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X-Men: Academy- MY FRIEND, MY ENEMY (Part 3, last part)

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  • B'Teena DOL
    why it s finished :) Reviews would still be appreciated ;) ... Series: X-Men: Academy Title: MY FRIEND, MY ENEMY (Episode III) part sent to this list: 3
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 26, 2002
      why it's finished :) Reviews would still be appreciated ;)


      Series: X-Men: Academy

      Title: MY FRIEND, MY ENEMY (Episode III)

      part sent to this list: 3

      author: B'Teena DOL

      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 ;). Just Avery, Flash and Rose belong to me.

      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/New character, Iceman/Firestar, Storm/new character

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

      special guest: Firestar/Angelica Jones, Gambit/Remy LeBau, Beast/Hanry McKoy, Peter Parker/Spiderman

      Feedback: Yeeeeeah :-D

      Rating: PG-13

      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 :).

      "Marie! What a wonderful surprise!"

      Rogue and Wolverine finally had reached their destination, a village called Rein. After a few minutes of searching they had found the man who was supposed to answer the girl's questions. "May we come in?", she asked.

      "Who's 'we'?" He looked aside and spotted Logan. "OH... of course." The scary appearance of the other man frightened him visibly, but his joy to see Rogue was bigger. He wanted to hug her but she shrank back.

      "I'm sorry, I...", she began.

      "Oh, that." He nodded. "It's okay. But may I shake your hand, at least?" He pointed at her gloves.

      "Of course. I'm glad to see you", she said honestly.

      "I'm glad too. Sit down. May I offer you something?"

      "Just information, Larry." Marie took a deep breath. "I'm here because of my parents."

      "Yes, I thought so." His sight got sad. "I'm so very sorry, Marie. I know how much you loved them. This terrible accident... The police still doesn't know how it happened. I would have called you, but I didn't know, where..."

      "Wait!" She got pale. "What are you talking about? Which accident?"

      "Oh my god." The old man began to tremble. "Didn't they call you? Your relatives... Didn't someone...?"

      "I don't think that anyone knows where I am. Larry, what happened?" She got scared more and more.

      "I hate to tell you, being a stranger, but... Your parents are dead, Marie. Their house exploded yesterday for an unknown reason."

      Logan placed an arm around Rogue, held her tight gently, when she started to cry. "I'm sorry, kid", he said, full of consternation.

      "So I am, though they don't deserve it", Larry nodded. "Heaven forgive me to say that. You know that I liked them both very much, Marie, but for me there's nothing worse than disowning a child. I never had an easy life with my own six boys, but never I would have turned from any of them. When Sarah and Norman told me a few months ago that they cancelled the contact with you, then I knew that I didn't want to have anything to do with them anymore. I just couldn't understand that again..." He stopped.

      "What?", Logan asked. On the way Marie had told him of her vision that she had had in Xavier's office. Now it was getting interesting, that was, why they were here.

      "Nothing." Larry stood up, went to the window. "Something that I haven't thought of for a long time. Something that's passed too long to talk about it."

      Marie gently freed herself from Wolverine's hug. "I'm okay." She tried to calm down. She was sad that her parents had died such an early and terrible death, but the part of her that had died with this one horrible letter, could never heal again. She was sorry for them but she wouldn't let it destroy her. Just like her old friend, who had always been like a grandfather to her, had said: The people who had died in this house - not those that she remembered from the past - didn't deserve any tears. "Larry, I came here because I think that my parents hid something very important about my life from me. If you know something about it, please tell me."

      He nodded slowly. "Very well. Perhaps it's time that this lie comes to an end." He took a deep breath. "Do you remember the day when Melanie died?"

      "Very well. It was very bad when she had that accident. I loved her very much", Marie answered.

      "Melanie didn't die. She became a mutant when she got 13. That was when your parents disowned her." He ran over his eyes. "I know because my wife - may god bless her - was in hospital these day too. I wish I wouldn't know. You think you knew who your parents were, Marie? That's not true. These people... You never knew your mother, and you never knew father. These people died when Melanie got her mutation. They were replaced by cold, heartless munsters. Your twin sister is alive."

