X-men Evolution Fan Fiction ❯ Revolution ❯ Ch 6 to 10 ( Chapter 2 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

Chapter 06: Heartbreak

Todd returned to the kitchen and greeted the cook with a grin. "Here's the next order."

The cook, a blond young woman, by the name of Tabitha, received the handwritten note and raised an eyebrow. "What's a kapoosheno?" She knew what it meant, but she asked anyway. The real question was who would want to drink a cappuccino in this merciless summer?

"It's a coffee," Todd replied as if the question was real, and he thought it was.

Wrinkling her nose in distaste at the mere prospect of a hot drink, and more so a hot drink that she would have to prepare, Tabitha inquired. "Who's the masochist?"

"Huh?" Todd had been distracted looking through the kitchen cabinets while Tabitha's eyes remained on the note in disbelief. "Amanda," he answered simply and matter of factly. "Don't ask me how she can stand it, yo, because I'm sure I don't know."

Tabitha's answer came as a surprise for Todd. "I do," she frowned as she said this, as if she remembered something personal, deep and regretful. Yet there was also a confident look in her eyes that assured that what had afflicted her in the past was something that she had found the strength to assimilate, accept and move on. "She's heartbroken," Tabitha assured with a full certainty that Todd didn't understand how she could have.

"She's on a date," Todd pointed out with confusion. How could anyone be heartbroken while on a date? If he was on a date with Wanda he wouldn't be heartbroken, all the opposite, he would be jumping with joy, probably literally. "How could she be heartbroken?"

"This isn't a date," Tabitha solemnly assured, as if paying her respects to someone who passed away. "It's a breakup..." The solemn silence hung in the air for a full minute, during which Tabitha's steady gaze kept Todd quiet. Then finally, Tabitha sprung to life without warning, startling Todd. "We have to spy on them!"

Without warning, Todd was her accomplice in spying. He didn't agree to it, but he didn't know how to disagree... if he wanted to disagree, which he didn't. "What about the French vanilla cappuccino and the shaved ice?"

"What shaved ice?" Tabitha blinked in confusion. "If we had shaved ice here I would have eaten it all. This hot kitchen is murder!"

"What about the big fridge?" Todd pointed at the large door at the opposite side of the kitchen.

Tabitha shuddered, remembering her own attempt to seek the comfort of ice. "I'm not going in there!" She stubbornly declared like a frightened child clinging to her mother's skirt, except she was actually holding on to the doorframe of the kitchen.

Todd looked at the door curiously at first, then with distrust. "What's in there?" Whatever it was, it certainly bothered Tabitha and he knew she was very brave.

Tabitha studied Todd for a moment with an analytical gaze. "Then again, it might not bother you so much." She grinned mischievously and swung her arm around his shoulders, her tall white chef's cap slightly askew. "Go take a look." She gave him a small push towards the fridge's door.

Worried by her tone, Todd shrunk back, but Tabitha kept urging him on. Seconds passed and eventually push turned to shove, literally. Thus to save himself from being flattened against the fridge's door, he went in. Then suddenly he jumped back and over a laughing Tabitha who, thankfully, closed the door. "What's in there?" Fright and alarm filled his voice and an unnatural green tint overtook his face. Anyone who said Todd usually looked a little green didn't know what Todd looking green looked like. That, right then, more so than ever before, was Todd looking green, very green.

"Tea leaves," Tabitha replied between giggles. "I thought you would be stronger than that against the smell."

"Who could stand that?!" Todd took a sharp intake of breath. Suddenly Amanda's cappuccino didn't seem so bad in comparison to that odd selection of tea. The ice probably held the stench of the tea leaves and any shaved ice that could be made out of that would be most foul. He would just have to forfeit his hopes of getting a good tip now.

"No one, that's who." Tabitha ascertained. "It's really no wonder this place is going broke."

Todd nodded slowly then, on the topic of breaking, he went back to his previous curious inquiry about Tabitha's peculiar theory. "Why did you say Amanda is heartbroken?"

"A hot drink on a hot day or ice-cream in a chilly evening, it's the perfect distraction for one dealing with a recent heartbreak," Tabitha explained.

"There's a breakup about to happen..." Todd finally concluded. He followed Tabitha out of the kitchen and toward the area that held the tables past the counter. Thankfully, the manager was too focused on polishing a bottle of old wine to notice the white clad lady who was not to leave the kitchen, as that was the chef's place.

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Tabitha crawled behind the various tables and decorations, followed by Todd. The two silently made their way towards Kurt and Amanda's table unnoticed, and settled quietly under the table next to it to eavesdrop curiously.

"What I mean is..." Amanda was fidgeting with a delicately embroidered napkin, twisting the material nervously between her fingers. Such details as the fancy napkins and tablecloths were other reasons why the cafe was going broke. Yet even if Amanda, just as most people her age, could not afford to visit the cafe very often, she was glad to visit it when she could. It had a very calm and peaceful atmosphere of elegance to it, devoid of the rowdy crowds that gathered at the ice-cream parlors, malt shops and fast food restaurants all over the city. With her eyes downcast, as if the napkin was suddenly very interesting, Amanda gently trailed into silence. She smoothed out the napkin for lack of something to do and it became evident that she wouldn't, she couldn't, speak any further.

Kurt watched the wrinkles disappear from the napkin, Amanda seemed so nervous that he thought she would tare the fabric apart as easily as if it were a paper napkin from any other beverage and snack shop. But she didn't, she was too gentle, everything about her was gentle and sweet and it was all very nice, but it wasn't for him. He knew it now, this life he led was stressful to her and, even if it pained him to admit it, he liked the adventure in his life more than she ever could like it; more than she could even understand it. "You're breaking up with me." It was as clear as day now.

"I'm sorry..." Amanda kept her eyes downcast as if ashamed. "I'm so sorry... I just... I can't..."

"It's okay," Kurt interrupted. He was hurt, very hurt, but he could understand. This wasn't about him being a mutant and a blue one at that; this was about them being two very different people. She was quiet, timid and sweet and he was cheerful and adventurous. Their differences could not be reconciled, the chemistry between them wasn't strong enough, and perhaps it wasn't even there to begin with. "I understand," and he did, but it hurt.

Amanda slowly lifted her eyes and Kurt forced himself to smile slightly, in a friendly way. "Thank you for understanding and for everything." She was curious and he was interesting. To be sure he was nice and he had a kind and courageous heart, but they were not meant to be for each other as more than friends and now she knew it, she knew it beyond the shadow of a doubt.

