1963-08-19 - Murphy's Law
Summary: Alternate title: Piotr Rasputin and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day.
Related: Of Hair And Dignity
Theme Song: A sad trombone, on repeat, forever.
illyana kitty lorna piotr 

The blonde thing that wanders into the library on quiet, bare feet barely looks like Piotr's sister. Illyana's tangled, mussy blonde hair falls to her lower back in a single, clean sheet, and the tangle at her brow has been resolved into a perfectly coiffed sprawl of bangs. Someone must have admonished her about changing her clothes more often, because she's wearing a neat yellow pinafore over a white polo shirt, with black round collar tips and demi-sleeves.

She's still barefoot of course, and it's very likely more due to the fact that she hasn't mastered shoes than any of the orthopedic reasons she espouses.

"Piotr! I talked to Kitty. Has she talked to you yet?" Illyana says, in her demanding alto tones— bypassing whatever Piotr's focusing on in order to speak to him.


Whatever Piotr's focusing on right now is — rather, was — the contents of an unremarkable-looking manilla folder. He snaps it closed as soon as he hears his name, looking up and blinking once as he takes in the changes to Illyana's appearance.

"She has not," Piotr replies, straightening in his chair as if preparing to stand. Suddenly, he sounds worried. "Is something wrong?"


Lorna has arrived.


Illyana gives Piotr a rather sly, knowing look, and taps her chin with an index finger. Good lord, someone pinned her down and gave her a manicure, too. "Nooooooo, nothing's wrong."

"I know something yooooou dooon't," she says, taunting Piotr with her momentary advantage in height (meager though it is), and a crafty expression full of haughty superior knowledge. "It's about you and Kitty, and it's tremendous. Absolutely tremendous." She gives him… well, it's a horribly smug smile, though not cruel by any stretch of the imagination.

Winner of the year for Smug Sibling Smile 1963, though.

She flounces away from Piotr and sits on the edge of the table, knobbly knees exposed and bare feet swinging through the air under the table. Sitting as he is in the heavy, oversized library chair, Piotr manages to look a good deal more dignified than his sister despite Illyana's recently trip to the salon.


Normally, an older brother might object to such treatment. Piotr, however, positively sags in relief, slumping back into his chair and covering his face with one of his hands. "<Oh, thank God,>" comes out in an exhausted-sounding laugh.

Poor guy has been having quite a month.

Shaking himself, Piotr straightens back up so that he can smile at Illyana, setting the folder down in front of himself and resting his palms on top of it. "You seem pleased with whatever it is, so I probably do not need to worry," he says wryly.


"Always good to worry. Fear keeps you on your toes." Illyana pops off of the table with a nimble ease and reaches for Piotr's hand, trying to haul him out of the chair. "Come now, I need to go into town for books and things. Must go to library at University, and don't want to go alone." She tugs mightily, and strong as she is, succeeds in moving maaaaaybe Piotr's shoulder a few inches by dint of main force, refusing to acknowledge the fact that she is probably incapable of manuvering her brother against his will.

Once everyone's up and running, Illyana grips his wrist and steps onto a glimmering yellow circle of light. The world flashes purple, then they take a second step, and land in— Well, Oxford, England. It takes a few minutes for Piotr to figure out where the two Rasputins kids are (thanks to a well-placed sign on the wall).

After a dozen dizzying pops back and forth from Limbo to the real world and back again, Illyana gets them dialed in on NYU's campus, stepping off the glimmering circle of light right in the center of the quad with her hulking Russian brother in tow.

"Ah! This is the one. Newwwww Yoooooork University," she says, pointing at a large sign near the street corner, sounding out the vowels. "Come, I see 'Library'," she says, tugging Piotr along with her like a small dog determined that if she just pulls hard enough on the leash, she can move the world.


All that relief that had come to Piotr's face is rapidly chip, chip, chipped away with each new step his sister pulls him through until, finally, they seem to come to a destination. The number of trips through Limbo is not the only reason the large man is suddenly feeling a little nauseous.

