Mixed Feelings

BY : Panduki
Category: X-Men - Animated Series (all) > Slash - Male/Male
Dragon prints: 827
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! This will be a fairly long chapter, with lots of ups and downs, but that's been this whole story so far, yes?


It was already almost 10 AM, Saturday morning, and Rogue was still in her nightclothes. She hadn't planned anything for the weekend and had nowhere to be. As far as she was concerned, she as just going to spend the whole weekend relaxing. Maybe catch up on some reading.

Seeing Kurt and Kiro was.. well.. she had to admit: cute, and hot. It was weird to think of her adoptive brother that way, but who could blame her? Mostly what she felt though was relief, and maybe a touch of envy. Kurt had finally found someone, it seemed. She thought the same thing about Amanda, part of her warned, but at this point, she didn't care: Any chance Kurt had to be happy, and find love, she wanted him to have it, and grab on with both hands, and hold on tight.

'They sure were holdin' on tight last night,' She thought with a naughty smirk. Granted, she had only seen them making out in the garage, but she had found herself hoping they continued things along in their room later on. They certainly were making bedroom eyes at eachother on the walk up the stairs.

Wait a second. It was almost 10 AM, and she hadn't seen hide nor hair from either of them, not even in the kitchen. Kiro, she could probably understand, especially if he was still having trouble sleeping. But Kurt? His belly button would feel like it was rubbin' a blister on his backbone by now. Why wasn't he wolfing down breakfast yet?

"Hay, have you guys seen Kurt or Kiro this mornin'?" Rogue asked as she strolled into the rec room and flopped onto her usual spot, the recliner. "Didn't see either of 'em at breakfast. And you know how Kurt is."

Besides Rogue, there was only Scott (of course), Jean, Jamie and Rahne in the rec room. Others were up and about, she knew, she had heard there was some kind of trip into town planned for earlier this morning to hit the zoo, but only a few had volunteered to go.

Scott shook his head, "No. I'm kinda surprised, too. That's not like him. Jean?" He asked, glancing over beside him. Scott was dressed for the day, already, in his usual jeans and a button down shirt. So was Jean, in jeans and a t-shirt from the soccer team. Jean shook her head, "Come to think of it, I haven't seen either Kurt or Kiro at all this morning," she pondered. "Lemme do a quick check." She pressed her fingers to her forehead, and focused.

Only a couple seconds later, she opened her eyes and cleared her throat, a subtle tinge of color on her cheeks, "Um, they're fine. They're up in Kurt's room. Uh, Kurt and Kiro's room."

"Jean?" Scott asked, concerned, "You ok?"

Jean nodded, a little too quickly, "I'm fine, Scott. I just, um, always feel a bit like a peeping Tom when I do that, you know?"

"Oh," Scott said with a nod, his expression somewhat chastened. "Ah, yeah, sorry. Hope neither of 'em sleep naked." He cringed, and stood up to wander to the kitchen for a drink.

Rogue caught Jean's gaze, and found herself grinning, and she could only imagine what Jean had 'seen.'

'Way to go, bro!'

Despite her embarassment, realization had dawned on Jean's face, and she found herself smiling as well. It seemed her earlier suspicions were correct.

"Mornin'," Kitty mumbled as she wandered into the rec room, hiding a yawn behind her hand before she sank down onto the bean bag chair she usually haunted. Rogue and Jean were still grinning at one another, and Kitty blinked. "What's going on?"

Jean just shook her head, and Rogue cleared her throat, "We were just making a bet on how bad Kiro's nightmares would be after that zombie movie las' night," she lied, though her smile was genuine, and there was a definite kernel of truth to her statement. She and Jean had, in fact, made a bet as to whether the poor boy would have nightmares.

"Oh god, I hope not. I hate the thought of Kiki crying," Kitty mumbled, leaning back against the wall and then blinking up at the clock. "Wait.. you don't know yet? They still aren't up? When did they get in last night?"

Rogue just chuckled.

------

The sunlight was almost painful on Kurt's face as he groaned and shuffled forward a bit. He then immediately got a face full of hair for his trouble as he pressed into Kiro's back. Wait, Kiro's back??

Kurt's eyes shot open.

Oh god.

They were naked, both naked, and in his bed. Kiro curled up in front of him, and Kurt spooned against his back.

His momentary panic lasted only as long as it took for the memories of last night to come flooding back, along with the shiver of remembered pleasure as well as the warmth and renewed pleasure from touching Kiro once again. He was like the perfect, angelic teddy bear. A cuddle partner who always filled you with bliss.

They had made love. Him and Kiro. Him and another boy. They had taken turns sharing and exploring one another's bodies. Kurt realized, with a grin, that he wasn't even sore downstairs. Kiro's healing ability from his touch had left them both as rejuvenated and healthy as they could possibly be. Even though they had spent most of last night engaged in the deepest, most desperate acts of carnal passion that Kurt had only ever before experienced in his steamiest dreams. At least as far as he knew, anyway. Something in the back of his mind once again seemed to pester him, but he pushed it aside as other, much more recent memories came to the forefront.

Those memories, and images, came back to him now....

Kurt crouched above Kiro, hands on Kiro's chest, Kiro's gentle touch on his hips, guiding him as Kurt felt Kiro's impressive member slide beneath his tail and fill him up from below...

Sitting on the bedside with Kiro kneeling on the carpet, his head in Kurt's lap and his hair spilling across Kurt's thighs and calves, bobbing his head on Kurt's member and suckling every last drop of hot seed right out of him, as Kurt groaned and flexed his hips, feeling his eyes roll black from the ecstacy..

Kurt pressed against the headboard, on his hands and knees, with Kiro behind him and mounting him just like Kurt had their first time, Kurt's tail jammed inside of Kiro from behind and urging him on as Kiro pounded into him and came with a silent cry. Kurt could -feel- every pulse of his orgasm as he felt a flood of warmth inside of him, and the feeling alone was enough to make him cry out and splatter his pleasure all over the towel beneath him.

...

Memory after memory. It had been almost 4 AM when they finally collapsed into the bed. Neither of them even bothering to wash up, for sheer exhaustion.

Kurt was regretting it now. "Ohh Gott.." He groaned, at the sticky, matted mess that was his fur. Dried cum, all over him. And all over Kiro. They had gotten most of it with the towel while it was still wet (he blushed at the thought), but it wasn't perfect.

And yet, despite it all.. he felt..

"Wunderbar."

Kurt whispered with a grin. He felt perfect.

All was right with the world.

Was this ecstacy? Like St. Francis when he wandered the wilds?

Even as he contemplated this, shifting over to lay on his back, he felt Kiro snuggle up to his chest and rest his head on his shoulder. Kurt blushed as he stroked a hand through Kiro's hair, uncertain if the boy was awake or not.

Frankly, he found himself relieved that Kiro was still here in bed with him. He wasn't sure how he would have reacted if he awoke, after all that, to find the other boy gone once again and wandering the halls, or off hiding somewhere.

That was when Kurt realized that Kiro was indeed awake, and a pair of violet eyes was gazing up at him, with a gentle smile on his face.

"Guten morgen, mein engel," Kurt whispered.

Kiro smiled brightly, clearly understanding. He then leaned up to gently beckon Kurt into a kiss, which Kurt accepted.

The pleasure was immediate, and both of them were soon fully, almost painfully erect. "Ohh Gott, I could get used to this every morning," Kurt sheepishly confessed. Kiro grinned with a playful gleam in those violet eyes, and Kurt realized he had the bottle of lube in one of his hands.

"Well," Kurt said with a toothy grin of his own, and shrugged, "We're already filthy. Can't get any worse, before we clean up..."


------


It was almost noon by the time Kurt and Kiro finally trudged downstairs. Both were squeaky clean, bright eyed, and (in Kurt's case) bushy-tailed from a very thorough session in the shower.

It was a new kind of intimacy, sharing the shower of their little en suite bathroom. As small as both of them were, there was just enough room for the two of them together. After they had made love in the bed one more time, they had gone into the bathroom hand-in-hand. There, they had taken turns scrubbing each other's bodies clean of the evidence of last night's pleasures. Soap, shampoo, and a gentle lover's touch, did wonders for all of it. Finally, beneath the water that had slowly started to run cool, they had kissed, and then held one another.

Behind the doors of their room, at least, they could be free with their love and affection. Kurt would take all he could get. At least until he felt confident enough to be open about it outside.

Kurt knew that Kiro had not fully understood, until last night in the movie theater parking lot, why such secrecy was sometimes necessary. It was no different than the members of the Institute having to keep their mutant powers, and their careers as the x-men, secret. It was simply a matter of survival.

But Kurt had slowly begun to ponder whether such secrecy was necessary here at the Institute, at least. Roberto had surprised him last night with his apology. It had certainly seemed heartfelt, and genuine. And even Sam, Ray, and Bobby had echoed his words. Maybe there was hope, yet.

Kurt jumped when he felt Kiro's hand on his arm, a concerned look up at him. He realized he had been standing on the stairs, lost in thought. He grinned, "Sorry, mein engel," he murmured quietly, "Let's get some breakfast, ja?"

Kurt's stomach growled, and Kiro silently giggled as well, nodding.

"Bro! There you are," Rogue said from the kitchen table as her wayward brother and Kiro finally appeared. Kitty was sitting beside her, tapping at a laptop with a small plate of sandwiches beside her. Scott and Jean were over at the counter, busy making some more sandwiches.

"We were starting to wonder whether or not to send up a search party," Scott teased, before he grinned and asked with a sincere note of concern, "You ok? Guess you must have crashed pretty hard last night."

Kurt blushed beneath his fur as he went over to the refrigerator to grab some drinks for himself and Kiro, "Ja, I don't think we got to sleep until pretty late."

Kitty raised a brow with a confused look, mouthing, 'we?' towards Jean, who just shook her head with a grin.

"Oh ya, that zombie movie?" Rogue proffered, passing Kurt a stealthy wink, which he gratefully returned.

"Ja, Kiro was a bit more scared than I realized."

"Aww, ohh man," Kitty said with a pitying look, "Kurt, I knew you shouldn't've thrown the full book at him at first! You didn't have nightmares, did you, Kiki?" She asked, her voice full of concern.

