Disclaimer: Marvel own everything.
Author's Notes: Part two. Two more parts (I reckon) to go. You'll have to excuse the quality of the first paragraph but writing romantic stuff just isn't my forte. You'll just have to believe that Kurt and Kitty like each other. Have faith. Toad uses bad words so you'll have to forgive him. That's it, I've really nothing at all interesting to say. Ignore grammar errors as I never read these things through (I'm just after writing them so reading them straight away is just painful) and beta readers are some mysterious species who disappear every time I'm in the room (Hint, hint).
"Well only one week to go 'til the big one eight."
Kitty nudged Kurt gently in the ribs. Kurt took it stoically.
"And to think of all that you'll be legally able to do. You know that Bobby and John will have you going to the off licence every second day."
"I imagine that when I'll be of the legal age in this country, that all of a sudden the off licences will be nothing but welcoming to a blue demon." Kurt said somewhat sadly, the rigidity of his German accent being softened by the slight American twang he was developing.
Kitty heard his tone but refused to let him dwell on this topic, which was still a sore one for him. Though his friends were not hung up on how he looked, he still was.
"It's their loss. Anyway, what have you got planned for the big night?"
"I haven't really thought about it, to be honest. Bobby and John will railroad it anyway. They could turn a funeral into a festival."
"Sad, but true." Kitty concurred.
They walked in silence for a while, simply content to be in each other's company. She watched a passing duck with interest and began to get reflective herself.
"Do you ever wonder what it would be like to live like one of the ducks, Kurt?"
He looks at her in mock shock before simply shrugging his agreement.
"Think of how easy they have it. Not a concern in the world. Every day they get people coming down to feed them."
"There's no Bobby duck." Kurt added cheekily.
"There's no Bobby duck." She concurred laughing.
"It's almost time. Don't mess up."
And with that, Mystique left the other two to set up position.
Toad looked over his shoulder.
"It's almost time, don't mess up," he said in his version of an old crone's voice.
Sabretooth looked down at his partner in crime for a moment before returning to regard the bank of the lake, his every senses keenly devouring everything in the air around them. He could easily make out the now departed form of Mystique. To him, she registered as very fragrant, her system pumping out chemicals to make her seem more attractive. It must be something that aided her in her infiltrations. He believed that she didn't even know she did this. It was a purely subconscious thing, her body responding to her need to be easily liked when under cover. He never told her of this; instead he simply enjoyed her without her ever knowing.
Due to their very close proximity he could also read Toad's emotions from his very sweat. For some reason best known to himself, Toad always got kind of nervous before doing a job. While actually doing whatever it was that he was supposed to be doing, he was the very model of professionalism, but always prior to it, he'd be excessively jumpy and indeed almost paranoid.
Sabretooth blocked these two out and concentrated on other things in the environment. He could hear the birds, their ignorant bliss, like cattle, made them easy prey. He blocked them out. Due to autumn's ascendancy, he needed to ignore the stench of decay from the fallen leaves and plants.
Then he got it, that first trace of a perfume, carried some distance by the wind. It was still very faint, but it was getting stronger. It was the girl's. Though it was vaguely pleasant, she had nothing when compared with Mystique's natural attractors. But then again, maybe Mystique's were composed not so much to "smell" nice but instead flip a switch in the brain that made people more susceptible to her.
Sweeter even then Mystique however, was the stench of pure fear. It was an intoxicating thing for Sabretooth. The fight or flight response in people boosted their output of chemicals to obscene amounts. All of this registered to Sabretooth and he took it all in, savouring every delicate texture of fear and adrenaline, all different and somehow all the same. Soon he would taste the girl's fear. He would drink deeply.
His deep baritone almost trembling with anticipation, he told Toad.
"It's almost time."
"What? Have the two of you being going to classes in leadership cliché?" Toad asked, his nervous state adding to his agitation. First Mystique was acting all high and mighty because she was running the show.
Magneto hadn't even come out to the briefing, which in itself was highly unusual. Mystique had believed herself an able deputy and had laid out what was to be done in minute detail. Seemed a lot of trouble for two teens. But then in the past, teens had given them nothing but trouble. That's probably why Magneto wasn't coming out. After his last "brush" with one of Xavier's teens, he'd been thrown in the lock up for an unplanned stay.
