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 millions of times over to the goddess Foxfeather
(who is probably not a little tired of me calling her that by now!) for reading
this stuff and helping me out so much!
Also, to everyone who reviewed this and followed the poor orphaned
stories around until I found a home for them, big, wet, sloppy kisses and a
morning after cup of coffee for all of you.
Special thanks also to InterNutter and T.C. for archiving—I’m still
really sorry for flooding y’all. Since is going all wonky on authors, look for my stuff on their sites. Email for updates if you would prefer them
that way…



Toad had
all but begged Lance to come by the boardinghouse after school, despite Lance’s
snarled comment that he was going to do so anyway. The short, amphibious boy was jittering with excitement the
entire walk back to the dilapidated dwelling, making Lance want to smack him
upside the head. “Fucking Hell! Calm down before I squash you, Toad!” Lance
finally bellowed when they reached the mailbox before his now-former home.

“Sorry, man…” He flashed the lanky youth a grin. “Just that I think you’re gonna be real
happy this afternoon…” Todd leapt
ahead, not caring if any neighbors saw his inhuman feat, his feet thudding
heavily on the porch before he shouldered the door open and disappeared inside.

The only
way I’m gonna be happy this afternoon is if Amara is waiting for me in bed
wearing nothing but a leather collar…
Lance pushed his bangs out of his face and trudged up the walk to the
house, regretting not getting a ride to the mansion with Scott, regretting what
he was sure would be a futile trip to the boardinghouse to turn up another dead
end on Tabitha’s whereabouts. As he
neared the door, a rather sizeable hole in the front yard drew his eye. Lance paused mid step, turning almost
comically on one foot. “Fuck me!” he
hissed, bolting to the door.
“Tabitha!” His bellow rang
through the house, practically rattling the windows in their frames. He slung his bag down with a savage motion,
sending its contents spilling across the living room floor.

me!” came the muffled cry from the vicinity of the hall bathroom. There were several thuds and sou sound of a
small explosion, telling Lance just where to find the girl. Toad had his tongue wrapped around her
ankles and was sitting on her back, neatly pinning Tabitha in the tub. She was wrapped in a towel, her
blonde-with-black-roots hair plastered to her head. A glob of green goo dripping from her chin showed that Toad had
stunned her first, grossing her out with his projectile capabilities.

Lance growled, slamming his hands against the doorframe. Tabitha’s eyes grew wide and she redoubled
her struggles against Toad, nearly unseating the boy.

Lance moved
quickly, crossing the room and reaching into the tub before the struggling girl
made much headway. Toad tumbled out of
the way as Lance dragged the girl to her feet, mindless of the towel that fell
to the ground. “Fucking bitch!” he
spat, dragging her against his chest.

She made her
eyes wide, striving for innocence.
“Hey, baby…Been back long?”

released her ankles and made a disgusted noise. “Dumb…”

“Shut up,
freak!” she snarled, striking out at the small mutant with one foot.

Lance used
her unbalance to swing her off her feet, slinging her over his shoulder in one
swift movement. “C’mon, Toad.” He was not sure what he wanted the other boy
along for, just that he might be useful.
“Where’s Pietro?” he asked over Tabitha’s screams, tighte his his grip
when she pitched her weight to one side.
“Get yer naked ass out of my face!”

go!” She landed a hard kick in his ribs
and he stumbled, regaining his footing just as he heard a faint popping noise,
barely audible to human ears.

“Shit!” He
flung her off his shoulder, landing her on the floor against Blob’s bedroom
door. A handful of blowing balls rolled
across the floor towards him and Toad, making both boys dance away in panicked
fear. Tabitha hissed and rolled to her
feet, her nudity forgotten.

“Drop dead,
Lance! Why aren’t you at the Freak
Shack with your slut?” her own fear was
evident in her voice—she knew Lance would not let her off easy. Her eyes narrowed and both boys knew what
was coming. Lance, in some new sense of
protectiveness, stepped in front of the mutant he had always secretly seen as
almost a brother—annoying, underfoot, but a good whe when you get down to it,
is how he rationalized the situation.
The charges went off, throwing them all asunder. Tabitha bore the brunt of the blast, flying
back through Blob’s door and landing in a pile of splintered wood and
plaster. Lance was conscious only of a
ringing in his ears and blackness, Todd’s body a small, slightly damp heap
against his back where they landed several feet away.

struggled to sit upright, coughing up bits of plaster and dust and something he
was almost certain was a tooth.
“Pietro…” he finally managed, “is in detention.”

Lance bit
back a bark of laughter at this sudden incongruous statement. “Good to know.” He rolled to his hands and knees, feeling his head spin from the
effects of the blasts. A moan from the direction of Blob’s room drew their
attention and Lance surged forward, still quadrepedal, towards Tabitha. “Stay where you are…” he muttered. He heard Todd shift in the plaster and wood
behind him but paid no attention to the other mutant, so focused was he on the
prone blonde across the hall.

