Geek Pryde

By Madripoor Rose

Disclaimer: Both X Men Evolution and Avatar The Last Airbender belong to big corporations. This work of fanfic was done for fun, not copyright infringement.

Kitty flinched as Piotr set a bowl of popcorn down on the coffeetable, next to her teacup, and settled himself beside her on the couch, asking, "and what are we watching today?"

It was her own fault, she should have known this would happen. Rogue and Gambit could play the 'I pretend I don't like you and I pretend I don't care' game. She'd been flirting with Piotr, coaxing him out of his room, getting him to hang out with the gang outside of missions and Danger Room training. And, well, getting him to watch TV with them because he usually sat next to her on the couch and after a couple of hours she could pretend she was sleepy and rest her head against his shoulder.

And he hadn't watched a lot of television or movies in Siberia or while he was working for Magneto, so he had a lot of catching up to do. He'd never even seen Buffy The Vampire Slayer until she got her DVDs out, and he'd thought she was making fun of his accent when he'd complained about a literature assignment from the Professor and she'd quoted Xander Harris. 'To read makes our speaking English good.'

It was Saturday. Piotr and Logan usually did macho motorcycle maintenance on Saturdays. So she thought it was safe when Jamie asked if she wanted to watch their show. Their cartoon. On Nickelodeon. She and Jamie were the only two in the mansion who watched it. Most of the other kids rolled their eyes and left the room, or tried to talk them into changing the channel for something better. Even Bobby, who was usually her anime-bud, sneered because it was an American made kiddie cartoon.

"Avatar: The Last Airbender! It's really cool!" Jamie, turning back from putting the first DVD into the player, flailed his arms in something that was supposed to be a bending move, tripped, and split into five. While the twelve-year-old collected himself, Kitty attempted to salvage the situation.

"It's a cartoon. Fantasy based on asian mythology. It's this world where the four known countries are divided by the elements, and there are people in each country that can control their element. There's the Water Tribe, and they're kind of like Inuit, and the moves they make while 'bending' water is based on Tai Chi, Fire bending is Northern Shaolin, and so on. It's really good. Educational, even. And I think it's important to support it because it's something different."

She waited, for that disbelieving look in his eyes, for him to say something she'd heard before. 'You watch a kid's show?' 'That's so lame.' 'When are you going to grow up?'

Piotr hadn't really been in a school clique, he'd practically been home-schooled in Siberia, and then Magneto wasn't teaching anything you'd be graded on. But he definitely would have been one of the Cool Kids.

He was so handsome. And he was so sweet. Even if he'd worked for the other side, against his will. And that was part of it. Piotr hadn't had time for childish things since he was younger than Jamie.

"It sounds interesting," he said instead. "I thought all fantasy was elves and unicorns."

Kitty relaxed a little. "Yeah, most high fantasy is based on Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, and the quest-plot. That's why I think this is such a cool show, it explores other cultures that haven't been over-exposed. See, the Water Tribe are like the Inuit, the Earth Kingdom, that's China, the Air Nomads are Tibet...that's actually kind of a plot-point. The Fire Nation is kind of like Japan, it's an island off the coast, first to industrialize..."

"Shhh!" Jamie said, indignantly, flopping down on the floor beside the couch, and reaching up to grab a handful of popcorn. "It's starting! Pete'll get it. We're gonna try and watch the whole series again before the new episode next friday."

They were quiet as the voiceover by Katara started, explaining about Earth, Air, Fire and Water, and the Avatar who could control all four. How the Avatar disappeared, and the Fire Nation attacked. How she and her brother Sokka found Aang, the last Avatar. And how she hoped he could save the world.

"I like the style of the artwork," Piotr commented during a slow part. "It is more realistic than the cartoons Illyana watches."

Kitty smiled. She should have known Piotr's interest in the arts would help overcome any objections to watching a cartoon.

He laughed when Katara and Sokka found Aang and his wind-bison Appa, frozen alive for a hundred years. "Like Captain America," he pointed out.

Scott wandered in, looked at the television and the trio watching for a moment, shook his head in bemusement, found the military history he'd been reading on the hearth, and left.

Piotr stayed, and watched the rest of the first season with them, and asked when they'd be watching the rest. He came, and sat with her again for the rest of the show, and asked questions about the characters. Kitty showed him some of the fanart and costuming sites for the show online.

When the season premiere came on, she and Jamie expected Piotr to join them. He did, and handed Kitty a thin sheaf of drawing paper.

The first picture was of Bobby Drake, Iceman, and Katara of the Water Tribe. They were juggling ice daggers, turning the sharp icicles to blobs of water and back as they passed between them.

Her ex-boyfriend, Lance Alvers, Avalanche of the Brotherhood was next, facing off in the bending arena against champion Earthbender Toph Bei Fong. And getting his butt kicked by the blind ten year old girl.

Kitty looked up sharply. Piotr's eyes were dancing.

His former team-mate, Pyro, love-stricken with little hearts and cherubs dancing around his head, as the Fire Nation Princess Azula glared back at him in horror. The little hearts and cherubs were made of flame.

And…herself, airwalking with Aang.

Not only was he not making fun of her for watching this show, he'd drawn this for her.

Piotr, still smiling at her, very carefully put his arm along the back of the sofa. Kitty snuggled in, and passed the pictures down to Jamie, clamoring to see them.

Finally. A guy who didn't mind if she liked cartoons and anime and comic books, science fiction and fantasy novels and bad monster movies. Because he liked her enough to accept the geek inside the girl.

"Wow, Piotr, this is really cool, didja know there's a fan artist who works for the show now?" Jamie looked up and made a face at the couple on the couch. "Aw, man. First Zuko and Mai kissing and now you two?"

The End