Title: Interlude

Summary: Kurt and Ororo share a few moments. Mostly fluff.

Rating: PG

Disclaimers: If I owned them, I wouldn't be posting on ff.net. I'd be making money off them. Exploitation. Yay. :o)

Author's Note: OMG, I wrote something approaching fluffiness. I have completely lost it. Fluff. Romantic notions.

I am still a cynic. I swear! I must be in some mood to write something nice.

Oh, and as for the title, I mean it as an interlude to life, not in connection with any other story.

Getting on with it. I swear


Ororo Monroe knew something was wrong mere moments before he actually got through the door. She heard scrabbling at the doorknob and knew of only two people who, when upset, would have that much trouble with the doorknob. She ruled out Logan with his claws out as soon as she heard the muffled German.

She frowned. If he was having that much trouble with the thing, why didn't he just -

* bamf *

He appeared in front of the door, dark smoke already fading. He was looking down, still muttering a little, but gradually quieting.

Ororo regarded him thoughtfully before speaking. Judging by the fact he was wearing the worn and ragged brown leather coat and the fact the he was dripping water on the floor, he'd been outside. It didn't take a genius to figure out it, whatever it was, hadn't gone well. "Problem?" she asked mildly.

Kurt looked up, yellow eyes shining a little in the dim light. He'd known she was there, had been able to sense her presence from the start. He frowned. "How did -?" he trailed off, mouth open a little, unknowingly baring pointed teeth.

She gestured. "Your tail."

Kurt looked at his spade tipped tail, eyes narrowing. It lashed wildly, out of control. He glared at it, as if it were something that had done something so wrong that he never wanted anything more to do with it. Slowly, the lashing turned to mere twitching and, with an effort, stilled altogether. Only then did Kurt look back up.

He sighed. "I called a cousin earlier, trying to find those I left behind."

Ororo blinked and frowned.

Kurt brought up a three-fingered hand to pinch the bridge of his nose. The headache coming on threatened to be the size of Germany itself, if the throbbing that was now starting was any indication.

He repeated himself, slowly and in English this time.

"That time," Ororo said softly, "I understood stood the words, but the significance is still lost on me."

Kurt took a second to answer, making sure he was in the right language. "Katrina does not know where they are right now and then I had to explain why I was not with them and why I was looking for them and have I got myself in too much trouble and where am I and do I need help of any kind and how could I possibly do this to Margali and ." He stopped, hands spread wide. "Everything I said led to another question." He paused. "Or lecture," he said ruefully. Kurt walked to the couch and sat down, feet drawn up and knees to his chest. The tip of his tail started drumming a soft rhythm against the couch.

Ororo followed him and lowered herself into an armchair next to the couch.

"She doesn't think I should go back," he said softly, watching Ororo carefully to gage her reaction to the words. A part of him desperately wanted to know how she felt about the possibility of him leaving; another part feared the answer. Truthfully, he'd been toying with the idea of going back. It would be difficult; he had, after all, attacked the president of the United States. Honestly, though, it had been his life. He was frightened.

But, part of him was actually glad he had not located Margali and the circus yet. And Amanda, he amended. Forcefully, he pushed the thought of her away. Too much had happened. Too much.

In truth, he had not been looking very hard, though. He could have found the circus within days. He knew their routine, their route. It would not have been difficult.

Katrina had called him on it and he'd changed the subject. He was half afraid Ororo would say something about it as well.

"If you wanted to go back," Ororo said carefully, "wouldn't you have found them by now?"

Fears realized, he thought. He didn't answer. Ororo waited, but grimaced slightly when no answer came. "So, this Katrina," she said in a desperate bid to change the subject. "She can be a little."

Kurt smiled. "Ja, she can be." Grateful for the change of subject, he kept talking. "But, I did enjoy talking with her. Not much has been familiar as of late." His smile widened. "Und she spoke in German. We conversed completely in German."

"Must be good, reconnecting a little?" Ororo asked.

"Ja," he replied. "Though I almost gave her a heart attack when I told her it was true; that was me attacking the president." He shrugged. "She demanded to know everything, so."

Ororo chuckled.

"Then I told her about the mind control." Kurt looked up at Ororo, still smiling, but looking a little haunted. The memories, still fresh and painful, were not easy for him, and he rarely spoke of them. Ororo smiled, encouraging him to go on. She was glad he was opening up enough to speak of them. It meant his emotional recovery was imminent. "She put the phone down," Kurt continued. "Forty-eight seconds between words. I counted."

"It's good to see you able to talk about it, Kurt."

