A/N So I apologize about the long break since my last chapter; I'm graduating and I had a lot of projects that needed to be finished. Thank Clumsy Clouds for nagging… I mean reminding me to finish this chapter. And I'm also offering a former apology to her for not reviewing her stories after I read them. I shall never fail her again.
Now that I've properly groveled at her feet, on with the story!
"Come on Ellie!" A young girl's voice called from the surrounding woods. "Follow me to paradise!" The voice was hauntingly familiar to me as I chased after it. The child stayed just out of reach, but I had no trouble following her through the woods I had often played in with my cousin when we were little. Pausing to catch my breath I glanced up to see the younger versions of myself and Alexis absorbed in a game of make believe. The younger Alexis laughed at something only she could hear as she began to fade away. Upon discovering the loss of her companion little Elena began to search frantically for her cousin, mouth open in a silent call.
"You didn't like it very much when I left did you?" Little Alexis asked as she materialized by my side. "But this isn't paradise…" she murmured, dark blue eyes staring into mine. "Come on! You have to see paradise!" She cried with a giggle taking off once more.
I followed after her, struggling as the woods became unfamiliar. Without warning I burst into the open and almost fell off a cliff. After regaining my balance I took in the breath taking view. A huge valley spread out before me with a waterfall to my right spilling into a lake below me. "What do you think?" Little Alexis asked, her back turn from me.
"It's amazing." I responded. Turning my gaze from the scenery before me I observed the younger version of my cousin. She hadn't developed the defensive curve in her shoulders from untold horrors but her over confident, ready to take on the world attitude was visible in her stance as she surveyed the valley below her. "How do you know this is paradise?" I asked, trying to figure out why she had brought me here.
"Because Hell lies below." She replied turning slowly towards me. Her eyes were no longer sapphire pools; they had turned black as night. "Per me si va ne la città dolente,
per me si va ne l'etterno dolore" Snarling she shifted into her older self. "'Through me you go to the grief wracked city; Through me you go to everlasting pain." She pointed towards the waterfall as she rose into the air. "Time to wake up to the real world, kiddo." Shadows began to spread out from around her, reaching towards me like skeletal hands. "Time to wake up!" Long bloody claws burst from the back of her hands and she lunged towards me.
Time to wake up…
"Time to wake up Elena." Rogue repeated, shaking Elena's shoulder. Without warning a blast of light surged from Elena's hands knocking Rogue to the floor. Gasping for breath Elena looked around the room wildly searching for the demonic version of her cousin. "Yeash, remind me not to wake you up anymore." Rogue grumbled as she got up. "What's wrong with you anyways?"
"Sorry." Elena mumbled as she got out of bed and changed into her baby blue jeans and a black t-shirt with a skeleton outline on the front and red and white polka dot sleeves. "I had the weirdest dream. I was chasing after a younger version of my cousin through the woods back home. It started out as a trip down memory lane but ended at a waterfall I had never seen before." Elena frowned as she and Rogue headed towards the bathrooms. "Then she changed from little girl to grown up…monster" She continued struggling to find the right word. "These claws grew out of the back of her hand, like in that picture I showed you." Elena greeted the other girls who were in the bathroom before continuing in a lower voice. "The weirdest part was her eyes. They turned pitch black and, well; she didn't seem like Alexis anymore. It was like her shadow self." Elena turned towards the mirror to fix her hair and screamed. Instead of seeing her normal reflection her eyes were shining white hot and the black eyed Alexis stood behind her.
"You are no different from me." The aberration whispered before fading away, a smug smile on its face. Elena blinked several times as the real world came into to focus.
"What's wrong?" Rogue asked a concerned look on her face as she searched the immediate area, expecting evidence of one of the boys' stupid pranks.
"Nothing. I, I just thought I saw…" Elena glanced about the room but didn't see any signs of her spectral cousin. Thinking quickly she added, "I thought I saw one of the boys sneaking in." This had all of the other girls in an uproar and they began searching for any sign of the alleged boy. Rogue gave her a questioning look but didn't say anything.
"Fresh air!" John exclaimed as he stepped off the bus.
"I'm surprised you even know what that smells like considering your side of the room is filled with smoke." Bobby retorted following his friend. "So do you two want to meet up for lunch after the tour is done?" He asked as Elena and Rogue stepped out of the vehicle.
"Sounds good." Rogue replied as Mr. Summers called everyone together for announcements.
"Alright high school students will be with Professor Xavier and myself, lower grades with Ms. Monroe and Ms. Grey. Older students will be allowed to view the museum on their own after the tour is over. Everyone needs to meet in the cafeteria in a couple of hours." Scott called, red sunglass scanning the crowd for trouble makers.
"As you can see the behaviors of the Canis familiaris are necessary for its survival. Can anyone tell me a behavior that would affect a specific stage of life? Elena, would you like to answer?" Mr. Summers sighed seeing as no one was listening.
Elena glanced up with a start, she had been thinking about this morning's events and hadn't been paying attention. "Effects of pack behavior? Well if the alpha male doesn't acknowledge the pups they will be ostracized and cast out from the pack, eventually resulting in the pup's death."
"Well that's just depressing." John quipped as the group moved on. Elena fell to the back of the group wrapped up in her own thoughts.
"So when were you going to talk to me about your nightmares?" The Professor asked, coming alongside her. "Mind reader, remember?" He replied to her shocked and startled look.
"I think most of it is just exaggerations of what Alexis could do with her powers and wishing things would go back to normal and knowing they won't." Elena sighed in frustration before continuing. "But the part I don't understand is how I could see places I'd never been to before and how she could be speaking in Italian. I've never even heard those words before; they couldn't have come from my subconscious!"
"Well it could be your subconscious, perhaps you heard those words before and don't remember it. But mostly likely your cousin is trying to contact you."
"You mean like from beyond the grave?" Elena interrupted a nervous look on her face.
"No, I mean telepathically. I know her powers aren't obviously telepathic but she may have figured away to communicate with you. I know you and Marie have come to the conclusion that Logan is Alexis' long lost father and I think your right. They have a more animalistic mutation and because of this they can have a 'berserker' personality; a part of them they cannot control and will attack anything in their path. This shadow version of your cousin maybe her 'berserker' form and is the only way she can be strong enough to get through." As the Professor moved to catch up with the rest of the group he added, almost as an afterthought, "The 'berserker' personality types may be dangerous but I have noticed when they form a pack they can calm each other down. Even if your cousin does have this darker side being around you may keep her calm."
Elena frowned to herself as she went in search of her friends. While she was excited about the thought of her cousin still being alive, knowing that she might be held prisoner concerned her. Who or what could be so powerful that it could keep Alexis captive?
A/N Thanks for reading! If you enjoy my little story please review and let me know. Shoot even if you didn't like it you should review and let me know what would make it better.
P.S. if any of you like the musical Guys and Dolls I will be posting a story for that soon.