A Bedtime Story

By Jeanne M.

Summary: A future member of the X hears a bedtime tale.

Legal junk: Some of these characters belongs to Marvel Comics, I'm just borrowing them for fun, and I promise to return them unharmed and good as new once I've finished with the story. Nana Li, Paul, and Anne are my creations. Take them and die. Or just ask, I'll probably let you have them. I'm a poor, indebted college student, please don't sue me. Feedback is much appreciated, I even write back. Onto the story!!!!

"Once upon a time, because that's how all stories should begin, there was a beautiful girl who lived with her parents on their farm."

"Why did they live on a farm, mama? Why don't they live in a city?"

"This was long ago, when dragons and emperors ruled the lands dear. Everyone lived on farms." the lady re-arranged her skirt and looked at the little girl snuggled under her blankets. She wondered for a moment why the child asked such questions. She should know not to interrupt her elders by now. The nanny should be spoken to perhaps.

"Now this girl, she was a very good and proper lady. She obeyed her parents, respected all, and did what she was asked politely and quietly, with a smile. And since her family was very poor, they arranged her marriage to an older, rich man with many other wives. He had seen the girl at market once, and offered her parents a great sum as her dowery. They accepted, and she was sent to be his bride."

"But mama! He already had other wives? That's bad. And how could her parents just send her away like that? She should chose who she loves!"

"Hai!" She looked down at the girl. "That is the way it was done. It simply is. Now stop interrupting me!"

The girl bit her lip and hung her head. "Yes, mama."

"Now the girl was sad to leave her family, but happy that they had made such a good match for her." At this, the child looked angry, but said nothing. "And so she went to live with the kind man. And because of her great beauty, grace, and poor background, the other wives despised her at first. But she soon won them over with her meek demeanor and hard work. She became the Lord's favorite wife because of this, and he continued to send her family great riches. The one day, she had a child. At first, her husband had been so very happy. He had hoped that it would be a boy, and so did she. But it was a girl, and she was so very beautiful. They were both still very happy, and hoped that one day she would grow up to be a fine lady like her mother. Obedient, beautiful, graceful, and talented. The end." The lady stood up, smoothing out her skirt. "I need to go now. Go to sleep, and no more fuss."

"Yes mama." The little girl held her teddy bear, and watched the lady leave. "Mama?" She was gone. "Teddy, mama always tell the strangest stories. They make her so sad." she nodding confidingly to the bear. "Yes. They are very bad bedtime stories. I don't like them at all."

She closed the door to the nursery behind her, sighing in relief with the click of the door. She hated it when the nanny had to take the night off. She was paying the woman to raise the child, wasn't she? Her husband appeared at her elbow.

"She settled down yet?"

"Yes, she just wanted a story. I suppose the nurse has been spoiling her with them." The lady put on the earrings he handed her. "Is the driver ready?"

"He has been since six. Hurry up." They walked towards the door, and the butler escorted them to the car, holding open the doors and instructing the chauffeur to the destination. As they pulled out of the drive, neither noticed the small face pressed to the nursery window.

"Where do you think they're going tonight Teddy? A ball? Or maybe to the theater. Why don't they take us?" The girl dragged her teddy back to the bed, and jumped up onto it. "I wish Nana Li was here. She tells much better stories than Mama."

There was a light tap at her door. "Are you back in bed yet, small mistress?" The butler cracked the door a little and smiled at the girl. "You know that if your father catches you at the window like that, you'll get in trouble."

"I know."

"Sweet dreams then, Miss Jubilation. And to you too, Master Teddy."

"Good night Paul. Teddy says goodnight too." She wriggled back under her blankets, and smiled, waving at him. He nodded, and backed out, shutting the door silently. Yes, you would get in trouble, wouldn't you small mistress? But at least then your father might notice you exist, is that it? Your father and mother are always so busy, when was the last time Dr. Lee spoke to you directly, eh Miss Jubilation? Paul walked downstairs.

"Poor thing finally in bed Paul?"

He looked at the cook, "Yes Anne, she is. Jubilee and Teddy are safe and sound in their room. As usual." He sat down. "How is this going to end, Anne? She's only four, and knows that everything is not right in this house."

"Our Jubilee is a strong girl, she has her father's stubborn nature. She'll survive. Better than her mother has, I dare say. That woman! How can she treat her daughter like she's inferior, just because Jubilee is a girl? Named her Jubilation, and then forgot what the word means, if you ask me."

And upstairs, a little girl who's name means "celebration" dreams of a family that she can call hers.