"I've had a really lousy couple of days," Xander said.
"How bad was it?" Kitty asked, giving up trying to escape Illyana's grasp.
"Torture, death, human sacrifice, and the end of the world," he said, pulling the covers up to his eyes.
"That…sounds a bit like what Illyana went through before gaining control of limbo," she admitted, phasing through Illyana and leaving her clothes behind. A quick glance showed Xander didn't notice as he had his eyes shut against the sunlight.
"Really?" Xander asked curiously, opening his eyes and finding Kitty dressed in a bathrobe sitting on her bed.
"Yeah, only she was stuck in limbo for years with Belasco in power trying to corrupt her," Kitty said, reaching over to brush a stray lock of hair out of the Russian-born mutant's eyes. "The X-men of her time were tortured, altered and killed. She jumped back in time and prevented it from happening in our timeline, but it still happened for her."
"That's why I prefer DC comics," Xander muttered. "They weren't nearly so dark. My timeline was probably written by Darkhorse."
Kitty was going to ask what he meant by that, but her stomach growled. "Looks like a shower and breakfast for me. I'll talk to you later when you're feeling better."
Once the door closed behind Kitty, Illyana giggled. "Wow, does she get dressed fast!"
Xander chuckled in return. "Yeah, I didn't get nearly as good a look as I'd have liked, before she was covered up and I had to pretend not to have seen anything."
"So, depressed and angsty?" she asked, sitting up and revealing she was only wearing a long shirt.
"Let me put it this way, I threw myself into a portal to hell expecting it to be less painful." Xander sighed.
"Ouch." Illyana winced as she continued, "Would you like to do therapy sessions with Professor Xavier, where you are guided to answers and walk through your memories, or quick and dirty sessions with me that are physically dangerous, but solve things in no time flat?"
"Quick and dirty sounds like more fun," Xander replied.
"Scoot over," Illyana ordered, climbing into bed with him.
"The flesh is willing, but the spirit is all but broken," he warned her.
She chuckled. "I just don't want to take a chance on screwing up Kitty's bed. Ready for a trip to limbo?"
"I just came from there," Xander whined.
"We can manipulate the passage of time there," Illyana explained.
"Gotcha," Xander agreed. "OK, let's go."
A disk of light enveloped the bed, dropping them in her throne room, which she had yet to redecorate since Belasco's reign.
S'ym was lounging on the obsidian throne, looking like death warmed over. "Morning, Boss and Boss," he said as a demon brought him a goblet of smoking liquid.
"What happened to you?" Illyana asked.
"Belasco had a backup plan for his resurrection that involved being reborn through me, but Dr. Strange saved me from that by drinking me under the table and removing the soul leech from me," S'ym explained. "Naturally, that made my hangover a thousand times worse."
Illyana paled, then smiled. "Another bullet dodged. I wonder if I still have to worry about losing my humanity?"
"Losing your humanity?" Xander asked, getting out of bed still dressed as he had been when he arrived, minus shoes.
"As rulers of limbo, we are no longer truly human," Illyana explained. "Our forms are tied to our dimension and it is a hell dimension, even if not an especially dark one."
Xander looked around at the throne room with its large skull-festooned obsidian throne and what could only be referred to as medieval demonic niche décor.
Illyana laughed. "Belasco was the last decorator and under him it truly was a hell dimension. I haven't changed it because…nerves, really. I had to do a lot of evil things to usurp Belasco's throne and I'm afraid to see what the reflection of that would be in the world around us."
"I can understand that," Xander said, closing his eyes and concentrating for a moment, sending waves of changes throughout the room.
What was formerly a underground demonic throne room now looked like a Mediterranean palace, sheathed in white marble, with large, airy windows overlooking the sea lightening up the place. There were scattered divans about and colorful tapestries and statues of naked women along the walls. The obsidian throne lost all its demonic accents and gained cushions to match the second throne beside it.
S'ym found he was now wearing sunglasses and a large cowboy hat to protect him from the sun. "Thanks, Boss," he said, gratefully.
"Very nice, I especially like the statues of me and Kitty," Illyana responded, amused. "But look at yourself."
Xander stood and stretched, examining his wings and tail. "I look like Goliath from Gargoyles," he exclaimed in shock.
"Lucky you, I look like a demon," Illyana said, transforming.
"Nope, Demona from Gargoyles," Xander replied, smiling.
Magik turned the air in front of her into a mirror with a wave of her hand and examined herself. "The nature of Limbo has changed," she stated with a grin.
"Probably because Belasco is completely gone now," Xander said, flexing his tail and wings to get a feel for them.
"You seem to have had a powerful influence on these forms," Illyana said thoughtfully.
"I figured if I needed a semi-demonic form, I'd pick a good one," he replied. "Gargoyles look demonic but they were protectors of humanity. Seemed a fitting choice."
"I'll have to give you a crash course in a half-dozen things before we get to the therapy part."
"Shape changing, so you can regain your human form, some basic magic exercises, so you can channel it constructively, and…I guess we'll learn flying together."
"I'll get the catapult!" S'ym volunteered.
Typing by: Elrod Albino!