Chapter 2 - A Simple Life


This was the life.

Waking up in the morning to hugs, kisses and tickles by someone who loved you with all their heart. By someone who cherished you above all else and who never went a day without telling you just how much they loved you or to show you just how important you were in their life.

Dawn had heard that there were children who weren't as lucky as she was.

She had a home, a small cottage with a huge yard. She was safe and comfortable and loved for she was always kind and polite with a smile and people liked kind and polite smiling little girls. She wasn't afraid and she didn't hate, that was something she only saw on T.V. in places so far and away from home. She was never hungry, her parent was a wonderful cook; never alone, she had Birdie Pup who she loved with all her heart that went everywhere with her and she was never bored, there was so much to see and do.

Her parent and there was just one for her, had told her all the time just how lucky they were to have a daughter like her and Dawn had always thought, 'No, I'm lucky to have someone like you.' She was glad she had just one parent; she would have felt greedy if she had two wonderful parents. At night sometimes, she would sneak into the big bed and watch her parent sleep before cuddling close, closing her eyes only when she felt arms wrap around her.

When she dreamed, she dreamed of something warm and bright. A place was that was never cold and dark, a place where she could feel that she could-fly. Across the sky and into the stars-always burning with a heat that was all consuming-

"L'ange, le bonbon se reveille!" *Angel sweet wake up*

Dawn woke up, rubbing her eyes as bright sunlight splashed across her white and sky blue comforter that covered her large queen sized bed. She yawned as she pushed back the soft silk netting that kept the mosquitoes out as Birdie Dog looked up from her place at the foot of the bed before snuffing and laid back down to sleep. Dawn stretched one arm to the sky and pointed her bare toes to the floor, waking her whole body up before sliding off her bed.

Dressed in a white and purple long sleeved and pants PJ's that were scattered with stars and moons, she sleepily went to the large double French doors and pushed them open. At once, humid and warm wind came through, allowing in the scent of water and the smell of wisteria flowers that climbed up the walls of the large mansion she called home. Songbirds sang in the many trees that grew in the large yard meters wide and cut so the branches were high from the ground, leaving no coverage on the ground. In the distance, a tall brick and iron wall protected her from the noise and dangers of the rest of the world.

"L'ange, vous être mieux éveillé ou je vous battrai!" *Angel, you better be awake or I'll beat you!*

"No you won't. You love me too much!" Dawn yelled back with a smile before she skipped back into her room to shower and dress. After she was done, dressed in a blue sweater vest, white pressed top and grey skirt of her school's uniform she tickled Birdie awake and raced her downstairs to the kitchen where she knew breakfast would be ready, hot and spicy just like she liked it. She ran up behind her beloved Gram and hugged her tight, receiving a kiss and swaps on the hand when she tried to sneak a piece of spiced sausage pass her.

"Go on child!" her Gram shooed her away with mock anger and turned back to cooking, never noticing that Dawn had snuck a boiled egg, her true goal, away and ate it. "And don' you be t'inking, you got away wit anyt'ing. You're as bad as your Pere, I swear!"

Dawn giggled as her Gram went on ranting about how her Papa thought he was just as sneaky when he was in the kitchen as a child. Her Gram always had tales, some good, some bad and some just downright confusing but that was her Tante Mattie, the hoodoo woman of the South.

"Is she tellin' lies 'bout me again cherie?" Dawn looked up and squealed as her Papa strolled in, looking well rested and relaxed from his recent trip out. His brown hair hung free around his face and pass his shoulders while his devilish and heart stopping smile greeted her warmly and she could see that he recently shaved. But none of that mattered as she looked into his eyes, his red on black eyes, the eyes of the devil she once heard said about them but to her they held nothing but love. "I swear, its only rumors dat I started."

"Yeah sure." she said as he strolled up to her and hugged her. She held him tight, closing her eyes as she leaned her head against his shoulder. "I missed you."

"I missed you too cherie. So much." he whispered against her head, kissing her forehead as he pulled back to look at her.

Dawn had long reddish brown hair fixed up so that it looked like she had two twisted buns on the topside of her head while the bottom half hung loose and sleek against her back. Her brown eyes were large and bright with a shot of green in the middle, creating a two tone effect. She had a cute button nose, creamy skin that was lightly freckled across her face and a wide open smile that made all his efforts in keeping her safe and sound worth while. Everything bad, painful and disgusting melted away when he was with her, like all his sins were repented because he took care of her.

