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.

Disclaimers Apply

A/N Foxfeather rocks with her big tub and it's dolphin and Ted the Scuba Diver... (ooooh...Ted in a wet suit...) InterNutter, TC and Maxwell Pink are supersexyspecial for archiving. Everyone who read/reviewed/didn't use my story for birdcage liner, Milioni di baci e lecca a voi da me. (if you can figure out what it means, you get a cookie on top of it all...)

Kitty blinked at the ceiling, the last traces of her dream creating ghost-images on the white surface. She knew that she was not in her own bed, something that she dimly thought should have bothered her, but the smells of the room were comforting, familiar, and she knew she was safe. _His mattress is soft...I think that's why I sleep so well here... _ Kitty had developed a habit well into her friendship with Kurt of taking naps in his bed while he did his homework in the afternoons, but she had not done so in a while, not since they had begun their physical relationship, she realized. _Huh. We're sleeping together but not sleeping together...The irony of it all... _ Kitty buried her face against one purple-clad pillow and sighed. _I guess I'd better get my ass in gear...I can't ride the pity train forever. I don't want to, anyway...I'd be worse than Amara on a bad day, then... _ Kitty stretched languidly and yawned, popping her jaw loudly and wincing as a tight, sore sensation spread from her shoulder up her neck and down to her fingers. _At least it's healing... _ Tender fingers prodded the sore on her shoulder and she tamped down a roil of queasiness he fhe felt dampness and scabs spread across her skin. _Need a new bandage...ugh... _ Kitty rolled to her feet and noted with mild dismay that her wound had seeped onto Kurt's bedding. _Not like I haven't had to wash blood out of sheets before...1 _ With quick hands, she stripped Kurt's bed, including the pillows, and wrapped the whole kit into the bedspread before shouldering her burden and phasing herself (with no small amount of wooziness) through the door and into the hall. _Gotta get some breakfast...what time is it, anyway? _ The mansion seemed silent, the old wood creaking and settling as she padded on silent feet down the stairs and to the laundry room, depositing her bundle on her way to the kitchen. _Food first, then laundry... _
The kitchen was empty, the coffee pot cold and dishes washed since breakfast. Kitty's eyes found the faintly hazy blue digital clock on the microwave and startled in surprise. _Two o'cloco?# Fuck me! How could I sleep so long? _ She looked dumbly down at her pajamas-actually a pair of Kurt's boxer shorts that she purloined from the laundry over a week ago (clean, of course) and an t-shirt that she suspected belonged to Scott at one point but was quite disreputable in it's current state. _Everyone will be getting home in an hour or so! Shit! _ Kitty grabbed some yogurt and wolfed it down, snaffling down an apple and a handful of grapes before she left the kitchen with the salt box firmly under her arm. Her path back to the laundry room took her near the downstairs study, it's door cracked open and voices drifting out into the hall. _Hello, hello, hello...Logan sounds pissed... _ She paused, debating whether or not to pop in and wrestle her foster father to the ground in a bear hug, then chide him for bailing as soon as she got back. His words froze her in her tracks, one hand on the door to push it open.
"She was here, 'Ro...she was you." He sounded subdued, but Kitty could sense the steel underlying his soft tone.
"Mystique? How...?" There was a scraping noise that Kitty recognized as a chair across the hardwood floors as she assumed Storm stood. Kitty very nearly dropped the box of salt as it sank in that Logan was serious, that Mystique had been there.
"She was you," he repeated. "Where have you been?"
"I would really like to wait for Charles and Hank are able to get here be I t I tell all that happened." Kitty was kneeling now, her face close to the opening in the door and her hands shaking, pressed to her thighs to still them. Storm passed her line of sight, her legs surprisingly bare beneath a short shift, her hair twisted into a knot at the nape of her neck. Kitty wondered if the woman had just woken up herself but dismissed the thought. _Storm would never sleep late...She's too perfect by half... _
Logan crossed to the woman almost angrily. "You tell me now, 'Ro! It was only out of respect for Chuck that I didn't gut the woman last night and give her skin to Kitty as a welcome-home present. Now you tell me where you've been because God help me, I will kill that woman without a sd thd thought if she..."
Storm cut him off with a hiss. "No one will die by your hand, Logan. Not today, not anytime soon. I was inside Magneto's prison. It's not very far, just over the border in Canada. It's beneath a lake and whatever else, I cannot tell." Her voice grew quiet. "I crashed the Blackbird in the woods. He has a defense system of destroyed the nav controls and I lost my artificial horizon."
Logan's voice was tight. "Are you okay?"
"Shaken..." Storm passed Kitty's view again and paused, making Kitty draw back.
"Mystique said she broke from Magneto because of what he was doing to Ruth and Kitty..." Logan sniffed deeply and Kitty knew she had been caught, but she could not force her legs to move. In a softer tone, Logan continued, "She said that she brought Kitty back for Kurt.."
The girl stifled a gasp of shock as Storm barked hers. "Kurt? She is feeling maternal now?"
Logan sank into the sofa and Kitty felt her mind whirl a thousand miles an hour as she tried to piece this new image of Mystique with that of the woman who had been her willing captor, her willing torturer. She sat back on her heels, her hands coming to cover her eyes, when a hand descended on her shoulder. "Kitty?"
"Ah!" she gasped, Storm's murmurings covering the noise. Astrid stepped back and raised her hands in a gesture of surrender.
"Sorry...I saw you sitting here and I wondered if everything was okay..." Astrid knew that her son's girlfriend had been eavesdropping but chose to be politic, figuring that she had her reasons.
