She was his Katya.
Not that little blue boy's. He was a mere blip on her horizon. He was not jealous of the easy relationship they shared.
Though whether it was because he knew she did not have any amorous feelings towards her comrade or because, as he frequently told himself that it would be inhumane and wrong to be jealous of such a precious creature.
Oh how he longed to sketch her. Ever since that first fateful glimpse of her on that day he had longed to take up charcoal, chalk, pencil or even a stick in the dirt to capture her unique quirk of chin to her sparkling eyes. So like his little sisters in their eagerness to learn and their friendliness.
He had seen her. Amongst the chaos of the warring mutants, he did not want to be there. Minutes before glancing her he had contemplated incurring Magneto's wrath and running like the cowardly Russian farm boy he felt he was.
But she made it all better. Her spark of life that she clung to, even in battle brightened up his world and made the desperate fight that surrounded him more human.
Then, it was like a desperate blow that her eyes skimmed over him in a crowd. It did not happen often and even when it did, he often wished it to be different so that he could be invisible. But the for the first time he wished he was more noticeable. Not just a Russian farm boy.
Not just a tin can to be exploited. Not just Illyana's big brother. But someone worth knowing.
Then. It made his heart leap when they actually worked together, he was helping the Katya. He was making her happy by helping. He did not ask for recognition of what he was doing. He did not even want anyone else to care.
He did it to help others of course; to do anything else would be wrong. But he also did it for her. To make her happy. Though seeing her with that boy. The rock shaker tore his heart out it made him glad to see his Katya happy. She was smiling, though dampened through fatigue and he was looking after her. So her looming Russian shadow watched. And waited for her to notice him.
Now he was an X Man. It was as if the Professor had opened a door to his head that had been barred entry, he now was happy and he didn't even have to be looking at Katya to be doing it. He could just be.
And her and the rock shaker were not close anymore. The rock shaker had left, gone to Washington with the man with the eye patch a long with Magneto's children and most of his former teammates.
So the Katya was alone. She had her friends, her blue boy and her saddened friend. The one who could not touch. All he saw when he looked at her was sadness, a great cloud of it looming on her and contaminating her every breath. It was as if she took her inability to be close not only past a physical but to a mental level.
He longed to sketch the sad one too. Not for the same reasons for Katya but because the sad one had so much to capture with a pencil. So much that he wished he could translate onto mere paper and make it look half as real as the sad one made real sorrow at every expression on her obscured face.
Though, the sad one promised to have a future that was not so sad, his industrious friend had decided that an untouchable maiden was a challenge worth his attention and was thus pursuing the sad girl with a vigour that showed more then just amorous dreaming.
So Katya did not have to be sad that her friends were sad. The blue boy was engaged with a girl. The sad girl was being sought after, no matter how much she protested against. Katya did not have anyone.
That is why she was his Katya.