(X-Men--Nightcrawler) "Masks" (4/6)
- Masks (4/6)
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.
"That was fun," Kurt commented, shivering slightly in the cool night air.
He and Shauna were walking through the park, her van left about half a mile
back. "The Thorkelsons seem really in love."
"That reminds me," Shauna reached into her pocket. She pulled out the money
she had been paid for the party. She handed Kurt half the wad. "Take it."
Holding up his hands, Kurt refused. "I would never dream of taking that
"Come on, you did half the work. You should get half of the pay."
"Your company was pay enough."
Shauna blushed. "Wagner...."
"Yes, *Riley*?" he teased. "Why do you keep calling me by my last name,
"I dunno.... I figured everyone calls you Kurt. You have a nickname?"
"Well...." Kurt looked down. "It's not really a nickname.... But some
people call me Nightcrawler."
Shauna clapped a hand over her mouth. Kurt watched as her body shook with
contained laughter. "Like the worm?" she managed to gasp between giggles.
Thank God for image inducers. His blush was hidden under fuzz and a
computer generated image! "I never thought of it like that. I guess so."
"Nightcrawler, huh?" She thought about it a moment. "I'm gonna keep calling
"I can live with that."
Shauna bounced down the walkway. "So, why did you leave the circus?"
"I was offered a scholarship to Xavier's."
Shaking her head violently, Shauna skipped backwards. "Nope. That's not the
reason you left! Obviously a transparent ruse! What happened?"
"Nothing," Kurt whispered.
"Oh, come on...." Shauna stopped. "Let me guess.... You fell off the
trapeze, and quit because you're afraid now."
"That chick Jimaine dumped you and you were so hear--" Shauna trailed off,
seeing Kurt's look. "That's it, isn't it? Your girlfriend dumped you."
"No. Jimaine was not really my girlfriend."
"Well, who is she to you?"
"Well, my FOSTER sister!"
"I was in love with her. I never told her...." Kurt sighed.
Shauna tried to grasp this whole concept: she was falling in love with a
guy who was in love with his sister. PERFECT! Okay, not BLOOD related. That
at least meant he wasn't a sicko.
"Do you still love her?" Shauna asked quietly.
He shrugged. "I have not seen her for a while."
"You either you do or you don't.... It's that simple."
"I guess I do."
It's happy fun time for you, Shauna Lynn Mary Riley, she thought. Just
wait. The words 'I want to be friends' is not far behind.
"I don't think a lot about dating," Kurt said. "It has never been one of my
"No one's been interested."
"A cute guy like you? Trouble finding girls?" Shauna smiled. "With those
big brown eyes I don't know how."
"It all has to do with the reason I left the circus...." Kurt whispered.
"Not enough cute girls in Germany?"
Coming up to a park bench, Kurt sat down. Shauna sat down next to him. "The
circus was bought out. The new owner thought my talents would be put to
better use away from the trapeze."
"He wanted you to be one of the clowns in the little car and you rebelled?"
"Be serious for once, Shauna."
Shauna shrugged. "I defuse tense situations by making jokes."
"He wanted me in the freak show."
"Ah...." Shauna nodded. "Because you're a mutant."
"How did you--"
Getting up, Shauna tried to contain laughter. "I don't think there is a
person in Salem Center who DOESN'T know Xavier's is a school for mutants."
Kurt tried to comprehend what Shauna had just told him. "Everyone knows?
But then-- Why-- Why are we still there?"
"No one CARES!" Shauna fell back onto the park bench. "It's a 'don't say
anything and it doesn't exist' thing."
"How long have you known?"
"I dunno," Shauna leaned against Kurt, smiling. "Probably since Dr. St
Matthews showed up at the church with her wings out. Uncle Frank told me."
"Why didn't you mention it before?" Kurt was amazed. Shauna KNEW he was a
mutant, and she didn't care. Of course, she didn't know of his demonic
"Well, I thought you might get weird about it. So, what is your power?"
"Like in Star Trek?"
"Not quite, but close." He stood up. "Want to see?"
Shauna nodded eagerly. Grinning, Kurt took in a deep breath. "Ready?"
In a puff of smoke, Kurt disappeared. Shauna looked around for him. She
then felt something tickle her ear. Kurt was behind her.
