BY : Nemain
Category: X-Men - Animated Series (all) > General
Dragon prints: 5137
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 Before my usual round of thanks, I have to say that the
story is going to take a slight turn due to a few people complaining about it
being “boring.” er fer feeling indignant
for a time, I feel like that’s the best sort of feedback—honest. So thanks to those who emailed me. Hope this gets you back in the fold…Now,
thanks again to Foxfeather (not in a good enough mood to be effusive) for
beta’ing and being a kickass chick all around… Thanks also to the
archivists. Thanks to those who



retched into the oleander bush for the third time in an hour. Too late, too long, much, much too late… Tabby had disappeared inside some time back,
leaving him alone with his grisly task.
His clothes were stained with soil and…Ugh. Is that blood? I don’t
have anything left to throw up…The shovel fell to the dry soil with a soft
thud, making him cringe. Too
real…much, much too real… He could hear Blob thudding through the house and
heard the huge teenager pause in the living room, just the other side of the
exterior wall. Have to fix that or
something…how? Lance…he would
know…Fuck, did I just defer to Lance on something? Where is his punk ass anyway?
Toad’s probably with him and Rogue…Rogue…she’ll never forgive me…I’ll
never forgive me…The brown mound of soil before him seemed to shout
accusations, damning him and cursing him even as he stood in mute terror. Thoughts of his father were far from his
mind as Pietro felt his knees give way.
Tabby found him laying face-down under the oleander, hands grasping at
the loose mound of dirt under his cheek.
“Pussy,” she snapped. “She
wasn’t worth nothin’ to us—Maggie said so!”

Pietro was
sobbing openly, not caring that she saw.
“When did he say that?”

minutes ago…” Tabby squatted to peer at
the boy. “He called…said he was gonna
come get Ruth for his…whatever. Told
him what happened and he got all quiet…”

“Rage,” he

“Eh. He said he knew what he needed to know. Well, part of it, anyway…” Tabby was bored
and sick of maudlin antics. “So…nice
shoes, wanna fuck?”[1]

moved so quickly that he surprised himself.
He found himself holding Tabitha against the porch rail, his hands tight
around her throat. His head spun
dizzily from inner turmoil and anger combined with the sudden movements but he
shoved it all aside as he inwardly delighted in the pale blue emerging around
Tabby’s lips. “There is a fucking corpse
under the bushes, Tabitha! It’s our
goddamned fault! I wouldn’t fuck you if
you were the last piece of ass on earth!”

singed skin, not cleaned from Rogue’s earlier attack, was slowly purpling as
she wriggled and fought for breath.
Pietro relented slightly, loosening his hold enough for her to get a
squeaking sound out of her throat, sucking in a shallow breath. “Nohe mhe managed, though faintly.

Boom Boom? Scared to die? I’m pretty sure that…whoever that was in that body
bag was fucking scared as Hell!” He could not shake the image of Ruth’s face,
contorted in agony, her hands clutching folds of the bag as if she had tried to
struggle free. She had soiled herself
but he vaguely remembered that that was a common occurrence after death.[2]

Tabby managed
to work one hand free from where it had been pinned behind her. A single energy ball, dropped at their feet,
caused Pietro to let go as he fell back, Tabby crumbling to one side, gasping
for breath. Deep bruises were
evidencing on her neck, purple and red.
“Fucking cocksucker!”

“Is Magneto
coming?” Pietro rose to his knees and panted slightly. “Before I kill you…”

glared. “Didn’t say…Don’t care!” She rubbed absently at her neck and coughed
with each new breath. “Were you really
gonna kill me?”

stood and stared balefully at the mound that lay between them. “I think I would have…”

“What do we

Magneto leave a way for us to contact him?”
Pietro did not dare move—he did not dare take his eyes from his

“Same as
always…he’ll call when he’s damn good and ready.” Tabitha’s voice dropped to a mere whisper. “This is real, isn’t it?”

real…we don’t even know who ss.” s.”
Pietro had to close his eyes and demand that his brain shut out the
images of the dead girl, so close beneath his feet. “I don’t know what to do…”

either…” Tabby hugged herself and shook
with nerves and tears. “We buried her…”

call the cops…what would we say? ‘I was
fucking this chick I live with and the chick my dad put in the body bag for me
to hold onto for him suffocated while we were getting blown up by another girl
who can suck the life out of you with her skin?’ “

“I know, I
know,” Tabby snapped. “You had to bury

“Won’t her
parents miss her?” Pietro found this
idea to be horribly important all of a sudden.

“Maybe she
didn’t have any…I didn’t know Maggie was into experimentation on people.”

reluctantly admitted, “Me, either… But
I don’t think he would use someone who could be traced…”

sighed and stepped across the grave to lay an unusually gentle hand on Pietro’s
shoulder. “C’mon. Standing here won’t help anything. Let’s go somewhere.”




