X-men Evolution Fan Fiction ❯ Revolution ❯ Ch 1 to 5 ( Chapter 1 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
An enemy arises that not even Xavier can trace. The X-Men must uncover the plan of destruction before it's too late... but they also have their own personal issues to deal with. KurtxKitty, RoguexRemy


Chapter 01: Heat Wave

It was Sunday and the summer heat was harshly beating down on the Brotherhood's house. Lance was hogging the biggest fan, sitting so close to it that he blocked the flow of air with his body. Todd was leaning backwards over the couch, his legs up on the backrest and his head hanging off the edge of the seat. Pietro arrived with a pint of ice-cream, holding up the treat tauntingly.

Fred, who was a big pile of misery in the corner, panting heavily because of the summer heat, looked up from his activity of staring blankly at the walls. His eyes went wide, "cookies and cream..." and the words sent the other members of the Brotherhood who were at the living room to attention.

Fred tried to get up as quickly as possible, but was the last to reach Pietro. Lance abandoned the fan he was hogging and in a split second was standing next to the speedy mutant with Todd hopping excitedly on his other side. Honestly, right now Lance didn't care if the ice-cream was cookies and cream, chocolate, vanilla, strawberry or spinach flavored, he just wanted some of the frozen treat to cool off.

Pietro grinned mischievously. "Who wants ice-cream?" He asked the obvious question, while moving the pint away speedily away from Fred. The large mutant had made his way past Lance and Todd, making a grab for it. "Now, now, you shouldn't be so impatient!"

"So said the king of impatience himself." The voice that had just joined them was female. She came walking down the stairs with more calm than anyone else in the room. Wanda eyed the precious treasure that her brother held as time felt as if it had come to a stand still. She walked past the other guys and stood facing Pietro. "I do hope you were planning to share that with me."

Actually, Pietro intended to tease everyone and eat the ice-cream by himself, but he knew better than to challenge the Scarlet Witch. "Of course I was!" Though Wanda didn't show it, the heat was annoying her and Pietro knew that she was about to blow. He handed over the ice-cream as if it was some kind of precious peace offering and watched as she curiously shook the container slightly. The noise it produced was not what one would expect from it.

With a horror stricken face, Wanda opened up the pint of cookies and cream ice-cream, to find black cookies floating in white liquid. "It melted..." Her voice was razor sharp.

Pietro looked taken aback. "I ran straight here from the supermarket. It's only been a few minutes since I got that out of the refrigerator." It was a sad, and very hot, day, when not even Quicksilver could deliver ice-cream fast enough to prevent it from melting.

"Don't be disappointed baby-cakes," Todd immediately, and very foolishly, poked his nose in the wrong business in an attempt to cheer up his crush, which would inevitably end in disaster. "We can drink it together like a milkshake!"

With a low growl, Wanda dumped the melted ice-cream over Todd's head, leaving him to wear the container as a hat. The glow of magic danced around her for a few tense seconds, before the lightbulb on the livingroom's ceiling burst to pieces at random. Fortunately, that was the end of the damage, as Wanda turned around and went up the stairs again.

Pietro, Lance, Todd and Fred, who was lamenting over the wasted ice-cream, let out a collective breath of relief. Their relaxation didn't last long, as Wanda reappeared down the stairs, sending them instantly into tension once more. She walked over to the fan Lance had claimed, pulled the electric cord off the wall and carried the appliance to her room. Lance's mouth opened as if to produce words, as he lifted his hand to point in a sign of protest. Before he could speak, Pietro placed a hand on his shoulder and shook his head sternly, "let it go..."

With his shoulder slumping in defeat, Lance realized that Pietro was right, it was better to lose a fan than his life. Dejected, Lance picked up the TV's remote control and sat on the couch to flip through the channels. Pietro glanced at the TV with little interest until Lance stopped at a news station. They were talking about the recent heat wave that had overtaken the city. As the weather woman explained that the heat was expected to continue, the young men watching let out a collective groan.

"Change the channel, man!" Todd protested, while licking his own face with his long tongue, an act that no one really wanted to see. "Hearing about the heat just makes it hotter!"

Pietro was about to comment, but he stopped, eyes focused on the TV as he saw the image change for a fraction of a second. There were words, or at least he thought those were words, it was too fast for even him to read.

Lance made the motion with his hand to change the channel, but his thumb only touched the palm of his hand instead of the button on the remote control. "What the?" He stared at his empty hand, then looked at Pietro, who was staring intently at the TV with the remote on hand. "What are you doing?"

"Shh," Pietro motioned with the hand that wasn't holding the remote for silence. He stared at the TV some more until it happened again, a pale blue screen with almost imperceptible white letters. He watched for it again without blinking. There it was, those weren't words, or at least not words he could read. It looked like some kind of complex computer code that he could barely catch a glimpse at.

"I think the heat's getting to him," Todd commented with nods of agreement from Lance and Fred.

"Pietro," Lance attempted to snap him out of the daze.

After a few more seconds without seeing the odd screen again, Pietro's tense shoulders relaxed. He got an odd feeling when he saw that strange screen, but in the end, he attributed it to some kind of technical difficulties on the TV station. Maybe the heat really was getting to him, because he was suddenly suffering from an intense headache. He tossed the remote back to Lance and promptly left.

Lance stood automatically and barely caught the remote before Pietro was already out the door. By the time Todd asked, "what was that about?" Pietro was probably already half way across the city. Lance shook his head and sat down again, flipping through the channels uninterested once more.

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"Oh..." The summer heat was beating down on him harshly, but he didn't think he had the strength to move.

"Are you going to like, just keep floating there?" Kitty inquired from her position in the water near the side of the pool.

Situated in the middle of an oversized yellow lifesaver, Kurt floated in the middle of the pool at the institute. His arms and legs were slumped over the sides of the round floatation device, with his head in a similar position, touching the water. "This heat wave is murder!" He cried out in agony.

"I'll have to agree with him," Rogue frowned. She was swimming near Kitty, her face red. "That's it, I'm getting out of this pool, it feels like the water's boiling!" She reached the edge of the pool and pulled herself out.

Kitty mimicked the motion, "Rogue, you should have used more sunscreen!"

Realizing that he was alone, Kurt looked up, examined his surroundings and allowed himself to flop back into his previous position until a new voice entered his line of sound. "Hey Kurt, I need your help with something."

Kurt tilted his head slightly towards Evan, who had a very plotting look in his eyes. "I don't think I can do much right now..." The blue young man admitted tiredly.

