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.

Scott bolted awake at the first howl, but Jean held him in place. He blinked behind his lenses, staring at the red head with a mixture of confusion, startlement and sudden affection understanding. "Kurt," they both said together. The first howl died out and the second began, cut short in a manner that let all who heard know that Kurt had be silenced by an outside force and not of his own volition. "Logan," the couple sighed.
"C'mon...let's go see what's up..." Scott made to roll away but Jean stopped him with a gentle squeeze.
"We don't have to go anywhere..." She tapped her forehead and a slightly glazed look came over her eyes. After a moment, she said, "Well, Kurt's freaking out. Logan's pissed-exact words were 'The fucking Elf bit me!'."
Scott stared at his girlfriend, mildly surprised at her casual swearing, before the statement sank in. He chuckled then, then laughed at his chuckling. "He bit him? Kurt bit Logan?"
"Apparently..." Jean sighed and patted him on the arm. "Up and at ' rest for the wicked or mutants...Kitty's still missing and now Kurt's gone bananas..." Jean slid out from under Scott's arm, careful not to dislodge his glasses, and stretched as she stood, coming up on her toes and throwing her head back in luxurious yawn.
"Keep doing that and even I'll put Kitty to the side for a minute," he muttered, not caring if she heard him or not. A bunny slipper rose from it's resting place on the floor and whacked him soundly on the shoulder- Yep. She heard me.
"I can't tell quite what's set him off, but I know that Kurt's...jumbled." Jean shook her head, following Scott out the door. "I usually can't get anything off of him, aside from what he lets me 'see,' but just then, I got a lot and blue and black. Like yarn all balled up together."[1]
Scott paused on the stairs, the sound of running mutants below filtering to muttered conversations and slamming doors. "Yarn?"
"Teep thing..." Jean shrugged, urging him onward. Rogue cut across their path, making them both stop short to avoid being plowed down. "Excuse much...rude or anything?"[2] Scott merely snorted and was about to soldier forth towards the sound of adult voices when Jean laid a quelling hand on his arm. "No need...I'll check." Scott jittered in nervousness, torn between freaking out about Kitty and wanting to dash off after Kurt. Jean swayed slightly before him, her hand going to her temple as if that alone could stave off a headache, and Scott reached out to grab her a second too late. She seavieavily on the floor and blinked rapidly, shaking herself from the trance she had put herself into. After a moment, she said harshly, "Gotta remember not to do that so strength is telekinetics, not telepathy..."
Unable to contain himself, Scott blurted "Well?"
"A lot of sadness, confusion...few clear thoughts. I just know that Kurt is still on the grounds. I picked up from Logan that Astrid was coming back soon and Kurt would never disappear when he knew mothmother would be here. She'd kill him if he disappeared..." Jean, for that matter the other mutants aside from Kitty and, obviously, Kurt, had not seen much of Astrid on her last visit outside of polite asides in the hall or stilted conversations about the school or life in general. What little they had seen of Kurt's mother, however, was tempered with an impression of inner strength and a temper that she would turn on anyone who hurt her or a loved one.
"So where do we look?" Scott helped Jean to her feet, letting his hand linger a moment too long on her hip. She blushed, he noticed, and made an instant plan to do that again soon and with considerably fewer fabric barriers between his hand and her hip, preferably after Kitty was found safe and healthy.
"I'm not sure we should."
"What do you mean?"
"I mean, Kurt wants to be alone. He needs to be alone. He doesn't know how to handle all of this...Hell, none of us do. But it's hitting Kurt harder than anyone, even you, Scott." Jean closed her eyes briefly and bit her lip, considering something, then speaking softly. "He thinks...he thinks that if Kitty isn't found, or if she's...the worst...then he doesn't want to live, either. He thinks that he will put himself out of his misery if she is gone."
"Kurt?" Scott felt like the floor rolled under his feet. "Kurt would never do something like that..."
"Oh, come on Scott! You know as well as anyone that there's not a 'type' to commit suicide. I mean, most of us here have considered it, haven't we?" Jean turned her face away in shame, a distant memory of a night when the voices in her head got to be too much, when the bottle of painkillers seconded from Beast's lab taunted her from the nightstand, next to the glass of tepid water. She had been so close, she knew. She had been so close as had so many others at the Institute, their mutations, their lives, becoming too much for them at one time or another.
"But...Kurt!" He'd never do something like kill himself...Hell, he gets woozy when he cuts his finger... However, he could understand the sentiment behind the thought. The idea of losing Jean, not to someone else but to Death itself, made him feel empty, like his soul would be torn from him if such a thing were to happen. What's the point of living without a soul, huh?
Jean eyed him strangely then and her mouth parted in something akin to shock. "Scott..."
"What?" Fuck it. She caught that. Who says she's not a strong teep? I'll have to kick their ass later...
"I guess...nothing. Nothing for now..." In actuality, the strong wave of emotion that had rolled off of Scott had nearly made Jean fall to the floor again. If I ever needed proof he loves me...
"So do we look for Kurt or what? I mean," he sighed and pushed his hair from his face, "we can't look for Kitty..."
"Yeah. Let's look for Kurt." Jean took his hand then, ignoring the slight start that produced, and led him out the front door, following the voices already raised in disharmonious chorus, searching for the blue mutant.