Thwack!

"You better stop teachin' your girl your bad habits. Bad enough she can smile trouble 'way, I don' want her learnin' no trade, you hear boy?" Tante Mattie scolded Remy, waving her heavy cast iron spatula at him.

"Where's de fun in dat?" he asked, rubbing the sore spot on his head, giving Dawn a wink which she caught and smiled. He had already taught her several tricks of the trade-the slide of hand, sly diversion, how to get in and out of locked places-Tante Mattie hit him again which caused Dawn to giggle before Tante Mattie went to the stove to gather their breakfast.

This was the life but it was far from what she once knew. This place was hot and humid while the other place used to be cold and dry. This place was green and full of life while the other place used to be white and life had to struggle to survive. And where she now had a Papa who loved and teased her, there she had a Mum who cared and protected her.

Because once, she had felt the hate and the anger. Once she knew what it was like to know fear. She knew what it was like to lose that someone who you loved. She knows what evil looks like just like she knows what the savior looks like.

He looked like her Papa.

Remy LeBeau looked over at his daughter and saw that she had that soft look of awe and love, the same look she had when he saved her all those years ago one icy cold early morning. When he held her in his arms as she told him that bad men tried to hurt her but hurt her mum instead. He could remember telling her that he and his friends were going to stop the bad men once and for all, and see the relief in her eyes when he told her he was going to take her someplace safe.

"Cherie?" he snapped his fingers in front of her face and she twitched startled. "You a'right?"

"Oh. Yeah." she smiled at him. "Never better."

He nodded before switching subjects, wasting away the early morning before Dawn rushed off to school.

School was a private academy in the rebuilt French Quarter and home to children of the rich and connected, of the powerful and deadly and heirs of empires and corporations. It was also run by the Church so it was on neutral ground by all those who would seek to harm or gain a hold of the children of their enemies. It was the main reason Dawn LeBeau went here.

"Dawn!" Dawn turned around just as a young girl with deep blonde hair and bright green eyes jumped at her, wrapping her arms around her in a bear hug. Dawn and the girl squealed in delight in seeing each other even though it had only been a few hours since they've seen each other last. "I've missed you!"

"I missed you too Jessia." Jessia Bolívar pulled back from Dawn, looping her arm with hers as they headed towards the Church for morning prayer. Jessia and Dawn were best friends who each had a secret. Bolívar was the daughter of the second in command of the Assassins' Guild while Remy LeBeau was known to be head of the Thieves' Guild. Although Gambit had long ago united the Guilds to create the Unified Guilds, a few still believed in the old ways. In essence, they were blood enemies but didn't know it. "Did you catch last night's episode? OMG! Just how drool worthy was Dean?!"

Jessia scoffed jokingly, "Are you kiddin'? Sam was soo much more drool worthy den dat old guy."

Dawn gasped and slapped Jessia on the arm. "Take that back Sam whiner!"

"No way Dean Butch!"

"What does that mean?" Dawn asked, quirking an eyebrow.

"I don' know. I read it on someone's LJ page. I was goin' t' wiki it but Papa called me for dinner before I could." Jessia said with a shrug. "They were saying somethin' bout bein' slash fans too. Like Suriel and Dastiel?"

"What's that?" Dawn asked as she went in first to the row they were assigned to sit in and moved all the way down towards the middle.

"More angels maybe?" Jessia offered as they sat down.

"It kinda sounds like Uriel-" They both made ick faces "And Castiel." They both sighed dreamily. "Now that's an angel I wouldn't mind meeting."

"Same here!" They broke into giggles which they quickly stopped when the closest nun cleared her throat loudly and gave them both a severe look. Dawn and Jessia rolled their eyes before sitting up straight as the priest walked up the stairs and started the morning service.

Utopia X-men HQ

Scott Summers, the man known as Cyclops and undeniable leader of the X-men, stared out over the island he called home before he moved his eyes to the group of young mutants who played a game in the enclosed courtyard. They weren't so young anymore, they weren't kids. They hadn't been kids for a long, long time. And that was the problem.

Trouble came and went but the mutant problem remained. For five years there has not been one single mutant birth since the Mutant Messiah was born. And she was gone, travelling in the future with only Cable to defend her. Or so he hoped. He risked the entire fate of the mutant race on Cable, his son, and hoped that he was raising her right.

