BY : Nemain
Category: X-Men - Animated Series (all) > General
Dragon prints: 5165
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 the queen of cruel punishments for pig piles...long may she reign! (Ted, I was kidding-there is no man-harem! Breathe, boy, breathe!). InterNutter, TC and Maxwell Pink are lovely wonderful sparkled and ubermensches for archiving. Really. Vampyre gets special Frankie lovin' for her archiving, as well! Readers/Reviewers: You make me feel all sorts of lovely! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! The ducks bow before you in abject worship.

Lance sniffed and gagged; the smell of dried sweat and old food was almost overpowering. "Blob's been here," he choked out.
Amara felt like vomiting. "How do you know he's gone?" she managed, sticking close to Lance's barely visible form as they crept towards the basement stairs.
"I can't hear him breathing; that gargantuan breathes louder than anyone else on Earth!" Lance tugged his shirt over his nose and mouth. "I forget how bad he smells until I get in an enclosed area!"
"Gods, how can you stand living here?" Amara's eyes pricked from the smell of mildew combined with Blob's body odor, lingering in the close air of the basement.
"I can't...that's why I live with, at the Shit!" Lance barked his shin on the bottom step, effectively ending any sentimentality that may have sprung forth.
"Here. Let me help." In her hand, a bright ball of flame glowed. "Move it, string bean!" Amara's voice had taken on an authoritative tone.
"Yes, mistress," Lance mocked. She smirked and he led on, taking the steps carefully in the orange-yellow light of Amara's mutation. The steps creaked mercilessly and they each held a secret fear of being caught at any moment.
"Shhhh!" The door creaked as Lance slowly opened it, giving Amara a strange look as she shushed it. "What?"
He merely shook his head and bit back a smile. _My Princess...thinks she can commananinanimate objects. Gotta love her. _ The door opened into the kitchen, dim save for the light spilling from the dining room. "Listen," he whispered, pressing a finger to Amara's lips, parted to deliver another command, no doubt.
Magneto's low tones sounded above them, edged with derision as always. Outside, the sounds of the fight had ceased but Lance did not give that much thought, subconsciously afraid of what he would find should he investigate. "Who's he talking to?" Amara murmured.
"Dunno...Kitty, maybe..." Lance peered around the kitchen, remembering Pietro's fondness for sneaking up on people, before nodding for Amara to follow him. Quietly, he led her through the living room after checking under the sofa and couch for those who might be hiding. The foyer was dark and Amara raised an eyebrow in askance, holding out her hand to ready another ball of flame. "No," Lance whispered softly. Above them, it was now clear that Magneto was talking to Kitty. Her low, angry tones were layered over his own.
"Hey, y'all!"
"Shit!" Lance harshly whispered, realizing it was Rogue but startled nonetheless. Amara jumped but remained silent as she turned to face their friend.
"Nervous Nelly. Where's Todd?" Rogue's eyes slid past them and up the stairs.
"Dunno...Haven't seen him. You find anything?" Lance asked, surreptitiously squeezing Amara's hand as much for his comfort as for hers.
"Pietro whizzed by me. Didn't see me-I was in the shadows by the rhododendron around back," the Goth replied. "He's looking for something real intent like..."
"Probably Kitty." Amara narrowed her eyes in the direction of the stairs. "C'mon. Follow me!"
"No, Amara! Wait!" Rogue pulled the Nova Roman back by her elbow. "We don't know what's going on up there. And I don't know who won that fight outside...For all we know, Sabertooth is gonna come bustin' through the door and rip the first person he sees to shreds." She closed her eyes, sending up a brief prayer that it was Logan who won and would come bursting through the door. "We can't just stand here..."
The yelling upstairs was growing louder. Lance looked around furtively and found the only place they could all hid together. "Hall closet!" With a jerk, he pulled Amara after him, Rogue following close behind. They piled in, Lance and Amara first, Rogue nearest the door to avoid any dentdental touches. They were just in time-Kurt's voice, screaming Kitty's name, was clearly audible. Footsteps crashed overhead, heavier ones overwhelming the lighter ones. Amara involuntarily gasped when one set vanished but Lance murmured "Phase, Kitty, phase," indicating what most likely happened above them.
