nightcrawler

AUTHOR’S NOTES: Disclaimers apply. Nyx/Dara Gibson and Tigress/Nikku Sita Cheng © Kara Senecal, 2005.



It was the same pattern of images that continued to assail Nightcrawler for months; the moment where he had rushed forward, with Magik–his beloved Amanda–at his side, and Nyx, beautifully ferocious, swooping overhead, snarling at the renegade demons that had happened upon the gypsy band.



The X-Men had closed in on the demons, escapees from Magik’s hell-dimension, predators drawn to the reek of blood and rot that the Pontiff had left in his wake, tracking down the gypsies who had sheltered the mutants in their midst.



It had been a horrible coincidence that the Pontiff’s men and the demons should meet at the campsite. The mercenaries stood no chance against the slavering, grotesque beasts as they rushed forward. And the gypsies stood no chance against either of them.



Nightcrawler, though, had not been frightened. Not by much. These gypsies, an extension of his mother’s tribe, were hardy and admirably stubborn, standing their ground to hold the mixed hoards off until the wagons–or the occasional motor home–were ready to roll.



He remembered bamfing over the demons heads, striking them as hard as his knuckles were able to stand. Magik cleaved her way through the throngs of men and monsters, her massive sword cutting them all down like weeds. Nyx had roared and rushed the stunned demons, bowling them over as she slammed her rocketing body into their boulder-like hulks. She easily sprang away from the shambling creatures, so Nightcrawler was not afraid.



Nearby, Wolverine had all but gleefully torn into the demons and men, not caring a pinch what his adamantium claws sliced open. His beloved, his fiancée, the sensually feline Tigress had his back, going between mercenaries and demons with brain rattling roars and devastating strikes.



Cyclops blasted aside whatever had been foolish enough to charge the gypsy band, clearing the way for Nightcrawler’s people to flee. Iceman encased man and demon alike in massive ice columns, as Storm’s whirlwinds slapped all of the monsters aside, holding them all off.



Nightcrawler didn’t remember looking up from the soldier he was pummeling when he heard the rumble. He didn’t remember seeing the demons shriek in terror and turn to flee.



He remembered seeing the ground heave and crack beneath them all. He remembered feeling the earth tremble. He remembered seeing the small pit several feet away from him suddenly grow into a larger pit, then a massive one.



Nightcrawler didn’t understand what happened. All he could remember was rushing forward as his fellow X-Men fled. Wolverine bellowed for Nightcrawler to turn around and head for firmer ground, but all Nightcrawler could hear were the tortured screams of the gypsies as their homes were suddenly pitched into the yawning chasm, the Pontiff’s men and the demons shrieking in terror as they were sucked downward, towards hell.



The bright gleam of white and silver armor was slowly disappearing in the mass. Magik had shouted, or maybe screamed, for Nightcrawler. The demons were clinging to her, weighting her down, dragging her with them. She could not free herself.



Nightcrawler remembered crying, “Christ in heaven, help us!”, and he remembered praying fervently as he charged towards Magik, Amanda, as she was slowly being crushed by the monsters’ bodies, as the ground gave a groan and shuddered again, splitting itself open and widening the gap.



“Gott, NEIIIIIN!!!” Nightcrawler screamed, diving for Amanda’s hand, throwing himself into the pit with her.



He didn’t remember feeling the arms wrap around his waist, painfully tight, or the slap of leathery wings as Nyx beat them as hard as she could, pulling Nightcrawler out of the abyss.



He didn’t remember fighting her grip, screaming wildly in German as Nyx dropped to the ground, to solid ground. He didn’t remember ripping free from her arms and clawing his way back to the pit. Nightcrawler didn’t remember Nyx launching herself for him, tackling him, yanking him back, and fought him as he fought her, shouting desperately as Nightcrawler screamed and swore and cursed God.



But he did remember collapsing against Nyx’s warm chest, sobbing hysterically into her suit as she cradled him, held him to her, and cried with him.



******Still, he was hard, and in between self-berating thoughts came rather unclean images of Dara. Briefly hating himself, Kurt tore his pants off, hissing at the pain and pleasure as the cloth brushed his organ.



“Verdamntt!” Kurt stared down at himself, suddenly amazed. His mind wandered. He wondered.



Would Dara …?



“NEIN!!” Fairly panicking, Kurt rushed into the shower, cursing himself for letting the water get



warm …



No, no, nein, he would not make this worse by relieving himself, he would not encourage his desire for the girl to intensify, he would NOT satisfy himself.



Something, deep within his skull, hissed at him, ‘You’ll never be satisfied without her, Wagner.’



Baring his fangs, and knowing that he was fully capable of waiting out his member, Kurt still reached for the hard, burning organ.



Putting one hand solidly against the linoleum wall, Kurt drew the other slowly over the shaft, savoring the spark, the electricity that raced up and down his spine. He heard himself groan, felt his eyes start to water. Kurt squeezed them shut, but was suddenly unable to stop the fantasies.



His breathing started to become faster and more labored. Heat arose in him as he imaged taking Dara to bed, making love furiously, almost violently, making her writhe underneath him, hearing her whisper his name, ask for him to go harder, go faster …



“DarrrrRRRRRAAAARRRRGGGHH!!”



Kurt’s roars reverberated across the tiles as he came, dispelling his pleasure against the walls and bathtub faucet. The strength in his bracing arm disintegrated, and he thudded against the shower wall, gasping and trembling violently.



Slowly, his body calmed, the trembling ceased. Relieved and ashamed, Kurt leaned his forehead against the cold shower tiles, sighing heavily.



