Death of a Dream
Chapter 13: Bad Dreams
Kitty was dreaming, twisting the sheets as she writhed in
terror, running within her mind from the all too familiar
nightmare. It caught her, as it always did, pulling her in
slowly, inexorably, until she was trapped within her dream
self, knowing exactly what was to come and helpless to prevent
it. She watched from behind her dream-self's eyes as the scenario
played itself out...
She had returned to the Excalibur lighthouse, now an empty
shell of what it had once been. This place held more ghosts
now than it did good memories. Rachel, Illyana...her two best
friends had passed from this life during her days here, Brian
and Meggan were dead now, too, Pete was gone. There was nothing
left for her here now that Nightcrawler and Colossus had returned
to the X-Men. Yet she had felt the need to return, to gather
together the pieces of themselves they had left behind, their
belongings...to say goodbye.
She had scarcely had time to pack anything when the X-Men's
distress call had gone out, none of them had. During the horrors
that followed their arrival back in the US, most of them had
even forgotten they had another life to return to. They were
needed there, to continue the battle against the Shadow King,
and none of them dared to take off across the ocean on their
own. Besides, Nightcrawler and Colossus had hardly seemed
to care. They were too busy making plans and training for
battle. She wondered if anyone had noticed she was missing
yet. She shrugged and continued to gather up her things, doubting
After a while, she had settled into her favorite old, overstuffed
chair, curling up with one of her favorite novels she had
found lying about. For a brief moment, she had been swept
away by the story, a smile finding her face for the first
time in many weeks. She must have dozed off sometime shortly
after that, for the next she had known, someone was shaking
her gently awake.
"Oh...hi, Kurt," she had yawned, stretching languidly
in the chair. "Guess you guys noticed after all."
"But of course we did, Kitty. What were you thinking,
taking off like that without telling anyone? It's a good thing
I figured out where to find you or--"
"Or what? I'd be dead like everyone else?" she
had asked, matter of factly.
He had fallen silent then, not wanting to think about the
truth of her words, perhaps, and she had continued her tirade.
"Like the Professor? And 'Yana? And Jubilee, and Cannonball,
and Brian and Meggan?" Angry tears had begun to form
in her eyes, the pain still fresh enough to bring them on
in a moment.
His face sad, he had turned to hug her, and she gratefully
fell into the embrace. They hugged in silence for a long time,
taking comfort in each other and their friendship. "At
least I still have you and Piotr," she said finally,
wiping the tears from her cheek. "I don't know what I'd
She had broken off then, freezing in complete and utter shocked
silence as she felt Kurt's hand slide from her waist to her
hip. What had been a brotherly, comforting embrace a moment
ago had suddenly turned into something much more. She was
so shocked, that she would have been dead then and there but
for the fact that she drew back in surprise.
His sword missed her heart by a bare inch, driving painfully
through her ribs and into her lung. The pain was more intense
than anything she could ever recall feeling, but even beyond
that was the overwhelming, terrifying fear that she suddenly
felt for the man who had been like a brother to her, her best
friend. Between the pain and shock, she hadn't even thought
to phase, and probably couldn't have concentrated enough to
do so if she had.
"Still kicking, Katchzen?" he asked mockingly,
looming over her. The shadows that had ever covered his face
seemed to have grown, spreading until only the barest features
were recognizable, yellow eyes glowing like twin fires in
the darkness. Kitty focused hard on simply breathing, but
was unable to supress the thought that he now resembled a
demon more than ever. "You surprise me, liebling,"
he said casually, sliding deftly into the chair beside her.
"Perhaps there is time for a bit of fun after all, nein?"
He had grabbed her forcefully then, pulling her closely to
him, and she marveled at his surprising strength even as her
mind began to retreat into unconsciousness, seeming to welcome
She fought hard against it, pushing herself to remember her
training, shoving him away with all her might and ripping
her shirt to shreds in the process. He had held the tattered
pieces of it in his hands as he grinned madly at her. "I
love it when a woman struggles. It makes it so much more fun."
He leapt for her then, but this time, she was ready, phasing
through the floor and all the way down to the main floor.
Black spots danced before her eyes, the loss of blood threatening
to end any chance of escape. She gasped for breath, one hand
pressed over the cut in her chest as she thought desperately
for a way out. She didn't dare go up into the air, though
he couldn't reach her there, with the loss of blood, she was
in too much danger of falling, herself. She was distracted
suddenly from her thoughts as a sudden bamfing sound and the
stench of sulphur and brimstone filled the air, announcing
Nightcrawler's arrival. He leered at her evilly, advancing
in for the kill.