Suddenly, the table cloth that shielded Tabitha and Todd from sight was violently pulled off the table with the decorative vase that had been in the center of it being tossed on its side. Natural white roses and water spilled over the table as the white base with delicate black and golden swirls rolled off the edge of the polished wood table and shattered as it hit the floor. "You're fired, both of you!" The manager and owner of the cafe shouted angrily at his irresponsible and improper chef and waiter. The old man had wondered where they had disappeared to and it was Tabitha's foot sticking out from under the tablecloth that gave away their position.

"What about my tip?" Todd complained unwisely.

The manager roared something incoherent in a mix of French and English that could neither be called French nor English. That was their cue to leave, thus Todd and Tabitha, dashed out, still in their uniforms, and didn't look back until they were a good distance away from the cafe.

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Breathless from all the hopping, Todd held on to the back of a park bench, leaning over in exhaustion. "I can't believe we got fired..." It was only an expression as he could indeed believe it and even unconsciously expected it.

Tabitha, far from being upset was laughing in amusement. "Did you see his face? Did you see how red his face was and how his mustache twitched and how his whole head swelled up and... and..." her voice was lost to laughter.

Todd grinned, "I guess that was kind of funny."

Noticing something peculiar, she pointed at the odd outlines that protuberated from his thin chest. "What's that?" She jabbed her right index finger at his chest. What was under his tuxedo blazer was hard and cold.

Todd removed two bottles of some fancy liquor. "I snatched them on the way out." He smiled, proud of himself.

Tabitha blinked in surprised amazement. "How in the world did you have the time?"

Todd shrugged, "I just did." A professional pick pocket had his ways.

"Thanks," Tabitha snatched one of the bottles from him, the one that looked most appetizing, though she very well knew that he wasn't offering her one.

Todd was going to protest, but knew all too well that he wasn't going to recover his stolen property, so he didn't bother trying. "You're welcome," he intoned with sarcasm. He examined the bottle he kept and imagined himself having a romantic dinner with Wanda, presenting the fancy drink for their delight.

"You're thinking of Wanda again, aren't you?" Tabitha correctly guessed. The look in his eyes was unmistakable.

"Yeah... but if anyone sees the bottle they'll take it. Especially Fred," Todd mused aloud.

"Why Fred?" Tabitha curiously inquired. "I know he loves to eat, but I didn't think of him as much of a drunk."

"He's not," Todd confirmed. "But he's been thinking about going to live with some relatives in Texas. Some aunt and uncle that were really fond of him as a kid. He's going to assume it's for a going away party or something, yo!"

"So Fred's going to Texas..." Tabitha mused over the thought. A slight bitterness akin to jealousy overcame her features. "I wish I had someone to go to," there was a hint of worry and it confused Todd. "Someone that would..." Tabitha shook the worry out of her head and smiled again, though it didn't reach her eyes. It was as if her concern had not yet completely faded to the back of her mind. Todd didn't know what that concern was, as far as he knew, Tabitha was just fine with her independence. Yet her situation had changed, but she wasn't about to reveal what troubled her, not yet, not unless she had to. Maybe her problem would go away on its own, she could only hope. "See you later," without warning, Tabitha said her goodbye and ran off with the bottle.

Todd held the distinct feeling that she had some kind of problem, but the notion only lasted seconds. This was Tabitha, strong independent Tabitha, she would be fine. Looking at his clothing, he finally realized that he had run off without changing out of the uniform he was provided with. The suit was a tad loose on his thin physique but he thought he still looked cool. He wondered if Wanda might think so too and rushed back to the Brotherhood house to show her.

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Meanwhile, back at the cafe, to say Kurt was embarrassed was an understatement, but he didn't care about that anyway. Though he understood that Amanda wasn't the one for him and had promised her his friendship, the mask fell as soon as she left the cafe, her missing order forgotten as much as his. He was hurt, he couldn't deny that. Amanda was the first girl who gave him a chance. He had liked Kitty first and did for a long time, even now, but she had always been, to the extent of his knowledge, out of reach.

Now the girl who gave him a chance had left his side, offering to remain only as a friend. They were not perfect for each other, but they had been mostly content and he could settle for that, because he still thought he should. Kurt still thought that he should be thankful and happy with what he got, because few would actually show an interest in him. But he was wrong, he didn't know of Kitty's growing feeling. It had taken her a while, certainly longer than him, but with the passing of time the special connection she shared with Kurt grew into love. Yet she feared it was too late and never spoke of it. Even so, such silences could not last forever...

To be Continued

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Chapter 07: A Gust Of Wind

"Wanda!" Todd cheerfully called out as he threw the door open and hopped full speed across the living room and up the stairs. "Wanda!" He didn't even notice that Kitty was over, sitting on the couch talking to Lance about what could be going on around the city.

Their conversation had gone on for a while and Kitty was just about to leave anyway. For all the theories they discussed, they couldn't really come up with anything solid, not even when Kitty went hunting for Pietro all over the house to question him.

A little while after Kitty left, laughter was heard and the voice was female. Pietro emerged from the kitchen after a much needed cold glass of water, all his running around in the heat made him feel dehydrated at times. He looked at Lance in the living room, then automatically looked at the stairs. "Is that Kitty?"

"No, she just left," Lance replied, also looking at the stairs automatically, though obviously they couldn't actually see what was happening in the second floor from their current location.

A few minutes passed and the laughter died down with Todd making his way down the stairs looking proud of himself and smiling from ear to ear. He straightened and made sure his tie was properly in place, still smiling as Pietro asked, "what in the world? Was that Wanda laughing just now?"

"Yes," Todd's chest swelled with pride as he confirmed Pietro's suspicion. "I went up to show her my new suit and she laughed. She's never happy to see me, but this time she actually laughed!"

Lance rolled his eyes at Todd's apparent stupidity. "That's because she was making fun of you. Where did you get that suit anyway?"

"It was my waiter uniform. I don't have the job anymore, but I kept the suit, yo!" And the bottle he gifted to Wanda. "And I know that my baby-cakes wasn't making fun of me, she was laughing with me, not at me." Todd stubbornly declared with conviction. The others knew that they wouldn't be able to argue with him.

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Meanwhile, Remy was free to walk around the institute with Rogue serving as his tour guide. Xavier had further examined his mind and found no bad intention, or any intentions at all for that matter. He tugged at the odd electronic cuffed gloves he was wearing. "Is this the latest fashion statement, cherie?" He inquired with obvious sarcasm.

"Not exactly..." Producing a key from her pocket as they reached the top of the stairs, Rogue unlocked the electronic cuffs, allowing the gloves to be removed.

"Much better," Remy took them off. "How can you wear gloves in this heat? Not to be ungrateful to the people who, apparently, helped me when I was brainwashed, but why doesn't this place have air conditioning."

