Characters: Kurt-centric, Byakuya-centric (Kurt & Byakuya Buddy Movie! No, really)
Warnings: None yet
Genre: Gen Adventure (playing it by ear)
Summary: Kurt’s dead. At least, he’s pretty sure he is. But after sacrificing himself to save Hope, the last thing he expected in his immediate afterlife was a Japanese Death God showing up.
Something echoed deep within the brilliance. The light was not blinding, though it was brighter and whiter than anything he could have imagined. It was more than comfortable to look into, it felt meant to be gazed into. All warmth and sweetness, rolling over him and around him, making him long to melt into it. Somewhere outside the light voices began to fade away.
Chimes? A voice? Musical and low…
A scent. Delicate and floral. It was so faint, but seemed to cut through the stink of cold brine and his own blood.
His eyes were closed. The Light was still singing. Still so very bright inside him, he could still look into it and feel it. All he had to do was let go.
A hand gripped his shoulder. It seemed almost an extension of the welcoming beacon and for a moment, his chest tightened – strange as that seemed considering what had happened – as he wondered in sudden joy if someone had come for him. He turned, his spectral arms raised, opening wide to embrace Stephan.
Strange eyes in a strange face. He was pale and delicate featured. Perfectly composed, face devoid of expression, he rested his fingers lightly on the hilt of a katana that wasn’t drawn. His clothes reminded Kurt of the old samurai movies that Logan loved.
The man that was now before him was most decidedly not Stephan.
Firstly, the man was Japanese.
Kurt stumbled back, hand snatching at a sword hilt that wasn’t there, shouldn’t be there anyway – he hadn’t had one before Bastion had —
“Turn away from the light.” The man spoke, in Japanese, and somehow Kurt understood him with perfect clarity.
Nightcrawler, for that was how he thought of himself in situations that were refusing to proceed in the proper or expected fashion, took a defensive step back and met the strange man’s eyes. His tail whipped as confusion was pierced by sudden comprehension. Of course. Not even death could be simple considering his unfortunate parentage. “And what do we have here, some manner of devil to intercept my soul, Ja? I must admit to being rather flattered.” He cocked an eyebrow, “Though whoever sent you must not have read my biography, the ‘samurai warrior’ fetish belongs to a different X-Man.”
The man’s grey eyes refocused somewhere over Kurt’s shoulder. “I am not a devil.”
Kurt had to resist following the man’s gaze, he knew what was behind him. He could hear Hope softly sob as she cradled… what he’d left behind. He silently thanked God that thus far he’d been spared witnessing the rest of the X-Men discover his body.
Gott, he just couldn’t – he knew that his dearest and oldest friend would understand … in time – but he also knew that it would take time. And not just Logan. Scott. Katzchen.
It was worth it, I believe in her.
And eventually, everyone else would as well.
Kurt took a deep breath that he shouldn’t be able to and steeled himself, forcing his thoughts away from blossoming guilt over causing his friends pain. Instead, he straightened, his tail weaving around his bare feet, “Well then, who are you?”
The warrior calmly tugged what looked oddly like a fingerless batting glove from his hand, “I am Kuchiki Byakuya, 28th head of the Kuchiki clan and Captain of the Sixth Division of the Gotei Thirteen.”
Kurt blinked at the string of softly spoken Japanese, and was baffled at how clearly he understood it. He had sent enough time tagging along on Wolverine’s various Japanese adventures to have picked up a workable understanding of the language – but this was much faster and much … something. Older? More formal?
Despite his sudden fluency in what sounded like very posh Japanese, the words still didn’t make any coherent sense.
“Kuchiki Byakuya.” Kurt echoed, frowning. Captain Kuchiki Byakuya? “So, Herr Captain, what business do you have with a dead man?”
“None. I have business with…,” Kuchiki paused, tucking the glove inside his sleeve, “… Kurt Wagner.”