"Why?" she managed to choke out through her disbelief
and pain. "Why, Kurt?"
"Because my master would approve," he answered
simply, making another a leap for her.
Pinned beneath his weight, she had stared up into those yellow
eyes, those eyes that had always held so much compassion,
so much joy for life. She stared for what seemed an eternity,
barely noticing as he ripped away the remainder of her shirt,
searching desperately for some sign of the soul those eyes
had once given voice to. There was nothing...they were flat,
empty, cold. Filled with the Shadow King, now, she knew. She
shut her eyes tight then, tears squeezing hotly from behind
"Oh, now, Katchzen. Don't cry," he had soothed,
stroking her cheek. "You might even enjoy this."
She awoke at that precise moment, as she always did. Sweating,
shaking, out of breath, just as she had been at that moment.
Sobbing as well, she thought, wiping angrily at her cheek.
She had escaped the dream, finally, but it never ended there.
No, she remembered every last detail of it, to the bitter
Still sobbing, she had phased through the floor and into
the earth, leaving her clothes behind in his hands. She held
her breath for as long as she could, letting the earth rotate
about her in its daily cycle. She almost passed out again,
the pain in her ribs and her failing lung robbing her of her
stamina. She had emerged only after she was sure the ocean
had passed by above her, and lay gasping for breath on the
mainland of Britain. Someone had found her, though she was
unconscious at the time and didn't know who. All the X-Men
had said was that they received a call from W.H.O. and had
headed right out to pick her up.
She had nearly died from the wound he had given her, spending
weeks in the infirmary and hours under the constant care of
the little Shi'ar technology they retained. Even now, she
still bore the scar from that wound, just below her left breast.
It was a constant reminder of that day...and of what had happened
to the wonderful man who had once been as a brother to her.
The tears renewed with that thought, she sank back down onto
the bed, burying her face in her pillow.
Gambit slowly climbed toward consciousness, the stinging
pain in his face calling him insistently forth from the thick
blackness he seemed to be swimming in. His vision was fuzzy
as he opened his eyes, and it took him a few minutes to adjust
to the sudden bright light. He had enough presence of mind
to note that the stinging in his face had subsided a bit,
and then to wonder just where the hell he was. Last thing
he could remember, he had walking down the hallway toward
the practice room...then...nothing.
The room swam into focus an instant later, and he realized
he was lying down on a table of sorts. Experimentally, he
tried moving his limbs, and panicked for a moment when he
thought he was paralyzed. He was not much more mollified to
find that they were strapped down, instead. Craning his neck
to the left, he tried to get a sense of where he was being
"I see you have joined the land of the living, Mr. LeBeau.
How very gracious of you." Psylocke's beautiful face
wore its usual predatory expression as she moved into his
"More than I can say for how you be treatin' your guests,"
he croaked out.
"I find that hospitality rarely has advantages,"
she replied, moving closer to him. "It's so much easier
to simply take what you need, don't you think?" she asked,
now looming over him with a faint smile.
"Not very ladylike of you, though, Betsy."
"I gave up being a lady a long time ago, cajun. I should
think that's obvious by now."
He nodded, looking about the room with more interest as his
mobility slowly returned. "So...you bring me here to
chit-chat, or you gonna get to torturin' me anytime soon?"
"Well, by all means, let's get down to business, then,"
she said, smiling more broadly and igniting her psi-knife.
Remy cringed inwardly, knowing the damage that weapon of
hers could do though he had never experienced firsthand. Still,
he kept up his bravado. "You gonna tell me why you're
doin' dis, first, chere?"
"Oh, did I forget to explain that?" she asked,
smiling sweetly. "Well, I truly doubt you'll just give
me the information I need regarding the X-Men, and even if
you did, I couldn't trust you, now could I? After what you
went through in Antarctica, I don't believe you'd ever betray
them again. Besides, this way is so much more fun."
"Den why did you hire me on to spy on dem in de first
"I have my reasons....but don't worry, even though you
won't be responsible for what happens to them, I'll be sure
you get all the blame. If you live. After all, I only need
your memories...not your body.
Gambit grimaced and tested the strength of the manacles which
held him, then tested to see how his power was holding up.
Nothing...whatever they had zapped him with, or something
about these manacles was inhibiting his mutant abilities.
"Now...lie still, this will hurt...a lot." Grinning
madly, she shoved her psi-knife deep into his brain.
Gambit's screams echoed throughout the entire complex as
she began to tear his mind apart, piece by piece.
Continued in Chapter
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