early morning light crept into the afternoon on this Monday day. Wisdom
instinctively stretched his arms as he felt consciousness nip at him.
Even half-awake it dawned on him that he was not alone in the bed.
Pete's eyes opened to observe the sleeping figure of Katherine Pryde
curled up against him. His friend. His partner. His ex-girlfriend.
-Ring- -Ring- -Ring-
"...ugh... dammit Pete,
answer your phone already..." Kitty mumbled against him.
slipped away from her, reaching over to the chair to grab his jacket
and retrieve his phone. "'Ello?" Pete spoke softly, "Yeah mate, just
woke. Hm? Tonight? That's great... but we worked things out if you
don't need us. It's really all your choice. Sure, we'd still be able
to... right. That is peculiar. Ring me up later and we'll meet up.
Bye." He set the phone down on the nightstand, settling back down in a
laying down position. Pete took a deep breath, then asked. "You awake?"
"I am now." Kitty
opened her eyes and yawned, "Not the first time today, either. Who was
friend with the police department. He's trying to get us extended
juristiction to take care of that case over in Los Angeles now." Pete
propped up his pillow against the headboard, sitting up. "How'd you
"I slept well, Pete."
Kitty sat up, looking him over. "...how about you?"
"Best I've slept in
years." Pete took her hand and gave a soft squeeze.
Kitty frowned, "Pete... we can't..."
going to change." She clarified. "From how things were yesterday, or
the day before that. It's just not." Kitty looked down at their hands.
"I can't believe I'm actually saying this."
never go back. I know." Pete smiled with a hint of sadness. "With that
said and out in the air, last night was incredible."
"Pete!" She nudged him,
scooting over to sit next to him.
serious! With all the crudeness about it, it always meant more when
it's with someone you care about." Pete shrugged, "'m just bein'
"Not just a typical one
night stand." Kitty rolled her eyes. "Gotcha."
He reached over and pushed her hair back, away from her face. Pete
leaned over, stealing a quick kiss.
Kitty pulled back. "H..hey."
"Can't we indulge?" He
asked. His thumb brushed across her cheek lovingly.
I don't know." She felt a bit guilty. "I don't want to give you the
wrong impression. You do remember why we broke up, right?"
"Something about you
fancying a younger fella and that me being ancient was makin' you grow
up too fast."
She nodded at his words. They stung a little. "More or less."
there somethin' else I missed? Look, Pryde..." Pete said softly, "I
think back to us, and I don't regret a damn thing about it." He paused,
"No, that's a bit of a lie. I found something in you... something in us
that was amazing. I didn't stop t'think 'She's barely legal.', because
you didn't bleedin' act like girls your age and the all important
factor, you actually wanted to be with me. I wished that we'd have
paced ourselves better... slower... with a lot more communication."
regret any of that, please." Kitty told him, "Because as much as I'd
like to accept and move on, I still have a soft spot in my heart for
you. I can't resent you, because it was a choice I made as well. If I
knew better, I sure didn't want to." She remembered, "Our feelings were
pretty strong all around... I'm surprised we didn't kill each other
before we finally slept together."
"Oh yeah, you HATED me.
Stranded in Genosha for weeks at the time somewhat bit." Pete recalled.
Kitty's expression changed.
"...what'd I say now?"
"Nothing, Pete. Just
touched a sore spot." She looked down.
"What, that you used
t'hate me?" He blinked, "Seriously, what's wrong?" He asked, honestly
just that... my Dad was there when..." Kitty shook her head, "I've been
working through it, but the wound is still fresh. It's like.. I hadn't
seen him for years then out of the blue I get a message and he's
there... then... NO ONE is there."
Pete felt a familiar ache.
He's lost a parent. It's something that's tough to deal with at any
age. He wondered if she had someone to be there for her when it
happened, or when she found out. He doesn't even think twice, his arms
pull her into a comforting hug. He whispered, "I'm sorry, luv. Lord
knows I know what you're going through."
She sighed and returned
the hug. A few moments of quiet was all she needed, "S'okay. Really.
Doug, Illyana, Piotr... then my Dad. It's no wonder why I left the
"You were going to say
me, weren't you?" Pete wondered.
You were one of the reasons. Piotr was just the final straw. No more of
that." She shook her head. Kitty pulled away and said softly, "Thanks.
Time to shower."
"Of course. Can't stay
in bed all day, no matter how fun it is." Pete raised an eyebrow
suspiciously, "Or can we?"
can't." Kitty playfully nudged, climbing out of bed and going over to
get a change of clothes from her bag. "Already slept half the day away."
hungover." Pete noted. He begrudgingly got out of bed and started to
put together an outfit.
"No kidding." She
looked back at Pete. "... so, are we on the same page?"
that's how you want things to be." He nodded. "I'm fine, Pryde. Falling
for you a second time around is too dangerous for my tastes."
you've got me intrigued." Kitty wondered, leaning on the door frame
outside of the bathroom.
in, I don't think I could handle getting my heart broken twice by you."