"We… we have a lot to discuss, I think," Piotr says in a very quiet, oddly tight voice, trying desperately to avoid having his accent overheard as he allows Illyana to pull him along towards the library. "Slow down, Snowflake, it is not going to go anywhere without you."


Lorna was having a truly bad day thus far. An overly long shift at the diner the night before had her sleeping through her alarm. She had been ten minutes late to her first morning class. And now, now she'd been assigned a paper. One on Chaucer and his works and she really, really, disliked the thought of reading Middle English texts to write a /paper/.. But it had been the only English course open to a Freshman that had registered late. After having spent hours in the library hunting down translation books she was exhausted.

So then, on top of all this, some woman and a man /teleport/ right in front of her. A surprised shriek escapes her lips and her books tumble to the ground as she scrambles backwards with wide eyes. If perhaps, a few smaller, metal objects tremble along with her, it was merely a trick of the light.


Illyana comes up short at the shriek, putting herself between the screaming woman and Piotr reflexively. She curls her fingers into a tight cage, and shadows that definitely AREN'T a trick of the light curl between her fingertips.

But she relaxes when the cry turns out to be one of shock rather than aggression, and scowls prettily at Lorna. "Why are you yelling? There's no call for that," she chides the woman, clearly a bit unsettled by her yelling.

She does start helping the girl with her scattered books, though, picking them up and smoothing out the papers with a surprisingly careful reverence despite her harsh tones. She looks at Piotr, frowning, and speaks in Russian. "<Why are the Amerikanski always yelling?>" she asks of him, sounding exasperated.


Piotr's reaction to the shriek is simply to stop where he is, close his eyes, and draw in a very slow, steadying breath. This was only, you know… everything he worried about happening to him when venturing out into the city crashing together all at once.

When he lets the breath out, those with sharp ears might even hear the faintest bit of a whimper.

"We apologize," Piotr says in heavily-accented english, and unlike his sister, he stays where he is, offering Lorna a very apologetic look from a safe distance. "We did not mean to startle you. You are unhurt?"


Lorna stares, her eyes wide and rounded as she stumbled back another step as Illyana's fingers curl. The pair might notice a faint tugging on metal bits of clothing, they might not, but whatever metal is closest seems to tremble in mimickry of her movements. At least until Illyana comes up and starts to pick up her books while chiding her. She shivered, looking quickly from the woman to the man as each spoke. Her lower lip trembled and she hugged her arms to her chest. At least she had stopped screaming.

"Y-you're Russian!" She gaped, looking around them and back, and finding the quad to be empty of other students. As if the greatest offense was the fact that the two were not American.


Illyana gives Lorna a look like the woman was surprised the sky was blue. (Admittedly, that was something that surprised Illyana periodically as well once in a while). "Da. Obviously. Speaking Russian, very likely, Russian." She seems puzzled that this would prove to be such a shocker to the brunette girl, then blinks and her mouth makes a quiet 'ohhhh'.

"Da, that's right, the… thing, with the Russians and Americans. Not that kind of Russian," Illyana assures Lorna, shaking her head with a toss of her straight blonde hair. "Other kind. Good kind of Russian— here to study at school. I do not even own hammer or sickle," she tells the woman, with a straight face. Was that a joke? It might have been a joke.


With a slight furrow of his brow, Piotr looks down to the manilla folder in his hand — specifically, one of the many small metal paperclips holding the papers inside together — as it seems to spring loose and clatter to the ground of its own accord.

"I… yes. The other kind of Russian," Piotr confirms with a very odd expression, dragging his free hand down across his face. "…I am sorry we frightened you. Illyana, please," he says, casting a worried look around the quad. It was bound to have more people coming through sooner or later. "We should go."


Several blinks followed the messy train of thought, Russian but not /Russian/, was that even a thing? Lorna shrugged, and still shaking, and a tad bit pale. "A good Russian? I.. Uhm… but.. you.. you.. just.. ap-appeared.. out of no where.. A-and.." She swallowed a lump in her throat, her voice quivering as she eyed the library books that Illyana had gathered up as if they might lunge at her.

