Notes: This collection of 15 short-stories is part of my contribution to the 15 genres, 1Prompt, 1 month on livejournal, connected, in my case, to the Excalibur Fandom, with special focus on Pete Wisdom, and promt aftermath; few of them will be set in my Blackdragon Universe, others will more canon.

Ten Years' time

Author: Little Firestar
Rating: T
Fandom: Excalibur (Marvel Universe)
Characters: Pete Wisdom/Christine Stark [OC]
Summary: He knows that, when he'll tell her what he saw, she'll be scared, because this is who she is, and frankly, he loves her for this reason. He isn't scared, though. Probably because he has always knows she belong with him; seeing that through Plokta's eyes just ignited his desire furthermore.

Spoilers: Mention of Captain Britain and MI:13 back-issues, and of the Dark Reign, no full knowledge needed.
Genre: Romantic fluff

There's a little thing he has never told her, he admits to himself, silently, hoping that she'll not pick up any thought wandering through his brain, his hand busy stroking her back through the rough linens on her couch, and what he never told her is that, when Plokta showed him what he truly desired, he had seen two scenes.

One was the one he had told her about – all their lost friends and beloved ones together once again, Maureen, Kitty, John and even his mother and Meggan. The other… it's a bit more complicated, even if somehow it felt incredibly right, like it was something it was supposed to be, to happen right from the start, or at least from a long time. And besides, it was quite a pleasant experience, a desire he hadn't fully acknowledged until the demon didn't show him what he didn't know he wanted more than life itself – a new life, one that, even if fake in the few moment he had been part of in the Dream Corridor, he had almost said yes to, ready to become a slave to the devil's machinations. .

It's not actually complicated, if he has to completely honest with himself- well, it is, but not for him, because, since the first time he had her in his arms, so many years prior, when she merely accepted there was sex between them and nothing more, he has always known she was destined to be part of his life, in one way or another.

(And it's better if no one knows, especially said telepath or Kitty or the elf, that sometimes he wonders if, maybe, he hasn't maybe been drown towards her even before that first time in San Francisco, when Christine felt alone and betrayed, and even the only thing he could think of, while looking at her in that thigh leather little black dress, it wasn't that she was hotter than hell, but that she had never looked more scattered, fragile and alone and broken)

The only person who could find it complicated it's the aforementioned woman- Christine Stark, mutant, superhero, genius, billionaire and philanthropist, quoting her brother (even if, Lord merciful, she doesn't add the "lady's man" line to the whole thing).

"You are thinking so much my brain is actually hurting, you know?" he feels, rather than seeing, the smile on his chest, warm and full lips upon his collarbone. He smiles in return, not full, a bit sad, but it's a smile nevertheless, and it's probably the only thing she'll get from him right now, they both know it, not after having seen what they did and the betrayal of a team-mate. "I don't know what you were thinking, but I hope it was pleasant, and, for your own good, I better be there. "

He groans as she kisses the smooth skin of his chin just to look, after, in that pool of blue that's his eyes.

"Do you think we'll be happy in the long run?" he asks her, serious, and yes, a bit sad. But it's a sadness she doesn't mind, she knows Pete, she knows how his life has been touched by tragedy and sufferance and sense of guilt, and that, given his (their) line of work, that shadow will always be there, but she knows it will never be her fault, and that he has decided to allow her, and only her, to be there to send it away, even if just a while, every now and then; it's not a burden, as much as her friends (especially Clint and Tony) think, but it's quite the opposite- a privilege. Because, being there to cast away the shadows, it means she is his anchor, she is the strong away, and that, for her, he is able to remove his mask, show the world (her) that he isn't as strong and uncaring as he desperately tries to look.

