Notes: This is the latest in the "Pegasus Flight" series, taking place after "The Prank War". Previous stories are archived at www.geocities.com/ra_1013. Special thanks to Kore, for giving me the reason to finish this.
Disclaimer: Peggy's mine, but no one else is. You knew this. Move along.Feedback is worshipped and adored at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Certain doom approached the X-Man known as Pegasus. It crept up upon her, slinking in slowly from the side of the house, skulking across the fresh-mowed grass, sneaking along the side of the pool. Pegasus slept peacefully on a lounge chair beside the pool, lulled to sleep by the warmth of the sun, unknowing of the fate that lay in store for her. Her teammates saw it approaching, but knew they could do nothing to save her. Nothing, save wait and watch. Slowly... slowly... it took its place and unleashed the horror.
Peggy screamed and sat bolt upright as the icy stream of water hit her full in the stomach. “Bobby!” she shrieked, the chair toppling over in her convulsions and dumping her onto the patio.
Bobby laughed so hard he cried, clutching his sides and wheezing. The Super Soaker clattered to the ground, its purpose served for now. “Gotcha!” he gloated.
Peggy glared at him from the ground and tried to untangle the chair from her limbs. “I can’t believe Hank gave you that thing for your birthday. It’s an invitation to disaster.”
Bobby struggled to breathe again. “You’ve gotta admit, that was classic.”
“Yeah,” Peggy admitted, “but you forgot something.”
“I never go down alone!” Pushing the chair away, Peggy dove at Bobby and sent them both flying backwards into the swimming pool. They landed with a resounding SPLASH! and soaked everyone who hadn’t been wise enough to retreat. Bobby came up spluttering and laughing, with a wave of water ready to splash in Peggy’s face. She giggled and retaliated in kind, starting a full-scale pool war.
Finally Bobby managed to worm his way through her defenses and pull Peggy up against him with a laugh. “I love you,” he told her, sharing a warm kiss. She sighed happily and leaned against him—then shrieked as he dunked her under the water.
“I dunno, I’d take my revenge on Hank, if I were you. He knew what would happen when he gave Bobby that Super-Soaker.”
Peggy laughed and rolled over to lay on her stomach, playing with the quilt spread across her bed. “You’ve got a point, Jubes,” she told her best friend, shifting the phone more comfortably against her ear. “Any ideas?”
“Hmm... let me think about it. What I want to know is how the fancy night at Chez Expensive went. I never thought Drake would shell out for it!”
“Well, it was my birthday.”
“And that place is, like, eighty bucks a plate! Did you eat snails?”
Peggy giggled. “GenX is never going to get any culture, are they?”
“Nah, what’s the fun in that?” Jubilee laughed. Peggy could hear her pop her gum, then sigh heavily in exasperation.“Do I have to come out there and make you talk, girl? I want details!”
“All right, all right! No threats. It’s really awful. Bobby went to so much trouble. Everything was going great, and then—” She stopped to giggle again. It was funny... in retrospect. “They had a new waiter or something, and he tripped as he went by our table. Bobby got covered with—well, everything!”
Both girls collapsed in laughter. “Oh man, I wish I could’ve seen that! In his best suit, right?”
“I think he borrowed the tie from Warren,” Peggy added, still giggling. “Poor Bobby. The waiter and the manager kept apologizing, and he started getting this vein pulsing in his forehead like Dad does. So I dragged him home. We’ve got a free meal there sometime, at least.”
Jubilee snorted. “Poor Drake. Did you at least get a birthday present out of it?”
“Well, he’s trying to make up for it. We’re having a romantic picnic tonight.”
“Wow, major brownie pointage. Go Drake.”
Peggy laughed. “I may have dropped a few hints. Hey, I’ve gotta go. I’ve got a Danger Room session.”
“Don’t let Cyke run ya ragged.”
“It’s so beautiful out here,” Peggy sighed contentedly, leaning back against Bobby’s shoulder. She looked out at the blanket of stars covering the sky. It was the perfect night for a romantic picnic.
“It’s perfect,” Bobby told her, leaning down and kissing her gently. “So are you.” He took a deep breath and shifted so he was facing her. “Peggy, I’ve been trying to talk to you... um, well, to ask you something.” He closed his eyes, took another breath, and asked, “Peggy—What the heck?!”