Finally, her gaze dragged toward Piotr and she chewed her lower lip. Hard. A wince escaped her and she finally realized that standing there struck dumb was rather rude. "Uhm.. It's.. uh.."


Mercifully, the quad's not filled with the most studious/attentive of folks; no one but Lorna seems to notice the two Rasputin kids arriving, and her screams are met with a few curious glances but no one dashing over to help. It seems things are on an even keel, despite Lorna's imitation of a fish as her jaw works but makes no real noises.

"Not from nowhere, came around tree," Illyana says. The nearest tree's a dozen yards away, but the woman seems readily able to dismiss Lorna's concerns as if they were the ravings of a madwoman. "Should pay better attention." She gets Lorna's books in a stack and pushes them into the woman's arms, to be caught or dropped.

"I am Illyana," the small blonde girl says, chin high with an imperious sort of poise. "My brother, Piotr. I am here to study in your library. Piotr is here to help carry books," she declares.

"What is your name then? You are student here?"


There's that quiet, barely-audible whimper of a sigh, again. Briefly, Piotr allows his head to drop forward and hang in place, covering his face with his palm. Surely, if he cannot see Lorna, she cannot see him. That's totally how this works, right?

Resigned to the fact that drawing his sister away appears pointless, Piotr grips his folder and, with an almost apologetic look given to Lorna, slowly makes his way a bit closer to the pair. Since Illyana seemed intent on conversation, he just stays quiet. The American girl seemed overwhelmed enough without both of them talking at her.


A scramble was made to try to take back the books as Illyana all but shoved them into her grip. One or two of the smaller ones tumbling from her grip and she bent double in a comically awkward manner to try to pick them up and not spill the others back onto the pavement. She swallowed hard, green eyes darting upwards toward Illyana as the woman introduced herself and her brother.

"L-Lorna." She squeaked, her voice raising in pitch as Piotr edged closer and she tried and failed to inch back a step—her books once more spilling out of her grip to the ground. She knelt, a blush burning over her cheeks as she tried to pick them up again.

"I just started." Her hands shook, at least one bookflap that had a staple stuck in it, clung to her hand and she tried to push it off without success.


Illyana watches impassively as Lorna drops her books— again— and gives Piotr a look of mute appeal. "I am not helping her keep picking up books if she keeps dropping them, I picked them up once," she says, as if he's the higher authority for all etiquette in the world. In her mind, he might very well be.

"You have staple stuck to hand," Illyana notes, pointing at Lorna's thumb. She blinks, then looks closer as Lorna has to peel the metal from her skin. "You have glue on hands? Should wash hands better. I have sticky hands too after eating too many fruits," Illyana tells the woman, in something like a sympathetic tone of voice. She watches Lorna flap her hand repeatedly. "/Very/ stuck," she observes.

Super helpful.


The moment moving closer seems to startle the American, Piotr stops right where he is, his lips pulling back into a tight line. His expression is, quite simply, pained.

"We are frightening her, Snowflake," Piotr says to his sister, taking a very small step backwards. He looks ready to say more before Illyana's remarks about the staple being stuck to Lorna's hand, and he can't help but cast a curious look from where he's standing, too far to really see much in the way of detail.

Something like recognition flickers behind the large man's eyes, but it's tempered by hesitation. Of course. This would be his luck, wouldn't it.


Lorna bent her head, as she stuck one hand down onto the opposite side of the book and finally pulled her other hand free. Though the book flap fluttered upwards as if tugged by an invisible string. She swallowed a lump that formed in her throat and stared down at the book flap as if in rising panic. Her green eyed gaze flickered upwards at Illyana and then back down. Quickly, she slammed the other books that she had gathered up over that one in particular and tried to gather them all up with book hands at once.

It failed, and the scramble was rather embarassing.

"Y-yes.. it must be the glue.." She whispered.


"If you just look at the file, you'll see there's something to this — " a voice familiar to the Rasputins pleads. Kitty, traipsing after some poor, unsuspecting professor, speeds her steps as he does, evidently not getting (or not listening to?) the unspoken message offered by the retreating figure's exit.

