DISCLAIMER: Don't own 'em. Look to Marvel for
that. I'm just writing little extra thoughts that no one
will understand if they don't see the flick, so I'm not
really taking anything from you. And there's not much
you could get from me...
PAIRING: mild Kurt/Ororo
SPOILERS: Not really.
FEEDBACK: Yes please! Even if you just want to tell
me what a blatent exercise in Kurt-drooling this was.
And, uh, reassure me that I didn't over do the adjectives
in this attempt to convey the beautiful mental images?
DISTRIBUTION: Want it? Take it, just remember to
give me credit and include my e-mail addy. Also
available at my site, Obsidian Quills:
SUMMARY: Ororo catches a show in the gym. (Yes,
this fic is G-rated. Get your minds out of the gutter!
THANKS: To kaly, who helps me iron out all those
awkward little sentences that trip over themselves.
_ _ = thoughts
In the Spotlight
Ororo rolled her shoulders as she approached the gym.
Despite all the training she did with the team, there
were still moments when she desperately needed a little
exercise to loosen up her muscles. Particularly after a
Monday full of classes. There was something about a
room full of teenagers that made tension crawl into her
shoulders and settle there.
She opened the door and was halfway to the changing
room when a puff of air drifting by the back of her neck
made her pause. _Strange,_ she thought, _I could have
sworn the gym was empty._ Almost as an afterthought,
Ororo glanced up. And gasped.
A small part of her remembered that Kurt had asked for
some kind of modification to the gym. Distantly, Ororo
even remembered that the workmen had been in this
past weekend. Staring up at the results of their efforts, it
was all she could do to remember to breathe.
The high ceiling of the room now sprouted a network of
bars, poles and hoops of a dozen different shapes. The
clean, finished quality of the metal told Ororo that these
pipes were not meant to carry any kind of utility. But
then, their very shape made that obvious.
Up amongst this jungle of metal was Kurt. For the first
time since Ororo had met him, the German was not
covered from neck to ankles. Clad only in a snug pair of
exercise shorts, he was barely covered at all.
An 'oh' of surprise rounded Ororo's lips as she watched
him launch himself from bar to bar with fluid ease.
Every now and then he'd throw in a mid-air somersault,
a twist or a back flip, apparently just for fun. The sound
of laughter drifted down as he swung completely over a
horizontal bar and picked up speed on the downward
curve. At the apex of the next circuit he let go and went
sailing through the air, but he seemed to be angled
wrong to catch any other grip.
Ororo caught her breath, waiting for the fall, but instead
Kurt's tail whipped out further than his arms could
reach. It curled momentarily around a vertical pipe,
changing his trajectory just enough to bring him within
reach of another horizontal bar. Kurt caught hold from
below - with his feet. Letting momentum carry him
around and above it, he stopped himself without any
help from his hands and simply crouched there.
In that moment of stillness, Ororo could see that he was
breathing hard and grinning broadly. Sweat sheened his
indigo skin and the moisture caught against the ridges
of his scars, making them shine like silver. _He must
have been like this in the circus,_ Ororo thought,
mesmerized. _So full of joy... I don't think any of us
really understood what he meant when he said he was
an 'aerial artist.'_
The muscles of Kurt's thighs bunched visibly and then
he was off again, launched towards a bar that hung,
swaying, from a pair of ropes. The force of his impact
sent the swing rocketing towards the ceiling. Mere
moments before it seemed the two would collide, Kurt
let go with his hands and hung for an instant, mid-air.
Gravity reasserted it's grip and he began to plummet,
but Kurt was one step ahead, his tail already locked
tight around the swing. His change in momentum
jerked the bar back the way it had come, whipping Kurt
towards the far wall. Suspended by his tail alone, he
laughed as he lined up his body into a living arrow and
let go. Perfectly aimed, Kurt passed through a circular
hoop so narrow Ororo knew some who'd have had
trouble getting through it from a standstill, never mind
an aerial, swinging start.
On the other side, Kurt seemed only to tap another set
of bars as he changed his direction. In the next moment
he'd laid his body out horizontally, his shoulders on a
vertical line, and was spinning smoothly around a
vertical bar. As he slowed, Ororo waited breathlessly
for his form to droop under the demands of gravity.
The moment never came. Though he came to a
complete stop, Kurt never stopped looking like a
handstand turned sideways. _Body tension,_ Ororo had
a moment to think before he let go. Kurt fell past two
levels of bars, using each to crank up his speed. At the
last he released just barely on the upswing and rolled
into a ball. His tucked form made two complete turns
before he uncurled, just in time to absorb his impact -
with the floor, this time - in his hips and knees.
Kurt straightened up not three steps from Ororo,
grinning, and spread his arms as if to say, So?
Ororo found herself applauding for a moment. "How
long have you known I was here?" she asked.
"Since you came in," he answered, eyes twinkling.
Ororo folded her arms across her chest. "Were you
"Ja, perhaps a little," Kurt chuckled, not the least bit
"Well, if you were trying to impress me," Ororo said,
her lips curving a little. "You may have succeeded.
"I will have to try harder next time."
Ororo just hook her head, amused.
After a moment Kurt turned and went to get a robe he'd
left draped over a bench on one side of the room. He
shrugged into it and was almost lost in the folds of
fabric. Ororo caught herself sighing a little. _That thing
practically drags on the floor!_ She could just imagine
him slipping into the gym and looking around for
observers before discarding the voluminous garment.
"Kurt," Ororo stopped him as he moved towards the
door. He paused and looked back at her attentively.
"Why do you always cover up so completely?" she
gestured at the robe. Kurt looked down at himself self-
consciously, fingers tightening visibly on the fabric.
Ororo went on. "You looked incredible up there. You
ought to be able to relax that much all the time."
Kurt lifted a finger to scratch uncertainly along the edge
of his jaw. Finally he shrugged one shoulder. "I suppose
it is only habit," he said. "Even in the circus I had to be
careful of where and when I let my guard down. In the
spotlight, when I was performing," he gestured over his
shoulder to the tangle of pipes gracing the ceiling, "I
"Why don't we try to break that habit," Ororo said,
touching his arm gently.
A slow smile stretched Kurt's lips. "We? You are
proposing to help?"
Ororo tilted her head, as though considering. "My
schedule's pretty full," she began, "but I'll see what I
Kurt smiled and ducked his head briefly. "I will leave
you to your exercise for the moment," he said, "but
perhaps I will see you here again tomorrow..."
Ororo looked after him for a moment, smiling, then
turned back to the gym.
_Now...why was I here?_