Disclaimer: This series of stories takes place in-between the lines of the New Mutants comic books. They will make references to things that have occurred in them, and all the comics and characters belong to Marvel comics. This chapter is focused on issues 18-20.
Note: Rahne is roughly 12 and was extremely sheltered and to an extent spoiled, that's why I write her as being a bit fussy.
The Champion and Her Magus
"Dani, where were ye all morning?" Rahne Sinclair questioned tentatively as Dani brushed her short red hair. "I cooked bacon and ham, Sam made eggs, and Amara sliced some fruit. Yer portion was wasted."
Danielle Moonstar sat behind Rahne in the young girl's comfortable and suitably girly twin sized bed. Apparently she was complaining most of the morning about feeling weird. When Dani and Illyana returned from their "outing" she noticed that Rahne was running a fairly high fever. Normally the Scots werewolf never got sick, but when she did she was overly ornery. Thankfully, it never lasted more than a day at most.
"Illyana and I were out for a walk, and we got to talking." Dani answered as she moved from behind Rahne to tuck her in.
"The witch!" Rahne nearly snarled. "Dani ye should na' talk to that pagan. She'll damn yer soul to Satan fer certain."
Rahne shrunk back as Dani's face darkened in anger toward her. "Illyana is my friend, and a part of our team. I do not want to hear you speak of her that way again! Do you understand me?"
Rahne looked like she was about to cry. Dani had never raised her voice to her before, and it scared her. "Yes ma'am." Rahne nearly sobbed out.
Dani took pity on her and ruffled her hair and kissed her forehead before she finished tucking her in. "It's ok, it's just that Illyana is my… special friend, and I don't want anyone talking bad about her."
"I thought I was yuir special friend." Rahne whimpered.
"You are carrot top. I love you like you were my own flesh and blood."
"Like a sister?" Rahne questioned. Her voice was getting softer, as she was rapidly falling asleep.
"Or a daughter." Dani clarified. "You are very special to me Rahne, and I don't want that to change."
"Why would ye worry bout that?" Rahne slurred, her medicine nearly putting her completely to sleep.
"No reason." Dani smiled sadly before patting Rahne on the head, and leaning in to kiss her again before getting up to leave.
"Ye smell like her." Rahne mumbled as sleep finally overcame her.
Dani blushed hotly before turning toward the door. She stopped at the entrance and turned once more to make sure Rahne was asleep. As she left, she turned off the light and closed the door.
"How is she?" Illyana asked as her arms encircled Dani from behind. Dani smiled as she felt her lover's lips feather across her exposed shoulder. She was dressed in a baggy sweater that left her neck and shoulders exposed. Her legs were covered by her uniform, she had not had a chance to change since she and Illyana returned from their morning tryst.
"I'm all sweaty still." Dani mumbled in weak protest as Illyana molded herself onto her back.
"That did'nt bother you this morning." Illyana reminded her of how they had made love for several hours out in the cold after they had run six miles.
"Besides," Illyana moaned sexily in Dani's ear as she lightly bit it. "I like you all dirty."
Dani laughed quietly as she wrapped an arm behind her to cradle her lover tighter to her. She was thoroughly enjoying what Illyana was doing to her and did not seem to care that they were in the middle of a hallway. "Rahne said I smell like you.."
"Told you she would." Yana replied unconcerned as she slipped a hand into Dani's shirt and began to tweak her taught nipples.
"Oh, Great Spirit's! My room now!" Dani moaned and turned in Illyana's arms, claiming the startled Russian in a fierce kiss. Dani, without breaking contact with her lover, maneuvered them into her room and onto her bed.
"By my ancestors, I can't believe how much I burn for you." Dani moaned between kisses.
"The feeling is so very mutual partner." Illyana muttered as she slipped a hand under Dani's pants and into her panties. She smiled inwardly at Dani's startlingly loud cry. Illyana never had a lover who was so responsive, or giving, as Dani was turning out to be. She hoped that things would be like this forever.
