steelartisan: (russian blue)
When he walked off Serenity, it really wasn't a hard choice of where to go.

It really wasn't a choice at all.

He walked through the front gates of Xavier's School with his duffel bag thrown over his shoulder as if all was right in the world. Right under the increased Sentinel guards' noses. He is, still, a government employee. Signed, sealed, and contracted.

Emma met him half way up the long drive, through the shanty town of tents, and he thought she looked rather nice when she wore a bra. Even though she gave him a migraine along with the telepathic tongue lashing for leaving with Bishop.

Scott met them both at the entrance to the school.

For a man whose eyes you never see, he looked remarkably tired and old. (And none of them are so young as they were once. And yet, he's not even thirty.)

"Where were you?" Scott asked him.

"...with Kitty," Piotr had replied, after a moment, and thought Scott looked older yet.

It was a moment before Scott moved aside enough for Piotr to get in the door way. "Come on. We've got to talk."


It is a basic outline of everything they know. No one knows what to do with Kitty. Her rights are unclear. She isn't Speedball, but she was with Captain America. No visitors (yet). But no Negative Zone and Prison Alpha (yet). She never registered by choice, but she's a mutant. The Mutant Rights Act comes into play along with everything else. She saved the 198. She's thought to have been the one to download the layout files for the last fight in New York City.

No one knows what to do.

The leader has to decide anyway.

"We wait," Scott tells the gathered X-men. He, Beast, Emma, Piotr are seated in the War Room, under the bays and bays of monitors. Dozens of mutants around the world nod.

He can't help thinking "most", when he thinks "dozens". There aren't all that many left.

You don't forget this.

"I hate it just as much as every one else, but we wait. Kitty isn't the only one on trial here."

Everyone hates it. No one likes it. Because it's not just their own, and they have to see what the next play is.

"But the instant things change? We talk."

Because it's not just one of their own, but she's still theirs.

And the thing about waiting is you're waiting for something.

And that was the end of that.
steelartisan: (Not Superman)
There is a difference between making the wrong choice and walking away. He has to take a moment and think this through. Because something needs to change, he is proof of that. But what to do, he doesn't know. Not now.

When Kitty starts to disappear for hours, at first, he worries. He knows better, but he does. Face life and death for ten years, you learn to trust someone enough to risk their own life. He trusts her to come back. And he understands. He does. In his own way. He loves her and he walked away so many times. Sometimes, you owe someone your silence.

Doesn't make it any easier not to open the box she leaves out every time. To wonder what, if anything, she would leave him if she... Because he hadn't left her anything more than ashes and memories when he had.

So, he plays with Naomi and tries not to bend Jayne's weight set into shapes he can't undo.


The thing is, this has all happened before. That he has joined the wrong side, or watched friends and people he cares about do things that are wrong. He knows how this all feels far too well. (Illyana would try to hide her horns after some missions, and some days, he was almost grateful they never had the chance to talk about the time she thought she had enslaved his corpse.)

He has been here before, and that doesn't make it any easier.


When she isn't back by her usual time, he tells himself there is nothing to worry about.

After three hours, he takes her box and puts it on a chair, curls up in bed, and refuses to worry. She would be angry at him if he did that.

After eight hours, he opens her box.


The first thing that greets him when he arrives back in their New York is Kitty's face plastered on every television screen and newspapers' front page. Traitor. Terrorist. National Security threat.

He stands in front of an electronic store in Harlem for almost an hour, watching the news channels flip back and forth between text graphics of the "mutant problem" to live images of Kitty being transported into a detention center somewhere in Colorado; she is calm with her head held high in every frame.

He knows how he must look. He hasn't shaved, a dark hoodie pulled low over his face, mutering to himself in Russian. He is proud of himself when he moves down the street when the owner comes outside and starts sweeping with a broom in his general direction.

He didn't punch a wall, he didn't run in without some sort of plan or back-up. Kitty would have been very angry at him, if he had.


Their relationship is hard to understand.

Five years isn't that much now, but ten years ago, it was a huge difference. They didn't think the same, they didn't have that much in common. He didn't understand when she would explain some of the more complex computer binaries and hacking codes she liked, and she didn't like most of the more abstract postmodern art he liked to go see. They were both shy, shoved in spandex, and put in life and death situations. Some things just happen.

There were other people for both of them. Some they didn't understand about each other. (Rachel. Psylocke.) It wasn't young love any more. But ten years with someone, where you trust them to watch your back, keep you from dying, and to hold your hand when some else doesn't come back from a mission, it changes things. And then, there isn't any one else in the world that can understand you better.

