Shiva

BY : Nemain
Category: X-Men - Animated Series (all) > General
Dragon prints: 5097
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.






SHIVA—CHAPTER THIRTY-THREE (NC-17)

Disclaimers Apply

 

 

A/N Foxfeather is soooooooooooooo lucky—Ted! ;)
Of course, being a goddess, she deserves nothing less! InterNutter, TC and Maxwell Pink get special
smoochies of the Kurt and Kitty sort of archiving (and putting up w/ the
flooded inboxes!). Reviewers/readers: Love
you for reviewing and reading. So do
the ducks. And you each have a place of
honor in my little diary I kiss each night with wistful sighs before I fall
asleep and dream of fluffy pink clouds and acid rain… (Hmmm…need to lay off the Bailey’s when writing fic…) And I
thrive on feedback (insert unsubtle hint here…) ;p

 

 

Astrid
stared out the window of the study, torn between railing at the Universe and
sinking to the floor in tears. The
mutants behind her were silent, tense and seemingly prepared for either contingency. After nearly an hour of such silence, she
finally spoke, harsh and low. “And no one, not one of you, has a vague notion
where either one of them could be?”

Logan
shifted uneasily and Beast shrugged, prompting him to speak. “Um, no.
Not really.”

“A houseful
of powerful mutants, intelligent people…not one of you…not one of you,
damn it!” Astrid let her emotions fly
then, pressing her forehead to the window and feeling the cool glass against
her burning skin.

“Astrid,” the Professor began, but cut
himself off, know his words would do her no good. Instead, he chose to be honest with her, tell her all he
knew. “We…I…am certain Magneto and
Mystique have Kitty and her cousin Ruth for purposes that are best not explored
at this point,” meaning in front of her, “Kurt knew of this possibility, and
when he found that the police had no leads, he went rather…”

“Off,” said
Logan, cocking his eyebrow at the Professor’s look.

Astrid
nodded. “He’s very…emotional. He has always led with his heart.”

“He seemed
to be having quite vivid daydreams about someone…” the Professor cast about for
the best way to explain Kurt’s outburst, as reported by Logan and the images he
himself had seen without making him sound flipping mad, “…someone who could
maybe help him find Kitty.”

Logan interrupted
then, unapologetically. “Said he had a
gut instinct.”

Astrid
paused to take this all in. Finally,
she asked, “And who is looking for my son?”

“Storm is
out right now. She’s got the Blackbird
and is scanning for signs…We know Kurt did not go far because he is in a
weakened state. He may have ‘ported,
but I do not think he could do it more than once.” The Professor shook his head slightly, clearing mental
cobwebs. “She will find him. Never fear of that…it’s calming him when he
returns that will be our main concern.”

“Leave that
to me…” Astrid murmured. She dashed
tears from her cheeks with the back of her hand. “Now, if you will excuse me, I am going to change my clothes and
maybe help find my Kurt.” She walked
slowly, regally past Logan and Beast, not meeting their gaze and exerting great
willpower to keep unshed tears from spilling like a waterfall.

Professor
Xavier regarded the men left behind with a detached expression. The muscle in his jaw working in mute
frustration, he said lowly, “When he gets back, Henry, sedate him. Keep him in the infirmary until we have
Kitty back. We cannot, will not have
two missing students. One is far too
many…” Doctor McCoy nodded curtly and
Logan snorted in disbelief. Ignoring
the feral man, Professor Xavier continued, “Have you made headway on the
composition of the chemical Rogue found?”


Shifting
his massive frame from leaning against the doorframe, Beast spoke slowly,
choosing his words with care. “I am
afraid that the nearest I can determine is that it’s basis is organic, slight
radioactivity but no greater than, say…” he gestured vaguely at the desk, “your
computer or Kurt’s holo. I’ve tested it
on some plant cells but noticed no change in the matter.”

“What about
animal material?” Logan queried.

“That’s a
sticky wicket…” Beast sighed and rubbed
the bridge of his nose in consternation.
“I have tested it on some epithelial cells scraped from within my own
mouth and noticed no change outwardly, but I have a strong suspicion that the
change may be more….deeply felt.”

“What do
you mean?” Professor Xavier rolled
forward in interest.

Sheepishly,
Beast said, “I…um, jabbed myself with a syringe of the substance. I could not…perform…as usual hours later in
the training room.”

“What do
you mean?” the other two men asked together.


Quirking a
brow, Beast answered “I wasn’t, to use Jubilee’s phraseology, Beast-like. No jumping, strength, speed…” He spread his massive hands wide. “No powers.”

Logan let
out a low whistle. “No powers…Sounds
like Pietro is in over his head somewhere!”

