Rating: NC-17 Overall
Additional Pairings: Lance/Kitty, one-sided Todd/Lance, future others
Summary: Scene 8, in which Kitty and Kurt bond adorably. Kitty played by idgiebay and Kurt played by moi.
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Disclaimer: Closest-thing-to-bishounen-America's-got Kurt and the lovely and amazing Toad-Boy belong to Marvel, the I think WB, and probably bunches of other wonderful peoples. So do anyone else mentioned herein. We don't own them, we're just kleptos who intend no harm and will return them when we're done. Please dun hurt us.
The den is thankfully empty and quiet for once--no Logan brooding by the fire, no Evan trying to talk her ear off, no Kurt trying to impress her with jokes--just the random crackle from the fireplace and the shuffle of papers each time she turns the page. Yes, nice and empty and quiet.
Maybe a little too quiet.
Kitty sighs and looks at the clock. 9:45pm. She's been studying for the past two hours, but she still doesn't feel any more ready for her Algebra II test than she did a day ago. She briefly considers calling it a night, but the fact that she hardly ever gets any alone time is enough to keep her there.. but who said she had to study? Tossing the math book aside, she stretches and lies down on the couch, a wayward yawn escaping her lips as her head hits the throw pillow. "Silence is SO golden.."
Kurt wanders the silent halls of the mansion, heading in the vague direction of his room. Having walked most of the way back after teleporting only once, his clothes and fur are dry enough to not drip on the carpets. He'd had to abandon his shoes at the front door; muddy footprints would mean his hide were Storm to catch sight of them. The rest of him is a mess, his new clothes and exposed fur caked in mud and grass. That's twice he's come home looking this way, both times Todd's fault and both accompanied by similar emotional trauma; he's cruelly reminded of that fact as he passes the den, the site of his life-threatening encounter with Logan.
He stops, pausing just in the door, and wonders, briefly, how different things would've been if he'd just listened to the man's advice instead of letting himself get involved. Tonight wouldn't have happened. Lance wouldn't want to take a chunk out of his hide; any more than usual, at least. Todd wouldn't hate him. Todd wouldn't have rejected him. ...They wouldn't have shared tender kisses, teasing caresses, moments that could so easily develop into friendship and something more.
With a loud, shuddering sigh he leans against the door jamb, covering his face with his hands and willing back the heat behind his eyes.
What was that? Was that sound invading her silence? Sound means someone is there, and someone there means that Kitty's alone time is alone time no longer. /Just keep quiet and they'll go away,/ she tells herself. Curious, though, she slowly phases her head through the back of the couch and sets her eyes on a form that looks vaguely like Kurt, what with the blue fur and all, but the cakes of mud, the wet hair, the grass stains.. it looks like he'd been rolling around outside after a storm. As far as Kitty knows, however, the skies are clear.
Phasing completely out of the couch, she takes a few steps toward him, brow laced with concern upon seeing his dejected state. "Kurt..?"
Kurt starts, jumping up from the door and shooting a look around the room until he focuses on Kitty. Silently he curses his luck, which is proving again that it doesn't exist, and debates just 'porting the hell out of there. But he's sick of hiding, and running; it's all he's been doing around the mansion for days, pretending everything is normal and avoiding Logan at all costs. He doesn't want to run anymore and, he thinks, mostly he just doesn't care now. Exhaustion claims him, and he sinks to the floor, roughly wiping at his eyes and ignoring the muddy stains he's going to leave in the carpet.
Kitty watches him sink to the floor, eyes wide with worry. "Kurt?!" She kneels down next to him and lightly shakes his shoulder, noting the dampness of his shirt. "Kurt?! Like, are you okay?! Talk to me!"
As she touches his shoulder, Kurt places a hand on hers, torn between needing physical contact and being repelled by it. "I'm fine," he whispers, surprised by the weakness of his own voice, then he smirks in derision. "No, I'm not actually. But hey, I'll live. That's all anyone can be expected to do, right?" He hates the self-pity dripping from his tone, but can't stop himself.
