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 Goddess Foxfeather and her newly carpeted floor rock, especially because Ted is very giving with the backrubs (which in turn is a good influence on Billy and Joaquin to be the same way! Lol) InterNutter, TC, and Maxwell Pink rock with extra ketchup for archiving and all the reviewers and readers are luscious. Meow....... The ducks send kisses.

Kitty knew that Kurt had left. She felt his absence as keenly as she would a missing limb, the warmth he provided suddenly gone and leaving her cold as death. Kitty waited several minutes before slipping out of bed, her night-shirt clad form shuddering in the cool air of the room as she put on her fuzzy slippers and traipsed to the door, debating whether or not to follow Kurt or to seek out Professor Xavier. It was several mind-wracking seconds before she opted for car cause-to seek out the man she knew could help her. On silent feet, Kitty passed the shut doors of sleeping mutants, Amara's the only one open so much as a sliver, the warm smell of some incense drifting out into the hallway. The Jewish girl paused for a moment, finding the smell a strange balm to her whirling mind, but forced her feet onward to the dark end of the hall, furthest from the stairs and somehow always avoided by the students. _It's just the Professor's's not like Bluebeard is keeping his wives in there...1 _ This end of the hall was paneled in dark wood and lacked windows; no ancillary halls branched off to other bedrooms or study nooks, no closets offered respite for those looking to hide from a tutor's angry eyes. The door to the study blended almost perfectly with the dark walls, but Kitty, from long practice of trying to find Kurt in dark corners and rooms, was able to pick out the faint gleam of the doorknob a little to her left. _Shit, locked...of course it would be... _ With a sigh, Kitty compulsively checked both ways before phasing into the room and found herself bathed in thick shadows, the smell of leather and books and something refined and very Professor assaulted her nose with delicate tendrils. Kitty was suddenly acutely aware that she was being watched, if not with eyes then with probing mental fingers, seeking who was invading this inner sanctum. _*It's me, Professor...I need to talk to you and this is the only way I was sure I'd get your attention... * _ Kitty knew this was a lame excuse for breaching the Professor's privacy and coming into his private study unattended, but it was the truth. She received no answer but some inner sense alerted her to his coming. Still in darkness, Kitty found a chair, barking her shin in the process and nearly falling off the arm of the sofa she had initially sat on, settling purposefully into a deep leather armchair, distinctly masculine in design and function. Soon, she heard the door creak open softly and a deepening of shadows let her focus on where she knew the Professor to be.
"Some light, Kitty?" The Professor's smooth voice was only lightly edged by sleep, making Kitty realize yet again that he was, after all, merely human.
"Um, sure...I guess..." She blinked rapidly when he turned on a small table lamp, enough luminescence to reveal faces but not enough to truly blind them. He stared at her steadily until Kitty was compelled to speak. "Do you know why I'm here?"
"Just the reason that you told me...Contrary to apparently popular belief, I do not make it a habit to read the students' minds all the time...rarely, in fact, do I scan you. Teenage thought processes are quite taxing." He spared her a small chuckle before his face settled into more serious lines. "I can only assume that it is of great importance for us to speak, otherwise you would not have done this." A small wave of his hand indicated her ersatz breaking-and-entering.
Kitty as very aware that she was clad only in her thin nightshirt and pink fuzzy slippers, making her feel more exposed than she thought pose. e. Her cheeks reddened in embarrassment but the Professor pretended not to notice, merely nodding for her to get on with it. "I need to see old pictures of you and Magneto...I know you have some! I need to see him when he was younger..."
"May I ask why?" the Professor murmurfterfter his initial startlement.
Kitty licked her dry lips and stared at her bare knees, some part of her mind noticing that she needed to shave her legs and wondering if Kurt cared or could tell through all his fur. "It sounds crazy...But this Shiva that I've been seeing?"
'The Jungian archetype?" he asked wryly.
"That'd be him..." Kitty cleared her throat sheepishly. "Um, he's really loud in my head, telling me that Ruth isn't one of mine because she looks like someone else, that Magneto is the key and to see him young is to know the secret."
"Kitty," the Professor began, pausing to study his fingers and then giving her a hard glance. "What are you saying?"
"I'm saying...I don't know!" She threw back her head and harshly sighed, closing her eyes against potential tears. "I can't explain how I know or why I think this, but somehow, I think Ruth and Magneto are related. Me and Magneto... Us. I don't know. He's known my grandfather since the war and I was thinking maybe that's just it...that he wanted her because of my grandfather...but I don't know now. Please, Professor...It'll make me feel better, make this voice stop!" She clutched the arms of the chair frantically, alarming the usually calm Professor somewhat.
"How often do you hear this voice, Kitty?"
"Often, lately..." Kitty breathed deeply and leveled her gaze. "I'm not crazy...mentally ill, insane, whatever...that's not me. I just have...issues. Please, Professor-I _need _ to see the pictures."
He wheeled closer to her, resting one hand on her shoulder in a fatherly gesture. "Kitty, two things. First of all, I have a few pictures of us as young one has ever seen them save for myself and Magneto. They are...too painful of a memory...for me to look on often. Second of all, I think it is in your best interest, until you feel up to par, you will be homes schooled with Amara and Remy. I feel-we feel-that it is best to give you time to recuperate from your losses this year."
Kitty felt her head snap with the sudden subject change. "Huh?" She shook her hair back from her eyes. "Will I fall behind?"
The Professor smiled gently. "On the contrary...I think this will also give you an opportunity to work to your abilities instead of being constrained by the school's curriculum."
Kitty saw a glimmer of light in a dark tunnel. "So maybe I can be a senior next year instead of a junior?"
"Don't get ahead of yourself, but it's certainly a possibility..." The Professor's expression slid from placating to pensive. "Let me get those photos." On silent wheels, he moved to the far wall and touched a low shelf. With a faint _whoosh _ , a small door opened, the size of a breadbox, within the shelves, reveal a small section of the books to be false. Kitty quirked a brow in mild surprise and the Professor reached in and brought forth an aged envelope, yellowing and thick from fine linen stock. He carried it as if it were fragile, which, Kitty reflected, it probably was. The Professor looked weaker than she had ever seen him, the weight of memories crushing his mighty stature in her eyes. Instead of feeling pity, Kitty felt strangely pleased that this man who both intimidated and loved her could be subject to such human emotions as the rest of them. "Come to the desk. I'll lay them out."