Peggy jumped and turned around as Bobby leapt to his feet and assumed a fighting stance. Her eyes widened in surprise at the huge silver figure before them.
“We were on a date, you know,” Peggy said crossly, causing Bobby to look over at her in alarm. “It’s usually a two-person affair.”
Stryfe simply crossed his arms and leaned back, pinning Bobby with a hostile stare. Bobby gulped and loosened his collar nervously. “He’s just trying to intimidate you,” Peggy assured him, patting his arm. She fixed Stryfe with a stern look. “Stop that.”
Stryfe raised an eyebrow. “I wasn’t doing anything.”
“You were trying to intimidate him.”
“Trying?” Stryfe almost sounded hurt.
“Peggy, if he wants to intimidate me, I really don’t think you should be arguing with him,” Bobby said slowly, casually shifting in place to try to reach his emergency beacon and trying to figure out if his date had gone insane.
Stryfe looked at him and raised a hand. Bobby’s beacon stubbornly ignored his attempts to stop it and floated straight into his enemy’s hand. “Did you want this?” Stryfe asked mildly.
“Peggy,” Bobby whispered urgently. “Run.”
“Don’t be ridiculous. This is our date and no one’s going to ruin it. Least of all over-protective big brothers.” She crossed her arms and returned his stare. “I’ll be happy to talk to you tomorrow, but your timing tonight stinks.”
Stryfe held her gaze for a few moments, then broke it to run an appraising eye over Bobby. “I don’t know what you see in him,” he announced finally.
“I didn’t ask you.”
Bobby gaped at her. She was insane, that was the only answer. She was talking to Stryfe. Even worse, arguing with Stryfe! Bobby wasn’t sure whether he should be more worried about that or the fact that Stryfe hadn’t, as yet, actually tried to kill them this time.
Stryfe was silent for a long moment, then inclined his head slightly. “Tomorrow, then.” He fixed his gaze back on Bobby, one eye flashing gold. “You will keep your hands to yourself.” With that threat, he said something in a foreign-sounding tongue and disappeared.
Bobby stared at the empty space in front of him for a long moment, then slowly blinked and turned to look at Peggy. “That was Stryfe,” he said inanely.
“He has the worst timing sometimes,” Peggy said, looking very irritated.
“Peggy... I noticed that I was very surprised to see him, but you didn’t seem very surprised to see him. Tell me you were surprised to see him.”
“Peggy?” he asked, his voice strangled.
“I—I wasn’t expecting to see him tonight,” she hedged. At his expression, she hastily continued, “He just kind of pops up every now and then. Or he, um, pops me there.”
“You’ve been visiting Stryfe? He kidnapped you!”
“He let me go.”
Bobby stared at her incredulously. “How many times?”
“Just a couple... All right, three or four. Okay, five! But it’s been, what, four years? That’s not too bad.”
Bobby closed his eyes. “Let me get this straight. Every now and then Stryfe just decides he’s lonely and grabs you for conversation?” She nodded. “He’s a villain!”
“He hasn’t hurt me. I trust him. I think that’s what makes the difference.” Bobby just sighed. Peggy leaned over and kissed him. “Since you managed to knock the champagne into the picnic basket, why don’t we go inside and have some sandwiches?”
“I what?” Bobby looked down at the jumbled blanket at his feet and cursed. “Yeah. Let’s go inside.”
“Well, it’s not quite a picnic on the lake,” Peggy said as she licked a sandwich crumb off the corner of her mouth, “but it’s still fun.” She giggled. “We haven’t had much luck lately, have we?”
“No,” Bobby said sourly, staring down at his untouched sandwich.
“Cheer up,” she told him, winking cheerfully. “After the luck we’ve had, we’re due for a good streak by now.”
“Yeah... yeah, you’re right,” Bobby said, getting a determined look on his face. “It might not be perfect, but it’s right for us. I need to ask you something. Peggy, will you—”
“Hey, is there anything to eat in here?”
Bobby groaned and buried his face in his hands.
