Nightcrawler was in an old chapel, long abandoned by the Humans. He always came here when he wanted to think about things in his real body, and not the false cloak the image inducer provided for him just because uncaring Humans would rather see him dead than learn about him and try to understand him better. He found that he always could think when he was in a chapel because it was calm and peaceful inside.

He lay on his side that wasn't as burned or hurt as much as the other one, using his tail to lightly dab his legs with antiseptic. He refused to flinch or jerk at the stinging it gave, but he allowed himself to howl and whimper softly, sounding like a wounded stray dog almost; figuring that if he was going to die, he might as well not try to hold back and be macho about it.

As he gazed at his hands, he whimpered softly and without thinking, he lightly looked the back of his hands with his tongue like an animal. They were burnt and gnarled, worse than the burns on his legs even though that had been burned twice now. When he tried to move the fingers, the flesh crackled and started to bleed so he simply let his hands lay limply beside his head, continuing to tend to his leg wounds with his tail.

When he heard the doors to the chapel open, his heart start to pound, fearing that someone from the Friends of Humanity had found him and were ready to finish him off. Whimpering, he forced himself to crawl with his elbows behind the altar, huddling into a trembling fetal position. He listened with held breath as two sets of footsteps walked into the chapel.

"Nightcrawler?" Rogue called. "Nightcrawler, answer me. Et's me an' Piotr, Nightcrawler. We 'eard wot 'appened back in the school wi' you an' Pyro. You saved those children." Very slowly, Nightcrawler looked around the altar at her, trying to make his voice not sound weak and feeble like it did.

"Rogue?" he whispered. "Please, mein vounds. . ." Piotr and Rogue walked up and knelt beside Nightcrawler, wincing at the horrid wounds on his hands and legs.

"We will get you to Hank McCoy." Piotr said, starting to put the medicine away. "He will be able to heal these in no time." Nightcrawler shook his head slowly, leaning his head against Rogue's shoulder.

"Nein, zhe X-men vill not take me in.," he said softly. Rogue looked at him and hugged him gently.

"They took us in wi' no problems." She pointed out. "They know wot you did an' they will take you in, brother." She insisted. Nightcrawler looked at her seriously for a moment, reading her eyes.

"You are telling zhe truth, ja?" he asked. Laughing softly, Rogue nodded.

"Ja, Ah'm tellin' the truth." She assured him. Nightcrawler slowly smiled, and he quickly kissed her cheek before her power could take effect.

"If I could, I vould hug you both, mein freunds!" he said, looking from Rogue to Piotr. "But I cannot teleport or valk. . ." he said.

"I will carry you." Piotr said, gently slipping an arm under Nightcrawler's legs and under his head, standing up slowly. As they left the chapel, Nightcrawler laughed softly, looking up at Piotr.

"Zhis is exactly how Magneto led me avay vhen he found me you know." He said, before falling asleep.

It wasn't an easy procedure due to the layers of burnt flesh and fur, but Hank McCoy was able to heal the burn wounds as best as he could, being quite liberal with the pain medications due to how bad the burns turned out to be. When Nightcrawler woke, he found himself in the infirmary with his hands and legs tightly bandaged.

Sitting up slowly, he looked around at the beeping machines around him and he scratched the side of his head lightly with the tip of his head. He flinched when he heard someone clear their throat and when he looked over his shoulder, he found Hank McCoy sitting in a chair, his legs cross calmly and a clipboard in one hand.

"Good morning, Mr. Wagner." He said with a smile, writing something down on the clipboard. "I suspected you would wake today!"

"My name is Nightcrawler." He said softly, slowly trying to stand, Wincing, he laid back down and sighed.

"My apologies, Nightcrawler." Hank amended, walking over and checking the bandages. "I must say, it took a lot of bravery to simply place your hands in fire like that, Nightcrawler. I was almost afraid that you would lose them at one point!"

"But I shall be able to use zhem in time, ja?" he asked, cocking an eyebrow slightly.

"Oh certainly, my fellow blue comrade." Hank laughed, looking down at the clipboard. He adjusted his glasses slightly and he looked at Nightcrawler, slowly becoming serious all of a sudden. "I have to ask you something important." He said.

"Vhat is it?" Nightcrawler asked, his tail curling slightly.

"Your legs, they have been burned previously. What happened?" Hank asked. Nightcrawler stiffened, gritting his teeth slightly.

"I vish not to answer zhat." He said softly.

"I do not mean to sound rude at all but, I would like to know for your medical file and. . ."

"I said nein!" Without thinking, Nightcrawler teleported blindly from the infirmary, hoping to God he didn't end up killing himself. He found himself in an office of some sort, sitting on a comfy leather couch.


"Hello, Kurt." Looking up he saw Xavier looking at him from across a large chestnut wood desk. The man slowly rolled over, smiling faintly.

"My name is Nightcrawler."

"Your code name, yes." Xavier agreed calmly. "But your real name is Kurt Wagner."

"Nein, zhat vas my old name." He insisted, starting to get irritated.

"Please, don't try to teleport away again, Kurt." Xavier said. "I will be forced to make you appear here again and then block you from using them or any voluntary muscle movement for that matter." He added, his eyes twinkling slightly. Slowly, Nightcrawler calmed down and he sighed.

"Vhat do you vant?" he asked finally.

"I wanted to apologize to you." Xavier said. Nightcrawler slowly sat up and he cocked an eyebrow slightly.

"Vhat are you talking about?" he asked.

"You've heard about Cerebro and what it can do?" Xavier asked.

"Of course I have."

"Well, years ago I found a mutant in Winzledorf, Germany, Kurt. But I didn't act on it because I thought I had more pressing matters in Africa with Ororo. I didn't know that mutant was being chased down like an animal. . ."

"Stop talking." Nightcrawler said harshly, narrowing his eyes. "Not another vord or else!" he warned.

"Kurt. . ."

"Nightcrawler!" he shouted, regretting it as he felt a faint sting of pain in his legs.

"Your name is Kurt Wagner." Xavier said calmly, looking him in the eyes. "And I know why you have previous burns on your legs too. I'm sorry for that."

Nightcrawler looked Xavier in the eyes and he narrowed them slightly, trying to find a trace of a lie in them. All he found was the truth and a deep regret for failing him years ago when he really needed him.

Kurt Wagner shrugged slightly, leaning his back against a plump pillow.

"Vhat is past is past, mein herr." He said simply. "Vounds heal like any other und zhe vorld moves on regardless of zhat fact altogether."

He smiled slowly, revealing his fangs.

Kurt Wagner was home at last.