Author: Kat Lee
Character/Pairing: Shadowcat/Prestige, Nightcrawler
Challenge/Prompt: christianpens Challenge 2: Psalm 46:10-11
Word Count: 3,372
Date Written: 31 August 2018
Summary: Follows the author's Doing God's Work.
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to Marvel Comics and Disney, not the author, and are used without permission.
The worries came at night as they always had since she’d been a little girl. During the light of day, she could stay busy. She could stay busy all day and all night long in fact, and she could forget or at least pretend to forget the problems that plagued her heart and mind until she caved and laid down to sleep. Rachel was right: She had to get some rest tonight before letting the press into the school tomorrow, but as she always had, when she laid down with a mind plagued with problems she’d diverted herself from all day, they came full blast at her.
That was why it had always been so easy to become intangible when she was worrying over something instead of properly sleeping. It was why she’d first drifted down into her family’s living room when she’d been fourteen and just coming into her mutant powers. It had often been the reason she’d phased right through her bed and into the room below growing up, and it was the reason why she did it again tonight.
“Mein Gott!” Kurt cried out, surprised by Kitty suddenly appearing before him in a scantily clad nightgown. His tail whipped at the night air. “And zey complain about mein bamfing!”
Her eyes had already popped open. She glared at him as she swung around to a standing position. “We complain about the smell, not the surprise,” she told him.
But already, Kurt was overcoming his initial shock out of his concern for her. “Katzchen,” he spoke softly, his jerking tail coming to a stop and curling its pointed blade around his left foot, “are you all right?”
“What do you think, Fuzzy?” she asked. She wasn’t trying to be funny. She just knew that he knew her better than almost anybody else, and she needed someone with whom she didn’t have to pretend. She’d put on a strong face all day, for a week now actually ever since last week’s nationally televised interview. She had taken pains to prepare the school and its student body for what was coming tomorrow, but she felt less prepared than perhaps ever before. If she could pack up the school and make them all disappear from humanity’s watchful eye, she would, but she’d also learned long ago that you couldn’t solve your problems by running from them.
Kurt’s deep, yellow orbs took in her face. “You’re scared,” he finally said, putting down his mug of hot chocolate and opening his arms to her.
She went into his offered embrace without a moment’s hesitation. He hugged her tightly, like he had not since the last time they’d thought one another dead, and stroked her back with his gentle, three-fingered hand. His long, blue tail jerked again. “It’s understandable, you know,” he whispered to her.
“Is it?” she questioned doubtfully, looking up at him with tears in her eyes. “I never should've done it, Kurt. What was I thinking: inviting them in here?!”
“You vere zinking quite rightly,” he replied, “zat you vanted to show ze vorld zat ve are not to be feared. Vhat better vay zan letting zem into your home?”
“But the students -- “
“Are very vell prepared,” he assured her. “Ve are ready for tomorrow, Katzchen. You’ve barely slept all veek. You need your sleep before zey arrive tomorrow. Vhat good vill it do to show ze vorld zat ve have nothing to hide if ze headmistress has such bags under her eyes zat it’s clear she’s not sleeping but trying to hide from somezing?”
“You’re right.” Kitty sighed. “I guess. We do have some girls who are more than well enough adept to hide bags from anybody, and there’s the image inducers -- “
“Vhich you yourself said ve shall not use tomorrow. Ve vant to appear to be ourselves. Ve vant to be ourselves vhile zey are watching and let zem see zat ve are just like zem only vith powers zat ve use often enough to fight zeir battles and save zem from zreats zey could never handle on zeir own.”
“You’re right,” she said, nodding. “But I just can’t help worrying.”
“Of course you can’t,” he acknowledged with a knowing, brotherly smile. “But vhat happened to vhat you said last veek?”
“Which time?” she asked, blinking up at him and stifling a yawn.
He touched her cheek gingerly and then brushed his fingers over her soft, short hair. “About us doing God’s vork. If you truly believe zat, Katzchen, and I know I do, zere should be no worry great enough to keep you awake all zese nights.”
