BY : Nemain
Category: X-Men - Animated Series (all) > General
Dragon prints: 5147
Disclaimer: I do not own X-Men Evolution, or any of the characters from it. I make no money from from the writing of this story.


Standard disclaimers apply


A/N Thanks beaucoups to Foxfeather for being a groovy beta,
even if she is on the other side of the Atlantic. ;) And to all who
reviewed/supported/in some way liked this story—I really, really love you. I just thought I was in love before, but
this…this is real…. (*sob*…) Sorry—I’ve been reading Harlequins. I’m going back to writing now…


knuckled sleep out of her eyes, still short of breath from her bizarre
dream. The sun was barely up and she
could hear movement in the hall, Monday already underway. Today I grieve. Images from her sleep state flashed through
her mind—the strange old man from her dream of several nights before had been
sitting on her bed, staring at her, crooning in an unknown tongue. “_Who are you _?” she asked. The man made a quick movement with his
wrists and a snake slithered from his neck, curling around Kitty’s feet. Rather than fear, the girl felt an
overwhelming calm. “_What are you
saying _?” The man smiled and
struck his trident against the ground, making the snake rise up and coil in the
air, flowing into a stream of water that wetted nothing but poured over Kitty
like so much warm air.

the Goddess…she will tell you all you need to know when you are ready. _” The
man did not move his mouth to speak but rather his voice seemed to echo in
Kitty’s mind. Again, he spoke in his
foreign tongue, slowly this time so that Kitty could make out the words. _Om
Namah Shiva… _[1] The dream faded and Kitty woke slowly, alone
in her darkened room.

Now she sat on her bed, staring out
the window and pondering the nature of the dream. _Ask the Goddess? I’m
Jewish—last I checked, God wasn’t a man or a woman.. Just…God. I need more sleep. Or is it less? I don’t know anymore. I
need Kurt. He always is nice to snuggle
with…I shouldn’t even think things like that when I’m mourning. _ Kitty forced herself out of bed and into her
black skirt and top of the day before, raking fingers through her hair but
otherwise ignoring her appearance, much against her habits. The noise from the hall was increasing and
she debated crawling back into bed, but a soft knock on the door stopped
her. “Yes?”

“Are you awake, Schatz?’

“Yeah…” Kurt ‘ported into her room
before she could blink twice.

“Guten Morgen[2],
Katzchen…” Kurt wanted to kiss her, she could tell, but he restrained
himself. Instead, he stepped past her
to sit on her bed, relishing what warmth was left there from her body. “Are you okay?”

“Well as can be expected. Just bone weary, as Rogue would say.” Kitty bit the bullet and sat next to him,
trusting him and herself to mind their hands.
“Aren’t you running late?”

“Nein…I’ve already eaten and all I need to do is
grab my backpack and off to school I go!”

_He must have inhaled breakfast!
_ Kitty smiled weakly and pushed
her hair from her eyes. “Wish you could
stay with me.”

“Me, too, Liebes…wish this wasn’t

“Ditto.” Kitty slouched a little and Kurt bit his lip, desperate to hold
her now. She did not seem to notice his
distress and sighed again, her eyes clouding over in sadness. “Had a weird
dream last night.”

“About what?” Kurt’s voice was a
bare whisper, unwilling as he was to break into her reverie.

“Not sure…that weird man from R…Ruth’s
dream was sitting on my bed. Told me to
talk to the Goddess…he had a snake that turned into water and he was carrying
that pitchfork thingy… It was just

“Grief can make your mind do
strange things, Liebes…” Kurt fiddled
with his holo, suddenly becoming pink-toned and “normal,” startling Kitty a
little. “Sorry…”

“No, I’m sorry. I just got so used to seeing you without
it…” Kitty lost her sad expression and instead looked at her boyfriend
thoughtfully. “You’ve been wearing it
an awful lot lately.”

“We all have masks, Katzchen…” He shrugged, effectively dropping the
subject. Kitty narrowed her eyes at him
but let it go, knowing that Kurt would clam up if she pressed him on the
subject of his holo-dependence. “So you
don’t think the dream meant anything?”

