Chapter 1: Terrifying
Disclaimer: Isn't it obvious by now?!
A/N: Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me, happy birthday dear Shadow, happy birthday to me! This is up, because it's my birthday, yay! I'm in such a good mood! (this was supposed to be up yesterday, but I couldn't upload the document)
A few weeks ago the mansion had received a new student and by far he was one of the most bizarre and terrifying people any of the students had ever met. To put it simply, no one wanted to get to know the guy and for good reason.
He looked as one might believe a demon would –spaded tail, fangs, deep blue fur, pointed ears, three fingered hands, oddly built two toed feet, and long, shaggy, indigo hair-. He wore nothing but black to add to the demonic picture and to top it all off he was eerily quiet. It wasn't like anyone went out of their way to have a conversation with him either.
He spoke in a cool, emotionless voice, even while barely moving his lips bringing to light his fangs. If that wasn't enough his eyes were usually the main reason people were scared of him from the start. Glowing gold that –while as emotionless as he always appeared to be- seemed to say "Screw me over and it'll be the last thing you ever do." There was one thing the students took from his appearance and actions though; he appeared to have a darker outlook than Rogue and Logan combined.
The students of the Institute weren't above eavesdropping on conversations between the instructors' conversations (which at this point included Logan, Ororo, the Professor and Hank) and from a few of those conversations it had become public knowledge that the new student was a force to be reckoned with in the Danger Room. And, as if to just add more terror, he owned an unknown type of sword, and knew how to handle it.
Still, he never actively did anything to anyone. He spent any time he was in the mansion's public eye in the shadows with a simple, black backed sketchbook be barely looked up from.
This new student's name? Kurt Wagner a.k.a Nightcrawler, everyone's worst nightmare come to life.
Kitty pushed her thickly rimmed glasses up her nose and ducked her head as the new guy came into the kitchen, dressed as always in long black pants, a black shirt, (no one could tell if it was long sleeved or short sleeved) and his black trench coat. A long slit made its way up the back, parting it up to his tail bone, letting his tail swish from side to side freely.
He ignored everyone around him as always and grabbed himself some breakfast. Everyone studiously avoided him; in fact Kitty guessed that if they had a chance between a training session with Logan -one on one- or spending time with Kurt, they wouldn't think twice before choosing Wolverine.
She nearly tripped on her own feet, as was usual on her way back upstairs and soon found herself fighting to get to her room through the herd of students heading downstairs.
Finally deciding to just phase, she made her way quickly through the crowd and to the bedroom she shared with her Gothic roommate, Rogue.
"Hey sugah." Rogue greeted from behind her book.
"Hey Rogue." Kitty replied tiredly, dropping onto her bed, even slight interaction with the Nightcrawler made her jumpy.
"Kurt in the kitchen?" Rogue asked calmly, she and Logan seemed to be the only ones in the whole mansion who weren't, at least, hesitant about him…not that they were about to all become buddy-buddy or anything.
"How'd you guess?" Shadowcat pulled out her laptop and started it up, deciding to check her email before class.
Thanks to a recent slew of attacks on them at school, Ororo, Logan, Dr. McCoy and the Professor were taking over their studies for the time being. This meant she would be spending more time in close quarters with the new guy, but she could deal…right?
Rogue didn't reply to her question and flipped a page in her book.
Kitty scrolled down in her email, junk mail was deleted, hate mail was ignored and deleted and messages from home were saved to read later.
"Hey, Rogue, Kit, you guys coming or not?" Evan's voice drifted through the door as he knocked loudly and obnoxiously.
"Yeah, yeah, don't break our door Porcupine!" Rogue huffed grabbing her bags.
Kitty closed her email and shut down her computer, sliding it back into its place in her bedside table she grabbed her school bag and phased through the door, following her friends.
Reaching their 'classroom' Kitty scanned the room for a free seat, not unexpectedly the only one was near Kurt.
She slowly made her way over, willing herself not to be scared.
Kurt had switched on his image inducer for class, making him look normal, but that wasn't to say he wasn't still scary.
His dark indigo hair was still long, reaching his chin and fairly shaggy, hanging in front of his eyes which were dark, cold slates of sapphire and he was in the same ensemble as she'd seen this morning. Only now, the sleeves of his coat had been pushed up slightly, revealing the long strips of black cloth he wrapped his arms with.
