It was the unmistakeable scent of blood- and not an unsubstantial amount of it- that had him charging at Kurt's door. He didn't even bother to knock; he busted them with approximately three hundred pounds of adamantium, muscle, bone and hair, and there have been very few doors in existence that could withstand such assault. The door to his pal's room weren't in that category.

"Elf!" he howled, claws out; nobody in sight, only the posters of Captain Blood, Robin Hood and several other movie swashbucklers grinned at him, showing their pearly-whites and irritating the Hell out of him. Without a pause, following the coppery scent that rose every hair on his nape and back, he burst into the small, steamy bathroom, and nearly pierced the guy he'd been looking for with his infamous six-pack blades when he slipped on the wet floor, lost balance and crashed headfirst into the half-opened shower cabin, hitting his head hard on the wet wall with a painful THUD and leaving six deep gauges in the smooth ceramic surface. Something between a growl and a yelp escaped him when his nose informed him, sooner than his temporarily fogged eyes did, that he'd landed in a cabin slick with blood, and the really bad part of it was the fact that the blood wasn't his own.

"Elf!" he yelled, trying to clear his eyes, to bring the focus back; Kurt was close, right next to him, that much he could smell, but through the steam and the blood and his blinding, furious fear and the impact that would have landed anybody else into Emergency room-


"Elf; y' alive, pal? Y'there?"

"Of course I'm here! Where else I'm supposed to be? The questions are, what are you doing here, where's the verdammt fire, and have you ever been familiarized with the concept of knocking?"

Logan swore under his breath, trying to find his footage, but the mixture of water and blood on the smooth tile wasn't making it easier for him. The adrenalin in his system evaporated a bit now that he realized that Kurt apparently wasn't in any kind of immediate danger, but the scent and taste of his friend's blood was still wrecking his instincts crazy, not to mention making his skin crawl with fear. Not that he'd ever admit it, though. But still.

"Whaddahellareyadoin', Elf?" Logan snarled, rubbing the already-knitting wound on his forehead, blinking to focus on Kurt. The blue guy was crouching perched on the edge of the shower cabin, naked except for the towel that he seemed to have hastily thrown over his hips when Logan had burst through the door, and wearing a very wide-eyed, stricken expression of alarmed anger on his face. However, it wasn't Kurt's unwelcoming attitude what made Logan growl from the bottom of his chest, baring his teeth and lashing out with his hand, twisting Kurt's wrist in his adamantium grip.

It was a massive hedge trimmer that Kurt was holding in that hand, blades dripping crimson, that made him do it.

"What am I doing?" Kurt hissed, subtly showing his own respectably dangerous fangs, while slowly and determinedly twisting his arm and making it very difficult for Logan to keep his grip on Kurt and his ground on the slippery floor. "What are you doing, busting in here like a raving lunatic like this and totaling my bathroom in the process? Look!" Kurt pointed an accusing finger of his free hand at the spot where Wolverine's head had collided with the ceramic sanitary. While the head had already nearly healed, the tiles were less fortunate in the close encounter with the adamantium skull. The crack in the ceramic was quite spectacular.

"Kurt, I don't give a flyin' %&$$ about yer bloody bathroom; I wanna know what're ya doin' to yourself with this %$%% thing!" Logan snarled and snatched the trimmer from Kurt's bloodied hand; unfortunately, the movement had him overbalancing on the slippery, greasy film of blood, and he landed back in the shower cabin, hitting the wall hard with his back and the ceramic floor with his ass. He felt something crack, and the logic and the lack of pain instructed him that it weren't his bones that suffered the damage. Kurt buried his face in his palm, leaving the traces of blood on his hair and fur, and the sight of it refueled Logan's fury.

"I won't ask ya again, Elf!" he roared, trying again to get back to his feet, still hatefully clenching the trimmer like a thing accursed. Again, he lashed out and clenched Kurt's right wrist in a bruising grip. "Either ya tell me what were ya tryin' ta do t' yerself with this damn thing, or I'm draggin yer scrawny ass to Xavier, and then ya'll have to explain to him- "

"Explain him what? That I was trimming my nails and you charged in like a rabid dog and flattened my bathroom to the ground?" Kurt rose his voice in a snarl of his own. Logan could smell on him a lot of anger, a bit of fear, and a decent amount of embarrassment; he could hear the hammering heartbeat that wasn't getting any slower at all; the tail that had been drawn under him at first was now starting to swish from side to side, faster with each second, and a blind man would have recognized the message of the body language. "Now let go of me, Wolverine! I said, let go!"

Wolverine. Not even Logan, let alone mein freund. Out on the battlefield, it was something that comes with the uniform, but here, at home, it had an effect of a bucket of cold water in his face. He released Kurt's wrist, breathing hard, as Kurt's words, slowly, started to sink in.

"Ye were…trimming…."

He stared at Kurt's hands. He couldn't see where the blood was coming from, but now that he paid attention…

"…yer nails?"

His eyes travelled south, where Kurt's two-toed feet were clenching the narrow edge of the tub. Yep, there was more blood, leaking from somewhere there; he couldn't make out where from, but he could now easily imagine. He still didn't understand why, though.

"Yes! Yes, I was trimming my nails! Are you satisfied now? Your curiosity quenched? If so, would you mind showing yourself out the same way you came in, with a little less collateral damage, if possible?"

