Rock Your World
An X-Men Evolution Fanfic By Sandoz
Disclaimer: X-Men Evolution belongs to the good people at Marvel and Kid's WB. I'm just borrowing it.
Summary: In an alternate universe, Lance is recruited as an X-Man at the end of "The X-Impulse." But how will that change events as we know them? And what of his romance with Kitty Pryde? (AU L/K)Chapter 1: A Different Turn of Events
"You feel sick inside every time you think about it, don't you? You want it to go away, but it won't. You're afraid of what might happen. Your parents are clueless…probably ashamed. And being alone don't help."
"What, are you, like, reading my mind too?!"
"No way! It's just that I've been going through it myself. You know, trying to figure it out. But I've learned how to control it. Meet me outside the office in an hour. I'll show you how."
* * *
Staring at the clock high above the teacher's head, Lance Alvers leaned back in his chair and thought about the matter of Kitty Pryde.
He had been ruminating on those few minutes for the last two hours, recalling his casual redecoration of the school hallway and how he was knocked to the ground by a small, fearful girl. Stuffed in a locker by two of the class bitches, she freed herself by passing through the door as skillfully and silently as a ghost. She was most definitely flesh and blood, however.
Kitty Pryde—that was her name, right? Anyway, she was pretty cute, if said so himself. Nice figure, wide blue eyes, the picture of innocence wrapped in a pink sweater. Her looks weren't the cause of his attraction, however, though his two buddies Pete and Griff might not have believed him. She tried to deny it, but she was no ordinary girl.
His eyes had not deceived him. Kitty had phased through that door as certainly as he could move the earth. He knew he had found someone like him, after all this time. And again, while Pete and Griff might have their doubts he wasn't bullshitting her when he reached out to her. The girl had the same look her in her eyes he did when he was young and confused, unsure of who or what he was. And so he had marked her as one of his own.
Of course, it just so happened her powers would be very useful in solving a problem that had recently come up. He would help her and she would help him. For some reason though, he felt a pang of guilt picturing those eyes of hers and knowing he was luring her under something of a false pretense. But once they got together they could really be something.
What could possibly go wrong?
* * *
Kitty Pryde's world was falling apart.
She never wanted to be different. In all her life she never wanted more than to fit in and be accepted by her peers. She wanted to be normal. But the previous night she had done something both amazing and terrible, and now things were spinning out of control.
//Meet me outside the office in an hour. I'll show you how.//
Lance's words had been running through her mind all day. Class passed by in a fog as she gazed out the window and thought about the young man. When she first met Lance, she was terrified of him. After all, he was a boy who could create earthquakes! He was a…a…
A freak, the young mutant thought sadly as she stared down at her hands. Like me.
But when she last saw him, she glimpsed a new side of Lance Alvers. He had reached out to her, tried to help her, and she had seen understanding in his eyes. It was almost as if she had some sort of kinship with him. She was wary of accepting his offer, but whom else could she turn to? Not her parents; they were as frightened as she was, and were denying there was anything wrong with their little girl. Kitty had no friends or teachers she could count on at school. Lance was all she had; he was someone like her, who could do things normal people could not. He shared her curse.
When the bell signaled the end of the school day, she made her decision.
Okay, Kitty, it's no big deal. You're just, like, gonna talk to the guy and see what he has to say. She took a deep breath and flipped her backpack over her shoulder. No biggie.
By the time the dejected young girl exited the school most of Northbrook High's students were already long gone. She was so lost in her own thoughts that she didn't hear the footsteps following her. Kitty had just turned around a corner when a pair of hands violently shoved her against the wall.
She let out a bitten-off cry as pain shot through her shoulder. Looking up, she found herself staring at the angry faces of Riley Chase and Amy Hannigan, uberbicthes extraordinaire.
* * *
Professor Xavier cast a scrupulous eye on the foster home. It was a dreary little house, with layers of paint peeling off the walls and a lawn that desperately needed to be watered. There was a rusty old station wagon in the driveway that indicated that someone was home. Collecting himself, Xavier knocked on the door. He heard the slow rustle of footsteps, and a short, mousy-looking woman peeked out from behind the chain-lock. She looked him over suspiciously.
"Whatever you're selling, I don't want it."
The Professor chuckled. "Oh, no, I'm not a salesman Mrs. Baxter. I'm here to talk to you about the boy in your care. Lance Alvers."
"That damn boy," she muttered, "What did he do now?"
"Lance has done nothing wrong, I assure you. But there is something important I need to discuss with you."
"Fine then," Mrs. Baxter replied, releasing the chain. "Come in."
