Disclaimer: I don't own them, and this disclaimer goes for the entire three parts, as well. I've made no money, this story was written for fun, and because my Muse and Mitai threatened me for it. Thank you.
"It's Christmas at ground zero, the button has been pressed.."

Kat giggled as she listened to the boys murder the Weird Al song in the living room.

Rahne looked up from wrapping her presents and quirked an eyebrow, "Think they're Bolton, do they?"

Yana wrinkled her nose at Rahne and chuckled, "I wouldn't even go that far. They don't even like Bolton."

"Well, they are men, child."

Kat glanced over at her mother, Ororo Pryde was sitting cross-legged on a cushion, meticulously wrapping her gifts. They'd started a tradition this year, the band and her. Every year they'd go to a different parent's house and celebrate. Invite ALL the relatives. The women had divvied up getting presents, and were now wrapping theirs. The men had done likewise and were using the living room for their task. ~And singing. Badly~ She smiled again, thinking of the night they'd all decided on this course of action. ~I think we were all a bit gone at that point. It was Pete's fault, though!~

They'd been on tour for over five months. The debacle with that ratbastard of a manager had left them worn out and they were all sitting around one night drinking, when Kurt pointed out that it was nearly Christmas and, "Are we getting any time off?"

"Time off?" Kat stopped sipping in mid-motion, "Grief, I hadn't even thought of that!"

Pete shifted his hold on her, wrapping his arm tighter, "Why would ya, love? I know I haven't thought of it."

No one else had, either. Kat called the office the next day (she'd taken over as manager until they found someone they trusted. Doing a damn fine job of it, too, if she didn't say so her self.) She'd had to make a few concessions to the Company, but she'd gotten them three weeks of vacation over Christmas holidays.

The next obstacle had been where to go?

"Me mum wants to see ya," Pete informed her.

She stared at him, "But I wanted to go home this year!"

They'd stood there in the main room of the suite and argued about it for the next twenty minutes. Rahne was the one that finally broke in, "All right you two! I've bloody well had enough! You will go to one parents' house this year and the other's next year. Got it!?"

Kat had looked at Pete a little sheepishly, "I guess we can do that. Sorry. Truce?"

The kiss he gave her was all the answer she needed. They still had one little problem, though. Whose parents to go to? They'd flipped a coin. Kat's parents had won out. They'd gotten together the money to have Pete's mum over, though. And then Rahne and Yana had tried to decide whether they wanted to go home or not. It had really been inevitable after that. Kat could remember the dead silence on the other side of the line after her statement, "Um.. Mom? I'm coming home for Christmas and bringing the band and their families, too."

It had taken the next three days and a LOT of persuasion to convince both parents that it was for the best. So, plane fare and accommodations were arranged for everyone, allowing a rock band and their folks to invade the little town of Deerfield.

All had gone well so far. Pete's mum was due tomorrow. Rahne's adopted mother, Lady Moira MacTaggert was already there with her husband, Sean Cassidy. Piotr and the rest of Yana's family were, also, due tomorrow. Doug's family was there, staying in a nearby hotel. Kurt's sister, Amanda was there, along with their adopted mother, Margali and had that been an interesting introduction, Kat thought, remembering.

---------------------

The doorbell rang. Kat was in her bedroom sorting some of the packages they'd picked up earlier that day. ~I hope that's Kurt's mom. He was kinda worried that she wouldn't make it.~ She ran out of the room and hopped down the stairs.

Her mother had beaten her to the door. "Yes?"

The woman on the stoop looked at Kat's mother, then looked back over her shoulder out to the cab, uncertainly, "I think I may--"

"Mrs. Szardos?" Kat asked as she came up, smiling.

The scarlet clad woman studied her for a moment. Skirt, blouse, stockings, boots. All were as bright a red as you can get without bleeding. Her brunette hair was pulled back by scarlet ribbons and a gold pendant in the shape of a cat hung from her neck. Kat grinned as Kurt came bounding out of the living room, "Maman!"

Kurt swept passed Kat's mother and grabbed her, hugging her tightly. The woman laughed at him, "Kurt! Put me down, you numbksull!"

He did so, grinning wildly, "Mom, I'd like you to meet my favorite keyboardist, Kat Pryde. Kat, this is my mother, Margali Szardos."

Kat held out her hand to Margali, "Hello. Your son is the worst violinist I know, but we all still love him." She winked.

Margali laughed again, "I already like you, dear." She pulled Kat into an embrace, "Keep my son on his toes, do you?" She whispered.

"No, that's Yana's job," Kat whispered back.

As she stepped back, she noticed the slightly bewildered look on her mother's face, "Mom, this is Kurt's mother, Margali. Margali, this is my mother Ororo Pryde."