"This idea I have will help you feel better," Evan encouraged. "In fact, he added with great confidence, "it will make everyone feel better. It will make the heat that much bearable... you might even need a coat."

"Don't even say the word coat right now," Kurt's interest was certainly captured. "But I'm listening, what do you have in mind?"

"We'll get aunty O to make it snow," Evan shared his genius plan.

The possibility of snow was like a revitalizing breath of life for Kurt. "Snow!" He cheerfully exclaimed as he jumped into a sitting position on top of the big yellow lifesaver. "You're a genius!" He paused, realizing that if it was that easy, Storm would have made it snow already. "But there's a catch isn't it?"

Evan huffed, "aunty O says this is abusing her powers and disrespecting nature." He pouted in frustration. "If we can convince her it's vital to our health then she'll have to do it! That's where you come in. With all that fur you've got the best chance for a realistic performance."

"I don't even have to perform!" Kurt exclaimed, "I really am about to pass out!" Without another second to waste, Evan and Kurt hurried off to find Ororo.

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Ororo waved a handfan in front of her face as fast as she could. "I honestly don't know how you can stand it." The amazement never ceased.

There was Logan, engrossed in the task of grill roasting ribs, burgers, hotdogs and other such meats. "All this heat's got my appetite going. You sure you don't want any?" He began to place the cooked meat on plates.

"No thanks," Ororo sat down at a beach chair, wishing that she actually was at the beach... or the North Pole.

"McCoy?" Logan glanced at the man who sat under the shade of a tree which did little to lessen the heat.

"I'll have to pass too," Hank's breaths were a little ragged; fur was never pleasant to have in such overly warm conditions. He turned the page of his book and took in a deep breath, hoping to gather some concentration against the weather.

Logan merely chuckled at the refusal, "more for me," he concluded as he took a seat on one of the outdoor tables and began to eat. He watched with mild interest as Evan and Kurt begged Ororo to make it snow, claiming that Kurt would die if she didn't. While she was distracted by her nephew and his friend, someone quietly snuck up behind her.

Rogue looked back at Kitty, who encouraged her with a nod of the head and a wave of the hand. She reached over to touch Ororo's shoulder lightly with the tip of her bare hand, but Ororo turn her head and Rogue froze. "Oh, alright..." She got up and walked a few paces forward to give herself some space. "Don't expect me to do this again," she warned. "Snow is a little too much though..."

That's when it sunk in that she was actually agreeing to their petition to cool off the weather. They wouldn't be getting any snow, but some cold rain would be wonderful. Calling upon her powers, Ororo beckoned clouds to gather around above their heads. The clouds became darker as she concentrated, and then they dissipated into nothing. The skies were once again, clear, blue and sunny... very sunny.

Under the expectant gazes of all those present, Ororo tried again, concentrating harder. Once again, clouds swirled over their heads going from white to gray, but once again they disintegrated before they could give any rain. Slightly unnerved and a little concerned about what this could mean, Ororo tried again, but the weather refused to respond at all. She focused hard, trying to summon rain. She could feel the flow of energy within her, her power was there, but there was some outside interference that prevented the weather from responding to her. Finally, she stopped focusing, her breaths labored as she hunched over in exhaustion.

Everyone was staring at her with concern. Evan was the first to break the deafening silence. "Are you... okay?"

Ororo nodded, "I'm fine, it's not me, it's something else. Something is preventing the weather from responding."

To be Continued

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Chapter 02: Hidden

With wary and very overheated expressions, Ororo, Logan, Hank, Rogue, Kitty, Kurt and Evan headed inside the institute to talk to Professor Xavier about the weather's unwillingness to cooperate. However, after taking one look at Xavier's attire as he sat in the living room reading a book, most of them decided that just looking at his long sleeved shirt was enough to feel hotter and promptly made a detour towards the kitchen hoping to find some ice, popsicles or to simply stand in front of the open refrigerator to cool off.

"Is something wrong?" Xavier didn't even need to use his psychic abilities to reach such an obvious conclusion. The sweaty dejected faces in front of him spoke volumes as he looked up from his book. He had a feeling that this would be more than just a few passing words. Thus he picked up a bookmark from the small table next to him and placed it in the book, closing it and setting it on the table next to his cup of tea. The tea had been sitting forgotten for a while as Xavier had become absorbed in the book, rich in cultural and historical information, but the tea was, not surprisingly given the temperature, still steaming.

"Yes, there's something wrong!" Logan nearly growled, while Hank stood open mouthed and Ororo shook her head. "How can you be dressed like that in this heat?" Logan himself was sporting a pair of shorts and a tank top, being unable to bear the heat in his usual attire. Ororo was also dressed in summer fashion, with her cheeks exhibiting a very rosy tone as a result of the heat and recent effort.

"Mind over matter," Xavier simply explained and Hank couldn't resist the need to run his hand down his face. Knowing all too well that this was not the only thing they were there to communicate, he prompted, "was there something you wanted to say?"

Ororo began to explain what had just transpired in a very summarized way. "The weather is not responding to my powers. I don't feel different and at first it looked like it was working, but then there was resistance." I'm not sure if it's because nature doesn't have any rain to give because of all this heat or something else... I'm worried that it's something else."

With his face turning serious and analytical, Xavier inquired, "you're sure this lack of responsiveness is not due to being tired?"

Ororo nodded, "I'm sure of it."

Xavier wasn't sure what to think of it. For it to be a natural phenomenon was unexpected, but there was no reason to suspect the involvement of another mutant, more so one that could influence the weather. Plus Ororo had made it clear that she thought her powers were functional and this was something else, outside interference not directly linked to her. "I can't be certain about what's happening yet, but I'll begin a search with Cerebro."

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A few minutes later, Xavier placed Cerebro's helmet on his head, with Logan and Ororo watching standing left and right of him. Hank had taken a much needed divergence to the kitchen, where he hoped to find some cold water to alleviate his dehydration... if the students had not yet consumed it all. Then, if there were no immediate emergencies to tend to, he would probably spend the rest of the afternoon trying to find ways to stay cool.

Cerebro responded to Xavier as usual. He could sense the energy signatures of several mutants; however, those were mutants that the X-Men were already aware of. Things seemed to be relatively calm for the Brotherhood and there were no unusual energy signatures near them. The neutral mutants and other known mutants seemed to be going about their normal lives with nothing about their presence standing out. Xavier focused more, but he still couldn't find anything that was out of place, at least not in Cerebro's range.