Not wanting to be selfish, Dani roughly tore open Illyana's blouse and began to run her tongue along her sensitive pink nipple, while squeezing and tweaking the other. :Oh yes: Illyana thought. :Very giving:
"A penny for 'em Dani?" Illyana offered her troubled looking lover as they sat in the danger room booth, guiding the New Mutants through an exercise. A week had passed since they returned, and most of that time had been spent in Dani's room. So far they had avoided any questions, mostly thanks to Sam, but she did not know how long that would last. Earlier in the day, Illyana had returned to her room to find Kitty in a tizzy and getting ready to depart on X-men related business. Kitty had asked her to take care of her pet dragon Lockheed, whom now sat perched upon her shoulders.
Even though Illyana was not part of the team, she had offered to keep her lover company while she guided the exercise below. She knew that Dani was resentful that her power was not a physical one, unlike the rest of her teammates, but she had a feeling that that wasn't what was bothering her.
Dani looked adoringly over at her friend, and lightly cupped her cheek. It felt good having someone care. "I'm wondering if I dare trust the others anymore."
Dani was referring to how the mutants had joined with the White Queen and the Hellions when she and Illyana had accidentally teleported a year into the future. It was a thought that nagged on her the last week whenever she wasn't with her new lover. If the x-men had been to the mansion in that time, she would have talked to Xavier, but they have yet to return.
Illyana sighed, knowing that Dani was dodging her question. For now she would let her figure out her thoughts, but if it went on much longer she would call her on it. They were interrupted by the shrill whine that alerted them to someone's presence at the door. Illyana excused herself, and with Lockheed by her side, went to check the door.
Dani shook her head wearily, it wasn't the only thing weighing heavily upon her. The first day she returned after the fight with the Hellions, she had been having visions of the demon bear that had killed her parents. The bear was a powerful, malevolent spirit, an ancient enemy of her family and people. She hadn't mentioned it to anyone, even her lover. She was afraid that if the bear decided to attack, Illyana would get caught in the cross fire. She knew she would never forgive herself if something like that happened.
:I wish the professor was here. I never thought I'd admit it, but I need him. All week I've been seeing the bear in my dreams. Each time the image is more distinct. It's close… And it's hungry.:
:Illyana knows something is wrong, how could she not? I've woken screaming more than once, and I've said nothing, just let her calm me with her gentle lips and soothing touch. I feel guilty. She just asked me point blank about my feelings, and I dodged it. The bear's malevolence is like the demonic Illyana that I have seen with my powers and in limbo. That part of her frightens me, I think Illyana senses that too. Great Spirit I need to be honest with her, but I won't risk getting her hurt… or worse.:
:When this is over, when I have finally killed my enemy, I will tell her everything and do my best to make up for my dishonesty.:
"Enough Yana!" Dani wheezed as she collapsed to the danger room floor. She had just finished another in a series of progressively difficult holographic fights with bears. She was preparing for her enemies imminent arrival in the only way she could.
"About time; you look awful." Illyana chastised her lover.
"You should see the other guy." Dani spoke with forced bravado.
Illyana was getting angry at Dani's constant avoidance of her concerns. They had even started to spend less time in bed over the past couple days, and Dani did'nt seem to notice. "Those were illusions generated by the danger room, a flick of a switch and they'll be as good as new. Can you say the same?"
"I'll be all right." Dani looked away, knowing that they were about to have an argument. She could feel Illyana's frustration at her growing detachment. She couldn't blame her, she would not know how to react if Illyana started to do the same thing, but this was she was doing this to protect her.
Not wanting to fight, Illyana slumped next to her lover and rested her head against her shoulder. "Dani, you've been at this for days, each test harder than the next. What are you trying to prove?"
"Nothing, I just want to make sure that I can pull my own weight without my powers as well as with. Especially since I am one of the team's leaders." Dani hated herself for the lie.