      "It just doesn't make any sense." During all the ride back Marie had remained silent. Logan was relieved when she finally spoke again. "It might be that she mutated earlier than me, that she had the same powers that I have now. I wasn't there when she had that so-called accident. My parents told me that she died. But truly Melanie killed a pupil of her class. That's what is said here, at least." Marie again read the file that Larry had kept with a few hand written notes, chronological listed facts, in case the Daniels would ever want to remember. Well, that was useless now. For them. "My parents never wanted to see her again. A nurse - there's no name - let her disappear, took care of her. Somehow she deleted all the data, so it looked as if Melanie really had died." Rogue closed the folder. "I don't understand, that doesn't fit my vision. If Melanie really came back that day, when I got my mutation... If she killed me... And that's what it looked like in the vision... Why do I have all the memory of the last years with my parents then and not hers?"

      "What exactly did you hear when you touched Mystique last time? What did she say?", Logan asked thoughtfully.

      Marie got a goose-flesh at once. "She didn't say it just then. It was one of her memories. It was... 'You're no longer part of the system. You're above the system. We're above it. I show you the way to live a happy life.' Oh my god. Marie slowly took her hand in front of her face. "If Raven knew of Melanie then... She was this nurse! She took my sister in!"

      "If she transferred all her hate on humanity on the child it wouldn't be surprising if Melanie had wanted to take revenge on your parents- or on you", Wolverine concluded.

      "Nevertheless, it doesn't match what I experienced when the Professor activated my memories. I know that this wasn't just a hallucination", the young woman insisted. "There must be an explanation."

      Logan again took one of his obligatory cigars. His unsteady hand showed that the story had upset him, too. He knew best how it was not to know your identity. "What do you remember about this day with your boyfriend, if you leave the vision out?"

      Marie frowned. "I came home from school..."

      "Were your parents there?", he interrupted her.

      "No. My mother came home later, but that was when David already was in my room. I only saw them on this afternoon when... when this thing with him happened. I had a bad shock that day, I can't recall much. I just know that I slept long this afternoon, till David knocked at my door."

      "So between you coming home and your boyfriend arriving something that was deleted from your memory could have happened", he mentioned.

      "Yes... Yes, I think so. What a harebrained shit is this?" With an unexpected aggression Marie kicked against the front window of the car, it nearly broke. "It looks as if we'd share something now, Logan. We both can't find our past because just our arch enemies know about it."

      When Avery and Toad wanted to bring their prisoners to the Brotherhood's motor boat, Magneto called them.

      'Don't come any closer to Snake Island.'

      "What? Why? What happened?", the Liquidator asked, puzzled.

      'They know. They're following you. They must have found a way to find you. Didn't you think of the detectors?'

      "Of course we did", Ave shouted, angrily. "Right now they're on the parking space of Wilson Stop. Ideas?"

      ,Come to the old fortress. Mystique will get you with the helicopter. Sabretooth and I will wait for you there. Begin the research in the meantime. I need this data at all costs!' The connection was cancelled.

      "Research? Is that supposed to be funny?" Stunned Avery looked at the phone. "How should we do any kind of research here?"

      "Plan B." Toad opened the car's glove compartment. "Medical basic equipment. Magneto always has another plan in store. Can you do infusions?"


      Impatiently his partner got an empty syringe. "Taking blood! You never worked in a hospital? What do you do for your living?"

      "Storekeeping", Ave answered dryly. "You seem to know more about this than I do, you do it."

      "Good idea. Drive to that car park over there. We've got ten minutes left. And try to drive calmly."

      "How very funny the Brotherhood is today... But if you're searching them anyway, look out for a second detector. One of them has to have one." Time was short. Again Avery looked at Ororo. 'Was it you, my angel?', he thought bitterly. 'Were you the trap that's been set for us?' It was time to quit this relationship before he couldn't make the difference between himself and the Liquidator anymore. Before he'd possibly make a mistake that would destroy both their lives.

      "Trouble, Mystique?"

