Peas in a Pod

by Dyce

Disclaimer: Marvel's folks belong to them, and none of them are mine, but credit me for all the rest, and things will work out fine. <*g*> Okay, okay, it's 1:30 am in the morning, that's all you get. Move along, nothing to see here・

Oh, this is Rising Sun #2a, so called because it slots in neatly between #2 and #3 (Neat, huh?). A little expansion on the platonic-sleeping-together-thing, which I was told needed more explanation.

Jubilee jerked upright, her head pounding and the backs of her knees sweating. She was...he

It was a dream. Just a dream. She sighed, pulling up her knees to rest her forehead on them. The familiar, faint pull of the scar on her left calf reassured her that she was awake. And safe. But her heart was still hammering and her hands felt as cold as ice.

"Go back ta sleep, Lee," she told herself sternly. "It was just a stupid dream. Yeah. That's right. A dream. It can't hurt ya. Just a random firing of certain neurons triggering a bout of REM sleep that just happened ta scare the pants off ya. So go back ta sleep and stop bein' a baby."



* * *

Angelo moaned softly, pulling the pillow over his head. Someone was making a loud thudding noise somewhere and it was hurting his head and he just wanted to sleep and was that so frigging much to frigging ASK that he be allowed to get some frigging SLEEP at two am?

Oh, wait. Jubilee. It might be Jubilee. Right. Jubilee. He staggered out of bed and over to the door, getting it open on only the second attempt, which is pretty good at two in the morning.

Jubilee was standing there in her Yoda jammies, clutching her Bamf doll and looking about ten. She looked up at him with those wide blue eyes, chewing nervously on her lip. "I had a nightmare," she whispered.

Grumpiness immediately gave way to concern, and he reached out to fold her gently into his arms. She cuddled against him, shaking, and he stroked her hair gently. "Shh....." he soothed, kissing the top of her head. "It's okay now.... I'm here...."

"I w-was scared," she informed him in a trembling voice, speaking directly into his chest.

"I know," he soothed, cradling her gently. "But it's okay now, nothing's gonna hurt you while I'm here."

Jubilee sighed, relaxing a little. "I know. I'm not scared when you're here." She looked up at him, her nervous, wide-eyed expression nearly melting his knees. "Can I.... uh.... sleep with you tonight? I'm just.... I can't sleep by myself, I get nightmares and then I'm too scared to go back to sleep....."

Jubilee. In his room. In his own actual bed. He blinked, and forcibly dragged his mind out of the gutter. "Sure you can," he managed.

She brightened immediately, and loosened her deathgrip around the doll's neck. "Really?"

"Of course. Anytime you're scared, you come right here, okay?" He tugged her gently into the room, and pushed the door to without letting it click shut. "Now.... uhm..... you want me to stay in there with you? If not, I can sleep on the chair. 's comfortable enough." Yeah, if you're a masochist・

She shook her head immediately. "I couldn't kick ya outta yer own bed." She turned those eyes on him again and he wondered idly if she could hear his heart pounding. "I mean.... we can just snuggle up, right? There's room...."

"Si.... there's room...." Ange braced himself for a night of heroic self control. "I'll take the wall side, if you want. You can have the outside."

"Thanks." She smiled at him, and his heart felt all funny for a minute.

"I don't know if there's room for him as well, though." Ange pointed to the doll, and grinned. "Is he a blanket-hog?"

Jubilee giggled. "No, but he kinda hogs the space." She set the doll carefully on his desk. "He can wait there."

"Si. Good choice." A bit self consciously, Angelo slid into bed and held out his arm. "You.... uh.... coming?"

"Sure." With no apparent nervousness, Jubilee crawled into bed beside him, and snuggled down with a sigh. "It's nice and warm in here."

"Go to sleep, amante." He kissed her forehead gently. "And no more bad dreams."

"'kay," she murmured drowsily. It was nice and warm・ and safe・ and somehow she was sleepy again.

* * *

A week or so later, a small, warm hand patted his cheek. "Angie?" a tentative voice whispered.

He mumbled something unintelligible, lifting his arm automatically to make room for her. He was getting used to this. It was・ actually, it was pretty nice, having someone warm and sweet-smelling to just cuddle up to. No pressure. No performance anxiety. Just snuggling.

He was quite proud of being able to think that. It had taken a while.

She clambered in, snuggling down with a sigh. This was nice. It felt warm and very safe when, like now, Angelo hugged her in his sleep, resting his cheek against her hair. It was・ cosy. And he didn't even wake up anymore, which was good, because she'd been starting to feel guilty about waking him up so often.

