Okay, this is mostly an h/c part. For that, I profusely apollogize. It's not something I usually write, so this is where most of the cheese comes in.
I promise, the next part will start wrapping up the story line. ^_^;
There had been a number of alarmed gasps from the group when they returned to the commons. Murmurs started up, of course, some of them wondering what they should do next, now that Nightcrawler was out of commission. Others said that they would wait patiently for him to recover and until then Jack would be in charge. This met with general approval, but it didn’t wipe away the fear the Morlocks had for their leader.
Forge and Blizzard had taken Lycanthrope elsewhere to be cared for. It turned out that he had been shot with a tranquilizer shortly after getting into the weapons storage, so he wouldn’t be out for more than a few hours. Nightcrawler was their real concern.
Kitty and Mylene took him to his dark, little room and managed to find a pillow to go under his head. They cleaned up his head wound as best they could and put a bandage over it. Every once in a while, Kurt would let out a soft moan and flinch away from them in pain.
“So, like, what do we do now?” Kitty asked as Mylene finished covering the wound.
“I don’t know,” Mylene admitted, “god help me, Shadowcat, I don’t know what to do. I don’t even know what happened. I don’t even know why he got hurt. What can I do?”
Kitty put a hand on Mylene’s shoulder. “Hey, it’s okay, Mylene, don’t worry. He was probably just hit in the head when the building blew. He’ll be just fine when he wakes up.” She tried her best to give a laughing smile. “You know, like, grouchy as ever.”
Mylene gave a short, sharp chuckle through her forming tears. “Yeah, I’m sure he’ll be pissed as hell we went after him, too.” She sighed and looked back down at Kurt whose chest was now rising and falling peacefully in sleep. “The most damnable part of this is that this is the most peaceful I’ve ever seen him. He’s gotta get hurt in order to let go for a few hours.” She looked back up at Kitty. “You knew him before the Terra-Mutant war. What was he like before he was angry at everything and scared of the world?”
“Well, I dunno ‘bout the angry at everything part,” said Kitty, “but, he was always pretty scared of the world. Because of how he looked. Oh sure, if he had his holo, everything was fine. He was the biggest joker, almost didn’t know when to quit sometimes. But when that thing went out, he’d just do, like, this complete 180, you know? Suddenly, he was scared of everyone, sometimes even us.”
Kitty nodded and looked down at Kurt, still perfectly asleep. “But even then,” she said, brushing away a stray lock of his blue hair, “he never stopped trying. I wasn’t any help either. I mean, the first time we met, I nearly ran screaming and I think it really hurt him. It took him getting himself hurt then, too, for me to come around and see that he really was only Human, like all of us. No, Mylene, he’s not angry… he’s scared and frustrated… and he knows there’s nothing he can do to change that.”
“Excuse me,” came a tiny voice from the doorway. Kitty and Mylene looked up to find a little girl of maybe six or seven looking in at them. “Is Nightcrawler hurt?”
“Angela,” Mylene exclaimed, standing and going over to the little girl, “you shouldn’t be here. Where’s your mom and dad?”
“They’re sleeping. I snuck out.”
Mylene squatted down next to the little girl and put her hands on her shoulders. “You shouldn’t sneak out like that. You should always ask if it’s okay first, you know that.”
Angela nodded, tears suddenly coming to her eyes. “Is Nightcrawler going to be okay?”
Mylene gathered the little girl up in a hug. “Of course, of course he is. He just got a bump on the head, that’s all. He’ll be just fine.”
“Can I stay here until he’s done sleeping?”
“All right, that’s fine, as long as it’s okay with your mom and dad. Listen. See that lady over there.” Mylene pointed to Kitty. “Her name’s Kitty and she’s new here. She’s waiting for Kurt to wake up, too. I want you to stay here and listen to Kitty like you would listen to me while I go and make sure it’s okay that you’re here, okay?”
Angela nodded up at Mylene, then scurried over to sit next to
Kitty as Mylene left to find Angela’s parents. She plopped down on
the floor and let her tears flow. Kitty wasn’t entirely certain what
to do, so she decided to try her skill at child care.
“Hi, my name’s Kitty. What’s yours?”
“I’m Angela. Do you know Nightcrawler?”
“Yes, I do. He’s a very old friend of mine from a long time ago.”
Angela looked up at Kitty with a suspicious face. “But you’re not that old.” Kitty giggled and patted Angela’s head. “Do you have special powers, too?” Angela asked.
Kitty smiled. “Wanna see something really cool?” Angela nodded, excitedly, so Kitty reached over and grabbed the first thing that came to hand, an old book. She held it up and knocked on it, then put her hand right through it using her powers. Angela’s eyes went wide with excitement.
“Wanna see what I can do?” the little girl asked, sliding closer to the still unconscious Kurt. “Mamma says it’s a special gift that I can share with a lot of people and use to help them. Watch!” She placed a hand over the bandage on the side of Kurt’s head. Kitty was about to protest and scold Angela, but was interrupted when the little girl’s hand started glowing an ethereal white. She held her hand like that for a moment, then the white faded and she sat back down again. “It makes me sleepy, though,” Angela explained, just before yawning.
