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X-Men: Academy- MY FRIEND, MY ENEMY; Part 2

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  • B'Teena DOL
    Hi, folks... Here it is, the part with most Remy stuff and Storm in her white suit from the cartoon for the first time ;) Next part translated now... As I
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 25 10:43 AM
      Hi, folks... Here it is, the part with most Remy stuff and Storm in her white suit from the cartoon for the first time ;) Next part translated now... As I said, this story is probably hard to understand if you didn't read anything of my canon so far. You can find it on my homepage, the adress's in my signature. Here comes the second part of episode III. Reviews would be very appreciated... I'm somehow to wonder if anyone's reading my stuff at all ;).

      Series: X-Men: Academy

      Title: FIRE & ICE (Episode II)

      Part sent to this list: 2

      author: B'Teena DOL/Scare Glow (my boyfriend)

      language: English, but that's not my native language, so please forgive me my mistakes ;)

      Disclaimer: All X-Men and other Marvel characters in here belong to Marvel, 20 Century Fox and else. Not mine ;). Mine are just Cat/Flash and Avery/The Liquidator

      Universe: Only based on the storyline of the movie 'X-Men' that was released in the year 2000.

      Timeline: Shortly after the movie

      Romance: Jean/Logan, Scott/Flash (new character), Iceman/Firestar, Storm/Avery (new character --> http://www.catbull.com/adora/ave.jpg why just a little pic... That's how he might look ;) )

      Summary: Magneto found a way to mutate all humanity. The X-Men have to try everything to prevent him from using this weapon...

      special guest: Iceman/Firestar/Spiderman

      remark: introduces Gambit and Beast to the movieverse

      Rating: G

      remark: On my homepage on http://www.catbull.com/adora/fanfxmen.html you find all my stories with pics in it. With them they're nicer to read ;). But it's the same stories :).

