Bright Lights

An X-men: Evolution fanfic by Lavender Gaia

Editing and Assistance by Laine (though not betaed—sorry!)

Chapter Seven: Troublemaker

First draft: October 7, 2005

Disclaimer: I do not own X-men Evolution or any of its characters. They are all property of Marvel. Still don't own Donna, Riley Egan or the Nekohanten. AJ is my genderless minion but I don't own Daniel.

Jean didn't like lying. It was one of those values that her parents had actually drilled in her head as a child, and it stuck. As a child she never lied, which actually led to her and her sister or her and Annie getting in to trouble far more than a child who bent the truth a little.

The personal promise never to lie only became that much more important when she moved into the Institute and realized that she was a telepath. It was an insult to be lied to when she could see whether or not they really were. By this time, she only lied if it was very important, practically a life or death situation.

Today she lied to her husband and it was tearing her up inside.

Scott had woken her up that morning with waffles in bed (they were Eggo, but it's the thought that counts) and a hot cup of coffee exactly the way she liked it. There was no greater way to wake up than one of his kisses, soft and loving. "Good morning, beautiful."

"Good morning to you too, Scott. What's all this?" she looked at the tray of food in front of her.

"I don't have classes till this afternoon, so I thought I'd make you breakfast and maybe straighten up around here."

Her heart melted. "You're so sweet. Thank you for all of this, always great to start off a morning class with a good breakfast."

"I'm glad you like it." He kissed the top of her head. "Enjoy."

She smiled lightly, then grabbed his arm as he tried to walk out of the bedroom. "I'd enjoy it more if you sat with me."

He walked to the other side of the king sized bed and slipped under the comforter. "Of course. So you have a class in the morning…what are you doing after that?"

"Well, one of my professors was telling me about this discussion group in the student union. I'll probably check that out." Jean stuffed a piece of waffle in her mouth, silently cursing it for weighing down her tongue after Scott had gone through so much trouble to make sure it was lightly toasted all the way through.

Scott nodded, adjusting his glasses. "That sounds like fun. I'd love to come, but I have a class then. Fill me in on what happens, ok? Or maybe I could check it out halfway through."

She forced it down with a gulp of orange juice; how could she lie to this man who bought pulpless orange juice for her even though he loved the pulp? "He said for everyone to just meet in the student union. We can't just take it over like that, but he should have secured us another definite destination by then. I'll just meet you at home after it's over."

"Ok, that sounds good to me. How about we go out tonight? Dinner, movie, something like that? We really haven't had a nice night out for a while," he kissed her neck, as if tempting her with a bit more than not having to cook for a night.

Jean smiled despite herself. "That sounds good. I'm gonna get in the shower."

"What about the waffles?"

"Eggos always taste better after you let them sit for a while," she said off the top of her head, justifying to herself that it could be true. After giving him a quick kiss and sliding out of bed, she locked herself in their master bathroom and running the hot water in an attempt to scrub her disgust in herself off.

Though she felt horrible, as Jean sat in class and took notes on what the professor was lecturing about, she couldn't help but be excited. Today she was actually going to meet with a modeling agency and sign a contract. It was the dream of a lot of women in the city, yet for her it was just a fluke. She just hoped she liked the work.

When all of her morning classes were over she went to the bathroom to fix her hair and make up and check to see if her skirt and shirt wasn't wrinkled. Usually she got offended when Rogue referred to her as "Miss Perfect" but at the moment it would be a welcome confirmation that she looked all right.

Arriving at the restaurant ten minutes later, she found that Mr. Zimmerman and Miss Troy were already there. "I'm sorry, I'm not late, am I?" she asked as she took her seat across the table from them.

"No, we're just early. It's nice to see you, Miss Grey," Max reached across the table and shook her hand.

"Actually, there's something I think I should tell you," Jean said softly. "It's Grey-Summers. I'm married."

"Oh, how nice," Donna smiled.

Zimmerman frowned. "Is there a reason it doesn't say that on your application?"

"I haven't had a chance to really change my drivers license since I got married. But since I have a new apartment, I should be getting it done soon," Jean explained.

Her future boss nodded. "Alright then." Putting his briefcase on the table, he pulled out a large stack of papers. "Here is your contract. You can take it home and have a lawyer look it over if you'd like."

"I don't think that'll be necessary," she murmured, pretending to look over the contract as she used her telepathy to look over his thoughts for anything that seemed sinister. Finding nothing bad related to her contract, she pulled out her pen and signed all the necessary lines.