* * *

A few weeks later, Angelo awoke to a much less pleasant... and much less pleased.... early morning visitor.

He opened his eyes at the soft growl. An Irish growl. A very UNHAPPY Irish grow; "Senor Cassidy?" he mumbled blearily. "That you?"

"Aye, it's me. And you, my lad, are right royally busted." Sean sounded angry. That was bad. Why was Sean angry? Had he slept through the rising bell again?

"Huh?" Ange asked, wondering suddenly if Sean had found out that it was Angelo not Emma, who had stolen the last twinkies....

Sean scowled, his brogue thickening. "And how long, if I may ask, has THIS been goin' on, eh?!"

"Going on?" Ange wracked his sleep-fuzzed mind. Was he sleeping naked? That would count as immoral, he supposed... no, not sleeping naked. Jubilee might turn up.......oh.

Ange looked down at the warm, soft, sweet-smelling, Yoda-clad person he was lying spooned around. He hadn't even woken up when she climbed in. "Oh, you mean THIS?"

"Aye, I mean that!" Sean roared. "T' agree tae help the lass is fine and good, but ye dinnae need tae let yeself think that gives ye the right tae take shameless advantage o' her innocence!!" To be fair to Sean, he'd just woken up, gone to check on Jubilee just to be sure she was all right, and found her gone. Then found her curled up in bed with Angelo like two peas in a cosy little pod. It was all really too much for a poor, struggling Irishman who hadn't gotten enough sleep in days, and the part of his brain labeled 'thinky stuff' had taken a back seat to 'moral outrage'.

Angelo was still sleepily trying to muddle out the meaning behind the near-indecipherable Irish accent when Jubilee, awakned by the noise, opened her eyes and sat up. She smiled brightly at the fuming teacher. "Hi, Sean! Did we, like, sleep in?"

Sean sputtered, his face bright red. Angelo watched for a moment, then turned to Jubilee. "He thinks we're having sex," he explained.

Jubilee blinked at him, still more than half asleep herself. "What.... now?"

Ange chuckled. "No, last night, I guess. 'Cause we're in bed together and all." Sean turned quietly purple.

Jubilee thought about that for a minute. "But we've both still got our pyjamas on," she pointed out, looking puzzled. "If we were gonna do THAT, wouldn't we be like, naked?"

"I'm pretty sure YOU would be, anyway." Angelo agreed, and looked up at Sean with an absolutely straight face. "So we can't have been. She's not naked. I'd have noticed if she was naked."

Sean spluttered, his face a glowing puce. "You.... ye're in bed... together... 'tis immoral..." (Any time now, the thinking part of his brain would re-engage. Really. Anytime.)

Jubilee took pity on him. "I had a nightmare, okay? And I couldn't go back ta sleep. So I came in here and Angie let me sleep in his bed so I wouldn't be scared." She turned her most limpid gaze on the fuming headmaster. "Honest."

Sean calmed down slightly, the choleric colour fading from his face. "Oh. I see."

Having gotten him calmed down slightly, Jubilee immediately and inadvertantly set him off again. "Yeah. He always lets me sleep in here when I have nightmares."

"WHAT DO YE MEAN, ALWAYS?!?!" Aha, 'moral outrage' shrieked, gotcha!

Jubilee blinked. "Whenever I have a nightmare. Three or four times a week. you know..... Nightmares? Scary?"

Sean scowled. "Yuir sleepin' in his bed four night out o' every seven?" Bad, bad, bad, shouted 'moral outrage', and enlisted 'paternal feelings' as backup.

Angelo opened his mouth to protest (he hadn't DONE anything bad, no matter if he'd woken up THINKING about it occasionally), but closed it again as Jubilee nodded, and paused. "You know..... when ya put it that way, it sounds kinda ineffecient, doncha think? I mean, like, I'm spendin' mosta my time in here anyway." She grinned mischieviously. "I might as well move in, right?"

Angelo blinked, then looked at Sean and grinned. "Sounds good to me, chica." He smiled at her, and kissed her gently. "I'd feel better if I knew you were sleeping the night through every now and then."

Jubilee returned the kiss, and cuddled against him. "I do sleep better when I'm here with you," she agreed softly. "And I know.... you know..... ya won't try anything unless I want ya to."

Angelo looked Sean in the eye over the top of her head, with a doubt-me-if-you-dare expression. "Of course I wouldn't." He hugged her gently, one hand rubbing her back in gentle circles. "You've had a rough time, and you just need someone to be here for you. And that's me." He kissed the top of her head.

Sean sputtered weakly. "But..... but ye can't..... tae share a bed....." 'Moral outrage' was slowly being overtaken by 'coherent thought', but was putting up a fierce struggle to retain control.

