1963-09-12 - Prelude: On a Prayer
Summary: Taking a break from searching for Logan, Jean visits a local parish in Hell's Kitchen for advice from Kurt.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
nightcrawler jean 

The heavy doors to the Cathedral were pushed open with a push of her hand against the air. The air surrounding her hand nearly crackles with fire as her fingers brush against the other in a few snaps that she soon begins to shake free. The fire itself dissipates, and with the doors wide open, Jean Grey, student.. friend.. whatever she chooses to believe or call herself wheels her way in with a few grunts and pushes. She was sure that she wasn't going to find Logan here, but what she needed was a different type of guidance. Something that isn't too close to home.

The place was lit with old candelabra; the smell itself reminds her of the library back at the mansion. It was clean, no spot of dust could be found anywhere but the light flickers and moves from the wind that rushes through the door. The door which was soon quietly closed at its own volition.

The wheels, roughly used squeak as she continues to push the metal, making her way down the carpeted isle towads the gathering of candles that sit near the altar. A stick was taken, pushed into the flame of one candle, then removed to light the wick of another. And another. She didn't know who the second candle was for but something compelled her to light it.


With his free time now that the kids are mostly in school all day, Kurt has gone back to the Church that first harbored him to help out where he could. While he's not great at office-work, he's certainly capable of taking some polish and a rag and cleaning the hard-to-reach areas of the Church. It's why it's really so clean! No cobwebs anywhere! He was actually working clearing some dust from one of the dacorative statues up near the ceiling when he heard the doors open and saw the redhead enter.

Hopping down to the balcony, he peers over the railing for a moment, watching as the young woman lights two candles before he makes his way back down into the Sanctuary.

He doesn't mean to just sort of appear out of the shadows, but he kind of can't help it. "I think the Herr Priester will be back soon if you needed to speak with him." He's dressed in some worn jeans and a slightly grimy t-shirt since he was cleaning dusty places. His German accent is still very present even if his English seems to be improving by the day. "Can I help you, Fraulein?"


The stick was brought to her lips, quickly blown out with a gust of air and soon replaced back where the rest remain discarded. Kurt was quiet, or maybe Jean was so lost within her own thoughts that she really didn't hear the young man approach. Though once he did? She jerks a little bit in her chair, her hand lowering to tug the wheel into his direction, her eyes wide in a little bit of a fright.

"Oho! Don't scare me like that.."

Hearing news that the priest wasn't in wasn't a surprise. She was sure that they all were pretty busy. But as he offers his help, she squints her eyes in his direction, figuring.. why not. What is the worst that can happen? "Yes.. actually."

And she leans just enough to get a good look at his ears. "If you don't mind lending me your pretty blue ear."


Nightcrawler holds up his three-fingered hands and takes a step back as the girl starts. "I'm sorry…" and he'll even turn to leave her to her prayers and meditations when she actually answers that yes, he could help. "Really?" He seems quite surprised but he turns back and even steps forward, his feet bare on the Sanctuary floor.

When his ear is mentioned, he lifts a hand to touch it, grinning a little as it's given such an adjective. "Nein, I do not mind at all." He gestures to one of the pews, if she'd like to move away from the altar to talk. He probably shouldn't sit to listen right there.


Jean turns upon her wheels to follow him close to the pews. While she doesn't immediately fit her chair into it, she does take a moment to manuver herself to mimic that she actually was sitting upon a pew, attempting to line herself up with it perfectly.

"I don't know you." Jean states as a fact. "In fact, I really don't know if a priest could help me with what I'm about to ask or even say." She fiddles with her hands, her near curly hair (due to it being a wash and go) soon tangled within that same fiddled grasp. "But I think.. me not knowing you and asking your unbiased advice is.. the best. Right?"


Nightcrawler moves to follow Jean to her chosen Pew and he goes to sit on the back of it, his feet on the cushion. Otherwise, his tail tends to get squished. "I…ja? Maybe? I do not know you either, but if I can help you, I would like to try." Because that's just sort of how he is. "My advice will come from my life, but it is your's if you would like it."


It seemed like forever before she begins to speak. Content to look upon the lit fires of the candles near the altar, the statue that hangs within the back with its arms parted wide open for acceptance. Her hands still tangled within her hair, her lips nearly pouting as her gaze falls into her lap. "A week or two ago.. I was taken." She blows out a bit of air, then waves her hand. "It.. doesn't matter why or how, but I was. And rescued. But something happened in which I harmed someone. People. And someone very close to me. And this is the end result." She gestures at the chair.

"Even though I'm sad, slightly angry, I knew that there was no other way. Like.. no other choice. It was either kill me or cripple me for a time. And I understand that, I truly do. But, I don't think he does. My friend, he feels guilty. And he left his home. And he's a grown man, this I know. But I don't think he needs to be out there alone."


Nightcrawler rests his elbows on his knees, leaning forward, and listens. Yellow eyes look to her in the chair for a moment before he looks back to her as she continues to talk. When there is a pause he asks, "For a time? So you will recover? And the people that you harmed? Will they recover?" He looks to her in her wheelchair again before tilting his head, "Your friend feels guilty because he could not prevent you from having to hurt yourself like this?"


