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 is quite lovely because she sends her consort over with kisses. Made Billy and Joaquin all sorts of jealous (just the jump-start they InterNutter, TC and Maxwell Pink are wonderful bishi babies for archiving. Vampyre gets a weird look from Murdoc and a kiss from Rock Re Readers/reviewers: The ducks are feeling quite daring and would like to do a dance sans costume....all nekkid, all feathers... Brace yourselves!

"What do you mean, they're all back?" Logan felt a mother of a headache building behind his right eye. Kurt was radiating tension next to him, the scent of frustration and depression rolling off of him in waves of nauseating pheromones, adding to Logan's discomfort.
Storm's voice sounded weary when she replied. "Everyone came back. Remy said that Kitty's trail became very vague in the western woods, past the river. Lance feels certain that if she made it to the boardinghouse, she will have at least found Tabby and Pietro if not Mystique."
"What about Magneto?" Kurt asked in a strained voice, his throat closed from the effort it took to hold in tears.
There was a protracted silence and then Storm answered. "No one knows. The Professor is understandably worried...he and Beast have repaired to the upstairs study to see what they can do."
Under his breath, Logan muttered "What the hell can they do from the study? File a report on it?" Storm's snort on the other end of the link nearly made Lowantwant to flush in embarrassment over his comment but instead he cleared his throat and continued "So now what? We come back?"
"Nein!" Kurt howled, voice echoing in the confines of the jet. "I'm not going back to the mansion without Kitty!"
There was a nearly deafening silence as Storm and Logan each closed their eyes briefly and rubbed their temples, each mirroring the other's actions unknowingly. "God help me, Storm, but I'm goin' with the Elf on this one. If she's at the Boardinghouse, I'm going in after her. We're setting down on the far side of the river, in that valley near the foothills. If we're not back by dawn, send help." Logan switched off the com link, cutting off anything else Storm might have said. Kurt's sharply indrawn breath made Logan wince. "Don't get all gung ho on me, Elf. We're going in, but you better listen to me, follow my directions, no matter what you think you should do instead. Got it?"
"Herr Logan..."
"I said, 'Got it?'. There's only one answer to that question, Kid." Logan banked gently to the riand and headed towards the dark smear of the foothills.
"Ja, Herr Logan," Kurt sighed. He felt very tired and drugged, his metabolism demanding more than he could provide at that moment. Logan raised an eyebrow and produced a protein bar from his jacket pocket, tossing it to Kurt as he circled the jet over the flat plain where he would set down the Blackbird. "Danke..." Kurt mumbled around a mouthful of the gooey substance, not caring how awful it tasted.
"Kitty'd kick my ass if I let you go all wobbly on me." Kurt sniffed and Logan winced again. Mentioning Kitty was sure to get a sorrowful reaction from Kurt. "We're gonna set down about five miles from the Boardinghouse. Think you can 'port us within an easy distance?"
"I don't know...I think I'm" Kurt confessed.
"I've got a few more of those bars stashed nd..nd...will those help?" The jet bumped on an air pocket and there was a brief moment where they both felt weightless as the plane descended in near silence.
"Ja, I think so..." Kurt felt less woozy already and his body was sending up a cry of joy at the influx of calories. Logan settled the plane and, as it powered down, he dug out three more bars from his jacket pockets, the food slightly warm and squished from being stored so close to his body. As Kurt wolfed them down, Logan found two more in the first aid box under the pilot's seat and tossed them Kurt's way. "Danke, danke, danke!"
"C'mon...walk and chew," Logan grumbled by way of welcome. He led Kurt down the ramp and dogged it closed behind them. Kurt swallowed the last bite of gooey protein bar and nearly smiled in relief. He felt much better and was certain he could get them much closer to the Boardinghouse. "Ready?"
"Ja, but..." he paused, not sure of what to say, just that there were things that needed to be said. "What are we going to do?"
"If Kitty's there, chances are she's just raising Cain with Pietro to take her to Magneto. If Mystique is there..." Logan shook his head. "You'd better wait outside." _Hate to kill her in front of her son...might set his therapy back decades... _
"If Mystique is there, _you'd _ better wait outside...Son or no, I have no love for her. She's part responsible for Kitty and Ruth." Kurt's eyes flared in anger and Logan knew that he would be trouble if let loose.
"Kitty first, Elf, the rest is just gravy..." Logan remi him him. "Get Kitty out and let me deal with any issues that linger."
Kurt nodded stiffly, his Adam's Apple bobbing as he swallowed hard. "Of course..." _I'd never leave her behind...even if I had to kill an army of Brotherhood to save her. _ He held out his hand and Logan nodded in compliance, clasping Kurt's wrist in a firm, nearly painful grip. In a blink, they were gone.
Two 'ports later, Kurt had them a mile from the Boardinghouse. They crept through the dark streets, Logan's stealth and Kurt's near-invisibility bringing them close to the house without being seen by even casual passers-by. Logan crouched low and sniffed the air, a look of sheer aggression coming over his face. "Sabertooth."
"Was?" Kurt hissed, nearly becoming visible in shock. "Where?"