      "I still think this is no good idea, Storm", Firestar mentioned worried. "I suppose I can't change your opinion, can I?"
      "I can use the training", the young woman explained. "I prefer you staying here. You and Iceman, you have to take our place here."
      They sat at the breakfast table, all the team. Logan and Marie would leave in about an hour, Cat and Remy were as good as gone as well.
      "Ey, look at this!" Suddenly Kitty entered, with the morning news. "Guess who's today's star!"
      "Now I'm impressed." Scott took the newspaper, arched his eyebrows, surprised. "Our friendly, spinning, masked friend in the red suit is back. Apparently he changed his opinions about media."
      "Again he prevented a catastrophe all by himself. The man's unbelievable", Kitty mentioned dreamily.
      "Yeah, unbelievable ridiculous. The costume's a crime", Wolverine dampened her enthusiasm.
      "Ph!" She grimaced, fast took the newspaper back. "Gotta show Jubes. See you!" She ran off.
      "Swallow it down, Scott, whatever you want to say", Flash grinned. "Jean's half an hour's gone. Let's go to the lab."
      The doctor already waited for them. "Ready. Any volunteers?"
      "I'll lead the way." Remy laid down on a diagnostic bench. "You sure this will work, cherie?"
      "For once I have a name. And I tested the gadget uncounted times. Believe me, it will work. She gave him a little injection in the area of his left collarbone to stun the tissue. "Do you still feel anything?"
      "Just the usual warmth in my heart when I look at you, che... mon amour." He placed his hand on his chest adoringly, rolled his eyes till he looked like a bad extra in a Shakespeare-peace.
      "One more like this and I'LL operate you", Logan growled. "With a body integrated scalpel, to be exact."
      Jean ignored them both. Using a big probe she implanted - perhaps a little more brutal than necessary - one of the new personal detectors under the skin at the armpit of the young French boy. "Take a walk in the garden. We'll try to find you then. Next one."
      "Aye, Sir." He turned his arm, staring at the skin as if searching for a scar from the little operation. Nothing visible. "Cool thing." He left the room, with a big distance between Logan and him.
      "He's impossible!", Wolverine hissed.
      "He's just kidding", Jean laughed. "That's the French mentality. Always searching for a flirt."
      Logan bared his teeth. "French or not, if he wants a flirt he gotta pick someone else. He won't have fun with MY girlfriend."
      "He surely won't try any of the girls again. Since Jubilee once sent a firework to get rid of him, he's more careful in the school. Done, Flash. Hide somewhere in the house."
      "Feels strange." Cat also turned her arm first. "Are you sure that they won't be able to find these things?"
      "Not if Magneto's abilities don't include detecting metal", Jean explained. "Storm, your turn."
      "Why me?" Ororo with her lightly childish fear of needles wasn't too excited with it. "I don't plan to let Magneto's people get me. I'll just follow them if they really should take Flash and Remy prisoner."
      "Safe is safe", Jean mentioned. When the last detector was placed and Storm was gone, she went to the computer that was supposed to follow the little gadgets. All of the signals were found at once. "Great! Let's search for them."
      It took just minutes till the three of them had been found.
      "Seems to work." Scott didn't really sound enthusiastic. He still had big doubts in the mission, and he didn't even try to hide them.
      "We've got to go." Wolverine and Rogue said good-bye. Remy and Flash would bring them to the airport before they'd start their own trip.
      By then the Professor had joined them. "Call when you get there", he asked Marie. "Don't worry too much. Perhaps your parents are more happy than you think."
      "Yeah, and perhaps we'll meet some flying pig on our way, too", she murmured quietly.
      "You definitely spend too much time with me", Logan mentioned, arching his eyebrows. "Get inside."
      "See you." Marie shortly waved and sat down on the backseat of Cat's car then. She was very pale, had been very quiet all the morning. Just the Professor knew what this journey to her past really was about. How important this meeting with her parents could be.
      Jean and Logan shortly kissed. "Take good care of her", the doctor asked him.
      "I'll do my best." He gently put back a strand of her long red hair. "Don't look at me like that. We'll be back soon."
      "That's not it." She lowered her voice, blushing lightly. "Probably I just don't like the idea of you and Marie being alone for days. Everytime you do you're in big trouble."
      "But this time the Brotherhood isn't hunting us. And Marie has forgotten her little crush on my by now- I hope. So don't worry. I'll call you." He opened the driver's door of the Corolla. "Remy, this is my seat."
      "I thought, I'll drive", the young man complained, but sat down next to Rogue then. Logan's threat still impressed him.
      "As soon as we're sitting in our plane, you have the car all for yourself. But until then I prefer to be responsible for my life myself."
      "Understood, mon ami", the French boy said, insulted. "You all are underestimating my skills."
      "You'll have enough chances to show them in the next days." Scott leaned down to him. "Remy..."
      "What? You also wanna tell me to stay away from your girl?" That sounded nothing but resigned.
      Logan had to laugh.
      Scott's face didn't move in any way. "If I had to do that then she wouldn't be my girl. I just wanted to remind you on your mission. You can't fool me. You use Cat as a bait. The Brotherhood is much stronger than you. Remember that when you're about to attack one of them. Or we'll have one crazy European less here."
      The young man just rolled his eyes and wanted to turn up the window.
      Cyclops signed him to stop. "Oh, and Remy- stay away from my girl."
      Now Wolverine couldn't put himself together anymore, laughed loudly. "I could swear I've heard that before." He looked at Jean, grinning.
      Scott ignored him completely. "Good journey."
      "Talking about her, where is your sweetheart?" Remy took a short look on his clock. "We'll be too late if we don't start off."
      "Don't panic. I'm here." Katja joined them, with her mare Adora. Of course she didn't lead her but sat on her bare back, holding the rope in one hand.
      "I should have known", Jean grinned. "But now- get down and enter the trailer. Your beloved baby doesn't like cars, that won't be easy now. If she sees you, she'll hopefully go inside easier."
      In fact it took about fifteen minutes till they finally could leave. It was as if someone - or something - wanted to stop them, Katja thought, long enough till... till something irrevocable had happened. Shaking her head she said good-bye to Scott and entered her car. Her extreme paranoia surprised even herself from time to time. It was unlikely that Magneto would get to know at all that Remy and her were travelling alone. Anyway, he definitely couldn't know now yet.
      Cyclops for a moment looked like he'd protest against the plan again, but then he stepped back.
      Logan started the car. The engine broke down. "God damn! Cat, when will you finally get an american car?"
      "Standard H", Scott grinned at Wolverine. "Clutch", he added, pointing at the floor of the Japanese limousine.
      "Nail that'll close your coffin", his old rival hissed, raising one hand, the knuckles directed on Cyclops. Then he started the car again, left the mansion in a definitely too high speed.
      Storm, who had been to her room shortly, left the house.
      Jean gasped for air. "`Ro! Talk about changes!"
      Ororo had murmured something like 'changing clothes', but the others hadn't had a clue. Instead of her simple black uniform she wore a snow white suit now. The only color were the silver 'X' on her belt and her collar. "A white spot on the sky attracts less attention", she mentioned, embarrassed.
      "You look stunning", Scott remarked.
      "Thanks." She produced a strong wind and took off. "I'll keep you informed. Bye."
      It will work." The Professor tried to cheer Scott and Jean up, who looked quite worried. "The pupils wait."
      Firestar had agreed to do a little speech. She knew the problems you had being a mutant and would talk about it how she managed them. Charles hoped that this wouldn't just distract the children, but Jean and Cyclops too. At present they couldn't do anything but wait and hope, anyway.