He shrugged. "I came through it all right." I met you, he thought, and then chased the thought away. "The president lives, and Stryker does not. I know I am forgiven, though it is hard to remember sometimes."

"I don't believe there was anything that needed forgiven."

Kurt looked up, his yellow eyes widening slightly. "Thank you," he said softly.

There was a silence. After a moment, Ororo leaned forward. "I may be wrong, so if I am, forgive me."

Kurt nodded.

"Judging from the way you're talking the phone call to Katrina doesn't seem enough to precipitate the German muttering I heard earlier." She grinned. "Not to mention the tail lashing."

Kurt ducked his head. He'd been rather hoping she wouldn't ask about the rest of his day. "Before I say anything, is that downpour your doing?"

She shook her head. "That is completely non-manipulated by me."

"Good, because if it had been you," Kurt said lightly, "I might have had to come up with a colorful revenge scheme."

Ororo laughed.

"Where do you think half these tattoos have come from?" he asked, amused.

"I cannot picture it."

"Remind me to remedy that."

Ororo's laughter subsided. "So, what does the downpour have to do with your day?"

"I went for a walk."

"And were rained on?"

"Nein, nein," he chided. "Do not get ahead of me." His tail flipped up suddenly and Ororo reflexively caught the triangle shaped tip in her hands.

She winced. Scratches marred the blue skin. She couldn't begin to count them; they criss crossed and bled into each other. Some were barely deep enough to show, others almost too deep to be called mere scratches. Several small puncture would also decorated the tip. She turned it over, finding it much the same on the other side. She looked into his face, sympathy etched on her features.

He shrugged, as if saying "it's not that bad", but delighting in the show of sympathy nonetheless.

Ororo, unsure of whether to simply let go of his tail or to deliberately put it down somewhere, cradled the tip in her cupped hands. Holding back a sigh, he solved her dilemma by flipping it up and out of her hands and continued his soft drumming against the couch leg. She blinked before folding her hands in her lap. "So, how are your tail and the rain connected?"

"I was walking," Kurt said, "and it was starting to rain, so I ducked into one of the sheds. There were things on the floor. I was not watching," he said, gesturing. "I tripped."

"You?" Ororo blinked, holding back laughter. "You tripped?"

He shrugged. "It happens," he said, adopting a melodramatic mournful tone.

Ororo smiled, glad her teasing had not been lost on him.

"I tripped," he repeated, "and was annoyed. My tail - it lashes when I am annoyed. I do not realize it half the time. Had I known it was moving and that the katzchen would be drawn to it, I would have been still," he said ruefully.


Kurt smiled. "Little Cat. Kitty. Meow."

It took a moment for Ororo to catch on. "Oh," she breathed when it clicked. She glanced at this tail again. "The cat really did a number on that, then?"

"Ach, ja. It wasn't comfortable. Und, the katzchen, she hung on when I started." Kurt smiled sheepishly. "It does not happen often, but the shed was small und I was surprised." he paused. "Starting, in this case, was teleporting outside. Into the rain."

Ororo tried not to laugh. Really, she did. It didn't work, though. A very unladylike snort escaped her before she dissolved into giggles.

Kurt, for his part, tried to look indignant. "Ja," he finally said, resigned, "I suppose it is a little humorous."

Ororo tried to apologize through her laughter.

"Nein, nein," Kurt said. "The story is not quite finished yet." He sighed. "By that time, the rain had started in earnest, and the katzchen was still attached."

"Little Cat was still in your tail?"

"Jawohl. Und she was not happy. The 'port, I am sure, did not help matters and the rain surely did not help. She bit." He sighed. "Hard."

Ororo's laughter subsided and she winced.

"So," he said suddenly, now almost embarrassed by the story and wishing it over, he rushed the next words. "I was trying to disentangle the panicked katzchen, who was holding on with four sets of claws and very strong jaws."

"In the pouring rain," Ororo finished, smiling.


She started laughing again.

"I am so glad to have amused you," Kurt harrumphed, sitting back and crossing his arms. He glanced out of the corner of his eye. Upon seeing Ororo sober immediately, stung, he grinned.

She caught the grin and smiled herself. She regarded him for a moment. So much had changed lately. Too much, she thought. The turbulent times often left her uncertain and afraid of what might come next. One thing she was sure of, though, was that it was a good thing Kurt Wagner had ended up in Xavier's mansion.

It was a very good thing.

She turned her gaze on him, still smiling. "If you stay here, Kurt, I promise to protect you from the katzchen."

Kurt grinned.