Summary: The high school is searched and found empty, but that's when Xavier calls everyone back to the parking lot for some very interesting revelations.
Welly welly well well! Here's the second chapter, folks! Thanks to everyone who reviewed part one. You're in for some surprises, now. I know that at least one person isn't expecting what's going to be revelaed in this chapter.
Anyway, here we go. Enjoy, everyone and remember to tell me if you like it or if you think it stinks. ^_^
Kitty usually hated the hallways of the High
School. After all, it was where most of the geek-teasing went on,
it was where the lockers were, and it was the place where everyone eventually
ran into everyone else. All this aside, though, she hated them worse
at the moment. The orange light from the sunset poured in the windows,
making the scene just creepy instead of scary. And it just wasn’t
natural for it to be so quiet in the hallways. When not even the
voices of teachers drifted in the air, it was just too quiet.
It gave her comfort that Wolverine was there with her. She took comfort in the fact that should Mystique or one of the other members of the Brotherhood pop out of the woodwork, they would promptly be sliced to eensy, weensy pieces by his adamantium claws.
“So, like, any idea where to start looking?” Shadowcat whispered to Wolverine, not wanting to disrupt the unnatural silence for some reason that she couldn’t place.
“It’s your school, Half Pint,” Wolverine responded, “you tell me.”
“Well, I guess we could, like, start with the classrooms or something.”
Wolverine looked at her with a less than impressed look on his face. It was as if he was saying it right to her face. Brilliant idea. She laughed a nervous laugh, then moved toward the nearest classroom door. She turned the knob and opened it so that she and Wolverine could take a peek.
Out of the blue, something small, gray, and furry rushed out as soon as the door had cracked open. It announced itself with several squeaks as it skittered around the corner and down the hall. It was presently followed by a small, orange tabby cat, chasing it without relent in the general direction of the cafeteria. Dinner was obviously imminent.
“Eeew!” Shadowcat exclaimed. “Always knew there were rats at this high school.”
Wolverine sighed inwardly. Kids… he thought to himself.
Spyke looked around, wide-eyed, at the massive,
empty cavern that the fieldhouse became when it was dark and deserted.
Even though it had been some time since he’d come to Bayville from New
York City, he couldn’t help but feel a little agoraphobic. With all
the bleachers pushed back, the basketball hoops folded toward the ceiling
of the place, and all the other equipment tucked into their various closets,
the place stood stark and empty; a condition neither her nor his two cohorts
had seen it in ever before.
“Well, guess it’ll be easy to check this place out,” Spyke ventured.
“Yeah,” Rogue agreed, “no hidin’ places.”
“Still,” Cyclops put in, “we should look around pretty thoroughly. Never can tell where someone’s hiding.” He pointed to the stacks of bleachers against the far walls. “Let’s check over there. One of them might be in the top row.”
As Cyclops led the way, Spyke and Rogue looked to each other and shrugged, smiling bemusedly. Together, they looked up at the massive stacks, wondering just how would be the best way to get on top of them.
“I’ll spike us some handholds,” Spyke said, taking aim with an outstretched arm.
“Wait,” Cyclops said, pushing Spyke’s arm down, “we can’t leave anything strange here. We gotta make this clean.”
“Well, what should we do?” Spyke asked. “Just climb up there?”
“Me and my big mouth. No way, man. You wanna get up there, do it yourself.”
Cyclops looked over to Rogue. “Hey Rouge, how are you at-”
She crossed her arms over her chest. “Don’t look at me like that. I ain’t goin’ up there.”
Cyclops sighed and turned back to the stack of bleachers. He rubbed his hands together and took hold of the narrow hand hold the stacked bleacher at eye-level granted him. Tentatively, he put a boot against a similar crack nearer the ground. When he didn’t find himself tumbling to the linoleum floor, he dug in his other hand and foot. He reached the first hand up when he was sure the second was going to hold, followed by the first foot, then the second hand, second foot, and so on up the stack. After several minutes of cautious climbing, he slung his arms over the top bleacher and peered over the top of the stack to see that there was no one there.
“No one’s here,” he tossed over his shoulder to the other two below.