      "There they are. Ey, Junior!" Toad gave Avery a hard push into the side.

      "Hm?" His partner startled. Again he had fallen asleep. He had been awake half of the night because of worrying about today, and now he was completely exhausted. "What is it?"

      "That." Toad pointed out of the window. A car with an horse transporter left Xavier's mansion. He started their own car that was preventively equipped with dark windows. "We came just in time. A few minutes longer in the traffic jam and we'd have missed them. Well, at least you can't lose that trailer. Hell, look at that stroke! 'Pride of X'! This Wayne Manor copy of a mansion is bad enough, but you could suppose that a peacemaker like Xavier at least would have been smart enough to leave out breeding horses, next to all the other shit, he produces..."

      "I don't know what you mean." Yawning Avery ran over his eyes behind the mask, cursed as the black make-up smudged.

      "Being a nature mutant you understand the language of Earth. The arrogance of mankind, that's existing in its current evolution state just a split part of the years that other species have lived on this planet, will come to an end soon. Not that I'd like those cowards like the one in the transporter over there too much - horses are fleeing animals, you know - but I'm looking forward to the day when the homo sapiens won't enslave the nature any longer but the other way round."

      Avery couldn't think of an appropriate answer, so he remained silent. He did know Toad for only three days now, and he already knew why he was working for Erik. Mystique was right, everyone in the Brotherhood had different plans. Did Magneto know what kind of empire he wanted to build up? Ave doubted it. Magneto had called Xavier blind, but he himself should take a little ride on the reality rollercoaster as well.

      "That's the wrong street", Toad remarked. "Didn't you say they were going to Trent? That's the highway to New York."

      "Just follow them for now. We'll see soon enough what they're up to. With he horse with them they won't just drive to the city and back for fun." The Liquidator leaned back and closed his eyes. "Wake me if something happens."

      "You make it quite easy for you", Toad growled.

      "Ey, you wanted to drive! When it comes to the fight, I'll do all the work again, anyway, so let me sleep, alright?" Avery yawned demonstratively. "After all somebody has to stop Flash from frying you again."

      Toad's grasp around the wheel tightened, he growled loudly but put himself together. Avery's powers were superior to his own, he knew that. If it was for that he was a little more patient than Victor who'd tried to teach the boy next to him a good lesson for such a remark. The day would come when Avery would betray the Brotherhood, that was for sure. And then he should better watch his back, cause then at least three mutants would try to take revenge for his arrogance.

      "I should have known... Once in my life I fly and of course just this machine nearly crashes." Quite pale Rogue took her huge bag from the conveyor belt.

      "Woman! Always pushing things up... These were just normal turbolences." Logan put on his back bag that wasn't half as big. "Did you try to call your parents once more?"

      "The connection is engaged all the time, but I talked to a neighbour a few days ago. She told me that they're in town. So we surely didn't come here for nothing. You've got enough things with you?", she asked, surprise.

      "I'm a man, you know", he teased her. "Wanna drive?" After a long search they had found their rented car between all the others.

      "I better do the driving license before. I don't want any trouble with the police. Besides I have to read the map or we won't find this village." She threw her bag onto the back seat and got inside the car. "How nice! A Renault! I've always wanted to sit in a French car! Beautiful country..."

      "What's up with you, kid? Sarcasm always was my specialty, wasn't it? Left or right?"

      "Always heading north." She placed her legs onto the side dashboard - something that the Professor would have killed her for if she would have done it in the Rover - and put off her pullover. If she was with Logan, she dared to wear less things than usual. He was one of the four persons who once had felt her powers and for it he was careful enough. She felt safe with him. "I still can't believe that Xavier made me do this. I'm about to turn back."

      "Forget it, the flight was expensive", he grinned, reached the speed limit as if to underline this statement. "You're worrying too much. You told me your parents just didn't visit you so far because they're afraid to fly. So..."

      "I lied."

      Silence. Not a sound but the quiet drone of the engine was. A very quiet car. Not good for the communication. Suddenly it was much too quiet.

      "Why?", he finally asked.

      "Because everyone in the mansion looks at me as if I'd suffer from a deadly disease, anyway. I hate this current sights of sympathy. I learned to live with my mutation, why can't the others do that? If I would have told them that my parents told me to get lost when they got to know what's up with me, then it would gotten even worse. Just the Professor knows."

