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.

As this story progresses, it may diverge slightly from strict X-continuity. I am patently ignoring the supposed return of Black Air and the death of Jardine.

There may be adult themes in this section.

Just Lucky, I Guess


DuAnn Cowart


Kitty Pryde was happy. Using her phasing power to walk about half an inch above the busy London sidewalk, she whistled a jaunty tune as she started the long walk back to the pub where Pete was, arms loaded with several overflowing shopping bags that would have been far too heavy to carry across town had she not phased them along with her body.'All those hours honing my phasing in the Danger Room turned out to be good for something 'sides fighting, after all,' She smiled as she readjusted her hold on one of the bags.

She'd had a *very* productive morning- the lack of crowds during the early morning shopping hours had allowed her time to pick up several of the books Meggan had asked her to look for and some prenatal vitamins that Moira had recommended for Amanda. And of course, several of the larger department stores had some great clothing sales, and a few of the lingerie stores had some marvelously silky things she'd especially liked... Her lips split in a wicked grin as she imagined her lover's reaction to a few of her special purchases.

She shifted the bags for better balance and a fuzzy green sleeve escaped the confines of one of the smaller bags. She carefully tucked it back in without losing a step. 'Rhane's gonna love this one,' she grinned, thinking of the emerald colored angora sweater that matched her friend's eyes so perfectly. Though Kitty and Rhane had never really socialized much during all the years they both lived at the Mansion (and indeed at first Kitty had been almost contemptuous of Rhane and the other New Mutant 'X-Babies') since Rhane's arrival at Muir the two had become quite close. A dark look flitted across her face. 'With Rachel and Illyana gone, though, I don't really have any other girlfriends around here...except for Meggan, and she's too busy worrying about how to keep Brian happy.'

A thick lock of chestnut hair fell into her field of vision and she tossed her head back, clearing both her sight and her thoughts. 'Not gonna worry about that today. I had a nice little shopping trip, Pete ought to be awake enough to be civil by now, and I need to be alert when Domino and Cable get here.' Thinking of the real reason for their trip, her mood soured somewhat.

When Pete had asked her to come with him to London for a meeting with Domino, he'd hemmed and hawed around the reason until she'd made him just come out and tell her exactly why he wanted to meet with the leaders of X-Force personally. She wasn't really surprised to learn that Pete wanted to meet with Domino- she'd known that Pete was good friends with the leaders of X-Force for a long time now. She was, though, appalled at the reason for the meeting. Her warm brown eyes narrowed, applying her considerable intellect to the problem. They'd had enough problems with Maddie- who had been her friend, dammit, no matter what else happened- and Jean, Strife and Sinister's cloned Marauders that she could definitely sympathize with the situation, not to mention the fact that Pete's friend had been held hostage for over a year while another took her place... Shuddering, Kitty tried not to think it- she couldn't imagine being separated from Pete and Excalibur for that long while a doppelganger pretended to be her.

As she always did when she wanted to make herself feel better, Kitty's thoughts turned to Pete. Over the course of the year they'd been together, whether late at night or the middle of the day, limbs twined together in the aftermath of love or just bickering over food, Kitty and Pete had slowly opened up to each other, gradually sharing their secrets and their pasts but never growing bored with the other. She told him of her time with the X-Men, and Pete told her about the years he'd spent in intelligence.

She'd been relieved to learn that not all of his experiences were bad ones. In fact, he'd found most of his years in Black Air to be extremely fulfilling, filled with fascinating work and colorful people. Domino, and to a lesser degree Cable, too, had figured prominently in manyof Pete's more interesting stories. He'd hinted around that he was also acquainted with some other X-people, but when she tried to get him to elaborate his face assumed the stony quality she'd learned to associate with some of his darker memories, so she never pushed the issue.

She turned the corner and stepped across the street, her slim figure lightly skimming over the surface of the asphalt. Thinking back, she remembered how surprised she'd been to learn that the mysterious Domino was one of Pete's closest friends, but never a romantic partner, Pete had assured her. He'd burst out laughing when she'd asked him. "Hell, no! Ain't no way... Dom's too damn much like Nate fer anybody else but 'im- an' vice versa. I don't know why anybody else would even try, not that I'd want to. 'Sides, they're both crazy."

Given the stories he'd told about his old friends, she'd be inclined to agree- though none of the stories painted Pete in a very flattering light, either. She couldn't help but chuckle as she remembered one story that she'd painstakingly pried out of Pete- just the thought of him in drag in a New Delhi brothel just cracked her up. Very, very late one night when both were punch-drunk from lack of sleep, they'd exchanged some of their most embarrassing moments. She'd told him just one of hers, phasing in on Nick Fury and the Contessa de Fontaine during a...delicate moment when she was only thirteen. He'd laughed so hard at the idea (he'd worked with both in the past) that she'd gotten annoyed and told him to top her story, then, or stop laughing.

He'd agreed, but only because he thought that he had actually made her angry. She'd had to swear on everything she held dear that she wouldn't tell another soul. Pete had sworn quite adamantly that none of it was his idea- that Domino had done it all, that it was 'her and that bleedin' Grizzly's fault' and that he'd get her back one day, he would, even if she did 'save me bleedin' life by dressin' me up in some floozy hooker outfit and wig and paintin' me face like a two-bit tart t' get me out o' there.' At Kitty's look of disbelief, he grumbled defiantly "Those big bloody wankers walked walked right by me, they did. One of their big ol' guns even brushed one of my falsies." Pete had sat by the window in his room, taking drags from a contraband cigarette and blowing the smoke out the window. He had flicked the butt out the windown and muttered "I looked just like Romany on a bad day." Kitty'd laughed so hard that didn't even fuss at him for smoking inside.

Crossing the street, she was surprised to notice that the Crown was only one block away- thinking about Pete had passed the time quite nicely. She solidified herself and walked the rest of the short way to the pub, her thin, strong muscles straining under the weight of her packages. With a final toss to get her thick hair out of her eyes, she idly checked her appearance in the glass window pane near the door and stepped inside the pub.