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Kurt looked on with interest from his perch in a shady tree as Xavier's collection of mutants entertained themselves in the gardens on this nice, sunny Saturday afternoon. He himself was just sort of lazing about. There wasn't a band of bad mutants to stop. No life or death decisions to make today. Just time. Something the X-men hadn't had a lot to themselves in a long while. He could actually sit still and feel the wind as it blew through the tree and reached him. Spring was such a nice time of year. It reminded him of his days in the circus. This would be a prime day for customers and thrill seekers. But the only thrill Kurt sought now was the thrill of a cat nap in the grass. He was about to jump down and do just that when another mutant walked underneath the tree.

A relatively new recruit with pale blond hair and dark brown skin. His name was Oliver Croix. A French contortionist that Xavier plucked from a famous performance group just when it was discovered he was a mutant. Just like Kurt, Oliver wore his mutation on the outside. Oliver resembled a large Siamese cat. Complete with pawed feet, long pointed ears, clawed fingers and a furry blond tail that matched his ear length hair. His most striking feature had to be his eyes. The electric blue stood out against his dark brown skin. Kurt studied Oliver's tail as it swayed behind him as if it had a mind of it's own.

'Is that how mine looks?' He thought for a moment. Truth be told, Kurt was completely fascinated by Oliver. His talents. His features. Oliver was completely comfortable with the way he looked. Oliver took what god gave him and loved it. Every fine, smooth, lean, brilliant molecule.

"Spying again, Kurt?" Oliver asked glancing upwards. Kurt looked away quickly. After a moment he looked down again only to find Oliver wasn't there anymore. "You're losing your edge."

"Ah!" Kurt gasped when he heard Oliver's voice right in his ear. The blond feline had climbed the tree and snuck up behind him in five seconds.

"So what are you doing hiding up here?" Oliver asked as he managed to move in front of Kurt on the narrow branch. Kurt watched Oliver as he expertly walked the branch like it was tight rope.

"I'm not hiding. I'm...chilling." Kurt said. Oliver laughed at the way Kurt's accent made the American slang sound. It didn't help that he was too old for such slang either. Oliver sat down, straddling the branch, facing Kurt. He smirked, showing his sharp canines. Mischief sparkled in his bright blue eyes.

"Do you think they can see us up here?" Oliver asked moving his pawed foot against Kurt's. He heard the blue mutant gasp quietly and felt him tense a little. His spaded tail coiled a little and his pupil less, golden eyes quickly darted to look at the other students. They hadn't noticed at all. Why would they? They hadn't noticed Kurt when he was alone.

"No, I guess not." Kurt said. He relaxed just a little, or at least tried to when Oliver continued to play footsie with him. He didn't know what to do about the young man's misplaced affection. He could understand why Oliver would like him. They were so similar. But it was an attraction that Kurt fought tooth and nail to resist. The cross he had on under his shirt felt like it was burning his chest, just for thinking about it.

"Is something wrong, cher?" Oliver asked seeing the uneasy look on his face. Kurt focused on the blond boy. Sometimes he could look so innocent. Like he wasn't or never would make sexual passes at a man nearly twice his age.

"No." Kurt lied and adjusted the cross underneath his shirt.

"Then how about a kiss." Oliver suggested. His eyes sliding back to sly so quickly that Kurt missed it. But when he realized what Oliver asked for he felt his face heat up. For a moment he thought God was testing him.

'Take advantage of this underage boy so I can put you on a bullet train straight to hell, Mr. Wagner.' He thought. Before Oliver could ask again, the tree suddenly shook. Oliver looked down and growled at the person that interrupted their moment.

"Logan." he hissed. For some reason Oliver didn't get along with Logan. From the first day Oliver arrived the two had been at each other's throats about something.

"Break it up. There are younger kids around." Logan said. Using the other students as a flimsy excuse to break them up. He didn't want Oliver getting his claws into Kurt. He was a good guy. And far too vulnerable for someone with Oliver's malevolence. Kurt was actually grateful for Logan's interruption this time. Oliver obviously wanted something he wasn't ready or willing to give. With an aggravated snort Oliver stood up gracefully on the narrow branch. He jumped off, landing on the ground below without stumbling before he walked off to see what the others were up to. Kurt watched him go. He looked down at Logan when he growled. What was it between the two that got them so riled up?

It had started out plutonic as any relationship does. Kurt was ecstatic to find another mutant that wore their mutation on the outside, like him. Oliver was talented, intelligent for his age, and had a great sense of humor. Kurt noticed the young man spent most of his days lazing about in the sun, by the pool or in a large window sill, staying true to the feline he resembled. And much like a cat, Oliver liked to playfully hunt things and practice his agility. Kurt found himself an equal in that department. They often spotted each other and had little friendly races outside. He was prone to random acts of curiosity and mischief but who wasn't.