      "Of course he does. Old Chuck is psychic, after all." Logan shortly rolled his eyes. "Somehow I knew that this would be a 'Put-your-head-into-the-sling-and-find-out-what's-to-come-next'-mission. Jean wasn't that entirely wrong, everytime the two of us travel together, something unexpected happens."

      "I'm sorry." She lowered her head. "It's okay if you don't want to come with me anymore."

      "As I said, I didn't do this trip just for one ride around the airport." He carelessly put one hand on the lower part of the wheel, with the other one he took one of his cigars. "Besides I don't mind leaving the mansion for a few hours."

      Marie frowned, puzzled. "Why? Trouble with Scott again?"

      "No." He sounded very brusque and realized it himself. He hadn't wanted that. Actually he could talk to Marie. He didn't know why but if there was someone he could tell much without feeling questioned, then it was her. "No, that's not it. It's... all the situation. All we do at present is waiting for Magneto's next attack. Xavier's plan to keep the peace between mutants and mankind seems to become unimportant more and more. Jean can't remember when she talked to a congress last time. I think by now even the Professor realized that the number of people accepting mutants is very tiny. And that won't change that fast. For that there's too much hate."

      Rogue thought of the attack on Rose and nodded. "It's very bad at present. You think there will be war?"

      He startled, she saw, surprised, that his hand began to tremble. "War... That's a big word. No, I don't think it will come to that. Not anytime soon. Mankind's just too afraid of us to risk that."

      Again this feeling of knowing him exactly, all his life, all his soul, though they knew each other much too less for that, actually. "You hate them, don't you?"

      "I never had good experiences with normal people." He pulled harder than necessary on his cigar. "I don't share Magneto's opinion that they should all be killed, but I'm not with Xavier cause I'm so worried about them. Mankind always survived somehow, in spite of all the crisis of history."

      "So why else are you with us?", she asked. "Because of Jean?"

      He smiled shortly. "Of course. I couldn't leave her again. The time without her, when I travelled to Canada, it was bad. But another important reason is Sabretooth."

      Marie felt every single hair on her arm rise. Now, finally, he said it, after all these months. He hadn't told anyone, not even the Professor, what had happened on the trip that he had made shortly after the big fight in the Statue of Liberty. Jean probably knew, but she was the only one. That Sabretooth was involved left Rogue trembling. She was damn afraid of this man. His sights, when Magneto had had her captured... His brutality... He was everything that Logan constantly suppressed inside himself. Had she really thought this to be chance? "Do you know him from the past?"

      "That's just it!" He beat hard with his fist on the dashboard. "I can't remember, as less as anything else! But in Canada I meet a man who referred me to Victor Creed. That was all I found there. An advise that I can't take because Sabretooth would never tell me what he knows about me."

      "Who was this man? This sounds quite dubious", she mentioned.

      "He wanted to stay anonymous. He just said he's working for someone called Shingen. And he said..." Logan stopped.


      "Nothing. So what are you going to do now? Knocking on your people's door anyway and see what's next?" He surprisingly changed the subject.

      "If it's necessary, yes. But first I want to see a good friend in a village nearby. He knows my parents for more than thirty years. If someone knows something about me that I can't remember, then it's him." She bit on her lower lip, carefully put a hand onto his arm, paying attention on not to come too close to the edge of his shirt. "Do you trust me?"

      He laughed quietly. "Since you're one of the very few people on this planet who could kill me without much effort, this is a very strange question."

      She pressed her lips together, pulled back her hand, staring out of the front window.

      "I'm sorry, you wanted an honest answer, alright?" He sighed. It was easier to fight two professional wrestlers in a cage than discussing feelings with Marie. In some way this was like a Russian roulette. Every remark could be the wrong one. He wasn't sure - though he had told Jean so - if Rogue really wasn't attached to him in a way anymore that wasn't good for any of them. He would never be able to love her the way she wanted it, and not just because Jean meant everything to him. "You saved my life twice. Of course I trust you. I just wish I'd know you better. It's a pity that we have so less time for longer conversations. Sometimes you hunt me in my dreams, by the way, but that's because of our touch after the first fight with the Brotherhood."

      "Are these nightmares?", she asked, unsure.

      "Sometimes", he nodded. "The strange thing is just- I always seem to be you in these dreams."

      "Very strange." She got a bubble gum from her jeans pocket, chewed it thoughtfully. "And I thought I was the only one with such dreams. But that's not what I wanted to ask." She turned her head that was still leaned to the restraint - she was tired since getting out of the plane - and looked at him from the side for some time. "If you trust me, why can't you tell me what happened to you on your journey to Alkali Lake? I know that it's something bad, I can see it in your eyes. Something worse than a past with Sabretooth in it."

