by Jeanne M.
Usual: Characters? NOT MINE.
Money: NOT BEING MADE. For some reason, the voices (and
readers) keep demanding that I continue with this story
arch. I have no clue why. For the new and clueless, the
stories in this set include "Just Walk Away,"
" .....And Echoed in the Well of Silence....."
and "Goodbye, So Long." With that said, onwards.....
Italics mean thoughts
Unmoving. I think that's what pissing me off the most. The young woman tilts her head to the side, studying the brooding figure before her. And I thought I had sullen tendencies. Shitters, this ain't gonna be fun. "Jono?" Wavering, uncertain. "Lover, are you in here?" Again is the unspoken word hanging in the air. "C'mon, we have a meeting at Frost Enterprises tomorrow morning, let's go to bed." A pause. "You remember, that company that Ms. Frost owns, we're about to get funding for my research in genetics......" Her voice trails off, anger starting to spark in her deep gem eyes. "I'm sure you remember the fact that I just graduated from college and have been helping Hank and Moira, right?" A pause, a small twist of her mouth. "I finished in the top half of my class, first in my field? Evolutionary Genetic Theory.....??" Sarcasm, harsh, biting. Deliberately confrontational. "Hello! Reality to Starsmore, hello planet Depression?" Sigh. She moves lithely over to the stereo system, dropping in a CD and casually hitting the play button. "You don't mind if I use the sound system, do you doll?"
We Belong, We Belong to the light.
"I love Pat Benetar's music. Maybe it has something to do with my mallrat tough grrrl persona, but I love her music. It's out there, ya know? Right in your face, daring you to contradict it. I know it was fashionable for awhile there in the early nineties to bash eighties music, but it's good shit, ya know? I know what you wrote to Paige, and I know it hurt you to say it. But you've been so silent since that night, it's starting to scare me. Don't drift away from me, Jono. I almost left you once because I was blinded by my own pain and couldn't see what was right in front of me. I don't want to lose you now."
Many times I've tried to tell you,
Don't want to leave you really,
"I love you Jono. The
surly attitude, black leather, soulful eyes, caring heart,
the whole works. Someone once described Scott and Jean as
two parts of a whole, well, they got nothing on us. We
aren't the same person, your outwardly sullen gothic
person contrasting against my facade of sparkles and
light. Two embodiments of power seeking solace together.
Maybe we ain't got the heathiest relationship, but who
cares? We belong. We're not some tired cliche, like the
hurricane and it's eye or sugar and spice. More like the
fucking electrical storm and the tsunami. We know pain,
death, power, and heartbreak better than people three
times our age. And still I wake up in the morning to find
you sleeping at my side, and I think I could cry from
We Belong to the light
"Please, Jono, don't push me away over this. We've survived so much together. Shit, Jono, we need each other. There's love, too, of course. But it all started out because we both needed each other. We needed someone who understood, another denizen of hell. Friendship born from need, love peeking out from friendship, now we're engaged. And I love you. I really do. I know full well how dangerous it is to fall in love with someone in this business, but I broke all my vows to the contrary and fell for you. You, Jono. Not Ev, not Angelo, not anyone else. Not the people I was expected to love. I know some of the other old schoolers haven't been too kind about us. Do you think I don't hear them? That we're two self-destructive suicides waiting to happen. That the only thing we have in common is that our souls both belong in Hell by now. I don't care. Fuck them. Well, no, I'd rather fuck you...... ha ha. That was a joke, lover. Ya know, Spark made a funny. Okay, so it wasn't really that funny. Do you remember what they all said when they discoverd that our relationship had moved past platonic love and into a more, um, physical type? I got so many lectures about how we could have blown up everyone.....he he he. It was classic. Damn it, look at me Jonothon! Not into the flames of the fireplace, like you have been for the past three nights. I don't know, all my words just come out jumbled. Look at me, Jono, please."
