Mistletoe This story was written just for fun; it's a personal experiment with pure, simple mushiness. I like it, although I was doubtful at first that I could ever even finish it.
But I think it turned out pretty well. I now ask you to read/respond/flame-at-your-own-risk. Thanks.
Disclaimer: I own none of the characters in this story. I own this story. Deal with it.
Allright, I know you've all asked for a sequal for Emotional Roller-Coaster, but I'm drawing a blank there. My muse, a little talking ocelot named Taboo, is being difficult with that. She did give me another idea, though: "What'd happen if Kitty had joined the Brotherhood instead of the X-Men?" I'll work on that if my the writers block for my sequal stays.
Thanks for reading. I know this is a little late for Christmas, and I know Hanukkah doesn't fall on Christmas Day, but I had to do it that way for this story. Please don't flame me, or I shall be forced to ask you again, only in nastier words. ~_^ Allright, on with the story!
This story is PG, but only cause it has a cuss word and says "hell" once. And it has romantic feelings. You've been warned.


* * *


"Jean, could you float the star to the top of the tree? I can't reach." "Ah can't unplug this light strand!" "I'll help, Rogue-!" ZZZZYYAP! "...Oops..." "Nice going, Katzchen!" "Kurt, take the tinsel out of your fur!" "Evan! Stop eating the popcorn garland! It took me hours to make that!" "Sorry, Auntie..."
Kitty Pryde stepped back, grinning, and surveyed the chaotic scene before her.
"Give me a hand with these boxes before Ah-!" CRASH! "Oops."
Rogue stood sheepishly in front of a large pile of boxes, filled with what used to be ornaments. "Sorry, guys! Ah couldn't catch 'em!" Ororo Monroe looked at her sternly. "That should teach you not to carry more than you can handle."
Shaking her head and laughing, Kitty glanced towards the clock. *Midnight? Wow. No wonder I'm beat.* "Look, guys, I'm gonna turn in. If you don't mind, that is." The only responce was a yelp, followed by Kurt yelling, "Allright, Herr Daniels, come back here and unknot my tail from the lights!"
Kitty didn't wait around to hear Evan's responce. Sighing, she phased herself up through the ceiling, up into her room.


The first thing that caught Kitty's attention was the fact that the door to her room was wide open. *Huh? How'd that happen? I didn't leave it open! In fact, I never opened it in the first place- I phased downstairs! What the heck's going on here?*
The second thing that caught Kitty's attention was the brightly wrapped parcel sitting on her desk. Upon closer examination, she noticed with surprise that the wrapping paper was a deep, bright blue; little drawing of menorahs were glowing prettily across it's surface. "What's this?"
Suddenly, she noticed the card. It wasn't much: a small, rectangular white square taped to the parcel. There was only one thing written on it:
First Day. Hanukkah begins.
Grinnign suddenly, realizing that one of her teammates had given her a Chanukkah gift, she began to unwrap it. *I wonder what it could be- and who it could be from?* she wondered eagerly. It had been agreed that all of the presents would be given out on Christmas Day, just so the gift-giving would be easier and less expensive. But before she could ponder this any more, the paper finally came off.
And she gasped.
It was a diary, jet black, with the silver outline of a kitten batting at a butterfly. The lock was a bright silver, too, and the key sat on top. "I-it's beautiful..." she said softly. "Who...?" *Who could've left me such a beautiful gift? And how can I find out? I mean, I don't just want to ask everyone if they gave me a diary today!* But the answer didn't come. After a while, Kitty did as she had originally planned and went to bed.
*All I can do is hope that whoever gave me the diary tells me tomorrow...* she thought drowsily, then slept.


