Hi guys, this is my first X-men story, so let's see how this goes. Hopefully well. Anyways, nothing belongs to me except me, myself, and I. And Tate. By the by, this is set after X3, but without Cyclops, Jean, or the Professor dying…so…just imagine no one died. It's happier that way. Enjoy.


I woke up with my marks twitching, swirling over my skin in a fluid manner. Something was happening. Something was up.

I suppose explain all this…well, maybe later.

Jumping out of my dorm-style bed, I quickly crept to my doorway and peeked out. Not a soul in sight. Nor in sound, nor in sense.

Sometimes I think I could be a spy with my mutation. And then sometimes I trip over a plant and think not.

Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters was surprisingly empty for this time at night. Usually at least somebody was up making a rouge sandwich or watching TV, but not tonight.

Ominous, huh?

I chuckled to myself as the mental image of Rouge making a rouge sandwich appeared in my mind…and then got serious as I considered the time just to make sure there wasn't any staff on patrol.

Let's just say Scott, aka Cyclops, could get a little…anal. About curfew.

My marks swirled again slightly, telling me it was approximately 3:43 A.M., way past anyone's curfew in the mansion. I smiled as I stroked one that had travelled onto my wrist, lightly petting the thick black line that seemed to have a life of its own.

They were my mutation, the marks. They told me things, things about the environment surrounding me such as the temperature, time, altitude I was at, even my exact latitude and longitude. Kind of making me like a walking GPS.

However as much as this seemed like a lame power, that wasn't all they did. They heightened my senses, making me see better, smell better, hear better, and even taste better.

I don't know about touching better. That's just weird.

I even got some additional speed from them too. That was nice, especially when sparring with Logan where I needed all the help I could get. To this day I think I've beat him two times out of thirty…Hm.

Got to work on that.

Anyways, my marks were just a part of me. They appeared as a living tattoo on my skin, consisting of a whirling array of dark lines that constantly moved. My arms seemed to be the place they liked to hang out the most, so in public, I basically just wore long-sleeved shirts.

However, this didn't always stop them, seeing as sometimes they got curious and peeked out of my shirt onto my collarbone. Curious little buggers.

So back to the present.

My marks were telling me that something was off. And so I followed wherever they were guiding me, pulling me.

Why not? It's 3:43 in the morning, I'm a seventeen year old curious mutant girl, so why the heck shouldn't I follow my instincts?

So, following the pull my marks were giving me, I snuck into the hallway and stealthily crept towards my destination of which I was uncertain of. I lightened my footsteps as I passed the TV room, seeing that Jones kid there. He was always there, blinking and changing the channels as a late-night amusement.

Sometimes I used the kid as a remote control when I was bored, tapping him on the head when I wanted to flip channels. He always slightly giggled when I did that, a rare thing for him. Then he blinked.

As I contemplated this, I heard voices coming from up ahead and tried to pinpoint the location, using my marks. I focused and found them to be at approximately the entrance hall, or rather just five feet inside the front doors to the mansion.

Huh. Wonder who the curfew breakers were.

As I got closer, I began to distinguish three voices, talking in tandem. All deep, all male.

One of them was Professor X's. Easy. He had this voice that no one else could imitate except for Mystique. Regal, it was. He could be an announcer or narrator if he wanted to be. Hell, he could do audiobooks.

Cocking my head, I determined the second voice to be Logan's. Gruff, demanding, wolverine-ish. That was pretty much Logan.

As for the third voice, I couldn't recognize it. It was…smooth, deep, and had somewhat of a persuasive feel to it. And yet it held similarities to Logan's at the same time, mimicking his tones. I was confused and convinced I'd never met this man before.

However, hearing this third voice only spurred my marks to swirl faster on my skin, showing their anxiousness. They urged me to get closer to the trio, and so I did. I was curious too, despite my arms now looking like a zebra with moving stripes.

The voices soon became distinguishable words. I was in the entrance hall too now, except at the opposite end. I leaped onto one of the tall bookshelves that lined the entire room and slinked along the top of it, getting closer to the three men.

Sometimes I really liked the Professor's design plans.

"He's not staying." I heard Logan's gruff voice growl. "After all that he's done, you seriously think that he won't cause damage here?"

"I resent that, Jimmy. You don't think I can behave around all the frails here? The kiddos?" That was the smooth third voice. My marks, again, amped up a notch in hearing this, and I crawled faster in response.

"Logan," the Professor's voice rang out as I finally crept far enough to where I could see them. "Mr. Creed here has agreed to my terms as I have agreed with his. This is a sanctuary for all mutants, regardless of their history or backgrounds."

I saw Logan snarl, his fists clenching. "He's a killer, Chuck. If you think he'll change, you're an idiot. He shouldn't be around these kids."

The mysterious third man was obscured by a pillar, but I heard him chuckle darkly.

The Professor raised an eyebrow at Logan's behavior. "Mr. Creed also is aware that any violent behavior here involving himself will result in an instant lobotomy. I am not unaware of his history, but I am willing to give second chances. I consider you do the same, especially after the information he's given you."

