The Delphina Saga
Part Two: In Comes Juniper

by Gkem

I moved to the kitchen, and called to say that I was quitting and could finally lead a normal life, and maybe pursue my other studies besides just herbs, like DNA and such. At any rate, I went pack, taking my herbs with me. For the most part, my herbs took up eight trunks and my clothes took up only four. My books took up twelve, and I was ready to go. We did leave, eventually, with Jubilee. I slept for most of the trip, and when I was awake, Jubes and I sang along to the radio.

When we did arrive, and controversy was faced. It turned out that the only free room in the house was the other basement in the girls' dorm. Made up for just such an occasion. But it was also explained to me that the young man that lived down there was rather moody. How depressing. So I was taken to my room by a man named Sean Cassidy, and left to deal with what had to be dealt with, and that was that. I put all of my books, (yes,
all of them). On the massive book shelves that lined the walls. As my father explained about me, and my land requirements, as well as my healing and mutant abilities. I was putting away my clothes, and robes in the closet when the door was knock on. I gave enterance admission, and all of GenX came in. I later found that Jonothan, (whom, when I met, I had an incredible attraction to), nor Penance, was not among them at that time. "Hey, Delphina, these are your new team-mates; Paige, Monet, Angelo, Everett. Jono and Penance are AWOL at the moment," Jubilee said, seating herself on my bed; which, I decided, had to go, whether they like it or not. I could get my furniture shipped in from Northern Korea tomorrow.

I nodded absent mindedly, and went to put my herbs on the shelves. "Whoa, chica, you do some heavy stuff," said a young man with a heavy Spanish accent. "These aren't drugs, they're healing herbs," I replied, standing on my tippy toes to put the Forest Bone out of reach. It was, a fairly strong narcotic, and not to be taken lightly. It is highly addictive, and I only use it very sparingly in my potions.

We spoke for a bit, and they offered to show me around the grounds. I happily accepted the offer. They dragged me around the grounds, and I was introduced to the twenty square feet or land I had requested for my herbs. There was a high fence around it, so no one could really get it. I relaxed, but knew that the Forest Bone would have to be grown in the dark within my own quarters. I let them drag me about and it was dinner time by the time we got back. They had ordered pizza, and ziti. I was thrilled with the ziti, and virtually claimed it as my own. It was then, Jonothan made an appearance. I had was seated on a kitchen counter at the time wit the ziti next to me. I fell off the counter in fear, staring with wild eyes up at him. I had been eating out of the container when he showed up through the door that led to our own rooms. Paige straightened up, "Delphina, this is Jonothan, you share the basement." He measured me with interest. Watching my moves as I lifted myself up. Deffinently attractive; but a harsh reminder to the child that I given birth to only a few months ago. I had been raped when I was thirteen, and who ever did it had left his dirty evil reminder within me. It had frightened me. I was happy that I didn't have any weird diseases, but I wasn't happy when I discovered that I was pregnant with a baby girl. Not being fully developed yet, it had been a still birth. And I was shattered. But Jonothan looked a lot like my attacker, and I turned and left the room, moving quickly away.

I didn't eat dinner, instead, I put together my seeds, and roots. I went out to my own land. There I began my planting. All by hand, I work quickly and skillfully without hesitation. I placed roots in one section, not being stingy at all, and working rapidly until the acid had seeped through from so much handling and stained my clothes and my hands. I moved onto the seeds. I worked with a rapidity that couldn't be matched, and I finished my planting and was watering when the sun finally peaked over the horizen. I placed the can next to the inner door and went back to the mansion for breakfast. I washed my hands, and went to have pancakes with everyone else, the dirt still in my hair.

* * *

"Is that a new look?" Asked Miss Frost. "Huh? No ma'am," I said quietly, putting some of my tangled hair behind my ear. The phone rang in the kitchen, and Sean got up to answer it. There was an exchange of words, and Emma was called to the phone. We heard some tihngs going, and I exchanged curious glances with Jubilation. Miss frost came in a moment later. "Children," she said. "We will be having visitors with us for the next week. The X-men are coming do run some training sessions with us." Jubilee smiled, as did Paige, and asked if her brother would be there, he would. At any rate, we all went about our classes. Sean gave me the assignment on writing about herbs. He had said the kinds that I used, and I explained that very little was known about them, and their healing principals were, for the most part, shrouded in mist, that's why I was trying to let sunlight through the mist. So I got switched to plant genetics. Thrilling.

