Mixed Feelings

BY : Panduki
Category: X-Men - Animated Series (all) > Slash - Male/Male
Dragon prints: 1480
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!


Monday had gone surprisingly well. Kurt had been pleasantly surprised by the kindness of his teachers and most of his classmates, welcoming him back. Many of them had correctly deduced that his "family emergency" had had something to do with his boyfriend, Kiro's, abduction, especially Mrs. Keating. But they were back in school again, walking the halls hand in hand, and even with the taunts and jeers sent their way from the occasional passerby in the hall, Kurt found himself not responding like he might have before, with anger and hurt, but instead just making a snappy, sassy comeback and holding Kiro's hand tighter beside him.

The jokes helped to disguise his fear. Fear of himself. His outburst, his rage, had frightened himself perhaps more than anyone else. Especially with the knowledge that he had very nearly come close to becoming the demon, the murderer, that only in his deepest, darkest recesses had he ever wanted to be, to get revenge for everything that had happened to him, everything that had been done to him, and now to Kiro. Lunch that day had been refreshingly calm, and the Institute kids had relaxed at their table and even been laughing at some story related by Kitty. Kurt couldn't even remember what it was about later. But it felt good to laugh.

It gave him hope.

The rest of the day had passed in a quiet blur of routine, and even though Kurt had groaned at the amount of work he now had to catch up on, his teachers had all assured him that as long as he got it done before the end of the month, all due credit would be given and his grades would be unaffected. He had felt humbled by their kindness. Kindness he was sure he didn't deserve.

The ride home had been fun as well, with Scott and Jean singing a horribly sappy duet of a love song on the radio, while Kitty and Rogue had gagged, and Kurt and Kiro had just laughed (silently, in Kiro's case). Kurt had even smiled at the thought of them maybe doing the same sometime. Perhaps with Kiro playing piano, and Kurt singing. It was an appealing fantasy.

Then they had arrived, and had to get ready to meet their therapist.

By 4:55 PM, Kurt and Kiro were sitting side by side in two comfortable chairs, waiting in the otherwise empty study for their therapist to arrive. Their therapist. Kurt never thought he would see the day. This past month had been full of surprises. Most of them pleasant, but some of them not. He felt Kiro's hand in his squeezing him gently, and Kurt looked over at Kiro with a brave smile, "Well.. this is it.." he whispered.

Kiro nodded, and he looked just as nervous. Perhaps not for the same reasons. But his trust in the professor had been clear. They needed this. Both of them could admit it. That didn't necessarily make it a pleasant experience, but it was necessary. Hank had even rescheduled Kiro's usual lessons in the med bay to make plenty of room for their therapy. The Beast's support for Kiro over the last week, as well as Logan's, the professor's, everyone's, had made Kurt's heart melt when he found out about it.

They would be alright. He knew it.

The soft sound of voices outside the door caught Kurt's attention, and he felt Kiro tense beside him before the door opened a couple of seconds later. The professor's voice, and a woman neither of them recognized. That must have been Dr. Lluy. The two boys rose from their chairs and turned to look toward the door, side by side, and saw Dr. Lluy standing beside the professor, dressed in a conservative cream-colored suit with a winter coat over her arm.

"Ah yes, there they are, right on time," the professor said with a smile, nodding genially to Kurt and Kiro as he and Dr. Lluy approached the two to pause politely in front of them. "Dr. Lluy, may I introduce Kurt Wager," he gestured to Kurt, who shook her hand with a respectful nod and a smile, "How do you do, Kurt," the woman said, a British accent to her  voice and an even, almost melodic cadence that seemed designed to soothe someone's nerves. Kurt found himself smiling brighter in return, and shaking her hand as he replied in kind, "How do you do, ma'am," before she released his hand and turned to smile at Kiro.

"And may I introduce Kiro," the professor continued, with an encouraging nod. He still had not been given a last name, but with all that had happened, it seemed a matter of little concern at the moment. Dr. Lluy extended a hand, and Kiro reached forward with a slight hestitation to shake her hand. Her smile deepened, and she said, "How do-.. oh my. Even with a warning, it's still rather surprising," she whispered as the boy's powers became apparent. She soon recovered her bearing, and nodded with a bashful smile, "How do you do, Kiro?"

