‘Welcome Home Present’

by GoldFox

Notes: The Kurt in this story is based from the ‘X2’ movie version, but he has his proper fur instead of those tattoos.

Ororo winced as he heard the rattling cough and came into the room as gently she could while carrying the laden tray. Once inside, her heart fell slightly as she regarded the scene taking place before her on the bed.

Kurt lay curled up on his side on the bed, hidden from sight and huddled up tightly underneath the blankets, his body shaking violently as he coughed harshly. He had been very sick for about two months now, and everyone had worked hard to try and help him to become well again. With some help from Jean and the Professor, they had come to discover that Kurt’s illness was a delayed side-effect from Striker’s mind control serum.

The only good part about this was that while the sickness certainly made it sound like Kurt was on death’s doorstep, he would make a full recovery once the toxins of the serum had been eliminated by his immune system. The serum, however, because of its potency, was proving to be a stubborn illness, keeping the poor teleporter bedridden despite their best efforts. All they could do was make him comfortable and wait it out.

After the coughing fit had died down, Ororo came quietly into the room, asking softly, “Kurt? Are you all right?”

There was stillness underneath the covers, then a quiet rustle and one corner of the blanket lifted as Kurt wearily peered out with one eye.

He looked terrible. His normally slim face had grown to be very thin and the soft fur looked brittle and sparse. His eyes had lost their golden light and were now only a light brown, weary and in pain. He gave a weak, but genuine smile at seeing her and answered softly, “I’ve felt better…”

Ororo had to smile. Despite the obvious pain of this sickness, Kurt still tried to be pleasant company for those around him, especially around the African. She came and put the tray down on the table and then leaned over Kurt, gently kissing his forehead, feeling how hot and dry the skin felt against her lips.

Kurt reached up and gently clasped her hand kissing her back on the cheek. Even though Ororo was deeply touched by the act, she couldn’t help the pain in her heart at feeling how delicate he felt, how frail. She sat down next to him and gently stroked his hair. “Are you hungry?”

The German frowned and shook his head, turning his face from her as he admitted quietly, “No… Thank you, but nothing will stay down. I am just very tired and yet I can’t sleep!” He gave her a forlorn, rueful smile. “It is rather frustrating.”

Ororo chuckled quietly and gently rested her hand on his shoulder, “I know, but you do need to need something, Kurt. Even if you don’t manage to keep it down, at least you would have something to bring up instead of just acids. It will hurt your throat a lot less.”

Kurt wrinkled his nose at hearing this but then nodded, understanding the logic. He accepted the bowl with broth in it and sipped at it slowly, asking, “I forgot to ask, but how has your day been so far? Did you do anything exciting?”

The light laugh that came from the woman was very pleasant to Kurt’s ears and he indulged in it, smiling at her although he felt horrible. He didn’t like the idea of eating or drinking anything at the moment, but he knew that Ororo was right, so he made the effort to get the broth down without choking, listening with genuine interest as she told him about the going-on’s of the mansion.

When he had finished, Kurt returned the bowl and lay down very carefully and slowly. He felt like there was a fire inside of him and it burned the worst on the back of his neck, where the serum had been administrated. But the fire was growing less and less every day. While this was the most desired effect, it was taking a lot of time. Kurt wasn’t used to being in one place for such extended periods of time and he was starting to suffer a little bit from ‘cabin fever’. Thankfully, Ororo would come every day and pass the hours with him, helping him to deal with his condition.

He smiled at her and taking her hand, kissed it, saying, “I appreciate all that you’re doing for me. I know you’re busy with your classes, and yet you’re able to spend time with me… I truly cannot thank you enough.”

She smiled and kissed his hand in return. “Of course… I love you and I want you to get well again soon.”

Kurt gave a weak chuckle, saying, “I love you too…” He reached up and gently tugged Ororo to him. She complied and he sighed pleasantly as he held her to him, feeling her warmth against him. With a bit of effort, Kurt managed to get his tail to creep up and wind, weakly, around her arm, smiling as he used the barb to rub gently at her skin. He heard Ororo chuckling and smiled, feeling better already. He was surprised as he felt himself start to purr, very, very, quietly and he grinned as Ororo laughed again, hugging him tighter. While the tightening hurt him a little bit, he was silent; both enduring and delighting in it.

Eventually, Ororo let go, saying as she smoothed down the fur on his arm, “I’m afraid I have to go back downstairs now. Will you be okay?”

Kurt nodded, smiling at her. “Yes, I will, thank you.”

Smiling again, Ororo kissed his cheek before taking the tray with the empty bowl out of the room with her.

