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.


Standard disclaimers apply


A/N Millions of thanks to Foxfeather (who needs German
lessons when you have a Beta like her?
lol ) She keeps Kurt coherent
and is an all round groovy chick. And
everyone who has reviewed/read/supported this story in any way shape or form, I
was serious about the commune. Ducks,
quilts…maybe some rum or sugar cane to sell as a cash crop. The cabaret can’t be expected to support all
of us, even with the kick line of ducks doing two shows a night with a matinee
on Sundays. And the goose who takes
tickets at the door… Oy. Gotta cut back on sugar…




Lance was
tired to his very bones. The sun was
barely creeping through the trees, it’s pink-gold glow suffusing into a
lemon-yellow light. Lance averted his
eyes from the sunrise, any hint of fire lately reminding him painfully of the
broken girl at the Institute. Tabitha
had been MIA[1] since she
disappeared from the emergency room, leaving him with Amara. Every spare moment he had since Amara had
been released was spent seeking Tabitha.
Discreet inquiries let him know that she had not gone to the mansion nor
had she gone to her father. She had not
turned up at the local shelters or halfway houses and he had even checked the
morgue as a last resort, pretending to be a concerned brother. Nothing.
Amara wanted to press charges but to do that, Tabitha had to be
caught. Lance blinked blearily in the
slowly brightening room, turning a plan over in his mind. What will bring Tabitha back? What will make her think that she’s safe? What can I do to make her show herself? I want her dead and spread out across the
floor for Amara. For me. Lack of sleep was making his thoughts
come in short, almost incoherent bursts, mixing with half-dreams and barely
spoken names. He kicked restlessly at
the sheets, finally having given in and washed them the night before when he
returned from the mansion. Not the
same…Lance punched against his pillows, realizing that another night was
wasted, that he had done himself no good by trying to sleep. I want to see Amara. The desire to be near her nearly emasculated
Lance. He hated feeling so weak, so
needy, but at the same time the hold Amara had insinuated over him during all
their scheming had grown so strong that to be away from her was starting to
cause physical pain. At school, his
eyes kept seeking her out in class and in the throngs of students, though
logically he knew full well that she was at the Institute, in bed, staring at
her statues and crying for home. Lance
had been actually caught out studying, so distracted was he by thoughts of
Amara. Toad and Pietro had given him
hell for days for not only passing his biology exam but pass it with
one-hundred percent. A well-placed fist
to the solar plexus silenced Toad and Pietro dropped it after Lance threatened
to follow him on his nightly excursions.
Lance rolled onto his stomach, blocking out the rising sun, and wondered
just who was keeping watch over Amara right now. It’s always the women at night…I think Storm watched her last
night…I wonder if she’s still there.
Lance levered himself onto his elbows and rolled into a sitting
position, scanning the ground for his other shoe. How the hell did I lose one boot? Ah…Lance hastily righted his clothing, smoothing a hand over
his longish hair and doing a breathck. ck.
Ick. Okay. Not like I’m kissing her anyway but it’d be
nice just in case.


Storm was
in a light doze, more of a meditative stage, really, when the repeated sound of
small pebbles hitting glass roused her from a relaxed state. She had been dwelling on Kitty’s dream, the
man she described tugging at almost-forgotten knowledge. A second handful of pebbles hit her window
and she lost her train of thought entirely.
“In with the good, out with the bad…” she muttered, unfolding from a
half-lotus position and moving to the window.
Lance stood below, squinting up at the pane of glass and jiggling a
handful of landscaping pebbles, ready to send another barrage. Hastily, she threw up the window and waved
hissed, “Lance! What do you think
you’re doing?”

Shit. Shit piss god damn mother fuck
sonofabitch. “I…ah…oops?” he
offered lamely.

“Yes. Oops.”
Storm sighed inwardly and looked at the clock to her left. “It’s a quarter past seven in the
morning. What do you need?”

