Very much NSFW fic continued from yesterday:
Fracture Thirty-Four: Defence
There was a long minute where they stared at each other. Bluebelle hid behind Kurt and peeked out at the Prydes from behind his elbow. Mr Peeper did what chickens did best - peck aimlessly at anything that looked like it might have become edible within the last ten minutes.
“Why don’t you tell *me* what you find so objectional about my company?” he suggested. He didn’t have his hologram on. Neither did Bluebelle. “Or haven’t you the nerve to insult me to my face?”
Mom hid her mouth behind both hands. Dad had frozen solid, mouth and eyes open wide.
This was *not* the first impression she’d been aiming for.
“Kurt, I’m sure Dad was like, talking about the whole thing with Hess. He’s like, scared, okay?”
“I screwed up, didn’t I?” he murmured.
“I’m pretty sure it can be like, salvaged.” Kitty smiled. “Mom, Dad, this is Kurt. He’s like, had to look like this all his life. He’s the kindest, gentlest, most considerate guy I’ve like, ever known. The whole Hess thing has been like, a total surprise.”
Kurt said something in another language, and Dad’s eyes flew open.
“You *dare*,” he hissed.
“I’m sorry. I don’t know the Yiddish,” said Kurt. “I made a point to learn the phrase, ‘I mean no harm’ in as many languages as I could. I didn’t mean to offend, mein Herr.”
“I never thought I’d hear a *German* dare to speak my language.”
“Sir. I’m Romani.”
Another moment of silence.
“I’m - sorry,” said Dad. “I guess you can’t help where your people settled.”
Kurt smiled, making Kitty’s parents shrink back because of the fangs. "Maybe I should add the fact that I’m Romani to those words, ja?“
"It couldn’t *hurt*,” said Dad.
Mom was watching two spade-tip tails flip and toss themselves about in the air.
Kurt picked up Mr Peeper. “Look,” he said. “They trust me with small animals.”
Kitty giggled. “He’s incorrigable, Mom. Kurt’ll like, tame anything with wings or fur.”
“Except skunks,” he said. “I learned my lesson on them *fast*.”
Mom’s eyes started sparkling.
“And this is my daughter, Bluebelle,” he said, squeezing her shoulder. "Hess had her. I rescued her. Together, we’re healing.“ He sat as Professor Xavier made a quiet exit out another door. Bluebelle crept onto his lap as he set up a 'meal stop’ for Mr Peeper.
Kitty took her place back between her parents. "Bluebelle’s kinda scared of strangers,” she said. “It’ll take her a while to get like, used to you.”
“Ha,” said Dad. “Now *that’s* irony.”
Kurt raised an eyebrow and grinned ironically. “Ja? When it comes to recoveries, yours has been pretty fast. At least you weren’t screaming.”
“*Kurt*…” Kitty chided.
“I’m allowed to say it, Katzchen. I’ve lived it.”
“I still don’t like hearing it.”
“I love you, too,” he smiled, hugging Bluebelle. “Now, liebchen, there’s no need to be scared of Herr and Frau Pryde. They’re good people. They’re Jewish.”
“Just like Kitty?” said Bluebelle.
“Ja. Just like Kitty.”
Bluebelle slowly unfolded herself and crept up to the Prydes. Curiosity, as always, overwhelmed caution and she had to touch Mom's coat. “Schones hubches,” she whispered.
“That means, 'beautiful pretty’,” Kitty translated. “Bluebelle’s kinda like, *way* into colour.”
Daddy just looked at her outfit, which was the purple track pants, the rainbow shirt and the bright yellow jacket with the pink flower trim. “I think we guessed,” he said.
“Things like this happen,” said Kurt. “I want to give Bluebelle every freedom I can; and that means picking out what she wears herself.”
“You should have seen us when we like, got her ribbons,” said Kitty. "She had to wear them all at once. I was like, 'less is more’ and Kurt was like, 'leave her alone’ and Bluebelle was like, jumping all over the place and saying, 'pretty, pretty, pretty’… It was like, *nuts*.“
Bluebelle giggled behind her hands.
"Aw,” Dad smiled, warming to Bluebelle. “There’s no need to hide such a pretty smile. Come on. You can put your hands down.”
Bluebelle shook her head and giggled again.