Maybe it's a sign of weakness
"You did love her. Okay? I know that. Once upon a time, you actually loved the little twit. Is that what this is about? Because you told the bitch to sod off? She hasn't been our Paige for a very long time. You know that. Our Paige died a long time ago. Do you think I don't care? She was my friend! She was light and air and joy all rolled into one. You think I was jealous of M? Well, I was. But Paige had family. She had family and friends and laughter. I wanted so much to be like her. I saw her flashes of pettiness more often than anyone else. I was her roommate, remember? She wanted to be on top, the best, the queen. That naive country girl that was your love and my friend is dead Jono, you said so yourself. Damn it Jonothon! Yell at me, glare at me, do SOMETHING. Yes, I'm deliberately trying to make you angry. For some strange reason it pisses me off that my fiancee has been spiraling down into that familiar depression. C'mon love, I thought we got past this whole angst thing. It's so...... teenage. Yes Jono, that was a joke. Please, lover, don't lock me out."
**Please m'heart, don't do this.**
**Get. Out.** The telepathic outburst sends her reeling backwards. As she picks herself off the carpet, Jubilation Lee's eyes gleam triumphantly and narrow down to slits. Bingo, a reaction. Her fledgling telepathy stirs, uncoils, and sends sparking scouts out on to the astral plane, seeking her target.
**No.** In one realm her eyes close, and on another level she opens them to find herself on a very desolate landscape. **Come out come out wherever you are, lover. Enough is enough.**
We Belong to the light
A young man stood, his back to her, auburn hair floating in a nonexistent breeze. She felt her heart soften for a moment, this was her soul, her heart, her bond, and he was in pain. Then she remembered why she was here, and felt her sympathy ice over. This had gone far enough. **Hullo, pet.**
**I told you to go away. Please luv, can't a guy have some space?** She feels his attempt to inject some humor into his voice, and smiles sweetly.
**I've given you space for two goddamned fucking weeks, "luv." Now, either you start telling me what's sent you into the 'woe is me' phase again, or I am dragging your pouty spirit back into the physical realm kicking and screaming.** Jubilee tilts her head to the side and batts her shimmering eyes innocently. **And you know I'm 'path enough to do it too.**
**Not if I don't want to go.** For the first time, her lover turns to look at her. In the astral plane, Jonothon Evan Starsmore has a face, a body, that he can maintain without the effort it takes him to do so in the physical world. And this face looks like someone just ran over his favorite puppy. **I don't want to hurt ye gel, but if you try and force me, I will put up a fight.**
**Not against me, you won't.** Jubilee looks him dead in the eyes. **I am not playing games with you anymore, this is for keeps.** From her hands, a spinning globe swirls into existence. **See this, lover? Consider it a blending of my paffs and my own odd brand of telepathy. Look. Isn't it kewl?** Intrigued inspite of himself, Jono leans in, and immediately regrets it as the globe suddenly expands outward in a burst of white light..............
............Jubilation Lee speeding across campus on her rollerblades, feeling the wind tearing against her slight form. She leaned in, aerodynamically streamlining herself and picking up momentum. Faster. Faster. Jubilee was in her own world, consisting of nothing but the blaring music, wind, and speed.........**No fair going off into yer own little world, gel**............**Don't leave.** He was taking a deep breath, knowing if he did this, there would be no going back for either of them. **Sparkler, I want you to put those Valium back in the Medlab, and the Vodka back in Sean's office.** And suddenly, the knife was back at his throat..........Jubilee darting foward, grabbing his arm and yanking the sleeve of his coat up. Her face twisting into a cruel smile as she traced the faded thin lines on his wrist with a mocking sensuality. "And you dare to lecture me? Bugger off, Jono. Go play concerned big brother to someone else." Disgusted, she dropped his arm, and started skating backwards. "Leave me alone. Or you'll wish I had let Emplate eat you that day at the airport."......................** Spark, don't leave me. I don't think I can do this without you. ** .............. "Sparkler???? Oh c'mon Jono. Adopting yet another helpless girl? Are you going to give every female on campus some cutesy little nickname? Or do you just have a thing for roomies?" Paige was bristling at him with all the ire she could muster.......... ...."Whatsa matter Guthrie, jealous 'cause I got a hot date with tall dark and leather here?".........."Yeah." Jubilee suddenly seemed quite uncomfortable. "Friends an' stuff.".........
Close your eyes and try to sleep
Jono pulled back, head reeling from the telepathic whammy Jubilee had just hit him with. **Owwww. You don't do anything by halves, do you Spark?** He rubbed his temples, glaring balefully.