As usual, they were being left in the dark as to exactly what the end goal of this little play was but that didn't bother Toad. It finally was a bit of action as he had put it. Mystique had been very insistent on what exactly he and Sabretooth were to do. Toad didn't bother asking questions about the job. They never answered anyway.
Sabretooth leaned down closer to him to get a better view of the walkway.
"Do you mind?" Toad asked indignantly.
Sabretooth immediately growled at him.
"Listen mate, I'm trying to get my head in the right place, you know, get my shit on and here you are, cramping me. Back off and give me some goddamn space."
Sabretooth looked at him as if he had gotten a bit madder in the last few minutes. Toad returned a look of exasperation and saw that an explanation was in order.
"Look at me, I'm a bundle of nerves. I'm worse then a schoolgirl on her first night out. But in a moment I'm going put on my headphones, turn the CD up real loud, I'm talking up to 11 here. I...am...going...to...get...my....shit...on. And when it's on, and I get that Jedi mind trance shit happening, you better back off 'cause I'll be the very epitome of badass."
Sabretooth concluded he had lost it as Toad in a very grand gesture, took his headphones out of his trench coat pocket like they were the most delicate things ever.
He saw Sabretooth watch him and stopped the procedure. Still holding the headphones in mid air, his face straight ahead, he spoke out of the corner of his mouth.
"This is the most important part of the Jedi trance. This music speaks to the soul. We're going with some loud music today and none of that lame American crap. I'm talking The Clash and The Stranglers, proper rebel music. When I put these headphones on, I'm a different man."
He couldn't tell whether Sabretooth was smiling or not. Didn't matter. All that mattered was the music and the trance. He put the earphones carefully over his ears. He reached into his pocket and put the volume on full, went into a Bruce Lee pose and his eyes gained focus.
"I am ready."
Sabretooth simply snorted but Toad didn't hear him. The perfume on the air told him they were close and he turned his attention back to the walkway. He could see them now. He watched carefully, studying their stride and mannerisms for what type of opponent to expect. He saw Mystique in disguise approach from the opposite side.
It was time.
Mystique made her way slowly around the edge of the lake. She had timed her approach to the second. She could see the young couple approaching slowly, the laughter audible at this distance. She picked up the pace a small bit as they were moving a little faster then she had anticipated.
She approached steadily, now able to pick out a few words here and there. She blocked them out and concentrated on keeping up the awkward walk, staying hunched over. She let the small needle slide into her free hand and cradled it gently.
They were close enough. She jammed the cane into a crack in the pavement, lost her balance, stumbled and fell over.
She could hear the two concerned and good-natured kids predictably coming to her aid. She got the needle ready. She knew that Toad would be getting ready at this very moment to fling himself from he was now to land almost on top of them.
"Herr, are you okay," came that voice.
The light flickered on the table, a lone beacon in a sea of black. It had been flickering for some time now. He finally leaned over and pressed the button.
Mystiques voice filled the room, somehow sounding so appropriate for the darkness.
"Master, it is done."
An expectant silence filled the room. He knew she was waiting to be congratulated. Eric had none to give her. This plan of hers disgusted him to his very core. He flicked the switch, killing the connection.
He returned to regarding the darkness. He had been struggling with the idea of warning them. Of warning his enemies and betraying his own brothers. But then what?
Mystique's plan had left no room for leeway. It was simply all or nothing. Now she had set events in motion there was really only going to be one outcome and he knew that all the blood, friend's and foe's alike, would be on his hands. By not opposing her plan in its conception, he was as guilty as if it had been his plan instead of hers, though he knew that he could never come up with something so, immoral.
He now knew she was prepared to do anything to see it through, her relentless devotion to his vision having long since eroded any compassion she felt.
And now he knew that by letting events unfold, he was eroding his own as well.
The sharp yelp penetrated the dull darkness that shrouded Kurt's head.
"Please, can anyone hear me?" the voice continued.
He tried to open his eyes, tried to figure out what the hell was going on.
