BY : Nemain
Category: X-Men - Animated Series (all) > General
Dragon prints: 5237
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 makes me jealous—TED! ;)
But that’s okay…At least he wears pants…my two won’t get dressed! LOL.
InterNutter, TC and Maxwell Pink are special little monkeys in a good
way for archiving! xxxoooxxxooo And everyone who reviewed/read: The ducks and
I love you no end. We are organizing a
special song and dance number in your honor involving my poi and their
kick-line skills… J Smoochies from the goose…



cold hurt pain bad…The world was black, she found. It was like being wrapped in ice and hidden
in a cave. Am I dead? I can’t be dead if I have abstract thought…I
must be alive if I can even think of the phrase ‘abstract thought.’ White light started to appear on the edge of her vision—if one
could truly call it vision. It was more
like a black field, endless and all-consuming.
She felt warm all of a sudden, like she was thawing around the fringes
of her being. A voice, a noise…she was
not sure which it was only that it was sound, piercing through the thick
blanket of dark. The white light
wavered but did not diminish or grow, just held steady. I
know this feeling…I think. Warm and
lovely and soft and hard all at once…Kitty thought she might be smiling, if
she were alive after all. Ow. My chest hurts…Huh. I have a chest, so I must be alive… It felt full all of a sudden and she wanted
to make it stop, to force whatever it was out, but she could not. A crushing sensation made the feeling end
suddenly but it was back, just as quickly as it had come. The sound of someone talking had become
clear. I don’t understand them…I don’t
speak that language…Do I? Maybe I have
amnesia…Oh, I know that word! It means
love…And God…Hey! I know him!

Kitty lay limp in Kurt’s arms, her
chest rising and falling with his breaths, his hands forcing exhalations as his
breaths forced inhalations. It seemed
like an eternity to Kurt but it had been less than a minute since he found her,
pulled her clear of the water and started CPR.
As he pressed against her ribs, unaware that, a few miles away, a
similar scene was playing out in far more surreal circumstances, Kurt cried to
her in a mix of German and English, peppering pleas to breathe with
endearments, sobbing her name with each press downward. When he breathed into her mouth, he choked
on his own howls of anguish, begging Heaven to let her live. “Katzchen, bitte!” He closed his eyes and breathed as hard as he could into her
lungs, jerking back in shock and exultation when a rattling cough sounded from
Kitty’s chest. Ready to start again in
case of a false alarm, he crouched, hands on her sternum, and cried anew as she
took in a long, choking breath and gagged.
“Liebes…” Hurriedly, he rolled her to her side and held her head as she
coughed up gouts of river water and bile, her stomach too empty for
vomiting. Her eyes were only half open
and she did not look as if she were fully aware of what was going on. Kurt was shaking and dazed, his mind going a
thousand miles a minute with terror and amazement. How the Hell did I find her?
That Shiva thing…guy…whatever…
Kitty was heaving dryly and Kurt took the time to rub her back, hunching
over her and breathing heavily, trying to keep from screaming in happiness and
fear. Kitty is safe, Kitty is alive…I
have to kill someone… “Katzchen…”

She turned her face towards him,
streaked with mud and bruises, and blinked blearily. “Kurt?” Her voice was rusty and thick but Kurt had never heard
anything more beautiful in his life.

“Schatz…” He dated to kiss her,
pressing fevered kiss after fevered kiss to her cracked, tainted lips. She tasted of algae and blood and bile, but
he did not care.

“I don’t…I…” she managed between
kisses. “Kurt…”

“Home,” he said simply.

“Please.” She was able to loop her arms around his neck and clung tightly,
gripping his fur with cold fingers.

“I don’t know if I can ‘port…”

She tried a weak glare but only
came up with something resembling a watery-eyed guppy stare. “You haven’t eaten.”

