Shiva

BY : Nemain
Category: X-Men - Animated Series (all) > General
Dragon prints: 5125
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.






SHIVA—CHAPTER SEVEN (NC-17)

 

Standard disclaimers apply.

 

A/N Thanks to Foxfeather for reading all of the stuff I send
her! J Special muse cookies for her…. Thanks to everyone who reviewed! I love reviews---hint, hint, wink, wink, nudge,
nudge…Flames are used to burn off excess plot bunnies. Don’t make me be mean to the bunnies,
people.

 

 

 

The
Professor tapped his fingers against his chin, an old gesture he rarely used
but found somewhat comforting nonetheless.
Kitty was entering into shiva, a period of mourning highly regulated by
tradition in the Jewish faith. He had
heard her mental cry when the phone call came and he had head her plea, silent
to other ears, for strength. As
heart-rended as he was by her pain, the Professor could not help but feel
something was not quite right about the situation. Kitty sat before him now, already clad in the black garments
tradition required. She had cut slashes
in the sleeves of her blouse and scrubbed all traces of makeup away. Her hair hung loose and her feet were bare.[1] She avoided looking into the mirror in the
hallway when she entered his study, the Professor noted, and she would not hold
Kurt’s hand r thr the initial shock wore off.
“Kitty, I’m deeply sorry for your loss.”

“Thank you,
Professor.” Her usually lilting voice
was flat and subdued. She stared at her
hands, resting on her knees. “You know
our traditions?”

“Actually,
Kitty, at one time I practiced myself…It’s been a very, very long time since I
have been in Temple.”

“You don’t
have to go to Temple to…I’m sorry. It
isn’t my place.” She sniffedin ain and
tightened her hands into fists, wrinkling the fabric of her skirt.

“Pardon me
for saying so, but I had the impression you were a reformed practitioner? If I recall, you are not one of the seven
relatives who are required to undergo such extreme measures…”

“I’m not by
Law, but in my heart…Ruth may have been the one to get me in trouble overt
rt
last Chanukah, but she is the only one in my family that is still living who I
was close to, who I actually loved.”[2]

“Your
clothes…?”

“She
deserves respect in Death if not in Life…Please, Professor, this is the only
thing I can do for her…They won’t let me go to her funeral!” She sobbed then, the sound harsh and torn
from her breast in the otherwise silent room.
Kurt, lurking by the door in the shadows, winced and his own heart
shattered anew at Kitty’s grief.

“Kitty, I
understand. You need to do this…Are you
going to mourn for the full seven days?”

Kitty dabbed
at her nose with a tissue proffered by the Professor before shaking her head in
the negative. “Three. Starting today. She would never have put up with the full seven…” Kitty chuckled
mirthlessly. “When we were at Bubie’s
funeral, she asked me why the dead take so long to mourn. Why seven days is any better than three….”

“I’ll
contact the school. You do not have to
attend tomorrow or Tuesday. Go rest
now.”

Kitty’s
eyes were wet and red but she gazed steadily at the Professor. “You know what I
need to do…”

“Yes,
child, I know. Go rest now and you will
have help later.” Kitty nodded and
stood shakily, eyes searching for Kurt.


“I’m here,
Katzchen…” He stepped from the shadows and held out a hand to her only to have
her refuse with a simple shake of her head.

“I
can’t. No sexual contact during shiva.”

“It’s
holding hands…”

“Kurt, you
know how I feel about you and touching you would make my mind wander…Please
understand?”

“Ja, I
understand. I’m sorry.” He wanted to hold her so much, to make her
feel better with words and touches, but she was closing herself off. “Kurt,
please stay. I would like to speak with
you. I’ll be seeing you later,
Kitty.” Kitty gave Kurt a smilsmile and
murmured thanks to the Professor before phasing herself out of the door and out
of sight. Silence reigned for several
minutes and Kurt had the distinct feeling the Professor was having a
conversation with someone in his own head, so fixed were his features in an
attitude of concern. The older man
nodded once and soon Logan entered the room.
Kurt tensed, not quite sure what to expect, and flinched a little as
Logan sat next to him.