"Mah Gawd!" Rogue exclaimed. "Ah haven't even started Christmas shopping yet! Can someone drive me to the mall tomorrow?" It was 10:00 at night, the night after Kitty had unwrapped her new diary. *And it looks like whoever gave it to me is gonna keep it under wraps!* she thought wryly, only slightly amused by her pun. Yawning, she chimed in, "Yeah, please? I need to pick up a few things, myself." Jean smiled. "I'll take you. I need to do some shopping, too."
Satisfied, Kitty trudged upstairs. *I'll give the person one more day- and then I start an inquisition!* "Nooobody expects the Spanish Inqui- oh, drat. I'll come in again," she mumbled under her breath, smiling at the corny Monty Python joke. The smile was quickly wiped off her face, though, as she noticed her door was open again. "Omigod."
She rushed inside, her eyes widening as she saw another parcel on her desk. It had the same wrapping paper, but this time the message read differently:
Second Day. Light the candles.
Ripping off the paper like the night before, she saw that this one was a necklace. It wasn't real gold, of course, but it was gold-colored. And dangling from it was a Star of David.


The next night, Kitty trudged upstairs to wrap her teammates' present. They'd been out shopping all day, and she was satisfied that she'd found the right gift for all of the High Schoolers on the team. For Scott, a new watch- his old one had stopped a few days ago. For Jean, a camera- she was on the yearbook staff, after all. For Rogue, a special necklace- she would try to talk Forge into lacing it with something that would nullify Rogue's absorbtion powers. For Evan, a new basketball- he had accidently spiked his old one. For Kurt, a Beatles CD- he was a gigantic fan, for some reason. Because of the seeming trend, she was only half-surprised to find her bedroom door open again.
She deposited the presents on her bed and unwrapped the new parcel sitting on her desk. The note, which she stored in her desk drawer with the others, read:
Third Day. Spin the dreidel.
Opening it revealed the present to be a CD- but the case had no markings on it whatsoever. *My mysterious gift-giver must've burned it himself!* she thought, then idley wondered why she thought it was a guy. *Wishful thinking, I guess.*
Popping the CD into her CD player and pressing play, she began wrapping the first present. Then she froze as she heard the first song on the disk:

"She's fly, flesh and bone
No tucks or silicone
She's touch, smell, sight, taste and sound
But somehow I can't believe
That anything should happen
I know where I belong
And nothing's gonna happen

She's so high
High above me
She's so lovely
She's so high
Like Cleopatra
Joan of Arc or
Aphrodite

She's so high
High above me

First class, fancy free
She's high society
She's got the best of everything
What could a guy like me
Ever really offer?
She's perfect as she can be
Why should I even bother?

She's so high
High above me
She's so lovely
She's so high
Like Cleopatra
Joan of Arc or
Aphrodite

She's so high
High above me

She comes to speak to me
I freeze immediately
Cause what she says sounds so unreal
Cause somehow I can't believe
That anything should happen
I know where I belong
And nothing's gonna happen

She's so high
High above me
She's so lovely
She's so high
Like Cleopatra
Joan of Arc or
Aphrodite

She's so high
High above me..."

*Oh. My. God.* "Yep, this is definately from a guy," she mused, coming out of her shock. *And he's definately a secret admirer! Someone here likes me! But who?* She sat on the edge of the bed, present-wrapping forgotten. Then her heart almost stopped.
Scott Summers! *It must be Scott! I told him a few days ago when this song came on the radio that I loved it- and he was the only one in the room! It must be him!* Grinning, she hugged the CD case to her chest. She'd had a secret crush on Scott Summers since she first met him, and now it seemed that the feeling was mutual!


Humming under her breath, Kitty entered her room- an open door again- and looked for the parcel that she was fairly certain would be on her desk. Her eyes widened as she saw not a parcel, but a small boquet of red, orange, and yellow flowers. A note was pinned to the side:
Sixth Day. And our freedom.
Smiling brilliantly, Kitty picked up the flowers, paused to sniff them, and placed them in the candlestick-shaped vase she had gotten as a present the day before (For our victory). The firey-colored flowers went perfectly with the vase. She sat down on her bed and picked up the stuffed grey cat she'd gotten as a present two days ago (Celebrate our blessings tonight), hugging it tightly.
*Tomorrow, I'll get Forge to lace Rogue's necklace with that inhibitor stuff. She'll be thrilled- and Scott will have time to work up his nerve to tell me he likes me!* That night, she fell asleep grinning.