She sat timidly, but he didn't look up from his book, his pencil making soft scratching noises as it moved across the paper.
She bit her lip and tried not to squirm in her seat as class started.
Kitty couldn't focus at all throughout class, Kurt didn't even do anything, but she was freakishly in tune to him.
When they were finally allowed to go she packed up her things, but couldn't stop herself from watching Nightcrawler leave.
He didn't really walk, she noticed, he more…glided or maybe drifted was a better word. Either way, when she watched him walk she thought of a large cat, stalking its unsuspecting prey.
Before he reached the door, he turned and looked straight at her and she felt herself panic, but at the same time couldn't look away.
His eyes were a perfect gold on white now that image inducer was down, and they seemed to look into her heart and soul, leaving her naked for him to see. She swallowed and finally broke away as he left.
Her shoulders slumped and she all but gasped for air.
~What the hell just happened?! ~
Kitty sat down for Lunch with Evan and Rogue, still running over that morning's class in her mind.
"So, where's Fangs?" Evan questioned, taking a bite of his sandwich.
Rogue glared at him, "Ah don't know…Pin Cushion."
Rogue just shrugged.
Kitty couldn't find it in her to join the conversation, so she just started poking at her salad, her head spinning.
Across the room and hidden completely in the shadows, Kurt watched over his fellow students, his signature emotionless expression on his face.
He caught sight of Kitty and tilted his head to the side in contemplation, but just shook his head and opened his sketchbook to a free page and started drawing.
Light lines for the small folds in fabric, darker lines for the outlines of the face, smudged lines for shadows. Careful, gentle lines for the mouth and eyes, and then with a small amount of imagination, he drew the lips up in a smile that was hardly ever seen.
He felt a flash of pleasure as he finished the drawing of Rogue and quickly flipped it over to label and date it.
Now for his next subject…he thought for a minute.
The younger kids were outside playing mutant ball…perfect.
He reappeared in a tree a little ways from the game and settled back in the branches.
The long 'tails' of his coat fell over either side of his perch as he scanned over the students, finally finding his two subjects.
Nodding to himself, he began drawing again, taking careful notice of how the muscles moved under Rayne's fur, and being sure that each of the Jamies, were completely identical.
Logan ran a tired hand through his tousled hair and unlatched the cupboard of his secret stash of beer. Twisting off the top he took a deep swig of it before settling into a chair at the kitchen table.
The night was calm and clouds were minimal letting the full moon shine like a beacon in the star speckled sky. He sighed quietly, his keen eyesight seeing more than anyone else's. He knew Kitty would kill to see what he could; she loved stargazing.
He could hear someone's soft footsteps, and sniffing the air, he recognized the scent.
How the blue terrorist got inside was a mystery but Logan wasn't about to stop and ask questions.
He slid his claws out slowly, the sound of metal sliding on metal nearly unheard as he sent a telepathic message to the Professor.
~Chuck, we got a trespasser. ~
~I know. ~ He returned, ~I'm sending the others now. ~
Logan crept out of the kitchen and followed his nose as he trailed Mystique. Her path led them around a hall where he met up with a startled Jean.
"Did ya find her?" he questioned tensely.
She shook her head negative, "Sorry…I thought I saw someone go this way though."
He followed her down the hallway, eventually meeting up with Kitty, Evan and Rogue.
"Anything?" Jean questioned; more negative head shakes.
"Keep looking." Wolverine ordered.
They stayed in a tight group, Mystique was dangerous, they couldn't turn their backs to her for a second.
They turned another corner and Jean threw out her hand. "Wait!" she ordered, bringing a hand to her temple and closing her eyes in concentration.
"She's shifted and hiding…coming around the corner."
Everyone got into battle stances and waited. Sure enough, a dark shape came around the corner.
~Wow, she took the shape of Nightcrawler, that's creepy. ~ Kitty thought.
The fake Kurt cocked a silent eyebrow at their stances. "Vhat are you doing?" he asked tiredly.
"Don't play dumb Mystique, now come quietly."
Kurt shook his head, "Vas, I'm not Mystique."
