Chapter Eight

America, New York

Ray didn't actually have many friend. Most thought he was much too tense and… 'growly.' Summers had once called him a mini-Logan. People weren't relaxed around him; he was snarky, inconsiderate and had violent tendencies, and they looked down on him because of those traits, among others.

Not Kai, though. Kai didn't look down on anyone. He didn't look up to anyone, either, of course; but Ray liked that about him. Kai was someone who was neutral in just about everything, and didn't make biased decisions-partly because he didn't have a bias toward anything, and partly because he was fair, almost to a fault.

Ray had always had a room all to himself, even when he'd come to the Institute. The staff back at the orphanage he'd lived in ever since he could remember had all thought it wise to isolate him from the other children, least he injure them(again) out of irritation.

It wasn't Ray's fault the other kids were stupid.

The blond was understandably- -concerned, when he realized that the adults were going to put the new mutant who'd come in through the parlor mirrors in with him. In his room. Ray didn't like others infringing on his space. it made him uncomfortable.

He'd argued with Storm for a minute or two about it, but that woman was as firm as a mountain against a small breeze, and Ray soon found himself halving his quarters and rearranging all his possessions on the left side. Now that his space wasn't a perfect square anymore, he'd had to come up with an entirely new layout so the locations of his things didn't drive him made at night when he was trying to sleep. Many of the less-used trinkets and such went into boxes that were stored in neat rows under his bed so he didn't have to see them.

Just as he'd finished pushing the last box under, the door had opened and Kai came in with a duffel bag over one shoulder. Ray hadn't thought much of the tiny freshman at first, practically ignoring the other boy as he'd moved on to lining up his posters along the northern-most wall. He had to put a lot of them in the boxes since there weren't any wall to put them on anymore- -those walls were Kai's now. Ray had to force himself to avoid looking at the other side of the room; bare walls made him uncomfortable.

Kai was still standing beneath the door frame once he'd finished, staring at him, and so Ray had snapped at him.

"Your sides over there," the blond had grunted.

Kai blinked, then glanced over at the empty half-room. The small teen had then looked back at him, and smiled gently. "You can cover the walls on my side, too, if you want. I'm don't have anything to put up."

That had… surprised Ray. Not many people were courteous to him- -the reason why he wasn't courteous to anyone else- -and no one had ever known him well enough to suggest a way for him to feel more comfortable.

It was unnerving, because all Ray had seen of kai before then was when the boy had been unconscious and carried off in Logan's arms to the infirmary. They hadn't even met eyes, and now Kai was here and already puzzling out that Ray was OCD about things.

Though, the blond sophomore suppose that one look at how his things were arranged might have tipped him off. Not many people aligned their posters on their walls in perfect rows with a ruler, after all. Or, he thought so. Ray had never been in anyone else's room before, so he wouldn't know.

Well, the poster boards in the classrooms he'd been in so far had never had a set formation, being strewn up randomly at best, and no one had ever thought that was weird besides Ray, so the blond figured it must have been normal.

"Nah," he'd sighed, tension seeping out of his shoulder. "That's alright."

"Are you sure?"

Ray had considered the open expression on his new roommate's face, and flopped back on his bed when he'd found nothing but honest-to-god, genuine care. It was sickeningly sweet, but Ray decided that he obviously had to get used to it, if Kai was to live with him. "Yea. I'm sure."

Having a roommate wasn't as bad as Ray had thought. he and Kai never argued, because there was never anything to argue about. Kai never stepped foot across the imaginary line down the center of the room unless he was exiting or entering it, as if he somehow knew that would irritate Ray. Ray never touched anything that belonged to Kai- -thought, that wasn't to difficult since there was hardly anything there. Kai didn't mind it when Ray blasted Hozier and Imagine Dragons from his ipod dock, and Ray never said anything when Kai curled up on his bed and held his headphones tight over his ears as he blocked out the world with Starset and Linkin Park.

Ray thought Kai had good taste in music.

After a week or so, Ray thought he'd been silly to be apprehensive about Kai entering his daily life. Kai was a constant, and that was comfortable with Ray. Kai followed the unspoken rules that had been in Ray's life since birth, and Ray hadn't even needed to tell him them.