Donna handed her a menu as Max slid the papers back into his briefcase. "Great. How about we get some lunch?"

Jean took the menu and looked it over before deciding to get a Caesar salad. She wasn't all that hungry after eating Scott's waffles this morning, but she didn't want them to think she was one of the models who starved themselves on a daily basis.

"If you're not busy next Friday afternoon, we have a job for you," Max told her after the waitress left with their orders. "Donna here will shooting it and the model you met, Miss Anders, will be there as well. Can you make it."

It would be the second afternoon in a row that she would have to blow Scott off, but she couldn't say no to her first modeling job. "That sounds great."

Mr. Zimmerman nodded. "Excellent, I'll have my secretary call you with the details. Which is the best means to reach you by?"

"My cell phone. Definitely. We're still having problems with our landline," she lied.

When the waitress brought their drinks, Donna raised hers. "How about a toast to a great time working together." Max raised his glass and took a long swig

"Here here…" Jean agreed, taking a sip of her iced tea, pushing all doubts and guilt to the back of her mind. She'd just have to get over it.

"Amara, where are my strappy black sandals?" Kitty groaned as she searched through the pile of shoes at the bottom of her closet.

"You said after the last time you wore them that they were shoes of death and you wanted to me get rid of them that special way I can," she called back from the couch.

Shadowcat whined. "But I need them!"

Suddenly, the girl from Nova Roma was standing in her doorway. "Relax, they were in my room. As if I'd actually destroy you shoes in a pool of lava."

"Awesome!" She hopped up and took them from the younger girl, slipping them on her feet.

"I think you take the 'beauty is pain' bit too far, Kitty," Amara shook her head. "But I brought you these too." She held out a pair of dangling gold earrings studded with jewels.

Kitty gaped at them, taking each earring carefully. "They're gorgeous. Where'd you get them?"

"Home. I've had them forever," the lady told her lightly, sitting on her bed and reading the back of the book Kitty was currently working her way through.

The older woman blinked. "But…that means these are real!"

"Of course they're real!" Amara said indignantly, offended that her friend would think otherwise.

"Amara, I can't wear these! They're so delicate and they could come all the way from ancient Rome; do you know how much money these could be worth."

"But…" the Roman looked sad. "I want you to wear them. It goes great with your outfit and you know I don't care about the money. Please, Kitty?"

After a moment's hesitation, she slipped them on. "Ok, ok. You know, it's really hard to say no to you."

She giggled. "I'll take that as a compliment. By the way, you look great."

Kitty took a step back to admire herself in the mirror. She hadn't bothered to straighten her hair and the part that wasn't up in the half-ponytail hung in loose waves by her shoulders. She'd stolen one of the new shirts Tabitha had gotten on her shopping trip with Jean; it was a light, striped shirt that wrapped around her waist until it tied to the side, making it a very deep V-neck that Rogue had said "Oh my god, that makes you look like you have cleavage!" Lucky, the Southerner had been fast enough to dodge the large dictionary thrown at her.

Company that with a swishy black skirt and the heeled sandals of doom and she did look good. Before she could thank her friend, Tabitha poked her head in the room. "Hey, Kit, you want me to be your cell phone savior?"

"My what?" she blinked, spraying on some perfume.

"I'll call you at an allotted time, if you're having fun ignore it. If you'd sell your soul to get away, answer and make up some story about having to go home right away," Tabitha explained.

Kitty nodded. "Sounds good. Call sometime between nine and ten, k?" The doorbell rang. "I bet that's him."

"Have a great time," Amara told her, squeezing her hand.

"Thanks," she smiled at her friends before going to open the door.

Riley stood there with a bouquet of roses, looking handsome in black slacks and a jacket. "Hey, there."

"Hi," She smiled shyly and gestured towards the flowers. "Are those for me?"

"Of course," he handed them over and placed a kiss on her cheek. "You look fantastic."

Kitty blushed. "Thanks. One of my roommates will put these in water for me," she said as more of an order than a request as she put them on the entrance table and grabbed her purse.

"Ready?" Riley asked.

"You bet," she stepped out into the hall and closed the door behind her. "So where are we going?"

"I made reservations at Nekohanten," he told her.

She stared at him with wide eyes. Nekohanten was a hot new Japanese restaurant that all the stars were going to. She'd read in a magazine that you had to make reservations as early as three months in advance. "How'd you manage that?"