Both women looked at each other, then shook. 'Nice to meet yous' floated on the still air. Then Kat's mother turned to go back in, "Please, bring your belongings in, I'm sure Kat can show you to your room."

Kat had. She also didn't apologise for her mother's abruptness. ~I'm not sure why mother was, so.. Tetchy? Although, if *I* had a large group of unknown people foisted on me at Christmas, I might be a little upset too.~ She smiled as she finished wrapping the cufflinks she'd gotten for her father.

"Kat, you almost done? I wanna go out again tonight, so.."

"Yep." Kat grinned at Yana, "You, me and Rahne are hitting the Have A Nice Day Cafe tonight. They have a Ladies Night, we get in free and drinks specials!"

"Peachy." Rahne cracked, "I was *Sooo* wanting a Ladies Night." She grinned. "We can ditch the boys, right?"

"Right!" Kat and Yana replied. All three looked at each other and chorused, "Girl's night out!"

------------------------

Ororo Pryde sat and listened to her daughter and her friends discuss going out and partying. ~Was I ever that young? I guess so. Strange, I thought she'd be performing around the country at this time. But never in a rock band!~ She shifted slightly, ~And that boy...~

------------------------

It was late afternoon. The sunlight slanted across the kitchen table, as Ororo decided what to prepare for dinner. Her daughter was due home that night, ~I'm so glad she decided to come home this year, I've missed her these last three years.~ Kitty was always out and about, on tour, or running around New York were the excuses she'd given. Sometimes, Ororo wondered if she just didn't want to come home, ~But that's rather silly. She's our daughter, of course she wants to come home! Hmm.. Spaghetti. Kitty always did like a good spaghetti dinner. And garlic bread, too.~

She began gathering the ingredients, wondering what her husband would cook for dinner the next night, ~Probably something vegetarian,~ she thought fondly. The doorbell rang. ~Kitty?~ She tossed the package of spaghetti on the counter and yelped in horror as it burst open, scattering across the counter and floor. She quickly scrabbled to get it all picked up. the doorbell rang again, ~Damn.~ most of it was on the counter, luckily. She quickly grabbed the broom and swept the rest into a pile in the corner, ~I'll finish this in a minute.~

Ororo opened the door to her daughter and... A young man. Thick dark hair curled wildly, deep blue eyes met hers unflinchingly as she gaped.

"Mom?" Kitty smiled, "I'm home."

Those simple words. And Ororo Pryde felt tears well in her eyes as she and her daughter embraced tightly. She stood back, looking at her, "Kitty you've--you look--You're so grownup!"

Kitty smiled, "I've... Thank you." She turned to the man behind her, gesturing him forward, "Mom, I'd like you to meet Pete Wisdom. Pete, this is Ororo Pryde, my mother."

"'Allo." Pete held out a hand. Ororo stared at it, feeling as if it was a snake, ~He's the one.. He and my daughter..~ She carefully shook it. "Hello."

"Um. Mom? Can we come in? It's a little cold out here."

Ororo blinked, "Oh. Yes, please come in. When are the rest of the band arriving?"

"Tomorrow. They all were getting some stuff finished at the studio. Pete and I skipped out early, so I could prepare you for the presence of an entire rock band." She smiled, "And, well.. I thought you and Dad should meet Pete first. Before the entire hoarde was here."

Pete wrapped an arm around her Kitty, and looked at her a little balefully. As if he expected her to try and shove him back outside as she began to close the door. ~As if I'd succeed,~ She thought, wryly, ~Though it did cross my mind.~

As she and Garret had discussed it beforehand, they put Kitty and Pete in separate, but adjoining, rooms. Kitty had looked like she was going to object at first, then had shrugged and disappeared into her room. Pete went into his, and both doors shut. ~Ten seconds, and they'll be opening the adjoining doors.~ Ororo bet herself.

She didn't wait to hear whether she was right, instead she walked back down to the kitchen to pick up the noodles, and continue dinner preparations.

------------------------

The Prydes owned a rather large house. It was the reason Kat had won out on that argument in the first place. Four stories, 12 bedrooms, five baths, and a large kitchen, dining room and living room. The basement contained game equipment and a computer. The two upper floors were rarely used, and contained six of the bedrooms. Kat, Pete and Doug had the three on the fourth, with Yana, Kurt and Rahne getting the next floor. Of course, during the first day, Kurt and Yana had taken Doug's and Rahne gave hers over to her parents. Rahne now had a room on the second floor, which she ended up sharing with Kurt's sister Amanda. Luckily, they liked each other. All of the bedrooms were now in use--or, nearly all...