Kai knocked three times before coming into their room when Ray was inside. Kai never wore his shoes inside, just like him. Kai always ate his food in the same order that Ray did, when they had meals together. Kai helped him liberate the day's newspaper when Logan was finished with it and stash it away in the blue box in the closet with the rest of them. Kai always woke up first, but never used the shower before Ray- -and he always set aside two towels for the blond. Kai never said anything or even looked at him oddly when he unconsciously reworded his own sentences, or when he asked a question he'd already asked and had the answer too(teachers hated him, for that. They always thought he just wasn't paying attention). Kai didn't mind it if Ray came over to his side of them room to absentmindedly inspect whether his desk computer was turned off, or if Ray color coded the other boy's closet and drawers and then forgot to mention it later.

And the best part was, Kai didn't say anything on the nights that Ray cried himself to sleep. They didn't come much, only after the bad days when Ray had had a particularly tense afternoon or a horrible morning that had ruled the rest of his time awake. Those were the days when Ray was more bitchy than usual. Back at the orphanage, those had been the days when the other children got hurt.

Ray knew that, if Kai ever left to go back to wherever he had come from, it would drive him insane. Kai had become a necessity in his routine, and Ray like his routine. Ray became irritated and increasingly violent when that routine was broken.

When Kai hadn't come home from his friend's house. Ray was worried and annoyed. Then, he'd become scared at the thought of something happening to his friend(and wasn't that a strange thought to think), and Ray hated the thought of being scared.

He hadn't slept that night. He hadn't taken a shower in the morning. The glass of water on his nightstand was half full and had fallen over onto the rug, and Ray had watched Logan toss the morning paper out once he'd finished it when the blond had been on his way to hop into Summers' car for school.

When the Brotherhood, of all people, had brought an unconscious Kai to school that morning, Ray had been nearly apoplectic. He was inexplicably pissed off, and it was only the fact that, if he killed Lance, then Kai would fall on the ground and hit his head that stopped him from electrocuting the bastard.

He'd been sent out into the hall during math class for not paying attention. In his defense, he'd been busy writing down a list of all the things that were currently interfering with his mood- -it was something his counselor back home had imposed on him. The man regretted it now, since Ray had taken to it rather obsessively.

So, even though the school being flooded by faulty plumbing was something that killed his routine for the day and would have otherwise made him irritated and moody, Ray was… relieved, that he wouldn't have to wait until school was over to go and see if Kai was okay. He was the first person in Summers' car, when usually he was the last.

The others didn't point it out to him, and he was grateful. They were learning.

He raced into the Institute the minute Summers parked the vehicle, and tossed his school bag onto the bed instead of hanging it up like he usually did. He left the door wide open on his way out, taking the stairs two at a time to get to the infirmary and, once he reached it, paused outside the door to catch his breath. There were voices talking inside.

Once his breathing was back to normal, Ray barged into the room and shut the door loudly. Internally, he winced at the banging noise and the fact that he hadn't even knocked once, let alone three times, and resisted the urge to go back and make sure he hadn't made a dent in the doorframe. He turned to the now-silent occupants and crossed his arms, glaring.

"Ah, Mr. Carter," the professor greeted him warmly. Ray twitched. The man had always creeped him out. PLus, he was a mind reader. Probably knew all of Ray's and everyone else's secrets. He always seemed so all-knowing. Ray hated that.

Except with kai, because... Ray trusted Kai. The blond knew Kai would never do anything with any of his secrets- -the little raven hadn't even said a word to anyone about his Obsessive-Compulsive habits. That was good, because Ray just knew they'd all laugh and tease him about being a neat-freak. Not Kai, though. Kai would never do that.

Speaking of the mirror-traveler…

"Kai," Ray uttered, stalking forward to collapse on the edge of the small teen's bed. "What the hell, man?"

Kai had had a small smile on his face when Ray had entered, but now it turned slightly sad. The boy glanced down at his hands. "I'm sorry."

Ray sighed and rubbed his forehead. "It's- -what happened?"

Kai looked up at him, large green eyes shining under the bright infirmary lights. "I was at Jaci's, and then I didn't leave until it was really late. Then I got lost."

The blonde bio-electrical mutant gritted his teeth. "Uh-huh. Who's Jaci again?"

Kai tilted his head. "...My friend." He spoke slowly, as if he wasn't sure why Ray was asking. Now Ray knew something was up, because Kai never acted like this even when Ray was repeating a question for the third time in five minutes. The blond narrowed his eyes.

Kai gazed at him, bottom lip protruding ever-so slightly. Ray held back a groan of annoyance. Fine, Kai, he thought. Fine.

