Second Strings

by Dyce


Disclaimer: None of these characters are mine. Nor is the situation, which Marvel created. The story, however, is mine. It's not a cheerful one, either, so if you're looking for a laugh, you should probably go elsewhere. No profit is being made. Oh, there's one naughty word, and a fairly adult situation, so be warned.

Jubilee sat huddled on her bed, staring blindly out the window. Outside, the sun was setting, painting the sky with a hundred shades of crimson and gold in a stunning blaze of glorious colour. But Jubilee saw none of its beauty through the flames that filled her mind.

I hate her -- I hate her -- I hate her -- the phrase filled through Jubilee's mind day and night, and echoed with every beat of her heart. It was getting harder and harder to pretend that everything was normal, harder to smile and laugh and make like the happy little valley girl without a care in the world, when all she could think about was her. The selfish, perfect little cow. I hate her.

It wasn't fair. No matter how she looked at it, she couldn't make it seem like anything but blatant favouritism. She'd tried, she really had -- made all the excuses, given herself all the explanations, but they just didn't hold water. The hatred had slowly welled up inside her, and she no longer even tried to fight it. It was true. She knew it was true.

Kitty Pryde was back, and Jubilee's so-called partner had forgotten all about his little Californian second-stringer. Wolverine had rushed right back to the perfect genius computer-wizard ninja favourite without a backward glance. I hate her --Not that she could blame him, she thought bitterly.

Kitty was smarter. She was older. She could phase. She was a goddamned ninja. How could an ex-mallrat whose only talents were fireworks and a smart mouth compete with someone like that?

She'd thought that he'd be her family. He'd promised. He'd said he loved her like she was really his kid. He'd said he'd always be there for her. He lied to me --I trusted him and he lied to me --Pretty-Kitty had come home, and all of Jubilee's hopes and dreams had vanished like morning mist before the sun.

She'd always been his favourite, Jubilee realised that now. She'd always been everyone's favourite. Kitty hadn't had to go to the baby team. Kitty had been accepted as an X-Man. Kitty got to join the international team, and when she wanted to come home, the X-Men had taken her back with open arms.

When Wolvie was in trouble, Kitty got to go and help him. Kitty got to be there for his wedding. Kitty got to save the day. And what did little Jubilee get to do? She got to mind the dragon.

Jubilee rested her head against the glass, hot tears filling her eyes. She'd thought she was all cried out, but it looked like there were still a few tears left. She'd tried so hard to convince herself that she was wrong, that Wolvie loved her just as much as he loved Kitty. But she hadn't believed herself. So she'd given him a chance to prove it.

A simple phonecall. Hey, Wolvie, can you come down to the school this weekend? I miss ya. Like to see ya.

Sure, kid. I'll be there. We'll catch up.

But he didn't come. Okay, he had to go on a mission or something. That happened all the time. That was what being an X-Man meant. No problem. So this morning she'd called to make sure everyone was okay.

Yeah, sorry I didn't turn up, kid. Kitty's having a rough time right now. Needed me to be there for her. Sorry. Maybe another time.

She'd wanted to scream at him. She'd wanted to tell him that she never wanted to speak to him again. But she hadn't. She'd just shrugged, said yeah, sure, whatever. No biggie. Yeah. You love her more than you love me. You didn't even call, you bastard. You're all the family I've got, and I don't even got you anymore. No biggie.

She'd known, then. For sure. And a numbing, crushing wave of despair had filled her as she hung up the phone. So she'd come up here and locked herself in. She'd told the guys that she was thinking. Sorting out her head after all the stuff that had happened lately. They'd accepted that, telling her that they were there for her. Sorry, guys --

Outside, the sky was fading to a deep red. Inside, a matching red pool spread across the floor. As her knees buckled, she looked around one last time. Bed made. Room clean. Note on desk for Gen X. Yup -- All done --

Jubilee's eyes fluttered closed.

The last rays of the setting sun shone in the window, lighting up the room. Red letters glistened, scrawled across the walls.

I hate Kitty. I hate Wolverine. I hate Kitty. I hate Wolverine --