1963-09-12 - Return to Harry's
Summary: After a break from Harry's following Illyana's demonic invitation, Kitty drags Piotr back.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
piotr kitty 


It had not been difficult to convince Piotr to get out of the Institute. He was restless and agitated — not angry, exactly, but definitely not comfortable being around the general low-grade chaos of a school in session.

As their feet carry them closer to Harry's Hideaway, though, Piotr's steps begin to slow and grow more hesitant, leaving Kitty to more or less drag the much larger man along by the hand.

"Perhaps somewhere new," Piotr suggests weakly, his eyes fixed on the door as it looms steadily larger in front of him. "There is bakery opening down the street. They do not know me, we could go there."

*

Two much smaller hands tug Piotr along as Kitty has taken to walking backwards as the pair gets closer to Harry's — this can't end well. While Kitty typically wouldn't be considered the purveyor of all things stable, she's exhibited an easy steadfastness despite Piotr's agitation. While she has her own concerns, intuition means responding to whatever people are going through.

Hopefulness reflects in Kitty's hazel eyes and she offers him an encouraging smile. "You can do this. I promise it'll be okay." Or, if need be, Kitty will make it okay. What that looks like? Well, only Kitty knows. "I'm here. Just… pay attention to me." She tugs him a bit harder. "They love you at Harry's. All will be fine. You'll see." Her eyebrows lift lightly.

*

Piotr doesn't quite whimper as he allows himself to be pulled along in Kitty's wake, but his expression suggests that he'd like to. He starts to open his mouth to voice no less than four different protests, none of which he actually gets out, before he just sighs in defeat and hangs his head.

"…okay. But if they ask us to leave, we leave," Piotr grumbles, giving a carefully-measured counter-pull against Kitty's hands to keep her from backing right up into the doors. "Okay?"

*

The request earns Piotr another encouraging smile. "Good," there's no question that Kitty is pleased with Piotr's agreement. And then she reassures, "And of course we'll leave if they want. That's what we do." Her smile softens, "This is Westchester. We don't rock the boat, and we don't get attention." Except when you let reporters have very intimate files about you.

The counter-pull manages to keep Kitty from running into the door, winning Piotr a grateful smile this time before Kitty turns around, causing the skirt of her dress to spin out in a full circle, to open the door. Despite freeing one of her hands to clasp the door, the other firmly clasps Piotr. Courage sometimes requires contact; these are things Kitty knows too well.

The familiar ding at the door draws her attention upwards and she looks at the bell. She casts a small glance over her shoulder and strolls up to the hostess. "Hello," she brightens, "table for two please. A booth if you have one…"

*

The contact is definitely necessary. Funny how Piotr is completely comfortable waging into a melee with frost giants and shadowy government conspiracies, but this has him downright timid.

The hostess looks up and flashes Kitty a smile, already grabbing a pair of menus when her eyes finally fall upon Piotr. She peers up at him, quiet for a moment.

"No blondes with you today, honey?" she asks warily.

He gives a small shake of his head.

"Good. Come on, then," she says, lightly smacking him on the arm with the pair of menus before leading the way.

*

Kitty's hand tightens around Piotr's when they enter the diner. Her lips quirk more when the hostess affirms that it's good to not have blondes with them, but she makes no remark. Her own foray into entertaining blondes hasn't gone well, and has mostly resulted in arguments about influencing passers-by, protestors, and like ilk.

It's not until the pair arrive at their booth that Kitty's hand drops — just a moment — to slide into hereat, following which Piotr is cast a very apologetic smile. "Thank you," she chimes to the hostess before the other woman retreats back to the front.

Kitty reaches across the table to give Piotr's hand another squeeze. Her smile subdues and she tilts her head, "It's okay, right?" That same hopefulness reflects in her tone. "I.. " her eyes turn downwards. "…just want you to feel like you can be yourself somewhere. That's all." Her eyebrows draw together.

*

Blondes are nothing but trouble. Same goes for redheads, in Piotr's experience. And sure, it may have been a brunette who threw him out a second story window, but really, that was not her fault.

After the hostess retreats, Piotr finally exhales and leans forward to lightly thump his forehead against the table as he's hit by a profound sense of relief. Recapturing his hand is easy and he returns the squeeze, nodding once without lifting his head.

"It is okay," Piotr confirms. "Thank you, Katya."

*

A quiet sigh of relief follows the word of thanks. "Good," Kitty confirms with a toothy grin. It's relieving to do something right for once. She leans back in her seat and, with her free hand, flips open the menu. "Alright now for the hard part," because getting in was easy, "what can good Jewish girl eat?" her teeth toy at her bottom lip. And then with a chuckle as she scans the menu, she adds, "And perhaps more importantly, what can a not-so-good Jewish girl eat?"