Kiro smiled in return, and bowed politely in greeting, as silent as ever. Once their hands had parted, Kiro and Kurt immediately held hands once more. Both of them were still clearly nervous, and the professor favored them both with a wry look as he said gently, "Now remember, Kurt, Kiro. Dr. Lluy-"

"Please, call me Liz," she requested with a gentle smile.

"-Liz," the professor corrected himself with a smile as well, "is here to help you. I trust her explicitly, and you can as well. Please, give her, and yourselves, a chance, and get to know one another today. Alright?" He asked, looking back and forth between the two of them. Kurt and Kiro met one another's gaze, and the professor smiled at the emotions he saw, and felt, flowing back and forth.

Finally, both of them nodded, and once some further pleasantries were exchanged, the professor took his leave and left the three of them alone in the study, the only sound coming from the nearby grandfather clock beside a bookshelf.

"Well then, boys, I think that's quite enough standing around for now," Liz broke the silence with a smile, and ushered them back to their seats. Much to their surprise, she went around the desk in the room only to push the chair out from behind it, and was soon sitting comfortably in front of them, her legs demurely crossed, with a small notebook on her lap and favoring them with a pleasant expression.

Kiro watched as she and Kurt seemed to be waiting for something from one another, and Kurt finally broke the silence by asking, "So.. umm, how does this all work?" beside him on the chair, his tail thumped nervously against the cushion before he curled it around his ankle, one of the telltale signs that he was still nervous or afraid. Kiro reached over to gently take his hand, bringing a smile to Kurt's face as his golden eyes remained on Liz.

"It's not surgery, Kurt. I don't use needles or scalpels or even drugs, unless those are absolutely necessary," Liz answered, and her voice was quite calm, favoring their held hands with a gentle smile. "Our tools are words, and your thoughts and feelings. That's how I'm going to help you both work through this, together," she continued.

"The professor said you knew what it's like?" Kurt asked, still shifting uncomfortably in his chair, and Liz smiled, realizing that perhaps there was a way to reassure him that they weren't alone. "Indeed, Kurt. I know. My uncle sexually abused me for almost two years, starting around when I was 11," she said. And her voice was calm. There was no pain, no guilt. She was simply stating a fact. "Eventually my father found out, and my uncle was arrested. But it was almost another year before I could let my parents hug me again. And I didn't date anyone until I had finished high school and gone on to University."

Kurt frowned, looking at her with mingled emotions playing across his face. Anger. Shared pain. Disgust, that anyone else would suffer as he and Kiro had. Beside him, Kiro looked equally shocked, and his violet eyes ('My, they are so lovely..') lowered from her gaze, a soft tremble going through his body. She could only imagine what he must feel. She had heard he had spent most of his life as a foundling at a monastery, and likely quite isolated from the world, and particularly the evils in it. He had, unfortunately, gotten quite the introduction over the past month.

"Charles," she continued, "was one of the visiting professors there, and giving a seminar on mental health counseling. He and I had talked after one of his lectures, and I hadn't realized he was a telepath until he mentioned he could read thoughts, and some of mine concerned him greatly. I was," she confessed with a sigh, "Suicidal, at the time. I had been dating someone off and on for the past year, but I couldn't bear to be touched in anything other than a platonic manner, and our relationship had ended the week before the professor's lecture. I wasn't in a good place, then. Wondered if I would ever be happy again."

Kurt and Kiro listened with rapt attention as Liz explained how the professor had offered to help her, and she had acquiesced. He may not have been a trained psychiatrist, like she would later go on to be, but his gentle touch, his care, and patience, with helping her sort out her feelings, her thoughts, and let herself heal, had given her renewed courage to not only finish earning her degree, but go on to graduate school to earn a Ph. D herself and become a therapist, to help others in a similar manner. She may not be a telepath or an empath herself, she had confessed, but she was quite confident in both her skills and her experience.

