She had to admit…it was the strangest of gatherings. Two teams of super heroes gathering together to celebrate the thirtieth birthday of someone they could both claim as one of their own.
That particular someone was having the time of his life. Hank McCoy…from X-Men to Avengers and back again…didn’t seem to notice that his two families weren’t exactly mingling. He just happily bounced from one little knot of super beings to another. Logan and Steve were talking about something, but both were far older than either one looked. They had in fact known each other for years.
Greer was in her element as she slunk catlike amongst the assembled heroes. There were several available X-Men in attendance, and if there was one thing that seemed to hold true for mutants, male or female, they were either drop-dead gorgeous, exotically attractive, or downright butt ugly! The X-Men seemed to consist primarily of the drop-dead gorgeous variety, and Greer was on the prowl for a bit of harmless fun.
She shook her head and moved outside. Sometimes she envied her friend’s flirtatious nature, but it just wasn’t her way. She thought of her brother and his current troubles. She sighed deeply as she leaned heavily against the balustrade.
“A face so fair should not wear such a frown…” A voice said softly from the shadows above her.
She clutched her chest, certain she’d just jumped several feet off the ground at the unexpected sound. She turned towards its source, unable to make out anything but a pair of golden eyes.
“Nightcrawler…” She said.
“Uh uh uh…” He smirked as he dropped from the shadows. “When I am in civilian clothes I am plain, simple, Kurt…” He explained, and then added. “Wanda…”
“Yes…” She said. “You’re right…even though it’s a little hard for you to hide your secret identity…” He was, to her classifications, of the second variety of mutant…the exotically attractive. If it wasn’t for the blue fur, the misshapen, and extra limbs, he would have easily fit into the first category…
“What are you doing out here?” She asked. “All on your own?”
“But I am not…all on my own…” He pointed out, taking her hand and brushing his lips to its back in a very Continental way…
She threw him a crooked smile. “I’ve been warned about you, you know…” She told him.
“Oh?” He arched a curious brow.
“Hank told me you were something of a lady killer…”
“Ah…” His smile deepened. “Perhaps…but I’ve never been convicted…” He lowered her hand before releasing it. “But…you really shouldn’t believe everything you hear…I really am quite harmless…”
“So…why are you out here?” She asked.
“That striped woman seems to have a rather unhealthy fixation on my tail…” He said, absently running the mentioned appendage through his hands.
“It’s not every day you met someone with one…” Wanda shrugged. “Maybe she thinks she’s found a kindred spirit or something…she’s got one of her own. Besides…you trail something like that in front of a cat…it’s gonna pounce.”
“True enough…” Kurt admitted, glancing back to where their respective teammates were laughing and joking. Now that more alcohol had been consumed they seemed more comfortable with each other. “Also…I figure it is safer out here…”
“From Greer?” She queried.
“The striped woman with the tail…”
“Yes…” He admitted as he thought about it. “But I’m also waiting for the fight to break out…”
“Fight?” Wanda frowned.
“Whenever we super hero types get together it invariably ends up in a fight…” Kurt shrugged. “Never really could figure that one out…”
“Beer and super powers have never been a good combination…” She smiled.
“I can see it now…” Kurt smirked. “Thou hast spilt my beverage…Thor shalt smite thee!”
“If ya’d do something with that girly hairdo of yers, maybe ya’d see where ya were goin’, bub!” She countered.
The pair chuckled at their own joke for a few moments.
“So why are you out here?” He asked as they sobered. “You seem more than a little troubled…”
“I’m just not in much of a party mood…” She sighed.
“And that is because…?” He prompted.
“What are you, team counsellor or something?”
“Team counsellor, field medic and Blackbird mechanic…” He bowed gracefully.
“Deanna Troi, Beverley Crusher and Geordi Le Forge rolled in to one, huh?”
“Something like that…” He smiled gently. “But, truthfully…it does help to talk…”
“It’s not really me…” She said. “I’m worried about my brother…”
“You know him?” She asked.
