BY : Nemain
Category: X-Men - Animated Series (all) > General
Dragon prints: 5214
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 has a lovely dolphin that I secretly suspect is iridescent pink and Ted, who feeds her chocolate and makes sure her candles don't catch the cat on fire. Kristen and Lucas have the day off so Ted can be as attentive as he wants... InterNutter, TC and Maxwell Pink are groovy people for archiving! Readers/Reviewers: The ducks want to know if you want them to perform "Mein Herr" or "Hey Big Spender" first...

Kitty panted heavily, her feet throbbing in time with her pulse. She had lost one sneaker somewhere near the river and the other was in the woods, buried in a rather deep mud puddle. _Should've worn least then my feet would be warm! _ Even in the warming springtime, the evening was cool, the sun's warmth not radiant enough during the day to keep the dark ground warm after dusk. Kitty had taken a deliberately circuitous route, diverging from her direct path after hearing what she was sure was the Blackbird overhead, her ears honed to it's fine hum from years of experience. _Logan. Has to be Logan. Which means Kurt's with him or near him... Damn it. Okay. They know I'm gone...I wonder who's more pissed, Kurt or Logan? _ Kitty sank to her knees under the low-hanging branches of a pin oak, her breath slowly easing to a rasp as opposed to a pant, her feet tucked under her bottom in an effort to warm them. _So my plan isn't so well defined...Find Mystique and what? Twist her arm until she takes me to Magneto? Kick her shins and cry until she brings him to me? Fuck me running backwards, I need to stop being so hot headed. Note to self: spend more time away from Remy and Logan... _ Kitty closed her eyes against the starlight and tried to gather her thoughts but found her mind to be whirling too fast to comprehend. _Think calm, girl. Calm...soothing...calm... _ With a sigh, Kitty decided to do what always made her feel centered and stood, stretching her arms above her head in the sheltering dark of the woods. With ease, she moved into downward facing dog1, taking deep breaths that very nearly made her lungs ache after the short, quick gasps of earlier. As she moved through her asanas2 with practiced ease, resting in each one for several breaths, Kitty felt herself becoming calmer though no less driven. She forced herself to hold a backbend longer than she usually would, relishing the pain that began in her ribs and spread across her back, then down her arms and legs. _Pain means I'm alive. I can control pain. _ She opened her eyes to stare into the face of someone she hoped had left. "Shiva."
"You want something that you cannot have, child," he said kindly. His snake coiled down his neck, stretching out to lick at Kitty's arm with a forked tongue.
She moved carefully out of her backbend and steeled herself for the conversation that was to come. "I thought you'd gone."
"I'm always with you, Kitty. Always. Sometimes I'm a voice in your head, sometimes I am Shiva, Infinite and Kind, Destroyer of Evil."
"Jungian Archetype," she mumbled irritably. "What can't I have?"
"Vengeance," he said simply, dropping to sit in a full lotus position, resting his trident across his lap. "Vengeance breeds hate. If you go after Magneto, then what? Ruth will still be dead. You will be no better than he is."
"You sound like Kurt," she said miserably. Kitty crouched down before Shiva, wrapping her arms around her knees and resting her lips against jeans. "You sure you're not a fuzzy blue elf in disguise?"
Shiva laughed. "Fairly certain, yes. Kitty," he continued on a more serious note, "have you given serious thought to what you mean to do? Why you mean to do it?"
"You're my archetype-you tell me."
"No. No you haven't. What you want to closure, not revenge. Your life has been torn to shreds many times over these past few months, and you want to blame the man ultimately responsible. If Magneto had not gotten your grandmother pregnant, if she had not had your mother, if your mother had not tricked your see, it is a vicious chain all starting with one man, the one you call Magneto."
"He killed Ruth. The other stuff...yeah, it's horrible, but Ruth is dead because of him." Kitty felt hot tears well in her eyes and she prayed they would not spill.
"Ruth died because of an accident. Magneto would surely have killed her, yes, but her death, when it happened, was accidental. Someone made a hideous mistake and a girl, dead in spirit, is now dead in body."
"She's dead," she said again, a litany building in her throat.