He should not have done that.



This was just too much; Kurt shouldn’t be having these feelings for his friend, especially so soon after Amanda …



Hell, that wasn’t the point! Dara was only eighteen, almost half his age! She was a child no more, but she was still too young to be the object of his lust.



Besides, as Dara had said once, long ago, Kurt had a demonic appearance. He was not frightening, but he was sure she didn’t find him handsome.



The thought hurt, and Kurt shook his head slowly, telling himself to give it up, get cleaned, eat, get some rest, get ready to face the world again.



And Dara said he didn’t have to face it alone.



**************************************************************************************



SEVERAL MONTHS LATER:



The X-Wing glided high above the thick forests that crossed the U.S./Canadian border, all but silent, and hardly noticed by the birds that roosted in the many pine trees.



Nyx strained to see out her side window, leaning as far as her body belt would allow. She squinted her eyes, then growled softly. “I don’t care how big these things are supposed to be, I can’t see crap through the trees.”



In the pilot seat beside her, Nightcrawler chuckled, glancing at her over the rims of his flashy sunglasses. “Well, according to Cyclops, they aren’t hard to miss.”



“Oh, really? Has he seen the things himself?”



Nightcrawler grinned, turning back to the windshield before him. “Nein … but you haven’t heard that from me.”



Nyx smiled, pausing to check her monitor one more time before gazing down to the forest below; if anything was down there, it was pretty well hidden by the tree canopy. From where she sat, Nyx honestly couldn’t see any abnormal mutations in the woodland. Professor X had sensed a dramatic rise in mutations somewhere towards Oregon and Washington, but the auras of these creatures seemed horribly twisted. A bit of hacking and some testing done by Beast had uncovered that a large meteorite had smashed its way through the forest, kindly bringing a bit of alien radiation with it.



Nyx hadn’t understood all of the scientific crap, but she was well aware that this could spell big trouble for any humans in that area. While humans didn’t seem to have been affected, the wildlife in the immediate vicinity of the crater certainly was; reports of eight legged deer and giant grizzly bears with insectoid eyes had started popping up, and none of the new fauna seemed to take kindly to the human inhabitants.



So, now, while Cyclops and Jean Grey searched the southern half of the forest by air, and Wolverine, Tigress, Gambit and Rogue searched on the ground, Nyx was with Nightcrawler, searching the western half in one of the new X-Wings.



Nyx sighed, then laced her fingers together and stretched, glancing curiously to Nightcrawler. Wow, had he changed; a few months ago, not even Professor X could have dragged poor Nightcrawler out of his misery. All of the X-Men had been worried that he might do something dangerous, might hurt himself, but ‘Crawler had surprised them all by quietly resolving his inner conflict by himself.



Well, he insisted that Nyx had helped, but she didn’t really believe it.



Though deeply grieved for the loss of Magik and the gypsies, Nightcrawler said he no longer blamed God for what had happened. He went back to the church, and, when he returned to the manor, shocked Nyx by telling her he was giving up his priesthood.



“I had too many inner conflicts,” he had said, smiling at her bewildered stare. “It’s okay; priest or not, X-Man or not, I can still help the victims.”



Thinking of that now, Nyx stifled a grim laugh and looked back to the forest: almost as soon as Nightcrawler had renounced his vows, he had been attacked and flung into the Hudson River by Omega Red and Lady Deathstrike. A desperate call from Father Whitney, Nightcrawler’s friend and mentor, brought the X-Men rushing to fish Nightcrawler out.



Poor Kurt had to be placed in the ICU of the Institute’s infirmary. Nyx had watched over him intently … so intently, in fact, that Beast had to grab her by the scruff of the neck and toss her out for not eating or sleeping.



He seemed all right now; Nyx couldn’t help but wonder if Nightcrawler was lying to her about his feelings. Sometimes, he would say he was “quite content”, though Nyx could clearly feel his rage, or sorrow.



Nyx shook her head; she hated her tele-empathy.



A trilling beep jolted Nyx back to the present. Startled, she spun around in her seat, her eyes scanning her monitor as the computer radar picked out an object gliding a half a mile away from them, behind them … and enclosing that gap fast.



Surprised, Nightcrawler glanced at her, his eyebrows inching above his glasses. “Was ist das?”



“I don’t know,” Nyx replied, frowning as the computer started mapping out the object’s shape, estimating the weight, size, and speed. The computer tried to run the thing through its databank, trying to pair it up with a known plane or jet.



An error siren rang, and a message flashed across the screen to her: “OBJECT NOT RECOGNIZABLE.”



Worry began to crawl up Nyx’s spine. “Nightcrawler, I don’t know what it is … it’s coming up behind us fast!”



“Hang on!” Nightcrawler ordered, his fangs flashing in the sunlight. He twisted the X-Wing’s steering hard to the side, causing the jet to bank sharply, whipping over the treetops.



Gasping, Nyx lashed a hand out and caught the edge of the monitor, struggling to focus though the X-Wing’s veering had left her dizzy. “Nightcrawler, it’s still coming at us …” Realization began to dawn on her, and she felt her eyes fly open. “Kurt, it’s–!”



A thunderclap roared through the jet as the creature slammed into it, punching scythe-like talons through the plane’s roof. Both Nyx and Nightcrawler yelped in terror, ducking their heads as three more claws ripped into the ceiling above them.



“Unglablich!” Nightcrawler gasped, “What the–?!”



“I’ve got it!” Slamming her palm against the body harness buckle, Nyx sprang to her feet, skidding across the chilly chrome as she groped for handholds, pulling herself up to the X-Wing’s side hatch.



