A/N: Thank you to everyone who spotted my mistake with Remy! I completly bungled that, so I'm including a corrected verision of the chapter and a little bit extra. More should be coming soon!
Everywhere, a damp fog. Eleven figures, lost, cold, scared.
Okay, maybe more annoyed than scared.
"I knew we shoulda never taken in you X-types!!!"
"How is this OUR fault Herr Wisdom?"
"Give me a minute and I'll think of something."
"Elf, your tail is in my face! Ewww!"
"Sorry Keety. Ouch! What was that?!"
"I got your tail now Kurt! And it's not ew at all Kitty, its all fuzzy and cute."
"Ah man, Ah think someone should get those two a room."
"Why would we need a room? Aren't we in a room now?"
"I've got no clue at all where we are now. Bets, you sensing anything?"
"Zip, bro. They're just the ten of us."
"Can it Wisdom. Ten? But Betsy, I do believe that they were eleven originally."
"De Remy agree with de ruskie. We got Jono?"
Yah, yah, I'm here.
"Okay, let's do this systemically. I'll call everyone's names off and you say 'here' okay?"
"I say we say 'aye'. It's more bloody official."
"Just say SOMETHING, okay?! Sheesh. Alright. Piotr?"
"Da- I mean, here."
"I know Kurt is here, unless anyone else grew an annoying fuzzy tail."
Didn't I already say here?
"Illyana?" Silence. "Yana?"
"Oh no. Wisdom if you did anything to my sister, I swear you will pay-"
"Why is this my bleeding fault?!"
Suddenly the smoked cleared and Pete and Piotr realized that they were staring into the faces of Kurt and Remy respectively, glaring since they both thought the other was in the space.
"Oh, Remy don't dink it your fault, Petey," Remy drawled, grinning, "You not bright enough to pull dis off."
"Go back to the bayou you crawled out of, Cajun," Pete growled, turning around to face the rest of the group who were trying to hide their giggles as much as possible. Except for Piotr, who was still very pissed and very frantic.
"Where is Illyana?" he bellowed and almost as if on cue, the mysterious young woman from the kitchen back in Muir stepped from out of the fog. Excalibur and the X-Men instantly fell silent and Kitty shivered with an irrational fear that was playing upon her spine.
"Pete is quite right," the woman said in a precise voice. "It is not his fault that you all are here and Illyana is gone. It is mine."
Brian strode forward, glaring angrily at the cloaked woman. "What exactly is going on here, miss? My father has some very important government connections who will not take a kidnapping very lightly."
A ghost of a smirk played upon the woman's lips. "This is not a kidnapping either." She paused, frowning slightly. "Not in so many words, exactly. I am here to help." The cloaked head rose and looked in the direction of Piotr. "In some years from now, your sister, Illyana, will be destroyed by a demonic sorcerer who will then proceed to kill thousands of innocents. I have brought you here to Limbo," the woman gestured around herself at the barren wasteland, "so that you may beat the sorcerer now and save Illyana."
The group was quiet for a moment. Jono sighed to himself and enjoyed the rare opportunity of silence.
"Where is my sister now?" Piotr demanded, his fists clenched at his sides.
The woman in the black cloak shook her head and a small sigh escaped her lips. "She should be with you since I teleported all of you together. The sorcerer must have taken her."
"We must get her back!" Piotr yelled and Kitty nodded adamantly at his side.
The woman nodded and was still for a moment. Slowly she raised her arms and spread them out over the group. "I charge these nine with the task of finding the tenth, Illyana!" Her voice boomed throughout Limbo and lighting struck some feet away. Meggan cowered behind Kurt, who held her hand in order to comfort her.
"I will send you nine on a journey to find her," the woman said, her voice steady once more. "Limbo is a magical place and time passes differently here and it is possible to end up in a different time and place all together. There is no way to know where Illyana is for sure. But I will divide you into two teams and send you on separate courses to save Illyana."
With a movement of her hand, Kitty, Pete, Meggan, Rogue and Jono found themselves hurtling through time and space in one direction while Kurt, Piotr, Betsy, Remy and Brian were thrown in an opposite direction. As they passed by different eons and continents, the last words of the woman echoed in their heads:
"Save Illyana. Save her from Belasco."
After a brief but intense flash of light, Kitty, Pete, Meggan, Rogue and Jono all found themselves in very familiar territory. Back in Moira's kitchen.
Looking around at her stunned and silent teammates, Kitty suddenly seized on Pete.
"Okay Wisdom," she demanded, "what did you use?!"
"Wot the bloody 'ell are you talking about," Pete growled, fumbling slightly for a cigarette.
"What sort of acid or other bizarre and highly illegal drug did you put in our breakfast milk?!" Before Pete could respond, she held up a hand. "I don't care about what you do on your own time, and if going to very foggy places with mysterious older women is your thing, fine. But it's not the way that I want to start out MY morning, so PLEASE don't involve us."
That couldn't have been some sort of drug trip, Jono telepathically mumbled, since I didn't eat or drink anything. Don't have a mouth, remember?
There was a very awkward moment of silence where everyone looked at their shoes, doing their best to avoid Jono's stare, before Kitty began again.
"So maybe it was airborne, then and-"
No lungs either.
Kitty grimaced a bit, trying to think of a proper apology. 'Sorry that I forgot you have a massive hole for a chest?' Like that wasn't weird.
"I don't think you're right, Kitty," Meggan said nervously. She was biting her lip and hovering directly behind Pete. "This doesn't feel like the same place we left from."
Frowning, Rogue began to walk around, inspecting the various pieces silverware lying on the kitchen table. "So what are ya sayin'? That we are righ' now in a different kitchen that looks exactly like Moira's?"
Suddenly, the front door swung open, and Moira strode in, holding a cup of coffee and reading the morning newspaper. She walked across the room, pulled a small roll covered with salami from a kitchen cabinet and took a bit.
"Ah, lovely," she said. Looking around at the shaken bunch of kids before her, she smiled. "What's wrong with you bunch? You look like you've seen Churchill's ghost, heaven forbid." Shaking her head, she clamped the sausage roll in her mouth, picked up her cup of coffee and newspaper and headed out the kitchen door.
Rogue breathed a sigh of relief as she left. "Ah don't know about you guys, but this seems like the same old Moira as before."
At that moment, Moira swung the door open again and popped her head in. "Oh, I almost forgot to tell you," she said, grinning at them, "but there's a couple of pagan mutates on the Soviet border stirring up trouble and Herr Xavier wants you to take care of it, okay? Heil Hitler!" And with that exclamation, she was gone once again.
Looking at the white as a sheet Kitty and the terrified Meggan huddling in the corner, Pete shook his head. "We're screwed," he mumbled.