Mixed Feelings

BY : Panduki
Category: X-Men - Animated Series (all) > Slash - Male/Male
Dragon prints: 1441
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!

Liz let out a soft sigh as she shifted in her chair, adjusting the notebook on her lap while they took a small break. Kiro's session was not going well. She hadn't expected it would be easy, since it was so difficult to ask the kind of questions he could easily answer, but perhaps the worst part was when she asked him questions about his abduction, and saw his reaction, but could not have him explain his feelings to her in turn.

It was frustrating, and heartbreaking all at the same time. Kurt had suggested they invite the professor, to act as something of a go-between, but both Kiro and Liz had shaken their heads, before Liz responded, "I know it would make things much easier, Kurt, but it's already been difficult enough for you to talk about this with me. I'd rather we not involve Charles unless absolutely necessary. Besides, you know what it's like to have Charles access your thoughts, even willingly. You might as well be experiencing it all over again," She whispered softly, and Kurt felt himself shiver as Kiro did the same beside him.

They had spent the session so far talking about Kiro's abduction. Most of what Liz knew was second hand, so she had had to essentially peace things together based on what the professor had told her in private, from the times he had touched Kiro's mind to help him, both during his panic attacks as well as regularly over the past couple of weeks, to help "stabilize" him quicker than he would have been able to on his own. It was an interesting exercise, essentially having to guess, and ask yes or no questions, to piece the narrative together. In a different context, it might have been fun. But this definitely was not.

Kiro dabbed at his eyes with a tissue and sniffled softly, still recovering from a crying fit while Kurt hugged him gently on the loveseat beside him. Kiro had had only a vague memory of his capture at the school, and Charles had concluded that he had likely been drugged, or otherwise rendered unconscious, for easy transport. His only memories after that had been mostly of small bits of light that had gotten through the edges of his blindfold, muffled words through his earplugs, and... the abuse itself. His answer to her question, "How often would you say that he abused you each day?" had been particularly heart wrenching. Kiro had pointed over to the grandfather clock, and then held up six fingers. At his confirmation, Liz had shaken her head in disgust and sympathy. Not six times. Hours. Six hours a day.

If there was ever a way to cram a month, or even a year's worth of abuse into one week, Lance had definitely found it. She learned that Lance had not only raped Kiro repeatedly, anally and orally, he had also given gleeful outlet to his sadism by beating the boy savagely, both in the midst of rape, and just for fun otherwise. Or flying into rages when Kiro tried to touch him, perhaps to mutely beg for mercy. Kiro had initially frightened Liz by taking a small butterknife from their tray of refreshments and mimed cutting himself with it, particularly on his arms at first, and she had sternly asked if he was suicidal, before he had shaken his head repeatedly, and then held up his thumb and forefinger in an "L" sign, before once again repeating the cutting motion, even drawing letters with the knife blade against his belly.

Lance had cut him. Cut him just for fun. Knowing that he would just heal it over and over again. His own healing power had become his curse, allowing Lance to freely torture him and inflict every little sadistic fantasy his mind could conjure up, knowing Kiro would heal it. The only thing Lance hadn't apparently done was break any of Kiro's bones, or dislocate his joints. Well, thank heaven for small favors, Liz had thought somewhat darkly.

Kurt had been particularly mortified to learn the extent of Kiro's abuse. He had suffered somewhat similarly under Klaus, but never for such a duration. Perhaps due to Klaus's age, he had only ever abused Kurt long enough to satisfy his urges once per 'session,' and then yelled at the boy to go away and "pray for forgiveness." But Kiro had had nowhere to go, and Lance might as well have been a kid playing with their favorite videogame console, for all the relish he took to it with. It made Kurt hate him even more, and he had had to get up and pace around the study to calm down, muttering soft curses in German until Liz had asked him, gently, to stop after a few moments.

It was almost a mercy that Kiro had had his ears plugged and his eyes blindfolded, for he could remember only scattered things that Lance had called him, and usually only when he yelled at him. It was part of the way Kiro had been able to identify Lance as his tormentor, as well as his scent and the particular way that he was touched. Kiro had quite a memory for touch, which Liz found interesting, and wondered if he experienced pleasure when people touched him, or some other feeling, like what others experienced when they were touched by him in turn.

Once Kiro had recovered from his tears, and Kurt gently released him from a hug to once again sit beside him, Liz nodded and spoke, "Kiro, do you blame yourself?" It was a simple question, without the detailed follow up questions she would normally include. She had learned to modify her questions with Kiro.