      "Sometimes you scare me, Marie. I thought, Jean is the telepathic one?" He tried to smile. It didn't work. "Someday I'll tell you, I promise. But not now. I'm afraid we just missed an exit. Take a look on your map."

      Remy and Flash a few states away had a similar serious discussion. The first half hour she hadn't dared to disturb him, because he seemed to be quite nervous. After all he hadn't driven such a car for four years. But when they passed Rimes again and finally were on their way to Trent, he relaxed.

      Starting with a casual chat about the weather Remy tried - in spite of all warnings - to flirt a bit, but Cat let him down without mercy. "You wouldn't be the first man who's nearly fried because of upsetting me", she finally warned him when he still didn't give up.

      "What, cherie, did you ever chase Scott away with some flash?", he grinned. "I wouldn't wanna have a marital row with you..."

      She tried to just ignore his favourite pet name. "For once it was no marital row. And it was my ex-boyfriend."

      Her voice suddenly sounded so dark that he looked at her surprised. He realized that the time of teasing was gone. He had touched a sensitive subject. "Was it in Germany? What city do you come from, by the way?"

      "No city, a village with 300 inhabitants. Near to Munich, if you know that. There it happened, yes." She ran through her long black hair, absent-minded.

      "Ah, Munich... Of course, I've even been there once", he announced, proudly. "I did live in Europe till I was 10 years old, after all. I often was in Germany. So what was that with your ex?"

      "You're indiscreet", she complained.

      "That's Remy LeBau's nature", he answered promptly. "So?"

      She shrugged, took a look over her shoulder. Through the little window in the transporter she could see her mare. Though Adora had been so afraid to enter the trailer, she now stood inside very calmly, satisfied nibbling on her hay. Had it really been a good idea to take her with her? Hopefully nothing would happen to her. "There's nothing to say."

      "Quid pro quo, mon amie. Remy told you about his girl too."

      "Yeah, that was when you still thought you could lay me tonight", she answered dryly.

      "Never leave out a chance." The young French boy just couldn't be put off. "You made me curious. Now, tell me. How was he?"

      "Fabi... Fabi was a dream", Katja began, hesitating. How long she hadn't thought of him... He once had written an E-Mail, shortly after she had arrived at Xavier's, but she hadn't read it. "An illusion. That he wanted me just blew my socks off then. Hell! That man and the little inconspicuous Katja! I digged every word he said. There wasn't anything better than being in some bar with him and having everyone stare at us. Above all because I knew that many of my friends were jealous."

      "That's a bad trip, not love", Remy commented. "What happened?"

      Cat closed her eyes for a moment. A pain, thought to be forgotten, returned. "After two months I realized that I was just used as a stopgap for his former girlfriend. One week later he quit by internet. Apparently he crawled in the dirt long enough for his girlfriend to make her take him back."

      "Idiot... Was that when you got your powers?" Remy took a short look in the outside mirror. "This guy behind us makes me nervous. He could have passed us long ago. He's been looking at our boot since we left Rimes for the second time."

      "On this winding street I wouldn't risk that, either", Cat threw in. "We should have a break soon, anyway, then he's rid of us. As for your question... No, that wasn't the trigger. Some time later we had a bad fight. I got angry... My god, thinking about it today I realize how bare it was. It makes me sick. It was just luck that I didn't kill him."

      "As I said, I wouldn't want any trouble with you", Remy giggled. "Don't worry, I'm sure the little shock was good for him. He'll think about it twice before hurting someone's feelings next time. When was the next time you lost control over your powers?"

      "What makes you think that happened?" Her eyes narrowed. Had he listened to conversations again that weren't meant for his ears?

      "I'm not deaf, and I have no problem with English, though some people seem to think so because I sometimes talk French. Why else would you train emotion control with Jean three times a week if not to prevent yourself from causing a thunderstorm accidentally? Of course it seems reasonable then to assume that this already happened." He shook back his bangs in a for him very characteristic gesture.

      "Better concentrate on seeing the street through that curtain in front of your eyes." Ouch, that rebuke hurt, and actually Remy didn't deserve it. But some subjects just were taboo for Cat. "Take the next exit. You shouldn't exhaust yourself with driving. Besides I want to see where Ororo is."

      "Aye, Mylady." If he was insulted, he sulked like a child.

      Cat had to put herself together not to laugh. Remy was just sweet. She never could have had any romantic feelings for him - for that she was about to put him across her knees just too often - but she would have liked to have him as her little brother anytime.

