Disclaimers; Marvel owns them, Joss writes them (for now) and we just hang on for the ride.

Rating: PG

Spoilers: AXM: Unstoppable, including some speculation on how it will end.

Summary: The prophecy has been fulfilled. And two mutants face their destiny.

By Kirayoshi

"As for you, my galvanized friend, you want a heart. You don't know how lucky you are not to have one. Hearts will never be practical until they can be made unbreakable."

Frank Morgan, "The Wizard of Oz", MGM, 1939

He watched stoically from a distance as the spacecraft began the launch sequence. He had said his goodbyes to his comrades, and now all that was left was their departure.

In ten minutes, Abigail Brand and her agents of SWORD, along with Scott, Logan, Emma, Hank, Hisako and... her...they would be gone. Back to Earth. Where they belonged.

And Peter would remain on the Breakworld. Where he belonged.

And for what seemed like the hundredth time since his release from Ord's prison, Peter Rasputin wished that he didn't have a heart, so that he could be spared the pain of it breaking.

Years ago, the augers, the psychics employed by the Breakworld's rulers, had foreseen that a Terran mutant would bring an end to their world. Ord, a warrior forged in combat and fire, had been sent by his masters to bring a declaration of war, but was intercepted by Abigail Brand, director of the Sentient Worlds Observation and Reaction Division. In a desperate gambit to preserve humanity from the Breakworld's armadas, Brand cooperated with Ord and geneticist Kavita Rao to create a 'cure' for the mutant genome. A cure secretly made possible by the unwilling assistance of Peter Rasputin, the mutant known to the world as Colossus.

Peter had earlier injected the lethal cure for the Legacy virus into his veins, unleashing the cure into the atmosphere, where it would touch all those infected. All that was required was his own sacrifice, which he gladly made.

But Ord absconded with his body and, using his native world's medical technology, brought him to life. A life spent as a prisoner, his Legacy Cure infused body used to manufacture Rao's cure for mutancy. Which Ord planned to use ultimately to destroy all sentient life on the planet, human and mutant.

Until she returned to his life. His angel. His truest—and once the artifice of the tribal chieftess and the alien healer were factored into the equation, only—love. Katya.

She found him, freed him from Ord's captivity. They defeated Ord and returned to the Xavier Institute together. And for a brief period Kitty again began tap-dancing around their feelings for each other, feelings that never faded, even when other lovers came between them. So for once he took the initiative. He informed her that, despite her initial reticence, he welcomed her intrusion, her 'crowding him'. And when she grew timid in an attempt to broach the subject of their relationship, he did the only thing he could think of.

He kissed her.

Ten days ago. That's when it all went happened. When it went wrong, the morning after it had finally gone wonderfully, ecstatically right. The morning when he woke up to the feel of Kitty's lips on his, her hands over his pectorals, slowly working their way down...he smiled at that memory. At the memories that he and Katya had made together the night before. Her supple body reacting against his, her eyes hooded, glowing in passion, her voice joyously crying his name as they climaxed. Her contented smile as she nestled into his arms after they made love.

After a languid morning make-out session and some pillow-talk, they got dressed and made their way to the kitchen where, despite the embarrassment of encountering a knowing Logan at the breakfast table, Peter quietly agreed with Logan's assessment; "About time."

Then the house of cards collapsed.

Scott was found in a catatonic stupor. Sebastian Shaw goaded Peter into attacking him, absorbing enough kinetic energy to augment his own strength in order to take him down. Logan somehow reverted to childhood, while Hank regressed to savagery. And Kitty's control over her power was usurped by another, causing her to phase into the bowels of the Earth.

And behind it all was Emma, orchestrating their nightmares, preying on their deepest fears for a dark purpose.

And the worst was yet to come.

When Kitty regained control of her power, she took the battle back to Emma, entrapping her in a sealed cavern, only to have her own mind fall into the clutches of the true monster, Cassandra Nova, in a moment of surprise.

Under the manipulation of Nova, Kitty lived three years in a matter of seconds. She married Peter. She bore his child. Then she was betrayed by her friends, the Professor, her husband. After eighteen months of imprisonment, she escaped her cell and rescued her son—only to feel the final betrayal. Their marriage, their son, it was all a lie. A fiction crafted by Cassandra as a means of freeing her imprisoned mind, which would then possess Kitty's body and resume her bitter war against both mutant and humankind. The only reason Kitty survived the ordeal was that somehow Emma had succeeded in pulling a double-cross on Cassandra, playing both sides against each other to insure Nova's defeat.

Before they could begin to recover from the stress caused by Emma's betrayal, Ord had escaped SWORD's captivity and accompanied by the insane computer intellect Danger had infiltrated the mansion. Abigail Brand had pursued Ord to the mansion, and within seconds she and her underlings had brought the lot of them, X-Men and enemies alike, to their spacecraft. Brand's intention was to bring Colossus and his allies, along with the disgraced Ord, to the Breakworld's government, as a desperate bid to prevent a full-scale invasion.

