Title: Starting with a Sniffle

Author: tarotgal
Fandom: X-Men: Evolution

Pairings: Scott/Jean, light Rogue/Remy, really light Kitty/Kurt
Rating: G
Spoilers: The "fate" of Mystique (end of third season, beginning of fourth) is mentioned briefly. This takes place sometime after episode 406, after a point at which Remy moves into the Xavier Institute (which is completely fictional at this point, just a guess based on his allegiances in the original series)
Disclaimer: I REALLY don't own any of this universe or its characters and I wouldn't claim to or make money off it. They're owned by Marvel Comics and the WB and a whole buncha companies who do the movies and shows and stuff.
Summary: Many of the X-Men settle down together on Halloween night to watch monster movies.

Notes: This was written for the Sneezefic Halloween-themed challenge #1: write a story using the words/phrases 'trick or treat', 'but he's so pale', 'haunted', 'raining', and 'but I'm afraid of the dark'

Comments: Pretty please? Wi' shugah on top?



Starting with a Sniffle


     With a sniffle, Kurt rubbed a finger under his nose. "No, I don't want to go to bed early. I will be fine, Kitty. The movies are about to start. Come on," Kurt said, grabbing Kitty's wrist and teleporting them to the living room. She nearly spilled her drink and she made a show of pulling away from him after they'd settled on the couch beside Rogue and Magma. But her smile gave her away. It was hard not to have a soft spot for the fuzzy blue elf. "Popcorn, anyone?" Kurt asked, lifting the bowl with his tail and passing it across to where Jean and Scott were snuggled on the love seat.


     Jamie, all three of him, was sitting on the floor pouring drinks and handing them around quickly. Bobby lay sprawled on the floor in front of the television, gazing up at the glow in the darkened room. The others came and went still, bringing in chips and dips and cookies from the kitchen at the end of the hallway.


     "Five minutes till the movies!" called Scott, leaning back a little and shouting into the hallway to get their attention. "What's first?" he asked, for the television was currently only showing commercials for pumpkin carvers and sleep aids.


     Kurt had taken to memorizing the whole list of terrible monster movies. "Beast from Haunted Cave. Then Attack of the Werewolf--"


     "Too bad Rahne isn't still here, that one would have been right up her alley," Jamie said as what he must have thought to be a joke, though no one laughed.


     Kurt went on, "And then it's a Mummy double...feature." He pulled a handkerchief out of his pocket and covered his mouth and nose quickly with it. "HAHCKChhhh!" With a puff of smoke, he vanished, crawling out from beneath the couch a minute later. Rogue and Kitty both held out hands to help him back up. "Excuse me," he said with a nod, tucking the handkerchief away. "My cold's still hanging on. Which is no fair," Kurt said, casting his eyes over to Scott. "You've been over yours for two days now."


     Scott shrugged, eyes twinkling behind his glasses. They couldn't be seen, but Jean could sense it. "What can I say? I'm a fast healer when I have someone this sweet to nurse me back to heath," he said, wrapping arms around Jean with a squeeze. She giggled.


     "Oh, get a room, you two!" called Tabitha from the doorway, carrying a full tray of snacks. She spun gracefully across the room, depositing the tray on the coffee table in the middle and sprawling out on her back beside Bobby, watching the television set upside down. "Didn't miss anything, did I?" she asked, giving a relaxed stretch.


     There was a general confirmation that no, she hadn't. And several Jamies had to scoot over to see around Tabitha as she was lying with her legs bent and knees up. She reached over and took a handful of gummy bears.


     "Save some for the Trick or Treaters!" Bobby advised, stealing a few from her.


     "No one's going to be Trick or Treating here this year," Kitty said, sounding quite depressed about that fact. While they'd had a lot of visitors last year before all the mutant fears that were seizing the public, now they were surprised they hadn't been vandalized yet tonight. Several of the adults were prowling the grounds and the computer had been programmed for extra security, just in case.


     "Oohh, movie's about to start," said Jean, hushing them, then snuggling closer to Scott. She whispered something to him about protecting her from the scary monsters.


     The opening theme song started just as a flash of lightning lit the darkened room. Nearly all of them jumped, and Kurt sneezed again, just as the thunder struck and drowned him out. "AKChoo!" He apologized again for the noise as he climbed down from the chandelier. Kitty pulled the throw off the back of the couch, once she'd managed to tug it off with the others sitting against it. She draped it around his shoulders and murmured that they didn't mind the noise as he couldn't help it.


     Rogue wasn't watching the movie. She was staring out the window. "When did it start raining?" she asked softly, chewing on the fingertip on her leather glove.


     "Don't know," said Amara, looking out as well. "Why?"


     Rogue shrugged, leaning a little against Kurt, warm under the blanket. He reached over and patted her arm to let her know that was all right. They had been at odds since Mystique's death, but they had since made up thanks to a rescue attempt that went off well. She looked apprehensively out the window again.