"Nice try!" Jean said and everyone raced forward.
'Nightcrawler' dodged and jumped out of their reach, much to their annoyance, but then, finally, Logan got his hands on him, holding him tightly.
"Just try and shift!" he dared.
Kurt groaned in an irritated fashion, but his emotionless mask didn't leave, only shifting to annoyance, "I told you, I'm not Mystique."
"Save it." Evan ordered.
Eventually, they had Mystique in one of the sub basements. Cyclops leaned over the other mutant, demanding him to change back and tell them how she got into the mansion.
Kurt continued to say he wasn't Mystique and Scott eventually gave up leaving the 'interrogation room', anger and frustration written plainly on his face.
"Just perfect, she won't talk."
Kitty stood at the back of the second room, a semi thick book clasped in her hands. It had fallen out of Kurt's jacket while they fought and she was worried that they'd gotten it wrong.
She recognized the sketchbook as Nightcrawler's and had yet to open it, so either Mystique had stolen Kurt's jacket, or that was the real Kurt and he was telling the truth.
"Let me try." Kitty offered quietly.
Everyone looked to her in confusion; Kitty wasn't the strongest fighter, more the brains of the operation, and besides helping out in the technological area, she barely ever spoke up.
"You sure Kit?" Evan questioned, looking uncomfortable.
She nodded, fingering the sketchbook, "Yeah, I'm sure."
They sighed and stepped aside for her to go into the private room.
Kitty had never felt so nervous in her entire life as she entered to see Kurt leaning against the wall, arms crossed, face as blank as always.
"Hi." She greeted shyly.
He glanced to her and blew out.
"Um…look I don't think you're Mystique."
He finally looked over, nothing in his expression changing except for the quirking of an eyebrow.
"This fell out of your coat while we were fighting, so either you're Mystique and stole Kurt's coat or you're you and, you know, uh you're telling the truth…" she finished lamely.
"Looks like you are the brains of the operation." Kurt's voice was quiet, cool and revealed nothing just like always, Kitty didn't know if she felt relief at that or not.
"If you open the book you'll see a few of my drawings, go ahead and look." He invited as he sat down.
Confused, she opened the book and blinked several times. The pictures were so detailed, and so perfect, she was sure that a camera had taken them.
She flipped through in awe, finding ones of the other X Men, and the mansion, the most recent were of Rogue, Jamie and Rayne and finally, there was the starting of a sketch, barely an outline of someone.
Inspiration hit her and she grinned at him, "Alright, you finish this, and if it matches the style of the rest of the drawings, I'll know it's really you." She handed the book back and he took it.
Leaning back in his chair and putting his two toed feet on the table, he brought a pencil out from the depths of his coat and went to work.
Kitty remained silent, watching him, the only noises the scratch of his pencil. Every stroke he made was sure; he never took a single one away. And finally, he was done.
He handed the book back to her wordlessly and she looked down at it, before freezing.
He'd drawn her, or a version of her. In this photo, her hair was down, as she never wore it, her face was lifted to the sky, a bright and happy smile on her face. Her arms were outstretched and slightly lifted and she was wearing a dress that seemed to swirl around her in the imaginary wind.
What she really noticed was that she looked beautiful. There wasn't any sign of her geekyness in this photo, her thick-rimmed glasses and frumpy clothing were gone and she looked secure and confident, things she never remembered feeling in her life. She looked…free.
It was her, yet it wasn't her…but it still matched the rest of the drawings.
She closed the book and handed it back to him. He took it and…was a trick of the light or was he smirking slightly?
"I don't look like that." She said softly, almost sad.
"You don't see very well." Was his plain reply.
She shook her head and stood from her chair before phasing out the door.
"It's Kurt." She stated clearly when she got out.
"What?" everyone was shocked.
"Trust me on this one, it's the real him."
Jean stared at her in shock even as Logan unlocked the door and let the demon mutant out.
"So, we just restart our search for Mystique?" Evan almost whined.
Kitty watched Kurt carefully as he went over to Jean, something unnamable in his eyes.
She let out a slight scream of protest as the boy moved faster than anyone she'd seen, slamming Jean against the wall.