“You just
said…oh, well. I don’t know what it
meant. I’ll think on it and tell you
what I come up with…” Kitty’s eyes
found the bedside alarm and she saw that it was ten till seven. “Sweetie, you gotta book it if you want to
make it to class!”

followed her gaze and started. “Mein
Gott…where did the time go? I came in
to check on you and give you this…” He fumbled in his pocket and came out with
a folded piece of paper. “Here—I
thought maybe it might make you feel better…”
He lurched forward as if to kiss her but pulled back, opting instead for
a tender smile and a mouthed “I love you” before he ‘ported away.

me notes outside of class. Sure. Why not? _ Kitty unfolded the paper to see Kurt’s messy scrawl, illegible to
teachers everywhere but clear as day to she who had memorized every letter,
every note he had ever written to her.
It was a few lines, part of a play, but of searing intensity.

_“But I
do love thee! And when I love thee not,

Chaos is
come again!” _

Othello, Act 3, scene 3…

guess I’ve been paying attention in English class lately. I know you’re hurting and I want so much to
help you but the only way I can really help you is physically…It is hard for me
to show you how much I love you and care for you if I can’t touch you, feel you
and let you feel me. I saw this and it
made me think of you. The only time I’d
ever stop loving you would be in Chaos, when it all goes to Hell. I know this probably doesn’t make you feel
better, but it’s the best I could do from here.




slowly, carefully folded the letter into a tiny square again. Calmly, she stood and phased out of her
room, walked down to the now-empty kitchen, poured a cup of tea from Storm’s
still-warm pot, and sat down at the table.
Staring into the depths of the pale brew, only then did she start to


“Kid, what
you glarin’ at?” Remy had felt Jamie’s
eyes boring into the back of his skull the entire drive to school. Finally, the master thief couldn’t take it
anymore and craned his neck to glare at the younger mutant when he stopped at a
red light.

“You.” Jamie did his best to make his voice tough
but succeeded only in sounding sulky.

“What I do
now?” _Bet dis be ‘bout Jubilee… _

“You know…”

_Yep. I right. _ “Look, if dis be bout our mutual friend, I be tinkin you got de
short end a da stick.”

“Why did
you guys come in all wet yesterday?’

“Fell in de
lake.” Remy accelerated a little
quicker than necessary, inciting a honk from the car he cut off.


“Fell out
de boat.”



weren’t…_Kissing? _” Jamie
leaned forward, snarling in Remy’s ear.

“Now how
you be knowin’ what we be doin’ if you be inside like a good boy?” Remy carefully modulated his tone, trying
not to snap at the kid for spying.

“It’s a
free country. I can take a walk around
the yard if I want to…Besides, if you didn’t want me to spy, you shouldn’t have
taught me.” He flopped back against the
seat and sighed as Remy angled the car into a parking space at the school. “You were never going to give me a chance,
were you?”

“What you
mean?” Remy shoved the gear into park
rather harshly, shifting to face Jamie.

never had a choice!” He slashed the air with his hands, cutting Remy’s words.
“You were just _there _! She
never looked at me when you came!”

“Child, she
did no’ look at you ‘fore I come!” Remy
exhaled roughly. “I sorry, Jamie. Dat come out all wrong.”

“No.” Jamie sniffed and looked away, feeling very
young all of a sudden. “She didn’t, did
she?” After a brief struggle with the
locked door, Jamie succeeded in getting it open and stormed off into the depths
of the school, leaving Remy alone and confused. _I be tinkin’ he got more ‘n a crush on de p’tite _ Feeling
strangely guilty, Remy backed out of the space and headed back to the mansion,
torn between planning something for Jubilee when she got home and finding a way
to make peace with Jamie.


barely noticed when Remy came in. She
was staring at a pattern in the rug, murmuring to herself. He paused, his acute hearing picking up her
words. _Om…wha _? He watched her for several moments before he realized
that she was in her own world, rocking back and forth gently to the rhythm of
the chant she was sending up, slowly growing louder. _Mebbe dis be the result a too much homework…Remy be glad he
homeschoolin _’…With a sigh and shake of his head, the Cajun slipped past
Kitty and missed the shadow that detached itself from the ficus tree.

Lance trod quietly up the stairs,
his bookbag clutched to his chest to prevent it’s rattling. With his lungs bursting from withheld
oxygen, he opened the door to Amara’s room a crack, peering in to see if she
was awake or not. The girl sat on the
edge of her bed, turning something over in her hands. _She likes it, then _ It was the stone, he saw, burning
with earthen fire. “Princess?” he
whispered. She looked sharply at the
door and, seeing who it was, nodded once, returning her gaze to the stone. “What’re you doing?” Lance shut the door
quietly as he passed into the room, mindful of the lock and it’s clicking. “You like it…”

“Very much…” She turned large eyes to him, bright with
something he could not name. “I think
it’s a sign.”


