Subject: [OTL]: [Betsy Braddock, Kitty Pryde, Warren Worthington,
Alex Summers] If Your Heart is Not On My Side
Date: Mon, 04 Sep 2000 00:00:31 -0700
From: Ana Lyssie Cotton

Disclaimer: Marvel owns them, no money is being made, etc.

If you haven't read "Justifiable Homicide" don't worry. I think
this makes sense. This is the sequel, btw.

Notes: Ah. Well. This went a different place than I'd thought,
originally. It's kind of pitiful, actually. Someone tell Cupid

Dedication: A very, very belated birthday fic. Honest, I tried
to have it done in time. Sigh.


If Your Heart is Not On My Side
by Ana Lyssie Cotton

It had been two weeks since she had woken up, blood caked under
her fingernails and Kitty sitting at her side. The young
brunette had looked worried about her and then more so when she
began feeling guilty.

Betsy tried to recapture that feeling, to analyse it. Why had
she felt guilty over killing... Sabretooth? The man had been a
vicious, psychotic animal. He'd killed two innocent women in
front of her, and God knew how many others over the years.

::"She pulls apart in such nice-sized pieces."::

Memory roiled through her, the sound of flesh being pulled
apart, the smell of blood and worse. And the sight of the door
as it shattered inward. He was like some Demonic version of Jim
Carrey's The Mask character. Ready and willing to laugh as she

And the Crimson Dawn had loved him. It had sensed him, wanting
him to come closer, to share in his madness and kill. And she
hadn't let it. But he had driven her too far.

::"She didn't scream enough," Creed remarked, pouting. He shook
the head in his hand by the blonde hair. "It's so disappointing
when they don't scream."::

Bile rose in her throat as the scene continued playing in her
cinematic memory. He'd looked so casually at ease, holding the
head of the woman. She'd been blonde, like her daughter. Like

Shaking her head to clear the memories of that horiffic night,
Betsy straightened and then winced. The claw marks were slowly
healing but they were still a bit raw, and hurt when the skin
they covered pulled on them. Her lower ribs had been cracked,
too. Breathing sort of hurt.

She could still throw a pillow with uncanny accuracy, however.
Although she and Remy now had a pact and he was the one who
brought her meals, helped her to the bath and dragged her
outside to sit on the back lawn. Soon, he'd promised, soon he'd
take her to the lake. Betsy was unclear as to how Remy had
become her primary caretaker. Maybe because he was the brashest
of them all.

Well, not that it mattered. It was almost time for lunch,
though. As if in reply, her stomach rumbled and she chuckled.


Warren Worthington the Third approached the small room off the
med-lab with trepidation. Kurt had caught him as he entered the
mansion and let slip that Betsy's condition was a little worse
than they'd let on. He cursed under his breath as he stalked
down the hall. If the business he'd been engaged in hadn't been
so important, he would have *been there* for her.

But the business he was conducting in Vancouver had seemed more
important than a minor injury. They'd made it sound like a
broken arm!

With a start, Warren halted outside the open doorway, realising
there were voices coming from inside. And laughter. Betsy was
talking and laughing with Gambit. He almost turned and left. A
part of him wanted to.

She'd been so strange, in recent months. After being healed by
the Crimson Dawn, she'd been so different. Silent, more deadly,
emotionless. It was the reason he'd gone to Vancouver. To think
things over. But, now that he was back -- she was talking to

He must have made some sound because the voices suddenly stilled
and Remy's head poked out of the room. The Cajun spotted the
Angel immediately. "Eh, Worthington, get your ass in here."

"I could come back later, if she's busy..."

Gambit snorted, "Mon ami, the lady, she misses you. Now, either
get in here or Gambit gonna have to kick you into next week."

With a smile, Warren stepped up to the man. "Thank you."

"Don' mention it." With a wink, Gambit turned and waved to the
purple-haired woman sitting in the bed, "I be back later, chere.
Don' throw any pillows at yon suitor."

Betsy laughed softly, mischief in her eyes, "No promises, Remy."