“Dude, I
think she’s out…”

care…” Lance pulled himself to his
feet, using the remains of the doorframe for support. “I can take her like this…”

her?” Todd was on his feet now, rubbing
his head. “Take her where?”

worry about it…just keep Pietro offbackback!”
Lance had taken the rather dirty top sheet from Blob’s bed and was
wrapping Tabitha in it, the girl just beginning to come to and struggle.

in this with ya, man. She’s gotten me
pissed off one too many times to let you have all the fun!” Todd’s eyes lit with a wicked gleam as he
crouched by the door.

paused in his wrapping and eyed Todd narrowly.
“This isn’t for me…”

what…” It all snapped into place
then. “Amara?” The late night excursions over the past
month or so, the muffled sounds of carnal activity coming from Lance’s room
some nights, making Toad lonely and jealous all at once, the fight in the front yard…”Amara?” he

growled again and tightened the knot in the sheets. Tabitha was muffled by the fabric but he knew he had to move
fast—she would draw attention on the way to the mansion. “None of your business.”

Toad rose
to his normal stooped state and followed Lance and the bound Boom Boom down the
battered stairs. “Lance…c’mon,
man! I’ll be cool with it!”

sighed and rubbed his hand over his mouth, pausing near the front door to
readjust his captive’s weight on his shoulder.
“This is private, man…”

see.” His sadness carried through his
voice. Always left out…a freak among

Taking a
deep breath, e ble blurted out, “Fine. Come with. Just remember, stay out of her way!” Somehow, Toad knew that the “her” Lance referred to was not


Kurt had
not stopped shaking since he realized Kitty was missing. “Ich glaube ich sterbe,”[1]
he murmured over and over to Jubilee, who had become a sort of human security blanket
to him. After ‘porting into Remy’s room
in his desperate search for Kitty, Kurt had seized Jubilee and not let go. Not eScotScott could pry him free.

sweetie, I have to pee. You’re gonna
have to let go for a minute!” Jubilee finally said, exasperated.

Schatz…where is she?” Kurt wailed. He pressed his face against Jubilee’s
shoulded thd the Asian girl sighed, resigning herself to a painful bladder for
a little while longer.

“Homme, I
sure she be real near by.” Inwardly,
Remy was doubtful of his words. He had
a strong inkling that Kitty was very, very far away, or would be soon. “Let p’tite go to de bat’room, eh? You kin hol’ on to dis pillow…” Remy gently disengaged Jubilee’s arm from
Kurt’s deathgrip and slid a velveteen pillow in it’s place. “Go on, chere…fore he notices…”

dropped the pillow almost immediately and commenced rocking back and
forth. The other mutants were breaking
into teams, dividing the town among themselves. Aside from Kurt, Scott seemed the most worried, his group
mobilizing almost as soon as it was formed, taking the outskirts of town and
the bus station, on the off chance Kitty left that way. “Remy…she’s in trouble. She’s in trouble and I can’t help her!” Kurt
cried, unashamed of his tears.

Remy sat
down carefully on the couch near him, just out of arm’s reach. “Kurt, mon ami, I have not words dat be good
‘nough to hep you right now, mais I tink dat mebbe I can unnerstan’ you you be
feelin’…” Remy could only imagine the
enormous pain and emptiness he would feel if a certain firecracker of a girl
were suddenly taken from him. “Mebbe,
mebbe Kitty jus’ go on for some alone time?
Mebbe she need space, eh?” Even
to the speaker the words sounded unconvincing.

Kurt shook his head resolutely. “Kitty
would never do something like that. She
said she’d see me in class—she never breaks a promise to me! Never!”
The word “promise” made Kurt’s eyes widen. I made a promise to Logan and the Professor…What if Kitty
found out? “Mein Gott…I think I may
have an idea where Kitty is!” He was on
his feet and halfway to the door before Remy could stop him. “Let me go!
I need to talk to the Professor!”

what? Slow down!” Remy was being dragged
along by the slight youth, albeit willingly.

think she went to find…something! Someone…”
Kurt slowed as he reached the study door, behind which the Professor had
sequestered himself after the meeting with the students. “Herr Professor! Open up!” he cried, pounding on the door.

“Calm down,
mon ami…calm down…” Remy said
futilely. Kurt gave him a dirty look
before the door was opened by unseen means from the inside.

“Kurt?” Professor Xavier looked gray and strained,
weaker than anyone had ever seen him.
Kitty being missing was striking him like a physical blow, making him
feel inadequate and out of control, feelings that he was not used to by

“I think I
know where Kitty might be…” One look at
Remy told both men that he would not leave the room for this discussion. “Remember what you and Logan told me?”