“Well, I do believe we’re doing His work.” She turned from him suddenly, stepping out of his arms and catching her bottom lip nervously with her teeth.
“But?” he prodded, placing a gentle hand on her tight shoulder. The tip of his tail twitched again.
“But sometimes I worry we aren’t doing it enough,” she explained in a rush of words. “Sometimes I fear -- I fear we’re still going to Hell,” she admitted.
Kurt watched her carefully. Though her face was turned from him, he could still read her as clearly and easily as any book. “But not because ve’re mutants.”
“No. God made us that way. He gave us these powers, and as long as we do with them as He would want us to do, we can’t go wrong. Not with that any way.”
“But you vorry,” Kurt said, his tail swishing, “about vho you choose to take to bed.”
“Fuzzy!” Kitty cried in surprise. She whirled back around to face him, her mouth agape.
“Oh, come now, Katzchen. You know very vell that, zough I may have been a Priest at one point, I’ve always been far from celibate.”
“Amanda did say you have some interesting tail techniques.”
Kurt blushed, the fur on his face growing hot and a darker shade of blue, almost black. He recognized, however, that she was trying to distract him from the true matter at hand. “Be zat as it may,” he declared, “it doesn’t change your concerns about vho you’re taking to bed, or ze true reason vhy you finally dumped Piotr. Katzchen, you’ve always prided yourself on being true to yourself and being honest.” His eyes met hers as he asked, “Vhy should your sexual orientation be any different?”
Kitty’s mouth dropped open. She tried to work her jaw, tried to speak, but nothing would come out louder than a squeak.
“Don’t look at me like zat, Katzchen. Ve both know I am your best friend. I know all your secrets, as you know mine.”
She piqued an eyebrow at him. “Do I know all of them, Fuzzy?” she asked. “Do I really?”
He chose to ignore her as he plunged on ahead, “Don’t zink you can hide from me, Katzchen, or from ze others here vho love you. Ve love you just ze vay you are, and rather you decide zo zake Piotr, his sister, or Rachel to bed does not matter.” He shook his head. “And it doesn’t matter to God either.”
She eyed him. “What makes you so sure of that?” she questioned.
“Because,” he answered simply, lifting his shoulders into an easy shrug, “love is love, and all love comes from ze good Lord above.”
“But -- “
“But His supposed people would condemn you if zey knew. Need I really remind you, Katzchen, zat most of zame close-minded bigots would also condemn you for being a mutant? God made us ze vay ve are,” he continued, his tail swishing. “Blue, white, or green, mutant or human, girl or boy, gay or straight or something else entirely, He made us ze vay ve are. Zere is nothing ve can do zat He does not already know ve vill do, and has known since ze beginning of time. But He loves us all ze same, and I’m not saying zat loving Rachel is a mistake,” he concluded, cutting her off before she could ask. “You two are beautiful together. It’s clear you love one another and zat zat love runs deeper zan friendship. He put you togezer, and zere is no shame in zat.”
“What makes you think that?” Kitty asked, frowning. “What makes you think He would put two women together?”
“Because you are two halves of ze same whole. God is a creator. He is a very creative person. I know you like ze vatch ze clouds,” he reminded her. She hadn’t had time to do it since reopening Xavier’s School, but she had spent hours on her back back in Scotland just watching the clouds drift by. “You’ve seen all ze different shapes He makes us vith zose and all ze different mutants and humans He creates. Is it really zat hard to believe zat sometimes when He takes a rib from a man, He creates another man instead of a voman, or zat sometimes He chooses to take zat rib from a voman instead and make another voman or even a man? You’ve seen ze relationships just as I have: sometimes ze woman is ze stronger one. Zat is vhat happens,” he explained, “when she has her rib taken and used to make ze second half of her.”
