Title: What's My Age Again?
Prompt: 091 Birthday
Summary: Black Air's fact checkers were not as diligent as they should have been.
Pete looked at his new girlfriend over the top of his newspaper.
"Hullo, luv." He smiled.
"Do you know what next week is?"
"Umm… Seven days from now?" Pete didn't like guessing games. He was particularly unfond of the ones that girlfriends tended to play.
Besides, they'd only been together about four months, even counting the time he'd spent in that God-forsaken wheelchair, and so there was no potential occasion that he could possibly be forgetting already. There'd be time enough for that later, after all.
"It's my birthday." She grinned, dropping herself down onto the chair, getting between him and his paper with a grace that, were she anyone else, would have annoyed him.
"Ah." A birthday. That, he could deal with. Birthdays were easy. Of course, he'd have to find something to get for her, but he could handle the whole taking her out to dinner and having sex with her bit. In fact, he was fairly certain that the latter would present no problem whatsoever. "We'll have to take the weekend and go back to London."
"Ooh. Yes." She wrapped an arm around his neck and kissed him on the cheek. "That'd be awesome."
"Indeed it would." Pete really was getting desperate for another visit to London, and besides, he'd have a better idea of how to show her a good time if they were on his home turf.
"I'll talk to Brian about borrowing the plane or, at the very least, giving us a ride." Kitty kissed him for real this time, and he decided that the hands that were holding the paper could be better served holding onto her.
When they broke for oxygen, he decided to ask the obvious question.
"So, what birthday is this, Pryde?"
"19." Her answer was muffled, as she worked her mouth around his earlobe, but he definitely heard it clearly enough.
Pete nearly dropped her. Instead, he settled for a coughing fit. When he stopped, he turned wide, blue eyes in her direction.
She looked almost as shocked as he was.
"I'll be 19. On my birthday."
"19… years… old…?"
"That's…Are you sure?"
"Am I sure?" She was giving him the 'Are you mental?' look, and he realized how absurd he must sound.
"Sorry. Of course you're sure."
"Are you okay?"
"Um. Yeah. I'm fine, luv. It's just… Wow. That's young."
Kitty shifted on his lap, fidgeting with the collar of his shirt. She was clearly uncomfortable with the direction this conversation had taken.
"I thought you knew."
"I knew that you were younger than me, yes."
"Well, how old did you think I was?"
Pete sighed heavily.
"Your Black Air dossier said 23."
"…You thought I was 23?"
Pete moved his hands to her hips to lift her from straddling his legs so that he could stand, lighting a cigarette and pacing a bit.
"Yeah. I did. I mean, after all, you're certainly smart enough."
"Well, thank you." Kitty blushed slightly, unable to avoid reacting to the compliment even as her brain struggled to see the problem.
"19. Nine-bloody-teen. No wonder Wagner wanted to lock me up and castrate me."
"Kurt doesn't want to—What on Earth are you talking about?" Kitty was sitting in the chair on her own, now, and she pulled her knees up under her chin.
"Never mind. I'm just saying I don't blame them for having a bit of hesitation in regards to you and I." Pete shook his head. He was mainly trying to remove the image of how disturbing the reality of the situation really was.
"What in the hell are you talking about? What's the issue, here?" Kitty pulled her hair back in a ponytail, a clear sign of her frustration, Pete was learning.
She always tried to get her hair out of her way when she was frustrated. He figured it was her way of making sure that she could, at least, control something.
"The issue? It's… Pryde, do you know what I'd have said about one of my mates if I found out that he was dating someone your age?"
"No." She shrugged.
"I'd have told him he was a dirty old sod, and probably have threatened to sick the fuzz on him."
"Oh for—" Kitty sighed. "Pete, I'm perfectly legal."
"Barely." Pete shuddered, ashing his cigarette into the ashtray he'd placed on the table beside the chair.
"Are you saying that it changes something?" Kitty may have thought that she was hiding it well, but she was clearly quite concerned. "Are you saying that you don't want to see me anymore?"