Riley smirked. "My father sold them the property for the restaurant. All I had to do was drop my name and I got a reservation."

"Wow…" she whispered. "Well, thank you."

"No problem." He opened the front door of the building before going to open the passenger side of his car for her. Kitty's jaw dropped. It was a brand new black BMW Z3 convertible.

She slid into the leather seat, silently thanking Warren for inviting her to his party. As they drove towards the restaurant, he told her about his family's new yacht and that even though his parents had taken it out for the weekend maybe they could spend the weekend on it when it got back into port.

There were several paparazzi outside Nekohanten when they pulled up and Riley gave the keys to the valet. Kitty slipped out of the car as gracefully as possible, trying not to blink from the camera flashes.

A host seated them immediately, trying to butter up Riley the whole time, who obviously didn't mind. Kitty looked over her menu quickly, searching for something that didn't have meat.

"The menu is in Japanese," Riley deadpanned.

Kitty raised an eyebrow at him. "It is a Japanese restaurant."

"So? Who speaks Japanese?" He scoffed.

"I do," Kitty smiled lightly, glad that that was one of the many languages the professor had taught them telepathically.

"Well, well, well," he smirked. "You're just full of surprises, aren't you? So what would you recommend?"

She shrugged. "Depends what you like. I'm personally going to get okonomiyaki with rice and pickled vegetables."

Riley blinked. "Oko-what? …Do they have teriyaki pork?" Kitty nodded. "I'll have that."

The waiter approached them shortly, speaking in slow English. "Hello, Egan-san, Miss. How can I help you tonight?"

"Konban wa, Yuusuke-san," Kitty greeted him, then continued to tell him their order in Japanese.

He was relieved. "Arigatou gozaimasu."

"Dou itashimashite," she nodded as he walked away.

Her date was staring at her. "I'm impressed. No idea what you said, but I'm impressed, nonetheless."

Kitty grinned. "Well, I have a lot of little secrets."

The two continued to talk until the food came and she was glad when it did; maybe he wasn't used to having to talk to someone on a date, but he wasn't exactly a sparkling conversationalist. Plus, as she had heard, the food was excellent and she enjoyed it greatly.

After they had finished eating, Riley asked if she wouldn't mind making an appearance at Club Asterisk. "It'll just take a minute. We'll just talk a little and then leave. I hate to dance, so we don't have to worry about that."

Kitty just smiled and tried to hold back a sigh. She wanted to dance. As a young girl, she wanted to grow up to be a dancer.

Luckily, as he promised, they only stayed a half hour, long enough for Riley to smooze and have a couple shots of something she didn't even want to know. She agreed to go back to his penthouse when he was finished. I bet he'll be more comfortable if we get a chance to sit alone and talk, she reasoned.

"This is an amazing view," she gushed from the apartment, looking out the floor to ceiling windows. "Great apartment."

"Thanks, my parents bought it," he grinned. Kitty forced herself not to roll her eyes, before joining him on the couch. "I'm glad you like it."

He leaned over and kissed her, Kitty responding immediately. What he lacked in intelligence he certainly made up for in his lips. Or perhaps it was all the practice he got. After a while, she leaned back, resting her neck against the arm of the couch.

One of his hands rested on her hip, stroking lightly as his lips made their way down to suck on her neck. Kitty closed her eyes and gave herself to the moment. His hands started moving underneath her shirt, rubbing her skin lightly. For a moment, she felt uncomfortable; obviously he was used to moving a lot faster than she was.

Her cell phone rang as one of his hands fingered her bra clasp. "I…I have to get that," she whispered, getting off the couch and reaching for her purse. "Hello?"

"Hey, babe, what's up?" Tabitha asked in her usual loud voice.

"Really? That's terrible," Kitty acted, hinting to her roommate.

"That bad?" The blonde sounded sympathetic. "Men suck, I think we should just get used to it."

She nodded. "Alright, sweetie, I'll be home as soon as I can. You just feel better. Bye." Hanging up, she turned to her date. "I'm so sorry, Riley. My roommate's sick and I don't want her left alone."

He looked slightly annoyed. "Well, it's going to take a while to get the car out of the garage."

"That's ok," she assured him quickly, wondering exactly what he had planned to happen tonight. "It's New York City, I'll catch a cab."

Riley nodded. "Ok, if you're sure."