The Professor extended the range beyond New York, covering a vast area of the United States and a considerable portion of Canada. If there was another mutant interfering with Ororo's abilities, then it would only be reasonable that they could be found within a certain range of her location. Yet despite the range being greater than what one would think was needed to affect the area, there was still nothing out of the ordinary to be found.

After one last check to be sure and a pause, Xavier opened his eyes, which he had closed in concentration and removed Cerebro's helmet. "I wasn't able to find anything..." He revealed, though given his silence and expression during the scanning process, Logan and Ororo expected as much. "Let's try a meditation exercise," he suggested, just in case.

"Alright," though Ororo was sure that her powers were indeed working as usual, she decided not to discard the possibility that the problem did lie with her. Maybe she was dehydrated or just mentally exhausted from the unpleasant heat and it was somehow affecting her, despite not perceiving any change in the flow of her own energy.

"Well, I guess I'll leave you to that." As no further information was available at the time, Logan took his leave, hoping to get back to finishing his food.

"Logan," Xavier called out unexpectedly, but in a tone that lacked the urgency that would come if he had just noticed something imperative.

Logan turned to look at him from the entrance to Cerebro's room. "Yeah?"

"Could you give Jean and Scott a call?" Xavier requested.

Logan nodded, "sure." Jean and Scott were off visiting their respective families for a few days, but it wouldn't hurt to tell them to keep their eyes open just in case.

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When the next day came, there was still no new information to be found. Ororo's meditation exercise went well; her powers should in fact be functioning normally. Xavier wondered if this was all somehow a natural phenomenon, if the planet itself was simply exhausted. He wouldn't discard the possibility of outside interference, but right now, there was no proof of it.

For the time being, life went on with a summer vacation that was not as enjoyable as it should be due to the stubborn heat wave that refused to end. While dealing with the heat and considering the prospect of shaving off all his fur, Kurt decided that he needed to go out and do something before he lost his mind. It had been a long time since he had gone on a date with Amanda. Though she was as sweet and kind as ever, their relationship had always been calm and slow, a detail that didn't really bother him, albeit as of late it felt slower than usual.

Even so, Kurt wasn't sure he was really up for a date with how the heat made him somewhat cranky. He didn't want to appear in a bad mood that would make Amanda think he wasn't enjoying her company. His thoughts drifted to Kitty and how she was always able to cheer him up. He smiled at the image of her smiling face in his memories. Perhaps he should make this a sort of group outing instead. With such a plan decided on, Kurt went to invite a few people to tag along and go... somewhere, perhaps he would ask Kitty for ideas.

Making his way out of his room and down the hall, the first person that Kurt crossed paths with was coincidentally the one he was looking for. He greeted her with weary cheer, glad to see her, but still annoyed by the heat wave. Somehow she could discern that the hint of displeasure was not at all directed at her and immediately took it upon herself to get rid of that bother altogether. "How about we go somewhere to cool off?"

"Music to my ears!" Peculiarly, Kurt found that his bad mood was already evaporating in Kitty's optimistic aura. "I was actually thinking about the same thing, but I'm not sure where to go. Hanging out at the pool didn't work out as well as I hoped yesterday."

Kitty nodded in agreement, "the water is like boiling because of the sun. Going to an outdoor pool now would just make things that much worse. There aren't that many indoor air-conditioned pools, it's a long drive and not worth it because of the crowds. The mall is crowded too, people are like gathering there just for the AC." After another moment of thought, an idea occurred to her. "How about the amusement park?"

"I bet there's a great breeze at the roller coaster!" Kurt enthusiastically agreed. "Thanks Kitty; I knew you would come up with a great idea."

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As Kurt and Kitty left the institute, they saw Evan pestering a very irate Logan, who was trying to repair the building's central air conditioning system. "C'mon man, can't you fix it? Please? The AC's been broken for three days, we're all dying here!"

"You're not making it any better by complaining!" Logan growled. He was at the end of his patience. "Shut up and hand me that screwdriver!"

With a tired breath and a frustrated pout, Evan handed over the requested tool and decided it was time to stop pestering the temperamental man with the sharp claws. Self preservation was a strong instinct and very difficult to ignore. Instead, Evan approached the passing Kitty and Kurt inquiring with mild curiosity, "where are you guys heading?"

It was then that Kurt remembered that this was supposed to be a group outing, but he just naturally agreed to go with just Kitty and she didn't seem to notice, or didn't mind. 'Of course she doesn't mind,' Kurt mused, 'we're friends, it's okay for friends to go out together... just two friends.' Though the thought was supposed to be comforting, it wasn't. He had stopped trying to ignore the fact that he had feelings for Kitty, feelings that he buried deep and tried to erase completely when he was sure she would never return them. Denial could only get so far, but silence, he thought, could be eternal.

"The amusement park," Kitty replied casually and cheerfully.

"Long lines and big crowds," Evan frowned, "you two must be really eager to go on a date if you're willing to face that!" He teased.

Kurt blushed, though it was not noticeable under his fur. Kitty's rosy face was easy to see, but if Evan dared to point it out even under her warning glare, she could attribute the color to the heat. "It's not a date," she spoke as casually as she could muster. Then she remembered that there was in fact a good reason why it shouldn't be. "Kurt has a girlfriend you know." A girl who didn't waste her time with stupid insecurities and worries about how complicated things could get and how a precious friendship could be lost. A girl who didn't waste her opportunity, a sweet girl that kind Kitty couldn't find it in her heart to resent. Her statement only made Kurt feel guilty, though it was certainly not her intention and she didn't really notice the change in his expression.

Kitty looked away for a moment, trying to compose herself, then smiled as she looked back at Kurt, albeit the smile didn't reach her kind yet slightly regretful eyes. "You should invite Amanda to come along," but she didn't want to feel like the third wheel, thus Kitty quickly added, "I'll go get... Rogue," she wasn't sure if Rogue would be up to going to the amusement park. Quite frankly, if Kitty had to take a guess about Rogue's most likely answer, it would be no. Evan had already basically stated that he didn't feel like going before a direct invitation could even be made. "I'll like be right back!" With the convenient excuse of finding Rogue, Kitty dashed back inside, leaving Kurt and Evan standing there to the sound of Logan insulting the faulty air conditioner.