Frowning, Kitty places a hand on the side of Kurt's cheek and turns his head toward hers, taken aback by the sheer sadness in his eyes; it's completely heartbreaking. "What happened, Kurt?" she asks, her voice soft and caring, though she can't hide the hint of panic. "Are you hurt? Do you need me to get someone? Like, I think Mr. Logan is in the kitchen.."
"NO!" Kurt fights down the instinctive panic. "Mein Gott...No, not Logan." Okay, so maybe he didn't totally 'not care'. He shudders, mind supplying images of what Logan would do to him...and to Todd...if he found out about the night's events. He meets Kitty's gaze, making a half-hearted attempt to tone down the emotion he knows must be screamingly evident on his face. "I just...need a few minutes. Okay?"
Kitty nods, though not totally satisfied. "Do you wanna talk about it?"
Kurt looks away, staring at the carpet his fingers are nervously picking at. Does he want to talk about it? To some degree, he's terrified of what Kitty's reaction would be, wonders whether she'd look at him differently, perhaps even hate him for it. They're friends, and he truly believes it would take much more than even this to totally ruin that, but he's still uncertain, the cynical part of his mind taunting him with imaginings of her turning up her nose in disgust and running off to tell Logan.
But as afraid as he is, he doesn't think he can handle this on his own any more. It's too much, and hurts far too badly for him to deal with alone. And he has to deal, before the memories of soft skin and whispered wants send him flying over the edge of sanity. Making the decision, he takes a deep breath...and realizes he doesn't know where to start. "I..." is all he can manage, and he rubs at his aching temples suddenly.
Kitty watches him, eyes full of sympathy. When it seems he doesn't know what to say, she pats him on the leg and tugs on his shirt as she stands. "Come inside," she says, resting her hand on the doorknob. "More privacy."
Getting to his feet, Kurt glances guiltily at the mud-covered spot on the carpet, then slips over to the couch, sitting down and waiting for Kitty, trying to calm his raging thoughts while doing so.
After Kitty closes the door, she hesitates for a second when she sees the mud stain and tries rubbing it away with her foot. Alas, she only succeeds in smearing it further into the carpet. She cringes. "Storm is gonna flip.." Making her way around the couch, she settles down beside Kurt and rests a reassuring hand on his knee, eyeing him expectantly. "So, what happened?"
"Possibly the worst mistake of my life," Kurt sighs. "I...For the past few days, I've been..uh..." he growls finally, slapping a hand to his forehead. It shouldn't be this hard...should it? 'Just say it, Kitty can deal.'
"A couple of days ago, I ran into someone...and we started doing things we probably shouldn't have. I'm not even sure how it started, one minute we were arguing, the next we were fooling around, and then...things got, uh...rather serious."
To say she is surprised would be an understatement, though Kitty tries not to let it show in her demeanor. Unfortunately, she's terrible at masking her emotions. "Um.. like, okay. Well.." She rubs her lips thoughtfully, looking around the room as if it would somehow provide her with things to say. In all honesty, she was expecting news that was a little more.. well, mortifying, given Kurt's sullied appearance and the mournful look on his face. Unless of course--"Oh my gosh!" she suddenly blurts out, clapping a hand over her mouth. "You didn't, like, get her pregnant or something, did you?!"
"WHAT? No! God no, gah! How could you even think...I'm not that stupid!" Kurt decides to just go for it; it will be over more quickly, and it couldn't hurt any worse fast than it might slow. "...Kitty..." Wrapping his arms around himself, suddenly cold, he stares at her, judging her reaction carefully. "Kitty...it wasn't a 'her'."
Kitty cocks her head to the side, brow raised in confusion. "But, if it wasn't a 'her,' then that means..." Realization suddenly dawns and she leans away instinctively, her eyes wider than she ever thought possible. After all the times he'd flirted with her, tried to impress her, exaggerated his own abilities just so she would notice him--after all that, he's.. "You.. You're," she stammers, trying to find her voice as she casts him a mixed look of surprise and disbelief. "..I didn't know you were gay.."
