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Ties That Bind, Ties That Break

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^^^

Kurt lay in his hospital bed, only covered in a flimsy gown with tubes coming out in every which way. He sat there helpless. He needed to move, to work off the horrible images and thoughts that this latest revelation about his past inflicted upon him. Moving a muscle and changing a thought has always helped him, though not in the long run, but it at least brought temporary relief. Mystique… Mystique is my mother. She threw me away to uncertain death to save her own skin. I’ve been tossed aside once again as if I was just a fuzzy blue rag-doll of little consequence. Another betrayal. But I am getting used to them, nein? Perhaps everything that has happened the last several months has been a wake-up call. You can only count on yourself...

Kurt also began to think of his adoptive mother Margali, who he had suspected knew more about his true parentage than she was telling. And with what recently happened with Cerise didn't help he feelings of resentment any. He understood why Cerise had done it, pretended to be someone else, she was on the run from her people for Treason charges when she refused to murder an alien race for her government. She did what she thought was best but he still could not get past that he had been lied to for so many months. He had opened his heart only to be deceived. He did not know who to trust anymore.

At this Rogue came bursting in. “Hey, sugar! I got ya a fresh pitcher of water! I know your mouths been really dry.”

“That is quite all right, Rogue, you really don’t have to stay and watch over me so. I’ll be fine. Go back to the X-Men.”

“Not on your life, Elf. At least not until I get someone more suitable to take my place.” She says as she lifts Nightcrawler's head and puts a plastic cup to his lips.

“More suitable?” Kurt said bewildered. Before reluctantly taking a sip.

“Honey, I can’t touch ya, I don’t know you the best, that would be Logan and Kitty and you already said you didn’t want Kit knowing about this and I quote “To see me this way” remember?”

“I did not mean to imply you weren’t enough. I know we aren’t the closest Rogue but you are family.”

“I’m not offended. And you didn’t imply anything. I can understand Kitty, fine, I guess. But Logan? You guys have been joined at the hip ever since I can remember. Is it that fight you had?”

“What fight?” Kurt sounded curious and alarmed as well.

Rogue suddenly regretted saying that and wondered if she was overstepping her boundaries but Kurt's condition was quite serious and if there was a chance to clear things up and bring in Logan she would do it. The thought of Logan and Kurt being on bad terms made her uneasy. Their friendship had been such a constant ever since she had joined the X-Men years ago. “Well, something happened, Logan came back from visiting you and Kitty happier than I’ve seen him, until you called and then nobody heard from ya. The night you called he trashed his room and was moping for days. So something happened. And when you didn’t call after Mariko had died—“

“Hold on a moment, Rogue, I did try to contact Logan but he would not speak with me.”

“You did? Kurt… what exactly is going on between you two?” Rogue raised her eyebrow.

Kurt frowned apologetically, “I’m sorry Rogue but that is a private matter.”

“Well, whatever you tell me doesn’t matter. I’m calling Logan. You both obviously need each other. You both are missin’ each other awfully but are too stubborn to admit it.”

Kurt panicked here. He did not wish to be anywhere near Logan right now of all times. “Rogue, really it is much more complicated than—"

“No buts, Elf. I’m callin’ him now.” She says, placing her hands on her hips.

“Rogue-!” Kurt called but it was too late. He sighed heavily and let his head drop to the pillow and cursed, "Scheisse!"

^^^

“Logan? It’s Rogue. You know that mission I was sent on with Kurt you were asking me about? Well, let’s just say he found out stuff and he’s not dealin’ well. And he’s beaten up pretty badly.”

“Well that’s just it. He won’t talk about it. And he doesn’t want Kitty here… and you even less it seems.”

“Right, right… uh-huh? At 'New Hope'... it's a private hospital in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Ok gre-”

Then only a dial tone cut in before she could finish, “Well, you're welcome!” Rogue rolled her eyes.

^^^

It was still morning in Westchester when Rogue called. When he heard about Kurt on the other end he was relieved to finally know what was going on. He knew the Elf was mad at him and with good reason. But he was going to see Kurt whether he wanted it or not. Logan moaned as he lifted himself from the bed where he just plopped into fully dressed last night. He was able to max out his healing factor with some chemicals and drank himself like a fish as images of both Kurt and Mariko fluttered through his mind.

As he made his way to the bathroom, knocking beer cans over he muttered,” Ready or not, Elf, here I come.”

^^^

The following day, “So, Rogue, tell me of this Gambit--Remy. Is he treating you well?” Kurt asked almost protectively, it was his nature.

“How did you…?”

“Logan. He told me. I asked about the X-Men last time we got... um, together.” Kurt cleared his throat uncomfortably and flushed slightly. Luckily Rogues head was turned down so she couldn't catch his darkened cheeks.

It was Rogues turn to look uncomfortable now. “Ah. Why the interest?”

“Well, Rogue, as I said you were always family, and with this new discovery it bonds us even further in that way.” Kurt was still digesting the fact that the woman adopted Rogue was his mother, he bowed his head bashfully and said, “I know you have trouble with that kind of thing... from experience.”