Leaning in close, Gambit whispered to Warren, "Be watchful, da
lady has a powerful aim."

"I will." Stepping out of the man's way, Warren continued
towards the bed, eyes filling up with the sight of the woman
laying there. She looked tired and pale, but there was colour in
her cheeks.


She chuckled, "You said that already."

"I know, I--I'm sorry I wasn't here, Betsy, I just..."

"You couldn't get away. I know." She reached out and touched his
hand. "Warren?"

He looked down at her, fighting the urge to hold her tight,
since her ribs were still sore. "Yes?"

"I won't break." She straightened against the pillows and tugged
on his arm. "Hug me, dammit."

With gentle care he bent and slipped his arms around her. Her
arms slid around his neck and she pressed her cheek to his and

"I missed you." He said softly.

She chuckled and leaned back, pulling him across her. "Missed
you, too."


Kitty Pryde was once again making sandwiches in the kitchen.
Unlike last time, Alex Summers wasn't about to barge through the
door carrying one of her injured teammates. That young man was
seated in the small breakfast nook reading the newspaper. He'd
stayed on to talk with his brother and make sure Betsy
convalesced. Plus, Cooper had basically told him not to come
back for a while.

He was a nice enough guy, once he'd relaxed. Kitty shook her
head. Even if he DID like Mayo on his salami sandwich.

She put the finishing touches on the sandwiches and grabbed two
glasses and dumped ice in them. Normally, she would have made
him do it, but she was feeling nice. Besides, considering he'd
just gotten off the phone with Lorna, he needed a rest.

The green-haired magnetic mutant hadn't sounded happy with Alex.
Kitty had eavesdropped and tried not to smack him for not
explaining about Sabes. After all, she had a feeling Lorna would
have been happy with the bastard's death. Instead, Alex had just
said he felt the need to be away.

"Here." Kitty set the tray of sandwiches on the table and sat
down across from Alex. She reached across and snatched the
business section from the pile of papers.

Alex gave a mutter, but continued reading the comics. A hand
snaked out and snagged one of the sandwiches. The one with mayo,
of course.

Perusing the stocks section, Kitty spotted a few that looked
like good investments, and made a mental note. Then she refolded
the paper and tossed it to the side. "Talk to me, Alex. Silence
is boring."

He looked up from the entertainment spread and blinked at her.
"About what?"

"Anything. Tell me why you came to the mansion, why the sky is
blue, or why you're snickering at me." She glared.

"You're a strange girl, Kitty Pryde."

She raised an eyebrow at him. "Girl? I'll have you know I'm 19,
and soon to be 20, Mister Summers."

He chuckled. "20. I remember being 20, once."

"Yes, you're so old and decrepit now." She wrinkled her nose at
him and took a bite of sandwich.

"Seriously, treasure being young, child. Treasure it." He turned
back to the paper.

Kitty nearly shrieked about the 'child' but decided to let it
go. For now. She ate her sandwich while reading the funnies,
then turned and swiped the front page from Alex's hands and read
that. He grumbled absently and flipped through the sports before
looking at her pointedly. She sneered back and continued reading
about the latest happenings in the world.

A moment later, he tried to pull the paper from her hands, but
she'd phased slightly, so his hand passed through it. "Unfair

She snickered and finished a paragraph, then looked at him
guilelessly. "Yes?"

"Give me the front page, wench."

"I'm not done with it."

"Well, neither was I."


She finished the section and tossed it at him. It hit his chest
and flapped open, spilling pages every which way. "Oops."

"Thanks," he said dryly. "I'll remember this the next time you
need help."

"Aww," She batted her eyelashes at him, "Guess that means you
won't help me, then?"

"With what?" He was immediately suspicious.

"Oh, nothing..."

"Uhuh." Alex looked unconvinced, but he went about gathering up
the front page and trying unsuccessfeully to refold it. Finally,
he gave up and tossed the lot onto the table. "With what?"

"Just a little... something..." Kitty glanced around the empty
kitchen, then leaned in to whisper, "It's almost Betsy and
Warren's anniversary."


"I would like to do something nice for them, but..."