Hoped that she was free.

That she was safe.

Cyclops put a lot of faith in Cable and he knew that the whole future of the mutant kind was put on her young shoulders for if, when, she came back. Other than a few short messages he received from Cable, it sounded like she was doing ok and for that he was glad. One trouble lifted from him, leaving a whole world's worth on him. As leader of the X-men, all eyes were on him, the cynics, the hopefuls and especially the ones who wanted all mutants dead.

But at least here on Utopia, all those worries wouldn't fall on the mutants and former mutants who had answered his call for salvation in a world that hated and feared them. They could live a simple, carefree life. They could leave that life for the ones that stood up and fought for their right to live.

The X-men were there for them, never faltering, never waning against the darkness.

Since Cyclops and the X-men separated from the U.S. during Norman Osborne's reign and though the reigns had been passed on, they remained apart, relying on the Atlantean's who built their city below the island to prevent it from sinking and therefore, brought together their two races for better or for worse. These were the better times but there had been worst and each time brought them closer until it was nay impossible to not come to the defense of the other even if it didn't involve them. Mutants and Atlantean's saw each other as kin now, outsiders to a world that was hostile and indifferent to their plight.

"Such gloom thoughts on such a nice day my love." He turned to see Emma Frost, the White Queen, his lover and co-leader approach him "Must you always work?"

"There's no rest of the wicked or the people who stop them." Cyclops said straightening up. Emma walked up to him and leaned up to give him a proper kiss. It still amazed her that after all this time, they were still strong and in love even though many of the X-men had their doubts about them…some still did. It was like they were waiting for the other shoe to drop. Emma hated to admit it, even to herself but she was waiting for it as well.

But when she was with Scott, like this, a man and a woman, all the doubts disappeared and she could see them lasting for a very long time. Only one thing was missing…one thing that she didn't think she would have wanted, the one thing that she had avoided for years now. She played with her empty ring finger idly before she pulled back from him.

"Well, I know I took you mind of those nasty things for now but-" She stopped as she felt something hit her though there was nothing around her. She gasped, pushing back from Scott as her eyes widened. "Oh no!"

"Emma what-!" Scott was cut off as Emma screamed and clutched her head in pain. A moment later he screamed and clutched his own head as he was hit with a massive backlash of psychic energy. It was energy full of pain and terror-of black hatred so sudden it was inhuman before it disappeared as it appeared, leaving the bitter taste of sorrow and confusion in its wake. When he came to, he saw Wolverine and Rogue, leaders of their own teams and the ones he had come to rely on when the chips were down. Wolverine led the black ops team the X-force while Rogue led the New X-men, the last generation of mutants now young adults.

"Report." He said, his tongue feeling thick and heavy as Nightcrawler popped in with smoke, burning strongly in his nostrils, carrying with him Doctor Nemesis. He kneeled down as he checked on Emma's condition. She was still woozy from that hit but seemed to be getting over it fast.

"The Cuckoos were hit hard. So was the Professor. As was every other telepath, empath and psychic we have." Rogue said, helping Scott to his feet. She held him steady, his weight nothing more than a feather to her incredible strength. Since the Professor helped her with her powers, she could do anything she wanted-no limits, no barriers except the ones she made herself. "Cerebra was hit hard but not before it zeroed in on the cause of the disturbance. Prodigy is there now, fixing it so we can get more information of what's happening"

"Where?"

"New Orleans."

Cyclops said nothing, waiting for Rogue or Wolverine to say the words that he knew they hesitated to say. Words that for the last five years he'd been waiting to hear...since Hope and Cable disappeared.

"All the reports say one thing." Wolverine spoke, breaking the silence. "We have a unregister mutant on our hands. Someone who is very powerful and-Why would Cable and Hope be in New Orleans?"

"Why don't we go and ask them?" Cyclops said, letting go of Rogue and headed for the landing field. "Emma contact the Alpha team and have them meet us at the Blackbird. Have Utopia go into Alert Level Beta and all civilians go underground. If this is a diversion tactic, we will be prepared. Rogue, gather your best students, no more than three and head to New Orleans as fast as you can. I want someone there as soon as possible. I don't want another Coppertown to happen."

As he headed down the stairs that would lead him to the landing field, he swore that no matter what happened, they would win this day and take back what the Scarlet Witch had stolen...the future of mutant kind.