The menu is brought up to her face and then peeked around shyly to see if Piotr still has his head on the table. "So." Her lips press together tightly as she peeks back at her menu. "Do you want to talk about it?" Whatever it is hasn't been broached as of yet. "I mean, I know that losing this place for a bit was kind of," she makes a noise in the back of her throat. "And that can be tough, but — " she frowns behind her menu, but the expression reflects in her tone. "If you don't, I can tell you about the misadventures of Kitty Pryde and rile you with stories of katana wielding men in red and black pyjamas…"

*

When Piotr finally lifts his head, he does not reach for his menu. He already knows what he's having, after all, so why look? Instead, he props his chin up in his free hand, leaving the other one wrapped cozily around Kitty's fingers. He probably looks a bit like a lovesick puppy. He also probably doesn't really care.

"Talk about — oh." Piotr's brow furrows slightly, almost as if this notion hadn't even occurred to him. "I… I do not know if there is much to tell. And it is clearly fine now, yes?" He smiles towards her, hopeful — and then pauses, looking puzzled.

"…what is a katana?"

*

The menu drops, showing Kitty's rather quizzical expression, complete with a single quirked eyebrow and lopsided smirk. "It's like a giant knife…" her nose wrinkles "…thing." Her head shifts, canting to the side slightly. "I mistook this guy for Spider-Man." Her eyes widen slightly, "He was definitely not Spider-Man."

The waitress stops by at that moment to take the pair's orders. Without any hesitation Kitty orders a coffee, and then with some trepidation, she also orders, "A BLT… I guess?" Definitely NOT kosher. Not even a little. The bacon might be a bit of a giveaway.

Her head turns back to Piotr after the waitress leaves, "So anyways. This guy with all of these weapons and giant knife things faints in the middle of a sit-in at the Bugle. I caught him so he wouldn't fall on people, and phased him out, and then pulled him aside. After I got him out of the crowd he began to talk about how he was going to do some really odd damage. And then he disappeared." Her eyebrows draw together. "It was weird. It was so weird. I can't tell if he was intoxicated," she brings her finger to her temple and circles it around, "had a few loose screws, or what. But man. So weird."

*

A hamburger and fries for Piotr, and — after just a moment's hesitation, given the time of day — a beer. He thinks he deserves one after the last few weeks, and after last night's unexpected journey to Asgard, needs one, please and thank you.

"That… sounds alarmingly normal for a trip to the city," Piotr muses with a very odd smile, his eyebrows raising. "At least, for us. No one was hurt, then?" he asks hopefully, finally shifting to sit up a bit straighter. "At least there is that."

*

"No," Kitty offers quietly. "No one was hurt." Her fingers curl around Piotr's and she sighs softly. "It was… interesting. He called himself Mister Deadpool," or someone did. Who knows? "It's not a memory I'm likely to lose any time soon." Her lips purse. "I'm going to be keeping my eyes opened for him again. I suspect he's trouble." Of some kind.

Her tongue rolls over her lips and her eyes turn downwards, "So I did something. I really need you not to be upset about it. Please." Her lips twist to the side. "The files from New Orleans are no longer at the Institute." There. Like ripping off a bandaid.

*

Just like that. Somewhat abruptly, Mr. Deadpool is no longer relevant to Piotr's interests. He blinks once, taking this in, and his brow furrows ever so slightly as he studies her face from across the booth. "Okay… I am not upset. I promise. Where are they now?" he asks slowly, reaching over so that he can hold her hand between both of his.

*

"I moved them," Kitty replies as the beverages appear. The waitress is given a polite smile in turn. "Well, I gave them to someone. There was a fellow who ended up in lock up at the Coney Island facility… he has a history of dealing with things." Way to be so specific, Kitty Pryde. "And he wanted to track down the people responsible. So I thought I would give them to him and keep our people from getting hurt again," her eyes hone in on the table in front of her as she lulls herself into a very pregnant pause. There is more to the story.

*

Piotr spares a quick, grateful smile for the waitress when drinks arrive. Yeah, he's pretty glad he ordered what he did. He uses his grip on Kitty's hand to draw it across far enough for him to lean over and press a quick peck to her knuckles. He is not upset. He's not. He refuses.

"We will have to see if it works out that way," Piotr notes with an almost apologetic smile. He's not so confident about their group's willingness to just let it go. Or his own. After a moment, he just raises his eyebrows, a touch expectant. "Katya… what else?"