"Miss Pryde," the middle aged man hisses back, "the story is fantastical. It doesn't make sense. Legally-speaking there isn't grounds for any of this. Or precedence. Something of this scope requires more research before any allegations can be put forth. That is how the law works. Besides, as we discussed before I am not a practicing lawyer — "

"But you are a lawyer!" Kitty objects as she strides after him. "You were a lawyer! Look, I just thought — "

"Katherine," the man offers sternly. "Come back and take another law class. That is something I'd be happy to discuss, but consider this matter, from my perspective, for the time being, closed." There's an edge of finality in his tone, only made more final as he looks towards a building, "I have a class to teach. Come back and register and take more. You have a mind for this." With a single nod, he considers the conversation complete, prompting him to disappear into one of the many buildings.

Kitty watches his figure disappear into the building. Her shoulders slump downwards, her chin meets her chest, and her eyes train on the ground. A tug is given her to her mod-style dress, smoothing out all the wrinkles and she shakes her head, all the while muttering to herself in nearly indecipherable Yiddish, "Narish keys gut khkhmim…" but as she murmurs, she kicks a single rock on the ground, causing it to roll. She turns around, apt to head home after successive failures only to catch two familiar figures in her gaze, and a poor girl looking rather flustered. "Hi — " she shoots the Rasputins the most charming easy smile she can muster before looking down at the girl she doesn't know.

Her eyes squint slightly as her gaze casts back towards Illyana and Piotr, with that what are you doing here quality to her expression before turning back to Lorna, "Are you okay? You don't look — " she chews her bottom lip. "You need help?"


"Da, she is very scared," Illyana agrees, clucking her tonguue. "Oh well. We shall go."

She moves to sweep past the poor girl without a second thought, but at that moment Kitty arrives and the scowling blonde breaks into a beatific smile, and moves to give her a hug from well-toned arms.

"Cat! I am so glad you are here," Illyana says, beaming. "Did you come to study at Library, too? I need textbooks— calculus, then book Professor recommends on introduction to physics, and another book on history of Balkans," she says, counting on fingers. "Then will need your help with studying later." She touches her hair, pretending not to show it off (nevermind that Kitty was there when she got her hair cut and styled), and gestures vaguely back at Piotr. "Am glad you are here. You can ask… Piotr that … thing we discussed," she says, eyes shifting cannily to her brother. "And help him carry books."

"And this is Lorna, and Piotr is scaring her, for some reason."


Oh, thank God. The relief that washes over Piotr's face when Kitty arrives is not something he even bothers trying to hide.

"I am not scaring her," Piotr protests in a weak voice, taking another small step backwards away from poor Lorna and her books. "Not… deliberately. But she does need help," he agrees, trying to catch Kitty's eye with a very deliberate arch of his eyebrow. "She has staple stuck to hand."

Still gripping his folder, Piotr takes another step away. He clearly does not like making anyone uncomfortable, but to be honest, his level of discomfort looks like it might just rival poor Lorna's. He doesn't even notice Illyana's mention of having discussed Something with Kitty.


Lorna struggled to stand, a comical sight with books in a disordered mess. And several on the ground. The one with the staple, at the bottom of the pile, flaps awkwardly in the air. She was flustered at the very least and a hot mess at worst. Her cheeks burned hot and she shifted her grip on the books in a vain attempt to wrestle them under control when Kitty's arrival changed her focus upwards.

"I-I'm fine. It's just sticky!" Her voice was higher in pitch than someone that was strictly 'fine' should be and she stared with wide eyes as Kitty.


It's entirely possible Kitty left Xavier's early-early this morning so she didn't have to ask Piotr that thing they discussed; granting herself a little more time to gather her courage, and generally figure out how to write it in a note.

