Title: In Bloom
Author: Natalia Vronsky
Part: 1/6 (I think)
Rating: R (may become higher later)
Summary: While a hunt goes on to find Rogue, Kitty and Pete's relationship blooms. Part four of my "Nightmares, Dreams and Realities" series.
Notes: Previous parts of the series are #1 "Trent Reznor's A What?", or on ff.net as, "My Favorite Rock Star's A What?". #2 "Into the Void". #3 doesn't exist yet.
Thanks/Dedication: To Kelsey for pretty much everything. :) Mostly how wonderful you write inspiring me to want only perfection for my little fics. Also for all your help and support. And, how could I forget Bamfchica for all her wonderful support and persistence that helped me complete the last two chapters of the original version?
Archive: If you have my permission, you don't need to ask. If you don't and for some wacky reason want this on your site, just ask. I'm 99.9% sure I'll say yes. The .1% would be anyone wanting to archive this under "suckiest fic of the millennium"... not that that would happen, though, right?
Feedback: It's good for my well-being and always appreciated.

The bed on the other side of the room was not so neatly made. It had been that way since the day when Rogue, Kurt and whom everybody assumed was Scott, left.

It was supposed to be a simple reconnaissance mission. There was a mutant who was causing all sorts of problems... or so Scott said. They should have sensed something amiss when he refused to wait for Professor Xavier to return from a meeting with Bobby Drake's parents about his behavior. They should of realized something was wrong when he forced everyone but Rogue and Kurt to stay at home.

But, they didn't. For that, all the members of the X-Men and New Mutants felt guilty. Though, none of them felt as awful about it as the four closest to Rogue; Logan, Scott, Kurt... and Kitty.

They'd become such close friends after New Orleans. They'd never really "get" each other, but, they'd love each other like sisters.

Seeing Rogue in pain over the woman she'd killed, Kitty felt her pain. She felt the loss of innocence about as strong as Rogue did. She'd wanted to say something, so she would know it wasn't her fault... that Mystique had played them all for fools. But, she didn't say a word. She just stood there shocked beyond belief until it was too late.

Then, she'd left and it's been weeks since that day. Scott, Kurt and Kitty had been excused from school. None of them had been able to bring themselves to do anything but mope. They just wanted their friend and sister back. The three of them walked around the mansion like zombies. The others had too, at first, but then slowly began going back to their normal routines.

Logan had disappeared right after it happened. He'd returned only days ago, saying he couldn't find any sort of trail. He couldn't catch her scent since she'd taken off flying. When he was around, the feral man became less approachable than usual. Everyone knew he'd blamed himself. If he'd of been around, instead of playing Mr. Mysterious Loner, he would have know that it was really Mystique, not Scott, parading around that week before.

Kitty bit her lip, looking away from the bed. The thought "poor Rogue" was constant in her mind. But, Rogue herself would threaten death if she thought anyone was pitying her.

Kitty lay on her stomach. Some of Rogue's c.d.'s had been in constant play in their room since that day. Evan, in a moment of extreme bad taste had made a comment about Kitty taking Rogue's place as "the goth", and who knew how long it'd be before she killed someone. Scott had yelled at Evan until he was as blue in the face as the seething Kurt. Kitty had just sat there, tears falling into her dinner.

"Kitty?" Jean opened the door and peaked in.

Maybe Kitty had picked up on Rogue's traits, because the redhead had never more grated on her nerves this much before. Kitty had this desire to strike her across that perfect face of her as hard as she could.

"What do you want?" Kitty buried her face in her pillow.

"A bunch of us were going out in a bit. Wanna come with us?"

"Not really, but thanks for asking."

"Kitty, you can't spend all your time in here listening to that music and brooding over what happened! Rogue will come back. It's not like she has anywhere else to go. She's probably just scared that we'll blame her for what happened, but, once she realizes that we don't and wouldn't, she'll be back.

We all miss her. We're all worried sick about her. But, Rogue's the toughest of us all. She'll be fine until she does come back."

"She killed that lady. She'll never be fine." Kitty sat up, glaring at Jean. "And, you and everyone else says she'll come back, but look how long it's been! And... The Professor can't even find her with his powers and Cerebro! I keep feeling like she'll never come back... and I want her to.

She wa... is my best friend. I just want her back to tell her that! To say sorry for making fun of her clothes! For telling her how morbid she is! I just want her back so that I know she's not dead in some gutter somewhere!" The damn Kitty had built since the day of Rogue's disappearance, broke. She started sobbing. "Maybe the rest of you don't care, or can go on with your lives like she was never here in the first place, but I can't."

"We all care Kitty. She's family, whether we always get along or not." Jean sat down next to Kitty and wrapped an arm around her shoulder. "You don't have to worry about her being dead. Professor Xavier and I would fell it if she was. He's doing everything in his power to find her, and he will. It may just take a while."

Kitty phased through Jean's arm and curled up in her bed, trying to stop her tears from flowing. "Yeah. You should go. Wouldn't want to miss going out." She shut her eyes until she head Jean get up and sigh at the door before leaving.

Kitty opened her eyes after she heard the soft click the door made as it shut. Her gaze fell, once again, on the empty bed beside hers. Her tears returned. Kitty spent the rest of the night crying until she finally fell asleep at dawn.