Nightcrawler’s eyes looked as though they’d pop out of his head. “Dammit, Nyx, what’re you doing?!”



“Hold on!” Catching the hatch’s handle, Nyx snarled through gritted teeth, slowly muscling the door open. She gasped and grimaced at the blinding light, then at the huge, bird-like wings that beat furiously against the jet.



Surprised, the titanic monster glared down at the gap that suddenly appeared in the jet’s side, hissing through its massive beak at Nyx who, for a moment, could only stare in disbelief.



The mutant eagle’s grip tightened on the jet, crushing the metal like a wad of paper. Nightcrawler spun around in his seat, his face twisted in panic. It was something that Nyx didn’t see very often from him. For a second, it made her hesitate.



“Dara!!” he roared, his voice snapping her awake. Seeing him trapped, Nyx bared her fangs, then turned, allowing herself to morph completely just before diving out of the hatch.



Unfurling her dragon-like wings, Nyx gave a roar and swept upward, drawing the deformed eagle’s attention away from the plane it clutched in its talons.



Shooting over its head, Nyx snapped her long tail at the monster’s eyes. “C’mon, bitch! Chase the mutie!”



If Nyx hadn’t known any better, she could have sworn the thing understood her. Growling, the creature wheeled around and rushed towards her, its wings sounding like distant thunder as it pounded after her.



Nyx snarled before closing her wings against her back and pitching downwards, towards the forest below. “Dammit, I wanted you to drop the plane!”



The eagle monster roared at her as Nyx shot into the tree canopy, disappearing into the branches. She winced as the massive creature rushed by overhead, creating such a gale that the treetops snapped against her body.



Growing frustrated, Nyx lashed a hand out, catching a hold of a sappy pine branch and swinging herself up onto the trunk. Needles and pine cones rained down on her as Nyx clawed her way to the tip, praying fervently that Nightcrawler had bamfed out of the X-Wing or something.



Pulling herself upward, Nyx shook herself off, grumbling at the sap that coated the front of her black jumpsuit. Squinting in the blinding sunlight, Nyx growled softly as she spotted the eagle-thing coming back over the forests, searching for her.



Wrapping her tail around the pine tree, Nyx placed two talons in her mouth and whistled, so high and shrilly it hurt her own ears.



Grunting, the eagle’s head whipped around on its snaky neck, glaring at her as she waved gleefully at it. “Hiiiiiiiiii-iiiiiiiiii!”



Growing visibly disgusted at this chase, the eagle gave a low, piercing scream as it wheeled around, the jet glimmering like a black gem between its claws.



Nyx felt herself jump out of her suit as the X-Wing gave a snarl, then a blast, shooting bright red flames from its side and onto the eagle-creature’s feathery body. The eagle shrieked in agonized fright, making Nyx’s brain rattle inside her skull.



Screaming, the eagle flung the X-Wing aside, flapping awkwardly towards a low mountaintop, a smudge of black smoke trailing behind it.



The X-Wing dropped like a stone, and Nyx panicked, launching herself out of the tree and swooping towards the flaming jet.



As she pounded her wings, closing the gap between her and the X-Wing, Nyx heard small, popping explosions blasting out of the ripped hull.



That thing must’ve busted a fuel cell or something, and Nyx swallowed hard, her mind racing with a hundred scenarios about Nightcrawler, trapped in the plane’s cockpit.



Clawing at her suit with sticky talons, Nyx found her two-way com unit clipped to her shoulder, almost ripping it away as she fumbled with it, trying to switch it on. “Nightcrawler! ‘Crawler, are you okay?!”



Clashes of static mixed with blurbles that could have been Nightcrawler trying to respond. Nyx couldn’t understand him. Her heart shot to the bottom of her stomach.



“Nightcrawler!” she roared, swooping out of the path of the hot, acrid smoke. “Nightcrawler, do something! Bamf outta there!”



Screeching static howled out of the com before being drowned out completely by the roar of another fuel cell blasting open.



“Oh!” Flinging her arms up to shield her face, Nyx allowed the fierce winds to buffeted her back, away from the worst of the blistering hot shrapnel. “Kurt!”



Air screamed around the X-Wing as it lurched into a dive, tumbling to the woods below like a wounded bird. Chunks of metal and treetops and branches were sheared off and sent flying skywards. Yelping, Nyx dodged them the best she could while still keeping on the jet’s burning tail. “NIGHTCRAWLER!!!”



The X-Wing smashed to the ground, skidding over the loose dirt and rotting leaves, tearing trees up by their roots and flattening bushes before finally coming to a stomach-churning, crashing halt at the base of a massive, rocky hill.



Nyx’s hands flew to the sides of her head, and hoping, frightened, and not believing, she screamed torturously, scaring away what few jackdaws had lingered in the distant trees.



Her eyes flooded with tears as she shot to the ground, drawing dirty, hoarse breaths through her clenched fangs. ‘C’mon, Kurt, where are you?!’



Slamming to the springy ground, Nyx tore towards the fallen jet, her toe claws ripping up little divots in the damp dirt below her. She leapt clear the last few feet, flinging her hands out to grab one of the hatch doors, but her bluish skin sizzled against the hot metal and she flinched away, gasping.



“No, no!” Shaking her hands wildly, Nyx sprang for the crumpled nose of the jet, hoping that she could smash the windshield open–



“BAMF!!!!”



Squawking at the noise and the new reek of sulfur and brimstone, Nyx spun around, her eyes flying open as she saw Nightcrawler stagger out of the purplish cloud of smoke, breathing raggedly and falling hard to his knees, dropping a small survival pack beside him.



