Disclaimer: I don't own X-men Evolution or anything affiliated to that, including the movies and the comic.
Summary: "Down Will Come Baby". Kurt is wishing for the past he never had: Kitty doesn't want to mess around with the future. Beneath a full moon they both learn a little about family, love, and lullabies. (Slight Kurtty, set after "Dark Horizon I".)
A/N – Please forgive the tad OOC-ness of Kitty. Unfortunately, I needed her somewhat serious for this to work. The same goes for Kurt.
04.23.06 – The German translations are much better now, with a million thanks to Petalwing who transformed them so that they make sense! Kudos and cookies and chocolate and every other good thing to her! (Due to translation she has also created a brand new version of "Down Will Come Baby" which is at the end and is actually very beautiful for what is originally a very creepy poem.)
Started: August 1, 2003; 2.00P
Finished: August 2, 2003; 2.32P
Und Alles wird fallen, mein Kind
It wasn't the dark that she was afraid of, Kitty told herself; it was what could be lurking out in the night, stealing a place in the shadows and sleeping with blackness. She was more scared of the long tree branches that threw little pools of shade over everything and bathed the bitter world in darkness. They could hold anything. Light, as it was, displayed emotions and feelings and, even better, people – with light absent, so were things usually displayed.
Kitty liked it, with the glow throwing everything into proportion for her to see, the world on a platter. Unknown terrified someone whose own life was as unsure as anything hidden in the shadows.
But, at that moment, there was something more important than being afraid; the dark boy obscured by leaves would almost be invisible to Kitty, had he not perched in front of the moon. But the stooped figure was given the ethereal glow of something otherworldly by the orb hanging in the sky, a burst of white and yellow and silver. A slender something occasionally poked its way through a canopy of tree, and Kitty grinned as a midnight tail wrapped itself precariously around a thick limb and uncoiled: again and again this happened, Kitty standing by the trunk, hand to the bark, unnoticed by the boy above.
What a switch: he was usually the one who snuck up on her, stealthily quiet as a cat. She was earning her name.
It wasn't that she was afraid of jarring him, as he so often did to her. Rather, she knew what it was like to be alone with your thoughts, and how rare that came about. If there was anyone who needed a safe-haven, a place to be alone, at that moment, it was the boy above her, short fur ruffling every so often in the light breezes. Nightcrawler: how fitting that he lurked in the shadows, living as they did, empty and hollow and nothing when light appeared, happiness destroying what they were meant for, distorting them into something they claimed to be.
He was a shadow, she thought sadly, peering up at the face above her. He always had been, now more so than ever. He was alone: she knew that, he knew that, everyone knew that. Alone and feigning to be real; what a life.
"Kurt," she called softly, to take herself out of his thoughts, certainly a depressing place to be. She could only begin to wonder how they captivated him.
He stirred lightly, but didn't change position; his tail twitched a fraction of an inch and stopped winding itself, just fell limp beside him, swaying ever so slightly every now and then. She sighed and felt the bark again; he may have 'ported to his place, but she could climb a tree. Easily.
"Kurt," she called again, louder. "Can I come up?" She took his bob of shoulders and faint sigh as an affirmative gesture, and started up the tree. He held out a three-fingered hand and she took it, surprised; by the time she had seated herself on his left, back against the rough bark, facing his side, he had already taken to staring out again, pale golden eyes focused on a spot somewhere out beyond the closest star. She reached a tentative hand toward his fingers, spread on the bow; he pulled away and wrapped his arms around his legs, pulled close to his chest.
For a moment no one said anything, then he rested his chin on his knees and sighed through a curtain of navy strands; "Katzchen. Kitty." 'Keety' – she loved the way that came out in his accent. She smiled, and leaned into the tree.
"Yeah, I- came to see how you were doing. Professor thought you might be feeling a little… down."
He shrugged again and tilted his head toward the night air; apprehensively, he fingered the spot beside him. Kitty inched next to him and let her legs dangle parallel to his; without looking down, she placed her hand where his fingers still traced invisible patterns. He pulled away, stopped a minute, and tentatively closed his fingers over hers.
"I just… didn't have anything to say to… anyone. No one knows what they should say to me. And so I came out and… you turned up. And you don't know what to say either."
He looked so sad that Kitty couldn't help biting her lip. She wasn't sure she wanted to be burdened with anything he had to say, even if he thought of something, but that was her job. He was her Kurt, and she was his Katzchen, his confidant. "So if you don't know what to say, how about you tell me what you're thinking, m'kay, Fuzzy?"
"No, I do not- not your problem," he mumbled shortly.
"I know it isn't. But I- I want you to tell me anyway. I hate seeing you like this." She cocked her head and jutted her lower lip, letting her bangs fall in front of her face like his, hoping to elicit a smile from the older boy.
As if remembering he was supposed to be the one-man performing circus act, Kurt forced a grin and looked back into her blue eyes. Pulling his hand away, he tried to laugh. "I am happy, Kitty. Like normal." He returned to his original position, staring out at the velvet canvas holding the mysteries of life. She thought of saying something, but imitated him instead, her shoulder pressed against his.
"So, about Mystique…"
He was quiet for a moment and choked, "Please do not talk to me about her."
"Why, if nothing's wrong?" It was cruel, and under-handed, and altogether not Kitty, but if it worked, that was the main thing.
