BY MADRIPOOR ROSE
Disclaimer: The X Men were created by Marvel Entertainment. No copyright infringement intended.
Dedicated to Lia Fail, Jeremy Harper, and OldPrydeFan for driving this bandwagon and letting me jump on.
Kitty Pryde woke slowly, and yawned. She was too comfortable, drowsily content, to get up. So she allowed herself to drift, dozing, just enjoying the sensations of being warm and comfortable. The crisp coolness of the sheet against her bare legs was a delicious contrast to the warm solid body she was snuggled up against...
Now completely awake, her eyes flew open and she stared at Piotr Rasputin's handsome face, bare inches away from her own. He was in bed with her, and she'd been sleeping with her head on his shoulder. As she lay there in numb incomphrension, his own eyelids fluttered open, and she found herself looking into sleepy blue eyes as he stared back at her with equal confusion.
Then he grinned broadly, purred, "Katya," in a pleased rumble, and pounced.
"Pet-oomph," her eyes went wide as he kissed her. Beard bristle scratched her cheeks, and he began to roll over on top of her, being careful with his weight but still pinning her to the bed. Her hands slid around his neck, for a moment she was torn between pushing him away and pulling him closer, and then her eyes went very wide and she phased backward through the mattress, dropping to the floor and rolling out from under the bed.
She sat up, pulling down the tail of the Cubs jersey she was wearing for a nightshirt and subconsciously rubbing her thigh where IT had brushed against her, blushing furiously.
"Peter!" she yelped, indignant, as he pushed himself up on his elbows and rolled over to blink at her over the side of the bed. "What do you think you're doing in...your room?"
Her initial embarrassed outrage faded as she began to notice the small details of her surroundings. The oversized bed with the blue and green bedspread. The empty twin bed pushed against the far wall, mattress stripped bare. After the recent attack, Piotr's roommate Jamie Madrox was pulled out of school by his parents. The piles of sketchbooks on the desk, and the easel and stool set up by the windows.
"What happened?" she asked in a small voice.
Piotr frowned. "I woke, and you were..." he gestured at the empty space beside him, and smiled a little sheepishly. "I thought you had snuck in to surprise me."
She ducked her head. "I'm not that kind of girl."
Piotr thought about all the times she'd stolen kisses from him, including a memorable occasion in which she'd brought over a footstool, and their make-out session in Irina's guest room.
"Oh yes, you are," he argued.
Obviously thinking the same thing, she smiled impishly though her words were more serious. "Well, not yet."
He matched her tone. "I am sorry if I scared you."
"I wasn't scared...exactly. I was just confused. And I'm not ready for...that...yet." She looked up at him, nervously waiting for his reaction. Things had changed between them at his friend's house where they'd hidden from Stryker's men. Caring for terrified younger kids, worried about those captured, afraid the soldiers would find them, it made one reassess one's priorities.
Piotr stopped treating her like a younger friend with a silly crush and admitted to himself that he felt the same way. They'd been dating seriously, going steady, since they got back to the mansion. But Piotr was older than she was, and he'd already had a girlfriend, Irina. He was older and more experienced.
He'd had sex.
Kitty liked kissing him, especially now that he kissed back instead of trying to get away, but she was a little nervous about what happened next, after kissing.
"I know," he said gently. "Do you think you were sleepwalking again and that is how you came to be here?"
She drew her knees up and rested her chin on them. "I guess. Stress, y'know? That was how my mutation manifested, when my parents were getting divorced."
"Da. And with the attack and losing Doctor Grey..."
Kitty chewed on her bottom lip. "Guess I'd better make an appointment with that counselor the Professor brought in, huh? Sorry about this, Peter. I'd better get back to my room before Theresa wakes up, freaks out, and wakes up the greater Westchester county area. Again."
She got to her feet, slipped through the door, and went back to her bedroom without waking her roommate. And everything went back to normal, for a couple of days.
It was one o'clock in the morning and Piotr was still awake. Trying to finish a paper on the economic consequences of the collapse of the Soviet Union for history class.
Something told him Miss Munroe wouldn't give, 'we ate a lot of turnips' a passing grade.
He pushed his chair back from the desk and rubbed his eyes, yawning. Then he reread the section about mafiya bootleg vodka exports to make sure it made sense in English. It did. Time for a break.
He got to his feet, stretching, and considered raiding the kitchen for study session supplies. Potato chips sounded good. He took a step toward the door, and Kitty walked through it.
He raised his eyebrows and watched as she walked past him, went over to his bed and pulled down the covers, climbing in. He stood there and watched her sleep for a moment, then shrugged to himself and went down to the kitchen for his snack.
