(X-Men--Nightcrawler) "Masks" (5/6)
- Masks (5/6)
By Mina-Clare Moseley
Synopsis: Kurt becomes friends with a strange, young woman. But how long
can he hide his true appearance from her? Jean and Scott prepare
for their wedding.
Rating: PG-13. Language
See part one for Disclaimer and Author's Notes.
Shauna jumped off her couch at the sound of her doorbell. "Coming!!!" she
cried. Smoothing down her hair, and checking her outfit one last time, she
prepared to opening the door. Taking a deep breath, she slowly opened the
door. Kurt was standing there, holding a bouquet of lilies.
"Hey Wagner," she said. "Come in."
He held out the flowers to her. "These are for you."
"Thanks." She accepted the bouquet. "No one's brought me flowers before."
"That's criminal!" Kurt exclaimed, walking into the apartment. "I'll always
bring you flowers, Shea."
"That's so sweet." Leaning in, she was going to kiss him on the cheek.
Kurt pulled away before she got the chance. "This is a nice place you have
Going into the kitchen, Shauna placed the flowers in water. "Well, it's
cheap. I don't need much. Just a little space to call my own."
The walls were decorated with movie posters. "Where did you get all of the
"Collected them over the years. I watch way too many movies."
Kurt smiled. "Yet another thing we have in common." That smile grew wider
when he set his eyes on a black and white movie poster, featuring a
swashbuckler. "You like Errol Flynn?!?!"
Nodding, Shauna went to his side. "Some of his movies. I mean, 'Sea Hawk'
really sucked. But 'Captain Blood'.... Are you a fan?"
"I worship him."
"You are winning yourself major points. I think I'm going to like being
friends with you." Kurt noticed her cheeks take on a pinkish hue.
"So what do you want to do tonight?"
Shauna sat down on the couch, which was rather ratty-looking. "We could
stay in. Watch a movie."
"Perfect." Kurt settled onto the couch next to Shauna. She put the tape
into the VCR. When the movie started, they sat on opposite ends of the
couch. As it progressed, they got closer together. By Obi-Wan and Vader's
fight, Shauna had her head on Kurt's shoulder. He had an arm around her.
"I've always wondered," Kurt whispered. "Why did Obi-Wan call Vader
'Darth'. It's not like it's his first name."
"It probably was when George Lucas first wrote the movie. Whenever Lucas
had a better idea, he just said 'oh, no what's-his-name was lying. I mean,
remember that kiss Luke and Leia had in 'The Empire Strikes Back'. Do you
think he would have done that had he known they would be brother and
sister? Oh wait.... But then you have no problem with family romances."
Kurt hit her lightly in the shoulder. "I told you, Jimaine and I were not
"Did I forget to tell you?" Shauna laughed. "I have a death wish. I plan to
bother you until you kill me."
"Well, you're getting very close!" Kurt went into attack mode.
Shauna rolled off the couch before he could leap on her. She welding an
invisible lightsaber. "Ha! You are weak, Luke Nightcrawler!"
"Am I?" He 'ported to her, pretending to meet her 'lightsaber' with his
own. "I shall defeat you, Darth Riley!"
After a few minutes of dueling, Kurt 'ported behind Shauna, grabbing her by
the waist. He lifted her up, swinging her around. She shrieked, kicking her
legs. Kurt grinned. "It seems I have the upper hand, Darth Riley."
"Wagner," she giggled. "Watch my sides! I'm ticklish!"
"Oh really?" Kurt tossed he onto the couch, then tickled her sides.
Shauna thrashed around, laughing loudly. "Stop it!"
She turned to the TV. "The movie's over."
"Really?" he turned to the TV. "Darn, we missed the Death Star bat--"
While he was distracted, Shauna ran out onto the balcony. He followed her.
"Where are you going?"
"I'm running away from you."
Kurt joined her on the balcony. "I'll be nice."
"Cross my heart and hope to die."
Shauna sat down on the ground, laying back. "Kurt, look up at the sky."
He looked up. The stars were out, speckling the dark sky with light. "It's
"Lay down. It'll be easier on your neck," Shauna said.
Kurt eyed her. "I think you just want me in a vulnerable position."
"Moi?" Shauna feigned innocence. "You think I want to take advantage of you?"
"Oh well, I can't think of anyone else I'd rather have take advantage of me
right now." He laid down.
"You room with Remy and Bobby, right?" Shauna asked.
"Don't like them?"