"Of course not!" Even Pete was surprised by the speed of his response. "Don't be fucking ridiculous."
"Oh." Kitty looked temporarily mollified. "Well what then?"
"I'm just surprised, is all." He dropped back into the chair next to her, and she draped her legs over his lap. "It's just much younger than I originally thought, and it required a bit of a readjustment in my head."
"I see." She obviously didn't, but was, apparently, willing to let it slide for the time being. "I was just worried that this would be the end of you and I."
"God, no." Pete looked momentarily stunned as his brain tried to wrap around what it would be like to go back to not having Pryde around. It wasn't a pretty picture. "I've told you a million times that I think you're incredible. I'm not about to simply walk away from something this good just because I find out that Black Air did a bit of failing as far as their data monitoring goes."
"Good. After all, it's not as if I lied to you." Kitty draped her arm across his neck again, pulling him closer to her. "I figured that you knew how old I was, and I didn't care if you didn't."
"To be fair, luv, of course you didn't care. You aren't the one who could get parts of your anatomy removed by individuals who might disagree with our relationship."
"No one is coming near any parts of your anatomy without my foot going dangerously close to their ass." Kitty's face formed a mock-scowl. "I happen to like your anatomy."
"Heh." Pete smiled. He reckoned that she was right. He didn't really have any right to be upset. It didn't change anything, and she was legal.
"So, we're good?" Kitty smiled.
"Absolutely." Pete leaned in for a kiss, stopping suddenly as a thought occurred to him. "Just one more thing."
"What is that?"
"Can I see your passport?"
She shoved him playfully backward.
"Don't believe me?"
"Pryde, look, you'll have to excuse me if I'm a little skeptical." Pete lit another cigarette and she fanned her hand, slightly dispelling the smoke. "First off, as previously covered in this discussion, you are certainly smart enough to be as old as your dossier claims. Second of all, and more importantly as far as my brain goes, I had enough trouble getting 19 year-olds when I was 19." Pete snickered. "It just seems too good to be true, in all honesty, now that I consider it."
"Pete!" Kitty shoved him again.
"What? I'm not allowed to revel in my good fortune?"
"Ten seconds ago, you were terrified of being bodily damaged, and now you're patting yourself on the back?"
"Looks that way, doesn't it?"
"You're impossible." She stood this time, stretching and rolling her eyes at Pete's wolf-whistle. "Look, I'm going to go and work on that new stack of files that Brian emailed to me this morning. There's like a thousand of them and they all need to be reformatted, coded, and entered into the database."
"That sounds like a long and difficult job."
"It's fine. Just tedious, really." She shrugged. "And I promise that when I'm done, I'll be all yours for the rest of the evening."
"I like the sound of that." An idea was forming in Pete's mind. "Actually, now that I think about it, I think it's best that you run off and do that. It'll give me time to make some important phone calls."
"Hmm…" Kitty leaned down slightly, running short-nailed fingers through his hair. He hated the involuntary goose bumps that rose on his skin under his shirt. This woman really had him exactly where she wanted him. He was totally screwed. "Would these phone calls have anything to do with my birthday?"
"If I told you, I'd have to kill you, Pryde." Pete smirked.
"Fair enough, Mr. Bond. You keep your secrets. But, be aware, I'm not expecting anything ridiculous. I'd be fine with getting to spend the weekend in London with you."
"Well, you're just going to have to settle for whatever fabulous thing I plan, aren't you?"
"I guess so." Kitty sighed, shaking her head. "I'll be in my lab if you need me."
"Right. Go. And don't let me catch you listening in the doorways. Girls who don't obey direction tend to get punished."
"As much fun as that sounds, I think that we'll save it for when I really want to do something evil."
"I like the sound of that."
"Of course you do." Kitty stopped just short of the door, turning to wink at him. "You're a dirty old man."
Pete was not looking forward to this bit of information circulating The Crown. He was never, ever going to live it down.