Pete nodded. There was quite a bit of truth in that statement.
nodded, turning to step into the bathroom. "And just so we're clear, it
was mutual. It wasn't just you who had to mend a broken heart. Just
that I had unresolved guilt along with it. The more you know, huh?"
too, Pryde. Me too. Yours was about figuring what you really wanted in
life and that you hurt me, while mine was how I thought I bodged up
yours even though for once in my life I was happy. Maybe we deserved
"Maybe." Kitty lingered
in place, before
she finally turned away from Pete's gaze and stepped into the bathroom
to take her shower.
Pete glanced at his watch. It's
been thirty minutes. 'How much time does she need in there?' He walked
over to the door and knocked, "Oi, Pryde. You'll use up all the hot
water." He leaned close, listening through it. "Pryde? Did you fall
asleep?" He knocked again. "Blast it... you know having your abilities
would be mighty helpful in this case! Respond or I'm bustin' this door
down! Kitty?" He stepped back, placing his left hand against the door,
his right hand pulling back, ready to trigger his ability. Pete reached
down and tested the handle to discover it was unlocked. He carefully
opened the door, sticking his head in, "... Kitty?" He noticed her
sitting faced away from him, fully clothed, on the floor next to the
tub. "Are you deaf? I've been callin' for you... you ain't sick, are
Kitty waved a hand in Pete's direction. "I'm fine. Just... give me a
Pete looked very concerned. He sat behind her, putting a hand on her
back, "Pryde... what's going on?"
"Oh Pete..." She turned
and looked at him. She looked as though she had been crying. "I'm so
in the... I don't like seeing girls cry. Stop that! There's nothin' to
be sorry about." Pete looked at a loss.
She let out a nervous laugh. Kitty moved herself to sit next to him,
"Of all the times... maybe I'm still drunk? No."
"I don't follow." He
studied her face.
Kitty reached over and grabbed a small wad of toilet paper, attempting
to dry her eyes. "You're going to laugh."
not laughing. I'm watching you cry on our bathroom floor without any
reason to." Pete put an arm around her shoulders.
Kitty made a
face, "That's not helping me." She turned to look at him. "Okay, so I
was in here... thinking about what we just talked about. And there's
this moment where I reflected on things that have all happened in my
life and I had this sudden, horrible realization that I had done to you
almost exactly what Piotr had done to me. Well, not exactly. But
similarities enough..." She covered her eyes, "And all I could think
about was how..." She paused, then said. "Piotr wasn't a horrible
person. I know that. It's not romanticizing the situation in any way,
but he hurt me so bad I couldn't even be around. I went away so he
wouldn't get to see that. So he wouldn't see how much he hurt me. Fast
forward a few years and I have this epiphany. You deserved better,
cause that was just the most miserable feeling... like my heart ripped
"... and there was
nothing I could do about it. What?"
not you. Levels, experience... you can't compare them." Pete nodded,
"It hurt, and I left. The ball was in my court and I dropped it. I
thought about how I should've handled it differently. Doesn't mean I
could win you back or change your feelings. That was the hardest part
about leavin', knowing that I was giving up on the one damned honest
thing I thought I had goin' for me."
"I know you're not me.
Told you... it was stupid. And yet the tears keep rolling.."
reached over and turned her face to look at him. He kissed her again.
She calmed at his touch. He whispered softly. "I forgive you."
Kitty half-smiled, then replied, "I thought this wasn't about
of plans." Pete moved from his seated position, taking a washcloth and
wetting it down in the sink. He kneeled down next to Kitty, offering it
She wiped her face down, "Yeah, huh." Kitty said warmly, "I'm glad."
"Me too." Pete stood.
"I need a smoke." He leaned against the doorframe, "Or do you..?"
Kitty stood, "Need a smoke? No. I'm fine."
"Not what I meant."
She looked him over and said, "I know."
nodded and walked away from the bathroom, toward the front door. Kitty
hesitated, then caught up to hug Pete tightly from behind.
"Oof! Pryde.." Pete
She pressed her forehead against his back, saying softly. "...I don't
know if you realize it, but that meant a lot."
He turned around in her arms to face her. "To be forgiven?"
"Yeah." Kitty smiled up
let out a tense sigh. He whispered, "I really... really need t'smoke."
He moved away from her briefly, then tugged at her arm and pulled her
forcefully toward him in a tight embrace. She looked caught offguard,
eyes wide open as he pressed his lips to hers.
"Pete--!" She stammered
turn t'tell you shush." His hands moved down her sides, pushing her to
fall on her back, onto the bed behind her. Pete continued to kiss,
settling down onto the bed atop her.
She broke the kiss and whispered, "As long as we're clear, this is
purely physical, right?"