"It does, it's just broken," Rogue revealed as they stood next to a window on the top of the stairs. "Logan went out to get parts to fix it and I think Ororo went with him." Upon thinking of the fact Rogue realized that they had been gone for a very long time. The part needed to fix the AC couldn't be that hard to find. If it were just Logan, she might think he ran off somewhere, as he was often coming and going, but why had not Ororo returned? Furthermore, Logan certainly wouldn't abandon them to the merciless heat no matter how much he felt like running off, that would be too cruel. Then where were they?

"Wolverine and Storm," Remy mused. He didn't remember them of course, but during her tour Rogue had told him about them. "Is everyone here a mutant? Even you? What's your power?" She was as of yet to reveal much about herself and he was curious about her most of all. He looked out the window as he asked, parting the curtains out of the way to see the vast land where the once well kept green grass was turning a dry brown color.

"I..." Rogue had begun her explanation, but stopped suddenly as the curtain Remy was touching began to glow. She was alarmed, but soon noticed the look of surprise and wonderment in his face and concluded that he wasn't going to attack; he didn't even know what he had done. "Be careful!" Rogue ripped the curtain away and threw it out the window. It exploded outside, giving the wall on the side some minor damage, but it was all superficial as it had not charged too much. "That," she breathed, "is your mutant power and mine is the ability to copy the powers of other mutants, sap people's energy and look into their memories."

Remy looked at the window at the mark on the wall and looked at his hands. "So that's what the gloves were for."

"You can control it." At least Rogue hoped he could. "You just need a little practice."

"And you?" He looked at her gloved hands.

"I can't turn my ability off..." Rogue admitted, then changed the subject. "C'mon, let's get some practice done to make sure you don't accidentally blow anything up."

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After his break-up with Amanda, Kurt had gone for a walk to clear his head. Soon after, he returned to the institute. The constant heat wasn't making him feel any better and his warm fur was especially annoying today. He arrived almost at the same time as Kitty. She saw him going slowly up the stairs as she went through the main gate and ran to catch up with him. Hearing his name being called, Kurt turned around and thought he saw kitty coming towards him, but he wasn't sure, she was so blurry.

Kurt blinked as the figure that he thought was Kitty stood in front of him. She was talking and her voice was melodious, but he couldn't understand what she was saying. The world was spinning, it was too hot, he couldn't breathe. Her expression changed to worry, but he couldn't see it, his senses were fading. The blur soon became darker, there was the distant echo of his name and then everything was gone.

"Kurt! Kurt!" Kitty caught him as he lost his balance and went limp in her arms. "Kurt!" He was breathing, though a little raggedly and his temperature was extremely warm, too warm. She concluded that the heat was to blame for making him pass out. She placed his arm around her shoulders, putting hers around his waist and took him inside to rest as quickly as she could.

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Xavier had been at Cerebro's room when he heard Logan mentally calling him to the infirmary. The professor made his way there to find Logan and Evan standing left and right of a bed that held an unconscious Ororo. Evan had seen Logan carry her in and quickly followed them, wondering if his aunt had passed out of heat exhaustion. Logan had only grumbled a begrudging, "Not that simple."

First and foremost, Ororo was given medical attention and when her condition was diagnosed as stable, she was allowed to continue resting with the hope that she would wake up soon. Then Xavier was ready to listen to Logan's explanation, along with a worried Evan who was determined to hear what happened too.

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Some time earlier, Logan had gone out to buy air conditioner parts. Ororo, who wanted a change of scene, any change, decided to go along. The errand didn't seem particularly interesting, but she wanted to busy herself with something. Naturally, Logan wanted to go on his motorcycle, to which Ororo shook her head as they stood out in the parking area at the institute. "How are we even going to carry the parts back?" She pointed out logically.

"It wouldn't matter anyway," Logan replied. "We can fit the AC parts into the trunk of a car, but not the generator, it's too big. The generator went with the AC, the whole structure overheated and we're running on auxiliary power. It's not good to go on like that when there could be an emergency. The generator will be sent on a rush delivery so they might as well carry the parts too," he explained.

Ororo saw the logic in that, but she still preferred the car. "Well, I'll follow you in my car where the sun can't scorch me."

Logan laughed. "You're worried about the sun? You have no idea how refreshed I'll be with the wind at top speed!" He wanted to jump on his motorcycle and accelerate just thinking about it.

Ororo stepped over to the motorcycle and touched the helmet that was left on top of it. She quickly retracted her finger as the material burned. She didn't have to say anything, as her argument was plainly proven by the action.

Logan however, remained unconvinced. "You know I don't actually need a helmet, my skull is much stronger than it," and it was true, both metaphorically and literally.

"Yes, but it would still be good to keep up appearances," Ororo insisted.

"It's too hot to worry about appearances," Logan argued, then laughed at himself. "Why am I even discussing this? I could be out on the open road, away from the busy main streets with the strong cool wind blowing through my hair right now."

"Strong cool wind..." Ororo looked down in longing. "The weather won't even respond to me with a breeze..." Oh how she wished she could feel a strong cool wind through her hair.

Logan paused, then with amusement all over his face, he offered. "Why don't you ride with me? And don't say anything about the helmet being too hot because I'm a good enough driver so you won't need it anyway."

Ororo paused and was surprised at herself. She bit her lip thinking that she would be setting a bad example if anyone saw her... if. Then again, Logan was right and the life of a mutant in itself was more dangerous than simply riding a motorcycle without a helmet. She didn't wear one when she fought. She looked back at the institute main building self-consciously before finally agreeing. "Alright, but try not to let anyone see us."

Logan tossed the helmet aside and sat on the motorcycle with Ororo sitting behind him. He started up the engine, pleased by the sound it made, grinning before he knew what expression he had on his face. "Hold on."

Ororo know that Logan's emphasis on his words was not without a reason and she certainly didn't want to fall off. She wrapped her arms firmly around his waist, "ready."

With the sound of screeching tires, Logan sped off towards the font gate of the institute, gradually increasing the speed. Ororo kept her eyes closed at first, but as she felt the twists and turns as Logan went through the less transited backstreets, she became somewhat accustomed to the wind enough to slightly open her eyes, though she was still somewhat squinting. The city was a speedy blur of gray that soon faded as they left the outskirts heading towards less a populated territory.

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Logan and Ororo traveled a considerable distance, though she didn't notice it much. She was smiling at having the wind on her face, so cool and strong. She didn't know how much she missed the feeling of the wind until she could no longer produce it at will. Finally, they arrived at an old shack in a lonely road and Ororo remembered just how secretive the source for the institute's equipment was. They could get the air conditioner parts at a normal store, but since they had to go out of their way for the generator, they might as well get everything here.

