Note – The X-Men are the property of Marvel Comics, and are used without permission.
It was a Friday summer night, and most of the inhabitants of the Xavier School For Gifted Youngsters were out enjoying it. Peter and Kitty were alone in the den, sitting on the couch, the mansion silent around them, watching some forgettable, badly edited and frequently interrupted horror movie playing on AMC. Peter had his arm draped over Kitty's shoulders, while she was curled up close to him, her legs tucked beneath her. They were not very interested in the movie, using it as an excuse to spend some time with each other. Nor did they speak much, satisfied with simply enjoying each other's company.
Kitty let out a little sigh of contentment and snuggled closer to Peter. His arm tightened slightly around her in response. She glanced up at his face; he was looking at the television screen, but his eyes were mere slits of glittering blue. She could feel his powerful muscles slowly loosen and relax as he started to doze. Kitty smiled to herself. It was a mischievous smile, one that could have graced the lips of a fallen angel. Let's see if I can wake him up. She placed a small, slender hand on his knee and squeezed gently.
Peter started slightly and blinked several times. He glanced down, saw Kitty's hand resting on his knee, then looked at her. She was watching the movie, seeming unaware of where her hand was. A slight pink tint colored her cheeks. Peter studied her carefully for several moments, then cricked his neck and returned his attention to the movie. He started to stroke his hand up and down Kitty's arm.
Kitty glanced at the floor for a moment to hide her smirk. That got his attention. She decided to bide her time before making her next move, waiting for Peter to doze off again. Eventually, his caresses slowed and his body began to relax against her. She smirked again, slid her hand off of his knee and trailed her fingertips up and then down his thigh. She heard Peter take a sharp intake of breath, felt him shift slightly. She glanced up to see him looking at her wide-eyed. Trying desperately to keep a straight face, she continued to stroke his thigh. "What?" she asked in her best innocent voice, feigning unawareness of her hand's movements.
Peter looked at Kitty's hand, then her face, and then to her hand again. He clicked his tongue. "Nothing," he said. "Nothing at all." He looked back at the television. He curled his arm around Kitty's waist. His hand now on her upper belly, just below her breasts.
Kitty felt very warm. She squirmed a little, the pink on her cheeks darkening to a deep, rich red. She glanced at Peter's face. He was blushing, and the corners of his mouth were twitching. This is sorta like playing Chicken. I wonder how far I can push it... She stopped stroking his leg and let her hand rest on his knee again. Peter shifted slightly, and Kitty thought he heard him sigh – whether in disappointment or relief, she was not sure. She hoped for the former. She waited. It took longer this time, but eventually Peter started to doze. His head bobbed down slightly. Kitty slid her hand to the side of his knee and let it glide up his inner thigh. Suddenly Peter's free hand enveloped and gently lifted it off of his leg. Kitty looked up. He was staring at her, his blue eyes half-closed and glittering, his gaze intense and focused. Save for an intense blush, his face was expressionless. Kitty found her throat suddenly dry.
"I believe," Peter murmured, his voice a hoarse purr, "you are not interested in the movie."
"Oh? What makes you think that?" Kitty asked, proud her voice had not come out a croak. Peter did not answer. Instead he raised her hand to his lips and kissed it, a courtly gesture that made her heart beat faster. He gently bent her hand back, kissed her palm and then her wrist. She felt his mouth open slightly and his tongue press briefly against her. Kitty let out a soft gasp. She wondered how such simple kisses could be so arousing. She looked closely at Peter's face and an epiphany struck her – it wasn't so much his kisses but the way he was looking at her. In the past, whenever they kissed or hugged, a veil seemed to fall over his eyes, frosting them like ice over water, making him seem, not so much cold, but distant. Nothing clouded them now. They burned unimpeded, bright and hot, their gaze almost searing. He's not holding back anymore. A thrill of triumph ran through her chest and she pounced on him, straddling his lap and kissing him almost furiously, her hands running through his jet-black hair. Peter grunted, his eyes widening, then surrendered, reciprocating her kiss. He opened his mouth, cozening his tongue into her mouth. Kitty moaned, her arms lacing tight around Peter's broad shoulders. He embraced her, pressing her slender body against his, his hands roaming up and down her back. Kitty pulled away, a trifle breathless. She smiled brightly at Peter. He let his hands rest on her hips. For long moments they stared into each other's eyes.