About a month ago Kurt noticed a change in the way Oliver looked at him. His eyes now sparkled with adoration and his smirk conveyed that he thinking less than pure thoughts about the other man. Kurt knew where the sudden interest stemmed from. They had spent night and day together. Pulled little pranks together. Talked about gymnastics, what music they liked, how similar German and French food was. He just didn't know what to do with Oliver's affection. It wasn't like he hadn't dealt with being attracted to someone before. But this was different....and wrong.

"...If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman....." Kurt mumbled the first part of a passage he knew by heart.

"What?" Oliver asked.

"Nothing...." Kurt answered as he walked along side his young friend.

"So tell me, why do you get so shy when I come on to you? Are you straight or just a homophobe?" Oliver asked straight out. Kurt stared at him for a moment completely caught off guard by his forward questioning.

"Well, while I do consider myself straight it's not that I'm a homophobe." Kurt said as he reached into his shirt. He pulled out his cross and showed it to Oliver. When he saw it the young man groaned and rolled his eyes.

"Are you serious?" He asked, narrowing his eyes in irritation.

"Yes." Kurt answered. "Why? What's wrong with Catholicism?" he asked.

"I think a simpler question would be what's not wrong with it." Oliver answered. Kurt tried not to get upset. Everyone was entitled to their opinion.

"So what do you believe in?" Kurt asked, already guessing 'Atheist' in his head.

"I believe in myself." Oliver said confidently.

'Narcissist.' Kurt thought. Oliver had never shown such arrogance before.

"I do what makes me happy. I don't let a set of ancient rules dictate how I live my life and decide who I can love." Oliver said as he flicked the simple silver cross around Kurt's neck.

"You're a Hedonist." Kurt said.

"Must you put labels on everything?" Oliver asked. "Why do you believe in some whacked out story about a 'Jewish trickster'?" The hair on the back of Kurt's neck stood on end in anger. Even Logan hadn't gone that far when they argued about religion.

"I beg your pardon but--

"Look before you tell me why I'm out of place, think about why you think you're right." Oliver said. "Why can't people just.... be? Why must we segregate ourselves further with restrictions and rules made up by normal people who have no business telling us how to live our lives."

"They were trying to help people live better lives. Trying to make life honest and good. So after a life of working towards being a better person you are rewarded."

"Why can't you live your life while you have it instead of bending over backwards to make sure you go to a better place when it's over. It's not guaranteed that heaven will be there. Tomorrow isn't even assured to everyone. So why waste what little time you have, worrying whether or not you've prayed the right way, done the right things, loved the right people. Why can't you decide for yourself what is right?"

"Cause humans are flawed." Kurt said.

"If I'm not mistaken, God made us in his image, so doesn't that mean he is flawed as well?" Oliver asked. "Besides what kind of God would create such a horrible race? I'm just like everyone else but because I look a little different on the outside I am hated and persecuted. What kind of God would allow his 'beloved children' to suffer? I think I feel better not believing there is such a cruel being like that."


"This life is my paradise. There is nothing after it's over. Just nothing. No sight, no sound, no smells no taste." Oliver said. "No feeling."

"How do you know? What if you're wrong?" Kurt asked.

"Well if that's the case I'd rather burn in hell than deny how I feel about you, Kurt." Oliver said. As Oliver reached for him the other man grabbed him by the wrists and stopped him.

"What you feel for me isn't love." Kurt said. Oliver snatched out of his grip.

"How do you know? Can you read my mind?" Oliver asked. He was getting upset again. Kurt sighed. This was not how he wanted to spend his Monday evening. He just wanted to take a walk with his friend. Now he was stomping on the poor kid's heart after he just bared his soul.

'Why?' He thought as he looked at Oliver. "This is wrong." he said a loud but he didn't believe himself. Oliver was perfect except for the fact that he was a boy. 'An underage boy.' Kurt was suddenly reminded of their thirteen year age difference. Oliver just turned seventeen three weeks ago. And Kurt would be thirty later on that year. "So very wrong." he muttered.

"I didn't realize I disgusted you so much." Oliver said. Kurt looked up at Oliver to find the young man stomping back towards the mansion.

"Wait! Oliver you don't understand. Let me explain--

"You've said enough....Pourquoi je parler. Ai juste maintenu ma bouche fermée!" Oliver said before he fumed to himself in his native tongue. Kurt sighed once Oliver was out of sight.

"Perfect." He said sarcastically before he teleported back to his room. He grabbed his holographic inducer before he made the necessary 'ports' that put him in front of St. John's Cathedral. He turned on his inducer and went inside. He looked around before he spotted the two booths in the corner. He entered the one that was empty and sat down. As soon as he did, the little screened window that joined the booths slid open. "Forgive me father, for I have sinned. It has been.... two weeks since my last confession." Kurt said the usual introduction.

"Tell me your sins, my child." A priest with an Irish accent said from the other side of the partition. His face partially hidden by the dim light. Kurt sighed and squeezed the bridge of his nose.

"How much time do you have, father?" Kurt asked laughing a little.

"As much time as you need." The priest answered.

"I feel like I'm either being tested by God or tempted by the Devil." Kurt said.

"What makes you say that?"