"I'm not!" he sighs. "At least, I don't think I am. I still like girls, you know? It just...it felt so good with him. Just...right, somehow. We were gonna try it out, see how it went, right? See if anything developed...where it would lead. We'd barely even started, and it was a little rough, ja, but good, until Lance-" the words flow from his mouth, getting quicker as he goes and his need to get it all out overpowers his inhibitions. He doesn't mean to reveal Todd's involvement yet, but Lance's name slips out before he realizes what he's doing, and he catches himself, falling silent and regarding Kitty warily.
Perplexed, Kitty tries to be as attentive as possible while Kurt explains himself, but she can't help the discomfort that grows when he uses the word 'him.' The idea of Kurt being with another boy is a little odd--she had him pegged as the typical straight guy: foolish, pretentious, and horny, especially considering the way he pines over girl after girl. Not that she spends her time worrying over the sexuality of her fellow X-men, mind you. In fact, that's the farthest thing from her mind, making this situation all the more strange. Being from a village in Illinois, this isn't something she's used to. Briefly wondering if it would be rude to excuse herself for a moment to absorb all this, Kurt suddenly mentions Lance and her heart skips a beat. "Lance?" she asks immediately. "What does he have to do with anything?"
"He, um..." Kurt wonders how he should word it, breaking his observation of Kitty to conduct an in-depth study of the carpet. So far her body language speaks of some unease over the confession, though she's trying to hide it. All things considered it seems like she's taking it as well as can be expected. But will she be so forgiving when she finds out -who-? "Lance has been giving him a hard time over this, telling him to stop it now before things get bad. Maybe he's right...But Lance has a lot of influence over-" he's about to say 'Todd', but nerves stop him, and he struggles against the fear still clawing at his gut.
"Over what? Over who?" Kitty pouts, suddenly feeling quite out of the loop. "Why hasn't he said anything to me..?"
Briefly, Kurt asks himself the same question. Lance wants he and Todd to stop seeing each other; sure he can threaten Todd, but wouldn't it be doubly effective to try and turn some of Kurt's own friends against him, against them? Unless Todd asked him to keep it quiet... Kurt turns his attention back to Kitty, brows furrowed. "That, I don't know. As for who..." he takes a deep sigh, trying to steel himself and calm his screeching nerves. "It's Todd. We went out tonight, for the first time..." he frowns. "It didn't turn out as well as I'd hoped."
Kitty blinks, jaw dropping in utter disbelief. "Todd?! As in Todd Tolensky?! Like, TOAD?"
Kurt sighs again, this time accompanied by a roll of his eyes. "Yes, that Todd." 'Really, is it so hard to believe?' he thinks, followed by, 'Don't answer that.'
"Why..?" she asks suddenly, casting Kurt a skeptical look. "Um, I mean.. no offense or anything, but he isn't exactly.. umm.." She looks around the room, snapping her fingers as she tries to think of the word, but nothing comes to her. With a sigh, she aims him a sheepish grin and once again rests a hand on his knee, pushing aside her own opinions for the time being. "So what happened tonight? Did you guys fight or something?"
Fighting back the urge to glare at her first comments (really, she DOES have a point) Kurt scowls. "It was...weird, that should be a given. But not really a bad weird. We got a bite to eat, then went for a walk. Then..." he rubs the back of his neck, feeling a blush spread over his nose and cheeks. "We stopped at a park. I wanted to...I'm not sure what I wanted, but we were, well..." blushing even more, Kurt averts his eyes, finding a point of great interest in the ceiling tiles. "...Anyway, out of the blue Lance appears! I've never seen him like that, he was furious! He yelled at Todd to get in the jeep..." Kurt lowers his head, staring at his hands, eyes burning. His voice grows quiet. "Todd did. He stayed there the entire time Lance and I argued, and when I finally got to talk to him..." He swallows against the heat in his throat, unable to say more, and wipes at his eyes with dirty fingers.
Kitty blushes as well, shifting nervously in her seat. It doesn't take a genius to figure out what Kurt and Todd might have been doing in the park given the former's bashful hesitation. When Kurt mentions the confrontation with Lance, however, her unease is replaced with troubled concern. "What were you and Lance arguing about, anyway?" Her grip on his knee suddenly tenses. "He isn't.. you know, a homophobe or something, right? He didn't, like, try to hurt you, did he?"
