A Tale of Lament

(A/N: Yes, I realize the title sucks more than anything I've ever written.)

Kitty awoke and stretched warmly in her bed. She lay there, perfectly contented to stay snuggled under the safe, warm covers for a little longer before she started her day. She had a feeling she had a good dream, but she couldn't really remember the details. Whatever it was, she felt happier than usual that morning.

Having felt that she indulged herself long enough in bed, Kitty slowly slipped out from under the comforter into her slippers which were carefully placed on the floor. She wrapped a silk robe over her body and tied the sash tight, before making her way downstairs.

She hit the button on the coffee maker in a daze, having done it routinely for what must have been a million times before. Nonchalantly piling the waves of her sleep-mussed hair on top of her head, Kitty glanced at the microwave clock. 7:06. She smiled. Most people her age were wiling their summers away in bed. Waking up early of her own will, Kitty Pryde proved she wasn't most people. She had saved the world dozens of times, gone into space, and even befriended a purple alien dragon, who was currently asleep in her sock drawer.

She poured the coffee into a light blue mug, and added a little bit of cream. She sipped it thoughtfully before the large bay windows in the kitchen of the Xavier mansion. Mornings were something that Kitty savored, and summers mornings were the pinnacle of them all. She felt rejuvenated.

Her coffee was long gone at eight, but she was still twirling the edges of the cup in her hand when Kurt teleported in the kitchen. "Guten Morgen, Katchzen." He mumbled sleepily, reaching into the refrigerator for the carton of orange juice.

"Hi Kurt." Kitty chirped, finally getting up to put her empty mug in the sink.

"You're cheerful this morning." The fuzzy one yawned, showing off his fangs.

"Yeah. No real reason." She raised an eyebrow when Kurt drank right from the carton, but decided to ignore it. "I'll see you later, fuzzy elf."

Mail came early to the mansion. Either that, or it came so late that no one was awake to pick it up. Kitty never discovered which. She only knew that when she woke up, mail was waiting on the front stoop. Routine compelled her to pick it up after her morning coffee. She didn't know why, she rarely received anything. It was usually thick, heavy envelopes for the Professor, magazines for the younger girls, or letters for the others. Once in a while her mother would write her, but those letters were few and far between.

Yawning slightly, Kitty began to lazily flip through them, unconsciously sorting them in the stack by recipient. She was surprised when she saw her name on one of the envelopes, accompanied by Kurt's. Curiously, she opened it. The letter was only a paragraph or two long, but she had barely begun to read it when her whole body began shaking uncontrollably. She gripped tightly onto the door frame, her knuckles turning an optic white. Two solitary tears rolled down her cheeks.

Somehow Kitty found herself in the kitchen, handing the letter to Kurt before she collapsed in a chair. Kurt looked at her confused, before he started to read it himself. Very little of it stuck in his mind, but he got the general gist of it. Pete Wisdom was dead. The X-Force had written to inform them of this and of the upcoming memorial service.

Kurt looked up at Kitty in shock. She was just sitting there, staring intensely at the graining on the wood table. "Katzchen..." was all that he managed to choke out. She looked up at him, meeting his eyes. Looking into them, she felt her resolve melt away, and she broke down into heavy, mangled sobs. As quickly as they began, she forced them back.

"Sorry..." She got up, shaking a little bit. Muttering something to the effect of "I'm going upstairs," she left the kitchen. Kurt looked after her, severely concerned. He wanted to go comfort her, but he had the distinct impression she wanted to be alone. Kurt sat down at the table, and buried his head in his hands with a grieving sigh.

"Katya?" Piotr's voice was soft and questioning. He knocked lightly on the door again. And again, she didn't answer. Piotr breathed in deeply, before cautiously turning the doorknob to her room. "Katya?"

Her room was dark, and unbearably silent. It took the Russian a few moments for his eyes to adjust to the lack of light. He began to make out the form of Kitty lying on her bed. She was turned away from him, curled up tightly. He'd seen pillows look more lively than she did right then. He slowly approached her bed. "Are you ok?"