“Not personally…” He admitted. “But I know who he is…what he is…”
“WHAT he is?”
“Magneto’s son…” He said softly.
She lowered her head. “It’s not easy finding out your father is a homicidal madman with delusions of grandeur…”
“Believe me…I can relate…” Kurt said with a grim smile.
“Really?” She questioned sceptically.
“You know of a mutant terrorist who goes by the name of Mystique?” He asked.
“Yes…” She admitted, not sure where he was going.
“You do not see a resemblance?” He gestured towards himself.
“Mystique is your mother?” She concluded.
“So she told me…” He answered. “It’s not like we’ve done a DNA test or anything…but the physical similarity is a little too much to ignore…”
“So we’re both the children of two of the greatest threats to humanity…” She sighed. “It’s a wonder we turned out so normal…”
“Normal?” Kurt countered. “We’ve both made a career of going out in public dressed in gaudy coloured, skin-tight outfits beating up on other people who go out in public in equally gaudy skin-tight outfits…and you think we’re normal?”
She chuckled. “You have a point…”
She seemed happier now, so Kurt didn’t want to bring her mood down again by bringing up the subject of her brother, even though he knew she should talk it through with someone.
“You want to get out of here?” She asked suddenly. “Go grab a coffee or something?”
He wasn’t sure what to say. “Sure.” He decided. He leapt up on to the balustrade and offered her his hand.
She looked at him with unhidden fear in her eyes. “We’re four stories up.” She pointed out.
“Child’s play.” He beamed. “I CAN match Spider-Man for wall crawling, you know…”
“Really?” She asked as she reached out uncertainly for his hand.
“Yes…” He said as he pulled her close to him, his tail coiling around her waist. “But I much prefer the acrobatic approach…”
She didn’t have time to scream as he leapt out, apparently into nothing. They dropped two stories before he snagged a streetlight with his free hand, spinning around it in a spiral down to the street.
When she regained her breath, she shoved him, half playfully, half angrily. “You scared the life out of me!”
“But it’s brought a wonderful flush to your cheeks and a bright sparkle to your eyes…” He beamed at her.
She threw him a less than amused look.
“So…you have a place in mind for this coffee?”
“Anybody seen Kurt?” Scott asked as he and his fellow X-Men stumbled out onto the curb.
“Not for a while…” Jean admitted.
“He DID come with us, right?” Warren arched a brow.
“Elf’s a big boy…” Logan said as he chomped on his cigar. “He can find his own way home…”
“So where did you disappear to last night?” Janet asked as Wanda finally wandered into the kitchen looking for breakfast.
It had been well past four by the time Kurt had walked her home. New York seemed to be the perfect city for him. Just as they city was described as ‘the city that never sleeps’…Kurt never seemed to tire. But neither did she in his company. They had talked about everything and nothing. He had an infectious enthusiasm for just about everything. He saw beauty where others wouldn’t even be bothered to look.
“I went out for coffee…” She shrugged.
“With who…?” Greer purred at her.
“Kurt…” She admitted softly. She froze for a moment. Had she said his name wistfully?
“Which one is that?” Greer asked.
“Nightcrawler…” Janet told her. Greer just arched a brow, obviously still unsure. “Blue guy with the tail…”
“Oh…him…” Greer smirked. She gave Wanda a wicked look. “So how was the…coffee?”
“Fine…” Wanda said. “And THAT’S all it was…” She added in an attempt to counter the lecherous grin.
“Right…” Greer purred. “Coffee…eight hours of…coffee…”
“Eight hours?” Wanda was flabbergasted. She hadn’t realised they’d been gone that long. No wonder they were suspicious.
“Relax, Wanda…” Janet smiled. “We both know you’re not the type to rush off for a little…tail…”
“No matter how hot that little tail may be…” Greer smirked.
“So what DID you do for eight hours?” Janet smiled at her.
“We talked…” She shrugged. “We have an amazing amount in common…”
“Such as…?” Greer arched a brow.