After she had gone, Kurt lay down and tried to snuggle under the blankets. He hadn’t told her, but his fever made him feel like he was icy cold and no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t get any warmer! He had tried to use extra blankets, but the instant they had been applied, he had felt far too hot.

He coughed as he tried to bury himself in the bed, every joint, muscle and nerve hurting. Even his fur seemed to ache! And of course, his teleporting was simply out of the question. He was sure that a teleport of only a few feet would be enough to knock him completely unconscious. He groaned softly as the back of his neck seemed to throb warmly and he put his hand over it, trying to smother the painful sensation into a more comfortable and bearable numbness.

As he did so, he noticed how he could feel the bones of his neck so much easier. In fact, it wasn’t just his neck. Kurt had lost a lot of weight and it showed on his physique, making him look sickly and fragile. He knew that he needed to eat to try and keep up his strength, but it was a next to impossible task!

Suddenly, his eyes grew wide and he quickly got out of the bed and went to the bathroom, locking the door behind him before falling to his knees over the toilet and becoming ill. He moaned after he had purged himself, his body aching with cold and pain. Nothing, not even simple broth, could stay down anymore, no matter how hard he tried!

He cleaned himself and then returned to the bed, sliding into the covers wearily. He shifted positions for an hour before he was able to sleep, and even then, it was light and troubled.

Later that night, after the work had been finished for the classes, Ororo came back to check on the sick German. It was about 11:30 in the evening when she peered into the room and she couldn’t help but sigh softly.

Kurt’s frantic twisting and turning as he slept had thrown the blankets to the floor and he was curled up tightly on the bed, not realizing his lack of sheets, shivering terribly. Even his tail had coiled around him, trying to help.

Ororo came and gently replaced the blanket, but then paused, staring. Kurt was shirtless, saying he got too hot too easily while wearing it and she stared at his exposed torso and waist. She knew he had lost weight thanks to the illness, but she had no idea it was that prominent! Sighing again, she replaced the blanket and gently kissed Kurt on the forehead. While she knew that he would get better given time, it was still difficult to watch her poor ‘elf’ suffer.

When she turned to go, she felt something warm and furry wrap around her wrist and heard the soft, almost pleading, “Don’t leave…”

She turned back and saw that Kurt’s tail had wound itself around her wrist and that he was looking at her with a truly pitiful gaze. She winced as the tail, so weak, slid off her arm and she grabbed a hold of it before it hit the ground. She then gently sat down on the bed, stroking the tail as she said, “I’ll stay if you want.”

“Danke…” Kurt moaned quietly. He lay there quietly for a while and then asked, “I heard Scott mention something as he passed by today. You’re going on a mission?”

Ororo nodded. “I was planning to tell you tomorrow. The Professor wants me to go back to Africa to try and gain more support for Mutant Rights. I tried to get him to send Jean, but he insisted.” She sighed sadly. “I don’t want to have to leave you, Kurt. I’ll be gone for an entire month.”

Kurt smiled and gently rested his hand on hers, saying, “Well, I can assure you that I will be here when you get back. I am sick, not dying, Ororo.” He then leaned his head back on the pillow. “And I think it is a good idea to try and rally more support for us. We certainly need it.” He gulped and then asked, “Can I have some water, please?”

She nodded and getting up, returned shortly with a cup of water. He took it gratefully, saying afterwards, “Thank you.” He leaned close and gently kissed her cheek before suddenly turning aside and coughing harshly. The cup fell to the floor, spilling out the water, but Ororo barely noticed and simply waited, rubbing Kurt’s back to help ease the coughs. When the coughing stopped, Kurt gave her a weak smile. “And thank you again.” Ororo smiled and got him another glass, which he drank without any consequences this time. He put the cup away and then smiled, opening his arms. She came closer and he held her close to him, resting his cheek on her head, asking softly, “When do you have to leave?”

Ororo sighed as she leaned lightly into the embrace, answering, “In two days. Tomorrow I have to pack and then I leave very early the next day.” She tilted up her head, looking at him with a smile. “But I don’t want to have to go. I’ll miss you.”

Kurt smiled and hugged her a bit tighter, saying, “By the time you come back, I’m sure that this will have passed and I’ll be better than ever.” He gave her a kiss and then playfully pushed at her. “Now go on… It’s late and you have a lot to do tomorrow.”

Laughing in defeat, Ororo stood up, saying, “All right. I’ll see you tomorrow, Kurt. I hope you sleep well.”

