She took his hand, which he had extended out to her, and smiled, possibly brighter than she had ever before meeting him. Soon enough he ran off the pavement and onto one of the many dirt trails along the massive grounds.

"Ew, Peter, I can't go out there, my feet'll get all muddy!" Kitty exclaimed.

He rolled his eyes as he so often did, yet a smile came over his face which showed her he did not mind.

"Well then, Katya, I will just have to carry you."

As he ran back to where she stood he, too, took off his shoes and socks, not minding the out-come in the least. He quickly placed his arm underneath her knees while the other held her back, her own arms encompassing his neck.

She laughed and kissed the side of his face as her weight was obviously not deterring him from keeping a fast pace as he continued to make his way up the mudded slope, surrounded by shrubs and multiple tress along the way.

"You know, I've never taken these paths on this side, what does this one lead to?" Kitty's curiosity took over, causing this question to come about.

"For being as cat-like as you are, Katya, I am surprised you have never ventured throughout the extents of "your own 'backyard'."

She hit his shoulder blade, playfully, as he was determined to make her wait to discover it. Eventually, five minutes later, she did, and the sight nearly took her breath from her.

After the lengthy run upwards, for Piotr anyway, they had reached the top of a cliff and though it was mudded and covered with patches of grass and bushing here or there, it was the sight from it that caught her attention.

"You mean all those trees hid this from our view down there?" He smiled, knowing that it would be the perfect place to bring her after seeing her face earlier that night.

"Do you like it, Katya?" He simply had to make certain of this.

"Of course I do, Peter. How could anyone not?" Kitty responded as she looked out from the edge of the cliff, still in Piotr's arms as she admired the twinkling of a bit more valley-land and then extensive buildings of chrome and neon lights sparkling from them.

"I love the city!" came her soft yet giddy exclamation.

He could tell that she wanted to sit, but the obviously expensive dress was already soaked through due to the continuing rain that poured from the heavens above them, making it stick to her body. He shook his head, slightly, as if to stop himself from trailing down that road of thought and Kitty noted it.

"Come here," she asked, though it was a command, as far as any grammatical expert would consider, her tone indicated otherwise.

He did as she wished and sat, knowing what she was going to ask, she swayed her body a few inches, side to side, as a child of three years might do when attempting to suppress their delights. She then took a seat upon his lap as he gestured to it, and held his arms open for her, awaiting the warmth of her touch, even though the harsh, cold air, circled around them, entertained with the wet drops of rain.

His arms held her close to himself and she, having already loved the feeling of his jacket upon her, wrapped her arms around his neck as they fulfilled yet another kiss, this one filled with far more passion than the previous three, due to the fact that they did not have a miniature audience with them.

After eventually pulling away and going back for more at least a half a dozen times, Kitty finally withdrew completely, resting her body gently within the cradle of his arms while her head rested upon his shoulder. He placed his chin delicately on top of her head, not wishing to make her uncomfortable; the two sat in the silence, spare the rain splashing against the dirt around them. This lasted for at least twenty minutes before Kitty moved her head so that she was able to look up from the horizon and into Piotr's deep blue eyes.

"I had a great time tonight, Peter, thank you," she seemed to almost whisper, though it was only due to the pouring rain's overpowering sound.

He dipped his head a tad, enabling himself to kiss her forehead. As he stopped, he commented in reply, "It was the best day I have ever lived, my Katya. I love you."

Both heart's stopped beating, almost simultaneously. He had felt the words come out from his mouth as he spoke, but it was almost an out of body experience. He thought it over, quickly as possible if he needed a way to take it back, yet as he contemplated it, he realized that was exactly what he felt and the fact that he had stated it was nothing he had to hide. He was certain that she knew of his affections toward her, it was made clearly obvious that very night that she felt the same. But love; love was something different, far more grand of course, but if she did not feel the same it would only lead to devastation.

Kitty's heart was silent for another reason. In the time that she had known him, though as short as it may have seemed, she had grown up in many ways and had always felt something for him. Her relationship with Lance was never what she hoped it to be, and in reality, she knew the truth of the matter was that it would never go to any place she liked.

All the while she had harbored feelings for the gentle giant, never letting a single soul know, unless telepathic, of course. But Jean, the 'little snoop', as Kitty playfully called her the day after she had 'accidentally' discovered the information, had kept her mouth shut for quite some time; it seemed that even Scott had no idea, until recently, as everyone started to put it together.

She had been waiting for so long to hear the words flow from his mouth. As Illyana had been rescued, almost three years ago, Kitty discovered a different, even more caring side of the man she loved. That was it, as she recalled these moments she noted to herself that she stated the word 'love' with each remembrance of a day they spent, or thought about him, or painting he had completed.

Looking back within his eyes, which she had earlier drawn herself from as she gasped, she gave her signature smile, and delicately placed her lips upon his for a light, airy kiss. "I love you too, Peter." Another kiss came upon them, raged with passion.

