Mixed Feelings

BY : Panduki
Category: X-Men - Animated Series (all) > Slash - Male/Male
Dragon prints: 1182
Disclaimer: I do not own X-Men Evolution or any characters contained therein and no profit/money is being made from this story, much as it would be delightful to! My OC, Kiro (a.k.a "Ghost"), however, is definitely mine!

Author's Note: Welcome to my story! Please read, enjoy (hopefully!) and review!

 


Logan laid Kurt down on the mud as he panted hard. He had done everything short of cutting the kid's hands off, and Kurt still hadn't let go, "Nice one.. Red.." he grunted. Jean had managed to levitate both herself and the professor here, flying almost as well as Ororo could, and it had been a damn good thing too. Logan hadn't been able to pry Kurt's hands away. The elf was as close to being berserk as he had seen anyone be in a long time. And the mudslide caused by Lance's little earthquake meant they had to park the van almost a hundred yards down the road. Kiro had stayed behind at Jean's urging to "wait for the help to arrive," as well as perhaps to spare him the sight of Kurt's complete breakdown, while the others had taken off down the road at a dead sprint, guided by the professor.

"Oh.. my gawd.. bro.. what. What happened to you?" Rogue said, falling to her knees beside her brother's unconscious body, tears running down her face. Kitty knelt beside her and put a hand on Rogue's shoulder, tears in her eyes as well. Kurt's rage, his homicidal fury, had been utterly terrifying. Kurt, their Kurt, had been acting like a killer. He had seemed almost gleeful at the thought of strangling Lance to death. And even Lance had seemed paralyzed with fear before he lost consciousness. Kurt's eyes had been the worst of all. Utterly and completely focused on Lance, even as his hands were around the other boy's throat, squeezing.

No matter how much Kitty and Rogue begged, no matter how much Scott had yelled at him to "Snap out of it, Kurt! C'mon!!!" It was like Kurt couldn't even hear them. Didn't even recognize them. Like Kurt had been stolen away, their blue fuzzy elf, and replaced with the demon out for revenge. Not even Logan had been strong enough to pull his hands away.

Rogue had offered to try to render Kurt unconscious, but a stern warning from Logan ("NO, Stripes! Too risky!!") had stopped her cold. With how Kurt was acting, would she have absorbed his mental state? Would she have drained Lance too, since Kurt was touching him, and killed him in his already nearly-dead state? It was far too risky, indeed.

Only the professor had been able to stop him, and even then barely in the knick of time.

Beside them, Jean continued to gently levitate the professor as his eyes remained closed in concentration, bobbing gently about a foot off the ground, probably doing what he could to ensure Kurt wouldn't wake up until they were back at the Institute, at the very least. "Kitty, Rogue, we need to get him to the van," Jean instructed. "Let's get him up, c'mon." Even Jean's voice was quavering audibly, both from the strain of keeping the professor levitated, as well as with whatever she must have sensed from Kurt's mind, and seen with her eyes. She, like the rest of them, looked completely in shock.

The girls complied, each of them hefting one of Kurt's arms around their shoulders as they began to walk back toward the van. Meanwhile, Logan and Scott went over to Lance. Wasting no time, the two of them had him quickly secured with zipties binding his wrists behind his back, and Logan nodded, "Let's get this piece of trash to the curb, Cyke." Scott nodded as well, though his expression was cold as he helped Logan lift Lance's still-unconscious body up out of the mud. "Part of me thinks we should've just let Kurt do it," he muttered, scorn clear in his voice. "Let's hope that part of you never comes out like Kurt's did, then," Logan replied darkly, and the tone in his voice made Scott immediately regret his words with a sobering pause.

After a brief but muddy walk back, and more cursing than any of them had done in a whole month as they suffered many a slip into the mud, they were back at the van. The sight of Kurt's unconscious body caused Kiro to rush toward them in concern, but Jean hurriedly ordered him not to touch him. "Kiro, I'm sorry, but please," Jean said earnestly, concern in her eyes. "He's .. he's very disturbed right now, the professor needs to focus on him completely," she explained. Kiro was obviously stunned by her words, but he slowly nodded and started to backpedal toward the van.

At the sight of Lance being dragged toward them by Scott and Logan, however, Kiro froze. He then began to tremble, his eyes wide with growing panic, even at the sight of Lance thoroughly restrained with his arms behind his back, and visibly slumped, unconscious. None of them missed his reaction. It was all the confirmation they needed. "Into the van, Ghost," Logan said, his voice gentle, but firm, "Help the professor get strapped in, will ya?"

Kiro snapped out of it with a small nod, favoring Logan with a grateful look before he went around to the side of the van and carefully helped Jean levitate the professor into the chair nearest the sliding door on the van's side. The professor's eyes opened only a moment later, as Kurt was carefully strapped into the seat behind him by the girls, and he sighed, his eyes sad, his face pale, and his brow creased with concern. At Jean's questioning look, however, the professor simply shook his head. 'Later, Jean. It.. isn't pretty.' The professor's voice sounded tired. So tired.