"Makes sense, but bears?" Illyana knew Dani was deceiving her, and she knew that Dani knew how she felt about that. :She has a reason, I just need to find out what it is.:
"Next session I'll move on to something a bit harder." Dani spoke as she rose to her feet, turning to offer Illyana a hand up. Illyana allowed her to pull her up, and kept the momentum going until she was in her lover's embrace. She kissed her roughly, letting her anger be shown, but also letting her know that she was not going to give up.
Dani fell into the rough kiss as well, she knew Illyana was hurting, that she was mad. The lovers went to bed and made love for the first time in two days. It was rough and carnal, nothing like the playful tenderness they usually shared. It was harsh and different, but it helped. When they were finally satiated, they lay clutching tightly to each other not wanting to let go.
It would be a while later before Illyana finally feel asleep. Dani remained awake, studying her blonde lover and marveling that she was in her life. Even through this rough patch, they still needed each other. Dani could feel her love starting to grow stronger for the girl wrapped in her arms. She made a mental note to tell her when this was all over.
:Even after how I've been to her, she still made love to me. She needed to be with me, just as much as I needed to be with her. I'm sorry I made you so angry, you must be hurting that I won't share with you my secrets and fears, even though you confided in me. I know you, that everyone would help if I asked.: Dani slowly rose from her bed, gently kissing Illyana before she moved away.
As quiet as possible, she moved to her closet and removed her uniform, and an old bow and set of arrows. The weapons were a gift, passed down to her by her grandfather. They had once belonged to her father, it was fitting that she use them to avenge him.
:This is something I have to do alone.: Dani looked upon her sleeping lover. She rested peacefully on her bed. The sheets had fallen to reveal her bare breasts, rising slowly with each breath. Dani stared mesmerized for a moment by the sight of her lover. She imagined Illyana's steady heartbeat using that to steady her nerves. :I love you Illyana Rasputin, and when this night is over, I will tell, and show you how much.:
Dani left her room with one last look at her love. She stealthily made her way through the mansion. Once she was outside she made her way to the acres of forest surrounding Xavier's estate. She thought again of her lover lying in peaceful repose. :Tonight my love, I prove myself worthy! I am Cheyenne! My father, my ancestors were the proudest warriors of the plains. I will be true to my name and heritage, no matter what! Tonight, I get my revenge:
Dani was startled suddenly when she felt a warm hand grasp her own. She looked to her side, stunned to find her lover. Illyana was dressed for battle. She wore a warriors uniform, no doubt procured from Limbo; her mystical soul sword was gripped tightly in her other hand.
Looking straight ahead Illyana began to speak. Her voice was confident and brooked no room for argument. "You're about to call out your Demon Bear aren't you?"
Illyana cut her off. "I've heard you speak of him before. And you have been fighting bears for the last couple weeks in the danger room. I know why you feel like you have to do this alone. I know you were trying to protect me. I will forgive you your lies and dishonesty because of that."
Illyana turned now to stare into her lover's eyes. "But, damn it Dani I love you! I am not going to stand by and watch you fight such a deadly beast on your own. You aren't alone anymore, whether you feel the same or not you are a part of me, and I will not lose you to this."
"You… you love me?" Dani whispered, happy and shocked at the same time. Illyana nodded curtly. Dani smiled grimly. "I love you too, and I am sorry I did not come to you. You are right, I am not alone. We are one, and we have a debt to repay."
Illyana squeezed Dani's fingers tightly before letting go and adopting a battle stance. "Then call out this beastie of yours. As soon as he is dust we can celebrate our new life."
Dani's spirit soared at Illyana's presumption, she had little doubt that their lives would intertwined from here on out. With renewed determination she called out to her adversary. :Father, mother, I am no longer alone. I have finally found my other half, and tonight we will avenge you.:
"Bear! Come butcher of innocents, Danielle Moonstar and Illyana Rasputin summon you! Show yourself!"
And show itself the monstrous beast of Dani's nightmares did. Standing on its hind legs it was five times her height, its claws longer than her legs. She gasped, but that was all the pause she gave. Immediately she went into action, not realizing that she was no longer in the forest surrounding Xavier's mansion, and Illyana was no longer by her side.
