Passing Time, Bringing Dawn

by Berzerker_prime

Summary: A little down time for the group of X-Men and Morlocks as they wait for an indication of Mystique and her schemes to kill Senator MacKensey.  Lycanthrope and Angela get taken out for a taste of a normal life and Lycanthrope makes some interesting revelations about himself.

    Holy COW, this chapter turned out long!  Much, much longer than I had anticipated.  Again, here's another case of how I thought about breaking it up, but it just wouldn't have worked.  I guess it makes up for the extreme explaination-ridden, story-thin third chapter.  So, enjoy!  ^_^
    For the record, this is probably as close to a songfic as I'll ever get.  There's a scene that was inspired by a scene in the musical "Chess" and I had originally intended to use the song from that scene, "Apukad Eros Kazen."  However, I came across a different song that fit the overall theme of the fic.  It's a song called "Tir na N'og" which is sung by Lesa MacEwan and can be found on a CD called "Celtic Myst."
    Special thanks to Kyheena for cracking the whi- er, I mean, her constant encouragement while I had a bit of a writer's block on this sucker.
    Now, on with the chapter!  ^_^


     “Try it now,” came Lycanthrope’s voice from beneath the console of the Cerebro computer.  Xavier started himself back awake and slipped the headgear on, kicking his talents to life and willing the machine to do its work.
     Finally.  It had taken them all night, but they finally had the thing working again, searching not for new Mutant signatures, but for Mutant signatures slightly out of phase with time.  After nearly ten hours of work. Cerebro was finally getting readings other than static.
     “Ya’ gettin’ anything, Egghead?” the younger Mutant asked, standing once again and wiping his hands on a rag.  Xavier found himself quite impressed with Lycanthrope.  He was only around the age of seventeen and he had been able to figure out the complex circuits and machinery of the computer that had taken Xavier himself his entire life to build.  It was quite the startling revelation for the telepath.  Here he had been, working to harbor his students.  Teach them all he could, yes, about their powers, about the world, about themselves.  And then, there was Lycanthrope, who had grown up having to hide from the world as a whole and who knew more about things than Xavier could have imagined.
     “Yes,” Xavier responded to the boy’s question, “it’s finally picking up what it should.  But I’m not picking up any time variant signatures.  Are you certain that your Mystique, from the future, is here?”
     Lycanthrope put his hand that was holding his rag on his hip and sighed.  “Yeah, we know she went back in time.  She left our time before we did, by a good four years, in fact.  Maybe her target date wasn’t until day after tomorrow, when MacKensey is killed.”
     “Perhaps,” Xavier mused, taking the Cerebro headgear off again and resting it on its place on the console, “in the meantime, all we can do is wait and keep an eye on MacKensey to make certain nothing happens to him.”
     “And the two of you should get some sleep, already,” Logan’s voice came from the doorway.  He had always been the first one awake and this day was no exception.  He was already fully dressed and had the morning newspaper in hand.  “We can handle things for a few hours, Charles, and we may need you later on.”
     Xavier allowed himself a small chuckle and began to wheel himself out of the room.  “I’d say it’s a bad omen for you to be telling me to be reasonable, Logan.”  Nevertheless, he yawned widely, as did Lycanthrope.  Under Logan’s watchful gaze, the two of them left Cerebro’s alcove, letting the door slide shut behind them.  Logan offered Lycanthrope his room to sleep in and Lycanthrope gratefully accepted.  Xavier disappeared down the hallway to his own room and Logan led Lycanthrope to his.
     It was halfway down the upstairs hallway where the tiny communication device in Lycanthrope’s ear began to squeal and chirp, quite loudly.  Letting out a surprised yelp, he grabbed it and yanked it out of his ear, holding it at arm’s length.  A moment later, filtered through the static and the exceedingly loud interference, a voice emerged.
     “Lycanthrope, are you there?  Lycanthrope?”
     “Jack?” Lycanthrope shouted into the device.  “I can barely hear you.  Just hold on a sec’.”  He turned back to Logan, urgently.  “I need a speaker, now.”
