Times Change and We With Time: Part 1
Outline – After the Academy shuts down, Jubilee leaves in anger. Using her savings she travels first to Paris and then onto London after a few months. There, in Heathrow Airport, she bumps into Gambit. He’s taking a short break from the X-Men and Jubilee moves in with him.
Disclaimer: Basically all trademarks belong to their respective owners. I do not claim to own any of these characters and I am not making a profit from this. This story could be probably be rate G (General) or PG-13.
Jubilee looked around the chaotic airport. So this was London, one of the trendiest cities in the world. Whoop-dee-doo. Sighing she slung her heavy backpack over her shoulder and began to make her way through the rabbit warren that was Heathrow airport. Lost in her own thoughts she didn’t notice a pair of red eyes watching her intently. Their owner smiled and began to follow Jubilee.
The cool night air greeted Jubilee when she finally reached the outside of the airport. She inhaled it gratefully after breathing regurgitated air for more than an hour. She knew she had to go back inside for transport to the city but she wanted a moment before returning to the stress-pot. Before she could collect her thoughts, however, a hand clamped down on her shoulder. Too tired to think clearly, she reacted on instinct, grabbing the arm she threw it and the attached body over her shoulder then moved to put a foot on her ‘assailants’ chest and found herself looking into the surprised and laughing face of Remy LeBeau.
‘Please, chere, ‘dis move a little too fast fo’ me.’
Jubilee stepped back in shock but put her hand down to help the Cajun to his feet.
He brushed off his trenchcoat and stood laughing down at her.
‘God, sorry Remy. You just got me by surprise. I didn’t hurt you or nothin’?’
‘No, just bruised m’ego a little.’ Gambit drew her hand through his arm, ‘Let’s talk somewhere we don’t have an audience, p’tite.’ At this Jubilee look around to see a startled crowd gathering around the odd pair, she blushed slightly but gave the crowd a look of indifference before meekly letting Remy lead her back into the airport, to a coffee bar. She ordered a cappuccino, he an espresso and they waited in pensive silence. When the coffees arrived, Jubilee finally said in her usual cheerful tone.
‘So Gumbo, what’cha doin’ in England? Thinking of stealing the crown jewels?’ she gave a hollow laugh, and quickly took a sip of the coffee to wet her suddenly dry mouth.
‘I be a little more int’rested in what you’re doin’ in England, p’tite,’ Gambit watched the girl closely, ‘de X-Men…dey been looking for ya girl, tried usin’ Cerebro and
everythin’. Mind tellin’ Remy what ya been up to?’
Jubilee took another sip of her coffee and weighed up her options. She could make
a break for it, but Remy’d probably catch her pretty quickly. Even if she did get away he’d probably contact the X-Men straight away, and then she’d really be in trouble.
She could tell him the truth and swear him to secrecy…or not. Sighing into her coffee she peeked up through her lashes at him. What seemed to be an expression of concern hovered around his face. She decided to test him a little.
‘Oh, y’know. Seeing the world…’ she gave a careless shrug, ‘just wanted to get away for a bit.’
Remy bit his lip. She wasn’t going to make this easy, not for him or her. He didn’t want to scare her away, but she wasn’t going to just break down and confide her woes in him. He tried a different approach.
‘Dat’s not good enough, girl and y’know it. Ever’one’s been worried sick ‘bout you, ‘cluding me so I t’ink you owe me a li’l more than that.’ Gambit looked at Jubilee with a hard expression on his face. ‘C’mon girl, I’m not goin’ t’take any crap from you.’
An angry flush rose in Jubilee’s cheeks, ‘It’s none of your business Cajun what I’ve been doing. I’m not answerable to you for my actions. I’m not the same little smart-mouthed kid that joined the X-Men, I’m old enough to make my own decisions and if you don’t like it you can stuff it.’ She started to rise from her seat but was restrained by an iron-like grip on her wrist. ‘Let go of me,’ she hissed, ‘or I’ll…’
‘You’ll what? Paf me? With plen’y of people around to stop de nasty mutant. You’ll siddown and shuddup.’ Gambit forced her to sit down on her chair and loosened his grip. He put a hand under Jubilee’s chin, tilting it upwards, forcing her to look him in the eyes.
‘Now, p’tite will ya please tell me what happened that you just took off when the Academy closed?’
She sighed and all the fight seemed to drain out of her body. She had known that the X-Men would catch up with her sooner or later, but she would have honestly have preferred later. Still, Remy might understand.