Kitty wraps Illyana in the offered hug and reaches up to stroke Illyana's hair, straightening out some of the muss as she does so, and fixing a few of the stray hairs that fly about Illyana's face. Her eyes brighten with the greeting, and her smile eases with the explanation. "Well, I'm happy to help however I can. And physics! Oh Yana, you are in for some fantastic material! Think about the wonders of the world repackaged in science! You'll love it!" A glowing endorsement for a subject most cringe at. "Force! Magnetism! Mechanics!" her hands clap together once excitedly.

A glance is cast towards the library followed by a small shake of Kitty's head, "No. Not the library for me. Was just trying to get," the smile falters and she clutches the manila folder close to her chest. Her head shakes, "It doesn't matter. I failed." Her nose wrinkles and she attempts to brush off her failure with a single shoulder shrug.

The explanation as to what is wrong with Lorna has Kitty nodding once, managing a knowing, if somewhat tight smile. "I'll talk to Pete right after I make sure Lorna is okay, alright?" There's an easy gentleness to Kitty's tone, seemingly stepping into a big sister role with Illyana whether consciously or not. "I haven't forgotten." She may have been avoiding it, but she hasn't forgotten.

At Piotr's words, she shoots Lorna a small smile and cranes her neck. "Hi Lorna… I'm Katherine." She shrugs, "You can call me Kitty. Everyone does." She strides a little closer, "Can I give you a hand with the staple? I've got — " she lifts her hands " — these really tiny fingers that make easy work of anything and everything small."

She nods easily at Lorna's assertion. Alright. A glance is cast towards Piotr, and the cogs in Kitty's mind start working. "Maybe a hand with your books then? I've definitely dropped massive piles across the quad before." And she'd claimed she wasn't clumsy, "You can deal with the staple, and I can take the books?" She spies a familiar one in the pile. "Aaaah! Chaucer?! Are you in McKnight's English class?" she cringes slightly and then wobbles her head, "The paper can be super easy, just make sure you read Chaucer out loud. It's almost ineffable without hearing it." Her nose wrinkles.


"Physics sounds stupid," Illyana says, wrinkling her pert nose at Kitty's assertion. "No application in Limbo. I do not understand why I need to know physics— has little relevance to me. Still, all knowledge is good knowledge. Also need primer on Earth Science," she adds, loosely twining her fingers behind her back. It's a bizarre contrast— were it not for the hard edge to her cornflower blue eyes, she'd almost look like any other young college girl wandering around the quad in bare toes.

"Perhaps can calm her down, too, Cat!" Illyana adds, as Kitty approaches the terrified woman. "She seems very, uh…" Illyana makes a gesture with one hand, and says something in Russian that implies being emotionally disturbed but clearly has no parallel in English.


The only comment Piotr makes aloud is a tired-sounding "Illyana, be nice," in response to his sister's Russian. Other than that, he falls silent, turning in place to take a quick look around. As soon as he spies something that looks even remotely like a bench that isn't too far away, he makes his way over to it and sits down, anxiously running his free hand back through his hair and turning his eyes downward to study the ground between his shoes.


Perhaps it was the soothing tones of Kitty's voice, or the space that finally opened up that gave her room to breath but Lorna nodded once, her eyes watering up faintly before she exhaled and seemed to calm herself. Her blush still remained, though it finally began to cool at the familiar tones of college topics and not the blasted staple that was seriously freaking her out. Almost as much as the two Russians.

"Hi, uhm Kitty.. And yeah. I've got McKnight's class. She keeps acting as if we're stupid for not knowing Middle English words or being able to read out loud. It's really hard and I'm in way over my head. I just took out every book on Middle English and it's enough to make my head spin. And I'm just having a really bad day-" Her voice cracked and tears swam in her eyes again, which she blinked at repeatedly.

"And then I dropped all my books and these two just a-appeared out of no where and they're Russian and I have never met a Russian before and I'm sure they're nice but /she/ had claws and then this stupid staple is sticking to my hand and I'm a-a rambling embarassment. I'm sorry!"


"Physics make the world go round. Literally. And you live here. In this world. Understanding it is important," there's a measured logic to Kitty's words as she directs them towards Illyana. Her eyes blink hard at Piotr's nearly retreating figure, and for a moment she considers moving from her spot with Lorna.

