A Little Warmth

by Indy

Disclaimer: Ya・ll know the drill. :) I don・t own Jubilee, GenX or any of the others. *pout* I wish I did. There is some harsh language in here, so don・t say I didn・t warn you.

The night is clear but cold, though I don・t feel it. That・s ・cause it・s colder *inside* than out.

Funny, isn・t it? The resident firecracker, me, depressed. Sitting on top of this roof like Gambit, or somethin・. Next ta me is one of Cassidy・s whiskey bottles, unopened fer the time bein・. Don・t want to get drunk yet and fall off this roof.

Already did that, though it was a different roof. Right after Wolvie left me at the X-Mansion. Got drunk off my ass and took a tumble. Luckily the Cajun was there an・ got me fixed up. Never told anyone, but that・s ・cause he *knows* about demons. Knows what it・s like ta need an escape route.

No one・s home tonight, all of GenX out. Paige is datin・ Rat Boy, the boy・s・re lookin・ fer babes, Frosty and Cassidy are doin・ the teacher/parent thing with the norms, and Monet・s still gone.

I blink away sudden tears. No one thought to ask me what *I* was doin・ tonight. Hell, fergot I was even here! The only mutant here is the new Penny, an・ I don・t know what to make of her.

I・ve been thinkin・ of ... leavin・ GenX. Fer good. Jus・ packin・ up one night and sneakin・ out of the window. Don・t know where I・d *go*, probably ta one of Wolvie・s old hang outs. Huh, maybe Yukio wants some company.

I・ve got money stashed away, nearin・ a thousand dollars now. Started it when I first joined the X-Men, just in case. Just in case I was abandoned, left on the side of the road and fergotten.

Like now.

I could just hear Ev say, ・Why would you want to leave, J? We love you!・

Riiiight, Mr. Let・s-Stare-At-M-Till-Our-Brains-Ooze-Out.

Come off it Ev, GenX could care less right now. Oh, I・d be missed, probably by you fer a while. And Ange. Ange is a good guy, even though he hates ta admit it. An・ then I・d be fergotten, shelved ta the back of yer minds.

Like *always*.

・Why do you think that?・ he would plead.

Let・s start with the beginning, shall we? It started unravelin・ with *Bastion*. Remember *him*?! The guy who kidnapped me, tortured me, and then extracted information from my head? Oh yeah, *him*.

Did you guys even ask what had happened to me? Did you care? No, no ya didn・t. It was fergotten almost as soon as it happened. An・ I had to put on my happy-go-lucky mask ta please you guys.

A mask, that・s *all* it is. Ya wouldn・t *believe* how mature I can be. But you want to see the mask, ・cause my maturity would scare ya silly.

I know.

It scares *me* at times.

An・ soon after that, I lost my best friend. The girl we thought was Penance, who was really Monet. You guys don・t know how many hours of sleep I lost, sittin・ with her in the forest. My bag was always full of apples fer her, an・ I was always there fer her.

Not that I want M ta be stuck in that body. What do you think I am? Some type o・ monster? I just wish Monet ... well, I wish she had the same attitude Penny use ta have, that・s all.

She *hates* me fer what I did! As if *I* were the one who trapped her in that body. Said I treated her like a dog! Better than how she treats me now, like I・m nothin・. Sad, ain・t it? My closest friend, I thought anyway, hates me.

It *fuckin・ hurts*. And no one even *cares*.

Now it・s Ev・s turn. God, I thought I loved him. He was always so kind ta me. But he managed ta break my heart and then stomp all over it like Juggy kickin・ ass.

And the worst part?

He don・t even know it.

First with Gaia. The girl strapped to the rock fer hundreds of years. I don・t hate her, she didn・t know what she was doin・. How could she? She・d been strapped to a *rock*!

Ev went after her like a dog after a scent. Droolin・ over her like she was prime steak, while I was the liver an・ onions.

I glance down at myself.

No fuckin・ wonder. A piece of wood has more curves than I do. Still, it shouldn・t matter, should it? But it does.

When Gaia split I nearly jumped fer joy. I thought, maybe *now* he・ll see! But he didn・t. Yeah, we went ta the dance. What a load of shit *that* was. Stared at Monet all night, thought his eyes were gonna fall out from not blinkin・ the entire time.

An・ I lost control, blew up an entire buildin・ that night.


An・ when Monet left, when she *kissed* him, he looked like he was in heaven. Hell, I do that he・ll probably die from the shock and horror.

I wipe absently at the tears streamin・ down my face, an・ eye the bottle.

Not yet, still on the roof.

Ya want ta know what made this year a real winner? Rat Boy and his grandpa. Tristan・s only relative had my *parents brutally murdered*. I went after him, o・ course, and threatened ta kill him.

What hurt was that Ev and Paige thought I really *was* gonna kill him. I・ve seen enough death, thanks. Don・t wanna have ta see that bastards ghost every time I close my eyes. No way.

Not only did Tristan・s grandpa do that, Rat Boy *blackmailed* Paige into goin・ out on a date with him. She bloody well accepted! Hmmm, been hanging with Starsmore a little too much.

An・ she・s *still* goin・ out with him! After all of the crap that・s happened! That floored me, simply floored me. He・s manipulative, evil, comes from a bad family, and is a bastard. Don・t know what・s goin・ on in Paige・s head right now, not sure if I want ta know.

Lessee, out o・ this whole group I only trust ...

Jono and Ang. Sounds about right.

The only ones I・ll *miss* when I leave.

That bottle is lookin・ better and better. Damn the roof, I・m gonna get drunk.

Before I can even open it someone calls my name.


It・s Angelo, of all people.


・What・re ya doin・ here?・

・Thought that was my line,・ I said bitterly. ・Thought ya an・ the boys were out.・

He sits beside me and raises a brow at the bottle. I shrug in answer.

・The hombres are still out,・ he answers, leanin・ forward slightly. ・Came back ・cause I knew ya where here alone.・

Suddenly I feel like cryin・. ・Ya came back fer me?・

He shrugs now. ・I know what it・s like,・ Ang says, now studyin・ the stars above us. ・Ya been down for a while, Jubilee. I・ve noticed.・ His gaze shifts ta me. ・Want ta talk about it or get drunk?・

・Talkin・ ・bout it will make it hurt more,・ I argue, hangin・ on ta the bottle like a life-line. I・m *scared*. Scared that I・ll get hurt again, scared that・ll he・ll laugh at me. Jus・ plained scared, an・ I don・t *like* it.

・Si, sometimes. But it helps too. Getting drunk just dulls the pain.・

I don・t answer fer a little bit, thinkin・ about what he said. Gettin・ drunk *does* dull the pain, but only fer a little bit. An・ then ya wake up and somethin・s *died* inside ya. Ya feel a little bit colder.

Talkin・ about what・s wrong might hurt, an・ ya leave yerself open fer a world of hurt, but you・ll wake up feelin・ better.

Suddenly, I feel the cold wind because inside o・ me there・s a little bit more warmth.

・Let・s go put this back,・ I respond, ・・fore Cassidy comes back. An・ thanks Ange.・

・For what?・

・For putting a little warmth back inta my life.・