Their conversation had then turned to Kurt and Kiro. No talk of their incidents, not today. This was a chance for them to just to get to know one another. Kurt talked about his family in Germany, how he grew up in a small rural community before his parents had made the decision to send him to the Xavier Institute after home-schooling him for several years. And Kiro's story was then explained also by Kurt, with frequent pauses for Kiro to nod or offer gentle (albeit somewhat simplistic) corrections to his story. Dr. Lluy couldn't help but smile a bit at Kiro's muteness. It added a cuteness to him that made him even easier to like, combined with his kindness. She had heard from the professor that the students affectionately referred to him as a "human teddy bear" or similar endearments, and she could see why. Such a gentle soul. Both of them were. Though they were now, unfortunately, quite damaged and raw.

"Well, don't worry. We'll work through this together," she assured them with a confident nod, and her confidence had been contagious. "Good therapy can make what would take years on your own take only months, or sometimes even weeks. But it all depends on your willingness to be helped, most of all, and to help one another," she said with a gentle warning in her tone. "As much as I wish that I could go in there like a computer programmer and just fix the damage that was done, I can't," Liz lamented with a soft sigh. "But, I've learned how to help the mind fix itself, and the heart to heal in turn. It won't always be pleasant, and I'll probably have to have a box of tissues at every session from now on," she warned with a playful smile, "but you'll both get through this. I promise."

Liz had then given them a basic rundown of what their sessions would probably cover in the next few visits. She had then offered to see them both individually, particularly Kurt, as the professor had apparently briefed her on Kurt's particular problems, but Kurt had requested (almost pleaded, really) that they stay together during their sessions. He was ashamed of his past, and his actions recently, but he didn't want to hide them, or the reasons behind them, from Kiro. Kiro deserved to know all about him, and Kurt wanted a clear conscience, knowing there would be no secrets between them. The devotion had clearly touched Liz, and she had agreed with a smile.

When the time came close to finally end the session, about fifteen minutes ahead of schedule, they had risen from their chairs and were standing beside the study's main desk. Liz had given them each her card, insisting that she was "on call" at any time, day or night, and had also assured Kiro that she was there for him too, even if he had to resort to tapping Morse code onto the phone's receiver to try to talk to her. The fact that he had no idea what Morse code was caused a small chuckle from the two of them, before Kurt explained, and Kiro shook his head with a bashful smile.

Despite their initial misgivings, both boys seemed happy and optimistic. Liz had a cheerfulness, a confidence, that was contagious. And even though she had cautioned them that the real "therapy" hadn't yet started, that didn't seem to matter. Just the knowledge she was there to help them, like the others at the Institute had been, and that she was a professional, specifically trained for it, helped them both immensely. One question, though, had given the boys pause as she finished gathering her things. "What are your sleeping arrangements, Kurt? Kiro?" she asked, causing both of them to freeze.

After meeting Kiro's gaze, Kurt looked up at her and shifted slightly, asking, "Um, what do you mean, Liz?" His voice was uncertain, and there was an undercurrent of fear. He knew that he sounded like he was preparing to lie to her, and he hated it. But.. why was she asking?

Her smile, though, never wavered, "I'm asking how you two sleep? Are you in different rooms? Room mates?" The question seemed so innocent, but Kurt worried. Would she try to separate them for some reason? He nonetheless heard himself answering her, "Together, Liz, in the same room. And.. in the same bed," he added. His tail curled around Kiro's legs as they stood side by side. This brought a raised eyebrow from Liz, perhaps surprised that the school would allow it, knowing their relationship. But she simply nodded.

"Well, the fact that you're still able to do that is certainly a good sign," she said with a smile, "Have you been sleeping well?" She asked, her gaze leveled at Kiro for a moment, before regarding Kurt as well. Both boys shifted under her gaze. It seemed she was making some tentative preparations for their next therapy session. "Nightmares," Kurt confessed, looking over at Kiro and gently squeezing his hand, "We've both been having nightmares, each night. And crying." He whispered. Not quite the whole truth, given Kiro's recent panic attack, but he figured it was close enough.

