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29 July 2006 @ 04:36 pm
Fighting the Nightmares  
The day had been long and horrendously exhausting, but as I leaned against Peter, with his arm around me, the headache that had been pounding through my head seemed to recede a bit. I wasn't sure if it was a result of his closeness or the double dose of aspirin or both, but either way I was glad for the relief.

"Are you doing ok?" he asked me.

I nodded and tried to work up a tired smile for him. "I'm fine," I told him. I thought back to my fight with Emma and was forced to realize how much it had taken out of me. She'd thrown me onto an emotional roller coaster, and after the battle at Genosha it was really the last thing I'd needed. "Just...a little tired," I admitted.

"Can I fix you something to eat?"

He looked so worried that I had to laugh a little, and put a hand on his face to soothe him. He really is the sweetest man. I've seen him smash through buildings and take down countless supervillains. He's been through death and torture and who knows what else, but none of it changes who he really is deep down.

Thank God.

"Nah, I'm not hungry," I repled. "Really," I added firmly, not sure he believed me. I guess he did, because he changed the subject.

"Scott has invited Rogue to be on team again," he said in a low voice.

"For real?" I raised my eyebrows and looked over at the woman we were talking about, who was currently engaged in conversation with Scott. "Good. That's good. I think that will help all of us."

I eyed the table in the corner, zeroing in on one of the chairs. Sleep was the foremost thing on my mind, but I wanted to talk to Peter a little more to erase the ugliness of the day. The last thing I needed was more nightmares.

"You know, you're right. I should eat something," I said, turning to him. "But I seriously need to sit down before I drop. Will you fix me something?"

((Open to Peter))
Current Location: Xavier Institute, kitchen
Current Mood: exhaustedexhausted
thelastrasputin on July 30th, 2006 03:05 am (UTC)
"We both came back, right?"

I nod, and sit down across from her. It was true, the simple truth was that we both came back. That makes me smile again at her. I wouldn't have come back, if she hadn't come back. I'm not trying to smile, but I can't help it. It fades a little as I sit and watch her as she eats. The reality of the mansion creeps back into my head.

I wonder about Rogue. We should definitely talk some time I thought. It would be good for me to talk to everyone on the team. I need to reconnect, more for my sake than theirs. I need to know that the connection is still there. I have talked some, but not much with anyone really. I hope no-one takes it personally. I don't mean anything by it. I was never extremely extroverted, but I will get better at it with time. I have nothing but opportunities now. I had expected none, and suddenly I had nothing but new opportunities. When you don't think you will live, when you have no hope, you have a lot of opportunity to think about all the things you would do differently if you had another chance. I have that chance now, but I am not sure when I will actually realize any of those sort of changes. I will try, all I can do is try, and be thankful for what I have.

I Sigh and try to cover more of the necessities as I see them. This is not a time for me to rest. "Do you know if there is anything I should do now? Is there repair or cleanup that must be done now? or should I just find my squad and talk to them, or what? I feel like I should not let myself be tired now, that I cannot sleep until more work is done."

I am looking to her for answers. I look to her for so many things. I hope the burden isn't too great. I do not want to add to the weight that has been placed upon her.
Katherine "Kitty" Pryde: Girl Geniusprydeofthexmen on July 30th, 2006 03:21 am (UTC)
"Do you know if there is anything I should do now? Is there repair or cleanup that must be done now? or should I just find my squad and talk to them, or what?"

I thought for a moment before answering. I really was feeling very tired. "Well, the former Danger Room needs to be rebuilt, and I'm starting to think that we should maybe call it something else. Something not creepy. I'm going to look up the old plans and see what I can start on, but we also should have Hank for that. You could probably start clearing debris, though." I propped my elbows on the table and rested my chin on my hands. "I have no idea where your squad would be right now. I should find mine, too, but that's going to have to wait. It might be a good idea for you to set up a meeting with all your kids, in whatever room is going to be your office. Establish dominance and all that. There are a few who can smell fear."

"I feel like I should not let myself be tired now, that I cannot sleep until more work is done."

I laughed. "Noble sentiment, but you're going to find that being both a teacher and an X-Man is rather exhausting. It's like being a doctor - you sleep when you can. I'm already late with some computer science quizzes I had to grade, and you know how crazy I am about deadlines."
thelastrasputin on July 30th, 2006 03:58 am (UTC)
What don't I love about her? I can think of nothing. She is right. How is she so wise, and how is it these things don't just come to me sometimes? I have to think about it for a moment. It would probably be best for me to wait to clear debris, until we have a plan. I don't want to damage anything salvagable through my ignorance of the technology, so it should definitely be a supervised activity for me.

"Noble Sentiment" She said. I had to smile at this. She was being kind to me. My reaction was almost silly in retrospect, but it was genuine. I can't do it all. I can't do it all in one night. I certainly can't do it without sleep, or without thinking things through.

"You are absolutely right. My emotions are wanting to do everything at once, and that isn't possible. I think I will Check common rooms, and the dormitory level for students who may just need an adult to talk to, and then I think I will go to bed." How much better would I sleep beside her I think, but I do not say it. "In the morning, I can see what needs to be done. As long as we have marked areas as restricted, things will be fine for the moment. I will start more formal planning for my squad, and for my classes tomorrow as well. If you need help grading quizzes, I can help you." I knew exactly how she was about deadlines. I meant it sincerely, but didn't think she would take my offer.
Katherine "Kitty" Pryde: Sakura Blossomsprydeofthexmen on July 30th, 2006 04:20 am (UTC)
"You are absolutely right. My emotions are wanting to do everything at once, and that isn't possible."