“Or slept,” he admitted
ashamedly. “Kitty, you’ve been gone two

“That’s it?” she whispered, sagging
again. “I hurt…”

“I know, Liebes, I know…” Kurt
sighed and realized that he had no idea what to do. “What do you need me to do for you?”

“Take me home,” she whispered

“I’ll try…” Kurt let her sink against him and bowed low
over her, trying to shelter her from pain.
Can the Professor hear me if I call out? Can’t hurt… Kurt
gathered his waning strength and sent out a wordless, mental cry for help to
the Professor, silently praying to whatever god was listening to help


Rogue was in a red haze of
emotion. She registered the sound of
weeds and twigs slapping against her legs but did not feel the sting. When she left the mansion, it was with the
image of Jean, barely alive to her eyes, gasping for breath on her bedroom
floor. Rogue heard what was going on
and her mind blurred. Kurt…if I find
him, I find Kitty. If I find Kitty, we
find what the fuck is going on. She
hurtled into the woods, intending to cut through and go to the boardinghouse,
get Pietro. He’s better than being
alone…Besides, he’s fast…maybe he’ll cover more ground than me…Maybe he’ll be
able to do recon or something. Rogue
broke from the treeline near the river’s bend and spared nearly half an hour,
scanning the area and wondering just what she would do if she found Kitty. I can’t touch her…No gloves…She
glared at her traitorous flesh, ill-clad in her hurry from the mansion. Okay…be cool. Panic won’t find anyone anything. Get Pietro, he’ll help.
She launched herself off in a run and, cutting through yards and
driveways, she reached the boardinghouse in no time. Do I knock or just go in?
Her status as former Brotherhood continued to confound all
involved. She was never sure just how
much right she had to come and go from her former home and always debated the
appropriateness of bursting in or being polite. She was spared from a decision by Toad—Todd, she corrected
herself—lurching around the side of the house, half-running from Blob, but only
half-heartedly. She knew as well as he
that the huge teenager had no more chance of catching him than she did of
winning Miss Cnialniality in the Miss America Pageant. “Todd!” she hissed, ducking between two
rather sad oleander bushes, missing the irony of the plants—deadly to touch,
like she was. “Todd!” The boy was almost past her when she hissed
the second time.

“Shit!” he yelped, leaping onto the
porch rail. Blob was still lumbering
around the side of the house, making slow progress, so Todd lingered. “What’re you doing here?”

“What’re you?”

“Skipped out…Peeled away from the
Wonder Bunch when they crossed the bridge with that lady.” He shrugged, but his
eyes belied his interest in the proceedings playing out at the mansion.

“What woman?” Rogue vaulted onto
the rail next to Todd, careful not to sit too close to him.

Quickly, Todd related the story of
the bridge and Rogue became fearful anew.
“Geez, Rogue—you okay? The lady
wasn’t dead or nothin’…”

“Todd,” she clutched her head in
her hands, taking several breaths to still her racing heart, “Kitty is
missing. Don’t ask how I know, but she’s
in water, or near it… And this accident…
Todd…” Rogue found herself shaking and feeling horribly weak, hating
herself for it.

Todd was itching to move closer,
not feeling noble because he wanted to just be near her more than comfort her
or be her hero. “Why’d you come here?”

“Figured…Pietro could help…maybe
look faster than I could.” She sniffed
mightily and covered her eyes with the heels of her hands.

Todd dropped inside the railing and
let Blob lumber past before responding.
“Why do you think he’d help?” he asked darkly.