They got off the motorcycle as Ororo tried to smooth out her hair. Her white locks were wild with the caresses of the wind. Logan grinned at her knowing all too well that she had very much enjoyed the ride. The pair entered the small shack were a shabby old counter was place behind a row of simple stools. The real store was underground, but few knew of its existence. It was owned by Shield, with the organization occasionally cooperating with the X-Men now and then over the years, albeit they essentially operated as separate entities.

Logan and Ororo took seats on the stools. There was no one else there but them and the barkeep, who was secretly a Shield agent. Menus were slid over the counted towards them and Logan ordered a drink without even looking through it. Ororo looked through the menu searching for something she might like, while Logan explained the purpose of their visit and produced a note from his pocket with the things he needed delivered. "Fuel for my bike too," he added at the end.

At that point it seemed that their little errand would go by without any problems. Ororo ordered her drink and they remained at the little bar while the procedures were made for the delivery. Papers were brought over on a clipboard and signed. Ororo had frowned at Logan for signing without reading, but he only grinned in returned when he noticed her disapproving gaze. Who would dare to try to trick Wolverine anyway?

After their duty was accomplished and glasses were emptied, Logan and Ororo returned to the motorcycle, which had been fueled for the way back. They went back the same roads, though it would take a while to reach the outskirts of the city. That's when it happened. Lightning suddenly struck the road, aimed at them.

Logan's instincts and quick reflexes saved their lives, but it was at the cost of his motorcycle. He knew he couldn't move the vehicle out of the way on time and had to jump off, slightly turning and holding Ororo out of harm's way. She didn't even have time to blink, there was a bright light and the next thing she knew Logan was hitting the hard ground on his back, but she was kept safe from the fall and was now on top of him.

Then in another split second, Logan was on his feet, pulling her to stand up as well, momentarily looking her over for injuries then stepping forward and bearing his claws. By then Ororo managed to collect her bearings and was on full alert too. Someone was after them, someone was trying to kill them and with a power much like hers.

To be Continued

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Chapter 08: Memories

Logan and Ororo were in a lonely road in the outskirts of the city, hunted by something that was out of their reach. They remained alert, looking in every direction, but there were no signs of another mutant near by. Not even Logan's sensitive nose could catch the scent of anything suspicious. Ororo felt an electric tickle as when she used her powers, except she wasn't doing anything this time. "It's coming!" They jumped out of the way in time to avoid being struck by lightning. She focused for a moment and felt it, "there's going to be a tornado!" She looked at the city in the distance, its outline clear. "It will keep growing and if it reaches the city it will be a disaster!"

"You can sense it," Logan concluded, to which Ororo nodded.

"I don't know how, but I can. The atmosphere is so strained..." Ororo tried to grip the weather with her energy, but a gust of wind came towards her.

Logan stepped in front of Ororo, planting his feet firmly on the ground and taking most of the force of the wind. "Fight for control of the weather, that's your territory; reclaim it!"

It was easier said than done, but Ororo nodded in determination. Despite the danger around her, she closed her eyes and concentrated. She could still feel sharp currents of wind moving around her, trying to cut through Logan who was shielding her. She could sense a tornado forming near by, she reached for it in her mind and tried to steady the wind until it died into something less dangerous. Her eyes suddenly shot open as it seemed that whoever was commanding the attack changed tactics. Dark clouds gathered above them thickly.

With great effort, Ororo raised both hands and a circle cleared in the center of the stormy clouds directly above them. Lightning suddenly crashed around Logan and Ororo. The metal in his body was like a lightning rod and she was having a hard time keeping the electricity away. She focused hard, summoning every ounce of strength she had. Then she heard it, a strange digital sound, "connecting..." Then she saw rather than heard the glowing words in her mind. "Connecting..." the words flashed with blue light in an endless black void, "connecting..."

"No!" Ororo pushed herself beyond the limit. Something was trying to enter her mind and she wasn't going to allow it. She pushed the clear circle in the clouds to become wider and called forth gusts of wind around her and Logan to push the dark clouds above away.

"Connection lost..." the words flashed in her mind again as the last of her strength left her.

"Storm! Hey, you there? Ororo?" Logan was speaking to her, but she couldn't answer him. Was the danger passed? Did she drive the storm clouds away? She didn't want to pass out, not now of all times. But there was nothing she could do, her energy was too drained, she couldn't maintain her grip on her consciousness and she fainted.

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Present time, at the institute infirmary. Xavier and Evan listened as Logan narrated the recent series of events that led to Ororo's current condition. "The people from Shield saw the commotion and rushed to see what it was. Ororo was going cold so I couldn't refuse them when I had an emergency on my hands. After she was stabilized I brought her back. I didn't wait for her to wake up; they would have just tired her to the bone with their questions. Besides, I see no reason to discuss anything when it's evident they know something they're not telling."

Evan frowned and Xavier looked thoughtful and concerned. He knew that getting information out of Shield would not be as simple as getting information from any other source, even for a psychic. Psychics were not unknown to the organization and they had their ways to protect information. "I will try to negotiate with Shield," was all that the professor could say.

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Meanwhile, at Kurt's room at the institute. Kurt woke up to the feeling of something cold on his forehead and a gentle voice. He opened his eyes slightly to find Kitty leaning over him. She looked relieved upon seeing him awake. "Thank goodness," she breathed.

Kurt sat up slowly and found that the breeze that circulated through the space that he identified as his room was due to three fans that were positioned around his bed. Kitty must have fought quite a battle to confiscate them... Or she could have snuck away with him and phased them quietly past the nearest wall and out of reach before anyone could stop her, or even notice her. "Was I out for long?"

"About fifteen minutes," Kitty handed him a tall glass of water. "This heat must be especially hard for you. You need to keep yourself well hydrated."

Kurt obediently drank the water under Kitty's watchful eyes. "Thank you..." There was still a note of depression in his voice.

Kurt's mood did not go unnoticed by Kitty and she became determined to find out what was wrong. She sat on the bed beside him and fixed him with an understanding yet steady gaze. She was there for him, but she wasn't going to let him avoid the subject.

Kurt found himself smiling, despite the situation, at how well Kitty knew him. "That predictable, am I?"

Kitty smiled back, glad that at least Kurt wasn't putting up much of a defense. She really wanted to help him with whatever problem he had, but to do that, she needed to know what was wrong. "I guess I know you well enough... But you still manage to surprise me more than you know."

Kurt chuckled, "I guess I should be glad I can still surprise you. I wouldn't want to bore you."