He let Kitty sleep for half an hour, until he was finished with his paper and ready to crash. "Katya. Come on, Katya. Time to wake up and go to bed."
"Peter? Aw geez, I did it again, huh?" she sat up, pushing a handful of brown hair back out of her eyes and giving him a wry smile.
"You did it again," he agreed. "It's not that I mind, Katya, but if you are caught in my bed, I will be expelled. And possibly deported."
She rolled her eyes, aware that he was teasing. Sort of. She'd talked to the counselor about her sleepwalking, but she hadn't said that she was going to her boyfriend's bedroom. Counseling sessions were confidential anyway.
If one of the teachers caught them, they were gonna get yelled at.
"It's weird. I don't feel upset. I mean, I miss Doctor Grey, and it's rough being around Mister Summers, I never know what to say. But I know Stryker's dead and the project was shut down. I'm not afraid." She took a deep breath and sighed. "So why am I here again?"
Piotr smiled smugly. "Obviously. I'm irresistible."
She gave him a long, slow once-over. "Ooh. You sure are."
He laughed. "Scoot, Kitty. I need my beauty sleep."
The third time's the charm, and so it was the third time they got caught.
Kitty woke, snuggled cozily up to Piotr's back. She sighed, and got out of bed. He rolled over into the space she'd vacated without waking. She smiled down at him, and gently brushed a kiss across his forehead, then slipped out and headed back to her room. Not noticing the dark figure at the other end of the hall.
Logan's eyes narrowed. He didn't want to get involved. But what had started with Rogue had grown to encompass the Xavier School. It was home.
Nights like these, when the unknown memories were stirring and threatening to become nightmares, he patrolled the house before going down to the lake for a smoke. Listening in, checking to make sure the kids were all right. All of 'em, though it was Rogue, Bobby, and Artie, and Kitty and Jubilee who had brought out the paternal instincts that seemed to be as much a part of him as the adamantium plating.
Sometimes he wondered about that, if he had a family out there somewhere.
He'd found an unexpected one here.
He glanced at the closed bedroom door, and ambled on down the stairs, headed outside for his cigar. He'd handle it...he owed it to Chuck and Scooter to take care of the things he could around here. Earn his keep. Tomorrow was soon enough. He owed it to Jean. Part of sticking around, and trying to be the good guy.
The next day, Piotr was sketching out by the lily pond, one of his favorite places. Logan came up behind him, looking over his shoulder at the rough sketch of koi hiding beneath broad leaves. Kid had talent.
Noone else was around, so Logan got right down to it. "Saw Kitty leaving your room after lights out. We don't need to have the talk, do we, bub?"
Piotr carefully closed his sketchbook and slid the charcoal pencil into the wire spiral spine. "It is not what it looks like. We've done nothing wrong."
"I don't care if it's true love or overactive hormones, Pete, she's fifteen years old."
"And I have not touched her. She sleepwalks, and comes to my room. She is talking to the counselor, but..." he shrugged.
"Ah." Logan leaned back against the retaining wall of the lily pond, and looked at the kid. Not lying. "Lots of folks are still having sleepless nights."
"She says she is not afraid, but...you sent me to help them, and I took charge of the younger ones, took care of them. I think she comes to me because she feels safe with me."
"Makes sense," Logan nodded. "Maybe there's something we can do about that."
Professor Xavier steepled his hands over his desk. "A self defense class?"
Logan nodded. "Just for a few of the older kids. The ones you got tagged to join the team when they graduate. You been training 'em to control their powers, not use 'em when they need to. When Stryker's men hit the house, Colossus and I were the only two who fought back."
"That's because we don't put children in the line of fire, Logan."
He met Scott Summers' glare evenly. "It happens, Cyke. Better that they're ready for it before it hits the fan. I'm talking about giving the kids discipline and confidence."
"I agree," Ororo Munroe spoke up from her place by the French doors. "This is a dangerous world for our kind. The best thing we can do for our children is teach them to live in it."
The Professor nodded, "Very well. Select your first class, Logan, and I will make the gym on Sublevel Three available to them."
Rogue was limping, and Piotr had a black eye. Bobby Drake leaned against the elevator wall. "Icepacks all around. Soon as I can catch my breath."
"Ow," Kitty whimpered. "I have sore muscles where I didn't even know I had muscles."
"Are we being punished?" Bobby asked plaintively, as the elevator let them out into the Great Hall. "This feels like we're being punished."
Mister Summers was walking past. "So how are you enjoying your self defense class on living in a dangerous world?"
"I like the world. That room is dangerous." Bobby staggered out of the elevator last.
But that night, an exhausted Kitty slept soundly through the night in her own bed, and for every night thereafter.