Professor
Xavier was silent but radiated anger.
After several deep breaths, he murmured, “The deep end of the pool is no
where for children…” before rolling
past his associates, his friends. Logan
and Beast stared after him with twin expressions of understanding.

 

Rahne
kicked a stone towards the side of the road but misjudged, sending it
skittering towards Jubilee. The Asian
girl tripped on it and went stumbling into Remy, who caught her with a grin as
if Divine Providence sent her to his arms.
Jamie snorted in disgust, making Rahne cut hard eyes his way. “You alright, mate?” she asked softly. The couple ahead of them were not holding
hands, but rather kept bumping into each other “accidentally on purpose” in
lieu of outright touching.

“Yeah.” Jamie sniffed suspiciously, though, and
Rahne knew without looking that the boy was more upset than he would ever let
on. “Rahne, growing up sucks.”

“At least
your version of puberty did na[1]
involve a tail and shaggy fur!” she
said, self mockingly.

Todd,
loping up beside them, caught the last of this and replied, “It’d be nice if
puberty involved some tail[2]
and fur that wasn’t so shaggy in embarrassing places…” With a cocky grin, he hopped off the side of
the road and into the grass, chasing after an interesting bug to avoid Rahne’s
forthcoming snarl.

“Dumb ass…”
she muttered but smirked when Jamie laughed a little. “Funny kid, eh?”

“Todd’s
alright when he needs to be…” Jamie
shrugged. “Not so bad if he’s not all
Brotherhood on us…”

“Drop back…”
Rahne tugged lightly at Jamie’s wrist and let Bobby and St John pass, still “not
touching” but obviously wanting to, and Todd hop past again. When they were at the back of the group,
Rahne said softly, “Look, I know I’m not your best friend or anything, but I
see things…I know things…Talk to me if you need to. I won’t bullshit you.
Promise.” At his hesitant look,
she added, “I ain’t that much older than ye, so I think I’d be understanding…”

Jamie
mulled this over. It’d be nice to
have someone to talk to that didn’t try and tell me they’re older so they know
what’s best…”Secrets stay secrets?”

“O’course!” She sounded so offended that Jamie nearly
laughed.

“Then
okay. I’ll talk to you and you can talk
to me.” He stuck out his hand and she
shook it firmly.

“Deal!” Rahne gave him a toothy grin and they
settled into a companionable silence. “So…”
she said, valiantly trying to distract him from the vision before them of Remy
and Jubilee, heads bent together, murmuring who knows what, “how’s school?”

“Nice try,
Rahne…” Jamie sighed and broke his
gaze, then, looking at his feet as they trudged along. “It just sucks that I never had a shot. I
mean, she’s my best friend and you’d think she would see me first…”

Rahne
caught the emphasis. “Sometimes, Jamie,
being close to someone can make it hard to see them as anything other than a
friend.”

“And
sometimes,” he countered, “being close to them makes them the natural choice…” I’ve
seen When Harry Met Sally!

Rahne
sighed and shifted her armload of books before answering. “Look at it this way—Jubilee is your first
heartbreak, but at least she’s your best friend. A lesser person would’ve torn your heart out and stomped that
sucker flat.”[3] At his indrawn breath, she said hurriedly, “I
know that it feels like that now, but it could’ve been much worse.”

“How? She’s with Remy…”

“First off,
I know it won’t make you feel better, but she and Remy aren’t together-together…Remy
is scared o’his feeling for her an’ she’s too scared to ask him for anything
more than whatever this be…” Rahne
paused, Jamie stopping along with her. “Jamie,
you’re not as young as people think.
You’ve done a lot of living in your years as have we all. Don’t dwell on Jubilee. It’ll just make your friendship awkward.”

“I know…I
know…” Jamie sighed and squinted at the sky, trying to imagine life without Jubilee.
“I’d rather have her as my best friend than have her steering clear of me cuz I’m
all cow-eyed[4] over her.”

Rahne
nodded with determination. “Good. Now, your first task in this time of A.J.—that’s
‘After Jubilee’, in case you didn’t know—is to move on.”

“Huh?” They had recommenced walking again and were quickly
closing in on the tail end of the group ahead of them. Already, they could make out Todd mouthing
to Remy.

“Move on…find
a new crush…” Rahne averted her gaze
and looked uncharacteristically abashed.

“Got
someone in mind?” Jamie did not expect
an answer and his tone let this be known.
Rahne stopped again and Jamie moved on a few more feet before realizing
that he was no longer next to her. “Rahne?”
he asked, walking backwards.

“Me?”

“Huh?” Jamie felt his jaw drop and tripped over his
own feet. Rahne, red in the face,
dashed forward and grabbed him before he fell, but could not save his
books. Texts scattered across the
shoulder of the road and brought pause to the rest of the group. “Um…huh?”