“Elf.”

“Herr
Logan…” Kurt shifted, trying to look as
if he had not been thinking interesting thoughts about Kitty just a few hours
ago.

“Gentlemen,
you are both aware of Kitty’s mourning period.
However, I feel there is something…sinister…at work. I called to speak with her parents this
morning, after I found out, and they denied knowledge of Ruth’s demise. Well, that is what I was told before they
hung up on me. Kitty’s uncle and aunt
told me that their daughter was dead to them, and they had not been to the
hospital in days. I may be putting two
and two together to come up with five, but…”
The Professor made no bones about it.
He passed a handful of newspaper clippings and internet print-outs to
Logan, who scanned them before passing them to Kurt.

“Was? I don’t understand…What does all this have
to do with Kitty and Ruth?” The articles
were about crimes throughout the Midwest and Atlantic Seaboard, all occurring
at trucking companies, ore refineries, and nuclear facilities. For the most part, they had been petty
crimes considering the possibilities each scene presented. A few empty trucks stolen here, some slag
iron there; the nuclear facilities had only been broken into, nothing was
mis or or altered as far as anyone questioned could determine.

“Look
again, Kid.” Logan said, tension making his voice harder than usual. Kurt scanned the topmost article, the most
recent crime, again. It had occurred in
Kansas, at a major trucking firm. Three
big rigs had gone missing, “lifted right out from under our noses,” according
to the manager on duty that night.
“Keep on reading,” the older man said when Kurt looked up, half way
through. The Professor nodded in
agreement and Kurt shrugged and continued.
It was the last paragraph that got his attention. The gates to the facility had been torn as
if by massive hands, the metal twisted and bent. Kurt froze, rereading the paragraph.

“Magneto?” His voice shook.

“Now read
this.” The Professor shoved an article
at Logan, who quickly scanned it and growled.

“Mystique!”

“Was?” Kurt snatched the paper, letting the other
articles drift to the floor. It was
little more than a blurb, a few sentences in a recent edition of the Houston
Chronicle[3]
in the “Oddly Enough” section. “Local
children reported seeing their babysitter morph into a blue, lizard-like woman
from a kindly elderly, very not-blue, woman today during a break in their play
time. The oldest child called the
police who came at the insistence that ‘a strange lady was in their
house’. Finding only the babysitter
present, the police lectured the children on proper use of the 911 system.”

“This is
only the most recent in a string of reports placing Mystique in the South and
Midwest. She seems to be growing
careless, though why I cannot tell as of yet.”
The Professor regarded Kurt and Logan, waiting for some sort of response.

“Are the
working together, do you think?” Kurt
was scared spitless.

“I am not
sure. All indications would seem to
point to yes, but with those two…” The
man spread his hands, letting his words trail.


“What does
all of this have to do with Ruth?”
Logan settled back, crossing his arms in preparation for a lengthy
story.

“Actually,
quite a bit. Ruth’s telekinesis is her
known mutation, as I am sure we are all aware.
However, before the hospitalization, Kitty told me some more about her
cousin. From the bits and pieces the
revealed, I believe that Ruth is quite dangerous, uncontrolled.”

“What do
you mean? Like Rogue or Scott?” Kurt leaned forward in morbid interest.

“Kitty told
me a story about when she first discovered Ruth’s mutation. The girl apparently lifted some silverware,
giving Kitty quite a scare for it reminded her of Magneto. However, it came out that Ruth was
telekinetic and the two girls discussed at length Kitty’s own mutation and those
of several people Kitty knew, identities remaining anonymous, of course.” Kurt knew better, he knew that Kitty had
told Ruth not only his name but thtailtails she knew of his mutation, but since
he was not actually bothered by this, shrugged it off.