For a brief moment, Rogue was put in mind of _Poltergeist. _ 1The sound of activity arounround them, nothing to be seen, was downright eerie. She half expected Kitty to fall through the ceiling and join them. They were all holding their breath unwittingly, Amara clutching at Lance's back as if she would climb him to free herself from danger. Rogue leaned her forehead against the door, waiting for she did not know what. It came in the form of a body, thumping over head and making obvious contact with several stairs. Rogue cried out and scrambled for the doorknob as Amara choked on her breath and Lance surged forward, brushing against Rogue's bare neck as he reached past her for the knob. Rogue and Lance fell apart with a shocked gasp, Lance spinning woozily to tumbled against Amara and Rogue falling out the door, twisting the knob as she pitched forward. "Lance!" the two girls cried out as he slumped from Amara's grasp and heaped against himself on the floor.
Amara's heart jumped to her throat. She was confused, not sure who to help first. Rogue settled it for her by slamming the door on her and Lance, her face paler than usual and eyes burning dark holes in her skull. Slow, heavy footsteps sounded over head and Amara breathed in time with them. She heard no screaming and the only voice she could make out was male, low and strong. "What's happening?" she whispered to no one in particular.
Lance groaned. His brief contact with Rogue made him dizzy and tired, but not completely drained. He felt like he had run a seven minute mile on an empty stomach, Amara's face blurry above him. "Let me up."
"No...sit here." She tenderly stroked his sweaty brow, unaware of how this sent a strange jolt through his system, pleasing and painful at once. She eased herself from under him, patting his shoulder as she stood. "Rest here a minute...if you hear screaming, it won't be me." Amara let herself out of the closet, leaving Lance in the hiding space alone.

Todd felt sick and angry at once. Tabby was making soft snuffling noises, tears falling in fat drops from her made-up eyes. "And then he just, like, picked her up and threw her out the window!"
He could not help it; he sank to his knees. Todd would freely admit he had no special affection for Kitty, but he had come to have a protective streak for anyone Rogue cared about. _If this is Magneto's new thing, I sure as Hell am glad I'm not part of it anymore. _ "Are you sure?" he asked softly.
"I thought it was Mystique cuz I heard her voice but I was hiding in the closet know...puff a little J.2" Tabby sniffed deeply and shrugged. The upstairs closet she had been in was known to be the best place to smoke pot because of it's ventilation-direct access to the outside, very little chance of being caught by any invasive adults or goody-two-shoes. "So I heard Maggie bitching at someone and like I said, I thought it was Blue and Ugly but when I peeked out the door, Kitty was standing there between him and Pietro! She screamed and they grabbed her, shoved her out the window!" She sobbed again and staggered forward, arms open to seek him in desperate comfort.
Todd jerked back hastily and shoved hway.way. "Get away from me!" At her aghast expression, Todd growled, "You're part of this, Boom brought all this shit down on yourself. Fuck your ideals, fuck the Brotherhood-I want no part of it!"
"You're giving up the Brotherhood?" by fby finally seemed to snap out of the stupor she was in. "You can't! You give it up, you're with _them! _ "
"And maybe that's not such a bad thing! You ever think of that? Do you even care that Kitty's probably dead o you you care more about the fact you harshed your buzz?" Todd tried to shove past her but she clamped one hand around his throat and brought the other to eyelevel, revealing a handful of charged balls.
"You watch your mouth, Toad! You act all superior because you followed Lance to the Institute, but you're _nothing. _ No one wants you anyway!"
"Want to bet?" he asked, a grim smile on his face. Quick as a cat, he brought his leg up between them and shoved her with all his might, the full force of his strength sending her crashing through the door. Charged balls went spilling across the carpet but they both froze, Kurt's cry silencing them. "Kitty!" Todd said to no one.
Tabby rolled to her feet, aware of Magneto's presence, his back to them but his aura cloaking them in abject fear. "Shit," she hissed. Kitty was visible as she dashed down the stairs, Magneto thundering after her.
Todd felt brief happiness at the sight of Kitty, alive and well, but several thoughts occurred to him at once. _Why isn't Kurt right behind them? Where is everyone else? What's Magneto gonna do to her? To us? _ Kitty's tumble made his thoughts screech to a halt but his legs push into motion. Hurtling past Tabby, Todd felt her grab at his leg and felt himself sprawl forward. Quickly, he threw his arms out before him and sent himself into a sommersault to land on his feet, only slowing down a little. He skidded to a halt at the top of the stairs, Logan's angry visage staring at him. No, not me, Magneto! Tabby was stomping up behind him, but he did not even turn to see her. He veered right and into the room where he heard Kurt's voice earlier. Todd froze at the sight before him, feeling for the third time in an hour the urge to be ill. Kurt was bound, bloody and abject. His silent weeping wracked his body with sobs even as he rocked back and forth in the twisted fetal position his bindings forced him into. "Kurt..."