      She completely forgot of the car behind them that really passed by the exit that they took.

      "What the hell are we waiting for?", Avery asked when they reached a parking space some miles away from the highway stop where they had lost their targets for now.

      "That's the last stop for more than fifty miles. There's kind of a dune ahead of us. It's easier to get them there." Toad turned down the window and reached out his tongue, got himself a dove that had dared to sit down next to their car.

      "Delicious", Ave murmured. "Did you ever..." He stopped. "What's that?" He pointed at the sky.

      "Ey, great, a paraglider! I'm impressed", Toad mumbled sarcastically, still chewing.

      "Yeah, of course, on that height, right above a highway. Surely. Probably the FBI's newest weapon." Ave got out of the car and watched the phenomenon with field classes. His dark foreboding got confirmed. On the phone Ororo had told him that she'd go with Flash to her riding competition, but she hadn't mentioned that she'd be on her way as an X-Man to protect the girl.

      For a moment he thought about not telling Toad but that was not a good idea. He was working for the Brotherhood right now, he better not forgot that. If he could stop Ororo now, he prevented that she'd be in even greater danger later in the fight. "Back to Wilson Stop! We've got a spy!"

      "Where the hell is she?" Cat restlessly looked at her clock. "She should have arrived by now."

      "Your impatience is unique." Remy got a few playing cards out of his pocket. "Do you want to see a trick?"

      "No. I want to know where Storm is. We're waiting for her for more than an hour now." Flash finished her coke and paid, ignoring her company's protest. "This is a company outing and paid by the Professor. Come on. Perhaps we see her somewhere outside." They left the restaurant.

      "I'm bored", Remy complained. "I thought we'd have some action, at least."

      "Be glad that we didn't meet any of Magneto's people so far", Cat replied. "Those aren't the most friendly people on Earth, you know."

      "I thought this is the X-Men's task, to defeat those bastards? Isn't that what this all is about?"

      "Oh, you think you're an X-Man yet? Interesting", Cat laughed.

      "Of course! This is my first official mission today, even the Professor said that." He proudly lifted his chin. "Hm, and Remy doesn't even have a nickname so far..."

      "Hell, I'd love to have some of your problems instead of mine. Finally stop talking about yourself in the third person, that's annoying!" Restlessly Katja took a look around. She couldn't spot `Ro anywhere in the air, though her friend had received her signal before. That was a very bad sign. She wasn't anywhere on the parking space, either.

      "What do you think, how should I be called? Explosion? Xero-Man? But actually I always digged Nightwing", he kept on thinking loudly.

      "Yeah, very imaginative. Well then, have fun learning how to fly", Flash commented.

      "You know what they say about living in glass and the stones? What was that about producing wind?" Again he shook back his bangs, carefully peeked through them at her to see if she was seriously angry about this remark. Preventively he went on distance.

      "Don't worry, I gave up trying to teach you manners." She rolled her eyes. "Besides you're stronger than I am."

      "Very wise, cherie", he mentioned patronizingly. "Ey, what's up?" He nearly crashed with her when she suddenly stopped right in front of the transporter of her car, stiffened.

      "Get inside. Start the car." Again Cat looked around. But this time she didn't search for Storm.

      "What...?" He stopped. Some bright green liquid stuck to the tailgate of the trailer. Something black was caught in it like a fly in a spider's web, demonstratively placed there. Looking twice he realized that it was a wrist clock. The digital indication blinked yellow - Cat's personal color - signing that the owner of the clock had received her signal. It was Storm's personal detector. Without any more questions he went to the car.

      Too late Flash realized the danger, and the only comfort was that it probably was her last mistake for today. Before she could call him back, she heard his quiet scream, then a muffled bang.

      When she ran there she realized the strong hail in the usual circle around her, the domain of her mutation. She hadn't wanted to tell Scott, but apparently her fear of Toad's revenge was bigger than she had wanted to admit to herself.

      There was no time left to think about what Jean had told her about emotional control. The frog got in her way before she could reach Remy who laid on the floor, blacked out. She shrank back. With a short look aside she spotted Storm, unconscious too, on the back seat of her car.

      She had just split seconds to decide. Fight or give up? Their plan didn't work out. Ororo had been meant to be the watcher, not the victim. If the new personal detectors failed now, then they'd all be Magneto's prisoners. Even if he planned to send them back home after doing his research, like he had wanted to do that with Flash before- the idea of their plan had not been to voluntarily give him the data that could mean the end of they world as they knew it. "What? What do you want, frogface?" She focussed her omnipresent anger on the Brotherhood on the clouds above her. The hail got weaker, was replaced by quiet thunder. Toad probably wasn't here alone, she knew that, but he was the easiest man to defeat, so he was a good start.