Kiro's eyes were downcast, still wet with tears, as he nodded softly. Beside him, Kurt started to say something, but Liz gently raised a hand to pause him, as she continued. "For what, Kiro? Do you think it was your fault that Lance attacked you? That you deserved it, somehow?" She asked, her eyes resting carefully on Kiro's face. Despite his ability to only answer mostly in yes/no format, she knew there were often little clues and tells in his face and eyes, especially, as that was how he primarily communicated with people.

Kiro thought for a moment, and then raised a hand to wiggle it in the "sort of" gesture. He then held up three fingers. Liz nodded. He was answering her third question. She made a note in her notebook, and then continued, gently prodding him, "There's something else, then? You blame yourself, you said."

Kiro's breath had quickened slightly, and his hands were shaking in his lap. He was carefully avoiding looking into her eyes, or Kurt's. Liz could tell they were getting closer to one of his major issues, a particular wound caused by this incident. All they had to do was identify it somehow, shine a light on it, so that Kiro, most of all, became aware of this guilt he had internalized. But what was it's cause..?

Kiro finally looked up at her, and pointed at himself, then at Kurt, then held up his thumb and forefinger in a "C," and pointed at Liz.. then made a sweeping gesture across the whole room, before pointing back at himself. Liz furrowed a brow, thinking for a moment. Though it was Kurt who spoke, "Oh.. mein engel.. you.. you think this is all your fault somehow? All this pain, for everyone..?" Kurt asked, his voice soft, and gentle. Kiro nodded, and pointed at Kurt once again, before he mimed as though holding someone down and striking them repeatedly with something. Perhaps stabbing them?

Either way, the meaning was clear. When Kurt had attacked, and nearly killed Lance. Kiro felt responsible for causing it.

Kiro then gently reached over, and touched Kurt's chest. No, not his chest. The simple wooden rosary he wore. He then burst into tears again, and slid off the loveseat to kneel at Kurt's side, hugging him, even as he seemed to be doing a gesture of supplication, or perhaps apology. Liz shook her head and said quietly, "Kiro.."

Kurt gently reached down to stroke Kiro's hair, and whispered, his own voice shakey from the tears that were leaking from his eyes. "Beloved, mein engel.. my dearest.. this is NOT your fault. It isn't!" He said, and gently drew Kiro back up onto the loveseat to hug him tightly. "It's not your fault," he repeated.

Liz nodded as well, making some more notes in her book, before saying, "Kurt is right, Kiro. No matter how much it might seem like your fault, to you, you must understand. Lance was a wicked person, who targeted you, and preyed upon you. You had no way of knowing what he had planned, let alone any way of escaping or fighting back, in the condition you were in," she said.

Kiro shook his head at her words, and pointed at himself once more. Liz sighed and stood from her chair, setting her notebook down, before stepping over and resting a hand on Kiro's shoulder. "Kiro, please, look at me," she said softly, and reached over to gently cup his chin and lift his head. The boy's eyes held such pain, such grief. That was perhaps the worst part of it all. This was what he feared most. Hurting others. Whether through violence, or through his actions some other way, causing anyone pain. Perhaps because of his monastic upbringing, or just from his gentle nature, it seemed that knowing he had even had a tangential role in causing someone sorrow, grief, pain, or anything of the sort, hurt him deeper than most.

"Listen, Kiro. This was not your fault. Kurt, the professor, Logan, Hank, Ororo.. everyone here at the Institute, all worried about you, grieved for you, because they LOVE you. Kurt especially. It was because of that love that he reacted the way he did, not because of anything wrong that you did," Liz said, watching Kiro's face carefully to read his reaction. His violet eyes, so lovely even now, were quite expressive. Grief, regret, shame, and worry. But as she spoke, they changed. Sadness.

"Kiro, you love everyone so much," Kurt said, and hugged Kiro once again as they sat together, "And I know you don't ever want to hurt anyone. That's why you hurt so much, now, ja? You think you hurt us.. because of this?" Kurt asked. Liz found herself smiling at Kurt's perceptiveness. She quietly went back over to her chair and sat down, while seeing Kiro nod out of the corner of her eye.

"Kiro, from what I've heard about your upbringing, you've been raised in a rather disciplined environment, where personal honor, respect, and commitment are prized," Liz observed. Kiro nodded, and Kurt beside him smiled, "Well, you don't get more disciplined than a monastery, ja? And the Sisters were all so nice, and seemed to respect all life very much. I think that was also where mein engel grew to treasure peace and non violence so much," he said. Kiro, beside him, nodded with a shy smile as a hand brushed his hair back from his shoulder. It was rather long, adding to his exotic beauty. Liz couldn't help but wonder what it must be like, not only being a mutant, but also an albino, and a mute. In many ways, she was surprised at how gentle, kind, and respectful the boy had grown to be. Perhaps growing up among a group of nuns was the best thing that could have happened to him, after losing his parents. Or perhaps being abandoned by them. Liz hated to think of anyone abandoning such a child.

