Title: Blood for Blood
Additional Pairings: None
'May see what was not there at the set of sun
And tremblingly will come to understand
The peril that has passed him in the dark -
Tracks... in the sand'
Author's Notes: OMFG I'm writing again O_O. Damn, that feels good. Written for both the Stalker challenge we had a while ago and the Halloween challenge. I really doubted I'd get to a Halloween fic this year, and it's rather strange and kind of in an experimental style for me. I'm not yet sure how I feel about it, but I hope you guys enjoy it!
The air is cold when he wakes, and bitter. At first it’s all he feels, the whole of his sensory knowledge, while dream and fog obscure his brain then fade slowly into darkness and clarity. He feels the sheets, then, cool and sliding across his fur as he shifts and stretches, the down comforter, a restrictive weight across his knees, the familiar tangibility of light’s absence.
It would be comfortable, if not for the other. There’s a sense, on top of it all, a tingling on the skin of his neck and a marble knot in the pit of his stomach. Something wrong, but in a vague, hard to place way. He stares into the darkness, but it’s empty and chill, and his brain is still fogged. Something inside of him is scared, but it’s only a little piece of the big, sleepy picture.
Blue lips mutter some lines, most of them unintelligible, about nightmares and drafty mansions, as blue fingers fumble for the thick down comforter. Rolling over with one final sigh, he falls back into a heavy, mostly dreamless sleep.
Same bedroom, same bed. Same figure, huddled under the sheets, comforter laying half on the bed, half on the floor. Waking is less gentle this time, more sudden. His eyes are open in a heartbeat. The pale irises roll fervently for several instants, and find nothing but walls, a dresser, a chair, all bathed in the twilight of a night lit by a sliver of moon.
‘Nightmare,’ he thinks, and forcibly relaxes muscles that were tight before he was awake. ‘Gotta lay off the pineapple anchovy pies.’ He smiles, but it’s weak in the dark, and it doesn’t hide the remnants of a noise he must have imagined, a lingering product of the dreaming. He stares at the shadowed shapes of his room, and when he finally rolls over and closes his eyes, sleep doesn’t come.
The noise isn’t imagined this time. He could swear it was there, ringing silent echoes across his room, jerking him out of sleep with a gasp and clenched fists. Under the sheets his tail curls fitfully, dragging little curlicues along the half moon-lit surface of the fabric. It takes almost as much will to stop its path as it does to turn over, after many loaded moments, and look at the other side of the room.
Empty. The room is almost lit, to his noctilucent eyes, the darkest shadows only in the deep corners. The trappings are normal, comfortable, the center of his own little world. Nothing’s out of place…but nothing’s right.
A shiver runs down his spine, and he struggles with his memory for a moment before realizing that yes, he did leave the door to his balcony open. Slowly, he slips out of bed, an indigo shadow, and his white-with-red-hearts boxers float across the room, haltingly.
When he reaches the door, he steps onto the balcony. It’s cold outside, colder than his room and his bed and the down comforter that seems too fond of his feet and the floor. Over the railing are the little lights he and Jean and Scott hung for Halloween. Tiny white skulls stick out amongst the bats and jack-o-lanterns. Their black eyes are gaping, empty as his room. They don’t laugh, though, merely stare, and his skin feels suddenly itchy and tight. He listens to the world for a long time, eyes never leaving the skulls.
When he goes in, he shudders as he shuts the door, mumbling something about it being too late in the year to sleep with it open.
No sound. Just a feeling, that eerie sense that you’re being watched and you don’t want to know who’s watching. He sits bolt upright in bed, head turning almost fast enough to give himself whiplash. The moon is huge tonight, and shines in brightly. It bathes his balcony in a light far softer and gentler than the day, catching everything – iron railing, large jack-o-lantern on the floor, tiny skulls, and that something skirting the edge of the rail... Breath hitching in his throat, he stares at the corner of the balcony, and stares. By the time he’s almost convinced himself it was his imagination, his pulse has stopped pounding in his ears, and his palms have finally stopped refuting his every subconscious attempt to dry them on his covers.
With a puff of foul-smelling smoke he’s standing in front of the balcony, hands fumbling clumsily at the latch only to find it already locked. He barely glances at the grounds beyond the mansion before bamfing back to a comforter that isn’t comforting enough to put him back to sleep.
Full moon. His room is bright when he wakes from his first deep sleep in weeks. Blearily he blinks up at the heavy shadow above him, pale skin and purpled eyes and it takes him a few more confused moments to be afraid, moments in which he wonders if he should be afraid because really, the person hovering over him has never been one to inspire fear in anyone. But then he feels the tight grip holding his arms above his head, and the bony knees pressing his legs painfully into the bed, and he comes fully awake with a harsh start and a gasp.
Todd smiles down at him, and something dark and strange gleams in his eyes and Kurt doesn’t know whether to be more scared or intrigued. He settles on confused, and glares up at the boy from under tousled bangs, before making a halfhearted attempt to squirm out of Todd’s stubborn fingers. The leverage is all wrong; he manages little more than shaking his shoulders and severely crinkling his tail before he gives up with a frustrated growl of “Toad!” that’s louder than he’d expected but not loud enough.
