer section. Come with?"

Jubilee nodded and they headed to the printers, where someone had spilled paper all over the place and run. Sighing, Martha started to pick up.

"Oh, geez," Jubilee said, quickly hitting the floor to help as she was leered at by a slob down the isle. "Quick," she said to Martha, "how do I set a laser printer to stun?"

Martha giggled and glanced up at the man. "Ick. I see why you want to. Oh dear," she sighed, hiding a laugh, "I'm starting to agree with you. Something must be wrong. Is it time for your medication or mine?"

Jubilee--very seriously--said, "I think yours."

"Hey there, little ladies," the man said, sauntering up.

"I'm gonna say something I'm gonna regret . . . " Jubilee cried, keeping her head down.

"Don't do it, Jubes! Our manager's just looking for a reason to fire you!"

"So how are you doing?" said the man, still leering.

Jubilee's head popped up and she smiled. "Earth is full. Go home," she said cheerfully, smiling even wider at the look of shock that passed the blunt features.

"Jubes!" Martha hissed, giggling.

"Who do you think you are?" the man asked, appalled.

"With your help? A friendly checkout clerk! Thanks for keeping me that way!"

"Aren't you a sarcastic little thing," the man snapped.

"Sarcasm is just one more service we offer," Jubilee said, nodding.

"We'll just see about this," the man muttered, lumbering off.

"That's it," Martha said, laughing, "you're so fired!"

Jubilee sighed. "Oh well!"

"JUBILEE!" Pimple-manager came around the corner, his face red. "Did you insult that man?"

"No, I insulted the donkey that was just here," she said cheerfully.

"If you apologize right now, to me and to this establishment and to him, I might just keep you on--on probationary status," he said seriously.

Jubilee looked at him like he'd lost his mind. "Screw you!"

"What?!" he shouted, unable to believe what she had just said.

"Well, that might be hard given your physique. Okay, okay, I take it back. UnScrew you!"

The man stuttered for a moment more, in which Jubilee took her badge off and handed it to him. "I'm leaving now. See you later!" and with that she picked up and started out the door.

"I just think those actors are such horrible people," the girl who wouldn't stop talking was saying to someone as Jubilee passed.

Jubilee grabbed what she was carrying and smiled wickedly. "I majored in Liberal Arts. Will that be for here or to go?"

The woman looked thoroughly appalled and Jubilee, whistling happily, dropped her things and headed out the door.

"Jubes!" Bobby called, running after her. "You leaving?"

Jubilee stopped and took off her pinafore, then looked around. "Chaos, panic and disorder--my work here is done. I think it's time to leave."

Bobby started to laugh. "Got fired for harassing people, huh?"

Jubilee nodded cheerfully.

"Want a ride home?"

After careful consideration, she decided that would be a good idea.

"So how do you feel about losing your first job?" Bobby asked as they headed out. "Sad? Happy? Ambivalent?"

"Ambivalent? Well, yes and no. On second thought, just no." Jubilee grinned.


"Well," Jubilee sighed as she stepped out of the car. "This day was a total waste of make-up. Thanks for the ride, Bobster!"

"Anytime, Jubes!" he shouted, and left.

The teen looked up at the house, and smiled. "Then again," she said slowly, "maybe it wasn't so awful. . . . " She rubbed her hands together at the thought that they might not have driven Anna away yet, and she could just maybe have another go at the woman. Laughing, Jubilee entered the house.

"I'm home!" she shouted, bursting through the door. There stood Anna, looking quite frazzled and wide-eyed.

"Oh!" said the maid, close to tears, "I thought your name was Jubilee, but they said it wasn't. Please, I'm so sorry!"

"Don't worry. I forgot your name, too!" Jubilee responded happily.

"Pitter patter. Do you hear it? It's the pitter patter of the littleun's little feet . . . " Anna said, obviously almost broken.

"I do," Jubilee said wickedly. "Would you please shut them up? If I want to hear the pitter patter of little feet, I'll put shoes on my cat."

"Oh! Yes! Shut them up!" cried Anna as she ran off.

"And while you're at it," Jubilee shouted, "do me a favor and find Jesus?" There was no answer, and she cackled evilly.

"If only you'd use your powers for good instead of evil . . . " Monet sighed from where she stood behind the door.

"Monet," Jubilee said haughtily, "You might as well leave me alone. I refuse to star in your psychodrama." With that said, Jubilee headed to the kitchen where Emma sat, sipping tea carefully.

"Man," Jubilee said, "You're tense!"

"I'm not tense. Just terribly, terribly alert," the White Queen corrected. "And I should be, what with you heathens tricking that woman into doing horrid things to my possessions."

Jubilee giggled and stole a soda from the frigde, then headed out to find Anna.

"Hey! Look!" Paige called from the living room. "I've found Jesus. He's been behind the sofa the whole time. No doubt scared to death . . . " and she glared fiercely at Anna, Jesus the cat tucked safely in her arms.

"That's . . . Jesus?" Anna said, looking quite forlorn.

"Of course," Jubilee said. "What did you think I was talking about?"

Anna took a deep breath and, picking up a rope, left.

"What's that all about?" Jubilee asked.

Paige shrugged.

Taking a large swallow of her Coke, Jubilee followed. Eventually she came to the dining room, where Anna had flung one end of the rope around her neck, and had the other end tied to the chandelier. "You don't want to do that," Jubilee said as the woman climbed onto the table. "Just go away and pretend like this never happened. It's better living through denial. That way you're not dead and, hey, you can act like you never met us!"

Slowly Anna climbed back down, took the rope off and started for her car.

"Maybe," she said to Jubilee--who had followed her out--"I can get therapy."

"Therapy is expensive, poppin' bubble wrap is cheap! You choose," Jubilee said with a grin.

Anna smiled frantically. "Oh." Then the car started, the door slammed, and the woman peeled away.

"SEAN!" Jubilee shouted as she walked into the house. "We need a new maid! And, oh, by the way, I just happen to need a job. . . ."

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