Certain Things: Overheard
S J Smith
Disclaimer: Yadda, yadda, Singer, yadda, Lee, yadda, Marvel, yadda, Fox Studios, yadda, not a part of any of it.
Continuity: Post - X2
Kitty loved the mansion's library. First of all, books. Books were her friends. And there was this great chair next to a window with a southern facing so if there was any sunlight at all, it'd spread through and cover everything gloriously.
And if it was a nice fall day, even better, because that meant the A.C. was off and she could have the window open and enjoy the sounds of birds and kids playing and the fountain splashing, just a few hundred feet away.
She loved this spot. It was one of her favorites. When she looked outside, she could see the fountain and the gardens and in the spring and summer, the smell of roses and other flowers drifted inside.
Kitty had settled in with a copy of Hamlet, a bottle of Coke and a notepad. She wanted to get this paper started so she wouldn't have to rush around next week, during Thanksgiving, to get it done. Besides, Jubilee would kill her if she tried to beg off the after-Thanksgiving, pre-Christmas sales.
She'd just finished her notes on Act One when the voices intruded on her concentration. There was the crunching sound of shoes on gravel and a second pair, moving a little more quickly.
"Where are you going?" Rogue almost sounded breathless, she must've been the one chasing after.
"Not sure yet, kid."
Kitty turned towards the window abruptly. That was definitely not Bobby's voice.
"You mean you're just taking off." Now Rogue sounded pissed.
There was a pause, long enough for someone to draw a deep breath and release it. "No, I'm not just takin' off."
"You said you got your answers at Alkali Lake." Still pissed.
"Look, I'm not trying to find answers, okay? I just, look," a sigh, "I need some time."
"You mean you're runnin' away?"
There was more crunching sounds, quick steps, coming closer to the window. Kitty shrank back into her chair as Logan's voice lowered a little, became more heated. "I ain't runnin' away."
"So, what, you're just gonna hop on that bike and see where it takes you?"
"Somethin' like that."
"That sounds kinda like runnin' away." Her voice softened. "Logan. Don't go."
"Kid," he let the word out like a sigh.
"I know," she said, "I know it's hard for you to be here." She swallowed audibly. "Don't you think it's hard for us, too? Stryker and his men attacked this place."
Logan's voice softened. "The Professor won't let anything happen to you."
"Sounds nice, but you don't know that for sure." Rogue sounded bitter. Kitty frowned. At least Rogue hadn't been shot. Of course, she had had the police pointing guns at her and got sucked out of the Blackbird and thought she was going to die. Okay, she had a right to sound bitter.
"Stryker's dead. You don't have to worry about him any more."
"Where one falls, another takes his place," Rogue said, sounding as if she was quoting something. "You know there are others like him out there."
"Without him, they won't get too far."
"You can't be sure of that."
He sounded angry. "You can't be sure of anything."
"That's what I mean." Her voice rose to keep up with his. "I don't want you to leave." The last words she spoke shattered with her emotions.
"Hey," he said gently, comfortingly, "I'll come back."
She sniffled. "I'm afraid," she said and sniffed again.
"No one's gonna hurt you here," he said. "Cyke and me just updated all the surveillance. An ant couldn't walk by without being noticed."
She took a shuddering breath. "I'm not scared of that," she said. "I'm afraid you're gonna chase after those ghosts."
Swallowing, her voice thick, she said, "Stryker." And then, "Jean."
She cut him off. "I know you. Just 'cause Stryker's dead doesn't mean you're not still trying to find out who you were."
Curtly, he said, "Stryker put that tag on me like a collar, like I was some sort of animal. His animal. That's what he called me." He made some sort of sound, something like a cross between a laugh and a grunt. "He said he'd tell me all about my past, if I just went with him."
"If he knew about you, there are others," she said.
"Yeah, well, I don't really have any leads on finding them, do I." It was obviously his turn to sound bitter.
"You won't find Jean out there, either."
He sucked in a breath. "I'm not looking for her."
"No, you're runnin' away 'cause you can't stand to be here, where she was. Where everything reminds you of her."
"That's not why I'm going," Logan said, though he sounded a little desperate.
"You sure about that, Logan? 'Cause from where I'm standing, it sure looks like it."
"All right, kid. You wanna know?" His voice was strident. "That's exactly why I'm leavin'. I can't stand bein' here and expectin' to see her and know she's not comin' back. I can't look at Cyclops without seein' how much her bein' gone is tearin' him up. Storm and the Professor ain't in any better shape."
"Which is why we need you to stay," she said.
He went on as if he hadn't heard her. "Things aren't the same around here. I can't stand her not bein' here and I can't stand that you –" he bit off whatever it was he'd been about to say.
Her voice was so soft, Kitty almost couldn't hear it. "You can't stand what about me, Logan?"
"Forget it, kid," he said but without his normal vehemence. "I-I shouldn't've said," his voice trailed off.
Kitty couldn't stand it any more. She slid forward slowly to peek out the window. Rogue's gloved fingers rested against Logan's mouth. "Shh," Rogue said, her fingers skating along his lips and moving up so her palm hovered over his cheek. He reacted almost as if her touch wasn't guarded by leather, groaning as he sank to his knees in front of her. Kitty watched as he wrapped his arms around Rogue's waist, burying his face against her stomach. Rogue bent over him, cradling his head and even though their voices were little more than whispers, Kitty could hear what they said. Pulling back and marking her place in her book with her finger, Kitty eased to her feet and slipped away from the window.
There were certain things that weren't supposed to be heard. But the mansion was a school, and home to kids and adults and everyone should know that no matter how secluded you think you are, someone could always be listening.
There are certain things that Kitty knows she's not supposed to know. The fact that Rogue and Logan love each other is probably one of them.