“Here!”
Rahne ducked down and grabbed several text books, handing them off to the boy
without meeting his gaze.

Jubilee had
jogged back and gathered the other books before Jamie could register
reality. “Clumsy much, Jamie?”

“You c….c…could
say that…” He could not stop staring at Rahne, who was checking her own
backpack straps and adjusting her shoelaces.
“Guess it got too heavy…”

Jubilee
sighed and chucked him on the shoulder.
“Not that much further to go.
Want me to carry ‘em?”

“Nah…I’m
good…”

“Hey! Snap out of it!” Jubilee caught the direction of his gaze and snapped her fingers
in front of his face. “Rahne’d kill you
if she caught you staring!” she whispered harshly.

“Oh….yeah. Sure…”
Jamie shook himself and turned to join the group, Rahne only following
when he had melted into the pack.

Remy shot
him a look over his shoulder and smiled encouragingly. “Hey, mon ami….nice to join us…C’mon up here
wit Remy—getting’ lonely bein’ de only homme!”

Todd’s
voice drifted from somewhere in the high grass, “Hey!”

Remy
snorted. “He not be countin’ if he not
be walkin’ wid us!” Jubilee shook her
head and fell back to walk with Bobby and St John, no doubt to goad them about
their nonexistent relationship, and Remy motioned for Jamie to come forward. “So, we cool?”

Jamie
shrugged indifferently. “We cool,” he
muttered, mind still on Rahne’s unusual behavior. “Hey, Remy…how do you know if a girl likes you?”

Remy
chuckled. “Not one to wait ‘round, eh?
Gambit can respect dat…Lessee…” He was trying to gear his explanations for
young ears, for the girls who usually showed an interest in the Cajun were none
too subtle nor were their techniques exactly legal for a young boy to
experience or hear about, truth be told.
“She talk to you lots, she try to touch you, like pattin’ you on de arm
or somesuch…she looks at you lots…”

“What if,”
Jamie said carefully, “she’s always like that?
You know, just cuz she’s friendly?”
He thought of all the times he had played catch with Rahne in her canine form and all the games
they played in the rec room in her human form.
She was always swatting him on the arm or ruffling his hair, staring at
him with those cunning, piercing eyes…Jamie shook his head slightly and turned
curious eyes to his friend. “Well?”

“Den, mon
ami, you jus’ gotta go wid yo’instincts.
Who be de luck gal?”

“No
one! Just asking!” Jamie’s red face belied his words, though.
Remy considered pressing for details but a sudden squeal of tires ahead made
them all skid to a halt. There was a
sickening sound of metal scraping against metal and then a stunned silence,
followed by a splash. “The bridge!” Jamie broke into a dead run, followed by
Bobby and St John, Remy, Jubilee and Rahne bringing up the rear. The bridge was several hundred yards ahead,
around a curve where two roads fed into the main drag from outlying areas. The woods were thick all around them and the
river was wide and deep where the bridge cross Usu Usually, about once a year in the winter time, there would be a
car that went over the bridge due to a patch of ice catching the driver
unaware. No ice now…What happened? Jamie cleared the curve first and slowed to
a halt. No cars were on the road but
there was a gaping hole in the guardrail near the middle of the bridge. “Shit…” he whispered.

“C’mon!”
Bobby shouted, still running. The other
mutants pelted by him and were peering over the edge of the bridge, gasping and
muttering. Jamie jogged forward in time
to see a van bob in the water before being pulled under the bridge by the
strong current. “We gotta get down
there—people may still be in there!”
Bobby moved to create a sheet of ice to travel towards the van but Remy
stopped him with his outstretched hand.

“People
come along soon, homme. ‘Sides, how you
get back up if’n you slide down dat ice sheet?” Remy looked with growing panic over the edge where the rear of
the van was barely visible, sticking out from the shadows.

“What do we
do?” wailed St John in frustration.

“Hey! There’s a woman!” Jubilee shouted excitedly, pointing to the water. Surely enough, a blonde woman wearing a
flannel shirt was kicking out from under the bridge and striking towards the
shore. “Hey!” Jubilee called to her,
the cry being taken up by the others in tow.


The woman
had made it to shore and pulled herself up to her feet. She waved at them to let them know she was
okay and begin climbing the embankment.
In a mad dash, the teenagers headed in her direction, fighting with
construction debris and underbrush, meeting halfway down the slope towards the
river. “I’m fine,” she gasped, soaking
wet and out of breath.

“Want us to
call the hospital? You need to get
checked out!” Jubilee was digging through her pockets for her cel phone, but
the woman cut her off.

