Notes for both: The two stories are more companion fics than two parts of one story. Both
could be read on their own, but they're best together.
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Title: Deity In Blood
(brief) summary: Nightcrawler needs something more than acceptance - understanding.
Warnings: references to self-mutilation
Genre: Character POV
They accept, but they do not understand. This is something I have learned since I came to
this school. They accept my faith, but they do not understand why I have faith in a god
they have lost faith in, if they ever had faith in him at all. So I do not stay always, but I look
for understanding, not mere acceptance.
And here, that is what I found. Acceptance, too, yes, but understanding. Not that they all
have my faith, but they all have faith in something. And they all understand the desire, the
need for it.
One woman, she tries to understand my faith, as much as my need for it. She teaches me
hers, even as she learns of mine. She is very different, her deities are many, and complex,
as my own is complex. I do not yet fully understand how her faith works, but I am trying. It
would be unholy not to give her the same consideration she gives me.
It is more than the understanding of faith that draws me to her, though. She didn't ask me
if my tattoos hurt. She asked me merely if I did them myself, or if I had someone else carve
the runes into my skin. And offered if I wanted more, that she had more precise tools than
my own claws, or a simple razor blade.
Her body is as pristine as mine is not. Smooth, and unflawed, and so very pale. She does
not like needles or blades against it. But I have seen the bruises that bloom under the pale,
almost translucent flesh. Fingers, wrapped around her arms. And the marks that are angry
and red, but fade with time. She says they're nothing, only an outlet when she is alone.
So I asked her why, one day, she is alone so often, that the skin that should be without
mark so often has red scratches and half-moon marks of teeth. She gave me another
question as an answer. Who would stay long around someone who does not listen to `no'
and feels closest to deity when she is causing pain? When she feels the presence of
something beyond herself in the blood and pain of someone else?
I haven't gone back to the Institute in weeks now. Her skin is flawless, like it should be.
Mine has more marks, neat and precise, scrolling over my back. Sundays she comes with
me to Mass, at night I listen as she prays to her deities. Candles are lit, and secrets shared,
but she understands. As I can understand her.
Deity is in blood and flesh, and faith. Mien Gott, her deities, our faith. Maybe one day we
will go back to the X-Men together, but for now, there is no need. Something she said to
me when we met is so very true.
"What need do we have, you and I, for acceptance of other people? Deity accepts and
understands, and loves unconditionally. That is all I need, and all I desire. Can you?"
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Title: Deity In Blood II: Counterpoint
(brief) summary: Everything can be seen from more than one point of view.
Warnings: references to self-mutilation
Genre: Character POV
He's so much more... and so much less than I expected. Word gets around a place like the
Abbey quickly when there's someone new. They said he was a mutant, that he prayed, that
he had faith. It's not something you expect. It's not that we don't accept them, it's that
they... the mutants, I mean... they don't come to the Abbey. They don't understand us
anymore than we understand them.
We... have faith that there's something more. I can't say we believe, because that is a word
used by those who hate far too often. We have faith, no matter what we have faith in. Some
of us have friends, or family, that are mutants. And those that do often come here...
upset... confused... wondering why the people they hold so dear can't understand that
they can have such a strong faith, when the world is so unfair.
But that's why we have such faith, many of us. If the world was fair, than those who suffer
misfortune would deserve it. And they don't. He doesn't deserve the rejection he faces
everyday, the fear, the people who don't understand. He's such a wonderful man, and so
what if his skin is the color of my blue jeans, and his eyes the same color as the amber
beads on Father Chasie's rosary?
When I first met him, he stood outside in the rain, in the parking lot of the Abbey. He
looked like he wasn't sure if he was going to come in. And I saw those tattoos. They're
amazing, more so when you realize what he had to work with to etch them into his skin
like that. He'd been to the Abbey a couple times before, but he wasn't sure if he wanted to
keep coming back.
I asked him what he made the tattoos with, and I saw his eyes light up, like he'd never
expected someone to ask that about his tattoos. Or maybe that he expected a different
question first. I don't know why people would ask if they hurt to be etched into his skin. Of
course they would. What's the point of a tattoo like that, raised and scarred, if it doesn't
I have a permanent room at the Abbey, because I can't keep the tools at home. It tends to
scare people off. I offered to let him use them. Or to use them on him, if he wanted. It's
hard to find someone who understands the need for pain as much as the need for faith. Or
how related they can be. Blood is deity, and deity is blood. The two have been so entwined
throughout history that it's surprising people reject now.
We started to talk that day, in the rain. We both caught cold, didn't get to talk again for
almost two weeks. But he came back. A Saturday night, actually, and I had a celebratory.
He stayed with me, watched, listened, and asked me about it all when I was done. The
language, the deities, everything.
I went with him in the morning to Mass. I'd gone before, to Father Chasie's masses, and
even though I don't follow the teachings of the Catholic faith, the sense of reverence and
wonder always made me feel something. Never much, not until I went with him. There's
something about being with someone who has as much faith as he does, when there are
so many reasons he wouldn't. So many like him, to some extent, who don't have that faith.
I don't know when I fell in love with him. It doesn't really matter, in the end. Somewhere,
between him learning about my faith, and me learning about his, and everything else we
talked about, I fell in love with the most wonderful person I've ever met. A wonderful, kind,
and incredible man, and I can't take him to meet my parents. I like him the way he is, and I
don't think a bullet through the chest would look good.
And there are times, when we're curled up together, and he thinks I'm asleep, that I hear
him wish he had the strength to take me with him, to introduce me to those who saved
him from Stryker. I don't know why, as he hasn't gone back to the Institute for weeks, but
maybe, there, I can do something.
But not now. This rapport between us is still young, still fragile in many ways. That's why I
haven't gone home in as long as he hasn't. The Abbey is home for us, for now. One of
these days, maybe, we'll go see his friends, and not worry about them not understanding.
Maybe, too, we'll visit my parents, and I can tell them that their lack of understanding
doesn't matter, and leave before the shotgun comes out.
Maybe one day we will. But not today. Today, we're not ready, and neither are they.