      They were on their way to the humps where Magneto's old hiding place was.

      Raven silently cursed in the back of the helicopter. "I can't find any vein on the weather witch's body. Just like last time! No chance! And we have no time, none at all!"

      "How glad I am that I'm not the only complete idiot that hasn't made it", Toad commented sarcastically.

      "Let me try. Which of the weather witches do you mean?" Avery went back.

      "Not your big love, anyway", she hissed. "Spare me your comments, we're in a hurry!"

      "Don't panic. Be ready with the syringe." Avery put off his right glove. With the tip of a finger he made a tiny hole into the left one. "That should limit the mess."

      For the first time Mystique realized that he was left-handed. Fighting he had used both arms, but apparently he preferred the left one, anyway.

      Stoic calmly Avery put his hand around Flash's elbow. Through the free spot in his glove he produced with a tight pressure a tiny hole that reached the vein. "Enough?"

      "Perfect." She filled the last free units with Cat's blood. "Finally! I hope that's enough. Erik's a brilliant scientist, but without resources he can't work."

      "Why are we flying into this desert, anyway?", Avery asked. "You've got what you wanted, don't you? Let's drop the prisoners and fly home, then we're rid of them for today."

      "Magneto doesn't want to risk the X-Men finding Snake Mountain. We have to keep them busy in the old ruin until we're out of reach for them. They're too- attached to us lately." Mystique sat down next to Toad and took over the wheel. The helicopter was her shrine.

      "Talking about being attached, how could Magneto know that Xavier's group's following us?" Ave still didn't understand that.

      Raven grinned widely. "Not only the X-Men have detectors."

      "I'm afraid, we've been discovered, folks."

      "What do you mean?" Jean leaned over the sensors. "Where are they heading for?"

      "To the same place we've already been to. The mountain castle. I guess we won't see Magneto's new fortress today. They somehow spotted us", Cyclops mentioned, frustrated.

      "With that distance between them and us?", Iceman asked, doubtingly. "Unlikely. Do you hear that knocking on the ceiling too? Open the gate, perhaps Firestar's back already."

      "Why, I sure hope she'd be smart enough show up in front of the window if she was." Scott opened the gate of the Blackbird, everyone looked up. "Nothing. Didn't I tell you?" He turned his head again- and did an unplanned banking turn. "God damn!"

      Spidy laid all across the flyer's windshield, waved to the X-Men merrily and crawled back then. "Bad nerves, big boss?", he asked, laughing, entering the machine. "I didn't know I look so scary."

      Firestar followed him, sat down on a seat, exhausted. "Hell, I'm finished. That guy is faster with his webs then I'm with following wind..."

      "What's that?", Kitty asked curiously, pointing at the little peace of metal in Spiderman's hand.

      "Oh, your friendly salutation nearly made me forget." The man behind the red mask threw the gadget to Scott. "That stuck to the bottom of your ship. I could be mistaken but to me that looks like a detector."

      "I guess now it's clear why the Brotherhood knew that we were coming." Cyclops destroyed the thing with a weak laser ray. "Thanks, buddy."

      "At your service." He shortly bowed. "So, where's the problem? And there has to be hell of a problem, otherwise the mighty X-Men wouldn't have called for little Spiderman, would you?"

      "A second Logan, just what we needed", Scott murmured very quietly.

      Jean ignored the remark. "Have you ever fought the Brotherhood?"

      "Nope, not that I'd know of. Are these those freaks with the signs: 'Send the mutants to moon forever'?" He hung on the ceiling with one of his webs, upside down.

      "Ouch", Iceman commented. "You don't know much about mutants, do you?"

      "No", he admitted. "I did neither crawl out of an eye nor did I have a very bad experience when I was a teenager. I got my powers through the bite of a genetic manipulated spider, a few months ago. So, tell me."

      "I'm afraid we'll have to do that later. We're there." Scott searched for a landing place. "Before we go home we have to search the flyer. Magneto will probably try the same trick again. Get outside." He turned to Spiderman again. "You're supposed to save the virgin, defeat the villains and safe the world. Is that enough for now?"