"Sure, sure," Kitty lied guiltily, rising to her feet and hurrying from the door, Astrid following perforce. "I'm just going to do laundry."
"Need some company?" Astrid kept pace with Kitty, not giving the girl a chance to answer before launching into a story about the first time Kurt had found the dirty clothes hamper when he was a toddler. "And when we found him," she giggled, "He had his father's underwear on his head and one of my bras tangled with his tail!"
Kitty could not help but chuckle, albeit weakly, at this image. She unwrapped the bundle of sheets and said, "Were you worried, him being missing for hours like that?"
Astrid hopped onto the counter and sat, swinging her feet in a girlish mannerism. "Oh, ja! We thought we were the worst parents in the world! I was sure he had been kidnapped or fallen into the river, or worse! We stayed near the animal trainer in those days and Kurti was just the right size for a one-bite tiger snack!"
Kitty shuddered theatrically. "Tigers! Weren't you scared to raise your son in a circus?" She reached past Astrid familiarly and turned the sink on to a trickle, letting the water mix with the salt in her hand.
"Nein..." Astrid shrugged philosophically. "His father and I lived almost our entire lives in the circus and it's a matter of common sense, living there. Besides," she grinned, "no one messes with gypsies! Not even the tigers!"
Satisfied with the paste in her hand, Kitty shut off the water and carefully moved past Astrid again, smearing the mix liberally onto the blood stains on Kurt's sheets. "Kurt said...he said he was scared when I was gone...that felt weird to me," she finally confided.
"Weird? Why?" Astrid stopped swinging her feet and made a moue of confusion. "He loves you and it's natural to worry... especially if the one you loved has been kidnapped, ja?"
"Yes cou course! But it's just...he is so open with me and...oy, why am I talking about this with his mother?" Kitty shook her head and shoved the sheets into the machine filling with cold water to soak away the blood.
"Because I am his mother... Kurt is a subject near and dear to my heart-his welfare and happiness are mine."
Kitty sighed and leaned against the gently thumping washer. "I know how you feel..."
"You love him, ja?"
"Yes...very much. He's the only thing that kept me from going stark raving mad those two days with Magneto. I kept thinking about him saving me, about him talking to me...just him." Kitty felt like crying under Astrid's penetrating gaze. "I've never had anyone care so much for me before and I don't think I can love him enough!" She did cry then, turning away from Astrid and covering her face with her hands. "And this with Mystique...she's...I don't want her near Kurt!"
Astrid slid to stand on the floor and laid a gentle hand on Kitty's back. "Kitty, something you need to understand about Kurt..."
"Katzchen!" Kurt skidded into the room like his tail was on fire, eyes wild with worry. Seeing his mother and his best beloved2 standing together in the laundry room, Kurt let out a sharp sigh of relief. He swept Kitty into his arms before she realized he had crossed the room and was pressing fervent kisses of relief against her cheeks and chin.
"To what do we owe the honor?" Astrid asked dryly.
"I called at lunch and..." pause for more kisses, ones that Kitty did not want to fight, "no one answered..." Kurt squeezed Kittyhis his chest and lifted her off the floor, murmuring love-words into her neck. "I worried..."
Astrid cleared her throat. "Maybe you'd like to put her down now?"
"Yeah, um, Kurt...could you?" Kitty was slightly breathless from the sudden blitzkrieg of affection, but she was more embarrassed that it had occurred in front of Kurt's mother. "Sorry..."
"Nein, nein," Kurt waved away her concern with one hand while keeping the other on her waist. "Don't be sorry...If I had had my way, I would have been here hours ago." With a faint glower, he added, "Scott wouldn't let me leave.."
Astrid chuckled. "And here I was worried that a houseful of teenagers wouldn't have one brain cell among them!" She slid one arm around Kurt and surprised Kitty by including her in the hug. "Kitty's been here all day-I heard the phone ring but didn't answer it because this isn't my home..." A swift, motherly kiss on both their foreheads left the teenagers mildly embarrassed. "Now, Kitty is going to get dressed and Kurt, you are going to eat something before you faint. I'm going to find Logan and...have a chat..." she finished cryptically.
"The laundry..." Kitty protested.
"...will still be here after you have proper clothes on!" Astrid winked at her. "Besides, I think Kurt is about to have a heart attack, what with you in that outfit!"
Kitty glanced at her boyfriend and was a little pleased to see his glazed eyes indeed were fixed on her. "I'll change..." She kissed Kurt quickly on the cheek and smiled a little wanly at Astrid. "I'll see you later."
Kurt waited until Kitty was gone before asking "What's wrong Mama?"
"Nothing...Well, something, but I'm not sure." Astrid frowned and followed her son from the laundry room, only speaking again when they were in the hall. "I'm hoping Logan's little crush on me will loosen his lips."
"Was?" Kurt stopped dead in his tracks. "" He was not sure if he wanted to laugh, cry, or kill Logan. _All of the above, please! _
"Kurti, I'm still a woman. Just because I'm your mother doesn't mean men don't see me!" Astrid laughed at the expression on her son's face. "Please! It's normal! I'm rather flattered he finds me attractive..."
"Wouldn't care...I'm not going to sleep with the man...just flirt...get information!"
"Papa would so care!" Kurt felt the urge to stamp his foot like a child but restrained himself. "I know I'd certainly care if Kitty flirted with another man!"
Astrid sighed indulgently. "Kurt, relationships are complex things. Flirting is not the same as love or even like. Logan knows it and won't expect anything more from me. Look at it this way," she said with a glint of amusement, "I might be giving the old man a thrill!" She winked cheekily at her son and hurried off down the hall, leaving him staring after her in agape shock.

