Disclaimer: None of the characters are owned by me, Joss Whedon, Fox, Marvel, and real people own them. Cats Laughing WAS a real band, and probably belongs to Emma Bull and Steven Brust.

Dedication: To Melly, happy birthday, even a sort-of day late. :)

Thanks: To Lynxie, for keeping me awake, suggesting ways of relaxing, and prodding me to finish.

Brief Moments Of Lucidity
by Ana Lyssie Cotton

KittenOutOfPhase Oh, hey, the tickets got there, right?
WitchinTheWillows Yup. Thanks.
KittenOutOfPhase No prob. My trust fund is fricking huge, and it's not like I get out much, anyway.
KittenOutOfPhase Oh, and I did sort of blackmail you. ;)
WitchinTheWillows Bitch.
KittenOutOfPhase I'm hurt. *hugetheatricalsob*
WitchinTheWillows As if.
KittenOutOfPhase Feh. Must dash, someone needs my help downloading photoshop. Peasants.
WitchinTheWillows Oh, fuuuun. Safe flight, and stuff.
KittenOutOfPhase You, too. T'care.
WitchinTheWillows Like I wouldn't.

With a chuckle, Kitty Pryde closed the chat window, exited from mIRC and began shutting her other stuff down. Behind her, Bobby fidgeted, almost audibly. "Hang on, Iceboy. I'm almost done."

"Oh, no hurry, Kitty, I--"

"Yeah, yeah, you need my help, or you just need this exact computer." Rolling her eyes and standing, Kitty turned to him, "Not that it matters, but I was busy."


He didn't look it. But, Kitty didn't mind. After all, when anyone else needed the computer, and she was on it, they didn't apologise half as nicely. Besides, Bobby sometimes brought her hot cocoa when her hands cramped.

"So, you need Photoshop?"

"Well, I heard it was really good."

"Ah. And the illegal copy of the latest beta test wasn't good enough?"

"It keeps crashing."

Read: I don't want to bother figuring out what I'm doing to make it do that, Kitty thought sardonically, "Well, then, I guess I'll start the download for the most recently released version."


"You owe me."

"I know."

"There. All started." With a nonchalant wave, she deserted him to his download.

"Kitty, wait!"


"I need--"

"Download your own bloody filters!"

Sunnydale, California

"Where did you say you were going?"

"Atlanta." Willow Rosenberg finished shoving the last pair of socks in her bag. "There's a big convention that has a large Wiccan contingent. I thought I'd go there and talk to them. Learn some other sides to the witchy business."

"What about Tara?" Buffy Summers demanded. She was sitting on the end of Willow's bed, looking worried. "I thought she was a full witch."

"Oh, Tara's great," Willow replied with a grin, "but she only knows one section of witchcraft. There's so much out there, Buffy."

"Oh. Great." Trying to work up enthusiasm, the Slayer hopped off the bed and began pacing, "It's, just. . . I worry, you know?"

"Yes, I know."

"It's a big city, Atlanta, and, well--you could get mugged!"

Willow snorted, "Buffy, I could get my blood sucked and become an evil demon vampire ANY night of the week in Sunnydale."

"Point." The blonde conceded with a half-grin. "So, who are you staying with?"

"A friend I met over the 'net."

"WHAT?! Willow, for all you know, he could be a, a--rapist, or murderer, or--"

"A vampire?"

"Well, yeah."


"Oh." Buffy paused, frowning. "She could be a murdering vampire!"

"If it'd make you feel better, I'll take Spike as a bodyguard." Willow said as she stacked several books and slid them into her carry-on. "I doubt he'd be happy travelling in a plane with me, but, y'know, anything to be safe."

Buffy stared at her, speechless.

"Of course, he might be really bored..."

"....Have fun, Will. Don't worry about it. Go! Begone! Flee!"

"I'm not fleeing, I'm taking a well-deserved vacation."

"Yes. Exactly." With a grin, Buffy hugged her closest friend. "Be careful, and don't forget to brush your teeth."

"Yes, mom."