Rogue laughed here, “Yeah, you tried to put the moves on me twice, Wagner. But at least you knew when to quit.” She thought back to when Kurt would playfully ask for a kiss and the time he attempted to tickle her. Kurt had something of a thing about tickling as it was a part of his playful nature. Though, Kurt didn't like to see his friends unhappy and he used his antics to cheer them up, she also knew it was partly an act to put others at ease because of his appearance. It was harmless really, for most, but when she had the ability to, in many ways, suck the life out of people it was a big deal to her, plus her powers left her inexperienced in such matters.

“Yes, it only took me a sock to the stomach.” Kurt smiled wistfully before chuckling.

“Yeah, as I said. It doesn’t stop Remy, though.” Rogue suddenly looked serious. She had a far away look in her eyes.

“Again, I’m really sorry, Rogue—" Kurt said with sincerity. Rogue was surprised Kurt still felt guilty about it after all these years. She thought it had been settled.

“Enough of that, sugar, it’s long been forgiven. You were only tryin’ to cheer me up. I appreciate it actually now, I realized that I wasn’t just some leach but a woman who can be attractive I guess. Someone that isn’t seen as dangerous or untouchable.” Rogue took Kurt’s hand here.

“Ahem! You move quick, Elf.”

Rogue laughed softly. Kurt stiffened at the familiar voice that once brought joy but now seems to cause him pain.

Rogue squeezed Kurt’s hand before saying, “I’m gonna leave you two alone. I better be getting back to the mansion anyway.” She said as she studied them both intently.

“Really Fraulein, what’s the hurry? I would still love to have your company, as I’m sure Logan would and-”

Logan started out with confidence but then it faltered a bit at Kurt's look. He wasn't used to such anger from his best friend and sometimes lover. “Actually, it is sorta’ a private thing.”

Kurt narrowed his eyes at Logan and his lips were pulled tight in a grim line. “Really…”

Rogue sighed. “You work this out, you hear? Or I’m comin’ back to clobber you both.” and with that Rogue glided out of the room leaving the door to slam.

“She’s still as feisty as ever. I’m glad that hasn’t changed at least.” Kurt said to no one in particular.

Logan snorted. “So are you.”

Kurt sighed and rolled his eyes. “What are you on about, Wolverine? And more importantly, why are you here?”

“All right. I'll play along. I meant you are feisty too, bub. And I’m here to see you.”

“That is awfully considerate of you Wolverine, but you are free of any obligation you feel you have to me. You are obviously through with me both as friend and… "lover.”

“I’m not “through” with you, Elf. And calling me by my codename will not stop me from being here for you.”

“Fine. Be there for me all you want.” He said coldly before switching on the TV overhead to watch the latest news developments.

Logan sighed before mumbling, “Happy to see you too.”

Kurt did not look at Logan but started to speak in German, (And why should I be happy to see you, fiend?)

“I know yer talking about me…”

(You do? I always knew you were smart. Now go away.)

“Just another thing, I can make out some of what yer sayin’ The German I picked up in the army is slowly coming back since I was there last.”

(Wonderbar, maybe this will finally help me go to sleep…)

“Kurt, please. I'm worried about you. Tell me what happened.”

“Ach! Does it really matter you brute?” The young mutant said as he threw the remote at Logan, hitting him in the head, causing a loud clink as it collided with his skull. Logan did not know if that head-shot was intentional or not.

A brief feeling of regret flickered through Kurt's mind, but only briefly as his anger swelled up again. Kurt had found Logan's casual attitude grating.

Logan snarled. “Cute, Elf.” If this were anyone else Logan would have unsheathed his claws by now in irritation. This should be enough to prove how special Kurt is to him. He’ll never notice these little things. But he did not blame Kurt. He was acting very contradictory.

Kurt swallowed. “It will heal." Unlike the wounds you inflicted upon me.

“You can do this all you want. I’m not leavin.’” he said before picking up the remote and placing it next to Kurt’s arm on the bed, then went to get a chair and sat it in the corner.

“Well, I know I can’t stop the mighty Wolverine, as you never tire of reminding me.”

Logan sighed and rubbed his forehead. “So… how are things going with Cerise?” It took a lot of willpower for Logan to ask, he felt a pang of jealousy and possessiveness at the thought that Kurt may have moved on. He knew he was being selfish and that Kurt had every right to look elsewhere but he still couldn't help it.

Kurt bristled but still didn’t look at Logan. “They are not “going” at all. She left back to her own world for crimes she has committed there.” Now Kurt stared into Logan’s eyes, accusation showing unchecked, causing Logan to flinch slightly, “It appears... she too had trouble telling me the truth. What’s more she was impersonating another species even though she was Shiar. Interesting how things repeat themselves in my life.”

“Elf…” Logan felt guilty for the slight pang of relief but it was short-lived because Kurt being happy with someone else is much preferable to the intense emotional pain Logan was witnessing right now.

“What is it you want, Mein Herr?”

“Rogue told me about Mystique.”