Slowly, Kitty rolled over. She was clutching something tightly to her chest, something that Piotr couldn't recognize. "Hi Piotr." She mumbled, sniffing just slightly. Piotr could tell that she had been crying, and he wasn't sure what to say, so he just leaned back against her desk, studying her expressions. "Katya, I..." He started, not knowing where the sentence was going to lead. Luckily, Kitty filled the uncertain void.

"I bet you think I'm a freak, right?" She chuckled morbidly, and loosened her grip on whatever object had been held so tightly. It was a sock. One black sock. "Pete forgot this when he left. I guess I brought it back. I don't know, I just..." She faltered. "God... I wish things had ended differently. Our last conversation was so cold, so heartless. I always regretted the things that were said... the things I did. And now... I can never make amends with him." Her words broke off as she buried her face into the crook of her arm.

Piotr knew all too well what she was feeling. He had lost a love once. She died in his arms. The pain he felt at her death was unbearable. He wanted to rip out his heart so he could no longer feel it breaking. He wished that he had someone to help him through those heart wrenching emotions, and the guilt that tore his soul apart. However, bringing up Zsaji at this moment was the worst possible thing he could do. It would add past hurt to the present pain Kitty was feeling.

She turned away from him, facing the wall. He didn't leave, however. Something in his heart told him to stay. Piotr had thought she had fallen asleep until she murmured "I really did love him."

"I know you did, Katya." He slid over to sit on the side of her bed. "I had never seen you happier than when you were together." Of course, he had been jealous of that happiness at first. And then guilty that he had never been able to make her that joyful.

"I was really happy, wasn't I?" She took a deep breath. "I think I wanted to marry him." Piotr looked at her, surprised. He had never thought that the relationship between Wisdom and his Katya would have ever gone that far. He kept telling himself that it was just an infatuation, that they would get over it eventually. They did, but he never knew why. He wasn't even sure that Kitty knew exactly why they had broken up. She never talked about it.

"But, you know," she continued. "I never pinned Pete for the marrying kind." She let a giggle escape her lips. "Could you imagine him behind a white picket fence, mowing the lawn, six or seven kids running around with the dog?"

"I can picture very few of us in that scenario."

Kitty sat up, and wiped her eyes, pulling her legs underneath her. "You think we'd be used to it by now, huh?" A bitter smile twitched at the corners of her mouth. "But no matter how many people we lose, it never gets easier."

"I think..." Piotr breathed in deeply, staring at the ceiling, "that is a good thing." She looked at him out of the corners of her eyes. "If we didn't feel sadness at the death of a loved one, well, we'd be just as dead on the inside. I don't life would be as interesting if we weren't able to feel." Clasping his hands, he looked over at his companion, "no matter how many times we would wish it."

As he was talking, Kitty's eyes became heavy with tears again. She forced back choked sobs, shaking with renewed bouts of grief. "I'm such a horrible person," she managed to sigh out.

Piotr put his arm around her, finally, and drew her close while she cried. "Sh... no you aren't. You're strong Katya. You're loving and warm." Secretly, Piotr was thoroughly enjoying holding her close to him, a thing he hadn't been able to do in years and thought he would never be able to do again. Of course, he didn't tell her so.

Almost, suddenly, Kitty realized how close she and Piotr were sitting, and how compromising their position was. She felt thirteen again, a feeling that did not hold well with her. Thirteen meant weak, vulnerable and naive, and she was tired of feeling that way. In the arms of an ex-boyfriend wasn't an appropriate situation while mourning the loss of her once great love. Quickly composing herself, at least for the moment, she pulled away from him, unaware of the look of disappointment that crossed his face. "Sorry I just buried you underneath all my angst." She avoided his eyes, afraid to start crying again. Piotr didn't say anything. "I think I just need to be left alone for a while," she trailed off at the end.

He gave her a suspicious and concerned look. "Are you all right?"

Kitty nodded bleakly and he left, leaving her to curl up in her sheets with the sock once more.

There was a noticeable change in Kitty over the next few days. When she wasn't angry, she was completely depressed, walking around the mansion like an specter. As the date of the funeral got closer, her mood became worse. After several attempts at trying to comfort the girl, Ororo had finally given up, with a frustrated yet motherly sigh. Kurt tried to stay away from her all together.

The only person that Kitty really tolerated was Wolverine. He didn't pry where he wasn't wanted. He mainly just kept quiet, only responding when he was prompted.