“Kurt!!” Nyx cried, her voice unabashedly joyous. She lunged for him, sliding across the fresh forest floor and landing hard beside him. She grabbed his arm, suddenly grateful to feel the hard, ropey muscles beneath his sleeve. “Kurt, are you–”



“N-Nyx …” he stammered, trying to raise his face to hers, but blinded by the smear of blood on his forehead. “… Move … get out …”



Nyx started, amazed at his words. She almost demanded to know what the hell he was talking about, but was knocked into a horrified silence as Nightcrawler’s terror reached out, grabbing a hold of her mind and swamping her with it. Realizing what was going to happen, Nyx ducked her head, wrapping Nightcrawler’s arm around her shoulders and snatching the survival pack he had rescued. “Come on–let’s beat feet, fuzzy!”



Hauling him upright, Nyx broke into a run, half-carrying, half-dragging the barely conscious Nightcrawler beside her. She was dying to turn around and look, to see what the jet was waiting for, but, at the same time, was frightened that it might slow them down, resulting in something that sounded quite painful.



Judging by the flaring and dying of Nightcrawler’s fear, he was starting to slip into unconsciousness. Nyx bared her fangs at him once, smacking his shapely butt with the tip of her tail. “Nightcrawler, c’mon, stay awake!!”



She had hardly finished speaking when the X-Wing’s last two fuel cells exploded with a searing heat, a shrieking roar.



The hot wind hit them like a brick wall at their backs, and Nyx, though she knew she had, didn’t hear herself cry out in terror as she was flung forward by the blast, picked up off of her feet and thrown to the base of several wounded pines she had been only a few yards away from a second earlier.



Hitting the ground with a snarling grunt, Nyx instantly whipped open her wings, rolling on top of Nightcrawler’s still body and shielding him from the rain of ash and small, fiery comets of shrapnel. She squeezed her eyes shut, holding her breath as she waited for the back of her jumpsuit to stop smoldering, for the fire to settle and for the ringing in her pointy ears to stop.



When she finally regained her courage, Nyx slowly opened her eyes. Warily, she raised herself off of Nightcrawler and craned her neck around, squinting at the sputtering, dancing flames on the crater that was Professor Xavier’s oh-so-expensive mini jet.



Still somewhat dazed, Nyx slowly shook her head and whistled in semi-admiration; she and Nightcrawler had just narrowly avoided being flash-fried.



“Damn.”



Hearing her voice, Nightcrawler shifted beneath her, groaning. Nyx gasped with a start, scrambling off of her teammate and fully humiliated by how red her cheeks had grown. “Kurt?”



“Ehhh.” He winced, white fangs flashing in the mix of sunlight and flame. “Dara … am I alive?”



Nyx realized that he was trying to be funny, but she was so shaken and frightened for him that she couldn’t even force a smile. “Y-yeah.”



With another groan, Nightcrawler closed his eyes again. “Okay … wunderbar. You won’t … mind … if I take a nap?”



A short, nervous laugh hiccupped out of her. “N-no.”



His eyes still closed, Nightcrawler slowly nodded. “Okay … okay.”



His hand weakly stretched out, searching for her. Nyx bent forward, taking his hand and holding it against her chest.



“I’m right here,” she whispered.



A smile danced on Nightcrawler’s lips. “You always were,” he murmured, and fell quiet.



************Nyx looked at him in disbelief, and started to protest, but the words died in her throat. Sighing, she shrugged, and stooped down to the scoop up their survival pack. “If you say so.”



Nightcrawler forced a wavering smile and nodded, but as soon as Nyx turned her back, he swayed on his feet, waving his arms wildly to keep balance.



He muttered a curse. He must have hit his head harder than they both thought.



He staggered on a few paces behind Nyx, catching up with her just enough so he could catch her shoulder, trying to look as though he didn’t want her to wander away from him when secretly, Nightcrawler feared he’d fall flat on his face without support.



Finally, as they drew closer to a wide brook, Nightcrawler spotted a deep gouge up in the rock face. He pointed it out, and Nyx was momentarily elated to see the cave.



But then, her face fell. “It’s so high up …”



Nightcrawler shrugged. “That’s good; we’ll be away from beasties on the ground …”



Nyx frowned and arched a questioning brow ridge at him. “I know that. But are you really okay? Can you bamf up there?”



Nightcrawler blinked, taken aback by the question. “Of course I can. Here–” He held a three fingered hand out for their survival pack. “I’ll even take that up there too.”



“But–”



“Watch.” Grinning at her once, Nightcrawler instantly teleported away from the forest floor, rushing through the Otherspace and re-emerging at the lip of the cave.



His brain was rattling inside his skull as he turned to wave down to Nyx. He smiled weakly. “I think I’m going to throw up.”



Pitching the bag aside, Nightcrawler dropped to his knees and slowly lowered his body, happy to find that the ground was nice and cold for his sweating head.



It felt like several dozen minutes had passed before Nightcrawler finally heard Nyx’s claws tearing into the rough stone. He wearily glanced up as Nyx hauled herself over the last boulder, her eyes flying open in terror when she saw him lying there, like a dead man. “Oh no!”



“I’m all right, Nyx!” Nightcrawler said hurriedly, struggling to sit up. Suddenly, his body felt frighteningly heavy. “It … it just tired me.”



“Oh God …” Scrambling into the cave, Nyx fairly dove for him, catching the bag he dropped and sliding it under his head. “Okay, here. Rest a bit.”