“Well…he’s a mutant…originally from Germany…raised by a foster family, that also happened to be gypsies…he recently found out that his mother is one of his greatest enemies…”
“So you’re both former gypsy mutants with parental problems?” Janet raised a brow.
“Sounds like a match made in heaven to me.” Greer grinned. Wanda just threw her an extremely unamused look. She ignored it. “So…you gonna see him again?”
Wanda paused for a moment. She hadn’t even thought about the possibility. She’d never felt so comfortable with somebody as quickly as she had with him. He was charming, sweet, considerate…everything a woman could want in a man, really. The fact that his appearance was reminiscent of a Biblical demon didn’t distract from that. In fact his looks only made him more intriguing…
“You know…” She smiled. “I just might have to look into that…”
“Well…” Logan smirked over the top of his paper. “Look what the cat dragged in…”
“And a good morning to you too.” Kurt beamed at him.
“It’s two fifteen P.M., Elf.” Logan arched a brow.
“You’re not going to ask where I was?” Kurt looked at his friend, curiously.
“Ain’t none o’ my business, Elf.” Logan said as he returned to his paper.
‘I can’t believe I’m doing this…’ Wanda thought as she punched in the number for Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, checking and double-checking the number as she did so. Greer had all but dared her to do it. Janet had arranged the theatre tickets.
There were a lot of residents at the mansion, she was a little fearful about who would answer. What they would think…
“Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters…” The very polished voice at the other end confirmed she’d at least dialled the right number. “Charles Xavier speaking.”
‘Boss man himself…’ She thought.
“What can I do for you, Ms Maximoff?” He asked.
Wanda almost chocked on her startled gasp. “Um…how did you know…?”
“I AM the world’s most powerful telepath, Ms Maximoff…” He pointed out. “It’s a most effective way to screen telephone calls. Now…what can I do for you?”
‘He probably already knows…’ She thought. “I was wondering…” She began, more than a little nervous. “If I could speak to Kurt…”
“I’ll just see if he’s up…” She could almost hear him smile. “He came in awfully late last night…or rather…awfully early this morning…one moment please…”
“Hello…” A lightly accented voice replaced the highly polished one.
“Kurt?” She queried.
“Well…good morn…um…afternoon…” He corrected himself.
“He’s not still…listening in or something…is he?” She said in little more than a whisper.
“Who? The Professor? No…he respects our privacy…” Kurt assured her. “So, what’s up?”
“I was just wondering…” She began, haltingly. “If you’d like to catch a show tonight…?”
“Are you asking me out?” She could definitely hear the smile in his voice.
“I guess…” She admitted.
“How thoroughly modern of you…” He sounded impressed. “I would be delighted…are you going to pick me up and bring me candy and flowers as well?”
“Don’t push your luck…” She chuckled.
“I’m sorry…” She said with a deep sigh as they waited outside the theatre.
“For what?” Kurt frowned.
“Janet sorted out the tickets…”
“Well…I don’t know…Cabaret? It’s set during a rather dark period in your country’s history…”
“But I can make fun of the fake German accents…” He smiled. “Still…given what we look like…perhaps Beauty and the Beast would have been more appropriate…”
“But that’s Hank’s codename…” She pointed out. “And I hardly think you’re deserving of such a name…”
“Fangs, pointed ears and a tail?” He quirked an eyebrow. “I’m just your average Joe…”
“Looks can be deceiving…” She smiled.
The young woman at the ticket office did a double take when she took their tickets. Wanda’s face was very familiar, the Avengers were publicly known after all, and Kurt’s was not the sort of face that could easily be forgotten, and only slightly less well known.
“Um…” She managed as she took in the pair. “Enjoy the show…”
“I am sure we will.” Kurt flashed her his trademark grin, complete with fangs.
Wanda hooked her arm through his. “You are incorrigible…” She shook her head as she dragged him towards the door.
“I try my darnedest.” He admitted.
She watched them go in, chuckling to herself. “An Avenger and an X-Man…the tabloids’ll have a field day if this gets out…”