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Lightchylde Remastered
by Brian Newberry

Part One

Bobby Drake was enjoying a peaceful afternoon on the shore of the lake. With the mansion packed full of people it was the only place he could go to get any peace and quiet.

After the X-Men had rescued the Professor from Cerebro he had called all of the X-People together for a meeting. Which meant that the mansion was packed. The normal roster of the X-Men where there, plus everyone who had taken off. On top of all of them Sean and Emma had brought the kids up, X-Force had come in from the West Coast, Cable had dropped in, even what was left of X-Factor and the people from Muir Island were there. With all those people around there was not a single place to get some alone time. Except outside.

There was a reason no one had joined Bobby outside. It was a whole thirty-eight degrees. With the cold breeze from the lake it felt like five below. It was the type of weather only the Iceman would enjoy.

Bobby was out there to think. He had been dealing with issues in his life lately, and just needed time to himself. Whenever he needed to think he would always go to the lake. It was totally peaceful there. Nature calmed him in ways he was just beginning to understand and accept. And with the weather like this it was a perfect day.

Bobby liked the lake for another reason though. He could relieve tension. He could sculpt the water into ice formations. From the simple to the complex. Whatever his imagination thought of he could bring to life. The detail on the sculptures was amazing. It was a part of his life that barely anyone else knew about.

On this particular day Bobby was totally engrossed in what he was doing. In the middle of the lake a huge ice castle floated. It was as tall as a two-story house with towers and turrets. Ice banners flew from the castle walls. They were so fluid looking that they appeared to be moving in the wind. In one window a princess waved to knights who were riding their horses out the front gate.

Across the ice field from the castle was a forest. A spectacular dragon watched the castle from the cover of the woods. Slanted eyes and scaly flesh could barely be glimpsed through the trees. The whole piece was done in shades of ice blue. Some parts were as clear as glass while others were the deepest darkest blue that ice can get. Taken as a whole it was a masterpiece. It looked like the artist had put himself completely into the work. And it wasn't far from the truth.

The dragon doesn't look quite right, Bobby thought to himself. Its nose is too long. That and the smoke cloud looks a little off. He stepped into the water and his body disappeared. To an onlooker it would seem as if he had melted into the lake. Which is exactly what he had done. A few seconds later the dragon started to change form. Its nose became shorter and the smoke cloud flowed beside it, instead of up in the air. A few seconds later Bobby appeared back on the shore.

Damn it feels good to use my powers like that! he thought to himself. I'm doing some cool shit no one would have ever imagined me doing. Who would have thought I could become part of the water or ice?

"Oh, Bobby!" a voice exclaimed from behind him. "That is absolutely breath takin', sugar."

"Thanks, Rogue. I've been working on it for most of the afternoon." Bobby turned his head and looked her in the eyes. "So what brings you out here? I didn't figure anyone would be out of the house today."

Rogue got a motherly look on her face. "Well, darlin', if you really want to know, I've been lookin' for you. You seemed like you had a lot on your mind earlier today. Thought you might like to talk about it."

Bobby laughed. "That obvious, huh?"

Rogue joined in on his chuckle. "No sugar, not really. Only to those of us who know you pretty well. And after our road trip a few months back I'd say we know each other pretty darn good." She pointed her finger at the sculpture. "That, and you only make those things when somethin's on your mind."

Both of them thought back on the trip they had shared. Bobby went mostly to keep Rogue company. She had needed to get away after absorbing Gambit's memories in Israel and he had needed some time off. So they both packed their bags and hit the road. As they traveled around they grew closer together. They had never been good friends before, but during the time away they grew together. Each confided things in the other that no one else knew. They shared their pain and started to heal.

"Oh, I've just been thinking about the X-Men, my place in it. My place in the world," Bobby said. "You know deep stuff," he laughed. "Life, the Universe, and Everything!"

Rogue smiled at him. "Well if that's what it takes to get you to make something like that I say do it more often." Rogue got a little bit more serious. "Well, darlin', you know if you need to talk I'm always here for ya."

