This BETTER Be Good!
Flying towards what was at one time a heavily restricted access location, the modified stealth jet belonging to the mutant superhero team known collectively as the X-Men has followed the ever-nearing tracking signal belonging to two of their own to this remote and abandoned New Jersey ship salvage yard.
For Shadowcat and Rogue, themselves two of the most elite members of this strike-force based not too far away in Westchester, New York, it is a trip that they certainly hadn't been anticipating on making up to as recently as less than an hour ago. Not until Kitty received a response to her barrage of texts that she had been sending to Colossus and Negasonic, after she had been unable to get a direct comm-link to Colossus' communicator, but instead received a messaged answer from Ellie's phone, who briefly and roughly revealed their location, and then abruptly typed that she had to go.
And as the smoke and ash clouds on the fast-approaching horizon portend to them, Rogue and Shadowcat now only hope that their impromptu excursion has not brought them here a moment too late to aid their teammates that they believe to be somewhere nearby.
The supersonic jet now slowed to engage it's vertical thrusters and come into a mid-air holding pattern directly overhead where the homing beacons' built into their missing teammates' uniforms were roughly pinging, in the midst of what appeared to be a debris field below created following some kind of large explosion nearby. Those onboard prepared to now undertake what could quickly become either a rescue, or a recovery mission. Since the communicator built into one of their teammate's uniform had apparently been knocked offline, another team member onboard the plane decided to get out and take a closer look for herself.
Opening the craft's disembarking ramp several dozen feet above the ground and taking a step out to fly slowly to the ground all under her own power, the young woman known as Rogue thought it best if she were the one to come down first and get visual confirmation of the scene in this cluttered terrain, so that she could break any bad news to Kitty as gently as possible, should that need arise.
Landing in between several tall scrap metal piles, some looking to be recently created alongside others that were more time-worn, Rogue floated several inches above the ground and used a handheld tracking device linked into the jet's triangulating beacon signal to begin her search. She also visually scanned the debris piles themselves as she floated past them, on the lookout for any signs that their friends might be trapped, or buried, underneath them.
But in less than a minute, her worst fears were alleviated when the pair, who themselves had seen and somewhat heard the jet flying in from a nearby vantage point, were finally able to make it by foot over to where Rogue currently was searching for them, just as she was about to put her enhanced strength to work by moving these sizable metal scrap piles around for a more thorough inspection.
"Well, Ah'll be damned, and lucky as an unskinned cat. Kit, Ah found 'em." Rogue said into her earpiece communicator upon spotting her friends.
As Colossus and Negasonic continued walking towards Rogue, they could see that she was listening intently through her headset, presumably in the middle of a conversation.
"Yeah, they're fine. A little rough around the edges, but they're both in one piece." Rogue now said as the pair was about fifteen feet away from her.
Rogue then paused again, presumably from once more being the listener in this two-way communication.
"Sure, let us clear a seat off for you down here first." Rogue now said, as she turned her attention fully to the mountainous man standing before her, "Come on Big Boy, help me move some furniture 'round."
Rogue and Colossus then set to the task of clearing a space for their plane to touch down, which these two powerhouses accomplished in less than a couple of minutes thanks to their combined strength.
After the Southerner and the Russian had finished making this small clearing for the jet to land, Rogue informed Shadowcat that she could now bring the plane down. Colossus then watched as several more words were spoken to Rogue through her earpiece comm-device, before the conversation was suddenly disconnected.
"Boy, Ah'd sure keep myself armored up, if Ah was you. And right now, Ah'm damn glad Ah ain't you." Rogue now said to Colossus specifically, as she stood wearing a huge grin and an X-uniform that had several similarities to his own.
With the primary differences being that Rogue's uniform was of a heineken-green color trimmed in maize-gold, and came with full-length sleeves, a hood, and had boots and gloves also in an accessorizing maize shade.
"Why do you say that?" Colossus asked about her happiness in not being in his boots at the moment, stopping and standing a few feet away to face his teammate.
"Why do you think?" Rogue replied with a now surlier grin and a raised eyebrow, shooting Colossus her most 'this ain't a rocket science question' look, "Kitty kinda lost her shit when she read your note."
Then a moment of reflective silence crept up, as the jet was finishing standard landing procedures.
"Oh. That." Colossus plainly said in response.
"Yeah! That!" Rogue confirmed for him, her grin once again displaying an almost aura of giddiness from her, "Lil' Mama's been heated ALL the way down here."
And Colossus knew that Rogue's current temperament was likely due to what awaited him on this plane, as the ramp once again lowered for him, Rogue and Negasonic to come aboard.