“When you are supposed to know,
you’ll know…” Carefully, she place the
stone on the bedside table and rose to
her feet, her slight stature lost beneath the veneer of imperial splendor she
was affecting. “You’re skipping

Lance shrugged, not sure if she was
pleased or indifferent. “Won’t be the
last time.”

“Hmmm.” Amara circled him, appraising him, he thought. “Have you found her?”

“What? Oh…no. But I’m staying
here now.” _Do you like that? _

“In my room? Or at the
mansion?” Her raised eyebrow dared him
to laugh.

“Not both? The mansion. I talked to Professor Xavier last night. I’m on provisional admission…” Lance ducked his head in embarrassment. “I, uh, joined you guys.”

“Why?” Was it his imagination or did she sound horrified?

“It’ll bring Tabby back…Don’t you
see? She’ll think she’s safe, that I’ve, um, gone soft…or won’t come for her if
I’m here at Freak…er…the Xavier Institute.”

“Ah. A plan…good plan…” Amara nodded sagely and placed one small hand
on his forearm. “So why are you here?”

“Um…” Lance was not sure. He just
knew that he wanted to see Amara today and to do that, it would be easiest to
just skip class. To spend time alone
with her.

“You know they check on me during
the day? They seem to think I want to
kill myself.”

“Oh?” He tried to sound surprised, raising both brows as she returned
to her seat on the bed.

“Yes…” Amara seemed distracted for a moment, rummaging through a small
box on her nightstand. “Lance…”

“Yeah? I mean…yes?” He moved to her, trying not to sound eager
at her tone of voice.

“Did you give this to me?” She dangled the ankle bracelet before his
wide eyes. “It’s quite nice.”

“You like it?” His fingers scrambled for it, snagging it
from her delicate grip. “Want me to put
it on you?” _Please please please _?
His fingers were itching to touch her skin and he felt abstractly
guilty about it. In answer, Amara
leaned back on her elbows and crossed her legs, left over right, and pressed
her left foot against Lance’s chest. He
took this for a positive answer and worked the clasp open, fastening the anklet
around her slender joint. He could not
resist and quickly pressed a kiss to the arch of her foot. Amara’s hand snaked out and slapped him
before he could react. “What the Hell
was that for?” Lance was on his feet, his cheek throbbing.

“I didn’t say you could do that.”

Lance snapped then. Amara rested regally on the bed, her eyes
half-closed and legs still crossed.
“Why is it always about power with you, damn it? What if, God fucking forbid, I want to show
you affection? What if I want to just…I
don’t know…kiss you without biting or scratching for once?” Lance had his hands on his hips, legs apart
and lips pressed into a thin line, awaiting her answer.

Amara rose slowly to her feet and walked,
hips swaying purposefully, across the room to him. _He thinks I don’t know what he did in the hospital, any of
the things he said here or there. I
know so much…I just don’t know how to let him love me. Or how to love him back—love means you’re weak.
_ “Do not speak harshly to me,
Lance. I don’t like it.”

“You don’t like it?” His voice was
a growl, sending a jolt of feeling through Amara’s numb soul. “I don’t give a fuck, Amara. You know that? I don’t give a fuck!”

“Oh, I think you do…” Amara dropped her hand to squeeze that which
made him male and Lance jumped. He had
not been aroused before but he was quickly becoming so, the longer her hand
rested on his groin.

“Stop it!” He stepped away, pushing her hand back. “You’re not well enough…”

“How do you know? It’s my body…I
know when I’m well enough!” Her tone
was petulant, as was her expression.

Lance made a decision then and
there. _If I want anything to happen
with her, anything that’s going to last any length of time, I had better lay it
out for her now. _ “You’re not the only one in this, Princess. I’m here, too.” He meant for the words to sound hard, authoritative. Instead, they came out soft and pleading,
making his ears ache with his own weakness.
Amara’s eyes widened and he was sure tears were welling, but she turned
away and went to the bed, fingering the sash hung there. “Did you hear me?”

“You think I’m sick, don’t
you?” She murmured the words but they
were loud as a shot to Lance’s ears.