"Mmhmm. I will. The injury was through and through the muscle. I just have to be careful, stay clean, and make sure my bandages are changed. And I finished my antibiotics." She almost sounded like a child robot when she says this, but it was a quiet mantra to remind herself to do as she was instructed. Though.. the people she's harmed.. they will recover. But they will be scarred. It was clear that she didn't want to talk about it, with the way she keeps her gaze lowered upon her fingers that press hard against the other.

"They'll… they'll be okay.." She says quietly then swallows. "I.. I think he feels guilty just for hurting me in the first place. Allowing himself to .. get so angry that he did." She didn't say what she did to him, and it was for the best. "I hurt him first, in his defense.. but.. he feels that he didn't have to do this."


Nightcrawler continues to listen, his tail lightly tapping along the back of the pew. "Und you have told your friend that you are not angry und you felt it had to be done?" It does seem to be a bit of a dilemma. "But we cannot control how people feel. Maybe we can try to explain that we do not feel that way und help, but…when you are feeling sad, do you like someone coming into say 'You should not be sad! You must be happy now'?"


"I.. didn't realize it at the time that I understood. I hadn't seen anyone for a week and everything was overwhelming. And I couldn't look at him because of what -I- personally did to him myself. I mean.. he was fine. He was outside of my door day and night, hardly eating and sleeping. And when I finally came out, I couldn't look at him."

She inhales slightly, then rubs her fingers along her cheeks. "I.. I want to know this. That I can't control it. Other people. Well, I mean I could essentially but.. I can't." Her lips quirk a little smile as she gives a shake of her head. "No.. I wouldn't like that at all. I think it would make me even more upset because I'd feel like that person wouldn't understand."


"Nein, you cannot control other people," Kurt offers with a sad little smile. "Und if you could, would you want to? Because nothing would be real, ja? It would be taking away their thought and who they are and what makes them original." He falls quiet for a moment, thinking, before he asks, "When someone hurts you feelings und then they say, 'I am sorry', does it make you feel better? Are you still hurt? Even though their words und maybe their emotion says they are. But does it stop the hurt?"


If only he knew..

"No.. yes.. at times yes.." Jean confesses. But she listens quietly, earnestly, then frowns a little. "But what if.. controlling them for a little time would help them see their potential?" She looks at Kurt fully now, not scared of him in the slightest. It all suggests that she's seen mutants before. Even her manner of speak suggest that she is one herself.

She has to really think about that one.. "It.. does for a little while. Sometimes I can tell if they're sincere.. sometimes, I don't want to know if they are or not. And I just imagine what I want to hear and feel. Though.. sometimes, that hurt comes up again. It just lingers back there, waiting for me to remember it. Waiting for my tears." She frowns a little.

"I know he .." She huffs slightly. "If you lost someone, and you'd do anything to find them. Anything that wouldn't harm anyone but yourself, would you?"


"But would it really be them seeing it or would it be you showing it to them?" Kurt counters quickly, asking her a question as she asked him. He grins then, showing sharp teeth, "I can tell you how to…make a cake. Do you learn how to make a cake with me telling you?" Kurt shrugs, "A little, maybe. But do you learn more when you make it yourself?" It may not be the best analogy but he isn't quite finding a better one.

Maybe he has deduced that she can do special things…maybe it doesn't matter, but it's nice that she doesn't seem afraid of him.

Sometimes people surprise him.

"Even if they are true, even if they are very sorry, does it make the hurt stop right then?" He then nods when she says that the hurt lingers, "Ja, just that. Sometimes it is there for a very long time even if we know that they are sorry. Even if we forgive them und accept the apology."

The next question has his eyes widening some and now he has to pause to think. "I think I would want to do everything that I could to find them. But I also think that they would not want me to become hurt trying to find them. If I could find them and not hurt too much…but if you are so hurt when you find them that you cannot…zu schaetzen wissen…ach, what is the word?" There's a squint of his eyes before he tests, "Appreciate? That you found them,, they cannot hold you or be with you, is it best they stay lost?"


"I suppose it would be me showing them.." Jean murmurs thoughtfully. Even though her eyes stung and the tears hang just upon the lower eyelid, they do not fall. But his analogy does draw out a smile, and a faint little laugh. "Yes. Absolutely." She agrees with this. She was learning to cook with someone telling her, but actually doing it? Figuring it out for herself? That's where the lessons lay for her.

"But what if you get hurt because you believed then that you weren't strong enough? That you finally realized that.. fear.. is what really hurts. And not courage. And not faith.." She gestures around quietly, giggling softly. "I.. I don't know. I think I'd be called a fool. But I would be called a fool and they would be home with family, who they deserve. Jaaah?" She extends, leaning her arm against near where he sat, pressing it against the pew as if she were leaning against him herself.

"For him.. people need him. And more importantly, he needs them. Not just me. His son.. his brother in arms. The Professor.." She glances up towards the statue. "Maybe even this city and this state. And this world. He needs them and we all need him."