Somewhat alarmed, Kitty swiftly and carefully took the bandage off of Kurt’s temple and looked at the wound. She only found, however, that the wound was completely gone. She was about to ask how Angela had done it, but was interrupted again by another voice at the doorway.
Apparently, it was the girl’s mother. Mylene was just behind her.
“She’s got powers already?” Mylene puzzled as Angela’s mother hurried over to her and gathered her up.
“What have I told you about using your powers around strangers?”
“I’m not supposed to. But I wanted to help Nightcrawler, momma. He’s not a stranger.”
“Lisa,” Mylene directed at the mother, “why’d you keep this from everyone? Angela has a wonderful gift. Nothing to be ashamed of.”
“It’s not that we’re ashamed of it,” Lisa answered, “Rick and I… we… we were afraid Angela would be used as a first aid kit, a tool. She can’t take that, not at her age.”
“Lisa, we would never have let that happen, you know that. If anything happened to Angela, we’d never forgive ourselves. But, we’ll keep this a secret for now.”
Lisa nodded and gave her thanks to Mylene for finding her and bringing her to Angela. She left, a peacefully sleeping little girl resting on her shoulder.
Mylene sighed and joined Kitty back on the floor, also looking at the place where Kurt’s wound had been. “That’s amazing. No matter how many times I see a kid come into blossom as a Mutant, it never ceases to amaze me.” Mylene, too, let out a yawn.
“You, like, need some sleep?” Kitty asked. “I can keep an eye on him, why don’t you go rest for a while.”
Mylene nodded. “When you make sense, you make sense. I’ll come back in four hours and switch places with you.”
And with that, Mylene left, too, leaving Kitty alone in the dark room, silent save for Kurt’s breathing.
She wasn’t sure when she had let go and started crying, but by
the time she realized she had, Kitty’s hands were covered in warm, salty
tears. She studied them, wondering what they were for. Were
they for Kurt? Were they for the others who seemed to so depend on
him? Or were they for herself, in an unknown world where everything
was made of pure terror?
It was either hours or minutes later, she didn’t know which, that Kurt’s hand reached out and covered hers, paying no mind to the wet tears there. He held tightly in a grip as if he were going to blow away if he let go.
Kitty looked up and found Kurt awake, partially sitting up, looking at her with his one eye, but not with anger. It seemed to plead with her, his terror threatening to overwhelm him. Kitty wiped her own eyes on her sleeve, not letting go of Kurt’s hand. With her one free hand, she knocked on the floor three times, one long, two short.
He sat up all the way, wordlessly looking her in the eye with a gaze that spoke volumes.
“It’s safe,” she whispered, “let it go.”
Still, always, holding Kitty’s hand, Kurt laid back down again and turned on to his side.
And the flood gate opened. Kurt Wagner, now almost thirty
years old and with the weight of an entire losing war on his shoulders,
wept as though he were still a fifteen year old boy. And all Kitty
could do, all she knew she needed to do, was be with him and not tell a
soul he had broken down. He needed her to be there and she needed
him to let go. And that was all.
It went for almost an hour before Kurt had cried everything he had. Kitty had ended up cradling his head in her lap, gently petting the side of his head as he finally calmed down and managed to compose himself.
It was long after he had shed his last tear that he spoke. “How long?”
“You were out ten, maybe eleven hours.”
“He’s fine. It was just a tranquilizer. He woke up just a couple of hours after we got back.”
“You vent out after me. Even after I told you zree to stay here vith ze others.”
“Jack wasn’t about to just stand by and let you like go up there alone. And I wasn’t going to let you get caught again.”
Kurt looked away from Kitty, his one eye showing immense pain at the memory of something he refused to share with anyone. “So, zey told you, zen?”
“About seven years ago? Yeah, as much as they knew. But even they don’t know what happened to you in there. Why, Kurt? Why haven’t you talked about it?”
“Because,” Kurt said struggling to stand on wobbly legs, “it is not somezing zat anyone should have to know.” He very nearly toppled over but put a hand out against the wall to steady himself. Kitty was up right next to him in an instant.
“Where are you going?” she asked.
“I need to see zem.”
“You need to rest. Surely any yelling at Jack, Mylene, and Lycanthrope that you wanna do can, like, wait a while.”
“I don’t vant to yell at zem, I vant to tear zeir heads off.”
“Boy… they were right… you are perpetually pissed.”
He shot her a glare, but it dissolved when he caught sight of
the battle outfit Jack had given her just before their sortie.
“Vhat are you vearing?”
Kitty looked down having forgotten the battle suit. “Oh yeah, this. I guess I’m, like, one of you guys, now.”
Kurt let out a frustrated moan, looking skyward. “No vay I can talk you out of it?”
Kitty looked him straight in the eye, a soft smile on her face. “Kurt Wagner, I knew you were in there somewhere.”
See? Cheese... lots and lots of it. Oh well...
Next time, the story gets back to what the heck's actually going on. Ja ne, minna-san! ^_^