"Hey, what the hell?!" Evan exclaimed, bringing out several spikes and aiming at Kurt.
"You people are too easily deceived." He stated tiredly, before throwing Jean against the opposite wall.
Everyone watched in shock as their former friend slowly went blue.
"Holy-" Evan's aim was now on Mystique as Kurt leaned back against the wall.
Logan growled and picked up Mystique, yelling in her face.
The words were unintelligible to everyone else, but Mystique apparently knew what he was saying as she grinned evilly and twisted from his grasp, nailing a well placed kick in an area all that men swore should only be treated nicely.
All the males in the room winced, even Kurt, as Mystique fled the room.
Cyclops led them after her, Kurt remaining motionless against the wall.
Mystique shifted into a cheetah in her race through the mansion finally making it outside. She could taste freedom until there was a blast of black smoke in front of her and Nightcrawler appeared.
"Nice try." He monotoned, beginning their fight.
They were equally matched, as was obvious to the X Men as they finally made it outside.
"Dude." Was all Evan could say as they watched as the two blue mutants attempted to, apparently, kill each other.
Mystique growled and transformed into some sort of fanged beast. Kurt ported away and she turned on the other X Men who were shocked from their daze as she attacked them.
Kitty ran from the fight, knowing she would only be a hindrance; apparently, Mystique knew this of her and followed close by.
Kitty whimpered as the woman snapped at her and continued to run, finally coming to a wall.
Shadowcat turned, scared out of her mind and too panicked to even register that she could phase.
Mystique slowly came towards her, slowly shifting into a large lioness.
Kitty gulped, pressing herself against the wall, her eyes widening in terror.
Mystique leapt at her and Kitty heard a loud 'bamf', arms were wrapped around her and then she suddenly felt like she was being squeezed through a tight tube, and moving faster than she ever had before.
The feeling left and she gasped for air, leaning against whoever it was that had their arms around her.
Her heart beat furiously against her ribcage and she was shaking badly enough that whoever had saved her was holding her up. It didn't matter to her though, all that mattered was that she couldn't feel teeth or claws ripping into her.
"Hey, you okay?" the voice was achingly familiar and her breath caught. Slowly, she looked up to meet a pair of glowing golden eyes.
~Oh God, oh God, oh God… ~
It was Kurt. Kurt had saved her. Kurt was holding her. Lord almighty, Kurt was the one she was holding onto like her life depended on it. And Kurt was the one she was pressed up against.
"Hey, Demon to Shadowcat, are you in there?"
"Kurt?" she questioned faintly.
He sighed, looking a little annoyed, "Finally, a response. About damn time." That was the most emotion she'd ever heard from him, it was annoyance and irritation, and directed at her, but it was an emotion.
She smiled slightly ~Good to know you aren't completely made of stone. ~ She thought.
Kurt frowned and sniffed the air, leaning into her and looking hard, she felt a little nervous at his close proximity but then realized, there was something almost recognizable to worry in his eyes.
"You're bleeding." He stated, looking down slightly.
"What? No I'm-" she cried out as a shock of pain went through her leg. She bit her lip and opened her eyes to see Kurt bringing his tail into view from where it had just grazed over her leg. Ruby blood glinted on the spade and she swallowed at the appearance of it, knowing it had come from her.
Kurt looked at it intently, twisting his tail this way and that to catch the blood in different lights. He ran his fingers over it, rubbing it between two fingers, a contemplative look on his face that she hadn't seen before.
He let out a breath and locked his eyes with hers again, "You weren't poisoned and the cut isn't deep enough to cause lasting damage to the muscles or scarring. You are going to need some stitches, but otherwise, you're alright." His words were blunt, straight to the point and emotionless, but for some reason, she felt he was relieved and so was she.
Kitty nodded and tried to step away but Kurt didn't let her go.
"It's still fairly deep and you're bleeding badly, you aren't going anyvhere before I wrap that up." She nodded, not willing to contradict him.
She gasped slightly and wrapped her arms around his neck as he scooped her up, but then realized he was just laying her down and relaxed.
~Okay now I know I'm not imagining it. ~ Kurt was definitely smirking this time.
He released her and kneeled next to her, pulling back the sleeve of his trench coat and started unwrapping the black fabric from around his arm, revealing the dark cobalt blue fur beneath.