*

Uncertainty crosses Kitty's features. Her coffee is regarded silently as her free hand douses it with cream and sugar — neither of which reflect her usual choices. Her free hand adds each and then stirs it. It isn't until she lifts the handle of the cup that the tremble in her hands turns truly noticeable. She sips it before really considering what else.

"The fellow I gave them to — " her eyebrows draw together " — he's working with a reporter." She frowns slightly. "He offered to leave all names out of it." Her jaw tightens. "I don't want them published, but — we're people. All of us." She frowns.

*

The fact that her hands are trembling is not filling Piotr with confidence, but he is doing a good job of keeping himself steady. This news, though, he had not been expecting. Certainly not from her. His eyebrows leap the rest of the way up his forehead in surprise and, without releasing her hand, he slides out of the booth precisely long enough to join her on her side, instead.

There are a whole slew of responses banging around between Piotr's ears that are vying for the right to come out first, but he elects to curl an arm around her shoulders, instead. "You trust him?" he asks gently, watching her with a worried frown.

*

The movement unsettles Kitty right until Piotr's arm is around her shoulders. Her face hues a pale pink as her fingers tighten around the coffee cup, aiming to stop the tremor that sneaks up too easily. "I trust David," she states earnestly. "He underwent awful things at that place. He — " her face glances now " — wants to see them suffer. The people that," she can't even bring herself to finish her thought. "I want to see them suffer," the confession is quiet. David's maniacal laughter was almost like a projection into her own desires. Her throat clears and her voice drops to a whisper, "I don't know this reporter. But I trust David."

*

The quiet confession has Piotr immediately giving Kitty's shoulders a protective squeeze. "If you trust him, I trust him," he says quietly, as if it really was just that simple. He presses a kiss to the top of her head and murmurs against her hair. "Whatever comes of this, we will handle it together. And if you need anything, you will ask me. Okay?"

*

The squeeze at her shoulders and kiss to her forehead earn an easy smile and a nod. "Of course," Kitty says quietly. "I would've talked to you about it sooner, I just," her eyes turn downwards, "felt bad, I guess. I ran into Erik Lensherr as I was leaving and he wanted to know more about what happened. No one stopped me from taking the files, and they almost felt like poison…" her lips press together tightly. "Logan talked about poking at scorpions and I just — " her eyes lid tightly. " — did I bring this on all of you? Like, actually. David says not. But… I poked the scorpion's nest. I looked at what was in there."

*

Piotr can't help but roll his eyes when Logan's name comes up. He'll outgrow this reaction to the man eventually. Probably. Maybe. "Katya… they did not give you a choice," he says gently, lifting his head so that he can look down at her with a small frown. "You did not seek them out. And…" Here, he hesitates, his fingers fidgeting against the edge of the table. "…one-hundred and fifty-three is not a small number," he says very, very quietly. "It would have reached our doorstep eventually. Through Logan, or Akihiro. Or someone we have not yet met."

*

Kitty rubs her eyes and sighs softly. "I just — " her shoulders stiffen " — feel like I should've done more. Or something different, maybe." With a twitch of her lips she forces a very weak, very sad smile. "One-hundred and fifty-three," she repeats. "I never thought I'd be reduced to a number. Never." And now she dreams about it.

"I'm just glad everyone is okay. Almost." Jean is still in a wheelchair recovering. She hums quietly. "I just want it resolved. Completely. You know?" Her eyebrows lift expectantly. But she doesn't speak more about what that would look like, instead she takes a long languid sip of her coffee.

And then, as if this wasn't a topic of conversation, Kitty attempts to brush it aside, landing on, "I met someone new at the Institute. Crystal's sister seems very nice. Medusa is her name." Pause. "Short for Medusalith."

*

"And I could have gone to New Orleans with you when you decided to go and march. It is easy to see the options when the opportunity to change things has passed," Piotr notes with a helpless shrug. He leaves his arm around her shoulders and reaches across the table to retrieve the bottle of beer with his other hand.

As he has a sip, Piotr's eyes flick down to Kitty again. He recognizes the change in topic for what it is, so he will… not mention where they had found Medusa. Another time. "She is up and about? That is good," he smiles. "Crystal must be relieved."

*

There's a faint flush of Kitty's cheeks at the mention of marching. Her lips twitch twice over and she notes, "Marching was my thing. No one else here wanted to go, and maybe I shouldn't have either, but it seemed important at the time for me." Her head tilts to peek up at him, "But I guess, eventually, all roads lead home."