Kitty flashed him a cocky half-grin. “Cute story, Fuzzy Elf,” she started to say, “but -- “
“It is not simply a story, Katzchen,” he argued, shaking his head. “All love comes from our Heavenly Father. ‘Let us love one another for love comes from God’,” he started to quote, his tail making a steady but small, whipping motion with his agitation and desire to make her understand what he had learned years ago hated by the world for his simple appearance. “‘Everyone vho loves has been born of God and knows God. Vhoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.’”
“‘Since God so loved us, ve also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us. Zis is how ve know zat ve live in Him and He in us: He has given us of His Spirit. And ve have seen and testify zat ze Father has sent His Son to be the Savior of ze vorld. If anyone acknowledges zat Jesus is ze Son of God, God lives in zem and zey in God. And so ve know and rely on ze love God has for us.’”
“‘God is love. Vhoeever lives in love lives in God, and God in zem. Zis is how love is made complete among us so zat ve vill have confidence on ze day of judgment: In zis vorld ve are like Jesus. Zere is no fear in love,’” he stressed. “‘But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do vith punishment. Ze one vho fears is not made perfect in love.’”
“‘Ve love because He first loved us. Vhoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For vhoever does not love zeir brother and sister, vhom zey have seen, cannot love God, vhom zey have not seen.’”
“But that’s a different kind of love,” Kitty interrupted, “and it’s more about letting people know they’re wrong for hating us for being different than it is anything close to supporting the love I feel for Rachel.” She sank into the nearest chair and dropped her head into her hands. “And I do fear,” she admitted aloud for the first time. “I’m always afraid that the parents are going to find out that I’m not just a mutant but that I . . . I’m almost bisexual, and I’m in love with a woman. That’s why I tried so hard to force myself to marry Piotr, but it wouldn’t have been fair to him.”
“Or to you,” Kurt spoke gently and understandingly. His tail swished again as he sat down into the chair opposite from hers. He reached out, took her hands in his, and gently pried them away from her head. “Katzchen, all love comes from God,” he told her again, stressing every word. “All love. Not just love of our brothers and sisters or platonic love but all love.”
“And of course you’re afraid,” he continued, his tail whipping once more, “but let me ask you somezing. Vhen ve were in Scotland, before Rachel had to return to her time to save Brian, vere you afraid to love her zen?” Kitty mutely shook her head. He licked his lips and smiled. “Zat’s vhat I zought: your fear is not being condemned by God. It is being condemned by zose vho claim to be of Him. You don’t fear loving her or going to Hell because you love her. You know, in your heart, as I’ve already zold you zat all love, including yours and Rachel’s, belongs to God.”
“But you are afraid of vhat vill happen if others learn of your love. Your afraid ze parents vill take zeir children out of our school vhen ve are really ze only ones placed here on Earth vho can help zem. You’re afraid even more people, both humans and mutants, will condemn us because of your differences if you come out. But, my dear, zose people who judge because you’re different are not of God. Zey are of ze Devil himself and part of vhat ve fight every day.”
“Zeir hatred and blind prejudice is part of vhat ve’re trying so hard to change in zis vorld. Ze X-Men don’t just stand for acceptance and peaceful coexistence between humans and mutants; we stand for love and acceptance of all of God’s children. If zey vould condemn you for loving Rachel, zen ve do not need zem in our lives. Loving a woman doesn’t mean you’re not doing God’s work, Katzchen; I’ve never known another woman as determined to love everybody and give everyone a chance as you always have been.”
He squeezed her hands and once more quoted from the Bible, “‘Anyone vho claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in ze darkness. Anyone who loves zeir brother and sisters lives in ze light, and zere is nothing in zem to make zem stumble.’ You’re going to succeed, Katzchen, and not just today. As long as you keep putting love, and zereby ze Lord first, you vill succeed in everyzing you set out to do.”
Kitty gave a little laugh, squeezed his hands, and then released them. She dried her tears and looked across the table at him. “You always have believed in me, Fuzzy Elf.”
He leaned forward and chastely kissed her cheek. “And I always vill,” he vowed, the tip of his tail again twitching. “And I have one more for you tonight.”
