Why, Oh Why…

By Nichole (Neko-chan) Johnson

Written: June 11 – 17, 2003

Rated: PG-13 for language and plain old inappropriateness—bad me!

Disclaimer: I don't own the X-Men (sob) or X-Men: Evolution. And most unfortunately of all, I don't own Kurt. *sniffles sullenly*

Author's Note: Yeah, I know I didn't have quotes on the previous chapters, but I decided I just may have to throw them in there every once in awhile—especially when they fit the chapter so well. And I just love this quote…

Anyway, say 'hello' to my not-so-little friend! This chapter is a beast, everyone—enjoy!

~ o O o ~

"They may be great heroes, but they sure are stiffs at parties."

- Kurt Wagner, Classic X-Men #28

Chapter 3: …Is It Always The 'Crazy' Look?

The way Kurt saw it, there were always two sides to these things.

On the one hand, Scott wasn't going to be lightening up anytime soon. And they were all most likely going to have to deal with his 'Mr. Tight-Ass' attitude for a couple of weeks, at the least (the whole summer, at the most.)

But on the other hand, Scott wasn't going to be there. Meaning for one night at least, no Mr. Tight-Ass.

Well, well… Things were certainly looking up when you looked at things in that light.

"Well, Mr. Wagner. You're especially…energetic this evening."

Pausing mid-cartwheel, Kurt Wagner—fuzzy, blue, acrobatic elf extraordinaire—waggled his eyebrows cheerfully at the weather witch; fangs bared in one of his trademark, Cheshire cat grins.

"Guten abend, good fraulein! Just exercising my rights as a recently liberated teenager!"

Storm was peering at him with one of those 'disapproving adult' looks he was so used to receiving, but having a hard time concealing the warm amusement that danced in her blue eyes. 'Disapproving adult' looks were always considerably softer when coming from Ms. Monroe. She had a way of appearing regal and yet indelibly warm, whatever the expression.

It was what Kurt liked the most about her.

"Hmm…You know how Logan feels about you using the table as a tumbling mat," commented the dark-skinned woman reprovingly, eyebrows raised in delicate disapproval.

He was still poised on one arm, torso curved over his head; legs in the air, and tail curled like a question mark. Pushing off one-handed, he opted for a neat back flip instead of the cartwheel; landing with a small flourish and an apple in his tail; which he'd managed to liberate neatly from the fruit bowl in the midst of his acrobatics.

Tossing the apple easily to his hand, the acrobatic mutant took a generous bite out of the fruit and hopped obediently to the floor; blue face the perfect picture of apologetic innocence.

"I'm sorry, Storm. I guess I got a little carried away with myself."

The windrider smiled warmly, blue eyes dancing delightedly. "It's alright, Kurt. Let's just keep the antics away from the dinner table."

The blue mutant pretended to snap to attention, saluting smartly with a tight grin.

Shaking her head lightly in amused dismay, Storm turned from the doorway, slipping back into the kitchen with a faint smile tugging at the corners of her lips.

Pleased with himself, Kurt took another bite from his apple, chewing thoughtfully. Then with a soft BAMF! he teleported upstairs.

Kitty didn't even look up from her bed where she lay sprawled on her stomach, reading one of those tawdry romance novels whose titles were a constant source of amusement and disgust to Kurt.

"What's up, Fuzzy?" she muttered in greeting to the blue elf sitting lotus style on her roommate's bed, calmly eating an apple.

"The ceiling," was Kurt's nonplus reply amidst bites, "What else?"

The girl's nose was still buried in her book.

Kurt found himself leaning his head at an ever-increasing angle in an attempt to decipher her book's title. Despite his amazing flexibility, all he managed to make out were the letters 'W', 'I', and 'N'.

Wind something? Wings? Kurt ruminated thoughtfully. Probably Wings of Passion, or something sappy like that, he thought with amused derision. He stifled a giggle at the thought.

"So…?" ventured the brunette on the bed after a moment, snapping Kurt's neck back to its vertical position.

"So?" mimicked Kurt in reply, raising his brows quizzically—despite the fact that her nose was still buried in her book and the expression was more than likely lost on her.

Finally, she looked up, shooting him a pointedly questioning gaze.

"So… Did you talk to Scott? About Duncan's party?" she elaborated, a tinge of exasperation to her tone. Her eyes were smiling however; it was one of those quirks he'd come to appreciate about her. Kitty Rule #1: Never let Kurt know you've been amused.

A whole lot of good it did her… I mean, he had learned to read it, after all.

Kurt pulled a properly sour expression at the mention of the X-leader and their wonderful encounter. Sure, they had had a 'moment', if you wanted to call it that. But in the end, Scott's tight-ass syndrome had kicked in and ruined the good mood.

He sure wished they manufactured a pill for that disease…

"Ach. Ja, I did—earlier today," he muttered in reply, stretching his legs out on Rogue's bed and pulling a sour face. "Fifty points if you can guess ze answer to that question…"

"Aw! Like, no way!" bemoaned Kitty, finally putting her book down in favor of their conversation. "If Scott's like, not coming, then we've got no wheels! He has to come!"