"You never would," Kitty assured. "Now, tell me what's bothering you. I take it it's not only the heat and the suspicious things that are going on..."

Kurt took a deep breath and let it out slowly. "Amanda broke up with me." Before he knew it, he was telling Kitty everything. He needed to get it all off his chest and he knew he could trust her. "We're too different, she can't adapt into my adventurous life and truth be told, I can't adapt into her quiet life, though I would have tried if I could. We decided to remain friends and I told her I understood, but..."

Kitty listened in surprise. She wasn't expecting this kind of news and was too stunned to react until Kurt trailed into silence. It took her a moment to find her voice and prompt him to continue, "but?"

"I wonder if I'll ever... if anyone will..." Kurt paused. This wasn't what he wanted, he didn't want to make Kitty sad and he didn't want her pity. "I guess it's normal, right?" He tried to compose himself. "I mean, when people break up they wonder if they'll get over it and find another relationship one day or if they'll be alone forever."

"Yes..." Kitty breathe, "they do..." she nodded, still dumbstruck. He had given her an explanation as to why Amanda broke up with him. It made sense, he claimed to understand it and Kitty did too. Yet she still felt somewhat guilty because she had wished for Kurt for herself and now there he was, available. Though maybe he had grown used to seeing her as just a friend, almost a sister, maybe it was too late. She tried to find some words of understanding to tell him. "It's hard getting over your first love. Well, for me it happened so gradually I barely even noticed until it was over. But I know what it's like, to have to let go when you don't want to, even if you know you have to."

Kurt's curiosity and something more was caught, and for a moment he wondered who Kitty was talking about. "Lance?" He theorized quietly before he could stop himself from speaking.

"It was very gradual," she admitted.

That meant that he wasn't the one she was forced to let go of. Perhaps she spoke of someone she knew before they met, Kurt wondered. He didn't realize that she was talking about him. "My first love... or my first real crush that didn't seem like a passing impossibility... I kept it for a long time," and he still did.

"Amanda left a real impression," Kitty concluded more so to herself than Kurt.

"Yes," he admitted, though his first real crush that for a long time he had dared to hope was a possibility was Kitty. Neither of them lied, they only cut off the truth mid way and didn't voice the things they didn't know the other would have really wanted to hear.

A moment of silence passed between them and Kitty became determined to cheer him up. Even if he only saw her as a friend, she would be the best friend she could be. "Let's go out for ice-cream and a movie this evening," she invited suddenly. "It'll cheer you up."

At least Kitty was there for him, even if it was as a friend, and he was very thankful for that. Kurt really did enjoy her company. "Thanks Kitty, it would be nice to relax a little. Not just because of Amanda, but because of the heat and everything that's happening." Uncertainty was still thickly clinging to the atmosphere.

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Elsewhere, surprise overtook the Brotherhood house as Wanda made her way down the stairs and into the living room where the guys were hanging out idly. Fred was done with most of his packing and was pretty excited about going to Texas, but for the time being he would endure his debate with Lance and Pietro about if Texas was hotter than New York. As for Todd he was still smiling in awe at having made Wanda laugh earlier. He credited himself for the mischievous smile upon her face which left everyone in shock.

The whole living room went silent as Wanda walked towards Pietro with the bottle of fancy liquor on hand. He considered bolting, but her steady gaze kept him frozen in place and all he could do was stand up from his position previously sitting on the couch, soon becoming metaphorically rooted to the spot. In a surprisingly uncharacteristic way, Wanda threw her arm around Pietro's shoulders and grinned. "How about a drink?"

Pietro could smell that this was a trap, just like the time they literally broke into their father's liquor cabinet when they were kids. Wanda had accidentally shattered the locked cabinet door and Pietro, with childish curiosity, decided to have a taste of the forbidden beverages after Wanda voiced those very same words. He got drunk and caused quite the tornado running all over the house and leaving chaotic destruction in his path. Wanda got blamed for that because she was the out of control child that got blamed for everything.

It wasn't that Wanda was purposely a misbehaving child. She simply lacked control over her powers and that made her accident prone and destructive, even if she tried to be good. Seeing Pietro's unsure expression, Wanda encouraged. "C'mon, for all times sake? Remember when we were kids and you broke into dad's liquor cabinet because you were curious? You got drunk pretty quick and made a mess around the house. Then I had to distract dad while you ran around cleaning. Somehow we managed to pull it off, except for the load of new toys you didn't even remember stealing from the shop down the street. We couldn't keep those a secret for too long since they hardly fit in the closet and under the bed. But we told dad the nice lady next door gave them to us and he actually believed it. Remember?"

Pietro frowned, but quickly changed his expression to a fake smile when he caught himself. "Yeah..." That was not what he remembered because that was not what really happened. Wanda broke the cabinet door, he did get drunk and made a mess, but he didn't clean it. He tired himself out and fell asleep then she got blamed for everything and somehow Magneto actually believed that his son had slept through the whole ordeal, little boys could sleep like rocks at times. As for the toys, Wanda got the blame for that too, for being a thief and risking arousing suspicion in the neighborhood. Yet it was not really her fault, though it wasn't his either. It was just childish mischief in mutant proportions.

"Well, you're older now, so you won't get drunk so easily." Wanda smiled encouragingly and placed the bottle in Pietro's hands.

"Yeah," Pietro's grin turned a little more real. Of course he'd had no problems now, he wasn't a child. Yet his blood flowed so fast when he ran that any amount of alcohol would have an immediate effect and Wanda theorized as much. However, a larger amount would still be needed since he was older now.

Wanda watched with amusement as Pietro took the bottle to the kitchen and poured himself a cup, pouring one for the sister who so kindly shared her drink too. This wasn't the bitter Wanda of days passed who hated him with a vengeance, nor was she the clumsy Wanda of an even more distant past who broke things and apologized with frightened tears. This was a confident Wanda who was in control of her powers and her life without bitter hatred to cloud her mind. Trickery or not, Pietro was glad for that and why shouldn't he be? She was happier, he was safer... Actually, the whole world was safer.

The Maximoffs sibling toasted to "a fast coming winter!" As suggested by Pietro, which was something they all wished for. Then the bottle was finished and Pietro got most of it.

Wanda only had one drink, as did Todd and Fred. Lance managed to sneak two before Wanda put a stop to it. The drink was as fancy as it was strong and even if one or two drinks were harmless, four or five would certainly have a noticeable effect. Nobody wanted to see Lance drunk, least he turn the city into rubble with an out of control earthquake. As for Pietro... he might be useful with some alcohol in his system, and Wanda had an idea.