“Is there a
point to this, Chuck?”

“Patience,
Logan…” The Professor hid an amused
smile behind a cough and continued.
“Ruth projects quite strongly.
Not only her emotions but her physical feelings. It isn’t something she is quite aware of,
Kitty thinks. She just told me that
Ruth knows, if she concentrates, she can make someone feel bad. Or if she is very, very tired, the people
around her experience her feelings as well.”

“How does
this make her dangerous, Professor?”

“She has
the capacity to cause great harm, Kurt.
Terrifically great harm…” The
Professor wheeled around the desk and seemed to be torn over his next words; “I
cannot say with great certainty that Magneto or Mystique have anything to do
with Ruth or that Ruth is actually still alive. It is best that Kitty go through with her mourning and let her
cousin be dead. However, it is my
personal feeling that one or both of the two mutants have something to do with
Ruth’s disappearance from the hospital.”

“Why can’t
Kitty know? It’d give her some hope!”
Kurt was on his feet, pacing rapidly in frustration. “How can you let her think…?”

“Siddown,
Elf!” Logan jerked him into a chair and
got in his face. “Chances are good that
if Ruth wasn’t dead before, she will be soon.
She isn’t strong enough to stand under Mystique or Magneto, especially
if she’s already ailing.” Logan leaned
back, taking a deep breath to calm himself. Kurt gnashed his teeth to keep
silent, waiting for the man to continue.
“Let Kitty mourn now, let her lay her cousin to rest. If it happens that Ruth is with Magneto or
Mystique or even both, and she does survive whatever they want her for, then we’ll work on saving the girl. Until then, let’s not give Half-Pint any
false hope.”

“Try to
understand, Kurt…”

“Ja, I
understand! How can you be such…such an ungehobelter Klotz[4]?”

Logan was
on his feet and had Kurt pinned to the wall in a flash. “I’m gonna pretend you didjustjust say that,
bub. If you did…”

“Logan,
he’s upset. Yes, he was rude, but he is
still a student here and is merely concerned about Kitty. Now put him down and step away.” The Professor was not upset at Kurt’s insult
but rather upset at the situation.

Logan growled again and dropped
Kurt who promptly scrambled to his feet.
“I’ll keep quiet about this to Kitty, but I am very mad. Understand that!” Kurt ‘ported away before Logan could make
another grab.

 

Jean found the envelope pinned to
her door when she woke up that morning.
She knew it was from Scott and tucked it into her pocket to read later,
so fearful and excited was she about the contents. She had avoided him all morning, dodging into rooms where other
people were so that he could not speak with her alone. She was not sure what to say to him and
afraid of what he would say to her, opting instead to insulate herself behind
layers of deception, laughing when Jubilee launched into ribald jokes after
breakfast, flirting back when Remy toyed with her hair and said it was the
color of fire, helping Rogue with science homework, all the while aware of
Scott’s eyes on her and all the while pretending she could not care less. Finally, after lunch, Jean sequestered
herself in her room and opened the envelope.
What the…? A poem? It was in Scott’s handwriting but she
knew instinctively it had been copied.
Closing her eyes for a brief moment, she read the words on the small
sheet of pale blue paper.

Center of all centers, core of
cores,
almond self-enclosed, and growing sweet--
all this universe, to the furthest stars
all beyond them, is your flesh, your fruit.

Now you feel how nothing clings to
you;
your vast shell reaches into endless space,
and there the rich, thick fluids rise and flow.
Illuminated in your infinite peace,

a billion stars go spinning through
the night,
blazing high above your head.
But in you is the presence that
will be, when all the stars are dead

Rainer Maria e, Be, Buddha in
Glory

 

Jean read
the poem over and over until she knew it by heart. Folding it over into a neat square, she saw more writing on the
back. Jean—I did a piss-poor job
of trying to explain my gift to you the other night. These words are better than mine. Try as she might, Jean could not stop the pin-prick of tears
that welled with her emotions. I
have to go talk to him now…As an afterthought, she tucked the poem into her
cleavage, feeling an absurd need to keep it close to her heart. Almost jogging, she left her room and went
in search of Scott downstairs. She
found him in the rec room, shouting at video games with Bobby Drake. She only had to wait a few moments for him
to be free.