He remembered. He had been walking in the park when the old man had fallen. He had gone to his aid and when he leaned down, the old man jabbed him in the arm with a needle. He had felt his legs begin to go as another form came crashing down on top of them. Them? Kitty!
Kitty had screamed as the form landed amongst them. His legs already weak, he yelled at her to run. She hesitated a moment and the guy who landed shot his long tongue out at her. It was Toad, one of Magneto's henchmen. It was a trap.
His tongue missed and Kitty turned and ran but ahead of her, another much larger man appeared. Logan had told us about this one, Sabretooth. She ran down and alley way and the big man gave chase. He couldn't watch anymore as his vision began to dim. He fell and he landed with his head looking into the sky above him.
The old man appeared in his view, though only momentarily as he seemed to shudder and change into a blue female demon. Her own yellow eyes a mocking copy of his. She looked down at him with a pleased smile and reached down to rub the side of his face in an almost gentle fashion.
He blacked out then and remembers no more.
"P...Please, can anyone help me?" the voice pierced the shroud of darkness again. It was a woman's voice. Kitty? No. It wasn't Kitty. It was someone younger. He fought to open his eyes.
From what he could tell, he was in a large warehouse of some kind. Illumination was provided by a number of lights hands oppressively from the metallic ceiling. He was bound securely in a chair, and as he moved his neck, the rope securing him chaffed it. Looking to his side, he saw the source of the screaming.
A girl, 15 maybe 16 was tied up in a chair next to him. She was still in her school uniform. Seeing him awake she was on the edge of hysterics.
"Please, please don't hurt me."
She was obviously too afraid of him to notice that he too was not going anywhere soon.
"Calm down, there's no need to be afraid."
A lie. There was every need to be afraid, just not of him.
"You can talk?" she said in amazement, obviously thinking that Kurt was some kind of animal given his appearance.
"Amongst other things. Yes."
He was tempted to look around again, give the girl some time to ingest all this, but the rope around his neck was too unforgiving for luxury movement.
"You're one of those mutants, aren't you?"
Wow, this girl was sharp.
"That's right. I'm a mutant, which would explain what I'm doing tied up. What's your story?" Kurt asked.
Before she had a chance to answer, a loud braying laughter echoed in one of the doors from the outside. It sounded like the English mutant, Toad.
The girl looked terrified. Her face had lost all its colour and she struggled against her binding subconsciously.
Almost as if she was in a trance, she started talking.
"I heard them talking when they brought you in. They said they needed a sacrifice. The small one was laughing at the big one for letting some cat, or something escape."
Kitty. Kitty had escaped from Sabretooth.
"I was walking home when this van pulled up and he jumped out and grabbed me. Oh my god they said they needed a sacrifice, I'm the sacrifice, oh my god, oh my god."
She broke down into hysterical blubbering. Kurt wanted to say something comforting but couldn't think of anything. He just spoke his thoughts out loud, hoping that any sound would comfort her.
"Listen. It wasn't a cat that escaped; it was my friend, Kitty. Now Kitty will go straight back to the place where we stay. There's a man there, the Professor, he will be able to find me no matter where I am. And when he does, he'll send my other friends. Now you make think that these people here are tough, but they've got nothing on Logan, Scott, Ororo and the others. Just you wait and see. All you've got to do is to keep it together until they come, and they will come."
The strength in his voice stirred her from her despair.
"These other people are mutants like you?"
"And there are lots of you in this place?"
"There are. A lot of them are my age but we got some adults too."
"How did you all end up there?"
Kurt was glad to keep her talking. Her curiosity would suppress her fear.
"Well, with most of us, it's the case that our families don't know what to do with us. The truth is a lot of us don't know what to do with ourselves, to cut a long story short, we get shipped off to this place, the Xavier Academy for Gifted Youngsters. There the Professor teaches us how to come to terms with who and what we are, and how what we can do can benefit everyone, humans and mutants alike."
"What about you? Is that how you ended up there?"
Kurt would have shifted in his seat if he could have.
"Nein. I grew up in a monastery in Germany. I believe that when I was born, my appearance so frightened my parents that I was left there to be exorcised or some such. The priest took me in and gave me a good start in life, despite my appearance."
