I never seem to be able to allow people to just be happy. A future fic based on the little glimpses of the future we got in the end of the 4th season. A "what if" I suppose. Sorta falls in line with the same world that my piece. Au Revoir was set in.

Enjoy.

Laura

~*~

It was nice to get out to shop by herself, Kate Pryde thought to herself as she flipped through the racks of clothing at the mall. She had been an instructor at the institute for six years, had managed to graduate from college and was even working on a graduate degree. Somewhere between the students at the Institute and her friends it was a rare moment she got to herself. Although sometimes she felt altogether alone.

With a sigh she abandoned the clothing rack and headed out of the store. How was it that clothes had looked more appealing when she was sixteen?

Some times, when a stroll through the local mall brought back memories she didn't want to think about, Kate thought she would be a hell of a lot better if she got the hell out of Bayville. The hero's life wasn't really for her, but she had friends and commitments, and she enjoyed working with the kids.

She exited the mall while dragging her car keys out of her purse. The second she was outside and the raindrops hit her head, she looked up. And when she did she spotted a man dressed all in black standing off to the side watching her.

Waiting for her.

Kate knew it as instinctively as she knew that her email inbox was probably full with letters from her parents and friends who were no longer in town and that at least one member of the Institute someone must be looking for her as she stood there.

She crossed the street, nearly without thinking about it. He was well over a head taller than her and she had to crane her neck up to look at him when she reached him.

"Hey there Pretty Kitty."

"Lance. It's been awhile." She kept her voice perfectly neutral. There was no need for this man to know that she'd missed him, thought about him. That even when he was working for S.H.E.I.L.D and was usually miles away he could still ruin all other relationships she tried to have.

He pulled a shoulder, that ever non-committal motion he made to try and make something look like less than it was. "Yeah well, heard Bayville was having some difficulties and I thought I'd come check it out personally."

Work. It was always work with him now. "Things are fine," she said, stonewalling him.

He grabbed her arm as she tried to brush past him and get to his car. "You know that's not the only reason."

Kate angled her head down, unwilling to look him in the eyes. "Yeah."

"Can we go talk somewhere?"

"Sure."

Lance let go of her arm and ended up folding his arms over his chest as if he were worried about touching her. Usually that wasn't a problem with him, his hands would be on her, pulling her close to him as if he couldn't get enough of the feel of her. But then the last time he had showed up in Bayville he had found out about her boyfriend. Had Lance really grown up enough to actually respect the idea that she might have chosen someone else?

They reached the large government issue truck within a minute. Lance didn't open her door for her, but instead hopped in his side and unlocked hers so she could get in. She climbed up into her seat and pulled her buckle on as Lance started the car.

Silence fell between them as they pulled away from the mall. If he wanted to talk, why the hell wasn't he saying anything. Kitty turned her gaze away from him and looked down to see that she was picking under her nails, a nervous habit she thought she had rid herself of.

She forced her hands apart and turned to look at Lance. If he wasn't going to start all this talking he wanted to do then it was clear she was going to have to. "So, how is everything going with you guys, working as S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, getting paid an actual wage?" she asked lightly, hoping that this would be an easy way to get conversation flowing.

Lance smiled, and gave her a spare glance before focusing his eyes on the road. "I'm sure Xaiver pays you."

"Minus room and board."

She was rewarded with a laugh. "Things are alright." Kitty watched him struggle with something and wanted nothing more to ask, but she wasn't sure she had a right to that anymore. "Okay, no they're not. The team has kind of stopped speaking to one another. With the exception of Freddy and Me. Okay Freddy and everyone, but you know, he's always been that kind of guy."

"What happened?"

"Wanda has a boyfriend, which of course set Pietro and Todd off on her, and then that set them off on each other, because." He waved his hand around in a mystified gesture. "God knows. And I wouldn't pick sides so all three stopped speaking to me. And Pyro is. Psychotic."

"Yeah."

Once again silence fell uncomfortably between them. Silence between them had never been uncomfortable like this. Kitty could still remember going on drives in Lance's old jeep where they would hardly speak at all. She'd just curl up beside him and watch as the world went by, happy just to be near him.

But those days were long since gone.

"So where are you staying this trip in town?" she asked finally. She hadn't wanted to be curious about that but it

Lance shrugged and kept his gaze focused dead ahead. "I'll figure it out soon enough."

Kit bit on her lip and picked at the upholstery as she considered her next sentence. "We still have room at the Institute."

She got a derisive snort in response. She looked up at him and he looked as if he thought she was crazy. "Come on Kit, none of them want to see me around there." The scowl settled and his voice got lower as he said, "Least of all your boyfriend."

"He's not. We broke up," she ended lamely.

"Oh."

"Yeah."

She felt incredibly stupid and slightly desperate. 'It was as close to inviting him to your bed as you've gotten in a long time. Stay at the institute, I don't have a boyfriend anymore.'

