Summary: Tragedy strikes just as the Christmas season begins to blossom when a car accident leaves Kitty with little chance of ever walking again. But Lance isn't ready to give up hope and helps her through the seemingly endless therapy and treatment needed for her to try and escape being confined to a wheelchair the rest of her life. What occurs is a strengthening in their relationship that neither could have ever imagined possible given their tremelous pasts together.
Disclaimer: I do not own X-Men Evolution or anything in association to it.
It was snowing lightly, blanketing all of Bayville beneath a shimmering layer of the frozen matter. Trees aligned the barren streets laden with Christmas lights and sparkling ornaments, signaling the nearing holiday that had calmed the suburbs and shifted all the activity into the heart of the city, where shoppers were hoping to get some last minute gifts and trinkets with only a week left until Christmas day would finally dawn upon the small city.
The streets were slippery this night as the snow transformed into thick ice upon the pavement with the subzero temperatures, which was the exact reason why Jean was driving so slowly down the residential road. Kitty sat beside her in the passenger seat, flipping through a magazine picking out various gifts for his friends and family as she hummed a melody to herself. They themselves had just been on a buying frenzy, though unable to find much of anything in the wake of earlier customers, and they had left all but empty-handed from the crowded downtown mall. Jean turned up the radio in order to shut out the annoying sound of the windshield wipers and readjusted the spirited sprig of mistletoe that Scott had hung earlier from her rearview mirror.
"So Jean, what did you like get for Scott?" Kitty suddenly inquired with a cheerful smirk, now sifting through an instrumental catalogue for something she could get for Lance to spruce up his guitar. Jean shrugged and brushed a few crimson follicles from her face, attempting to keep sight of the street dimly lit in her headlights while still trying to hold the casual conversation with Kitty.
"I got him a few different things. A new shirt and jeans from Old Navy that I thought he'd like, plus a new pair of sunglasses considering his old ones got cracked," Jean said, shuddering slightly in remembrance of the situation that had caused that to occur.
"I told Kurt not to throw that Frisbee around the Institute, but at least Mr. Logan made him run five laps around the Danger Room for not listening to the Professor's warnings," Kitty said, setting aside her growing list of needed items and leaning back onto the leather chair with a contented sigh, relishing slightly in the feeling of the upcoming holiday and allowing the subtle weariness to envelope her as well.
"What do you think you're going to get for Lance?" Jean said, wondering how Kitty's hunt for a suitable present had progressed thus far, and she too shrugged initially in response.
"Just like some small things for his guitar mostly. A new pack of guitar picks, a set of new strings, and a stand since he keeps complaining that those morons he lives with keep trampling it since it keeps sliding from the wall where he leaves it," she said with a tired sigh.
"I think he'll like those gifts; after all, playing the guitar does seem to be the only hobby you've ever seen him dedicated to right?" Jean asked, and Kitty nodded gently and tightened her small ponytail with a quick tug of her hands, sitting back up and looking out of her fogged window at some small children playing in a yard nearby. Several of them had formed a rough row across the span of the frigid ground, all of them commencing the traditional creation of a snow angel into the glistening crystals below, and she smiled warmly as they passed them.
"I remember when I used to do that constantly. My parents used to like tell me those angels could come to life if I made them and could protect me from all the monsters I saw in my nightmares and the other things I feared. Every time I thought of something frightening, I'd just go outside and make a new snow angel and know that that specific one would protect me from whatever I had become like scared of. Basically the whole yard would be filled up within a day of winter, but at least it made me feel a lot better when I would wake up from a nightmare and look down upon them, knowing that they would keep me safe," she said with another relaxed sigh, and Jean laughed softly at her reminiscing and admired a rather over-decorated house to her left, preparing to stop at an intersection that lied just before the turn-off that would lead them back to the Institute.
She came to a slow stop, knowing that her SUV could be notorious for skidding in bad weather such as this, and looked both ways to make sure nothing was coming. Since it was a four-way stop, she partially ignored the headlights to her right and began to coast forward slowly, smiling with the distant lights of the Institute all but concealed in the thick forest along the shoreline ahead.
Kitty was nearly blinded by the nearing headlights and rose one arm to try and shield herself from them, looking to see they were approaching at an alarming rate. But it wasn't until she let out a horrified scream that Jean turned and realized the oncoming car had lost control and was speeding towards them across the slick ice.
The van slammed into the right side of the SUV at fifty-two miles-per-hour only a second later, shoving it with such force that it slid down the pavement until it came to rest after wedging itself against an oak tree at a slowed rate of speed. The sounds of metal tearing apart and glass shattering echoed through the small neighborhood, echoing across the silence that seemed to have fall over the once lively world.
The children nearby that had been playing happily came to a halt, all of them staring at the accident with terrified and confused expressions as inside their frantic parents searched for a telephone and several rushed outside, running towards the accident in panic and horror.
One of the snow angels laying innocently in the yard suddenly vanished, buried silently beneath the thickening snowfall.