Jubilee giggled. **Nah, and you never could resist looking at my new tricks. Sucker.** She reached up to tuck an errant strand of hair behind his ear. **I'm sorry, but it was the only way I could think of to get through to you. Forgive me?**
**I'll think about it.** Jono ruffled her short hair. **I know, I've been......preoccupied.....**
She snorted. **Lover, that ain't the half of it.**
**I saw Paige leave.** Silence. Cold. Her stunned eyes looking up at him.
**What?** Her voice wavers again, uncertainty clouding her swirling eyes.
**I saw her read my letter. I saw her face contort with, I dunno, disgust. She looked right at the security camera, and ripped the note in half. And threw it in the fire. Along with her Generation X communicator. She despises us now, Spark. All of us. She made sure I felt her loathing as she left. Paige thinks we're weak, unworthy of being mutants, because we won't fight fire with fire, we won't kill for our rights.**
She shrugged. **Ouch. Harsh. I care because....?**
**Jubilee!** She feels his shock tingle along her nerve-endings. **She was your friend too!**
**Was.** The steel in her voice is unmistakable. **Remind me to kill her next time Wolvie and I do some black ops in her area.** Little traitor. She couldn't be the queen here, so she left for the dark side. Jono looked at Jubilee, picking up her stray thought.
We Belong to the light
**That's not fair. Paige only wants to make a difference, and she felt that she couldn't do that here.** Jono couldn't meet those shimmering neon eyes looking back at him. The uncanny orbs pulsed and swirled with a brilliant cerulean blue as Jubilee's mouth twisted into a sardonic smile.
**Still defending her.** She shook her head. **Typical, so typical. Everyone was always defending her and making allowances for her behavior. When we were still GenXers, if Ange or Monet or Ev or I ever fucked up, well, that was our fault. We have to take responsibility and the guilt. SHE is under 'too much pressure' or 'she honestly tried'. That doesn't cut it in this world. You're my damned co-leader, Jono. You know the stress involved in trying to bring everyone home in one piece. Screw that, we just try to bring them home alive. You've seen me crying at the table at four am because this just isn't working. Our tactics work on the battlefield, but not in the political arena. We're losing. And Paige always has to come out a winner.**
Jono merely dropped his head. She sighed again, pulling her own leather jacket tighter, feeling the cold-that-isn't-cold of the plane. He looked up at her from under tousled locks. **Can you blame her?**
**What? I can't believe you!** Jubilee's eyes shot off sparks. She threw up her hands, sending off glittering red streamers trailing from her fingers. **I don't get it. I don't fucking get you sometimes!**
He reached out, ensnaring her wrists. **Can you blame her? Honestly? She's fought for this Dream for years, and all it's gained her is hate. Can you blame her for going to Genosha, for trying a different way of making a difference? We don't know what her angle is for sure, but can't you give her the benefit of the doubt?**
**No.** Shocked, Jono took a step back, looking at his fiancee with a stunned expression. Her hands now lay limp at her sides, and huge tears were pooling in the corners of her eyes. **No, I can't. I am responsible for the lives of my family on a daily basis. I am held accountable for the lives of civilians caught in the crossfire between SBPs. I cannot afford to give a girl I used to call my friend the benefit of the doubt, when that doubt is too big. Do you think she's the only one the Dream has failed? Do you?!?! Paige isn't the only one who's lost something. She's made her choice, Jono. And we all have to live with the effects of that choice.** Her hand floated up to brush against his cheek very lightly. **And now you need to make a choice too....** Jonothon watched in horror as she faded from the astral plane, not even leaving behind a trace of her presence.
**Spark??** There was no answering thought. **Sparkler?!?** Nothing. **JUBILEE!!!** He felt the quietness engulf him. Silence traveled along their psi-link, as if there had never been anyone on the other end. She was making him choose: stay out here, or come back to the physical world to see if she was okay. He whirled around, looking for some telltale sign that she had been there at all. **JUBILEE?!?!?** He dropped to his knees, despair contorting the usually handsome features. He couldn't feel her anywhere.
Jono jumped up and spun around. **Sparkler?**
**Spark, this ain't funny**
**C'mon luv, where are ye hiding?** He scanned the dismal terrain.
You made the choice once, now it's time to choose again.
**What are you talking about? Gel, yer starting to scare me.** Jono's eyes flickered across the horizon. There was no direction to the melencholoy echo of his love's voice, she could be anywhere.
**Choose what?!?! Fucking 'ell
girl, what do you want from me??** Silence, total silence.
End Chapter One