"Kit--"

"I really should hate you," she blurted. "Because I love you and I can't have you. But then, I'm not the first girl who has wanted something she can't have."

His hand snaked across the seat to lay over hers. "You could always come with me." He sent her a quick smile before he had to turn his focus back to the road. "We could use a woman who can walk through walls. Wanda would probably like another woman around."

How often had she thought about just running after him and jumping in the truck and runing away? Andit never felt right. "It's not me, the vigilante lifestyle. But it suits you."

"You think?"

Kitty took the invite to inspect him again. In the end she had to agree with her previous statement and nodded. "Yeah. You're happy, it gives you a purpose within your set of rules. I can see what it does for you to feel useful and like you're doing something right." She smiled sadly. "I always told you there was something out there for you."

Sometime while she was talking Lance had made the executive decision to pull the car off of the road, because now they were stopped as cars whizzed by them.

His large hand reached out to touch her hair and the look he was giving her nearly melted everything away. "It's not the only think that makes me happy," he whispered as he moved closer to her.

It felt as if she were under some sort of spell, but she broke it herself as tears sprung to her eyes and she turned away from him to look out of her window. "I can't do this. Not if you're just going to leave again."

She felt his hand slide away and hit the seat softly. "I didn't come here to hurt you," he said softly. Kitty could hear the apology in his tone of voice and knew it was all of one she was going to get out of him.

But it wasn't enough. She angled her head to look back at him. "Why are you here Lance? Really?"

"Because, I needed to see you."

"You're being awfully selfish."

"Yeah, well I always have been, haven't I?" he snapped at her.

She realized she had hit a particularly large nerve with that one. He had always hated the thought that he was hurting her or that he wasn't what she needed. "Lance," she said softly moving towards him to lay a comforting hand on his arm.

He refused to let her touch him and instead reared back. "You think I don't know that I don't deserve you? That when it comes to you I'm selfish and stupid and only end up hurting you more than I mean to? I know it Kitty, I do. But I can't stop wanting you and loving you. And when I think I've finally let you go and can let you have the kind of life I can't give you, I get an invite to Bayville again and the cycle starts all over again."

He was breathing heavily when he finished and they sat staring at one another for a few minutes. Lance was the first to break the gaze and he turned to look out the windshield. Kitty followed suit a few seconds later as she felt the tears threatening to spill over.

"If I could hate you this would be so much easier."

"Yeah, it would."

"So," Lance started, finally being the one to initiate conversation. "Has anything interesting gone on at the mansion?"

The question hit her, and it was the perfect opening for what she needed to tell him. She looked at him and bit her lip considering.

Once again she focused her head down and away from him. "I was pregnant."

"What?"

Lance slammed on the breaks, leaving them inches from being swiped by an oncoming car that they were originally going to merge in front of. He was breathing heavily, and not saying anything else. After awhile she couldn't stand it anymore and Kitty looked up at him. She regretted it when she saw the look of horror and shock on his face.

"Not in between last time you were here and now. It was earlier than that. Just after we'd." she trailed off, unable to finish the sentence. "I didn't know until it was too late," she said in a hoarse whisper as tears threatened to overtake her. It had been well over a year ago and it still threatened to make her break down.

"Kitty."

"It was yours," she told him incase she hadn't picked up on that already. "I should have told you earlier, but I just. how do you call someone up and tell them that?"

"You pick up the damn phone and tell me you need me," he yelled at her. She looked up at him and could see the pain on his face. "Is it really that hard to do Kitty? I would have been here in an instant. You know that."

"And it would have disrupted your life," she shouted back. "I didn't want you to spend your time dwelling on the what ifs and if only that I had been."

"And I won't now?" He looked away as if trying to find some calm or sense, she wasn't sure there was any. "I had a right to know. To be there." He turned back towards her and laid a hand on her shoulder. "For you."

How Lance was still able to think about her brought tears to her eyes. She looked out the window as the rain continued to stream down it. "Well it's too late now, isn't it?"

"No," he said with a steel edge to his voice. "It's not."

"What are you talking about?" She watched bewildered as he took his cell phone from the cup holders. "Lance?"

He didn't look up at her but instead focused on dialing numbers in his cell phone. "I'm staying."

"What?"

"Permanently."

"You can't!"

He whirled around to look at her. His eyes were wild. "Can't I?"

Kitty reached up and grabbed his arm, trying to pull the cell phone away from his ear. "I will not have you sacrifice your life for me," she hissed vehemently.

He pulled the cell phone down and hit the end button and glared at her. "Maybe I'd rather leave that life behind now while I still have a chance. Before it gets cut by the ever growing presence of mutant hate that is growing in the government. And maybe, just maybe, I've sacrificed other things for the job."

"You owe your team."

