Title: Open
Author: Ana
Challenge: The Album Challenge
Challenger: morlockiness
Rating: PG
Timeline: Post-X3
Summary: After getting out of prison, John decides to be open with Kitty Pryde.
Disclaimer: I do not own John or Kitty. I do not own X-Men. I do not own the song "Congratulations" by Blue October
Author's Note: This was written to "Congratulations" by Blue October. Lyrics here.
WARNINGS: Can't really think of anything. Maybe one or two fouls words, but not really.


I look down at the slip of paper in my hand to check the address there. Yes, this is the right place. Honestly, though, I never expected her to have such a large house. But, then again, I don't know what I expected at all. After all, Kitty Pryde is just… well, I don't know what she is, but she's that one thing and one thing alone.

I glance inside the glass front door when I stand before it. I can see a few things: a sofa, a coffee table, and shelves with pictures of her, Rogue, Bobby, Jubilee, and some others. It's cute and homey—definitely something Kitty would have.

Is she even home? If not, what will I do? I could sit out here and wait for her. Or I could leave and come back later. But, honestly, if I don't do this now, I doubt I'd have the nerve to actually come back later. Besides, I've spent the last five years in a mutant prison, and the only really good thing to do in a prison is think, so I've done a lot of that in recent years. I can't leave now because I know I wouldn't be able to come back. Too afraid. I want to be open with her, but it can't wait.

With determination, I ring the doorbell, and, then, I wait.

Does she even want to see me, though? Well, of course she doesn't. But the real question is, would she consent to seeing me anyway? I doubt that very much. God, the more I think about this, the less I feel like doing this. So much for determination, huh?

I guess, in all my thinking in the prison, I never actually thought I'd be out of there to come and do this. There, it was just some big fantasy where we confess our love and run off to live happily ever after. Well, that was stupid. Come on! In what real world would I ever live happily ever after—let alone have a girl confess undying love for me?

I hesitate, consider leaving, but it's already too late. She's walking toward the door right now, surprise written all over her face at the sight of me. She opens the glass door enough to look at me and exchange words with me—but not enough to let me come inside. "Hi, John," she says apprehensively, unsure of herself.

I cough a little bit, knowing that I'm probably less sure of myself than she ever could be of herself. "Hey," I reply with a bitter smile.

Now that I'm here, I'm not really clear on what I'm supposed to say or do. Being open with someone isn't always as easy as it looks. For all I know, she could hate me. And now I feel stupid. Stupid for thinking that coming here to say all this would make everything better. Stupid for even considering it. But there's no turning back now, is there?

"Why are you here, John?" she asks curiously. "I thought you were still in prison."

"I got out early," I shrug. I take a deep breath, preparing myself for what I'm going to say, and let it out slowly. "Want to come for a walk with me?"

She glances back inside, considering, and, then, she says, "All right, but not for too long. I've got something in the oven." She reaches round the corner to grab her keys and steps outside into the chilly autumn air to join me here.

That's when I notice it.

As she checks to make sure the door is locked, I see something on her hand: a wedding ring. Funnily enough, she's married. I guess this is what I get for spending five years in prison, missing the lives of my previous friends.

"Married?" I inquire, but I know it doesn't come out quite right. As she nods, I try to say, "Congratulations," but it comes out more like, "Co'gra'lations." Well, that's not even a real word. "I'm happy for you. Uh, listen," I say, my voice slightly slurred and far too fast for normal conversation, "I should really go. I wouldn't want to waste your time, Kitty." I walk away without another word.

So much for being open. She's married, so what can I do, though? I can't change the past, and I doubt I'd be able to change her mind on the matter of marriage. Hell, I don't even know who it is, but, seriously, that's one lucky bastard.