For those who asked, I know stuff about science cause … I am a complete nerd. Hooray! I've just made my options for the next two years and dropped Chemistry and Biology actually, though I am carrying on with Physics… I'll probably reread the Chem and Bio chapters in the future and be like, 'whuh?'

Three days later, John sat in his English class, watching the doorway. English was the only subject in which he could even hope to equal Kitty, and so it was the only one they shared besides all those boring moral lectures and training sessions. He hadn't seen her since that last disastrous evening.

Then the teacher entered, closing the door behind her.

Kitty was almost never late.

"Where's Kitty?" asked John loudly without thinking.

No one even looked up. It seemed strange to John that nobody leapt up, pointed and jeered, 'John kissed Kitty, ohmigod they love each other!' But of course, no one knew. To them, it sounded like a perfectly innocent question arisen from the fact that Kitty rarely if ever missed class.

Rogue didn't even glance up, but replied, "She left yesterday."

John couldn't help blinking at her like a fish before regaining composure and adopting his usual careless tone, "Oh yeah, where?"

"Back to Chicago."

"…For good?"

"For Hanukkah."

Well, that wasn't so bad. He wanted to ask when she'd be back, but sensed Bobby's eyes on him, watching for any sign of interest. So he shut up and just glared at his paper.

As it turned out, Kitty didn't return until after Christmas – there being no cause for her to hang around at the institute since most students were going home for the holidays anyway.

John thought of her when he went in to take his science exam. Everything came flooding back, from Iodestone to the Pauli Exclusion Principle to the curve of her throat when she talked about it all.

It was utterly incriminating how being tutored in science had driven him to become so ardent for her.


No other way. Okay, maybe chemically and biologically, but not emotionally or intellectually or anything silly like that. The fact that she had derived more from that one impulsive kiss still made him uncomfortable.

Christmas was dismal. It wasn't as if he had anywhere else to go – certainly he wasn't going to accept Bobby's offer of going to stay with him and Rogue at the Drake residence, where their mutations would constantly be elephants in the room. So John spent the season mooching about the institute with the few others who remained, trying to ignore the feeling of being in prison.

In early January, one windy and frigid day, the rest of the students and last semester's exam results appeared on the same day.

"I cannot believe it!" Bobby enthused over his and John's sheets of scores.

John just clenched his teeth and tried to look past how annoying he found the other boy. "What?"

"You got an A in science, man! I barely scraped a B. And Kitty only tutored you for three nights. She must be some sort of miracle worker. Do you think she'd tutor me?"

John just stared at the 'A' printed on his paper. In all his other subjects he had achieved as he had been expected to – almost entirely Cs, except for a B+ in English (the only subject he was not slightly ashamed to try in). He had an E in American History, however. What did he care about American History? He wasn't even American.

"Hey Kitty! What did you get?" his eyes snapped up at the sound of Bobby's voice.

The little brunette he had failed to notice at the other end of the corridor looked up, saw them both and flushed, though she hid it quite well and walked up to them plastered with a brave face.

"Hi Bobby. Yeah, I did alright."

Bobby laughed and snatched Kitty's sheet from her hand. "You're too modest! A+ in everything. How do you do it?"

"I got a regular A in Russian Lit," she said quietly, lowering her gaze. John knew she knew he was staring at her. The rest of the people milling around, and even Bobby, were oblivious.

"What did you get, John?" he was so occupied by the few freckles she had on her nose he had failed to notice before that he almost didn't hear her.

"Huh? Oh, the usual."

"He got an A in science though, didn't you?" Bobby gave him a congratulatory punch on the shoulder that he shrugged off grumpily. "That was thanks to your tutoring Kit. He was destined to fail otherwise."

John had looked away now, although both Kitty and Bobby were trying to catch his eye.

"I only just got through the biology section, though," he said quietly, lifting his deep gaze suddenly and achieving the desired effect of making Kitty inhale sharply.

"Yes, er," she stumbled over her words, "we didn't quite finish the syllabus, did we? Did you manage the section on peptide hormones? I don't think we got to that part… Jubilee told me there was a question about somatostatin, and I don't think I told you about how it's secreted into the hypothalamo-hypophysial portal circulation--"

She was rambling now, getting frenzied under the intensity of his stare. She was driving him absolutely crazy. How could science be such an aphrodisiac, even when words like 'secreted' were involved?

He grabbed each of her arms and yanked her to him, halting her in the middle of the word 'hippocampus.'

Bobby's mouth fell open, as did several other people's who had noticed.

It was fast and hard and when he pulled back it was all she could do to stay upright.

"Yo…" said someone.

"…Is this the same as before?" Kitty said softly, gazing up at him with her engaging brown eyes.

"I don't think it's just hormones," he confessed.

She smiled shyly. "As long as you want me for my encephalon as well as my sexual dimorphism."

It didn't matter that he had no idea what she was saying, and likely nobody else in the general vicinity did either. They were all staring at Kitty and John, so he took her hand and negotiated his way through the crowd.

"Are you free tonight?" he said quietly, unaccustomed to asking that sort of thing and hoping he didn't sound like a dork.

"For a date?" she blushed becomingly.

"Nah. For tutoring in American History."

Encephalon brain

Sexual dimorphism the, er, more feminine parts of Kitty's anatomy

Tried to get this up fast for the folks over at Through Flames. Thanks for everybody's support for the duration of this story :)