A moment of silence passed between Kurt and Evan, with only Logan's angry voice being heard. The lack of conversation stretched into an apparent eternity until finally, Evan spoke. "I said something I shouldn't have, didn't I?"

Though Kurt wasn't usually one to snap, his sour mood returned the second Kitty was gone and the guilt that hung over him wasn't making it any easier. None the less, there was little aggression behind his tired and sarcastic, "you think?" Which only prompted Evan's curiosity further. Not wanting to invite any unwanted questions, especially questions that he didn't even know the answer to in the privacy of his own mind, Kurt tried to sound relaxed. "It's nothing," he attempted to show that there was nothing going on with a casual invitation. "Are you sure you don't want to come to the amusement park with everyone?"

Evan considered it for a moment. He didn't have anything to do and if it was a group outing rather than a date, he would perhaps tag along. Yet he didn't think Rogue was likely to agree to go and then maybe Amanda would be coincidentally busy or something in which case, curiosity aside, he didn't want to interrupt those two. Then there were the factors of the long lines, bright sun and large crowds. Albeit maybe most people thought that and the crowds were actually more so in the pools and at the mall. Maybe the amusement park wasn't so crowded after all... After another moment of consideration, Evan finally replied, "nah, I think I'll pass."

To be Continued

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Chapter 03: Amusement Park

There was a knock on the door, which Rogue did not perceive as she sat in front of a fan with small headphones in her ears. Kitty phased through the door of the room she shared with Rogue like she usually did, having no explanation for her sudden decision to knock. Rogue still seemed unaware of her presence even after Kitty called her name. Finally she went over and tapped her on the shoulder, not directly touching her skin of course.

Rogue turned her head to Kitty, whose expression was unsure, to say the least. She removed her headphones thinking this should be interesting. "What is it?"

Kitty laughed nervously before her face adopted a look quite similar to that of a sad kitten out in the rain. "Please, Rogue!"

Alarms went off in Rogue's mind, "oh no!" She refused even though she still didn't know what Kitty's request was about.

"Please!" Kitty begged. "You could at least like hear me out!" She insisted. "I need you to come to the amusement park with us!" She made it out to sound as if it was a matter of life or death.

"Are you kidding me?" Rogue's refusal still stood. "Long lines, the burning hot sun, big annoying crowds, not happening, not while this heat wave is still on!"

Kitty frowned; Rogue's reasoning was similar to what Evan had said. Maybe they were right, maybe she just really wanted to go out with Kurt and was willing to put up with all that. But she couldn't, it wouldn't be right, besides, now Amanda was going too. "Please!" Kitty begged. "I'll like never ask you to do anything for me ever again!"

Rogue knew that Kitty's particularly adamant insistence couldn't be without reason. "Okay, what's going on around here? Full story, right now."

Kitty sighed and confessed. "I kind of invited Kurt to go to the amusement park to cheer him up from dealing with the heat and like cool off with the wind of the roller coaster. It was supposed to be like a group outing and Amanda will be there. I don't think Evan wants to go and I don't want to get like stuck between them."

"So you need at least one more person there so that it feels like a group outing rather than you crashing a date." Rogue finished, more bluntly than she meant to, which made Kitty cringe. Feeling somewhat guilty, she placed a gloved hand on the other girl's shoulder. "Hey, it's okay, let's just go and try to enjoy our time at the park."

Though she was feeling uneasy about this, Kitty nodded, "yeah, thanks Rogue." She knew that Rogue was trying to be supportive in her own way.

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"Kurt!" As Kitty, Kurt and Rogue reached the main gates of the local amusement park, Amanda called out to him with a wave. She approached, then greeted his two companions, "Kitty, Rogue, hi."

Both mutant girls gave her casual greetings, with Kitty fighting with herself not to sound sad, or annoying, or anything other than cheerful. Amanda fell into a casual conversation which was mostly with Kurt, while Rogue added her comments now and then. Kitty was mostly quiet except when Rogue discretely prompted her to speak so that Kurt wouldn't notice she was feeling out of it.

The group walked through the park, heading towards the roller coaster. At least Evan and Rogue's theories weren't so accurate after all, as the place wasn't too crowded. Most people seemed to have indeed gathered at the pools and air conditioned malls looking to cool off. Then another familiar voice called out "Kitty!" Lance approached the group, mostly ignoring the others in favor of talking to Kitty. With how complicated Kitty was feeling, she welcomed the additional conversation and even agreed to take a detour to the snack stands for ice-cream.

The new arrangement left Rogue hanging out with Kurt and Amanda, which made her feel like the third wheel. She was supposed to be there to support Kitty, but Kitty had been driven off by her wish to not have to look at Kurt and Amanda on a date. She figured that guilt tripping the poor girl after she was already feeling bad wouldn't do anyone any good and just let it go. Rogue made up a quick excuse about wanting to check out a stand selling various styles of bracelets and left Kurt and Amanda alone. They didn't really question her sudden interest.

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Meanwhile, Kitty found herself trying to eat her ice-cream cone before it melted, which turned out to be an impossible task. Lance dumped the liquid mess, cone and all he was holding into a trashcan, the action being mimicked by Kitty. "Pietro is the only one who can eat ice-cream before it melts these days, but even he has to make haste to transport it from the store to the freezer on time. Well, I guess there are other things we can do on a date." He looked towards the ferriswheel, "like ride on that," he pointed.

Though Kitty was distracted, the word 'date' got her out of her daze. "C'mon Lance, we like talked about this. It wasn't working out and we agreed to stay friends, remember?" Suddenly, an explosion interrupted their conversation before Lance could reply. It came from somewhere near the ferriswheel. Without a second thought, Kitty rushed over to see what was going on and Lance dashed after her.

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Kurt and Amanda were close to the roller coaster when the explosion near the ferriswheel rung out loudly, prompting the amusement park goers to run away as fast as they could. "What was that?" Amanda asked in worry.

"Trouble," was the only explanation Kurt could come up with. He wanted to check it out, but he didn't want to leave Amanda alone. Thus he took her hand and teleported them both. If it got too dangerous he could always teleport away.

Kurt and Amanda appeared next to the base of the ferriswheel where Kitty and Lance were running towards. Kurt recognized the culprit of the explosion right away, but didn't know what reason he could have for this. "Gambit!" There was no reply.

Rogue was the last to arrive on the scene, fighting her way through the people that were running in the opposite direction. "Remy?" She recognized him. "Why are you doing this?" He didn't even look at her. Upset, she rushed forward recklessly until she was right next to him, still he didn't even look in her direction. "Say something!" She demanded, practically yelling into his ear.