Kurt shrugged nonchalantly. "Hey, I tried, Katzchen. But without Jean around…"

Kitty rolled her eyes dramatically, sitting up on her bed. "I know, I know! He's got no reason to go." She sighed irritably, pouting. "It's like, so unfair…"

"You know, just because Scott's not going doesn't mean we're out of a vehicle…"

Kitty shot her friend a hasty glance, shaking her head slightly. "Ohhhh no, Kurt! You are not stealing Scott's car! Hello? Waxing the X-Jet? That ring any bells here?"

Kurt grinned brazenly in reply. "Hey, it's not stealing. I'll just be…liberating it for a few hours. No problem, liebchen!"

The girl groaned dramatically, but Kurt couldn't help but notice the smile she was attempting to hide.

"Kurt, I swear you are hopeless! It's not even the second day of summer vacation yet, and you're about to be punished yet again! Like, don't you think you should ease up just a bit?"

With a small bounce and a leap, the blue mutant 'ported, landing in a burst of smoke and brimstone behind her. He grinned cheekily over her shoulder.

"Aw, where's the fun in that, mein freund?" he crowed brightly, giving her a jaunty wink.

Nose crinkled slightly, still waving the smoke from in front of her face, Kitty gave him a stern glance, raising a brow in disapproval. With a mock sigh of defeat, he plopped down heavily beside her on the bed, pouting darkly.

"Ach, alright, alright! So Scottie's car is out of the question…" he muttered grumpily, pretending to be truly put-out on the matter. In truth, he had never intended to pull such a risky stunt. He wasn't stupid—he had already messed with the older boy enough for one day; he wasn't about to do something as foolish as stealing-er, borrowing the guy's car.

Then again, he hadn't completely dismissed the idea, either.

"Maybe the Professor will loan us one of his cars…" mused Kitty thoughtfully, looking highly doubtful.

Kurt grinned. "Maybe if you signed a legal agreement to not so much as eye the steering wheel, Katzchen. I'm sure he'd have no problem, then."

The brunette shot him a glare so vicious, it was a wonder he was still standing.

"Bite me, Wagner," she snapped haughtily.

The blue mutant only grinned further. "Where and how hard, mein liebling?"

In response, she shoved his apple into his mouth and stormed to her feet. Still grinning, Kurt took a bite from the fruit, completely nonplussed by her swift change in mood.

He pulled a face in distaste. "Blech. This doesn't taste so good anymore…"

"Well you shouldn't port with food, dummy," retorted Kitty, already back to her more pleasant nature.

Like he said, Kitty's moods were as unpredictable as the tides.

She had drifted over to her closet and was now half buried within it, searching its depths for god knows what. Kurt could only guess she was trying to decide what to wear for the party.

"Anyway, we can ask the Professor tonight at that meeting of his," she was yelling to him now from the depths of her closet.

Disinterested in whatever she was doing, her elf friend picked up the discarded romance novel from her bed, glancing at it with absent disinterest as he proceeded to finish off his apple.

So what if it didn't taste all that good anymore—it was food, got verdammt!

"…wonder what it's about, anyway?"

Kitty was still talking, her voice somewhat muffled by clothes and her closet door. She poked her head out, a dress in each hand; giving them both a critical glance. Apparently dissatisfied with both choices, she disappeared back into her closet with them again.

Kurt, meanwhile, wasn't paying attention. He was idly reading the blurb on the back cover of her book…and trying hard not to laugh out loud in the process. Who wrote these things, anyway? he thought wryly, wondering just how many times he had read the word 'passion' by now.

"…hope he's not going to tell us we have to train extra this summer. I like, so don't…"

Flipping absently through the pages, the elf found himself close to yawning. So far, this book seemed dull enough to bore even Scott to death. Why in the world did Kitty and Amara find these books so interesting, anyway?

"…glad I'm technically a sophomore now."

Kitty was still going, either unaware that Kurt wasn't listening or not really caring. Hell, it could've been a combination of both for all he knew.

Something finally caught Kurt's eye and he stopped his bored flipping. His eyes widened for a moment in surprise, then narrowed mischievously in delight; a slow, devious grin spreading across his face as he continued to read. Ah, so that's why the girl's read these books… He never knew Kitty and Amara had such dirty minds.

"…was always a real jerk, but at least he knows how to throw a party…"

Kurt cleared his throat lightly, straightening where he sat; a smirk on his blue face. "'Heart pounding like the chorus of a thousand horse's hooves, Alexandra gazed into Damian's fiery gaze; losing herself in the deep, chocolate brown depths of his eyes. Her breath came in short gasps as his gaze devoured her, pulling her…'"

Kitty's voice had stopped when he'd begun to recite out loud from her book. She pulled her head hastily out of her closet, her expression like that of a deer caught in headlights as Kurt continued to read with overdramatic pomp; clearly enjoying himself immensely.

"'…kissed her passionately. Alexandra's head reeled, feeling as though her feet would collapse from beneath her at the fury of his passion, but Damian's strong, muscular arms held her tightly to him…'"

By now, Kitty's face had turned a decided shade of crimson and her eyes were nearly the size of saucers.