She walked close and gave Bobby an awkward hug, trying not to touch his skin. "Thanks Rogue. That means a lot."

"Now enough with this serious stuff!" she said. "I wanna get a good look at this work of art floatin' in our lake." With that she floated a few feet off the ground and flew over to the ice island.

When she got half way to the island a hole in the air open up over her. Bobby shouted, "Rogue, watch out!" But it was too late. The hole had expanded and bright white light came out of it. Rogue was blinded and flew wildly. While she was struggling to regain her sight something fell out of the hole and hit her. Both Rogue and the object went right into the freezing water.

Bobby immediately melted into the water. When he did this he became part of the lake itself, feeling everything in the water. The fish, plants, wreckage from planes and the emergency exit from the mansion's underground complex. It was easy for him to find Rogue and what felt like another human. Bobby froze the water around the pair and brought them to the surface. "Rogue, are you all right?" he asked her in a panic as he formed a body of ice on the platform.

She was leaning over the edge of the ice coughing up water. "I'll *cough* be fine in a second, sugar." Rogue looked at the body lying face down next to her. "What about her?"

Bobby leaned over the girl. "She's breathing. That looks like the only thing she's got going for her." He turned the blonde girl over on her back. She was battered, bruised and beaten. "Oh my god!" he exclaimed. "Rogue get to the house now! Have Hank prep the med-lab. This looks like it's an emergency!"

"Bobby, sugar, what's wrong?" Rogue asked, perplexed. She stood up and got a close look at the girl. "Jesus! Bobby, that's..." Bobby cut her off.

"I know who it is," he yelled at her.

"Bobby, darlin' she literally been through hell if she's comin' from where I think she is." Rogue said.

Bobby pushed at Rogue. "I know, I remember that night. Now fly ahead and get things ready. I'll be right behind you!" With that Rogue took off at high speed and flew towards the house.

An ice slide started to form, coming out of the lake. Bobby had secured it to the lake floor and it grew from there underneath the ice platform pushing it into the air. Bobby and his passenger moved at a high speed towards the mansion. From the distance he saw Rogue fly in the front door. Good, he thought. I'll be there in about two minutes and Hank will be getting things ready. He turned his head back and looked at the young blonde girl lying behind him. Oh god, she looks like shit. But at least she's human. Last I heard of anyone seeing her this age she was a demon. As he got closer to the house a few people were pouring out the door to see what the excitement was all about. Jean and Storm were at the head of the pack.

Jean telepathically sent to Bobby, ::What's wrong? Rogue came flying in asking for Hank. All I could get from her was something about the med-lab.::

Just read it from my mind Jean, we don't have time for the long version, Bobby thought to her. Jean reached into his mind and saw the events of the last few minutes.

::My, God!:: She thought to him. ::I just sent all of it to Hank. He's got things waiting for us downstairs.:: When Bobby landed at the door Jean picked the girl up off the platform with her telekinetic powers.

Storm took on a commanding pose, "Everyone get out of the way. Let them into the mansion."

Jubilee chose this inopportune moment to stick her nose in. She was coming down the stairs, headed for the kitchen to get some sugar bombs, when she saw the small gathering at the door. "Hey, what's going on here?" She pushed her way through the crowd. "Jono, get out of the way," she said as she shoved him. "Skin, move it or lose it," she grabbed ahold of a piece of loose skin and popped him with it. "Mall rat, coming though." As she neared the front she still couldn't see what was going on. "Hey, Cajun what's all the fuss about?"

Gambit looked at her with his glowing red eyes. "Don't rightly know petite," he told her. "Now calm down and we'll see."

About the time Jubilee got situated, Bobby pushed her out of the way. "Move it squirt, this is an emergency." Jean quickly followed behind him with the girl. Everyone moved aside to let them into the mansion. The crowd watched as they disappeared downstairs.

continued >>

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