Between the Moon and Stars
Author's Notes: Hi, everyone. Here is a Peter/Kitty one shot for you to enjoy. I wanted to do a one shot involving them because I really like this pairing. Plus, there aren't enough fics centering on them. I came up with this fic when I was looking at the moon and stars one night. I love the moon and stars, and I thought it would be really neat to do a one shot involving them. I did some research on astronomy to make this accurate. If you find any mistakes, let me know, and I'll correct them. I will write more Peter/Kitty fics in the near future, including a one shot where he comforts her when he finds her crying about Jean's death in X2. Until then, I hope you enjoy this one shot. Any constructive criticism is welcome.
The moon beamed its light on Professor Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters and its surrounding grounds one mild Saturday evening in the mid-spring. Clouds dotted the night sky here and there, and a gentle wind filled the air. A barred owl flew in and landed in the middle of a tree near the lake. It spotted a mouse foraging next to a tree and flew downward, grabbing it with its talons. A larger owl appeared out of nowhere, scaring it off. It took the mouse and flew back into the sky.
Peter sat next to the mansion's lake, watching the owl fly across the night sky. The wind blew his t-shirt back a little bit, but he didn't care. He inhaled the fresh air and exhaled slowly. He loved coming down to the lake and sitting by it for hours, especially at night. He had been doing this ever since he arrived at the mansion from Russia six years ago. It was the one place where he could get away from the mansion's interior, especially if it was very noisy.
The sound of flapping wings caught Peter's attention, and he spotted a great-horned owl sitting on top of a nearby boulder on his right. The owl opened its beak and flicked its tongue several times before letting out a series of hoots. It spread its wings and took off into the sky. Peter heard footsteps and looked over his shoulder to see Kitty, his girlfriend of three years, walking toward him.
"Hey, Peter," Kitty greeted with a smile.
"Hey yourself, Kitty," Peter replied and smiled back at Kitty. "What brings you out here?"
"I was getting bored with being inside and thought I'd take a walk for a while," Kitty answered as she stopped beside Peter.
"I see. Would you like to join me?" Peter asked, patting the grass beside him.
"I'd love to," Kitty said, nodding slowly.
Kitty sat beside Peter and leaned back a little bit, feeling the wind in her hair. She looked at the moon and stars that seemed to twinkle as if they were in a chorus line.
"My gosh, it is such a beautiful night. There's not much wind, and the air feels very pleasant," Kitty said.
"I agree. I love how the moon shines down on the lake and reflects off it. It looks like it's sparkling," Peter said, gesturing toward the lake.
"People are always asking questions about how the moon got up there," Kitty said, narrowing her eyes at the moon. "I heard a small planetary body hit Earth billions of years ago and sent pieces of it into space. One of those pieces became the moon. This is called the giant impact scenario. Another theory is it was once a sister world and was pulled into Earth's orbit by its gravity. Another theory is they both formed at the same time."
"I think the giant impact scenario would most likely be correct. The Apollo landings found some evidence of this in the moon rocks, and they show oxygen isotope ratios equal to that of Earth. The high composition of the lunar crust gave rise to the idea that the moon was once molten, and a giant impact could've easily formed a magma ocean. However, there's no evidence the Earth ever had a magma ocean. Still, it seems to be the most likely way the moon was formed," Peter said.
"I think so too," Kitty agreed. "Anyway, one of my favorite things about the moon is seeing a lunar eclipse."
"I love lunar eclipses. It's really cool when the moon turns red. The red color results from the sun passing through a long, dense part of Earth's atmosphere, where it is scattered. If the Earth had no atmosphere, it would be completely dark," Peter explained.
"The moon looks like someone dumped red paint all over it, but it's still really pretty," Kitty said softly.
Kitty scooted over to Peter's side and smiled up at him. Peter tickled her nose, causing her to giggle. They looked back toward the moon and stars.
"It feels like only yesterday when I thought the moon was made of cheese. I would pretend to go to the moon and eat its surface. I can see why parents came up with the story that the moon was made of cheese. It is riddled with craters that look like holes," Kitty said.
"We both know meteorites made those craters. I can't imagine how many times the moon has been struck by them," Peter said, rubbing his chin.
"I don't think we'll ever know," Kitty answered, shaking her head.
Peter shrugged his shoulders. A thin cloud made its way over the moon, covering its center about halfway. A slightly thicker cloud started to cover the upper part.
"I remember when I'd climb up on the roof of my house to look at the moon and stars. I always tried to count the stars, but I lost my place every time," Kitty said with a giggle.
"Everyone knows you can't count the stars. There are too many of them," Peter said with a light chuckle.