“Thank you, I hope so too.” Kurt replied with a smile. He watched as she left the room, waving to him before shutting the door. Still smiling, Kurt settled down into the bed again and soon fell asleep. And while he did toss and turn a bit, it wasn’t nearly as bad as it had been in the past.

The good night’s sleep seemed to do wonders for Kurt and to the amazement of the others, he was actually able to spend some time with them that day. While he still felt bad, he was able to stay long enough to help Ororo pack a few things and to eat a bit with the others. The joy of having the elf back among them was slightly tarnished when Kurt had to make a dash for the bathroom to be ill again, but it was a bit of an improvement, so they didn’t really mind. Coming back, Kurt had expressed that he no longer felt well and retired to his room.

After she had finished all her packing and arrangements for the trip, Ororo came to Kurt’s room, knocking gently on the door before coming inside.

Kurt was lying down in the bed, resting. He smiled as she came in and sat up, saying, “Finished already?”

She nodded and sat down with him, saying, “Yes and I’ve brought you something.”

The German’s cheeks turned a soft purple as he blushed, saying, “You don’t need to give me anything, Ororo! Your company is enough.”

Ororo smiled and brought the gift out from behind her back, a rectangular package in white wrapping paper. “Well, this is for you anyway. I hope you enjoy it.”

Curious, Kurt accepted the gift and unwrapped it. Ororo was amused to watch as he used the well-trimmed nails like claws to break the tape and paper. Kurt’s mouth opened in surprise as he held the book, entitled, “The 7 Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor”. He smiled at her, opening the book delicately as she said, “I overheard you talking to Scott one time about this and I thought you would like it. I noticed you didn’t have anything to do. It’s the unabridged version.” she added with a smile.

“It’s wonderful.” Kurt said, holding her close and kissing her cheek. “I adore it. Thank you very much.”

Ororo returned the hug and the kiss, holding Kurt tightly to her, murmuring, “Hopefully you’ll think of me when you read it…”

“I would think of you anyway.” Kurt purred softly in reply, kissing her neck. He smiled as this caused some light laughter and he held her closer, sighing happily as he kissed her skin again.

They both looked up at a sudden knocking to see Scott standing there, looking apologetic behind his red shades. “I’m sorry to bother you two, but something went wrong with your ticket, Ororo. Can you come?”

“Yes, of course.” She answered. “I thought it was supposed to be easy to buy them over the phone.”

“The wonders of modern technology.” Kurt said with a chuckle, making Ororo laugh. She gave him another kiss and then left with Scott. Kurt watched her go and then settled down in the bed, opening his new book.

After a lengthy phone call, the ticket issue was finally resolved and Ororo headed to bed at about 9 to get up at 5 am for her flight. She stopped one last time at Kurt’s room and looked inside. Kurt was sleeping calmly on the bed, his sheets folded down to his waist. He was curled up on his side, his tail drooping down off the side of the bed, twitching now and again as he dreamed. She bit her lip, not wanting to wake him, but she didn’t want to just leave him either.

“I was waiting for you.” He smiled as one of the eyes opened, glowing weakly in the darkness. “You didn’t think I could let you go without one last goodbye, did you?”

“I certainly hope not.” She replied, coming over and smiling as Kurt sat up, embracing her, kissing her on the lips this time. She returned the kiss, gently rubbing her fingers through his hair. After the kiss, she rested her cheek on his chest, listening to the soft heartbeats and the even softer purring. She smiled and said quietly, “I’ll miss you so much…”

The German smiled and hugged her close, murmuring, “I’ll miss you too… But I cannot wait to hear about your trip when you come back! Could you bring me a souvenir?”

Ororo laughed and nodded, cuddling to Kurt, noticing that his grip felt a little bit stronger than it had the other day. “Of course I will.” She said warmly.

Kurt nodded happily and then smiled, pulling back. “You should get to bed now. You’ll never get up tomorrow morning!” He then gently caressed her face, murmuring, “But don’t you dare leave without giving me a goodbye-kiss…” and gently pulled her closer, kissing her full on the lips.

With a soft moan, she returned the kiss, holding him close and warm to her. When they parted for air, Ororo smiled and held him close. “I’ll miss you…”

“I’ll miss you too.” He murmured, rubbing his tail-barb on her arm. “But when you get back, I’ll be much better! I promise.”

Ororo laughed and got up. “Okay, but I’m going to hold you to that promise, Kurt.”

The German winked at her as he then settled back down in the bed, clearly very tired. Ororo came and kissed his forehead one last time before heading out and going to her own room and going to sleep.