“You’ve been really hurt, baby, and
you’re not in a good place in the head…”

“No, you think I’m sick because I
like…it...rough.” Even from across the
room, he could see the red coloring her skin.

_The Hell? _ “Um, what?”

“You don’t want to have sex with me
now because you think all the slapping and pinching and all that is…sick. Or gross.
Or whatever.” She turned then,
facing him but not meeting his eyes. “I
think I can understand that.”

Laughter burbled in his chest and
an unaccustomed wave of tenderness washed through him. He had the need, the driven urge, to care
for Amara, to make her safe, things he never felt with Kitty. Kitty was too delicate for him. She would let him care for her while Amara
would not. This was somewhat of an intriguing
paradox for Lance’s subconscious, this silent desire making him cross to her
and cup her chin and force her to look him in the eye. “I don’t think it’s sick. Believe it or not, I care about your
welfare. Damn it.”

“Huh?” The inelegant phrase dropped
from Amara’s lips before she could stop herself.

“I said…I care about you. Damn
it.” Lance felt embarrassed now. _Great.
Fucked that up big time. _
He pulled away, half-expecting Amara to slap him. Instead, she sat
heavily on the bed and stared up at him.

“You cared for Kitty, too.”

“Nuh-uh. I lusted for her.” He
took a half-step towards her and paused, waiting to see if she would let him
come closer.

“What’s the difference to you?”

_What? _ ”Um… it’s like
this. Kitty, I just wanted to
fuck. You, I want to be with. You know, talk…just sort of …hang out?” It had been a very long time since Lance had
felt like a schoolboy about anything and the feeling was a bit unpleasant.

“Ah.” Amara looked down at her lap then, shoulders hunching
inward. Lance sighed, sure he had lost
his case. “Are you really staying?”

“Huh? Oh, yeah!” He was about
to leave when her question stopped him. Now it was all he could do to keep the
grin off his face.

“Oh.” She laid down in bed then, rolling onto her side away from
him. “Lay down?”

“Sure, sure…” Lance tried to stay
calm but found his hands shaking as he pulled his shoes off and slid his belt
off. Amara’s shoulders twitched at the
sound of leather passing through fabric, making Lance slow down. _Okay, be a man. No sex.
Have to—ugh—cuddle or whatever they call it. Spooning? Snuggle? Erk. _
Carefully, he lay down on the
empty side of the bed, back to Amara.
They lay like that for several moments, each still as if movement would
make them sink into the mattress to be lost forever. Lance nearly jumped from his skin when her small hand lit briefly
on his shoulder.

“Turn around.” Her tone was soft but firm. Lance shifted his lanky frame, the delicate
bed frame seeming as if it would break under his size. Amara’s eyes were open wide but Lance had
the impression she was shuttered off.
Her hand stole back up to his shoulder and rested their for a moment
before skimming to his neck. “You

“Um, yeah…” He tipped his chin slightly to accommodate
her exploring fingers.

“It just seems strange to think of
you shaving.” An image of Lance,
wrapped in a towel and peering into a steam-fogged mirror while his face was
covered in foam popped into Amara’s brain, making her sigh at the domesticity
of it all.

“Well, don’t.”

“Why not?” Her fingers lingered on his check, where the
stubble gave way to smooth skin under his eye.
Lance did not have an answer so he sighed and let her continue her exploration. He closed his eyes as her fingers fluttered over
his nose and to his eyebrows. The whole
experience was at once unnerving and incredibly erotic to him, this sensation
of being explored, being discovered.
Amara’s fingers came back to rest on his chin again and he opened his
eyes. “You’re beautiful.”


“You. You’re beautiful.” He did
not know what to say. Stupidly, he felt
like giggling or crying, he was not sure which. Amara narrowed her eyes at him and the first glint of humor he
had ever seen on her face dashed across her eyes. Leaning forward, she dropped a small kiss on the tip of his nose
and murmured “You’re beautiful, so I think I’ll keep you.”




A/N Kind of a nothing chapter,
huh? Gonna be a long story,
folks…settle in for the ride…


[1] Literally,
“I bow to Shiva,” this is a mantra used mostly in Tantric worship to center and
release the self into higher pursuits.

[2] Good
morning.(courtesy of Foxfeather!)

[3] First Scott
and his note to Jean, now this…I think it’s a popular method of pitching woo at
the mansion…

[4] The shaving
convo is inspired by The Changeover.
Good book, that. By Margaret

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