"I have met my perfect mate. Intelligent, down to earth, talented." Kurt answered.

"She sounds lovely."

"'She' is a 'He'." Kurt said.

"Trans-gender?" The priest asked confused.

"No, he was born a boy. A head strong, brilliant boy." Kurt sighed.

"I'm starting to see your problem."

"Please tell me it can be solved with prayer and abstaining from seeing him." Kurt said.

"If it were that easy my boy, I'd be out of a job." The priest laughed. "How do you feel about him?"

"Confused. Deeply....deeply confused." He groaned. "And I think he is too. Neither of us has had what you would call an 'easy life' up until now. I've been nice to him. Treated him like an equal. So of course he must think he's in love with me. He's never known it before."

"There is nothing on this Earth more pure than love, my son. In any form. But denied love can turn into hatred and obsession. Repressed love can turn into misery and loneliness." The priest said.

"But even the bible says that two men should not be together." Kurt said.

"So many people misinterpret that passage." The priest sighed. "It's supposed to connect with the passages about premarital sex. What that actually refers to is acting out of lust. And from what you've told me lust is not your problem."

"Oh yeah?"

"You seem to really care for this man." The Priest said.

"I suppose I do. I don't want to hurt his feelings."

"It doesn't seem like you have a chance of doing that until you sort out your own feelings for him."


"Take some time to reflect upon them. Search your heart for feelings, not your head." The Priest said. "And don't take everything about this religion so seriously. They are not strict rules you know, it's just a guide-- stability for when it seems everything is lost."

"I never thought of it that way." Kurt admitted. "Thank you, father."

"I'm glad I could help you. I absolve you of your sins....or at least the ones you thought you had committed. In the name of the father, the sun and the holy spirit."

Oliver inhaled deeply as he lit his morning cigarette. Feeling relief as the nicotine soothed the cravings in his brain. It had been a week since he and Kurt had their fight and he was in no hurry to see or talk to the man again. Luckily his heightened senses always warned him when Kurt was near. His familiar scent of incense with a hint of sulfur would waft into the air about ten seconds before he arrived in a room. It was the same with everyone. He'd be able to smell Scott's after shave or Jean's subtle perfume and be able to tell exactly when they'd be near him. And thanks to his abilities he was able to avoid Kurt and keep on avoiding him. The teleporting made it a little difficult sometimes but Oliver felt he had a handle on it.

"Can I bum one of those?"

"Huh?" Oliver pulled out of his thoughts. He looked up at the mutant in front of him. His red and black eyes making the hair of his tail stand on end. 'Like always.' Oliver thought.

"A cigarette."

"Sure, Remy." Oliver said handing him the pack. Remy smiled at him and Oliver's heart skipped a beat.

'Like always.' he thought again. Oliver had always thought he was a strange looking mutant until he met Remy. He looked normal except for his eyes. The odd colors making his already piercing gaze all the more intense. And then there was the sheer presence of the man. It sent bolts of lightening through Oliver. Not completely different from how he felt when Kurt was around. But Oliver knew he wasn't in love with Remy. Maybe attracted to him. 'He's a Catholic sure know how to pick 'em, Oli.' he thought as he stared at the ground.

"You runnin' low, kiddo." Remy said as he used his powers to light the end of the cigarette. "Only one mo' left." He handed the pack to Oliver.

"Eggth damn it." Oliver groaned. Remy could see there was something wrong with the young mutant. He was highly annoyed. Remy often experienced this sort of annoyance when he ran out of cigarettes. But there was sadness in his eyes too. It was like watching a downcast kitten.

"What's wrong, puss?" Remy asked. Oliver gave Remy a look. He had never liked the nickname Remy chose for him. But he ignored it.

"I'd usually ask Kurt to go and get me more but now...." He trailed off.

"Had a fallin' out wit' ol' blue, eh?" Remy asked. Oliver sank to the ground and sighed.

"Well I don't know. What do you call it when you tell your best friend you're in love with them and they reject you because you're breaking a rule of their religion." Oliver said.

"Yeesh. I'd call that a 'major fuck up' but then I'd have to put five dollars in the swear jar." Remy said. Oliver suddenly burst into tears.

"Quel est le problème avec moi?" Oliver cried. Remy's brow knit together as he watched his younger team mate weep. He understood Oliver's frustration in more ways than one. "Il y a vingt filles qui vont à cette école. Pourquoi est-ce que je ne pourrais pas tomber amoureux d'l'une d'entre elles?" he asked.

"Your guess is as good as mine. I'll probably never understand why Marie gets me going and the others don't. Figures I'd pick the one girl I can't actually touch." Remy said. "But I know something that will cheer you up."

"What?" Oliver asked. Remy promptly presented a playing card. The Ace of Hearts to be exact.

"For luck with your issues of the heart, mon ami." Remy said as he beamed a smile at Oliver. Oliver wiped the tears from his face as he took the card.

"Thanks." He said, smiling a little in return. Remy finished his cigarette and stood up.

"Oh yeah, now I remember why I came out here. The professor wants to see you."

"What for?"