Disclaimer- The X-characters belong to Marvel, and are used without permission.

May contain spoilers if you haven't been reading your comics. Sorry.

Kinda AU, but mostly my take on current -continuity. We'll see where it goes.

Kit's Laughing, Chapter 1

Kitty Pryde stormed through the halls of Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, not bothering to get out of people's way. For those too slow or stunned by the angry teacher's approach, judicious use of her mutant ability to slip molecules through objects left them standing in her wake, mouths agape and feeling slightly nauseous.

"That infuriating, artificial, unmitigated bi-" Her thoughts stopped at the sense of a psychic interloper.

My, my Kitten, we wouldn't want an enterprising young telepath to feel there is dissention amongst the faculty, do we, darling?

Kitty summoned years of training and all her will, shutting out Emma's unwanted presence, but not before sending out a thought of what Emma could do with herself, and where gardening implements could be found to that end. She felt she could still hear Miss Frost laughing at her.

She went ghost and climbed up a stairway of air molecules towards the room she shared with Rachel Grey and, she still shuddered to think it, "X-23". All she wanted right now was to throw on some headphones and lose herself in some music, and let worries of incompetent students, snarky headmistresses, exhausting missions, grueling early hour training with anal retentive field leaders, resurrected loved ones, and, oh, a world that continued to hate and fear her no matter how many times she'd helped save it-. What she wouldn't give for the old bathtub at the Excalibur lighthouse. Xavier's may have been home, but a locker room shower would never replace a bathroom with a lock on the door.

Her head poked through the floor of her room, and she immediately called out, "It's me- Kitty." so as to not startle her feral roommate. X-23 was in the middle of a tai chi form taught to her by Logan, and to her credit, didn't seem to flinch at Kitty's announcement. Kitty phased the rest of her body up through the floor and headed to her bed to collapse. Too much had happened of late, too many things for a young woman to try and cope with. Of course, that could be said about for nearly every moment of her life since she was 13 and came home from school with a blinding headache, about to meet Emma Frost for the first time.

She wondered at the ironic parallel between the headaches those many years ago and the one that was developing now, coming from yet another "meeting" with that same Emma Frost. She clenched her eyes shut against the pain and started a slow, deliberate meditative breathing technique. As the worst of the throbbing subsided, she opened her eyes again and glanced over at the stereo next to her bed. She'd nearly forgotten that she'd found an old Cats Laughing tape in a box that had been sent over from Brian and Meggan from Britain. Later, when she had time, she would transfer the whole thing into iTunes, remaster it, remove the tape hiss from a couple generations of dubbing, maybe slap it into Cerebra to educate the Professor on what real music was. Of course, Charles Xavier wasn't there right now, so it would be Emma using the machine. Kitty grinned maliciously at the thought of Miss Frost stuck in there with "Half Dollar Blues" blaring at "11".

She popped the tape into the cassette tray on the stereo. She would do all that other stuff later. The beginning notes of "The Enchantment" drifted through the headphones, and a peaceful smile crossed her face. Scott, Emma, X-23, even Piotr faded from her thoughts as Emma Bull's voice rose...

A slight movement of the bed caused one eye to pop open. X-23 was perched on the edge, staring at Kitty quizzically. Startled, Kitty let out an exclamation and instinctively phased. X-23 reared back a bit, not prepared for her roommate's reaction. At that moment, the door to the room flew open, and time seemed to slow to a crawl. Rachel was storming in, complaining about something. X-23 lost her balance as she turned towards this new voice, falling backwards towards Kitty. Kitty's body wracked with pain as the adamantium passed through her, causing her to throw herself away...

Right into the stereo, which, like any electrical device in response to her phasing ability, died with a Bzzzzrt sound.