Not more than one more half of an hour was spent upon the cliff-top, seeing as how it was starting to give off bits of hail, and neither wished to be out in the storm. Once both stood, Piotr swiped her off her feet, leading to her squeal of delight, and ran down the slope carrying her as she attempted to shield herself from the, still small, hail-stones by use of his dress-jacket, which was extremely over-sized upon herself. Coming to the concrete pavement, once again, they grabbed the belongings that had been left and Kitty then phased them inside the house.


As they walked in they hear a small hum of few voices speaking coming from the common room and walked over, not minding that they were leaving a trail of water-droplets and a few muddy footprints on the floor behind them. As they walked in they noted a darling two-year old, her vibrant red hair in two pony-tails that were positioned on either side of her head, seated within her father's lap as her mother stroked her back, soothing her.

Kitty placed her head on Piotr's shoulder as they silently watched, Kitty seeing her fantasy for her future as Piotr saw what he felt was already his own, for the most part either way.

Rachel turned her head as she heard Kitty let out a sigh, her tear-steamed face was no longer releasing tears, but merely drying and Kitty couldn't help but speak. "Aww, what happened, Rach?" She made her way over to the little girl and bent down to the level where her eyes were able to comfortably meet the other's.

"Monter," was the small and fragile voice's reply as she buried her head into her father's shoulder, not wishing to remember her dream's sight.

"Daddy's protecting you, Rachel; no monster's going to get you, Daddy won't let it," came Jean's soothing voice to her daughter's ears.

Kitty smiled as the toddler picked her head up again, and set it laying on her father's shoulder instead of buried within it. Then, feeling the need to speak, she questioned, "So, when did you two come inside? We thought you were out there in the storm still."

"Oh, well, I was checking on Rachel, just to make sure she hadn't been woken up by the storm," Jean began, speaking of her telepathic ways of checking up on her daughter. "I heard her crying and then sensed Ororo passing the room to take Illyana to bed and that's when I asked her to take care of her while we came back in. We changed, thanked Oro, then brought her down here and started a fire. And here we are," she finished.

Scott, trying to enter the two men in a conversation, not enjoying the silence between them stated, "It looks like you two had a nice night."

"Da, you could say that," Piotr commented with a smile as Kitty squeezed his hand a bit tighter than she had been.

"I'm glad you finally told each other!" Blurted out Jean. "I mean, a woman could only keep her mouth shut for so long and you two waited for over two years! I don't know how you did it, but you managed to...but it's good now, seeing you together. It's how it should've been all along."

Scott shook his head at his wife's frank ways, "Jean," he mumbled.

"It's alright Scott, Jean's right," Kitty replied with a giggle as she leaned up and turned her lips to Piotr's.

As their lips met for the seventh time that night, or rather the second time that morning, seeing as how it was 1:20 according to the grandfather clock in the corner, a bolt of lightning came from the sky and was evident even through the closed-curtained window. Rachel stirred in her sleep, but did not wake up, much to her parent's delight.

"Well, we better go get out of these clothes too...do you mind if we join you after?" Kitty questioned in a perky, yet non-adolescent manner.

"Be our guest," Scott said, wondering while the couple went off laughing as if he had given a horrible pun, not knowing of the show they had just come from a couple hours prior.


Piotr escorted Kitty up the stairs and to her room where they found Rogue and Remy talking to one another while seated on Rogue's matters. "The Wolverine has not come for you, comrade?" Piotr questioned with shock in his eyes.

"He came by an hour ago, Petah. He knows there's not much trouble the two o' us can get inta," Rogue commented as she shoved Remy off his seat upon the bed. He then stood from his collapsed position on the floor and kissed her gloved hand, "Remy t'inks it might be time ta go now, cherè."

"Oh, because of me?" Kitty commented, blushing lightly. "Don't worry I'm just gunna change in the bathroom and then go downstairs with Peter."

Noticing the look on both Remy and Rogue's faces Piotr added, "Jean, Rachel and Scott are down there as well, my friends."

Next sighed, realizing how well he know knew their minds functioned and rolled his eyes at both himself as well as them.

"See you in a bit, Peter," Kitty stated as she finished picking out her clothes.

She walked over to him, kissing him, gently though, not wanting to make Rogue return to one of her rare, but devastating self-loathing periods. Piotr noted the other couple's feelings as well and pulled away quickly, heading over to his own room, which was located a way down the corridors of the estate.

She then went into the bathroom, leaving Remy and Rogue behind smiling at one another for seeing their two closest friends finally together. She changed into nearly the same attire she had found Jean in, flannel pajama bottoms and an old t-shirt. She laid the sopping evening dress to dry out in the tub and made a mental note to thank the professor for giving them their own bathroom if not their own rooms.


Meanwhile, Piotr had gone off to his room and was changing as well, tossing out a pair of bottoms along with with a black wife-beater and a small, gray sweatshirt. Kitty was changed and had left the others in their room as she tip-toed out into the hall-way, hoping not to disturb any of the younger students, who should, according to Logan, be sleeping at that hour of the day.