      "I don't buy the virgin, but I'm with you." Spiderman seized Kitty when they left the Blackbird. "Did you put on the wrong uniform?"

      "There's non of my size so far", she mentioned, embarrassed. "I look terrible, don't I?"

      "No, just a little bit too young to fight super villains yet. Why the mask?"

      Kitty was the only member of the team wearing one. "I guess for the same reason that you're having yours for", she answered. "I'm an anonymous mutant, unlike Storm, Jean and Cyclops. I want to keep that."

      "So what's your mutation?"

      The first locked door. Scott laid his hand onto his VISOR- but Kitty was faster. She took a deep breath and ran through the metal, opened the door from inside then. "Any more questions?"

      "Wow", Spidy mentioned, impressed. "What do you need me for, actually?"

      Jean and Scott looked at each other, relieved. If it would keep on working that well, then they're chances weren't all that bad.

      "Now we'll see how much you learnt in your training, Avery. You've got to give me as much time as possible. Keep them busy." Magneto equipped Toad and Sabretooth with reproductions of the weapon that he had already used to fight the X-Men once. "For Firestar, Iceman and Jean Grey. Avoid shooting at Cyclops as long as we don't know the effect. I suppose the Liquidator doesn't need a firearm, does he?"

      "Not really. What will you do in the meanwhile?", Avery asked.

      "Doing more research on our mutant friends, and teaching some ethnology. I won't give up the newbie yet. Attack!" Erik entered the cell that the prisoners had been brought into.

      His group split up to attack the intruders from different sides.

      "Good to see you again, Flash." Magneto heartily smiled at the young mutant who always reminded him on his home with her European accent. She was the first of his prisoners to wake up. The fire, the temperament in her eyes amused him. Those young people had no idea what actually they were fighting for, but they did it with all their strength. "I apologize for the trouble, but after all we couldn't finish our research last time." He started up his laptop and inserted the first data that Mystique had come up with in a few minutes. "Interesting. Apparently you really were the basis for copying artificial mutations. Thanks. Some last tests..." Magneto went to Remy with an empty syringe, ignoring Cat's hateful sight. "Don't waste your time", he mentioned condescending, when he saw her trying to break her chains. "How's the young man next to you called, by the way?" He reached out his hand to place the injection.

      "The name's Gambit, you asshole." Remy opened his eyes, pulled his right hand out of the handcuffs that he somehow had managed to open while the others had talked. He hit the other man with all his strength.

      The complete unexpected hard punch didn't exactly knock Magneto out, but for seconds he was eliminated, anyway.

      Remy took the chance to throw his cuffs out of the window, so the enemy couldn't just use his powers to chain him again. "Come on, old man! Now try fighting me!"

      "Remy, take care!", Cat shouted, frightened. "Get out of here!"

      "Good idea, but too late." In a speed not to understand Erik got the bars from the windows and buckled them, using them as clamps, binding Remy's hands behind his back. "Courageous, my young friend. But my patience isn't endless, so don't try that again." He ran over his hurting chin. "How actually did Charles manage it in just a few days to make you fight the Brotherhood that much?"

      Cat looked at Remy warningly. Don't discuss with him, that meant.

      He didn't pay attention. "I don't need anyone to build up an opinion for me. Your people killed my best friends. So don't you try to convince me that you had such a bad childhood, cause I fucking don't care."

      Magneto laughed shortly, bitterly. "You've been one of them yourself. You couldn't be that blind not to see what the people think about us. If you're not sure, ask Flash. She can tell you what it's like to get threatened with knifes in public from other people." He turned to Cat. "Are you still sure that you're on the right side, after all you've seen? How much blind can anyone get with Charles' mind control?"

      "You're such a bastard", Katja said, stunned. "That Professor would never do that, and you know! Whom do you think you're fooling with this tactic? We'll never work for you!"

      "Never is an awful long time, kid." He neared Remy again. "I'm looking forward to the day when you'll change your mind."

      Finally Storm woke up too. Flash saw her sight at the door, saw her eyes get wide and looked into the same direction. Her lips showed a weak grin. "That will be the day when hell will freeze over, Magneto, and not an hour sooner."

