Disclaimers: All characters and situations belong to Marvel Entertainment. I'm just having a bit of holiday fun with them.

Rating: PG.

Spoilers: Astonishing X-Men, "Gifted", X-Men #165("Hark How the Bells") as well as speculations regarding upcoming events in the X-verse.

Summary: Brief Christmas/Hanukkah/New Years Eve moments in the lives of Piotr Rasputin and Kitty Pryde. Should old acquaintance be forgot...

Auld Lang Syne

By Kirayoshi

"Maybe it's much too early in the game,
Ah, but I thought I'd ask you just the same,
What are you doing New Year's
New Year's Eve?

Wonder whose arms will hold you good and tight
When it's exactly twelve o'clock that night
Welcoming in the New Year,
New Year's Eve…

Maybe I'm crazy to suppose
I'd ever be the one you chose
Out of a thousand invitations

You'd receive

Ah, but in case I stand one little chance,
Here comes the jackpot question in advance—
What are you doing New Year's

New Year's Eve?"
—Frank Loesser
"What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?"

Chapter One

"Should old acquaintance be forgot..."

"Tim Allen."

"Edmund Gwenn."

"Tim Allen."

"Edmund Gwenn."

"Tim Allen."

"Edmund Gwenn."

Hank McCoy stood there silently, his paws securely holding the enormous sack bulging with packages, a bemused smirk splitting his blue feline muzzle as the debate continued. He would have tapped his foot impatiently on the floor, if he and his two partners weren't standing in mid-air.

"Face it, Kit, Tim Allen was better," Rachel insisted, adjusting her vest.

"In your dreams, Red," Kitty answered, running her finger along the inside of her left boot, smoothing out her yellow stocking. "Edmund Gwenn has him beat!"

"Oh, come on, Kitty," the red-haired psionic grinned, "Tim Allen was the better Santa Claus and we both know it!"

"Puh-lease! Did Tim Allen win an Oscar for his portrayal? I don't think so!"

Hank began to chuckle with a throaty growl, catching the attention of the two arguing best friends. "Something funny, Hank?" Kitty asked her teammate.

"Oh, not at all," Hank smiled, his teeth clearly visible behind the fake white beard he wore over his chin. "But consider our situation, Katherine; the three of us are currently suspended some three-hundred feet over the Mansion—with the local news predicting temperatures in the lower thirties, mind you—kept here solely by the good graces of Rachel's telekinesis," he nodded toward the redhead, "dressed as Santa Claus and two of his trusted and comely elves, awaiting a signal from Emma to begin our descent, and the two of you are arguing over which actor's performance in the role of Santa Claus was superior. Am I the only one who sees the surrealism of this whole scene?"

"Hey," Rachel answered, "it's not all that cold out anyway. Thanks largely to Ororo manipulating the air pockets so that that arctic blast we were expecting will pass right over us."

"Besides, Santa's nothing," Kitty grinned. "You should see us get into which version of Christmas Carol is better!"

"George C. Scott," Rachel insisted.

"Alistair Sim," Kitty replied.

"Ladies, please," Hank raised his voice to quiet the debate. "Remember, peace on Earth and goodwill toward men and women, right?" More quietly he added, "Besides, the definitive Christmas Carol was the one with Mr. Magoo!"

"Oh Pul-lease!" Kitty and Rachel groaned in chorus, leading to a volley of laughter from the three teammates. Lockheed flitted gingerly over their heads, his red eyes narrowing as he regarded his mistress. Kitty glanced up toward her constant companion of seven years and asked, "Something the matter, Lockheed?"

"He's probably not used to seeing you up here," Rachel suggested. "I mean, you can walk on air but you're not a flier like Ororo or Wing..." As the name escaped her lips, Rachel noted the sudden pursing of Kitty's lips, wincing at her own carelessness. "Oh, I'm sorry. I forgot about..."

"That's okay," Kitty answered quietly. "He's still dealing with Ord taking his powers. I tried to convince him to join the Christmas party, but he hasn't said whether or not he will. I hope he does; it'd help him to know that he still has friends."

"Indeed," Hank nodded solemnly as he considered Wing's predicament. He considered asking Sage if she could somehow analyze Wing's DNA, possibly 'jumpstarting' his latent mutation the way she had done for him.The final irony, he muttered in a low growling whisper. I came to blows with Logan when I entertained the notion of using Doctor Rao's 'cure' on myself, while Wing received the 'cure' unwillingly.

'Henry,' the voice called in his mind, 'we're ready for your dramatic entrance.'

Shaking his head to dispel the morose turn of his thoughts, he announced, "We're on. Rachel, if you'd be so kind, nice and slow."

"Certainly," Rachel answered as she pushed slightly with her mind, lowering herself and her friends slowly.

"Oh, before I forget," Kitty added, "I didn't have a chance to stash it in Hank's bag, but I do have a gift for you, Ray. I'll give it to you after the party."

"Thanks, Kitty," Rachel smiled. "Oh, and I also have a belated Chanukah gift for you too. Of course," she added in a gentle teasing tone, "you already got what you wanted for Christmas, didn't you? Namely six-foot-six of gorgeous Russian hunk!"

"Oh, come on!" Kitty protested, blushing pink despite the slight nip in the air. "I mean, yeah, I'm glad he's alive, but it's not like we're a couple again." Rachel greeted Kitty's protest with an eyeroll that Kitty understood to mean, 'Yeah, sure.'

"Kitty, I don't suppose that Peter has returned from Siberia, has he?" Hank asked.

"I'm afraid not," Kitty answered. "He told me he wanted a week alone in his old stomping ground for awhile. Said he should be back in time for New Year's."

"Well, I've made it my New Year's Resolution," Rachel intoned solemnly, "to use his head like a basketball if he ever hurts you again."

"Easy, Ray," Kitty warned. "He's been through enough."

"That's no excuse for the crap he's pulled on you over the years. I'm sorry, Kit, but I can't forgive as easily as you do."

"Girls, please," Hank interrupted before the argument could get any harsher. "Our public awaits. We'll be touching down in about fifteen seconds. Smiles everyone, smiles!" Kitty and Rachel nodded and slipped easily into gift-giving mode, as they and 'Santa Beast' lighted down effortlessly onto the courtyard, heralding the beginning of the Xavier Institute's Christmas party.

Rachel stifled a fit of uproarious laughter as Hank presented Scott and Emma with their gifts(lighted red clown noses), and she and Kitty gleefully helped pass around gifts for each of the students. Kitty was relieved to see that Wing had indeed joined the party, even if he simply chose to hang back and not mingle with his fellow students. She made a mental note to make a counseling session with him, and prayed briefly that this one would go better than their previous session.

Later, as she prepared to take her place behind the complimentary bar that Emma had set up, her thoughts turned again to a sad-eyed Russian farmboy. She had believed for some time, since she had found him alive in the bowels of Benetech, that there was a reason for her finding him. But ever since his resurrection, he had been moody and silent. And he's normally such a chatterbox, she thought ruefully, then dismissed the comment. Piotr Rasputin came from a culture that placed much stock in drama, a people that enjoyed being tragic on occasion. When he wanted to open up, he would.

And he'll find me waiting there, she vowed. Merry Christmas, Peter. "Okay," she announced to the line forming at the bar, returning her mind to the here and now, "If any of you want the hard stuff, talk to the dragon. Remember," she warned cheerfully as Lockheed took his place beside her, "he knows who's legal and he breathes fire."