But quickly, it seems like she's making some kind of progress with the very stressed Lorna. A small, knowing smile creeps across Kitty's features with a nod, "I've been there. With the bad day, I mean. I've had some really bad days lately. Today… is just another one on the list," her eyes absently trace back to where the professor had retreated. With a huff of breath, she reaches out to give Lorna's arm a supportive squeeze.

The last about the Russian mutants has Kitty cringing slightly. "I'm sorry my friends caught you off guard. I'm sure they didn't mean to. No one wanted to scare you, I promise," she lifts her fingers in a symbol representing scouts honour — not that Kitty was ever a scout. "Pete and Yana are good people. Kind people. I know that it can be intimidating to be so startled, but I promise you're okay. No one is going to hurt you," even as she speaks, Kitty reaches for some of Lorna's books, aiming to help divest the other woman. "Just keep breathing. Nice slow breaths. The world is okay."

She casts a glance over her shoulder, "Pete, can you help hold these — " she takes care not to ask Yana. All she need are books floating around to initiate further anxiety in the poor girl.

It's then Kitty's eyes turn to study the staple for a moment before asking, "What made today so bad?"


Illyana goes over to Piotr, looking down at him, then rather timidly sits down next to him, hands on her knees and looking perplexed. "<Piotr, what's wrong?>" she asks him, switching to Russian. "<I am not being mean to her. I haven't threatened her! Or anyone, today!>" she assures her brother, wrapping her hands around his bicep and hugging herself against him. "<Why are you so quiet— is it because Cat is here? You shouldn't be nervous! She /likes you/,>" Illy tells her brother, beaming at him reassuringly. "<And she's Cat, so this is perfect for both.>"


Piotr actually startles slightly when Illyana joins him on the bench, blinking rapidly and lifting his head to look at her. He winces, then immediately looks apologetic for having done so. "<No, no, Katya is not why I am nervous,>" he assures her, keeping his voice very quiet. "<I just… I worry. About being myself in public like this. Because people react like that. Normally, I can prepare myself, but this was… abrupt.>" He smiles tightly, then leans over to peck Illyana on the top of the head. "<It is fine. I am fine.>"

He pauses, though, leaning back and giving her a slightly odd look. "<…wait. What do you mean, perfect for b—>"

Saved by the Cat. Piotr looks up when Kitty calls for him and, after a moment of hesitation, slowly rises to his feet. "If you are certain it is alright," he calls back, and without thinking, he offers the folder he's been reading to his sister to free up his hands.


Lorna allowed Kitty to pick up a number of books from her arms, including the one with the staple in the so offending bookflap that twisted and seemed to earn for the poor girl's form. She didn't seem to notice this at the moment, even as she shifted her grip on the remaining books and tried to inhale and exhale slowly. Her features splotchy with red and tears that trickled down her cheeks.

"I woke up late because I had a late shift and then I was late to class and Professor Harper yelled at me in front of everyone and then all of this. I feel so stupid.." She whimpered, sniffling. "Maybe I'm not right for college." She rubbed at her now runny nose, blinking back more tears as it all came tumbling out.


There's a small nod given to Piotr; Kitty thinks it's alright, and before he moves, the Jewish girl is plucking the stack from Lorna. One book at a time is taken and restocked in Kitty's arms until Piotr is close enough to unload the stack upon. At which time, Kitty, with marked apology writ in her expression through slightly furrowed eyebrows, a small frown, and a tick of her head, hands them to Piotr — even if he doesn't have the best grip on them.

With Lorna blinking back tears, Kitty (with now free hands) reaches out to squeeze the other woman's shoulders hey. "Hey. Hey," she coos gently. "It's okay. Everyone goes through this. Everyone." Blush creeps over her cheeks, "I went through it my first year. Honestly. It's an adjustment. You can do this."


Illyana beams when Piotr hugs her, because everything is all right again, and she follows him along obligingly, crumpling the papers into a roll in her left hand.

