Who: Kitty Pryde & Pete Widsom What: Kitty calls her parents finally When: This afternoon Notes/Warnings: Pete's involved, so language
After nearly a month, Kitty was finally ready to do the one thing that she’d been most desperate to do since escaping from Genosha - call her parents. Some googling had informed her that they filed a missing persons report within days of her disappearance and had spent almost six weeks in New York hounding both the Columbia University officials and the NYPD into searching for her. Apparently, the people in charge at Genosha had some serious pull, because after six weeks, they managed to get both organizations to drop the investigation, saying that Kitty’s whereabouts were known and she was missing by choice.
In some ways, that would help bolster the story Pete helped her work up to tell her parents, though she felt terrible that they’d gone through so much emotional turmoil. As much as she wanted to tell them the whole truth, she knew that would put them in more danger and she couldn’t risk that. As it was, she was certain that her captors would be keeping an eye on her parents, waiting for her to reach out after her escape. It would be safer not to get in touch, but she missed them and wanted to ease some of their suffering, especially with the new year upon them.
Heading away from the Tower in an effort to keep her location under wraps, Kitty sat nervously in the back seat of the car that was taking her and Pete across the bridge to New Jersey to make her phone call. She turned the burner phone in her hand over, needing something to fiddle with to keep her occupied as she mentally ran through the story that she and Pete had come up with.
When they finally arrived at the spot Pete and Tony identified as a safe place to make her call, she stepped out of the car, and dialed her parents’ home number from memory, though it took several tries for her to get the number entered correctly.
The sound of her mother’s voice washed over her and gave her a sense of relief that she hadn’t felt in far too long. “Mom?” she said, her own voice small. “It’s me. Kitty.” Before she even had a chance to apologize, her mother was off on a tirade about her lack of contact and how much they’d been worried and was she okay and where on Earth was she.
Kitty didn’t even try to speak until she heard her father cutting in, reminding his wife that their daughter couldn’t answer her questions if she didn’t stop asking them. He always was the logical one in their relationship and in many ways, Kitty took after him.
“Mom. Dad. I’m so sorry,” she said, her voice thick with emotion as she tried not to break down in tears. “I didn’t intend for this to happen.” That was the truest thing she would be able to say to them. “I met someone. A professor at school. He took me to Europe and I just… I don’t know. Got caught up in things.”
That was also true, that she’d gotten caught up in things, it just hadn’t been some whirlwind romance.
She held the phone a bit away from her ear as her mother launched into another tirade of questions about the man who corrupted her baby. What’s his name? What does he teach? Why is he interested in a young woman like you? When do we get to meet him?
Pete knew when the grilling began, since he could see the tension ramp up as Kitty listened. He quickly took the phone, plucking it away from her ear, and said in a mock cheerful way, "Hello, mum and dad. I'm Peter. I was Kitty's professor, currently her lover, and I teach American-European Relations. It's incredibly difficult to teach if you don't actually go to Europe, you see and...wot? Yes, lovers. We shagged. Wot? Shagging I said. People do it all of the time. It's how babies are made. Ha! No, she's not preggers. I ain't knocking up anyone, or having my ankles bitten by one of those demons."
Once he prattled on a bit more which included the sound of audible screaming, Pete held the phone back out to Kitty and grumbled, "Bloody hell, even I have limits. My ear's bleeding. Have at it, then."
It felt awkward saying that Pete was her romantic partner, especially with him standing right there, but it was the cover story they agreed on and would hold up if her parents did a surface level investigation. So she rattled off the answers, hoping that if her anxiety was present in her voice, her parents would chalk it up to her guilt over disappearing from their lives for months on end. When Pete took the phone and started answering questions, her cheeks turned bright pink. She’d never even been naked with a man and now her parents thought she’d been having sex all over Europe. Still, she knew it was better than them knowing the truth.
“We can’t visit right now, but maybe you can come to New York for Hanukkah?” It was too late for them to try and visit for the New Year, which had been deliberate on her part.
Before they could demand more answers about why Kitty wasn’t able to travel to Illinois, she added, “Dad, I’ve been in contact with your friend, Charles Xavier. He’s asked me to join a research project that he’s working on.” That was the cover they’d agreed on for why she wasn’t back in school immediately. She hoped that Charles’ involvement would quell some of her parents’ questions since they knew and trusted him.
