No Good Way
An X-men: Evolution fanfic by Lavender Gaia
Editing and Assistance by Lavender Gaia
Disclaimer: I do not own X-men Evolution or any of its characters. They are all property of Marvel.
The digital clock next to her bed repeatedly told her that she should be sleeping right now. But regardless of the fact that it was past one in the morning, Kitty was still awake, going over the day's events in her mind. Despite her better judgment, she'd spent the last few hours thinking of Lance.
Today, he had been the hero. She and the rest of the X-men may have helped, but Avalanche's powers had been what they really needed. And not for the first time, he'd helped and saved innocent lives.
That wasn't what was on her mind right at that moment. Her reaction was what worried her the most. Kitty hadn't spoken a single word to him. After they had contained the blast, she'd just let him walk away wearing that dejected look on his face.
You're nothing but a hood!
The words rang through her head again and again. She stuffed pillows over her ears, but was unable to drown out her memories. That was the last thing she'd said to him, and the stupidity grew each time she thought it over, which, unfortunately, happened far too often.
She glanced to her left; Rogue was asleep, or seemed to be the way her breathing was fixed in a rhythmic pattern. Kitty stepped gently out of bed and into jeans and a shirt. There was nothing that could be done from her bed. Gently, she stuck her head through the wall of her room that lead to outside. Praying that her new training with the Professor would work, she took a step out into the world.
It held, and almost dizzy with relief, she made her way down the 'stairs' she'd created using her powers. Remaining intangible even after finally reaching the ground, Kitty phased through the rest of the yard, not wanting to trip any alarms or lasers that happened to be for their security.
Her sneakers padded down the road, which was free of cars at this extremely early hour. The jog towards her destination was silent except for her own body movements and the brief rustles of wind through the trees.
She approached the Brotherhood house warily. It was probably a crazy idea, but she needed to talk to Lance. No lights were on in the house, which was to be expected in the middle of the night. Kitty found a rock and chucked it at one of the second story windows. No one answered. She chose another one and threw it at the glass, where it made a satisfying thunk.
To her relief, a light came on in the room and someone poked their head out. "Who's there? Toad, if it's you trying to be romantic, I swear…"
"Um, no, Wanda, it's me. Kitty Pryde."
"…X-man? What are you doing here?" she narrowed her icy blue eyes down at Kitty.
"I just needed to talk to Lance. That's all."
Wanda considered this before pointing out the window to her left. "First window on the other side."
Kitty beamed. "Thank you so much. I'm totally sorry for waking you up!"
"Whatever. At least you weren't Toad…" she closed her window and the light went off a few seconds later.
Shadowcat walked around the side of the house silently, as stealthy as her name. Once more, she picked up rocks from the ground and chucked them at the window. But when light shone through the window, she suddenly felt self-conscious. How much of a stalker did she really look like right now?
Lance stuck his head out the window, pushing a piece of shaggy brown hair out of his eyes. "Kitty? What are you doing here?"
She hugged herself for a moment. "I…I don't know."
Without hesitation, he told her, "I'll be right down." In less than a minute, he was walking out the backdoor, pulling a white t-shirt over his head, clothed in nothing except that and a pair of pajama pants. "Are you ok?" He held her shoulders gently, thumbs stroking her through the light fabric of her shirt.
"I think so…" Kitty replied, inching closer to his warmth.
Lance was confused. "Did something happen? The Institute or…?"
She shook her head, leaning against his chest. "I just…I wanted to come and tell you I'm sorry."
"What?" He wasn't sure if he'd heard her correctly, which was entirely possible with her mouth talking towards his midsection and not his face.
"I'm sorry." Kitty looked up at him, blue eyes rimmed with tears. "I'm so sorry, Lance."
He gently led her to the one bench that was still solid in their yard. Though it had certainly seen better days, Lance silently promised that if it held up he'd go out first thing in the morning and repair it, a new coat of paint and everything. "I'm not sure what you're talking about, pretty Kitty." His calloused thumb brushed her cheek, as if a threatening menace to any prospecting tears.