"I know, but that never stopped me from trying. It was always fun," Kitty said and nudged Peter in the arm. "As a little girl, I once thought stars were fireflies that got stuck in the sky."
"My favorite star is the North Star," Peter replied, pointing his finger at the North Star. "It's so bright and beautiful."
"I can't argue with that," Kitty chuckled. "Everyone knows the North Star's been used historically for navigation and to determine latitude."
"I never knew a star could be use for navigation until my dad told me about it when I was four. He told me to follow the star home if I ever got lost," Peter commented.
"The North Star is part of my favorite constellation known as the Little Dipper," Kitty said and giggled. "When I was three, I called it the Little Diaper. I also called the Big Dipper the Big Diaper. I even imagined them taking on the shapes of babies."
"My parents chuckled every time they heard me say the names of the constellations wrong," Peter said.
"I admit I laughed at myself when I misprounced them. It was like I'd never get them right, but I eventually did and was proud of myself," Kitty said, smiling warmly.
Peter slipped an arm around Kitty and pulled her close to him. He took her hand into his, squeezing it gently. Kitty closed her eyes, letting out a sigh of content. She loved being held by Peter. She felt she could be in his arms forever. There was no place on Earth she'd rather be because it felt peaceful and warm.
"You know, there's no South Star that can be used for navigation. The Southern Cross is used to mark the sky in the southern hemisphere. Alpha and Gamma are the two brightest stars in that constellation," Peter said as he let go of Kitty.
"I can't believe how many constellations have been named. You have Taurus, Orion, the Little Dipper, the Big Dipper, and many others," Kitty commented.
"My favorite constellation is Orion," Peter said and pointed his finger at Orion. "It's one of the most recognizable constellations in the world. Its stars are found on the celestial equator and can be seen throughout the world. It can even be used to locate other stars. In Greek mythology, Orion was a great hunter of many animals and could walk on the waves because of his father, Poseidon. He was blinded by Oenopian when he attacked his daughter, Merope. Hephaestus's servant, Cedalion, took him to Helios, where he was healed. He found himself in Crete next and started to hunt Artemis and her mother, Leto. He threatened to kill every beast on Earth during the hunt. Mother Earth objected and sent a giant scorpion to kill him, and it succeeded. The goddesses asked Zeus to place him among the constellations. He consented and placed the Scorpion as a memorial to him."
"Taurus is one of the constellations of the Zodiac. It can be seen only in the northern hemisphere's winter sky. In Greek mythology, it is identified with Zeus, who assumed the form of a white bull to abduct Europa, a legendary Phoenician princess. Afterward, he re-created the shape of the white bull in the stars," Kitty said.
"It's really neat that some of the best known constellations are based on mythology. Of course, some people will make up their own stories about them," Peter said.
"Mm-hmm. By the way, I find it so cool that the Big Dipper and the Little Dipper look like ladles. It's like you could use them to scoop food out of a pot," Kitty commented, pretending to use a ladle in a pot.
"Well, you better be careful. Those ladles could have holes in them, and water could rain down on you!" Peter shouted, imitating water coming down from the sky with his fingers.
Peter trailed his fingers down the back of Kitty's head and stopped at her neck, tickling her mercilessly. He moved his hands up and down her body in his tickle attack. Kitty squealed with laughter and pushed him off her before presenting a fist to his face.
"You do that again, and I'll take you to the dock and push you into the lake!" Kitty threatened in a playful tone.
"You can try. We both know I am too strong to be moved anywhere," Peter chuckled, shaking his head.
Kitty shook her fists at Peter, who mimicked her. She jumped when he tickled her sides and smacked him on the shoulder. Giggling, she pinched his cheek and ran her finger up and down his nose. They looked toward the sky, and the wind touched their skin, giving them a tingly feeling.
"I remember seeing shooting stars for the first time while I was on vacation in the Great Smoky Mountains when I was six or seven years old. There were so many coming down at once that I couldn't count them all," Kitty whispered.
"I saw my first shooting star while I was stargazing with my dad on the roof of my house when I was four. It wasn't until I was older that I learned it was actually a meteorite," Peter said.
"I can see why they are called shooting stars," Kitty said as she leaned back. "They burn up and glow when they go through Earth's atmosphere. When they hit the Earth, most of them are no bigger than a grain of salt."
"I once read something about a small meteorite crashing through the roof of a man's house. He was so surprised that he jumped out of his chair," Peter laughed, imitating the man's jumping out of his chair by bouncing up and down.
"I've read about that meteorite incident. I would've been surprised like that man if that had happened to me," Kitty replied gleefully.