"Kurt, knock it off!" she demanded nervously, dashing towards him and grabbing for the book.

Chuckling deviously, the blue mutant pulled the book out of her reach and continued reading loudly, ignoring her attempts to grab the book from him.

"'…whispering sweet nothings in her ear, his hands sliding over—"

"Kuu-rrt! I mean it!"

"'…the thin material of her dress; his touch sending shivers down her spine—'"

"Oh my God, like, stop it now, Kurt!"

Now as red as a beet, Kitty chased him angrily about the room; the acrobatic mutant managing to dance easily out of reach even as he continued to read.

"If you don't give me that book back right now, mister…!"

Kurt laughed aloud at the next lines in the book; pale eyes dancing mischievously. "But I was just getting to the good part, Katzchen. Ooh, it gets really dirty here. You know, you have an awfully dirty mind to be reading this stuff, liebchen…"

Kitty's eyes flashed dangerously, a hint of fear in them. "Kurt Wagner, don't you DARE…!"

Poised atop Rogue's dresser, Kurt merely grinned his mad Cheshire cat grin and took a deep, preparatory breath. "'Alexandra's hands roved the well-defined planes of…'"

It was obviously the last straw for Kitty, because with a sudden shout of fury, she launched herself at him. Laughing gleefully, Kurt yelped in surprise as the two of them tumbled to the floor in a tangle of flailing limbs; the romance novel held defiantly over his head.

"Now give it back, jerk!"

"Never!" More laughter. "This is way too much fun, fraulein!"

"Oh, you little monster…!"

"Ow, watch ze elbows, liebchen! Hey!"

"You deserve it, you dumbass! H-hey! No using your tail!"

"Uh-uh-uh, mein liebchen! Say please…"

"LET ME GO, YOU DORK! Arrggh!"

Phasing, the girl slipped out of his grip, and while he was still somewhat thrown off by her knee and an arm disappearing into his torso, she neatly snatched the book out of his slack hands; and still phased, danced swiftly away from him with a haughty expression.

"Now look who's cheating," he retorted teasingly, slowly picking himself up off the floor and dusting his clothes off absently.

Kitty was still flushed with embarrassment as she continued to glare at him, chin raised proudly.

"I am like, no longer talking to you!" she exclaimed hotly, stalking to the other side of the room with her book held tightly against her chest.

"Alright then, Katzchen," he remarked cheerfully, completely nonplussed. "See you at dinner!"

And with a BAMF! he was gone.

Tonight—was going to be a blast.

Perched comfortably—as Evan liked to dub 'gargoyle style'—on the back of a chair, the German-born mutant surveyed the small, motley crew that had gathered in the library; one of those sinking feelings he often got in such situations working at the pit of his stomach.

He wasn't a big fan of 'team meetings'—those often implied that either work or punishment was involved. And he couldn't decide which they were more likely to get today.

Kurt eyed his other teammates with silent contemplation. Scott stood several feet away, arms crossed; seemingly avoiding eye contact with the blue mutant, but otherwise acting fairly normal. Some feet away from him, Kitty was busy giving the team leader a glaring pout; Kurt was pretty sure she had forgiven him for the romance novel incident, but apparently, she hadn't quite forgiven Scott for his refusal to accompany the rest of them to Duncan's party tonight.

The girl worked in mysterious ways.

Slouched carelessly in a chair at the other side of the room, her usual air of detachment about her was Rogue; and standing a little off from her chair was Bobby, who was fidgeting slightly in what Kurt supposed to be excitement. It was one of the first times he had been included in one of these meetings, and knowing how eager the boy always was to be included on X-Men matters, it was no wonder he seemed a bit antsy.

Kurt couldn't help but be a bit amused by his naivete.

"Well, now that you're all here, let me just assure you, none of you are in trouble," spoke up Xavier's voice warmly as he wheeled calmly into the room, followed by Logan and Storm. Kurt caught the hint of amusement in the telepath's tone, and the quick glance in his direction; and he smiled faintly, just a bit sheepish, at the implications.

Out of the corner of his eye, he caught Kitty glancing pointedly in his direction as well. He shot her a mock hurt expression for it.

"So all of you may relax," continued the Professor gently, glancing about the small assembly; his gaze falling longest on Scott. "I merely wished to share with you some news that all of you may find promising."

Suddenly, Kurt was all ears. He straightened up eagerly on his chair, his previously swishing tail freezing expectantly for a moment and then resuming its impatient fidgeting at a more eager pace.

"What is it, Professor?" spoke up Scott curiously for all of them, his interest looking piqued as well.

The Professor clasped his hands neatly in his lap, smiling gently at those gathered. "This summer, the Institute has received an invitation from the Daniels family to join them for a week at their family cabin in upstate New York, for a change of scenery and some relaxation."

"Evan's parents?" queried Kitty, looking excited.

"Wait, what do you mean, 'the Institute', Professor?" broke in Scott hastily, frowning faintly. "Do you mean all of us?"