Remy looked at Rogue with a lack of recognition in his eyes. His face was blank of any real expression, eyes lost, like a zombie, like someone who had been brainwashed, like someone who was being controlled. He pulled out a deck of cards from his pocket and made them glow, charging their energy. Then he backed away and threw the cards in rapid succession at the base of the ferriswheel.

Seeing that Rogue wouldn't be able to get away on time if Remy threw those cards, Kurt disappeared and emerged next to Rogue, quickly grabbing her by the arm and disappearing again. His hand slightly brushed against the skin of her forearm as the thin fabric of her see-through over shirt was accidentally pulled up her arm in the rush of the motion. The teleportation happened just on time and saved Rogue from getting caught in the blast that destroyed the base of the ferriswheel.

The ferriswheel came crashing down and Amanda screamed. Kurt was distracted by his slight loss of energy at having come into contact with Rogue and didn't have time to react, but Kitty dove towards her and the next thing they knew, the destroyed ferriswheel was falling on them. "Kitty!" Kurt and Lance shouted at the same time. They rushed forward towards the debris and were relived to see Kitty phasing out of it along with Amanda, both girls unscratched.

"Are you alright?" Kurt asked both of them with genuine worry.

"We're okay," Kitty replied, then looked at the very frightened Amanda, "I think." This was no time to let her emotions cloud her judgment; she had to do the right thing. "Kurt, get Amanda out of here."

There was both gratitude and longing in Kurt's eyes and nodded, "right, I'll be back in a second." Then he disappeared with Amanda. While all of that was happening Remy had ran away with Rogue stubbornly chasing after him, she had no intentions of allowing him to escape.

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"Wait! Stop!" No matter how much and how loud Rogue called out to him, Remy wouldn't stop running. He entered the mirror maze apparently in hopes of losing her. She couldn't understand why he destroyed the ferriswheel then ran away. Was it because he was outnumbered? Why wasn't he fighting back to make her stop chasing him now? He didn't acknowledge the risk of blowing her up before, but his only target seemed to be the ferriswheel and that didn't make any sense.

Rogue arrived at a room with many mirrors and many identical reflections of Remy and herself. His image was still, as if trying to confuse her. "Who sent you?" There was no reply, not even the smallest of reactions. "Tell me!" She shouted to no avail. Rogue observed every image around her, trying to find the real one among the mirrors. She dashed forward towards one of the images but her gloved hand reached nothing but the smooth surface of a mirror.

Then there was a hint of movement behind her. "Got you!" Rogue tackled Remy to the ground. He grabbed her right hand to restrain her, charging her glove to explode. Rogue quickly pulled her hand out of the glove which Remy threw up. It collided with the ceiling of the mirror maze with an explosion.

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In a city street behind the amusement park, "what's happening?" Amanda worried.

"I don't know, but I have to go back. Where do you want me to take you? Will you be okay waiting here? It seems far enough. Do you want me to take you somewhere specific?" Kurt inquired in a rush.

"I'll wait..." Amanda replied in fright. She knew that Kurt was worried about his friends and wanted to hurry back to help them. She knew this was the way his life was, she understood that... but it didn't make it any easier.

Before Kurt could reply, unexpectedly, Rogue and Remy teleported into mid air, falling and rolling away from each other, taking Kurt and Amanda along with them in a tangled mess. Rogue wasn't really aiming to go anywhere specific when she teleported, it was all an automatic instinct of self preservation.

Remy was the first to get to his feet, as if he remained unaware of the pain of the fall. He cried out in pain all of a sudden, holding his head, albeit he was already on his feet. Then he reacted quickly by taking Amanda hostage. "Let her go!" Kurt demanded.

Remy only growled in response and threw and explosive card at Kurt, still keeping a firm grip around Amanda's neck with his other arm. "He's being controlled by someone." Rogue pointed out, glaring at Remy, but directing her anger at the one controlling him.

The revelation worried Kurt, "controlled? How are we supposed to reason with him?"

"He's not exactly in conditions to negotiate of his own accord right now," Rogue replied bitterly.

Remy only growled again, as if angered by the fact that his pursuers wouldn't leave him alone, but lacking the initiative to do much else about it. He threw several more cards, which Kurt and Rogue dodged.

The continuous explosions got the attention of Lance and Kitty, who had made it to the edge of the amusement park searching for anything suspicious. They phased through the back fence of the park, spotting the hostage situation. Seeing the distressed look on Kurt's face, Kitty felt her heart ache. "Lance, give me a distraction."

"What are you going to do?" Lance asked suspiciously.

Without taking another moment to answer, Kitty rushed forward. Remy growled and held Amanda tighter, taking out a deck of cards from his pocket. The sudden harsh earthquake made him lose his footing taking him by surprise and making him drop the cards before he could charge them. Kitty rushed forward and pulled Amanda away from Remy, causing her to phase through his arm with her powers.

Rogue took the opportunity and hurried towards Remy with Lance and Kurt helping hold him still by the arms as Rogue drained away his energy. She copied his powers alright, but from his memories she got nothing, as if his mind was blank, as if he was nothing but an animated puppet. Finally, Remy succumbed to the exhaustion of having his energy drained and fell unconscious.

To be Continued

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Chapter 04: Disconcerted

After a very unexpected twist during their time at the amusement park, Kurt, Kitty and Rogue found themselves with Remy in their custody. Rogue checked his vital signs with the hand that still had a glove on. His pulse and breaths were tired but otherwise normal; he was in no moral danger. Kurt's voice expressed the question that was floating along with several others in Rogue's mind. "What are we going to do with him?"

Rogue shook her head as if to say she wasn't sure what they should do. She was still too shaken for words. "We should like take him to the institute," Kitty logically suggested. "Maybe the professor can figure out what's going on."

Kurt nodded, "sounds like a plan." He looked towards Amanda who was still frightened from the whole ordeal. With worry, he took note of the faint evidence of tears still present on her face. "I need to take Amanda home, then I'll teleport the rest of us to the institute, be back in a minute." He approached Amanda, softly taking her hand to get her out of her daze and teleported with her.

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Kurt and Amanda reappeared in the backstreets of her neighborhood, a short distance away from her house. Her parents were not fond of mutants and her relationship with Kurt had continued as a secret. "Are you going to be okay?"