Walking up the rear ramp entrance, Ellie was the first onboard and the first to stop as she took a seat in the front row of the passenger section. But for Colossus and Rogue, their trip would be a few feet further, both in distance and in steps. And there they were met by the individual who had shouldered the majority of today's piloting duties thus far.
"Rogue, can you take over for me and get us airborne?"
Were the words now spoken by Kitty Pryde, aka Shadowcat, as this woman who stood at a little over five feet and change looked up at the metaphorically and realistically gigantic specimen before her. And what she may have lacked in physical stature, she more than made up for in attitude and bluntness, as evidenced by the angered expression that she was currently shooting up at Colossus-
"Katya, you are a sight for sore eyes." Colossus now greeted the diminutive individual standing before him.
Who was dressed in her royal and light blue-trimmed uniform, which save for her personalized color preferencing, minor alterations to the collar height and a larger X-Motif woven into its overall design, wasn't all too different from the team's standard trainee uniforms like the one that Ellie was currently relegated to wearing on missions.
"Don't you dare try to butter me up with that sore-eyes crap!"
Were the next words that this fiery and petitely-built X-Man immediately aimed right back up at Colossus.
After taking a quick breath and reaching over to an area beside the cockpit controls, Kitty then continued.
"Care to explain this?" Kitty now asked, as she grabbed and held a handwritten note up and out in front of her, which she had first read after she and the rest of their team had returned home from a mission a little more than an hour ago now.
Gone with Ellie to help Wade, will return soon.
"I wanted to let you and everyone else know where we were." Colossus innocently replied, as he looked down and read his own handwriting being presented before him.
Meanwhile, Rogue had gone and taken a seat down in the pilot's chair, setting herself with the task of going through all of the necessary pre-flight procedures to get them airborne as quickly as possible. But as soon as it was safe, she engaged the plane's advanced autopilot features and swiveled back around in her chair.
Because after having heard the warm-up on their way down here, there was NO way Rogue was going to miss out on the main event, which she could sense was about to truly begin.
"What is the matter?" Colossus now asked, looking at her, at the note, then back down again at Kitty.
"What's the matter!? Have you completely lost your fucking mind, or something?! You scared the shit out of me, we thought you were both dead down there!"
Was Kitty's very loud and very infuriated response to Colossus' inquiry, which quickly took this conversation to an emotional level he had been hoping to avoid. And actually managed to pique the interest of the generally all-around disinterested student trainee sitting in the passenger section, as evidenced by Ellie looking up from her phone (which she had managed to recover surprisingly unscathed following their fight in the salvage yard, and was just now starting to get a clear mobile signal to once again).
"Katya, language. Remember, young one is-" Colossus now tried to remind Kitty, gesturing towards Ellie in her seat only a few feet away.
"Oh, please! She makes sailors' and truckers' blush." Kitty rolled her eyes and bitingly replied, as she viewed the younger girl's mouth to be far more dangerous than her's ever was.
"And him." Ellie now said, speaking for the first time since stepping onto this plane preparing for takeoff, and added Colossus himself to that list of people who could be embarrassed by what she sometimes said, while also briefly flashing a proud grin at Kitty's compliment about her from her seat.
Her surprising display of any degree of emotion was also due to Ellie secretly suspecting that her giant of a mentor, whom she had been assigned to by the Professor following a disciplinary incident at the school, remained in his armored state the majority of the time around her to try to hide his own flushed expressions when hearing some of her more off-color remarks. Which, in a way, Ellie thought was kinda sweet of him to do.
But mostly, she thought it was just really weird and sad.
"You're seriously not going to try to lecture me on responsible behavior around minors after YOU were the one who took a new mutant on a leisurely outing with Deadpool, of all people?" Kitty now shot back at Colossus, as she stood and folded her arms over in front of herself.
"It was split-second decision." Colossus told her, this time with a response that was slower in its delivery and with far more caution than he had even felt the need to show during their harrowing fight over the past half-hour or so.
"Split-second my ass!" Kitty shouted, not at all buying his reasoning, "So, let me repeat myself. Deadpool. Dead-FUCKING-pool! 'Mr. Three-ways-of-crazy' himself! He's so far off the goddamn rails even Wolverine and Gambit won't hang around with the guy anymore!"
"Or me." Rogue this time chimed in from her seated vantage, her unapologetically huge grin still unchanged as she ran a gloved hand back through her shortened auburn and white-streaked hair.
