(X-Men--Nightcrawler) "Masks" (3/6)
- Masks (3/6)
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.
A blue van idled outside of Xavier's School. Ororo, who had been tending to
her garden, noticed. She went to the door of the van. Inside was a young
woman, her head on the steering wheel. She was muttering to herself.
"Be cool.... It's not a date.... He's just helping with...."
"Are you all right?" Ororo asked.
The woman raised her head. "Fine. Just trying to work up the courage to go
up to the door."
"Are you looking for someone?"
She girl nodded, a slight blush creeping into her pale cheeks. "I'm Shauna
Riley. Kurt Wagner and I have a da... We're hanging out tonight."
Ororo smiled. She was quite fond of Nightcrawler. She had recruited him.
"It is nice to meet you. I will show you inside."
Shauna stepped out of the van. "I didn't catch you name."
"I'm Ororo Munroe. I am one of Kurt's teachers."
Shaking Ororo's hand, Shauna leaned against the van. "Listen, can you tell
me about Kurt?"
"That depends on what you want to know."
Shauna shrugged. "Just the basics.... What is he like? What are his
interests? Is he a psychopath?"
Ororo laughed. "Kurt is definitely not a psychopath. He's one of the
kindest souls I have ever met. He's loyal to a fault. He loves movies.
There have been many times when we have had to drag him to bed when he's
having an all-night movie marathon."
The young woman's lips parted in a grin. Obviously, Ororo had piqued her
interest in Kurt a little. "I should get him."
Ororo nodded. "There's an idea."
Walking towards the mansion, Shauna called back. "It was nice meeting you,
Kurt stared in the mirror. With his image inducer on, he almost looked
normal. His ears were a little pointed, but his hair covered that up.
Would I have been a brunet had I been born normal? Kurt asked himself.
He turned when he heard a low whistle. Remy was standing in the doorway.
"Gambit t'inks your femme be here. If dat be her..... You be a lucky man."
"If she be de brunette with de legs up to her neck. Oui."
Jumping up, Kurt smoothed his shirt. "Do I look all right?"
Remy gave him the once over. "Considering what you had to work with."
Shooting Remy a dirty look, Kurt headed for the door.
Kurt ran down the hall, nearly barreling down Kitty.
"Hey! Watch it, Fuzzy!" she said, picking her books off the floor. Jubilee
"Sorry Kaetzchen!" he called back.
"Just let it go, Kitty," Jubilee said. "He's a man possessed."
"Possessed by what?"
Jubilee placed the books in Kitty's arms. "Hormones. Rogue said Remy said
that he overheard Kurt making a date with Shauna Riley."
"Shauna from the youth group?" Kitty looked shocked. "Completely HUMAN Shauna?"
Jubilee laughed. "Completely human is going a little far. I mean, she's
"Still. She's not a mutant."
Shrugging, Jubilee sighed. "It's up to him whether he wants to chase the
norms. Wanna go to the rec room?"
Kitty shook her head. "Sorry. I promised Logan I'd help him with that disk
"You still haven't decoded it? Kitty, I'm disappointed."
"Give me a break, Jubes! It's government issue! I'll get it eventually."
Smirking, Jubilee giggled. "I think you're taking so long just so you can
be around Logan."
"Yeah right," Kitty snorted.
"The man is a babe!"
"And a psycho." Blushing, Kitty added. "And completely in love with Dr. Grey."
"I hear he's moved on to Dr. St Matthews."
Kitty shrugged. "I think it depends on the time of day. Listen, I'll see
Jubilee sighed as Kitty left. What was she supposed to do now? She spotted
Bobby leaning over the bannister.
"What's up, Bobby?"
He glanced over. "Hey Jubes." Immediately, he turned back to the foyer.
Kurt was below, idly chatting with Shauna Riley. "Bobby Drake, you're SPYING!"
"I'm observing. Gotta give the Elf credit, Shauna is hot. Not my type, mind
"She turned you down?"
Bobby shook his head. "Her response was colder than..."
"Be quiet, kid." Sighing deeply, he leaned against the bannister. "Is there
something completely undateable about me?"
"I wouldn't say that," Jubilee said. "Annoying, maybe. Not undateable."
"It's true. What do Remy, Piotr and Kurt have that I don't?"
"Cajun accent, steely muscles and... Ummmm... A three-foot, prehensile tail?"
Bobby rolled his eyes. "Thanks, Jubes. You're a lot of help."
Kurt got into the passenger's seat of Shauna's van. "What kind of party is
Shauna pulled out of the driveway. "Roger and Jessica Thorkelson's 30th
"What kind of music are you playing?"
Reaching over, Shauna opened the glove compartment. She handed Kurt a list.
"They asked me to play the same lineup as they had at their wedding."
"That's romantic." Kurt glanced at the list. "These aren't bad songs. What
do you do when people want you to play boring songs?"