Kurt let himself fade into the background. Quite a feat for someone who was sitting still, let alone anyone who resembled a fuzzy blue demon. He needed to be unnoticed for a little while.
Hess’ attempted sabotage had stirred up the monsters. They were extremely unquiet, rattling at the bars of their metaphorical cage. They wanted out. They wanted blood. They wanted vengeance. Fight was lurking just underneath the surface like a shark. Flight was screaming and gibbering in corners.
Das Kinder was crying.
The Perfectionist was obsessing over things that had gone wrong, replaying moments of time over and over again inside his head. Trying alternate situations. Muttering, _If we had killed…_ repeatedly until Kurt wanted to be sick.
_If we had killed,_ he told his Masks, _we would have been no better than Hess. We would have become another Hess. We would have been reborn a monster._
That made the Masks consider things. It made them settle for a little while.
The Monsters were still going beserk. Not a lot of them fully understood things like that.
Even Ragdoll was upset. Simple meditation was not going to work. He got up, startling the Prydes anew.
“I’m sorry,” he said. “I have to go find some peace.”
“Hess?” said Kitty.
“Hess,” said Kurt. “She got the Monsters upset and they aren’t calming down. I’ll be at my church, geleibt.” He kissed Kitty and Bluebelle on the forehead before he tidied up Mr Peeper’s rest stop and left.
“Uh,” said Mr Pryde. “Honey? What was he talking about?”
_Oops._ He was so used to everyone knowing about the Masks that he'd started chatting about them as if they were invisible friends. Now he'd left poor Katzchen to explain things. Hardly gallant behaviour.
He couldn’t go back, not with all his Masks so upset. He needed to reset. Desperately.
Kurt found his way to his personal church, and knelt by his son's grave, polishing the little plaque that marked his resting place. "Hello, love,“ he whispered. "I took a long time to keep my promises, didn’t I?” He could already feel his Masks calming down. None of them wanted to frighten the baby. “No matter. I think we all have to be patient in order to get rid of the real monsters. And the big promises, the most important ones, take a long time to keep.”
His name gleamed in the sunshine. A name it took him eight years to earn.
“Hess is locked away, but her reach is still wide. I fear we may have to hunt down her Lieutenants as well. Otherwise, it may never stop. Logan says it’s a pity she can only die once; but I say death is too final for the likes of her. She should be - studied. Put in a glass box as a reminder for all eternity that monsters are real.” He sighed. “But would that be justice? Hess and her clique in a cage? Forever?”
“Beats me,” said Logan. He had a talent for sneaking up on folks. "Sounds about right, though.“
Kurt jumped three feet. "Herr Logan. I -er- Ah…”
“Relax,” said Logan, he hadn’t moved from where he was propping up a tree. “I talk to dead people too. They’re excellent listeners. Lousy for advice though. You sorta need the livin’ for that.”
“I know, but the Masks aren’t exactly company people, sometimes.”
“Hess got to ya.”
“She got to ya here, too,” he said. “This is where Lance got Half-pint as well. I don’t get it. This is the middle of nowhere, far as the estate’s concerned. How can two people just waltz in without setting off the alarms?” Logan had a point that made Kurt’s hair stand on end. *All* of his hair.
“Gruss Gott…” He tried to remember everything of the events that had occurred in his Church. The last time he was here, Lance had run off, sure, but he’d run off towards - nothing. Hess had come at them from the same direction. Archivist surrendered a flicker of memory. Lance saying goodbye to Kitty, and heading off in a direction that made no sense. No sense at all.
Automatically, he turned that way, looking at the trees. “When he ran off,” Kurt ventured, “he went *that* way… but there’s nothing but brambles…”
Logan strode in that direction. “Think I’m gonna check and make sure.”
Kurt followed him. He had to know, too.
They found the brambles as they always did, but there was something different. They had changed. Kurt sniffed, eyes shut, to feel what was wrong.
“There’s - a tunnel through them,” he said.
Logan sliced a few tendrils and discovered the same thing. The plants had made a hole in the wall, and someone had made a hole in the plants, tying branches of thorny brush aside with bits of plastic shopping bags.
Kurt looked at one fragment, the telltale neon pink of _Gals’ Stuff_, and felt betrayed.
_Gals’ Stuff_ was Kitty’s favourite shopping place.
He threw his head back and howled.