The Professor's first impression of the inside was that it was not the ideal place to raise a growing young man. It was dark and dingy, and the air was thick with cigarette smoke. In the living room where a TV was blaring, a coffee table was covered in ashtrays. The plump little woman took a seat on the shabby couch, and turned off the TV.
"So, what's this all about? You aren't from his school, are ya?"
Xavier folded his hands neatly in his lap. "No, I'm not. My name is Professor Charles Xavier, and I run the Xavier Institute for Gifted Youngsters. Lance Alvers is the kind of boy I'm looking for at the Institute. He has the potential to do great things."
Mrs. Baxter let out a laugh. "Potential? Yeah, right. He'll never amount to anything."
"Oh, I beg to differ. Lance is special…he's different from other boys his age. I'd very much like to take him under my wing at the Institute, and have already talked to his social worker. All I need is the approval of you and your husband to take custody of him."
The woman was silent as she digested the Professor's words. She lit a cigarette to ease her thoughts. "Well…Lance has always been more trouble than he's worth. He's like his parents that way. If you want him, Prof, you can take him."
* * *
"Uh, hey Riley. Amy. W-What's up?" Kitty stammered, trying to not sound as scared as she felt.
"Hey Riley, What's up?" Amy mocked. With a snide laugh she added, "Pathetic."
The brunette stepped forward, putting her face dangerously close to Kitty's. She nervously pulled away, only to find her back against a brick wall. Smirking, Riley tossed her hair over her shoulder, and for the first time Kitty noticed the ugly black and blue bruise on her cheek.
"Cut the crap, Pryde. We know you had something to do with happened to me at P.E."
"Like, what are you talking about?! I had nothing to do with that!"
"She's lying! I saw how she ran! Kitty-Kat knew what was up!" Amy broke in.
"No! Listen to me, it was someone el--!" she was silenced as Riley's hand smacked her sharply across the face.
Kitty clutched her stinging cheek and tried desperately not to cry. She would not give them that satisfaction.
"Oh, stop your simpering, already," said Amy, annoyed. "I bet your cheek doesn't hurt nearly as much as Riley's does."
At that moment voices could be heard coming around the corner. Kitty opened her mouth to cry for help, but her face fell when she saw whom it was. Bobbi, Laura, and Deirdre, the remaining members of Riley Chase's vicious little clique, giggled at her predicament.
"Did you get it?" Riley asked impatiently.
"Uh-huh," Bobbi reached into her purse and pulled out a miniature barbell. "Wrigley always leaves the gym utility closet unlocked," she handed it over to her friend. "I just hope she doesn't notice it's gone."
Riley chuckled. "Don't worry, this won't take long," she threw a menacing glance at Kitty. "I'm just breaking a couple fingers."
* * *
The Professor hadn't been at the high school long when he was reunited with Jean Grey. He was slightly surprised to see that Kitty Pryde was not with her.
"Did you talk to the boy's foster family?" the lovely teen inquired.
"Yes, Jean. Everything has been arranged. Now all that's left is to talk to Lance himself." Pausing, he met her gaze. "Have you spoken with Kitty again?"
She shook her head worriedly. "No. I haven't been able to find her, and I've looked everywhere!"
Xavier frowned. Holding his chin thoughtfully, he wondered aloud, "Could it be that…" His thought would never be complete, for a familiar voice suddenly cried out his name. Both he and Jean turned, and saw Mr. and Mrs. Pryde running towards them. The couple looked very alarmed.
"Have you seen Kitty?" Mr. Pryde asked with a small note of fear.
"No," Xavier answered. "Is something wrong?"
"She's late coming home from school…we were afraid that something had happened." Kitty's mother clutched her husband's hand for support.
Xavier knew what he had to do. Closing his eyes and taking a deep breath, he cleared his mind and concentrated only on Kitty's whereabouts. In a moment, he picked up her brain signal.
The Prydes watched the Professor enter the trace-like state, wondering what the world he was doing. Jean would have smiled in bemusement at their curious expressions, if only the situation hadn't been so serious. Suddenly, Xavier's eyes flashed open, startling all three of them.
"She's in trouble."
* * *
The five girls closed in on Kitty, blocking any way of escape. Riley and her gang had labeled her as their prey since the first day of high school, but they had never been this angry or malicious. There was a genuine hatred in their eyes that frightened her.
"You really make me sick, Pryde. I'm tired of looking at you prance through the halls with your head in the clouds, as if you're better than the rest of us. You act so superior…but you're nothing special."
Kitty's eyes widened as Riley's barbs sunk in. She then surprised herself and her attackers with her boldness: "I don't act superior, Riley…and you're wrong; there is something special about me."
"Grab hold of her!"