“Well, that was a waste of time,” Rogue stated.
And then it was time for Cyclops’ slow descent. Silently and patiently, Spyke and Rogue waited at the bottom. The only sounds permeating the entire feildhouse were Cyclops’ grunting and scrambling with the effort of his climb.
That is, until the air conditioner kicked in with a horrific hum-thrum that echoed throughout the cavernous building. Startled by the fans, Spyke took a step back, turning to the inside of the room to see what was there. Unfortunately, his step back had been straight into the stack of bleachers. When he collided, he shook the stack tremendously. Cyclops lost his grip and fell backward about four feet to the floor.
“It’s just the AC, Porcupine,” Rogue was saying to Spyke as if it hadn’t startled her at all.
Rubbing the back of his neck and groaning as he sat up, painfully, Cyclops looked up at the two of them with a death glare showing even though his crimson-tinted visor.
Unexpectedly, while Rogue and Spyke were going around about how X-Men shouldn’t be afraid of the dark, a white feather drifted down into Cyclops’ lap from somewhere high above him. He took it up in his hand and inspected it as he stood. He looked around the ceiling of the room, finding nothing. “Must be a bird in here somewhere,” he mused.
“You all right, man?” Spyke asked of him.
“Nothing a hot shower won’t cure,” Cyclops said, tossing the feather over his shoulder, “c’mon, let’s go look in the gym. There’s no one in here.”
As the trio strolled across the fieldhouse to the exit, the feather drifted on the breezes created by the air conditioning system. Had any of them turned back to watch it, they would have noticed it fade into non-existence.
“You zink zat I am Mystique.”
Xavier arched an eyebrow toward this other Nightcrawler. It had been a reasonable accusation, he had to admit. If she had wanted to put anyone off kilter in some bizarre way, impersonating an older Kurt Wagner might have been one way of doing it. However, Xavier had already gotten a reading on the one standing in front of him now. In fact, the thoughts he was putting out were hard to ignore. This Nightcrawler’s mind was racing, turbulent…
… Turbulent. Yes, it was Kurt Wagner, all right.
“No,” said Xavier, tapping his temple, “I can tell these things, as you know.”
“Ja,” Nightcrawler said carefully, “and zat is something I’ll need to ask you to stop. I’m here to change ze future, not make it vorse. Call ze X-men back. My people pose no zreat and ve only have time for explanations once.”
The future, then. Interesting. Nothing but a pretty fairy tale, was Xavier’s first thought. However, was there any other explanation? And, there was nothing to indicate that this future version of his student had any reason to cause them harm. Quite the opposite in fact.
There he went again. He’d have to abide by Nightcrawler’s wishes. Xavier made a vow to himself then and there to respect that wish. And he would impress upon Jean the importance of respecting it also.
“All right, then,” said Xavier, beginning to open his mind to the X-men in order to call them back, “I’ll ask that you call your people back here as well. There’s two of them, I believe.”
“I knew zat Cerebro would get you attention on us,” Nightcrawler said, turning away to regard the school building and tapping something in his ear, “Morlocks. All clear. Regroup at ze back parking lot.”
It was only a few moments later that Cyclops, Rogue, and Spyke had returned, heeding Xavier’s mental call.
“Hey, Professor, what’s up? Did you… whoa…” Cyclops stopped short upon seeing the older Nightcrawler. “Was… this one big gag from the get-go?”
“Didn’t know you had it in you, Professor!” Spyke added.
Nightcrawler remained where he was, still looking at the school, his back turned to the group of X-Men and his tail twitching.
“This is no joke, Scott,” Xavier began.
He was interrupted by the return of Wolverine and Shadowcat. Wolverine looked about ready to launch into some tirade at Nightcrawler for pulling some kind of prank, however Shadowcat’s gasp and sprint toward him told him that something else was up. Shadowcat ignored the rest of the group, Xavier included and stood directly in front of Nightcrawler.
“What happened? Why are you here, I mean now?” she asked frantically.
Never averting his gaze, Nightcrawler responded. “It didn’t vork, Katzchen.”