‘Can we go somewhere else, please Remy?’ she looked up into his eyes pleadingly, ‘I’m tired and hungry and I really don’t feel like going into this right now.’
‘Only if I have your word that ya won’t try and run off b’fore we’ve talked about dis.’
‘Right. I’m gonna get tickets for de next train t’London. You can stay wit’ me tonight, and tomorrow mornin’ you’re goin’ to tell me ev’rything. Alright?’
‘Kay.’ Jubilee slumped in her chair and watched as Gambit made his way through the throng. Deep down inside of her a little voice said that she was glad to meet up with one of her old friends, but was summarily squashed and she resumed her brooding. Nothing was really stopping her from making a dash for it now, but if she left Gambit wouldn’t trust her again and she wasn’t going to break her word.
The half-hour train ride had been spent mostly in silence, only broken when Jubilee bought a sandwich off the food trolley. She knew he was watching her but did her best to appear unaware of his scrutiny. She was trying to organise what she would say to him, how she would explain it and, most importantly, how she could prevent him from contacting Wolvie or the others. She was still pondering this dilemma when they arrived in London. They quickly made their way to a taxi rank, and Jubilee noticed that whenever she moved so did Remy. ‘He doesn’t trust me, not really,’ she realised angrily, but angry realisation soon subsided into rueful understanding. ‘I did leave them all without so much as a by-your-leave.’ She sighed. Gambit caught the unhappy sound and looked down quickly.
‘Anythin’ wrong, p’tite?’
‘No, just…you don’t have to, you know, worry ‘bout me running away again. I promised you I wouldn’t.’
‘I know, I really do trust you.’
‘Thanks, Gumbo.’ She could feel him relax slightly next to her as some of the tension left his body.
Remy’s place was swankier than Jubilee had expected. She pursed her lips and let out a whistle.
‘Jubilee speechless…let me savour de moment p’tite.’
Jubilee stuck her tongue out at him and looked around the apartment. One large living room with wide-screen TV, a fully equipped and stocked kitchen (stocked = Sugar Bombs), an elegant dining room and two bedrooms.
‘Have many visitors over, Remy?’ she asked when shown the guest bedroom.
‘Yes, but, uh, sometimes dey prefer my room.’ Gambit replied with a wink. She put up her hands, ‘Woah, stop right there dude. No more details please.’
Gambit smiled down at her, ‘D’accord. Now go to bed p’tite, and when you wake up in the morning I want the full story o’ all your adventures. Okay?’
‘Ok,’ she replied with a small smile. He turned to leave but she caught his hand, ‘Oh and Remy, thanks…for not runnin’ straight to the others. I appreciate it.’
He placed his hand over her smaller one and gave it a squeeze, ‘Can’t promise that
I won’t tell ‘em where you are…’
‘I know but…’
‘‘S okay chere, I understand. Get some sleep now.’
‘Alright, g’night Remy.’
‘Good night Jubilee,’ he dropped a kiss on her forehead, before going to his bedroom. She closed the door of her new bedroom, peeled off her clothes and dropped them in a pile on the floor before clambering into bed and falling into a deep dreamless slumber.
For Remy, however, sleep was a long time coming. He lay on his bed, staring at the ceiling. Finding Jubilee in London had been a shock, realising that she wasn’t the little firecracker he remembered was an even bigger one. He had expected some physical changes, but nothing had prepared him for the girl…no, the young woman he found before him. But besides the superficial changes, such as height and hair length, there were also some changes to her expression, her attitude. Sure she was still full of spunk and had the same smart-mouth, but the expression in her blue eyes contradicted her cheerful façade. Loneliness, anger, confusion, a certain world-weariness…emotions that Gambit was only too familiar with. He doubted if any of the others had picked up on Jubilee’s distress, not that he blamed them. He knew that the X-Men were often so busy saving ‘a world that feared and hated them’, that they forgot to actually be people. He sighed and rolled over onto his stomach. He needed to get some sleep; Jubilee wasn’t likely to appreciate him falling asleep in her cereal over breakfast. Goddamn it, he shouldn’t be the one reaching out to the child…girl…Jubilee anyway. He broke hearts, he did not mend souls. He nearly laughed out loud at his own egoism. He closed his eyes determinedly. Tonight was for sleeping tomorrow he would he deal with the firecracker the X-Men held so dear.
Feedback would be appreciated people, not sure how far I'm going to go with this story so I'd love to hear any criticisms or comments you have to make.