Amanda nodded, though she was still almost shaking from what happened. "It's not fair you know..." She held back a sob. "When we do finally go out, it gets ruined."

"I'm sorry," Kurt apologized sincerely.

Amanda shook her head; this wasn't the time to talk about their relationship, not when Kurt's mind was elsewhere. She knew very well that he wanted to get back to his friends as soon as possible and they needed him to transport that young man to the institute before he woke up. Amanda wasn't sure how long that would take, but she knew Kurt was impatient, though he tried not to show it. "Go, we'll talk later."

"Are you sure?" Kurt asked with a tone of guilt.

"Yes," Amanda insisted, drying her eyes and forcing a reassuring smile.

Kurt knew that the smile wasn't real; he knew that Amanda was upset, but he would sort that out later... hopefully. "I'll call you later."

Amanda nodded, "okay," then in the blink of an eye, Kurt had disappeared, leaving only a small trail of smoke behind. The smoke dissolved into nothing and soon the faint scent of sulfur was also gone. She stood by herself on the sidewalk, the backs of her neighbors' houses behind her.

Letting out a tired breath, Amanda turned around and began to walk towards her house. This wasn't working, this was too much, they couldn't keep up with each other, they lived such different lives. Curiosity, fascination, mystery, compassion, friendship... it could only go so far and she knew it. Perhaps they both knew it. The gentle crush was reaching the point of disenchantment, they liked each other, but they held no true passion for each other, just sweet quiet affection... like friends, perhaps in time like family. It was over...

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Lance had watched the scene unfold in silence until he felt Kitty's questioning look on him followed by a very suspicious sounding intonation of his name. "Lance..."

Lance lifted his hands in a sign of innocence and defense. "I have nothing to do with this."

"And the Brotherhood?" Kitty further questioned.

"They're not involved as far as I know," Lance truthfully replied. "He," Lance pointed towards Remy, "has never truly sided with us before and I have no idea why anyone would want to attack this place. I really don't know what's going on." But he would make a mental note to ask Pietro about it, in case Magneto was somehow involved. Perhaps Pietro would not be willing to speak, but he might drop a hint.

"I'm back!" Kurt returned to the scene where his friends were waiting with Remy. "Okay, let's go."

"Be on your guard just in case," Kitty advised before joining Rogue alongside Remy for Kurt to teleport them all.

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When Kurt reappeared at the infirmary, Ororo jumped in surprised. One of the younger students had become dehydrated and was resting there. "Sorry about that," Kurt sheepishly apologized at her glare.

"I do hope you had a reason to teleport into the infirmary so suddenly." Ororo observed the extra 'passenger' that had arrived with Kurt. "I take it he is part of the reason?"

"The only part we know of," Rogue confirmed, hinting at the lack of information that piled on the already foreboding atmosphere.

The group got Remy to a bed and Ororo did a basic check up of his vital signs. "He seems to be in good health, just unconscious from exhaustion, but he should wake up in a while." Lifting her eyes from the patient, she observed Rogue, Kurt and Kitty's faces with a serious look. "Should he be restrained?"

Rogue, Kurt and Kitty exchanged glances before nodding unanimously. Kurt went to get something to tie Remy to the bed so that he wouldn't harm anyone if he woke up unexpectedly. Rogue got some gloves and placed them on his hand to prevent him from trying to grab the sheets and make them explode in a dangerous effort to escape.

Professor Xavier entered the infirmary as per Ororo's mental summons. He looked at the unconscious Remy, then at Kurt, Kitty and Rogue with questions all over his expression. "It seems that you have a lot to say."

"Not really," Rogue admitted. "We don't know why he's acting this way, just that he's brainwashed."

Xavier pondered on that detail and requested, "from the beginning?"

"We were at the amusement park and he like destroyed the ferriswheel," Kitty explained. "We don't know why."

"It didn't look like he was after us specifically," Kurt mused. "But rather he attacked us because we interfered."

"He's not himself," Rogue elaborated. "I was thinking maybe you could take a look in his head. I drained away his energy to stop him and I was able to copy his power... but I got no information. It's strange, it's like his mind is at a blank, like he was acting on automatic and not thinking at all."

Rogue's revelation was a troubling one that made Xavier's face become more serious. "I will have a look." This out of the blue encounter had to have an explanation and perhaps a connection to the mysterious reason why the weather had been unresponsive to Ororo's powers. Xavier moved his wheelchair next to Remy's bed and reached over to place his index and middle fingers on both sides of Remy's forehead. The professor closed his eyes in concentration and tried to reach into the young man's mind. There was nothing at first, which matched what Rogue said.

Small beads of sweat formed on Xavier's forehead as he pushed his psychic powers to pry further into Remy's mind. Deeper still, there were small hints of memories, bits and pieces along with basic knowledge such as that pertaining to language and daily life. Aside from the bare basics of common information, there was little else beyond blurry bits and pieces. Finally, Xavier opened his eyes, breathing heavily. Ororo, Kurt, Kitty and especially Rogue were staring at him with expectant eyes.

The professor shook his head. "I may have to look deeper," he admitted, not discarding the possibility of Remy's memories being very deeply locked away. "Right now I cannot sense any memories, as if his mind has been wiped clean. But there is still a chance that his memories are there, only deeply buried. I did notice something else, his brain was... stressed, tired, subjected to great pressure, though that is probably a result of the brainwashing."

"Is he going to be okay?" Rogue asked, her breath caught in her throat, eyes filled with more concern than she realized she was showing. "I mean, he'll have amnesia, but will he eventually recover? Even without memories, would he at least be able to think for himself like a normal person?"

Xavier nodded, "Remy's life is in no danger and whatever was controlling him doesn't seem to have a grip on his consciousness at present. There is a good chance that he was released from the brainwashing when he lost consciousness. However, we'll have to be careful in case he is overtaken again. I'll have to run some additional tests when he wakes up." That was at least a ray of hope in Rogue's eyes.

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Meanwhile, Lance had returned to the Brotherhood's house where he found Fred and Pietro watching a race car show on TV. Wanda was probably in her room. As for Todd, he soon joined the others in the livingroom looking rather singed, which indicated that he had been recently pestering Wanda. "Pietro," Lance cut to the chase, standing in front of the TV and blocking the view.

"I'm watching that!" Pietro complained, moving his head to the side and leaning out over the edge of the couch, trying to see the image on the screen beyond the obstruction.