"Unfortunately, no, Scott," replied the Professor mildly, looking slightly apologetic. "Seeing as how it is their family cabin, there is only so much room available. It will only be you older students who will be going."

He smiled warmly, inclining his head. "Think of it as a reward for all of your hard work in training, my students."

"Alright!" whooped Kurt suddenly, pumping a fist triumphantly into the air and startling those present.

He seemed to break the mood of calm attention, as the others dissolved into eager murmurs and smiles of anticipation over the Professor's news. Xavier, Logan and Storm watched over this all with mild expressions of amusement.

"Like, no wonder Evan was being so secretive this week…" murmured Kitty musingly, grinning excitedly at her teammates.

"You mean I get to come, too?" Bobby was exclaiming incredulously, looking about ready to burst.

With a BAMF! Kurt was at the ice-mutant's side, throwing a friendly arm about his shoulders.

"Hey, it's only fair that the unofficial leader of ze newbie's should be included, ja? You earned it, man!"

Clenching his fists excitedly, the younger mutant drove an iced fist into the air with a small whoop of joy. "Woo-hoo! Al-RIGHT!" he crowed joyously, echoing the blue mutant's earlier cry of joy.

Kurt grinned brightly, then teleporting across the room, caught Kitty in a playful hug and spun her about the room; to the auburn-haired girl's own delighted giggles. They proceeded to spin a merry waltz about the room then, dragging a surprisingly willing Rogue into their cavorting as they passed her chair.

"This is going to be the best summer ever!" crowed Kurt delightedly.

Kitty, and even Rogue, laughed in agreement.

"Hey, you said it, Fuzzy!"

"Marco!"

"Polo!"

"Maaar-co!"

"Poooo-lo!"

Kurt grinned lightly at the spectacle from where he stood, leaning lazily against the banister in the expansive foyer. He watched in silent amusement as Sam shuffled hesitantly about the room, waving his arms before him like a blind-man. Dancing just out of reach, Jubilee and Ray were attempting—in vain—to stifle their snickers of amusement as they deftly avoided his flailing arms.

"MAR-co!" demanded Sam, sounding just a tad impatient. He swiped viciously at the air with one arm, nearly losing his balance as his attack met with nothing but air.

"PO-lo!" chorused Ray and Jubilee in reply. Grinning maniacally, they each poked the boy in the back, then dashed quickly out of harm's reach as Sam spun wildly about; flailing his arms helplessly in search of his assailants.

Kurt chuckled softly to himself, clearly amused by the display. If he didn't already have plans of his own, he may have joined the game himself.

Reminded suddenly of why he was waiting, the elf chanced a glance at his multi-functional wristwatch, frowning faintly with impatience.

Why on earth did girls always take so long to get ready?

Twirling the car keys in his hand idly, he glanced impatiently up the long flight of stairs. "Wille sie hast oben, frauleine…"

"Aw, man, are they still not ready?" bemoaned Bobby as he appeared from one of the side corridors, checking his own watch irritably. "Girls take forever!"

The younger mutant was looking rather spiffed out for the night, in a white button-up tee and what appeared to be new, dark khaki slacks. Abstract blue patterning crawled up over the shirt's shoulders and sleeves; suspiciously resembling the delicate ice that was the boy's mutant namesake.

Kurt cast a cursory glance over his own ensemble, tugging absently at the hem of his black button-up and dusting some imaginary lint off of his light-colored cargos. It had only taken him a total of ten minutes to get ready. Well, maybe fifteen if you included the quick once-over with his Opa's wonderful antique brushes.

But regardless, it hadn't taken him or Bobby very long. So why un himmel was it taking Kitty and Rogue nearly an hour, he wondered.

To Bobby, he merely shrugged with an air of detached boredom, still absently watching the game of 'Marco Polo' going on nearby.

"That, mein freund, is merely part of the great feminine mystique—and I don't refer to that evil, blue, shape-shifting mother of mine, here."

"Whatever," scoffed Bobby, taking up position on the opposite side of the staircase. "I just hope they'll hurry it up. This is my first time going to one of these things and I don't wanna' be late."

To this, Kurt grinned roguishly, flashing his fangs slyly. "Ah, my dear Herr Drake… Lesson the first in the party world: one can never be late. Fashionably late, yes—late, no. And in the case of a Duncan Matthews party, the later you are, the better."

"That's good to know," muttered Bobby in reply, glancing at his watch once again, "Because at the rate we're going, we're going to be the Versace of the party world…"

There was a telltale swish of cloth from the top of the staircase, followed by a throat being cleared politely and both boys looked up at the noise.

"Sorry to keep you boys waitin'," drawled Rogue lazily as she descended the stairs with her usual air of disinterest. "But Ms. Perfect here insisted on takin' as long as poss'ble in the bathroom."

Wearing just as much make-up as usual, the Goth was decked out in her favorite party-wear ensemble of long skirt, silk scarf, and chain-link belt. Per usual, everything was of a dark shade.

Behind her, Kitty followed at a more leisurely pace, grinning almost shyly at the two boys; probably due to Bobby's slack-jawed, gaping gaze. The younger, more petite girl was wearing a knee-length denim skirt and a sleeveless, light blue blouse with a modest décolletage of some indecipherably patterned fabric.