"Technically they're Pietro's team," he grumbled as he lifted the cell phone to dial again.

"You know better."

His heated gaze returned to her. "I need a bunch of people who are unwilling to talk to me because I want a bit of peace in the group? Is that what you're saying? Over you."

All of Lance's words seemed to be collapsing everything on her, and Kitty couldn't seem to make sense of it. "You don't need to chose."

"You know I do."

"Then why me?"

"Why?" he asked finally, looking at her as if she had grown two heads. "It's always been you. You know that. What the hell do you think that bank account I never touch is for? Because I really need the cash? You know I don't. I can get away with near to nothing, I always have."

"Lance, I didn't--"

"Know?" he finished for her, seemingly losing a bit of his anger. "Of course you didn't. I was going to tell you last time, but."

She closed her eyes and pressed her lips together to keep from crying. "Peter," she whispered finally, finishing his trailed off sentence.

"Yeah."

Kitty didn't even make a move to look at him, but instead buried her head in her hands at the sound of pain in his voice. She wondered why she had agreed to get into the car with him and go for a drive.

"We are so screwed up," she whispered finally. The only coherent thought that was running through her brain.

"Nick Fury please."

At the sound of Lance's voice Kitty's head shot up. "Oh my God, you're really serious."

He barely spared a glance at her when he whispered, "Shh."

"Ohmigod, ohmigod." Her hands flew up over her ears, she didn't want to hear it, any of it. She had never wanted him to quit the job that he enjoyed so much, this was on his head.

Eventually his yelling overtook her attempts to plug him out. "I'm serious Fury, I'm done. We're not appreciated anymore anyways. Look, they can do what they like, they're on the verge of disbanding. Maybe I've got some shit of my own."

Kitty let out a snort. "Thanks."

Lance smirked at her before returning to the conversation he was having. "So what if it is? I've given you plenty of time. No, come here and debrief me, I've wasted enough time. Trust me, she is."

And with that, he hung up the phone. When Lance finally turned to look at her, there was a large grin plastered on his face.

Kitty was still staring at him. "I cannot believe you just did that. You can't take that back."

He simply nodded and started the car engine back up. "I know."

She leaned back against the seat and tried to order it all in her head. He had quit, he was happy with the decision. He was staying.

"Oh my God."

"See, you haven't changed that much."

Kitty sent him a weak glare, that quickly dissolved in to a small smile. "So, what are you going to do?"

Lance shrugged, as if it were all that simple. She wondered why she had never thought it would be for him. "I don't know. We'll figure that out."

His right arm slowly drifted across the cab and around her shoulder, pulling her as close as her seat belt would allow. Kitty finally let herself relax and trusted that maybe this time Lance was right.

~*~

The next morning Kitty walked down the stairs of the mansion trying to figure out if she had dreamed the day before. It didn't seem very real, and she had woken up alone. But then again her dreams of Lance quitting and coming to spend the rest of his life with her had never been so emotionally draining.

The sound of loud voices caught her attention, one in particular. Kitty quickly ran and poked her head through the wall to get a peek at what was going on inside.

Nick Fury was standing inside, glowering at Lance. "Look Kid, you're important to S.H.I.E.L.D. You can't just quit."

"I already did!" Lance hollered back. "This isn't negotiable. I stay here."

The two men seemed content to stare each other down until one of them made a move to shoot each other. It wasn't often Kitty got a chance to notice how imposing Lance could be, as he often tried to keep that out of their interaction, but he really was terrifying. Not that Nick Fury wasn't.

"Kit," Lance said, breaking her train of thought, "attractive as you are, your head isn't meant to be mounted on a wall. If you want to know what's going on, come on in."

Taking the invitation, Kitty walked into the room. She pursed her lips, and eventually blurted, "You could always leave him as a permanent operative here, Mr. Fury. It might not be ideal, but at least you'd have a reliable source and someone who you know can enforce minor things on his own."

Lance shot her a warning look. "Kitty."

But Fury was smiling at her. "Smart girl you got there." He turned back to Lance. "Alright kid, I'll tell you what. Three months as a trial basis, and if it works you stay. If it doesn't, we'll talk it out again. Now I have work to do."

Fury stormed past the couple and out the door, leaving them to stand staring at one another.

"Well apparently I have a job that I like and I get to stay. What--"

He didn't get a chance to finish, as Kitty threw herself at him and wrapped her arms around his neck. "It wasn't a dream."

"Nope." She felt his arms tighten around her. "You're stuck with me."

She pulled back to look down at him. His chocolate brown eyes were staring back at her with the love that she always loved to find there. "You've been seeing to that since Northbrook, don't know why I ever thought it would be different."

"I told you," he said as he pulled her back to him. He trailed kisses up her neck until he got to her ear. "'I'm going to rock your world.'"

Kitty let out a laugh as she finally felt the pieces of her life fall into place.