Kiro blushed bright red, and shook his head.

Kitty, however, seemed to take it in stride, "Well that's good at least! Maybe you got it out of your system before you slept," she said as she turned her attention back to the laptop in front of her.

Kurt couldn't help but notice the look Jean was giving him, and he felt his pulse quicken a bit. She knew. He wasn't sure how, but she knew. She nodded softly, and he felt his heart drop, but she was suddenly there in his mind, 'I'm sorry, Kurt. We were worried about you this morning, so Scott had me check to see if you were in your room. I, um, saw you two sleeping. But that's all. Your secret is safe with me.'

Her tone was so gentle, and her expression so earnest, that Kurt couldn't help but smile. He nodded, 'Thank you, Jean. I'm sorry for being so secretive, but, you understand,' he responded mentally, an image of Roberto passing across their link. Jean just nodded in return, her expression shifting back to a pleasant smile as Scott turned to face her.

"Okay! Bacon, lettuce and tomato! Kurt, did you and.. Kiki.. want any?" Scott asked with an awkward smile. "Sorry, Kiro, that just still feels weird to say." Kiro flashed Scott a thumbs up up forgiveness.

"Oh! BLT? Ja! Ja!!" Kurt perked up, passing Kiro a can of soda while popping one open for himself. "Kiro, you have to try it! It's an American original! So tasty!"

Kiro certainly seemed interested, though Kitty wrinkled her nose, "I dunno how you boys can like, glorify that stuff," she complained.

"Katzschen, this is one of the few times I pity you for being Jewish," Kurt said, earnestly. "For you will never experience the simple, wonderful pleasure that is: Bacon."

Around the table, everyone, even Kitty, laughed.

"Well, you all certainly sound rather chipper this mornin'." Logan grunted as he stepped inside from the garage, wiping grease off his hands. He had perhaps been working on his bike, or one of the school's vehicles.

"So do you, Herr Logan. What, did you run over a small child or something?" Kurt teased, only to be socked in the face with Logan's grease rag, "ACK!"

"Sorry, elf, my hand slipped," Logan bantered, and another round of laughter filled the kitchen. "Good to see you two back among the living," He observed, washing his hands in the sink, "Was about afraid you two would never get to sleep last night."

Kurt almost gagged on his drink, Kiro sat bolt upright, and Jean coughed, while Rogue just blushed.

The tension lasted a few seconds, before Kitty innocently broke it, "Hey, Logan, he was just scared because of the zombie movie, y'know?"

Rogue, despite herself, nodded.

Scott, distracted as he cooked more bacon for the sandwiches, chuckled, "Kurt, your penchant for horror movies is almost as dangerous as your lead foot," he remarked.

"Hey! I will have you know I did not go a mile over the speed limit last night!" Kurt said indignantly, still coughing a bit from Logan's little remark.

"Okay, I admit, coming from you: That's impressive," Scott conceded. Looking over at Logan, he asked, "Logan? Did you want any BLT?"

Logan smirked, "Music to my ears, Cyke. Just be sure our wayward demon and angel have enough to eat, too."

Demon and angel. Angel. Oh gott. Logan had definitely heard them.

Kurt looked down at the table, willing his heart to calm down. He wasn't afraid, not of Logan. He knew better than anyone that Logan was on 'their' side. But by God was it embarassing!

"Hey, Angel. That's a nice nickname for him, don't you think, Logan?" Kitty asked, beaming a smile at Kiro. "I mean, he's definitely pretty enough to be one," she observed, causing poor Kiro to blush all over again and duck his gaze.

"Can't argue with ya there, Half-Pint. But that name's already taken, remember?" Logan corrected her, reminding them of the vigilante they had encountered a couple of times now.

"Ohh, right. Man, well there goes that idea." Kitty murmured, returning to whatever she was typing on her computer.

Beneath the table, Kurt felt Kiro's hand seek his, and he squeezed gently, smiling. 'You will always be -my- Angel, though..'

Logan politely coughed as he pulled up a chair beside them, and the two boys released their hands as Scott walked over with a pair of plates, each laden with several of his bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwiches. "Alright, Kurt, Kiro, here you go. Logan, I'll have a few coming up for you in just a minute," Scott said, wandering back over to the stove.

Jean smirked, "Well look at the bright side, Scott. If M.I.T. doesn't work out, you could definitely make it as a short-order cook."

Scott snorted, and Rogue laughed, before she blinked, and then leaned over to peer at Kitty's screen, "Oh mah gawd, is that a .. fanfic?"

Kitty squealed and swung her laptop closed, "Rogue!! Oh jeeze, like, no!! Umm.."

Everyone in the kitchen was looking at her.

Logan and Kiro just looked confused.

Logan spoke first, "... fanfic?"

"Umm, never mind!" Kitty said before she rather hastily left the kitchen, her face burning as pink as her shirt.

Logan shook his head, "Kids." He then blinked, and looked at Kurt and Kiro. "Huh, you trying a new shampoo?"

Kurt paused, just about to take a bite from his second sandwich, and replied meekly, "Ah, maybe?"

Logan smirked, "Keep using it, then. Smells good on ya."

Blushing brightly, Kurt averted his gaze. Somehow, he got the distinct impression that it was Logan's way of congratulating him about last night.

Rogue caught Kurt's eyes, and she nodded towards Kiro, a brow raised inquisitively.

Kurt felt his cheeks growing hot, and he smiled, despite his pounding heart, nodding.

Rogue looked as happy as anyone had ever seen her, and she flashed him a thumbs up.

Logan watched the exchange, and grinned when Kiro seemed to realize what they were 'talking' about, the poor boy blushing so hard that he almost looked like he was about to faint.

"Relax, Ghost. It's a good thing. Trust me."

Their conversation took a more normal tone when Scott returned with more sandwiches, and Rogue and Jean began to talk with Kiro about plans to take him clothes shopping later that day.

Logan just smirked after swallowing a bite of his sandwich, "Well alright, ladies, but if you're gonna put him in another dress, at least try to use some finesse with the make-up."

Scott, at the stove, almost burned himself with bacon grease when he heard that, "What?!"

Rogue sighed, "It's, ah, a long story, Scott.."

Scott cringed, "You mean you actually did that..?"

Beside him, Jean coughed and turned away.

"I don't believe you guys..." Scott groaned.

------

Kitty had rejoined them by 1 PM, and after a half-hearted slap at Rogue for outing her fanfic-writing habits, she was happily joining the huddle at the table to talk about where to take Kiro shopping for a wardrobe.

He had a few sets of clothes already, of course, mostly courtesy of Logan, the Professor, and Ororo, but they agreed that it was best to give him the opportunity to pick out some things for himself.

It was then that Jamie came bounding into the kitchen, soon followed by a few more Jamies, each with a small pile of parcels in their arms. "Mail call!" They all said at once, and hurried over to the "mail table" to start sorting things out. Various letters, packages, and parcels were quickly sorted, just in time for the Jamie copies to blip out of existence, and the group at the table were surprised when Jamie said, "Hey, um, I can't read this one. Can any of you?" He asked as he held up a thick, padded envelope, a large customs form on it. Logan's keen eyes narrowed, and even from across the room, he said, "Romania."

Kurt *bamf!*ed over to Jamie to accept the envelope with a quick thanks, and then *bamf!*ed back over to his chair, causing the girls and Kiro to cough for a few seconds in the double dose of sulphur smoke, "Ack! Kurt!" Kitty complained. While the Jamies trotted upstairs to perhaps deliver some mail to Rahne.

"Sorry, Katzschen!" Kurt said, before he proffered the envelope to Kiro, "Maybe it's for you?"

Sure enough, Kiro's eyes lit up at the writing on the package. He nodded. It was definitely a language he could read. And it must have come from the abbey.

"Hay, y'all, how about we take this discussion out into the garage for a few?" Rogue asked, pointedly, and with a nodded agreement from the other girls, she, Kitty, and Jean stepped outside, leaving Scott at the sink to continue washing dishes and Logan, Kurt, and Kiro at the table.

Kiro's hands were trembling slightly as he opened the envelope, and within was a neatly folded packet of letters, along with a small, cloth pouch.

The letters were written in Romanian, so Kurt had no idea what they said. Kiro's expression was unclear as his violet eyes began to read, and when Logan's hand fell on Kurt's shoulder, the fuzzy elf blinked and looked up at Logan as the man nodded towards the garage, a similar expression on his face to the one Rogue had had just a moment ago. Feeling a bit ashamed of his curiousity, Kurt nodded mutely and slipped out of the chair, giving Kiro a gentle squeeze on the shoulder, and stepped out into the garage where the girls stood in a small semi-circle behind Scott's car, Jean leaning against the trunk. They were already in the midst of continuing their planning, from the sound of it.

"Well, I mean, it's not like he needs some big, fancy designer store stuff, right? He definitely seems like the more earthy, casual type of guy!" Kitty brainstormed.

"True, but that doesn't mean he can't dress up once in a while?" Jean added, "I'm sure we can at least take him over to Don Savino's and get him a nice suit and tie?"

Rogue cringed, "Oh gawd.. him in a suit? He'll have girls faintin' left, right, and center!"

The three of them were already laughing as Kurt joined them, and Logan went back over to one of the school vans that had its hood up, perhaps the one he had been working on earlier.

"Oh hay bro, how's Kiro doin'?" She asked.

Kurt shrugged, looking a bit sheepish, "I'm not sure, sis. We thought it'd be best to do the same thing you did. Let him have some privacy and catch up on things, ja?"

The girls all nodded. Then Kitty said conspiratorily, "Well then you can help us plan, Kurt! How does a trip to Layla's Boutique sound?"

Kurt looked at her incredulously, "Vas?? Katzschen.. How do you even KNOW about that place?!" He asked.

That wasn't so much a clothing store as it was a costume shop. An.. ADULT.. costume shop.

"Oh mah GAWD, bro, if you could see your face right now," Rogue drawled, and soon all three girls were laughing all over again. "Gee, Kurt, how do YOU know about that place, hmm?" Kitty shot back at him in between giggles.