Kurt heard them all but just did not care. He had ported blind, something he hated to do and swore each time that he would never do again, and ended up on top of the boathouse. It had taken him a moment to ascertain his location, immediately thankful despite his rage that he had not put himself into a mountain or the lake. Lacking his usual grace, Kurt tumbled down the roof in his hurry to move and landed in a crouch beneath the large window that faced the lake. He set off at a dead run into the woods, one thought playing over and over- Kitty needs me and I can't help her. If I had told her the secret, would she be in trouble? To his right, Kurt heard the sound of someone hinghing in underbrush and there came the sound of a canine growl and bark, indicating Rahne. Where there's one, there's more... He quickly diverted himself and ducked into the thick scrub on the leeward side of the lake, the muddy ground squishing beneath his slight weight and feeling quite disgusting in his fur. When he had judged himself sufficiently far from his searchers, Kurt slowed to a walk and found a low-hanging branch to a pine tree. Effortlessly, he swung himself up and was soon ten feet off the ground, reaching the last branch he could climb safely. Beneath him, there was only darkness and the noise of a few night birds taking exception to the intruder. Not far away, Kurt heard his name called with varying levels of desperation, ranging from Bobby's jovial but plaintive "Hey, Kurt! C'mon out, man!" to Rahne's angry "Kurt, you daft git! Where are ye?" Jean's voice joined the din along with Scott's, both of them sounding slightly more concerned than the others. They'll calm down in a minute...the others did. Kurt curled his tail around his legs, drawing into a ball and pressing his forehead against his knees. Katzchen, I need you so badly. Do you need me? I want to find you, I want to kill whoever is doing this...I know it's has to be. Can you forgive me for not telling you sooner that they had Ruth? Did they take you or did you go willingly?
"She's fine, you know. Scared, but fine." The voice was calm and soothing, but nonetheless, Kurt started, nearly losing his perch on the branch.
"Who...?" His heart was racing as he stared at the man-he was bedraggled, ancient and young at once, carrying a staff and snake.
"I am Shiva." The man/god held out a hand and Kurt noticed then that the other was levitating,
"Great-I'm getting Kitty's hallucinations now!" Kurt pressed his palms over his eyes for almost an entire minute. "Oh." When he looked again, the man was still there, now examining his nails in boredom.
"I'm no hallucination. Your girlfriend is quite reluctant to call on me, so maybe you can help her."
"Ja! I very much want to help her! I just can't fucking find her!" Kurt quickly lost the idea that this was a bizarre situation and leaned forward readily, desperate to hear anything from anyone that could possibly help Kitty.
"I am not just Shiva, you know...I am all and none, perfection and chaos...If you call on me, I can destroy that which hinders the good..."
"Was?'re God?" Years of catechism, learned under circus tents and in the back of cold churches was being pushed around in Kurt's brain, rattling like old bones.
"Well, to simplify, you could call me that. Really," now Shiva leaned forward conspiratorially, "I'm a part of you. And her. And anyone who calls on me."
Kurt turned this over carefully. Finally, he said, "I think I may be getting a migraine."
Shiva chuckled and the snake curled about his neck casually. "You're in desperate need of me, you know. Inner peace, triumph over evil...I can help you with that...Not prayer, my boy-don't look so stricken. Until you realize what I am and what I meant, just say I'm a Jungian construct. Worked for Kitty..." He shrugged and popped out of existence. Kurt snapped to, then, realizing that he had been asleep. Gotta stop eatingly bly beans for dinner...Gotta find Kitty!

