Disclaimer: X-Men:Evolution belongs to lots and lots of people, some of
whom must be praised :) I just play with ideas in prose format and hope
to high heaven that stuff like this disclaimer is enough protection.

Archiving: email cat@devil.com and ask nice :) I do like to know where
these things wind up :)

Summary: It occurred to me that we never *saw* Kitty-meets-Kurt. Made up
scene from XME Universe plus what *could* have happened in a whole bunch
of other dimensions. Kurtty elements all over the map.

Coding info: Since fanfic is wont to turn up on web pages, I've
deliberately avoided anything to do with greater-than or less-than
signs, because they tend to screw up HTML something chronic. Hence;
asterisks (*) denote emphasis, underscores (_) thoughts or italics,
curly brackets ({}) sound effects and square brackets ([]) foreign
languages. I refuse point blank to codify accents, as it winds up
reading like lousy spelling :) I have enough trouble with that as it is.

'Till There Was You
InterNutter

"...and you already know Jean." The Professor looked around. "Where's
Kurt? I thought I told everyone to come downstairs to meet Kitty."
"He's locked himself in his room ever since he came back from school,"
said Scott. "He said he isn't coming out."
The Professor sighed. "This is going to be - a little difficult."
"Is there something wrong?" Something was definitely funny about the
way this Kurt fellow picked up nicknames. Elf, Nightcrawler, Blue-boy...
they were all like, totally bizarre.
"We each have to adjust to life here at the Institute," the Professor
said as he guided her to the elevator. "Kurt's still going through that
adjustment phase and - we must have hit one of his bad moments."
Sudden and unreasoning paranoia. "Like, how bad can bad get?"
"Kurt's spent most of his life in relative solitude, Kitty. He's no
harm to anyone." By now, they'd reached an otherwise anonymous door.
"Kurt?" the Professor knocked. "Since you'd rather not come downstairs,
I bought Miss Pryde up to meet you." Silence. "Kurt?"
His low voice was surprisingly close when he spoke. "Please, herr
Professor... don't do this? I'll just scare her. I - I don't want to."
_*Scare* me? After the day *I* just had? Like, *sure*..._ Just as she
was about to argue, the Professor started talking again.
"You won't scare anyone, Kurt. Remember the inducer?"
_What the--?_
"It's broken, and you can't make me come out."
"Then we'll be forced to come in. I *do* have the master key."
"Please," Kurt sounded - afraid. "Don't?"
"Kurt," the Professor lectured. "Kitty is going to be *staying* with
us. She's going to see you one way or another, so you might as well get
everything over with."
"Nein!"
"Kurt? Kurt!"
Silence.
"Like, it's way too much bother and everything. I'll just see him
tomorrow. Or whatever..."
"No, Kitty. The more time we give Kurt, the worse this is going to
get. We *must* resolve this issue *now*. Admittedly, I don't like doing
this, but for *both* your sakes, I must."
Kurt's room was amazingly bland. A duffel bag, spilling its contents
over the floor, indicated that Kurt hadn't finished moving in yet. The
only personal touches to the room so far were a pair of antique, handle-
less hairbrushes on the dresser, and a stereo system set up in the
corner with exacting precision.
"Wow. Like, totally kickin' stereo, Kurt," she said. "If you're still
here..."
"He's still here," said the Professor.
"How do you *do* that?" asked a low, German-accented voice from behind
her.
Kitty turned. There was still no-one there. _No. Wait. There's someone
under the bed..._
"It's a little difficult for me to filter out surface thoughts, Kurt,"
said the Professor. "Or emotions."
Kurt made a tiny noise. "...I'm doomed..."
"You may as well introduce yourself, Kurt," advised the Professor.
"The longer this takes, the worse it's going to get."
A long, long pause. "All right," and the shadow under the bed moved.
Kitty's jaw dropped the instant she saw its blue 'hand'. Kurt had only
two, thick fingers which, like the rest of him, was covered in fur.
Then she saw the rest of it.
It moved as if entirely comfortable on all fours. Even the hind legs
were more like an animal's. The spaded-tip tail, however, proved to be
the final straw.
"OmyGod... *THAT* goes to school?"
Kurt stretched and smoothly stood on two legs, its tail lashing like a
cat's. "*That* also happens to be a human being. *That* also happens to
have thoughts and emotions. Just like you." Hanging his head, he handed
what looked like a watch to the Professor. "I must have knocked it or
something. It just - wouldn't work any more."
Kitty had both hands over her mouth. Either she'd made a primo faux
pas, or they were both trying to give her time to acclimate. Either way,
it wasn't working. She phased, and fell through the floor...
And was caught on the other side by an otherwise normal looking teen
who smelled faintly of sulphur.
"Gotcha," he grinned and let her down.
Same voice. Same accent. Same face - nearly. His skin didn't have any
fur, and wasn't blue any more.
"*Kurt*? But - you were --"
"It's just an illusion," he said, tapping the watch. "Boo."
Kitty stifled a scream.
He tapped it again and he looked just like a normal kid. "See? The
magic of technology. Unfortunately, it tends to fritz without notice."
He stalked away, hardly making a sound as he moved. "Like the Professor
said, we're both staying here. We can't avoid each other forever."