      Erik turned around fast when he heard the energy discharge of his own weapon, but it was too late. Shadowcat, who had crept in appropriately quiet to her name, shot him. The reversal affect of the canon that Jean and Scott had reproduced in many sleepless nights of work, captured the leader of the Brotherhood in one of his own magnetic fields, threw him onto the floor. "You!" Every kindness left his voice.

      It was the first time that Cat saw him that angry. She realized that this man was more dangerous than they all thought. He was a ticking time bomb.

      "Why you?", Erik asked Kitty, fighting his own powers without any success. "Why do you protect people who nearly killed your best friend?" This time he didn't try to manipulate anyone. He really couldn't believe it.

      The girl lowered her weapon. "Very simple", she said quietly. "The men who attacked us were dangerous, but they were exceptions. Like them your people tried more than once to destroy members of our team. But the difference is that mankind will change someday." During that little speech she had went over to Remy who gave her a long metal stick that he had used to open his handcuffs. She needed a bit longer, but she made it to free Storm and Flash. "How did you do that? Let's go!"

      "I'm a magician, remember?", he grinned. "Cat, come on!"

      "Wait. Storm, help me with this." Katja leaned over Magneto's laptop. A security disc was in it, as she had expected it. Fast she saved the data on it that had been the reason for her risking so much today. "Thank you as well", she shouted at Erik, imitating his scornful tone from before, taking the disc. She just threw the laptop out of the window, that wasn't barred anymore now. She didn't fool herself in hoping that Magneto hadn't all the data in his main computer in his fortress, but like Remy had said- never leave out a chance. "Where are the others, Kitty?", she asked when the four of them left the cell.

      "Not far from here. We have to hurry. Sabretooth and Toad have one like this too." The girl pointed at her weapon. "Bobby was hit from what I saw before I could flee."

      "Someone else just got hit", Remy mentioned, leaning his head aside lightly. "Someone's screaming."

      "That's Sabretooth", Flash realized. "Sounds like more a scream of pain than of victory, but they need us, anyway. Fast! By the way, did I get this right? Gambit? What happened to Nightwing?"

      "A spontaneous idea", Remy grinned. "Fits me better, doesn't it? Could someone finally free me from this clamps now?"

      They were too late.

      Sabretooth had - again - caught one of Scott's laser rays trying to knock out the delicate Jean in squeezing her, taking her breath away.

      Mystique had been trapped in one of Firestar's fire rings and hadn't been able to just free herself. So finally Cyclops had gotten the long-awaited opportunity to shot her with the stun beam that he had promised her for so long. Actually he preferred to train with moving targets, but he couldn't claim that it hadn't been fun to pay her back for all the lost close combat fights.

      The fight toad versus spider had ended 1:0 for Spiderman. Toad wasn't the most beautiful wall decoration ever, completely trapped in the artificial spider webs, but he couldn't move anymore, that counted.

      "I didn't know these things are that strong", Kitty mentioned, admiring, looking at these very special chains.

      "They gotta carry my full weight through the city, they better be", Spidy grinned. "What about our biggest headaches today?" He looked at Storm, Flash and Remy behind Shadowcat. "You okay?"

      "Leaving out the fact that I can't move my hands, yes", Remy complained. "Scott..." He turned around. "Could you be of some help, please?"

      Cyclops laughed quietly, for a moment he considered leaving the young French boy to stew, which perhaps would have been good for his politeness, but then he destroyed the chains around his wrists.

      "Thanks." Relieved Gambit stretched his arms. "Can we go?"

      Storm wanted to answer, stopped. "You smell that?"

      Now Jean realized too. "Smoke!" She looked up to the ceiling. "The whole room's filled with smoke! Get out! Bobby, can you walk?"

      "I'm fine. I just can't become Iceman." The young man who had stayed in the background during the fight, rejoined the group. The reversal weapon had changed him back to his true identity in changing his natural coldness to heat. He was a bit weak because of the uncomfortable high temperature, but his life wasn't in danger. He didn't mind that the Brotherhood knew his secret now. He had never cared as much about it as Firestar.