But the most striking thing about her was her hair, which instead of being in it's perpetual, bobbing ponytail, lay loose about her shoulders in thick, abundant auburn waves. Kurt had never realized just how long her hair really was.

Bobby continued to gape comically. Amused by the other boy's lack of composure, the German gave him a sidelong glance and smirked faintly. Surreptitiously, he lifted Bobby's chin with his tail; snapping the younger boy's mouth closed with an audible click.

Seemingly oblivious, the boy continued to stare disbelievingly.

Offering his elbow gallantly to his sister, Kurt grinned dashingly at Rogue. "Shall we go, mein liebe?" he teased.

The southern girl smirked faintly at him, raising a brow sardonically. "What're you playin' at, Fuzzy?"

She shook his arm off good-naturedly, pushing him lightly in Kitty's direction. "You play your silly gentleman games with the Kitty-Cat over there. I'm walkin' on mah own!"

Swinging her arms as if in a huff, she shot one last smirking glance in his direction and then strode purposely toward the doors. She returned a moment later, grabbing Bobby roughly by the elbow—still frozen in shock—and hauled him unceremoniously after her.

Kurt grinned in amusement after her retreating back, raising a brow appreciatively at the display. Then turning back to Kitty, he offered her his elbow instead, lifting his brows entreatingly.

"Well, Katzchen? I suppose we've kept Herr Drake waiting long enough for this party, ja?"

She grinned pleasantly, taking the proffered arm with just as much dramatics as he. "Lead the way, Fuzzy!"

Sharing a giggle, they moved unhurriedly after their comrades; glancing with idle interest after the game of 'Marco Polo' still being played out around them.

"Isn't that supposed to be a water game?" remarked Kitty curiously.

"If you call it 'Water Polo'." The blue mutant's expression turned suddenly mischievous. "Hey, Sam, to your right, mein freund!"

There was an angry shout from Jubilee, followed by a shout of triumph on Sam's part, and then Kurt wisely ported Kitty and himself away before Jubilee could enact her revenge.

Sprawled in the back seat of the jeep Professor Xavier had lent them for the night, Rogue didn't even blink at the sudden entrance, though Bobby seemed slightly taken aback.

"What took ya so long?"

From the passenger seat, Kitty giggled faintly, while Kurt hurriedly started up the vehicle. Shooting the Goth an innocent grin, he backed out swiftly, obviously in a hurry.

"Oh, just finishing up a game of 'Marco Polo'…" was his off-hand reply as they tore out of the Institute's drive.

Kitty broke into louder giggling, and from the front steps, Jubilee and Ray could be heard shouting angrily after them.

Tearing through the Institute's open gates, Kurt, Kitty, and Bobby whooped loudly with glee. They were ready to party.

From the back seat, Rogue merely shook her head in dismay and smiled faintly.

It was true that Duncan Matthews was a jock, and a jerk, and definitely not the brightest crayon in the box…and what Jean even saw in him, Kurt couldn't even fathom. But one thing was for certain: Duncan Matthews knew how to party.

And tonight's shindig was no exception.

"Whoa," Bobby muttered glibly as they entered the room, simply stopping to take it all in for a moment.

His teammates merely nodded numbly, echoing the exclamation.

"He really went all out this year!" shouted Kitty over the din, looking around in impressed amazement at the spread and the unbelievable mass of people.

The majority of said mass were in the open area of the room, which served as the dance floor; dancing like there was no tomorrow to the obnoxious sort of music that was to be expected at such a party as this.

"Well, what did you expect?!" shouted back Kurt, "He did graduate this year! Last party of his high school life—gotta' live it up, ja?"

Rogue was giving the entire room a distasteful look; Kurt just knew she was trying to figure out how she was supposed to troll the sidelines like any self-respected Goth in a crowd such as this.

"I would say Scott would be disappointed he missed this," she drawled loudly over the din, pulling a sour expression, "But you know he wouldn't."

Kurt shot her a devilish grin; somewhat lacking without those characteristic fangs. There really were some downsides to his holographic image.

"Well, his loss!" he shouted, taking Kitty's arm and pulling her into the crowd with him.

"Wait, man!" shouted Bobby, grabbing his free arm hastily. "I've never been to one of these things! You gotta' clue me in—like what are the rules 'n all?"

The German gave him a broad grin, spreading his arm in an expansive gesture. "Zhere are no rules, man! What do I look like—Cyke?! Party till you drop, bro!"

Kitty frowned prettily. "Kurt!" she exclaimed with slight disapproval. She turned to Bobby. "Just…watch out for the jocks. They can get pretty nasty when they're like, drunk 'n all."

She cringed slightly, as if ashamed of what she was going to say next. "And um…try not to drink too much…"

Bobby's eyes widened like saucers. "There's BOOZE here?!"

Kurt smirked at the sudden mischievous look in the younger boy's eyes, and clapped him roughly on the shoulder. "Yep! Now, play nice and don't get too smashed, mein freund!"

"Kuuurt!"

"Was?!"