That could have gone better...

Kurt Darkholme was rarely let out of his mother's sight. Therefore
wherever she went, he went. It gave him an opportunity to see new
places, but the meeting new people part was always reserved for the
Test.
Having seen Kitty Pryde, he hoped she would pass.
Right now, he was watching her from on high - in the darkened corners
of her high school hallways' ceiling. No guardian angel, he could only
watch as two bully-girls sealed her in her locker.
He briefly played with the idea of 'porting right into the bully-
girls' path and scaring the bejeezus out of them. No. It wouldn't help.
He waited, patient, until the hallway was empty before moving.
By that time, Kitty was screaming for help.
"Hush," he soothed. "I'll let you out. Just relax."
"Who's out there? Who are you?"
"My name's Kurt," he said, still uncomfortable with the etymology of
his last name. "I'm - a friend. I hope." Thanks to the hood of his
costume, she wouldn't be able to see his face until he chose to let her,
but nothing could disguise his tridactyl hands, nor his digigrade legs,
nor the tail... "I'm - not from around here and - I'm very shy," he
allowed. "I have a power, like you have a power. We - my mother and I -
we can teach you how to own it. How to stop being afraid." His sensitive
fingers found number after number in her locker combination. "Meet me in
the old church grounds after school. I'll show you what I mean."
Her door swung open, and he used its noise to disguise the sound of
his 'porting.
All Kitty found, on emerging from her locker, was a single rose.

