Naming Rights

Name: Apathy
E-mail: apathocles@gmail.com
Recipient: Carla
Requested character: Ultimate Colossus (Peter Rasputin)
Warnings: Spoilers for pretty much everything recent. Some parts will probably be AU by the time the stories go up.
Summary: Ali feels chatty. Peter does not.

"Hey. You."

The strange girl with the even stranger hair waves at him as he walks past, gesturing with her whisky bottle for him to come into her room. He stops in the hallway, close enough to be polite, but far enough to not be completely overwhelmed by the smell of stale cigarettes and alcohol that seems to follow her wherever she goes.

She holds the bottle out to him; when he shakes his head, she just shrugs and takes another swig.

"We never really got introduced properly, did we? Name's Ali." If her introduction is anything to go by, the use of her name must at all times be accompanied by checking out the other person's body with great interest, and not a whole lot of subtlety. He sighs.

"Colossus."

"Yeah, yeah. What's your real name, big guy?"

He hesitates for just a moment. "Peter."

"Oh, that's much better. No offence, but 'Colossus' just makes it sound like you're starring in bad porn, or something."

"And Dazzler is so much better, I take it?"

The girl gestures expansively with the bottle, dousing the carpet liberally with cheap alcohol. "Look, I keep telling you guys -- Dazzler's my band. Calling myself Dazzler would be lamer than lame."

She drags him into the room as she speaks; normally, the thought of someone like her being able to move someone like him would be beyond laughable, but she has the element of surprise in her favour. Besides, it would be just plain bad manners to just break her wrist and get her to let go. He's not at that stage.

Yet.

"I mean, how many people name themselves after their bands? Not too many, and they're all pretentious little dicks, anyhow."

She lets go of him long enough to start rummaging through the extremely localised chaos that is her room. She's only been here less than two weeks, but already there are more illicit substances in this one place than he has ever seen in his entire life... and that includes his time in the Red Mafiya. The Professor is going to be less than pleased when he returns from whatever trip he's currently on. Some days, Peter wonders at how Dazzler is even still here. He suspects that even Professor Xavier has his limits, although they do not yet seem to have been reached.

She holds out a bottle. "Vodka?"

"No, thank you." The smell isn't so much going away as settling down comfortably into his sinuses. Breathing is a little easier, if only due to familiarity.

"Suit yourself." She cracks open the bottle and gets started on it, simultaneously digging through a desk drawer that obviously contains a little more than just pens and notebooks.

He drags his mind back to the topic at hand. "There is nothing wrong with having a mutant name. You would do well to embrace yours."

"I already have a name, big guy. What, your old name isn't good enough for you, so you had to go get a new one? Fuck that. Ali Blaire is who I am."

The words bring up an odd kind of defensiveness within him, one that he normally only feels when listening to non-mutants speak. "Ali is what they called you."

"Whaddya mean, 'they'? My family? My friends? Yeah, 'they' call me that. What do your family call you?" Dazzler clasps her hands together in front of her, gravely voice pitched up into a disturbing falsetto. "'Oh, Colossus, I'm so glad you're home!' 'Let's go out and get something to eat, Colossus!' Is that how it goes? 'Cause if that's the case, count me the fuck out." She starts rummaging through a bag. "Shit, I know it's here somewhere...."

He has... less to say in response to that than he thought he would. Dazzler doesn't give him a chance to gather his thoughts, pushing the half-finished bottle of vodka into his hands.

"Here, man, it's yours. I gotta fly." She pushes past him out of the room, and he stumbles out after her, bottle clutched stupidly against his chest. "But hey, stop around any time."

With that, she disappears in a cloud of smoke and alcohol fumes, and Peter wonders what the hell just happened.

***

"I'm so totally onto you."

He just manages to refrain from jumping. Dazzler has this sort of casual ambush ability that borders on being a mutant power. She just sort of slumps into a room, and people don't pay any attention.

It helps when she doesn't totally reek. Peter has to admit that he's impressed with how much she's cleaned herself up.

Dazzler hauls herself up onto the kitchen bench, heels tapping out some sort of rock rhythm against the cupboards. He's pretty sure that's just plain orange juice in her glass.