     The movie started, as did the devouring of the snacks. Jean levitated things across the room as needed, and between that and Scott, she had little clue what was happening in the movie. Jamie slid back to himself and then multiplied again as needed, passing around other things and pouring more drinks. Kurt was dosing a little, head on Kitty's shoulder, handkerchief on his tail, at the ready. He sniffled a bit more as the movie progressed.


     "Do you think they're all right out there?" Rogue whispered, roughly a quarter of the way into the movie, rattling the ice cubes around in her glass.


     "Who?" asked Kurt sleepily, a finger under his nose to rub every so often to keep himself from sneezing.


     "Logan, Hank, Storm, and... and all... out there while it's rainin', I mean," she said with concern as lightning flashed and thunder struck nearly at once. "It's really coming down, now." She sat up, getting a better view of the whole window and the absolute darkness it showed her, as though if she looked hard enough, she'd see them.


     "I'm sure they're fine," said Scott, popping a chip into his mouth, then feeding one slowly to Jean.


     Nearly all of them pretended not to notice, or else made gagging sounds at the display. "Shouldn't you two be out there, too, now that you're teachers?" Bobby asked, stealing another handful of candy from Tabitha who has just taken procured a bowl by distracting Jamie with a few small balls of energy. He'd been so jumpy he split into seven, knocking back against Amara. Tabitha had grabbed the bowl in all the confusion.


     "Taking the night off," Scott reasoned. "To look after you lot."


     Several were just about to raise the argument that they certainly needed need to be looked after, when another flash of lightning struck just at the same moment as the thunder, right overhead. Immediately the power shut off. There were yells and cries in the complete darkness, until Scott pulled off his sunglasses and shot, thanks to Jean's directions, at the fireplace at the far end of the room. It burst with light, and Kitty was the one to light the other candles around the room with its flames.


     When she returned to the couch, Kurt was asleep and shivering already, though the heat had just turned off. She frowned at his situation, wondering what the best way to get him to bed was, and if she should move him at all since there wasn't any warmth in the rest of the mansion.


     "We'll go tell the adults about the blackout, just in case," Jean said. "Amara, you and Jamie go down to the basement and flip the power switches back on. You can recharge the candles with your powers if they accidentally go out."


     Jamie shook his head, presently all five of them, at these orders. "But I'm afraid of the dark!" he whispered, sounding clearly terrified.


     Jean sighed. "All right, take--"


     "I'll go!" volunteered Tabitha, sounding as though she was already getting bored just staying there, and braving the dark unknown to locate the circuit breaker was just the thing.


     "I'll look after Kurt and the others," Kitty said, casting an eye over at Bobby, who looked as though he was already thinking of some prank to pull or somewhere to explore while it was so dark.


     Jean nodded. "All right. Everybody else stay put then. We'll be back in just a minute."


     The two pairs departed in separate directions. The rest of them just sat around, looking at each other, wondering what to say now that their movie had been cut short just as it was getting interesting. Kitty sat back down on the couch and Kurt snuggled up to her, sniffling more. She patted his head but pulled away, remembering what happened every time he sneezed. No sooner had she done so, than he did just that.


     "hahhACHChuhh!" He teleported onto the television. "hahhKUTChhhh!" He teleported onto the floor, overturning a plate of chocolate chip cookies. "ahhhACHKtchhhh!" And then appeared again on the couch, all turned around. He faced the back of the couch now, with his head towards Rogue and tail draped over Kitty's lap. Kitty sighed and pushed it off.


     Rogue on the other hand, patted his furry blue cheek. "Bless ya, Crawler," she whispered softly, though her mind seemed elsewhere. She seemed not to have noticed, or else not cared, that the power was out.  


     "Hey there," they heard a soft voice with call from down the hall. Remy, red eyes reflecting the flames that lit the room, looked in on them. "Y'all all rahght?" he asked, his Cajun accent even more pronounced in the darkness.


     "Yeah," answered Rogue for them all, turning and smiling at him. He was drenched from dead to foot, literally dripping in the doorway, looking at them with similar concern to the way Rogue had been looking out the window. "How 'bout you?" her own accent, much lighter, came out more whenever she was talking to Remy, it seemed. "You sound a little under the weather, Shug."


     He grinned, eyes still sparkling. "T'ink Ah caught the blue one's sniffle," he said, rubbing a finger against the side of his nose. His cheeks flushing a little at the way Rogue stared at him, he suavely waved a hand, gesturing to the rest of the room. "Well, Ah just wanted to stop by and make sure y'all were safe and had some lahght." He flicked a hand out of his pocket with a card. He charged it and tossed it into the fireplace. It exploded lightly in a beautiful display of explosions which drew their attention away long enough for him to sneeze. Short and quick, but strong nonetheless. "itschuh!"


     Only Rogue seemed to notice it. "Yeah," she said suspiciously. "Everything's fine here."


     "Ca c'est bon," he said with a smile, gave them a last look, then headed down the hall for the stairs up to the second floor.