"Or 'leaning dangerously off the rails herself' over here." Kitty sarcastically nodded and gestured with her thumb over in Rogue's direction, "Which, if nothing else, should tell you everything you need to know right there about buddying up with him! It's right up there with 'Don't spit in the wind' or 'Don't drink bleach'."
"Katya, remember the Professor sent us to get him." Colossus now reminded her.
"No, he sent you to stop him." clarifying for and to him, "Not to run off and join up with him on another one of his crazy-sprees. God, I can't believe I'm actually having to-" Kitty now said, shaking her head in almost disbelief, with her chestnut-brown hair remaining business-like the entire time from being tied back into the ponytail that she usually kept it in on missions.
Then Kitty paused her chastisement and dismayed reaction, as something else now caught her attention.
"Why the hell are you still armored up anyways?" Kitty asked, as she looked up and down at his dirt and ash-smudged metallic frame and fairly tattered uniform.
"It might be smartest move that I make all day today?" Colossus replied in a down-trodden tone, as he shot an obligatory glance back over at Rogue.
Which only drew an even more exasperated groan from Kitty, as she closed her eyes and quickly looked off to her side.
"Somebody's sleeping on a sofa somewhere tonight." Ellie now snarked from her passenger seat, her eyes still trained down on her handheld device.
Just then, a notification from the plane's autopilot monitoring system also made its input into this conversation, but with the only purpose to notify those aboard that it had reached its desired altitude and thrust pressure, where they could at last initiate their trek back home. But as Rogue finally turned back around from the arguing couple to face the control panel and confirm their flight plan, something else that quickly came up on her view as the plane slowly propelled forward brought out another remark from her.
"Wow, you don't see this everyday. Well, maybe every other day, if you're us." Rogue announced to all aboard, although half of them already knew what she was referring to.
Rogue's statement was enough to cause Kitty to bring a brief interlude into her riot-act recitation, as she shot Colossus a 'this isn't over yet' look regarding their conversation, and came up to look out of the cockpit windshield beside Rogue.
And drew yet another profanity-tinged proclamation from her.
Were the first and only words that came to mind when Kitty got a good look at the sight on the ground.
That of a decommissioned and dilapidated helicarrier shell that had managed to somehow get even further and more massively wrecked. And seeing the individual who was the prime suspect in everything that had gone wrong in this locale, at least in Kitty's mind, she quickly grabbed the other earpiece communicator from the co-pilot's side of the control panel and immediately activated the jet's external communication speaker.
"Wade, are you fucking kidding me?!"
Upon hearing and instantly recognizing the voice from someone whom he knew he was her least favorite person in the world, Wade Wilson could only respond with one single greeting:
"Well, Helllooo Kitty..." Wade looked up and replied to the overhead plane, his face still currently unmasked at the moment.
"Next time I see you, I'm gonna totally kick you in the nuts for dragging my friends into some more of your stupid shit!" Kitty now threatened him over this open communication channel.
"I'll mark it down in my dayplanner. If I can still find one of those things?" Wade replied, seemingly searching his own person for that aforementioned item and a pen.
"I'm being serious here!" Kitty forcefully told him.
"Oh, I believe you, strawberry shortcake." Wade replied, "And I truly appreciate your offer to beat and batter deez nuts. But you see, I'm a one woman, one foot to the junk kinda guy.
Just call me old-fashioned.
And I'm sure you're waaayy too much little-woman for me, what with you hopping up and doing your 'oompah dance' on those steel balls next to you on a nightly basis, to get you and the iron-giant-cocker-spaniel off. Plus, you and those sexy waist-high boots of yours'll probably just grinderize my little hackys into spam."
And with such an instantly, yet surprisingly well-thought out, monologue-like delivery just shot right back at her, everyone on board the jet knew and fully expected only one response from the woman who'd gone from aiming aspersions, to now having them trained back on her.
"THAT'S IT! Rogue, put this goddamn plane back down now!"
Kitty screamed, as she threw her earpiece onto the floor of the cabin, while simultaneously throwing what Rogue would later describe to their non-present teammates as a 'total shit-fit'.
"No can do, rage-kitty. Ah think all o' y'all have had enough playtime with 'touched by a pokemon' down there for one day. We are gone." Rogue said as she increased the jet's engine thrust, revealing her other reason for coming with Kitty besides the entertaining opportunity to watch her friend chew her boyfriend's ass out raw, but to also prevent Kitty from doing something she'd really regret later, "Just head back to your catbox and try to purr it out or somethin'."
And with that, the hi-tech spy plane was gone. But not before one of the parties on the ground made one last parting shot, which no one on the jet would have the opportunity to hear.