"No and yes," Kurt sighs. "I don't think it's so much that Todd's with a guy as that the guy happens to be me. I just...I don't know why. Because of the unspoken 'fraternizing with the enemy' rule, I guess, but out of all of them, you'd think HE would..." he glances at Kitty, decides that line might not be the best to pursue at the moment, and goes back to staring at his hands. "Anyway, we only got into a shoving match, it didn't have the chance to go any further. But I don't think that's for lack of trying on his part. He was...let's just say I've seen Sabretooth in a better mood before."
Nodding, Kitty scoots a bit closer to him, smiling sympathetically. "Yeah, I know... he's got a pretty short fuse sometimes, but.." She trails off and looks down, hands now fidgeting in her lap. "I know what you were thinking," she sighs. "About he and I and fraternizing with the enemy and everything. I think it might be a little different with us, though. I mean, we haven't-" She casts Kurt a timid glance and begins toying with the hem of her shirt. "-um, well.. with you and.. and Todd, is it just, you know.." Blushing, she inwardly curses her diffidence towards the subject. It's much easier talking about these things with someone like Jean than say.. well, a BOY you sometimes regard as a brother. "Is it just fooling around, or.. or do you LIKE him?"
Kurt leans back into the couch, regarding Kitty. "I don't even know. I mean, it's not just...physical," heat spreads over his face again, and he hurries on. "Maybe it started that way. It's just...he's different now. Or maybe, he's always been this way, and I was too busy fighting him to notice. We've only hung out a little but...I feel -something- around him. I'm not sure what, but it's there. I can't just turn my back on it."
Worrying her lip, Kitty nods again, taking the information in stride. The fact that Kurt is talking about another boy (and not just any boy--it has to be creepy, reeky Todd Tolensky) still astonishes her, but she's slowly getting over the shock and treating the discussion the way she'd treat any situation concerning a friend asking for advice. "Well, um.. do you know if he feels the same?"
Kurt cringes. There's that uncomfortable burning in his throat again. "I...thought he might. He agreed to go out, and seemed to enjoy it. But after Lance showed up..." Face hot and eyes burning with moisture, he leans forward, resting his elbows on his knees. "He said it wasn't worth it. It wasn't worth fighting over...I'm not worth fighting over."
"Then he doesn't know what he's missing," Kitty whispers, resting her hand lightly on his shoulder. Inside, she's seething. The fact that Kurt's sitting here, damp and muddy and broken-hearted all because of that little fly-eating deliquent really tears her up, and her brow suddenly furrows in anger and defense. "You know, just forget about him. HE's the one who's not worth it, Kurt."
"Yeah, like I'm such a great catch," Kurt wrinkles his nose, gesturing to his mud-caked fur. "I wish I could forget, things would be a hell of a lot simpler. But that's the whole point, I think he IS worth it. If you'd seen him tonight, before...Mein Gott, what am I doing!" He wipes his dirty arm across his eyes, smearing mud on already wet cheeks, and thinks again of the last time he was here, with Logan. Who knew he could feel worse than he did then?
Kitty frowns, genuinely wishing she could accomplish more than what little she seems to be doing. "I'm sorry.. I don't know what to say.." Seeing him like this, unhappy and forlorn and so un-Kurt-like hurts her, and she looks away to avoid the scene, saddened eyes fixed on her lap once more. "..do you want me to talk to Lance or something?"
"You'd do that?" A little surprised, Kurt stares at Kitty, still wiping absently at his cheek with his palm. Hope struggles to life in his mind, alleviating some of the ache in his gut, but he quenches it quickly. "Nein, I can't ask you to. It's not worth Lance being angry with you."
"Oh, I can totally handle him, don't worry," She grins and pats Kurt on the shoulder before solemnity takes over her voice again. "Just.. don't expect too much, okay? I can probably convince Lance to leave you alone and, if he's not too angry, MAYBE get him to talk to Todd... but, like, I have no bearing over what Todd thinks and I don't think he even likes me all that much, so.. you get what I mean?"