     Rogue turned, chewing on the tip of one of her glove's fingers again. "Wonder if Ah should go after him," she muttered to herself, though loud enough in hopes someone might answer.


     "He'll be all right," Kitty said, carefully stroking Kurt's fur, careful to pick her hand up every time the elf got a sneezey look on his face.


     "But he's so pale, did you notice?" Rogue said softly. Then she rose from the couch and decidedly headed out of the room.


     "Rogue!" Bobby exclaimed, for if she was allowed out when Jean had instructed them to stay, then obviously he should be as well.


     "Just checkin' on him," she said with an innocent-looking shrug. She hurried after him, watching his large form heading down the hall. She quickened her pace before he dissolved into darkness at the end of the hallway, still trying to be quiet so he wouldn't know she was there.


     At the stairway he stopped, looking back at her. "Followin' me?" He smiled charmingly.


     "Just wanted to be sure you didn't get lost in the dark." He had only been living there a week, after all.


     He paused, waiting for her to catch up. Then he stuck out an elbow. "Show me to mah room then, Cher?" She accepted the offer, slipping her hand through and linking arms. He didn't flinch at all when she touched him, and she found it quite comforting. He didn't seem to mind the possibility of touching her. It was so casual and relaxing.


     From what could be seen in the dark, his room was oddly full for having been there but a week. And Rogue had a feeling that several items had not been purchased so much as acquired. She slipped her hand out as they reached the doorway. "Well..." she said, not knowing how to finish the trip.


     Remy swaggered in, going straight for the box of tissues on the bedstand. "ih-hahshoo! ihhtChoo! ihhhChuhhh! ihhtchhhh!"


     "Bless ya," she said softly, walking in and placing a hand on his arm.


     "Merci," he said, rubbing at his nose. "It's the cold air that's tickling mah nose, Ah t'ink."


     "And the fact that you're soaking wet," she said, tugging at his jacket which was dripping slowly.


     He slipped out of it, tossing it to the side. It landed with a soggy, heavy thump on the floor. He spun around with the gracefulness that showed what sort of fighter he was, and snatched another tissue. "ihhHuchhh! ihhTchhhh! ihhtchhh! Sniff! Sniff!"


     With a hand on his back, "You should go change into something dry, or you'll just get worse." He nodded. After a bit of shuffling, he found a flashlight and used it to locate a fresh change of clothes and navigate his way to the bathroom.


     Rogue was still waiting for him when he came out, towel over his head to dry his hair. "Feeling better?" she asked.


     He nodded, though passing her to get to the tissues again. "Yeah, just... just... ihhhCHuhh! ehhchhhh! Sniff! Just all this ticklin' in mah nose." Just as he went to blow his nose, the power turned back on. The heater kicked on and the television started up loudly, along with a cheer from the others downstairs.


     Rogue was rather relieved for his sake. "Looks like it'll be warmer now. You should try and get some sleep before that head cold gets worse."


     "Whatevah you say, Cher," he obeyed, sitting down on his bed and sniffling more. "And you should get back down those stairs before dey wonder what yahr doin' up here wit' me."


     She laughed at the idea of someone even being able to take advantage of her. It was rather difficult to have your way with someone when you couldn't touch their skin. Remy seemed to have said it just to make her laugh though, for his eyes twinkled as he fell over in bed, pulling the pillow to him. "Tomorrow Ah'll make you some jambalaya with lots of spices, all right? Clear your sinuses right up."


     He nodded, sniffled a little more, and closed his eyes. "All right, Cher. T'ank you." She pulled the blanket up over him, wishing she could feel his forehead to reassure herself that he wasn't running a temperature. He seemed to understand and covered her hand, which rested on his cheek, with his own. He squeezed in appreciation.


     "Maybe Ah'll just wait for a few minutes, make sure you actually fall asleep." She ran her gloved fingers up, flicking them through his hair. "Would that be all right with you?"


     He opened his eyes, letting them speak for him. First they said that it would be more than all right. Then they said he needed another tissue. She plucked out one and held it to his face for him. "ihhh-hetchh! ihhhtchhh! ehhktchh!" He took the tissue over from her and blew his nose, sounding miserable.


     "Wish Ah could use my powers and take this suffering away from you, Shug." But they both knew a touch from her would weaken him, taking his powers and his strength which would probably make him feel worse rather than better even if it made him pass out.


     "Ah feel better just to hear you say that, Cher." His deep, dark eyes closed again as her gloves caressed his cheek until he drifted off to sleep. She waited beside him, listening to him breathe for so long that she nearly fell asleep as well. She could hear the second movie playing downstairs as she headed to her room for the night, catching a glimpse of Kitty at the end of the hall, supporting Kurt to bed.


     Beneath the afghan, she saw Kurt tense but Kitty didn't pull away in time. "hahACKChoo!" The sneeze echoed down the hallway as they both vanished in a puff of smoke to some unknown location.