He loved her. She was all the family he had left in the world. And when they talked, even before, when they were just friends, he could step out of the metal box he still felt caged in, some days. Kitty made it easier to be a man again.


There's a box she leaves out. It has recordings and letters in it, labelled neatly for various people.

The top one's for Piotr.

So I guess you've noticed I don't so much stay around, it starts. I've been going. and I've been doing things on the side you won't join me on that is not so much legal. And I guess something's happened, because I'm not back to take the box away.

But I love you.

And it's going to be okay.
steelartisan: (tears)
Piotr comes back to Serenity after spending a few hours wandering New York.

He can't go charging in to free her. Not alone. And both Logan and Kurt are out of contact. He won't know who to trust. He doesn't know about bringing in others, because. Kitty might be making a point, she likes to make those. He was paying attention when she told him stories of her life at the University of Chicago. And he isn't sure he can face Scott right now. Not just yet. He might lose his temper because he didn't help her, they're family.

So, he wanders back to Serenity, and finds himself in the cargo bay again at the foot of the stairs. And isn't sure what to do from there. He has her box in his duffel bag over his shoulder but should give out her notes? She isn't dead. But.

He really isn't very good at this side of being a hero.
steelartisan: (Artist)
Piotr is sitting indian style on the floor of Serenity's cargo bay with a newer sketch pad. He will look up for a moment, squint at one of the different stairways that lead down in the hold, then sketch before repeating the whole process again. It has been a while since he tried his hand at architecture.
steelartisan: (RAGE)
The thing is...

The thing is--

The thing is, they are losing the thread. They are forgetting the things they are here to do. Protect the innocent and the weak, save the world, do what they can to make things better.

They (Stark, Iron Man. Dr. Reed. What have you.) didn't trust him. To be a poster boy for the mutants, yes. But to actually fight other heroes?

He was never asked (ordered) to come along on arrests or fights between the others. He stayed in the Tower with Mary Jane, the Thing, and the Reed children. The children loved to watch him sketch.

But he was still there when the team came back after the Thor clone blasted a hole through Goliath's chest. He stood next to Peter Parker as Reed and Stark drilled a hole into the Thor clone's brain "to check his wiring".

"Did you know Tony had been holding onto that strand of Thor's hair since the first meeting of the Avengers?"

"I still can't believe we cloned a god."

"Do you ever wonder if we've picked the right side here...?"

Piotr walked out. Stark tried to stop him. Peter gave him a look over his shoulder and didn't say a word.
steelartisan: (russian blue)
Piotr was made personal bodyguard to Tony Stark. "You're a good looking boy, Piotr. And I know I'd think twice about starting a riot with you looking down your Raybans at me." Mr. Stark told me.

He was almost thirty and still called 'boy'.

He was introduced at his first press conference as part of a wave of mutants "joining the good fight". It was only three reporters, walking with Stark and Peter Parker through Stark Industries.

"What's your affiliation, Mr. Raz-puten?"

"I am an X-man."

"No, no. Your party affiliation. Are you an elephant or a donkey?"

He wasn't sure if he was supposed to say he was a communist, or he wasn't an American citizen and couldn't vote, anyway. "...I do not have one."

"But you agree with current policy?"

He thought he was supposed to look to Stark for permission. "" But he's too honest.

That gave the reporter pause. "You don't?" And when Piotr continued to look down at him without expression, he went on, "So, why are you here instead of with all the other mutants?"

"...I would like to be considered an equal to a "normal" person. I would like my children to have a good life. It is hard to listen to my own story repeated by so many mutants. Years of experiments or imprisonment."

Stark pulled a diplomatic trick out of his hat at that point, and managed to steer the topic of conversation to some of the new government training programs and charity work he was helping head.

Peter had been trying to elbow him into submission, but he hadn't noticed.

Nights later, he was slightly drunk as he tried to sketch. It was a piece he had started weeks ago of Kitty cuddling Lockheed. And he had started to change Lockheed...

"How long have you known each other?" Peter startled him. He and most of the other residences of Stark kept looking in on him. Mary Jane kept bringing half burnt cookies.

It took him a moment to figure out he was talking about Kitty. "Almost eleven years now."

Peter whistled. "That's a long time, man."


"You're just a master of conversation, aren't you?" When he finally gets a bit of a smile from Piotr, Peter hazards, " you really miss her that much?"

"Would you miss your wife if she was on the opposite side in all of this?"