Peggy looked at him strangely, then smiled at the new arrivals as X-Force trudged into the kitchen. “Hi guys,” she said, trying not to sound irritated. “What are you doing here?”
“We live here! Sometimes.” Tabitha shrugged and dove into the fridge. “Ooh, jello!”
Bobby made an inarticulate noise and banged his head against the table.
“What’s up with him?” Jimmy asked, snaring a bag of potato chips from the cupboard.
“I’m not sure,” Peggy said, closing her eyes briefly. “Hi Nathan, Dom. How’s it going?”
Nathan poured himself a cup of coffee. “I didn’t expect to find you here.”
“Me either,” Peggy muttered.
“All right, I have had it!” Bobby shouted, slamming his fists down on the table and standing up. “Is it too much to ask for five lousy minutes alone? Clumsy waiters, overprotective big brothers—if it’s not one thing it’s another with this group! Can’t a man propose to the woman he loves in peace?!”
Peggy’s mouth fell open, Nathan dropped his cup, and Tabitha squealed in excitement, but Bobby didn’t notice. He was too busy ranting about the vast idiocy of the world at large and the X-family in specific to even hear Peggy’s soft, “Yes.”
“I had to get reservations six months early for that place, and the waiter trips! Waiters aren’t supposed to trip at a place like that!”
Peggy cleared her throat and tried again, louder this time. “Yes.”
“And then every damn time I try to get two seconds alone in this place, someone has to show up and—”
“Bobby!” Peggy interrupted, grabbing both his hands and forcing him to look at her. He shut up. Her eyes were twinkling in supressed merriment, but there was some suspicious moisture lurking there as well. “I said yes.”
“Yes?” Bobby repeated stupidly.
Peggy nodded, her blue eyes sparkling. “If the offer’s still open,” she added impishly.
“I could take it back...”
“NO!” Bobby blurted out, staring at her in utter amazement. “Y-you said yes?”
He ignored her, turning to look at Terry next to him. “She said yes,” he stated in sheer disbelief.
“Aye,” Terry replied, trying not to laugh. “We heard her the first time.”
Bobby turned back to Peggy, a huge smile blossoming on his face. “Yes?”
“Yes,” Peggy repeated, laughing. “Will you kiss me now?”
Bobby laughed and pulled her to him, kissing her passionately and then swinging around in a circle. “She said yes!!” X-Force broke into cheers and applause as he kissed her again.
“What’s all the fuss in here?” Scott asked as he led a few X-Men into the kitchen, looking around at the grinning faces. Nathan looked like he was in shock.
“She said YES!” Bobby shouted, with half of X-Force joining him in chorus before breaking into laughter.
“Who said yes to what?” Sam tried to clarify, looking around at his former teammates.
“Drake proposed!” Tabitha announced to the room.
“She said yes,” Bobby repeated again, looking down at Peggy with a wide, goofy grin.
She laughed as she looked up at him, then kissed him. “Several times,” she amended. Then she turned her blinding smile back on Scott.
He stared at them for a few seconds, then said carefully, “Peggy, I’m not sure—”
“I am,” she interrupted fiercely.
Scott’s eyebrows raised. That was the first time he could recall her ever directly arguing with him. He paused for a few seconds, then took a deep breath and tried again. “Congratulations?” He shook his head ruefully and looked over at Bobby, a smile pulling at his mouth. “To both of you.”
Peggy smiled delightedly and rushed over to hug him tightly. That seemed to be the signal for everyone else to start cheering and offering congratulations. Peggy was nearly tackled by the women for a mass hug, while Bobby disappeared for a moment under Hank’s enthusiastic congratulations. After a few minutes of this, Bobby firmly reclaimed Peggy and pulled a small box from his pocket. “I was a little more prepared for this than it looked like,” he told her wryly. He opened the box to reveal a lovely diamond ring, which he then slipped on her finger. “I love you.”
“I love you too,” Peggy replied, her eyes full of tears as she kissed him.
Bobby suddenly looked over at Scott, grinning mischievously. “Does this mean I can call you Dad now?”
Jean started laughing at the look on her husband’s face. She looked over at Bobby and said merrily, “Welcome to the Summers family, Bobby Drake.”
Behind her, Nathan snorted and muttered, “I hope you survive the experience.”