      "Not this time, darling." Todd opened his mouth, but not to reach out his tongue.

      Too late, much too late Flash thought of the one of his abilities that he barely used in the fight.

      Usually you just saw Toad jumping around or strangle people with his tongue. You completely underestimated that he could use the secretion that he had left so decoratively on the transporter before, as a sign of his triumph, use as a weapon, too. This liquid was dangerous, that Cat knew from the reports of the X-Men's few fights against the Brotherhood that had taken place before she herself had arrived at Xavier's.

      There was no time to avoid the attack. Instinctively she closed her eyes- the substance burned like fire and could seriously damage the eyes, that she also remembered from the mission protocols. Thick slime was sprayed out of a venom gland on Toad's throat and covered all her face.

      Flash stumbled back. She felt like throwing up, but she didn't get air anymore. Though she knew that Magneto needed her, she got panic. What if Toad ignored Erik's orders just like Sabretooth? What if he'd just enjoy to watch her die now and then would leave with the other prisoners?

      She didn't have to think about it anymore. A punch hit her with a big impact on her cheek bone. She hit her head on the side of the transporter. In addition to the angry pain in her malar bone a flash rose behind her forehead... And then the world around her faded.

      "Stop that nonsense." Avery knelt down next to Katja, destroyed the slime on her face with one short touch. "Magneto said something about alive, you remember?"

      "Any more critique? Don't be a bad loser, kid. Just because I didn't need any of your great abilities... Help me. And don't forget to destroy the clocks, they all contain detectors." They brought their victims to the backseat of their own car, also Storm, who had been just a distraction.

      None of the people on the parking space tried to stop them. Most of them fled, but a few ones took out their mobile phones.

      "Not good. Let's go before the police arrives."

      They just left the other car with the transporter behind.

      "You remember what I told you about names like 'Kid' or 'Junior'?", Avery asked, entering.

      "Is that a threat?" Toad pretended to be completely unimpressed.

      "If I threaten you..." Ave showed his prettiest evil grin. "...then you'll realize. But as for your skills today..." He looked at the prisoners, tried to hide his bad conscience. Toad hadn't been exactly gentle with Ororo blowing her out of the sky. "...they mean precisely dick. Next time you want to knock someone out, leave it to me, alright? It was not necessary to hurt them."

      "A second Magneto, that's what I needed." His partner rolled his eyes. "You need just an X-Men female to get paired with, alright. But leave me out of it, at least. If you fight, you can't have any feelings. If you don't understand this, piss off the team."

      Unfortunately he was right. Avery put himself together, tried to concentrate on the mission. He got his mobile phone and called Magneto.

      "Thanks for coming." The Professor shook Firestar's hand. "The pupils were very happy."

      "My pleasure", she smiled. "But we have to leave now."

      Iceman nodded. "Nothing happened so far. Probably we overrated Magneto's spying and all the trouble was for nothing. But if something happens, we still have the communicators. Just call us."

      "I'm afraid you're wrong." Jean joined them. "They have been captured. Apparently all of them."

      "Storm too?", Bobby asked, worried.

      "It looks so. Her signal was parted from the others before, but now they're all together on the same place. They're heading for the beach. Scott's already starting the flyer."

      "Well, what are we waiting for? Should we take Kitty with us?", Firestar asked the Professor. "Talking to her it seemed to me she's very anxious to finally do her first mission."

      He nodded. "Good idea. I'll tell her. Storm being out of it weakens the team. I wish I'd have accepted Marie's proposal to stay."

      Jean shortly put a hand onto his shoulder when she felt him blaming himself. "Nobody could know it would get that bad. We'll do our best, Professor, I promise. We'll bring them back."

      "Help would be great, anyway", Firestar remarked on their way to the changing room. "Isn't there anyone in this house who's trained well enough?"

      "No." Jean shook her head. "Actually it's still too early for Kitty, too. But we have no choice. You know, so far we were six people in the team, even eight with Kitty and Jubilee, who are about to join. But Magneto hit us on our weakest point. He split the group. I'm not surprised at all that his people could capture Flash and Storm. Probably they got them separately. Alone our people just aren't strong enough. That's what I realize for the first time today." She got her fighting suit.

      "Did you call me?" Out of breath Kitty entered.

      Without a word Jean gave her a uniform. "Come on."

      She was speechless for a moment, something that happened seldom enough. "Me?"

      "Any other X-Men-to-be in this room?" In spite of the serious situation the doctor had to laugh. "Fast! We'll dress in the flyer."