Kai seemed to brighten, and Ray shook his head. The little teen turned back to Logan and smiled serenely. Ray glance around the room, noticing that Summers was leaning against the wall, the same vaguely bewildered expression on his face that he'd had ever since he'd came to pick them up from school. The professor was sitting in his wheelchair next to the senior, having a short conversation with the teen.

"Well," a female voice spoke, and the men in the room turned to see Ororo come in from the office. "Nothing seems to be wrong, now. Kai, you're free to go."

"Are you sure he shouldn't stay and- -and rest or something?" Summers asked, looking vaguely alarmed. Ray ran his tongue over his teeth, then bit down on it with his molars. The blond's eyes narrowed even further and he stared at his roommate.

"All his vitals are normal, Scott, and he doesn't have a fever," Storm explained, crossing her arms, the clipboard dangling from a loose hand. "I see no reason to keep him here." The African American woman turned to Kai. "You can go on, sweetie. Lunch will be ready soon."

Ray wasted no time taking the raven's hand and dragging him to their shared room. He carefully closed the door behind him, then scowled and opened it to shut it once more. He bit his lip and repeated the action, before turning around to see Kai watching him bemusedly. Ray glowered at him, and gently pushed his friend back to sit on his bed. He stepped back and crossed his arms.

"Speak," he ordered, and Kai breathed out a laugh.

"Jaci is a friend of Scott and Kurt. They ran into him a while ago, but they don't know his name is Jaci. They only know him by his nickname. He's a mutant, and he's helping me with a project. that's all I can say on the topic right now."

It wasn't enough for Ray, though. "And you were at his house for so long because…?"

"It was what Fate determined."

Ray swore he heard the capital letter on that, and he pushed onward with a vein pulsing in his head. "What's that suppose to mean?! Do you have any idea how fucking worried we were about you? You could have at least called- -and don't even think about giving me that 'you forgot your phone' bullshit, because I know you're not forgetful about anything!"

Kai bowed his head. "Yes. I do know. And I'm very sorry."

Ray felt as if he was about to burst from frustration, realizing Kai's eyes were a bit shiny, wetness gathering at the edges. He could tell Kai was frustrated about something too, like the kid wanted to tell him something but couldn't.

He let out an explosive sigh and sat on his bed next to his roommate, laying back and digging his shoulder blades into the duvet. "You know you can tell me anything, right Kai? I won't snitch."

Kai looked down at him, before scooting back and laying down to curl up next to him. "Mm-hm. I know you'd never grass on me. But I can't tell you this just yet. Wait a while for me, okay?"

If Ray saw the slightly desperate edge to his friend's request, he didn't say anything. "Sure, man. Don't take too long, though, got me?"

Kai smiled, and slide closer to wrap Ray in a tight hug. The Berzerker huffed, face pink, before giving a hesitant hug back.

Professor Charles Xavier braces his elbows on the arms of his wheelchair, steepling his fingers together in slight frustration. Beside him, Logan stood tall and gazed up at the wide screen with a puzzled expression.

"So…" the Canadian drawled. "It's not broken or anything, right?"

"Everything seems to be running as it should." The crippled telepath replied, rubbing his temples. That was what annoyed him. If Cerebro was working just fine, then what was this all about?

"It's not telling you where, though."

"It can't pinpoint the new mutant. Perhaps it's too early to tell, or too far away."

Logan was confused. "I thought you've got it monitoring the entire globe from satellites or whatever."

"It seems that's not quite the case." Charles guessed, shutting the computer down. "Either that, or something going on with the satellites. I'm not sure which, at the moment."

"You want me to call him?" Logan grimaced. It almost made Charles laugh. "I mean, you're smart and all, Chuck, but he's a certified genius. And ass, but a genius. He'd probably be able to figure out what's up."

"Go ahead." The professor sighed, leaning back in his wheelchair. "We haven't spoken face to face in a while, after all. It will be good to see how he's been holding up."

"Right," Logan said dubiously. "And he'll make my life hell while he's at it."

This time, the professor did chuckle. Logan scowled at him.

It was a bright and sunny Monday morning that welcomed Kai back into the clutches of high school, the breeze brisk and chilly and calling for windbreakers and sweaters despite it being the middle of May. Kai was bundled into the back of Scott's car, in between Ray and Kitty. Kurt usually rode with them, but Ray had decided that, if Kai was in the car, so he had to be as well, and the german boy was sort of kicked out and forced to walk to the bus stop along with the other mutants. Jean had called the blond sophomore a jerk, but Ray seemed to care less than he usually did, which wasn't much. His shoulder pressed right against Kai's and the small raven had a knowing smile on his face.