Already getting into the swing of things, Bobby gave the two of them a jaunty thumbs-up. "Gotcha'!"

His eyes scanned the crowd for a moment, and then lit up with mischievous delight. "Ooh, hottie from my chem class… Check ya guys later!"

With that, he slipped quickly through the crowd.

With a dismissive wave of her hand, Rogue skirted the crowd, heading for the less populated side of the room.

Kurt was suddenly aware of Kitty tugging urgently at his arm. Grinning at her, he followed her into the crowd as well, until they found a clear enough section of the dance floor where they could really get down.

The music was terrible, in Kurt's opinion; on his own time, he would never listen to the kind of stuff that was being played. But in the environment they were in, it was just perfect for really letting loose, which was exactly what Kurt planned to do.

They danced for about three songs, Kurt somehow magically avoiding contact with any of the other people on the dance floor; an ability that tied in with his powers and kept him aware of his surroundings at all times. He had spaced a couple of times while watching Kitty dance, which was understandable because boy, could that girl DANCE! It was almost hypnotizing at times. But Kurt was always one for keeping himself in control and so far, he had yet to slip up.

But after the third song, he could feel his concentration waning, and he decided it was about time he hit the refreshment table to replenish his hyperactive metabolism. Dancing—and maintaining control of his facilities around Kitty's enthusiasm—could be just as draining as teleporting, it seemed.

"Gotta' refuel, liebchen!" he shouted over the din, gesturing in the direction of the refreshments as he began sidling his way out of the crowd.

There really was an advantage to his height, he decided. At this level, he only had to worry about brushing up against clothing—not bare skin.

Of course, that required some clever maneuvering on his part to avoid the mini-skirt clad girls in the crowd. Much to his own displeasure.

Kitty nodded in understanding as he went, waving him away and going back to her dancing. The girl seemed to have invisible energy stores when it came to dancing. I mean, where did it all come from, anyway? She certainly didn't eat like he did.

He finally managed to make it to the refreshment table without any mishaps—much to his relief. As much as he liked wild parties like this, it was difficult to avoid detection in such a tight-knit crowd.

And Scott and the Professor would kill him if he gave himself away in such an ignominious fashion. And he knew that's what they would call it, too—ignominious. It would be just like them to choose such a big word to make him feel guilty.

Eyes shining ravenously at the spread before him, Kurt began to tuck in with little ceremony, glad that the majority of the party guests were too busy dancing and boozing it up to notice his monopoly of the refreshment table.

Hey, what could he say? It took a lot to fuel that motor of his! The guy was like a car with bad gas mileage; that was for sure.

He was beginning to slow down a bit, and his eyes roved the party crowd with curiosity as he snacked. After awhile, he spotted Bobby over in the corner chatting with studied nonchalance with a rather good-looking freshman girl. A small group of girls stood nearby, supposedly the girl's friends, and they were eyeing the couple covertly; a chorus of giggling.

Searching the crowd some more, he finally spotted Rogue standing along one of the far walls, glass of punch in hand; a look of classic boredom displayed artfully on her face. Occasionally she would turn to her friend Risty—who was standing nearby, dancing a bit to the music—and comment on something, eyeing the crowd distastefully.

Kurt smiled to himself in amusement. It was clear the Goth was enjoying herself, in her own bizarre fashion.

His eyes continued to rove the crowd a bit; past a trio of drunken jocks who were practicing their belching and having a can crushing contest on their foreheads, on past an even drunker group having a clumsy sword fight with pool cues, and skipping over a small gaggle of girls who seemed to be giving him a strange slack-jawed expression. In unison, they all looked disbelievingly down at their drink glasses for a moment, then back at him.

Kurt furrowed his brows in confusion and moved on, figuring they were all on some sort of hallucinogen for the first time.

The crowd parted momentarily as a burly football player clad only in his boxers dashed through the room, football jersey tied turban-style to his head. A few seconds later, two of his fellow teammates followed, looking apologetic. From somewhere in the middle of the room, Duncan and a few of his friends made catcalls at the spectacle, then went back to their schmoozing.

Kurt ignored the football players, his attention suddenly riveted on someone on the far side of the room.

Ach! Not here…he thought in frustration, as the girl's eyes met his momentarily from across the expanse.

Amanda.

Neither made any sign of recognition, though there was no denying they had seen one another. And after a moment, Amanda dismissed herself from the girl she had been talking to, and grabbing a nearby guy's arm, drug him out onto the dance floor as if she hadn't even seen Kurt there at all.

Kurt smirked humorlessly, crossing his arms lightly as he turned from the display in favor of idly searching the rest of the crowd. Obviously, she was still mad at him.

Which suited him just fine. He was still mad at her, too.

I think…

Ignoring the fact that he had no idea what they were fighting over anymore, Kurt pushed himself back through the crowd in search of Kitty.

He was stopped suddenly, however, by a jock holding his arm out to him, a plastic punch glass in hand. The guy seemed a bit unstable as he grinned stupidly at Kurt.

Kurt arched a brow impatiently at him. "Ja?"