That night, I went out to tend to my garden, and I planted a small juniper tree that now held my daughter's soul. I bowed deeply before it. "My child, Juniper, I still love you. And by the forest, I embrace you as though you were still here," I said. I walked over to my bag, and pulled a tatomi mat from it. I lay it down, and fell asleep on it, under the juniper tree.

It was early when I awoke. I walked calmly along the grounds. Barefoot, with my soft silk kimono falling comfortablly at my feet. The cool soil, earth felt wonderful beneath my feet. Which was reasin enough for me NOT to where shes in the summer and spring, only sandels, and only then when its required. Everett came to the door with a box in his hands. "This is your uniform. . ." He said, trailing off when he saw that I wore virtually nothing under the robe. "Oh, do not bother, I have something a little more. . . Subtle for this line of work," I said, thinking about my form fitting black body suit, and matching thigh-high boots. He nodded, and moved away. I walked into the house, and slipped away to my rooms to check on the Forest Bone that grew in abundency next to my futon. I put a drop of goblin blood on it, and went to dress myself.

When I emerged from the basement, I walked into the living room to face my father. "Father. . ." I whispered, before turning away. "Delphina, don't you dare turn from your father," called 'Frosty' and Jubilee called her. I ignored her, and went out to my garden. I found Paige there. "Here, I got this for you, so no one can get to your herbs," she explained. "Thanks," I said, taking the padlock from her, and went into the garden. Paige followed me in. "Wow, this is a nice place. What's that?" She asked, pointing to my daughter's tree. "That's my Juniper," I replied, meaning it in more ways than one. "Oh, it's a juniper tree, it's very pretty," she said. "It's more than that," I said softly. "You wanna talk about it?" She asked. "No, its not important," I said quietly. She looked at me for a moment and then backed off. I was left to myself, I was preparing to leave, and had just put the lock on the door, when I turned to find Remy coming towards me from across the lawn. "Hey der. . ." He said, but trailed off as he saw the desperate morose look on my face for my lost child.

"Is der sometin' dat you wanna tell Remy?" He asked. I shook my head, fighting off tears. "Come now, tell Remy what's wrong," he soothed. I shook my head, not giving in, able to fight for an eternity.

I began walking away from him, towards the house, when something spoke within my mind. :Delphina: Jono said to me. I walked from Remy in silence, and entered the house. I was walking up the stairs, and was confronted by Jono. :Come with me: He said. I followed in silence to his own quarters causing me to freeze as horrors of my past crept up on me.

:Relax, I will not hurt you: He said. :But I would like to know why you ran from me that, it's because I'm a freak, isn't it?: "No, I think that your beautiful, but, um, it's something else. Nothing like that," I said in my shy voice that emenated fear from the great darkness that evaded my heart over a year ago. He regarded me with eyes that held a past darker than mine. I relaxed, but I also confided in him, and I told him my story with a whole heart."I had a child, that died. It was a still birth, I gave birth to her five months ago. I was going to name her Juniper, but she died. . . I was raped when I was thirteen. But even though I hold no STDs within me. I still hold the evil that he left behind; but I also held his child for nine months. My body hadn't fully grown yet, and it has yet to, so it was a still birth with my daughter. Her soul now resides in a juniper tree within the walls of my garden. Guarded by the forest," I explained in a calm tone.

He froze, silence weighting on his soul, and he truly felt sorry for me. And I for him. We understood eachother. And then, it just happened. I kissed him on the cheek, and walked away to take a shower, and then dress in some nice warm clothes settle down with a good book in the living room. The door to the living room opened a bit later, and Rogue and Jean walked in a moment later. "What's with Jono? Do you know Delphina?" Asked Jean. "Yeah, but it doesn't concern you. It's between us," I explained calmly, with no hate in my voice. "Oh?" Asked Rogue. "Yeah, oh, nothing like that. . . Yet. But I hope too. But I'm not sure that I can even bring myself to do such a thing, not after. . ." I trailed off, unable to go on. "You wanna talk about it?" Asked Rogue. "No, I've talked about it enough today," I said quietly, then left in silence towards my own room.

