DISCLAIMER: Any character you recognize is the property of Marvel Comics and is used without permission for entertainment purposes only.

Warning: This story may deal with adult issues, so be forewarned.

Just Lucky, I Guess


DuAnn Cowart


She rose gracefully from the heavy oaken rocking chair, clenching the beige envelope in an angry fist. Outside, the sky darkened and she calmed herself forcibly. 'Surely there is some mistake. My Kitten would never betray Peter by besmirching herself with some strange man-' She smoothed the crumpled paper. 'Perhaps I am not thinking clearly- I am concerned about Nathan. Why did he leave so abruptly? He has not felt well lately, true, but that is no excuse for rudeness. Ah well, I will speak with him about it later. Now, let me see about Kitty...'

She smoothed the crumpled paper and began reading again. The small, precise script took up four and a half pages, but Ororo skimmed through the majority of it. She would read the parts about the Uncreated and Black Air, about the Dragons of the Crimson Dawn- about all of Excalibur's missions later. She wanted news of Peter- she'd been so excited when they'd learned that he'd joined Excalibur. She just knew that he and Kitty would reconcile, and her Kitten and 'little brother' would finally be happy together as they'd always been meant to be. She anxiously turned the pages, searching for the paragraph that had upset her so. Surely she'd misunderstood Kitty's words, but no, there it was...

Ororo, I'm so happy. I've met someone- we've actually been seeing each other for some time now, but I made Kurt and the others promise to let me be the one to tell you when the time was right. He's wonderful- crude and crass and obnoxious and annoying- that's Pete Wisdom. I know I should have told you sooner, but...Pete asked me to hold off until I was sure, as he put it, that "I'm bloody well going to keep him around." Well, I'm sure. I love him, and he loves me. I know you'll be happy for us, and I can't wait for you to meet him, Ororo. He takes a bit of getting used to, but...now I can't imagine life without him.

Not a word about Peter! And this...this Wisdom person- who does he think he is, interfering with Kitty and Piotyr like that? He would not keep her children apart- not if she had anything to do with it. She smoothed more wrinkles out of the paper and folded it back into its envelope. She didn't bother opening the other- a subscription notice from one of her gardening magazines- but merely tucked both letters under her arm and walked purposefully toward one of the computer information rooms. She had a little research of her own to do before she talked to Kitty about this Wisdom.

She paced the corridor furiously. It was worse than she'd imagined- far worse. This Wisdom was disgusting. She'd spend the past several hours had been spent poring over logs and records gathered by the Professor's extensive web of contacts as well as through the various government databases the sophisticated X-men technology had unknown access to.

She ground her teeth together, and fat drops of rain splashed against the roof of the mansion. A thunderstorm had rolled over Westchester earlier that afternoon and had gotten progressively worse as Ororo learned more about Pete Wisdom's past.

How could Kitty even think of consorting with that...that person! And how could Kurt and Moira permit him to actually join Excalibur? It physically revolted her to think of the things that this man had done. Granted, she had gone through a dark time in her life as well, but...surely a punker hairdo and outfit were nothing next to the evil that man had been party to! Black Air...she shuddered. The name itself was evocative of everything she despised- pollution and corruption of body and mind. This man had been one of the agency's best operatives, she'd learned. Black Air had operations all over the globe, most highly illegal and morally questionable. There were even some files so tightly encoded that even the X-men's Shi'ar decrypting programs couldn't crack- and who knew what they contained, what else he'd done? She finally decided that she didn't know and didn't care. She only knew that whatever it cost she could get her Kitten out of the clutches of that foul man before he ruined her chances of happiness with Piotyr forever.

She decided that she couldn't confront Kitty directly- she would wrongfully assume that Ororo didn't trust her. 'Which is not true,' Ororo protested. 'I trust her completely, but she is a still a child. I know what is best for her.' She nodded, remembering the thirteen year old Kitty dancing, dark eyes gleaming with supressed mischief. Kitty needed someone to look after her best interests, and who was better qualified for the task than Ororo? The thought that Kitty was now almost twenty and no longer a child never entered her mind.

Satisfied by this logic, she considered who else to speak to. Kurt, of course, she knew him well enough to feel comfortable asking him to intervene for her. She could certainly ask Piotyr as well, but hestiated- he was so sensitive, and she did not want to get his hopes up until she was certain she had enough support to turn Kitty away from this horrible man for good. Kitty had hurt him enough already. Unfortunately, though, when she called Excalibur that afternoon Kurt was out. He wasn't expected back for another few days, but she left a message with Meggan anyway. She considered asking Meggan her opinion, but decided against it- she barely knew the girl.

She continued down the corridor, considering her options. She had the nagging suspicion that she needed to speak to Moira, but Moria never took the time to speak with any of the X-men anymore- not even Sean. Though she called the mansion frequently to discuss Legacy data, the only person she spoke with for any length of time was Henry. The idea hit so quickly that she stopped dead in her tracks. Henry! He talked to Moira all the time, and Ororo knew from personal experience how very easy he was to talk to. Perhaps in all of their discussions Moira had spoken of Excalibur's newest member. Perhaps. She pivoted, and unable to contain a faint smirk walked quickly down the hall to the Med-lab.