Kurt woke up the next morning around 9 or so. It was bright and sunny outside and he sighed a little, knowing that Ororo had already left. Well, there was nothing for it. He would just be able to appreciate her even more when she got back! He got out of bed and stretched, immediately bending over to cough. He felt very ill still, but at least he felt that he could eat something. After a shower which felt wonderful to his fur, he went downstairs to find Jean and Marie in the kitchen, cleaning up. “Good morning…” he greeted, smiling.

“Oh, good morning, Kurt.” Jean said, standing up from the dishwasher. “Ororo’s already left, but she sends her love.”

Kurt smiled at hearing this and looked at Marie as she asked, “Do you feel okay enough to eat? We saved you a bit of breakfast just in case you were hungry.”

The German nodded, saying, “Yes… I would like to try, thank you.”

Marie smiled and took over the care of the dishwasher as Jean took Kurt to the table, where there was a plate of pancakes and sausage. Kurt sat down, thanking Jean, and then started to eat. He only managed one pancake and two small bits of sausage, but he was pleased to find that he didn’t feel sick in the least! Perhaps he would finally have a decent lunch! He then smiled and handed the plate back, “Thank you, but that’s all I can handle right now.”

“Of course. You shouldn’t strain yourself just yet anyway.” Jean replied, taking the plate and covering it for later. Kurt smiled at her and then went into the living room, smiling as a few of the students and teachers all greeted him before going back to their activities.

For a while, Kurt simply sat and watched, not wanting to tempt his jittery digestive system. But after a while, he felt better than ever. It seemed that having some food really helped him! He returned to the kitchen and opening the fridge, found his plate from that morning. He removed the plastic and heated it up, using the time to get a glass of milk. He filled it halfway with milk, halfway with water, diluting it to make it easier for his body. When the plate was done, he took it to the table and finished the two remaining pancakes and the 4 sausage links.

“Feeling better?”

Kurt looked up to see Jean watching him, smiling. He nodded, saying after he took a drink of his milk, “Yes, I am. I can actually keep my food down now.”

“That’s terrific!” Jean said with a smile. She then came over, asking, “I’m sorry, but once you’re finished, would you mind coming up to the lab? I’d like to run one last test.”

“Of course.” Kurt said, gathering up the empty plate and glass. He put them into the sink and then followed Jean.

Once at the hospital wing of the institute, Kurt sat silently and patiently as Jean drew a sample of blood, took his temperature and checked his eyes. When she was finished, Kurt smiled. “How does it look, Doctor Grey?”

She smiled at him. “Very good, actually. You’ve finally beaten the virus, Kurt. You’ll still have a bit of coughing now and again, but it’s normal as you continue to fully recover. The most important thing right now is for you to regain all the weight you’ve lost. Especially with your metabolism, you need to put some meat on those bones so your body doesn’t accidently injure itself.”

Kurt nodded in understanding, saying, “All right. Do you suggest any type of food in particular? Besides vegetables.”

Jean laughed softly, knowing that Kurt disliked the green, leafy foods, preferring the meats that his fangs were perfect for processing. “Getting some protein is a good start, so for now, I suggest that. Also, later, you can branch out, even to include the vegetables.” She chuckled as Kurt playfully made a face before smiling at her.

Kurt didn’t attend lunch, having gone back to sleep for a bit, but by the time dinner came around, he felt well and hungry enough to try and join the others at the dinner table. The dinner that night was lasagna with some traditional salad on the side as well as some egg and chicken salads. Kurt ate lightly, not managing more than a single plateful of lasagna.

When he pushed the plate away, everyone else had already finished. Jean and Marie, however, had remained behind, talking idly with each other. When Jean saw Kurt’s action, she shook her head and said, “Kurt, I’m sorry, but for a little while, you’ll have to eat a lot of food. Your both is not only still fighting off that virus, but it has to support you and store up some fat at the same time. So keep eating. It’ll do you good.”

Kurt frowned, but then nodded, forcing himself to finish his plate, the food was delicious, to be sure, but he still had to fight a little bit to put more and more into his mouth. Eventually, the plate was empty but for some strains of tomato sauce and Kurt sat there, feeling a bit stuffed. When he trusted himself enough, he stood slowly, saying, “I think I’ll go lie down for a bit…” Jean nodded and watched as Kurt walked off. It was clear that he had indeed eaten a lot more than he was used to as his tail kept shifting from side to side to help him balance himself. This unease with just a little bit of extra weight helped to prove to Jean that Kurt truly was very underweight.

Jean followed him and found him lying on his back on the couch, sighing a bit as he rubbed at his stomach gently, as if trying to ease a pain. She smiled, asking, “You all right?”