Realizing the joke, Kurt smacked his forehead and just grinned, "You girls are terrible. I love you so much."

----

Scott, still at the counter to wash the dishes from their brunch, hadn't realized that everyone else had gone outside until he finished putting the last plate in the drying rack and looked over his shoulder.

Nobody else was at the table except Kiro, hunched over and reading a letter, another stack in front of him, face down. It seemed this was the last one.

Then Scott noticed that Kiro had tears in his eyes.

"Kiro..? Hey, you alright?" Scott asked, and Kiro looked up, his gaze distant, until it came back into focus on Scott. He blinked, almost as though not recognizing him at first, and then seemed to realize his emotional state. Taking a breath, the boy quickly wiped at his eyes and tried to smile, but couldn't. There were just more tears.

Scott felt his heart twist a bit. It seemed that Kurt wasn't the only one who tried to hide his feelings behind a smile. His attention was soon caught by a familiar voice entering the kitchen, however.

"It's alright, Scott.. why don't you go check on Jean and the rest?" The professor had joined them in the kitchen, his wheelchair soft on the tile floor as he came over to stop near Kiro's chair.

Recognizing the command behind the professor's words, Scott nodded, flashing Kiro a look of support, before he wiped his hands on his jeans and stepped out the door, shutting it softly behind him.

The professor looked Kiro over, about to say something more, and Charles felt his heart sink when the boy immediately slipped out of the chair to kneel at the professor's side, right on the tile floor, resting his head on Charle's arm, and crying with soft breaths. At the boy's touch, Charles felt his mind, and his breath slowed at the knowledge that flowed from Kiro to him.

It hadn't exactly been bad news, but it had affected him deeply all the same.

The sisters all missed him. They had grown to love having their "little angel" with them, and when he had left, they had all taken it pretty hard. The mother superior had assured them he was well, and that the professor would take the utmost care of him, but much like the mother who finally had to say goodbye to her children as they moved away to go to college, or the father who watched his son go off to make his fortune in the world, it was still a loss, and it hurt deeply.

The fighting in the countryside had been swift, but deadly. Thomas, the man they had sent on horseback to request help, had been shot and killed on his way to nearby Sighisoara, and his widow had died seemingly of a broken heart shortly after getting the news. Mother Agatha had presided over their twin burial in the abbey's cemetery, a lovely, but sad ceremony for two dear friends of the whole village.

The soldiers had kept Viscri safe from further tragedy, thankfully, and the children had returned to the town over the weeks. All was well otherwise.

Each one of the sisters had sent him a personal letter, all wishing him well, urging him to remember them in his prayers, as they would all remember him, and sharing memories of their brief lives together over the years at the monastery, as he had grown from a child to a young man before their eyes, a young man as beautiful and gentle as an angel. Their silent angel.

The one from Mother Agatha hurt the most. She had indeed been like a mother to him, like all of them had, but her most of all. It was she who had found him on the doorstep, bathed him and clothed him, welcomed him into their monastery and taught him his lessons. It was she who had personally taught him to read, using the very bible that he kept now in the room he shared with Kurt, taught him about life, and her travels around the world.

"... And now, my little angel, my Kiro, you go to travel the world as well. Take that love that you so graciously gave to all of us and give it to everyone you see. The gift that the good Lord has blessed you with, and use it to bring hope, love, laughter to all who see you. I have enclosed something we have made for you. A cross much like mine. Sister Bear-gita picked the wood, and each sister blessed it at our mass this morning. Elder Beniamin preserved it with special oils so that it will be safe from nature's ravages, and I want you to wear it always, and remember us. Wear it, and feel the love we will always have for you, my child.

Please write to us when you can, as often as you can, and know that wherever you are, we are with you always.

With deepest love, your's in the Holy Mother's and His name,

Mother Agatha,"

All of this flowed into Charle's mind as his mind touched Kiro's, across their link. Charles hadn't even realized that he, too, had tears in his eyes until one of them fell.

"Oh my goodness.. such love, and such devotion. It warms my heart to know they care so much for you, Kiro," the professor said softly, his hand resting on Kiro's head. Off to the side, he saw Hank standing at the door, a concerned look on his face. The professor just smiled and sent him a quick message, 'Letters from the sisters, Hank. They miss him terribly, and the feeling is mutual.'

The Beast nodded with a sad, understanding smile, and stepped back into the hall to leave them in privacy.

-----

"I'm not sure, to be honest," Scott said, torn between telling them about the tears he had seen on Kiro's face and between respecting the boy's privacy. "But don't worry," he added, when it seemed like Kurt and Rogue were about to go back inside to check on him, "The professor's with him. I'm sure if there are any problems, he's in good hands," Scott said.

The others nodded, though they still seemed worried and kept giving occasional glances to the kitchen door, even as they continued to plan out the afternoon.

"Well, alright, let's go over what we have so far," Jean suggested. "We definitely want to get him some school clothes. Good, all around stuff. More jeans, maybe some cargo pants, yes?"

Kurt nodded. "He doesn't exactly strike me as the.. athletic type.. but he does like going for hikes and running around on the trails," he added, with a smile, remembering some of their walks.

".. among other things.." Rogue whispered with a grin, just barely loud enough for Kurt to hear. His tail gave her a secretive swat on the leg.

Jean nodded, apparently missing the little exchange, "Right, so we should probably get him some workout clothes too, just in case. Oh! Logan!" Jean called, turning to where Logan was hunched over the engine compartment of the van, "Did you and Dr. McCoy decide on whether Kiro would be doing any Danger Room activities? Or maybe a uniform for the med-bay?"

Logan straightened up and turned around, his hands caked with grease as he wiped them on a rag, "Not yet on the Danger Room, but I know Hank will probably want him to have some gear to wear downstairs," He nodded. "But I think Hank will be taking care of that personally, so y'all shouldn't have to worry about it. Just worry about getting him a nice silk dress," Logan jeered, a lopsided grin on his face.

"Oh gawd, you are never gonna let them live that down, are ya, Logan?" Rogue grinned, which then turned to a giggle at Kitty and Jean's shamed expressions.

"Not on your life, Stripes," Logan confirmed as he went back to work on the van.

"Well then, we'll just have to make it the prettiest dress we can find, won't we?" Jean broke down with a shrug and a grin. "Whatever Kiki's comfortable with- Oh, speaking of which!" Jean said with a gesture.

There was Kiro, standing at the kitchen door with a small smile.

And there, around his neck, was a necklace. A simple cross on a sturdy cord that looked handmade. Against the cream-colored lambswool sweater he wore, it was a humble, powerful symbol of his faith. His violet eyes were somewhat puffy and bloodshot, clearly he had been crying.

But there was a small smile on his face as he stepped out to them.

Behind him was the professor, maneuvering his chair out into the garage to join them. "He's quite alright, do not worry. Sometimes heartfelt letters written with love can bring more tears than even the gravest news can."

Around the small group, the girls nodded, and even Scott smiled in understanding.

"Oh, Kiro, it's beautiful," Kurt whispered upon sight of the cross. He then smiled, "They made that for you, didn't they?"

The boy nodded, and fresh tears fell, and Kurt drew him into a hug off to the side, suddenly not caring who was watching.

Turning away with a polite cough, with the others doing the same, the professor rolled out to Scott's car to join them. "I understand that you are to go out shopping for some clothes this afternoon?" The professor asked, looking around at the group.

"Yeah, we figure it'd be good to give him a chance to pick out some threads," Rogue said with a smile, "Might be a bit more comfortable than wearin' the same few pairs of jeans and t-shirts every few days."

"Or the same robe every day," Kitty added with a playful smile.

The professor chuckled and nodded, "Indeed. Though I confess, I think I will always remember how at home he looked in that robe," He mused.

"Well you know, Ororo invited him to meditate with her," Jean pointed out, grinning, "Maybe that's a perfect opportunity for him to put it on again."

Charles nodded, "Well, be that as it may, I doubt it is appropriate attire for school, so yes, school clothes should perhaps be your priority. How about other occasions? Casual? Formal?" The professor asked.

"All on the docket," Kitty explained, counting off the stores on her fingers as she mentioned, "Tanden's, Bill Ward's, Tracy's, Don Savino's,"

"- Layla's Boutique!" Logan called over, causing a chorus of gasps and squeals from the girls.

"Oh my god, Logan, NO! No way!!" Kitty laughed.

"Hey, it was YER idea, Half-Pint, remember?" Logan sniped back, causing Kitty to squeak and turn beet-red at the Professor's bemused expression.

"Well, I suppose that counts as 'other occasions,' then, doesn't it?" The professor quipped, causing Kitty to blanche while they all erupted in fresh laughter once again.

"Oh good heavens, Charles, don't encourage them!" Ororo chided as she joined them from outside the garage, apparently having heard the little exchange, but even she failed to keep a straight face.

"Oh! Welcome back, guys!" Scott said, straightening up from his laughter as Kurt and Kiro approached once again.

Kiro looked much better, and Kurt was smiling brightly. Whatever they had said, or shared, had apparently been just what Kiro needed.

"Well, ready to go get fitted for your attire, my good ser?" Rogue teased, in a surprisingly good impression of a posh British accent that made everyone look at her, impressed.

"Perhaps sir would like a cravat for the cross-country run? And I'd suggest a cummerbund for the nature walk," A voice called from the kitchen door, and it was such a fitting accent, somehow, for the ever-polite Hank that it caused them all to laugh once more as he lumbered over to join them.

"Well then, don't let us hold you up," The professor said, gesturing out towards the city of Bayville. "Just be sure to be back before sun-down, alright? I think Jubilee was talking about having a movie-night tonight."

There were titters of interest among the group. Normally talk of a "movie night" was met with groans of displeasure, or excuses as to why one couldn't attend. But Jubilee was right up there with Kurt when it came to picking some of the most action packed, gruesome, or just plain -awesome- movies to watch.

"Might be another opportunity for a date night, hm?" Rogue whispered in Kurt's ear, and he gave her a playful shove, grinning.

"Alright, go shop, help me out, or leave, but do one of the three!" Logan barked out in aggravation, causing all of them to jump, and with a scattering of apologies, the group piled into one of the school's SUVs, while the Professor, Ororo, and Hank made their way across the lawn, soon deep in a discussion.