The final irony hit Ord and the X-Men hard; the mutant destined to break the Breakworld was none other than Peter Rasputin himself.

But prophecy, even when inevitable, is often mutable. When SWORD's ship was attacked by the weapons of the tyrant ruler of the Breakworld, they barely escaped with their lives to the planet. There, the X-Men learned the terrible truth of Breakworld, how the ruling class, the Open Hand, had kept the remainder of the population subjugated, cowed in fear, and systematically exterminated any who were seen as 'inferior'. Traits such as compassion and love were weeded out as undesirable.

Naturally this sort of 'ethnic cleansing' stood in direct opposition to everything that the X-Men stood for. Even worse was Agent Brand's revelation that the Breakworld possessed a weapon that could crack open a planet's surface, and planned to use the weapon against the Earth. When Aghanne, leader of the faction that worked against the Open Hand, encountered Peter and Kitty, he offered them sanctuary, and a third option; perhaps the prophecy didn't call for the Breakworld's destruction, but its rebirth.

He offered them some degree of shelter, although he described the makeshift hospital as "possibly the most dangerous place on the planet". Given the mindset of the populace, aiding the sick and wounded was considered the most heinous act one could commit. During this brief respite, before their final confrontation with the Open Hand, Peter and Kitty were somehow able to restore a tenuous bond after Nova's mind-games. Their lovemaking was slower, tenderer than before; their goal was not climax so much as simple connection, to restore what Nova had tried to take away from them.

The final battle was swift, brutal and decisive. Powerlord Kruun ordered the deployment of his superweapon, but the X-Men, aided by Agent Brand's SWORD agents, destroyed the weapon before it could fire. And Colossus, in a final showdown with Kruun, broke the tyrants neck in the arena, in full sight of the entire populace.

The prophecy was fulfilled. The Breakworld, as it had existed for tens of thousands of cycles, was broken.

And now he would aid in rebuilding that world.

In destroying Kruun in trial by combat, Peter was essentially handed the title 'Powerlord'. He denied that title, but agreed to remain on the Breakworld, to aid the transition of power to Aghanne and his party. He decreed that the X-Men and Abigail Brand's SWORD agents be given safe passage to Earth, and declared his intentions to remain behind, to aid in rebuilding the Breakworld.

Naturally, Scott and Hank tried to dissuade Peter from his decision, but Peter stood firm. "The responsibility is mine, my friends," he insisted. "I brought the downfall of the Open Hand by killing Kruun, I must help restore stability."

Logan nodded sagely. He knew that Peter would not change his mind in this matter. He saw the resolve in his steel-blue eyes. He finally argued to the rest of the team that in the end it was Peter's decision. Emma reluctantly approved, and Scott finally relented, wishing his longtime teammate good fortune in his endeavors.

Through all of this, Kitty remained silent. Peter wanted to say his farewells to her in private, but the Breakworld vessel was waiting for the X-Men to board. Given the fear that most of the general population of Breakworld still had for the Terran mutants, Aghanne observed that the sooner they departed for Earth the better.

So Peter watched as his former teammates boarded the vessel. Logan shook his hand and told him to come back to Earth when he could. Hank and Scott wished him Godspeed. Even Emma embraced him, expressing her wishes for his well being, while Hisako promised Peter that she'd finish the booklist that he had assigned the English Lit class he had been teaching.

Kitty stood back during the final farewells, her hazel eyes staring intently into Peter's. Before he could approach her, she fled into the ship, unable to say goodbye.

Ten minutes after the X-Men and SWORD agents boarded the ship, Peter watched stoically as the vessel lifted off from the platform and rapidly elevated into the red-orange skies before vanishing completely. He closed his eyes, shutting out the void he felt in his chest. His heart was on that vessel, in Katya's hands. The only woman he would ever love was gone, and he doubted he would ever see her again in this lifetime. He knew that he was right to remain behind, to restore the Breakworld. But the knowledge that his responsibilities would cost him the love of his life would still be with him.

"Dos Vedanya, Katya," he whispered. "Be well, my beloved." Turning from the platform, Peter turned to Aghanne and Dafi, saying, "Come, my friends. We have work to do."


Peter spun on his heels at the familiar voice calling his name. Katherine Pryde ran headlong across the empty platform, practically leaping the last fifteen feet between her and Peter and landing in his arms, hugging him fiercely.

"Katya!" Peter stammered. "What are—"

"Needed to pick up some souvenirs at the duty-free shop," she answered with a watery smile, "and I ended up missing my flight. Y'know how it is, right?"

Peter stared disbelieving at the young woman in her arms. "Why didn't you leave with the X-Men, Katya?" he demanded. "I saw you board the vessel. Did you phase out at the last minute?" Kitty just nodded, blinking back tears. "But why?" Peter begged her to answer. "Why are you still here?"

"Why not?" Kitty smiled slightly. "You're here."