The four girls charged, taking a struggling Kitty in their grasp. Amy held onto her waist while Laura snatched her right arm and pinned it against the wall, ready for the clique queen's attack.
"Hold still!" Bobbi gritted her teeth.
"Let go of me, you jerks!" Kitty shouted as she squirmed helplessly. She caught a glimpse of Riley coming towards her, the barbell raised high and ready to strike.
Kitty's mind raced. Got to get away, got to get away--! She focused on one thing—getting the hell out of there—and her body did the rest. In one fluid movement she phased out of the girls' grasps, and was free. For a second she was too shocked by the sensation of phasing through another person to move; and no doubt her assailants were surprised too. But then she got a hold of herself.
Run! Just run, her thoughts screamed. Wasting no more time, she took off as fast as her legs could carry her.
Laura, Bobbi, Deirdre, and Amy all had the same reaction. They could only watch with their mouths agape as Kitty slipped away like a minnow, their feeble minds refusing to accept what had happened. It was their leader who brought them out of their stupor.
"You idiots! Why the hell did you let her get away?!" Riley let out an enraged scream and then ran after her would-be victim. She never heard Amy's stunned reply: "We didn't let her go…she went right through us."
* * *
Lance knew something was wrong. He had been waiting by the school offices for nearly twenty minutes, and Kitty was nowhere in sight. He knew she hadn't chickened out…he felt that they had really made a connection. So where was she?
Running a hand through his long dark hair, he began to pace. He was already nervous, but now he was starting to feel…afraid? Afraid of what? Lance didn't care if any teachers caught him poking around the offices. No…he was actually worried that something had happened to her.
What's wrong with you, Alvers? Lance chided himself, Getting soft for a girl…but she's no ordinary girl. His brow furrowed. Kitty.
She had possessed his thoughts from the moment she fell in on him. She was a girl who could walk through walls and he was a boy who could knock them down. Lance wasn't the type to believe in fate, but as far as he was concerned, they had met for a reason.
He was thinking about what he should do when he heard someone running nearby.
Is that her finally? The boy turned around the offices just in time for Kitty to knock into him blindly. She yelped in surprise and would have darted away, if not for Lance's restraining hands on her shoulders.
"Kitty?! It's me!" he exclaimed when he saw her frightened expression. She was breathing heavily and shaking in his arms; blinking, she stared at him in a daze as if seeing him for the first time. "L-Lance…"
"It was Riley! She and her goons, like, attacked me back there…and I…I phased through them!"
It was then that Lance looked over her shoulder at the five girls standing only a few feet away. Kitty turned around slowly and saw Riley smiling sweetly, barbell nowhere in sight.
"Um, hi there!" She gave Lance a gaze that had stolen the heart of many a senior boy. "Can we talk with Kitty alone for a sec?"
"No, I don't think so." With that, he tightened his grip on Kitty's shoulders almost possessively.
"Awww, Come on! It's just girl stuff, you know how it is."
Lance's eyes darkened. "I said I'm not leaving her alone."
With that, Riley dropped the act. Glaring, she stepped forward and pointed a finger at Lance. "Listen! This is between us and her, so you can just crawl back under your rock and stay out of it!" She made a move to snatch Kitty's arm, only to have the boy intervene and push her to the ground. Her four friends gasped in shock.
"Don't touch her!" he growled.
Something in Riley snapped. No one—no one—treated her like that, and the scumbag sure as hell wasn't going to get away with it. Getting on her feet, she thrust her hands into her shoulder bag.
"Riley, I wouldn't--!" Amy shouted to no avail, as her friend had already grabbed the barbell and was charging at Lance. He threw out his hand, and the ground beneath her began to shake with violent force. The boy pulled back sharply, and the quaking dirt and rocks shot up in the air around the terrified girl. Then the ground under her feet rumbled and seemed to explode, sending her flying. She hit the ground with an excruciatingly loud thud. Amy and the other girls didn't stick around for the same treatment. Riley whimpered in pain and forced herself to stand on shaky legs. Kitty stared at her, and saw the hatred in her eyes was now replaced with fear. Then she was gone in a flash, never looking back.
Lance smirked with satisfaction as the bitch ran. Suddenly remembering the girl beside him, he faced her. She was still badly shaken from the whole experience, and Lance felt somewhat awkward. He was definitely not the comforting type; he knew he should say or do something to console her, but was coming up empty on ideas. Swallowing a lump in his throat, he asked, "Kitty…are you okay?"
She didn't answer. Instead, she tossed her arms around his middle, embracing him tightly.
Whoa, Lance thought, taken completely by surprise.
"Thank you…" Kitty whispered, at last releasing her tears. "Thank you so much! I was so scared!"