“Yes…” The Professor peered at the blue mutant and
narrowed his eyes. Kurt nodded and
closed his eyes, telling the Professor silently that he could look in his
thoughts, see what he meant, without divulging secrsecret to Remy. “You think she went…?” the Professor finally
asked. “Hmmm. The thought occurred to me, as well. The only problem with this theory is that she had no way to get
anywhere. She would hardly go on foot,
would she?”

deflated visibly, his one ray of hope, a trail to follow, was gone now. “Ja…I suppose…”

gonna tell Remy what you on about?” the Cajun groused.

don’t you have a group to man? Take Jub and and Jamie, go join up with Scott to
search the outskirts.” Professor
Xavier’s tone brooked no argument and Remy obeyed, still scowling as the door
swung shut behind him. “Kurt,” the man
said after several moments of pained silence, “I feel that you should know and
that some part of you already knows that Mystique is probably behind Kitty’s
disappearance.” Kurt groaned long and
low, sinking to his knees. “It’s not
hopeless, Kurt…” The Professor damned himself for a potential liar then.

“How can
you say that? Just because she is my
mother doesn’t mean she’ll spare my girlfriend from whatever plan she and
Magneto have cooked up!” Kurt was
lashing his tail, his teeth bared in angry frustration.

“Listen to
me, Kurt. Listen to me well. I found evidence of mutant activity in the
Chicago area and I have good reason to believe that this is Ruth. If Mystique is involved in Kitty’s
disappearance, I am sure that she is taking Kitty to wherever she has Ruth
hidden…” He did not add that, if Magneto were involved, this could be more dangerous
than any of them dared to realize. A
silent signal brought Beast to the study and, several minutes and a mild
relaxant, Kurt was led dizzily from the room, the effects of the painkiller
heavily affecting him where, on others, it would have produced nothing worse
than a mild buzz. The Professor rubbed
his temples again, wishing he could howl to the moon in frustration. He had not told Kurt the most disturbing
thing about this incident, that he had learned Magneto liberated a cache of
Zyklon B, that Cerebro had shown him a rather strong, dangerous mutant at work…How
does Kitty fit into all of this?


dreamt vividly. The snake-haired man
came to her, minus his trident and snake but still dirty, hair matted. He smiled kindly at her and held out his
hands. “See, child?” he asked, “I am harmless.”

“Who are

“Did you
ask the goddess?” He sank into a lotus
position and Kitty joined him. They
were in a damp cave but instead of being chilly, like most caves were wont to
be, it was warm and womb-like.

“I asked
Storm…she gave me a bunch of books…Are you, um…I feel so silly…” Dream-Kitty sighed. “Are you Shiva?”

The man’s
face creased in a delighted smile and he clapped his ha “G “Good, good! You’re right! Do you know
why I’m here?”

Kitty felt
herself frown in her dream. “I think
you’re a Jungian archetype produced by my subconscious in response to stressful
events in my life of late and you serve the purpose of comfort.”[2]

The man’s
laugh rang against the cave walls. “A
Jungian archetype? That’s a new one on
me! I’ve been called many things, but
never that!” He sobered a little then
and assessed Kitty with a practiced eye.
“You are strong, yes? You are
loved. You need help, though. You need someone to…” he gestured vaguely
then, “to cut a path through the evil for you.”

“I thought
Kali was the doyeroyer…” Kitty mumbled.

yes…she is. I don’t think you need her,
not just yet, at any rate…”

“What do
you mean, then?” Kitty felt
consciousness tugging at her forebrain and strove to fight it off, falling more
interested in Shiva’s words.

“Seek me
within, child…you will know when.” The
man faded and Kitty snapped awake.
Yellow eyes peered into her own and for a brief, joyful moment she
thought she was looking at Kurt. A
shift in the light showed her another face, though. “Mystique!”

‘Be quiet,
child. I will slap the taste from your
mouth if you speak to me again.” Kitty
flinched at the woman’s words but did not respond verbally. “If you try to phase, you will be
restrained.” The woman tapped her neck,
indicating the methods which would be employed. Mystique vanished from her line of sight and Kitty heard rustling
noises, followed by a metallic scraping.
Several minutes passed before Kitty realized that she was alone.

She shifted
slightly, taking in her surroundings.
Metal floor, metal walls, metal door…all made with Magneto in mind, she
guessed. Or for easy clean up, like
a morgue… The thought made her shudder.
I want Kurt…With a silent, shaking sob, Kitty curled into a ball
and wept.

[1] I think I’m
dying (thanks, Foxfeather!)

[2] Sorry. Couldn’t resist Kitty beingo pso psychology…

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