The pictures were in two rows, all taken within a one-year sp The The date was not obvious to Kitty but the clothing was shabby yet clean, the style indicative of the late forties or early fifties. The Professor remained silent but sadness and frustration wafted from him like smoke, intangible but existent. The first three pictures almost made Kitty giggle. It was Professor Xavier, that was obvious, but he had hair. _Lots of it, too, _ she marveled. She cut her eyes sideways at her mentor and he smiled wryly, nodding for her to keep looking. In the pictures, he was smiling widely, already in his wheelchair but an older type than the sleek one he had currently. He seemed to be talking to someone off camera and pointing to a complex formula on a chalkboard behind him. The fourth picture made Kitty gasp. _Magneto! No, then he was just Eric. Eric and Charles, at school together... _ The boys, as Kitty now called him, seemed to be engaged in animated discussion, striking exaggerated poses for whoever was taking the photos. In the second row of photos, a woman's head appeared, back only, between the two youths. They seemed to both be talking to her, her hands on both of their shoulders. She did not appear again until the last photo and Kitty let out a strangled gasp, verging on a scream, when she saw who it was. "That's...that's..."
The Professor leaned forward alertly, looking as if he already knew the rest of her sentence.
"That's my grandmother..." She staggered backwards and half-sat, half-slumped into the easy chair. "What....what..."
The Professor's brow wrinkled as he scooped all the pictures together. "Are you sure of that, Kitty? Absolutely sure?"
"As sure as I'm sitting here..." she whispered.
"I think you may need a sedative..."
"Tell me. Professor...why was she there? Who was she to you?" Kitty closed her eyes and ground her teeth, angry at whichever God was listening and cared for twining her life with Magneto's.
He was silent a long moment. "I had not thought much on her since the last time I saw her, just days after this photo was taken. She and Eric...Magneto...were close."
"How close?"
"Kitty...are you sure you want these answers?"
"_Tell me!" _ She was trying not to yell but finding it difficult.
"I should have made the connection earlier...but her last name was different then. She was not yet Simonov. She was still Savalev. She was seeing Simonov casually then, but Eric...Eric caught her fancy early on."
"She never said anything about an Eric... Never once during all of her stories..." _I wasn't that close to her, but still... _
"She wouldn't have...she left town in shame when he wouldn't marry her."
"Excuse me?" Reality was dawning, not with slow light but a harsh glare.
"Kitty, there is no clean way to cut this cord. Eric and your...your grandmother had a passionate affair. I am willing to admit I was jealous at the time-they seemed happy, passionate and destined to burn brightly. However, as with all stars, they must eventually collapse. She became pregnant and told Eric. He refused to marry her, claiming his research was far too important at that time."
"Oh, God..."
"She married Simonov in a shotgun ceremony, barely Orthodox but still within bounds of the religion." The Professor sighed. "Kitty, I don't know what facility you have that made you connect the dots where I couldn't, despite being there for most of these events, but I believe you have made a connection here."
"Magneto is Ruth's grandfather..."
"Simonov never knew of Eric's paternity, nearest I could figure. I know she was not going to tell him..." The Professor spread his hands wide. "Magneto and I have not been close, obviously, so there is no way to know what all has gone on in the meantime."
"Magneto...grandfather..." Kitty felt numb all over.
"Kitty..." The Professor's face loomed large before her. "How many fingers am I holding up?"
Kitty's eyes snapped into focus. With startling clarity, she said, "Magneto is my kith and kin. He killed Ruth. He has to pay."
"Kitty, calm down a moment...This is raw and fresh. You are speaking rashly."
Kitty had a weird smile on her face. ", I'm not. You know how I know?" She smiled toothily and tapped her forehead. "Shiva is quiet now."

