X-Men Evolution NEXT

Chores

The images were vivid at first, a scene of titanic battle, unlike anything ever seen. Sounds of loud impacts and explosions reverberate throughout the vision. The vivid haze suddenly clears, and figures begin to take shape. A heavily damaged landscape, inextinguishable flames dances out of crevasses sending smoke in every direction. The figures stagger closer and come into clear view. Cyclops supports an injured Iceman as he carries him over his shoulders. A severely battered Wolverine carries both Shadowcat and Nightcrawler in a full run. The X-Men are in full retreat as they step over the dead bodies of what looks like the Brotherhood of Mutants. A loud scream of pain followed by a flash of light, then the image of Rogue impaled through the back by a claw like spike. The tip of the spike protrudes out of her right shoulder as she hangs lifeless over another shadowy figure. Smoke surrounds the scene as the only features of the figure that can be seen are a pair of red glowing eyes and single gold glowing four corner star across it's chest.

She struggles, but Irene forces her conscience mind awake. The vision remains clear in her mind. She sits up on the couch and takes a breath. Tears fill her glazed over eyes as she starts to quietly sob. Despite her blindness, Irene unique mutant ability gives her a different form of vision, precognition. Since her gifts manifested when she was younger, every vision she had seen in either dreams or wide awake, have come true. She reaches to left out to a side table and feels round for her sunglasses. Her hand accidentally knocks them to the floor just as the door opens. Mystique walks through and sees Irene reaching out for her sunglasses. She quickly picks them up for Irene and gently places them in her hand. Irene says, "Thank you."

Mystique notices Irene's tears and asks, "Is it the same vision?"

"Yes," Irene replies as she wipes her tears, "but this time, she is already dead."

"What about Kurt, what did you see?" Mystique inquires.

Irene rubs her forehead remarking, "I don't know, he looked injured, but alive."

Mystique crouches down in front of her asking, "And is it still Allan Paran that does this?"

More tears fall from Irene's eyes as she replies, "Yes. But why would he do this, Raven?"

"He won't, Irene. I promise you that." Mystique assures her. "I'll see him dead before he lays another hand on her."

Though he tried not using his powers, Allan realized the extent of the property damage he caused, goes beyond his budget. So he decides to make a compromise and use his powers to repair the more unmanageable damages, like broken windows and cement stress cracks. One by one, Allan rearranges the kinetic energy that caused the windows to shatter and refuses them just like new. The glass shards would slide together in mid air as the cracks mold away. Allan installs each repaired window with gentle precision, constantly referring to the home improvement books and magazines he had purchased just before taking on this endeavor. The stress crack in the driveway and on other cemented parts of the property each faded away as Allan would tediously rearrange the energy on the areas re-liquifying the cement and molding the cracks away, section by section. And like an artist, he would constantly tweak his work, until he was completely satisfied with the result. The basketball court was ground zero of all the damage, and Allan takes this opportunity to be a little more creative, smoothening out the cement to a more shinier surface, then embedding a large stylized 'X' into the color texture of the cement. He wanders to the pool area and straightens out the chairs surrounding the empty pool. Allan then steps into the empty pool wading through knee high water to the crack hwhere the water has leaked out, and using the same method he used on the other cement areas, refuses the crack shut, at the same time being careful not to ruin the floral patterned tiling throughout. He grabs a hose after climbing out of the pool and begins to fill it again. Once the pool is completely full, Allan checks the filtering system and chlorine level. As everything check out and is running without noticeable problems, Allan takes off his shirt and shoes, throws an inflatable float in the pool and decides to take a fifteen minute break. He relaxes out in the late morning sun afloat in the pool with a satisfied smile on his face. What would have taken utility workers and a pool man days or weeks too fix, Allan pulled off in just a few hours. That thought in his mind, Allan mutters to himself, "Too bad I have this disease called a guilty conscience. Otherwise I would have capitalized off of my powers a long time ago."

Through out the morning, the students would watch from inside or from a distance as Allan worked in silence repairing various areas of the institute grounds. The morning began with the slight thumping sound of Allan trying to lightly pound the front drive together, minimizing the crack he caused. After that they would take time to check on his progress as he runs around outside. Now they watch him relax out in the pool. Jamie, Ray, Todd and Fred watch from one the kitchen window as Allison sits by another window reading a magazine and occasionally glance out to watch Allan. Todd remarks, "Wow, maybe we should get Allan to fix up Mystique's house for us too."

Fred replies, "I ain't goin' back to that dump."

"But we still gotta our stuff, yo." Todd adds.