     “Kurt’s got a stereo system in his room,” Logan replied, chucking a thumb over his shoulder.
     And they were off, sprinting down the rest of the hallway and bursting into Kurt’s room, the ear comm screeching all the way.  Not an instant had passed before there was a yelp and a bamf from Kurt’s bed, shortly followed by another bamf above them.  A large blanket came fluttering down on top of Logan and narrowly missed Lycanthrope as he zipped across the room and pulled one of the speakers of the stereo system off the shelf.  He plopped down with it on the floor and had the back popped open in an instant.
     “Mein gott!” Kurt exclaimed from atop the chandelier where he had bamfed to when he had been startled out of slumber.  “Can’t a guy sleep in on Saturday?”  The light fixture swung back and forth gently under the sudden shift of weight.  “Are you crazy or somezing?”  He teleported back down to the floor and spotted Lycanthrope taking apart his speaker.  “Hey!”
     “Easy Elf,” Logan cautioned, clamping a hand down on Kurt’s shoulder, “we’re just borrowin’ it, that’s all.”
     There was a patter of several sets of feet outside and suddenly, the entire household, minus Xavier who couldn’t wheel himself up the stairs, was peering in the door.  “What’s going on?” Scott asked for the group.
     As if in answer, the blare from Lycanthrope’s comm began a feed through the speaker.  “Jack, we’re all set,” the Morlock practically shouted into the comm.
     “Lycan… is K… th you?”  The signal was still heavily broken by static.
     Coincidentally, K had appeared on the sill of Kurt’s window and hopped inside the room at about the same time that Angela pushed her way through the crowd at the door and entered.
     “Yeah, Angela’s here, too,” Lycanthrope responded, “what ya’ got for us?”
     “They found the… place.  Toad and Fire Bom… to the secondary compound… to leave the… generator behind… on your own… no way to send… through to help.”
     K snatched the comm out of Lycanthrope’s hand.  “Ve planned on going solo anyvay, Jack,” he said into it, “do you have any information on Mystique?”
     “Tha… e kicker,” Jack’s voice responded, wedded to the static, “we’re not… killed MacKensey.  Video footage of… showed a man.”
     “Never mind vhat she looked like,” K ordered him, “vhat about her timeframe?  Is she here yet?”
     “Sorry, K… don’t have… thing about th…”
     “And Forge?”
     “Same thing as… vry day.  Still no… him.  We can’t… up much longer… to get moving or they’ll… track us… check in… if we can.”
     And the signal went dead and the room was silent for several long moments.  At length, K handed the comm back to Lycanthrope who disconnected it from the speaker.  The shape shifter picked up the ransacked pieces and handed them back to Kurt in a pile.
     “Uh, sorry,” he mumbled as Kurt made a sour face at him.
     Logan put his hands on his hips and looked to the group at the door.  “Well, since everybody’s awake now, why don’t we all get to work.”
     That instantly induced groans from the entire group.

     Lycanthrope floated in the heavenly fluff that surrounded him, half awake.  Never before had he been so comfortable, so warm and cozy.  For the very first time in his entire memory, he had gotten a full eight hours of complete, total, uninterrupted sleep.  He’d finally been roused from sleep when he heard, or thought he heard, another approach.  Not wanting to leave the comfort of the bed, he pretended still to be asleep.  A fair amount of time passed and Lycanthrope didn’t hear anything.  For a moment, he wasn’t certain if the other person had left or not until he felt a hand lightly run over a patch of his sandy hair.  There was a soft sigh, then footsteps as the other left.
     The young shape shifter peeled an eye open, drowsily, and looked about the empty room.
     Perhaps it had only been his imagination.

     K silently closed the door to Logan’s room behind him, sighing once again as he wondered, not for the first time, if what he and the other Morlocks were doing was the right thing.  Certainly, setting time right, making certain that nightmare that passed for a future never happened, was a goal worth fighting for, worth even dying for.
     Would it come to such a thing?  Had he acted in haste?  What if it wasn’t possible?  History had changed once already when they had tried to alter it.  What if it happened again?  What if it had all been as Forge had said before he had gone…
     But that was another matter entirely.