"Never mind that," Lance disregarded his complaint in favor of addressing a more important and serious topic. "What do you know about the attack on the ferriswheel?"

Pietro blinked in confusion, "what ferriswheel?"

"At the local amusement park," Lance elaborated. "Gambit was there; he destroyed the ferriswheel and went berserk. He was knocked out and taken to the institute." Lance crossed his arms and tried to look firm and serious. "You wouldn't happen to know what that's about, would you? Maybe a certain someone we haven't heard from in a while is involved... someone like Magneto?"

Pietro blinked, apparently no longer interested in the TV, no one in the room really was, as their attention had been arrested by Lance. "What are you talking about?" Pietro inquired with confused curiosity, his tone felt like it was screaming 'spill the beans!'

Lance let his arms fall at his sides in conclusion, "you really don't know..." With Pietro giving him an impatient look and Fred and Todd also staring at him waiting for further elaboration, Lance explained. "That's pretty much all I know. I was at the amusement park with Kitty. Nightcrawler, Rogue and that girl, Amanda, were all there too. Gambit came out of nowhere and attacked the ferriswheel. Then he ran off and acted pretty crazy for the most part. It looked like he was brainwashed or something. I don't know what his goal was or who is behind this. It doesn't look like the X geeks have much information either."

"That's weird," Pietro admitted.

"It's more than weird yo!" Todd added.

"Do you think there's someone looking to pick a fight with the X-Men?" Fred curiously inquired.

"Maybe," Lance shrugged.

"Either way, this means we should be on our guard too," Pietro suggested. Everyone could agree to that.

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The next day at the institute, Remy, who was not aware that his name was Remy, woke up to find himself in a mostly white room. He tried to move, but realized he was bound to the bed he was laying on. He tried to remember where he was and soon asked himself who he was. He found no answers to either of those questions in his memories and the lack of information understandably worried him. He struggled against the belts that kept him laying on his back on the bed, glaring at the white ceiling. "Let me go!" He yelled at no one in particular.

Unnoticed by Remy thus far, Rogue had fallen asleep sitting on a chair next to his bed. The gloves on Remy's hands were of a special material that prevented the molecule acceleration which brought forth the explosions Gambit was known for. The mechanism was enforced by a pair of thick metal wristbands that were attached to the gloves with micro-technology inside them. Remy's sudden voice made Rogue jump awake. She leapt out of her chair and leaned over Remy, her face hovering cautiously a little over a foot away from his. "Calm down," she tried to sooth him. At least he had spoken logical words just now instead of growling. "I won't hurt you... and I'll set you free as soon as I'm sure you won't hurt us."

To be Continued

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Chapter 05: Nostalgia

Rogue stared at Remy and Remy stared at Rogue. He had been asleep for a full ten hours, but he didn't look any less weary; although his weariness now seemed to be due more so to the confusion than to any physical affliction. The white atmosphere of the infirmary at the institute remained very still, until Remy finally spoke with a clearly perceptible hint of sarcasm in his voice. "It's a bit silly to worry about being hurt by a man who can't even move, don't you think?"

He had that same familiar accent, the same spice in his tone, but the worries that were reflected in his eyes were nothing like he was before. He was lost. "Do you remember anything at all?"

"No..." The answer was flat and seemed to leave no room for elaboration, but he soon elaborated anyway. Then there was that same attitude that reassured Rogue more than the nameless young man could ever know. He didn't even remember his own name, but he was still Remy. "Honestly, it's not very encouraging to wake up with no memories and tied to a bed... though it might not have been so bad if I had woken up with you laying, rather than sitting, next to me, cherie."

Rogue felt her face turn red at the obvious implication, though it was said with a very joking tonality to it. "You do remember!" She meant to put some anger, or at least a hint of reproach, into that statement, but she could muster nothing but relief.

"Wait? What?" His face was puzzled again. "You mean we are lovers? Ah well, I'm not complaining, but could you explain to me how I ended up tied up and without the faintest notion of even my name?" The alarm that he was holding back seeped through his voice at his confusion. So he had a sadistic lover who apparently got into fights with him and he had lost this one? Waking up without an identity was one thing, but waking up to find that the identity he couldn't remember was kind of in the crazy side was a whole other story. Just what kind of person was he?

"No!" Rogue exclaimed rather loudly. "There's nothing going on between us... I mean, I suppose I could say we're kind of friends." She corrected after her sudden outburst.

"Well," Remy wasn't sure if he should be relieved or not, but decided in its favor. An insane friend seemed like less of a serious situation than an insane lover. He wondered if the world would start making sense if he had a context to put it into. "I would appreciate it if you'd not mislead me, cherie."

"There you go again." Rogue had confirmed herself that Remy had no memories and Xavier had further established that. The amnesia was expected, but perhaps the use of that word for her hinted that his memories were not permanently lost, just deeply buried. At least she hoped that was the case as it meant he could recover them. Another possibility was that his memories were mostly wiped clean and this was just one of the blurry pieces left behind.

"What do you mean?" Remy asked, growing impatient now.

"You called me cherie, that's what you used to call me before." Rogue reminded.

There was no hint of recollection in his eyes, "it seems fitting, albeit I can't remember ever calling anyone that before, or even my own name." He prompted for an answer.

"Remy LeBeau, also known as Gambit," again Rogue saw no recognition in his face when she spoke those words.

To Remy, his own name was nothing but a jumble of random sounds without meaning. At least it was good to know he had a name, and even a nickname. Now he had to readdress the other big mystery in his life, this peculiar young woman. "You said we were friends, but also mentioned something about me hurting you." She had said us, a plural, who was us? "If we're friends, why would you be worried about that to the point of tying me up?"

Because they didn't always fight on the same side, because he might be working for the enemy... "Because you were brainwashed. I'll call Professor Xavier and he'll do a diagnosis on you."

"Brainwashed..." Remy mused over those words. It was alarming, but at least his situation made a little more sense as to why his friend would keep him tied up. "Who did it?"

"I don't know," Rogue admitted. "We're trying to investigate the situation, but haven't found much yet."

Again the use of plural, but Remy didn't ask about it right away. He assumed that he would in due time find out who that group that this girl kept referencing was, and if they were also supposed to be his friends. Albeit it was difficult to call someone a friend when he couldn't actually remember them. He didn't seem to have much of a choice, though his natural instinct was a tad distrusting, he decided to further investigate and seek out the truth. Then if these people turned out to be trustworthy by his new judgment, then he might stick around and try to recover his old life, whatever that might have been. "What's your name?"

