BY : Nemain
Category: X-Men - Animated Series (all) > General
Dragon prints: 5165
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.


Disclaimers Apply


A/N Foxfeather is a lovely goddess and queen of betas… Just so you know. And Ted is now hers officially.
((sigh)) InterNutter, TC and Maxwell
Pink kick so much ass for archiving. So
there. :p And to everyone who reviewed and spread the word, may your
mojitos flow freely at the cabaret and the ducks and I love you from the
bottoms of our feet (webbed and formerly webbed) to the roots of our
hair/feathers…Jubilee—Mein Herr is up first…go get the sparkly wig!



Todd was
pleasantly buzzed. He had not the
foggiest notion of time or place, just the warm, melting feeling inside his
skin, the blazing heat of his mouth as if it was fire itself. His fingers tingled from the brief touch
against Rogue’s body, clothed though it was, and Todd was sure that if he
forgot about gravity for just a second, he would fly off the face of the Earth. With a contented sigh, he sank to the
ground, crouched flat-footed on the edge of the reeds and wrapped his arms
around his knees, staring out at the flat surface of the water with a
half-smile on his face. I don’t care
if I can touch her or not. I don’t even
care that I have to slime her to kiss her…Rogue kissed me! I kissed her! Rogue Rogue Rogue…It’s not like it’s my first kiss. Well, second. Maybe third, if you count that girl before I went over
all…froggy. Rocking back and forth
just slightly, Todd missed the rustling noise of feet slapping through wet
grass until Amara was a few feet away.

she murmured.

“Wah!” Todd leapt straight into the air like his
namesake, arms and legs flying out only to pull back into a crouch when he
landed in the muck several feet away, panting and staring wild-eyed at

“Nice to
know I can still intimidate in this state…” she muttered, sweeping a hand over
her mildly disheveled form. Even in the
moonlight, faint bruises were still visible and Todd noted that she held
herself stiffly, careful of her ribs and the occasional muscle twinge.

Todd rose
and tried to ignore his mud-splattered state, facing Amara with what he hoped
was a look of cool detachment. “What’re
you doing here? Aren’t you supposed to
be torturing Boom Boom or something?”

“…or something…” Amara’s expression was rueful and she shook
her head, one hand shooting up to clutch at a sudden headache. “Lance is…ah…taking care of it.”

she’s bummed, she’s almost civil… “Why?”

“He wanted
to…” Amara shrugged, effectively telling Todd to let it go. “What’re you doing?”

“Nothin’.” Todd returned her shrug. “Uh, wanna…dunno…sit or something?” Amara stared at him for a moment, then at
the damp ground beneath her feet before sighing and sinking to the ground,
cringing as she squished in the mud.
“Ya get used to it.”

“Don’t want
to…” Silence fell for a few moments
until Amara shifted uncomfortably and eyed the black grunge all around
her. “I wonder if I can…dry it out or
something. Use my powers.”

“No—don’t!” Todd stood quickly, ready to…he did not know
what…if Amara tried to dry out the ground.
“I mean, it’s wet for a reason, ya know? Things need it this wet to live…we’re just in their way
and in their mud…So we leave it muddy.”

looked up at him with something akin to amazement. “Todd, I never knew you had an ecological side…” He still looked mildly panicked and Amara
felt one corner of her mouth twitch before she subdued her urge to laugh. “I won’t dry anything out. “

he demanded.

sighed. “I never promise anything…”

lowered himself into the mud again and rested his forehead on his knees. “You promised Lance…”

Amara said. “Lance received no promises
from me.”

Todd mulled
this over for a minute before daring a response. “Amara, I don’t know how to tell you this, but he loves you.”

“Shut up!”
she hissed, rising clumsily to her feet.
“He just wants to…to fuck me!”

Todd shook
his head and snorted in black humor. “If he just wanted to fuck you, he wouldn’t
be up there with Tabby, avenging you or whatever he’s doing. He’d be up there trying to get you and her
into a three way…” Todd kicked at a
clump of mud and chanced a look at Amara.
“He loves you.”

up! Shut up shut up shut up!” Amara’s voice rose to a wail and she looked
close to crying. “Never say things like
that to me! How dare you presume to
know what Lance—what anyone thinks?”

Todd felt
an insane urge to hug her then but wrote it off to residual warm fuzzies from
Rogue. Instead, he stuck his hands in
his pockets and sighed before answering.
“Lance is…he’s like a brother to me.
I mean, we don’t talk about it and we don’t act like it, ya know, but we’re
tight…He’s kept Pietro offa my back a lot and I keep Tabby offa him if I can. And sometimes,” Todd’s voice dropped and he found that he could not meet Amara’s
wide gaze, “sometimes we talk about stuff and he, like, totally gets where I’m
coming from and he’ll bitch at me when he needs to.” Todd shook himself slightly and smiled wanly. “So…I know.”

sniffed hard and opened her mouth to say something surely scathing and mean,
but instead clenched her hands at her side, spun on her heels and ran like Hell
to the mansion. Todd watched her go
with mixed feelings—on one hand, he wanted to go after her and make sure she
was okay—he knew Lance would kill him if something happened to Amara—on the
other hand, he wanted to just hide from her misplaced wrath, bury himself in
the muck at his feet. Shaking his head,
Todd resumed his crouch and buried his face in the crook of his arms; with very
little effort, he sank into plans of how to win Rogue over.