“It’s okay,
Mama…I just have lots of aggression to work out!” Kurt hugged his mother yet again and gave her a gentle
smile. “I’m just going to the gym to
work out some…”

Astrid sighed and gave up. “Okay. I’m just worried. I know that nothing will happen to you between here and there,
but I just worry, especially of late…”

understand.” Kurt shook his head
bemusedly. He was feeling almost fine
for the first time in days. Kitty had
floored him the night before, her words still echoing in his ears, making his
mouth water with a need to kiss her and taste her in every way possible. Gym is good…gym makes me all tired…gooooooood

Astrid cast about furtively, “I don’t know…come see me when you’re done!”

“Ja, Mama…I
promise!” Kurt let her ruffle his hair
fondly, offering only a token grimace in return. All the way to the gym several levels beneath him, Kurt thought
of Kitty and the aoo-boo-brief conversation they shared the previous
evening. She had told him she did not
remember large chunks of Magneto’s prison, she did not know where it was just
that she was deep under water. Her
declaration in the shower had all but made him take her then and there,
regardless of his promise to wait until her birthday, regardless of her fragile
state. When she pulled away, he was
sure that she was looking at him with as much desire as he held for her, but
Kuouldould not give in. He helped her
finish rinsing off and gently toweled her dry, Kitty strangely silent
throughout. When he led her to the bed,
she asked him to stay until she fell asleep, admitting she was more than a
little scared of nightmares. He stayed,
stayed until it was almost dawn, before untangling himself from her seeking grasp
and ‘ported to his own room to fall into a fitful sleep. Now, he noted as he passed the clock outside
the gym doors, it was nearly ten a.m. and Kitty was still closeted with the
Professor. After checking on her once, Logan had vanished several hours ago as
had Storm. Makes me worry. Kitty looked pinched and pained the last he had seen of her, through the
throng of Jamies who darted across the hall ahead of a rather irked-looking
Bobby and St John. The entire mansion
was off of school that day, mostly because the Professor knew there was no way
he could make them all stay at school with the excitement back home but also in
part because no plausible story about Kitty’s disappearance had been concocted
as of then. Kurt shook his head at the
situation as he entered the empty gym, pleased that he would be alone for the
duration of his workout. What’s the
most painful? I’ll do that first… Kurt settled on inverted sit ups, something
he hated doing but Logan insisted they perform at least one hundred of each
workout. Only Kurt, Scott and Spyke had
ever done a full set, the other mutants falling out well before fifty. Easily flipping himself onto the horizontal
bar and hooking his knees over it to fall backwards, Kurt missed the “snick” of
the opening door as Kitty slipped in, pale and quiet.

Oh. Oh my…I can sure pick my time… Kitty had been released from the Professor’s
scrutiny mere moments before after finally giving in and letting him “scan”
her, not trusting her own account of the ordeal. She had gone seeking Kurt immediately, following Astrid’s
directions as to his location. Me
likes… Aside from a lingering headache and a general malaise, Kitty felt
fine. Almost. She still felt as if she had been torn
somehow. Ruth was a ghost to her yet
real, adding to the layers of confusion already muddling Kitty’s mind. The Professor had told her that the Ruth she
saw was not the Ruth she remembered but rather a construct of Magneto’s, kept
alive beyond what was natural. Don’t
care…still Ruth… Kitty had been
thrilled to see no one lingered around the gym and correctly assumed that Kurt
would be in there alone. The sight that
greeted her, however, was enough to make her forget her depressive state and
just linger in the “now.” Kurt was
rapidly building up a sweat, shirtless and clad only in the black track pants
most of the males of the mansion seemed to favor. His tail was wrapped around the bar to keep out of the way and
Kitty found herself wondering if he would mind her helping hold it aside, just
to feel him. Who needs to wait? I need Kurt… She slipped closer, choosing a seat on the weight bench near the
door. Lovely blue fur… Kurt was nearing the end of his repetitions and
Kitty braced almost eagerly to see what he was going to do next.

dropped off the bar after one hundred sit ups and stretched his arms over his
head, letting his tail sway loosely. A
little better…A slight smile playing over his features, Kurt bounded across
the gym to the small set of gymnastics equipment kept there for general use, ostensibly
but really only used by himself and Jubilee, once by Remy that he knew of. And only then to impress the girls… Kurt chose the rings first, usually
considered the most difficult portion of men’s gymnastics but his personal
favorite. With a great leap, he seized
the twin rings and let himself hang for a moment, letting the familiarity wash
over him. Deep breath and go! Kurt launched into a series of stunning
swings and flips, hands leaving the rings to turn in the air every once in a
while. God, this feels good…