"Beer?" Logan shouted above the din.
Astrid eyed the dimly lit bar dubiously. She somehow doubted that the bartender had white wine, much less had ever heard of it. "Sure."
"What kind?" Logan nodded his head in the direction of the taps.
She shrugged nonchalantly, hoping her nervousness did not show. "I'll get a seat!" He nodded and she threaded her way through a sea of rather sketchy looking barflys, finding a reasonably clean booth near the ladies' room, something Astrid else had her doubts about. Using the edge of her purse to sweep straw wrappers and other debris from the table top, she gingerly sat on the bench facing the bar, watching for her protector.
He wove his way through the crowd with ease, a bottle of beer in one hand and a frosted mug of the same in his other. "Here-I got ya something girly."
"Girly?" she murmured, Logan's sensitive ears easily picking up her words. With a sly grin, she drained the mug in three gulps and slammed it back onto the table. "Yes, it is girly, isn't it?"
Logan raised an eyebrow and saluted her with his bottle. She smiled back at him and acknowledged his salute, her outward appearance belying the sudden rush of warmth and dizziness that struck her. _Haven't done that since I was a newlywed...Ugh... _ "So you wanted to talk?" Logan finally rud.
"Yes..." She nodded to the passing waitress who acknowledged her request for a refill before leaning closer to Logan. "What're we going to do about our kids?"
"_Our _ kids?" Logan polished off his beer and signaled for another. "Lady..."
With a slow smile, she laid a placating hand on n's n's arm and said, "Whatever happened to Astrid?"
"I'm not sure..." Logan accepted the fresh beer and waited for Astrid to take a sip of hers before asking, "What're you playing at?"
"I don't know what you mean."
"This flirting...I'm not stupid, la...Astrid." Logan peeled at the label on his beer and waited for her answer.
"I'm not flirting. Just friendly." She drained her beer again and made a devout promise not to have anymore that evening. Maybe.
"Sure...I've heard your son say that enough times to Kitty to know you're full of it..."
"Kurt is affectionate." Astrid smiled a tad woozily. _This recon isn't going well, is it? _ "I just want to know all that's going on. I hate being left in the dark."
Logan eyed her assessingly. "I think you're on a need-to-know basis."
"Logan," Astrid lurched to her feet and leaned in close. "My son is involved. Kitty is involved. I need to know. Now. I love that girl, loved her from the letters Kurt sent me, love her now that I know her. No matter what happens between her and Kurt, she'll always have a place in my heart and home."
Logan leaned back warily. This side of Astrid was surprising and vaguely arousing. He willed his desire into submission and cleared his throat. "Fine, I'll fill ya in. Sit down..." He gave her a gentle shove and she fell back to the bench with an "oof". "I guess I should start at the beginning..." Logan closed his eyes and began the tale, one thought rising above all others in his mind. _Elf's gonna shit bricks when I bring his mom home drunk. _

1 Bluebeard in legend had a room where he kept all his murdered wives, only to have Fatima stumble upon the secret chamber while she was snooping soon after their marriage. Long story short, she wins.

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