"How do you feel?" Peter asked.
"Wonderful." She stroked his cheek with her fingers and grinned naughtily at him. "It's about time you let me in."
Peter smiled. "I have thought a lot, these past few weeks, about our talk out at the lake. About adult responsibilities and adult privileges."
"Yes. I have come to the conclusion that... I am comfortable with whatever you are comfortable with."
Kitty leaned back, arching an eyebrow and tilting her head slightly to the right. "Are you saying that you're leaving... this... in my hands?"
"Up to a point. I still think we should wait a while on certain things."
Kitty pouted. "I thought guys were suppose to be the ones who wanted to hurry right to it."
Peter chuckled. "I am not like most guys. Why rush this? The longer one waits, the sweeter the wine. And we still have many ways to occupy ourselves while we wait." He pulled her against him and kissed her just underneath the ear. Kitty shivered and hugged him tight. "Are you afraid? I do not mean to frighten you. I will stop if you want."
Kitty shook her head vigorously. "I don't want to stop... I'm a little scared, but not enough so that it matters. I know you wouldn't do anything to hurt me." She kissed him on the mouth gently, letting it linger. Peter sighed and started to lie down on the couch, pulling Kitty down with him, settling her on top of him. He did not want to overwhelm her with his size.
"If I do something you are not comfortable with," Peter murmured, "tell me, and we will stop, okay?"
Kitty nodded. "Th- the same goes for you," she said, a little embarrassed by her stutter.
Peter smiled gently. "But of course." He kissed her and she sighed sensuously against his mouth, reassured. She started to work at the buttons of his shirt, while he slipped his hands underneath her tee shirt, drawing them up her back, to the straps of her bra. Kitty felt her blood race in anticipation...
A gasp jolted them out of concentration. They stiffened and as one looked towards the den door. Illyana stood in the doorway, staring wide-eyed and blushing furiously. "I'm sorry!" she managed to squeak before fleeing. Kitty and Peter watched her go, then looked at each other. She sighed, he muttered a curse in Russian and they sat up, Peter putting his arm around Kitty. She rested her head on his shoulder and closed her eyes.
"Well, that sure broke the mood," Kitty said.
Peter nodded. "Yes... But it could have been worse."
"That could have been Ororo or Wolverine... you would probably be able to bury my remains in a matchbox, once they were through with me."
Kitty giggled. "Don't worry, I'll protect you."
Peter smirked. "I will hold you to that." That sat together in silence for a few minutes, watching the television without paying it attention. Peter kissed Kitty on the cheek. "I am tired. I think I shall retire for the night."
"Would you mind terribly if I joined you?" Kitty asked playfully. Peter chuckled.
"You are so impatient..." he kissed her again, on the mouth. "But the wolf hours can be lonely; one night soon, perhaps we will help each other make them pass."
Kitty Pryde sighed, sat up and turned on the lamp by her bed. In his basket Lockheed grumbled and rolled on his side, his back to the light, and buried his head beneath his pillow. Kitty glanced at the clock hanging by her door. Ten past three in the morning. God, at this rate she would be dragging today. She lay back down, settling on her side, curling into a fetal position. She stared at her bookcase, trying to let her mind go blank. She failed miserably.
I suggest you stop thinking with your pants, Pryde, and start using your head.
Would you like to help me pass the wolf hours, Katya?
I'm not as afraid as I once was. With each passing day I'm less and less afraid, and I think very soon now I won't be scared at all.
One way or the other, I will always love you. And no matter what, I will always be your friend...
Kitty curled into a tight ball in an effort to stop shaking. Tears poured down her cheeks. "Peter," she sobbed. "I miss you so much..."
In his cell Nikolai the Deathless hissed, growled, shook his head. Ocean-blue eyes glittered in the dim illumination. Angrily, he swiped the back of his hand across his face. This was ridiculous – he was a Prince of the Earth. Beings of his caste do not cry. By every zmei ever spawned in hell, what was happening to him? He expelled air, shook his head again, closed his eyes and forced himself back into a meditative state.
It did no good. Visions still assailed him.