They were all surprised, however, by the sound of sirens in the distance, and soon after the appearance of two Bayville Police Department squad cars, lights flashing in the growing twilight. All of the X-men were still in plain clothes, and Kitty thanked her lucky stars that Jean had stopped levitating a moment before the police arrived. Rogue hastily reached over to Kurt's image inducer in the van and switched it on, even as the professor leaned out to wave at one of the squad cars. "Detective Broward," the professor said, and the man who stepped out of the passenger seat of one of the squad cars waved in return. "I believe you have heard of young Kiro," he said, gesturing to Kiro who was still standing beside the van, looking quite nervous.

The detective nodded. He was wearing plainclothes, unlike the three uniformed officers with him, and was dressed in an unassuming grey business suit. He had a combover of thinning brown hair atop his balding head, and a thick mustache that almost gave him the illusion of smiling, though his steel grey eyes were cold as they saw Lance, who was just now waking up from being choked out so thoroughly, and nearly strangled to death, by Kurt. "That's him?" Broward asked, and his tone was dangerous. Lance looked around at the gathering of X-men, and then the police, and his expression shifted from panic to anger in an instant. All of that anger was immediately directed towards Kiro.

"Correct. Kiro has confirmed it," the professor said, and a quick glance at Kiro's terrified expression as Lance looked at him was apparently good enough for the detective. At Jean's gentle touch on his arm, Kiro flinched away at first, before shifting over to huddle behind her at the professor, trembling visibly. Detective Broward nodded to Charles and said, gratitude clear in his voice, "We got the prints back from the lab, as well. Perfect match. And his DNA was all over the place, as well as Kiro's. Thanks for the help getting it analyzed so quickly."

Around them, Kitty and Rogue looked back and forth with a stunned expression, and Logan's eyes met the professor with renewed respect. The professor had been busy giving the police a hand with their investigation. "Good to hear, detective. I'm glad you were able to find all the evidence you needed," Charles said, though his voice was quite devoid of pleasure at the whole situation. Beside him, Kiro gently took his hand, and the professor squeezed his in return, his heart cracking a bit at the boy's raw wounds, freshly inflamed from being so near to his attacker once more.

"You..! You!!" Lance started, his eyes gleaming in rage as they once again leveled on Kiro, the ground trembling beneath their feet, but he was silenced as Broward got in his face. "Hope you enjoyed your fun, Mr. Alvers, because it's over now," he gestured to the uniformed police officers. "One of you decide who wants this piece of shit stinking up your car, and then let's get him downtown."

Lance seemed about ready to use his powers again, but no sooner had he begun to concentrate than a gesture from Logan behind him soon produced a slim metal collar around his neck. A design that the mutants knew all too well. A mutant restraint collar, one of the ones they had probably been given by Nick Fury, just for the occasion. "Nice try, dirtbag," Logan said coldly, and Lance let out a strangled roar of inarticulate fury as the police grabbed his arms and dragged him, quite literally kicking and screaming toward the police cars. "I should've fucking killed you when I had the chance, you fa-" his shout was cut off as the door was slammed in his face.

In less than a minute, the two patrol cars were off down the road, followed soon after by the black van and Logan's motorcycle. But where the police cars turned right to head into Bayville proper, the van and motorcycle turned left, heading back to the Institute. The ride back was eerily silent, all eyes frequently drifting towards Kurt, who still slept an uncannily deep sleep, caused by whatever the professor had been forced to do to him.

"Professor," Rogue finally broke the silence, as they waited for the Institute gate to open, "Is he gonna be alright?" she asked. There was a long silence as they waited, and finally began to roll along the gravel drive up to the mansion. Finally, the professor said with a soft sigh, "I hope so, Rogue."

Beside him, the professor felt Kiro's hand squeeze his, as the albino boy looked behind them at Kurt's sleeping form, and he nodded in return, 'I will do everything I can, Kiro, to help him, and you.'

------

Details about what Lance had done to Kiro had still remained secret, for the most part. All that the students knew was essentially what they had known before. Lance had apparently abducted him after school, and held him somewhere for several days, blindfolded and earplugged. His other actions during the imprisonment had been kept secret, at the professor's request, which the instructors had no problem enforcing. But the students could tell that whatever it had been, it had been bad. Very bad. Bad enough for Kurt, the lovable goofball of the X-Men, to charge off in a huff and cause the others to go out after him. Yet the rest of the students at the Institute had thankfully had no idea what really happened. That Kurt had very nearly killed Lance in his fury, and the others had barely been able to stop him.