Logan pointed to the driveway where a heavy black car sat, steasingsing from the metal of the hood where cool air mixed with the heat off the engine. "That can only mean one thing..."
"Magneto!" Kurt lurched forward then yipped in pain, Logan pulling him back by his tail. "Katzchen!" he moaned.
"We don't even know if she's here, Elf. She may have come to her senses and gone back home." They both knew that this was highly unlikely. A howl from inside made them both look up at the second floor sharply. Mystique crashed through the upstairs window and hit the hood of the car with a sickening thud. A shadowed figure appeared upstairs, then vanished just as quickly. Sabertooth emerged from the car and poked at Mystique's twitching body. She moaned and rolled to one side, falling from the hood to the gravel drive. Sabertooth bent to further poke at her when something made him look up, sniffing deeply. Logan grinned, feral in the night. "Play time," he hissed.
"Nein," Kurt begged. "Kitty..."
"Kid, Sabertooth knows we're here. No choice." In fact, Sabertooth had abandoned the moaning Mystique, struggling to her knees, was was prowling in their direction. He was breathing with his mouth open in the manner of a dog scenting blood, drawing in air to taste and sample for prey. Logan moved in a crouch, eyeing his opponent, still grinning and moving like silk in the darkness, smooth and self assured. The men were several yards apart when Kurt closed his eyes, unable to watch what was coming. A terrific growl turned into a clash of bodies striking. Snarls that were more animal than man tore the night and Kurt pried his lids open with force of will to see the strange horror before him. Logan and Sabertooth were locked, hands striking and drawing blood, metal claws scoring flesh and sharp teeth gnashing air and skin. Logan let loose an incoherent shout and fell back, pulling Sabertooth down on top of him. As he pulled the larger man down, Logan tucked his legs between them and used his own strength coupled with Sabertooth's momentum to shis his opponent flying. Kurt felt his legs pushing him forward as Logan rolled to his feet and crouched low, snarling at Sabertooth. His claws were fully extended and held ready as Sabertooth shook his massive head, clearing the stars that were no doubt spinning madly before his eyes. Kurt broke into a run, not willing to risk another 'port when he might need to savs sts strength to help Kitty. Mystique was no where to be seen, he vaguely noticed, but that did not mean anything. _She could be an owl in the try noy now...she could be an ant...who knows... _
Kurt heard the men battling behind him as his feet pounded the steps to the porch. A white blur by the door caught his eye and he skidded to a halt. _Was? Nein! She's here after all...God, this is too real! _ Kurt dropped to his knees and winced at the sound of a body hitting the car in the drive way but his true attention was focused on the objects before him: a pair of earrings, a ring, a handful of change, a toe ring, a button from a pair of jeans and a white, underwire bra were in a neat pile by the front door. _Kitty knew...she took off everything metal...Wait... _ Kurt carefully felt the folds of material cradling her possessions and sighed miserably. _She left her necklace on. _ The fight behind him showed no signs of wearing down; indeed, it seemed to be gaining in pitch. Kurt sob brokenly, fearing what was inside the boardinghouse but knowing that he could not hide, forcing himself to his feet. _Do I barge in or am I more circumspect? _ No sound came from within the house and he did not want to teleport blindly, not knowing who might be waiting. _This place has a basement, I'm sure...all these houses here do. Basements have outside access. At the mansion, there's storm cellar doors on two sides and small windows at ground level...I wonder if... _ Kurt took several deep breaths to calm himself and eased off the porch, all senses alert for signs of anyone else in the yard. Logan and Sabertooth were still at it, but they seemed to have moved further towards the back yard, the sound of limbs being cracked over bone indicating the death of one of the few trees gracing the dilapidated house. Kurt's sharp eyes scanned the ground level of the house as he crept around, widening in pleased confirmation when he found a narrow casement window. It was loose, not at all secure like the ones at home, he thought, wiggling the ancient glass free of it's molding. It came out with a popping noise and Kurt paused, breath held, as he waited for someone to notice. When it was obvious that he had not been caught (_Yet _ , he amended), he sucked in his stomach, rendering himself thinner than was his normal state and slid in feet first, scraping his tail as he went.
_Fuck. I think I'm bleedin H He cradled his tail and felt dampness near the base, sending stinging pain through his spine. _I hope that wasn't a rusty nail. _ His eyes adjusted to the darkness in no time, the dank smell of an unfinished basement assailing his nostrils along with a distinct odor of human sweat, old and dried, and fried meat. Before Kurt could process everything, a hammy fslamslammed the back of his head and he went sprawling at Blob's feet.