I pulled off my clothes, and went to stand in front of the mirror. I looked at my body. I stood there completely naked, looking down over my body. I was no longer pure, innocent like I had been two years ago. But in that time. I had been raped, violated. And it was, with great cost. I had found out that I had no STDs, but that I was pregnant, and that I would birth a little girl. I had decided that her name would be Juniper. But it never happened. My body hadn't fully grown, and the both of us paid a deep and sincere price. I remember being left alone in the hospital room. Crying for coming away from such hell. Alone. And left out in the rain. I fell to the cool ground. Sobs wracking my body. My violated body.

There came a knock at the door. And my father opened it. "Darlin'?" He asked silently. Seeing me kneel there, crying heavily. He lifted a blanket from the bed and walked over and placed it around my shoulders. I pulled away. "Get away from Father. And don't come near me again." With that, I stalked from the room, and went up to the girls' dorm. I knocked on Jubilee's door, and she opened it a moment later. "Delphina. . ." She said distantly. "Jubi, can I stay in here tonight? I just do't feel comfortable staying in the same basement with Jono, not tonight." I explained. There was something in my voice that she understood, and beckoned me inside. She gave me some clothes, and I settled down in a chair on one side of the room. "You should really clean your room," I said in rather odd tone that even suprised me. "Yeah, I know," she said, her tone smug.

* * *

Night: Messenger moves away through the flames. And in the distance, I see Juniper. My daughter. I pulled awake, and ran down the stairs, and out to my garden. Juniper was gone. "NO!!" I screamed, turning, I began running. "JONO! JUBILEE! PAIGE! ANYONE!!!" I screamed, running back. Jono came out a moment later, Emma behind him. I stalked across the ground, tears streaming down my face. "The juniper tree is gone," I said, obviously a wreck. "So, its just a tree, you can get another," said Paige, coming up behind Emma. "No, I can't that tree held my daughter's soul," I screamed. Logan, Scott, Bobby, and Remy were there a moment later. "You have a daughter?" Logan asked. "Had a daughter. I was raped a little over a year ago. But it was a still birth." I explained. Jono moved out, knelt by me. :We'll get her back. I'll help you: He 'said'. "Logan," I said sharply, turning my head. "Smell anyone familiar?" "Yeah, Sabretooth," he replied in a growl.

"Let's change then move out Jono, everyojne else, stay here. We can watch our own backs," I ordered. Jonothan and I went to dress in the appropriate attire. We met up in the hall, and took after Sabretooth, moving behind my garden. We ran with rapidity, never stopping until we came to a small clearing where a small cottage resided. The door opened to face my grandfather. And I began with my mutant abilities. A glowing light slowly grew and engulfed my forearms. It was then I realized that I held not the apropriate elements on my arms, I held them all. And I used it to its full extent.

A moment later, Jono delivered the final blow of psiconic energy. Destroying Sabretooth for the time being. We ran in, and Juniper sat in the corner. I walked over, and lifted her up. "We don't have much time, he derooted her." I said. He nodded, and we moved quickly, working together to save my daughter's soul.

We got back to the academy grounds in five minutes flat, and quickly planted her tree. I watered her, and pulled away. Jono placed his hand unconciously on my waist, and for once. I accepted the comfort. I turned to face him, and we stood there for a moment, in eachothers arms, staring into eachother's eyes, traveling the depths of eachother's souls, without using a single word. . . And all was well, for now.

* * *

I faced my father, now fully clothed. "Father. I am sorry for what I said before. But you don't know what women face. Your a man, and could never face such a horriable ordeal, as women, millions of women, and girls, face each year. Myself among them. I reacted as women would in such a situation. I fought back for the well being of myself. Out of instinct," I explained, my tone kind and loving.


Author's note: I wrote this in the heat of women's rights. In Africa, girls are circumsized at age thirteen because they feel that by cutting off the clit that it will give more time to chastity, and that they will not succumb to sexual pleasure. In Afghanistan, women between the ages of 4 straight through 70 are raped by a group known as the demantlers. Women there are not allowed to leave the house without a male relative, and must wear a burqa at all times. In North America, some 7 million rapes happen each year. In South Africa, every fifteen minutes, a rape goes untold. As women, we face hell. And do NOT deserve such pain and torment. I wrote this, for my fellow women, girls, ladies, whatever. Whether you are a day old female, or a hundred years, I will try and fight; as women do each year, for themselves, and for other women.