Coping Mechanism

By Madripoor Rose

Pairing: Kitty/Daniel (Piotr)
Warnings/Extra: darkfic, adult sexual subject matter

Every head turned when he walked into the bar. Tall. Face of an angel and a body made for sin. Wavy black hair. Eyes bluer than a Siberian winter's dream of summer sky. He was wearing black jeans, and a red tee shirt that looked like it was painted on.

Kitty's stomach shivered with anticipation as he came up to the bar and ordered. Vodka.

Every woman in the bar wanted him. So did a few of the men. But he sat quietly at an end of the bar and waited for her to finish her shift.

Sometimes he'd dance with a girl who worked up the nerve to approach him, but more often he turned them down politely, speaking in a baritone voice with a thick Russian accent that sent them back to their tables giggling and swooning.

Kitty watched these forays with a kind of amusement. She'd been the daydreaming girl with the crush once, and now he was going home with her.

She came out from behind the bar when she was off for the night, shrugging into her black leather jacket. He'd stand up as she approached, and would ask, "May I valk you home, Katya?" with proper Old World manners, and would open the door and hold it for her.

Sometimes they walked, or took his car.

They started kissing in the elevator of her building. He went right for the bedroom while she caught Lockheed and penned him up for the night in the bathroom. Lockheed didn't like it when he came over.

Kitty could understand the little dragon's jealousy, but she needed this.

Needed him.

He was waiting for her in the bedroom, naked on her bed. "Come to me, Katya," he patted the bed beside him invitingly.

She undressed slowly, enjoying the near-ritual of stripping her
clothing off for an appreciative male audience. Watching his blue eyes darken and smolder. Watching him harden from wanting her.

She joined him on the bed and that first moment when he took her in his arms was almost an orgasm in itself. All the pain, all the rage, all the fear went away.

She was with Peter. She was with Peter and it was perfect.

All that smooth muscle was hers to touch and explore. He was very responsive, groaning with delight as she stroked and licked.

"Da, Katya. I like thet, do again, pliss."

"Oh, Peter..."

"You like this, da?" he would ask, lowering his head to kiss the curve of a breast.

She closed her eyes as he entered her, whispering, "Katya, I love you, I love you so much, I should never have left you. Please, Katya, forgive me. I should have stayed with you, I should have made love to you like this years ago. I want you so much..."

It was so right...

Sometimes she forgot and told him that she loved him, forgave him, and begged him to never leave her in Russian.

He kept speaking in accented English, and she'd catch on and repeat herself.

"Peter...oh god, Peter. I love you, Peter, god, I love you. I should have been there when you needed me, I wasn't...I should have been there. I wish you never had to leave...I wish you could stay here with me. I need you, Piotr...Peter. Oh, Peter..."

Sometimes it bothered her that she came harder than she ever had with Wisdom.

His hips picked up the rythmn, and a few seconds after her, he'd shudder, and pull away, panting and sitting up for a few minutes before collapsing beside her, heavy body falling to the mattress and making the whole bed shake.

They'd cuddle for a while, and she fell asleep in his arms.

He couldn't sleep over every night, but she never had nightmares when he did.

She woke up alone in the bed, and sounds of footsteps and a breathless curse.

" Ow, dammit! aw crap, I'm bleeding..."

She tried to hold on to the shreds of the fantasy...but it shattered around her.

And she had to face the real world, and who he really was.

"Daniel?" she said softly, grabbing a bathrobe and coming to her bedroom doorway.

He stood half-dressed in the hall.

"Sorry. I had to use the can, and that crazy flying iguana of yours BIT me."

"Lockheed! Sorry, let me see?"

He held out a hand, reddened and bleeding a bit at the heel of the thumb. "it's just a scratch, but...he doesn't have venom or anything, does he?"

"Nope, come on." She led him into the bathroom, and found the peroxide and band-aids.

"Sorry Kate. I didn't mean to wake you."

"It's okay." Daniel very carefully only called her Katya in bed. It was one of the things she appreciated most about him.

"come back to bed?" she asked him, reluctantly, because it would be weird for a few minutes unless they fell back to sleep or got back into the role-play.

"I kinda need to be at the Precinct first thing for a guess I'll head back to my place. Okay?"

"Yeah. See you later?"

"D'Sofino's for dinner?"

"Sure." She found his tee-shirt, and made him a cup of coffee while he showered and finished getting dressed. "Sorry about..." she nodded at his hand.

"It's okay. He's protecting you. Bye Kate."

She kissed him, briefly. "Be safe, Danny," and walked him to the door.

After he left, she went to the living room and dropped into a chair.

Peter was dead.

Peter had died in a noble, self-sacrificing act for the greater good of mankind.

The big stupid head.

She'd never gotten the chance to...tell him that she still loved him.

Make love to him.

Lockheed crawled out from under the sofa and hopped up into her lap, licking her tears away with his forked tongue. "coo-OOO-ooo?" he crooned soothingly.

Kitty wiped her face with her hand. "Bad dragon. You shouldn't have bitten Daniel. He wasn't hurting me."

"Pfui!" Lockheed retorted.

Poor little dragon was probably confused. She did cry, when Daniel left, and the illusion broke. Lockheed probably blamed him for it.

Daniel Wyzcenko was a cop. He could have been Piotr Rasputin's twin brother.

She'd actually thought of that. Shapeshifter. Clone. Evil robot.

But he'd checked out as a nice Polish/Russian boy who just happened to look like her late love.

He'd caught her following him one day, soon after she'd noticed the resemblance. She told him about Piotr, he mentioned his mother was from Kiev, but as far as he knew he wasn't related to the X Men's Colossus, despite the startling resemblance.

They'd gone out for coffee.

One thing led to another. He was a nice guy, he was obviously her type. They ended up going back to his place after their fifth date, a bad sci-fi movie.

She'd screamed Peter's name when she climaxed, and then locked herself in his bathroom and cried until she threw up.

He was a nice guy. He didn't deserve that.

He was the one who offered, when she'd finally calmed down enough to make her mortified apology.

"Look, Kate...I knew when I brought you here that there were going to be three of us in bed. You, me, and him. You never got closure with this guy. And if you need to work out some stuff...hell. Maybe there's a reason I ended up on this beat."

"What are you saying?"

"I am sayink that if you vant me to be Peter for you, I vill do that," he'd answered in the worst accent she'd heard this side of a Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoon.

And so they'd started this..whatever it was. Kate and Daniel still went out, as friends. To movies, and Cubs games, and dinner.

And he walked into the bar during her shift and ordered a vodka when it was time for Katya and Peter to play.

It wasn't healthy. She knew that. She needed to move on.

But for those few hours when she could pretend Peter wasn't dead...she was the one in heaven.