"Yeah..." That flicker of hope is stubborn, it's still trying to force its way to the forefront of Kurt's mind. A melancholy smile taints his lips and he looks Kitty in the eyes, hoping his gratitude is clear enough. "Thank you, Kitty. Really."
A genuine smile. "Oh c'mon, you fuzzy elf! Like, what kind of friend would I be if I didn't try to help you out?"
"Not a very Kitty-like one," he smiles, genuinely this time. Running a hand through his hair, he flops back on the couch with a heavy sigh. "God, it feels like I'm in the middle of a soap opera. Real world, take me back, please!"
Kitty giggles. "Welcome to the years of teen angst and high school drama! Better get used to it now, 'cause Jean assures me the 'fun' continues up to graduation."
"Dude, I don't think I'll survive that long." Kitty's reassurances have gone a long way to calming Kurt's troubled mind. He truly relaxes, for the first time in days, letting himself sink into the couch cushions. "So what's been going on around here? Did I miss anything interesting or world-shattering?"
Sitting back, Kitty props her feet on the table and looks at the ceiling thoughtfully. "Let's see... well, you know, Mr. Logan takes every opportunity to ask where you are.. oh, and actually--" She cringes slightly, casting Kurt a worried glance. "The Prof's been looking for you, too."
"The Prof?!" Kurt's voice nearly cracks. Logan's scary, but somehow the thought that the Professor knows is even worse. 'How could he NOT know, with the way your head's been screaming at you for days?' "Oh god, I am so dead! That's why I've been avoiding Logan; he knows, he caught me coming home the first night. Either he told the Professor, or my thoughts were way too loud..." his eyes grow wide. "What about Storm, do you think they've told her? And Jean, oh man, she must've heard my thoughts too! What if she told Scott?" He slaps his forehead, breath coming too quickly. "The whole institute probably knows by now! I'm doomed!"
"Whoa, whoa! Like, calm down!" She tries hard to keep the amusement out of her voice. Obviously, Kurt is truly worried and the concern is certainly valid, but she can't help thinking he may be jumping to conclusions just a tad. "C'mon, Kurt. Do you really think this kind of gossip would've gotten by me if the entire Institute knew? And I REALLY don't think Mr. Logan would tell anyone but the Prof about it, IF he told the Prof."
Kurt makes an effort to calm his racing heart. He has to admit, this would never have gotten past Kitty, no one's more in-tune with the gossip-mill around the mansion. He's not so sure about Logan keeping quiet though. "You don't think Logan would've told anyone? He seems to think it's a threat to the team or something, wouldn't he have thought Storm needed to know? Not like it matters, he and the Prof are bad enough..."
Kitty sighs, thankful that he's calmed down some. "Well, I wish I could say for sure.. but if they do all know, you're gonna have to talk to them eventually. It's not like you can hide from them forever."
"No, but it won't stop me from trying," he sighs, getting off the couch to pace the floor in front of Kitty. "What am I supposed to say to them? Do you have any idea what Logan will do to me when he finds out I ignored his 'advice'? And the Professor...You know what he's like; he doesn't get angry, but I don't know if I could take his disappointment."
Kitty pouts. "Well, the Professor's level of tolerance can be kinda surprising," she notes, rubbing her chin thoughtfully as she watches Kurt pace back and forth, casting him a small, knowing smile. "He hasn't really said anything negative to me about Lance, so like don't be so pessimistic. And as for Mr. Logan, well, think of how upset he'll be if you keep avoiding him like this..." Tilting her head to the side, her brow furrows inquisitively and she tries to catch his eye. "What kind of advice did he give you, anyway?"
"Basically what you'd expect. 'This is bad, this is gonna cause trouble, don't be stupid, think it over..' Which all interprets as 'Call it off or I'm sharpening my claws on your fuzzy blue hide'." Kurt stops pacing, rubbing the back of his neck absently as he stares into the empty fireplace. "Maybe you're right. I can't avoid them forever. ...And if Lance and Todd have anything to say about it, there might not be anything left for them to worry over."
