A.N. Hey everyone. Sorry this chapter took so long- and also for how short all these chapters are turning out to be. Thanks a thousand times to everyone who has reviewed my past two chapters, you guys are great. I'm writing this story without a clear sense of its direction, but I'm really trying to get a better grasp on it. Please review and let me know what you think!!!

Rogue arrived at 8 o'clock the next morning. She hadn't told anyone she was coming, so she took a cab to the mansions. Kurt answered the door, and when he saw who it was he simply drew her inside and gave his sister a hug.

He let her go shortly, and sighed. "I suppose I should say that I'm surprised, but I guess I was half expecting you. He gave her a laughingly ironic half-smile. "I'm glad you came, though. She's not talking to anyone about it, but she's upset over something.



"Something? Sure, and I'm certain you have no idea what it is. It's not like there's any conflict in her relationships or anything." At Kurt's slightly haggard look, however, Rogue relented. "Oh. It's not your fault, Kurt. I'm sure you've been careful. But however artless that girl is, she doesn't lack for intuition. She was bound to pick up something- I'm surprised it's taken her this long." Rogue had always known how Kurt felt about Kitty, although Kurt couldn't for the life of him ever remember telling her.



Kurt ran a three- fingered hand through his collar-length hair, and Rogue shook her head sympathetically.

"Where is she?"

Kurt nodded his head in the direction of the south lawn, where the poll was, and Rogue headed out the French double doors.

Kitty was sitting by the edge of the water in a bright summer dress, her bare feet dangling into the water. Rogue stopped to gain an impression before she spoke. Kitty looked- well, not quite sad, exactly, but as though she had recently been very sad, and now didn't know quite what to do about it.

Rogue stepped quietly up to the edge of the pool and sat down next to her friend. Kitty glanced at the edgily dressed girl with a rueful but appreciative smile. Of course Rogue had come.

"I told you that I was okay."

"You did, at that." Rogue tugged Kitty's ponytail, a decade old affectionate taunt. "But I didn't believe you."

Kitty suddenly laughed a little, and herself off the edge into the water fully clothed. When she surfaced a few seconds later, her expression had transformed into one of mischievous glee.

"Does Remy know that you're here?"

Rogue's eyes sharpened quickly, and her reply was definitely a warning. "No, he does not. And Kitty, you are under no circumstances to inform him."

But Kitty had ducked back under the water.

***

Kitty's mood lightened easily after her brief swim. She had almost come to the conclusion that her imagination had run away the afternoon before, causing her to perceive a tension that didn't exist. Comfortable with this decision, she changed and went off to join everyone else.

Rogue was in the middle of a large, chattering group of teachers and students, all of whom were trying to welcome her at once. Kitty joined Kurt, who was sitting against the wall with an amused look. He shot her a sideways glance as she sat down, but perceiving her easy grin, he immediately relaxed.

Kitty, without taking her eyes off the loud group, said laughingly, "How long do you think until Gambit arrives?"

"Oh, perhaps two hours. I don't see how he could have gotten the news already." As Kurt spoke the doorbell rang, and a younger student opened the door to reveal a tall, well-built man with red eyes leaning casually against the frame.

Kitty raised her eyebrows at the ensuing scene, as Rogue noticed Remy's arrival. "Once again, Kurt. Never underestimate that guy. And despite whatever Rogue might tell you, I did not tell Gambit that she was here. The guy has some weird ability to almost sense her presence. I don't understand it at all."

Kurt's expression sharpened with interest, but all he did was drape a friendly arm around Kitty's shoulders and say carelessly "Don't you, Katzchen? I think I do, a little."