-=-

"...What I really need is somebody, who is already there.."
Pete Wisdom sat sipping his scotch and watched his girlfriend tear up the dance floor with her girlfriends. ~God, she's bloody beautiful.~ He could see the sweat coating Kat's face and neck glisten in the light. They'd ended up at some cafe that was playing 80s dance music. Everyone agreed that was a good thing, and proceeded to get down with it. Pete, didn't dance. If he didn't have to, anyway. Kat had already dragged him on the floor for the Time Warp *and* the Safety Dance. He sighed and looked down at his drink, pondering the mother-in-law-from hell. ~Nearly in-law,~ He mentally corrected himself, ~Though, at this soddin' rate..~ He didn't know if things were going well in that department, or not. Kat had always seemed a bit of a free spirit--which he liked. And didn't like to be pinned down--which he also liked. She was wonderfully unique was his Kat. Fiery, passionate, intelligent, smart as a whip and loving as all hell. And he was hers. It had taken all of three weeks before their sniping, nasty baiting of each other had changed to mutual respect and lust. Love had followed soon after.

And now... He drew on his fag. The welcome hadn't been precisely all-encompassing. Kat had pointed out that her parents had a perfect right to reject her after she hadn't been there for three years. He wasn't sure, though the adjoining rooms was an interesting little touch. ~Rather strange that.~ He recalled the surprise he'd had, seeing that door as he emptied his suitcase. It felt weird, though ~like we're being sanctioned or somethin'. Bloody odd, really.~ Kat felt odd enough about it, that she had insisted they sleep separately after the first night. 'I keep expecting my dad to come storming in!' He recalled her saying that first night. ~Bleedin' 'ell. I miss having her curled up with me!~ And he wasn't allowed to smoke in the house, either, ~It's bloody cold out there, and I gotta go outside to smoke.~

"Hey Pete, you okay?"

He glanced up at Doug and shrugged, "Wot? Do I look like some depressed little wanker?"

Doug blinked and grinned, pulling out a chair and sitting down. "Nope. Just curious. You're watching Kat with this look, that's all."

"Look?" He blinked and took another drag on his fag.

Doug shrugged, "Like you're about to devour her, that's all." He sipped from the cup in his hand. "And, you've been a little.. Testy since we got here. I'm just wondering what the problem might be."

"None o' your bleedin' business, that's wot it is." He growled at Doug.

"So there is a problem, then?" Doug smirked as Pete growled and stubbed his cigarette out savagely before lighting another. "C'mon, Pete me ol' mate, out with it. Is it Christmas? The fact that your mum's showing tomorrow? Kat? What?"

Pete shrugged, "Hanukkah."

The other leaned back in his chair and blinked, "Hanukkah?"

"Kat's Jewish. Her mother and father are as well, but, because she invited us lot, her mother decided to forgo their normal routine and celebrate bloody Chrimble."

He watched Doug attempt to try to answer and fail. Finally, "Shouldn't we try to rectify this? I mean, it is their house, we're just guests--uninvited at that."

Pete shook his head, "Kat an' I already talked about it. She said her mum is set on Chrimble now."

"Well, we plan to do this next year somewhere else, so why don't we plan and celebrate Hanukkah then?"

"Celebrate Hanukkah when?" Yana dropped into the chair on Doug's other side, looking between the two of them interestedly. "And why would we--?"

"Kat's Jewish. Her parents are doing Chrimble for us lot, and because it would be nice." Pete stated. He leaned forward and picked up his drink. It was empty. "Bloody 'ell." He rose. "Back in a bit."

----------------------

Kat watched the house approach as they drove closer and wondered irritably if she could get away with dropping everyone but Pete off and running off to a hotel. Of course, her brain inserted, Pete was driving, would he? ~Nah. Knowing Mom and Dad, it wouldn't work. Damn.~ Everyone was quiet as they entered the house and trooped up to their rooms. ~December 23rd.~ Kat smiled in the dark, ~One more week and we're all nearly finished here.~ She sighed as she closed her door behind her. ~Dammit. I never thought that celibacy could make me so cranky. But until I'm out of my parent's house, I'm NOT going there. It would be way too weird.~ She moved away from the door with the light off. Illumination was provided by the street light outside the window. She began digging for a nightshirt, then stopped. ~Bloody hell. Sod this, I'm missing him. Badly. If I'm going to have to be here another week, with my parents thinking I'm doing, it, I might as well...~ She stalked towards the connecting door. ~Pete has to be missing me. He's looked a bit anxious.~ She reached the door and stopped. ~But, it feels so odd. My parents are two floors down, though. Who cares?~

She stood there, feeling suddenly indecisive. ~What if he doesn't want me anymore?~ The little thought, silly and insecure though it was, floated through her mind. "No. He does. We were dancing earlier, doofus, remember?" She muttered to herself.