She expected him to say something; 'Well, you know, it is that mother and sister of mine…' but instead he remained oddly quiet. She looked over and noticed the brightness of his eyes, pools ready to overflow. "It is a little bit of everything, and you cannot- it cannot be fixed," he mumbled, and roughly dragged a hand across his eyes.
"But you can tell me," she prodded, and turned to face him, perched precariously sideways. She took a deep breath and swallowed; she wasn't going to let her fear of unknown stop her from reaching out to someone who needed her; she put a hand to his cheek, and he turned to face her, keeping his eyes bowed low. Kitty brushed some hair from his face; "I've got all the time in the world, Fuzzy. It can't be so bad." She grinned.
"I have no family, and I'm a mutant; is that not enough?" he demanded, uncharacteristically angry. Within a moment he had caught himself; "I am sorry, I… I…."
She shrugged that off and looked into his eyes; he again looked away. "Kurt, you do have family… we're your family. Scott and Rogue and Jean… Evan and Ororo… It's just an extended family, that's all. And remember, I'm a mutant too. We all are." She laughed and willed him to look at her.
He didn't. "Kitty, please. You do not know what it's like."
She sighed and let her hand drop: leaned back with her nails dug into the limb. For a moment he looked pained, about to say something, but just stared down. They stayed that way; Kurt bent, hair hanging in front of his eyes, Kitty leaning back on her hands, staring at the top of his head, thinking. It was the perfect time to leave him alone, no pressure; she could get away, scot-free, having at least tried to crack his vault of thoughts.
But she couldn't do that. He wouldn't give up on her. She leaned forward again, and he looked up, nose almost touching hers. "Then tell me what it's like. Tell me so I do know."
There was something about her eyes, her intent, eager look that made her different from any time she had acted before; she wanted to listen, and she cared. He wanted someone to care. That much was sure.
Smiling reluctantly, he placed his chin in his hands, draped over the branch as she was. His tail made lazy arches in the air above them, point coming to rest between them. Kitty fingered it interestedly, head tilted. "Kitty, that is it."
"What is? Your tail?"
He sighed; it was as if all he could do was sigh. "No, not just the tail. I am blue, I am furry… I look like a mutant. You can tell I am one."
"You could tell I was a mutant too, though."
Smiling, he shook his head. "No, Katzchen. You do not look like a mutant; you are schön – beautiful."
Looking down, she blushed; he felt himself grinning, and reached out a finger to brush away her bangs. She giggled. "You're beautiful too, you know. Not beautiful, but… well, you know what I mean."
"I am anything but beautiful. No matter where I go," he added disdainfully, letting his hand drop.
"No, you are. I think you are, anyway," she added reluctantly, playing with his tail again. "And soon, you know, everyone will realize that. Promise."
"Even my own mother thought I was a freak. And even if I try to amount to something, she will not be around to see." He sat up again and looked out beyond the branches, getting lost again in the world Kitty couldn't touch.
She sat beside him, quietly for a minute. "You had great parents."
"But I did not have a real mother – my birthmother to sing me lullabies and hold me and-" He stopped abruptly and sighed deeply, holding back tears again.
"And help you now, do that now… when things are getting tough?" she offered hesitantly.
"Mm-hmm," he mumbled.
"All that takes is someone you really love, Kurt. It doesn't have to be… Mystique. Just someone you love."
He turned toward her, tears in his eyes: leaned forward. "And you see my problem."
"No, I don't." Awkwardly, she put her arms around him; Kurt rested his head on her chest, curled into her like little child looking for love. Kitty looked over his shoulder, facing what she didn't know, and held him tighter as if to reassure herself.
They sat there, not speaking; Kitty gently rocked Kurt back and forth, forth and back, arms around him. It was a nice feeling for someone to finally need her. Kurt didn't cry, didn't let out a single tear; instead, he basked in the relief of finally finding solace in someone he loved, a rare feeling in itself. Occasionally he would mumble, "Schlafe mein Kind auf der Spitze des Baums…" into her shirt, choking back a sob.
"Rock-a-bye baby?" she whispered; he nodded against her, but didn't look up. "Rock-a-bye baby, on the treetop…."
"...Wind schaukelt dich leis in der Wiege des Traums…"
"...when the wind blows, the cradle will rock..."
His voice rose higher, intermingled with her hesitant singing. "…Doch der Ast macht Krach und die Wiege und du…" and "…when the bough breaks, the cradle will fall…" rang through the tree, held to resound around their heads.
He paused before singing the last phrase, his voice cracking. "…und alles wird fallen, mein Kind, dann hast du Ruh'." She hated that line too.
They were both quiet for a moment before he whispered, still not looking up at her, "Never let me fall, okay, Katzchen?"
She continued to look over his shoulder into the unfamiliar future. She wasn't sure what she could promise – after all, she had almost let him down with the fear of not knowing. But she cradled him, and she tried to smile, and she kissed the top of his head.
"Don't worry, Fuzzy. I won't drop you."
Schlafe mein Kind auf der Spitze des Baums,
Wind schaukelt dich leis in der Wiege des Traums
Doch der Ast macht Krach und die Wiege und du,
und alles wird fallen, mein Kind, dann hast du Ruh'.
Sleep, my child, on the treetop;
wind carried you softly in the cradle of dreams.
But the bow will break, and the cradle, and you,
and all will come down, my child, then you can rest.