“I believe I will.” Growing dizzy and foggy again, Nightcrawler reached out and grabbed Nyx’s long, slender ankle as she stood. “You will too. You need a break to reenergize.” He grimaced. “Hank threatened to beat me if I didn’t make you take your naps.”



Nyx started for a second at his hand on her ankle, but then she surprised Nightcrawler by smiling. “Well … well, I guess I’ll spare you the pain and Dr. McCoy the effort.”



Nightcrawler grinned, finally without effort. He shifted aside a bit, giving Nyx just enough room to rest her head on the bag. He felt his fur stand ramrod straight on his body as Nyx settled beside him, her uniformed leg sliding against his.



Nyx blinked, as though confused or embarrassed by what she had just done. She shrugged, then smirked at Nightcrawler, who amazed himself by not reacting in any humiliating way to her touch.



“Night, ‘Crawler.”



“Very funny, Fraulien.” Nightcrawler hesitated, then slowly, shakily, lifted a hand to brush away her hair that had swept across his cheek. He slowly drew in a steadying breath, fascinated by how silky it felt between his fingers, against his cheek. His heart gave an aching, longing lurch, and Nightcrawler was tempted to roll on top of the girl, trapping her lips with his as he peeled her skintight jumpsuit away.



Suddenly, Nightcrawler remembered Nyx’s abilities as an empath, and his head whipped around, staring fearfully at her.



His breath rushed out of his lungs as he realized that she was already sound asleep, a quirk her mutation brought on and which made him infinitely grateful.



Still, Nightcrawler stared at her, at her vulnerability.



Disgusted with himself, Nightcrawler shifted his body several more feet away from her, then reluctantly fell into an uneasy sleep.



**************************************************************************************



Wiping the remainder of the pine sap off of her two-way communicator with the palm of her hand, Nyx glanced back at Nightcrawler to be sure he was still asleep before walking to the mouth of the cave.



Blinking rapidly in the sudden wash of sunlight, Nyx crouched down and thumbed the communicator on.



“Nyx to Cyclops, come in,” she said, promptly releasing the pressure on the switch. A soft, staticy wail moaned through the comm. Nyx frowned, then switched channels.



“Nyx to Wolverine. Do you read me, Wolverine? Over.”



Only the static replied, its growl more ferocious than before. Nyx’s shoulders slumped, but she tried the third channel, maybe just for the hell of it.



“Nyx to all teammates. Does anyone hear me? Over!”



Something spazzed at her and Nyx sighed heavily, her head drooping. She really didn’t want to use any of the public channels; she couldn’t really announce to the world that there were two mutants lost somewhere west of … of …



Where??



But did she have a choice? Nyx glanced back at Nightcrawler, dirty and bruised, his uniform ripped and burned. Nightcrawler had only grabbed one of the survival packs, and that was just enough for one person. Nyx hadn’t counted on crashing and burning in the middle of goddamned nowhere, so she had left most of her medicines, the tranqs and Hank McCoy’s All Natural, SPF +7000 Sun Block back in her hotel room.



If nothing else, she needed that sun block, and Nightcrawler needed to be checked up; Nyx was pretty sure he had a concussion, but she was afraid that he might’ve wrecked his ribs.



Maybe his image inducer was still working. Nyx hadn’t thought to check. Did Nightcrawler even bring it? Missions like this didn’t necessarily require image inducers. He might have left his it back at the hotel.



Nyx sighed again, and gazed down to the sticky radio in her hand. She hesitated, then reached up and switched for the public channels. There were a lot of loggers up this way. Truckers too. Somebody with a radio had to be out there.



She drew in a deep breath, rehearsed her message in her head, then cut into the static. Here it goes.



“Mayday, mayday! Does anyone read?”



Nyx released the button. Wind seemed to howl through the radio.



Frustrated, Nyx raised the unit again. “Mayday, mayday; private plane down, passengers hurt and need assistance. Does anyone read? Over.”



For a full minute, Nyx crouched there, holding the com by her elf-like ear, waiting anxiously for even a squeak.



No one replied.



Nyx shook her head hard, her light hair whirling out around her. This wasn’t happening.



“Mayday! Two people lost! Does anyone read? OVER!!”



The com remained silent.



Disgusted, Nyx flung the com aside, forgetting that it was connected to her suit. She snorted irritably as the radio swung back and bounced off her breast.



“Hell.” Nyx scooted backwards, back into the cave’s shadow. At a loss, she dropped her head in her hands; she wasn’t afraid that the X-Men wouldn’t find them.



She was afraid they’d take too long.



This was so bad. There were all sorts of creepy things running around the woods down there, there was only one jug of clean water for them to use, only one thin blanket but no pillow, four granola-bar thingies that would feed them for maybe a day … but wouldn’t sate her other hunger.



That … and she was stuck with Nightcrawler. It was awful; she was trapped with a man whom she loved but knew didn’t love her back. At least, not in that way. And when her leg had bumped against his? Nyx had shivered, and did so again now, though she was warm and the trembling felt nice.



Propping her head on her fist, Nyx gazed towards Kurt, feeling guilty that she was watching him sleep. Again. It felt like, like he was doing something private, and Nyx had no business being there.



But …



Self-conscious, Nyx drew her knees up to her chest and hugged them; she couldn’t stand it anymore. As Beast and Professor X had so delicately reminded her, her sexual drive had been doubled since her original mutations, which didn’t help the fact that she was eighteen, caught in a spot where her cravings were at their strongest.