------

"Awwwwww! He looks so cuuute!" Kitty gushed as Kiro stepped out from the fitting room.

"Kitty, I thought you said you were only kidding about the dress!!" Kurt wailed as he came over to join Kitty and Jean with an armful of much more, ahem, masculine attire.

"Gawd, Ah can't leave y'all alone ten minutes without ya tryin' ta embarass us!" Rogue drawled as she, too, returned from picking up a small selection of shoes and boots.

Kurt, however, found himself blushing visibly through his image inducer at the sight of Kiro.

Was this what he had looked like that day with Logan and the girls in Jean's room?

'Mein Gott..' Kurt thought as Kiro stood in front of the floor length mirror, turning around. His long white hair had been tied back in what Kitty described as a "french braid", and his pale, almost ivory skin and slender, curvy build helped complete the illusion exquisitely. If Kurt hadn't already had a -very- intimate knowledge of his body, as of last night, he would have sworn up and down that he was looking at a hauntingly beautiful, albeit flat-chested, girl.

"Ahem, Earth ta Kurt?" Rogue whispered in his ear, and Kurt jumped with an even deeper blush. Conspiratorily, Rogue leaned closer to whisper, "He really is beautiful, isn't he, bro?"

Kurt nodded, "Ja.. mein engel.." he breathed as he watched Kitty and Jean fawn over him in front of the mirror, making small adjustments to the silk dress here and there. It was violet silk, like the one he had apparently been in before, but this one was a unique design, almost like a kimono, with embroidered chrysanthemums decorating it in places, and the fact that he was a boy and lacked the more ample busom of Kitty, Rogue, or Jean actually worked to his advantage. They would not have been able to wear such a dress without considerable discomfort, to say the least.

"Your.. angel? Aw, damn, bro, you really are in love," Rogue gushed, hugging him suddenly. "Ah hadn't dared hope, but you are head over tail, aren'tcha?" She said, grinning.

Despite himself, Kurt nodded, "Ja, Rogue, it's.. wunderbar."

He was smiling.

That smile quickly turned to an open mouthed gasp, however, at her next question: "So, how long were y'all at it last night?"

"Oh mein GOTT, Rogue..!!" Kurt hissed, looking around hurriedly, and blushing even brighter. "Are you serious??"

Rogue was undeterred, and laughed again as she took his shoulders, "Yes Ah'm serious, bro! Was Logan for real when he said y'all were up until like.. 4?"

"Siiiis..." Kurt whined, his expression saying it all.

"Oh gawd, you were??? Damnnn, bro!" Rogue almost sounded like Kitty as she giggled hard. "So how was it? Touchin' him, like.. that??"

"..Kill me now.." Kurt whimpered as he held his head in his hands, sinking onto a bench with the clothes flopping down beside him.

"That good, huh?" Rogue grinned. She was perhaps the most visibly affected by Kiro's special powers. Perhaps she was more sensitive to them, given the fact that she normally couldn't touch anyone, except through clothing? But she had gotten a small taste of it just the other day, on Thursday when she had fallen during gym and received a nasty cut on her leg. Kiro had seen it immediately when she had joined them at lunch, barely able to walk without limping, and in visible pain, and he had immediately beckoned her into a nearby unisex bathroom to heal her.

When she had rejoined them at the table, a bandage still on her leg but not limping in the slightest, just a couple of moments later, with Kiro at her side, her expression was almost as if she had just seen the face of God.

Well, okay, not quite THAT bad, but close enough, and it was lampshaded by Bobby's rather lascivious remark, "If I didn't know better, Rogue, I'd say it looked like y'all had one hell of a quickie in the bathroom and you must've came about ten time-"

It was also at that point that Scott had discovered that it -was- possible to get a team of six X-men to make a coordinated strike all at the same time on the same target. In this case, a coordinated barrage of various food items, all hitting Bobby square in the face.

Fortunately (or unfortunately?), the softness of the food meant that Bobby didn't need any of Kiro's special help. Just an immediate trip to the same bathroom to clean up...

Once his embarassment had calmed down, though, Kurt had nodded, looking around to ensure that he and Rogue were in relative privacy. "Oh mein Gott, sis, you.. I truly hope you are able to experience it someday. Some how. It was.. just.. it was amazing," He confessed, hugging a pair of new cargo trousers to his stomach like a pillow. Looking for all the world like a girl confessing her first time to one of her friends. But Rogue had the same expression, vicariously happy for her adoptive brother.

"Ja, we did it, we did it.. a.. lot." Kurt blushed and looked down. "We, um.. took turns.. and .."

Rogue laughed, and found herself blushing as well, "Alright, alright, ya don't have ta give me too much detail, bro.. Ah'm just so happy for you." She glanced over to where Jean and Kitty were still chatting with Kiro, perhaps suggesting another dress to try on, and Rogue went over to add their clothes to the small stack for Kiro to try, especially the shoes, to ensure they had figured out his correct size, before she came back to join Kurt on the bench.

Her voice now, however, was more serious, and concerned. "So, what does this mean, bro..? Are y'all gonna go steady?" She asked, leaning over to look Kurt in the eye.

Kurt's expression was somewhat opaque. "I want to, Rogue, I want to so badly. I never thought I would ever be able to feel this way, and, now that I am, and I am so -certain- of it, I want things to work out.. but I'm so.. afraid." The last word was almost a murmur, and Rogue had to strain to hear it.

"Of yer parents..?" She guessed, and Kurt nodded.

"Ja, mein parents, mein church.. ze professor, ze others at the school.. both schools.." Kurt's accent gradually thickened, and Rogue put a hand on his arm to try and calm him, saying, "Hay, c'mon bro, you know you don't have to worry about us at the school. Yeah, you'll get some teasing from Bobby, Ray and Sam, you know that, and Ah think Roberto will still give ya some shit, just 'cause of how he is, but you know we all love you, bro!"

Kurt nodded, and smiled, "I know, sis, I know. And that means everything to me. I'm not really worried about the school, it's more.. everyone else." He said, and considered telling her about what happened at the movie theater. Something he had tried desperately to forget.

Rogue, damn her for her intuition sometimes, seemed to sense something was up. "Kurt, did somethin' happen? Ya almost seem scared?"

He shouldn't keep this from her. He knew it, and shamefully, he nodded, "Kiro and I, we almost got jumped outside the movie theater."

Rogue blinked, and then her eyes narrowed, ".. jocks?"

Kurt nodded, "Got it in one. Duncan Matthews and one of his buddies."

"Oh for fucks sake," Rogue snarled, "Ah swear Ah'm just gonna drain him into a coma one o' these days.."

Kurt shook his head, and smiled, "Logan was there, Rogue. You should have seen it. He had them down and out of the fight before it even started," he said, a bright gleam of triumph showing in his eyes, even through his inducer.

Rogue almost guffawed with triumph, "Oh yeah? C'mon bro, these details I DO wanna know," she pressed.

Kurt grinned, "Well, Kiro and I.. umm.. while we were in the theater, we kind of.. cuddled." Kurt confessed, then went on to describe how Kiro had clutched at him every time a zombie was on screen, and buried his head against Kurt's shoulder during the particularly gruesome parts. And when the protagonist and the love interest had kissed.. they had, well, kissed, too.

Rogue groaned, "Oh gawd, that's like, disgustingly sappy, Kurt, ya know that, right?" But she was grinning.

Kurt nodded, "Ja, I know, right?" He grinned back, but then his expression darkened, "Well, Duncan thought it was disgusting alright. He and some other jock, they saw us back there, and knew who we were, so they followed us out into the parking lot."

Rogue felt a shiver of fear go through her. Kurt was one of the best fighters in the Institute, but even he wasn't invincible, and most of his fighting relied on his powers. In public like that? Where he couldn't use them, or his tail? It would have probably been a curbstomp battle, and not in his favor. "Oh gawd, bro.."

Kurt nodded. "I think they were just about to make a real move when Logan was there. He just.. oh it was so COOL, Rogue.. he just psyched them out completely, calling Duncan a closet homosexual and everything-"

"Bet he loved that," Rogue drawled with a grin,

"- oh yeah he did!" Kurt grinned, "But right as he goes to take a swing at Logan, you remember how Logan did on those speed tests one time in the danger room? It was like that! I barely even saw him move, he just had the black guy kicked in the stomach and Duncan got taken down like-" Kurt smacked a fist into his palm. "Right onto the pavement with Logan's boot on his neck."

Rogue whistled, impressed, "Damn, bro."

"But that's not the best part!" Kurt said, leaning in closer, and Rogue leaned in as well, eager to hear.

"He recorded the whole thing. Everything they said to us, everything they threatened." Kurt beamed proudly.

"Oh HELL, for real?!" Rogue exclaimed, a newfound respect for Logan's cleverness in her eyes.

"You know it, sis! That terrified them more than anything else, and he said if they ever messed with Kiro or me, or ANYONE else from the Institute, Logan would send copies to both the newspaper AND Principal Kelley." Kurt concluded, grinning.

"Damn! Get 'em right where it hurts, 'eh?" Rogue whistled again.

"Exactly." Kurt smiled, and then his memory drifted to Logan's revelation afterwards. That he, too, knew what it was like to be a victim of gay-bashing. Logan, gay? Kurt wasn't sure what to think of that. Especially knowing how old Logan was said to be. But then, Logan always struck him as someone who, perhaps, didn't really see things from a modern perspective of how "evil" being gay was. He knew that Logan had had lovers, of course. The man's candid demeanor pretty much said as such. Maybe.. bisexual? Kurt had to admit, now that his own sexuality had finally awakened, he could definitely see how anyone, male or female, could find Logan's ruggedness totally handsome. Kiro certainly seemed to, for sure, even from the first moment they had seen each other.

Kurt had caught Kiro making occasional glances at Logan. The thought made him grin, as he remembered hearing about Logan's casual compliments about Kiro in his dress, and then referencing it afterwards during lunch today. Perhaps Logan's way of acknowledging Kiro's mild crush on him, and playfully paying him some compliments in return, maybe as a coded way of letting him know, once again, that he was there for him. For all of them.