“Ah, I do not want your charity. Mystique, like you, felt I was worthless and tossed me away. Business as usual,’ as they say… "

“Elf, please. I think you should-” Logan was concerned about Kurt working himself up after such a recent close call. He came here to help. Not make things worse. Logan knew Kurt was finally releasing all his pent up anger. It was a long time coming, he thought with a pain in his gut. The old Logan would have brushed it off but since he joined the X-Men he learned to regard people with more consideration and he believes Kurt had especially helped in that.

“No, I don't think I will. You, Cerise, and Amanda could never be truthful. And even Mystique used to taunt me about our relations when we would fight 'The Brotherhood’; she lied to me even then. She would hint but never follow through. She loved her head games. Another quality you share. “ Kurt spat lowly.

Logan deserved that and he knew it. This was going from bad to worse much too quickly. “I’m sorry.”

Kurt laughed without mirth. “Sorry, oh that is a funny one. Ah, now I see. You are having sexual frustration and in my state of vulnerability you are hoping I might let you fuck me. Cheap that I am, I realize that I always was in your eyes. You wanted to give Jean and Mariko everything but me... well, not much more to be said there, nein?”

“And look what happened to them.” Logan muttered.

“Don’t give me that, Logan. You cannot tell me you cared for them less.”

“You still care for me, Elf. That’s why yer still angry. And you wanted to talk to me when Mariko died.”

“Yes, I realized that even though we were through with fucking, we could perhaps still be friends. I guess I was wrong.”

“It wasn’t just fucking, Elf. You know that.”

“No. I don’t. But who can blame you?" Kurt picked up the remote and began to halfheartedly switch through the channels again.

Logan looked at Kurt in confusion. “What?"

“Why did you change your mind so dramatically? I though we found each other again.”

“I swear Kurt, there are good reasons.”

“Those reasons wouldn’t be redhead and telepath would it?”

“No.”

“Do not lie to me. Let’s look at her. She’s beautiful. Why would you settle for me? When just the sight of me could send the public into a panic?"

“Enough. Elf, now you’ve gone too far. It has nothin’ to do with how ya look. I dream about ya almost every night.” Logan was shocked that Kurt would even think such a thing about him. That he would just use him so or that he didn't find him every bit of attractive as he proclaimed all these years. He knew his behavior was confusing but he didn't realize his old friend would make such conclusions.

Kurt closed his eyes and shook his head, “I don’t believe you. None of this makes sense. If you wanted me so much I’d be yours right now. You were never scared to take what you wanted-"

At this Logan got up and went over to Kurt’s bed, put each hand on a blue fuzzy cheek and kissed him. It wasn’t full of passion and it was brief, but full of affection. “There. I took it.”

Kurt stared into Logan’s eyes with fury. “You always knew how to make me feel foolish. Now go.” He wiped his cheek with the back of his hand.

“Kurt, please.”

“Go.”

“I will... only for a bit.” Logan sighed.

After Logan shut the door he leaned against it, and heard Kurt still speaking with his enhanced hearing, and smiled sadly.

^^^

Once the door closed and Logan was gone Kurt closed his eyes and took a deep breath. “I’m truly sorry about Mariko, Logan.”

^^^

As the day wore on Logan sat in the lobby. Every once in a while he’d go to Kurt’s room to see if he needed anything or wished to talk, but nothing much came of it. Kurt's fury had faded back to cold indifference. He almost preferred the angry words because at least he wasn't being ignored. Visiting hours were now over and the last time he went in Kurt’s room they were preparing to give him a shot to help him sleep. But he decided to ignore the rules and slipped inside Kurt’s room. He was good at sneaking. He saw Kurt was fast asleep. Logan still thought Kurt was one of the most beautiful things he’d ever seen. That would not change. Kurt was definitely out cold. He smiled and bent down, lightly brushing curls off his forehead before laying a kiss there. Then he brought out one of his old dog tags from war and quietly and gently placed it around Kurt’s neck. Logan sighed. “Damn, Kurt. If things weren't so messed up now... you may not know this but it's for your own good.” Logan glanced at Kurt one more time before slipping out the door.

The plane ride home was bittersweet. He was positive Kurt still loved him. It was so obvious, but with so much pain mixed in. Pain that he helped cause. Logan placed his hand in his pocket and pulled out the St. Christopher medal Kurt bought him when they were in Germany. The medal represented the patron saint of travelers. Logan felt his throat tighten at those few blissful days. Hm. Patron saint of travelers... and wanderers maybe… I may not believe in this mumbo jumbo, Elf, but I believe in you.

Logan felt a great loss at Kurt's shattered faith in him. A trust had been broken that may never be fully restored. Now he’ll be seen as just another who had betrayed him. But he’ll do his damndest to make it up to him. Some day.

^^^

When Kurt awoke he felt the stickiness of his eyelids as they stuck together and moaned as he tried to open them. Then he looked to the side and saw that Logan must have finally left. As he rubbed his sore neck he felt something cold and hard. He lifted it and stared in shock. It was Logan’s dog tag.

At this Kurt felt a lump in his throat and he finally let out a soft sob and said. “Why do you always do this to me, Logan?” Kurt looked out the window and saw that morning was fast approaching. It was the start of a new day. But where it will lead Kurt did not know. He only hoped it didn’t end in heartache.

^^^