Ray had been rather moody all of Saturday, until after the weekend dinner when Kai had fished out Friday morning's newspaper and helped Ray stash it in the blue tote in the boy's closet. The blonde had brightened considerable, after that.

They, once again, met the Brotherhood on the steps before the bell rang. This time, however, the other group of teens were suspiciously tense. They kept shooting furtive glances at Kai when they thought no one else was looking, and even tabitha was quieter than usual. Ray was starting to get agitated, and broke off from the group to head to his locker.

Kai sidled up alongside Pietro and handed the boy his basketball sweatshirt. The silvery blonde thanked him so fast that Kai almost didn't hear the word, and he reached out to grasp the older boy's sleeve.

Pietro turned. "Wha-"

"It's doomed to fail, you know."

The sophomore stared at him, and the rest of the Brotherhood slowed to look back at them with piercing gazes as well.

"What do you mean?" Lance asked, voice pitched low. He cast a quick glance at Kitty's back as she made her way to her own locker, and Kai smiled.

"It won't work." He said, and then turned to walk away. They stared after him with contemplative expressions.

Toad huffed. "He's probably talking about magneto's-"

"How the hell could he know, though?" Tabitha pouted.

"Maybe he overheard something when he was staying the night?" Fred supplied, shrugging.

"We didn't even know until Sunday morning," Lance shook his head. "No, there's something about Kai that we don't know."

"Nobody knows anything about Kai." Pietro rolled his eyes. "Hurry, up, the bell's in like five minutes and I still haven't got to my locker yet. If I'm late for class again Mr. Czeky's gonna kill me."

Lanced huffed out a sigh and followed after his friends.

Meanwhile, Kai made his way over to another student's locker- - a pretty latina girl with long inky black hair. She was searching through her locker frantically for something, before giving up and leaning against the cool metal doors in defeat.

"Hello Liz," Kai greeted her, and she straightened up lightning-quick, fixing her state of distress into a prim smile.

"Kai! Good morning!"

"Here," the small freshman commented, handing out a small stack of papers toward her. She took it with a puzzled look, flipping through them. She let out a soft gasp and looked back up, eyes wide.

"Are these..?"

"A copy of my notes for the English quiz that Mr. Vernon is going to give before lunch." Kai smiled. "You should keep better track of your own."

"But- -I-" the girl spluttered, before giving a grateful grin, heaving a relieved sigh. "How did you know I lost mine? I didn't even realize they were gone until like two minutes ago!"

"What else would you be tearing your locker apart for?" Kai laughed quietly, before casting a glance at the clock. "We'd better hurry on to homeroom, or you'll get another tardy slip. And I heard you were having trouble in algebra? Maybe you should look for a tutor."

She glanced shyly over at him as they walked toward their class together. "Could you tutor me? I've heard you're really smart."

Kai scratched the back of his head sheepishly as they approached the door to what the metal plaque said to be 'Mrs. Tate's room.' "I wish I could, but I'm quite busy with a big project right now. Maybe you could ask Peter- -he's a great teacher."

Liz's lips turned down. "That nerd? But he's so- - unpopular! What would my friends say?"

Kai tilted his head, confused. "Does it matter what they think? I don't think so. Peter's a really nice person, I don't understand why everybody's so mean to him."

Liz bit her lip, seeing the slight disapproving tilt of his mouth. "Well… i guess I could ask. Everyone says Parker's a genius anyway, so if he can't get my grade up I don't know what can. Thanks Kai!"

"Anytime," the raven smiled, pushing the door of their classroom open, letting her enter first. He stepped in just as the bell rang, and Mrs. Tate let out an exasperated huff.

"Sit down you two," she allowed. "Class was just about to start."

So… This entire chapter turned out to be full of foreshadowing XD I'm sorry if you find that annoying. Also sorry if it seemed a little short. I'm working on that.

Also, sorry for the month long absence. I did indeed go out to the country to help my sister out. The baby decided to come while I was there, obviously- -but she decided to be six weeks early o.O

Charlie had a leaky heart valve and lung problems when in the womb, but she's out now with perfect health and incredibly tininess. Born at 4 pounds 11 ounces just three weeks ago, she's already past her birth weight and doing just dandy. She's a total black hole when it comes to food, though, so I'm not surprised XD What does surprise me is that she doesn't ever cry. She'll just make whining noises when she's hungry, otherwise she cooes or grunts XD She shouts at her dad sometimes though XD that's always funny. Oh, and she totally loves baths. You should see her when my sister gives her one, she's totally relaxed and chill, stretching out and sighing contently. It's so cute!