Kitty rushed down the hallway, almost knocking Rogue over in the process. "Sorry!" she called back over her shoulder. *I'll be giving her that necklace on Christmas, so she won't stay angry at me for long!* she giggled to herself, skidding to a stop outside her room. *And another open doorway!*
Seventh Day. Light the candles.
She opened the wrapped box sitting on her desk, eagerly ripping off the paper. Inside was a stained-glass ornament, colored with all the colors of the spectrum and shining brilliantly. "Wow," she managed. *But Scott still hasn't signed it! I hope he works up his nerve soon!*
Singing "True Colors" under her breath- another song on the CD Scott had burned for her- she rushed downstairs, taking the steps two at a time, to hang her new ornament on the tree.


Eighth Day. See the light.
Kitty sat down on her bed, disappointed. She had noticed the Hanukkah song theme of the messages, and had been pretty certain that See the light would reveal who her "secret admirer" was. Of course, she knew it was Scott, but he didn't know she knew, and she was feeling way to shy to say anything about it to him.
She wondered for a moment if Scott really was her admirer. *Of course he is! Who else could it be? Scott knows you love that song, you taught him yourself how to burn CDs, and now... this!* She smiled down at the small bunch of mistletoe in her lap, day number eight's present.
*You can both just forget the kiss if Scott's too shy to tell you it's him!* she thought despondantly. This present erased all the doubt from her mind. The day she'd gotten her first present, the whole team had been hanging holly and mistletoe throughout the mansion. Scott had insisted that they save the last piece of mistletoe for later, "just in case." "What if there isn't any reason for a 'just in case'?" Jean had teasingly asked him. He had smiled back and replied, "Well, then we can hang it up on Christmas Day."
*Well, tomorrow's Christmas Day- and I'm gonna hang this up over Scott's doorway!* she thought, smiling to herself. *If that doesn't get him to tell me, then absolutely nothing will!*


Sitting on the edge of his bed, he picked up the ninth day's present. It was already wrapped; as his finger made an outline over the menorah, he smiled. *I hope she likes it. Tomorrow... tomorrow I'll tell her.* Having made up his mind, he picked up a small card- not unlike the others he had left- and wrote out the final message. Feeling satisfied, and nervous as hell, he set the parcel and the card on the table beside his bed, and lay down to sleep. Or at least try to.
*This is going to be a long night.*


That night, Kitty tossed and turned, trying to fall asleep. "No good," she finally groaned out loud. "I'm just too wired." She sat up and checked the clock. *Three in the morning!* Heaving a frusterated sigh, she layed back down and shut her eyes.
A few seconds later, they sprang open again. "I'm never gonna be able to get to sleep- not until I talk to Scott!" she grumbled. Suddenly, a grin spread across her face. "It's Christmas." *Three in the morning is still morning! I can go wish Scott a Merry Christmas, and tell him I feel the same way about him!*
She rolled out of bed and changed into jeans and a t-shirt. She had started to turn the doorknob when a thought stopped her in her tracks. *What if he's not awake? I don't want to wake him up, do I?* "If he's anywhere near as nervous as I am, he'll already be up," she decided out loud, and exited the room.


Knock knock knock.
Scott groaned and rolled over.
Knock knock knock.
He stifled another groan and asked blearily, "What is it?"
KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK.
Knowing he was defeated, he sat up, groping for his ruby-quartz shades. Slipping on a some clothes, he opened the door. "What?" he asked irritabley.