After School.
Kitty found the old church had been cleaned up a bit. Not by much,
just enough to get rid of most of the leaf-litter. The grafitti
remained, sullying the old stone and remaining windows alike.
"You *came*," it was the same breathy, accented voice that had rescued
her from her locker.
"Like, *totally*... I mean, it's not every day a girl gets a rose."
"Beauty deserves to be with beauty," said Kurt, now recognisable as a
cloaked figure in the shadows.
"Or flattery," Kitty grinned, sitting herself down on a righted pew,
then noticing the artifacts lined up there.
There was a bible, a bell, a candle, a string of garlic, a crucifix, a
bottle of water, a wooden stake and a hammer.
"That's part of my test," said Kurt. "The paraphenalia of demon-
destruction. So far, there hasn't been one person who didn't reach for
something in there."
Kitty started to feel afraid, now. "Uh... why would they do that?"
"Because of the way I was born," Kurt answered, taking a half-step out
of the shadows. "I scare people; and I don't like scaring people... but
if you're going to work with my mother, then - you're going to see me."
The stake and hammer, she noticed, were new. "Is that your power?
Scaring people?"
A brief laugh. "Nein, liebchen. Scaring people is something I can't
help. I prefer to get it out of the way on my terms, and that's what
having a power is about, too. Taking it on in your own terms. You can
own what you do, or you can be afraid of it, but it will never go away,
no matter how much you want it to."
"So... like, what *do* you do?"
"I teleport." {BAMF!} And in a cloud of sulpherous smoke, he was about
three meters from her.
Kitty gasped, her mind was still reeling. Anything could be under that
hood... but if he was evil and wanted to do something to her, wouldn't
he have done it by now?
"I know," he backed away, stopping when she righted herself. "It
scared me, too, the first time it happened. I thought I was *really*
turning into a demon. I felt my head every five minutes for the first
hint of horns... but my mother was there. She helped me, and now it's my
turn to help you."
"After the test, right?"
"That's right," said Kurt. "Remember, whatever you choose to do, I
won't stop you."
His hands were a little of a shock, being blue, covered in fur, and
only having two fingers and a thumb. Then Kitty remembered that those
were the hands that had freed her, when no-one else would.
She watched, almost hypnotised, as those hands pulled back the hood he
wore. Okay, so facial hair wasn't her 'thing', but the pointy ears were
kinda cute, and the long hair was nice in a roguish kind of way.
Judging by the look on his face, he wasn't finished, yet. Kurt undid
his cloak with a grim determination to see something through. He removed
it, folding it up as he went, and revealing...
_Okay. I'm staring. *Blink*, Kitty. Those are *not* cloven hooves.
They're *toes*. So his feet are wierd. That doesn't make him a bad guy._
She blinked and recovered, just in time to watch his tail unfurl from
around his waist and twitch through the air.
"This is all of me," he said, closing his golden eyes. "Do what you
will."
Kitty didn't even think of the paraphenalia so close to hand. All of a
sudden, her fear of her stupid little power seemed so purely selfish.
She'd been born looking normal. She'd had a normal childhood and had
lived without people shrieking at her every time she stepped outdoors.
She could only imagine what Kurt had been through.
Resolute, she stepped towards him, negating the psychological height
he'd given himself by standing while she sat. She reached towards him,
and took her hand in his.
His fur was short and soft, like the fuzz on a kitten's nose.
Her other hand held his head in place with the pressure of a
butterfly, and she kissed him on the cheek.
"You're not a demon," she said.
Kurt exhaled, tears gathering in his golden eyes. "Katzchen..." he
whispered, holding the hand that held his. "You're the first one to ever
pass."
His smile, though it held fangs, was worth everything in the world.

But in another world...