To Logan, they were all "his kids," and the thought made Kurt feel safe, he realized. Especially after last night.

"He really is a badass, isn't he?" Rogue mused, echoing Kurt's thoughts, and Kurt nodded, "Good thing he is on our side, ja?" He quipped, and Rogue shook her head, "Oh gawd, don't even joke about that," but she laughed as they stood up from the bench and went back over to the fitting room.

Jean and Kitty were sitting outside by the mirror, waiting for Kiro to come out once again, and Kurt noticed with some mild relief that several of the clothes he and Rogue had picked out were missing. Hopefully Kiro was finally trying on something a bit more.. gender appropriate?

"Oh, oh wow," Jean whispered, and Kitty gasped.

Even Rogue gulped.

Kurt turned to the open fitting room curtain, and gaped.

"Okay," Kitty whispered, "We are -definitely- gonna get him some more fancy wear."

Kiro stood before them, dressed in, for lack of a better word, club attire.

Calf-high, shiny black leather boots covered his feet, tucked into smooth, black leather pants that sheathed his supple, shapely legs, and clung exquisitely to his round, pert behind. A smooth, silver buckled black leather belt needlessly kept the pants on his slender hips, and his smooth, subtly-muscled midriff was bare, while above him he wore what looked like a black silk halter top and a short sleeved silken over shirt of royal purple that matched his eyes perfectly. Framed by his white hair that spilled down his shoulders and back, still in the intricate French braid, he looked almost like something out of a fantasy vampire romance novel.

Beside Kurt, Rogue leaned close to whisper, "Okay, bro, Ah am officially.. totally.. jealous."

Kitty squealed and moved forward to tap Kiro's arms and belly with something. Kurt blinked, seeing a shimmer of something, and a tinge of alarm crossed his thoughts.

"Oh Gott, Kitty, what are you doing..?" He almost was afraid to hear the answer.

"Glitter! So he sparkles in the light!"

"Oh GAWD, Kitty! NO!!!" Rogue exclaimed, "Stop her, Jean, before it's too late!"

Laughing, Rogue and Jean both grabbed a giggling Kitty and tugged her back toward the bench, while Kiro just looked confused.

Rogue shook her head and looked up at Kiro while Jean tickled Kitty to punish her, "Remind me to tell ya about Kitty and her Twilight fanfics, Kiro,"

"ROGUE! Like, oh God, don't you dare!!" Kitty squealed, in between giggles from Jean's tickling.

Rogue grinned. "Ah just did, sweetheart."

------

All told, their shopping had been quite a success! And it turned out their decision to bring the SUV instead of a car was a good one.

While Jean drove the SUV back to the Institute in the late afternoon, Kurt, Kiro, Rogue and Kitty were each in the back, teaching Kiro about which attire was appropriate for which occasion.

"...Right! Very good, Kiro! That's when you want to wear a suit, or at least one of those button-down, collared shirts like this, and a pair of slacks like those, with a tie if it's intended to be formal, or at least official." Kitty explained while they sat together, twisting around a bit to paw through their bags to make sure they had enough hangers for everything.

"Though for the most part, we do things pretty casual at the institute," Jean called back as she waited at a red light, "I mean, you usually see the Professor and Ms. Munroe and even Hank in suits, or at least more formal attire, but as a student, you'll pretty much just be wearing whatever you're comfortable in, unless you're on official 'team' business with the X-men."

"Oh yeah, are they talkin' about bringin' Kiro aboard?" Rogue asked, looking around.

"Nothing official yet," Kurt answered with a shrug, "But I know the professor is considering it, and talking with Logan and Ororo and Hank, especially. And I know for a fact that Hank definitely wants Kiro to be a regular in the medbay," Kurt added proudly, giving Kiro a fond wink.

"Best nurse ever," Kitty said dreamily, "Especially if he wears that club outfit. He can, like, take my core temperature any time!"

"Oh mah GAWD, Kitty! Cool it, girl! Or Ah'll dunk yer head in a tub full o' ice water!" Rogue threatened, though she took a moment to catch Kurt's gaze and give him a wink, knowing that Kurt was already the luckiest person here.

Despite himself, Kurt blushed, and grinned proudly. He was, wasn't he?

Maybe, he thought to himself, maybe he should make it official. Maybe Rogue was right.

-----

"Damn, Half-Pint. Did y'all leave anything in the store for anybody else?" Logan mused as they began to unload their bounty of shopping bags.

"Nothing worth wearing, Mr. Logan!" Kitty beamed.

Logan peered over at their bags, and he quirked a brow. "I'm smellin' an awful lot of silk in there. Somethin' tells me you didn't realize I was jokin' when I talked about the dress?"

At this, the girls froze, and even Kurt almost choked from the drink he had just taken a sip from.

Coughing, he turned to Kitty incredulously. "Katzschen, nein.. you didn't.. did you??"

Kitty shifted back and forth, "Well.. I.. umm.. what?? It was on sale!!"

Jean and Kitty high-fived one another.

Kurt groaned and smacked his forehead with his palm.

Kiro just looked around at them all, a confused expression on his face.

And Logan frowned, but his eyes were bright with humor, "Well, that explains everythin'."

------

"I wasn't sure who else to talk to about it, I'm sorry." Kurt said, crouched on the roof of the van. His hands were clasped loosely between his thighs as his tail held a flashlight steady for Logan down below, still hunched over the engine compartment. He had explained it was something to do with the timing belt and one of the engine valves, after he had done a thorough run through of the whole system earlier and cleaned out the regular gunk and corrosion, but Kurt simply didn't know enough about mechanical or electronic things to be of much help, except how to use them and (at least according to Logan) how to spontaneously combust them even worse than Kitty could, sometimes.

"Don't apologize when there ain't no need for it, elf. Little to the left," Logan grunted as he turned slightly, "Nah, my left, elf. There, thanks."

Kurt smiled as he leaned over to watch Logan work. He found himself remarking on Logan's handyman status at the Institute. It seemed he knew a little about everything, when it came to working with his hands. How had he learned to do so much over his long life? Was it self-taught? Had he gone to school at some point? Was it just learning by necessity? So much about this man was still unknown to Kurt, even though he felt closer to him, the professor, and the others here at the Institute than he did almost anyone else. Anyone, that is, except for his mutti and vati. And Kiro. His angel.

"Well, the way I see it, elf, it's really up to you," Logan remarked. "The more people that know a secret, the less of a secret it is," he continued, accompanied by the soft sound of a ratchet wrench being twisted. "The kids here are good people, even if they act like jackasses sometimes," Logan tossed something off to the side, it looked like a dirty casing of some kind.

"Hand me that new valve casing, will ya?" Logan paused to request. Kurt fetched the new casing, still fresh in it's box, and opened it before handing the shiny casing over the hood, "Thanks, elf. But yeah, they might be good kids, but even good people do stupid stuff sometimes. They say things maybe they shouldn't say. Like Roberto in the kitchen that time. Or, they say things that maybe they don't realize can clue someone in to somethin' you don't want 'em clued into. Understand?" Kurt nodded, "Ja, Herr Logan. You're talking about Bayville High, right..?"

There was a grunt down below, "Yep." The wrench once again clicked with each turn, as Logan continued, "The kids here at the Institute, I don't think they'd care too much. But you know firsthand there are kids at the high school who will. And for all the wrong reasons." He paused in his work to fetch the cover for the valve off the garage floor, and Kurt glanced over his shoulder to see that it was already purple twilight outside, and soon going into full dark, leaving the two of them with just the dim light from the garage bulbs up above and Logan's LED flashlight that Kurt held in his tail. Logan's night vision was, like Kurt's (though Kurt's was even better), better than a normal human's, but he still preferred to have plenty of light for careful, detailed work like this.

"So I meant what I said, elf. It's up to you. You have to decide if you want to take that risk. But lemme tell ya something else," Logan said as he straightened up with a small ripple of pops down his spine, reaching up to grab the hood of the van and pull it down. "Sometimes, it just isn't worth it to live in fear and shame. If being with the one you love was all sunshine and rainbows and musical numbers, and as easy as just saying 'I love you,' then it wouldn't mean jack shit." The hood thumped closed, and Logan turned to lean against it while Kurt handed him his flashlight back, before hopping down off the roof of the van to stand beside him in the dim light of the garage.

"I gotta admit, elf, you got something real special here. I'd have to be blind, deaf, and anosmic to not be aware of it." At Kurt's puzzled expression, Logan tapped his nose with a finger.

"Oh," Kurt nodded, impressed.

"So, my advice is, go for it. And know that I, and everyone else at the institute have got your back, when it comes to the idiots at school," Logan said, resting a hand on Kurt's shoulder. Kurt nodded, though he still seemed uncertain.

"As for the rest.. your parents, and your faith and the like.." Logan continued, and Kurt nodded with a pained expression.

"That's out of my league, elf, and really your problem to deal with, not anyone else's." Logan said, somewhat bluntly. But Kurt nodded. He knew it was the truth. He just wasn't looking forward to that conversation.

"I know, Logan. It just seems so.. unfair. God is supposed to love everyone, and want us to love one another. To find our true love and cherish them as long as we live. It just doesn't seem like God would condemn someone, just because their true love happened to be the same sex," Kurt remarked, somewhat bitterly, and Logan sensed he had had this internal conversation before.

Logan pushed away from the van and headed towards the garage door, stepping outside into the cool night air as the last dregs of light had finally faded, leaving them in relative darkness except for the dim garage lights. Both Kurt and Logan, however, would have had no problem seeing even with the light off. Kurt was curious why Logan stepped outside into the cold air, but then saw the flash of a lighter in his hand seconds before he ignited it and lit the cigarette in his mouth.

Kurt then felt a little bad. Logan normally only smoked when he 'needed' too. Was this chat difficult for him? He started to apologize, but then thought better of it, remembering Logan's earlier remark. Instead, he stepped out to join Logan just outside the door, the smell of the tobacco fresh in his nose but not bothering him, much like alcohol. After all, his vati was a pipe smoker, and like most Germans, Kurt had been drinking since he was ten, and some were even younger when they started.