Immediately he’s silenced by a slightly grimy hand over his mouth. Eyes wide, he stares back at Todd, watching as his smirk morphs into a frown.
“None’a that, yo. Don’t wanna wake up the whole X-mansion, huh Fuzzy?” It’s the same voice Kurt’s used to, that same smug tone that had kept him at more than arm’s length from the boy all this time. Kurt’s glare deepens, and his lips draw back, until he can taste the thin layer of dirt on the boy’s palm. Without thinking he bites down, his small fangs digging cleanly through the calloused skin.
A satisfying yelp and sharp taste of copper are his rewards. Todd rips his hand away, his other wrapping defensively around it as he leans back, trapping Kurt’s thighs with his surprising weight just as he releases Kurt’s hands. Todd’s amber-yellow eyes flash under his dusky brown bangs, and he snaps peevishly, “MotherFUCK, man! What the hell’d you do that for?”
Wasting only a moment on a vain struggle to wriggle his legs out from under the boy, Kurt sits up, using what little momentum it gives him to offset his bad leverage and shoving Todd roughly. The boy falters, his pale hands tracing a small circle in the air, but doesn’t fall off of Kurt’s legs.
“What are you doing in my room, Todd?” The sentence is simple, the voice as steady as he can make it. He glares, stomach coiling uncomfortably into hangman’s knots and heart still pounding, and continues to watch as Todd frowns at his hand, flexes his fingers a few times, then sticks the heel of his palm in his mouth.
For a moment the boy’s cheeks sink as he sucks at the wound, and when he draws his hand back his lips are flecked with drops of crimson that wink harshly against the white of his skin. His lips shift as his tongue moves under them, running along his teeth, and they finally part to reveal the greenish tip of his tongue, that darts out to swipe the blood away.
“Bastard! I ought’a skin your ratty hide for that one. The hell, man?”
“Toad…” Kurt starts, warningly, the frustration oozing through the word then cut off abruptly at the look he’s flashed. The smirk is back, somehow even more assured and arrogant than before, and a chill creeps up Kurt’s spine, over his shoulders and down his chest and straight to lower regions that were until that moment getting far warmer than they should have, with the hot weight pressing down around them.
Kurt licks his lips, eyes darting, the thought of teleporting to safety crossing his conscious mind for the first time. “What are you doing here, Toad?” He says the name as if trying to reassure himself it’s the right person. There’s a long, pregnant pause. Reluctantly Kurt brings his eyes up to meet Todd’s; something dances in them, amused, reflections like tiny devils around a bonfire.
Briefly Kurt’s mouth falls open, and all he can do is stare at this strange, unnerving boy sitting on his legs, wearing the skin of Todd Tolensky, Brotherhood nuisance and all-around punk. Then the silent alarm bells inside kick into belated life and Kurt realizes just how much he does not need to be here, now.
“Toad, out. Now.” It’s said with less conviction than he’d hoped for; Todd’s smirk falls for a moment, but immediately returns, complete with monotone chuckle and a shake of his shaggy head.
“Nah. …I’m not ready to leave yet, Fuzzy.” He begins to move, leaning forward slowly; Kurt shrinks back, eyes fixed on a small smear of red still left on those white lips.
“Logan’s patrolling, Todd. He’ll be here any minute…”
Their lips meet. There is copper, and bitter, and chocolate. Kurt can feel the boy’s smile through the kiss, and his shoulders press against the headboard, neck straining back while the rest of him presses itself into the warmth. When Todd’s teeth break the delicate skin of his lower lip, Kurt makes a noise he would never admit to, copper flooding his mouth with a few crimson drops. Pain flares and softens in an instant, and he finally drags himself away, smearing purple streaks through his fur with the back of his hand, unable to drag his eyes from Todd as easily as his lips.
“Blood for blood, yo.”
When Kurt speaks, his voice is flat. “I called the Professor. Get out, Todd.” He barely flinches this time when Toad traps his hands again, leans in close, anger and something else, something that makes Kurt’s chest ache, hiding just below the surface of his yellowed irises. Kurt stares him down, and something else starts to spread across Todd’s face. His snarling lips close in a slow, small smile, his eyes glinting in the shadow. He leans back, letting go of Kurt’s hands.
“Whatever, Blue Balls. Catch you later.” And then he’s gone, in an acrobatic flip that doesn’t dislodge the covers where they lay half-draped on the edge of the bed. Kurt stares at the open balcony door for a long time, the silence of the house falling in, filling the room and the holes left by ragged voices and uneven whispers.
When shadow turns to shade, Kurt walks to the balcony door. He closes it gently, his fingers hovering over the lock for a moment, then dropping to his side.
His comforter is warmer than it was, and a drop of crimson glistens on his pillow. Kurt rolls onto his other side, and falls asleep.