It was a Friday summer night, and most of the inhabitants of the Xavier School For Gifted Youngsters were out enjoying it. Peter and Kitty were in the den...
This was tough to write, but I finally managed to get it down. Another side-story to Deathless, but as a romantic vignette stands alone by itself – just ignore the italicized paragraphs and you are all set. The reason I wrote Pushing It and Old Enough is that I am a romantic at heart, I guess. I like little romantic scenes between characters I like, and there won't be many chances at romance for a while in Deathless. Hope you folks out there don't mind...
The new chapter of Deathless, entitled 'Misery', may be a week or two in coming. I'm feeling a bit of a burnout approaching, and I also would like to get a little original fiction writing done. I also need to do some thinking about the layout of the rest of the story. I had up to the seventh chapter, which will be called 'The Gilded Cage', plotted out in my head. I have the final two chapters set up as well. I just need to figure out how to get from chapter seven to the last two chapters. Hopefully it won't take me too long – I don't want to leave this story hanging. As I've said before, Deathless is the longest sustained piece of fiction I have yet managed to produce; I want to bring it to the conclusion it deserves.
I'm a bit embarrassed by my impulsive outburst about reviews last chapter. It smacks a bit of whining, but sometimes you just get frustrated. Anyhow, some shout outs to the people kind enough to review.
Katzchen1 – Thanks for the kind words. I'm glad that you think I've struck such a find balance between action and character development. It's been a bit tough for me – I found that it's easier for me to write action scenes than character interaction, which I'm a bit disconcerted about.
I'll keep in mind your advice on Emma and try to inject a bit more haughty, upper-class Yankee arrogance into her. Scott – well, I've always had a bit of a soft spot for Cyke, even though he's pulled some bone-headed plays with his relationships that make Peter's break-up with Kitty after Battleword seem the height of tact. I tend to gravity to characters that don't have the largest of fan bases – Colossus, Cyclops, Orion and Wesley Dodds (the original Sandman) over at DC. As for Nikolai not being Peter, well, he may start becoming a bit more like Peter as things go on. Wait and see.
Believe it or not, research hasn't been too big of a problem. I'll cite my sources on Russian folklore and culture when I finish up Deathless. The thing that gave me the most headaches was researching San Francisco for Chapter 4, and even that was relatively painless. I'm glad you liked the little scene with Ororo. I had initially planned on having Rogue and Nightcrawler with her (no doubt that they would want to see Peter, if he came back) but I wasn't sure there would be enough for them to do, and I was worried enough about characterizing Ororo properly without the additional stress of working with those two.
Amokitty – Glad you've enjoyed Deathless so far. Hope you enjoyed this vignette. Also, go give Old Enough a try, if you feel like it. There's not much good Kitty/Peter stuff out there right now, though I'm working to rectify that. There's probably more Kitty/Wisdom stuff out there... bleah.
Glad you liked Emma and Ororo. I had the gut feeling that Emma would not be happy with having Nikolai incarcerated on Institute grounds, and would not be hesitant to voice her displeasure. I can't really blame her – I wouldn't want risk kids attracting the attention of monsters like Solovey or Vultariax, myself. And Ororo is Ororo – she's all you say and more and I doubt she'd pull the haughty goddess act if confronted by someone she loved, raised from the dead and transformed into a demon.
No need to apologize for the long review – I love long reviews. The longer the better – they are virtual feasts for me.
I'll try to keep new chapters of Deathless timely.
Leaf – Yeah, poor Kitty's been put through a wringer, if you step back to think about it. Thanks for your kind words. No editor for this story, I just try my best to clean up as I go, though I haven't been as thorough as I could be. I'm glad that you've found my story interesting enough to make you pick up an X-title. Go try Josh Whedon's Astonishing – it has been excellent.
Quikshot16 – Thanks for the praise. Hope you enjoy where I go from here.
B – Had you breathless, eh? That's high praise, indeed. Also, thank you for the encouragement. I feel a bit embarrassed about whining about it now. You are so right about fandom. I should know better – for a long time I was into Ranma ½, and you would not believe how balkanized and entrenched in their mindset the various fan groups for that manga were. Anyhow, I'm glad you think my story has been a pearl... I am most flattered.
Next up, Deathless Chapter 6 – Misery.
Thanks for your time and tolerance,