His name was Kurt Wagner. He was not the Thing From The Nether Pit.
That much was all he could remember sometimes, and that was almost a
mercy.
There were other times, when he remembered the world outside of the
cage bars. He could remember kind parents, and death-defying fun on the
high-wire and the flying trapeze. He could remember when he got clean
clothes more than once a year, and he was fed hot food. In short, he
could remember Germany.
He hated America. America was the place where things went from bad to
worse, and then he went to Hell.
He had respite when the circus moved. They gave him clean straw to lie
on when they were in a new town, and his handler sometimes let him out
on a leash. Only sometimes, when he could remember that he wasn't
supposed to walk upright any more.
The cage fixed that particular problem. It wasn't tall enough for him
to walk about on two feet. And the gawkers fixed the problem with him
attempting to huddle in the exact centre of his cage.
They threw rocks at him, when they ran out of the little bags of
marbles provided by the management.
He learned to pace on all fours, to lash his tail and beg for hot-dog
remnants and be cute.
Speaking was forbidden.
He'd murmured, "Help me," to someone once, and the management hadn't
fed him for a week.
He could, should he choose to do so, escape his cage, the circus, and
the management with one thought. The problem was that this was Hell.
There was nowhere to run to.
Another mob of gawkers came by. He knew the drill so well that he
would mutter their words under his breath.
"OmyGod, what *is* it?"
"It's a freak. That's the whole *point* of a freakshow."
"*I* heard they dyed a monkey and gave it plastic surgery."
"Why'd they give it *clothes*?"
_Because I still have some dignity._
"Aww, loo-ook... It wants my hotdog..."
"I just spent three bucks on that."
And so on.
One would think that Satan would recognise his own in Hell.
Then again, maybe he had.
Kurt sighed as the last of the gawkers shuffled away, having seen
their fill of him. He gripped the bars and stared into the distance,
wishing that his parents hadn't died before they could leave the circus.
His life, such as it was, would have been different if the accident
hadn't happened. Maybe he wouldn't even have gone to Hell.
"Oh. My. God..." somebody whispered.
Showtime. Kurt mumbled under his breath. "What *is* it? I heard they
shaved a monkey..." He turned, preparing to pace, only to discover a
lost Angel.
"You can *talk*?" She was a vision in pink and alabaster, with the
bluest eyes he'd ever seen. "I hear you, you talked. Didn't you?"
An Angel was his only hope. "Yes," he whispered. "They starve me if
they find out I've talked to people. Please. Get me out of here. Take me
with you."
She closed her lovely eyes for a minute. "Sure. Take my hand. My
name's Kitty. What's yours?"
"I'm -" he took a moment to remember, reaching for her hand. "I'm
Kurt. Kurt Wagner."
She pulled gently at his hand, and the much-hated bars melted away. He
went through them as if they were smoke.
_Don't talk until you get outside,_ said a deep voice in his head. Odd
that God should talk to him, now. _I'm doing all I can to keep you
unnoticed._
Stunned, Kurt could only walk - upright for the first time in years -
hand in hand with his Angel.

Or it could have gone worse...

Count Kurt VonWagner never met either of his genetic parents. His
father the Bavarian Count had died of mysterious causes shortly before
he was born. As for his mother... the wench had sold him to the gypsies
in a vain attempt to avoid the attentions of Reichsminister Xavier.
The Furher had saved him from such ignomy at the age of ten, singling
him out with the rest of the freaks for genetic investigation. That was
when they'd found out about his true and proper German heritage, and
seperated him completely from the people he'd known as his friends and
family.
By that time, he'd clung stubbornly to the only name he'd known, and
as a direct result, was judged mentally polluted by his extended contact
with the Romani.
Which was why the Furher had him here, in the forsaken Americas,
inspecting the Jews for anyone useful. The Furher had decided that he
and his slightly polluted attitude would go less noticed in such foreign
climes.
Nevertheless, he was the Nightcrawler, Reichsminister Xavier's pet
'demon', and he had appearances to keep up.
This small family, captured in Conneticut, shivered while he read
their papers. The adults were norms, that much was plain. Were they
mutants, the girl would have appeared less than normal and he wouldn't
be processing them today.
"Bring the girl forward," he intoned. So many younger ones hid behind
their parents. For all the good it would do against Reich bullets. He
looked into her eyes, then, for show, toured around his desk to poke at
her with his swagger stick. It went through her, once, like she was
smoke. "She's one," he announced. "Round up her tribe for investigation
and set the parents to breeding. For all we know, lightening may strike
twice."
He closed his ears to the parent's screams. They'd never see their
daughter again. She'd never see them again. The point that they never,
ever got was that both sides would be *alive* to miss the other.
The girl struggled against the guards, but not too overtly. So, she
knew enough to hide her power, even though she couldn't control it yet.
"You're one of the lucky ones, Jew," he told her. "The Reichsminister
looks after his freaks. He even gives them certain - advantages. Given
that they co-operate, of course."
She spat in his face.
Kurt sighed, withdrew a slightly ornate kerchief from his uniform
pocket, and wiped delicately at her spittle. "Obviously, some education
is in order," he said. "You. Feed and water her, then take her to my
estate. If she tries to escape, put her parents in the torture chamber."
He grinned, purely for the effect that his fangs had on people. "I'll
see to her taming, personally."

And on another Earth...