She comes up on Kitty reassuring the crying girl with a hug, and taps the papers against Piotr's arm when he accepts the books from her friend. "See! She is crying and I was not here this time. Was not me," she tells her brother, as if this fact provides her carte blanche innocence.

"Should punch Professor Harper in face," Illyana provides to Lorna, helpfully. "I find that settles many problems with people who think yelling is acceptable. Or beat him with stick! I can find you a stick," she offers, and clearly she thinks she's being helpful.


Clearly still apprehensive about crowding the poor girl, Piotr does eventually come close enough to accept the books from Kitty. He, at least, has no trouble managing the full stack. It's eye contact he's having difficulty with now.

"Snowflake, please," Piotr murmurs in a slightly pained voice, taking a small step backwards once he's certain no further books are left to be passed up. Leave Lorna and Kitty their space. "Violence is not appropriate in academia." He pauses and, slightly more firmly, adds "Or most places, for that matter. We really do need to talk more," he sighs, hanging his head. "<…please be careful with that file, Snowflake. It is important to me.>"


Lorna leaned into the half hug, her arms now free, she rubbed at her blurry eyes and sniffled. Her brows pinched as she glanced at Kitty and sniffled. "Really?" She inhales and exhales a shallow few breaths, seeming to finally calm down well and truly this time. The bookflap that had been pulling toward her going inert now in Piotr's arms.

Illyana's offer to punch the professor in the face earned a laugh, her hand making to smother it against her lips as she sniffled again. "Thank you.. but it was my fault I was late.." She bit her lower lip and sighed, hanging her head.

"Sorry for freaking out.."


Eyebrows arch slightly at Illyana's prescribed violence, but at Lorna's laughter, her expression eases. "Maaaaybe violence towards a professor isn't the best idea because they have all the power in the classroom, but I appreciate the sentiment, Yana."

Lorna's lean prompts Kitty to actually open her arms to Lorna in a real hug because sometimes it's okay to be hugged by strangers. "Absolutely. I was hopeless. And awkward. Really awkward." She shrugs. "It'll get easier. I promise." She casts Lorna a warmer smile.

Her nose wrinkles slightly. "And it's okay," Kitty's arms drop and she takes a single step back. "Everyone's okay now, I think. Honestly. Just a big miscommunication and oddity of circumstance." Her head cants towards Piotr as concern colours her eyes, but she doesn't utter any of her thoughts. Instead, she casts him a lopsided encouraging smile.


"Would still hit him in face. Piotr is giant teddy bear, hates the idea of stepping on flies, even," Illyana tells Lorna, making a face. "If you beat the Professor, then you can take over his class!" she suggests, as if that's not the most obvious thing in the world. There's a sense that the girl's suggestion definitely isn't a Russian thing. Illyana just seems to have a proclivity for violence.

Once Kitty and Lorna are done hugging, Illyana siiiiiiiiiiiidles up to her brunette friend and nudges her with her elbow, shoulders swaying back and forth, and makes several very purposeful looks from Kitty-to-Piotr-to-Kitty-to-Piotr.

"Wellllllllllllllllllllll? Does someone have something to ask someone else?"


The smile from Kitty does not go unseen. The look Piotr gives her back is just plain tired, but there is a very small smile underneath even so. "It is our fault for having frightened you," he says to Lorna, lifting one massive shoulder in a helpless shrug. "It is alright. Where… do…"

His words trail off as his eyes follow Illyana over to Kitty, and there is a very brief flicker of genuine annoyance on his face. He takes a slow breath before trusting himself to say anything. "Now is not time, Illyana," Piotr says in as gentle a voice as he can muster, a bit tight around the edges. "Katya and I will speak later. Please."


Lorna returned the hug that Kitty offered and she sighed, her features cooled off and her shoulders easing at the older student's reassurances. She smiled then, and nodded. "Yeah.. just a little too much at once." She ducked her head, and shrugged. Illyana's words drew a quirk of her eyebrows and she blinked repeatedly at the mention of beating the professor to take over his class.