To be Continued

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Chapter 09: Expect the Unexpected

Lance and Todd were in awe. They weren't sure if they should thank Wanda or stare in awe some more, amazed at her pure genius. There was a hole on the ground next to the Brotherhood house, it wasn't too deep, but it was deep enough. "Very good," Wanda commended.

"Great, great, I did great, I know, I'm awesome, I'm amazing, I rock!" Pietro slurred speedily. He was covered in dirt from head to toe and he would probably scream when he came out of his drunken stupor and saw the muddy mess that was his hair. But that didn't matter to him right now, because he was too focused on playing a game with his sister and friends. It was a fun game without a name and he was winning.

Fred came outside after going through his things to make sure once more that they were properly packed. Maybe he didn't want to forget anything, or maybe he wanted to put as much of 'home' as he could into his luggage. He was indeed thrilled to return to Texas, but he would miss his life in New York too. He would see how it went, how he adapted, and decide than where he would remain. "Do you think it'll be finished before I leave?"

Lance observed the pace at which Pietro brought in materials, piling them in the hole, making it square. Blocks and cement and other materials... "I think it'll be done in a few minutes! But if you cannon ball into our new pool, you might break it, or at least throw out all the water." Lance elbowed Fred playfully. The aspect of a new pool to stay cool cheered him up enough not to be bothered by his failed advances towards Kitty. Perhaps he'd give it a rest, really.

Thus it continued, until finally, the actual pool was dropped in carried by a whirlwind that lifted thins much too heavy for any ordinary one person to carry. The finish was not that of a master architect, but it was good enough. Among cheers and congratulations that Pietro would find a tad mocking if he was in his full senses, the speedy mutant finally collapsed and the atmosphere went silent.

Wanda was at his side immediately, feeling remorseful for having made him work so hard stealing materials and building a pool in record breaking time, just so she could cool off. "Pietro!" She was on her knees, gently placing her brother's head on her lap and pressing her cool hand against his warm forehead. "Too hot, all that running around must have given him a temperature."

Todd considered the possibility of fainting from heat exhaustion later and hoping for some such treatment from Wanda. He made a mental note to try it, as he reasoned that he had nothing to lose. The worse case scenario was that he was left lying on the ground and that was not the worse that ever happened to him. He tugged away the idea in the back of his mind for a more appropriate time devoid of real emergencies, though if he could manage to recall his plan at a later date or not was doubtful.

"We better get him inside," Wanda dictated with worry still filling her face and voice. Fred obediently picked up the unconscious Pietro.

Up the stairs of the house they went, with Fred silently nothing how light Pietro was, though to a mutant of his strength and size most people were light. He set Pietro down on his bed and stepped aside to grand Wanda passage to her brother's bedside.

"Thanks Fred," Wanda voiced.

Upon hearing the expression of gratitude that Fred only replied to with a simple, "no problem," Todd mused that he should have carried Pietro.

Granted, Todd was the shortest out of the Brotherhood boys and likely lighter than Pietro, but that wasn't the point. Fred didn't know how to swell up with pride at having done something for Wanda, he did.

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By the next day, things were going relatively alright. Ororo was recovered, Kitty and Kurt were spending a lot of time hanging out together and Remy had gotten the hang of his powers thanks to Rogue's help and life went on as always... for the most part at least. Pietro had woken up with a headache and no memories beyond drinking with everyone. He reasoned that he must have gotten drunk, which would explain the acute feeling of a hangover, but didn't know anything else beyond that. He could only hope he didn't do anything too stupid.

None the less, Pietro was happy to see that there was a pool next to the house, though he had no idea where in the world it came from. It looked like Lance was just finishing filling it with water, while yelling at Todd, who was floating in the water, that he better be telling the truth about having showered before jumping in. An impatient Fred cannon balled into the pool with a huge splash that send Todd flying with the force of the water being pushed out of its place in the pool.

The action sent Lance into a fit of complaints and profanity because he was the one who filled up the pool and he didn't even get to use it before he had to fill it up again. As for Todd, he landed face first flat on the ground like a road kill frog. Overall, Pietro thought it was pretty funny. He smiled and thought that it would be nice to enjoy a day at the pool and perhaps there was an amusing story about where it came from, though he had a foreboding feeling about that... None the less, a day of relaxation was just what he needed to get over the hangover.

Knocking was heard from the door of Pietro's room, "come in." He answered if only just to make the noise stop. Wanda came inside and inspected him critically while cringing. "What? Do I look that bad?" Pietro imagined that his eyes were red and his face puffy from the hangover. Maybe he would even have dark circles under his eyes if his face looked as bad as his head felt. Yet when he looked in the mirror he saw that his face wasn't in particularly bad conditions, but his hair was a mess.

"I'm sorry, I tried to clean your hair with a wet towel, but it didn't quite work out," Wanda apologized. She had to admit that the scene before her gave a whole new meaning to the term helmet hair. The mud had dried up and it looked like a very bad sculptor made a mud vase on his head.

Pietro was speechless. He searched for words in his head, some sort of expression of anger or reproach, but Wanda looked so very apologetic he didn't know what to say to her. The look in her eyes told him that this was somehow her fault and he would have to remember to get the full story later... out of Lance, or Todd, or Fred, but not from Wanda herself. He didn't want to make her feel worse, especially since she had been so peaceful to live with ever since her memories were replaced some time ago.

"I... can fix this..." Pietro told himself with little confidence at first; then repeated it more firmly as if to give himself hope. "I can fix this," with a truckload of shampoo. Wanda nodded and without further ado, Pietro vanished out of her line of vision in a speedy blur that headed towards the bathroom.

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Another day passed and it was time for Fred to leave. People gave the Brotherhood odd stares at the airport, some recognizing them as mutants and others wandering about the strange mismatched group. The looked over the electronic board and after a few minutes of wandering around lost, they made it to the proper terminal and waited for Fred to check in. Once that was done, all that they could do was wait and make small talk which of course included Todd and Lance poking fun at Pietro's hair and having him dump their refreshments over their heads.

"What a waste," Fred pouted, as if he didn't have enough going away snacks already.

The boys got into an argument about the state of Pietro's hair in a picture Lance claimed to have taken and locked away in the safety of his email so that Pietro couldn't just steal his phone and delete it. Fortunately, Pietro's hair was back to normal after being thoroughly washed, but he was seriously considering paying off some geek to hack into Lance's email. While their petty argument went on, with a security guard, who was blatantly ignored, occasionally telling them to keep their voices down, Wanda stood up to stretch her legs.