"It sounds to me, elf, like your problem isn't really with God, at all," he remarked, his gaze turning up to the stars as he blew a long gust of smoke from his nose. "Sounds like your problem is more with the dogma of the people who claim to follow Him."

Kurt blinked, and looked up at Logan with new respect. It was a rather simple, but profound statement. Kurt knew, knew in his heart, that God loved him. Loved Kiro. Loved everyone. Even loved Logan, he was sure, despite Logan's seeming agnosticism. No God that truly loved His children would condemn them so, least of all condemn them for the "crime" of loving each other as unconditionally as God loved each one of them.

The simple truth of it was like a warm fire in Kurt's chest. A fire that spread to his eyes, and before he knew it, Logan had drawn him into a one armed hug, saying softly, "Aw, c'mere, elf. Damn it." But he was smiling, around his cigarette.

Against his powerful chest, like iron wrapped in silk, Kurt sniffled and his tears fell. It wasn't the painful, self-hating weeping that Hank had found him doing in the shower. It wasn't the conflicted, fearful tears of worry, of terror that his parents, the only parents he had ever known, might disown him for being a true abomination in their eyes.

No. These were tears of epiphany. Tears of love. And realizing that yes. God DID love him. And he know that God loved him, because he had found God's gift to him. His angel. His Kiro. No love, felt so strongly, so strongly that it made him want to cry and laugh and dance and run and shout from the highest mountaintops, could ever be anything but what it was: God's gift.

"Logan.. you're right," Kurt whispered, as he gently drew away from the burly Canadian and smiled up at him, wiping tears from his golden eyes, that glowed softly now in the darkness, the other tears leaving small, darker trails down the blue fur on his face.

"God loves me. God loves you. God loves Kiro. And I love Kiro. That's all I need to know." He nodded matter-of-factly.

Logan smiled down at him, even as he muttered, "Now ya sound like a damn Southern Baptist."

Kurt's reaction was priceless, and he scowled up at Logan before remarking, "Ohhh, now THAT's where I draw the line, Herr Logan." Kurt gave him a playful punch in the shoulder, and Logan smirked. "Touche, elf. My apologies. At least I didn't call ya a Methodist."

At that, Kurt did finally burst out laughing. And it was a good laugh.

For the first time since this whole, conflicted feeling began, since he had first realized his budding feelings for Kiro, he felt like everything was going to work out after all.

That it was worth it. That Kiro was worth it.

Worth everything to him.

After his laughter had faded and they had stood in companionable silence for a moment, looking up at the stars, he heard Logan's voice.

"Elf, I think ya have company," Logan muttered as he took another drag from his cigarette, and Kurt turned to see Kiro standing in the garage, at the edge of the light bulb's reach, peering out towards them.

He smiled. Kiro probably couldn't see in the dark like they could, but he could see Kurt's eyes. And Kiro smiled in return as he began to carefully walk towards them, clearly unable to see the gravel beneath his feet, but trusting Kurt to guide him.

It was enough to make Kurt's heart ache.

"Komm her, mein engel," Kurt whispered, reaching forward to gently take one of Kiro's hands that had reached forward to try and feel where Kurt's body was.

Logan snorted a bit, clearly finding the sappiness of Kurt's nickname a bit much, but he said nothing as the two boys embraced in the darkness, and Logan averted his gaze up to the stars as he heard them kiss.

"I'm okay, mein engel, don't worry." He heard the elf whispering, probably because Kiro had felt the tears on his face. "Herr Logan was just giving me a talk I really needed to hear."

Logan looked down, then, as he felt one of Kiro's hands on his arm. The warmth from his touch felt good in the cool night air, as Logan stood in just a t-shirt and jeans while the weather had continued to grow cold. It would start snowing in another couple weeks or sooner, if this kept up. The pleasure, too, was there, and Logan took another drag from his cigarette to disguise the tightening of his throat when he felt the arousal in his jeans. Damn kid could make a fortune working in a cathouse or a massage parlor, if he ever got desperate. But Logan hoped, earnestly, that such a gentle kid NEVER had to resort to such a hellish life.

He looked down into those violet eyes as the touch on his arm lingered, seeing them clearly in the light of the stars and the moon above. It was still full, like it was last night, and would be tomorrow as well. Fitting, perhaps, that the boys had consummated their love last night. Softly enough that nobody outside the room would have heard them, unless they had known what to listen for and had pressed an ear right up against the door. But Logan had, even from down the hall. And if he hadn't, he would have smelled them for sure. Especially by the morning.

Normally annoyed by such disturbances as he tried to sleep, Logan had actually felt happy for them. Happy, that is, until they decided to carry on for another two and a half goddamned hours.

Well, who could blame them? Especially Kiro. Monastic life was rough, and from what Hank had told him, the boy was clearly a virgin, and had probably never even touched himself until that point last night. Hell of a way to become a man, Logan mused. But he approved. Better a marathon session like that with someone who loved him, genuinely and deeply, than the fumbling, awkward first time with whoever you could talk into the back of your car that most teens experienced these days. Hell, Logan couldn't even remember what his had been like.

Kiro smiled up at him, a gentle, grateful smile, and Logan figured his eyes had finally adjusted to the dim light outside to see Logan's face. He nodded, reading the expression the albino gave him, and gave a lopsided smile in return, the closest he came usually to giving a genuine smile these days. "Yer welcome, Ghost," he said, the same undercurrent of gruff affection in his voice as he had had earlier when talking with the elf. The Odd Couple they might be, this "angel" and "demon," but they clearly loved each other. And that, Logan hoped, was enough.

"Logan, what was he like?" Kurt asked softly, standing there with his arms around Kiro, the three of them alone out on the drive of the Institute. The skies above were clear, and the stars and moon were bright and beautiful. Behind them, the Institute hung above, dark and imposing, were it not for the warm yellow glow that shone from most of the windows.

"Hm?" Logan grunted inquiringly, peering over at Kurt and Kiro, who had withdrawn his hand from Logan's arm to lean against Kurt. Despite the plush lambswool sweater he wore, the boy seemed cold. Or perhaps just grateful to be able to cuddle with Kurt, out here in the relative anonymity of the dark.

"The.. um.. man you were with?" Kurt asked, his voice a bit cautious. He, like most in the institute, knew that Logan's past was something of a mystery, most of all to Logan himself. There was a lot that the man simply couldn't remember. And much of what he COULD remember was unpleasant, to say the least. But Kurt had a feeling that this was not one of those unpleasant memories. At least, he hoped not.

Logan was silent for several minutes, to the point where Kurt was beginning to doubt he would answer. But finally, Logan crushed the cigarette he had been smoking into his palm and tucked it in his pocket, probably to throw in the trash inside. Logan never littered. He always had such respect for the Earth. It was one of the many things that Kurt admired and respected about him.

".. He was a lot like Kiro, actually." Logan said, turning to look at the two of them. Kurt seemed surprised, and Kiro looked curious.

"He was one of the most gentle, kind people I ever knew," Logan continued. His normally gruff voice soft, and sad. Kurt immediately regretted asking Logan, as he sensed a very carefully hidden pain in Logan's voice. But Logan continued.

"We met when I was working as a ranch hand out near Denali," the burly Canadian said, his voice barely audible over the soft sound of crickets chirping around them, both arms now folded across his chest, and his eyes distant as they gazed up at the stars.

"We used to lay together under the stars, like this, away from the camp. Damn kid would always have some critter or another come into his sleeping bag for warmth. And he never chased 'em out. Snow bunnies, foxes, even a goddamned wolverine once," Logan muttered, and the two boys smiled at the irony.

"Well, maybe that was a sign. We.. started gettin' close on that drive. Close enough that the others started to notice. He never cared. Always treated everybody and everything with such a gentleness, like you do, Kiro, and I guess he thought everyone else would treat him and others the same. The golden rule, right?" Logan paused, pain in his voice once more.

After a moment, he continued. "It wasn't until we got back into town that we finally started bunking together. It just.. happened one night." He turned and nodded off toward the utility shed. "It was.. a bit like that. A little cabin away from the ranch house, that's where I stayed. One night he stopped by, like most nights," Logan trailed off. "But this one was different. He wanted to check on my arm. A bull had gored me earlier that day. He had bandaged me up."

Logan sighed, "I told him I was fine, I heal real fast. But that damned fool, he almost never listened to anything I said," Logan continued. "He sat me down on the cot and brought the lamp over, and had my shirt off before I could even tell him to knock it off,"  the Wolverine said, his tone almost petulant, and it made Kurt smile. He could totally see Logan acting that way, especially with someone who just wanted to help him.

"Well, one thing led to another, and.." Logan paused. "Well.. I'm sure you boys can figure out the rest," he said with a smirk, "Especially after last night." Kurt and Kiro were both smiling, and nodded, neither of them blushing now. Kurt found himself happy, deeply happy, that Logan had found such love, even briefly.

Logan cleared his throat before continuing, "Well, morning came around, and we came out of the cabin together. A couple of the other boys spotted us. Our secret was out at that point." Logan let out a slow breath, his lighter in his hand as though he was considering another cigarette. But he seemed to think better of it, as he slipped the lighter back into his pocket. "Most of the guys didn't care. 'Long as ya get your work done, don't care who ya bunk with,' they'd say. Aren't enough people like that out there, in my opinion. Not back then, and not even today, still." He sighed.

Again, the silence stretched. But Kurt and Kiro waited. Kurt felt his breath becoming shallow. A sense of foreboding coming over him. Foreboding for a story that had happened a long time ago. Logan, this gruff man who cared so deeply for all of them, even with how much his heart must have been broken over the many long years, this was a side of him Kurt had never before seen. And it made him appreciate the Wolverine even more. Respect him even more. And wish that he, more than anyone else, could experience that kind of love and devotion again.

"It was two weeks after that mornin'," Logan began, and his voice failed him. He took a slow, deep breath, his back to Kurt and Kiro, before he continued. "Yeah, about two weeks. He'd been gone a day before we realized what had happened. I thought he'd just been sent into town for somethin', but it didn't seem right, him not letting me know. Especially since we spent.. well.. every night together, since that first one," Logan paused. Kurt watched, utterly silent, as Logan drew a deep, shakey breath. And then, he continued. " .. I found him out on the ridge, near the treeline, 'bout a mile out from the ranch house. Somebody had tied him up to a tree, and beat him to death. I knew his scent well. I grabbed a horse, and was up there as fast as I could go, looking for him. Couldn't take it anymore. When I got there, his body .. hadn't finished coolin' yet. Rigor hadn't set in, either. But he.. was gone."