"What if Magneto's goons are waitin' for us?" Fred says.

Todd smiles at Fred replying, "If that's that case, we'll bring Allan with us. HEHEH."

Jamie continues to look out the window as he inquires, "I wonder how strong he really his."

Ray says, "There's no telling. Professor Xavier said he's been holding back since he arrived."

"Well, I know he's stronger than me." Fred adds.

Todd looks over at Allison and remarks, "Yo Allison, you've known Allan longer than us, right? Did you know about him bein' a cosmic whatever?"

Allison looks up from her magazine at them and replies, "Nope. I knew he was tough, I never figured him to be, out of this world. Although, I should've figure he was after we went out the first time." as she grins and raises her eyebrows.

Elizabeth walks into the kitchen saying, "Please refrain from the dirty thoughts, Allison. There are telepaths living here too." as she opens the refrigerator and grabs a yogurt.

"Good morning to you too, Betsy." Allison playfully says.

Looking back at Allison, Elizabeth replies, "Please don't call me that. And just to let you know, Allan is Rogue's boyfriend."

Allison grins at her saying, "That's not quite official now, is it."

Elizabeth gives her a look of disappointment as Allison continues, "Relax, Betsy. I blew my chances with Allan a long time ago. Can't blame a girl for trying though." as she grins again raising her eyebrows.

Nearly choking on a spoon full of yogurt, Elizabeth manages to swallow as she says, "Allison! Dirty thoughts! Bloody hell, you did that on purpose!"

Elizabeth walks out of the kitchen with her yogurt, but then leans back through the door and asks, "Did you two really do that on your first date!"

Allison giggles and turns her eyes back to her magazine. Todd asks, "Do what, when, with who?"

She looks at the four teens, who look at her with baffled smiles, and replies, "Sorry boys, those are my dirty thoughts." and continues reading.

Floating around the pool freely, Allan dozes off on the inflatable cushion. He gently bounces off the sides of the pool as the pools filtering water jet creates a slight current. Rogue wanders by the pool area seeing Allan lightly snore as he floats about the pool. She slightly smiles, then looks up at the main house. She spots Allison in the window looking at her. Allison waves at her with a smile as Rogue makes her way there.

Rogue quickly makes her way through the house to the kitchen where Allison still sits reading her magazine. She take a seat just across from Allison and says, "You and Ah need to talk."

Allison smiles at her and replies, "Yes, we do. But first let me say, that you're one lucky girl."

Rogue stares at her asking, "What make you say that?"

"Oh come on," Allison replies, "he chased after you wearing only a bath towel. You now how embarrassing that is for a guy? He must really like you a lot. He never did that for me."

"So, you two had somethin' goin' on?" Rogue inquires.

Allison remarks, "Almost, we tried to make it work, but I screwed things up. 'Nuff said."

Rogue looks out the window watching Allan wake up and suddenly flip off the float into the water as he tries to sit up. He quickly stands back up soaking wet with a surprised expression on his face. Though she can't hear him, his reaction to his mishap is still humorous as he seems to rants while climbing out of the pool. Allison and Rogue share a laugh as they watch Allan search for towel. Glancing back at Rogue, Allison says, "You know, he hasn't anything to eat all morning. He has that habit whenever he gets engrossed in his work. If I were you, and believe me, I wish I was, I'd bring something out to him. I don't know, may be, something he likes?"

Rogue says, "You make him sound like he's the catch of the day."

"Girl," Allison replies, "to me, Allan is gonna that 'one' that got away. So what ever you are doing, keep it up. That sultry goth look must really work for you. Personally, I think it's that whole southern gal thing you got going."

Rogue chuckle and says, "Thanks Allison, I guess."

Smiling, Allison says, "Don't sweat it girl. I had to get off my chest too. Allan was obviously over me, I just had to grow up and face it. That was part of reason why I came to Bayville. I just hope he's not too mad at me, I need him to play lead guitar this weekend." as they both continue watching Allan mope around the pool completely drenched for a towel.

Allan grabs his dry t-shirt and begins drying off his drenched body and cargo shorts. He mumbles out to himself, "That was absolutely stupid of me. Damn I just washed these shorts. Oh great my wallet was still my pocket."

Charles rolls up in his wheel chair with a smile and says, "I see the pool is working order."

"Oh yeah," Allan replies, "tested it myself." as he holds up his soaked wallet.

"Allan, I can pay someone to fix the grounds for us, it is not a problem." Charles says.

Drying his hair with his shirt, Allan adds, "My father taught me to accept the consequences of my actions. I couldn't let you pay for what I did. If I did, I'd hear his voice in my head telling me I should do the right thing, blah, blah. I love him to death, but he drives me nuts."

