‘Stars And Bugs And Fangs, Oh My!’
The night sky was perfect. A vast expanse of deep blue without a single cloud to mar it’s perfection. The stars glittered brightly in the sky, gazing down at the earth inhabitants. One could easily pick out Ursa Major and Minor, and thus the Big and Little Dippers. The distant suns seemed to flicker in the sky, fading and reappearing infinitely.
One of them suddenly brightened and moved. The star flitted to the left, taking a dip in the Big Dipper before buzzing off to try and see what lay beyond the horizon. But as it flitted gaily along, something huge appeared. It swerved aside, but the enormous object followed and a second one appeared.
The star was then carefully cupped it into submission.
Kitty ran back, saying, “I got it!”
Jean smiled at her and watched as Kitty released it, saying, “That’s your tenth one, Kitty. You’re four behind Kurt.”
The members of the X-Men, displaying a younger side, had decided to go to the edge of the forest by the mansion and play a game, seeing who could catch the most fireflies. It was childish and immature and stupid and they loved it. They were just kids after all.
Scott came up, asking while attempting not to giggle, “Does this one count?”
Jean looked up and laughed. By sheer luck, a firefly had landed on Scott’s nose, and as it blinked placidly, he looked like a bizarre Rudolf. Jean smiled as Kitty walked off laughing, “Sure it does, Scott. Just don’t sneeze, okay?” Scott smiled tightly as the bug crawled on his cheek and down, making him shiver with repressed laughter as it trudged on his upper lip. Jean then grinned, adding, “Or inhale.”
Scott couldn’t take it and burst out laughing; the firefly shot off like a rocket. It landed in the grass upside down, turned over, and took to the air again; it’s blinking continuing unabated.
Kurt, hidden in the grasses, timed his jump and leaped, catching a firefly perfectly in his hand. He landed and instantly inspected his catch. It wasn’t harmed and sat still in his palm, little light fading in and out. He grinned and ran back to Jean, reporting yet another catch. Kurt had never done this before, but was quickly becoming a natural.
In Germany, he had always remained inside at night, too scared of the wildlife and the other villagers to venture out after dark. But when Kitty had come in reporting the fiery bugs, he had joined, curious.
Now as he chased the insects, he felt he had been deprived as a child. Kurt opened his palm to let Jean see the insect and then they waited for it to take off. It didn’t. It just sat in the teleporter’s palm, blinking gently. Kurt then said, “Go on. Get! Shoo!”
Jean chuckled as the insect defied him, saying, “Kurt. It’s a bug, okay?”
Kurt grinned at her; fangs dimly exposed in the darkness and then flicked the bug off his palm and ran back to the trees.
Storm had come out with them and while she wasn’t participating in the game, she watched them, smiling gently. Kurt didn’t notice her, too busy with stalking a particularly slow firefly. It glowed, and he followed it. But then it vanished, and he waited. He saw the glow again and went towards it again, but lost it as it turned off. It glowed yet again and this time Kurt was close enough to catch it.
But instead of catching it, he let it fly, crawling under it, looking up at the little insect. The firefly was like a star that had escaped the heavens to wander the earth. A star that had fallen through the trees to flit about the lowly earth-bound mortals.
Kurt giggled, and lay down on his back, muttering softly over and over again, “Catch a falling star, catch a falling star…” He laughed up at the bug, saying, “Are you a star?”
Almost as if in response, the bug landed on his chest, blinking softly, illuminating his white shirt with its yellow-green glow. Kurt laughed again, putting a hand and letting the bug climb onto it, “You’re silly… Can’t you see I’m bigger than you? You can’t attack me!”
He held his hand up and let the bug fly off. He then got to all fours and chased another, grinning as he snapped childishly at it. He found it interesting that the bug wasn’t scared of him. But then, his childish side being released and given free reign, he created a game.
The mighty hunter was following an unsuspecting prey, tail twitching in anticipation of a meal. It was small, but it was worth the chase. The hunter stalked his prey, following it’s every twist and turn easily as it tried far too slowly to outmaneuver him. He chased after it, his speed a match for his prey’s flight. But then prey reached a dilemma; it hovered before the trunk of a huge tree, unsure of where to go.
The hunter, knowing victory was his, and that a meal would soon be his as well, came up and teased his prey by putting his maw right near his prey and opening wide. He stood still, fours feet planted firmly on the ground, tail stiff and excited, jaws agape, ready to snap up his prey in a moment’s notice. The prey was trapped between a tree and the predator’s maw and hesitated, blinking its distress. But then it tried to move and instinct took over as the hunter sprang forwards, maw closing on its prey.
Kurt jerked back to the present when he tasted something very bitter. Kurt remembered far too late what he had been playing with and froze, then moaned, “Oh no…” He felt delicately with his tongue and sure enough, his imagination had run away with him. He had eaten the firefly while stuck in his little fantasy.
The good news was that it had been swift and painless for the insect.
The bad news was that Kurt had eaten a bug.
The blue elf shivered and felt like ‘porting back to the mansion and brushing his teeth for three straight hours.
“Kurt?” The feminine voice caught Kurt off guard and he turned to see Storm stand up and approach him, asking, “What happened? You went all stiff.”
Kurt quickly realized how foolish he must have looked and his rational mind was all for denying anything being wrong and going discreetly to brush his teeth. But the childish part of him, still mostly in control, had him say like a little kid, “I ate a bug.”
Mentally he slapped his forehead. ‘Great way to sound like a spaz, Wagner’ his rational mind scolded.
But Ororo just came and kneeled before him, asking, “You ate a firefly?”
Kurt nodded, feeling stupid and immature. If the others found out about this, he’d never live it down.
Storm then laughed, saying in a semi-stern tone, “Relax. You’ll live. Hopefully you’ve learned to keep you mouth shut? Besides, you’ll give someone a heart attack if you don’t.”
Kurt was severely confused by this comment, asking, “What are you talking about?”
Storm then chuckled, “Your teeth are glowing.”
Kurt was immediately interested and asked, “They are?”
Storm produced a small mirror, saying, “See for yourself.”
Kurt did so and chuckled. The late firefly’s illuminating juices had splattered in his mouth and his fangs were glowing a soft creepy green. Kurt then returned the mirror to Storm, and ran off, grinning evilly.
Storm couldn’t help but laugh when she heard Kitty give a bloodcurdling scream.