Every day, after school, Kitty had toured past the mutant camp. Every
day, she'd laughed at them and thrown rocks. It was part of the fun.
Sure, the army kept her and her friends from doing America's mutants
permanent harm, but she had to wonder why the army wanted them.
They were so *stupid*... Every time someone came near the fence,
they'd gather there to get rocks thrown at them. And they'd stand and
stare at every passerby, with their stupid wooden bowls and their stupid
wooden sporks tied into their belts.
Some of them would even call out, in a stupid attempt to get people to
help them.
Stupid muties. Didn't they know that it was against the law to harbour
them?
That had all been yesterday. Today, she was on the other side of the
cage, wearing a restraint collar and calling out to people who used to
be her friends.
"Stupid mutie!"
"Get away from us, you freak!"
"Here's some food, mutie!"
And someone threw a rock against the wire netting.
Kitty didn't know what to do. How could this have happened? Her
parents were normals. Just like her - until yesterday. She was an
American Citizen. With capital letters. Uncle Sam did everything in his
power to help her and protect her?
But he wasn't protecting her now...
She was herded onto a cattle car with the rest of the mutants in this
holding camp. Kitty spent the whole trip huddled up against herself and
weeping.
Odd that the muties didn't even attempt revenge.
Odd that the army men who'd taken her to the camp hadn't given her a
bowl and a spork.
Odd that the tales of rape and harm against normals didn't seem to be
happening here.
But then, she was here because she was one of Them. A dirty, stinking
mutie.
The soldiers dragged her out of the car when it arrived at the big
holding camp in Bayville, and she numbly took the bowl and spork that
they shoved into her hands. Confused, disoriented, and in shock, Kitty
staggered towards the nearest fence.
Bayville looked like a nice place on the other side of the wire. She
imagined what it would be like to go to school here, or shop at the
mall.
Except she'd never do those things. She was a filthy mutie.
"They can't *do* this to me! I have my *rights*!" Kitty screamed,
thrashing at the wire, then she threw her stupid mutie bowl-and-spork
set as far as she possibly could.
Not that it did any good. There was no escape from the mutie farm.
One of Them trudged towards her with her stupid mutie dinner set. It -
he - was a *real* freak. All blue and furry with animal legs and a tail
and pointy ears and it was coming closer.
It had to be a male. They gave the females tops.
It/he dropped into a crouch.
"What are you?" Kitty demanded when his stare finally bored through
her tears. "What do you want?"
"My *name*," he said in a pointed German accent, "is Kurt Wagner, and
you don't *have* rights any more. All you have is what they give you."
He fingered his own control collar. "They'll give you a number. Memorise
it, because to them, that's your name. You're not people to them, but
you're people to *us*." He handed her the bowl and spork and tore a
ragged strip from his pants. "Tie those to your belt, that way, you
always know its yours. Never lose them. They won't give you another set.
It's either eat out of that, or eat off the ground."
She took the strip from his plush, misshapen hands, and did what he
said. He tears still fell. She still missed her home. The world was
still upside down, but this - this *kid* - wouldn't let her eat off the
ground.
Kitty couldn't remember if she'd ever thrown rocks at anyone like him,
before.
"There's only one rule, amongst us," Kurt said. "We look out for each
other. Their rules come and go, but ours is constant. Follow it, and we
all survive."
Some norms were approaching, and a cluster of muties were already
pressing themselves against the fence. She stared at it.
"Don't they know those kids throw rocks?" she blurted.
"Ja. We know." Kurt sighed. "It's just that sometimes, they throw
food. Or they throw clothes. Worthless things to them, of course, but
worth more than gold to us."
Kitty picked herself up, her bowl-and-spork rattling on her belt, and
she offered a hand to Kurt. "Look, I was one of them... I'm sorry if I
ever - youknow..."
"I know how it is," said Kurt, leading her carefully away from the
fence and the jeering norms on the other side. "After a little while,
the people on the other side of the fence all look alike."
And there were always *two* sides to a fence...

Or just plain strange...