"Rogue," she replied, 'but you can just keep calling me cherie,' she added mentally. The familiarity of the nickname was reassuring.

"Rogue..." Remy repeated. "But I called you cherie you said?" She nodded and he perceived that she preferred the nickname, perhaps because it reminded her of a past he couldn't even begin to decipher. "Alright, cherie, bring in the good doctor."

"Doctor?" He was referring to Xavier, Rogue realized. "The professor isn't a doctor, he's a psychic."

"A psychic?" Did such a thing even exist? Then again, if brainwashing was real, so could be psychics... though maybe his amnesia was due to a more plausible reason, such as getting into some kind of accident and hitting his head. He certainly had a pounding headache, though it was nothing compared to the lost feeling of amnesia.

"Yes," Rogue confirmed, closing her eyes for a moment and calling out to Xavier in her mind. "Professor! Remy's awake and with amnesia! He's still tied up and very confused! Please come run the tests you said you needed!"

The professor's psychic waves caught her voice, she was screaming like Kitty that time when she had only recently joined and Kurt had been hurt. "Calm down," Xavier soothed. Non-psychics tended to under estimate the loudness of a mental scream as it carried no actual sound waves, but it was certainly clear to him. "I'll be right there."

"He's coming," Rogue informed and Remy assumed that she had mentally called for him... if that was even possible. What a strange place he had woken up in.

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Meanwhile, in hopes of finding more information about the current situation, Kitty went to talk to Lance. Perhaps he had learned something from Pietro and knew if Magneto was somehow involved. On his way to meet Amanda at a cafe, Kurt passed Kitty from the other side of the street, but she didn't see him. He stopped and watched unnoticed by her as she walked up the steps of the Brotherhood's porch and rang the doorbell, rocking back and forth on her feet as she waited for someone to answer. The door was opened by Pietro, who gave Kitty a curious look and before she had the chance to speak, he called out, "Lance! Your girlfriend is here!" Which was an inaccurate misconception.

At that moment, Kurt teleported away. He didn't hear Kitty denying being Lance's girlfriend and claiming that they were only friends. The reason why he didn't simply teleport near the cafe in the first place was because he wanted time to think as he walked the distance there. The serious tone that Amanda took with him on the phone when she said they needed to talk gave him a foreboding feeling that sent chills down his spine. Yet the scene Kurt saw just now, which he interpreted as Kitty meeting Lance for a date haunted him all the more. He felt jealous, even if he told himself he didn't have the right to be. Yet he couldn't help it.

"Kurt," Amanda's voice broke Kurt out of his thoughts. He had gone to her in a daze without even realizing he had reached his initially intended destination. She was standing in front of an alley, peeking in and it looked like fortunately, no one had seen him teleport between the two buildings, save for Amanda who expected him to pop out in such a place.

He gave her a weak smile and followed her out of the alley and into the cafe that occupied the building to the right. It was a quiet and calm place that was never too crowded due to its rather expensive prices and hot beverages that couldn't compete with the ice-cream parlor down the street. Even so, Amanda loved that place with its calm quiet atmosphere and elegant Victorian decorations. They sat at a table in a corner, far from the entrance and windows.

The waiter brought over some menus with a look on his face that seemed to wonder why anyone would choose to sit there of all places. It was the darkest corner of the cafe, secluded from everything else. Then again... the x geeks could be a tad odd at times, never mind that he was stranger. "What can I get you, yo?"

Kurt and Amanda had been so focused on their own thoughts that they didn't even notice who the waiter was until he spoke. "Toad?" Kurt blinked in surprise. "How in the world did you manage to get a job here?"

Todd smiled a mouthful of yellowed teeth. He was dressed in a Victorian style tuxedo, as it was required for all the cafe's waiters to wear. His hair was smoothed back neatly with more hair gel than anyone who feared their hair would turn into a helmet would have the sense to wear. The excess gel gave his hair a shiny quality that might have looked elegant from afar, but looked very greasy at close range. "I was just trying to earn some money. Wanda's been in a bad mood because of the heat and I wanted to take her out for ice-cream. I want to be able to buy her all the ice-cream she wants!"

"That explains why you would apply," Kurt nodded curiously, "but not why they hired you." There was no malice or reproach in his voice, only surprise.

"This place is closing, yo," Amanda frowned when Todd revealed the news in a quiet whisper. "When the staff heard they all went to get new jobs, since this place will be gone in a week anyway. The owner expects some miraculous recovery and was hiring anyone he could to replace the old staff and make up for a year's losses in a week. The losses have been especially hard since summer started, so I really don't think Mr. Manager's dream will come true. Even so, having a job for a week is better than having no job at all."

Amanda sighed, the fact that her favorite cafe was closing only added to the melancholic cloud that hung over her head. "I guess I'll have my last French vanilla cappuccino..."

Todd jotted down the order in his little notepad with particularly poor grammar. Neither he nor Kurt understood how Amanda could even think about a cappuccino now. "I will bring it right away, madam. What is your order, sir?" Todd tried to mimic the tone he was taught to address customers, though quite frankly, he looked rather silly with his nose turned upwards and his eyes half lidded as if attempting to resemble an aloof aristocrat.

"Do you have anything cold to drink?" Kurt almost begged. He knew that the sight of Amanda's cappuccino would make him sweat if he didn't distract himself with a cold drink.

"I'm afraid not, yo, I mean sir," Todd replied, slipping over his silly overly formal speech and momentarily into his usual habit. Kurt sighted and Todd actually took pity on him. "I'm not supposed to do this, but I'll try to talk the cook into getting some ice from the back fridge and pour some syrup on it, then it's kind of like shaved ice!" It was exactly like shaved ice actually, although it was certainly not in the official menu.

"Thank you," Kurt sincerely voiced.

Todd gave a nod and grinned, then caught himself and once again turned his face into a serious and aloof aristocratic mask. "I will bring your refreshments right away, madam and sir." He bowed slightly and, once again forgetting his hasty waiter training, he hopped away like a frog. He jumped over the bar counter where an old man with a big white mustache, presumably the owner and manager, reprimanded him. With a hasty, "sorry dude!" Todd straitened up and walked into the kitchen behind the rows of bottles that he, and anyone else under the age of twenty-one, was banned from touching... but that wouldn't stop him from snatching a bottle or two on his way out after work.

To be Continued

Disclaimer - I don't own X-Men: Evolution.