Emma (who had followed the waves of sheer fury to the dorm-room), spoke up behind her co-headperson. "I think it's a good idea."

"YE WHAT?!" Sean appeared to be on the verge of an apoplexy. 'Moral outrage' had shouldered ahead of 'coherent thought' and was still in the lead, although 'need for caffiene' was coming up on the outside lane in a determined bid for attention.

Emma shrugged. "Jubilee has been having persistent, very distressing nightmares. If she sleeps better in here, with someone she KNOWS she can trust not to hurt or distress her in any way, then I have no objection."

"But.... but....." 'Need for caffiene' was ahead by a neck, with 'chemical dependency' backing it up strongly, but 'moral outrage' wasn't giving up this race without a fight.

"I wouldn't make a move on her or anything," Angelo averred, looking horrified at the very thought. "That would be.... would be...."

"Bad!" Sean offered. 'Moral outrage' took a surprise detour, and beat 'coherent thought' to the vocal cords.

"Exactly. And it'd upset her." He cuddled her possessively. "And *nobody* upsets my baby. 'Specially not me." Jubilee beamed, tucking her head under his chin, and Emma gave him one of the approving looks she'd been handing out a lot of lately. Emma wasn't so tough. All you had to do was utterly adore a lonely, frightened and pregnant girl who needed you, take care of her, and indulge her every whim, while yet remaining a stable source of comfort, and the White Queen was practically eating out of your hand. It was amazing that nobody had ever realized.

Sean looked at them. 'Moral outrage' had gotten into a brawl with 'coherent thought' and was out of the race, 'need for caffiene' had had a nasty pile-up, 'chemical dependency' had gotten lost for lack of caffiene, and 'paternal feelings', an almost forgotten contender, was streaking to the lead. Unfortunately, 'paternal feelings' wasn't all that bright. "Bed," he said weakly, looking at Emma and pointing at the two teenagers.

"Yes, Sean. Bed," Emma agreed.

"Together," he managed, after a moment's thought.

"Yes. Together." Emma wondered if perhaps Sean was getting some old-person disease that made you stupid. She'd heard of those.

"Bad!" he whimpered.

"No. Good."

Sean looked at the teenagers. He looked at Emma. He looked at the kids again. "Not bad?" he asked uncertainly. Emma's brain was working. She would tell him.

"No. Not bad, Sean." She patted his hand awkwardly. "*Good*. It's *good* that Angelo is looking after Jubilee."

Sean nodded. When she put it that way, it all seemed so easy. "Good." He smiled brightly at her.

Emma sighed, and dredged up the only thing she could think of that might bring Sean's brain back to life. "Would you like some coffee?" she offered kindly. "*Nice* coffee."

"Can I have some too?" Jubilee asked hopefully.

Angelo opened his mouth, but Sean, returning gamely to the fray, beat him to it. "*No*! Coffee *bad*!"

Emma blinked. "You don't want coffee?"

Argh! Sean dredged up the wreckage of 'coherent thought' and painstakingly constructed a sentence. "Coffee for *me* good. For kids *bad*." Okay, so it wasn't much of a sentence, but it got the point across.

Emma for one was very pleased to hear it. "That's right, Sean. Now let's go downstairs and have some coffee, okay?" She took his arm, and he let her lead him out of the room.

Jubilee and Angelo watched them go. "He took that well," Angelo said, perfectly serious. "I mean, apart from the whole brain-going-dead thing." He looked down at his small armful of utter adorablness with a quizzical look. "Were you serious?"

"About moving in with you?" Jubilee nodded, her head still resting on his chest. "Yeah. I mean, if you want to. But it・" She looked up at him, blue eyes meeting brown. "It makes me feel safe, being with you. And Cecelia says that panic attacks and stuff aren't good for the baby."

The baby・ Angelo laid a hand on her stomach. There was still only the slightest bulge there to indicate the baby's presence. "I'd like it," he said honestly. "I like having you here." He smiled down at her. "I like taking care of you. Being here to do stuff for you."

"An' I like havin' you take care of me," she said, in a tone indicating that all was now settled. "Your room or mine?"

"Mine. It's bigger." A little bit, anyway. "And it's nice and close to the kitchen."

"'kay." Jubilee kissed him gently, then scrambled out of his bed. "We can move me in after breakfast. Which I'll meet you for when I've had a shower and found some clean clothes."

"Right." He watched her scamper away, then crawled out of bed himself, wincing at several aches and stiffnesses that had only now made themselves known.

If they were going to be keeping this up, he decided, they were going to need a bigger bed.