for my muse.


Piotr Rasputin threw the last of his belongings, those which had survived the most recent incarnation and imminent destruction of Xavier's School, onto his bed, the loose contents spilling over onto his cheap sheets.

Colossus took a seat on the bed beside them, rifling through old photographs and letters, the "X" belt buckle from his first uniform, a box full of graphite and charcoal pencils and finally -- a stack of drawings he'd done of Kitty.

She looked perfect. Flawless. He'd never show them to anyone -- he wasn't ashamed of his art, nor boastful, but these weren't objects to be shared with others.

No, these were for him. He'd spent hours staring at her, at every curve, every line, doing his best to recreate them with the very box of pencils which now sat beside him.

"I'd rather just climb over there on top of you," Kitty had said with a smirk. She hated posing -- even more than she hated waltzing around in her underwear mid-winter. "You're so sexy when you're drawing."

He'd told her this was important -- it had been months since he'd been able to so much as make a sketch, what with one horrible event after the other; one atrocity after the next.

And if he was going to sketch, if he were going to draw, to release the art building up inside of him, he wanted it to be of her. He wanted one of his deepest passions to meet another.

"Besides, Katya," he remembered chuckling, "now is the time I can look at you in all of your glory… and have these sheets of paper to remember it when we are old and running the school."

"I'm not dying an X-Man, Peter," she'd smirked. "And I don't want my kids growing up here, so…"

"Fine," he'd smiled, "then we shall not run the school."

He thumbed through the portraits -- she was so unique, so untouched, so natural. Her fingertips -- her eyelashes, every strand of hair… she was his most beautiful subject, most vital muse.

Piotr laughed aloud as he looked at her dangling Star of David necklace in his work.

"Should I take this off?" she'd asked, dangling the charm between her thumb and forefinger, the light dancing across her flat stomach, across her breasts… he remembered struggling with whether or not to take her up on her offer to climb on top of him.

"No," he'd grinned. "If you are wearing it in these sketches people will be able to distinguish you from the other girls when I'm selling these on e-bay."

"Very funny," she'd glared, sideswiping her bangs from her face as the necklace fell back down to her chest.

Her chest…

"Move your head down," he'd instructed her -- and she listened, though it still took several attempts. "No, to the right… toward me, Katya… Kitty, are you even listening?"

"Peter, it's cold," Kitty had challenged. "To the right, to the left, walk around in your underwear, Kitty… can't you draw me drinking a hot chocolate and wearing a hoodie?"

He'd mumbled something in Russian and she laughed. That was it. That was the smile. He strained to keep the image in his mind, his fingers guiding the pencil down the page, around, crossing lines and connecting them again.

Colossus placed his portraits down again, standing to pull his shirt over his head. He was tired, he was lonely -- and he'd left the window open.

Each sheet of paper, particularly the smaller ones, flew through the room with the wind.

And Rasputin only stood there, watching every pose make their way around him. They landed on the floor and he made his way to the window, gazing out at the stars. She was up there.

"I will find you, Katya," he said to himself with a sigh, turning back to his empty bed.

And he would.