"Me too," Peter agreed. "Everyone knows about the theory of a meteorite hitting the Earth and killing off the dinosaurs sixty-five million years ago. I know that the Earth would drastically change if one were to hit today."
"Humanity would either be completely wiped out, or some of us would survive. We'd either adapt to our new situation or perish. It would be a little scary to try to survive without technology," Kitty whispered, feeling a little fearful.
"It would be, but humans have adapted to live in different environments over the course of their history. Look at the Eskimos. They've survived in some of the coldest regions on Earth for thousands of years," Peter pointed out.
"I know," Kitty said in amazement. "Some tribes still use spears for hunting seals, walruses, and whales."
"That's true. I would do anything it took to adapt to a changed world. It would be dangerous, but I am willing to face it," Peter said with determination in his voice.
"I would too. Still, it would be scary," Kitty said softly.
Peter took Kitty into his arms, giving her a small hug. He knew danger toward mutantkind was everywhere, and there was no telling who could be trusted. He also knew it could be scary to survive in a world bent on their destruction, but he was willing to face it. Though he was known as a gentle giant, he was determined to protect Kitty and his friends from harm, even if it meant risking his own life to do so. In fact, he'd give his life if it meant they would live. He and Kitty spotted the Milky Way and looked at it in awe.
"Wow. The Milky Way is really visible tonight," Peter said and put his hand over his eyes for a better view.
"I can see why it's called the Milky Way. It sort of looks like spilled milk. I thought it was filled with real cows and milk when I was a little girl. I would dream of going up there and drinking all the milk I wanted," Kitty giggled, pushing her hand upward like a rocket.
"You better watch out. Some milk might pour down on you," Peter laughed.
"Hey, if I'm going to get drenched with milk, then you are too!" Kitty growled playfully, wiggling her fingers toward Peter's neck and tickling it.
Peter pushed his girlfriend away from him and retaliated by squeezing her sides. Growling, Kitty stuck her tongue out at her boyfriend, and he laughed and shook his finger at her. She mimicked him with a smirk on her face, and it faded when he ruffled her hair. She patted his back.
"You did good at catching me off-guard there," Peter said.
"Well, I needed a little payback for your little tickle attack," Kitty smirked, poking Peter in the shoulder with her finger.
"You did get it," Peter chuckled and flicked Kitty's nose.
Kitty giggled and kissed Peter, who responded by pinching her nose and planting a kiss on the tip of it. They resumed looking at the Milky Way.
"I can only wonder how many galaxies there are in the universe. Ours is tiny compared to others," Peter said.
"I don't know if we'll ever find out how many galaxies there really are. We don't even know how far the universe goes," Kitty responded.
"A few months ago, I looked up some stuff about Jupiter and found something very interesting about Europa, one of its moons," Peter commented. "It's covered with a thick layer of ice. Underneath the ice, it is highly likely there is water. If there's water, then there's a chance extraterrestrial life could exist. This possibility has spurred calls to send a probe to explore Europa."
"I've read about that. It's incredible that there may be life on it," Kitty said in awe.
"It's even possible there's a solar system with planets just like ours that are capable of sustaining life. It makes me wonder if humanlike creatures exist," Peter wondered.
"I don't know, but it would be so neat to find other civilizations on other planets or their moons. You just never know what we will find next," Kitty pointed out.
"Scientists are discovering new species every day here on Earth, especially in the rainforests. I heard the pygmy beaked whale wasn't identified until 1991," Peter said.
"I heard about that too. What's scary is that fragile habitats are being destroyed at a rapid rate, wiping out many species. Some of them haven't even been discovered yet. So many species are unique to their ecosystems and can't exist anywhere else. They have nowhere to go once their habitats are gone. Unfortunately, the humans destroying their habitats don't care. All they care about is money and their own self-interests," Kitty whispered, her voice filled with sadness.
Kitty wiped a tear from her eye. Peter placed his hand on her head and laid it on his shoulder, holding her close. He felt his heart breaking as he listened to her cry. Like her, it saddened him that Earth's fragile habitats were being destroyed by greedy humans. He always loved to hear about new species being discovered, but he knew many of them were being wiped out at such a rapid rate that scientists would never get a chance to learn anything about them. Of course, he was aware humans weren't just cruel toward the environment and animals, but they were cruel to each other as well and showed no mercy toward those who were different.
"It's a dangerous world out there for animals. They have to do everything they can to survive. We're trying to survive too. It's hard because so many people fear and hate us," Peter said, a hint of sadness showing in his voice.