Rogue finally looked at him then
and found that she could not tell Todd about her and Pietro, about their
meetings and the wild joy that coursed through her veins when they parted. It would make it seem cheap, she
realized, to tell anyone about it…”He…he’s my friend,” she answered

Todd knew that Pietro had been
sneaking out and meeting with Rogue and had small comfort in the fact that Quicksilver
had not taken the one thing from Rogue that he knew the Russian boy would not
appreciate. Pietro sees sex as a
commodity. He wants Rogue because he
can’t have her, because she’s hot and can be a bitch…Okay, both attractions,
but he’d never understand her like I do.
He’d never just live to do whatever she wanted I like I would…hmmm..,is
that good or bad? Todd also knew
something potentially damaging to Rogue’s idea of Pietro. He knew Tabby was there, he knew that the
girl would be spoiling for a fight and the best way for her to pick a fight
with the guys in the boardinghouse was to be a tease, to tempt them and offer
herself in any way and then take it all away.
He had seen her do it to Lance countless times and Pietro whenever Lance
was not available. His appearance
spared Todd from her cruel joke but he would admit to being just as affected by
her simpering and lack of clothing. He
realized that Rogue seemed to be waiting for him to say something so he
offered, “Let me help.”

Rogue felt the flush start at the
base of her neck and flare over her cheeks.
Okay. It’s Todd. He kissed you and you liked it and he’s all…Toad…and
you liked it more than a little. But he’s
Toad! He can do water… “Can I ask
Pietro, too? I mean, he can cover more
ground than either of us…”

“Um, let me go in and ask…” Todd did
not hear any yelling and screaming but he knew that Tabby was lurking. Last he had seen Pietro, the boy was
preparing to leave. That was a while
back, he noticed. “You wait here.”

Rogue narrowed her eyes and
replied, “Nuh-uh…I’m comin’ with ya…” She gave Todd’s back a firm shove through
his ratty t-shirt and sent the short youth stumbling through the door. The first thing they both noticed was the
scent of sweat and something deeper, seeming to fill the narrow hall.

“Um…” Todd knew that smell. You don’t live with horndogs and a slut
for this long without accidentally running across fucking…He grabbed
futilely at Rogue’s elbow as she shouldered past him and into the den,
following a sound that cracked the silence like a gun shot. Her sudden gasp made Todd close his eyes in
sympathy. Must…walk…calmly…Two
steps brought him to Rogue’s side and he did not even have to look to know what
would be there.

“Roguey, baby…how’s it hangin[1]’?”
Tabby cooed. She was astride a very
shocked Pietro, who himself was stationed in the ratty armchair they had found
in the city dump two years back.

“P…p… Fuck!” The Southerner
screamed. Todd expected her to bolt and
run but she surprised him. She crossed
the room in three giant strides and grabbed Tabby by the neck….barehanded. Both girls gasped but Rogue gripped tighter,
her eyes rolling back with the rush of the other girl’s life force. She dropped Boom Boom fairly quickly, Pietro
struggling to cover himself but finding no blanket or clothes nearby to do
so. “Bastard!” she hissed and, with her
“new” powers, dropped a handful of energy balls into his lap.

“Hey!” he yelped. “Rogue, look…” he stood and shot Todd and
angry glance.

“I’m lookin’….I’ve seen enough!” With Tabby twitching and moaning at her
feet, Rogue snapped her fingers and ducked her head in one motion. Todd had the presence of mind to hurl
himself to the floor a split second before the massive explosion. When the ringing in his ears stopped, Todd
opened his eyes to see a hole the size of a Volkswagen Beetle in the
floor. Tabby was beneath the uptu
sofa and Pietro was sprawled near the kitchen door, clutching his most tender
parts while Rogue rubbed ash from her eyes.

“Rogue,” Pietro managed between
gasps and groans, still clutching his crotch, “it was nothing! We’re just
fucking around!”

“Pietro, you ruined it for me!”
Rogue sounded so raw that Todd and Pietro both winced. “I gave as much as I could…”

“Rogue, I was thinking of you!” he
snapped, standing shakily.

“Great consolation,” Todd muttered.

“Fuck you, Pietro. No way in Hell am I getting over this
anytime soon!” Rogue drew back her fist as if to punch him but restrained
herself. “I’m going to walk out of here
and take care of my business. When I
don’t want to rip your spine out of your nose, I’ll come find you.”


