Title: Killing Time
Prompt: 067 Snow
A/N: Set during Excalibur.
She's not there when he wakes up, and he's worried about how much that unsettles him. After all, he's not the co-dependent type. And yet, here he is instantly worried because she's not right beside him when he expects her to be.
Were it later in the morning, he'd have just told himself that she had probably gone to work out or eat breakfast or something. Pryde was definitely an early riser, after all, while he tended to believe in acknowledging only one nine o'clock in a day. However, a quick look at the clock revealed it to only be a little after two AM. Much, much too early for Pryde to be up and about.
And so, Pete realized that, if he wanted to know where she'd gone, he was going to have to go and look for her.
He swung his legs down over the edge of the bed, instantly regretting it as the chill of the room set in. Winter's descent onto Muir Island had left their bedroom arctic in temperature seemingly overnight, and he groped for his trousers, happy to put anything on his legs in order to maintain some of his body heat.
Once his trousers were on and fastened, he stumbled to the housekeeping mainframe panel on the wall of their room. He programmed the heat to kick on for a bit, and when the comforting sound of the heater began to hum, he picked up his shirt and shrugged into it, leaving it unbuttoned as he wandered into the corridor.
He checked her computer lab first. She had been occasionally prone to random fits of insomnia in the past, and they always seemed to bring her to her lab to get some work done. He loved that, even with insomnia, she was productive.
The lab stood empty, though. Completely flummoxed, Pete headed for the kitchen, thinking maybe she'd gone to make herself some tea. This was another one of her methods for dealing with insomnia.
On his way to the kitchen, he passed through the living room area. There, he was very surprised to find his missing ladylove sitting on the window seat watching fat, white flakes of snowfall from the sky and onto Muir Island. It was really coming down.
She turned when he came to stand behind her.
"Hey." Her voice was soft in the large, empty room.
She pulled her legs up to her chest, making room for him to sit with her on the windowsill.
"You wanna sit down, lover?"
"Sure." Pete accepted the invitation, sitting down with his back to the window frame. "C'mere."
She turned, sliding back between his legs with her back against his chest. He wrapped his arms around her waist. He leaned down, speaking his next question into his ear. "You want to tell me what you're doin' out of bed at 2:14 AM?"
"It started snowing."
"An' that woke you up?"
"No. I got up to go to the bathroom, and I saw the snow." She smiled. "I watched it from our bedroom for a while, but the view from down here is so much better."
"Ah. So you came down here to watch it?"
"Exactly. I love the snow."
"I didn't know that."
"Well, this is the first time it's snowed since we've been together." She shrugged from inside his arms.
They sat in silence for a few moments, watching the powder pile up on the rocks and cliffs of Muir Island.
"So, just for future reference, snow makes you get out of bed in the middle of the night to come and sit in a freezing cold window seat?" Pete smiled, pressing a kiss into the top of her head.
Another brief, but comfortable silence passed.
"Isn't it beautiful?"
"Yeah, luv, it is." Pete smiled a bit, in spite of himself. He might like the world to think that he was a total bastard, but he really couldn't think of a better way to spend his early morning right now than sitting there with Kitty and watching the snow.
"It makes me miss my dad." Kitty snuggled further down into his embrace.
"Isn't your dad a gangster or something?"
"Ha!" Kitty snorted. "He's not a gangster."
"Your file said something about the Japanese mafia."
"Yeah. He got on the bad side of a Japanese mafia deal, but he's no gangster. Actually, that's precisely why he got on the bad side of the mafia deal to begin with. My dad is a decent guy, for the most part, he's just a little dumb sometimes." Kitty shook her head.
"Ah. So why does the snow remind you of him?"
"He always used to take me ice skating in Chicago. We used to go together and he'd watch me try all of my new tricks. He bought me a pair of skates right before I went to Japan with him and Logan. It was always my favorite season because of that."
"How long's it been since you've seen your dad, luv?"
"Oh man." Kitty trailed her fingers over Pete's hands where they lay on her waist. "It's been years. He's in witness protection."