"Dude, you wanna' drink?" slurred the jock, still grinning idiotically; bobbing his head absently to the music.

Kurt shrugged casually, taking the proffered glass. It wasn't like he was unused to drinking or anything—he had drunk plenty of times when he still lived in Germany. He appreciated a good beer every once in awhile, just as much as the next guy.

So basically, what the hell?

Turning away to ditch the drunken jock, he took a swig from the glass. And nearly choked in disgust.

"Schiesse! What the hell is this?!"

Stupid grin gone—but not the stupid look—the jock stared at him uncomprehendingly. "Uh, beer," he replied slowly, blinking stupidly. "Duh, dude," he added on afterthought, still looking lost.

Kurt made a purely disgusted face at his glass, then glared disparagingly at the idiotic jock.

"Dude, you call this stuff BEER?! We'd call it pißwasser where I come from!"

The jock continued to gaze at him without comprehension, as if the fact that it tasted bad simply didn't register with his sense of logic. Which it probably didn't.

After another moment of glaring, Kurt gave a small sigh of frustration, and tossing back the remainder of the vile liquid, handed the drunk his empty cup.

"Ach! Give me another."

Now this, the drunk understood. Grinning idiotically, he filled the plastic cup to overflowing from the keg behind him and handed it back to Kurt with a whoop of encouragement.

"Yeah! Party on, dude!"

Rolling his eyes and taking another generous swig from the glass, Kurt disappeared back into the crowd, muttering irritably under his breath. "Scheisse-gesicht dummkopf…"

After very little searching, he spotted Kitty near the other side of the room. Apparently, she had finally managed to tire herself out and had decided to take a rest. He was moving towards her at a leisurely pace, when he froze suddenly, spotting who she was with.

Lance.

Glancing about for a safe place to stand, he sidled out of the crowd of dancers on the floor; still watching the two out of the corner of his eye as he went to stand out of the way along the wall of expansive windows that overlooked the pool.

He remembered that Kitty had been complaining of some trouble with Lance lately, just as he'd been having some trouble with Amanda, so he wasn't about to interrupt. He decided he would give them some room.

Maybe Bobby wants to dance…he mused jokingly to himself, going back to scanning the crowd—and trying not to feel like a spy and an eavesdropper.

Because he could still somewhat hear Kitty and Lance from where he stood. And he was pretty sure they were arguing.

"…like, don't want to talk about this right now, okay?"

Kurt hummed nervously to himself. His piss-water was suddenly very interesting…

"No. We have to talk. I saw you dancin' with freak-boy earlier…"

"…making a scene. He is like, my best friend, you know! Besides, I can dance with whoever I want, Mister Alvers!"

Kurt decided he should hum just a bit louder. And maybe move a little further this way…

"…can't just blow me off like that, Pretty Kitty!"

Whistling was looking like a good idea right now.

"Like, let go of me, Lance! Uggh, have you been drinking?!"

Okay, the whistling didn't seem to be working. Kurt wondered if it would be a bit too obvious if he just plugged his ears.

"…has nothing to do with it! Come on—let's go some place quiet where we can talk about this in private."

As much as he hated to admit it, Kurt was listening rather intently by now. Kitty was his friend, after all—his best friend, really—and as supportive as he was of her and Lance's relationship, it was no real secret that he'd never liked the guy.

…Hated him, in fact.

…Would love to see his insides torn out by wild pumas and his face eaten off by wild, zoo-escaped orangutans.

Therefore, he couldn't help but feel just a little protective when the Brotherhood leader started talking in such a threatening manner.

He had to strain a bit this time to hear Kitty's reply, but even at this distance, he could sense the icy nature of her tone.

"…going nowhere with you, Lance Alvers. You're obviously trashed, so I have nothing to say to you right now. Maybe when you've sobered up, we'll talk. But right now, I need to find my friends. And you need to be leaving me alone."

Kurt whistled appreciatively under his breath, smirking proudly. That's mein Katzchen…

He glanced back at the pair, just in time to see Kitty angrily turn her back on the leader of the Brotherhood and walk away. Lance seemed too busy practicing his fish-out-of-water routine in order to object.

Kurt managed to intercept the girl somewhere in the crowd. She turned, startled and wild-eyed when he touched her arm lightly; but seeing it was him, calmed down somewhat, even flashing him a watered, thankful smile.

"Sorry," he exclaimed, smiling faintly, "Didn't mean to startle you, Katzchen. Sie gut?"

She nodded absently, slowly regaining her earlier carefree demeanor. "I'm fine. I just…ran into Lance, is all."

Kurt smiled sympathetically. "Ja. I saw Amanda, too."

Kitty sighed in annoyance, hugging herself slightly. "Man, relationships really suck, y'know?"

Her German friend shrugged lightly in reply, eyes dancing mischievously. "Aw, I don't know about that, Katzchen. Our relationship seems pretty non-sucky…"

The brunette stared at him with her unfathomable blue gaze for a long moment, giving him the classic 'You have got to be kidding me?' expression that he adored only when coming from her. Then slowly, she began shaking her head in dismay.