Kitty Pryde cringed at Scott's reaction to her knocking. *As soon as he sees it's me, he'll be less irritable,* she decided, forcing a grin. But Scott just stood there looking at her, his arms crossed over his chest. "Well? Did you just come to grin at me? I know it's Christmas, but couldn't this at least wait until morning?"
Downcast, Kitty nonetheless carried on with the speech that she'd prepared on the way to Scott's room. "Merry Christmas! I'd like to thank you for the Chanukkah presents, and, like, say I feel the same way about you..." She trailed off as Scott's expression went from annoyed to bewildered. "What?"
Nervous and uncertain now, Kitty shifted uncomfortably under Scott's bewildered gaze. "Um... thanks for the presents. Y'know, the necklace and CD and..." she trailed off again. He still looked confused. "The CD of love songs?" she prompted him. "I just couldn't wait until morning to say that I like you, too, and-" Scott began shaking his head. "I didn't send you any presents; at least, none that aren't under the tree right now. I really don't know what you're talking about. And I am going out with Jean, didn't you know that?"
Her mind went blank. She shook her head, struggling not to cry from the sheer shock. "No... I didn't..." Tears suddenly springing to her eyes, she stepped back a few steps, mortified. "I-I'm sorry I woke you, I didn't know, I mean, I really thought-" She gave up abruptly, turned, and fled down the hall, leaving Scott standing there, shaking his head in confusion.


She leaned on the wall outside her room, shaking her head. *I could've sworn that Scott... I mean, who else could it have been?* She sighed and closed her eyes, mortified by her own behavior. *It doesn't matter now, I guess. I mean, my secret admirer hasn't approached me yet; why would he ever? It was probably just a prank, anyway...*
"Something wrong, Kitty?" a German voice asked softly. *Oh, god. This is just brilliant. Here I am, having just made a total moron of myself, and still crying for no good reason, and now I've got company.* "No. Go away," she said softly, sorry that she was acting like such a heel but in no mood for company. *I'll apologise later. Right now, I'm just too stressed.*
But Kurt didn't even seem to notice what she'd said. He dropped from the ceiling to stand beside her. "Ninth day, ja?" This was too much. She had told him to go away, but did he listen? "Kurt, just go away! I don't want to talk-" She froze suddenly. "Ninth... day...?" she repeated numbly, looking at him from disbelief. "You...?" He avoided her eyes, flushing a little. "Happy Chanukkah," he said softly.


Her head spun. *Kurt? No way!* Part of her mind protested. *And why not?* another part argued. *He's just creepy! He's been doing creepy stuff for months! Teleporting right in front of me to scare me, playing childish pranks to startle me...* *Making a fool of himself to impress me...*
A pause.
*Allright, so that hit a dead end. But's he's still creepy! That demonic tail, those freaky hands and feet...* *Those cute ears, that charming smile...*
Another pause, this one longer.
*He's childish, overeager, silly...* *Roguish, friendly, sweet...*
He'd always been there for her with a shoulder to cry on, she remembered.
*But he's- he's- ...oh, forget it.* *Damn straight!*


All of a sudden, she noticed that Kurt was still standing there, looking embarassed and dejected. Then she realized with a jolt that she'd probably been standing there, silent, for a full minute- or more! *Oops...*
Noticing her looking at him, Kurt turned red, stuck his hands in his pockets, lowered his head so that she couldn't see his face, and tried to hide his tail behind his leg. *He thinks I'm rejecting him for the way he looks!* she realized, a pang of guilt springing up as she remembered that she'd been about to do just that. Right then and there, she made up her mind. "Why didn't you just, like, tell me it was you? Earlier, I mean. Or sign any of the cards?" He smiled slightly, being careful not to show his fangs. "I did," he said softly, and teleported.
He was back a moment later, holding another small parcel in one hand and another card in the other. She took both of the wordlessly, but made sure to meet his eyes and smile in gratitude. Trying to ignore his blush, she looked at the card.
Ninth Day. Happy Hanukkah, Kitty Pryde. From Kurt.
She looked up at him, suddenly grinning. "Only you. I should've know that only you would would wait until the last minute to tell me, until I was dying of curiosity," she said fondly. He blinked, surprised, and opened his mouth to respond. But she she had already switched her attention to the present, and was opening it with the grin still on her face.
When she got the wrapping paper off, she eagerly opened the box that was underneath. And froze again. Her grin slowly disappeared. *Oh my God. It's... perfect.* Misinterpruting her reaction, Kurt looked down at the floor again, downcast. "I... gave one to my foster sister, Jimaine, before I came here. She called it a Bamf Doll."
In the box was another stuffed animal, about the same size as the stuffed cat. But this one was a miniature version of Nightcrawler, in full X-costume. "I'm sorry, Kitty," he began, "I didn't know what else to get y-" "Don't apologise, you furry blue idiot, I love it!" she inturrupted, smiling softly at him and hugging the doll tightly. "Happy Chanukkah," he said again, turning red- but he was grinning this time. *See? I told you: charming smile!* a part of her mind said smugly. Ignoring it, her smile blossomed into a grin as she replied, "You too, fuzzy elf. And, hey, I just remembered- I've got a present for you, too!" She turned and ran through the wall, leaving Kurt standing in the middle of the hallway, still grinning brilliantly.