"I know. I know it's human nature to fear what we don't understand, but then people allow the fear to consume them. It turns into hate and a desire to destroy. Look at Magneto. He allowed his hostility toward humans to consume him so much that he turned into someone Charles couldn't recognize. He'll do whatever it takes to destroy humanity, even if he has to sacrifice innocent mutants. He'll even abandon his Brotherhood members to save his own ass," Kitty cried and punched the ground in frustration.
"Magneto has never been a savior for mutants. He's a hypocrite, plain and simple. Anyone is capable of being one. What's worse is that evil can appear in the form of good to gain people's trust. By the time they find out the person's true intentions, it's too late," Peter said with a heavy sigh.
"It's times like this I wish I could get in a spaceship and travel to another planet. I wouldn't have to deal with normal society's hostility toward me, and I could live in peace there," Kitty muttered, and a tear trickled down her cheek.
"We could go to this planet together. We'd never be alone as long as we have each other," Peter replied, placing a hand on Kitty's cheek.
"I'd love that," Kitty replied with a nod.
Peter wrapped his arms around Kitty and gave her a big hug. Kitty hugged him back. She planted a kiss on his cheek before burying her face into his neck, inhaling his scent. Peter ran his fingers through her hair, sighing warmly at how soft the strands were. Kitty felt his arms tighten around her, and she began to calm down a little bit. She looked up at him and sniffled.
"Marie told me how scared she was when she was strapped to Magneto's machine. She begged him not to hurt those people, but he wouldn't listen. I feel so sorry for her. She didn't deserve what she went through," Kitty said.
"You're right. I'm glad she's not letting it bother her. Still, I see her crying about it sometimes. It will always be in her memory," Peter replied.
Kitty nodded and cleared her throat. By now, she had fully calmed down. Peter let go of her and looked her in the eye.
"You know, I feel really lucky to still have my family in my life. They've been so supportive of me ever since I became a mutant," Peter commented.
"Mine have too. Unfortunately, many mutants don't have anyone to care for them. I feel so sorry for them. I'm glad I came to this school. It gave me a safe place to live and learn to control my powers. I was a little nervous when I first came here, though," Kitty said.
"So was I, but things got easier as time went on. Look at us now. We're teachers and members of the X-Men," Peter replied with a small smile.
"It's amazing how time flies. It feels good to be helping people who find themselves in trouble. Still, I wish these same people didn't fear and hate us," Kitty pointed out.
"I understand, but you know what the professor once said. We must continue to help people, even if they don't show kindness in return. It's unfortunate the some of the same people we help hate us, but it's the way things are," Peter answered.
"I'll always remember that. For me, I could never hate people who hate me. Rather, I pity them because they could've been something great. Instead, they allowed their hate to consume them and turn them into a shadow of their former selves," Kitty muttered sadly.
"Hate is a terrible thing. It can turn people into real monsters. I'm determined to fight against the hate and help bring peace between humans and mutants," Peter declared.
"I am too," Kitty said. "I'll always be here if you need me, Peter."
"I'll be here if you need me too, Kitty. Whenever you feel alone, think of good thoughts. Don't ever give up hope," Peter whispered and stroked Kitty's cheek with his thumb.
"Thank you," Kitty smiled.
Peter and Kitty hugged once more, becoming warm inside. He planted a kiss to her hair before running his hand over it. He rocked her back and forth, singing a little tune in Russian. Kitty sighed happily at his voice, as she could never get enough of it. She let out a long yawn and looked up at him.
"I don't know about you, but I am getting tired," Kitty said, rubbing her eyes.
"I am too," Peter said as he yawned and got up, helping Kitty to her feet.
Peter and Kitty began to make their way back to the mansion. They watched a great-horned owl fly overhead before looking at each other. The owl hooted, but they didn't here it.
"I was wondering. Are you up for some more stargazing tomorrow night?" Kitty asked.
"Sure. You want it to be at the same place as tonight?" Peter asked.
"Okay," Kitty answered with a nod.
"Great. By the way, we might get a little water dumped on us from the Little Dipper and the Big Dipper," Peter joked.
"Maybe they should dumb some water on you," Kitty laughed.
"You wish," Peter retorted and ruffled Kitty's hair.
Kitty punched Peter lightly in the shoulder, only to jump in surprise he tickled her neck. She shook her fist at him, growling playfully.
"You do that again, and I'll give you a knuckle sandwich," Kitty threatened playfully.
"Hey, that doesn't scare me," Peter laughed.
"Relax. I was just playing with you," Kitty giggled and put her fist down.
Peter and Kitty put their arms around each other as they talked about their plans for stargazing tomorrow night. If people believed hard enough, anything was possible in an ever-changing world.