"Ah." Pete thought it best to drop it from there. Clearly she didn't want to talk about it anymore.
"How long have you been paying your father's bills?"
Pete tensed behind her, and she wondered if she should have brought it up. However, a few seconds later, he relaxed a bit.
"Eh. Since I figured out that, if I didn't, he was gonna lose the house." He paused for a minute. "How did you know about that?"
"Your sister told me."
"Stupid space cadet." Pete shook his head, chuckling. "I'm gonna get her good the next time I see her."
"I wouldn't if I were you." Kitty tipped her head back. Pete couldn't resist the proffered opportunity and leaned down to kiss her quickly.
"Yeah." She snuggled back down into his embrace. "I think it's incredibly sweet and a little bit sexy that you care so much about your family."
"Yep. In fact, I think that it's the main reason that I let you do that thing we did at the hotel afterwards."
"I see." A slow grin spread over Pete's face. "In that case, I'm going to send her some sort of basket of pagan junk."
"We'll have to hit Pagan Junk R Us the next time we're on the Mainland." Kitty snickered.
"Excellent. I love having a cohesive plan."
They returned, once again, to easy silence.
"Pete? Do you want to go and make some hot chocolate?"
They stood, stretching, and walked into the kitchen. The housekeeping mainframe turned on the light as they entered the room. Kitty jumped up onto the counter, her legs swinging. Pete smirked in her direction. "Ah. I see how it is, luv."
"I'm supervising. Someone has to make sure you add the right amount of everything."
"Well, now that you explain it that way, it makes perfect sense." Pete opened two of the envelopes of brown powder and dumped them into mugs. He moved towards the sink. Kitty held up a hand.
"What are you doing?"
"Putting water in it?"
"Boy are you lucky that I'm here. Put milk in it." She pointed towards the refrigerator.
"Yep. Do you not know how to make hot chocolate?"
"In all fairness, Pryde, I think that I was probably in a primary school uniform the last time I made hot chocolate."
"I bet you were adorable." She snickered.
"I made those blue shorts look good." Pete winked. "And actually, now that I consider it, it weren't even me that made it. Romany made it."
"Your big sister made you hot chocolate?"
"Yes. Every day after school in the winter." Pete shrugged, clearly uncomfortable with the emotional turn the conversation was taking. He turned away from her, using the pretense of filling the mugs with milk to justify it. "See, Mum did it when I was real little, but when she and Dad split, she started making it for me instead."
"That's adorable." Kitty grinned. "You're not the total bastard everyone thinks you are, Wisdom."
"Don't tell anyone." Pete turned, putting the mugs into the microwave. "The reputation that I've worked for years to build will be shot to hell."
He came over to stand in front of her. She put her hands on his shoulders.
"I won't. Don't worry. I've come to love the confused reactions of people when they find out I'm dating a total bastard."
"Well, glad to know that I serve a purpose."
Kitty wrapped her arms around his neck, drawing him closer to her.
"One of many." She grinned. "So, why exactly did you put those in the microwave? Do you not have a genetic ability that makes the microwave obsolete?"
"Because now, we have to kill time while it heats." Pete smiled back, leaning in to kiss her quickly. "And if I have to be awake at two o'clock in the morning, there had better be some time killing."
"Heh." Kitty shook her head. "I think that you feel that if you're awake at any point, there had better be time killing."
"True. Fortunately for me, my girlfriend is a bonafide nymphomaniac. It works out well for me."
Kitty slapped his shoulder.
"You're not telling all your friends in London that I'm a nympho are you?"
"I would, but I can't seem to get away from you long enough to spread the news." He sniggered.
"Nice, Wisdom." She rolled her eyes. "Well, how about this. We take the hot chocolate, go back to the window seat until it's finished, and then we can go back to your room and kill some real time?"
"I think that sounds excellent. Although, I feel like there's something I should tell you."
"It does put you at a slight disadvantage if you're still hoping to disprove that whole nymphomaniac thing."
"I hate you."