     If it was that way and nothing could be changed, then where was the harm in trying?
     And K’s thoughts went back to Lycanthrope once again.  Perhaps he had made a mistake in bringing the boy along.  After all, despite how quickly he had had to grow up, he was still just that, a boy.
     His boy.
     Setting time right would mean that K would have to give him up.  No one knew where he had come from as a child, Jack and Mylene had simply found him.  So, even if he did somehow remember through the setting right of time, he would have no way of finding him.  He had no way of knowing what kind of a life he would be born into, about seven years from the present time.
     For seventeen years, the Morlocks had raised Lycanthrope as one of them.  The boy was perhaps more a Morlock than anyone else.  From the moment K had first set his eyes upon the child, for at the time he still had had both, K knew that the Morlocks were all that tiny little bundle had had.  And then, in that horrible time when K had lost his eye, everyone assumed it had been his devotion to keeping the Morlocks safe that had enabled him to keep silent.
     But it had been the child.  K had been unwilling to give him up then, and he now found that the same held true.  The more it all went around in his mind, the more he found that bringing Lycanthrope along had been a mistake.  He wasn’t sure he would be able to set right what needed to be set right.
     Footsteps finally broke K out of his circle of despair.  He looked up and found his present day counterpart at the other end of the hallway.  The slight mischievous glint that had been in Kurt’s eyes vanished as soon as he locked his gaze with K’s one, cold eye.  There was a slight look of recognition there and K studied it for but an instant, wondering just what he had found in himself.
     “I recognize that look,” Kurt said to K in perfect, fluent German.  Since it had been a long twenty-six years since K had heard his native language, it took him a moment to register what he was hearing.
     “Yes,” K finally answered, keeping his own speech in German, “a certain professor had it of you, once,” he said, walking past Kurt and back to the lower level of the mansion.

     Lycanthrope looked up and down at himself in Evan’s mirror, trying to discern what reaction he should have to his new attire.  It certainly wasn’t what he was used to, that was for sure.  But he found that he liked the hodge-podge outfit the X-Men boys had put together for him.  A pair of Scott’s khaki trousers, a t-shirt from Evan, and a flannel shirt of Logan’s rolled up at the sleeves.  And the ladies had seen to it that it all matched fairly well.
     With over a day of time and nothing to do but keep an ear out, Xavier had suggested that the teens take a break from it all and show their guests from the uncertain future the outside world before it had all been shot to hell.  He hadn’t, of course, put it in those terms, but Angela had endeavored a translation of the professor’s aristocratic speech.  Kitty had been first to put her hand up to show the two around and had pigeonholed Kurt into going along.  “To maintain the illusion of a double date,” she had said, to which the entire room’s collective jaw had dropped and she had hastened to stress the word “illusion,” blushing up a storm.
     Naturally, K had objected to it.  The outside world didn’t know the Morlocks from the future were Mutants and the best way to keep it that way was to keep them inside, where they were safe.
     Jean saw through it, of course.  “Oh please,” she had said, “you’re just worried about how much trouble you used to get into as a teenager.”
     “Vhat of it?” K said in all seriousness, arms akimbo.
     “Trouble!?” Kurt interjected.  “Hey!  I resemble zat!”
     “That’s ‘resent’, ‘Crawler,” Evan corrected.
     And so, the quest to find Lycanthrope and Angela suitable clothing had commenced and it had finally come to fruition an hour later.  Lycanthrope took one last glance in the mirror, running a hand through his scruffy blond hair.
     “Not bad,” he told his reflection.
     Just then, there was a knock at the door and Angela entered, clad in a multicolored sari borrowed from Ororo and one of Jean’s white, sleeveless turtlenecks.  Lycanthrope’s breath was taken away.
     “You ready to go?” Angela asked.
     Lycanthrope stuttered for a moment, trying to untwist his tongue.  “M-my readiness… exists on so many levels.”
     “Uh huh,” Angela said, putting her hands on her hips, “you’ve been listening to Jack talk to Mylene again.”