The boarding process for Fred's flight would not begin for another fifteen minutes or so. Wanda approached the large full wall sized glass window on the side of the terminal and looked out at the runway. An airplane was parked below, being refueled, with workers wearing orange vests running around it busily, checking its tires and looking at the turbines and under the wings for a round of basic maintenance. Another aircraft of a similar size with the logo of a different airline on its sides and tail, was taxiing to the take off runway, getting into position and speeding off. It rose above the ground and retracted its tires, elevating higher until it disappeared beyond the clouds in the distance.

A cart full of luggage was taken near the airplane that was being fueled. Most of the bags it carried were the common black of medium and large sizes, with others, rarer than those, appearing in many different colors and sizes. The workers busied themselves in connecting a conveyor belt to the cargo hold of the airplane, loading the row of bags inside. Wanda looked to another area were yet another airplane was. That one was connected to a jet bridge with passengers exiting at the terminal next to the one they were waited at. Wanda looked at the people coming out of the tunnel not too far away and recognized two of the passengers.

Jean glanced over at the Brotherhood with Scott sharing her curious and slightly disapproving look. The security guard kept hushing the loud quartet of young men and they continued to ignore him. Somehow, their topic of conversation had shifted from Pietro to pizza, though there was basically no real relation between the two themes. It all started when Fred began talking about pizza at random and the boys became locked in a debate about the best pizza topping.

Wanda's eyes met Jean's and she shrugged her shoulders, then went back to looking out the glass window at the various activities happening in the runway and aircraft parking. Jean chuckled as she gave Scott a reassuring nod, "it's okay," she ascertained. "They're not here to cause trouble. I could read no bad intentions in their minds. They're only here to see Fred off. They're a little unruly, but that's all."

"I guess we should let them be then," Scott concluded. The last connecting flight that he shared with Jean was full and the seats were not particularly comfortable, it was nothing like the X Jet. His neck was still stiff from the trip and jetlag made him yawn. He wanted to get back to the institute and rest.

Scott and Jean went on their way, but they only managed to walk a few steps before they were frozen by Wanda's voice crying out "stop!" They instinctively and automatically looked in her direction, though she wasn't talking to them. She was yelling because an airplane that looked like it had been getting ready to taxi to the runway had turned towards the glass window and was heading right towards them.

The pizza conversation immediately stopped as Fred, Lance, Pietro and Todd, stood up from their seats at the terminal waiting area, alarmed and alert. Scott and Jean joined them, with Jean using her psychic abilities to try to stop the aircraft from moving any further. The nose of the airplane was almost touching the glass, which it would undoubtedly shatter. Passengers were panicking, there were screams and running all around. "It's not working... I can't hold it..." Jean had her eyes closed in deep effort, but her mind couldn't hold out for much longer, her brained strained by the force of the approaching aircraft that pushed against her psychic hold.

The turbines started spinning faster and faster, though the airplane was on the ground. The impulse would be too much for Jean. "I'll blow up he engines!" Wanda offered unsure. It would be dangerous, but it seemed less dangerous than letting the situation progress as it was.

"No! The wings are full of fuel, if the engines catch on fire they'll explode and there are passengers inside!" Scott protested.

"Then what are we supposed to do?!" Fred reproached, angry at whoever was causing this on the day of his flight no less. Somehow, it didn't look like the pilots were in control of the vessel.

To be Continued

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Chapter 10: Filling The Spaces

The airplane was still approaching the glass window behind which Jean was focused on holding it back. Her mind was becoming exhausted and she could barely push back the airplane as its engines started. Scott looked at the jet bridge over on the next terminal near by. The airplane that he and Jean had left was moved away when the seemingly out of control airplane started heading towards the window, leaving the empty jet bridge there. He ran towards it, dashing through the tunnel with an idea in mind.

Lance focused on the ground outside the window and made it shake until it broke and buried the aircraft's tires, but the airplane continued to jerk forward at an odd angle, breaking the tires with the impulse from the engines. "Unless I bury that thing whole, it won't stop," Lance realized, and he didn't know how to accomplish that, not to mention that there were still passengers inside.

Scott appeared at the edge of the jet bridged, climbing out its side and on top of it. He aimed at the belly of the airplane where the cargo was, away from the central fuel tank and shot a laser from his eyes until the metal covering the aircraft began to melt into the ground below it. The turbines continued to spin, but the vessel could not move forward. The engines shook so wildly that they fell right off the wings. That was how those airplanes were built, they could fly even with one engine, but not without wings, so it was better to lose a vibrating engine than to risk a wing being torn off.

The turbines hit the ground and caught aflame, but seeing as the airplane was not moving, Jean let it go and instead moved the flaming engines away from the fuel filled wings. Down below on the runway, a security team quickly extinguished the flames and the danger passed. The airport's security team was working on getting the passengers out of the airplane as quickly as possible.

Scott came back inside the terminal through the jet bridge. Everyone was murmuring about the mutants, some even blaming them for what had happened, though they had actually just stopped it. It was best to tell the professor about this immediately and perhaps he would be able to clear things up. Jean tried to call out to Xavier with a psychic message, but she was too exhausted from the mental strain. She felt her balance slip from her and would have fallen in dizziness if not for Scott supporting her. He glanced at the Brotherhood, but they seemed just as confused as they were about what happened and Jean did say earlier that they had no bad intentions.

"We need to head back to the institute," Scott concluded. They were a day early, so no one was expecting them, thus no one had gone to meet them at the airport. They had come with gifts, cheerful stories and well wishes, but the warnings that they received about the suspicious happenings in the city were what came to greet them. "You should probably leave too."

Fred shook his head stubbornly. "No way, I have a flight to catch!" No sooner had he spoken those words when an announcement was heard all over the airport that they were closing up temporarily. The speaker went on to list the flights that were cancelled, among which was Fred's flight.

"Not anymore..." Todd stated the obvious, much to Fred's pouting annoyance.

With a groan of disappointment, Fred headed for the exit, dragging his feet and carryon luggage along with everyone else. He had forgotten about the bags he checked in earlier, but didn't really care at the time.

They were almost out of the airport when Lance felt a strong headache; he stumbled, but managed to stay on his feet. He looked at the floor as if searching for what he might have tripped on, but there was nothing, it was all a random loss of balance and it was inexplicable. "Did you lose something?" Pietro inquired in his usual speedy speech.

Lance shook his head; "no, it's nothing..." the pain was slowly subsiding just as quickly as it came. Strangely, he felt as if he had been exposed to this sensation before, but in a lesser intensity when he was watching TV earlier in the house. He paid it little mind and attributed it to some remnant of stress from what had just occurred.