After comforting her the morning they learned of Wisdom's demise, Piotr hadn't approached Kitty at all. He liked to think that he was giving her space, but in fact he was afraid. That morning he had learned that Kitty's love for Pete was infinitely deeper than she had ever given him. That made him extremely jealous, and found himself thinking ill of the dead man. Piotr had never really liked the ex-Black Air agent, but he only expressed that sentiment once: and he had nearly killed the scrawny smoker. After being scolded by Kitty, he never showed his feelings for the man again. Of course he tried to pretend they got along, but both men knew they would never be best friends.

And now Pete Wisdom was dead.

Piotr hated to admit it, but he hadn't felt anything when he hurt that news. His heartstrings were only pulled when he saw how upset Kitty had been. He hated to see her upset, no matter what the status of their relationship was. He was very sorry to admit that he had been the cause of many of her emotional problems through the years.

She was in the kitchen when he entered, staring angrily down into her bowl of cereal. He sighed quietly to himself, and took the milk out of the refrigerator, filling a glass. He was about to leave before she spoke out. "You don't need to be avoiding me, you know." She was looking sideways at him.

"I do not wish to intrude. You should take all the time you need to grieve."

"I know. I did." She brought her bowl to the sink, emptying the contents into the garbage disposal. Satisfied that her Cheerio's had all gone down the drain, she returned her attention on the Russian. "I don't want to insult Pete's memory, shutting down my life too." She shrugged. "I'm not going to pretend that everything is fine... but I haven't broken down into tears at a hallmark commercial recently."

Thankful that he had never witnessed any of this random crying, Piotr merely nodded. They stood in the kitchen, wrapped in a fairly awkward silence. Kitty seemed to find something fascinating in her nails, and Piotr was content to drink his milk. Taking the initiative, he broke overbearing quiet. "Are you, um," He paused, and cleared his throat, "going to the, uh..."


Piotr nodded in the affirmative.

Kitty sighed. "No. I don't think so..." her voice tapered off at the end.

For the first time that morning, his eyes met hers. "Why?"

"I don't know exactly. I just feel like... I shouldn't." She shrugged. "It's really hard to explain..." She patted him on the arm as she went to the kitchen door.

"But," Piotr started, "You are going to be all right?"

"Yeah." She said, giving a small shade of a smile, and then added quietly to herself, "I usually am."

Kitty opened her eyes sleepily, and brushed her hair out of her face. Seeing the empty space next to her she frowned. She was having such a lovely dream. The clock read that it was 1 in the morning, in big angry red numerals. Yawning loudly, the petite brunette slipped into a robe and slippers, and ventured outside.

Muir was especially foggy and cold that night, and there was heavy moisture in the air. It took her a minute to find him, sitting alone on a bench, head titled back. Without even looking up, he gestured for her to sit next to him, before wrapping his arm around her.

"Checking up on me, luv?" Pete took a long drag off his cigarette.

"No. Even you can't get into too much trouble this late at night." Her nose wrinkled slightly at the offensive smoke, but said nothing.

"You have yet to see me in action in the pubs of London."

They sat there, merely content in sharing their warmth. Kitty's legs curled into Pete's laps, and at one point he slipped his free hand under her robe onto the smooth skin on the small of her back. Kitty buried her face on his chest, and felt her eyelids getting heavier. "I love you, Pete."

He threw his burnt out cigarette onto the ground, and wrapped that arm around her protectively. "I love you too, Kitty. So much." He kissed her on the top of her head.

Neither of them remembered going back to bed that night, but they woke up wrapped warmly in each other's arms.

(A/N: Man. This thing has been a work in progress since, like, July. I'm so freaking lazy.

Just FYI, that last part was a flashback. Kitty isn't a necrophiliac or anything.

I was so utterly upset that they didn't have Kitty's reaction to Pete wisdom's death in the comics. They just mentioned that she knew he died, and that she didn't come to the funeral. I mean... he was her first real adult relationship... and she doesn't even bat an eyelash. That bothered me so much. So I decided to write this. Granted, it's very jumbled and disjointed. Doesn't flow as well as I would like... but I'm fairly happy with it, and I hope you all are too.)