*Ah! Here it is!* She held the wrapped CD up triumphantly. *But it doesn't seem really special... not like the Bamf Doll...* Suddenly she got an idea- but it would have to wait until later. *Until Jean gets up, specifically...*
Holding the CD in her hand, she phased back out into the hallway. "Here you go!" she said cheerfully, handing the package to Kurt. He opened it, grinning at her, and seemed genuinely thrilled with the CD. But Kitty was relieved when he said thank you, and she hurridly said, "I'm a little tired. I think I'm gonna get some sleep before it becomes impossible." He nodded in agreement, responding amiably, "Ja, me too. Guten nicht."
He teleported back to his room, and she breathed a sigh of relief. *I will get some sleep,* she decided, phasing back into her room. *But first- something that can't wait!* She grabbed the object she was looking for and rushed down the hall to Jean's room. *After all, Christmas isn't over yet,* she reasoned, a smug smile on her face. *Nowhere near over.* She glanced down at the object in her hands, satisfied with her idea.
*In fact, it hasn't even started!*


Jean frowned over her sewing machine. It was humming slightly, and Kitty could hardly sit still. "There," Jean finally said, turning the machine off. "It's done." Kitty leaped up, grinning. "D'ya think he'll like it?" she asked anxiously. Jean laughed. "If you're telling the truth about the Bamf Doll, I'm sure of it."
Hearing a shout outside, then the sound of several pairs of feet running down the stairs, Kitty leaped up and exclaimed, "Whoa! I gotta wrap this! Thanks, Jean!" She flashed her a grateful smile, then was gone. Jean smiled at the space where the young girl had just been standing.
"Anytime, Kitty. Good luck."


"Oh, wow! I love the camera, Kitty!"
About a half-hour later, the X-Men were all exchanging presents. Kitty had begged to distribute hers last; bemused, the others had all given in after a few seconds. The day was bright and cheerful, and Christmas music was blaring over the speaker system.
"Cigars, hmm?" Logan looked at the kid with slitted eyes. "How'd y' manage t' get these, kid? Yer a minor." Kitty grinned. "Jean bought 'em for me. I payed her back when we got back." She looked at Jean and grinned. Jean grinned back, and winked at her. Kitty stifled a giggle, knowing that Jean wasn't winking because of the cigars. When Kitty had handed Kurt another gift-wrapped box, he had been extremely surprised.
Speaking of which... Kitty walked over to the couch and sat down next to Kurt, then said softly, "Hey, one present doesn't really even out, fuzzy elf. Oh, and I've been meaning to ask you: where'd you, like, get the money for that stuff? And how did you know what stuff I liked- or how to burn CDs?" Kurt grinned, fingering the unopened package in his lap. "Well, Rogue and Evan helped me with all of that. I'm going to pay them back for the things I couldn't afford, whenever I can. Rogue clued me in on what stuff you liked, and Evan made the CD for me."
Surprised, and a bit perturbed, Kitty shot a Look at Rogue and Evan, who just smiled cheerfully at her. "And they didn't say a thing," she muttered in disbelief. "I told them not to," Kurt responded. "If they had, you would have kept asking them who it was." That made Kitty grin. "Yeah, and I would have," she admitted, adding, "And they probably would have, after a while!"
The conversation might have continued for a while if Jean hadn't asked, loudly so as to be heard over the noise level, "Hey, Kurt, you gonna open your present?" Kurt grinned and complied, while Kitty turned red. *Jean, I'm not quite ready for this!* she thought, nervous. *Don't be nervous, Kitty. I'm sure he'll like it. He likes you, doesn't he?* Jean responded telepathically. This made Kitty's blush deepen, and she turned to see Kurt's reaction to his present.
Kurt pulled the stuffed animal out of the box, blushing a little himself under his blue fur. It was the grey cat he'd given her almost a week ago. Only, there had been a few changes made to it. Jean had taken black and blue material and made a miniature Shadowcat costume for the cat, and had even added small yellow gloves, blue shoes, and an X-belt. "It's wunderbar," Kurt responded after a second, smiling at Kitty and breaking the sudden silence. "It's a- a Katzchen Doll," she responded, glad that she had been able to find out that German word, at least.
Scott, looking terribly confused again, said, "Well, we might as well put up the last bit of mistletoe." He pulled out the box it had been stored in; when he opened it, a frown crossed his face. "Okay, who took the mistletoe?" "Me," replied Kitty and Kurt simultaneously. Scott raised an eyebrow, then turned to look at Jean, Rogue, and Evan, who were trying desperately to keep from laughing. They weren't succeeding very well, though. Kitty blushed again. "I-it's in my room. I'll go get it." Shooting a glare at her laughing teammates, she phased up and through the ceiling.


