Disclaimer: I do not own X Men Evolutions or the affiliated characters, but I like to think that I've given them a piece of myself.
This story is to mark the two-year anniversary of the posting of my first story, please enjoy it and review. Also I apologise for my rendering of Kurt's accent, I have done my best.
A Simple Faith
Nervously Jamie hoisted the rucksack onto his shoulders, he balled his hands into fists to stop them shaking, and his eyes darted furtively from left to right; throwing one last cautious glance over his shoulder he started to walk purposefully away from Xavier's Institute for Gifted Youngsters.
At the sound of his name, Jamie froze like a rabbit caught in the headlights of an oncoming car; his face flushed as he became convinced that he had been caught out, he whirled around prepared to deny everything, only to find himself face-to-face with a bemused Kitty Pryde holding out his lunchbox.
"You don't need to look so fierce, you know; I only brought you your lunchbox since you seemed in such a hurry this morning you forgot it."
"Thanks." Jamie answered, weakly.
A feeling of relief surged through him so strongly that he swayed; he wasn't cut out for deceptions, he always panicked too much.
"Are you okay?" Kitty asked in concern.
"Well, alright, if you're sure." She turned and began walking back up the driveway to where Scott stood waiting to give her a lift to school. "Have a good day at school!"
"I will." Jamie shouted back, positive that his guilt must be evident on his face; because Jamie Madrox wasn't going to school that day – he was bunking off.
As soon as he was out of sight of the mansion he began to run as fast as he could towards the forest on the outskirts of the East side of Bayville, he was convinced if he could just reach the forest he'd be safe for the day.
Spurred on by thoughts of being caught and made to attend school he ran further and faster than he usually would have been able to until, finally; bright red in the face and drench in sweat, he stopped. For a good few minutes all he could do was gasp for breath, bent almost double, with his hands on his trembling knees for support.
Once he had recovered his breath sufficiently he began walking, at a more leisurely pace, out of the bright sunlight and into the relative shade of the forest; the silence and gloom of the forest seemed almost oppressive to Jamie who suddenly began to wish he wasn't alone, to take his mind off it, and to pass the time, he decided to play a game of his own invention dubbed 'Clone Wars'.
The concept of the game was simple; he created 5 duplicates and sent them running off in different directions, the object of the game was then to find and catch all five within half an hour; finding them was never difficult as their thoughts were always on the peripheral edge of his mind, the hard part was catching them all within the time limit.
About 20 minutes, and 4 clones, later Jamie caught sight of something very strange through his last clone's eyes; there was a tiny hut in a clearing deep in the centre of the forest, all thoughts of the game forgotten Jamie concentrated all his efforts into tracking down this last duplicate, whom he had ordered mentally to stay hidden within sight of the clearing.
It took him another 15 minutes to fight his way through the dense undergrowth that seemed to form a living wall deliberately to keep out trespassers; as he got closer he began to move more stealthily until he caught sight of his last duplicate, silently absorbing him, Jamie continued alone.
Parting the branches of a bush carefully he peered through into the clearing, his mouth gaped open in shock as he saw the most surreal and unexpected sight imaginable; crouched on his haunches n the doorway of the hut was Kurt Wagner, methodically licking a deep gash on his arm, the way a dog or cat might lick a wound.
Stifling a gasp of surprise Jamie started to back away, the fear of being caught skipping school overrode his natural caution and he stepped on a twig causing it to snap with a noise like a gunshot; he froze, praying Kurt hadn't heard anything, but it was no use.
At the sound of the twig breaking Kurt's head snapped up; covering the distance across the clearing in one graceful leap he thrust his arm into the bush, grabbed and pulled.
Jamie gave a yell of fear and indignation as three strong blue fingers grasped hold of his collar and lifted him up, face-to-face with a set of a bared fangs.
"Jamie?!" The shock of seeing a member of the Institute caused Kurt's grip to loosen; Jamie fell onto the floor with an 'umpf', accidentally creating two duplicates.
"Hi Kurt." The three Jamie's chorused sheepishly, before merging into a single shame-faced boy.
"Jamie?" Kurt repeated weakly, sitting down on the forest floor, hard.