"They just bother me so much!" Kurt felt his tail twitch inside his pant
leg. "Either they're arguing over Rogue, or they're teasing me about you."
Shauna shrugged, staring up at the sky. "Friends do that. I wish I had
friends who bothered me like that."
"Do you not have any close friends?"
"Not in Westchester. I haven't lived her long." she sighed. "I know people.
I talk to Rogue a lot. But no one who's really my friend."
He rolled onto his side, propping up his head with his hand. "How long have
you lived here?"
"About a year. I lived in Brooklyn until I was fourteen, when my
"And the four years in between?"
Sighing, Shauna looked up at the stars. "It's not important, Wagner."
"Yes it is."
"I really didn't want to have this conversation yet."
Rolling over onto her side, Shauna faced Kurt. "I lived in Manhattan."
"With a band." She played with her bracelet, not wanting to meet his gaze.
"I was playing bass in a band. They were older than I was. I got into a lot
"What kind of trouble?"
"I guess I owe you, since you told me your big secret." She laughed
bitterly. "I really don't wanna say."
"I'm not going to judge you."
"Okay. I have a police record about a mile long. Small stuff, breaking and
entering, petty theft, possession of illegal substances." Smiling, she
shook her head. "Don't you so want to date me now?"
"Xavier. He and my uncle came to get me. Xavier told me that they weren't
going to make me come to Westchester, but that the life I had would kill
me." Tears welled in her eyes. "He was right. It almost did. I overdosed at
a party. Everyone was so blitzed, they didn't even notice. My friend Steve
barely got me out. I was afraid. I didn't want to die...."
Kurt ran a hand over her hair. "Why did you even start down that path?"
"Stupidity?" she laughed, tears running down her face. "I don't know.... I
was just so angry. I didn't have anyone. My grandmother had just died, and
Uncle Frank lived here..... I didn't have anyone."
"Where are you parents?"
"Another fun subject. Caroline, my mother, lives in California. She was
young when she had me, only sixteen. She wasn't ready to be a mother, so
she left me with my grandmother. She was a musician too, a singer. When she
got to California, she married some millionaire. She's tried to be my
friend now, sends me money when I need it. But she's never been there for
"And your dad?"
"Complete flake. I don't even remember his name. Jonathan something. Hell,
he doesn't remember mine. I met him once. He was just some guy Caroline
dated for a while. He didn't want anything to do with me." She bit her lip.
"I've always felt abandoned. They didn't want me. I guess when Grandma
died, I felt completely alone. My friends offered a new family to me.... Do
you hate me now?"
Kurt shook his head. "I don't know if I could ever hate you, Shauna."
Taking in a trembling breath, he looked down. "You at least know who your
"I never met them. Margali, my foster mother, said they died when I was a
baby. My father was Eric Wagner.... I do not even know my mother's name."
"We make quite the pair." Shauna said, smiling. She wiped her tears away.
"Do you have any other deep, dark secrets?"
"Not that dark," Kurt replied. "You?"
"I have two tattoos."
Kurt sat up. "What? Where?"
Sitting cross-legged on the ground, Shauna pulled her sleeve up. A Celtic
band circled her arm. She then blushed. "The other one is under my clothes."
"In a private spot?"
She lifted her shirt slightly, she pulled the band on her pants down a bit,
showing Kurt the spider on her hip.
"Why would you do that to yourself?"
Shrugging, she fixed her clothes. "It seemed like the thing to do at the
time. It was during my 'lost weekend'."
"They're not bad." He smiled. "I never thought I would date a girl with
Shauna cocked her head in question. "Are we dating?"
"I actually don't know."
"Well, we haven't actually said it's a date."
"You said it was a date yesterday on the phone." Kurt pointed out.
Shauna crossed her arms. "That's true. But then, you have Jimaine...."
"Jimaine was not my girlfriend."
"But you're still hung up on her."
"Why do you keep bringing that up?"
"Because it bothers me." Shauna sighed, laying back on the ground. "I'm
falling for a guy who's hung up on someone else."
Kurt's eyes went wide. Had he heard her right? "You're falling for me?"
"Damn, I guess asking you to be my love monkey was too subtle. Of course
I'm falling for you! I've had to go to confession three times since we met!
To put it bluntly: I'm crazy about you. I don't know what it is. When I
first met you, I thought you were cute. After spending two days with you, I
can't think about anyone else. You're funny, smart, sweet...." Shauna
trailed off. "That's about it."
"Shauna...." Kurt was at a loss for words. No one had ever professed love
for him before. "We've only known each other four days."