Remy was stalking Jubilee, the Asian girl unaware of his presence in the garden as she went about her daily chore of weeding the herbs and vegetables. He moved silently, ears tuned to her humming and soft curses as she came across a thorn or bug. He smiled in predator fashion as he neared her, hunkering behind one of the small scrub trees bordering the garden, setting the vegetables apart from the rest of the lawn. A fle fle to his right made Remy snap his head in the direction of the noise and part of his brain noted Jubilee did the same, dropping into a crouch, ready to launch herself at the intruder. _Good girl-never lose dem instincts, eh? _ Lance slid through the pile of leaves between the shed and the garden, drawing Jubilee to her feet and Remy out of hiding.
"Hey," he said simply.
"What you doin' here, Avalanche?" Remy growled.
"What are you doing here, Gumbo?" Jubilee asked, hands hanging loosely at her sides in mild surprise.
"Gotta talk to you two," Lance said, sounding mildly agitated. "You two can blow stuff up, right?"
Remy answered cautiously, "I kin charge tings...make 'em go "boom" if'n I want to..."
Jubilee snarled at Lance. "Blow stuff up? Have you ever seen me use my powers?"
Lance waved his hand impatiently. "I need some stuff destroyed without a trace, not even ashes. Just...gone! Can you do it?"
Remy and Jubilee exchanged glances and edged closer together. "Mebbe...what it be?"
"Can't say...Just that I need it gone fast and I need secrecy." Lance looked over his shoulder as if expecting the boogey man.
Jubilee narrowed her gaze. "So you come to us?"
Lance shrugged. "You're thieves, right? Thieves are secret people."
Remy chuckled. "He got a point, chere."
"Shut it, Gumbo." Jubilee stepped to Lance and gathered a fistful of his shirt, pulling him down so that they were eye to eye. "Whatever this is, I know it's illegal. I am not about to go down for some Brotherhood stunt!"
Lance jerked away savagely, Remy stepping forward to interfere if need be. Lance snapped, "Don't question me! Destroying...this...will help Kitty in the end and I need it done now! I've set some things into motion.."
Remy sighed. Somehow, he knew he would regret this. "Fine. Bring it to the dock behind the boathouse, whatever it is..." Lance spun on his heel and took off at a dead run around the house. Jubilee shoved Remy and he mock-yelped. "Why you hit me, p'tite?"
She stomped in the direction of the pier, only answering Remy when he caught up with her. "Why'd you offer to help him?"
"He not a bad egg, eh? He tryin'." Remy slid his hand around her elbow and slowed her stride. "Chere, you don' hafta be so angry all de time...Lance really tryin' to fit here for Amara."
Jubilee snorted. "She doesn't even fit here!"
" be very bitchy sometimeh?"eh?"
"Bitchy?" she screeched then stopped, hearing her own voice. "Fuck me. I am, aren't I?"
"Oui, mais I wouldn't want you any other way..." Remy pulled her close and kissed her soundly on the mouth as Lance's broken cadence sounded on the boards. "That be it?" Remy asked over Jubilee's head.
"Yeah...all of it!" He dropped a large bag, the sort used to carry baseball equipment3, onto the deck. "Think you can do it?"
Jubilee walked around the bag and nodded shortly. "Remy?"
"Piece o'gateau.4"

Lance stood back and felt the fear ebb from his bones as the contents and the bag were reduced to a mere smear of plasma and ash on the deck, waiting to scuff the marks away until after Jubilee and Remy had done their task. _Shovel gone, gloves gone, bag gone...Body in Brotherhood basement...No hitches at all... _

1 Women...enough said.
2 Stolen from Bujold again...
3 Like a huge duffle bag
4 cake

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