"You can't cook," he guessed.

"Well, I can. Sort of. Meggan was giving me lessons before we
left for here. But, well..." Her voice trailed off and she
blushed, "That wasn't what I wanted to do for them. But I can't
do what I want because I'm not old enough, and--"

"Just tell me."

"I want to reserve a weekend in a hotel for them," she mumbled.
"With lingerie and chocolate and stuff in the room."

"By stuff I assume you mean champagne, and?"

He was going to make her say it, wasn't he. She blushed more.
"Aphrodisiacs. Food for thought. KY jelly. Sex toys."

It was Alex's turn to blush. Though he really shouldn't have.
But then, Kitty looked very young, as if she shouldn't know
about these things.

"And roses," she finished firmly. She kicked at the pole under
the table. "If it weren't for stupid, out-dated, moralistic
rules and laws, I wouldn't need your help at all."

He studied her for a moment, then nodded. "All right. Where do
we begin?"


Three weeks later, Betsy was up and about and beginning her
normal routines. She was stiff, at first, as the half-healed
scars pulled on her. The stiffness slowly worked itself out,
though, and she was soon dancing and fighting up to speed. With
only the occasional twinge.

As she went through a series of katas, quieting her mind and
body, she wondered absently why Kitty had been smirking the last
several days. It wouldn't have worried Betsy, except that Kitty
seemed to smirk more when she caught her and Warren together.

The blue-skinned Angel had rarely left her side since he'd been
back. There was guilt under the worry and care he bestowed upon
her. Guilt that he hadn't been there to defend her.

Betsy chuckled under her breath as she bent and moved, twisted
and turned. Whatever Kitty was planning, she'd have to reveal it
soon. Warren was taking her to Paris in less than a week. He'd
decided the air there would be more restful. She looked forward
to it, knowing it would give them time to relax together.

Time that they needed.

A movement in the air caught her attention, and she looked to
the door. Kitty leaned against the wall, watching her. With a
mental shrug, Betsy finished up the last movements.

"Very nice. I think I'll have to work out with you, one of these
days." Kitty tossed her a towel.


"So..." Kitty tilted her head to the side, "What are you and
Warren planning?"

Betsy chuckled as she moved to replace the katana on its rack.
"And you would like to know this, why?"

Kitty wanted to know it so she could set up Betsy and Warren in
the nice little bed and breakfast she'd found. But she couldn't
exactly tell Betsy that. Not yet, anyway. "I'm a cat. Duh."

A snort came from the purple-haired ninja. "Yes, I can see that.
Nine lives and all?"

"I phase. That saves me from death, often enough." Kitty moved
to join Betsy as she exited the Danger Room. "So?"


"Tell me," Kitty replied impatiently, "Where are you and Warren
going for your anniversary?"

"Tell me why you want to know."

Giving Betsy a glare, Kitty gave in. "Fine. But not here."

They quickly made a detour to Betsy's room. Now that she wasn't
needing constant supervision the ninja was back in her old room.
Pushing open the door, she ascertained that Warren wasn't there,
then threw her towel on the bed. "Tell me while I change out of

"Well..." Kitty paused and then flopped onto the bed, staring up
at the ceiling. "I thought I'd do something nice, and Alex
helped me. And, well, if you're going somewhere, then we'll have
to cancel our plans."

"Nice and vague." With careful grace, Betsy pulled the shirt off
and inspected her stomach. Angry red lines slashed across the
pale skin. They were only a little sore now. She grabbed a loose
white t-shirt -- one of Warren's -- and pulled it on. "So, where
are you sending us? And why Alex?"

"I could have used a credit card, and the internet, and my
wonderful hacking skills. But, Alex looked like he needed
something to do. So I made him help me." She rolled on her side
and looked at Betsy. "And I won't tell you the other until you
tell me where you're going."

"He's taking me to Paris."


"However, where are you planning to send us?"

"A small bed and breakfast in the middle of nowhere."

Betsy stopped in front of her mirror and began pulling her hair
up into a ponytail. The middle of nowhere. Unlike Paris, it
would be silent. And dull. And boring. And... much more relaxing
than Paris could ever be. "When?"