She found it odd. Kurt put his hand inside his sleeve to tickle her. "Is
there something with your hand?"
"That is something I will tell you on another day, Shauna. It's time we got
Kurt teleported into his room, praying that Xavier hadn't been monitoring
"Have a fun date?"
Jumping slightly, Kurt twisted around to look at Bobby. "Mein Freund, you
"Well, you startled me first. Don't 'port in here in the middle of the
night! Geez! Have a little respect." Bobby sighed. "So how was your date?"
"It wasn't a date."
"Suuuuuure.... You and a good-looking woman stay out until two in the
morning and it's not a date."
Shrugging, Kurt got into his pajamas. "She's a friend."
"Oh, come on! She wants to jump you! Don't ask me why, but she does."
"Where did you hear that?"
Bobby grinned. "Rogue and Shauna email each other, and I saw the message
from her today."
Kurt's jaw dropped. "Bobby! Why did you break into Rogue's email account?"
"I didn't! She left the email open when I took over the computer terminal!"
"So.... Uh.... What did it say?"
"Something to the effect of: 'Kurt is coming with me on my job. Boy, where
were you hiding him? That guy is so fine.' blah blah blah blah....
Basically, Shauna is hooked on you."
The heat started to rise in Kurt's cheeks. "Can we talk about something else?"
"No. I'm tired! I'm going to bed!" Bobby flopped back on his bed, pulling
the covers over his face. "Go to sleep, Elf."
Getting under the covers, Kurt snuggled into bed. With a sigh, he fell asleep.
Rogue rubbed her eyes, trying to wake herself up. It was still very early.
She was having trouble sleeping. In the beds across from her, Kitty and
Jubilee still slept blissfully.
After a long, hot shower, Rogue got dressed. She selected a pretty green
sweater Jean had helped her pick out. That with jeans, and her long, black
gloves made the perfect outfit.
Not many people were up this early. She walked down the halls, trying to
keep quiet. Logan was in the weight room. He looked pretty into his
exercises, so she decided not to bother him.
Having nothing better to do, Rogue headed to the computer room. Rogue liked
the Internet. It was a place where one wasn't judged. Most of the people
she had met on the Internet were in support of mutant rights. She had not
told any one she herself was a mutant. She was able to create her own
Logging on to her account, Rogue scanned her emails. She got several pieces
of spam. Remy and Bobby had sent her six emails a piece. Each one of them
had written sappy love letters, subtly bashing the other man. Sighing, she
trashed those. She then saw one that caught her eye: 'More news for the
gossip mill'. It was from Shauna. She opened it.
So, I hear that the school is talking about me throwing myself at Wagner. I
know, I'm such a slut.
To get the record straight, I didn't throw myself at him. I gently tossed
myself at him *g*.
We had fun on our pseudo-date last night. I don't know what it was. It
didn't seem like a real date. You were right, he is still hung up on
Jimaine. Just my luck, I fall for a guy who is in love with someone
else.... His foster sister no less!
Yes, you heard right. I'm falling for him. Like a ton of bricks. I don't
even care that he smells like rotten eggs. He was surprised when I knew he
was a (I'm not going to use the word, just in case these emails are
monitored by the government).
So how are things going with the Cajun and the Ice Cube? Did they send you
a million love poems yet? I bet Remy writes good poetry. Probably does it
in French. You're a lucky gal, Rogue. Those two boys are crazy about you.
BTW, I'm DJing the Grey/Summers reception. Any idea what I should wear?
Will I finally get to meet the mysterious Logan you keep talking about?
See you later,
PS Ask Wagner if he'd like to go out again tonight.//
Rogue immediately wrote back.
I'm glad you and Kurt had fun last night. He's a great guy. Hopefully,
he'll realize that Jimaine is a million miles away and he has a great girl
right here. But then, you two only just started going out. Maybe after one
or two pseudo-dates he'll start to warm up a little more.
Yes, Bobby and Remy have been annoying the heck out of me. Remy writes
HORRIBLE poetry, in both French and English. Both of them try to tell me
how they are better than the other one. I really like Remy, but I don't
want to hurt Bobby's feelings. Bobby is one of my best friends. Of course,
it's a moot point 'cause I can't touch either of them.