"Yeah. Okay. You've got a point there." Peter pulls up a chair and settles in. "You...ah. You didn't actually eat anything M.J. gave you, right?"

"" And Piotr tries really hard to look sorry there.

Peter cracks up. "You're face! Don't worry about it, big guy! We'll hide from her borscht together!"

It was then that Piotr learned that was something worse to fear than Kitty's cooking.
steelartisan: (russian blue)
It's something people forget about Piotr. Peter.

That he grew up on a farm in Siberia during the height of power of the USSR. That he is a communist.

Not was. Is. There was no past tense.

He didn't bother with politics. Not because he didn't understand, (he was a big, bulking hunk of a man; he knew what people thought.) but because he didn't agree. His life may not have been glamorous compared to suburban American life, but he was never hungry growing up. He had a vast field to play in, fresh paints and canvas once a month, and his mother's cooking was always the best to come home too after a morning in the fields and an afternoon at school.

He would have been happy to serve his country, when the time would have come. He had tried when he had returned to Russia, briefly, even when some of the young men he grew up with had called him traitor. Even when the military said they would not take him because he was a mutant (wasn't human). Not as anything beyond a test subject. He was a patriot. And he was proud of his roots.

He doesn't agree with what's happened. Congress bills or reality tv shows where "super heroes" record themselves blowing up schools.

He remembers who held him all those years, using his genetics to make a mutant "cure". And he knows exactly what he wants to do to each and every one of them for every scar his body healed away.

And Xavier's dream had been a beautiful one. But even his old teacher doesn't believe in his old philosophy. Not any more. Maybe all youthful dreams have to die, one day.

That's what he thinks as he looks down (down, down) at Tony Stark. Iron Man. What have you.

"So, you're the Man of Steel?" He asks Piotr.


"Are you really bullet proof?"


"Got anything besides a monosyllable vocabulary?"

Piotr smirks. "Da."

Mr. Stark smirks right back. "Come on, say it. Moo--"

"I put men through walls for that joke," is his deadpan response. Kitty, Kurt, and even Logan used to tease him with that badly drawn moose cartoon. And it hurts how long ago that was.

"I think I have just the job for you, Mr. Rasputin."
steelartisan: (RAGE)
It passed.

So, he paints to not think about it, and his art becomes more and more fantastical (something he hates right now; he wants the reality he lost). To not think about what this could have meant five years ago, if it would have changed a thing.

And he tries not to think about it late at night when Kitty tosses and turns out of his arms (because she can never decide if she wants his touch when she is under extreme stress; not any more). He tries not to be bitter for the time he lost, the family he lost, the friends he lost over the last ten years. Or how all he has ever wanted (the constant) is to marry this beautiful, angry, tiny woman next to him since he was 18 years old and... (and could they have had it already if things had been different? If he had been here? His sister, his dear sister, here, too?). Or, was that even possible now? Because the world had been harsh to them all, and he was barely half a man now.

And he works in the fields, leading some of the other mutants staying (prisoners) here. Because he is a child of the Soviet, of mother Russia, and his hands will always be strong. They will always have use, even if the job changes. And he does not think of his old teacher, Xavier, no longer welcome in his own house by all his students, or all those years ago in Siberia.

"But, if I possess such power, as you say--does it not belong to the State?"

"Power such as yours belongs to the world, Peter--to be used for the good of the all. And believe me: your powers are need!"

He does think of what his father said before he left Russia for this strange, new life of wonder and hell.

"Do as your heart tells you, my son. It will not betray you."

And when he leans down to kiss Kitty on the top of her head, she looks up with a tiny, half smile. What little she can offer as she flips between news channels again and again.

He listens to his heart, and he thinks I want to grow old with you.
steelartisan: (Default)
[From here.]

It is still early in the morning. Piotr put Sunny back in her own bed late last night during one of Kitty's late night moments with Anthony. He convinced her to take the couch in the study so she won't have as much of pain in her neck come morning.

Now, he is cooking breakfast and having a conversation with the very awake Anthony. Who misses Mummy and Daddy, but seems to be entertained for the moment with Piotr's egg flipping and strapped into his bouncy seat.
steelartisan: (Artist)
Piotr had just finished a workout with Scout and Logan, and his current canvas was calling to him. Even as he changed, he kept coming back to it. Splash a bit of color here, a brush stroke there. He didn't normally like abstract things, but hm.

"More peach."


steelartisan: (Default)
Piotr Nikolaievitch Rasputin

October 2011

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