"Mom, mom, we’re okay! Just calm—Mom. I mean it, Ma, I’m—yes, the Professor’s still looking out for us. He’s been letting—Mom!”
Jubilee held the phone six inches away from her ear, covering the receiver to hide her exasperated huff. She’d contacted her parents a few times since they’d fled to Muir Island, just to let them know where she was if she couldn’t call. She’d given them the bare-bones of the story, explaining that Bayville’s anti-mutant coalition had gotten kind of rowdy since that awful massacre had broken the news weeks ago, and that the Professor’s friend in Scotland had offered to put them up for awhile until things died down. Creative editing had cut the battle and the damage to the Institute, and the running-for-their-lives, and that they’d been essentially refugees with nothing but the clothes they’d been wearing to their names.
The morning news, however, had filled in Mr. and Mrs. Lee on those insignificant little details.
"You wanna what? What’re you doing in the Virgin Islan—don’t book me a flight, I’m not gonna—you can’t yank me back home again, I practically just got here! Mom—Mom, willya shut up for, like, three seconds and just listen to me?” she shouted into her cell, falling heavily against the back of her desk chair, a headache beginning to throb behind her eyes. The silence on the other end of the phone stretched out for a few long seconds, and Jubilee took a deep breath and dove back in.
"Yeah," she sighed, as if she were explaining things to a kindergartener. "Those guys were tryin’a kill us. But we’re all fine. Our powers kind of took care of that. Did a number on the Institute, though. I wanna be here to help put things back together.” She rubbed her eyes, listening as her mother went off again. She knew her parents wanted her safe, and now that they knew safety had never really been in the cards to begin with, they were gonna freak ‘til kingdom come. If she was gonna be in danger from these anti-mutant D-bags, they’d rather have her somewhere they could try to protect her from them. But…she wasn’t a kid anymore. She’d done a good job of protecting herself and her friends when things shot down to the wire, and she’d do it again every day if she had to. Her family loved her, and they worried, but…the Institute was her family now, too, and Jubilee would rather have to fight every day for the rest of her life than abandon them when there was still some good she could do to help out. Besides…her parents would be safer without her. If they took heat for having a mutant kid, maybe Jubilee could beg them to pass it off as their sending her away for being a freak.
"I know. I’m sorry I won’t be with you guys for Christmas…Yeah. Makes me a kinda sad, too. ‘S not the same without Dad and his reindeer headband knocking around….I’ll be making your gingernsap recipe, though!…Mmm-hmmm, one of the younger kids likes baking a lot, too, so I figured I’d teach her an’ we could decorate ‘em an’ stuff…." She smiled a little, sadness tinting the corners of her eyes. "I miss you, too, Mom. A lot. I promise I’ll come home an’ visit soon, when we’re done rebuilding….yeah. There’s just…more I can do out here for now. I wanna help. I’ve got—I dunno, I feel like I’m doing something with my life at the Institute. Not just sitting around like a bum or being a delinquent shooting up sparkles and disturbing the peace.”
Jubes instantly regretted her choice of words and her heart sank lower at the weary downturn in her mother’s voice. “I understand….Uh-huh….But, this is where I need to be right now, Mom. I wish it was closer to home, but….yeah. They need all the hands we’ve got to put Humpty Dumpty together again.” She nodded and bit her lip, forgetting for a second that the other end of the conversation was at the other end of the country. “Miss you lots, and Dad….Give him a hug for me?….Okay. I will….Yeah.” Jubilee smiled a little; as much as she wanted to stay in New York, sometimes she’d have given her right arm to hug her parents.
"I love you, too, Mom. Talk to you tomorrow?….Alright. ‘Bye."