"All very noble aspirations, Kiro, and I respect you for keeping to them," she said, her voice filled with genuine admiration. After writing something else in her notes, she nodded, "But I do feel the need to reiterate what we said before: you, just like Kurt, must stop blaming yourself for things that aren't your fault. In many ways, your similarities also extend to your problems, and the solutions are the same for both," Liz said with a soft smile and a shrug. Kurt sighed, though he was smiling as well, and his tail slipped up to playfully tickle Kiro's side as he said, "Quite a messed up pair we are, ja?" Kiro squirmed on the couch, apparently quite ticklish, though maybe it also had to do with his abuse, despite the smile on his face.

Kiro then giggled silently and paid Kurt back when he gave Kurt's tailtip a slow stroke through his fingers, and Kurt's expression immediately faltered as he gasped, and shivered, and then bit back a moan, "Mmff, ok, mein engel! I apologize! Please.. don't.. that's embarassing.." He said, his voice tinged with.. arousal? 'Oh dear, he must be blushing so hard beneath that fur!' Liz thought with a soft chuckle.

"It seems that tail of yours is quite sensitive, Kurt?" Liz observed, trying and failing to conceal a smile behind her hand at the boys teasing one another. Good heavens, if she didn't know better, she'd swear that poor Kurt had just been groped right there in front of her. Payback could indeed be a bitch, sometimes! Catching Kiro's eye, she exchanged a wink, before politely looking back down at her notebook while Kurt composed himself. Given Kiro's powers causing such pleasure from his touch, she found herself wondering, off handedly, what would have become of the boy if the nuns hadn't taken him in. She shivered at the thought of him perhaps being enslaved in the sex-trafficking trade, particularly prominent in eastern Europe, for example.

"Ja, it is.. Kiro does not tease me too often, but I guess I had that coming, ja?" He confessed, and gave Kiro an apologetic hug. Kiro returned it by leaning up and gently kissing Kurt's cheek in return. They did look quite comfortable together, today! That reminded Liz..

"Kurt, Kiro, that reminds me. How did things go this weekend?" She asked with a pleasant smile. She did not elaborate, but then, she didn't need to. Both boys immediately smiled, and Kurt nodded before answering, "They went very well, Liz. We, um, we were intimate on Saturday evening." Beside him, Kiro sought his hand and gave it a gentle squeeze, one that Kurt returned.

Liz nodded as well, clearly happy to hear the news, and made a note in her book before asking, "Only Saturday evening?" The two boys nodded in answer, and she made another note before nodding as well, "Taking it slow, still, that's good," she said with a smile. "And, you'll forgive me for asking for details, but, how was it? Any.. difficulties?" She asked, and chuckled softly as Kurt's tail twitched beside him, clearly still rather embarassed. "Um, thank you for phrasing it so politely," Kurt said, only a touch of sarcasm to his voice.

"It's what you're here for, Kurt, both of you," Liz reminded him with with a wry grin, and beside Kurt, Kiro gently nudged him with an encouraging smile. "Oh Gott, those puppy eyes again, okay, okay, mein engel, I'll tell her," he said softly, and realized, with a warmth in his chest, that the two of them really did sound like a couple. Kurt's expression became more serious, however, as he said, "It, um, well it wasn't easy. Kiro almost broke down at the start. He flinched at my touch, and cried, but.. still wanted to continue, except I knew it just wasn't working, right then. If we kept going, he would probably have another panic attack."

Kiro nodded at Kurt's words, his own expression a bit more difficult to read. Almost apologetic? Liz just nodded silently for Kurt to continue. "Well, um, so we stopped, then, and I had an idea," Kurt continued. He then explained how he and Kiro had gone into the shower, and taken turns washing one another. Slowly, gently, and intimately. Almost like a baptism from one lover to another. It seemed a fairly simple thing to do, he admitted, but then he related the time they had made love, at the river clearing in the woods weeks ago. The place where they had first kissed, a special place that they still liked to visit regularly. And then how they had washed one another in the river, almost like a baptism, beneath the moon and stars.

Liz admitted that it did seem rather romantic, and she might have been envious if it weren't for one little detail... "You said that was just a few weeks ago. Wasn't that water freezing cold?" She asked, almost incredulous. At this, Kurt and Kiro both blushed, and nodded. And Kurt then bashfully admitted, "Ja, um, well, not exactly the smartest thing we have ever done."

