Fourteen Kisses

By Madripoor Rose

Disclaimer: The X Men are the property of Marvel Entertainment, no copyright infringement intended.

Author's Note: In honor of Valentine's Day and Kitty Pryde and Piotr Rasputin being voted Marvel's Number One Romantic Couple

1: When Kitty was twelve, she tried the apple trick, carefully peeling one long strand of peel, closing her eyes and dropping it while asking the name of the first boy she'd kiss...only to be disappointed by the curling tangle. She wishes she'd taken a photo, to see if she could now read Colossus in the pattern.

2: She thought French kisses were gross at first. Until one wonderful afternoon spent necking with Peter when he kept trying to flick at her lips and she confessed her distaste, and her fear that she'd gag or bite him. He started to withdraw, fearing he'd offended her. She pounced, and demanded lessons. French kisses were still kind of gross, but nice if you didn't think about it.

3: She hated it when Peter kissed her on the cheek. It was like being patted on the head and treated like a little kid.

4: She still remembers the intent look on Peter's face in Ororo's attic, the first time they went airwalking. The first time he seriously initiated a kiss. And she remembered the floaty feeling coming from that and not the phasing, and that one instant of panicked regret over the hamburger with extra onions she'd had for lunch as his lips covered hers.

5: When Peter rolls over and reaches for her first thing in the morning, she phases, laughing, until he uses his power too, offering a smooth metal chin instead of the sandpaper roughness of his beard.

6: On the shores of Lake Baikal, she closed her eyes and blew a kiss into the wind after the last handful of ash.

7: Sealed With A Kiss. The stickers that came with the boxes of valentines were dorky to the max, but Kitty carefully closed the envelopes with them. Piotr's was the only one she actually pressed her lips to.

8: Three days after rescuing Piotr from Benetech, she dreamed that while he was on his knees begging her to know if he was dead and could rest, instead of just holding him she'd leaned down and kissed him...kneeling in front of him...pulling him down to the cold metal floor. One of the hottest erotic dreams she'd ever had. As if she wasn't freaked out enough by his return.

9: The day her parents pulled her out of Xavier's School for Gifted Children to send her to Emma Frost at the Massachusetts Academy, she kissed Piotr goodbye, afraid she'd never see him again.

10: Piotr had been staring at the blank canvas for an hour with nothing but the cold feeling of frustration filling him. What could work itself up into the little voice telling him he was a pretentious peasant with delusions of talent if he didn't nip it in the bud. He needed inspiration. He needed his muse. He found Katya in the library, talking to Rachel, who amusedly continued the conversation telepathically as he dropped onto the sofa beside her, scooped Kitty into his lap, and kissed her breath away. The portrait he painted of Kitty later that afternoon ended up in the Met.

11: The kiss of life, they called it. Kitty didn't feel any of the usual happy dizziness from kissing Piotr as they knelt on the beach at Julienne Cay and Logan worked on keeping his heart beating while she breathed for him.

12: "And you're just standing there like a big dumb big guy and oomph!"

13: It became a tradition, to kiss before going off on a mission, and to kiss when they got home safe. Andrei and Stasia thought it was icky mushy stuff. Their parents did it anyway.

14: Kitty's absolute favorite time that Piotr had kissed her was right after the words, "and you may now kiss the bride."

The End