A small smile formed on Lance's lips. It had been a long time since anyone had hugged him like that, and it felt nice. Really nice. He slowly returned the embrace, comforting the sobbing young girl with his arms.
* * *
Alexander Pryde had no choice but to follow the Professor after he said his daughter was in trouble. Filled with fatherly worry, he didn't even bother Xavier with the question of how exactly he knew something was wrong. Perhaps it was best not to know. In any event he felt both relief and anger when he found his little girl—physically uninjured, but sobbing and shaking in the arms of a strange boy.
"Get your hands off my daughter!" he shouted as he marched towards them. The pair jumped in surprise as the man shoved Lance aside.
"Back off!" Lance snarled, refusing to leave Kitty. Mr. Pryde raised a fist and the ground began to tremble; things would have gotten ugly if not for the young Pryde girl interposing herself between the two.
"Daddy, no!" she exclaimed. "It's not what you think!"
"She's right, Mr. Pryde," said Xavier as he wheeled up, Jean by his side. "Kitty, why don't you tell us what happened."
Kitty regained her composure and told the whole story. "…And Lance scared them away. He was only protecting me, Daddy."
Alexander sighed. He stared at the gruff young man, and back at his daughter, who gave him a pleading look. "Ok, honey, I believe you. I'm just glad you're all right." Mr. and Mrs. Pryde gathered their child into a fierce hug.
Feeling forgotten, Lance turned his eyes from the Kodak moment and briefly met the gaze of the redhead and the weird bald guy. "Red" was giving him a dirty look he wholeheartedly returned. Fed up with everything, he walked away.
He hadn't gone very far when the Professor's voice stopped him. "You used your powers wisely today, Lance."
The boy brushed a stray lick of hair out of his eyes. "Look, what I did…wasn't any big deal."
"Yes, it was." Xavier approached. "Especially considering why you asked Kitty to meet you here."
Lance stiffened. Narrowing his eyes, he turned to wheelchair-bound man. "How did you--!"
**I'm a mutant, Lance.** Xavier answered telepathically.
The teen pulled away. His lips didn't move! Lance reeled, I heard his voice right in my head!
**Like you and Kitty, I possess the X gene. It gives me telepathy, just as it gives her corporeal intangibility, and you geological manipulation. We are the next evolutionary step for humanity.**
"You're serious…there are others like us?"
The Professor nodded the affirmative. "In New York I've established an Institute for young mutants who are just developing their powers. You'd be a fine addition to the student body."
Lance snorted. "Whatever. Do you have any idea how many foster homes I've been in and out of? There's no way you'd want me, unless you're running some kind of detention center for freaks."
"I'm well aware of your record. You may have had a shadowed past, but I offer you a bright future. There's a lot of good in you, Lance, and you shouldn't deny that. You could have given Kitty up to those girls, but you didn't. You protected her with your powers, and that's the purpose of my Institute. To give mutants control of their gifts, so we might help better humankind."
Lance clenched his fists. His thoughts torn, he gazed over the Professor's shoulder at the Prydes, who were talking with Jean. He caught Kitty's attention, and she flashed him a quick smile. He felt all his qualms melt away at the sight of her.
"Will Kitty be going to the Institute?"
"Yes. Given her recent attack, her parents will want her to go somewhere where her safety will be guaranteed."
"All right then," Lance said, his mind made up. "I'll come with you."
Xavier smiled in satisfaction, and shook the youth's hand.
"You're making the right decision."
* * *
Atop a nearby hillside, a lone figure watched Lance talk with his new advisor. Her eyes narrowed as they shook hands, and she seethed with rage.
How could I have lost the boy to Xavier? The woman thought irately. She had been assured that Lance Alvers would fall right into her hands, and this turn of events did not please her one bit. Turning her back to the happy scene of Lance joining Kitty and her family, Raven Darkholme, also known as Mystique, smirked deviously.
"You may think you've won now, Xavier…but I'm not out of the game yet. Not by a long shot."
* * * * * * * * * * * *To Be Continued…
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Author's Notes: I hope you enjoyed the first chapter! The genesis for "Rock Your World" came after I re-watched "The X-Impulse" for the umpteenth time. It's always been one of my favorite episodes, but there's a lot about it that doesn't sit right with me. Why does Xavier say he'll try to recruit Lance, but does nothing to reach the boy? Why does he hang out at a mysterious unnamed building while telling Jean to get Kitty at any cost? How the heck did Mystique know where to find Lance, anyway? I intend to right those wrongs with my fic, as well as give Evolution's first season some new twists and turns. I love feedback, so please review! ~Sandoz