When Kitty had left the room, Scott held up a hand for silence. "What is going on here? Last night, Kitty came to my room- at three in the morning- thinking I'd been giving her presents; now today, it seems that either she, or you," he pointed at Kurt, who was grinning in amusement at Scott's bewilderment, "or both of you took the mistletoe out of the box and put it in her room. Could someone explain?"
Evan grinned evilly. "It's a long story, but I think we have time..." He shot a pointed look at Kurt, who's grin suddenly disappeared. "You wouldn't." Evan smirked. "We have time for a short version now, I guess. You see..."


Having finally found the mistletoe, Kitty phased back downstairs. What she saw stopped her in midair. Kurt was sitting on the couch with his hands covering his face; what Kitty saw of his ears showed that he was blushing a bright red. Evan and Rogue were taking turns telling the rest of the X-Men how Kurt had been giving her gifts anonymously- and how they had helped. Even Logan was laughing. "Real cute, elf," he chuckled, shaking his head. Jean suddenly looked up, grinning. "Hey, look who's back with the mistletoe! Hang it up, Kitty!"
Blushing a little, Kitty air-walked over to the doorway, pinned the mistletoe up, and unphased, landing lightly on her feet. *There! Done!* *Not quite,* Jean told her smugly. Rogue grabbed Kitty's shoulders, and she jumped about three feet into the air; she hadn't even noticed the girl was beside her. "There's somethin' 'bout mistletoe ya probably nevah heard of, Kitty. Not only does the person standing under it get kissed, but they can't leave 'till they do!" *Translation?* Jean still sounded smug. *You're staying right here. Seems that Rogue's been planning this carefully... and she had some eager help from a few of us!*
Kitty groaned. "Great. I'd better sit down, then." Looking nervous, Kurt ported over. "No need," he said softly, smiling a little. She smiled back, feeling as nervous as Kurt looked. *Omigod. He's- going to... he... omigod.* *You seem surprised,* Jean noted with a telepathic laugh. *But not displeased at all. Well, well, well...*
Kurt hesitated, then leaned foreward slightly, brushing his lips momentarily against hers. If anyone had asked Kitty later about how long she thought that one kiss took, she wouldn't have been able to answer. It seemed to her that it lasted both an eternity and only a split second. When he drew back, both of them were beet red. "Uh... th-thanks, Kurt," she said dazedly, stepping out from under the doorway.
The Professor broke the silence by suggesting they listen to some carols, and Evan leaped to put in a CD. Both of them sitting down on the couch again, Kitty leaned over to Kurt and whispered, "Looks like I got ten presents, fuzzy elf." Kurt didn't respond; instead, he grinned and slipped his tail around her waist. *Merry Christmas and happy Chanukkah,* Jean whispered in her head.
Kitty Pryde just smiled.