Yellow eyes were remarkably blood shot. Todd slammed the door between them and the events in the hallway but could not stop Tabby's pounding on the door. "Todd...untie me!" Kurt asked almost weakly.
"What happenman?man?" Todd set to work on the thick knots at Kurt's back where his wrists were tied; the shorter boy cursed under his breath as all the work he did on the ropes served only to make it tighter. "Why can't you just zap yourself outta these fucking thing, yo?"
Kurt sighed. "Magneto gave me some sort of drug...he gave it to Kitty when he had her. It makes us unable to use our mutations for a time. It should be wearing off soon but it's still making me...." He shrugged as well as he could as he trailed off.
Tabby's pounding faded as a roar sounded from downstairs. "Shit. Wolverine!" Todd hissed. "Kurt, I can't these ropes untied...what do I do?"
Kurt howled then, a long, heart-wrenching sound full of all the frustration he could possibly ever feel. Todd wanted to cry for his mother at the sound. Kurt panted, his throat raw then. "Go downstairs. Help Kitty."
"Rogue and Lance and Amara are here, too..." Todd offered, rocking to his feet.
"Go!" Kurt hissed, already trying to free himself again. _I didn't fill in for the contortionists for nothing! _
Todd nodded mutely and whirled around to jerk the door open, prepared to slime Tabby if need be. The blonde was nowhere to be seen and downstairs was suspiciously quiet. For the first time in as long as he could remember, Todd prayed.

Wolverine, no longer Logan, felt his body rebel against him. He knew the risks of going against Magneto but he knew that he could not leave Kitty alone. Sabertooth was difficult to dispatch, nearly tiring Logan out beyond his capacity. The larger mutant was firmly ensconced in the car outside, wedged in the backseat, pinned by the ripped-out front seats. Logan had finally resorted to fighting dirty, using his claws in ways that would make ginsu knives blush at their inadequacy. Sabertooth lost a lot of blood and was weak in his own right but still strong in terms of human strengtA kiA kick to the neck made him choke for breath and Logan took advantage of the hunched stance his enemy adopted, slamming Sabertooth's head against he cement table in the backyard twice, finally hearing bone crack and a harsh rasp of breath as Sabertooth passed out. Logan had run to the house, ignoring his own pain and knitting bones, the still-seeping wound on his face that stung and pulled as it healed. He lost all reason when he saw Kitty, sprawled at odd angles on the wooden floor, Magneto standing over her.
Now he found himself pinned. Magneto scarcely paid him any attention, merely flicking his eyes to take in Logan's entrance Every metal bone in Logan's body was locked in place, even his jaw. Try as he might, the man known as Wolverine could not move save for his eyes. He smelled Rogue and Amara nearby and knew that, wherever Amara was, Lance was sure to follow. _Not them, too...I can only handle one crisis at a time here... _
" nice to see you. I trust you took care of Sabertooth otherwise he would be in here wearing your hide like a trophy." Magneto stepped over Kitty and frowned. "Where is that boy of mine?"
"Here, father!" Pietro popped in seemingly out of nowhere but he had run from the attic, down the backstairs. "I can't find...oh. Is she...?"
"Not yet, Pietro." Magneto smiled gently at his son, an altogether offputting expression. "Tell me. How would you like to administer the shot for me?
Rogue could not hold her peace. "No!" She streaked out of her hiding place, Amara's hands grasping at her denim-clad leg but missing by mere centimeters. Toad appeared at the top of the stairs and froze, staring at the scene. He exchanged glances with Logan and, for once, the older man was rooting for the frog-boy. "Pietro, you can't do this!"
"Why not, Rogue?" Magneto purred, raising one eyebrow.
"Yeah...why not?" Pietro took the proffered syringe from his father. "You've gone soft, Rogue."
"No, she hasn't." Todd advanced several steps, still well out of Magneto's reach. "She just knows you're full of shit. So is your old man!" He danced back as Magneto turned, face set in stone.
"Watch that wicked tongue3 of yours, boy! It will sign your death warrant!" Turning his attention back to Pietro, he added in softer, more awed tones, "Do it boy...this will be the piece de resistance of my grand experiment."
"What do you need Kitty for, Magneto?" Rogue asked as calmly as she could, taking a few steps towards Pietro before Magneto's steely gaze halted her.
A confused look came over Pietro's face then and he turned askance at his father. "Yeah...why?"
