Man! challenge in a can Man!





Feeling Blurred

Wathing the door click behind Rogue and Jubilee, Kitty plops down on the pile composed of clothes she tried on and flung around. She settles in her make-shift rat's nest and lets the beats from the radio rattle through her chest. She'd watched Jubes out of the corner of her eye earlier, hard to not notice when your roommate flashes something that sparkles that blatantly right under a 100 watt bulb. Tried not to stare, to appear to take any note of the goings on across the room. She knows Jubilee by now, knows how she has these 'moments', tiny breaks with reality. But Kitty doesn't judge that, doesn't mention it to anyone or even feel anything about it besides guilt. 'Cause she knows what Jubes' deal is, what sets her off every once in a while.

Kitty thinks now and then, when she sees that haunted, lonely, bottomless look in John or Jubilee's eyes, that she can always pick up the phone, just dial a few numbers, and even if she doesn't get anyone on the line, she can leave a message, hear a familiar voice, touch a little of that grounding place. Yeah, she might get a lecture from her dad about aliens controlling the Senate or maybe her Baba chattering at her in Yiddish, a language she knows about five words of, but at least there's a lot of familiarity in that. The same as it ever was, even though she's a thousand miles away. She has a family.

From her vantage point catty-corner from it, she looks harder at the picture. Notices that it looks weird and realizes that it's not in focus, and she laughs to herself, two short bursts of breathe. So Jubilee to pick the one bad picture out of the bunch, to pick the reject and leave the better ones for everyone else. Flicks her eyes over each of the people in the frame, face after face, and mentally clicks over which of them are Known. Always coming back to that recently. Around and again when she's alone like this. Listing it in her mind, burning it deeper and deeper into her mental landscape.

Because even though she's not alone in the world, she has her own issues. Has her thing that she can't get over or move past. She's on the List. Jean is too, and the Professor as well. On the Big, Bad, List of Doom. Saw it herself on the web. Can't stop herself from checking on those lurid, hate sites. She just has to compulsively read and digest what the Others have to say about her, about her friends, about people who choose not to hate them all. That's where she saw it. Just clicked on an icon and the names rolled down the screen. She printed it and erased the site from the browser memory. Went through and deleted all the cookies and browser history for the week, just in case. Didn't want to leave that for anyone else to stumble on.

The sheet is crumpled and stained now. She checks off the people one by one as they come to the school. The ones who do come. The ones who're still alive. She marks out the ones she sees obituaries for with a purple marker. Decided red was too obvious. Knows he doesn't come close to getting them all. It lives in her tissue box, buried under the tissues, right up against the cardboard. She knows no one will find it there. No one ever cries in front of other people here; no one will ever ask her for a Kleenex. Especially not Jubilee. Jubes always cries alone, Kitty figures that anyway, because it's what she does.

Kitty Pryde. Lonely. Tissues.

Man! challenge in a can Man!