Scott and
Jean stood before the entry doors to Bayville High School, yawning open before
them like an all-consuming monster. Behind
them, a trickle of students was quickly building to a steady stream, word of
Kitty’s disappearance creating a buzz of gossip, both oral and mental,
inundating the telepath and her boyfriend.
“Can we skip?” Jean muttered.

“We could,
but you know we’d get caught…” Scott
sighed and tugged Jean’s hand lightly.
“We can leave at lunch. Let’s
just make it until then. He took a few
steps until he realized Jean was not coming willingly. Lance was stumbling past, he saw, and looked
as if he had been rode hard and put up wet.
Lance’s eyes were red and swollen from obvious lack of sleep and, for
the first time in collective memory, he was unshaven. His chin and cheeks dark with stubble, his hair spiky and shaggy
from lack of grooming, Lance staggered once on the steps leading up to the
doors and paused to brace himself on the banister. “Lance,” Scott called.
“C’mere, man.” Lance blinked
at him as if he could not quite place the spectacled youth and then, nodded
once in recognition. He crossed to them
slowly and finally, reaching the couple, sank down to sit on the cement

what’s wrong with you? Is it
Kitty?” Jean released Scott’s hand and
sat next to the other boy. “I mean,
we’re all really upset but you seem to be hit hard…” Is it because you’ve known her so long, she wanted to ask,
but refrained until she heard his answer.

Scott, a
frown on his face, sat on the other side of Lance and asked carefully, “Is it

Lance, to
his credit, showed no emotion either way.
He merely shrugged and said “Women.”

snorted. “That’s not an answer…”

smelled of cigarette smoke and was wearing the clothes he had on the night
before at dinner, the somber affair that no one really participated it other
than sitting at the table. “Um, it’s
both, actually.”

sighed. “I think I understand…But man,
you look like shit.”

Jean quelled him with a glance. Lance
was holding something back, she could it. it.
The lanky teenager was staring at his worn, dirty Converse, humming
under his breath a tune that neither teenager sitting with him recognized. Making a split second decision and going
entirely against her better judgment, Jean closed her eyes and let her mind
wander, invisible fingers question for information. She sucked in a breath at the sudden wall of confusion springing
up before her, images of a much-younger Kitty looking up at her. At Lance, she realized. This must be Kitty around the time they
first met… She picked carefully
through the barrage of Kitty-images, most of them idealized, she noticed, a
faint haze over the imperfections that Lance’s mind was pointing out even as he
wept silently for her absence. Jean
chanced to touch Lance’s arm with her fingertips, a gesture unnoticed by the
mutant but one that connected her more firmly with his thoughts. She peeled into a layer of memories of Amara
and flushed bright red at what most of them entailed. Raw, lust, passion, anger…Love? Oh, my God! Love…Is it
something in the wateoundound here?
Shit. A recent memory popped
like a bubble, pushing aside all the other images Jean was seeing. It was last night, she realized, for a flash
of mirror showed Lance, dressed as he was now but cleaner, embracing a mildly
embarrassed Amarom rom behind. The
scene shifted and he was arguing with Tabby.
The Hell did they do? Tabby all trussed…fuck me, if there’s a shallow
grave in the rosebushes…She saw Lance lead Tabby quietly down the hall, out
the service stair exit and towards the lake.
Toad was crouched in the bushes and Lance made straight for him. There was a murmured conversation that, Jean
gathered, was merely directions on taking Tabby back to the boardinghouse and
“sitting on her if you have to” to keep her from leaving.

bell’s gone…” Scott’s voice echoed through her mind, but Jean paid it no
mind. Lance was either not aware of her
presence in his head or did not care.
Either way, she was unfettered in her exploration. Scott shook her but she did not move, and
she could tell that he returned to his seat to wait her out.

In her
visions, Lance was searching for Amara.
All Jane could make out, aside from flashes of Amara’s room and then,
pounding down the stairs on the balls of feet to make as little noise as
possible. The outside of the mansion shot
by in flashes and blurs, then the grounds.
Finally, Jean was relieved when Lance’s memories led him (them) to the
pier. A white blob resolved itself into
Amara, huddled and sobbing silently. Amara,
he said, what’s going on, Princess?

love me.

a problem?

Yes. Amara had stood then and faced him, tilting
her face to the moonlight and looking like a pixie to Lance’s eyes. Jean felt the swell of emotion that Lance
had felt and wanted to break contact at the intimacy. If you love m am am weak.
You are weak. We can’t be like
that, Lance. We’re stronger than them… She had pelted past him suddenly, leaving
him standing on the pier and feeling bereft.
Before she broke away, Jean knew what had happened. They had fought, in a round about way, over
his feelings for her. Jean knew that
love scared Amara and made her feel less of herself. She feared Lance in a way that she had never thought possible,
feared that he would make her something weak and different, make her lose
herself in herself.

c’mon!” Scott’s almost-panicked voice
fully drew her from the trance-like state she was in.