Amara. “I
wanted to check on Amara, to see her a little..” He flushed hotly but maintained a steady gaze.

admire your tenacity, but I think you know quite well that she…”

“With all
due respect, ma’am, I think you should let me see her.” I’ll just come in anyway.

regarded Lance with cool superiority.
He held his breath as he watched her in return, her face belying nothing
of her thoughts. Lance let the rocks
spill from his fingers and felt the butterflies in his stomach become very ill
all of a sudden. Please, please,
please? Storm nodded curtly and
shut the window. Huh? OhmysweetGod! Do I go in the front like
company or sneak in the back like a thief?
A breeze teased his ankles, growing stronger until he turned to look in
the direction it blew from. Storm stood
there, arms crossed, about ten feet away.
“Coming?” He nodded and followed
the robe-clad Goddess into the mansion.
She silently led him up the stairs, past closed doors and just-waking
mutants, to Amara’s room. “Be quiet,
I’ll be checking in periodically.” She
swept past him on her way back downstairs, leaving Lance in a cloud of faint
perfume and the scent of rain.

The door
was closed but he could smell the heady musk of burning resin and herbs seeping
out from the thin crack at his feet. Amara is on the other side of this
door…He pressed his palm against the wood and it seemed to him that he
could feel the warmth emanating off of her body through the door. Deep breath and stop thinking like a
girl. This is Amara. She’s the same girl who gave you those
scratches and wax burns a few weeks ago, the same one who kisses like she’s
innocent… Taking a deep breath,
Lance pushed the door open and slid inside, only turning around to face the bed
when the door clicked closed. He caught
his breath at the sight: Amara was propped up in bed, a book open in her
lap. The drapes were open and the early
morning sun was creeping in, bathing the room in a pale gold light. The curtains around her bed were looped over
the slats overhead, framing the dozing girl in colorful gauze. Lance found himself at her bedside before he
knew what he was about, kneeling so that he could press a kiss to the back of
one of her hands. Her aura oozed with
authority and royal bearing, even while she dozed. Lance felt compelled to bow but stopped before actually doing
so. Instead, he maintained his grip on
her hand and rubbed his thumb over the fine bones found there. Amara opened her eyes and pierced him with
her gaze. “You gave me a rock.”


rock.” With her free hand, Amara
reached over and picked up the stone from her nightstand, holding it in the
palm of her hand like it was fragile.
“You gave me a rock.”

“I think
you said that…” He cleared his throat
several times before he wase toe to speak clearly. Amara merely raised an eyebrow and regarded him with mild
curiosity. “Do you like it?” The rock was small, barely larger than a
quarter, but it felt heavy and cool. It
was a muted dark color, seeming to glow with an internal fire.

“Yes. Very much.”
Her voice did not waver but Lance had the impression that she was
suddenly shy.

Feeling a rush of masculinity, he
closed her fingers over the stone and pressed a kiss on her closed hand. “Made me think of you…”

“Fire in the
earth…how...poetic.” She sighed and he
looked up, smile fading at the suddenly hard look on her face. “Lance?”

“Yes, Princess?”

“Where’s Tabby?”

A shiver ran down his spine at the
cold, homicidal accent to her voice. “I
don’t know…”

“You don’t know?” Amara sat up straight, forcing him to
release her hand. “She lives with you,
damn it!”

“She’s been gone since…since you
went to the hospital.” Lance felt like
he was being punished, and not in a fun way.
“I’m trying to fier fer for you…. I want to give…to bring her to you.” [2]

“Do you?” Amara turned several things over in her mind, settling on
one. “I think today is the day I get

“What?” No more visits?

“I am tired of laying in bed. I want to move around. We need to plan.” She struggled to get out of bed but Lance blocked her progress by
leaning on her legs.

“Amara! You’re in no shape to get going like that! And plan what?” Planning means sex, right?