"Somethin' wrong, love?" She looked up to find Pete standing in the open doorway. He'd taken his shirt off and was standing there, trousers unbuttoned, but not unzipped. ~Gods. No man should be allowed to look that sexy.~

A thought flitted through Kat's mind, something about unfairness. She reached down and grabbed the hem of her shirt, then yanked it off.

Pete jumped, his eyes dilating a bit as he stared at her standing there, topless. "Wot'dja do that for, love?"

"Fairness," her voice had dropped huskily, "You're topless. I should be topless."

He leered at her, "So, if I take off me trousers, you'll take off that skirt?"

"Yes," she breathed. ~Oh, do! Please!~ She stepped towards him. He backed into his own room. She stalked him, backing him up to the bed. "But I'd rather take them off myself."

------------------------

Kat sighed as she woke up, hazily noting the warm body wrapped around her. ~December 23rd. Erk. My head.~ She decided *not* to open her eyes. Pain pounded through both temples. ~God. I must have been a little bit too drunk last night. I don't normally get hangovers.~ Vaguely, she recalled trying to drink one of the club's patrons under the table. A man she didn't even know. When they'd gotten to straight shots of Jack, she'd quit. She shifted again, and drifted back into sleep.

------------------------

Ororo Pryde watched the sunrise from the back porch. It was glorious, all reds and golds with blue undertones. Purple clouds dotted the horizon, while violet receded across the sky slowly. She sighed, feeling at peace for once. Her tea had cooled. ~Drat.~ Finding the pot nearly empty, she searched through the teabags. ~Raspberry? Chamomile? No, Orange Peko.~ The pot gurgled as it started up. Her daughter and her daughter's lover had been rather irritable the last few days. Ororo thought in amusement that they must not be using the opportunities presented them. ~I remember that feeling. Way back at the beginning, when Garret and I were on honeymoon. Anytime we didn't get to love less than four times..~ She chuckled.

Life was like that, though. If you didn't grab the chances handed you, sometimes things went sour. ~And sometimes they get better.~ Ororo remembered the phone call from Kitty informing them that Juliard had kicked her out for a prank. ~I wanted to.. I wanted to smack her. Then hug and comfort her, make her all better.~ Kitty hadn't needed it. She'd been so cheerful, 'Mom, I'm finally happy. I hated the strictures there!' ~My baby is so grown.~ She thought, proudly. Though she she felt a few twinges thinking of her daughter having sex, while unmarried. ~She loves him, though. It's in her face, her movements. Garret and I used to look like that.~ She felt a vague sadness wash over her, ~We used to be like that, always touching, or holding hands. Now..~ She stared blindly at the teapot-cum-coffeemaker as it gurgled the end of the pot out.

"Ororo? Come back to bed, love. I'm getting cold."

She turned and smiled, "In a minute Garret, the pots nearly done."

He walked towards her, an odd smile on his face, in his eyes, "It is done."

Ororo backed away from him, "Oh. So it is." She felt suddenly as giddy as a schoolgirl as Garret caught her in his arms and buried his face in her hair.

He breathed in, "Mmmm.. You smell nice." He pulled back and looked into her eyes, "What's wrong?"

"Oh, nothing. Bed?" She slipped out of his arms and walked towards the kitchen door. Ororo stopped and turned back.

Garret still stood there, next to the counter. "It's a beautiful day."

She held out her hand, "Yes. Let's make it perfect."

He smiled, a little sadly, and stepped towards her. "Perfect?"

"We can do that right, obviously. We produced our Kitten. And she's perfect in every way."

"Yes." He bent and kissed her lightly, fleetingly. Her body reacted, tensing. "Bed, 'Ro, dear."

"Yesss." She breathed.

------------------------

Rahne sat in the middle of the bed and stared out the window. ~Christmas. Last year, I was in the middle of New York, wondering what was going to happen. We'd all just gotten done touring. Playing night clubs and little hole-in-the-wall theatres. And, now? I'm here. With my family. The band.~ She smiled.

"Mmmrmm?" Amanda Sefton woke up and blinked in the sunlight streaming through the window. "Rahne? Can you close the window? Oh, my heead." She moaned, and clutched at her temples.

Chuckling, Rahne got off the bed and complied, pulling the blue curtains across the window. The light level dropped into near darkness. "Better?"

"Mmhm.. Danke." Amanda turned a little and appeared to go back to sleep. Then, "Rahne?"

"Yes?"

"Are you in love with my brother?"

"No." Rahne frantically tried to figure out where the hell this question was coming from, "Why do you ask?"