Charles laughs and hands Allan a towel in place of his shirt and says, "As you wish, Allan. But if you need the help, just ask."

Shrugging his shoulders, Allan remarks, "I'm good, this keeps me out of the house, you know."

"They are not afraid of you, Allan. They just need time to accept the reality of what you are. Mistakes are made, what is important is that you learn from your mistakes." Charles mentions.

"Someone could've gotten hurt, or worse." Allan adds.

Charles replies, "Thankfully, no one did. Allan, you are not perfect, you are not that other Vanguard who didn't understand the emotional consequences of his actions. You were chosen, or created, because you have the ability to learn from you mistakes with emotions and regrets. Key elements that mold us into the people we need to be. Do not give up on yourself, Allan. I feel that you are destined for great things."

Allan slides his partially drenched t-shirt back on and walks along side Charles as they continue. They slowly make their way around the house surveying the property for anymore damages. Just then they see Scott and Jean walking out front to her SUV. Scott carries a single luggage to the vehicle as Jean pops open the hatch back. Scott places the luggage inside then carefully closes the hatch. He walks to the driver's side and they begin hugging. Charles mentions, "So, Jean knows."

Allan replies, "She asked questions, I gave her answers. At least she has a chance to gradually accept this manifestation. Mine was dropped on me like a water balloon."

Charles smiles at Allan again and adds, "Indeed, everything she has endured, her power surge a few years back and her dreams of late, are leading her to that moment, if it happens. Do you feel she is ready?"

"No one is ever really ready for this, trust me." Allan adds, "But that's where I come in."

"What about you, Allan, do you feel ready?" Charles asks.

Allan takes a breath looking up at the sky, then turning to Charles saying, "If this does take place, its going to happen whether I'm ready or not. Honestly, no I'm not. I never am ready when this occurs."

Jean steps into her SUV as Scott back away smiling at her. She looks over at Charles and Allan than cheerfully wave at them. They smile both wave back to her as she starts her car and slowly drive up the newly paved driveway. Charles remarks, "Well, I we will cross that bridge when it comes. Until then I guess, continue with what you are doing."

"Yard work?" Allan asks.

Charles smiles shaking his head, "It is good to know you remain human despite your power, Allan. Smashing job you have done with the driveway by the way."

Charles turns and heads to the house as Allan smiles chuckling, "Nice choice of words."

Gambit flinches as he slowly unwraps the bandage off his wound he endured from his last encounter with Wolverine. The three cuts from his claws are not life threatening, but they cut in deep enough. Three distinct slash marks on Gambit's left sid ealmost resemble the gills of a shark. He washes the wounds down with a antiseptic solution. Gambit grunts out in pain as the stinging sensation tenses him up causing the wound to slightly bleed again. He puts pressure on the cuts and begins patching it up with a new clean bandage. He steps off the medical table slowly and puts his top back on, groaning again as he moves the muscles under his wound. Sabertooth walks in with a sarcastic grin on his face saying, "Had another butt whoopin' from Allan Paran? Must be getting' steamed that he's all sweet on your would be girl."

Gambit glares at him and replies, "This wasn't Allan Paran, it was yo buddy, Wolverine."

"He ain't my buddy, gumbo!" Sabertooth snarls out.

"Well Remy figured, him and you always dancin' all the time. Guess you gotta be more than buddies, right." Gambit says with a sharp grin.

Sabertooth growls out, "I'm gonna rip your lungs out swam rat!" as he raises his large clawed hands at Gambit.

But just Gambit is about to react, an extremely hot wall of flame suddenly appears between them, force them further apart. Gambit looks off to his left to see Pyro generating the flame wall with his flame thrower smiling at both of them. Sabertooth backs off saying. "Watch where ya point that, kid, or your next!"

Gambit looks at Pyro's face and notices his new set of white teeth in his mouth. Backing off himself, Gambit remarks, "Nice teeth, Pyro. Guess we can see where ya spent yo money."

Pyro grins back at Gambit saying, "Can it Cajun! And both of you chill! Save it for Allan Paran."

Gambit's expression becomes baffled as he asks, "What? We goin' after him again! Ya gotta be kiddin', no way, Remy's jumpin' ship."

Sabertooth folds his arms and sits back saying, "This ain't no democracy, Remy. We're all goin', includin' Magneto."

A rumbling sound echoes throughout the room, then throughout the compound. He vibrating sound of metal is heard and ground beneath them wobbles and weaves. Gambit looks around frantically, then demands, "Whoa! What that crazy man doin'?"