“How to lure Boom Boom back
here…” She succeeded in breaking free
from Lance and was on her feet, albeit shakily, in a matter of seconds. A statue by the window caught her eye and
she murmured “Pardon me…” to Lance, drifting to the figurine. He watched in semi-amazement as she knelt
and turned her palms up before the figure.
He could not understand her words but Lance knew she was at prayer. Amara’s hand darted out and seized a small
gold knife from the table top to her right and he watched as she cut a small
piece of her hair and placed it in the offering bowl at the statuette’s
feet. Lance started forward when he saw
where she aimed the knife next but she was too quick to stop him. Blood welled, hot and bright, from the small
slice on the palm of her hand.ara ara
let her life fluid drip into the bowl for a moment, then nodded in
satisfaction. She rose quickly to her
feet and rifled through a desk drawer, producing a small box of matches. After murmuring some more words over the
bowl, Amara dropped a match into the mixture and Lance saw it spark then flare
briefly, realizing that she must have had some other substa in in the offering
as well. She crossed her arms over her
breast and turned to him again, eyes bright.[3] “There.”

“Princess, what did you just

“This is Poena.[4] She’s the goddess punishment for my people.”

“Can I just say that it’s a little
disturbing that you have her in your room?”
Lance finally rose to his feet and towered over Amara, still feeling
powerless despite his size advantage.

“She protects those who show her
respect. Poena is the perfect one to
enlist for help with Tabitha.” Amara
smiled for the first time in days, her first real smile since she was
hospitalized, Lance noted. Amara
walked, stately and slowly, back towards her vanity and slid onto the bench, sweeping
her hair off her shoulders and letting it fall behind her neck.

“Amara, listen…I’m going to get
Tabby so you can press charges. Don’t
worry about it—I’ll take care of finding her and bringing her here… Just heal…”

Amara stiffened then and a light
Lance knew meant cunning blazed across her eyes. “You and I both know why you’re going after her. It isn’t so I can press charges. It’s so I can deal with her myself. You can lie to everyone else Lance, but
never to me. Never forget that.” Lance nodded, trapped by her gaze. “Now.
Brush my hair for me.”

“What?” Lance wanted to laugh but at the same time found his feet already
walking towards the girl. She held out
a silver-backed brush, an ornate design carved into the back and handle, and
Lance took it carefully. She squared
her shoulders and waited; he held the brush and waited.

“Why should I brush your hair?”

“I told you to.”

Not asked, told. “Yeah…I got that part. Why?”

“Just do it!” Lance received his answer from the dull
flush that rose from her neck and up her face.

She likes it…it makes her feel
all tingly in fun places to have someone do this… Noted. Biting the inside of his cheeks to keep from
smirking, Lance ran the brush through her thick, dark hair. Amara’s eyes softened involuntarily and he
repeated the action, this time dragging the bristles against her neck as he
passed. She shivered and he could no
longer stop himself. He smiled
broadly. Amara saw this and stiffened,
pulling away from him. “That’s enough.”



Someone knocked on the door and it
swung open before either could move.
Kitty stood there, taking in Lance, the brush still in his hand and in
Amara’s hair, then she smiled. “Ah…um…as
you were!” She waved airily and

“This just keeps getting better and
better…” Lance knew that he would be in for a long day at the mansion.


“He was brushing her hair?”

“Yep.” Kitty snuggled against Kurt on the bench in the herb garden. “Pretty as you please, like he was born to
“Unglaublich.” Kurt shook his head, then snorted.

“Why is that so funny? It was sweet…” Kitty belied this by giggling, though.

“See? Funny!” Kurt nudged her
in the ribs and she shoved gently back, arranging herself so that her head was
in his lap and his tail in her hands.
“Watch the tail, Liebes…we’re in public.” Sure enough, Storm tended the herbs nearby and Jamie dashed
around after some of his dupes in the rose bushes, having fallen from a ladder
while helping Logan fix a gutter.

“I’ll be good…”

“Katzchen, you’re always

“Bad Kurt!” She swatted him playfully on the calf with
her free hand and continued running his tail through her fingers.

“You know, you never did tell me
what you were so happy about the other night…”

“Oh! I sure didn’t…It’s fantastic,
Kurt! Well, sad because of how I got
it, but wonderful that I have it…” She
had not sat up but wriggled happily in his lap, her attention to his tail
increasing in her excitement.