"I know! I know this is crazy.... It's probably just my hormones running
wild. I mean, you're really cute."
Okay, time to tell her. "Shea, I'm not cute."
"I think you are."
He put his hand on his image inducer. "I have another deep, dark secret."
Turning off the image inducer, Kurt generated image melted away. Left was
the fuzzy form he truly was. If it wasn't for the light illuminating where
they sat, he would have been invisible. His eyes seemed to glow. "This is
me. The real me."
She stared at him in wide-eyed silence. Her breath was caught in her
throat. Finally, she spoke, "my tattoo suddenly is not that shocking."
"This doesn't bother you?"
Shaking her head, Shauna laughed. "Compared to you being in love with your
sister, this is NOTHING."
"I was so worried...."
"Why didn't you tell me when we first met?"
Kurt looked down. "I didn't want to scare you off."
"It takes a lot to scare me off, Wagner. In fact.... You're cuter like this."
"You're kidding me."
Shauna smirked. "I'm turned on by the unusual."
"Oh." How was he supposed to respond to that? If she was turned on by the
unusual.... And she always knew of his mutation. "Shauna, do you want me
only because I'm a mutant?"
Kurt jumped up. "I'm sorry. Was that the wrong thing to ask?"
"You think I want you just because you're a mutant?"
"It crossed my mind."
"Well, that's moronic!" Shauna hit him. She was strong!
He winced. "I'm sorry. I was wrong."
"Go away, Wagner!"
"Leave me alone right now." she clenched her fists. "I'll call you when I
stop being mad."
"I said I'd call you when I stop being mad. I'd rather not say or do
anything I might regret later. So I'll call you when I stop being mad."
"You'll call me," Kurt whispered softly, teleporting off the balcony.
Bobby went up to Remy in the library. "Cajun? We need to talk."
Looking up, Remy looked around. "Are you talking t' me?"
"Do you know any other Cajuns around here?"
Remy looked skeptically at Bobby as he got up. "What do you want?"
"Stop looking at me like I'm gonna bludgeon you with ice balls."
Shrugging, Bobby gave Remy a deadly glare. "The thought has crossed my mind
before. Listen, I'm worried about the Elf. He's been acting weird."
Rolling his red and black eyes, Remy sighed. "When is de Elf not acting weird?"
"I mean, he's acting nervous. He hasn't been jumping around on furniture,
playing swashbuckler.... He just hasn't been Kurt."
"He be in love."
"That's the thing.... I asked Rogue about it. Apparently, Shauna hasn't
called Kurt since their date...."
"Kurt TOLD Shauna." Bobby shrugged. "We're really the best friends the
fuzzy guy has. We should talk to him."
"He told us t' stay out o' it."
"Well, then I'll talk to him by myself." Bobby started to stalk out of the
Remy grabbed him by the arms. "We'll talk t' him. After all, we be his best
Francis opened the door to Shauna's apartment. Shauna had entrusted him
with a key when she got her own place. He promised he would only come in to
feed her plants if she went away. Now, she was refusing to answer the phone
or the door. Francis needed to see what was wrong.
Shauna had headphones on. She was sitting rather sedately on the couch, her
bass guitar in her arms. Her fingers flew over the fretboard as she slapped
out a complicated line.
Gently, Francis removed the headphones from his niece's head. "Hey. I
brought you a sandwich." He offered the bag.
Accepting it slowly, Shauna smiled. "Turkey?"
"On a roll, with mayo and lettuce." He smiled, sitting down. "What are you
"What makes you think I'm mad about something?"
He tapped her bass. "You were playing 'Won't Get Fooled Again'. That song
is so complicated, you only play it when you're mad."
"Did you know about Wagner?"
Francis nodded. "Ah... He told you. You're angry that he kept his
appearance a secret from you?"
"Naw, I can understand where he's coming from. I mean, I didn't tell him
about my adventure in Manhattan until the same night." She shook her head,
sighing. "I was a little ticked, because he thought I liked him because of
"Well, did you?"
Shauna shrugged. "It's cool. I would like him if was normal. But the powers
"But you're still mad at him."
Shaking her head furiously, Shauna sat the bass down. "I'm fine with it now."
"Then what's wrong?"
"I told Kurt I would call him when I wasn't angry anymore." she sighed.
"But I don't know the number for Xavier's."
Nightcrawler: "Katzchen... are you okay...?"
Wolverine: "Fresh as a daisy, bub... but if you call me Kitty again, I'm
gonna break my rule about slappin' around furry invalids."
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