You should wear your dark blue dress to Jean and Scott's reception. I am
sure Kurt will love it. Dark blue is his favourite colour. I don't know if
you'll meet Logan. He seems pretty distant about this whole wedding.
Probably because he still has a thing for Jean.
I'll give Kurt the message.
An idea then struck her. Setting up an email to both Remy and Bobby, she wrote:
You two are annoying the hell out of me. Can you PLEASE stop your petty
squabbling. It's bothering me and everyone else within a five mile radius.
Neither of you are EVER going to get anywhere with me. My special gifts
have made sure of that. So just BUG OFF.
I'm going to Scott and Jean's wedding alone, so stop asking.//
Francis puffed and panted as he ran up the court, dribbling his basketball.
When he could get away from the church, he loved to play basketball. He
shot for the basket, missing by a quarter of an inch. He sighed, slumping
"You were close," Charles Xavier said.
Francis turned, wiping his sweaty forehead. "Not quite close enough, Charles."
Rolling his wheelchair closer, Charles smiled. "It's been a while since we
"I've been so busy with the church lately. More people join the parish
every day." He twirled the basketball on his finger. "And you never want to
shoot hoops with me."
Charles chuckled. "I have never been very good at basketball. You might be
able to persuade some of the boys at school to play. Though I cannot
guarantee they will not use their powers."
"More's the challenge." With a groan, Francis sat on the ground. "So what's
with this visit?"
Francis nodded. "Ah. And Kurt Wagner, right? You're concerned."
"Did you know they went out on a date last night?"
"I did not know that. But I figured it was coming. Shauna had a look in her
eyes when she met him. Like he was the only guy in the world."
Charles folded his hands in his lap. "I am concerned. Kurt is in a
precarious stage right now. He is in a new country, away from his family.
He is unsure of how normal people will react to his appearance."
"Well, I can tell you now Shauna won't have a problem with it. If anything,
she'll find it attractive." Francis sighed. "She's always been into the
strange and unusual."
"I also know of Shauna's problems...."
Francis rolled the basketball across the ground. "You think I haven't
thought about that? She's just got her life together finally. Now she's
head over heels for a guy most of the world wants dead. Both of them are
keeping things from each other, and it's not a good way to start a
relationship. But maybe they'll tell each other. It's been only one date.
It's not like I can stop her from seeing him. She's 19. She lives on her
own. She's not my daughter. Can you stop Kurt from seeing her?"
"No. But I believe we should keep an eye on their friendship."
"Well, you know more about this than I do. I'm no good with relationships."
Francis grinned. "Why do you think I went into the priesthood?"
Laughing, Charles shook Francis' hand. "It was good to see you again, my
"Stop by any time."
Teleporting under the bed, Kurt tried to stay out of the line of fire.
"It's YOUR fault!" Bobby cried, flinging iceballs at Remy. "If it wasn't
for you, Rogue would be putty in my hands!"
Remy caught the iceballs, charging them and flinging back. "Before I came,
she was in love with LOGAN!"
"You two are insane!" Kurt yelled from under the bed. "So she doesn't want
to go to the wedding with either of you.... You two are acting like idiots!"
There was a knock on the door. Rogue came in. Remy and Bobby immediately
went on their best behavior. Chunks of ice melted on the floor. Rogue eyed
"So, Chere.... What brings you here?" A grin spread across Remy's face.
"Have you come t' your senses? Are you going t' go t' de wedding with one
"Kurt?" Rogue said softly. "Ah have a message from Shauna."
Jumping out from under the bed, Kurt crouched on the ground. "Yes?"
"She had a great time last night, and wants ta know if ya wanna go out
A grin spread across Kurt's face. "Really? Does she have another party?"
"Ah think she just wants ta hang out with ya."
He gulped. "You mean.... Just me and her.... No other people?"
"She wants you, homme," Gambit said, slapping Kurt on the back.
Bobby grinned. "Go for it! How many other opportunities like this are going
to come along?"
Letting out an uncharacteristic growl, Kurt stood up. "Okay, I'm sick of
everyone being in my business. Yes, Shauna is interested in me. Yes, I am
interested in Shauna. That is between me and her. I am getting quite sick
of everyone sticking their noses in my personal affairs!"
Kurt stalked out of the room, leaving the other three slack-jawed.
Remy sat down on the bed. "I t'ink we broke de Elf."
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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