     Kitty and Kurt had chosen to take them to a movie at the Bayville theaters.  The two Morlocks were amazed at the size of the room and before the lights had gone down, they had been spending their waiting time looking around at the old-style theater house decorations.  When the lights had gone down, they had all but bolted out of their seats, expecting some catastrophe.  They had been instantly hushed by the rest of the audience.
     As the movie progressed, the air conditioning kicked in and Lycanthrope felt Angela give a shiver next to him.  He struggled out of the flannel and draped it over her shoulders.    She gave him a thanking smile and turned back to the movie, resting her head on his shoulder.
     Kitty noticed them a few moments later and elbowed Kurt in the side and nodded toward them with her head.  He gave a soft giggle and they both turned back to the movie as well, not entirely conscious of the fact that their own hands had found each other on the arm rest between them.

     Meanwhile, back at the Xavier mansion, Cerebro’s notice alarm had gone off and the professor had gone into the little alcove to investigate the findings.  Shortly, Logan and K had joined him, each looking over a shoulder at the screen.
     “What is it, Charles?” Logan asked.
     “Did Cerebro finally find somezing?” K asked.
     “Yes,” Xavier said, nodding, the wires from the headgear bouncing slightly, “a time-shifted Mutant signature.  The computer is searching the archive files for any match now.”
     “So, it looks like this might be our assassin?” Logan inquired.
     “Certainly looks zat vay,” agreed K, “vhat coordinates?”
     “Cerebro, position of Mutant signature,” Xavier ordered.
     “Location: Bayville, New York,” the computer sang in response.
     “Yeah yeah,” Logan said, sounding irate, “but where in Bayville?”
     “Signature untraceable.  Unknown interference is obstructing precise reading.  Mutant signature matched to archive files.  Name: Raven Darkholm.  Mutant known as: Mystique.”
     “Looks like this is it, then,” stated Logan.
     “Yes, I agree,” Xavier said, taking the headgear off, “we should get the students back here soon.  The future Mystique may be looking for them.”
     “Right,” said Logan, “okay, Big Crawler, you and I are gonna-”  Logan had turned to address K, but found him absent of the room.  Obviously, he had come to the same conclusion.  “Just great,” Logan mumbled to himself, bitterly.

     “That was magical!” Angela exclaimed as the four teenage Mutants strolled out of the theater building, past the waiting line of weekend movie goers.  “Who would have thought that Captain Hitchcock’s son would turn out to be the same kid that the alien commander had raised from infancy!”
     There were several groans and annoyed exclamations and gestures from various people in the line.
     “So, you guys go see movies all the time?” Lycanthrope asked.  “And you just… go out, just like that?”
     “Sure,” Kitty answered, giggling a bit, “if we just stayed cooped up at the institute all the time, people at school would think we were, like, a bunch of freaks or something.”
     “Oh, ze irony!” Kurt exclaimed, in mock drama.  “So, vhere to next?  Ze arcade?”
     “Oh, not again,” Kitty shot back, “you and Scott went over there, like, yesterday."
     “But I vant to beat Scott’s time on Doom Racer Four.”
     “I suppose you want to, like, rub it in his face or something.”
     “What’s an arcade?” Angela asked.  Kurt and Kitty looked at her as if she had just come from the Moon.
     Lycanthrope’s attention, meanwhile, had been caught by a loudly crying baby held in the arms of a young girl who couldn’t have been more than ten or so.  There was an older man next to her, who appeared to be her father.
     “Daddy,” the girl pleaded up at him, “Katlin won’t stop crying.”
     “Give her to me, Shannon,” the father said, reaching down and pulling the baby out of the girl’s arms.  He looked the baby over once to make certain she was okay, then came to a conclusion.  “I think all these people just woke her up, honey,” he explained, giving the baby back to the girl.  “Shannon, why don’t you sing that song that momma used to sing to you, okay?  Maybe that will calm her down and she’ll go back to sleep.  We can see this movie another day, I think, when we can find a sitter for Katlin.”
     “Okay,” Shannon nodded, her pony tail of red hair bobbing.  She seemed to search her memory for a moment, then began to sing in a rather well trained voice for a ten year old.