Amanda shrugged, then winced, "Just curious, that's all."

-----------------------

Breakfast, take two.

"So, I was telling him, 'Bernie,' I say, 'They'll never make their money back!' And was I right, or what?" Kat's Uncle Bobby threw his head back and laughed at his own joke.

The others joined in, or not, depending on their mental faculties.. Which is to say, none at all laughed. "Um.. Funny Bobby, reallll funny." Betsy drawled. She was Bobby's fiancee, and how he got a woman like her, everyone would forever wonder.

Ororo glanced up as Kitty and Pete entered the kitchen. They were, ~Glowing, there's no other word for it. Guess they got either frustrated, or over their hangups.~ She smiled at her daughter and offered her some tea.

"Coffee."

"There isn't any."

Kat swayed and looked in horror at her mother, "Not any?? What? Didn't I warn you that we all drink it like water? Mottherrr!" Her mother threw back her head and *laughed*. "This isn't funny! Coffee is my life's blood." Kat finished a little pitifully.

Pete wrapped an arm around her, "There, there luv. I'll make some bloody instant coffee, you'll get your fix."

"Instant?" Kat whirled on him, "You would dare to give me instant??"

Meanwhile, most of the others in the room watched the scene with interest. No few with laughter. All save uncle Bobby, who got up and left the room.

Pete smiled and caught his lover in his arms again. "You'll survive."

She chuckled, "Yes, I guess I will." She sighed, "Mom, what's the tea that's up?"

"Raspberry now. I had Orange Peko earlier but it was consumed very quickly." Ororo responded.

"Thanks." Kat fixed herself a mug and watched amused as Pete delved into the refridgerator and pulled out an assortment of foods. The plate he assembled contained bacon, eggs, sausage, and toast. And carrots. And a tomato. And an apple. And more bacon. Kat sat down, and waited for him to follow. When he did, she swiped his fruit and began munching. ~hmm.. Mom looks.. Happy. For once. She's glowy, too. Almost like.. ick. I do NOT want to think about that.~ She shied away from the thought of her parents doing--that.

"They're predicting snow!" Doug came running in, ecstatic, "At least six inches!! Sledding, here we come!"

~We act like children. Ah well, we deserve it.~ She watched as Yana and Kurt joined Doug in enthusiastically planning sledding expeditions for the snow. Rahne wandered in during this and put in her two cents about it. Kat smiled.

"Don't know what you lot're going all spastic about bleedin' snow for." Pete growled, abruptly leaving the table.

Silence reigned as they all looked at each other. "His mother's coming in today." Kat explained, "I think he's a bit nervous about it. He'll be fine."

The band nodded at her, "Ah." Kurt said, "I see."

Kat got up, finishing the apple as she did. "I'm going after him, though."

------------------

White. All that could be seen was white. It blanketed the roads, the trees and house. Even the little powerlines had a coating. It had been snowing for an hour now, and didn't appear to be letting up. Pete stared at it, shivering. "She's not coming."

A sigh, one of many he'd heard in the last two hours, sounded behind him. "Pete yes she IS."

They were standing on the front porch, both in jackets that really weren't keeping the cold out. Kat was shivering, but she refused to let him wait alone. ~Her plane must be late. Maybe we should have gone to meet her.~ The thought finally made sense. "Pete, I'm going to go ask Mom if we can borrow the car, and we're driving to the airport." ~Anything's better than waiting.~

He didn't answer.

Ten minutes later, Kat was driving her Mother's 93 green Saturn to the airport. Cigarette smoke was thick inside. "Pete, even I can't handle this much smoke, could you open the window a bit?"

The window whistled as he opened it, but otherwise she received no answer. Silence reigned for the rest of the twenty minute trip.

The terminal was packed. People coming, going, or not knowing what they were doing milled about. ~British Air. She's flying in BritAir.~ Kat thought. She'd parked in short-term parking, and they were now on the lower Concourse level of the airport. ~There! Departures.. No.. Arrivals.. Flight 1229.. Ah!~ "Delayed. She was delayed Pete," she turned to him. "Let's go wait at her gate, okay?"

No answer as he set off blindly in the direction the signs indicated for the gates. She followed, and grabbed his arm, "Slow down!" He looked at her, then stopped, looking a bit sheepish.

"I'm sorry love, I just worry about her. She doesn't like flying, you know."

"Yes, I know." She wrapped her arm around his waist, "Let's go a bit slower, though. I'm not up for a sprint through miles of airport. Especially not with this headache."

He chuckled and wrapped his arm around her shoulders, "Neither am I."