Kurt felt his heart crack, and fresh tears stream down his face. Beside him, Kiro gave a soft sniffle, and he knew his angel was crying as well. Barely two weeks together, as lovers, before their love had ended in such a gruesome, vicious way.

Logan turned back to face them. No tears were on his face, but Kurt knew that he was as close to crying as he had ever seen Logan be. Kiro gently reached towards him, and Logan didn't pull away as the albino softly rested a hand over Logan's heart.

"I found the bastard who did it. One of the boys who had jeered the loudest when he and I came out of the cabin that morning," Logan growled, though his breath seemed to steady as Kiro's touch affected him. "It took every bit of control I had not to dice him to pieces, balls first and one limb at a time.." Logan said, his voice low and soft. Kurt shivered at the pain, the anger, the grief that was there, even now, what must have been many, many years later.

"He confessed, though. He confessed, right there in front of the trailboss. He was proud of what he did, he said. Proud that such an 'abomination' was no more. Abomination. The gentlest, sweetest man I ever knew," Logan said, his voice tight. "Until you came along, Ghost," he said, his voice kind. Kurt gently squeezed Kiro's waist affectionately, as the boy blushed, his hand still resting gently over Logan's heart, as though hoping to heal the wounds that were there. The wounds that, unfortunately, had nothing to do with the physical heart, and everything to do with the emotional.

"The sheriff took custody, his trial was held that very afternoon, and he was hanged soon after. I went back to the ridge and retrieved.. his.. body. Brought him back to his family, out near the ranch, and they burned him with all their proper rites. And I was.." Logan stopped for a moment. Took a breath. Continued. "I was blessed, as his husband. By his mother and father. His people were like that. They did not judge. They just.. loved."

Logan lapsed into silence, and Kurt whispered, "Oh Logan.." his own voice weak. His words felt so inadequate, in the face of such a tale. Shared here, only with the two of them, out in the cold night air, beneath the stars, and the moon. The same stars and the same moon, that they had slept under. Made love under. Whispered to each other under. So distant, and yet so beautiful. Always there, every night.

After the silence stretched another minute, Kurt asked one last question. "What was his name?"

Logan sighed softly, and this time, Kurt saw one, single tear fall from his eye. One tear, for his love. Logan's face softened, from it's usual glare. And he looked as Kurt imagined he must have looked at his love's funeral. He then said something, a word that sounded strange to his ears. It sounded like no name he had ever heard, and he had no idea how to even begin to write something like it down. His lover must have been one of the First Nations people.

"What does it mean, Logan?" Kurt asked, feeling his heart clench, as he felt he knew the answer.

Logan looked at the two of them, standing in each other's arms, and he carefully, almost reverently, wiped the tear from his eye, before reaching over to gently touch it to Kiro's forehead, and then Kurt's. Subconsciously, Kurt felt the importance of the gesture, even if he didn't know why, and he was silent while Logan let out a slow breath.

Finally, he smiled. That same, sad, half smile. His eyes looking at Kiro and Kurt, full of memory, but also.. hope. Hope for them.

Then, he gave Kurt the answer.

"...Ghost."

--------

Kurt had gone out to talk to Logan "just for a few minutes," before the movie started, but it had been almost an hour by the time Kiro had gotten up from his cushion beside Rogue, touching her arm in apology and making his way back toward the garage.

The whole mansion had been in the rec room, except for Kurt, Logan, and Hank ("Much as I would love to see 'Pirates vs Ninjas: The Ultimate Showdown of the Caribbean,' I simply must get these lab results finished if I want to be able to give everyone their flu shots on time!"), and Rogue had noticed Kiro growing more and more worried as he kept glancing toward the garage door.

Finally, it seemed the boy could take no more, and had gone out to check on Kurt and Logan. Rogue was touched by his concern, and found herself smiling as he picked his way among the students sitting on the floor to go down the hall to the kitchen, and from there out into the garage.

The movie had drawn to an epic conclusion, and the mansion had been divided into who supported the pirates and who supported the ninjas. Even Rogue had to admit that the battle on the high seas was, in a word, epic. Swashbuckling swordfighting and cutlasses and muskets against smoke bombs, dart guns, ninja swords and martial-arts.

The fact that it ended in a stalemate, with grudging respect given to each side by the other, was met with both scorn and respect. "Aww COME ON! You totally could've beaten him, Cap'n Cutter!!!" Bobby shouted as the credits rolled, and from the other side, Amara sneered, "Yeah right. He was out of shots, remember? In a sword fight he wouldn't stand a chance, even with his hook!"

The professor laughed as the argument began in earnest, and raised his hands, "Alright, alright, children. I'd say that was one of our more memorable movie nights for sure. Bravo, Jubilee, for an excellent selection!"

Despite the small heated exchange earlier, the students all applauded and cheered for Jubilee as she grinned and went over to collect the disc from the player:

"Yeah, Jubes!"
"Woo yeah!"
"Encore! We need a sequel!!"

Rogue sighed as she lurched herself up out of the rather comfortable recliner and gave a slow stretch before wandering through the students and down the hall. She heard a few remarks about Kurt and Kiro missing, and what the two might be "up to," but she pushed back her irritation and kept walking.

She knew that Kurt was considering just breaking the news to everyone in the Institute, and that would be his announcement to make. She just hoped things didn't go too rough for him, either way.

Making her way to the garage, she was surprised to find it completely dark, and the door closed. "Huh," she mused. "Maybe they -are- up to somethin'.." She thought with a smirk, but she closed the door in the kitchen and peered around, before her 'little bro' instincts told her to check somewhere.. else.

Sure enough, out on the front porch, she found them. Logan, Kurt, and Kiro, sitting on the front step. Kurt and Kiro had been leaning against one another, arms around each other's hips, but they jumped and moved away slightly as they heard the door open behind them, only to visibly relax when they realized it was Rogue. Smiling, she leaned against the door behind her, purposefully giving them a little extra advance warning in case anyone else had the same idea, and gestured for them to go back to cuddling.

"Hey, Stripes," Logan greeted her with a nod, speaking around the cigarette in his lips.

"Hay, wolfman, broface, Kiki," she grinned, her voice a low growl to imitate Logan, as well as his habit of only referring to people by their nickname. Kurt giggled, Kiro grinned, and even Logan smirked as he shot back at her, "Smartass."

"Y'all missed the movie. Everythin' alright?" She asked, peering down at them. Things seemed alright. In fact, the air between them felt downright.. familial. Perhaps that talk had gone well, after all.

Kurt nodded, and the smile on his face was almost blissful, "Ja, sis. Everything is.."

"Wunderbar?" Rogue offered, a grin on her face. To her surprise, Kurt shook his head.

"Nein, we need a better word for how I feel right now," Kurt mused, and Rogue blinked at him.

"With an attitude like that, who needs drugs?" Logan quipped, and Kurt gasped, "Herr Logan!!" as his tail slipped over to playfully swat Logan's shoulder.

Logan smirked around his cigarette and stood up, popping his shoulder as he rolled an arm. "So what was the entertainment tonight?" He asked as he turned to the side and leaned against one of the columns lining the front porch to look over at Rogue.

"Pirates versus Ninjas, the Ultimate Duel in the Caribbean," she answered, making it sound every bit as epic as it had been. Kurt blinked and looked over his shoulder at her, "Wow. Really?" He asked.

At Rogue's silent nod, Kurt huffed, "Hm, almost wish I'd stayed. But not really." He said, his voice soft and that same, blissful smile on his face again.

"Whut? Kurt Wagner, turnin' his nose up at a movie with Pirates and Ninjas dukin' it out on the high seas?" Rogue asked incredulously, looking down at him with genuine shock, even with her smile. "Who tha hell are you and what've ya done with mah brother?!"

"Sorry, Kurt Wagner is not here right now, please leave a message after th-OW! Sis!!!!" Kurt whined, rubbing the back of his head where the pebble had tapped him.

"Serves ya right for bein' a smartass. That's mah job." Rogue asserted proudly.

Logan smirked at the three of them, and then checked his watch, "Huh. Just about time for y'all to get back in. I reckon Chuck's probably wondering about ya."

Sure enough, right as Kurt and Kiro stood up from the steps beside Logan, the door could be heard opening behind Rogue, and she stepped away to turn around and see the professor peering curiously out at them.

"What on Earth are you all doing out here? Aren't you cold?" The professor asked, his gaze leveled particularly at Logan, the only one not wearing at least a sweater (Kiro), jacket (Kurt) or fleece (Rogue).

Logan crushed out his cigarette into his palm, tossing the butt into the nearby wastebin before he answered, "We were just havin' a chat, Chuck. An.. important one." He elaborated.

The professor nodded, and he looked at each of them in the eye. Logan, Rogue, then Kiro, and then Kurt. Even without touching their minds, he seemed to sense at least some of what had transpired over the past couple of hours. Or perhaps could just tell that Kurt, especially, looked far more at ease than he had in many weeks, his tail furtively curled around Kiro's legs beside him.

Charles smiled, "Well, it certainly seems to have helped considerably, Logan. And not just the students." He observed. For once, Logan did not argue, or make a wisecrack. He just nodded, his expression distant, though an air of mild reconciliation around him. Logan was a private man by nature, and Kurt realized, not for the first time, how difficult it must have been for him to share that story with him and Kiro. Perhaps it had helped him a little as well. Kurt certainly hoped so.

Rogue seemed confused at the professor's words, but the boys were smiling a bit wider at that, and Kiro went over and gave Logan a hug. Rogue was genuinely surprised to see Logan return the hug warmly, not a wisecrack to be heard, and lean down to whisper something in Kiro's ear.