chewed her lower lip as she watched her boyfriend. I am so lucky…for soooooo many reasons… Kitty felt
sensations she had thought she would never feel again. Her skin warmed as she watched Kurt’s
muscles work beneath his skin and fur, his face bearing a statement of easy,
almost non-effort. He’s so
happy. Do I make him happy? I want to… Kitty’s shoulder twinged faintly as she leaned further forward to
give Kurt a good once-over, eyes lingering on some of his more obvious
attributes. I’ve got to get him to
wear baggier jeans at school…don’t want anyone looking at his ass and getting
ideas… Kitty smirked at her very possessive
turn. Let’s say it’s hormones and
not too much Logan-time… A second later, her eyes flew wide open as Kurt
pushed himself into a difficult move known as the Iron Cross, necessitating
great upper body control. His arms held
straight out to his sides, Kurt hung suspended between the two rings, his arms
very faintly trembling with effort. Oh…oh…I
can’t feel my toes or my fingers…Why did it take me so long to see how hot he

He was not
sure why, but Kurt felt he was being watched.
Ghosts in the mansion…or is it Logan making sure that I’m not using
the equipment wrong? With a sigh,
he eased out of the cross position and let himself drop to the ground. “What do you want?”

“Well…” Kitty rose slowly, easy on her sore
muscles. Kurt had stiffened at the
sound of her voice and now whirled to face her. He was dripping sweat and Kitty thought he had never looked more

“Katzchen.” Kurt could think of nothing else to
say. Kitty was pale in the white light
of the r her her eyes burning darkly in her face. She swayed slightly, making Kurt twitch forward but halt his
movements when she stilled herself, fixing him with that burning gaze. “You’re here…”

observant of you.” Kitty smiled then,
her lips curving sweetly. “I had to
find you.”

clenched his fests by his sides and swallowed convulsively. “Ah…the Professor…done?”

“For now,”
she shrugged. “I can’t tell him
anything more…I let him scan me just to make him happy…”

Schatz…” he whispered. “I’m sorry…”

“It wasn’t
too bad…I let him…” She took one
tentative step forward and paused, eyeing him with a mixture of predatory
interest and desperate need for comfort.

“Ja?” he

peeps! Whatsa whatsa?”[3] Jubilee, in all her yellow-clad, bubble gum
chewing glory, bounced into the room and threw her gym bag down on the floor
near the wall. “You guys working up a

“Not yet…”
Kitty growled, dra a s a surprised look from Kurt and an oblivious one from
Jubilee. The Asian girl made a
noncommittal noise and cracked her back.
“So, Jubes, you gonna be in here a while?”

“Eh. Thought I’d work on my balance beam
techniques…been a few days since I’ve been on that damned thing…” She shrugged and eyed Kitty. “What’re you doing up and around
anyway? Don’t get me wrong!” she
hastened to add, “I’m thrilled as a bitch in heat that you’re back…but shouldn’t
you be resting?”

“I’m all
rested out, frankly. I’ve done my time
with the Professor and now I just want to…be.”
Kitty raised her brows. “Where’s
your shadow?”

cleared his throat. “Remy went into
town…said he had to take care of some stuff.
Saw him at breakfast.”

The girls
looked at him as if he had grown another head.
Finally, Jubilee said, “Oh. I
was wondering.” She sauntered over to
the balance beam and hopped on, tuning out the couple across the gym.

Kurt felt
frustration knot in his chest. Kitty
wants to be together now and Jubilee is here…We can go to my room…or
hers…Wait…mama is still about. Kurt opened his mouth to say something to
Kitty but caught her miffed glare. “Was?”

she snapped, making him follow the direction of her gaze. Jubilee flushed a deep red at getting caught
out staring.

“What? A girl can look…” she muttered, turning her
back on them again and setting herself flowing into a series of back

Kurt knew
he was blushing under his fur. “That’s
never happened before…”

“What? A
girl looking at you? Happens all the
time…” Kitty frowned slightly. “So long as they don’t touch.”

rt srt smiled
crookedly. “I’ll have to show you my ‘I Belong to Katzchen’ sign sometime…I
wear it in gym all the time…”

grinned then. I feel better now…
“So…you belong to me, then?”

“Of course,
Liebes. No other…” Kurt took two long strides toward her and
grasped her elbows in his hands. “Kitty,
Mein Engel…”

guys! What’s up?”

came the chorus of voices from the trio in the gym.

“Um, anyone
seen Rahne? I kind of need to talk to
her…” Jamie ducked his head to avoid the suddenly appraising gazes of the older
mutants. “No? Well, then…” Before he could leave, the girl in question
bounded through the door. “Oh, I was
looking for you!”

The suddenly goofy look on both their faces made Kitty roll her eyes at Kurt
and Jubilee gawk. “I was lookin’ for
ye, as well.” She tugged himr tor to a
low wooden bench that ran half the length of the far wall. The two sat huddled close together, blushing
furiously and awkwardly holding hands, whispering confidences in hushed tones.