"Define long run…" Pouting, she traces invisible patterns on his still naked chest – his shirt had found residence on her torso – while she reflects on his words. What does it mean for Pete Wisdom "long run"? As far as she knows, this is the longest relationship he has been into- which is scary enough, and having him thinking about moving things onwards, it's even worse. She doesn't know if she is ready for this so called "after", doesn't know if she'll ever be, not with her relationship track-records. Well, lack of, actually, but that's another matter.

And besides, he may think he is the one broken, but reality keeps showing them otherwise, and, even if she can't say she is totally broken, at least she is… complicated, and definitely messed up; trusting someone doesn't come easy for her, harder than for him, actually, and after having been through hell and back with her husband, she doesn't know if she'll ever be able to deal with that level of intimacy, even if they do actually look like a married couple the 90% of the times they are hitting the city together.

"Well, I may mean in… let's say 10 years' time" his hands find again her hips, and he holds her, pushing her body against his own to feel every inch of this woman against every inch of his body.

Her eyebrows reach her hairline, and she quizzically looks at the man currently holding her. "Are you seriously asking me where I'm seeing myself in 10 years?" she looks at him, really looks at him, and the double entendre isn't lost to her. He isn't merely asking her where she is seeing herself in 10 years, it's more like asking for some kind of…. acknowledgment, that she thinks he'll still be a prominent part of her life in their future, and that they aren't just having fun for the sake of it, but that, besides her fugue from Osborn, there's something more behind her return to Britain.

He nods, pouting a little, a little sad, and it breaks her heart. He is a good man, a good man who never deserved the bad things that happened to him, and to know that she is the one inflicting pain to him… "Yeah, well, you know, it's just that, in Plokta's vision, we were… raising a daughter of our own and you were expecting our first son, so I think… just, you know, wondering, that's all."

"Oh" she blushes, trying to hide her head in his chest. It's not like she has never thought about it, she just didn't allow herself this luxury. Her life is way too complicated right now, being one of the last 200 mutants of the planet, on the run from Norman "head of the world" Osborn, and besides… relationships? What does she know about them? Nothing, that's it, because, frankly, Tony Stark isn't exactly the poster boy for relationships.

"It's just that, I don't know, it got me thinking, that's all, you know, it kind of… ignited the whole thing."

"So…uhm, this vision of yours… what was it about?" she teases him, playing dumb, while he nuzzles the skin of her neck, affectionate but a little sad, not giving himself completely to her ,ticking the skin of her stomach with long, hot fingers, his fingertips leaving dark red spots wherever he touches, marking her with his powers like his own, at least for now.

"Oh, you know, the usual, house with garden and a white fence in some nice neighbor close to good schools here in London, a cat and a dog, average 2.1 children, two cars in the garage… that kind of stuff. Obviously, after having been the head of Intelligence for few years, and having moved up into ranks until Prime Minister, we'll have to relocate to Dawning Street, but don't worry, it will only be temporary, just a couple of legislatures- if they don't decide to make my king of England and then of the world, that it is. But then we'll have to move to Buckingham Palace, and then, I don't know, maybe Rome? Are you partial to Italy? Because I am…."

Even if he is smiling and definitely having fun, his eyes are kind of lost, faraway in the distance, and she can't help but laughing, soon joined by him. This is a side Pete rarely shows, and she takes pride in this, thinking that, maybe, just maybe, she is helping him, mending his wounds a bit each passing day (like he does with her, not that she'll never actually admit it. Sometimes, the man can be too proud for his own good).

"Well, then, as your queen, I'm demanding less plotting to take over the world, and more action, please." She rubs against all the rights spots- both of his psyche and of his body- and when he grunts in appreciation and anticipation, she takes an enormous pride in the fact that yes, she can scatter his whole world.

He gives up and kisses her, strongly holding the woman in his arms, grinning while trying to talk between kisses. "And to say that I was going to tell you that you'd be a Nobel Prize Winner…."

She smiles in the kiss, no words needed between them. He doesn't need to know she saw something alongside his vision, and he didn't need to know she definitely sees them working in the long run.