"Well, we'll see what happens tomorrow. I'll talk to Lance then..." She frowns at Kurt's back, picking up the dejection in his voice, and once again wishes there was something more she could do to help him. Being rejected hurts greatly, and for someone like Kurt--someone who seems to crave affection so desperately--the pain must be magnified significantly. Sighing, she rests her head against the sofa and puts on a feeble smile, hoping to keep the conversation light before her friend backtracks to to his earlier state of glumness. "Anyways.. maybe things will look better after you have a good night's sleep.."
After a moment Kurt looks back at her, regarding her with a wan smile. She's tried so hard to cheer him up, and he's grateful, he really is. It's just going to take a little more than a friendly voice and that small hope to make things better. Still, she's trying her best. He sits back down beside her and reaches over to pull her into a hug, suddenly needing the contact. "Thank you, Kitty."
"Ohh, don't get all mushy on me, Kurt!" Kitty's smile widens slightly as she pats him on the stomach. "But like, seriously.. I wish I could be more helpful. If there's anything you need, you just let me know, okay?"
"Ja, will do," he smiles, patting her knee for a moment before getting back to his feet with a deep yawn and the kind of full-body stretch only an acrobat can manage. Looking back to Kitty, though, his eye's caught by the massive muddy stain on the couch, and he looks back to the carpet by the door, where the stain's twin resides. "Oh man! It's gonna take me forever to clean this place up!"
Kitty's smile morphs into a full on grin. "Leave it to me!"
"Kitty, I'm not gonna ask you to clean up my mess for me!" 'Well, not literally anyway,' Kurt thinks. Trying to smooth things over with Lance would definitely constitute 'cleaning up his mess' in his eyes.
She waves her hands dismissively and stands up, clapping him on the shoulder. "Don't worry about it. It'll only take a few minutes of my time, and besides, it's the least I can do!" Without waiting for protest, she strolls to the door and opens it, motioning Kurt out. "You should totally get some sleep now. You've had a rough night."
Kurt wants to protest some more, but the emotionally exhausting events of the night are starting to catch up with him, and he still needs to shower before bed, to avoid uncomfortable questions in the morning. He hesitates only a few moments before giving Kitty an uncertain, but thankful look. "Are you absolutely sure?"
Instant nod. "Positive."
Giving a sigh of relief, Kurt steps out into the hall. "Thanks Kitty, I totally owe you! In more ways than one." He gives her the biggest grin he can manage and another quick hug. "Next time you need a taste-tester for Home Ec, you know where to turn, ja?"
"I'll totally keep that in mind." Kitty winks, her grin brightening tenfold. She's relieved to see him smiling again and can only hope that her talk with Lance tomorrow will result in further smiles. Of course, she has no idea what Todd will ultimately decide to do, she reminds herself, and if he responds with further rejection, well.. at least she'll have done all she can do, right? Short of castrating the little mucker.. which she may decide to do if he hurts her teammate again. Kurt deserves a lot better.
"You get some rest now," she says, clearing her thoughts and smiling at him softly. "See you at breakfast, okay?"
"Have I ever missed breakfast?" Kurt laughs. "I'll see you then, Kitty. Thanks again, you're a lifesaver! Night!" With a jaunty grin and a thumbs up, he turns and bounds off down the hall, ready for a shower to wash some more of his nervousness away.
Watching his retreating form, Kitty sighs and closes the door, eying the stain on the floor critically. It won't take her more than a few minutes to clean up, what with being able to phase her hand through the ground and all. Still, it'd be a lot easier if she hadn't smudged it into the carpet earlier. With a yawn, she makes her way over to the table, picks up her books, and stuffs them into her backpack, all the while running the night's conversation through her head. She's still finding it hard to believe that Kurt is into guys... into TOAD... but she's definitely not as put off by the idea as she had been when he first told her. She only wishes him the best, though it'll certainly take some getting used to.
As she tosses her backpack over her shoulder, she heads out of the den toward the kitchen for a rag and some soap, mentally going over what she intends to say to Lance tomorrow. /He'll probably be pissed,/ she muses, already picturing his flushed face and angry scowl. /But a little Kitty charm should calm him down./ A smug smile decorates her features; she definitely isn't blind to the sway she has over him at times, though she tries her hardest not to take advantage of that. This is a special case, however. She just hopes it doesn't do more harm than good.