They then laughed, genuine laughter, for the first time the entire session. Kiro giggled silently as well, before hugging Kurt tightly against him. Once they had recovered, and Liz took a sip of her tea, she nodded for them to continue.

"Well, so, we decided to.. wash away the filth of what had been done to us. Even if it takes many more times, ja?" Kurt said with a smile, and Liz nodded, smiling as well, though she pointed out, "I would hardly consider either of you 'filthy,' Kurt. Though I do understand the symbolism," she said, looking upon them both warmly. Kurt found himself grinning at her words, and Kiro, beside him, favored her with a bright smile, violet eyes glowing softly in the light of the late afternoon sun through the window nearby.

"It seemed to help a great deal. Then we, um, went to the bed, and.." Kurt shifted, blushing beneath his fur again to the point where he could swear he must have looked purple. "Well, um, we got serious," he began, and Liz chuckled softly before politely interrupting him with some encouragement, "Kurt, we're all adults here. Well, you two will be soon enough, and we all know what sex is. You don't need to give me every detail, but you don't have to shy away from it like we're out in public talking into a megaphone."

That image was so hilarious that Kurt broke down into giggles again, even as Kiro blinked in confusion and mouthed the word 'megaphone?' Liz gave him a patient nod and said, "It's a machine that makes your voice louder, Kiro, so that people can hear you from a great distance." Kiro blinked, and then blushed visibly at the idea of talking about, well, THIS, with a device like that.

Kurt, however, had recovered, and nodded, "Ja, okay, okay, you wicked woman," he said with a playful grin. "Umm, ja, well, we went onto the bed, and we kissed, and decided to, um, move things along. I was ready for Kiro to take the lead, and expected him to, but Kiro decided to, um, ride me, instead," he explained, still clearly blushing from the tone in his voice. Kiro, beside him, leaned against Kurt and rested his head on the other boy's shoulder in encouragement.

Liz was smiling, though, as though Kurt had just said something very important. At his questioning look, she explained, "Best of both worlds, Kurt. In a position like that, Kiro was still a bottom, but had complete control." Kurt paused, as though just realizing that, and nodded with understanding, while Kiro blinked as well, perhaps surprised he had done something right, in that regard, without consciously thinking about it. "I found similar success, when my wounds were still raw," she admitted.

"Well, it still wasn't easy," Kurt confessed, and rubbed his cheek against Kurt's head on his shoulder as he continued, "Kiro had to stop a few times, and he.. cried the whole time. But I kept encouraging him, and he was determined. We, we wanted to take it back. Not let them win." Kurt found himself smiling a bit at how silly the lines must have sounded, essentially summarizing what he had told Kiro. But Liz's expression was quite touched, and she nodded for him to continue.

"Kiro kept going. Mein engel did not stop," he said with a touch of pride and admiration in his voice, and smiled warmly as he concluded, "Um, we finished together, and it was.. wunderbar." Beside him, Kiro's arms slipped around Kurt and hugged him tighter, and Kurt could feel a telltale wetness on his shoulder. He hadn't realized that he, too, was a bit misty-eyed, just relating the story of how they had won their small victory last night. "So then we snuggled for a while, then we cleaned up, and went right to sleep. No nightmares, for the first time in days," Kurt finally said.

"Well, that is outstanding, Kurt. Kiro. I'm very proud of you both. It may seem like such a small victory, but it tends to have a ripple effect that grows stronger, with each step you take back towards a healthy relationship with one another," Liz said, regarding the two of them with an impressed gaze. "I have to say, I have only known two other couples that were in a similar situation and able to be intimate again in such a comparatively short time. I think it is a very, very good sign for your recovery," she explained, and no sooner had she finished than the grandfather clock beside them chimed the hour.

Liz decided that that was quite a good note to end their session on, and the three of them rose and tidied up the study once more. Given that the dance was on Friday evening, she left it up to Kiro and Kurt to decide whether or not they would like their session rescheduled for that day, or to just skip it and see her again on Monday. Kurt, feeling "cautiously optimistic," as he put it, decided to simply cancel Friday's session, though he assured Liz that they would call if there were any problems.

"Hopefully, though," Kurt had said as they left the study, "It will just be a wonderful evening," he wished with a bright smile, and gently knocked on the wooden door behind them to ward off a potential jinx. Liz agreed with a chuckle, and gave her wish for the two of them to have a wonderful evening as well, and she insisted on seeing pictures of them all dressed up at the dance.

Thus agreed, and fond farewells exchanged, Kurt and Kiro made their way to the rec room to relax until dinner, and Liz departed the Institute in high spirits.

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