Sabertooth smiles and says, "Just a road trip, to get Allan Paran's attention."

Pyro adds, "And, the boss is bringin' all his toys!"

Outside, the large spherical complex, that was once hidden in the sands of the Sahara desert, now floats fifty feet above the surface, and begins to slowly travel slowly off into the western horizon.

Allan walks across the grounds carrying tree after tree. Piling the dead ones he knocked down with his accidental shockwave. Thick trunks and branches riddle the immediate area as he literally shreds the down trees into useful mulch for Ororo's gardens. His titanic strength proved very useful since he could not afford to buy a decent wood shredder. The sounds of cracking wood echo across the property as he rips the dead trees in half, the grinds it into small splinters. He tosses the shredded wood chips into another pile behind him. The occasional wood chip would fly into his mouth causing to gag and spit, but he continues his chore none the less. Just as Allan reaches over to grab another dead tree to shred, Rogue peeks her head around the wood chip pile saying, "Hey, ya hungry?"

Allan turns around to her and replies, "If it's a salad, no thanks, I'm getting my fill dealing with this."

Rogue rolls her eyes and says, "Relax Paul Bunyan, Ah made ya sandwich."

She walks over to him with a tray of food. Allan smiles raising his eyebrows noticing the nicely prepared meal Rogue has brought. On the large paper plate sits a very enticing sandwich with some good old fashion salty chips and pickle on the side. The smaller paper plate holds a good sized slice of chocolate on chocolate cake. Two cans of cold soda sit off the side on both plates along with nicely folded napkins. Allan steps up to her remarking, "Wow, this is, really nice."

Rogue replies, "Well, you hadn't eatin' all day. Ah thought Ah'd fix ya somethin'. Try the sandwich, Ah think you'll like it."

Allan smiles at her wiping his hand off on his shorts. He gently picks up the sandwich and take a big bite out of it. He raises his eyebrows again as he nods while chewing. Allan swallows his bite and says, "Turkey, my favorite."

Rogue replies, "Our minds were connected, and Ah still remember some things."

Allan's expression gets slightly concerned as he asks, "Like what things?"

"Like, Ah know how much you love chocolate." Rogue says as she point to the slice of cake. "And how you can't get enough turkey. You're kinda dramatic about that too."

"And that's it?" Allan inquires.

Rogue grins and says, "Well, there're some other things, like some dirty thoughts about me lingering here and there…"

Allan quickly swallows another bite and cuts her off, "Don't take those the wrong way, I honestly do respect you. It's just I'm a guy, and uh, we do that sometimes?"

Rogue giggles and replies, "You know, Ah don't think a guy has ever looked at me the way you do. And Ah'm not talkin' about those dirty thoughts, we'll discus them later. Ah mean, the fact you really do respect me, and care for me, like we're more than just best friends. It's honest, and sincere."

Allan takes the tray from and places it on clear part of the lawn. He looks at her gently holding her chin with his thumb and finger. He caresses the dimple in her chin with his thumb as he leans forward kissing her lightly. Rogue closes her eyes as she feels his lips pressing against hers. The world seems to stop for her as they kiss in the sun light. Their lips slowly separate, but their faces remain close as Allan says, "Some times, words just aren't enough."

Rogue's eyes twinkle as she smiles asking, "So what're you doin' tonight?"

Allan chuckles and glances back at the tree pile saying, "Probably chopping wood."

"No, Ah'm serious." Rogue remarks.

"I don't know," Allan replies, "what do you have in mind?"

Rogue runs her finger up Allan's right bicep saying, "Nothin' really, just thought we could make it up like we did the last time." as she smiles close to his face.

Allan raises his eyebrows with a grin saying, "You know, I am a partial telepath to a degree. And you say I'm the one with the dirty thoughts."

Rogue shares his grin and says, "Eat your sandwich, tough guy."

Sitting back wiping the sweat of his brow, Sean takes a glimpse through his tripod supported binoculars, then quickly types on his lap top bring up various images of the Xavier Institute grounds. He sits back again and takes a large gulp of a cold beverage he had purchased while taking a break. He thumbs the lap top key board while taking another gulp. Sean lets out a light burp as looks at the screen with a smirk. He shakes his head saying to himself, "Yup, Mystique is gonna love this." as he looks at an image of Allan embracing Rogue with a sandwich in his hand, kissing her passionately.

Rogue's arms wrapped around Allan's head, and rubbing her left inner thigh against him, reciprocates Allan's embrace as she holds him tight. Sean nods and says, "Well, I've seen enough."


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