        A far away isle of earthly delight,
        Its princess awoke from a dream
        Of a young man more beautiful than,
        Any prince that she had ever seen.
        Tir na N’og is the land where she lived,
        The enchanted land of youth.
        Western beams shine on everyone,
         and every day it’s an endless warm afternoon
        There is play, basking in the pleasures of life.
     Lycanthrope found himself utterly entranced with the girl’s song and didn’t even realize it when he had started following the girl, the rapidly quieting baby, and their father and leaving the other three Mutants to babble over where to go next.
     He was stopped short by Angela’s voice.  “Hey, Lycanthrope, where you going?” she asked.
     He didn’t look away from the family, still rather entranced by little Shannon’s continuing song.  “I know that song,” he said, a vague tone to his voice, “there’s something so familiar about it.  I have to find out what it is.”  And before any of the other three could stop him, he was off, dashing after the family.
     He caught up to within sight of them again a block or so later, where they stopped at a car.  Lycanthrope hung back at the corner of a building as the father fumbled with some keys and unlocked the door.
     “Katlin’s finally asleep,” Shannon stated, putting the baby into the car seat in the back with a bit of a sad expression.  It didn’t go unnoticed by the father.
     “Shannon, honey,” he said, kneeling next to the girl, “are you okay?”
     “I’m just thinking about momma.”
     The father straightened Shannon’s baseball cap.  “Is this okay?  Me going out with another lady?”
     “Daddy,” Shannon said, doing her best to sound grown up, “why do you keep asking me that?  I think that Rachel’s a nice lady.  If you’re happy, I’m happy and momma would be too.”
     The father looked relieved.  “I’m glad to hear that, sweetie,” he said, rising again and fumbling with his keys some more.
     Lycanthrope was about to approach them, to inquire about the song, but a small group of rather large and imposing looking individuals beat him to the punch.  They were the rough and tumble looking kind and Lycanthrope didn’t like the look of it at all.
     “Evenin’,” the one with the large bat said, sarcastically, “you havin’ some car trouble, mistah?”
     The father backed up into the car as far as he could, clutching Shannon close to his leg.  “No, none at all,” he said nervously, “we were just leaving, in fact.  Shannon, get in the car.”
     “I don’t think so,” said the thug, smacking his bat on the ground next to the girl, “see, you haven’t paid the parking fee, yet.”
     “B-but this is a three hour parking zone,” the father said, desperately.
     “Oops!” came a sarcastic exclamation from one of the other thugs.  “Meter’s up.”  There were snickers all around and a third thug called on the first to waste the father unless he gave them his wallet.
     The thug was just pulling back his bat for the first blow when Lycanthrope sprang into action.  He launched himself around the corner, silently, willing his power to life and changing form to a large, powerful panther.  No one had seen him change or even seen him approach at all, so he managed to catch the thugs completely by surprise, tackling them and knocking the entire group of three back into the wall of the building.
     “What the Hell!” the first thug shouted in terror as he and the other two recovered.
     Lycanthrope positioned himself between them and Shannon and her father.  He growled fiercely, bearing teeth, and swiped at the three thugs with his front claws.  That sent the small gang making a mad dash for the other end of the block and Lycanthrope chased them around the corner, then returned to the girl and her father.  It wasn’t until he saw their reactions that he realized he had returned still in his big cat form.  He decided to go past them, hoping they wouldn’t run.
     “Daddy!  That big cat used to be a person!”
     The father seemed to get nervous about something.  “Don’t be silly, Shannon,” he said, “it’s probably just escaped from the zoo or something.  Isn’t that right, mister panther?”
     Lycanthrope stopped and sat down on the sidewalk, looking back and forth.  The father once again clutched Shannon close.
     Oh well, no sense in trying to hide it.  “Please, don’t be scared,” Lycanthrope said, “I’ll change back, if it makes you feel better.”  And he did, shifting back to his normal Human form.  “Are you two all right?”