"GATE 24. This is the gate she's scheduled for. Look, according to the sign, the plane has landed." Kat felt him tense up a bit. She tightened her arm, "Stop that. She's fine." He relaxed again. "We'll go sit over here, okay?"

They sat. ~Gah. These are some of the most uncomfortable airport chairs I've ever had the 'honour' to sit in!~ Kat thought wryly. ~And ugly, too.~ They were blue. Not cobalt, or periwinkle. Sky blue. With bright orange accents. In nasty fake plasticy stuff. And they had arms between each chair. Cold, metal arms. She couldn't comfortably hug Pete anymore. ~Drat.~ She debated with herself. ~Fine. I'll do this the old-fashioned way. Or is that new-fashioned?~ People around them gaped a bit as she stood up and then sat down again. In Pete's lap, "Better."

He chuckled and wrapped his arms around her, burying his face in her back. She leaned into him. They sat like that for an interminable amount of time. Then, "Now disembarking for flight 1229."

Kat hopped off Pete's lap, and watched him struggle up, "Me legs're numb, ya bloody tart." He grumbled.

She giggled, "Sorrry. Now, let's be nice and watch for your mother."

He caught her hand and stood next to her, watching. People spilled out of the doorway. Young, old, wearing a variety of clothes. Here black leather, there white cotton. Pink tshirts, blue jeans. Boots, tennies, high heeled sandals in one case. Pete's hand tightened on hers. "Who?"

"..I miss you, like the deserts miss the rain.."
Pete didn't answer, just started walking. The woman was short, shorter than Kat. Pete towered over her as he approached. Her black hair was pulled back with a scrunchy, and her blue eyes twinkled in mischief as she appraised Kat, "Well, I see my Pete has done all right for himself. You're luvly, dear."

Kat smiled, "Thank you, Mrs. Wisdom."

"Oh, please, everytime someone says that, I look around for the old bag it's directed to, call me Doreen." They shook, Kat grinning as she agreed to the name.

Then, Doreen looked at her son, "Going to hug your mother, lad? Or is it something that rock stars don't do?"

Pete shrugged and bent over to hug her. Kat smiled as they hugged tightly. ~I was right. She IS a dear.~

They made their way through the crowds to the baggage claim, and from there back out to the car. The twenty minute drive, and they were back at the Pryde's. "Nice house." Doreen commented.

"My parents. Erm.. I mean, tell them. Yes." Kat stopped and chuckled, "Sorry."

Kat introduced Doreen to her parents, and then she and Pete carried the luggage in. "She's nice."

They were coming down the stairs again, when the doorbell rang. Pete looked at her, "Rasputin?"

"I'd guess so." She sighed and put on her defenses against the man that hated the band. ~Why? Why does he detest us so? Never mind. Just get through the rest of this day and it should all be fine.~

They answered the door together. Piotr Rasputin stood on the porch. "Kat? Pete? Good. This is the place." He turned back and ushered two people onto the proch. "I'd like you to meet Illyana and my parents. Mother, Father, this is Kat and Pete."

The woman studied them, "Hello."

"Please, come in," Kat gestured, feeling terribly uncomfortable as both adults gave her and Pete the once-over. She turned into the house, "Yana!! They're here!"

In the bustle that followed Kat lost track of Pete. ~Drat. Coffee. Or tea.~ She headed for the kitchen. Doug's mother looked up from reading the newspaper, "Hello, dear. I had a thought. Why don't we go caroling tonight?"

---------------------

It hadn't stoped snowing all day, and the snow was thicker than ever. A large group was getting song sheets ready, bundling up, and making beverage requests for when they returned. Coffee, hot chocolate and hot cider were the orders, with someone adding Irish creme whiskey to the list. Ororo grimaced and wondered if there was any in the house. Checking after the carollers left, she discovered there was.

Garret had gone with their daughter, she checked to see who was left in the house. Piotr, the Rasputins, Doreen, Lady Moira (Sean had gone with the singers), and Margali. All the rest had gone to freeze and sing. She smiled and wished them luck.

------------------

"..Glooooorrriiiaa, in excelsis deo.."

Kat was singing lustily and fighting laughter at the same time as Pete made faces everytime they hit the high note. They'd been caroling for over an hour and everyone was having more fun than they'd expected to. ~We're definitely doing this again.~ The reception from the people they'd seranaded had been lovely so far. And no few had offered them money, Kat had accepted it for charity. ~Might as well, we certainly don't need it right now.~

They finished with a flourish, and then started "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" which was the last song they did and began moving on,

"..and a happy New Year!" Kat giggled, "This is fun! Mrs. Ramsey--Felicia, I must thank you for this." She smiled at her.

"Oh, well, it was just something I used to do when I was younger." Felicia replied serenely, "I thought you might enjoy it."