"I play boring songs and try not to fall asleep." Shauna laughed. "I'm glad
you came with."
"Well, I'm very glad you asked."
There was an uncomfortable pause. Both Kurt and Shauna shifted awkwardly in
their seats. "So.... Ummm.... What are you doing going to school in
America? Are you a foreign exchange student?"
"Something like that."
"What did you do before coming to school at Xavier's?"
"I was in the circus."
Shauna looked over at him, eyes sparkling. "You mean like Ringling Brothers?"
"On a smaller scale, but yes."
"Cool." Reaching into the glove compartment, Shauna pulled out a package of
licorice. "Want a piece?"
Kurt accepted one of the long red candies. Instead of eating it, he twisted
it in his hands. He watched Shauna, who held a licorice between her lips,
most of it hanging out of her mouth. "Attractive, Fraulein."
Shauna looked at him, wrinkling her nose. Her tongue darted out, pulling
the licorice into her mouth. "Did I ever say I was trying to attract you?"
Her mouth was full and Kurt could barely understand her. "You're incredibly
Shauna preened. "It's part of my charm. So, ummm.... What did you do in the
circus? Let me guess.... Strongman. No, you're not beefy enough.
Fire-eater? No, I don't think you're that crazy. I've got it! You were one
of the clowns who fell out of that little, tiny car."
"I was an acrobat." Kurt chewed on his licorice. "You know, on the trapeze."
Shauna hitting the steering wheel, shrieking. "I KNEW there was a reason I
liked you!" she laughed. "I think acrobats are really hot."
"R-R-Really?" Kurt couldn't seem to find a breath. "Any reason for that?"
"Do I really need one?"
"I guess it doesn't matter. As long as--"
"--As long as I'm hot for you?"
Kurt smiled. "It's a trait I like in a woman."
Shauna pulled into a parking lot. She grinned as she got out. "I hate to
break it to you....." They met at the back of the van. She folded her arms
over her chest. "It's gonna take more than some fancy flips to get me to
throw myself at you."
Kurt's lips parted in a wicked grin. "I'm also a contortionist."
Letting out a shriek, Shauna threw her arms around his shoulders. "Be my
love monkey, Wagner."
"It takes more than throwing yourself at me to turn my head," Kurt teased.
His heart was racing. If Shauna got any closer, she would feel his fuzz.
"We should bring in the equipment, Ja?"
Shauna pulled away. "You're right. Help me?"
"It would be an honour, dear lady."
Picking up a crate, she let out an unladylike grunt. "And they say chivalry
"C'min Pryde," Logan grunted. He stared helplessly at the computer screen.
Kitty set her books down. "Hey. Any luck?"
"Naw. It's still just a bunch of binary bullshit."
Gently, Kitty took the computer away. "Let me try."
"Ya think I can't do it?"
"No, I think the Professor can't afford to buy any more new computers."
Shrugging, Logan grunted again. "So I get a little frustrated."
Kitty started typing away. "I'm going to try a backdoor decryption code.
You can take off. I'll call you went I get it."
Logan stayed put. "If ya get it, I wanna be right here."
Biting her lip, Kitty stared at the screen. She glanced up every once and
while. Logan just sat there, staring at her. She nearly jumped when he
"I scare ya, don't I?"
"Scare is a strong word." Kitty hunched over. "You make me nervous."
"I don't see why...."
"You DID stab one of my best friends through the chest."
Logan rolled his eyes. "I'm never going to live that down, am I? What the
hell was Rogue doin' in my room anyway?"
"You were having a nightmare and she was worried." Kitty shrugged. "Not to
mention Rogue's completely in love with you."
"That's another thing I'm sick of. Yeah, the kid used to have a crush on
me. If you haven't noticed, for the past month she's been hangin' off
"You're kind of testy." Kitty muttered. "Almost jealous."
Logan jumped up. He unsheathed his claws. "What the hell did you say?"
Kitty phased through the bed, hiding under the bed. "NOTHING!"
"WHAT DID YOU SAY?"
"Maybe you're a little jealous."
Kitty crawled out from under the bed. "But the disk."
"I'm sorry, Logan." Kitty ran out the door, phasing through the solid oak.
Logan hurled the computer at the door as she left.
Gentle music wafted into the ballroom. Roger and Jessica Thorkelson danced
closely, engrossed in their own little world.
On the stage, Shauna was pulling another vinyl album from it cardboard
case. Kurt lifted the needle on the turn table. "Give me the album, I'll
put it on."
Narrowing her gaze, Shauna gave him the evil eye. "No."
"I'm the DJ."
"It's not that hard!" Kurt exclaimed, gesturing at the turn table. "You put
the record on the second turntable, wait for the first one to end then flip
Shauna tried to contain her annoyance. "Thank you, Wagner. Now I don't need
to go to my mother to hear my work belittled."
She shook her head. "I know you didn't mean anything by it."