"DANI!" Illyana screamed as she caught glimpse of the massive bear before it and Dani disappeared. With her heart in her throat she immediately set about casting a seeker spell and readying herself to transport to wherever the beast had taken her lover. :We just found each other, please dear gods do not let her be lost.:
Dani lashed out at the bear with her mutant powers, summoning an image of that which it feared most. She was shocked to find an image of herself appear, only to be shredded by the demonic creatures massive paw. Jumping away from its attack she notched an arrow and sent it into the beast's jugular. It should have killed it, but only served to make it angry.
A massive paw swiped her bow from her hand, she moved just in time to miss the brunt of the second. Regardless, she flew ten feet and came crashing to the ground. The bear was upon her in an instant, lifting her toward its gaping maw. Dazed and acting purely on instinct, Dani grabbed an arrow and shoved it through the creature's snout.
The creature howled in anger. Dani wiggled loose of its claw and sprinted to her fallen bow. With the skill and agility of a master hunter she scooped up the bow, notched an arrow, and fired directly into the beast's mouth. The shot was true. Dani watched in grim satisfaction as the bear staggered and crumpled to the ground.
"I don't believe it… I WON! I've slain the demon beast that murdered my parents. At last their spirits are at rest and my nightmare is…" Dani mumbled in disbelief as she walked toward the fallen bear.
Illyana worked frantically, until finally her spell was complete. Dani and the bear once again returned to the forest at Xavier's. Illyana gasped in horror as Dani, obviously under the influence of a spell approached the seemingly dead beast. "DANI NOOOO!"
The great bears eyes opened and locked upon Dani's. Illyana's warning had come too late.
"DANI!" Rahne Sinclair shot up in her bed, awakened by the shout and her own rapport with Danielle.
"Sam! Wake up everyone! Something terrible has happened!" Faster than the eye can follow Rahne Sinclair shifted from human to wolf, and was racing out of the mansion to where she heard the scream.
Sam Guthrie, co leader of the New Mutants, leapt from his bed completely awake. He thanked God that he was a light sleeper as he grabbed a hunting rifle from under his bed and followed Rahne and Bobby Dacosta whom were already racing toward the forest.
The three friends ran as fast as they could, urged on with Rahne's ominous words. "It's Dani! I felt her through our special rapport. There was so much fear, so much pain! An it suddenly all stopped. Sam, I cannae sense anything, I cannae feel her!"
The three doubled their speed when the sound of a piercing wail ripped through the forest. Rahne arrived first followed by Bobby. Illyana was dressed in a strange garb, wailing at Dani's side, covered in her blood.
"Ye Witch! Ye Demon!"
"How could you! After all she has done!"
Rahne transformed into her hybrid wolf form and pounced upon the hysterical Russian. Bobby summoned the powers of sunspot and was prepared to exact revenge on his fallen friend. Illyana, filled with the grief of her loss did not stop Rahne's attack. Not able to control herself, the young werewolf opened her jaws, prepared to bite down upon Illyana's throat.
A single gun shot rang through the air, startling the combatant's and saving Illyana. "Rahne get away from her, Bobby stand down!"
Sam ran toward Dani's body, his gun still pointed at his friends. No one moved as he bent and checked Dani's pulse. "She's still alive! Rahne, get to the mansion, call an ambulance!"
"But, the witch…"
"NOW!" Sam yelled at the top of his lungs. Rahne took off like a bullet toward the house.
Illyana ran to her lover's side, verifying that she was still alive. "Oh god Dani please, you have got to live, please."
Bobby stood still unsure of what to do until Sam told him to follow Rahne and direct the Ambulance toward them. Once bobby was off, Sam removed his coat and draped it over Dani, knowing that she would be in shock and need the warmth. He settled himself next to Illyana, who clutched at her love's hand, unable to control her tears.
"It's gonna be ok girl." Sam mumbled, not quite believing his own words. "It's gotta be…"
To be continued… Eventually!