He came across Toad by the lake. Kurt had carefully avoided the mutants in the woods, picking his way through the shadows to the calm body of water and the shelter of the boathouse. Toad had surprised him, lurking in the dark like a sallow ghost. "What're you doing here?"
"Lurking..." Toad muttered.
"I never knew you were funny..."[3] Eh...what can it hurt? Kurt sank to the ground near but not next to Toad.
"My talents are many, the audience few..." Todd picked at a reed in his hands and threw it into the water.
"Articulate, too..."
"Eh. When I need to be...yo," he added self-mockingly. "Why ain't you jumpin' me or nothin'?"
"Are you here to hurt me or anyone else?"
"Why are you here?"
"Ah....well, then, where is he?"
"Ah. Waiting it out, then?" Part of Kurt was furious-how could Lance and Amara be shagging like bunnies when Kitty was missing? Then again, he realized, he had no idea what the two were really doing. Lance wouldn't have Toad over if he were just going to do the deed with Amara...
"You could say that..." Todd was feeling a desperate need to confess to someone what was going on in Amara's room, or at least what he knew of, but he bit his tongue. Amara would kill me-fuck Lance! I'm scared of her, I think! "What're you doing? Why's everyone hollering for you?"
"Needed to be alone for a while. I don't want to deal with the X Men right now."
"Welcome to my world, man." Silence fell between the two teenagers, broken by the occasional shout of Kurt's name. Todd watched the duck for a while before the quiet became too heavy. "What's going on that's got the mansion's panties in a knot?"
Kurt glared at him briefly, then turned away. Sotto voce, he said "I guess you'll hear about it soon enough. Kitty's gone missing."
"Man..." Todd whistled low. "And she's your shorty, yo?"[4]
Todd rolled his eyes. "Girlfriend!"
"More than that...she's my soulmate." Kurt sank back onto the grass and threw one arm over his eyes. "You understand that under normal circumstances, I'd have to hurt you quite a lot right now?"
"We tell no one of this."
"Dude, if people knew we were having a civilized conversation, they'd shit kittens."
Kurt snorted, somewhat against his will, and silence fell again. A long time later, long after the voices had faded from a steady patter to an occasional shout, long after the lights in the mansion started to go off and Jean sent him a mental request to stay safe, Kurt spoke. "Do you know where Mystique is?"
"Fuck no...why would I?" Todd had been startled by Kurt's voice, so intent was he on a particularly juicy-looking dragonfly.
"She lives with you."
"Lived. Haven't seen her in a while. Not since...I dunno. A while."
"What about Magneto?"
"Talk to Pietro. He would know if anyone would."
Kurt pondered this for a moment and then say up slowly. "I think," he said, then paused, "I think that the only way Kitty is going to be found is if the X Men and Brotherhood interact."
"Why? We don't know nothin' about her...And what does Kitty pulling a vanishing act have to do with M&M?"
"If you can't figure it out, I'm not going to tell you." Kurt stood then and gazed out at the lake, his tail swishing from side to side as it often did when he was in deep thought. "I'm going inside. I have to talk to the Professor. If you leave here before Lance comes back, I'll 'port you into the shower with Blob, ja?"
Todd shuddered at this mental image. "Dude. So not needed..."
Kurt, already walking away, threw back, "Remember-civil today, enemies again tomorrow!"
"Got it!"


[1] Seeing emotions as colors and shapes and such comes from The Southern Vampires series by Charlaine Harris. Cool author, great books...check 'em out if you get the chance.
[2] Ya got me...stolen from CLUELESS.
[3] Not creative tonight...this line stolen from THE SIXTH SENSE.
[4] Todd goes all street on us...shorty being slang for girlfriend or in some parts of the world, a romantic companion of either sex....

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