It was bad. It was depressing. It was embarrassing. Nyx had paced her room at night, when everybody else was asleep. She … err … desired Kurt, but was understandably put off by the fact that he was–had been–in the priesthood. This hadn’t smothered the fire at all, and Nyx had been ready to pounce Gambit, or Archangel, even Cyclops, or Wolverine … although with Tigress around, that’d be suicidal.



But now, now Kurt had given up the cloth. Forbidden fruit no more!



And that just made it worse.



Invisible flames danced along the insides of her legs, and Nyx was horribly aware that she was growing wet. Soaked, actually. She really hoped no one would be able to tell while she was wearing her suit.



Nyx rocked back on her tail, her eyes still fixed on Nightcrawler. She wanted to go, shake him awake, slide her body on top of his, beg him to take her, feel him bury himself into her.



Nyx grimaced, her fangs baring briefly. She needed release, but, damn it all, knew that she could never find it with her own hand. She had tried before, several times, but had never found satisfaction. Lying under the bathtub faucet usually worked, but, whaddya know, there were no bathtubs in sight.



Gazing at Nightcrawler once more, Nyx gave a soft sigh-growl and stood up. Reaching the mouth of the cave, she opened her wings and leapt out, catching a small gust and allowing it to carry her away from the rocky hill, dropping her by the stream.



Caping her wings about her, Nyx followed the stream into the woods, glancing once or twice back at the cave to be sure that Nightcrawler wasn’t up, looking for her.



She hadn’t gone far before she reached a clump of bushes–blueberries, she realized, relieved. Suddenly hungry, she pulled a handful off of a few branches before ducking behind the patch entirely.



Rinsing the berries off in the brook, Nyx popped a few into her mouth, happy to find that they weren’t too sour. She finished the handful off, then stood, unbuckling and unzipping her suit.



The suit stuck painfully to her sweat-slicked arms, and Nyx shuddered for a moment at the breeze as it danced along her skin.



Reminding herself that Nightcrawler was liable to wake up and come looking for her, Nyx quickly kicked her suit aside and stepped into the stream. She nearly yelped at the frigidness, her feet quickly freezing in the cold water and mud.



“No, this is a good thing!” she hissed, slipping out of her damp panties. Hesitating twice, Nyx knelt down in the freezing water. Her lower mouth throbbed painfully beneath the surface, but Nyx decided that she’d rather freeze than face Nightcrawler all hot and bothered.



She washed off her panties, wringing them out and tossing them on her crumpled suit. Growling, she went to wipe away the dew that had gathered between her legs. The tip of her claw gently scraped along the delicate skin there, and Nyx froze, feeling something like a growl and a moan rumble deep in her throat.



It felt so good.



This was really bad.



**************************************************************************************



Nightcrawler was awake and not so nauseous by the time Nyx returned with an armful of blueberries. He gratefully helped Nyx retrieve more, and together, they sat at the edge of the cave’s mouth, watching the sky darken and feasting on berries and energy bars.



“They must know we’re missing by now,” Nightcrawler said, passing the water bottle to Nyx. “I bet they’ll be out here by tomorrow afternoon.”



“Mmm.” Swallowing a draught, Nyx handed the bottle back to Nightcrawler. “I hope they’re smart enough to bring my stuff.”



Nightcrawler chuckled. “Cyclops leaves nothing forgotten.”



“That’s true.”



Nyx dusted the crumbs off of her hands. “You’re sure you’re all right? You’re not seeing spots, or hearing voices or anything?”



Nightcrawler laughed. “I’m fine, Nyx. Really, you took good care of me.”



Nyx’s cheeks turned the slightest of pink in the setting sun. She smiled shyly at him, but said nothing.



Seeing her there, Nightcrawler suddenly realized, maybe for the hundredth time that day, how much he loved her. He hid a smile, and silently sighed; he loved Dara, and there was really no reason that he couldn’t express that.



It was just a question of whether he should.



Wolverine had been goading him on, urging Nightcrawler to take the initiative, just go and be with her.



And, Gott in Himmel, Nightcrawler wanted to.



He was jerked out of his dreaming by Nyx’s yawn. Sighing, she glanced at him and smiled. “I guess I wore myself out this afternoon … I’m getting tired again.”



“Oh?” Irrationally concerned, Nightcrawler stood up and held out a hand for her. “Then we should get to bed … uhhhh, I mean–”



Nyx was yawning again, shaking her head slowly. She didn’t hear him? “Somebody should stay up, don’t you think?”



“Knowing you, you’ll be running around in a few hours. I think we’ll both be okay if we call it a night.” Nightcrawler stretched his hand a bit further. “Come on!”



Looking too tired to argue, Nyx reached out and grasped his hand, letting him pull her to her feet and lead her to the blanket they had spread out earlier.



Nyx didn’t put up a fight as Nightcrawler gently pushed her to the blanket. Exhausted, she rolled onto her side and tucked an arm under her head, nodding weakly in reply to Nightcrawler’s “good night”.



He paused for a moment, studying her, committing every shadow, every curve and soft breath to memory. He sighed silently; did this make him a sociopath?



Deciding to agonize over it tomorrow, Nightcrawler quietly laid down beside her, turned to face her back. A heat and a sorrow grew in him, and he sighed heavily, quietly, his breath dancing across Nyx’s hair.



“Mmph?” Groggily, she lifted her head. “Kurt?”



Nightcrawler’s eyes flew open in terror. “D-did I wake you up?”



Not answering, Nyx carefully slid her body back, against his. Nightcrawler froze, watching in horror and disbelief as she fitted her small form against his, her legs tangled with his, her back pressed against his chest, her bottom crushing his manhood.