She smiled, then kissed his cheek as she fixed her shirt. "Thank you for dinner, Riley."

As she headed for the door, he called out, "Any time, pretty Kitty!" Luckily, she held back the shudder until she was in the elevator. There were no cabs downstairs, so she decided that no matter how much her feet hurt that she would just start walking in the direction she thought was home.

A few minutes later she heard someone walking behind her. "Hey!"

She turned furiously, ready to prove to this mugger or rapist that you don't mess with any girl that trained in martial arts with the Wolverine.

"Hey, it's just me!" Doug told her, peeking over large boxes.

Kitty sighed in relief. "You shouldn't sneak up on people like that!"

"I'm sorry. What are you doing out here?" He asked, shifting the boxes.

"Just got out of a really bad date," she grimaced.

He groaned. "I'm sorry. Hey, why don't you let me drop these off and I'll walk you home. I don't want you going alone."

She smiled. "Sounds good. What's in there, anyway?"

"Computer parts. C'mon." She followed him towards a store that said 'Computers, Etc.' in the window. "Hey, Dan, I brought your stuff!"

A young man with dark hair who she could only assume was Dan came out of a room in the back. "Great, bring it back here. But I don't think I ordered her."

"This is my friend, Kitty. Kitty, this is Dan." The two shook hands as all three went to the back. "And the fluorescent light bulb working on the computer is AJ."

A pale young man with bright red hair flipped off Doug. "Shut up. This thing is giving me hell."

Kitty peeked over his shoulder at the laptop. "Mind if I give it a try?"

Dan and AJ exchanged a look, but Doug nodded. "Give her a chance; she's better than me at these things."

The redhead got off his chair and gestured for her to sit down, explaining what was wrong. She set right to work, pulling up screens and typing furiously. When it still wouldn't bend to her will, she got up, searching through bins of spare parts that were littered on shelves against the wall. Fifteen minutes later she announced, "Done!"

All three men looked at her in shock. "You can not be done," AJ insisted. "I've been working on that for three days!"

Daniel started running the computer. "Oh my god, it works. You're amazing."

She blushed. "It's not that big of a deal."

Doug put a hand on her shoulder. "She's being modest. The girl is a computer genius. While most people had dates on the weekends, we used to make programs and hack into government files."

Kitty raised an eyebrow at him. "Speak for yourself. I had dates."

"I don't doubt it," Daniel nodded. "Do you want a job?"


"This is basically a store for software, custom builds, and repairs. If you can do that with any computer, I promise I can make it worth your while," he explained.

AJ smirked, "And since he won't say it, I will: It definitely can't hurt to have a hot girl working, as mostly nerds come in here."

Kitty giggled as both Dan and Doug hit him upside the head. "Well, I'd have to work it around my school schedule, but I can come in Monday afternoon and talk to you about that."

He nodded. "That sounds great."

Doug put an arm around Kitty's shoulders. "Now, if you all are done ogling, I should probably get her home before her roommates worry and take it out on me."

"Whoa, you two weren't on a date, were you?" AJ stared at Doug in disbelief.

"No!" the pair insisted.

"Don't worry, you'll get used to ignoring him," Daniel assured. "See you on Monday, Kitty."

She waved. "Bye!" As she and Doug made their way back outside she smiled at him. "Your friends are nice."

He nodded. "They're good guys. Did this make your night any better?"

"Definitely! I may have had a bad date, but I met some nice people and got a job out of it. Thanks, Doug."

He ran a hand through his blond hair, then hailed down a cab. It stopped at Kitty's place first and she gave him a kiss on the cheek before climbing out and going upstairs.

"There you are!" Amara sighed with relief. "You were supposed to have left Riley's a half hour ago."

"I did, but I ran into Doug Ramsey on the way home," Kitty explained, sighing in relief as she took off her sandals.

Tabitha wrinkled her nose. "That dork?"

"Don't call him that, Tabitha!"

"Yeah," Amara agreed. "He may be a dork, but he's a very cute dork."

Tabby nodded her consent and Kitty just rolled her eyes. "Anyway, he introduced me to some of his friends and I got a job fixing computers. All in all, not a bad night. Except for the date."

"What was wrong with that, anyway?" Rogue asked, coming out of the bathroom.

Kitty sighed. "He was so boring! And all he wanted to do when he got back to his apartment was make out with me, and I'm pretty sure he assumed it wasn't going to stop there. Oh, well, at least the food was good."

