FIRST TIME, THE SECOND TIME AROUND

BY MADRIPOOR ROSE

Disclaimer: The X Men belong to Marvel Enterprises. No copyright infringement intended.

Author's Note: Based on three panels of Astonishing X Men #13. Quite likely AU since I haven't actually read the issue.

"And you're just standing there like a big dumb big guy," Kitty paused for breath, furious, chest heaving as she glared up at Piotr and decided to work 'smirking Siberian stupidhead' into the next sentence when he reached out and scooped her up one armed, crushing his mouth against hers.

Oh.

OH!

Oh, finally...she opened her mouth to the kiss, one hand creeping around the back of his neck to comb through the short-but-shaggy hair there, and that was one thing about Ord, he might have been a paranoid kidnapping, genocidal idiot alien, but at least he'd forced Piotr to get rid of that ponytail.

Piotr parted just enough to draw breath, and then made a little growly noise that made her knees melt and he was kissing her again. She remembered what it was like when she used to kiss him and he'd pull away and scold her.

He wasn't pulling away.

He was devouring her with kisses, still supporting her with one arm, and her own hands which had drifted to his shoulders. His free hand slid up her back under the black spaghetti strapped tank she was wearing, and discovered that she wasn't wearing a bra. Both his hands slid down to her buttocks and she found herself being lifted, carried, and set down, reverently, on the spindle bed in the corner.

He was leaning over her, gently sliding her tank up just beneath her breasts, tugging the elastic waist of her shorts down, just enough. She shivered as he licked her navel, teasingly, and then she felt the opened mouth lipping at her ribcage, soft love-bite nibbles. He knelt on the bed, straddling her, and sat up, pulling off his shirt.

Mine! was about as coherent as her thought process got as her hands reached greedily for all that expanse of smooth muscle. Hers at last to touch and explore.

He stretched out beside her, and they kissed and caressed, his large hands sculpting her curves, her fingertips dancing over his chest and arms, petal-pink nails kitten scratching. He met her eyes, and glanced down the length of his body. She followed his gaze, grinned, and took a double handful of sweatpants, phased, and pulled, tossing the unwanted garment across the room.

Piotr. He was here. And solid, warm and breathing, here alive and back with her. And seemingly determined to repay every tear she'd shed over him with a kiss.

He pulled away again, Kitty took a breath, and they both heard the mental voice of Emma Frost.

PETER, YOU SHOULD RETRIEVE THE CONDOMS FROM YOUR DRESSER DRAWER BEFORE THEY'RE FORGOTTEN IN THE HEAT OF PASSION. AND KITTY, REALLY. YOU'RE A COUNSELOR. PLEASE USE THE PSIPROOFING. OUR YOUNGER TELEPATHS HAVE ALREADY BEEN TRAUMATIZED ENOUGH LATELY TO PROVIDE YOU WITH JOB SECURITY, YOU NEEDN'T ADD TO IT.

They looked at each other, and with a strangled yelp, Kitty rolled over and hit a couple of buttons on the extra-complicated clock-radio-phone console on Peter's nightstand.

Piotr had pulled a pillow over his head. "Which drawer?" she asked with sympathetic amusement.

"Left. Top."

She opened the small drawer, found a bag from the pharmacy in Salem Center, and hurried back to bed. "Now, where were we before we were so rudely interrupted?" she purred, and tugged a corner of the pillow up.

Piotr was blushing. He tucked the pillow under his head, and murmured, "I think you were here..." he pulled her closer for another kiss.

"So. You, um. Went to the pharmacy," Kitty drew an abstract spiral on his bicep with a fingernail.

"Da. Psiproofing?"

"Telepathic privacy shield. Because we have a few students who are telepaths, and the Cuckoos. And Emma. The enormous perve."

He chuckled.

They didn't speak for a long time, except in the oldest language of all. Soft groans and sighs. After, Kitty rested her head on Piotr's chest and closed her eyes, feeling him still combing his fingers through her hair.

"You've grown your hair out again," he commented. "It was chin-length when I...left."

She kissed him without moving her head, just the bit of skin by her lips, and sighed.

"So. When did you go to the pharmacy? Did you...this was a plan?"

"Da, Katya. I planned we would both have insomnia and you would come to yell at me, and I would seduce you," he said, deadpan. She poked him lightly in the ribs, and he continued, more uncertainly. "I wanted this to happen. And I was in town...and I thought, that if I was prepared...then perhaps I would be prepared to make my move."

"Which you didn't."

"No, I didn't."

"Peter, babe, you can bench press 500 tons. So why do I have to do all the heavy lifting in this relationship?" she asked, plaintively.

He snorted.

She lifted her head, and turned slightly in his arms so that she could look into his eyes. "No, seriously."

He kissed her again, and looked thoughtfully into the darkness. "It was an adjustment...to be free again. So many things were different...so many things were the same. But I couldn't be sure which was which. I was dead, Katya. You mourned me as dead, and moved on." He took a breath. "There was always this between us...unfinished...waiting. I thought perhaps time had banked those embers at last, turned the hope of love to ash."

"Never," she breathed. "I carried those ashes we thought were you to Siberia, to your lake. And every day after, the loss of you was like having my heart ripped out. Any man I met I compared to you. And he wouldn't measure up. Because I loved you, and missed you---" her voice broke. "God, I missed you so much."