“What?” Shadowcat asked. “But I made it back again. Why didn’t it work?”
“Kitty?” Xavier interrupted the tirade. “Is there something you’d like to share with us?”
“Uhh…” Shadowcat stammered.
Nightcrawler’s tail was twitching even more, now. He hadn’t moved his one eye from the school building, as if anticipating something. “Vait,” he said, “vait until everyone is here. It vill be on anozer moment.”
“What are you playing at, Elf?” Wolverine asked, ever the skeptic.
Nightcrawler’s head snapped around, regarding Wolverine with his one eye, a rather nasty scowl on his face. “Don’t call me zat!”
There were startled gasps all around and a moment of motionless confusion before Nightcrawler turned back to regard the school again. “Zis vill be confusing enough as it is. Call me K.”
Everyone blinked for a moment, then they were interrupted by the approach of Storm, Jean, and Nightcrawler… their Nightcrawler. The three of them were, of course, brought short by the presence of the future Nightcrawler. Nothing was said as the entire group, minus Shadowcat and Xavier, did double takes, looking from one Kurt to the other.
And then, all the X-men broke into questions, all at once. There were so many, so fast, that not a single one of them could be separated from the others to make an audible statement. However, there was one small space of silence where Nightcrawler dubiously approached K. They regarded one another for a moment, Nightcrawler circling around K as if inspecting his reflection in a fun house mirror.
“Vhere… vhere did you come from?” Nightcrawler asked.
K let out a derisive snort. “You,” he said, simply, turning back to the group. Xavier had just managed to get the X-Men under control.
“I’m sure everything will be explained shortly,” the professor stated, “correct… K?” He turned back to the older Nightcrawler, his back to the X-Men. “We’re all here. Where are your two companions?”
As if on cue, the little orange tabby cat that Wolverine and Shadowcat had encountered in the school dropped from the tree, the little gray mouse in his mouth. He laid it in front of Xavier, then sat on the pavement, looking triumphant. K didn’t waste a single moment and grabbed the cat by the scruff of its neck.
“I told you to vait inside ze school!”
“Ow, ow, ow!” the tabby exclaimed, thrashing about. “Put me down, put me down, okay, okay!” K dropped the cat and it landed on its feet. An instant later, it shifted and rippled, morphing into the taller, upright form of a young man. He was about a foot and a half taller than K, locks sandy blonde hair framing his face and partially obscuring his two blue eyes. He was dressed in dark green, punctuated in places by some sort of brown armor. He rubbed the back of his neck and cast a bit of a glare at K. “You know, you’re not supposed to do that to a cat that’s over three months old.”
“You vere supposed to vait inside until I gave ze all clear.”
“I was supposed to hide until you gave the all clear. You never said where.”
“L… Lycanthrope?” Shadowcat inquired, eyes wide with astonishment.
“Hey, Kat, good ta’ see ya’ again!”
Shadowcat circled around him once, getting a good look at him. “Whatever happened to that scrappy little kid that was always, like, getting into trouble?”
“The same thing that happened to me,” said a woman’s voice from above. Everyone looked to the sky and found a massive pair of white wings descending toward them. Once they had lighted on the ground near them, the folded back and faded away, revealing a young lady of about fifteen or sixteen. She was dressed in white, a single gray chestplate covering her torso. Her black hair was pulled back into a tight braid which went halfway down her back. Her green eyes had a sparkle of mischief in them. She put her hands on her hips. “Ten years happened, Miss Kitty.”
Shadowcat stared at the woman, confused. “Who are you?”
“Don’t tell me you don’t remember me. It’s little Angela. But, they call me Angelique where we go out.”
“Whoa! Time out!” Spyke interrupted, making a T with his hands. “Can someone please explain what’s going on? How does Kitty know these people?”
“Ve should start from ze beginning,” K stated, approaching the group and effortlessly commanding everyone’s attention. “You see,” he continued, “to me… all ze X-Men have been dead for twenty-five years.”
Ha! Weren't expecting that, were ya'! ^_~
I'll get chapter three up as soon as is humanly, possible. Until then, ja ne! ^_^