"You leave Thursday, stay till Monday."

"Hrm." Betsy turned and leaned against the dresser. "And you've
already booked everything?"

"Including these." Kitty rolled off the bed and pulled an
envelope from her pocket. "If you can't use them, maybe I'll
give Lorna a call and make Alex go."

"Maybe you should go with Alex."

A blush filled Kitty's cheeks as she shook her head, "Um, no.
Definitely NOT."

Raising an eyebrow, Betsy studied Kitty. "Nice blush."

Kitty waved that away. "So, are you going to accept?"

"Let me ask Warren. Although it really sounds lovely," Betsy
smiled and leaned over to hug Kitty. "Thank you."

"You're welcome."


Betsy finally tracked Warren down in the game room, playing pool
with Kurt. She waited until her lover had completely trounced
the German elf, then snuggled up to him and whispered that she
needed to speak in private with him. Kurt gave her a wink and
slipped out of the room.

"What is it?"

"Well..." Betsy leaned against the wall. "I was talking to
Kitty, and she's given me a lovely anniversary present. Well,
both of us. But..."

"But?" One blond eyebrow swept up his forehead.

"But it would mean not going to Paris." She looked at him and

Paris. Warren loved the city, its lights, its people, its
food. And most of all, he loved being there with someone he
loved. And he loved Betsy. He chuckled, "We can go another time.
Where does she want to send us?"

He listened as Betsy detailed the trip Kitty had set up for
them. Part of him jumped at the idea of a quiet weekend away
from everything. The other part wondered if he would be bored.
But, mostly, he thought it sounded lovely. "I don't mind if you

"It means a lot to her." Betsy smiled, "Thank you. I'll let her

He hugged her. "Anything for you."


"So, does the world need to be saved?"

Kitty looked up at Alex and blinked, "Huh?"

He pointed to the computer screen she was so intently
inspecting. "That. Is it a do or die situation? Will the bad
guys win?"

She snorted and paused her game. "What do you want, Alex?"

Thursday had come and gone, Betsy and Warren were off on their
vacation. And Alex was bored again. Kitty seemed to be the only
one in the mansion who had any fun. Even if it was only on the
computer screen, where she shot up the bad guys.

"I'm bored."

"Go play in the Danger Room."

"Scott's in there, training."

Kitty snickered. "What, you didn't feel like getting beaten up

"No." He glowered. "What are you playing?"

"Triad, or something. Not that it matters, it has guns and blood
and explosions."

"Like that, do you?"

"Not really, but it's nice and mindless." She snorted. "Almost
as much fun as the real thing."

"You're as bored as I am, aren't you."

"How'd you guess?"

"Well, you're intelligent, I don't normally see you playing dumb
shoot-em-up games."

Kitty shrugged and stood, extending her arms above her head in a
long stretch. Alex found himself watching appreciatively and
blinked, then shook his head. She was quite a bit younger than
himself, he really shouldn't be thinking these things. Of
course, she was cute.


"Nothing." He shrugged, then remembered his original reason for
tracking her down. "I just got this in the mail."

Kitty looked curiously at the envelope he held. It was business
size, with three stamps on it. "Well?"

"It's for both of us, actually."

"Open it."

"You open it."

She pounced on the envelope and studied the handwriting. "No
return address, but the writing is... familiar." Sliding a
finger under the flap, she ripped it open. It contained a bundle
of papers and a short note, which she read as Alex went through
the papers. "'Dear Alex and Kitty, thank you. In gratitude, have
fun. Yours, sincerely, Warren Worthington the Third.'" She
looked at Alex. "What did he send?"

"These." Alex silently handed her a piece of card stock.

It was a plane ticket.


"Do you think they'll like the present?"

"Mm... Yes."



The world peace most people wished for seemed to be holding. At
least in the X-Men's corner of the world. Xavier gave his
permission for two of the team to take a vacation. In Paris.


PS. I need time for research, but this section has sat around
waiting to be finished for too long. :)

Happy birthday, queenB!