      They wanted to leave the former lab- but there was no switch on the door to open it anymore. The metal was just gone. The fog thickened, settled on the respiratory tracks. They sight got worse in the room that was extremely bad lightened, anyway.

      "Cyclops, fast!" Jean began to cough. "Shot the damn thing or we'll die in here. Where's this smoke coming from? Do you see any flames?"

      "There are none, I've already searched for it", Firestar answered, coughing. "Besides I wouldn't be affected if this was a fire."

      Scott raised his hand to his VISOR, but right then the familiar green ray of a reverse gun was shot from the darkest corner, catching him.

      "Shadowcat, run!" In the short weak light Flash had seen who the last attacker today was. She knew that there was no time to lose. She gave Kitty the stolen disc. "Run to the Flyer and send this data to Xavier! Now!"

      "But you...", the girl began.

      "Leave! None of us can do that!", Storm shouted, too.

      The newest member of the team vanished through a wall. "I'll be back", she promised before leaving.

      "Scott, what's up? Are you hurt?" Flash knelt down next to her boyfriend who sat on the floor, coughing hard, his hands pressed onto his VISOR.

      "No... I..." He tried to breathe as shallow as possible. "I can't get us out of here." He took off the visual gadget, turned his head to the door and opened his eyes. What he had already felt turned out to be true: The rays of his mutation were gone. "I..." He blacked out.

      He wasn't the only one. Jean, Bobby, Flash and Firestar were knocked out by the lack of air as well.

      Remy dragged himself to the door arduously. "Let me try, mes amis." He took some playing cards out of his pocket. "Gambit has no idea if this will work, so say a little prayer." He reached back widely and threw the thin plastic against the door. The cards became tiny throw missiles, each with the power of destruction of a mini bomb. The door got a few wholes but they were too tiny. "I'm sorry..." Remy collapsed.

      Storm and Spiderman who were the last ones awake, panting stumbled to the corner that the reversal ray had come from. Ororo stayed behind their new friend because she knew that this weapon could knock out her easily as well, while it wouldn't affect Spidy's artificial mutation.

      But the Liquidator already was gone, as silently as he had appeared.

      The last fighters had to give up. Seconds later all the X-Men were defeated.

      Later they couldn't tell how long they had been unconscious. When they woke up, the smoke was gone. Except for a dry pain in the throat everyone was okay. The enemies were gone- and the door could be opened again.

      "He just wanted to stop us long enough till the Brotherhood was gone", Jean remarked.

      A cold shiver was sent down Flash's back. "Shadowcat!" She ran to the flyer, Storm and Remy followed her.

      "Scott? Are you okay?" Jean went to the leader of the team who leaned to a wall, completely absent-minded, his eyes closed. "What happened?"

      "The weapon..." He leaned back his head, opened his eyes just a little bit. A huge hole was burned into the ceiling. "It's over." He put on his VISOR. "The weapon eliminated my laser rays. Just for a short while, but they were gone."

      She placed a hand onto his arm, knowing how serious this discovery was. "What do you say, shouldn't we talk about it at home?"

      The Liquidator hadn't hurt Kitty, either. He had defeated and chained her, but she was unharmed. And the data had been sent to Xavier, as she reported immediately when she had been freed.

      "Well done." Flash hugged her shortly. "And this was only your first mission. Magneto and his people better take care in the future. We wouldn't have made it without you."

      Kitty blushed behind her mask, embarrassed sat down on her seat. "Where are Iceman, Spiderman and Firestar?"

      "Over there." Jean pointed out of the window shield. "They said they have something to talk about."

      Firestar and Iceman left the scene elegant as usual, her flying, him gliding on an ice path. Spiderman stuck to Bobby with a little web.

      Relieved that nothing had happened but kinda depressed, anyway, the team left the place of their defeat.

      "Cat, you come with me to the woods?" Rogue found Flash in front of Jean's lab on the next day, restlessly walking from one side of the room to the other.