"Are you okay?" Jamie asked, motioning to the deep gash on the older teen's forearm; blood still oozed out causing the fur around it to mat together in sticky clumps.
"Ja, I'm fine."
"Vait a minute," Kurt said, holding his hand up. "Vas are you doing here? Vhy aren't you in school?"
"Are you sure you're ok?" Jamie asked again, desperately trying to change the subject. "You look like you might need stitches."
"Jamie, stop, I'm fine."
Jamie looked up and saw Kurt gazing at him with compassion in his eyes.
"Did something happen to you at school, today?"
"I didn't go to school." Jamie mumbled.
"Do you vant to talk about it?"
"Not really." Jamie pulled his knees up close to his chest and sighed; he looked up at Kurt curiously.
"So why aren't you in school?"
"I have a free period, mein freund, and I vanted to be alone."
Jamie knew there had to be more to it than that but he didn't push it; resting his head on his knees his gaze fell across the little hut, he had almost forgotten it was there.
"Is this yours?"
Jamie looked at Kurt hoping for more of an explanation but there didn't seem to be one forthcoming; curiosity overcame his sadness and he stood up to examine the hut further.
Up close it was a very ram-shackle affair, a hotchpotch of broken branches and badly nailed together wood; the crude doorway stood empty and the only distinguishing feature about the whole place was a carved plaque above the door, Jamie traced the letters softly with his fingers.
"What does this say?"
"Sogar kann das bescheidenste der Wohnungen Haus des Gottes sein."
"What does it mean?"
Kurt sat silently for a moment as though unwilling to reveal the secrets of his private sanctuary; slowly he rose to his feet and walked to stand beside Jamie, his tail swinging gently.
"It means, 'Even zhe humblest of dwellings can be God's house.'"
"You built a church? I didn't even know you were a Christian."
"You never asked."
"So why don't you just go to a regular church like everyone else?"
"Oh, ja, zat vould look great; ein dämon in zhe House of God." Kurt said this with a flippant smile on his face, but he couldn't disguise the note of bitterness in his tone or the hurt that flashed in his golden eyes.
"You're not a demon, Kurt. Besides, you've got your inducer, you know."
"I vould never vear it to church."
"Because it's not my true face, it's not how God created me. If I go as anything other zan how He created me zen it feels like I'm insulting him; like I'm telling Him zat He got it wrong."
Jamie nodded slowly in understanding; he moved back to sit on a nearby log, Kurt followed and the two sat in silence for quite some time, the only sound was Kurt lapping at his wound.
"I wish I was normal!" Jamie burst out suddenly, his voice sounding unnaturally loud.
Kurt looked up, but seeing that Jamie was finally ready to talk about what was bothering him he refrained from saying anything; he just sat there waiting for the younger boy to continue.
"I wish I wasn't a mutant, I wish mutants didn't even exist! If we were all just ordinary people then nobody would hate us, nobody would debate whether to allow us to do normal stuff, nobody could stop you going to church if you wanted to and…" Jamie's voice, which had been filled with passionate rage, now dropped and filled with sadness. "…and nobody would pick on me anymore."
Kurt's fur rippled in distress, he hated to see anyone so upset; his tail lashed wildly as he considered what to say. He wasn't going to insult Jamie by pretending that school-yard bullying wasn't painful, and he wasn't going to lie and say that if he stuck with it then eventually it'd get better because there would always be somebody ready to persecute them for being mutants. He remembered going through these thoughts himself when he was younger, remembered the pain and the feeling of peace when he finally realised that being a mutant was part of who he was.
He tried to think of some way to help Jamie achieve this piece without re-living his own painful experiences but, with an internal sigh, he realised it was probably the best way to illustrate his points; steeling himself against his own emotions he began to talk in a low, steady voice.
"I used to vish to be normal as vell; I used to vant it so badly it vould almost hurt, I remember hoping zat one day I vould wake up and have ordinary skin instead of fur. I vould hate it vhen my parents vould say things like 'God created you special' and 'It's vhat's on the inside that counts', I'd vonder vhat kind of sick sense of humour God had zat he could create something like me." Kurt stopped and took a couple of deep shuddering breaths to try and ease the tightness in his throat.