Alright, alright XD Sorry if I rambled. Proud Aunty here *coughs* Anyway, the reason why I didn't update is because my sister has no internet, which was just about the only downside about being over there. Now I'm back and can update XD

In other news, I'm applying for a job at Starbucks, so if any of you readers have worked there and have advice, I would totally appreciate it. I've never had a job before so I'm kind of nervous.

Also going to take my permit test soon. Wish me luck!

In more relative news, here are the poll results you've all been waiting for! There's a slight tie so I'm going to have to figure out how to use that, but, well… see for yourselves!

Power Bestowal: 36

Reactive Adaptation: 26

Probability Manipulation: 46

Energy Constructs: 36

The other options all had votes under 10, so they're off the list. Sorry if you wanted them! But the above four are the ones I'm seriously considering now. I'm thinking of adding Energy Constructs as a magical ability instead of mutation, so that I can still use it. It seemed really popular and several of you were very enthusiastic about it. Power Bestowal is something I have some plans for, and Probability Manipulation kind of won the poll by a small landslide, so that's definitely being used. I'm thinking of having Reactive Adaptation be a magical side-effect, too, off Fate's desire to keep Kai alive.

Not sure yet. There are still a few kinks to work out.

Anyway, this chapter was fun to write, a little. I totally love Ray, he's my baby. Sorry if I kind of barfed up his character profile on your guys here, but he and his history are gonna show up in here soon.

Also about that cameo there at the end XD It's not really an easter egg, since I'm going to use it. Kind of vaguely introduced a character I'll be using that's from another Marvel show. You guys will probably notice it, so virtual cookies to those of you who do(and I expect everyone will, I didn't hide it or anything).

Also referenced another Marvel character in Logan and Charles'' conversation up there, too. He'll be showing up probably sometime after The Cauldron arc, so keep your eyes peeled. Double virtual cookies to those of you who guess right at who 'he' is. Again, shouldn't be too hard but I tried harder at hiding this one.

Anyway, for those of you who are wondering; I'll answer a few questions here.

Q: Does Kai still have his magic?

A: Yes, Kai still has his magic. He's not using it much right now, if at all, because he's kind of in hiding at the moment. I'll expand more on that in future chapters, so just sit tight. and be patient ;)

Q: Bayville's location…(etc.)

A: Bayville is, in reality, located in New Jersey. However, for story and plot purposes, I've relocated it to the heart of Manhatten. It'll be easier to tie in other Marvel heroes that way.

Q: Wanda Maximoff(Scarlet Witch) and her own reality warping/probability manipulation.

A: Yes, Pietro's twin sister will be in this story, and yes, she does have probability manipulation. However, there are a few key differences. Wanda can control her mutation(to a degree), and Kai's Probability Manipulation will be more keyed into what Fate wants and how the timeline proceeds. To clarify: Kai can't control his and a lot of funny and serious situations will occur around him because of that fact XD

Q: Which other Marvel characters will be in this story?

A: Spoilers! You'll just have to wait and see ;)

Q: Will Voldemort or any other HP characters appear in the story:

A: I'm still deciding, but it's a probably/most likely answer for that. I'm just not sure how to get them in the plot. It's a work in progress.

Q: Will this story contain slash/yuri/hetero?

A: I am a big yaoi fan, but this story will not be a slash fic. No. I'm not pairing Logan and Kai together(That's kind of pedophiliac, no matter how you look at it. He's several decades, Kai's senior, it'd be weird). Nor am I pairing Kai with Ray. They'd make a cute couple, in my opinion, but I'm keeping this story firmly gen. Sorry, slash fans. maybe next time.

Q: Chapter rewrites?

A: Yes, I did rewrite chapter one, and I am planning on rewriting chapters 3-4 so they are better worded. I only changed key elements in chapter one, so you newcomers probably didn't miss anything, but those of you who read the first prologue should probably go back and see what I changed. It would make these new updates easier for you to understand.

Once again, thank you all for reading! I love reading your reviews, and all of your theories are absolute gold! Thanks you all so much! Any questions you have can be worded within your review, and I'll try my best to answer them in a PM.

Thanks for reading!