“Not really.” Kurt replied. “I know I have to eat, but I think my stomach shrank.” He prodded at his belly, still so flat, saying, “I feel too full…”

“That will fix itself in time once you start eating properly again.” Jean said with a smile, sitting down next to him. Kurt shifted his legs a bit so she could sit better and then nodded before sighing and settling down again. Jean then added, “If you’d like, I could help you to regain your lost weight.”

Kurt considered this and then deemed it was for the best. She was the doctor after all. She had to know what was good for him and what wasn’t in terms of this illness. Kurt had never had such an illness before and feeling so utterly weak was a new and unpleasant experience for him. And besides, he had promised Ororo that he would be completely recovered by the time she came home. That gave him about a month to get back to normal. He nodded to Jean, saying, “Thank you… I appreciate your help.”

Jean smiled and got up, “Terrific. We begin tomorrow morning. Hope you’ll be hungry for breakfast!”

That night, with the exception of only two coughing fits, Kurt slept soundly. It seemed that the food had given his immune system a huge boost and he smiled when he realized that he felt better than he had in a long while! He came down to the kitchen feeling very hungry and was pleased to see Jean waiting for him, along with Marie. Kurt sat down and smiled as he was given a large plate with scrambled eggs, sausages, hash browns and pancakes.

His smile faded a little bit and Jean asked, “What’s the matter? Don’t you like it?”

In reply, Kurt poked his fork at the hash browns, asking, “What are these?”

Jean smiled, saying, “They’re potatoes, but cooked in a special way. Try them!”

Thus prompted, Kurt did try some, and then quickly finished them off, thoroughly enjoying the somewhat salty flavor of the potatoes. He then moved on to the eggs and the sausages, smiling as Marie and Jean encouraged him. Soon enough, those were gone as well and he started to work on the pancakes, although he was slowing down a little bit. This one meal was already more than his previous few combined. His stomach was feeling very full already and he could feel it trying to stretch to fit all of this food. But he thought of Ororo and of his promise and kept going, asking politely for some milk as he ate.

Eventually, he leaned back, sighing in triumph as the plate lay empty before him. He felt very stretched now and he rubbed his hand over his belly, trying to make it hurt a bit less. He then wondered if it was just his imagination, or was he feeling a bit of a bulge? He rubbed a bit more, curious. Honestly, he wouldn’t be surprised. He had certainly eaten a lot at this one sitting! He finished his glass of milk, noticing how it hadn’t been diluted. And yet it didn’t bother him anymore. His body seemed to be getting better by the day!

Jean came over and smiled as she took his plate, saying, “Did you like it?”

Kurt nodded and gingerly got up, wincing. While he wasn’t in pain, per say, he felt like he was walking on eggs. His stomach felt badly stretched and very full. And while he didn’t exactly relish the sensation, he trusted Jean and knew that this would help him in the long run.

After excusing himself, Kurt went up to his room to get his book before going to sit outside, lying back in a chair and putting his feet up on the railing. This position seemed to help and he sighed as his strained belly hurt less. Thus satisfied, he started to happily read his book. The sun was very warm and that combined with his fur and skin made him feel comfortably hot and his tail flicked idly and contentedly as he read, enjoying the stories.

He spent the entire morning like this and when lunch came around, Kurt didn’t even notice, so caught up was he in stories of monsters and sailing and sword-fights. He was so involved in his book that he didn’t even hear Jean coming and was surprised when she suddenly sat down next to him, holding a covered tray. “Oh hello, Jean! I’m sorry, I didn’t hear you.” He said, marking the page and putting the book down.

“It’s okay.” She said with a smile. “I brought you lunch, since you never came inside.”

Kurt looked shocked, asking, “It’s already lunch time?” He lamented the fact that he had forgotten to get a watch of some sort, saying, “I didn’t know… I don’t have a watch with me.” He showed her his naked wrist, as if for proof and grinned as she laughed. Jean put the tray on the little table in front of him, uncovering it to reveal a pair of hot dogs, some mashed potatoes and a small side of salad. Kurt stared at it and said, “I do appreciate, but I’m not sure that I’ll finish all of it.”

Jean just handed him a fork, saying, “Well, you can try.”

The German laughed and did as told, using the fork to attack the potatoes, and then going back and forth between them and the hot dogs. Kurt focused mostly on the hot dogs, however, and finished those first. He ate about half of the potatoes before he slowed down, saying, “Can I save this for dinner tonight?”

The doctor shook her head and said, “I know it’s hard, but do try, Kurt.”