"Seriously, I totally have you figured out."

The article on the economic condition of Uruguay is fascinating. "I have no idea what you're talking about."

"My bullshit sense is tingling, Petey. Give it up."

"There is nothing to give up, Dazzler."

"Look, I don't have a problem with it. I just wish I'd known earlier, so I could've devoted all my energy to hitting on War. You've cost me a lot of time, man. I'm having to work double-time now just to make up for it."

Her directness takes him aback; it's the first time anyone at Xavier's has ever just said it so casually.

It's not as bad as he thought it would be. Especially since Dazzler is giving him the filthiest smirk in the history of pretty much everything in the world, and he can't help but return the smile.

"Ha. I knew it."

"How did you work it out?"

"Well, duh. Anyone with eyes could see it." She pauses. "Which makes me think that the Prof could do to hire a team optometrist. But yeah, it was obvious. Oh, and Jean wasn't exactly subtle about confirming my suspicions. The name Jean-Paul was mentioned more than once, I must say."

He groans; Dazzler's grin just becomes more wicked.

"Please, not a word of this to anyone."

"Hey, it's your funeral." Her voice takes on a more conspiratorial tone. "Wanna go beat up Sinister?"

He can't help but smile. "He's probably dead by now, Dazzler."

"Killjoy."

"I appreciate the sentiment, though."

"Hey, it's not just for you. I'm not overly fond of the big dweeb, either. A man insults my voice, he deserves whatever he gets."

***

Dear Jean-Paul,

It was good to see you again, even though the circumstances were somewhat less than ideal. I am glad that you have recovered so swiftly from your injuries, as it will make it so much easier for us to get


"Dazzler, what did we say about keeping our hands away from the keyboard while other people are trying to use the computer?"

"Depends. What did I say about calling me Dazzler?"

"Fine. Okay." Standing up, Colossus turns and lifts Dazzler straight up, her startled squeak bringing just the faintest hint of a smirk to his face. He crosses the room in three strides, and places her back down in the corner.

"Sit."

Her expression quickly slips into its usual vaguely-amused cynicism, but not before he notes and files away the wide-eyed shock that had flitted across those features a moment before.

He heads back to his chair, and settles back down.

I would like very much to see you again sometime in the future.

"You're never gonna get him like that."

His eyes don't leave the monitor. "Didn't I tell you to sit, Dazzler?"

"Do you ever actually want to get laid, Peter?"

He tries not to grit his teeth too visibly.

Talk to you soon,

Peter.

P.S. What's your opinion on threesomes with hot mutant chicks?


"You did not just hit 'send'."

"'Fraid I did, big guy."

"You did not just do that."

"Gotta say I did, Peter."

He stares at the monitor. 'Your message has been sent' blinks at him cheerfully, completely oblivious to its previously-unheralded ability to send his stomach plummeting into his oversized boots.

He uses his words carefully, deliberately.

"Please do not do that again, Ali."

"Sure thing, Colossus."

She pauses in the doorway; he can hear her grin. "You'll be thanking me later, Russkie. Trust me."

***

"Hello, Ali. This seems to be becoming a habit." He indicates the stark, ugly walls around them, the gesture more out of habit than any ability to actually show her anything. "Coming here, I mean. Sometimes it feels like I have to go visit a hospital just to see any of my friends."

He pulls a Walkman out of his backpack, followed by a stack of battered tapes. "It's your work. Hope you don't mind me going through your room like that, but I didn't have much choice. I had to clean your room before the Professor got mad, anyway. I think he doesn't mind too much, as long as he can pretend that there's nothing there. It's not like he doesn't know."

He straightens out the slightly wilted flowers on the bedside table; the card identifies them as being from Warren.

"I cannot believe he has gone while you're still here, Ali. I may have to have strong words with him, next time I see him." He grins. "Not enough to do any permanent harm, don't worry. I wouldn't want to damage him for you."

The complete and utter lack of a filthy reply is still difficult to get used to. Peter hopes he never has to. Talking with her is normally like white-water rafting without a paddle. Or a raft.

He misses it.

Peter settles down carefully in the too-small chair, which creaks precariously beneath him.

"So, I got a phone call earlier. You'd be so proud...."