I crawled on top of the adjoining bookshelves as close to them as I could without being sighted. Luckily, there were stacks of books ahead, so I ducked behind those, letting them hide me from the trio's vision.

I could finally see the third man.

Let's just say tall, dark, and handsome. He was around the same height as Logan, which was pretty darn tall at above six feet, and he wore a long, black coat. Dark, short hair framed his face going down into mutton chops.

I frowned, trying to see more. Only people in the Civil War had sideburns that long, yet he and Logan both had them. Similar hair cut mistakes? They were surprisingly alike.

Yet somehow the mystery man pulled off the idiotic chops. Darn him.

But…I wondered what it would feel like to touch his chops. Rough or soft?

The third man, aka Mr. Creed, abruptly jerked his head up and started sniffing. Sniffing like he knew something was there. Like someone else was there.


He narrowed his eyes and kept sniffing the air like mad, turning his head a bit to the side. I really hoped he wasn't as similar to Logan as I thought they were. My body was locked into place, unmoving, in fear of getting caught.

Why did I come here again?

"Got scent of a squirrel?" Logan rumbled. "Or was it the local feral cat?"

Creed scoffed, never letting his nose stop sniffing. He then looked at Logan, smirking at him, showing extended canines.


"If you haven't noticed, runt, we're not alone. It seems we have an eavesdropper in our midst." Creed circled his head to scan the room, grinning with his fangs. "Come out, come out wherever you are, little spy. I won't bite…much."

Crap, crap, crap!

I lowered myself as much as possible behind the books, really hoping they would just think this new mutant was lying or making something up. However, I was curious enough that I still had a peephole in which I could witness what was going on down below.

Professor Xavier raised a hand to silence Logan's growling at Creed's words, staring at the space in front of him. "Tate, I do believe this is the time for you to reveal yourself."

Clearly, the Professor had knew I was here. Obviously. Ugh.

I gritted my teeth silently. So much for my anonymity. I was so totally busted.

A light laugh echoed in my head. Yes, you could say that. Now come welcome our new guest.

The Professor. Oh, how I detested mind readers.

Trying to somehow find a bright side in all of this, I pushed the books out of my way and, as gracefully as I could, I leapt down in front of the trio, landing like a cat on the balls of my feet. At least my mutation was good for something.

"And so she appears." Creed's eyes flickered over me, scanning me from my messy hair to tank top to my trusty Batman pajama shorts. In response to this, my marks swirled a little faster, circulating around my bare arms.

I simply raised an eyebrow, ignoring his once-over.

Whatever, pervert.

"Hi." I said, raising my hand in a lame greeting to mainly Logan and the Professor. No need to acknowledge Creeper Creed over there. No need to acknowledge how he was still staring at me.

No need at all.

"Aren't you supposed to be in bed?" Logan looked slightly still ticked off since Creed was right beside him.

I shrugged. "Couldn't sleep."

Creed's eyes were still on me. I refused to make eye contact.

"Well," The Professor began. "Shall we get introductions out of the way? This here, as you already fully know, is Victor Creed. He will be somewhat of an aide to instructors in the coming weeks."

I blinked. An aide? Creed looked a bit annoyed with the wording.

"And this," The Professor continued, turning to Creed. "is Tate, a senior here at this school."

What a wonderful introduction.

"No last name?" Creed drawled.

I glared at him. "No."

My marks started to slightly zig-zag around on my arms. I could see them out of the corner of my eye, making sudden turns. Victor's eyes seemed to fall upon them, absorbing their movements. His lips twitched.

"A handshake seems to be in order." Professor X declared, breaking the awkward silence. He glanced at me. "Doesn't it, Tate?" He looked to his right. "Victor?"

I grimaced as Victor grinned. I really didn't want to touch the guy. Really really didn't want to.

I stepped forward hesitantly, while he took a large stride. My hand held in front of me was suddenly engulfed by his own massive one, and I stared at it incredulously. His fingernails weren't even nails, they were more like…claws.

Very sharp. Very pointy. Very dangerous.

I was not going to let myself be intimidated by this cat-man. Sucking in a breath, I turned my face from our hands to look him in the eye. Which turned out to be quite a ways up, since he was towering over my height of five feet four inches.

Huh. I need some pumps.

"Pleased to meet you." He sneered, a sadistic grin planted on his face. His thumb slowly moved to run over my hand and dragged his claw heavily, causing a narrow cut to form, already bleeding out.


I gave a forced smile as one of my marks slithered down my arm to the cut and circled it dizzingly fast, forcing it closed. Healed, no sign that it had ever happened. Let's just say my marks didn't like me being messed with.


Victor's eyes narrowed at my display of healing, and his grin slowly changed into a smirk. He looked up and locked eyes with me, slowly licking his lips. "Very much so."

Crap. I had just gotten the attention of a big cat. A very, very, very big cat.

And from the looks of it, he wasn't going to let go anytime soon.