"One day, vhen I vas about eight or nine, I decided to disobey my parents and go to zhe playground in broad daylight; I'd always been taken after dark vhen no-one vas zhere to see me, but I vanted to feel the sunshine and play vith zhe other children. They started screaming vhen they saw me 'Ein Dämon, lass es nicht ent kommen.'"
"What does lass es…whatever, mean?" Jamie interrupted quietly, but Kurt didn't seem to hear him.
"Zhey formed a gang and carried me away to a nearby tree; zhey tied me to it using one girl's skipping rope, zhen zhey vent off in search of matches so zhey could burn zhe demon and send it back to Hell. I kept screaming at zhem zat I vasn't a demon, but nobody listened; vhen they set fire to the tree I closed my eyes just villing myself to disappear."
Jamie looked at Kurt out of horrified eyes, he suddenly felt incredibly selfish for worrying about a bit of name-calling.
"Luckily, zat vas the day I came into my teleportation powers; I thought it vas divine intervention and my faith in God vas born.
But still I vished to be human.
On my twelfth birthday I got a letter from Professor Xavier inviting me to study here; I vas devastated, an invitation here meant I truly vas a freak. Here, feel this…"
Kurt stopped abruptly and held out one three-fingered hand, he took hold of Jamie's fingers and guided them over one long dextrous digit; Jamie gasped feeling a definite line of raised skin under the thick blue fur.
"Zhe night I got the invitation I decided to have one last attempt to be normal, I used 23 razors to fully shave all my fur and zhen I used a kitchen knife to try and separate my three fingers into five; I finally passed out from blood-loss vhen I vas trying to cut off my tail."
"No!" Jamie almost shouted, unwilling to believe Kurt was capable of hurting himself in such a way. "I thought you loved your tail."
"I do now."
"What changed?" Jamie asked, trembling with emotion. "Why did you decide to come to the Institute?"
"It vas about nine months after I had received zhe initial invitation; I vas coming home one night from a valk along zhe cliff-top near my home vhen I heard a scream. Without thinking about it I just teleported in zhe direction of zhe noise; I found myself halfway down zhe cliff clutching a small boy who had fallen, my tail instinctively wrapped itself around a branch sticking out of zhe cliff-face, saving both our lives."
Kurt smiled for the first time since he had begun talking; his fangs gleamed brightly against his dark fur.
"It vas at zhat moment I realised being a mutant vas the best zhing in zhe world; sure we might get picked on and called names but ve have the greatest gift ever, ve can help people. Zhat night I got on a plane for Bayville and since I arrived here I've realised more and more each day how lucky I am."
Jamie looked up, his brow furrowed in confusion.
"What do you mean?"
"For starters I have true friends; not many people can say that, they might have friends but zhey can't be sure zhat zhey'll always be there for zhem. Ve can say that we vill stick together no matter vhat, even risk our lives for each other, and zhat is something really special."
"I guess so." Jamie said, his mind trying to grasp this new way of thinking.
"Besides, I zhink the people who pick on me now are just jealous."
"Why would they be jealous?"
"Vell, firstly, zhey can't do zhis."
Kurt's grin widened before he disappeared with a loud 'bamf' and a cloud of pungent smelling smoke; he re-appeared barely a second later hanging upside down from a nearby tree.
"I'm not saying it's always going to be easy," Kurt continued from his new position. "But as long as you can always remember how blessed you are to be you, and have zhe gifts you do, and zhe friends you do, zhen it vill get easier."
"Thanks Kurt." Jamie said, smiling up at the older boy. He felt as though a weight had been lifted from his mind and he knew that, although there would still be times he felt like crying, he would never be as scared of the bullies again.
A/N: - I know that was a story that didn't really go anywhere but I hoped you enjoyed it…..I liked it and I don't usually like my own writing. The phrase 'Ein Dämon, lass es nicht ent kommen' means…'A Demon, don't let it get away.'…just in case you were wondering.
Once again I apologise for my dreadful rendering of Kurt's beautiful accent and hope you can forgive me…if not then please let me know and I will re-post the story with all the correct English spellings.