Groping with one hand, she found his arm and pulled it over her, like he was a blanket. A tantalizing thought crept into Nightcrawler’s mind; he wouldn’t mind covering her up …



Nyx sighed again. “‘Night Kurt,” she whispered, falling asleep.



She was so close, Kurt could smell her, actually smell her faint musk. She was hot, her warmth radiating through his suit.



A sad smile played at Kurt’s lips. He bent forward, gently kissing the back of her neck, nestling his head against hers as he tightened his grip around her body. His tail snaked up and wrapped itself possessively around her calf, holding Nyx against him.



“Guten Nacht, mein leibling,” Kurt whispered, closing his eyes and dreaming. “Mein Dea.”



********Ooh, Kurt didn’t want to think about that.



He drove his fist into his palm again. He wondered whether he had masked his emotions enough so Dara didn’t suspect. He was pretty sure that she had noticed how protective he had gotten of her; sometimes, she was so vulnerable–



“KUUUUUURRRRRRRTTTTTTT!!!!!!!”



“Was zum Teufel?!”
Kurt yelped, leaping into the air in terror, nearly hitting the cave’s ceiling. Thudding back to the ground, Kurt tore to the lip of the cave, looking down to the tree line as Dara came ripping out of the woods in a wild panic. “Kurt!! HELP!!!”



Her cry threw Kurt for a second; he couldn’t remember the last time something had scared Dara so badly.



Just as he was about to shout back, he heard something like the roar of a freight truck rushing through the trees. All of his fur shot on end as the monstrous bear charged out of the woods, roaring and slapping aside full-grown pines as though they were twigs. A pair of grotesque pincers arched over its scaly back, reflecting eerily in its silvery, insect-like eyes.



“That’d do it.”



The bear roared again, raising a paw the size of a Volkswagen Beetle and taking a wild swing at Dara, missing her by barely a foot.



The rush of passing air was powerful enough to throw Dara forward, knocking her flat on her chest. Dirt sprayed up as she fell and slid, her taloned hands already scrabbling for a grip on the soil, to pull her upright. She slipped in the damp dirt, her head swinging around to look at the monster as it reared up its hind legs, her eyes widening in terror.



“DARA!!!” The name ripped from Kurt’s throat, hardly past his lips as he bamfed, disappearing and reentering just above the creature’s head. Balling his fists together, Kurt gave a roar and brought them down, slamming them hard on the bear’s snout as it peered upwards to find the source of the explosion.



Something in the bear’s skull cracked, and it screamed, staggering furiously backwards as it clapped both massive paws over its face, staunching the flow of blood from its nose.



Hitting the ground hard, Kurt raced to Dara, who lay stunned where the bear was about to finish her off.



Her eyes glassy, Dara allowed Kurt to grab her by the arms and pull her to her feet. “Kurt, what–?!”



“Hang on to me!” Stooping a bit to allow her arms to encircle his neck, Kurt grabbed her around the waist and bamfed, teleporting them both up to the mouth of the cave.



As they reemerged with a head-ringing “BAMF!!!”, Dara gasped in fright, her grip momentarily tightening around him.



Clutching Dara against his chest, Kurt shot a wary look to the brook below, watching with baited breath as the startled bear snuffled about itself, inspecting the place where Dara had been a second earlier. Moaning in disappointment, it turned and shambled off into the forest again, its pincers snapping angrily.



Not moving an inch until the bear was completely out of sight, Dara released her breath shakily. Trembling, she collapsed against Kurt, burying her face in his shoulder.



“Oh, God,” she whispered. “I got so scared …”



“Are you all right?” Kurt placed a gentle hand atop her head, urging her to raise her face to his. “Did it hurt you?”



“N-no.” Dara blinked as he carefully took her chin between his thumb and forefinger, tilting her face up. “I just ran … I couldn’t get into the air with the trees everywhere.”



“Ssh.” Kurt grimaced at a welt mark across her cheek, made by a snapping branch. He hurt for her, and was about to step away and retrieve the little first aid kit from their pack, when he noticed her gaze.



Kurt hesitated, meeting her eyes, momentarily panicking, fearing that he was holding her too closely and she was offended.



A faint smile danced at her silken lips. “You didn’t do anything wrong, Kurt.”



Kurt nearly jumped; she read his emotions! She knew!! SHE KNEW!!!



Dara opened her mouth, hesitated, then spoke. Her voice was so quiet, but Kurt heard her perfectly.



“Kurt … Kiss me?”



His glowing eyes widened, shocked at her words, shocked that she wanted him to kiss her.



She wanted him to.



Smiling, Kurt dipped his head, brushing his lips against hers. Dara’s eyes closed and she shivered, her full little mouth parting and a soft gasp escaping.



It was encouragement for Kurt. He kissed her again, harder, dully aware that his eyes were closed, and one of his hands had drifted up Dara’s back, pressing her against his chest, so close he could feel her young breasts through their suits. His other hand slipped down to her bottom, cupping the soft curve and making her sigh.



Kurt felt Dara’s tongue touch the tip of his and he nearly lost his mind. Grabbing one thigh, Kurt hooked Dara’s leg up over his hip, and he was rewarded when her fingers, delicate and human, caught the zipper at his collar and pulled it down.



Grunting, Kurt lifted Dara up, cradling her as he slowly sank to his knees. Her kiss turned passionate and she shivered again as he gently laid her on the cave floor.



“Kurt,” she murmured as he reluctantly drew his mouth away, reaching for her belt.



Kurt hesitated, suddenly nervous. “Are you sure you want to do this, leibling? I’ll stop. I can wait …”



A moan wound out from Dara’s mouth and she arched her back, pushing her hips up towards him. “I’ve wanted you for so long, Kurt … please …”



Not another word was needed. A quick flick of his wrist and the belt was undone and tossed aside.