"It's bloody cold." Pete grumbled, lighting a fag.

"You didn't have to come." Yana pointed out to him from Kurt's side.

He drew, "Mmph. Yeah, well, it were a band thing." He shrugged, "Besides, you all'd've buggered the hell out of me about it later on."

Kurt laughed. "But of course, mein freund!"

Amanda reached over and patted Pete on the arm, "And it was such a sacrifice, too. Coming out and holding your girlfriend all night." She winked at Kat who doubled up with laughter. ~Gah! She fits in. Kurt wasn't lying when he said she had wit!~

"You're all bleedin' against me," Pete moaned. Kat wrapped an arm around him.

"Naahh.. Just a few of us teamed up." Doug stated.

"Next house!" Someone called. "Let's start off with 'Hark, the Herald Angels Sing'!"

And so it went. House after house, after house. Until they were all frozen stiff and exhausted from walking through seven inches of snow and singing at the top of their lungs. Finally, "Okay. I'm parched, I really need some warmth and my legs are killing me."

Kat nodded, "I agree with Yana. Let's go home."

Everyone quickly agreed and they trooped homewards. Steaming beverages were ready as they arrived. Kat grabbed two cups of hot cocoa, doctored them with Irish Creme and found Pete. She thrust a mug into his hands and joined him on the couch.

"Ta, luv." Pete shifted and manouvered an arm around her back. He blew on his cocoa.

She shifted to accomodate the arm and snuggled into his side, still shivering somewhat. She sighed and sipped her cocoa. "Fun. Tonight was definitely fun. Even if I didn't know most of the songs. Improvisation at its best, eh?"

He chuckled, "Yes. You did lovely. As in everything you do."

She looked at him, "Hello? Are you the Pete Wisdom I know? What have you done with him? Replaced him with an evil clone?"

He looked offended, "Hell no. I am me. Bloody tart."

Kat giggled.

"Kat, you always like to pick on him, why?"

Looking over at Amanda, who'd flopped onto the other couch, she replied, "Because I can."

So Pete tickled her. Yelping, she twisted away from his hand. "Pete! The hot cocoa is going to spill--giggle--stop! Eek.!"

She glared up at him from her position on the floor. "That hurt." Ice coated her words. Pete looked at her, eyes dancing, "Wot, can't take yer own medicine?"

"I can if it's intelligent," she muttered, setting the now empty mug on the floor and grimacing at the hot cocoa that coated quite a few parts of her liberally. "Now, I'm all wet!"

He leered at her, "Really? That could be interesting."

She blushed. "Stop that."

"I would, if I were you. She's already pissed at you." Yana commented from her position on the couch next to Amanda. "Besides, Kat needs to go change clothing."

"So I do." Kat left the room, Pete following, "I'm sorry luv. Really."

"Oh hush you bloody bugger." She grinned up at him as they started up the stairs. "Let me let you in on a little secret," she leaned closer and whispered, "Yana and Amanda are going to cover for us."

He blinked, then began leering again.

--------------------

"She looks around, there are snowflakes on the ground...Stars in the night, there is one that's shining bright..." Christmas eve dawned bright and sunny. As far as the eye could see, glittering white amplified sunlight unfettered by clouds, creating a blazing whiteness that numbed the eye.

Yana shifted on the window seat and blinked. It didn't help. ~Damn.~ She turned away from the window, watching the shadow-light-echos. Kurt was still curled on the bed, asleep. He looked cute. She watched him sigh and turn over, facing her. In sleep his face didn't carry the lines that gave it character. He looked fresh and new. ~Innocent. NOT.~ She grinned as he woke up and groaned. "Morning Kurt."

"Mornin'," he mumbled. "What time is it?"

"Around 8 a.m. I think." She stood up and walked over, "Todays Christmas eve."

Kurt looked up at her, "Come back to bed. It's too early to be awake."

She grinned, "Okay."

---------------------------------

Sledding. "We're doin' what??! No. No, no, no, no. And, NO."

"Oh, c'mon, Pete, it'll be fuun." Yana cracked, fighting laughter, "You'll love it!"

"I will? Getting no bloody excercise. That's me motto in life." Pete groused as Kat dragged him upstairs to get bundled up.

Ten minutes later, they were all trundling up to the top of The Hill. This was the hill that had been used by hundreds of children over time. Maybe thousands. It was...huge. Ten minutes later they were trudging back up again.

"That was fun! Let's go again?" Doug demanded as everyone started back up. "Oh, yes." He ran after them.

"See?" Kat demanded of Pete who was smoking as they arrived at the top, "Now you go down with me this time."

"Oh, all-bloody-right." He grumbled, and stepped towards her, slipping a little in the snow. "If I die, me mum get's it all."