Kurt sighed and then proceeded to attack the rest of the potatoes. After this, he frowned, but also ate the salad, all but drowning it in dressing to mask the green taste. When he had completely finished, Kurt leaned back, sighing. He rested his hand on his stomach and gave Jean a smile. “I think your treatment is working, doctor. I don’t feel as stretched this time.”

“That’s a good sign.” Jean said with a warm smile, standing to gather the plate. “You’re body’s getting used to the amount of food. Tell me, how have you been feeling? Any more symptoms?”

“Not nearly as many as before.” Kurt replied with a smile, letting his tail rest on his belly, rubbing gently to ease the slight ache he felt there, ruffling the fur lightly. It wasn’t painful, persay, but it wasn’t comfortable either. “I cough at night sometimes, but otherwise, I have been feeling wonderful.”

Jean smiled and sat down next to Kurt again. “Oh, that’s wonderful! I’m very glad to hear it.”

Smiling, Kurt watched as she stood, patted his shoulder and then walked back inside, taking the plate and cover with her. Kurt settled back in his chair and sighed deeply, trying to focus on his book again. It was a bit hard, however, as his belly complained lightly at being so full. His hands occupied wit his book, he used his tail-barb to rub gently at his belly and after a while, he felt the discomfort leave him and he was able to relish the sensation of having a full stomach, a feeling that had he had been denied of for all the time he had been sick. He rested the book on his leg as he allowed his tail to rub a little harder at his belly. He noticed that while he had a tiny bit of a bulge, his belly was still mostly flat and thin. But he trusted Jean and knew that that would soon change.

And for the next few weeks, it seems that he had been right! Every day, Jean took it upon herself to personally feed the recovering elf, and Kurt found that every day he was able to handle a little more food every time he sat to a meal. And afterwards his belly, while it would be round with his dinner, it wouldn’t hurt nearly as badly anymore. Kurt also noticed with joy that upon looking at himself in the mirror, he had trouble to pick out the once-clearly-seen bones. He smiled as he felt his strength increasing as well, and his coughing fits pretty much disappeared.

He began to go for walks with the students, and while he was as of yet forbidden to do any sort of serious exercise or teleporting, he started to stretch daily, feeling proud of himself as he began to regain his old flexibility and grace.

Three weeks after Ororo’s departure, Kurt was looking and feeling better than ever! His fur had regained its silky softness and it had a healthy sheen to it. His eyes had grown brighter rover time, now glowing with their normal yellow-gold light and his whole body was fuller, more fit and plump in comparison to his nearly emaciated state of only a few weeks before hand. The change was remarkable and Jean herself admitted that if it weren’t for Kurt’s amazing metabolism and body structure, the healing process wouldn’t have been so fast.

There was, however, one problem. While Kurt was now healthy again, Jean voiced the opinion that he did not yet have enough bodily fat. Kurt wasn’t quite pleased with the idea of gaining weight, but then again, he wanted to please both Ororo and the people who had been so kind to him. So he dutifully ate when told, obeying the doctor’s orders.

Every day, at breakfast, lunch and dinner, he would gently force his body to accept more and more food, often having the help of Jean and Marie. He sometimes needed help to keep going, his body begging and arguing that he had already eaten enough for a day. But he would just rest and then try again, forcing down the different dishes presented before him. Sometimes, Jean and Marie had to feed him, aiding him to force the food down to his protesting belly.

Granted, he would protest when he felt he had reached his limits, but Jean would insist and would pretty much force-feed him after that, pushing more and more into his swollen and stretched tummy. Kurt would try to resist, but would always end up accepting the additional food, working hard not to let himself explode. Oftentimes, Jean would notice that Kurt’s tail would wind itself around the chair as he would force down the next mouthful.

And yet, despite feeling overly-stretched and way-too-full after every meal, Kurt would come back for even more at the next meal, trusting that this whole process was only going to help him.

Then one night, after three and a half weeks of following this strict ‘diet’, Kurt stared at himself in the mirror he had in his room, smiling faintly.

He had managed, despite his body’s rapid metabolism, to gain quite some weight. He had a much plumper appearance now and while he wasn’t fat by any means, he was certainly much more ‘padded’, as Bobby had once remarked with a playful laugh. He prodded at his belly, and then placed his hand over it, smirking as he felt the warm roundness against his palm. He turned around in front of the mirror, seeing how he had gotten rounder on other parts of his body as well. He didn’t mind at all being plump like this, but he couldn’t help but wonder how Ororo was going to react to this when she saw him again. She was due home in just a few days!