      "I prefer to wait for results from in there." Katja pointed at the closed door with her head.

      "You don't do anything else since six hours, my dear. You come with me or I'll tell Logan to make you do it", Marie threatened her. "I already saddled Adora. It will be good for her if you take care of her a bit after the shock yesterday. She was alone on a strange highway parking space for hours, after all."

      "Always touch the most sensitive point, do you?", Cat complained. "Okay. But just an hour."

      "Where's Scott?", Marie asked when they left the mansion.

      "Teaching some extra driving lessons. Remy wants to do the motorcycle license", her friend explained. "Did you hear what he did yesterday?"

      "I read the report. He surely has a few cool tricks", Rogue nodded. "If he continues like that he'll be our leader one day."

      "I guess some people wouldn't agree to that", Katja grinned. "Marie, how was your trip yesterday? Did you find what you were searching for?"

      "Partly", her friend answered truly. "I already told the others, please don't ask me. Logan and I will have to settle a few things soon. Until then I don't want to say anything that I don't know for sure."

      "Understood and accepted. What about a little race?", Cat asked, smiling. "Adora and Twister, the old fight. Perhaps you make it just for once to beat us." She started off.

      "Ey, that's unfair!", Rogue laughed. "You're cheating!" She let her stallion run as well.

      For a few minutes the girls could forget everything that made the life in the mansion so difficult at present.

      Cat kept her lead, even increased it. Adora had become very fast, compared to when she had gotten the mare. When she finally stopped to wait for Marie she saw something very shocking on the path nearby: Two young people whom she knew very well, hugging each other tightly. "Good Jesus..." She was so surprised that she didn't even realize that she had spoken it loudly. Twister neared. She put herself together, turned Adora around, trotted to Marie to keep her from seeing what she had seen.

      "You okay?", her friend asked. "You looked like you just saw a ghost."

      "I'm fine." Katja took a short looked over her shoulder. The couple on the path had went on, she couldn't see them anymore. But she remembered the picture too well that had made her realize that there was even more trouble.

      Nobody was to know. Cause if Scott would get to know that Avery and Ororo were in love, he'd run amok.

      "What's bothering you, Ave?" Storm felt that something was wrong with the young man.

      "I. I don't know." He sighed. He had to tell her. Everything else was unfair. Thinking of how bare it had been yesterday... He could have killed her when he had turned the walls of the laboratory to a gaseous shape. If he had waited too long before cleaning the air... He had to forget about his feelings for her, delete them, act is if they had never existed. Or else he'd never be able to do his job in the Brotherhood well enough. "I thought of us." He took her shoulders and turned her to face him gently. "Ororo, I..." He stopped. If she would just stop looking at him like that... The fear in her eyes broke his heart. He had promised her never to hurt her. And now?

      "What is it, Avery? You... you look as if you wanted to quit." She took a step back. "Did I do something wrong?"

      He couldn't do it. It was impossible. Seeing her like that was worse than the anger about his own stupidity. "No." He pulled her close, held her tight, caressing her back. "I'm afraid to lose you, `Ro."

      "Not if it's for me", she answered steadily.

      She sounded honest and she was honest- but nevertheless her fragile body trembled under his hand. It shook her. "`Ro, what... Why do you tremble that much? My god, please, tell me!", he shouted in despair. "I can't take this anymore. What are you afraid of?"

      "I can't", she whispered, hesitatingly leaning her head onto his shoulder. For the first time she herself made a gesture to be near to him. "Please, understand me. Someday, perhaps, I'll be able to tell you... But I don't make it right now. Give me time."

      "As much as you need." He kissed her forehead gently. "I hope that the day will come when you won't be afraid of me anymore." Phrases, well trained words. She was his enemy when they wore their uniforms. It was unlikely that this day would ever come. But Avery didn't make it to send her away, nevertheless. If there was any reason to stay with Magneto, then it was that the leader could against all odds be right. Perhaps one day the X-Men would join him. Perhaps, behind all the hopelessness, all the despair, there was a light at the end of the tunnel for him and Ororo after all.



      hm... reviews? ;)

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

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