Lance was staring at her owlishly
and she knew that he had realized what she was doing. “I’m sorry…” she began.

“Forget about it,” Lance mumbled and
rose to his feet. “Didn’t sleep

“At all,” she added quietly. Scott looked between the two and raised his
brows, but Jean gave a tiny shake of her head, one that promised she would tell
all later. “Lance, do you want to go
home?” He nodded miserably. “Scott, let’s go.”

“School…” he trailed off, then
nodded grimly. “Right. Fuck it. We’ll go.” They’ll excuse us…

As they
pulled out of the parking lot, a brown van with taped windows rocketed by them,
narrowly missing sideswiping the little red car. “Fuck!” Lance hissed, the first sign of life he had shown all

Scott and Jean spoke in stereo, exchanging looks that would, in any other
situation, have been amused. After
looking both ways a second time, Scott cautiously pulled out onto the main drag
of Bayville, trailing the brown van by almost a mile.


Kitty felt
the rocking motion of the vehicle (Truck?
Van? Boxcar? Where am I?) in every joint of her body.
She was marginally pleased to not that she had clothes on again, her
earlier, painful nudity covered by loose fitting pants and a hospital-type
robe, tied in the back and stained with somebody else’s blood. Kihurthurt all over, in places she never
knew existed. The wounds inflicted by
Ruth’s mutation were just as real as if the knife had touched her own
flesh. Stifling a moan, Kitty rolled
onto her back and allowed her eyes to creep open slightly. A van…I’m in a van.. with some weird windows… Light fell in patches and made the dim
interior dappled wweakweak sunlight.
From the corner of her eye, Kitty saw a flash of blue in the driver’s
seat and knew who had her. What does
Mystique want with me? Is she going to
do to me what Magneto did to Ruth and they’ll have some sort of weird
tournament or some other anime-hell inspired activity? Testing her powers, Kitty found that she
was still not up to full strength, melting into the floor of the van like warm
butter, but not able to pass all the way through. One eye on Mystique, Kitty rose to her knees silently and peered
out the nearest clear spot of window. We’re
in Bayville! Fuck me! Bayville, I never thought I’d be glad to see
you! y suy sucked in a painful
breath and let herself fall into a curve on the floor of the van, feigning
sleep for a few moments to gather her wits about her. Why is she taking me back into Bayville? What if I never left in the first
place? God, what if she’s just moving
me to another prison? Gotta get loose… Kitty raised onto her knees and crept
forward silently. Mystique rode in
silence, the radio ripped out of the dash by Lord only knew who, and her hands
were tight on the wheel. Kitty breathed
through her mouth so as to be quiet as possible, but still she feared her hammering
heart would give her away. Should I
dare? What if we…Gotta try. Taking a deep breath, Kitty rose quickly to
her knees and launched herself forward, wresting the wheel from Mystique. She wrenched it hard to the right and the
van spun crazily, Mystique’s feet working the brakes in an attempt to stop the
vehicle. A wordless scream was the only
sound to Kitty’s ears about the screech of t and and the sound of cars
honking. A sickening lurch to one side
and a hard skin made Kitty fall to one side, a crack announcing the fracture of
a rib. Mystique was franticalryinrying
to steer out of the skid but it was too late.
A roaring silence flooded the van as it fell to one side, then vertigo,
falling…The sound of a guardrail scraping the metal of the van as it plunged
over the old bridge and into the river.


lurched to his feet and clutched his stomach, startling Logan into dropping his
coffee. “Shit, Elf, what’s with

he gasped, his eyes wide with panic.

Kurt…calm down!” Logan took the boy by
his shoulders and peered into his face.
“I’m getting Hank..”

“Nein! Kitty…she’s coming back…but something is

“How the
Hell could you know that?” Stress
finally broke him…

“I just…I
just DO.” Kurt wrenched away from Logan
and strode to the door. “I think we can
find her, it’s like I FEEL her…”

Logan’s voice was soft, “no one wants Kitty home more than we do, but stop
thinking that you can just…just run out and find her on the road or something!”

sighed, not knowing if he should tell Logan that it was not a wild guess, but
rather the strange man from Kitty’s—and now his—hallucinations that told him
Kitty was near but in danger. At Kurt’s
mutinous expression, Logan hastened to add, “Besides Astrid—um, your mother—will
be in today. She’d kill me outright if
she knew I let you go haring off after Kitty without a plan or reason…”

Kurt shook
his head and bit his lip. “Herr Logan,
sometimes things happen that we can’t explain but we have to follow our gut

“What are
you on about?” Logan ran his hands
through already strange hair and sighed.
“Gut instincts I know, but this is just…panic. Wistful thinking.”

please understand when I say you can trust me…” Kurt gave him a sad smile and, before the man could respond, ‘ported

stared at the spot where the boy had been and said the first thing that came to
mind. “Fuck.”



A/N Jubilee and Remy and Jamie and stuff…next chapter… J


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