Kurt unwillingly but necessarily
extracted this part of himself from her grasp and tapped her meaningfully on
the nose. “No tail privileges until you
can treat it kindly in appropriate settings.
Now, talk!”

Kitty sighed and eyed his tail with
some longing before turning her attention back to his face. “I got a letter from some lawyers in
Chicago, the ones who handled Yaya’s estate…I have three million dollars held
in trust for me until I turn eighteen, then it’s all me!”

“Was? Three…holy shit!” Kurt blinked rapidly at this staggering
amount. “How?”

“Long story short—necklace, book,
parents don’t get it no matter what I
said to the contrary. Kurt, this is fantastic!
I can pay for college, I can help Ruth, I can do all sorts of
stuff….” She was a little uncomfortable
bringing up the idea she had of using some of the money to help him; Kurt could
get touchy about anything he perceived as charity.

“Wow. That’s all I can say…wow.”
Kurt’s hand dropped to stroke her hair and he regarded her with new
wariness. “Katzchen, does this mean
your family…”

“Nope. I have all those restraining orders now, remember? One phone call and they’re in jail for
harassing me!” She smiled broadly, her
happiness uncontained. “Think of it,
Kurt! I might be able to get Ruth out
of St. Dymphna and into a place that’ll treat her depression, not her
mutation! I could even help her pay to
get emancipated![5]”

“Katzchen, don’t count the chickens
before they hatch…”

“I know, it’s just things seem to
be going well again. Ruth is okay, my parents
are far, far away…we’re mostly unchaperoned…”

“Mostly!” Storm’s voice drifted
across the rosemary.

Kurt and Kitty giggled and snuggled
close. He felt content, like pieces of
a puzzle he did not know were missing just appeared in place. Bending low, he dropped a kiss on her
forehead. “When’s your birthday again?”

“Goofball. Two weeks and six days.”

“I can’t wait for the time when you
say it’s that day…” Kurt sighed and
twined his fingers through Kitty’s ponytail.
“What do you want for a present, anyway?”


“I don’t think I can get myself

She sniggered and turned her face
so that her mouth was against his stomach, blowing hard to make a funny
noise. Kurt barked out a surprised
laugh and fell backwards off the bench, taking Kitty with him. It quickly degraded into a tickle-fight,
moderated by Storm’s comments, until Jubilee came bounding out of the
house. “Kit? Where you at?”

“Down here!” Kitty struggled to her knees, bng ang away
Kurt’s hands. “What d’you need?”

“Phone…” Jubilee narrowed her eyes at her friend. “Got pine needles in your hair…”

“Going for the all-natural
look!” Kitty dusted herself off and
offered a hand to Kurt. They passed
Jubilee who rolled her eyes and promptly followed them inside. “Which phone?”

“Hall. It’s your mom, I think.”
Jubilee kept walking, unaware of how Kitty froze.


Kurt soothed her with a gentle
murmur against her neck. “She can’t
hurt you, Liebes.” Kitty nodded and
moved towards the phone.

“Yes? What? That’s impossible…no,
no…what do you mean I can’t?” Kitty’s
face crumpled in a mask of pain. Kurt
was pressed against her in a flash, as if he could draw whatever was making her
cry out of her and into himself.
“Fine…fine. I can have shiva
without being there.. My family is here
now.” Kitty slammed the phone down and
shook hard with rage.


“That…that was my mother.” She took a shallow breath and tears spilled
down her face. “Ruth died this morning
from her injuries.”


Somewhere in the Midwest, “Golda Pryde”
hung up the phone. Ruth watched in
abject horror as the woman she thought was her aunt shifted, becoming a
blue-skinned woman with pointed teeth.
“Now, Ruth…we’re going to play pretend.
Do you like pretend? Good…”



[1] Missing in

[2] Shades of
Renfield from Dracula…Lance likes being submissive. Who knew?

[3] I’m sketchy
on my ancient Roman rituals, but let’s pretend this is something Nova Romans
do, eh?

[4] Goddess of
Punishment according to

[5] The easiest
way to explain it is to say it’s divorcing your parents.

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