"Seriousness is like, a disease to you, isn't it?" she spoke suddenly, a small smile cracking through her disbelieving and disapproving expression.

Nodding in agreement and grasping her arm gently, he steered her towards the dance floor; his old grin returning.

"Und now that you know my secret, I will have to bribe you for your silence. Such a weakness could prove fatal around a foe such as Scott or Herr Logan, so I must remain en guard against such treachery at all times, mein liebchen."

Kitty sighed, shaking her head lightly. "Oh? And what kind of bribery were you planning?"

Handing his unpleasant drink to a random passerby, Kurt inclined his head roguishly. "The best kind, liebling. Shall we dance?"

Kitty laughed, eagerly taking her friend's hands and dragging him out onto the dance floor.

"Now that's my kind of bribery…!"

TO BE CONTINUED… (WHY, OH WHY?)

~ Kurt's Wunderbar Glossary of German ~

Guten abend – Good evening

Got verdammt – strong way of saying 'God Damnit'

Wille sie hast oben, frauleine – Will you hurry up, ladies

Un himmel – in Heaven

Pißwasser – piss-water

Scheisse-gesicht dummkopf – shit-faced idiot (My, Kurt really seems to have a potty-mouth in this chapter…)

Sie gut? – You alright?

References, Homage's, etc. –

"Probably Wings of Passion, or something sappy like that…" : I completely made this title up, except for the fact that I'm sure such a novel exists. But I haven't read it. So all the supposed 'excerpts' Kurt reads from it are fake and completely from my own, non-romance-novel mind. (That's why they're so horribly BAD.)

"…It's not even the second day of summer vacation yet, and you're about to be punished yet again!" : Not really a reference, exactly, but I couldn't help but have the Weasley twins (Harry Potter) in mind while writing this part, so I'll consider it a bit of a homage. It just sounds like one of poor Mrs. Weasley's exasperated tirades. Hmm, maybe I'll have Kurt or another of the boys blow up a toilet later on just for fun—send one of the girls a toilet seat as a memento…

"Where and how hard, mein liebling?" : Don't know where I originally heard this, but my friends and I use this one all the time (well, minus the German…) True smart-ass, that.

"…Kitty's moods were as unpredictable as the tides." : Vague reference to the famous dramatic (not really romantic, though) novel, Prince of Tides, by Pat Conroy.

"So what if it didn't taste all that good anymore—it was food, got verdammt!" : Heh. This is my argument basically anytime someone calls me on eating something that's possibly bad—mostly in the case of candy. You know the 10-second rule? I believe in the 2-minute rule. Get the idea?

"…surveyed the small, motley crew…" : Just a little play on words that happens to sound amusingly like a certain clothing line.

"The girl worked in mysterious ways." : A play on the song lyrics, "She moves in mysterious ways" from the old song by U2.

"…with his Opa's wonderful antique brushes." : Just paying homage to InterNutter, LeDiz, Kiki, and any other author's fics who make mention of the special brushes Kurt got from his grandfather in Germany—I'm pretty sure they're only referenced in fanfics, but I don't know who started it.

"…going to be the Versace of the party world…" : A famous, high-fashion clothing designer. Going with Kurt's fashion analogy, Bobby's implying that they're going to be about as cool as you can get by the time they make it to the party.

"…the Goth was decked out in her favorite party-wear ensemble of long skirt, silk scarf, and chain-link belt." : As seen in "Power Surge", season 2. As an enthusiast of just about every style of fashion, I really liked this outfit and thought she should wear it more often.

"…her hair…lay loose about her shoulders in thick, abundant auburn waves." : For those of you who haven't seen the original Kitty, you don't know what you're missing. Her hair is so freakin' gorgeous! (Of course, she's drawn that way, but that's beside the point.) I'll gladly send a pic to any of you who should so request!

"Surreptitiously, he lifted Bobby's chin…snapping the younger boy's mouth closed with an audible click." : I'm sure I've seen this in various places, but the most memorable has to be Dimitri and Vladimir in Anastasia (one of my all-time favorite movies.) Yes, without the tail, of course! You get my drift. (I think it's also in The Little Mermaid—remember Sebastian?)

"…the jeep Professor Xavier had lent them for the night…" : This is definitely not the same vehicle they took to the beach in "The Cauldron—Pt. 1". Sorry, people, as funny as it would be, I am NOT having them drive a hummer to the party…! (And it would be funny, too. It was damn funny in that episode!)

~~~~~~~X~~

Whoa! Not only was this chapter pretty damn long, (15 pages, not including my notes at the end) but there were a lot more references than I thought! Whew!

So I severely apologize for this, but I'm going to leave the individual thanks for the next chapter. It would just be waaay too long if I included that right now! But just know that I've so enjoyed all of your reviews so far—especially for this last chapter! All of you had such wonderful things to say, and also some rather comical comments, as well! Most of all, thank you to my regulars—only 2 chapters in, and some of you have already struck up a sort of 'conversation' with me through your reviews! Regulars are the best sorts of reviewers! You are all the best bunch of reviewers a fan-author could possibly have!

Until Chapter 4, everybody—adieu!

~Neko-chan