Score one for the topic change! "Oh Pete, you have no idea. Her hair is amazing. It's red and floats and is just so gorgeous." Yes, Kitty is enamoured with Medusa's hair. In another lifetime Katherine Pryde would have red hair. "I'm sure Crystal is happy to have her back. Also, she seems to speak Russian," her eyebrows draw together. "Her and Yana chatted a bit," Kitty has no idea what was said. "But! BUT!" she lifts a finger proudly, "I'm learning enough Russian to know it's Russian. This feels like a victory!" she smiles triumphantly.

*

A little cloud passes over Piotr's features when Kitty mentions his sister, but his smile remains stubbornly in place. Nope. "That is because it is one. Important step," he says warmly, nodding his head once in approval. "Perhaps we should make… cards. They helped me a great deal with my english," he murmurs, thoughtfully tapping his chin with the neck of his bottle of beer. "Might need to spell things… um. Word." One eye squints nearly closed. "As they sound."

*

ROLL: Kitty +rolls 1d2 for a result of: 1

*

"Phonetically," Kitty offers helpfully. "That makes sense. I feel like that would help a lot. I really want to use Russian somewhere." She issues Piotr a grin and another nod. "I'd appreciate any help there." Her attention returns to her coffee momentarily and she pensively chews on her bottom lip. The thoughtfulness continues as she considers something at length. In fact, it almost seems as if she's got nothing left to say until she taps lightly on his beer, silently indicating maybe he should drink that faster, and too quickly speaks. In a single stream of conversation the words spill out as she lifts a hand apologetically: "Also I strongly discouraged Yana from taking Medusa and Bobby to Limbo I said you wouldn't want her going and then she said it was because a demon attacked her and I said it had more to do with the whole her living here and not in Limbo anymore thing and I suspect she plans to take them there someday." She takes a deep breath. "I'm sorry. I should've done something more."

*

"Phonetically." Piotr repeats the word slowly, stumbling over it a bit. Ugh. English. And in light of Kitty's wish to learn, he just smiles at her playfully. "Spasiba." That much Russian, she knows.

When she taps on his beer, Piotr takes the hint and drinks. There are few things sadder on this earth than lukewarm beer. And then she starts to talk about Illyana and their friends and Limbo and he manages not to choke on the drink, quickly tilting the bottle down to halt the flow as he tries to keep up with the recounting.

Very, very slowly, Piotr sets the bottle down on the table, like he's afraid he might still run the risk of choking on it until it is safely out of his hand. Breathe.

"If she listened to you when you said no, you have done better than her mentor sometimes manages," Piotr confesses with a nervous laugh, slowly shaking his head. "Spasiba, Katya. She… I do not think she will be visiting other realms for a while," he says a touch evasively, drumming his fingers against the table.

*

The motion with the beer isn't missed, nor is his nervous laughter. Kitty's eyebrows draw together with concern and she shifts to watch him closer. "What," she starts and then stops. Does she want to know? Her lips twitch and she emits a soft sigh. "What happened?" she finally manages. "Yesterday she was pretty determined to take all of Crystal and Medusa's people to Limbo and grant them some kind of asylum." She frowns slightly. "Bobby pointed out that not everyone likes to live among demons."

Kitty blinks owlishly. "Also, just as a point of fact, she thinks you should go to Limbo with her. To become a general in her army." Kitty squints. "I'm not sure…" her eyes flit downwards, but she doesn't finish the thought.

*

"So I'm told," Piotr replies tiredly, dragging his hand down over his face. He is at least paying enough attention that he doesn't start to explain until after the waitress has finished dropping off their lunch — no blondes or their nonsense at his booth today, he promises.

Now that there is food, Piotr finally takes his arm back and scootches to make just a little bit of space between them to make it easier to eat. He peers down at his burger for a moment, trying to work out where to begin. Perhaps… like a band-aid. That worked for her, so Piotr will take the same approach.

"She took her mentor and I to Asgard so that she might yell in the face of Odin — did you know that he is real?" Piotr asks, his face a bit pale as he quickly reaches for a fry. Food. He needs food.

*

Kitty stares at her sandwich like it's forbidden with its bacon-y goodness, but doesn't touch it until the declaration of yelling in Odin's face. Yup. That warrants bacon. Today is most definitely not a kosher day. She takes a good solid bite. Chew. Chew. Chew. Her eyes widen and she actually gapes around what she's been missing all of these years. This is what bacon tastes like?!

The miracle that is bacon, however, will not detract from the reality of the situation and her feelings about it. She finally swallows. "Is" she begins only to drop off. "Is everyone okay?" She's floored, completely floored. The sandwich is returned to the plate, "I don't know a lot of mythology," Kitty, science girl, "but that doesn't seem… like a good idea."

*

"It was a very, very bad idea," Piotr confirms in a low voice. He upgrades the situation from French Fries to The Rest Of His Beer, temporarily abandoning his food in favor of his drink. He does not stop until the bottle is empty.