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Fred was finally on his way to Texas later. However, it took a long drive to get him to where he needed to be as he left from New Jersey's EWR rather than New York's JFK. None the less, he was off and the remaining members of the Brotherhood were too tired to head back immediately and decided to find a place to rest before they were on their way. As they exited the airport to head to the nearest affordable hotel, the earth shook, but it was not at Lance's will. In fact, Lance looked rather uncomfortable, gripping the glass door's handle like a vice.

"Was that you?" Todd asked curiously and tiredly.

"No," Lance shook his head nervously.

Wanda tilted her head to the side, observing his reaction, "are you alright?"

Lance nodded, "I'm fine, just tired." It was the only explanation he could come up with for the wave of fear and panic that overtook him for a second. He wasn't afraid of earthquakes; he was the master of them, then why did he feel that way? It had to be exhaustion; it was the only thing that made sense.

"I wonder if Fred felt the earthquake too?" Todd stupidly asked, to his defense, he was very sleepy so he wasn't really all there in all his senses.

A silent pause passed until Pietro broke it, "in the sky?"

Another silent pause occurred as it took a moment for the tired minds to process that people couldn't feel earthquakes if they were flying and thus not actually touching the ground. A wave of laughter passed over them, which was well welcome by the group as a whole. They continued on their way, found a hotel and rested until they were ready for the long trip back to the Brotherhood house.

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While all of that was taking place, Kitty and Kurt were becoming closer, though they assumed the other was only interested in friendship so there was still a sort of wall between them, even if they very much enjoyed each other's company. Remy was a little restless, as his independence shone through even without memories and he wondered if he should go off to investigate on his own. Yet Rogue's kindness towards him and his curiosity and developing fondness towards her made him stay.

When Wanda, Lance, Pietro and Todd did return to the Brotherhood house, they found that a certain someone had settled in and made herself at home. There they stood in awe at the door to the kitchen were appetizing scents were coming from despite the smoke that came from the destroyed oven.

"Hey guys," Tabitha greeted. "You're just on time for the food. I'm glad I ordered all of this." The kitchen told a story without having to speak. Tabitha had tried to cook and blown up the oven, though thankfully, she kept the damage under control before the entire kitchen was ruined. Though some of the cupboards and the pantry were singed, the refrigerator was alright at least. Then she must have given up on cooking and ordered some take out instead. She lifted the lids off the pizza boxes one by one and it reminded everyone of the conversation about pizza they were having at the airport before. "Dig in!" They didn't need to be told twice.

While they ate, the inevitable question came up, voiced by a curious Pietro, "why all this?"

Wanda smiled sweetly, though there was a hint of something hidden in her eyes. "I just wanted to do something for you guys." A suspicious pause hung in the air until the revelation came, "since you're my housemates and all."

Everyone paused in their eating, "housemates?" Lance questioned. "You're moving back in here?"

"Yes," Tabitha nodded with determination, as if trying to tell them they shouldn't bother attempting to stop her. She had invited herself before and she could invite herself again.

Lance's frown went to a full on scowl, "no."

"Aw," Tabitha gave him her saddest look, trying to look convincing, "why not?"

"Because you'll just steal my jeep," Lance accused.

"I won't steal it," Tabitha assured, adding in a lower tone of voice, "I'll only borrow it every now and then."

"No!" Lance stubbornly maintained his position, making it clear that Tabitha wasn't welcomed.

Tabitha pouted and glared, "who put you in charge of the house?" She challenged.

"Actually," Pietro interrupted before Lance could argue in return. "I'm in charge of the house," he interjected.

"No you're not!" Lance protested. "Magneto's not here anymore, we haven't heard from him in ages and for all we know Mystique could be dead. There's no one to back your leadership."

"Or yours!" Pietro threw back.

"What about my vote?" Todd inquired, but he was completely ignored by everyone.

Wanda cleared her throat and suddenly, Pietro, Lance and Tabitha's three way argument was silence. She put down the slice of pizza she was eating, cleaned her mouth delicately and patiently with a paper napkin holding the pizzeria's logo and looked at the other occupants of the kitchen table. "I am in charge of the house," she stated it so firmly that it left no room for arguments. Then she brought forth her verdict as everyone waited with their breath in their throats. "I think we should give her a chance to stay."

Lance growled under his breath, not daring to argue with Wanda, while Tabitha flashed him a victory grin. "I knew you'd see it my way. It must get lonely being the only girl around here, huh?" Wanda shrugged, she had not really thought about that. She had a feeling that things with Tabitha around would be, if anything, louder, and she wondered if she had made the right choice by welcoming her into the house.

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At an ice-cream shop in the city, Kurt and Kitty were having a good time. They had noticed Rogue and Remy at a different table already there when they came in, but the pair was so absorbed in their conversation, that Kurt and Kitty decided not to interrupt them in any way. They settled into their own table with their ice-cream. The air conditioner was set at a very cold temperature, but they didn't really mind, the cold was a nice change from the constant heat, especially for Kurt.

Even with that cold temperature inside the shop, the ice-cream still melted and they raced to eat it before they had to drink it. Kitty giggled as she watched the white splotch of vanilla on Kurt's face. "You got it all over your face."

"Here?" Kurt tried to clean himself up with a napkin, but wasn't sure where exactly on his face the spot of ice-cream was.

"It's like there..." Kitty picked up a napkin, leaning over towards Kurt and reached to his face. Her hand paused in mid air and she acted on a whim before her brain had time to analyze her impulse and tell her it was crazy. She kissed him on the cheek, to the side of his mouth, licking off the ice-cream that melted down his chin.

Kurt remained paralyzed in shock while fireworks went off inside him and his stomach flipped upside-down. Realization hit Kitty like a ton of bricks as she looked shocked at herself, then apologetic. Her lips parted, her mouth moved, but there was no sound. Finally, Kurt smiled after what felt like an eternity, the few seconds being amplified by the awkwardness that flooded the atmosphere. "I guess you got it... Thanks..."

"Um... you're welcome," Kitty fidgeted and finally straightened on her seat. "I... don't know what came over me," she excused herself with her eyes downcast in embarrassment.

"It didn't bother me," Kurt was quick to assure.

Kitty looked up, daring to hope, "really?"

"Yeah... I kind of liked it," Kurt confessed, he paused, took a deep breath and went for the full on truth. "Actually... I liked it a lot."

"But that was almost like..." Kitty felt her heart beat faster. Was this really happening? Was it not too late? Was it okay? "Almost like... kissing..." She momentarily looked at the remains of her melted ice-cream on the table and when she looked up again, Kurt was much closer than a second ago, as if he was going to... He really was going to... Kitty closed her eyes and further eliminated the distance between them encouragingly until their lips met. The place, the time, the people around them, none of it matter, nor was it remembered. All that they could perceive was each other.

To be Continued

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