Logan cocked his head, his eyes going from Kurt's oddly shaped hands and feet, to his glowing, angry eyes. This wasn't Elf's style, snapping out like this; the last time he'd seen him this edgy, it was when his old friend from circus was killed and Logan, not knowing what was going on, had shredded the newspaper Kurt had just been reading that piece of news from. Certainly, every regular human being on planet would be livid if you invaded their privacy and smashed their bathroom to pieces, but Elf wasn't a regular human being, and he tended to react with humor and soothing words of affection that Logan couldn't understand where he kept pulling from. This, this was very unusual; almost more unusual than finding your best friend sitting naked in the shower cabin, cutting his fingers and toes with a hedge trimmer until blood covers the bottom of the cabin, filling the air with its hackle-raising scent.

"Now listen, Elf; I've seen my share of trimmed nails, my own grow faster than I have the patience to cut' em, but I've never seen anybody doing it with a bloody hedge trimmer, an' I don't recall any blood bein' supposed to come out in the process. So either y' tell me what's goin'on in that fuzzy head of yours, or I swear I'll have Xavier knock y' out with a mind blast an' ransack yer brain 'till we come to the problem! Now, which one's gonna be?"

Kurt stared at Logan with glowing pupil-less eyes, lips firmly pressed together, tail swishing, arms crossed on his chest, until his towel started to slip, and he swiftly gripped it with one hand, only now obviously remembering that he shouldn't crouch with his legs eagle-spread if he'd wanted to preserve the minimum of modesty, and all that significantly hampered his intimidating potential. Logan grinned humorlessly.

"Well, you haven't seen nails like mine", Kurt said quietly, looking aside. "They are hard like wood…impossible to cut with regular scissors. And they grow…strangely."


"Yes, strangely! I can't cut them properly to resemble regular human nails if I don't, er, snatch away a bit of flesh. If I let them have their way, they resemble…er…" he paused. "…claws."


"Are you just going to repeat everything I say? I can just say everything twice and spare you the trouble."

"Claws", Logan cracked a smile and gave Kurt a smug look. "Claws, my ass. Elf, you don't know a %&$$ about claws. No competition."

The hollow expression in the yellow eyes quickly wiped away the smugness from Logan's face. Not funny.

And then he remembered how he'd noticed, occasionally, how Kurt's fingernails, from time to time, would start to form themselves into a subtly pointy, slightly curving shape that wasn't really a talon, but wasn't entirely a regular homo sapiens trait, either. Or how Kurt rarely showed his hands without gloves, even around the house in the free hours, or how, from time to time, the tips of Kurt's footwear did seem to be a bit pointier that usual, but never for too long, and Logan never really paid attention. As long as he knew, neither did any other member of their motley crew. Save one. This one.


"Yes, er."

"And ya have ta use this damn thing?" Logan looked at the bloodied trimmer, his lips showing teeth at the sight and scent of it.

"The other alternative is an axe."

"Coulda asked me t'do it for ya."

Kurt chuckled. "Thank you, Logan, but no thank you. You're no manicure man. No offense."

"None taken. An' ya can't go without drawin' blood?"

"They stay too…prominent if I do."

Logan looked around, at the blood on the floor, in the cabin, on the trimmer, on himself, on his shirt and trousers, on Kurt's fur.

"Elf, y' don't have ta do this ta yerself. Why do ya do it? Yer what y' are. Yer a funny guy. Only fitting if yer nails grow in funny ways. Nothin' wrong with it."

"I prefer it this way."

"Those things could be useful in a scrap, too."

"I prefer it this way", Kurt repeated in a polite, but firm tone that clearly indicated there was no more room for argument there. Logan opened his mouth to argue, but the way Kurt's jaw was set, he realized, in a rare influx of empathy, that he could only make the matter worse and that he'd better be silent. For now.

"You done already?" he asked instead.

"Almost. Just a little bit here…" and Kurt's tail scooped up the trimmer, he took it in his hand, bent over, and with merciless determination, cut off another little piece of a toenail, drawing more blood which trickled down his foot and down the white porcelain of the tub. The trimmer made a sickening SNAP while he did it. Logan watched, feeling the hair on his neck stand up again.

"That was a little bit; enough now", he snapped, grabbing what seemed to be a clean towel from the shelf and threw it at Kurt, who almost keeled over trying to simultaneously catch the towel, keep the balance on the edge of the tub, keep the trimmer in his hand and keep the towel around his hips from slipping.

"Hell, Elf, stop squirming like a girl. Y' don't got anythin' I haven't already seen. Not even claws."

"Just pass the alcohol, will you?" Kurt smiled, wrapping his hands in the towel. Blood blossomed on the white cotton almost instantly. Logan hovered over him, trying to assess the damage, but Kurt handled things with such clinical efficiency that it soon became obvious that he'd been doing this his whole life, and that Logan was only getting in his way.

Still, Logan stayed and watched, silent, and finally, when Kurt's bleeding had stopped and he bamfed to the sleeping room to get dressed, Logan washed the blood away, cleaned the floor, fixed the shower enclosure he'd busted, and washed as much blood as he could from the towel.

"Thanks", Kurt said quietly from the door, in a tone that indicated subtly, most likely against his own will, that he'd much rather if Logan hadn't witnessed this at all, let alone cleaned up after him, but that he still appreciated the effort.

"Welcome", Logan pretended to have missed the undertone. "Hell, I though I had issues with my claws."

"I live to surprise", Kurt grinned.

"Y' live t' complicate things, Elf. Y' don't have ta do this. But if that's yer choice, I know a good way of drowning our mutual pains, considerin' the bleedin' claws an' all."

Kurt's eyes gleamed with familiar mischief, and Logan felt as if the load of million pounds had been lifted from him. Ignore the scent of blood, and the elf is back the way as he should be.

"The last one to Harry's buys the beer!" Kurt laughed and bamfed away from the room, leaving Logan coughing in the cloud of acrid smoke. Logan walked through the busted door in no particular hurry. Considering the circumstances, he might as well give the elf a bit of a head start.