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“So you are really leaving?”
Piotr Rasputin threw the last of his luggage into the back of the van and slammed the doors closed before turning to face Ororo. As always, she looked elegant and beautiful, but her full lips were curved in a frown of worry, her flawless brow creased with concern.
“Do you honestly expect me to stay, Windrider?” Peter asked, his voice harsh, and unable to keep the scowl off his face. “After she humiliated me in front of everyone? After she tore my heart out and trod upon it in front of the altar?”
Ororo said nothing, for there was nothing to say – no words she could find to salve the open, bleeding wounds on his soul, no argument or plea that would not sound self-serving and callous. She sighed and shook her head.
“No,” she said with soft sadness. “I do not.”
Peter nodded once, then let out a bark of mirthless laughter, bitter as Siberian wind.
“I will give Katherine this much – she has well and truly paid me back for when I broke up with her after I returned from Battleworld those years ago.”
Ororo winced internally. Katherine. Not Katya, not even Kitty, but Katherine. Peter using her full name like that was a sign of just how furious he was. By nature he was a gentle man, and by habit tended toward the stoic, but his anger was volcanic on the rare occasions it exerted itself. Suddenly she feared for him, worried that in his rage he would harm himself, exacerbate the great pain he was already suffering.
“Where are you going,” she asked, “and when do you think you'll return?”
He grimaced, shrugging his shoulders almost defensively.
“I do not know,” he admitted. “I can barely think straight as it is. I think... I think I'll just let the wind blow me where it will, at least for a while. As for when I'll be back...” He sighed, reached up to rub his eyes. “Again, I don't know. But I think I'll be away for a long time.”
“You'll keep in touch,” said Ororo, her tone gentle but brooking no argument. “You'll let us know how you are.”
“I will, Storm.”
“And you'll call me if you need help.”
“I will. I promise.”
Ororo sighed and walked to him, took hold of Peter with a strong embrace. He hugged her back with a mournful sigh, the anger ebbing from his countenance, leaving behind nothing but a deep, wearying pain. Ororo pulled away a little, her deep blue eyes staring into his sky-blue ones. She reached up to cup the back of his head, pulling him down toward her.
“Ororo?” he asked, brow furrowing questioningly. His eyes went wide when she kissed him on the mouth. It was chaste, but replete with the deep love she had for this wonderful, gentle man, one of her dearest friends, her younger brother in all but blood.
When she broke the kiss Peter looked down at her, dazed, but then suddenly he chuckled, the laugh shaky but genuine, no wolfish, hateful bark.
“You know, when I was sixteen I'd have fantasies of you kissing me.”
“And how does the reality compare?” she asked.
“Hard to say, since my feelings for you are far different now than they were when I was a boy.” He sighed and kissed her on the forehead. “I love you, Ororo. My dearest elder sister.”
“And I love you, little brother. Take care of yourself, Peter. You are angry right now. You have every right to be. But please, do not let it consume you.”
“I won't. My word on it.” He sighed again, touching his forehead to hers before hugging her one last time. “Dosvedanya, Ororo.”
Ororo watched him drive off, and stayed standing in the drive way for a time after the van had dwindled from sight. She sighed, wiping tears from her eyes with the back of a slender wrist before assuming a stern expression. It was time to have a very long, very serious talk with her Kitten.