Kitty was suddenly wishing she could see what it felt like but held back, knowing he wouldn't appreciate being pet like some kind of animal.
She hissed slightly and cringed as Kurt started wrapping her upper leg with the fabric; he wasn't very gentle, and was obviously more worried about stopping the blood loss than her comfort.
She didn't know if that was a good thing or not.
Kurt finished his impromptu bandage and scooped her back into his arms again before he started moving at a quick stride back to the mansion.
"Um, Kurt?" he nodded slightly, "What…what was it that you did earlier, you know, to get me away from Mystique."
"It's my mutation, I'm a teleporter." This news was a slight shock, for someone so intimidating she would've thought it was something a bit more…aggressive.
"Oh…so why aren't we doing that now?"
"Keety," she blinked, it was the first time he'd ever spoken her name, "You're weak, sore and you're body's been through enough stress tonight as it is. You do not need to add teleportation to zat."
She nodded, but quirked her head to the side, "Where are you from, you have an accent." Kitty nearly bit her tongue but she couldn't stop the question from leaving her lips.
~Ugh, this is so clichéd, 'curiosity killed the cat' and all that fun stuff. ~
"I'm from Germany." He replied as they finally made it to the mansion.
A very small smile came to her lips and she wrapped her arms loosely around his neck, leaning her head against his shoulder. This was actually quite nice, not that he'd ever let her do it again, this was a one-time thing, and they'd probably never even speak to each other again.
Kurt's tail opened the door and they heard the other's voices echoing off the walls.
"Did you find either of 'em?"
"No, but Jean was locked in the hall closet, weirdly enough. Wonder how Mystique tricked her in there?"
"Was she in a skimpy outfit?"
"Mystique went to lookin' like Scott then."
"Oh, okay, not so weird anymore."
Kitty giggled at Rogue and Evan's conversation. The two mutant teens came around the corner to see her in Kurt's arms and froze.
"She's fine, just needs a few stitches." Kurt said in a deadpan voice as he passed them.
Evan blinked several times and shook his head, but lost sight of the two as Kurt stepped into the elevator to take them downstairs.
"Did I just see that?"
Kurt stepped into the infirmary and Dr. McCoy was immediately at their side.
Kurt relayed exactly what he'd told Kitty earlier, and Beast directed him to put Kitty on the exam table while he went to get his medical supplies.
It became obvious to Kitty that he was going to leave without a word and so, without much thought she grabbed his hand as he turned to leave.
He looked to her, his mask not slipping.
"Um, I just…I just want to say thank you, for saving me." She gave him a warm smile and while he didn't return it, she was sure his eyes softened.
He sighed, "I think I should be thanking you. If you hadn't figured out I vasn't Mystique everything could've gone to Hell."
She blushed slightly and looked down, flattered by what was, in a roundabout way, quite a compliment from the normally silent boy.
So she just nodded and let go of his hand.
~God Kitty, say something! Say anything! ~ "Kurt."
He looked back again and she bit her lip, quite nervous about what she was about to do.
"Do you, maybe after I've gotten my leg sown back together, um, you would, maybe, go to a, movie, with me…" she was positive her face was a bright glowing red.
"On one condition." She looked up sharply surprised he was actually accepting.
"Uh, okay, what is it?"
Her jaw nearly dropped as he smiled. Smiled, actually smiled. It wasn't a smirk, or even a grin, but an actual smile; his fangs didn't even look scary with the expression on his face. In fact, his entire demeanor changed, he looked…nice, kind even. Kitty also didn't fail to notice that it made him fairly attractive.
"I get to take you for pizza after."
She mentally shook herself and smiled back at him, "That sounds good." He smiled at her one last time before leaving, his expression slowly slipping back to neutral.
As soon as she was sure he was gone, she fell back against the table.
~Wow, he has a nice smile. ~
IMPORTANT! To explain how Mystique (as Jean) knew Kurt was coming around the corner, she shifted her ears slightly, just enough to heighten her hearing.
A/N: And I give you a brand new story! Mystique's presence in the mansion will be explained, but until then, I shall laugh evilly! MWAHAHAHAHA!