Kurt’s tail swished eagerly as he thought about it. He was so curious about her trip and what she had done overseas. He hadn’t heard anything on the news, so he was in the dark on that aspect. He knew that mutants weren’t put in the news for safety’s sake, so he wasn’t exactly surprised that he hadn’t heard anything.

And of course, his biggest reason to see her back was that he had missed her dearly. While he had had the friendship from all of the other mutants, he longed to hold Ororo in his arms again, longed for her calming presence.

He then smiled and started to head downstairs, starting to look for Jean in order to ask for help on his special ‘Welcome Home’ present.

Ororo sighed in relief as the taxi finally dropped her off at the front of the mansion. It had been a horrible flight, with turbulence, unruly passengers and worst of all, that awful airline food. She felt absolutely exhausted and felt like collapsing into bed for about a week and a half. She was only sad that she couldn’t say hello to Kurt before turning it. It was about 2 in the morning, and she could see no lights on the inside. No doubt, everyone was asleep by now. She gently put her bags by the door; sighing as she thought of the time it would take unpack them before she could finally fall into bed.

Rubbed her eyes as they threatened to drop on her, she made her way to the kitchen, wanting to have a drink to help her stay awake for just a little while longer.

However, once she entered the kitchen, her thirst was forgotten and she simply stopped and stared as she surveyed the scene in front of her.

The dinning table had been set up with two places, a covered dish and a bottle of red wine. Candles lit the table so that the light wasn’t so harsh and a beautiful bouquet of flowers rested on top of one of the plates.

Stunned, she put her things down and approached the table, stunned by the simple beauty of it. she jumped just a little bit as warm arms embraced her from behind, but then smiled at feeling a familiar tail coil gently around her wrist. “Welcome home…” came the soft, accented words in her ear and she turned her head, gently kissing Kurt on the lips as he sighed happily, holding her closer. “I missed you…”

“I missed you too…” Ororo said, turning around to give Kurt a proper hug, smiling as the tail released her wrist to wrap around her waist, as if anchoring her to the German. She then looked at the table, asking, “Did you do this? For me?”

Kurt nodded, his eyes a bright gold. “Ja.” She smiled and hugged him again, but then noticed a difference.

When she had left, she had always felt as though she had to be careful when hugging Kurt. He had been so thin and fragile it was as though he would snap in two if handled too roughly. His bones had also been very near to the surface, easy to find and to touch.

But now, it was as though she was hugging something much more solid, and yet much softer to the touch. She withdrew and looked at Kurt again, who smiled and withdrew from her grasp and undid his shirt. Ororo gasped at the change that had occurred so rapidly, seeing how Kurt was now much healthier looking, with more meat and muscle on his arms and legs, even his tail. His fur felt much softer now, like warm velvet, and in the glow of the candles, it clearly had a much richer shine to it now. And while it seemed that his whole body had been softer and rounder, the most obvious change of all was his belly. It had been flat before, but now she smiled as she ran her hand over the soft, furred bulge. Kurt blushed, his cheeks turning a minute purple color as he asked, “What do you think?”

Ororo smiled and held Kurt closer to her, gently caressing his cheek. “I think you look simply wonderful.”

The German smiled and held her closely, and she smiled when she heard purring, soft and deep. They remained like this for a few minutes until Kurt suddenly stiffened, saying, “Oh, the dinner!” He then led Ororo to the table, saying, “I didn’t think you would be very hungry after your flight, so I made only a light meal.”

“Kurt, I don’t know what to say.” Ororo smiled as she was seated and watched as Kurt sat across from her. “You did this all for me?”

With a pleased nod, Kurt removed the cover to reveal a salad with bits of chicken. He served Ororo, then poured her some wine, smiling as she complimented him on the meal. He then served himself and they ate together, talking quietly. Kurt told Ororo about things that had happened at the mansion since her absence, and Ororo then told him about Africa and the things she had done. They both enjoyed the meal, laughing softly at the antics of the students, and mutually grimacing at the food offered on airline flights.

After they had finished, Kurt smiled and helped Ororo to unpack. At one point, he found a wrapped package, but she smiled and took it, slapping his hand. “No, no! Not until tomorrow. I want to be awake enough to see your expression.” Kurt smiled as he nodded.

Between them, but got the suitcases undone quickly and soon, they were kissing goodnight. Kurt had insisted that Ororo use his room, arguing that his room was naturally in a quiet part of the mansion and she needed quiet to sleep. Reluctantly, she had agreed and Kurt smiled, holding her close.

“Good night…” he whispered, kissing her forehead.