The professor had, quite calmly and firmly, however, told them to stop speculating and discussing the extent of Kurt's "issues." This, he reminded them, was Kurt Wagner they were talking about. And he had been pushed to the breaking point out of grief, fear, and anguish over his boyfriend's kidnapping, as any one of them might also have been, were they in his position. "What he needs," the professor had told them critically at dinner that evening, "more than anything else, is our support. Mr. Alvers has been dealt with, thanks to the police, and will be a threat to no one else for a very long time now. We have made certain of that. Now is our time to heal."

Kiro had joined them at dinner, though he ate very little, and (as always) said nothing to anyone. He had given them all kind smiles, however, and had gone around the table to each of the Team members who had helped retrieve Kurt, giving each a silent hug of gratitude. Kurt's seat at table, however, was quite empty. And the professor had been close-lipped about where he and Logan had put Kurt for the time being. That meant only one answer.

The detention cells.

They were seldom used, mostly because the need for them was sparse. But they were a "just in case" measure for students whose powers were simply beyond their control at first, or for students who were problem children to begin with (as Lance had been, some time ago). But in Kurt's case, it was unfortunately a statement on whatever the professor had seen when he had looked into Kurt's mind, however briefly, to render him inert hours ago. Kiro had begged, in every non-verbal way he knew how, to go with them and stay by Kurt's side, clinging to Logan's hip as they walked with tears in his eyes. But the professor had softly told him, "No, Kiro. It's just too... dangerous right now," the professor said, and felt a small flicker of self-loathing for having to say such a thing about his fellow student, almost like an adoptive son, even if he knew it was true. The concern in Charles' voice was what made Kiro finally see reason, however, and after a tight, shivering hug to both Logan and then the Professor, and a soft kiss placed on the unconscious Kurt's forehead, he had gone back to their room to wait for dinner.

The professor had looked visibly shaken, but mostly saddened and worried, on their way back down the detention center corridor. They had secured Kurt in the last cell on the left, and had left him with a tray of food and drink as well as a note explaining his situation, in case he awoke sooner than the professor anticipated. The cell was spartan, but comfortable, with a bed in the corner (which they left Kurt laying on), a toilet and sink, and room enough to pace, but that was it. The doors, the walls, and even the bars of the cell, were imbued with the same weave that allowed the mutant collars to restrain a mutant's powers. They were an ingenius, and potentially frightening, advancement in modern technology that the Institute had managed to turn into a good thing.

When Logan had asked what had Charles so disturbed, as the two of them engaged the cell's lock and had gone back down the hall to join the others for dinner an hour earlier, the professor had said, "It's.. the worst possible situation, Logan. Everything had just.. blended together in his mind. The pain he had endured over the years of his life, assaults, abuse and incidents of his own, that even I was unaware of before he came here, the bullying and taunts from school, they all just blended together in his mind. Like some horrific maelstrom, all pointed squarely at Lance," the professor said with a frown.

Logan blinked, and looked back down the hall toward the cell as the professor stopped beside him, "You mean.. the elf was also a victim of that?" He asked, and found himself furrowing a brow. He had known that sometimes the elf put on a false smile to joke and kid around, hiding his own pains. But even he had never speculated that the pain went THAT deep. The professor, however, simply nodded, "Humans can be the cruelest creatures on the planet, Logan. Especially the ones who are utterly convinced of their own righteousness. You and I know that all too well. And we save the height of that cruelty for one another," he said, rubbing his forehead.

"That's how he knew what had happened to Kiro. And how to act around him. He recognized all the signs from himself," Logan said, his voice softening slightly in both sympathy and anger, himself. It had taken all of his own self-control, honed over decades, not to do what Kurt had just tried to do when he had put a face to the scents all over Kiro. Kiro, for his part, had seemed to be recovering remarkably well. But Logan had seen, over the weekend, how the boy still shied away from most touches (even Kurt's), and how he occasionally looked around in a fright, as though catching sight, or sound, of his attacker out of the corner of his eye. Somehow he had been able to identify Lance based only on touch and scent, and whatever dull sounds he might have been able to hear through his earplugs. But with his eyes blindfolded, Logan did not find that too unlikely. People tended to rely overly much on their eyes, and only when they "lost" them did they realize how good even their normal human sense of smell, touch and hearing were.

"Indeed, Logan. I.. I had no idea," the professor said, his voice containing a note of shame. Kurt had never told him, and he had never pried. It had happened some time ago, for some indeterminate duration, and perhaps even his parents never knew. Kurt had always been good at hiding his pain, whether from bullies or other things, behind a mask of smiles and jokes. Jokes that had, for the most part, fooled the students of the Institute into thinking of him as their resident clown. "Chuck, I didn't either. But now we do. You've helped me with that rage, we can help Kurt with his," Logan said, resting a hand firmly on the professor's shoulder. He then continued, "And maybe we can help him sort out this jumble of thoughts and feelings, too."

The professor glanced down the hall, and nodded, "We can, Logan. I am confident in that. It will just.. take time," he sighed. Logan shook his head as they once again headed for the elevator, saying quietly, "Things like this always do."



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