And Life Goes On

by Nix
(crimsonquills AT gmail DOT com)

Kurt Wager crouched in a chair in Charles Xavier's office. It was high backed and made of wood. Not at all a comfortable chair for a man with a tail and a habit of sitting on his haunches. Kurt's tail curved around, over his thigh and hooked around his ankle. It was the most comfortable position he could find for it.

"Well," Xavier said thoughtfully. "Circumstances have made my original purpose for sending Storm and...Jean to find you superfluous. If you wish, I will have Ororo fly you back to Boston. It's the least we can do, after all you've done to help us."

"Nein," Kurt gestured. "You owe me nothing. If anything, you gave me the chance to make up for my actions against the President. The damage I might have done," he shook his head slowly. "It does not bear imagining."

"Kurt," Charles said gently, "you're not responsible for that attack. You were used. You were a weapon in Stryker's hand."

"I might be a weapon to Stryker," Kurt said, "but I know that I am more than that. I may not have been in control then, but I was there, and I must bear responsibility the same as any who stood by. I choose to take this as a lesson."

Charles leaned forward a little. "A lesson?" he inquired.

Kurt smiled, his teeth startlingly white against his midnight blue skin. "It is dangerous to give up control of your own life. Someone might step up to fill the gap. We are meant to make our own way. I needed to be reminded of that."

Xavier smiled and leaned back into his chair. "As I said, you are free to return home, but...I hope you will stay. At least for awhile."

"Why?" Kurt asked, startled. "I am not one of your 'X- Men', and I am too old to be a student."

"If you wish to take classes," Charles said, eyes twinkling, "there is no reason age should be a barrier. But I was rather hoping you'd be interested in teaching."

"Teaching? What would I teach?"

"Philosophy, perhaps," Xavier suggested. "German, if you're interested. Physical education. Control, for those students with similar abilities." He hesitated. "Mostly, I was hoping you'd be willing to help the children learn tolerance. How to see with more than just their eyes." Charles tilted his head and his gaze suddenly seemed sharper to Kurt. Deeper. "You have remarkably bright thoughts, Mr. Wagner. If I had had time to think about it, I'd have expected them to be more weighed down. More bitter."

Kurt waved a three-fingered hand. "The world is a fantastic place, Professor Xavier," he said. "Things are changing so fast. Dreams are coming true every day. New possibilities are opening up every moment. How could I not wish to see where they lead?"

Charles smiled. "That's why I want you to stay. That kind of excitement is all too rare these days."

"Ahh, excitement." Kurt's eyes twinkled. "That is something I know how to share. You know, in the Munich circus I was known as the incredible Nightcrawler!"