"And you said shiva for her. For you, she was gone when your period of mourning ended. What would Yaya say if she knew you were grieving even after shiva ended?" Shiva leaned forward and touched the center of Kitty's forehead, where her third eye would be, and she felt warmth slowly trickle into her soul.
"Leave Yaya out of it," she protested weakly, knowing full and well that her grandmother would chide her for disregarding custom, for letting her grief overwhelm her. "She wouldn't want me to leave Ruth like she was, trapped and terrified."
"But she wouldn't want you to become something alien, full of hate and vengeance. What would you do, then, if you exacted your justice on Magneto? Who next? Or better, how would you live with yourself?" Shiva settled back against the oak with an expression of compassionate certitude, somehow irking Kitty.
"You talk like I'm going to kill him..."
"Wouldn't you? And Mystique? Her only saving grace is that she is your lover's mother. If it weren't for Kurt, you'd flay her, wouldn't you? Don't deny it, child-remember who you're talking to."
Kitty huffed a mirthless laugh. _He's in my head, he is me...he knows what I'd do if I could. _ "Fine. I'd kill them both if I could. With relish."
"And how would that bring Ruth back? How would that mend your broken history?"
"So what's your great solution, then?" Kitty snapped, fists balling against her thighs as she fell forward to rest on her knees. "Forgive them?"
"Yes." Shiva's voice was so soft that Kitty was not sure if she actually heard him or not.
"How's that again?"
"Forgive him. Forgive them both. But realize something, Kitty. If it weren't for Magneto, you would not be here. You would not exist even in the slightest. If anything, you should thank him."
"I can't believe you're saying this!" she cried, leaping to her feet and, ignoring the sharp jab of ancient leaves and sharp twigs, strode away from the oak and the god, heading towards the distant sound of cars passing on the old blacktop road.
"What's so hard to believe?" Shiva spoke, his voice near her ear. He was strangely keeping pace with her despite the fact he did not seem to be running or even walking. "Forgiveness is stronger than hate..."
Kitty stopped abruptly, nearly throwing herself off balance. Shiva stopped when she did, seemingly effortlessly. "How can I forgive him? Or her? You know what they did!"
Shiva reached out slowly, eyes assessing her face, and touched her throat where Kitty's pulse leapt. "If you let hate consume you, rot from the inside out. You will become like they are, you will be destroyed. If nothing else, think of Kurt. You know in your heart that he would love you no matter how deeply you hated his own mother, how deeply you hated Magneto, but his love for you would cause him pain because he would be afraid for you and of you. He would fear that Magneto's anger and bitter power would be passed to you, through you, to your children. The children you will have together..."
"Together?" Kitty breathed. Images of Kurt, sad behind a smile, cradling an infant that was a combination of both their traits, stabbed into her heart. She did not know if it was a vision Shiva was showing her or her own imagination, but she saw herself dark with inner rage, bitter and ugly, but Kurt constantly with her, being twisted by her hate and actions in the name of vengeance.
"Kitty, you ca bre breed a legacy of hate. You know that your heart is too pure for this. If you do this tonight, if you do this ever, you will be dead inside and something will take your place, using you for a shell. Only you will never know it, you will continue in anger and hate."
Shiva was fading fast and Kitty involuntarily reached out to try and grab him. "What do I do?" she cried out to sudden darkness. The woods seemed very lonely then, empty and bleak despite the full moon overhead and the myriad stars so bright away from city lights. "What do I do?" she whispered to no one but herself. The road was noisy far ahead of her and behind her, the river laughed over rocks. Taking a deep, tear-laden breath, Kitty oriented herself, ascertaining the direction of the Boardinghouse from where she was. She stood still for several heartbeats, contemplating her choices. _Figment of my imagination tells me to forgive Magneto, but do I forgive him here in the woods, traipse back to the mansion like nothing is amiss and snog Kurt silly until dawn? I want him to feel pain, like I did. I want Magneto to suffer. Mystique would be nice, too. To see her eyes widen in pain... _ Kitty sighed, realizing that she was on the verge of getting carried away. _Or do I combine my need for pain with Shiva's forgiveness? _ Something clicked on in Kitty's brain and a lovely thought occurred, blooming like a morning glory in the dawn. _Oh. Yes...I can do this... _ At a slower pace than before but still urgent, she set off once again for the Boardinghouse.