The Prydes were defensive and cagey. They didn't know how the X-Men
even knew that they had a daughter, let alone that she had a new power.
They were hiding something, and not very well at that.
Kurt had had enough of arguing on the porch. "It's all right," he
said. "We know about Kitty. *All* about Kitty."
The Prydes froze, then looked both up and down the street. "You'd
better come in, then."
Their home held little hint of a third person living there, or at
least the *public* portions of their home gave few clues of Kitty's
existance. Kurt listened to the Professor's sales pitch with half an ear
while finding a small portrait half-hidden behind an ornamental
Aspidestra.
Cerebro's extrapolation had been exactly on target.
Poor kid.
No wonder her parents hid her away and pretended to the world that she
didn't exist.
Kurt put the portrait back and crept upstairs. Her room - with a lock
and key - held no sign of her, though there was an attitude of pinkness
that told Kurt that Kitty was still a beloved daughter.
Kitty was also hiding.
He sneaked past the Professor and his speil and investigated the
basement. He turned on the light, and was rewarded by a small gasp and a
flurry of movement into the shadows.
Kurt sat on the stairs and played with his tail. He'd never done this
before, but he still had to try.
"You don't have to be afraid of scaring me," he said. "I know that
some gifts come with a higher price than others, and it isn't always a
good thing - to be a mutant."
"How... How do you know what I am?"
"Because I'm a mutant too. I can teleport - move instantly from one
place to another."
"I know what teleportation is," a slight note of resentment. "I'm not
stupid."
"Sorry," Kurt smiled. "All we knew for certain was that you'd been -
isolated - from the outside all your life."
"Except Halloween."
_Ouch._ Time for a deal. "How would you like to be able to go outside
any day you liked? You could go to school, go shopping. Have fun..."
"Don't tease me," Kitty said. "I know there's nothing they can do for
me. I'm too badly deformed."
"I'm not talking about an operation, Kitty. Just a little illusion, so
that others don't judge you by how you appear." He held up a slightly
clunky-looking watch. "This little gadget, here, can make you look like
everyone else. It can't make you *be* like everyone else, but if there
was something like *that* around, we'd all be clones, ja?"
"I can look - normal?"
"You *are* normal, Kitty, but not because of anything like this.
Normal is what you truly *are*, inside and out."
"Do you believe that?"
"Of course." Kurt grinned. "Test me if you like. You'll still get this
whether I pass or fail."
"You'll scream."
"Maybe. Why don't you try me?"
Kitty stepped into the light. She had the hunched stance of someone
ready to bolt for cover in an instant, but that wasn't the complete
problem.
She didn't have any fur, or rather, the fur that she *did* have was
practically invisible and sparsely distributed on her skin. Her ears
didn't have any points, and almost lurked in her brown hair. Her hands
had too many fingers, by far, and Kurt could see that she walked on her
ankles as well as the balls of her feet.
There was no tail, nor even the hint of one.
Then he looked into her eyes.
Her beautiful, saphire eyes. Blue was such a rare colour, up in the
world outside. He could just imagine her under the illusion of downy fur
and proper, tridactyl hands.
"You're going to be beating them off with a stick," said Kurt.
"Who?" Kitty demanded, reaching for the watch.
"All the young boys in Bayville. They'll follow you anywhere you go,
and be your willing slaves for the price of a smile."
She activated the watch, and his brief fantasy became a reality. Sort
of.
"See for yourself," he offered, taking the cover off an old mirror.
She did, and squealed in delight. "Look," she gasped. "I'm
*beautiful*!"
"You were always beautiful," Kurt whispered.

And, yet again, another existance...