     Obviously, the father hadn’t expected to have the panther answer him, much less change forms right in front of their eyes.  It took him a moment to find his voice again.  “Y… yes,” he answered, “are… are you a…”
     “Mutant?” Lycanthrope asked.  He hesitated before answering.  “Yeah.”
     “Daddy!  He’s like me!”  Shannon practically shouted.
     “Shannon, honey, shush,” the father ordered, urgently.
     Lycanthrope looked at the little girl in surprise.  “Really?” he asked.  He looked back to the father.  “Are you a carrier of the X-gene then?”
     The father shook his head.  “No, Shannon’s mother was.  We found out when Shannon was born and her powers woke up.  Shannon herself has the remarkable ability to predict events close to her.”
    “It’s nothing hard,” Shannon stated, “I just feel it, like I can feel momma, here.”  She pointed to her heart and her father smiled.
    “Can I ask your name, young man?” he asked.
     “It’s Ly-” He stopped and stumbled over his own tongue for a moment.  “I… I, never knew my real name.  I never really had one, since I don’t know where I came from.  But… can I ask a question?”
     Lycanthrope knelt down and looked at Shannon.  “I heard your song, the one you were singing for your little sister.  I couldn’t help but think it sounded familiar somehow.  Where did you learn it?”
     “My momma used to sing it for me,” Shannon answered, “when I couldn’t sleep when I was little.  I promised momma I’d teach it to Katlin and any other little brothers or sisters I got.”
     “Could… could I hear some more?”
     Shannon looked up at her father, and he nodded, so she started up the song again.
         Three hundred years will seem just like three
         Never sensing each day from the next
         It’s the land of eternal time.
         The princess now upon her white steed
         In search of the man of her dream
         She travels through the sea ‘till she finds
         A man whose name is Usean
         Usean, amazed this beautiful girl
         Remarkably has chosen him
         “To Tin na N’og,” the princess cries,
         “Come away with me, Usean!
         Tir na N’og is the land where I live
         The enchanted land of youth
        Western beams shine on everyone,
         and every day is an endless warm afternoon
        There is play, will you bask in the pleasures of life?”
     Lycanthrope listened intently as Shannon sang.  The more he heard of the song, the more familiar it sounded.  With the familiarity came a sense of safety, of love…
     … A sense of home.
     The song went on.  It told a story about Usean and the princess, how they made a storybook life for themselves in the timeless faerie land of Tir na N’og and how three hundred years of happiness passed for them like three before Usean began to miss his home and finally left, even knowing he could never return.  Lycanthrope found himself actually humming the tune along with Shannon.  Somehow, he wasn’t surprised that he knew the tune, as if by heart.  He didn’t even notice when she had stopped and he treasured the feeling he had for a moment.
     “Are you all right, young man?” the father asked.
     Lycanthrope snapped out of the happy stupor he had settled into and looked up to the father.
     There was something about him, too, that seemed familiar.
     “I’m okay, thank you.  Can I ask your name, sir?” Lycanthrope asked.
     “Danny,” he answered, “Danny O’Rourke.”
     “If… if you had ever had a son… what would you have named him?”
     “My wife, Madeline, had always liked the name Sean.”
     “Sean,” Lycanthrope whispered to himself.  He sighed and stood again, patting the girl on the head.  “You have a really pretty voice,” he said to her, “thanks for singing for me.  And thanks for answering my silly questions.”
     “It’s us who should be thanking you,” Danny reminded him, “if it weren’t for you showing up when you did, I don’t know what might have happened.”
     “I enjoyed doing it,” Lycanthrope admitted, then suddenly checked his watch.  It had been almost a full ten minutes.  “I should go now, sir.  I need to find my friends.  Thank you again.”  He turned and was about to go sprinting off back in the direction of the theater when Shannon snatched his hand.
     “I can’t wait to meet you later,” she said with a curious intensity.
     Lycanthrope looked back at her with a curious look on his face which slowly brightened.  “Yeah,” he said, “maybe we will meet again sometime.  Goodbye for now.”
     And they parted ways, Lycanthrope disappearing back around the corner.

     Lycanthrope found Kurt, Kitty, and Angela about a block from the theater in the other direction.