"So you never even knew your parents?"
"Nein. No I didn't."
"You must feel a lot of anger towards them."
"None. The mutant phenomenon wasn't as wide as it is now. And even if it was, there are few mutants as unique looking as me. The area the monastery was is what you would call a "backwater", very religious. I would have appeared as a demon to those simple folk, to my parents. Like so many they were simply afraid of what they didn't know. In some parts, the same is still true. I would be very petty indeed if I could not forgive them for simply not having courage in a place where none existed."
She seemed to regard him in a new light, no fear, at least of him, evident in her posture towards him.
"I go to a convent and that seems pretty harsh. A monastery must have been out of sight."
She smiled briefly at this.
"I cherish my time there, as I cherish my time here. The faith that those men have inspires me every day. They believe in something so profoundly that they need no proof, their heart tells them so and it is enough for them. It's rare to find that level of devotion to anything in this day and age."
She seemed uncomfortable with this topic. He looked at her inquisitively.
"You do not have some sort of faith?"
"I...No. Faith is a byword used by churches to fill their coffers. It is...never mind."
A silence grew between them. Another laugh, further away this time, obviously got her in the mood for talking again.
"Why do these guys want you so badly?"
"These mutants are in the employ of a mutant named Magneto. He believes that bloodshed between humans and mutants is inevitable and seeks to suppress them, you, before your kind suppress us."
"And you think otherwise?"
"Throughout history, different peoples have learned to see past what has made them different and instead see what makes them the same. Conflicts of race, creed, religion, gender, have all found a peaceful resolution. That's not to say there hasn't been blood spilt in these conflicts, there has, but in the end, peace finds a way. If one sets out, like Magneto does, to spill blood, then that is the best one will accomplish. But if one aims for peace, then what can be achieved is so much more."
The girl sat silently for a moment, taking in what he had said.
"Do you ever wish you could be, you know, normal? Have a normal life with a normal family?"
"In this day and age, show me a normal family?"
They both smiled. There was an element of truth to what he said.
"You know what I mean. With a mother and father and brother and sister and the family dog."
"I'm not too sure about the dog, but yes, I have thought about it. Sometimes it is all I can think about."
"If you know, met your family, what would you say to them now if you had the chance?"
"I would just hope that they are proud of me. Of what I have become."
The girl looked down at the ground in front of her.
"I'm...I'm sure that they would be very proud of you."
The silence returned for a while. Her voice was deeper, less girlish.
"I lied before, when I said I had no faith. I have faith. It gives me the strength to do things that other people would hide away from. Would be fearful of even."
Kurt watched in cold horror as she started to shift, her pale skin turning dark blue and her long blonde hair shortening into a deep orange.
"In some people's eyes what I have done is reprehensible. What I will do is reprehensible."
Mystique twisted slightly and the loosely tied bonds came loose around her. She stood up and stretched luxuriously, much like a cat does after a nap.
"Why have you done this?" Kurt asked.
"Because I have faith, Kurt."
She reached under the chair and retrieved a long knife that had been stuck there. She looked at him with a strange look in her eye. It was strange because it was a look of profound sadness. Her voice reflected this.
"I...wish that it didn't have to be like this."
She turned her back to him and her voice regained its cold edge.
"But much like those priests in that monastery, my devotion demands that I have no worldly distractions that would disrupt my course."
She kept her back to him as she continued.
"In ancient Greece, they believed that the most heinous of crimes was a blood crime. A father killing a son or vice versa. So despicable was this crime, that they created vengeful demons to exact judgement on the guilty. These demons had the form of women and they were called the Furies. They were unstoppable, even the gods were not exempt from their wrath."
"I wonder what Furies will come for me. Will it be in the form of a berserker with wicked claws, a man with crimson eye, a woman who is nature's surrogate? Who shall judge me?"
She turned to face him and she could hell that he knew. Knew who she was, what she was.
"I brought you into this world already condemned. It has taken me all this time to find the strength, the faith, to do what I could do that night. He has given me that strength and now I must give him my devotion"
She moved forward, lowering the blade.
"Goodbye, my son."
To be continued...