Whatever response is was going to offer though, was cut off at a glance at her watch and she paled. Just as the awkwardness that is Illyana giving Piotr and Kitty the looks started.

"Ah! I'm going to be late to my shift at the diner. I have to go!" She squeaked, and threw her hand up in frustration, before taking off. Library books forgotten.


It's pretty easy to see the change in Kitty's expression as she literally gets an elbow to the ribs. Her body recoils in towards itself, and her shoulders hunch forward. Her skin takes on a pink hue and she looks towards Illyana, "I haven't forgotten. Just, a few more minutes, Yana. Please?" And then, gently she offers, "Your hair is very nice, you know. It paid off."

And then, with Lorna heading away, Kitty calls, "You forgot your — " her lips quirk " — books." She sighs and glances towards Piotr holding the books, "I didn't catch her last name. I don't know how to get these to her." Her lips twist to the side thoughtfully.

But with Lorna gone, and Illyana already getting excited about questions, Kitty hmmms quietly. "We should head to the library. You needed books right? Well we can return these ones and get Yana what she needs."


Illyana emits a groaned, frustrated sigh, rolling her head skywards and squinching her eyes shut. She says something rather uncharitably in Russian, but fortunately its a mutter so Piotr only gets the tail end of it.

"Fine. Books. I do need books. While I am getting books— you two talk." She turns on her heel and strides off purposefully, and makes it a good ten yards before she realizes she's headed towards the wrong building. She turns at a ninety degree angle, chin up, eyes /forward/, and marches her bare feet towards the Library, arms swinging, and leaving Piotr and Kitty to catch up and TALK ABOUT THEIR FEELINGS. Because their lack of communication is clearly the end of Illyana's life as she knows it.

Someone make a mental note, never give the girl romance novels.


For a long moment, Piotr just silently stares after Lorna as she rushes away from them. He lets his eyes drop down to the books held in his hands, then back up at the young woman's retreating back. It takes some genuine effort on his part not to just drop the books; instead, he continues to carry them, and his mouth twitches. "…of course," he says in a quiet, too-light tone. Of course.

Whatever Illyana muttered, Piotr chooses to ignore, but it does ensure that he doesn't say anything until she's gotten a few long strides ahead of him and Kitty as they all make their way towards the library. "Whatever she is expecting you to do… do not feel obligated. She and I need to have long talk about boundaries," he says in a low, slightly irritated-sounding grumble. "Soon."


"I think she's in pain," Kitty whispers as she makes a metal note to never cut a deal with Illyana again. But with the blonde treading away, and the pair seemingly alone, she casts Piotr an awkward smile before turning her attention back to her feet.

And then he tells her not to do whatever she was about to do, causing defeat to write over all of Kitty's features. Her expression turns pained and she actually freezes in spot for a few beats. Her lips open and close, trying to find their way around words. "Piotr," not Pete or Petey, "that's not — I'm not — " she frowns, this is going so much worse than anything she had envisioned. Deflated, she sighs heavily. She blinks hard. "I'm not obligated!" there's just a hint of strain in her voice. Her jaw tightens and now it's finally her turn to be just a stitch dramatic. "I'm not passive. I have my own will. So even if others give encouragement now and then I make my own choices." Her lips turn downwards slightly, "No one can take that away from me. Not Jean. Not Keith. Not Illyana. Not the government." Her posture tightens further. "And not even you, Piotr." Her arms cross over her chest and she looks towards the library. "You should catch up to her."


Well, that certainly is not a reaction Piotr had been expecting. He stops dead in his tracks, immediately forgetting all about trying to keep up with Illyana in favor of turning to look at Kitty with a confused series of blinks. "Wait a moment - I was not trying to suggest -" He makes a face and just… closes his mouth.

Deep breaths, Piotr. Deep, calming breaths.

"I apologize, Katya," Piotr says very slowly, choosing his words very carefully for fear of saying something else wrong. That just seems to be how his day is going. "Perhaps later." He has been shooed after his sister, and so, he reluctantly turns to trudge after Illyana with his hands full of Lorna's forgotten books.

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