"I realized tonight that I've been horrible to you. From the moment I met you, I was totally mean and like wouldn't give you a chance." Her eyes clouded over with the memories from that day. "And when we met at Bayville I, like, tried to ignore you. Even when you joined the X-men, trying to be a good guy, I didn't believe you!
"That first time we met Wanda you tried to warn me and save me, and I like blew you off and almost got myself hurt. Then there was that whole thing with Principal Kelly and Duncan," Kitty bit her bottom lip miserably. "I was way out of line, Lance."
He ran a hand through his hair. "You make it sound like we haven't had any good times. The dance was fun…until interdimensional demons screwed that up…"
"I blamed you for that at first too!" she realized.
Quickly, he placed a palm over her mouth. "Just stop talking for a second, ok?" Kitty didn't attempt to stop him and he moved his hand down to rub her cheek. "You're not the only one who's screwed up, Kitty Cat. I mean, you were probably right not to give me a chance when we first met. I tried to make you do something completely illegal. And accident or not, I almost killed you and your parents."
"…And Jean. And remember that first fight with that inventor friend of yours and the blue boy? I went right for you. Sorry about that, by the way…I was just trying to fit in, I guess. Prove to the guys that I was a Brotherhood member now and I wasn't pining away for the hot brunette from back home."
She gave him a look. "I'm like, pretty much naturally intangible. You really think being thrown against a wall is gonna hurt?"
Lance shrugged and rubbed the back of his head. "Yeah, well…Anyway, I can't blame you for blowing me off all those times. I was kind of a jerk. It's not like I made an attempt to become Summers' best friend."
"At least you weren't flat out rude to him!" Kitty scowled angrily.
He grinned at the idea of her sticking up for him over Scott. "We did have fun that little while I was there." His free hand gingerly felt the spot where she had kissed him. "And we had a good time at the dance."
She thought about this for a second. "What about everything else?"
"Uh, well…Ok, so you were maybe a little overprotective over your friends at the mall. I really was only trying to help." In hindsight, 'shove off' probably wasn't the nicest way he could have put it and he winced at the realization. "Plus, the whole thing between Duncan and us well…Yeah, I screwed up major."
"But I shouldn't have snapped at you like that!"
Lance sighed. "Maybe not, but I can understand why you did it. For some weird reason that I will never understand, you actually like school. I mean, if someone was trying to stop me from playing the guitar or torturing Summers, I'd probably yell at them too."
Kitty giggled at that and he perked up; Lance loved her laugh. "I didn't know you played the guitar. I guess there's a lot about each other we don't know."
"Let's see what I know about you…" He racked his brain. "Well, you're an only child with a mom and a dad who hate me with a passion. For good reason, of course. You're an X-man named Shadowcat who moves through solid objects. It has a really complicated scientific name that I will never remember."
"Incorporeal tangibility," she reminded him.
"Yeah, that. What else do I know about you…You're totally smart, especially when it comes to science and computers and all that technical stuff. But you can't drive or cook worth shit." She looked offended, so he quickly added, "Or so the rumors say. You like to shop. A lot. You have more shoes than Payless."
Kitty gaped at him. "I do not!"
"According to Rogue she no longer has room at the bottom of your closet because you take all of it up with your shoes. I think the last count was over 40, and that's not counting what you have back in Northbrook, correct?"
Desperate to change the subject, she asked, "Since when do you talk to Rogue?"
"We had a couple classes together when I was at Bayville. You were the only thing we had in common, so I talked about you. Plus, there really aren't too many more interesting subjects, at least in my mind." He grinned as a blush took over her face. "I know you're a vegetarian who really likes animals, you're a fan of this weird band called Cat's Laughing and you're one of the most beautiful women I've ever seen in my life. How's that?"
Kitty bit her bottom lip lightly. "But…I don't really know anything about you. I, like, feel bad about that."
Lance focused on a point somewhere in the distance. "I think…that's what's for the best right now. You probably know more about me than anyone else."