“What’s that?” she asked, grinning.
“‘Be still, and know zat I am God: I vill be exalted among ze heathen, I vill be exalted in ze earth. Ze Lord of hosts is vith us; ze God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.’ In other vords,” he said, returning her grin, “get to bed, know you’re doing right and holding to ze right hand and zat ve vill always triumph as long as we continue to hold to God, trust in Him, and get some sleep.”
“We are holding to the right hand,” she agreed thoughtfully, inclining her head in a slight nod as she thought over all that he had told her. “And you’re both right. Rachel was on me earlier before she fell asleep.” She was only half surprised that Ray hadn’t already come downstairs for her; she had, after all, been pushing herself just as hard as Kitty had been pushing herself and the students to be ready for tomorrow.
“And ve vill triumph,” he said, standing with her. “Just remember zat vhen you go back up zere and start to close your eyes. Say a prayer, and know zat all vill be right tomorrow.”
“It will be,” she said, nodding again, “as long as we hold to God.”
“Zat’s right.” He leaned across the table, wrapped his arms around her, and gave her a brotherly hug. “Now go,” he told her. “Go get some sleep vhile you still can, and vhen all zis is over tomorrow night or ze next day, I vant you to read the first book of John.”
“I will,” Kitty said, “on one condition.”
“I want you to get back to holding Sunday service for the students, the faculty, and anybody else who attends.”
Kurt paused. His eyes lifted to hers in shocked silence. She smiled back up at him. “We’re doing the Lord’s work, remember? He’ll understand why you had to choose to come out of Heaven.”
Kurt stared at her. After a long moment, he finally asked in a quiet, nervous voice, “Do you really zink so?”
“Of course.” She walked around the table and again took his hands in hers. “You’re still doing His work, Fuzzy. I see you with these kids. I see you with me.” She grinned up at him. “You’re still leading lost souls back to Him, and you wouldn’t be half the Christian warrior you are if you had turned a blind eye when we had needed you. We must always arise to do God’s work no matter the cost to our own selves.”
“Y-You’re right,” he said slowly, nodding. And she was right, at least partially. He would always do the Father’s work, and he did need to get back to preaching the Good Word.
“Will this Sunday be too soon?” she asked eagerly.
“I -- No. Nein. I can have somezing ready by zen.” He could take a lesson from this very night, in fact. She smiled again, hugged him once more, and then started to walk on the air, heading back up to her bedroom. “You get some sleep too, Fuzzy.”
He smiled, knowing he was guilty as she wordlessly charged him. “I vill,” he promised. Walking over to the sink, he poured out the remainder of his hot chocolate and quickly washed his mug. As he did so and walked slowly to his own room, he thought about everything they had shared that night. He said his prayers kneeling before laying down and then, staring up at the ceiling, imagining the stars spread out far and wide above the school’s roof, he let himself think, with a smile, that maybe his soul wasn’t nearly gone quite as much as he had feared it. Maybe he did still have something of the Lord left him; maybe it was even a lot. At any rate, it had been enough to give his friend what she needed to hear this night.
“Father,” he prayed again, his tail twitching and his yellow eyes closing, “zake me to You when ze zime is right, and please never turn me away. Hold me ever zighter to You.” He smiled, feeling God’s closeness and His love. “Zank You for all You do for us. Amen.” As always, Kitty had proved wiser than her years. He was still of God’s, even if he had made the hardest decision of his life and walked out of Heaven. He would always be of God’s for he would always love Him and always strive to do His will.
The thought did not occur to him, however, that God had allowed him to see what he had that had led him from Heaven, let alone that it had not just been a temptation. It had been one more test in a long series of them, one more test to make certain Kurt would do right and do as the Lord would have him do, and he had yet again done what he knew in his heart and soul was right despite the cost to his own soul. He had not allowed his friends and family to fall. He had done as God wants His people to do and stood up yet again for what was right and against what was wrong. That night, for the first time in a long time, Kurt slept peacefully.