Lips pursed, Piotr nods once and pushes the bottle away so that he can focus on his food. "Doctor Strange was able to negotiate our passage home," he replies slowly. "And I think that he, Illyana and myself have an… an understanding."

*

Kitty takes a deep breath and nods slightly. "Oh Petey, I'm so sorry," she frowns. "I… I'm glad you're all okay. And that yelling at Odin didn't get anyone hurt." The frown extends. "But, I… I worry about you." Her chin tucks to her chest, and she refocuses on her food, honing in on temptation in sandwich form.

She takes another bite while silently chastening herself for sinning so blatantly. A tilt of her head indicates an unspoken question. But once she swallows, it gets vocalized, "What kind of understanding?"

*

Piotr is not about to tell her not to worry. Considering what he spends the vast majority of his time doing, that would be very silly. So he reaches over to give her shoulder a grateful squeeze, instead. <I know. I appreciate it,> he says gently, and just a touch slowly to try and make the Russian easier to follow. If she looks lost, he can translate.

Piotr keeps his eyes on his food, briefly chewing on his lip and rumbling quietly as he considers the question. "…she is no longer to visit other realms without first obtaining her mentor's permission. She agreed to this, so I am… I am hopeful it will take."

*

The bit of slowly spoken Russian causes Kitty to issue Piotr a very small smile. Her eyes warm as she ponders the response. "That includes Limbo?" she asks quietly, only to rephrase: "She knows that includes Limbo?" because Kitty is fairly certain Strange intended to include Limbo.

She takes another bite of her sandwich, this time really considering the full implications of Illyana's agreement. "That's good that she agreed. Do you think it's likely she'll listen?"

*

"We will have to wait and see." And that, really, can answer all three questions at once. Piotr sighs tiredly and finally takes up his burger. Before he has a bite, however, he works his jaw and doesn't stare at his food so much as through it. "…I yelled at her. I was so furious," he says quietly.

*

If at all possible, Kitty's features soften further. Her sandwich is abandoned to the plate, and she turns to face him. Her fingers reach up to brush his cheek. "Hey hey hey," she soothes, even if to a regular listener, it doesn't seem like the kind of thing that requires soothing. While he doesn't say much about it, she reads between the lines easily enough.

When she speaks again, it's in a whisper, "You're the most patient man I know. You've been trying so hard. I don't know anyone that could've done better. I think most…" would've yelled sooner. She frowns slightly and inhales a deep breath. "You're good," she says lowly. "You're kind. And maybe.. maybe Yana needed to see that she's hurting you… scaring you…" her lips purse lightly.

*

Piotr turns into the hand at his cheek so that he can look at her, his own expression softening with the reassurance. He gives a small nod, allowing himself the briefest of smiles, even if it is fairly weak. "That was my thought," he admits softly. "And… it worked out." Even if he's leaving a little bit out, but there are some things he's trying very hard not to spend too much time reflecting on. "Still. I do not like raising my voice. Especially with her. She has been through too much already, she does not need me being angry with her on top of the rest."

*

Awkwardly, as if finally realizing they're sitting in public, Kitty's hand draws back down to her side sheepishly with an apologetic smile as her chin drops to study her food. "It was once. You've been so patient with her. She knows you care. She will somehow get it together. Honestly, you'll both be okay." She cants her head to issue him another small smile. "And she will forgive you. She really does adore you. Hence the general in Limbo." She shrugs. Her eyebrows draw together as she stares at her sandwich, "Admittedly, when she said it, I had a pang of something in my chest." She swallows hard and keeps staring at her sandwich. "I — " her lips tighten in a near-smile. " — it's selfish."

*

"You would prefer I be your general, maybe?" Piotr asks in a gently teasing voice, carefully bumping her with his shoulder. "You are allowed to be selfish with me, Katya. I kind of like it," he admits, smiling to himself as he turns back to his food. "It is flattering. But you do not need to worry," he adds, his tone sobering. "I have no intention of leading my sister's armies. Or joining them, or anything of the sort."

*

The question causes Kitty's cheeks to reddens her eyes remain fixed on her sandwich. "I…" she starts and then stops. With a small chuckle, her head shakes. "Yes, actually," she can feel her ears turn red at the admission. "Not that Kitty Pryde will ever have an army," she grins. And then, in quite possibly the most mis-pronounced, slow, Russian Piotr's ever heard, she manages, <I love you,> before turning back to her food. She even mostly knows it's right thanks to hearing it several times over. She picks up her coffee cup and slides her plate away from her. Enough indulgences for one day.

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