“I’m really
fine!” She looked around almost
desperately, eyeing the sinking van. “Damned
thing was about to die on me, anyway.
The steering just went out…”

“You were
alone in there, ma’am?” Bobby asked gently.

“Yes…I was
heading towards the mountains for the weekend…I’m supposed to meet my husband
and kids there for a camp out.” The woman sniffed and rubbed at her nose with
her fingertips, trying to restore circulation.
“I stayed in town an extra day to work on a project…” here she petered out, crying quite
pitifully.

“Let me
call someone for you, a ride…got any relatives in town?”

“Not close
by…” The woman shrugged sadly.

Exchanging
meaningful looks with her friends, Jubilee offered, “We live about a mile from
here…you could come with us and see about getting a ride from there…at least
you could dry off and have someone check you for injuries.”

The woman’s
smile was almost wicked, making Jamie for one draw his breath in fear. “Thank you,” she said, “I think I will.” The motley crew made it’s way carefully back
up the hill, unaware of the white blur suddenly breaking the surface of the
river behind them. The blur drifted
several feet until it became entangled in river debris piled against a bridge
support. The red-streaked form was on
it’s side, face only partially above water, eyes unseeing. The group of mutants was above the blur now,
talking softly about what happened, unaware that one of their own was beneath
them. A sharp shift of current moved
the blur and mercifully washed it to the shore, sprawling it there like so much
river debris.

 

Kurt broke
free of the woods with some caution. He
was far weaker than before, hands shaking even when he was in motion, tail too
heavy to lift. The river was down-slope
just slightly, an easy trek when he was at full health but worse than Everest
in his reduced state. Sinking to the
ground to catch his breath, Kurt thought Okay, Shiva…I’m at the river. Now what? Kurt panted dryly, wishing he had anything, even one of Kitty’s
home ec muffins then, but feeling traitorous for thinking of food while Kitty
was missing.

“Just look
around…” the voice came from the air around him, making Kurt absurdly grateful
that he did not have to try and look at anyone. I don’t think my head could turn right now… Kurt wearily peered at the green waters,
seeing nothing unusual. “Look harder…” Kurt sighed and rocked forward just
slightly. “Maybe at the pylon, eh?”
Shiva sounded exasperated then and Kurt wished that the man would get eaten by
his own snake. This mutinous thought
was quickly rejected by the sight on the bank—a white blur, bobbing just
slightly, caught on a bundle of weeds and trash.

“Nein!”

“I’m afraid
so…She’s still alive, however…She needs help and won’t call on me!”

“She
can’t!” Kurt wailed. He struggled to
his feet and promptly fell again. “Please!”
he cried.

“All you have
to do is ask…”

“Fuck! I’m asking! I can’t ‘port and I need to get
to her!” Kurt felt his heart hammer in
his chest and was sure it was about to explode.

“You can ‘port…try
it!”

“Nein! I can’t…too weak!” Kurt was sobbing now and
was sure Kitty was dying before his eyes

“Subsume it,
Kurt…don’t let the weakness control you.
You control the weakness.” The man’s voice was calm and followed by an
almost silent “pop,” letting Kurt know he was officially alone now.

“Subsume? SHIT!”
Kurt gently pounded his fists against his head and tried to crawl down
to the river only to find his arms to be too weak to support his weight. “Fine, I’ll subsume…” Kurt fell onto his back and took several
deep, r bre breaths. He willed himself
to feel like he was fine, like he had eaten recently and was not, in fact,
shaking from low blood sugar. He
pictured himself ‘porting to Kitty’ pulling her free and taking her to
shore. He visualized ‘porting
successfully and not ending up caught in some Hell-dimension forever. “Ready as I’ll ever be,” he said sadly to
the air. With concerted effort, Kurt ‘ported. The feel of gravel beneath his hands and
knees was like Heaven, so sure was he that ‘porting would kill him or get him
stuck in a Hell dimension forever in his weakened state. The white blur was female and, he
knew with horrific certainty, Kitty.
Kurt forced himself to crawl on quickly bleeding knees and hands to her
side and roll her onto her back. “Katzchen? Katzchen?” Kurt saw the wound on her shoulder
and choked on a sob. “Liebes?” he
whispered, openly crying. Bringing his
face low to hers, he noticed something awful.
She was no longer breathing.

 

 

 





[1] Vague accent
for Rahne since it isn’t that thick in the ‘toon…

[2] Another
euphemism for sex… tail. ((sigh)) Just
not that sexy…

[3] From the
late, great Lewis Grizzard. He was
making fun of country music in one of his books (Don’t Bend Over in the Garden Granny! You know them taters’ got eyes! Is funny as hell…) and used that line for a
title.

[4] Like fawning
over someone…


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