Disclaimer: not mine

A/N: Call me a traitor to the Ryro institution, I've jumped on the Kyro bandwagon.

They didn't talk. They didn't have the strength to push the words out of their throats. His tongue was heavy with something sick feeling and sour. Hers was the same, only she was able to identify and admit to herself what it was: fear.

They walked side by side, careful to keep from touching each other. Her arms were tightly crossed over her chest in a vice like grip and his were shoved so deeply into his pockets he wondered if the cheap and aged denim would rip from the strain.

He hated awkward silences, but he hated the thought of what she might say if the tenuous cease fire of quiet was broken even more. He hated it because he couldn't admit that he was scared of it. John fucking Allerdyce wasn't scared of anything. If he was scared then that meant he cared and that was just plain ludicrous.

And so they walked in silence, down some random street in downtown Westchester, side stepping fruit carts and stray dogs and pretending they weren't as hot or drunk as they actually were. And John thought that somehow the situation was made even more appropriate by the fact that Kitty was wearing a bride's maid dress.

It was yellow and strapless with layers of crinoline underneath the satin skirt that chafed in the most awful way possible as she moved. It had flowers and lace and little yellow beads on it that were digging into her crossed arms. Kitty had decided four blocks ago that when and if, oh yeah, that's a big if, she ever got married, the brides maid dresses would be comfortable enough to run in, even if that meant the bride's maid ran away with some random guy who showed up unannounced and uninvited to the wedding to somewhat hesitantly welcoming arms.

Not that John was a random guy. John had never been some random guy.

"No more, I have to sit now," Kitty mumbled, hiking up the God forsaken skirt and sitting on the first park bench she saw. She teetered a little from the heat and the bitter wine she had consumed before grabbing John's arm and beelining to the closest available exit from the reception.

"Do you," Kitty asked after she had allowed her heart rate to sink into something that resembled normal and had gathered the strength from sitting and being away from so many smiling people to ask it, "Do you think they love each other?"

"Yeah," he responded with absolutely no emotion, because, honestly, he had none invested in the two subjects of the question, "I do."

"Me too," she whispered, knowing that that would be his answer all along, just wanting to hear someone else actually say it. Of course they loved each other, they got married for Christ's sake.

"Do you think Marie knows?" she said after a couple more minutes of thought.

John sighed and leaned back onto the bench so he could study the side of Kitty's face. "I don't think Rogue cares. I don't think Rogue ever did. She got what she always wanted, she caged the Wolverine, that's it, end of the Goddamn story."

"But he'll never love her like he loved Jean! And she'll see that everyday for the rest of her life! How can she live with that?"

"Oh, get off your high fucking horse, Katherine," John sneered maliciously, laughing with the hollowness of someone who couldn't maintain the peace he never really believed could exist between himself and this little, sad slip of a girl next to him. "You win, don't you see that? Prefect Marie is out of the way and Bobby is waiting for you with open arms back at that mansion. So don't be a hypocrite, don't judge Rogue for satisfying herself with being second best when you're about to go do the same thing."

"It's not like that," she argued weakly.

"Of course it is," he told her, sounding more pained by it than he thought he would. He sat forward, resting his elbows on his knees, to tired and hot and frustrated to care that the position made him look weak, just needing to not be able to see the side of her face anymore.

"Of course it's like that," he repeated. "But...I wish Marie hadn't married Logan either. I wish Bobby had gotten to her first."

"Why?" she asked. And there it was. What he had hated because he couldn't fear to hear her say, to ask. The sick feeling and sour taste on his tongue thickened.

"Because then perfect Bobby would be out of the way. And I satisfied myself with the thought of the silver medal a long time ago."

Kitty stopped moving. She stopped fingering the beads on her skirt and shifting her legs and breathing altogether because she was sure any movement on her part would startle John and he would run away like a spooked horse.

"John, I..." she started.

"I don't want to hear it," he said, cutting her off, and those six words might have been the most honest John Allerdyce had ever spoken.

"I..." she began again. "It wouldn't be like that. Bobby...Bobby is my second best. And I can't be satisfied with that. Not when, not when you're-"

Kitty never got to finish what she was going to say because suddenly there was John, kissing her and digging his fingers into the beads covering her back and one of his hands moved into her hair and everything was quiet.

Gold medals all around.