     “Where have you been!?” Angela snapped at him.
     “Yeah,” Kitty agreed in kind, her hands on hips, joining Angela in her interrogation of Lycanthrope, “Professor Xavier contacted us and said Cerebro picked you up using your powers.”
     “Did somezing happen?” Kurt asked.
     “Nah,” Lycanthrope waved it off, “just lost control for a second.  It’s fine, no one saw me.  Don’t worry ‘bout it.”
     “Well, just the same,” said Kitty, “maybe we should, like, head on back now, before anything else happens.”  Kurt and Angela both agreed.
     “Aw man,” Lycanthrope whined, “guess I’m out-voted.”
     “Deal with it,” Angela said, latching on to his arm, “and this is to make sure you don’t run off again.”
     Kurt and Kitty began leading the way back through Bayville toward the Institute.  They walked via some back roads of the neighborhood, past a few business buildings that had popped up in the middle of the town.
     Suddenly, a figure dropped out of a tree in front of them, startling the entire group into defensive stances.  The figure stood back to her full height and they were able to get a good look at her as she shifted back her brown cloak.  She was taller than any of them and as she pulled back the hood of her cloak, she revealed grey hair that still held a modicum of red to it in places.  But the thing that held their attention the most was her skin, a chillingly familiar shade of blue, white eyes piercing out from her face.
     “Mystique!” Angela exclaimed.
     “Mystique?” Kitty asked.
     “Your Mystique?” Kurt echoed.
     Lycanthrope took to the front of the group, placing himself in a menacing position should the older Mystique decide to attack.  Even though she had aged considerably, it looked as though she could still hold her own quite well, even against three.  Lycanthrope was about to confront her when another figure dropped out of the sky in front of them, letting out a fearsome growl at the newly arrived shape shifter.  K stood up, bounding back from his landing and took up a stance, facing off against Mystique.
     “Ve vere vondering vhere you vere,” he snarled, “vhat do you vant here, traitor?”
     “The same reason you’re here,” Mystique responded, “Senator MacKensey.”
     “You came to kill him, didn’t you,” Kitty accused.
     Mystique shook her head back and forth.  “No, that’s not it.  I have no interest in seeing that hell we’re forced to call a future.  I came back to warn you.  I know who will try to kill MacKensey.”
     No one changed their stances at all, but their curiosity was piqued.
     “Who is it, then?” Angela asked.
     “Someone you’ll never expect.  It’s-”
     But Mystique didn’t get the chance to finish the sentence.  A shot of laser fire rang out from the roof of the nearest business complex, scorching the ground exceedingly close to them.  All six lunged for cover at once, finding refuge behind a couple of trees and a large boulder that had been placed as landscape.  A few more shots rang out.
     “Where’s it coming from?” Kitty asked, somewhat panicked.
     “That’s fire from an XCF-40 laser rifle,” Lycanthrope stated, “from our time.”
     “Up zere!” Kurt shouted, pointing to the roof of the building.  There was a figure in black creeping along the edge, taking aim with the rifle.  A moment later, the tree that Angela and Lycanthrope were hiding behind caught fire from a shot, forcing them away and into the open.  The two of them scrambled for new cover and Angela tripped on a tree root as she turned.  Lycanthrope skidded to a halt and rushed back to her, helping her up.
     K popped his head out from behind the boulder to see where the gunman was, hoping to be able to teleport to him and overpower him.  Instead, he spotted the gunman already drawing a bead on Lycanthrope and Angela.
     “Look out!” he shouted, launching himself from behind the boulder.
     Lycanthrope and Angela looked up just in time to see the flash as the shot meant for them caught K square in the back and burned all the way through his chest.  The momentum he already had carried him forward as he stumbled to the ground.  Lycanthrope twisted around and caught him.  Not wasting a moment, he and Angela both grabbed a shoulder and dragged him back behind the boulder.  More shots rained down on them as they leaned the unconscious Mutant against the stone and checked for a pulse.
     It was weak, but thankfully enough there.