Magneto snarled at them both then, his control over Logan slipping a bare fraction, but enough for the metal-imbued man to extend his claws. Dull thumps could be heard from upstairs, underscoring the tension already in the room. Out of the corner of his eye, Logan saw Lance creep forward, fear pouring off of him in gouts. The old man answered slowly, carefully. "If it is within your capacity to fix something God has made incorrectly, you should do it."
"So you're trying to fix our mutations?" Pietro asked, his brows drawing down sharply. "What about that whole _Homo superior _ thing?"
"Foolish boy. I'm dying. I need _her _ to correct the imbalance!"
A shocked silence washed over the house; even the mice in the walls fell stunned. "Dying?" Pietro finally choked, tears pricking his eyes. Lance and Amara, huddled together in the shadows, seemed deflated. Even Rogue stood down. Todd sat heavily on the top step, emotions at war with one another. Only Logan seemed unaffected, but how much of that came from his frozen state and how much came from lack of caring, no one ever really knew.
"The nature of my mutation, the nature of the experiments they performed on me as a boy...I'm dying. Dying as surely as you live. My cells are degenerating and soon I will become scant more than a weak, feeble-minded old man. I need Kitty's blood to make that which will reverse the reaction. Ruth was to be the first step in my revolution. Use her to destroy the X Men, to destroy anyone who stood in my way. Kitty is my relation as sure as Pietro iBut But she has the antibodies present in her system to counteract my disease whereas Pietro does not."
"How do you know?" Rogue asked shakily. She looked as if she might fall over at anytime. Lance's mind was flitting through hers and she was having disturbing images of Amara, candle wax, and pain mingling with terror for Kitty and a deep, profound connection to the earth beneath her. She could not process the idea of the seemingly infallible Magneto falling in a way so human, so mundane, as a disease.
"You really are simple, aren't you? It is not difficult to access medical records, even within your precious Institute." Magneto frowned then and jerked his chin at Pietro. "Do it, child. Do it and I will live."
"Why can't you?" Lance asked, rising. "Afraid of a little girl?"
Magneto snarled at him, advancing. "You've turned tail, too, haven't you? Only Blob, Pietro and Tabitha remain...pity. I quite dislike the idea of destroying former associates..." Magneto sighed. "Well, needs musts wants, eh?"
Pietro licked his lips, staring at his father intently. No one could read his face, all were frozen in their tracks, waiting, watching. He dropped to his knees next to Kitty and seized her wrist, setting off a chain of events. Todd leapt forward and knocked the Russian boy back. Rogue leapt at Magneto, her bare hand reaching for his face even as he threw his arm off to deflect her. Lance and Amara sprang forward to help Rogue when Logan pitched forward, Magneto's hold over him broken by his distraction. The fight raged, limbs flailing and striking, Rogue desperately trying to avoid her friends while striving to touch Magneto's bare skin. A loud popping noise made Logan whip around and he grinned broadly then. Kurt crouched behind him, holding a length of rope and looking much worse for wear. "Nice of you to join us, Elf."
"Where's Kitty?"
"On the floor. Stay back or get hurt, Kid." Logan sallied forth, pulling Todd off of Pietro and tossing him to one side. "Cut it out, Tolensky. Gotta leave something for me!" He threw Pietro with all his might and sent the boy sailing into the den, a loud crash and groan signaling his demise in this fight.
Magneto succeeded in looseningselfself from Rogue with a rough kick. The girl yelped and landed on her rear, taking Amara down with her. She grabbed Amara's bare ankle on reflex and the two shuddered and shocked with the contact, Amara's eyes rolling back in her head from the prolonged touch and Rogue mentally vg tog to wear gloves all the time, not just at school. "Fools!" Magneto roared. He pushed past Lance and seized the needle from where it landed near the baseboard. "Half wit!" With a savage yank, he pulled Kitty's arm up and lifted the needle. Kurt was already in motion when a most remarkable thing happened.
Kitty was quicker than a cobra, her free hand swinging upwards and making contact with Magneto's nose. Blood sprayed as he fell back, dropping the syringe. She grabbed it mid-air and rolled over to press her knees to his chest. As she sank the needle into his jugular, Kitty hissed "Nie wieder."4
1 The first one is SO much better than the sequels.
2 Smoke a joint (sheesh. I need to hang out with new people. I know way too much drug slang.)
3 I love that line in the movie "Toad has a wicked tongue, Senator!" Had to put something about his tongue being wicked in there... maybe again for Rogue
4 My grammar sucks, it' it's supposed to mean "Never again" and is used as a sort of unofficial motto of survivors of Shoah.

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