A Night At The Gallery

By Madripoor Rose

Disclaimer: The X Men belong to Marvel Entertainment, no copyright infringement is intended.

Kitty looked across the room, meeting Piotr's eyes over the heads of the throng of admirers crowded around him. He gave her a helpless shrug, and she turned away. The fact that most of the crowd were flighty young things with trust funds and socialites of a certain age hadn't escaped her.

Peter still grumbled about that. Women who collected artists instead of their art, almost as bad as those who collected him as a Mutant-Rights cause. Capitalism had won him over enough to take the money and run, but he wasn't happy about it. Which was why she came to them. Even though the featured artist's wife was about as welcome at these gala affairs as Toad at a tea party. He begged her, saying that the moments he got to spend with her got him through the rest of the mingling. And her prescence did discourage Countess Vardaneau, who tended to pinch.

Kitty took another sip of her champagne, estimated how long it would be before they could break out of here, and sighed. Tonight she'd been reduced to standing decoratively beside a sketch she'd posed for, in the faint hope of someone actually speaking to her.

"Ah, you have excellent taste, madame," a weedy-tweedy intellectual type had come to a stop beside her. "Dancers, In Charcoal' is in my opinion, one of Rasputin's more delicate works. It is of course, quite obviously inspired by Degas..."

Unfortunately it tended to be the 'frustrated art teacher/critics' that spoke to her. Kitty plastered a bright smile on her face and let the man tell her what he assumed had been involved in the creation of 'beyond an homage, a veritable pastiche of the famous work...'

And very politely didn't interrupt the twenty minute lecture with, "Actually, Pete was fifteen minutes early picking up me and Illyana from Stevie Hunter's studio, and he happened to have his sketch pad with him."