Suddenly a floorboard creaked behind her, one foot went shooting through the floor as the instinct to phase came upon her. As she turned about her head to see who it might be she quickly reverted her atoms to a "normal" state once she saw a pair of familiar soft, blue eyes in the darkness. As the lightening crashed outside the institute, the pair of eyes were seen even better as the small form ran up to her, taking a tight hold of her leg.

"Shouldn't you be sleeping right now, cutie?" Kitty's voice was soft and caring as she reached down to the proximity of her leg and lifted the young girl into her arms.

Though Kitty had a small figure herself, only standing 5'5", the danger room sessions had helped her to lift the youth into her arms. Another factor that helped was the fact that Illyana, though six years, was quite unlike her brother in stature. She appeared to be no larger than a four year old, both in height and facial features.

"It's too loud. Can we go see if Daddy's up?" Illyana questioned.

"Yep, we'll head over right now. I think he just might be," Kitty added with a smile towards the adorable young girl within her hold.

As they reached the door Kitty phased through, knowing that he must be dressed by now. He was, just as she expected, yet he was at his easel, awaiting her to come for him, and surprised to see his sister along.

"Yana, now is time for little girls to sleep," he sighed. Though he adored his sister, he wished for a moment or two alone with his Katya.

Kitty sensed this and mouthed, "She'll sleep in a bit, Peter."

Though neither of the Russian natives were cold, Kitty was shaking a bit due to the cold air that seemed to fill the room. Piotr smiled and gestured to the sweatshirt on his bed, "It is for you, Katya," he spoke.

It was too small for his stature and had only fit him when he was in his early years as a pre-teenager, therefore he knew it would even still be a bit big on the woman who stole his heart. She smiled, and released Illyana for a few seconds as she placed it on. She held the extra bit of fabric from the sleeve up to her noise, taking a deep breath in. Though he had most likely not worn it in many years it still smelt the same way he did even now. A mixture of acrylic paints, the cologne he wore, which Kitty had yet to place, and even charcoal was woven into the fabric just as much as the material itself; it did not surprise her in the least, for the stains that covered it were of those very products, spare the cologne.

Illyana jumped at the sound of another bolt of lightning, and Kitty comforted while singing the lullaby she had a few weeks earlier from Disney's classic tale, Dumbo, entitled "Baby Mine." Her voice flowed along the air within the room and Piotr smiled as he noticed his sister relax into Kitty's hold.

"Should we go down now?" He asked, as she continued to sing, humming the tune until Illyana was calm. She nodded her head, attempting to get the little one to sleep and swiftly pashed downstairs, two flights, landing in the kitchen.

From there they walked the rest of the way to the common room, which was not very far at all, and were glad to see Scott and Jean still up and the warmth of the fire continuing.

"Mommy?" Illyana questioned in a tone that noted she was half in a land of dreams while also awake.

"Yeah, cutie?" she whispered in response.

"Can I still have Uncle Remy buy me ice-cream tomorrow night?"

Each one of the four adults in the room stifled a laughter, "I'll make sure of it," Piotr commented instead of Kitty, only adding a bit more laughter to the room.

Not even five minutes later, Kitty had eventually stopped humming the song and Illyana had fallen fast asleep.

Jean looked over to Scott, both having mental spoken of Illyana having referred to Kitty as 'Mommy.' There was a look that crossed between the two which signaled to Piotr and Kitty they were speaking telepathically.

"OK, let us in on it," Kitty pleaded, her light hazel eyes growing a trace of vulnerability within them.

"Oh, it's nothing." Jean then nudged her husband to change the subject.

"So..." he began, "wanna watch a movie?"

"Scott, my friend, you are not very good at switching topics of discussion," Piotr added with a dulled laugh, not wishing either of the two young girls to be woken; Jean and Kitty could not help but only add to the laughter.

Even still, Scott rose from his seat and pulled out action/romance film from the cabinet, and placed it into the DVD player for them to watch. His movements were slow, since he continued to hold Rachel in his arms, but it was soon playing upon the screen. Kitty scooted visibly closer to Piotr, resting her head against his chest as he wrapped an arm around her waist, pulling her closer even still. She ran her fingers through Illyana's blonde tresses, soothing her as the harsh encounters of the storm endured throughout the night, Piotr doing the same to Kitty as he bent a bit every so often to kiss her head.

During the course of the movie Jean to turned Scott, after having smiled at the sleeping couple, and looked down at her little girl.

Sensing her thoughts, Scott commented, "They'll be fine out here; let's go upstairs."

With that the three left Illyana, Piotr, and Katherine on the love seat, each one holding another. In the fireplace crackled a few pieces of, now rotted, logs and a bit of smoke that left through way of the chimney. Jean came back from the hallway that she had just exited, noting a table lamp had been left on; therefore, she switched it off and looking to the corner she stopped short. The glow that the fire emitted onto the Rasputin family, including Kitty, seemed like only one that would be seen in a movie.

"If only you could see this, Peter," she thought, "you'd want to immediately paint this picture."