Kurt stared at the monitors before him, the dots and blips blurring into streaky stars until he blinked, batting tears of frustration out of the way. _I love her so much but she's hurting me! Why did she do this? Damn it! _
"You okay, Elf?" Logan asked softly. He was feeling sick for the first time in years but he was not going to let on when Kurt was looking distinctly green beneath his blue fur.
"Nein." His voice was sharp but he did not apologize. "All I'm getting is cars, animals, and some random person jogging." Kurt punched angrily at the button beside one on the monitors. "Nothing! How can we not see her?"
"The instruments aren't magic, Kid. She could be under cover, she could be out of range..." He did not dare voice the horrific idea that she may have already reached Magneto somehow and she could be dead.
"Logan? Kurt?" Jean's voice was tinny through the com link, just audible over the noise of the jet's engine.
Kurt raised the volume with a twist of a knob and responded. "Ja? You find her?"
There was a small pause and Jean answered, "I don't know."
"What do you mean you don't know?" Logan growled, the jet dipping crazily as he tightened his hands on the yoke, pushing down inadvertently. Kurt made a hoarse noise of protest and Logan swore viciously as he righted the jet, losing Jean's response in the commotion. "Repeat that, please."
"I heard something when I was scanning... but it didn't sound like Kitty." Jean's voice, louder now, was distinctly strained.
"What do you mean?" Kurt asked, leaning forward as if he wanted to shake the answer out of Jean through the electronic link. A last minute rearrangement of duties had put Kurt with Logan for fear he would go berserk on the ground, tearing off after any small sign of Kitty. Lance, Todd and Rogue were headed in the Jeep to the Boardinghouse while Scott, Jean, Rahne and Jamie were on foot, visually and, in Jean's case, mentally, checking for signs of their friend.
"She means," Scott broke in, "that she picked up someone that _felt _ like Kitty, but the thoughts were too jumbled. Too painful." There was a pause and he could be heard murmuring and Jean's low tones responding, then Scott was back. "Jean said it felt like she was punched in the gut. Rahne and Jamie went on ahead-Rahne's all wolf and is on a scent trail-and I'm gonna sit here with Jean a minute and let her rest."
Logan held up a hand, stopping Kurt from demanding that they get a move on. "Take it easy, Red. Scooter, you make sure she doesn't overexert herself. Get back to the mansion and see if Storm needs help running things from there." Scott acknowledged Logan's words and the older man switched off the com link with the flick of a finger, staring straight ahead the entire time.
Kurt took a rasping breath and said in a tight voice, "Why did you send them home? We need all the help we can get! You heard what Jean felt-Kitty's not in her right mind!"
"First off, I'm responsible for the welfare of all you kids, not just Kitty. And you should show some concern for your friend, you know. Second, what good would it do to force Jean to push past her limits and hurt herself in the process? It may even hinder our efforts to find Kitty. Third and finally, Kitty is in her right mind. If she wasn't angry and hurting, then I'd worry." He moved the plane into a gentle roll and circled back to scan the woods from the other side.
Kurt felt the muscles in his jaw tense to the point of cramping. He wanted his mom there. He wanted to punch Logan for being so calm. He wanted to shake Kitty until her eyes rolled back in her head for doing this, then he wanted to make the most savage love to her possible to claim her again, to tie her to him so she would never run off like this again. When Logan looked at him a second time out of the corner of his eyes, Kurt whispered harshly, "I love her, Logan. I love her beyond all reason and I want to hate her right now for making me worry. I can't stand that she ran off like this, like she couldn't trust me to help her."
"Would you have?"
Kurt turned it over in his mind before answering. "I would've wanted to help her but not like this. Herr Logan, she's gone to find Magneto. I don't know what's at the Boardinghouse for her, but I know that if she wants to find him, she will. And when she does," Kurt took a sobbing breath, "when she does, I'm more afraid for him than I am for her, God help me..." He cried then, silent tears matting his fur as Logan pretended not to notice.
1 Fairly easy yoga posture...Hard to explain but you stand flat-footed, knees slightly flexed, and bent forward, putting your palms flat on the ground. You should resembled and inverted V...
2 Yoga postures

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