Her next question, however, completely caught Kurt by surprise.

"Kurt, have the two of you been intimate since your return?" Liz asked, leaning against the desk as she watched the two of them, her expression now neutral.

Kiro stiffened beside him, and Kurt felt his fur bristle a bit at the rather blunt question. A small flicker of anger lashed through his tail, before he quickly clamped down on it and forced himself to be polite. She was their therapist. She was supposed to help them. Just answer her. "N.. nein," Kurt responded. "We've been sleeping together," he explained, "In the literal sense. But.. um.. nothing else."

He felt Kiro's hand release his, and then slip around his hips to gently hug him. Kiro's expression seemed almost apologetic. He shook his head, whispering softly, "Don't, Kiro.. please. It's ok. Only when you are ready, mein engel." He then realized that Liz had said nothing, and had continued to quietly watch them. Her gaze made him uncomfortable. It was still friendly, but her gaze was piercing. Intelligent. Studious. She was observing them with a trained eye, now, analyzing them.

Liz finally smiled. "Kurt, I have a request," she began. Kurt stiffened once again.

'Scheissen. Here it comes.' He thought darkly, and his words left him in a rush, "Please don't separate us, Liz," He heard himself begging as his heart began to clench in panic, "Please. I want to be with him, help him, even if we-"

"Kurt, please," Liz politely interrupted, still smiling, and stepped away from the desk to put a gentle hand on Kurt's shoulder. "My request is this: Keep doing what you're doing," she explained. And Kurt paused in surprise to look up at her. He hadn't realized before, but she was a tall woman, standing almost five inches above Kurt, and even more above Kiro.

"It's obviously helping," she added, noticing the easy way that Kiro's arm was around Kurt's waist, and the two of them leaned against one another. "I wasn't able to do that for months, not even to my parents," she said with a smile. "That was one of the clues that something was wrong, when I would pull away or cry when they tried to touch me. The fact that you can both already hold one another like that, the way you are now, it's a very good sign."

Kiro's cautious smile, the glimmer in his violet eyes, made Liz's heart melt, and when he hugged Kurt suddenly with both arms, she found herself grinning. She waited patiently while the two embraced, and shared a chaste kiss, before they parted with a small apology to her. Liz shook her head in encouragement and assured them it was alright, "But," she said, "I want you both to be patient, ok? Even if you might feel like it's.. safe, Kiro," she explained, peering down at Kiro with a gentle look.

"I know we haven't discussed it, but I'm sure you may have been suffering anxiety attacks. Or panic attacks. Crying fits, suddenly. Seemingly from out of nowhere. Kurt, you've probably dealt with them in the past, too," she added. Both boys nodded reluctantly. "The slightest thing might trigger them. A thought, a memory, a touch. Even an accidental slip. And it's even worse, when you're trying to be intimate again," she said with a sigh, her gaze going momentarily distant as she clearly spoke from experience.

"So, I'm just asking that you both please be careful, at least for the time being, alright?" She concluded, and gave them a gentle smile when both boys nodded. "Clearly you both love each other very much, and I'm sure you already have been considerate, but, well, I was young, once, too, you know," she gently chided them, "And I'm sure for you boys it's even worse." Kurt's laughter, and Kiro's silent giggle beside him, made Liz chuckle as well, even as she remarked mentally that it was such a strange sight, seeing someone "laugh" without making a sound.

They were still bubbling with laughter when they exited the study. The professor was already coming down the hall to meet them, and he smiled as he greeted them, "Right on time. How did things go, everyone?" His expression was pleasant, and his hands steepled beneath his chin as he waited for their answer. Kurt, surprisingly, was the one who said, "Things went wunderbar, professor. I.. I think we'll be ok."

Even Kurt seemed surprised by his words, but he was soon smiling, and hugging Kiro tightly beside him. Kiro barely flinched from the gesture, and he was smiling to.

"Yes, Kurt, I think you both will," Liz said, and favored the professor with a wink before she checked over her notes to discuss when their next scheduled session would be.

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