She nodded slowly, then looked up at him, eyes guarded. "So where does this leave us?"
"What do you mean?"
"I like you and I think you like me, or so it seems, but we're still on opposite sides. Magneto and Mystique may be…dead," It was a painful word to say and just emphasized the ever looming presence of Apocalypse. "Even though they're gone, we're still…enemies, I suppose." She sighed. "That's, like, a bad word, but I don't have any clue what else to call it."
They were both silent for a moment before Kitty continued, "I was mad, you know." He gave her a weird look. "When you and the rest of the Brotherhood started getting all that publicity. I didn't really think you deserved it."
"So you think I'm still a hood or something?" Lance's voice was angry, but his eyes were hurt.
"No, no! That's not it!" She held her hands out peacefully in order to calm him down. "Yes, what you did on that train that day was incredibly brave. I saw it and the way you looked, carrying that woman to safety, it totally made my heart melt.
"But then you started getting money for it and doing other things just for the rewards. I won't say I wasn't jealous. I didn't, like, become and X-man for gifts and stuff, but every once in a while it's nice to get acknowledged for the things you do and not be utterly hated by everyone!" Kitty realized her voice had gotten much louder than she'd meant it and silenced herself.
He reached over, stroking her cheek gently, calming the passion that was causing her to shake lightly. "Hey, I know, pretty Kitty. Hell, if it were up to me everyone would be praising you as the queen you are." She blushed again. "You guys've done more for everyone than they will ever acknowledge. Especially that ass Kelly."
She shrugged. "Maybe. But today, Lance. Today you were the hero. If not for you, well, a lot of people probably wouldn't be here right now. You risked your life to help strangers. And don't even say it was for me and start to get all tough guy on me. You didn't even know I was there."
"I just figured it would really suck if all those people died because Pietro's a fucking idiot," he shrugged.
"And that's what makes you so special, Lance. You're not like your friends. I'm not saying they're bad guys or anything, they just…well, they're not as great as you are." Kitty grinned at him.
He took her head in his hands and kissed her lips softly. This was their first real kiss and he wanted to remember everything about it. It was if his senses were on fire. Her skin was soft, hair silky under his touch. Their hearts were beating loudly, simultaneously. No adjective alive could describe the touch of her lips against his, the way it tasted like the sweetest strawberries and made him feel as if she was a heavenly goddess and he was the luckiest man alive to simply be in her presence.
"Wow," Lance told her as they pulled away. "If I had known it would be like that, I'd have done it a long time ago."
"I wish you had," she replied giddily. Her big blue eyes shined with happiness; the only way she could get any closer to fireworks was if Jubilee was there. She threw her arms around his neck, kissing him again harder, more passionately.
His strong arms encircled her waist, hugging her to him. He felt warm. And safe. He was Lance, and as Kitty snuggled against his chest her heart told her that letting go wasn't an option at this point. She was already so far gone that there was no way to backtrack and group up with common sense.
"I wish you hadn't come tonight," he told her, voice coated in emotion.
Oh, never mind, there was common sense and it just bludgeoned her over the head with a metal bat. "I know." The tears started dripping down her face, gathering against his shirt as he rubbed her back. "I didn't know what else to do."
"I hate this!" Lance glared angrily at the moon and the stars, blaming the cosmos for hurting them again. "Why does it always have to end up here?"
"Maybe we're just not allowed to be happy together," she answered, not bothering to look up at his face. If she pulled out of the embrace now, there was no going back. "At least not now."
He hugged her tighter. "When? When is all this bullshit going to end?" He wasn't asking her. "I just want them to leave us alone. I've never had anything, why does the world insist on taking away the only thing I've ever loved?"
There was no answer to such a question. At least none she understood. It was confusing and painful and she knew it was love. Because nothing else could ever hurt this bad.
"Run away with me," he requested suddenly.
She pulled back a little to look into his eyes. "What?"
"We'll get out of here. Out of Bayville were everyone knows us and hates us and wants to pull us apart." Lance kissed her again. "I love you, I want us to be together."