“Man, you
froze the controls!”

“Sorry—got
excited!” Bobby threw his control down
in semi-disgust. Let it thaw and we’ll
go again!”

“Sure,
sure….Hey, Jean!” Scott visibly started
at the sight of her sitting there but kept his voice controlled. Bobby smirked and winked at the girl,
earning a wink in return. “Um,
Bobby…why don’t you see if Jamie needs help in the Danger Room.”

“Suuuuuuure,
Fearless Leader. Get right on it.” Bobby snorted and left the room, throwing
Jean an amused glance as he cleared the door.


“You got
the note?”

‘Yeah…Look
at me, Scott.” He had ducked his head
as soon as they were alone, embarrassed and excited all at once. He tuned his eyes to her now, damning his
glasses and their red tint. He wanted
to see Jean flesh-colored for once.
Jean dropped to her knees from the chair and made her gaze level with
his, breaking his train of thought. “I
understand.”

“What?”

“I
understand how I feel and how you feel and…damn it, I’m tired of being sensible
Jean and controlled Jean. I love
you. I love you so much I can cry
sometimes. What I’m trying to get to
is…I want to be your girlfriend.”

Scott felt
his heart explode. “I…I, ah, have to
sit down now…”

“You are
sitting down.” Jean felt her lips tug
upwards in amusement. He looks like
he’s seen a ghost..

“Maybe I
should…Oh.” Scott slumped forward in a
faint. Jean couldn’t help herself
then. She did the most irrespone,
e,
uncontrolled thing she could think of then—she laughed. “Wake up, Scott!” Making sure his glasses were in place, she rolled him onto his
back and patted his cheeks lightly.
“Upsy daisy.”

“Wha….” He blinked and saw who was over him. “Oh, I want to die now.”

“It’s
okay---shock does that to people.”

“All the
blood left my brain for a second there…”

“Heh. Noticed.”
Jean scooted back to give him room to breathe and regarded him with new
eyes. “Did your whr what I said?”

“Did you
not see me faint? Which, by the bye, we
will never speak of to anyone, right? Right.” His face took on an eager expression as he leaned towards her,
“So does this mean we…?”

Jean held
up one hand in a “stop” gesture. “We
need to work some things out, first. I
want to go slow, get used to this. I e yoe you but I don’t want to lose myself in you, got it?”

“Got it…”

“Second, we
respect boundaries. No sex, just
kissing for now, okay?”

“Okay…”

“I won’t
walk your thoughts, either. Just to let
you know.”

“That’s
good…” Especially with the direction my thoughts are taking at the moment.

“And I’ll
break things off with Duncan tomorrow, but I want you to leave him alone,
okay?”

“Do I have
to?” At her annoyed expression, he waved his hands in supplication. “Okay, okay—no Duncan-baiting.”

“Good. We’re settled. On your feSummSummers.” She
rose and held out a hand to help him.
“We’re due in the Danger Room in ten minutes and if we’re late, Logan
will skin us alive.”

Scott
smiled like a fool and followed Jean from the room, blissfully unaware of
anything but her red hair bouncing from her ponytail like flames over
wood.

 

 

 



 

 



[1] Kitty is
hodge-podging orthodox and reformed traditions. http://www.ahavat-israel.com/ahavat/torat/death.asp


[2] The seven
relatives are mother, father, sister, brother, husband, wife, child. Half-siblings are included in this.

[3] Couldn’t
resist…nearest big town to me and had to throw out props. J

[4] Insensitive
jerk (thanks, Foxfeather!)


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