"Like I said," the blonde leaned back in her chair, stretching. "Men suck."

"Hey!" Amara hit her with a pillow. "Speak for yourself."

"Nothing against Bobby!" Tabitha insisted. "I mean, in what world would he be considered a man?"

She continually beat her with the fluffy pillow until the phone rang. "Hello?" she answered it, slightly out of breath. "Hey, Jean. Huh? Um, ok. Tabby, it's for you."

Tabitha hopped out of her seat, grabbed the phone and went to go sit on one of the kitchen stools. "Hey, you. So, how'd it go? Really? That's great. Hey, don't be like that. You're not doing anything wrong. Trust me, I can tell what's right and wrong, I just…prefer to toe the line. Alright, I'll see you tomorrow. Bye." She hung up and put the phone back in the cradle.

"What was that about?" Kitty asked curiously.

"Nothing," Tabby replied quickly. "I'm going to bed. Night."

"Night…" the three chorused together, watching her retreat to her room before exchanging a look. Those two were hiding something and they didn't like it.

A/N: This chapter would have been out a lot sooner, but my computer broke and then Compaq lost it so I had to go get a new one. But here's everything I promised, including Jott moments. Yay.

I've created an X-men: Evolution forum to talk about the show and everything related to it. You can find it at rosealchemist dot proboards26 dot com or by clicking the homepage link in my profile. Since I'm sure you're an Evo fan if you're reading this, I hope you'll check it out and join!

As of this chapter, I officially put this story on hiatus. It's really the hardest for me to get out, more than a chore than anything else, and even with all my ideas my beta agreed with me that she can't see it going anywhere. There's so many other things that I could be focusing my time on, especially since I'm going to be super busy with my law class until this semester is over. I hope that after I step away from it for a while that I can get back into it and provide you with new chapters that are fun for me to write, though they might be slow coming. I hope no one is very upset with me and I do promise to try to get out a new chapter as soon as I feel I'm ready. I'm not abandoning this story!

Questions, comments, reactions and reviews are greatly appreciated.

Review Responses:

Starrydreamz: Half the chapter is all about our favorite Kitty cat! Sorry for the late update, computer problems suck!

Jacx: I'm glad you're enjoying it!

Slickboy444: Completely understandable, not everyone likes every couple. I for one don't like Romy. At this point, I am not sure if Betsy will show up. She would create a good amount of conflict, but I honestly don't like her character in the recent X-men comics. Unless that starts to change or I read some of the old comics where I enjoy her, it's going to be on the fence. I can promise that Jean will meet up with Mary Jane though!

Realtfarraige: Well, the Professor helps pay for their bills and mortgage, but for anything else it's their job to pay for it, since they are old enough. Sam will be coming in from time to time, as well as some more mutants from Bayville. If Rahne and Jubilee are in it, they won't have big parts, but they'll show up.

Nettlez: I'm glad that you like the Warren and Rogue, and that you like the story.

Whylime: I like writing the sibling moments, and the reason they're in the same class is because Kurt's taking German for Beginners in order to get a cake grade. Not that I ever do that…

DOJ: I always wondered why Sam was so neglected; he was a big character in the comics and I love him. And yes, we all miss Lance…He'll be there eventually though.

GothikStrawberry: I think happy couples suck too, but I like writing happy Bobby/Amara. Well, something will happen regarding Nova Roma, but I can promise you her dad won't die and it would be kind of hard for her mom to die again.

Strayphoenix: I'm glad you like it and I'll try to update In the Heat more often.

Telepathic Angel: I'm glad you liked Rogue and Warren's date, and I hope you enjoy the JOTT in this chapter.

Claudia: Wow, you wrote a lot. I'm glad that you're enjoying this. I am trying to give all the characters their time to shine. I do my best to treat Rogue like I would any other character, even though I don't like her as much. I always thought that Sam and Bobby were close and Bobby's always been the leader of the New Mutants while Sam is quieter. Amara wasn't offended by that comment because they were don't have universities like we do in Nova Roma. I'm so glad that my fanfiction can influence your dreams and I hope you enjoyed it!

AngelicFairy: It's always fun writing for the guys and it's nice to try something new where Rogue and Warren is concerned.

Diaz F.: I'm happy you like the Rogue/Warren! I was kind of getting sick of the Romy, and I'm glad there's someone who agrees with me.