She chuckled and arranged the sled. A RadioFlyer, with runners and a wooden top, it even had steering it was so advanced. Pete took one look at it and sniggered, "The minivan of sleds!"

Kat chuckled and sat down. "C'mon, right behind me now. There, hold me around the waist tightly."

"As if I wouldn't want to," He muttered in her ear.

"Push us off, someone."

The first push tipped the sled over and landed them both in the snow. Kat found herself laughing as she stood up again and helped Pete right himself.

"Let's try that again," she giggled softly, and righted the sled before sitting down on it. "This time, Yana, push softer!"

Pete sat down behind her, grumbling under his breath.

"Hush. Yana?"

This push gently started them down the hill. They quickly picked up speed and were soon hurtling towards the bottom. Everything went passed in a whirl of white. They hit the bottom, and went tumbling into the bank of snow there.

"Oof." Kat just let herself lay there in the e,brace of the snow. It was kind of relaxing, actually. ~Snow angels.~ "Hey!" She jumped to her feet. "We didn't make any snow angels yet!"

"Yeah! You know, where you lay down in the snow and wave your arms around, and, well..." She trailed off. "There's an angel at the end. Here, I'll show you." She looked around and found a patch of relatively undisturbed snow. She lay down in it, and began swishing her arms back and forth.

Pete lit a cigarette and watched her, "And, this is goin' to?"

She stood up carefully and turned around to look. "There, see? An angel in the snow." It wasn't quite perfect, one of the 'wings' was larger, and the legs weren't quite together. But the shape was there.

"Nice." Pete breathed in on his cig. "Now what?"

"Your turn," a devilish grin spread her lips. "Down in the snow, boy."

"Like 'ell. I am NOT." He backed away from the devilish gleam in her eye. "Pryde, I am NOT making a bleedin' snow angel."

"Yes, you are," Kat replied sweetly.

"I bloody well am not."

She stepped towards him, "Oh yes, you are." Her hands came up on his chest and she shoved.

Pete found himself lying in the snow again. Kat giggling as she grabbed his arms and dragged them out straight to wave. He growled and stiffened his limbs against movement. It didn't work, he found out , as she tickled him, making him loosen up again. He found himself waving his arms, grudgingly. Of course, having Kat pressed on top of him was rather nice, too.

"There, that's done." She sounded breathless as she carefully extracted herself from his arms. "Now, stand up. No! Not ON the figure!!" She snagged his arm and halted his rise. "Here, come this way." He stood carefully, grumbling under his breath again.

She turned him, "There, see?" He stared. His outline was a bit mussed, but he could still see it. Wings. He had wings. Pete found himself doubled up with laughter at the thought of himself with wings. Kat looked at him, "What?"

"Me--with..wings." He wheezed. She began giggling, then doubled over as well.

Laughter echoed over the snow as they slowly made their way back up the mountain, stopping sporadically to giggle again.

----------------

"Well, since Pete and Kat only ever use one room, I can take the unused one, and then Piotr can have mine."

Absolute silence reigned the table for all of five seconds. A babble of voices broke out, attempting to cover the little faux pas that Doug had just made. It didn't work.

"Kitty is.. Is.." Her Aunt Maria stared at her in shock, "Child, you're not even married!"

A chorus of 'nos' echoed around the table. "You're not, child?" Her grandmother Pryde stared at her, "Whyever not?"

Kat looked around at her disapproving relatives' faces. "Because I'm not."

That seemed to satisfy them, as everyone went back to eating and chatting amiably. Until Uncle Bobby lurched to his feet and glared at Pete. Uncle Bobby was more than a little drunk. "You've dishonoured my niece! Marry her, you bastard, or I'll see you in hell!"

"Bobby. Leave the boy alone." Her dad glared at his brother, "She's not doing anything you're not. Now put it up and be quiet."

Uncle Bobby sat abruptly back down, blushing.

"Only difference, is, he's too old to enjoy it," Yana muttered from the seat next to her. Kat grabbed her napkin, fighting laughter and coughed. Pete, who was sitting on her other side, did the same.

----------------

Christmas day dawned cold and clear. Much like Christmas Eve had, but colder. With a windchill factor of 30 below, everyone was rather glad they'd finished any shopping the day before. Ororo was planning dinner, along with Garret and Mr. Ramsey. Kat, Pete and Rahne were organising the gifts--what order they were to be opened in, etc. Some were to be opened with everyone present, while others, were only for families together.

The day passed semi-uneventfully, with presents opened and ahhhwed over. And presents opened and gone.. "uhmm.." over. A basically fun, and jolly holiday was had by all. Even uncle Bobby.