"I love you too, and I want us to be together, but you know we can't do that."
He frowned. "Why not?"
"First of all, I'm a minor, so it'd be illegal," she smirked.
"Not in every state…"
Kitty gave him a look. "Plus, that would only add to the animosity between our groups. You and I both know that if we were together now, they'd only pull us apart. I mean, Romeo and Juliet tried to run away together and look what happened to them. I'm totally not faking my death and like, lying in a crypt for a few days."
Lance chuckled, then regained his serious attitude. "So…what now?"
"Now we…I guess we just go on with our lives, wait for the status quo to change, and try to forget that we love each other." The suggestion was so painful she could barely say it, though the logical side of her brain assured her countless times that this was the right way to go.
He nipped affectionately at her neck. "You can't even come out and visit me like this anymore?"
"I live with two telepaths and Logan."
"Good point." Lance sighed. "This is it, I guess." Kitty felt his tears mingling with her own as he kissed her one last time. After that they regrettably pulled apart and stood up. "I do love you Kitty. More than anything."
"I love you too, Lance." She smiled at him before turning towards the street and walking away, arms wrapped around her body. Her brain told her to walk, to ignore her heart breaking and the ebbing away at her soul.
"Kitty?" He called to her.
She bit back a scream of frustration. How dare he do this when it was already killing her to walk away? Needless to say, she turned to face him. "Yeah?"
"Do you believe in fate?"
"Yes. Yes, I do."
His sigh was one of relief. "Good. Because I think that the fact that I was the one who caught you on that day back in Illinois was fate. And the fact that we ended up here together was fate. And the reason I fell for you so hard was because of fate. So if fate is giving us all these hints, maybe we should wait a little longer and it'll bring us together."
She smiled at him, a true smile. "It'll be worth the wait. Bye, Lance." Her steps took her away from the boarding house quicker this time; if she didn't get out of there soon she might never leave.
By the time she arrived back home at the Institute, she was exhausted from not only the walk and lack of sleep, but also emotional and mental fatigue. The faintest touch of pink spread over the horizon as she air-walked back into her room and changed into her pajamas with silent sobs.
"Kit?" Rogue was sitting up in bed, looking at her with large concerned eyes. "Are you ok?" Her friend's only answer was to launch herself at her roommate, burying her head in Rogue's covered lap and crying heavily. "Is it Lance?" she asked, stroking Kitty's hair carefully.
The brunette's only answer was to cry heavier, signaling a yes. "C'mon, it's gonna be alright. Maybe it's not time for ya'll now, but…" She realized that Kitty probably couldn't hear her over the crying and decided to wait.
When there were only mere sniffles left in Kitty's exhausted body, Rogue continued. "Ya know, ya'll are like Easter eggs."
"…Excuse me?" Kitty blinked in surprise.
"Here me out! Listen, ya know when you're dyin' Easter eggs that if you get impatient and take one out before it's ready it gets all dull and meaningless. But if you're patient and wait for the right time, it can be the most beautiful thing you've ever seen."
Kitty considered this. "You're right. Thanks Rogue." She got up and blew her nose a few times. "It doesn't make it hurt any less though."
"Didn't think it would. But it's always nice to have some hope." Sleep was overtaking her best friend and soon enough, Rogue had fallen unconscious.
"That's right…you always have to have hope…" Kitty fingered the gold Star of David around her neck as she climbed into her bed. Instead of going to sleep like her body desperately urged, the heart said it was its turn to take over. So she sat here, hoping.
With her heart full of precious memories, she waited.
A/N: I've been meaning to do this for a while, and with writers block on all of my other fanfics (as well as computers breaking and hurricanes getting in my way) I decided to work on this. It's just a oneshot and I'm sorry it doesn't have a very happy ending. But if you really want the happy ending see Ascension Part 2. Plus, I needed the angst practice for the next few chapters of In the Heat (hint hint to any of you readers out there).
Questions, comments, reactions and reviews are greatly appreciated.