Kitty took a shaking breath and eased out of the closet she had dove into when Mystique and Magneto began fighting. It had been easy enough to get into the Boardinghouse-Pietro believed her cock and bull story about looking for Lance. "He's not been home yet," she had lied, "and we're all kinda worried." She had not had to manufacture the tremor in her voice. "He and Amara had a huge fight this morning and he, like, didn't come home from school. So we're all, you know, looking for .." .." she had trailed off, giving Pietro her best doe-eyed expression. Pietro had snarled briefly but then his gaze slid past her to the car parked in the drive. She had noticed it when she came up the drive way, but the dark windows prevented her from seeing if anyone remained inside. Kitty trusted the voice whispering in her ear, thoughat tat told her not to look, not to peer into the driver's side. She knew that she would not like what she saw there and that, in fact, she might be scared witless. The same voice (one she had now accepted rather than rail at to leave) told her to be safe, take off her metal. The one thing she refused to remove was her Mogen David1. _Yaya gave it to me...she is with me...I can't take it off and let him see howaid aid I am. _ Pietro had ushered her inside, too solicitous to be believed. Kitty was instantly suspicious. Tabitha flitted past, her eyes dark circled burning holes in her pale face. Her lips were working mutely and a waft of pungent, herbal smoke lingered as her perfume. _ Fucking great. She's stoned...Probably on that dime sack of hydro Lance was saying he lost.2 _
"Want something to drink?" Pietro was already moving towards the kitchen.
"No...Just wondering if you'd seen Lance at all."
"Nope. Not since he and Toad skitterff tff to the mansion..." Pietro was speaking abnormally loudly and Kitty had the feeling he was not speaking just to her. "What's up with them, anyway? Are they all X Men now?"
"No...They're still Brotherhood." Kitty left it at that, a lie that she was not sure of. _For all I know, they'll stay. Amara's relationship with Lance is none of his business... And I have no idea why Todd's still there. _ "So if you haven't seen him..." Kitty was at a loss. She not not planned this far ahead. _I can't very well ask if Mystique is here, pretty as you please. I can't ask where Magneto is, either. _ She caught the faint aroma of expensive cologne and a knot of dread tightened painfully in her stomach. Years of practice hiding her emotions served her well in that moment. Pietro was staring at her, waiting for her to finish her sentence, but her face betrayed nothing of her panic. "I guess I'll get going. If you see him, let him know we're worried, okay?"
"I think you should stay, Pretty Kitty." Mystiqusolvsolved from the shadows of the kitchen, her true form disturbingly comforting to Kitty.
_I couldn't stand it if she looked like someone else, I think. Lies from poisoned lips. _ "You're here," Kitty said softly. "I knew you would be." Pietro smiled then, looking horribly like his father. _Does that mean Pietro is my uncle now? God, Kurt's right-I need to go on Jerry Springer! _
"Pietro, be a lamb and go prepare a room for Kitty, would you?" Mystique purred. Pietro nodded once and was off, a silver blur thundering up the stairs. A shadow shifted in the hallway and Kitty tensed, knowing she was surrounded.
"You left me to die," Kitty stared. "You took me from Magneto, from Ruth, and left me to die in the river."
"Only after you tried to kill us both, you damned idiot!" she hissed. "I should have broken your neck to make sure you were dead, but, God help me, I had a moment of weakness and thought of my son... No more! I see the error in my ways. Kitty, you're a thorn in my side." Mystique prowled closer, Kitty frozen in indecision. She knew instinctively that Magneto was to her left in the foyer, to her right was a sofa and a wall and behind her was a picture window looking out over the barren yard. A thought occurred to her then, as Mystique rambled. _She has no idea Magneto is here...she's confesstoo too much for her to know that he's here. _ "Magneto is a fool! A power-crazed old man resorting to base torture and useless experiments! He's a shell of his former glory!"
Kitty felt rather than saw the movement to one side. Mystique choked suddenly, her torque of metal skulls twisting around her neck and her metal-clad belt jerking her off her feet. Magneto entered then, eyes only on the blue-skinned woman. Kitty knew he had seen her and heard her, knew that Magneto was aware she was in the house, but she also knew she had to hide. _I'll confront him when he's done with Mystique. No use getting caught in the wrath he has for her when that he has for me is more than enough. _ Magneto was turning Mystique in the air, putting his back to her, and Kitty seized the opportunity. She dashed to the foyer, phasing into the closet under the stairs. She heard a female moan and a strangled noise but she did not dare peek outside her dark sanctuary. Footsteps over head signaled Pietro's arrival and Kitty tensed even more, if that was at all possible. _Don't see me, don't find me...Please God Please God Please God....Shiva, if you're still around, you'd better get your ass in gear. Some guidance would be greatly appreciated about now, you crazy spider monkey of a man... _ Kitty chewed her lip in nervous tension, listening to Magneto's low tones and Mystique's strangled responses. Soon, footsteps-heavier, slower thime,ime, echoed over head. Pietro's lighter tread followed. Kitty did not dare move for fear that her ears deceived her and maybe Mystique was left to stand guard after beingmed med out by Magneto. _ Maybe it's safe...I can go to him now. He knows I'm here. He's not forgetful like that. He's not stupid._ Kitty stiffly unfolded her joints to stand in the lightless closet but froze at a female scream. The sound of breaking glass followed on the heels of the scream and Kitty quaked inside. _Oh, my God...did they just kill Mystique? _ Easing out of the closet, she listened for signs of life and, hearing none, forced her legs to carry her up the stairs, to confront her demon.

A/N I feel S/J smut coming in the next chapter ( pun intended. Maybe)
1 Star of David
2 Dime sack=measure of marijuana; Hydro=hydroponically grown marijuana that's supposed to be super-good. No idea...Just going on rumor...

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