Ororo smiled and kissed him back on the lips, good and hard.

While he was momentarily stunned by the passion on the kiss, Ororo withdrew and bid him goodnight before shutting the door. Kurt smiled as he walked back down to the kitchen, his tail flicking back and forth happily as he purred softly.

The next day, Kurt sat with the others, talking and chatting as they related the minor incidents of the night and the past day. He was eager to see Ororo again, but he would wait until she was up. Finally, at about noon, she came down to much greeting and salutations, and Kurt was among the first at her side, kissing her gently and ignoring the good-natured catcalls from the younger students.

Once everyone had welcomed the African back, the student all ran off to play in the yards outside and Kurt was able to pull her away from Jean and all the other instructors. She laughed as she took her to the porch, saying, “What’s the matter, Kurt? Don’t want to share me with everyone else?”

Kurt smiled, replying with fangs bared. “They can wait their turn.” He then held her close, kissing her deeply and gently, his arms holding her gently and his tail coiled warmly around her waist.

Ororo smiled and returned the kiss, gently running her fingers through the indigo hair, feeling how much thicker and softer it had grown, smiling as she felt the soft roundness of his belly pressed against her. She then sat down with him on the wooden bench there and lifted his arm, rubbing the furry skin as he flexed his muscle playfully. “It’s amazing.” she said. “You look so much different than when I left!”

The blue elf nodded, saying, “It’s thanks to Jean. She helped me a lot.”

The African nodded and then tugged at his shirt, asking, “May I?”

Kurt nodded and worked to get his shirt off, gently hanging it from the side of the bench once he was done.

Ororo smiled at him and then proceeded to really examine Kurt. He had gained a lot of weight and could even be called plump right now. His belly jutted out a little bit, though not noticeably. He was very soft now and she spent some time rubbing at his belly, rubbing the fur and the warm skin while he purred and his tail flicked happily. She noticed that his pants seemed to be a little bit tighter now, and remarked on this, tugging at the waistband while he blushed and smiled. Hugging him, she could feel that his arms were larger too, and the embrace was delightfully warm and soft.

She was delighted with his new, plumper appearance, finding it to be much better than when he had been so sick and frail. She rubbed against his warm, furry belly, liking how the fur ruffled gently against her hand now. Everything about Kurt was so much softer and healthier now and she was glad for it, holding to him tightly. He smiled as he felt this, remarking, “I’m not about to fly away in the wind, Ororo! I’m much too heavy for that now!”

Ororo chuckled at this little joke of his and patted his belly, ruffling the fur gently and playfully as she said, “Well, that’s good to hear! I was hoping you’d stay with me, anyway.”

Kurt blushed slightly, asking, “Even though I’m so…” What was the word Bobby had used? Oh right. “…Padded?” He grinned softly, his perfect fangs revealed.

“Yes.” She replied, and then hugged him tightly, smiling as he returned the warm embrace.

But then she suddenly withdrew from the hug, making Kurt look at her in concern, wondering if he had done something wrong. She then smiled, saying, “Oh, wait. I’ve forgotten something. Stay here and wait for me?”

“I can teleport you if you’d like.” he offered.

Ororo considered this, and then shook her head. “I don’t want you peeking. Stay here… I’ll be right back.”

Kurt smiled and nodded, grabbing his shirt and putting it back on as Ororo ran off, buttoning it back up before leaning back on the bench comfortably, feeling the sunlight warming him wonderfully. He looked up when she came back, holding something behind her back. He waited until she had sat down, and then, at her bidding, he shut his eyes and held his hands out. He felt something long and slightly heavy get placed into his hands and then opened his eyes and then stared in awe.

It was a type of knife and he looked it over, stunned. The sheath was about 7 inches long it was mostly made of white leather, but it had a thick tan leather band. Below that band was a strip of black leather, very thin, which was stitched into the front, making a slight zigzag pattern down to the base, where an arrow-head shaped chunk of stone was placed. At the top of the sheath, it had a loop made of braided cord, obviously to be used as a means to attach it to a belt.

The blade itself was almost a foot long from tip to tip, with the handle made of dark wood and a small metallic decoration on the end. The blade, after he drew it out, revealed itself to be slightly leaf-shaped and it was sharp as anything.

He looked at the gift, and then at Ororo, smiling.

She then said, “I know you enjoy sabers and swords, but I hoped this would suffice.”

Kurt carefully sheathed the blade and transferred it to his tail as he held her closely, purring softly as he said, “It’s beautiful. Thank you very much…”

Ororo smiled back and held Kurt, tilting his head to kiss him again.