It seemed like it worked and she breathed a sigh of relief. “I love you both,” she said. “And I really am sorry. I know that you’ll be heading out to the Temple soon so please give everyone my love and assure them that I'm okay. I promise I’ll be better about keeping in touch.”
When she finally hung up, she leaned against the car and cried, feeling guilty that she’d lied to her parents even though she knew there was no other option.
There it was, the aftermath. Pete expected it, and he'd done his part making sure that they hated him for such corruption far more than they would be mad at her. He hovered nearby, taking the phone from her and melting it down to goo that fell from between his fingers onto the ground. It quickly cooled into a wad of plastic and metal.
After a couple seconds of hesitation, he put an arm around her and pulled her in against his chest, letting her have a cry. At least this time he was wearing a clean suit.
"I'd like to say it gets easier," he told her, holding her without patting or rubbing her back. "And it might, over time. The first time is always the worst, and it's obvious they love you. You'll see them again. We'll make sure it's safe first, and then you can see them for Hanukkah. Right?"
He tipped his head down, trying to get a look at her face.
"We've got to move, Kitty," he said, knowing time was of the essence in case any systems were looking for certain keywords in conversations. "Let's get in the car and let the driver do his thing. Then we can talk about it, if you'd like."
Her grief over lying to her parents outweighed her embarrassment over pretending that she and Pete were intimate, and Kitty relaxed against him, resting her forehead against his chest and allowing herself to take comfort from his hug. Part of her didn’t want it to get easier, but logically, she knew that things were never going to be the same and she had to move forward.
Sniffing, she pulled back when he said that they needed to get moving, and she nodded. “Yeah, right,” she said, reaching up to wipe away her tears with the back of her hand. “Thank you for doing that. And for helping me in general.”
He really was kind to her and she appreciated that.
"I'd be a shite prison mate if I didn't," he said. "I've got your back."
He didn't know how long that might be, but he was there now. That had to account for something.
He guided her to the car door, opening it as he gave the driver a curt nod, waiting for her to get inside before he slipped in beside her. The car door closed and the car was being driven back to the Tower by a roundabout route. As they moved along, he was keeping an eye on the vehicles behind them, tipping and turning his head every so often, as though admiring the surroundings as they passed by.
Unsure of what to say next, he aimed for what might seem like a small consolation and a minor comfort, "You did well, for what it's worth."
Kitty was lost in her own thoughts and actually startled when Pete spoke. “Oh, uh… thanks,” she said. “I don’t think I’m cut out for spy life though.” She was definitely more of a behind the scenes computer hacker type person. Which, she supposed spies needed, and maybe that was something she could do to put her education to good use.
“Are you going to come up to the common area later?” she asked. “I arranged for Friday to have a bunch of traditional Rosh Hashanah foods delivered.”
She was going to have a lot to atone for on Yom Kippur so she was going to make the most of the new year celebration.
Pete opened his mouth to say he wasn't the most religious of people. That was rather obvious, considering the long list of vices, propensity for dropping f bombs, and generally cynical outlook on life. He was relatively certain that the only afterlife that actually existed was pushing up daisies if he got planted instead of cremated. In short, religion had never, ever, been a part of his life. Not even as a child.
Before he could really process how to say that, his mouth had opened and he heard himself saying, "Sure, why not. I could always use more nosh."
There was a first time for everything, apparently. It would also make her happy, and after pissing off her parents, it was the least he could do.
It made Kitty smile when he said he would stop by. She knew he wasn’t religious, that was obvious after knowing him for five minutes, but her faith was important to her and she didn’t really have anyone to share it with here since Jane was in Norway.
“Cool,” she said. When they finally arrived at the Tower, she got out of the car, thanked the driver, and headed inside to the elevators that took them to their quarters. “I’m going to take a shower and a nap, I think. I’ll see you later.”
"Right. Later then," he said, tapping a cigarette out of the pack, and trying to light it off a fingertip. It was a good way to practice while slowly killing himself...and it meant he could squint through the smoke and watch her as she retreated.