For a demon-slayer, Kitty had some pretty remarkable gifts. The first,
of course, was the outright savagery trained into every demon-slayer on
the planet. The second was her power, which made it impossible for any
demon to touch her. Literally.
There was only one real flaw.
She missed one. Repeatedly.
Every hex she tried, every potion she threw at him, every cunningly-
planned trap, fell down into nothing. All the arcana were of no use
against the creature, and none of the demonology books had anything like
him in their pages.
Other demon-slayers had met him, of course, so Kitty was convinced
that he was real. It was just that - he kept coming back.
She growled at the entry in her latest tome. This was just a bunch of
stuff she'd written herself from observations, only far more organised
into a coherent whole. *And* she'd just blown fifty good, decent dollars
on the damn thing from Tomes 'R' Us...
{BAMF!}
"A little light reading, frauline?"
Kitty looked up. It was hanging from her light and grinning at her,
upside-down.
"Go away," she groaned. "I'm not in the mood."
{BAMF!} and he was perching on her desk. "Bad day at the office, eh?
Maybe a nice cup of hot chocolate would help improve your mood, ja?"
Already, the catalogue of traits from her long hunt of this demon was
marching through her head. _Possible German origin. High calorie
requirements, yet purports to have a revulsion for human flesh or blood.
More interested in low-level mischief than outright chaos. Has, on a
number of occasions, acted in a mysteriously benevolent manner. Shows no
fear of holy objects/ground, or demon-slayers._
"What would improve my mood, demon, is your sorry blue furry hide
hanging on display on my wall-of-pride."
"No sooner said than done," {BAMF!} and he was clinging to the wall.
"Am I the right way up? Or properly co-ordinated?" He grinned.
"I meant *just* the hide."
"Sorry. I much prefer it where it is." {BAMF!} and he was sitting
comfortably in her client's chair. "I bet you can't guess what *I*
want..."
Kitty raised an eyebrow. "You're volunteering a weakness? To *me*?"
"What can I say? I like you."
"What's the catch?"
"Catch? Who said there had to be a catch. I like you, and I want to
help."
Kitty made a noise. His ideas of 'help' had almost wiped out an entire
city, once. Not to mention caused her inexplicable amounts of grief.
_Think on the bright side, Kitty. At least I'm not like the one in
Sunnydale, who went and *married* an actual *vampire*._
"Honest. I *do*. And now that you're not in the mood to actually try
and kill me, I thought I'd venture the idea."
Whatever. "All right. What *do* you want?"
"I want to join."
"What? You seriously believe *I'd* join *your* side."
"*Never*. I said *I* want to join. Your side. Not that I was ever on
*their* side. All that craving for raw meat... Yuck..."
"Are you pulling my chain?"
"Not at all, frauline. Think of the prestige. Your very own tame demon
- on a leash, even - fighting at your side. You'll definitely have them
talking in *Sunnydale*, especially the Slayer there. What was her name?
Bouffant? Bunny?"
He apparently knew her as well as she knew him. Kitty and Buffy had
been having a cat fight on global-thermonuclear-war scales ever since
they'd crossed paths and Kitty had attempted to slay Buffy's beau.
Still, the Sunnydale Scooby Gang did have quite a record with
enlisting... Maybe it was high time she got a tame demon of her own.
"Booger," Kitty answered with a leer. "Say, for the sake of argument,
I do decide to let you cross sides. What do I have to do to ensure you
won't turn again?"
"I never turned in the first place," he said. "But for your peace of
mind, I'll tell you anyway. Pay me a decent wage, and give me a place to
live."
"That's *it*?"
"You were expecting something like walking backwards in a circle,
naked, during a thunderstorm or lunar eclipse and laying down a matrix
of natron? I'm not that kind of guy."
Time to test if he was serious. "So. What do I call you?"
"Since you finally asked so nicely, my name is Kurt Wagner. All that
name-of-Christ stuff *really* irked me."
Kitty boggled at him. "You have a *human* name?"
Kurt looked in both directions before leaning conspiratorially
forwards. "Don't tell anyone," he whispered. "But I'm also human. Pure-
bred."
"You're - not a demon."
"Not in the slightest." Kurt grinned and put his misshapen feet up on
her desk. "I just look the part."
Then Kitty began to scream.

END!