He ran his hand along her bare arm. "And...you've been so angry with me. For..." he took a breath. "For killing myself."

"It was that bastard, Grigorii. Trying to get you to die and reincarnate him. We know that now," she said calmly. "And you know better than to listen." She took a breath, and admitted it. "But yeah. Before we found out about that...I hated you for taking the Legacy cure. For being so selfless and noble and wonderful, and leaving me." Tears prickled in the corners of her eyes.

Sensing her need to lighten the mood, Peter quipped, "And partly it was tradition. You have always been the one to chase me, Katya. You've finally caught me."

"And I'm never letting go. Y'know that, right? I love you, you big lug."

"And I love you. This means no more yelling?" he kissed her cheek, moving down to nuzzle at the nape of her neck.

"Well, I can't promise you that. I've got a rotten temper. But I'll try." She took a deep breath, and hesitantly prodded an ancient pain, like testing a loose tooth and finding the hole in the gum. "I'll tell you one thing. This better mean no more alien healer bimbos from outer space."

He smiled against her skin. "No more passive-aggressive British Bond wannabes?"

She grinned back. "No more pizza parties with equally computer geeky boys." She knew Doug had bothered him.

He thought for a moment. "No more ballet dancers."

She poked him again. "There were OTHER ballet dancers?"

"I dated Anya Makarova." Before she could react to the name of a prima ballerina, he added dryly, "for about forty-eight hours, until she saw me transform and fled screaming from the mutant scum."

Cow, Kitty thought, and tried to come up with another turn, but the game didn't seem fun any more. So she snuggled closer, and kissed him again. He returned her kisses with growing enthusiasm.

They made love again, and fell asleep in each other's arms.

Morning. Kitty woke, and for a moment was disoriented. Sleepily sated, and warm, and held gently against a male body.

For a moment she didn't remember, and thought it was a dream.

The her mind cleared, and memory returned. "Peter," she sighed happily.

"Mmnh?" He started nuzzling the nape of her neck again, kissing, and nibbling open-lipped. She squealed as beard bristle raked sandpapery across her shoulder.

She gently pushed him away. He beamed down at her happily, and shifted his weight, rolling over a little. She sighed again as his hand slid over her belly, up to cup a breast, but shook her head reluctantly.

"Peter. Mmm. Petya, Petrusha...baby, no. No, I've got to get up, I have class..." she pulled away, sitting up.

"Skip it?" he suggested.

"Kinda hard to do that when you're teaching 'em. Later. Crap, after dinner, I promise."

"We should talk to Scott about a weekend off-campus. No students, no classes. I want to spend some time alone with you, make up for the time I wasted," he suggested. "We could go to a hotel in the city."

"Why bother, when we'll never leave the room?" she teased. "Bed and Breakfast in town will be a little cheaper, it's the off-season."

"Deal, I'll see about arrangements while you are in class."

"Did I tell you I love you yet today? Because I love you."

"Love you too, Katya," he kissed her again, and then groaned. "Go if you're going. This is too tempting."

She looked at the clock. "Hmm...maybe I can spare a half hour..."

He grinned, and pulled her back down into his arms.

She kissed him on the lips, and on the neck, and on the chest, crawling down backward...

Peter was asleep again when she pulled her tank top over her head, and spent a few minutes looking for her ponytail tie, before giving up. She paused, to watch him sleep, and had to fight the urge to climb back in next to him.

Class. Adulthood. Responsibility.

Being a grown-up sucked.

"Tonight," she said to herself, reluctantly leaving his bedroom and heading for her own, and a quick shower before she dressed. "And the weekend."

She was happy. She was perfectly, and completely happy. Peter was alive, and he loved her.

She found herself walking on air, and made herself stop and float back down to the floor, just because it was such a dopey, girlish bad romance novel cliche. And just because it was an accurate description of her emotional state, as well as what she was actually doing, didn't make it any less dumb.

She spotted Rachel on the stairs at the end of the hall, and tried to wipe the goofy grin off her face.

"Hey Red. When'dja get in?"

"Late." Marvel Girl II walked toward her with a slight frown. "I thought you were out adventuring," she nodded to Kitty's closed bedroom door. "I stopped by and you were out."

"I spent the night with Peter."

"Really? That's great! That's really...that's great!"

Something about the tone of her friend and former roomie's voice caught Kitty's attention.

"What?"

"Oh..."

Rachel's smile was a little too wide, as well.

"What." Kitty's eyes narrowed, and she repeated herself, a little sharper.

Rachel made a show of counting on her fingers, and her eyes widened.

"It's just...Andrei will have been born about nine months from now." Rachel said thoughtfully.

Kitty blinked.

"He gave me piggyback rides around the camp, before the Sentinels took me away for Bloodhound training. It'll be nice seeing him again. I'll babysit."

Kitty stared at her orphaned friend from an alternate dystopia, who had been raised by Kate and Peter Rasputin after Scott and Jean Summers had been killed.

Rachel grinned. "See ya at breakfast."

Kitty went back to her room to shower and dress, and made a mental note to make sure they stopped at the pharmacy again before their planned weekend away.

The End