Kurt bent forward again, kissing her roughly as his tail snaked over her stomach, resting between her legs and teasingly flicking its tip over her hidden womanhood.



Dara cried out in Kurt’s mouth. He pulled away with a devilish smile, replacing his tail with his hand. He gently massaged her there, watching her chest heave and her head roll backwards.



“Is this your first time, leibling?” he asked softly, savoring the heat that was burning viscously in him.



Dara nodded, her voice soft and husky. “Yesss …”



Kurt almost stopped everything right there. She was a virgin? No, wait, Kurt should stop and let her save this for her wedding night …



Aw, fuck that.



“I’ll make it good for you,” he whispered, straddling her, helping her pull his suit back. “I want you to enjoy this.”



Heady, Dara eased herself back down, looking innocent and frightened and in desperate need to be held by the one she loved.



Kurt dipped his head and kissed her again, sighing against her silky lips as he reached for her collar, unzipping the front of her suit.



He kissed her throat, slipping a hand into her suit and caressing the soft flesh under her shirt. Kurt traced her breast through her bra and Dara shivered again, running her fingers through his hair.



“Kurt,” she rasped, hot and sweet and so soft. “Please … Show me … Teach me!”



“Gladly.”



He opened the suit further, revealing tanned flesh. Dara shifted under him, raising herself up so he could pull away her suit top. The leathery material clung to her skin, and Kurt suddenly grew frustrated and impatient. He could feel his tail swishing frantically across her covered legs as he struggled to keep his calm.



He felt his manhood become rock hard and fiery hot, straining against clothing. He was desperate to free it, but Kurt didn’t want to frighten Dara with his haste.



Still, Kurt hissed and clenched his teeth together, squeezing his eyes shut as Dara tentatively and experimentally reached out, her fingertips brushing the mountain between his legs with a feathery touch.



“You’re making this very hard, mein Dea,” he grated, fighting the urge to tear all of her clothes away and ravish her, make her come so hard that she’d beg for mercy.



Dara smiled wickedly, gazing at Kurt through half lidded eyes. “That’s not the only thing I’ve been making hard.”



A laugh erupted from Kurt’s throat, barely masking his passion. Slowly, he shifted backwards, positioning himself between her legs.



“I’m sorry, Dara, but I’m getting a little impatient.”



Dara grinned. “Same here.”



Kurt returned the smile, slowly positioning his hands on either side of her half-opened uniform. “Are you sure you are ready?”



Her beautiful eyes flared. “Yes! Kurt, please!” Her breath caught in her throat. “I–need–you.”



Convinced, Kurt started to spread the uniform open, pulling her arms free so she could catch him around the neck, pulling him towards her–



*Sqqqquuuaaaarrrrkkkkk!!*



“Cyclops to Nyx! Do you read?”



“GAH!!” Shocked, Kurt and Dara jerked away from each other, their eyes flying wide in a panic as they scrambled backwards, colliding with opposite walls of the cave.



For a second, they only stared at each other, panting heavily, both fearing that somehow, Cyclops had caught them in their embrace.



The radio on Dara’s uniform squeaked back to life. “Nyx? Nightcrawler? Can you hear me?”



Dara hesitated, shooting a nervous glance to Kurt as he sat there, half naked, hanging somewhere between an unreasonable panic and an animalistic lust.



Swallowing hard, Kurt waved her on.



Drawing in an unsteady breath, Dara snatched the com from her suit, clicking it on. “This’s Nyx. Can you hear me, Cyclops?”



Two seconds worth of static passed before Cyclops answered again, his voice hurried, and yet relieved. “I hear you, Nyx. Is Nightcrawler there with you? Over.”



“Y-yes, he’s here.” Nyx grimaced, glancing pleadingly to Kurt. Understanding her fear, Nightcrawler bounded over to her side, gently taking the com from her hand.



“I’m here, Cyclops,” Nightcrawler said, watching Nyx as he spoke. He smiled at her, relieved when she smiled in return. He extended an arm for her, and Nyx gratefully allowed him to cradle her against his bare chest. “We’re okay–a little bruised, maybe. Over.”



Static spat at Nightcrawler before Cyclops replied. “Okay, Nightcrawler, we’re on our way over there.”



Nightcrawler blinked, surprised. “How do you know where we are?”



He could almost hear Cyclops smirking as he replied. “We’ve got a pair of bloodhounds on your scent.”



“Oh, reeeeaaaal nice,” Tigress’ voice snarled faintly. Nearby, Wolverine gave an unamused snort.



Nightcrawler grinned as he felt Nyx try to stifle her giggles against his chest. “Well, hurry up! We don’t want to spend any more time up here than we have to.”



“We’ll be there in a few. Cyclops out.”



Chuckling, Nightcrawler thumbed the radio off. He sat back on his heels, looking down, momentarily losing himself in the beauty that was curled against him. “Well … they’ll be here soon.”



“Mm.” Nyx’s hot breath tickled Nightcrawler’s fur as she sighed. “I’m almost sorry though.”



“Ja.” Wrapping his arms around Nyx, Nightcrawler tenderly kissed the top of her head, breathing deeply of the scent of her hair. “But I won’t let you stay disappointed, Dara, mein Dea.” He grinned at her sparkling eyes as she gazed up at him. “I promise.”



Dara smiled. “I love you, Kurt.”



“I love you too, Dara,” he whispered, kissing her lips delicately. “My Dara. My goddess.”



**********

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