If it was any other person, Shauna probably would have scratched his number
from her memory banks. But there was something about Kurt.... His deep
brown eyes made her heart race. Man, she was falling HARD.
Of course, there was that pit in her stomach that gnawed at her. Kurt
seemed distant. Well, they had just met. Maybe he was intimated by her
Or it could be that Jimaine he mentioned. It stuck out in Shauna's mind.
The way he had said her name. Probably an ex-girlfriend. Or maybe, a
Maybe it was the common thread all of Xavier's students had that made him
"Well, well, well... If it isn't Dr. McCoy!" Scott hugged his furry friend.
"How are you doing?"
"Very well, Scott. It is so good to see you." Hank clapped his friend on
the back. "You must tell me everything that has been going on. I would
especially like a detailed account on your adventure against the
"We'll have plenty of time for that, Hank."
"Moira sends her congratulations."
Henry and Scott went into the kitchen. Scott pulled two beers from the
refrigerator. Henry took a long swig of his. "Oh, someone else send their
His head jerking up, Scott looked surprised. "Worthington?"
"He stopped by on his way to Paris. He had the most delightful woman with
him. Betsy something."
"Filling the role of millionaire playboy, eh?"
"Definitely. She was gorgeous." Henry smiled. "I got a letter from Jean.
She says you have a new angel around here.... Someone a bit more pleasing
to look at then Warren."
"Ah, Michaela. Beautiful blonde." Scott laughed. "Don't even think about
it, Hank. I think she and Wolverine...."
"Wolverine? Jean mentioned him as well."
"What did she say?" Jealousy ran rampant through Scott's question.
Henry sighed. "If you believe he's with Michaela, why are you worried?"
"Who says I'm worried?"
Scott rolled his eyes. "Oh, it was in my voice, right?"
"Damn right it was! Why are you worried, Scott? You and Jean are getting
married in less than a week. And you said it yourself you think Wolverine
is involved with your new therapist."
"He bothers me, Hank. He has no regard for authority. He's a complete
"No wonder Jean is attracted to him."
Henry laughed. "She may flirt with him, Scott, but she comes home to you. I
don't know much about this war that has been going on between you and
Wolverine.... But it's pointless."
"Oh, five minutes back in the States and you have all the answers, right?"
"Scott, listen to me.... In four days, Jean is marrying you. Forgive my
crass analogy, but you won."
Scott laughed. "I'm sure Jean would love to hear she's a prize."
"Never tell her I said that."
"Okay Logan, what the hell is wrong with you?!?!" Michaela demanded,
slamming the door shut.
Logan jumped off his bed, unsheathing his claws. "Dammit, Mika! Don't you
know how to knock?!?!"
"I know you wouldn't have let me in!"
"Yeah. Exactly. You're lucky you don't have my claws embedded in your
stomach right now, Darlin'!"
"I'll take my chances. What the hell did you say to Kitty? She's scared out
of her mind!"
Logan sat back down on the bed, eyes averted. "She said I'm jealous of the
Michaela sat next to him. "Well, I don't know what possessed her to do that."
"It came out of nowhere!" Logan exclaimed.
Shaking her head, Michaela sighed, "Why would you ever be jealous of Remy?"
"I have no idea!"
"She's right, you know."
Logan snarled. "You have five seconds to explain before I make Shrink-Kabobs."
"You think I mean you want Rogue, don't you?" Letting out a laugh, Michaela
shook her head. "No, it's not that easy. Rogue's just your little sister.
But you were starting to like Rogue lusting after you. It made you feel
good. You were DESIRED. Now, she's too busy being chased by Remy and Bobby
to notice you."
"I'm glad the kid has moved on." Logan huffed, his claws sliding back into
"You want someone to want you." Michaela gently stroked Logan's hand.
"Jean's getting married, Rogue's got two guys after her. Hell, even Ororo
has been seeing someone. There's no one left who wants you."
Letting out a small groan at the delicate feel of her fingertips, Logan
turned to Michaela. "What about you, Darlin'?"
"What about me?"
"Yer a woman, and yer here. Maybe you can...." he snaked an arm around her
waist. "Help me feel wanted."
Michaela pulled away. "I'm afraid that's impossible, Logan."
He took in her scent, gently stroking her wings. "And why is that?"
Laughing softly, Michaela brushed her lips against Logan. "I don't think of
you that way."
"Because I *don't* want you!"
He growled as she got up. Michaela sauntered to the door. "That's
bullshit!" he snarled.
Michaela turned back. "Excuse me?"
Getting up, Logan pulling her close again. "I can feel the race of yer
heartbeat... The change in yer scent.... You want me bad, Michaela."
"We'll work on this during your next session." Michaela whispered, pulling
Logan arched an eyebrow. "During a session? Isn't that unprofessional?"
She shook her head, opening the door. "I see nothing wrong with working on
how you've become delusional."
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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