"Bye 'Not-Ellen-Page'." Wade said, looking up as the plane passed overhead, then swiftly rocketed towards faraway airspace.
"The fuck was that all about?"
Was the question now being posed to Wade by his recently reunited lover and companion Vanessa Carlysle, who had been standing close by this entire time and silently listening to Wade's back and forth with what sounded like some irate and seriously disturbed woman that he apparently knew?
"She's still pissed from the last time we were all together, and I asked her when puberty was going to finally kick in for her?" Wade explained, with an almost semi-smile at recalling the incident in question.
Or more accurately, it was an escalation from an ongoing war of words going back to when Wade and Kitty originally first met, and Wade made (what he thought) was an innocent comment about how Kitty and Piotr were perfect and perfectly made for each other, exaggerating their height difference by saying how she stood crotch-high to her boyfriend and everything.
And he also remembered how the youthful looking, yet fully-grown woman had to be restrained thanks to the combined efforts and powers of her boyfriend and teammates, after making a similar threat of violence to Wade back then as well.
Which seemed to happen almost every time Wade and Kitty were around one another, and now it was doubtlessly just because Wade knew he could bait an animated response out of her virtually every time. Mainly because Kitty's below average height and waif-like figure hadn't changed all that much from her teen years, even if she had in reality gained a couple of inches in various directions since then. And had remained a rather sore subject for this otherwise mostly self-confident mutant protector.
Meanwhile as they were well on their way back to Westchester, Kitty came back and took a seat in one of the passenger seats, collapsing in a disgruntled heap to try to cool her overheated temper down.
She now wiped a few stray tears, partially a result of the comments regarding her size, partially due to the anger she'd been feeling from Wade's generally irresponsible behavior and how just because he could miraculously walk away from the insane frays he got himself almost enthusiastically into, she knew the same could not be automatically assumed for those caught up around him.
And having already lost loved ones to the dream that the X-Men fought for, she did not want to have to go through that pain again, at least not this soon.
It was also from this overwhelming fear of loss that was the principal driver behind Kitty's over-the-top outburst of emotions today, which one of her teammates understood from the moment he saw her again this afternoon.
"This seat is not taken?" Colossus came up and amicably asked of Kitty, having given her a few minutes alone in this rear passenger row first, before coming back to join her.
But her only response was to wipe another stray tear from one of her eyes with her gloved hand, her downcast gaze remaining fixed forward at the back of the seat from the row in front of her.
And taking note of her non-response, or at least for the first time in a good while a response that was neither tinged with anger nor profanity, Colossus made another unspoken change of his own.
As he powered down and converted his body from one of solid steel, to one of flesh and blood. And managed to at last draw her attention towards him.
"About time." Kitty looked up and over to him to say, before rapidly turning her disgruntled gaze forward yet again.
"You will not try to kick me in nuts, now?" Piotr asked her, with a small smirk. And stood waiting for a reciprocated response.
Which he received, as Kitty couldn't help but flash a brief smile and a small laugh despite trying to hold them back, both from his comment and how it sounded coming out of him of all people, which the dry-delivery from Piotr's attempts at humor always did to her.
And from her own self-awareness of how ridiculous she probably looked today from letting her temper and her overwhelming sense of worry for her friends' safety get the best of her during her crazy-lady rant.
Piotr took her seeming warming up to him now as his opportunity to go ahead and take that seat beside her, before saying something else that he had been wanting to say to her since she stomped off back here.
"I am sorry for upsetting you, Katya. But I only did what I did to help a man save the life of the woman that he loves. I could not stand by and do nothing." Piotr now revealed to her, finally explaining that his decision to join Wade today and place both his and Ellie's lives in danger was for good reason.
Kitty just sat there remaining in silence, looking straight ahead with her facial expression now more neutral than it was angry. But slowly, her frown started to lessen considerably as she had noticed a woman standing down there in the rubble next to Wade during her verbal exchange with him.
And knowing how much his Katya allowed her emotions, whether they be anger, fear, or love to flow freely and unconditionally, Piotr could also read and sense what she was feeling at the moment. Which is why his next and only response was to just put his much larger hand over her gloved one on her armrest, and give her a quick kiss to her forehead.
Which caused Kitty to look up at him, unable to hide the earnest smile of relief that she was also beaming back up at him, as she turned her palm upward to very firmly interlace her fingers between his as they continued home.
The hopeless romantic in her not letting Kitty stay angry at Piotr for too much longer, given his reasons and the circumstances surrounding what all had happened today.