     “Take care of him,” Lycanthrope ordered, his eyes suddenly turning hard, angry, flashing with intensity.  He willed his abilities to life and changed form to a small sparrow.  Quick as lightning, he flitted up into the air and toward the building complex.  Once over the gunman, who seemed not to have noticed him in his small form, he changed into his favored big cat form, that of the panther, once again.  He dropped down on the gunman, knocking the laser rifle over the side of the building.  The gunman kicked up, flipping Lycanthrope over his head and whipping out a knife.  Once he had regained his feet, Lycanthrope made another charge for the gunman, but was repelled by several swipes from the knife.  The gunman pushed him back a few yards, then tapped a button on a small device on a band around his arm.  In a flash of white light and intense wind, the gunman disappeared.  Once he had regained his sight, Lycanthrope looked around for his adversary, but found no one there.  Both relieved and annoyed at the same time, he changed back into a bird and flew back down to the rest of the group.
     Wolverine and Storm had already arrived on the scene in the X-Van.  Storm was beginning to cover the area with fog and Wolverine was checking K’s rather massive shot wound.
     “What happened?” Wolverine demanded once Lycanthrope had landed and changed back into his Human form.
     “Our trigger man!” Kurt practically shouted.
     “Yeah, he just, like, started firing at us!” Kitty agreed.
     Wolverine cast a sidelong glance at the older Mystique.  “You mean it’s not her?”
     Mystique was standing over the group, a pillar of silence, her eyes glued to the wounded K.
     “They… they shot him,” Angela stammered, on the edge of a breakdown, “the gunman was aiming for us and he just… they shot him!  My god they shot him!”
     Lycanthrope put his hands on her shoulders, shaking her a bit.  “Get a grip, Angela.  We need to get K some help, fast.”
     “We can help him at the Institute,” Storm informed them.
     “No!  No, I can help him right here!”  Angela pushed past Lycanthrope and scrambled over to K, shoving Wolverine aside.  Wasting no time, she pushed her hands on to K’s chest, disregarding the blood that oozed around her fingers.  She willed her own powers to life and her hands began to glow and light began to pulse from her hands into K’s chest.  She cringed, calling Lycanthrope’s attention to her.
     “Angela, it’s too much for you!”
     “I can do it!”  She kicked her powers up and two white wings materialized out of her back, seeming to lend their light to her task.  However, Angela herself began to grow pale, her skin turning the color of a pallid grey.
     “Angela, no!”  Lycanthrope pleaded.
     “Leave me be!” she shouted back.  Another moment passed and she let out a short, sharp moan as if in pain.
     “Angela, please stop it!” Lycanthrope finally grabbed on to her and pulled her backward, away from K.  She fell back into his arms and he cradled her head.  She looked up at him once, then she promptly fell asleep, her wings disappearing.  She was still quite pale and Lycanthrope checked her over.  “Angela…” he said, petting her hair, “my angel…  My stupid… stupid angel.”
     Wolverine was back with K again, checking the wound.  “She managed to stop the bleeding, but he still needs help.  We’ve gotta get him back to the Institute, fast.”
     “It’s only a few blocks, I can take him zere,” Kurt volunteered, “I can get him zere instantly.”
     Wolverine nodded.  “Do it, Elf, and fill the Professor in on all this.”
     “We’ll follow in the X-van and be there in a moment.”
     Wolverine backed off and Kurt grabbed on to his counterpart.  The two of them disappeared, replaced by an expanding ring of smoke and the smell of brimstone.
     “Let’s get back, pronto,” Wolverine ordered, already making his way to the X-van.  Lycanthrope scooped Angela up into his arms and carried her there and Kitty and Storm followed.  They all piled into the van and Wolverine cast a glance back at Mystique.  Swallowing a growl, he forced himself to speak.
     “You comin’ or what?”
     Mystique merely nodded and climbed into the van with them.  Wolverine started it up and they sped off back to the mansion.

There it is, folks!  And now the problems begin!  Let the confusion ensue!  ^_^
But, while you're dealing with the confusion, remember to R/R, k?  ^_^
Until next time!  See you, space barber!  ^_~