"That is not an answer to my question," Peter started, but Kitty placed her fingers over his lips, silencing him.

"Wrong, Peter," she insisted, emotion threatening to overtake her trembling voice. "You are here. That is why I stayed behind. I couldn't leave, not after—" Kitty held him tightly, breathing in heavily in an effort to center herself before she could continue. "Peter—" she stalled for a moment, summoning the courage to continue, then blurted it out; "I'm pregnant!"

Peter's eyes grew big as baseballs at Kitty's declaration. "But how did—" Peter stammered, causing Kitty to chuckle slightly.

"You gotta ask that?" Kitty teased him gently. "You're a farm boy, I thought it'd be obvious to you."

"That's not what I meant and you know it," Peter scolded her. "What I was going to ask was, how did you find out?"

"Emma figured it out," Kitty answered. "She looked at me for a second just before the ignition sequence started, and mentioned that she could sense nascent mental activity. She could sense the fetus inside me, just ten days into development." Peter stared blankly at Kitty for a second, as she smirked slightly. "So, uh, happy Father's Day?"

For a full five seconds, Kitty started intently at Peter, an unspoken prayer in her heart. Finally his mouth slowly broke open into a wide grin as a deep laugh bubbled up from his throat. He shouted joyously as he wrapped his hands gently around her waist and lifted her above his head. She giggled slightly at his sudden display,

After a few seconds, Peter lowered her gently to the ground again, his joyous smile replaced by a stern glare. "Katya," he admonished her, "even without the Open Hand, the Breakworld is still a dangerous place. Are you certain you wish to bring our child up in this environment?"

Kitty backed away from Peter and closed her eyes, her hands still holding his, as she measured her words. "Ever since I thought you had died," she finally spoke, her voice steadier but still heavy with longing, "I spent practically every waking minute trying to make sense of everything. It's like my life was on hold and I was just waiting to find out what was next for me, what I was supposed to do with my life. I was sick of playing 'superhero', so I went to college in Chicago, but the old life kept sneaking up on me, first with Reverend Stryker, then with Elias Bogan and Rachel. When Frost asked me to rejoin the team, I figured 'why not?', but I still felt incomplete. Like something was missing. When I found you in Ord's dungeon, I thought I had found part of what was missing in my life. But it's more than that, more than you and me, and the baby I'm carrying inside me. It's about purpose. For the last three years or so I've been sailing rudderless, no direction at all in my life. But now, I feel that I finally have something, a real purpose to my life."

"And that purpose," Peter asked, "is here, on Breakworld?"

"Peter," she insisted, "you are the most incredible man I know, and I will love you for as long as I live, but even you can't do it all alone. Aghanne himself said it, you're not a messiah; you're just a man. But you and me, together, I think we can do this. Besides, I was majoring in poli-sci before I re-upped with the team; rebuilding infrastructure, this is right up my alley."

Peter gazed upon Kitty's face, his eyes brimming with joyful tears. "This will not be an easy life, Katya," he reminded her.

"I didn't say I wanted easy," Kitty answered. "Besides, it'd be a lot harder to live without you again. I love you, Peter, and I want our child to know and love you as well. I want him or her to know what compassion, love and honor are all about. And I can't imagine anyone better suited for that than you."

Peter breathed in slowly, taking in Kitty's implied vow. She had returned to him, entrusting in him the keeping of her heart, and the heart of their unborn child. Finally, he turned to Ahrganne and asked, "Do your people have marriage cememonies?"

"Perhaps not in the way of your world," Ahrganne answered, "but there are certain bonding rituals."

"I attended a few weddings with my family," Kitty added. "I remember the basics of the conservative Jewish ceremony."

"In that case," Peter answered, taking Kitty's hands in his own again, "Katherine Pryde, will you marry me?"

"Yes, Peter," she cried jubilantly, "yes I'll marry you!" They embraced again, their lips meeting in a deep and lingering kiss. Ahrganne stared at their kiss for a moment, before commenting; "A curious way of demonstrating affection. But then with our people any means of demonstrating affection is admittedly novel."

"Don't knock it 'til you try it," Kitty purred as she leaned comfortably into Peter's arms. "C'mon, Peter, let's go save a world."

"By all means," Peter agreed wholeheartedly as the two joined Ahrganne on their way to the conference chamber.

"So," Kitty suggested, "I'm thinking Michael if it's a boy, Illyana if it's a girl. What do you think?"

"I think," Peter answered, his huge hand encasing Kitty's small one, "that I am now the happiest man in two worlds." With that, the two former X-Men stepped forward into the next chapter of their life, a life shared together.

Even with the Augers, they knew that they had few assurances for their future, save one. That their love and the bond of family that love had forged would be truly unbreakable.

"I'm not a perfect person,
There's many things I wish I didn't do
But I continue learning,
I never meant to do those things to you
And so I have to say before I go
That I just want you to know—

I've found a reason for me
To change who I used to be,
A reason to start over new,
and the reason is you."

"The Reason"