Nightcrawler returns her smile at the analogy. "But what you see is not what I see, ja? You do not think what I think…und if you told me what to think, it would still be you, not me." The smile fades, however, at her next statement and he quiets. As she leans against the pew some, he hesitates a moment before reaching out to place a three-fingered hand on her arm. "But what does he need? Do you know this? Maybe he needs some time."


Ah. The silence from Jean means that Kurt had a point. She takes this all to heart, her head slowly bobbing faintly. "I get it.."

But as he leans in to touch her arm, she smiles a little, feeling the tiny bit of comfort that was allowed. "I don't know.." She answers honestly, her own hand reaching up to lightly pat his three fingers. "But.. to just know where he is.. I think maybe it would help me sleep at night."


Her fingers on his hand get a little smile…it's been a while since someones offered a kind touch. "Would finding him hurt your healing?" He nods to the wheelchair. "Maybe he is away because he knows you might hurt yourself for him more? Maybe when you are stronger you could try?" He doesn't know the relationship she has with this person but love is a very strong force. "If he was there and moved, would you feel you needed to chase him?"

Kurt is quiet again as he looks out at the altar and the candles flickering there. Whenever he is at the Church, he lights a few for his lost family as well. "I have heard there are some common words. 'If you love someone, let them go'. It does not seem like it is right, does it? But I think the other part of the words are 'If they love you, they will return.'"


"I.. I don't know." She answers honestly. "It's all in the mind I suppose. Has nothing to do with my legs." It was clear that she thought about it for some time, but at the end of the day, Kurt was right. "I don't think I'll be any stronger than what I am now but.. I don't think he'd want me to chase him."

She slumps her shoulders a little, then leans her head back to stare at the very, very high ceiling. His words about love causes a little sting. It was a familial love of course, but it still stung none the less. Maybe Logan felt like he was stabbing his own daughter, and she felt horrible for putting that on her. "I'll have faith in that then. That he'll come back. And just focus on getting better."


He lets her answer her own question about chasing her friend. He just remains quiet as she works through it. He watches as she looks up at the ceiling and then mentions faith. "Are you religious?" Kurt asks because she did come into a church. "Even if you are not Catholic…sometimes prayer can help. It can help us feel that we are doing something in times when we feel we might be helpless."


"Hmm?" Jean finally stops staring, then looks towards him with a slight frown. "I don't know.." She murmurs quietly. "My father and mother are.. but I've been so far removed from them, I just don't know."

The prospect of it all does give her a little comfort, shifting a little within her seat as she gives a faint nod of her head. "Will you help me, then? To pray. I mean.."


Nightcrawler looks to the left and then to the right, rather theatrically before he leans in to stage-whisper, "Between you and me, I do not think God cares what religion you are or what Church you go to." He brings his voice back to its normal volume and he nods. "All right, I will."

She can't kneel, but that's all right. There's a moment before he reaches into a pocket and pulls out a rosary. It's then held out for Jean to take. "It's to focus. You can touch the beads or wrap it around your hand or your neck…but holding something seems to help."


As he leans in, she does as well, figuring a great secret was about to be told until she bursts out into a little bit of laughter. "I suppose you're right!" Her spirits were lifted just a little, especially when he said that he would help. THere was a little shyness in praying with someone, at least she thinks so. A little tiny bit of shame. But.. this man was a friend. She sees him as such and tries her best to become comfortable.

She quietly reaches out for the rosary, clutching the beads within her fingers to carefully wrap around her hands. Her thumb rolls around it, pinching briefly as she brings her knuckle to her lips to press against. "Okay.. I'm ready.."


Nightcrawler climbs down from the back of the pew to kneel at the front. "Do not worry if you cannot kneel. I do not think it is a requirement." But he clasps his hands in front of him and rests them on the back of the pew in front of him. She can emulate the gesture if she chooses, but it's just tradition. "Now, there are prayers that you can say…ones that we learn and say all the time, but if I am just praying for…Anleitung…uhm…guiding? Then I close my eyes und focus on what I am asking for." He glances over to see how the other is taking this lesson.

He might normally pray in German or even Romany, but for this purpose, he stays with English. "Father in Heaven, please help this young woman to find peace in her heart and in her spirit. Please help her friend to also find peace and to return to her so that their friendship may continue und grow. Please help them both to heal in their bodies and in their hearts from what hurt them."


Jean smiles as she watches him, but she doesn't move from her spot. His movements were noted, carefully committed to memory, her head nodding as he looks back over her to show that she understands. "A guiding prayer.." She comments quietly. "..I like that."

Though as he begins to pray, she closes her eyes, focusing upon the words of the man who so willingly aids her..

Though all she sees is fire..
Skin peeling from the flesh..
Along with a million voices that cry for help amongst the backdrop of a prayer. A prayer that echoes through loudly enough to draw a feedback, a loud, screeching white noise within her ear.

Her hand lurches up to press against her ear, her mouth parting in a slight silent scream that disolves into an eep, her eyes squeezing so tight that she immediately gains a headache and a bleeding nose from the feedback. Soon both hands join her ears, her body doubling over in a sheer shock of pain as those voices perk up louder.. and louder.. and louder..

Until there was nothing. Nothing but the faintest hint of an endless beep. And the world around her gone black.


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