Todd waited until they were well
clear of the boardinghouse before speaking.
“Man, Rogue, you really blew the hell outta that joint!”

She started as if she had forgotten
he was there with her. In fact, she had
been so blinded by the image of Tabby riding Pietro that she had almost
forgotten Todd. She glared at him and
muttered “Shut the fuck up!” before trudging onward, leading them towards the

“Um, what’re we looking for again?”

“Kitty. Kurt. Both…whatever…” she
snapped. “Where’d the van go in?”

“On the Mill Bridge. C’mon…” Reflexively, Todd sprang ahead, easily slipping into his namesake’s favored form of
locomotion. Rogue stumbled behind, her
head aching now. Tabby’s thoughts and
feelings were fighting with her own, flashes of images and sensations making
her reel as she tamped them down, wishing that she had practiced her control
exercises more often. “Hey…”

“Wha?” She jerked in surprise. His voice was soft and near her ear and she
felt his cool hand on her back through the fabric of her t-shirt.

“We’re here…” Sure enough, they
were several feet from a gaping hole in the guardrail of Mill Bridge. A car whizzed by behind them, honking at
their presence. Rogue shot them the
bird and crept closer to the edge.

“See anything?” Todd whispered.

“No…a van…”

“Empty,” he muttered. “Wait a sec…” Before she could stop him,
Todd caromed himself down the incline and to the bank of the river with giant

“What?” she called.

“Dunno…can you come down?”

“I’ll try…” Rogue, working through
her headache, lowered herself over the edge of the bridge and dropped, her body
sliding on the loose gravel and surprising her. With a wordless yell, she felt herself skinning down rocks and
brush only to have a wet, hard slap around her arm jerk her to a halt. Without looking, she knew what had stopped
her—If I could get over the slime thing…the tongue might be interesting…

Todd recoiled his tongue and Rogue
made the rest of the trip downhill slowly, taking minutes that seemed like
forever. “Here,” he said when she
joined him on shaky legs. “Marks…”

Rogue stared at the gouges in the
soil with mild confusion. “Huh.” She
paced off the marks, seeming to turn things over and over again in her mind,
before a strange, wicked grin spread across her features. “We’re just too late—the Blackbird got ‘em…”

“How do you know?” Todd moved
slightly closer and crouched as if expecting a blow on the head.

“When you’ve had to detail that
damned jet, you know what the underside looks like. These patterns would match up with the wheel placement…and what
other vehicle is small enough and light enough to set down here without being

Todd shrugged. “Now what?”



Astrid eyed Kurt worriedly. Since Storm had found them on the Professor’s
direction, he had not spoken a word.
Kitty was in and out of consciousness, her thoughts too muddled even for
the Professor to sort out. “Kurti,”
Astrid murmured. He did not even twitch
in her direction. “Kurti, she will be
fine. Rest.” With a gentle tug, she
tried to move her son away from Kitty’s bedside but for the first time since he
was a toddler, he snarled at her. She recoiled with a sharp cry and tears in
her eyes.

“Mama,” he whispered as soon as he
realized what he had done. “Mama…” He launched himself at her with a hash sob
and she forgot her shock, wrapping him in her arms and soothing him with soft
strokes to his hair and neck. “Katzchen…she

“I know…” No, I don’t…

“I love her so much…” He wept abjectly into his mother’s bosom,
feeling like he was a babe in arms again and wanting to burrow into her
comforting warmth, taking Kitty along with him. Over the sounds of his weeping and Astrid’s murmurs, the other
mutants whispered to each other, rumors and speculation over Kitty’s kidnapping
running amuck. Remy, Jubilee, Bobby, St
John, Rahne, Lance and even Amara huddled as close to the bedside as they
dared, feeling useless in the bright lights of the infirmary.

[1] Kind of not
applicable to girls since there’s nothing to hang, as it were, but just the
kind of semi-crude comment I can hear Tabby saying.

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