“Fuck me.”
Jubilee’s surprised statement was echoed silently by Kurt and Kitty. “A boy and his dog…”

“Stuff it,
Lee, afore I bite ye…” Rahne called from across the room.

Jubilee could respond, Astrid entered. “Oh,
Kurt! You were gone so long and…Kitty!” She practically flew across the room to take
Kitty into a tight embrace. “Never do
that again!” she ordered as she let the girl go.

“Yes, ma’am.
I promise never to get kidnapped again…” She rolled her eyes again and this
time Kurt smiled. Astrid tucked Kitty
under her arm and looped her other through Kurt’s. “Now, I think you two need to come and keep an old woman company.”

“Mama, you’re
not old!”

“Scarcely a
day over thirty!” Kitty teased gamely.

‘Flatterers!” They walked towards the elevators, a mood of
general good will settling over the trio. “What did you plan on doing today?”

me, Mama. You don’t want to know…”Ah…Kitty?” He inwardly smirked at the
answer, seeing the double entendre.

“Kurt.” The
mutant in question caught her statement as opposed to a rebutted question and
stumbled at her straightforward answer.

“Birthday so
soon?” he murmured when he regained his footing.

‘Was ist
all this nonsense?” Astrid tugged them to a stop. “Stop talking crazy, Kurt…Kitty,
did you two have plans for today?”

“Just to…be
here, I guess. I just wanted to…” she
flushed hotly before continuing, “to be with Kurt all day.”

“Me, too!”
Astrid smiled brightly. “I’ve got both
of you safe and sound and you will have to forgive my paranoia, but I don’t
want to let you out of my sight all day!”

groaned only faintly but Kitty’s next statement floored him and gave him hope
for the evening. “That’s fine by me…so
long as Kurt gets to tutor me in German tonight…”

Katzchen…” He bit his lip to keep from
making a lewd statement in front of his mother, settling instead for, “I really
think we need to review your last lesson…”

agree enthusiastically…” Kitty murmured dryly as they stepped onto the lift.

looked from one to the other of them before muttering, “I am not so oblivious
as all that!”


Rogue was
shaking badly, cold and hot at once. Body
bag…body bag…who… She wept silently
into her hands, pressed over her eyes as if they could shield her from
reality. Pietro…no… Her heart was not breaking but seemed to be
melting, dissolving.

“Hey, what’s
up, yo?” Todd had been crouched in
front of the television, unnoticed by Rogue when she entered the room and sank
into the wingback chair. He had heard
her come into the rec room but had not moved for fear that she was going to be
surly or worse, call Scott or Kurt or someone to jump him. Her sniffle, though, had been his
undoing. Walking rather than leaping,
he moved to her and crouched again, this time at her feet. Appropriate…

“Nothing…nothing…” Her eyes were luminous in the dim room and
Todd was fascinated. She looked down at
him without rancor or malice, just bare grief and pain. “Something…”

swallowed the lump rising in his throat and knelt rather than crouched, almost
touching her knees with his chest, his flat nipples tightening with the
near-contact. “Tell me…” he whispered,
hoping against reason that she would.

“Why should

“Cuz…I’m a
good listener?”

question or a statement?”

Todd sighed and did dare, then, to touch her.
He leaned forward and pressed his chest against her jeans-clad
legs. She gave him a searching look and
sighed, sliding slightly lower to press back against him. “Please?”

“You know,
you’re not as much of an ass now as you used to be…”

he half-joked.

thought maybe you’d gotten sick of the Brotherhood and had seen the light…”

Show me
the way, Baby…”What is it?” he prompted.

“I saw
things, Todd,” she sighed. “Tabby saw
things…scary things…”


dead, Todd…” Rogue twisted her fingers
into her white forelock.

“Wh…who?” Pietro?
Tabby? WHO???????

“I don’t
know!” she choked before covering her face again. “Fuck! I hate this!”

Todd licked
his suddenly dry lips. “Did you, ah,
tell anyone?”

Professor…he knows. He said he thinks he
knows…” Rogue’s voice was muffled and Todd felt a surge of protectiveness.

He patted
her hunched shoulder, smoothing her hair where it fell onto her shoulders. “I got nothin’…”

lifted her face to peer at the smaller boy, eyes narrow in examination. “Todd, do you care about me or about sex?”

Taken off
guard, he replied, “Ah, both…”

‘Thought so…Why
do you like me?”

Rogue…You’re you…” He rocked back, breaking contact, only to have her reach out
and grab his hand. “Huh?”

“Comfort me,
damn it!”

[1] A real pick
up line. Heard it a few times in clubs
and bars. Appropriate answer is

[2] Really. Everything in your body evacuates.

[3] I have a
friend with shockingly bad timing and she always seems to say this as she
bounds into a room…

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