Title: The Old Switcheroo
Author: Angela Griffen
Fandom: New Teen Titans / X-Men
Pairings: Shadowcat/Changeling, Terra/Colossus
Archive: Ask first.
Date: August 2004
Disclaimer: They belong to DC & Marvel.
Summary: If Kitty was DC's and Terra was Marvel's.
Author's Note: For Jori.
George and I knew exactly where it was going. [Terra] was set up
specifically to make the readers think that we were doing a Kitty Pryde
story, and then suddenly switch it on them.
Somewhere, something is different...
New York. The place to go was New York. She could slip into a bus so easily this way.
There were benefits to this newfound power. This disorder her family doctor could not explain. She might fall through the floor from time to time, but it made running away more easy than she could ever have imagined.
Her mother said it was a shame there was no one who took in people like her. "Like your people," she meant.
But Kitty knew there might be a place she could go; all she had to do was get to New York.
Terra hates her brother. He "saves the world" and "helps people" when it's so obvious they're better than other people. Humans.
He ignores her to save the lives of humans, instead of basking in the glory of what he is.
She hears of the Brotherhood through the news. When she hears Magneto speak, she can see her future.
It's a long and laborious journey, but when she finally finds Magneto, Terra tells him that more than she hates humans, she hates these mutant do-gooders who think it's their job to protect a dying race.
Magneto laughs. Her future is now.
Of course the Titans took her in, it shouldn't have surprised her that much. The first thing she did was take a long hot shower; the second thing she did was let Gar take her out for pizza.
Gar talked a lot, which was nice because Kitty didn't have much upbeat to say. He had a sharp smile that somehow remained unthreatening, and he really liked talking about acting, even though it was obvious he hadn't gotten a role in years.
When he asked, Kitty kept her answers short, but he sobered at her response anyway.
"What about you?" she asked.
"I used to work with Titans West. Before that, I was the youngest member of the Doom Patrol," he said with a dismissive gesture of his hand.
"No, before that," Kitty specified. Maybe she shouldn't have asked that, so she bit into her slice of pizza viciously.
"Nothing important happened before that," he answered, and Kitty let him lie.
On the walk home, she didn't realize she'd been holding his hand until they reached the pier on the way out to the Tower.
The next day, Kory and Donna helped her move into her new room.
Xavier never notices because Terra never feels guilty about anything. When she's at the mansion she can think about things that other teenage girls do with ease. When someone tells her not to think about zebras, she can. It's a talent, she supposes.
Peter is a lot older than she is, but Terra catches him looking at her out of the corner of his eye. It's the funniest thing in the world, so she smiles back at him, the blush blooming across her cheeks a testament to her ability as a thespian.
Not that Peter isn't attractive, but he reminds her of all the things she hates about her brother, right down to his stupid accent and his stupid heart of gold.
He sometimes shows her his paintings, which are crap, but she never says so, and when he asks if he can paint her, she sits outside on a rock and holds still for hours while he tries to engage her in conversation.
She hates him, and she can tell the way he looks at her that she hides it well.
Magneto asks her if she's certain this is wise, but Terra only smiles.
She makes her own fun.
It isn't that Kitty doesn't love him, because she does. But she needs to be alone.
She can't explain it quite right, and Gar keeps asking her what he did wrong. It isn't that at all.
Kitty just wants to have a moment of her life to not be a superhero. She wants to go back home and tell her mom she did all right. She wants to know she can do something else.
She wants to go away so she can come back, and if it's right, they can be forever.
But right now, she wants to be alone.
It was supposed to be perfect.
It was supposed to be the beginning of the end for people like the X-Men.
But something's wrong with Magneto, and it's all the professor's fault, and Nightcrawler escapes so easily that Terra can't breathe, and then it's all over.
The walls around them begin to shake and crumble, fueled by Terra's anger.
Colossus is running straight for her, and Magneto won't stop him, because something's wrong with him.
"You lied," Peter says, and his fist doesn't so much throw her as skewer her, and Terra screams as the world falls down around them.
...and yet, it's all the same