That made me smile, because it was so true. He was a worker by birth, and he would keep going until he ran down. Granted, his mutant strength gave him reserves of power I couldn't dream of, but I still didn't want to see him hurt himself by trying to do too much too soon. And what if there were still some lasting effects from his time spent in that underground lab? It would be easy for him to lose himself in work, but I'd have to watch him to make sure he was taking care of himself, as well.

"If you need help grading quizzes, I can help you."

I tried to hide my grin. "Thanks, but the students will just have to wait. Not that they care, I'm sure. I think you'll be busy enough putting together your own lesson plans, and I don't want to take you away from that. Speaking of, let me know if you want help with it. I have all kinds of charts and graphs on my laptop that might make organizing your classes a little easier."

A huge yawn cut me off, and I clapped my hands over my mouth to stifle it. I knew I needed to go to sleep, but I needed this, too, this normalcy. Just sitting here at the kitchen table, talking about work, sharing ideas. This was something normal couples did, and I was going to make sure we got to do those things, too. In-between saving the world, of course.
thelastrasputin on July 30th, 2006 09:15 pm (UTC)
Her smiles washed over me like the warmth of the sun. We could have been sitting anywhere, at anytime. Two teachers discussing work, two friends sharing time together. Lovers reconnecting after so much time apart. Had we not been standing hours earlier on the site of a... genocide, had we not had a child die at the hands of a living machine we had haeld prisoner.

Her yawn brings me back to her. I smile because she is cute. She is so much more than cute, but It is not an insult that I feel this way. She is so many things to me, but for now, what she is most rightfully, is tired. I reach across the table and squeeze her hand when she is done yawning.

"Miss Pryde, Do you need to be carried to your room?" I smile warmly. It feels like a warm smile to me anyway. I am a little surprised by the fact that I was able to smile like that, but not surprised that it was for her. I don't offer to stay with her. It would make me feel better if I did, but I am not sure if that is a direction she wants to go right now. Just being near her though is what is on my mind. There are so many things that are hard for me to say out loud, but that doesn't mean I don't feel them, and think them.

"I would appreciate any teaching tools I can borrow from you."
Katherine "Kitty" Pryde: Free him by coming homeprydeofthexmen on August 1st, 2006 12:20 am (UTC)
"Miss Pryde, Do you need to be carried to your room?"

To know I could put a smile like that on his face, after all the horrors he's endured, made everything seem worth it. Everything we'd ever come across, and fought, and lost.

We'd both lost so much that it boggled my mind to think that we'd come full circle and still had each other.

It had been ages since he'd carried me in his arms. Ages since it had been possible, or necessary. I guess it wasn't necessary now, as I could phase through the ceiling, but I had the feeling that if I tried to walk I might not make it.

"Why, Sugah, I think I do," I said in a bad imitation of Rogue's perpetually flirtatous southern belle drawl. What can I say, we all have our talents. Foreign accents weren't one of mine. And the south was pretty foreign to Chicago.
thelastrasputin on August 2nd, 2006 04:11 am (UTC)
I move close to her and scoop her up in my arms. It's heaven to me. I cannot forget anything that has happened. It is sweeter to hold her with a sense of all that has gone on since the last time I was able to hold her. I can't recall when it could have been any more. There is some ancient muscle memory there. She weighs nothing to me. Holding her is effortless. We have almost nothing but the unspoken. Since I have been back, things have seemed strange between us. I think she understands that it isn't her. It isn't that my heart and my body don't ache for her. It is taking me some time to get to a point where I don't wake up trying to destroy my room. I am fearful of having her near me some times. There is a rage still that has yet to be released. I live in fear that it will be all consuming when it finally makes itself known.

She played along. My heart felt oddly light, and now I was holding her again. We were scarcely a day away from such horrors and betrayal, and I felt good. I felt like a man holding his girlfriend, sharing a playful moment. I let myself feel that way. There is very little mess in the kitchen, but I don't even look at it. " Kitchen will clean itself" I say, as I start to leave, and make my way to her room.
Katherine "Kitty" Pryde: Katyaprydeofthexmen on August 2nd, 2006 06:20 am (UTC)
You would think a man whose body can become plated with organic steel at a thought would be cold, but Peter is always so warm when he's in his own skin. I've often thought that he must have such a huge heart, both to contain all the emotion he holds and to keep that big body so warm. It comforted me as he cradled me against him, lifting me without the slightest bit of difficulty.

As he carried me out of the kitchen I let myself be lulled by the steady movement of being held by someone with a stride more than double my own. Sleep had been near all along, and it snuck up on me with its invisible grasp. As I drifted off in his arms, I had the thought that maybe, just maybe, that normal moment at the table and the lingerng warmth of his embrace would keep away the nightmares that had been given extra fuel by the battle with Danger and the Sentinels.
thelastrasputin on August 5th, 2006 04:18 pm (UTC)
She was asleep before I reached her room. She felt so good in my arms. I wished I could have stayed like that. I wish I could have stayed with her, but I could not. We hadn't established that sort of relationship again, not yet anyway. The main barrier was me. I was having some difficulty with closeness, with accepting that I really was back. She seemed to want me back in her life, but two years is a long time. I wouldn't expect it to just be treated as though no time had passed. I would not want to rush anything, but now I fear I may have gone too slow. None of those worries matter when she is in my arms. I am glad she fell asleep, as there is no uncertainty while she is sleeping, no insecurity or awkwardness.

I laid her down onto her bed, and I missed her closeness immediately. I covered her lightly with a blanket. I did not want to wake her. The lightest of kisses on her forehead. I can do that as she is asleep. I wished sweet dreams upon her, or at least a quiet and restful sleep. Tomorrow we would see how the world had changed.