      As soon as the four of them had entered, Scott started off, in a speed that showed his impatience. "What took you so long?"

      "We just found out that we're too less people." Firestar sat down on one of the seats. She sure wasn't used to someone flying her anymore instead of flying herself, but it was quite comfortable for once.

      "Oh, really?", Scott hissed, directing these words on Jean, who just closed the paravant in the back of the flyer that had been installed just for such cases, if time was very short. "You have an idea? This was your plan, wasn't it?"

      "You're unfair", Firestar remarked. "I myself tried to stop Flash and Storm from doing this. Not even god himself could have prevented them."

      "Thanks, but I can defend myself alone", Jean mentioned flatly when she returned. She sat down next to Cyclops and searched for the detector signals on the main computer. "They're still far away from the beach, we've got some time left. We have to stay on distance, they may not see us too early." She lowered her voice. "Scott, I'm sorry. But I still think that the idea was right. This weapon is the key to mankind's doom. We just have to find it before Magneto can perfect it. We still can make it."

      "No, we can't", he contradicted her angrily. "You saw his last fortress! We just could leave it unharmed because he wanted us to! He just needs to lift a finger and close all the doors, then we're trapped. Magneto knows how to get Adamantium, I'd be surprised if there was any wall inside his castle that's not made up of it. With Logan and Rogue I would have done it, perhaps only with Storm, too. But not that way. We'll attack Magneto's people at the beach and free our people. That's the plan. Everything else is too risky, especially for people, who're with us for the first time. Remy, for example, or Kitty."

      "Scott, I know, you're worried about Flash, but...", she began.

      "Oh no, don't you DARE trying that!" Now he didn't talk to her anymore, he barked at her.

      Firestar and Iceman bent down very low. Kitty, who finally had finished putting on her uniform, practically crept to her seat.

      "First you come up with a plan that earns the grade 'hallmark Logan-proved', a plan like: Hit-your-head-against-the-wall-to-see-what's-behind... And then you blame me for worrying about my girlfriend who happens to be the middle of Magneto's attention right now. WHO'S unfair here?"

      "Scott, you can't protect Flash 24 hours a day. She has chosen this life herself, and you knew before that it wouldn't be easy if becomes an X-Man. You knew because you fought by my side for three years. Did you forget everything that the Professor taught us? Cat's a fighter, just like me. She had a great education, she can defend herself, and she's become an inalienable member of the team. If we fight, then you have to forget about your feelings for her!", Jean warned him.

      "If Magneto would have gotten her alone, she'd probably be in even greater danger. That way we're prepared, at least. If we leave out this opportunity to find the weapon now, it may not come again", Bobby remarked.

      Cyclops turned around to the others. "Are you ready to attack the Brotherhood's fortress? I don't want to hear any hero talk now but an honest answer. If just one of you feels unsure, I won't risk it." He looked especially at Kitty.

      Her voice faded because of his strict sight. "Well..." She cleared her throat. "If this building's really made of Adamantium, then it's better, if I'm with you. After all I'm the only one, who can go through it. I'll do it."

      Firestar wanted to say something as courageous as this, but then she thought of the fight just a few days ago, when she had been injured because of being careless. The media still wrote hurting comments about her duty. Jean's warning entered her mind. "Being alone - or with Iceman only - I wouldn't attack. I THINK, we could make it together, but... Well, that's the honest answer, you wanted to have."

      "If we'd have just one more experienced fighter with us", Bobby sighed. "That would help."

      "I'd know somebody", Kitty mentioned. "He... No, we wouldn't even know where to find him."

      "Him? You mean Spidy?" Scott laughed shortly. "I guess he would be a great addition, but to speak with you - we don't even have his telephone number."

      "We don't." Bobby had an idea. "McCoy! He should know! Firestar, how long does it take you to get there and come back?"

      "You won't even realize that I was gone", she grinned. "Would you open the roof for a second, Cyclops? You don't have to stop, I'll just jump out."

      Jean saw that he was still hesitating and used something that she hadn't done since they had quit their relationship. The link. A very special mental connection that had once been built up because of their feelings for each other. 'I'll take care of her, Scott', she whispered by telepathy. 'I'll protect her like Storm protected you and me to keep our minds free for the fight. Please, trust me again.'

      The Blackbird's roof gate opened. Firestar left the flyer. "I'll be back soon."

      Scott slowed the machine down for they were nearing the beach. 'I never stopped trusting you, Jean.'


      Part 3 will be up tomorrow ;) Feeeedback? ;)

      B'Teena DOL
      He-Man/She-Ra & X-Men lair

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