Whatever it was, it was for Kiro alone, as even Kurt looked curious but remained where he was out of respect. They watched as Kiro blushed, and then slowly nodded, and finally gave Logan a sudden, tight squeeze, even leaning up to kiss the man on the cheek, before reluctantly drawing away. The look on Logan's face was kind, sad, and gentle all at the same time, and it was something Rogue could only remember seeing on Logan's face a handful of times in the couple of years she had known him. Even the professor seemed to appreciate the magnitude of whatever had happened while the boys had been out in the night cold.

But finally, he decided one of them had to display some good sense. "Come along, then, everyone. Let's get inside before you freeze," the professor gently commanded, and Rogue led the way as the boys stepped inside, Logan following behind them before shutting and locking the door securely for the night.

Several of the students were in the kitchen, perhaps grabbing some snacks for the night, while a few still lingered in the rec room, playing one of the video game consoles, from the sound of it. Kurt, Rogue, and Kiro stood in the atrium nearby, talking quietly amongst themselves, while Logan and the professor remained near the door, the professor sensing that Logan had something on his mind. He waited patiently, his hands steepled in front of his chest.

Finally, Logan spoke. "That kid, Ghost," Logan started, paused, and then started again, "Em, Kiro. He's really something."

The professor nodded, watching as Kiro and Kurt stood together, their sides touching. A secret display of affection, in the relative privacy of the atrium. Finally sensing the pieces falling into place in his mind, Charles smiled. "They're in love, aren't they, Logan?" The professor asked, quietly.

Logan nodded, "That they are." There was an edge to his voice. Normally he would have made some remark. Perhaps called them 'twitterpated' or something. But he was completely serious, now.

"How long have you known?" Charles asked, and his voice was gentle. Not accusatory, instead respectful. There was a lot more to Logan than most realized, and Charles, perhaps more than anyone else currently living, knew and respected this. Ordinarily he quietly disapproved of the Institute's students having such relationships, and particularly sharing rooms while doing so. But Kurt and Kiro especially were two of the most mature students they had had in the Institute in a long time, even at their relative young ages. And both had lived such hard lives. If anyone deserved happiness, especially the happiness that love could bring, they did.

"'Bout as long as they have, I reckon," Logan remarked. It was true. He had known, because the same thing had basically happened to him. It started with gentleness. A touch here, a lingering look there. Concern when something was wrong, or when you were hurt. Help always offered, even when none was really needed, just to be there in case. And a slow, steady growth that finally blossomed in the heart.

"I want this to work out, Chuck," Logan said. And again, there was an edge to his voice. "They deserve it. Both of them. The Elf, and Ghost." There it was, a soft close of the throat around the word 'Ghost.' Charle's hand touched Logan's arm, and it was just a gentle touch between friends. No probing of the mind. He respected Logan far too much to do even the barest of readings without Logan's expressed permission.

"Someone like that once touched your heart?" Charles asked.

Logan nodded, "That's a good way to put it, Chuck."

Charles nodded once more, and smiled. It was not a happy smile, but it was warm all the same, like mourning for a soul long gone. Perhaps he sensed the significance in Logan's voice. "That's why you chose the nickname you did?"

There was a smile on Logan's face. Pained, sad, but far beneath that gruff exterior was a gentleness, a longing that tore at Charles's heart, and reminded him, not for the first time, just how long Logan had lived, and how much he had endured in his life.

Logan nodded, not saying a word.

"I understand, old friend." Charles replied, his gaze again drifting to the three in the atrium in front of them, Rogue now hugging Kurt and Kiro at the same time, a subtle shiver passing through her at the albino boy's touch, while she bade them good night.

As Rogue headed for the stairs, Kurt turned and paused, noticing that the professor and Logan had been standing and watching them. Kurt's golden eyes appraised the two of them, and beside him, Kiro gently took his hand, violet eyes also looking at Logan and Charles.

Stepping away from the professor's side, Logan approached the two. He peered down at them, and there was a small, private smile. "Go on upstairs, Elf, Ghost. You two have some catching up to do."

With a bright smile from Kurt, and a final, quick hug from Kiro, the two were up the stairs and heading down the hall.

Logan felt the professor approach, and he rested a hand on Charles's shoulder for several long minutes. A rare gesture from Logan, and one that again impressed upon Charles the importance of whatever the boys and Logan had talked about tonight.

Finally, Logan gave a small squeeze, "G'night, Charles."

The professor nodded, reaching up to pat Logan's hand before Logan pulled it away, "Good night, old friend. See you tomorrow."

Charles then rolled to the elevator to retire to his bedroom, while Logan began to walk the halls and send the rest of the students up to bed.

-------

Kurt let out a low, soft moan as he felt Kiro's hand slip beneath his boxers, cupping the arousal there. The pleasure poured through him, almost as though he were a bowl, and Kiro's hand was the faucet which had just turned on, sending a steady stream of steaming hot water pouring into him. He had supposed that over time he would get used to the effects of Kiro's touch, that, like a drug, his body or mind would build up a tolerance to it.

But no, it seemed to be both immaterial and unlike any drug he had ever experienced, even when the worst of his injuries had needed Hank to supply him with "the good stuff" as he had succinctly put it. True to Logan's command, the two had gone upstairs to their room immediately, and as soon as the door was closed and locked behind them, they had been in each other's arms like two parched men who had just found an oasis in the other's lips.

Kurt wasn't quite sure how, but Kiro had managed to strip them down to their boxers in record time. All Kurt remembered seeing was those violet eyes, gazing deeply into his from only an inch or two away. He had begun to notice little flecks of blue in them, if they caught the light just right, and he wondered if Kiro saw similar beauty in his own gold orbs.

Those thoughts were erased from his mind, however, when he felt Kiro's fingers close around his erection and slowly stroke him. "Ohhh.. mein engel," he moaned, a moan that was soon lost in another kiss. They came apart with soft pants, and Kurt looked back and forth between their beds. Kiro's still had some bags haphazardly thrown on it, having decided to forego organizing his wardrobe in favor of joining Kurt for movie night.

'Well, that didn't exactly work out, did it?' Kurt thought with a smile. It looked like it was Kurt's bed again, tonight. Or was it? Kurt felt a gentle tug on his arm, and he noticed Kiro nodding towards their small bathroom. The professor had initially thought it to be a good idea for Kurt to have his own bathroom and shower because of his initial shyness around the Institute, and later on, the unique challenges his fur posed to the Institute's plumbing. The drain in their bathtub had a cleverly designed mesh cover that did a remarkable job catching Kurt's shedding and requiring only a moment's attention to discard its catch in the nearby wastebin.

The fact that this was often necessary every couple of days, however, meant that Kurt still tended to prefer using the regular shared showers on most evenings and mornings.

Tonight, however, Kiro seemed to want them to enjoy a little bit of aquatic fun. Nude and hand in hand, the two boys stepped into the small bathroom, and Kiro paused, looking somewhat helplessly at the shower knobs. He still had not quite gotten used to the hot and cold water settings. Kurt grinned and leaned over to turn on the faucet and adjust the temperature, shivering as he felt Kiro's hand run across his back while he bent over, almost like he was petting him. Once it was hot, but not scalding, and he had Kiro test the water as well to make sure it was comfortable for him as well, Kurt shut the valve and activated the showerhead above, before the two stepped into the tub and closed the curtain behind them. Kurt suddenly found himself very, very glad indeed that he had taken to keeping a vial of massage oil in the bathroom as well, to help work out the kinks from Danger Room sessions.

Kurt let out a surprised grasp as he felt Kiro gently press up against his back, the albino's pale ivory arms slipping around his waist and embracing him. One hand ran across his chest and brushed across his nipples, while the other rubbed up and down on his belly before slipping down to his arousal. Exploring him. Kurt couldn't help but grin. Even with their marathon session last night, the two had still only been lovers less than a day. The experience was still fresh and brand new in both of their minds. Kurt's tail slipped around Kiro's hips from behind, and then the spade tip went down to tease the albino's smooth scrotum, and Kurt grinned wider when he felt Kiro shiver against his back and press his own arousal between Kurt's firm buttocks.

As the hot water pounded down on them, mingling with the warmth from Kiro's touch, Kurt found himself thinking he was definitely going to never think of a hot tub the same way again. Grinning, Kurt gently guided Kiro's hands to his hips, and he bent over to rest his hands against the wall, arching his back to present himself for Kiro. "Feel like going first..?" He offered, and Kiro's blushing nod made his heart melt all over again. "As they say in America.. come and get it!" Kurt winked. He never would have imagined that he would be gay, years ago, let alone that he would enjoy switching off with his lover. But he was, and he did. It made them feel like true equals in the relationship, and he loved it...

Perhaps to Logan's relief, they managed to settle down after only an hour and a half this time. Having mercy on their fellow students, their time in the shower was kept to only one round, and there was still hot water when they shut off the faucet and toweled each other off. A short walk to Kurt's bed with still-damp fur, hair, and skin was enough to make them shiver in the cool air of Kurt's bedroom (normally kept a few degrees cooler anyway, due to his fur), but they were soon sweating all over again as they wrestled among the blankets and pillows for another hour before they were finally spent, resolving to clean up in the morning.

As they lay side by side, breathing heavily in their afterglow, Kurt found himself gazing up at the moon and the stars, just barely visible from his window looking over the bay. Kiro was half draped across his chest, the albino's white hair spilled across his smooth back and Kurt's belly, and Kurt found himself thinking about the story that Logan had told them today. How must it have felt, to make love under the stars? Maybe, he thought with a blush, they might go camping together and experience it for themselves. Though perhaps, he thought with a small shiver, when the weather was warmer. Maybe in the spring.

He glanced at the clock on his nightstand. 2:07 AM. Almost a reasonable hour. Perhaps they might even show up downstairs in time for breakfast. He opened his mouth to say something, but one look at Kiro's face resting on his chest stopped him.

He looked so peaceful. So beautiful. His face was an image of serenity, his soft breath against Kurt's chest and the slow rise and fall of his back was the only movement that went through him. Kurt smiled, and softly whispered, "Gute nacht, mein engel," before he placed a gentle kiss on Kiro's forehead. Drawing the covers up around them with his tail, Kurt slipped his arms gently around his lover, his angel, and closed his eyes with a soft sigh.



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