The city stretched out before her, pristine and lovely from the height she was at. The buildings looked like a diorama done in steel and glass. Kitty smiled as she stared at it. That was where she was going--to have fun, to see Cat's Laughing, and to meet Willow.

She had 'met' Willow two years before, when she checked some WHO systems and found that someone had hacked into them. They'd been good, but Kitty was better. So, she'd run a trace on them, eventually getting results. The person it had traced ran to a small town in California.

Kitty had set a little trap, curious to meet the person who had such interesting things on her computer as "The Best Way to Kill a Demon" and "Taking Back Your House: How to Uninvite Vampires."

The alarm had gone off about nine that night, while the whole team was watching "Sliding Doors" Kitty paused to make some excuse about a timer on her computer, then dashed off.

Logging in quickly, Kitty had watched Willow flipping through the files she'd set out, then had pounced, forcing open a message window.

Kat Hi.

There had been silence, for a moment, then the hacker had tried to run. Kitty sighed, and closed the pincers of the trap, leaving Willow stuck in a chat room she couldn't exit.

Kat Sorry. But I wanted to meet you, Willow.
Will Who are you?
Kat I... Guess it's only fair. I know you, anyway. Kitty Pryde.
Will ...
Kat Yes, the one in some of the reports.
Will Wow. And you have real super powers.
Kat Damn, that was sarcasm, wasn't it. But it wasn't super powers that set a trap for you.
Will I'm not trapped.
Kat Yes-- oh, crap. BRB.

It had been Kurt, making sure she was okay, and mentioning a trip down into London in the morning. Kitty had gotten rid of him as quickly as she could, then run back to the computer.

Willow had apparently figured out the way out of the trap--she'd disappeared. Kitty checked backwards through the link and found that the canny hacker had shut her computer down.

Over the next several days, they'd exchanged carefully worded emails, trying not to reveal anything to the other. Until Willow called her on the super-power thing, and Kitty showed her the back door to the FBI files on mutants.

Willow had emailed her the next day, with the words, "Fuck. You're real."

From there, it had all been downhill. They'd talked a lot via IRC and email, about anything, and everything. From life to guys (Kitty had moaned about Alistair, Willow about Xander and Oz) to computers to other supernatural things. Willow knew Kitty was a mutant, and a member of Excalibur (and later, the X-Men). Kitty knew Willow was a witch, and a member of group of vampire/demon slayers. At least, Willow's best friend was the Slayer.

Kitty did some research and discovered the Watcher's Council, passed the info on to Willow, and then got a thanks in return when the information blackmailed the Council into not killing her friend. Apparently, they didn't like anyone knowing the skeletons in their closets.

And now, Atlanta. They were going to meet at last. After chatting for two years, and becoming good friends, they were going to meet face to face. And party.

Well, that was Kitty's plan.

"Where would you like me to drop you, Kat?"

Kitty grinned at Scott, "The airport. If you drop me straight at the hotel, a large Blackbird might look suspicious."

He chuckled, "I'd thought of that."

"Thanks for the ride, Scott. I appreciate it."

"Hey, you need a break. We've been running you ragged."

She smiled and began gathering her bags. "Yeah, but, I can handle it. Usually."

"Besides, now I don't have to worry about Bobby icing the computers for at least a week."

Willow stared nervously around her. The plane had gotten delayed, when it stopped in St. Louis, so she was afraid that Kitty might have missed her. At least all of her baggage was okay. Having not seen the other girl at the gate, she'd run to claim her baggage. Otherwise, they might have sent it to Alaska.

At least, that's what her seatmate had predicted. Alice Crenshaw was an older woman, full of starts and evil predictions, why, she even claimed that the reason they were stuck in St. Louis was because the plane had run out of fuel and been about to crash.

With a start, Willow realised there was a sign with her name on it. The sign was more a piece of notebook paper, with her name scrawled in red and black ink, but it was what she had hoped to see.

"Um, hello?"



For a moment, the two studied each other. Willow was wearing blue jeans, and a t-shirt with "Witches Do It Naked" in blue on black. Her red hair was fluffy in that "hasn't been washed, but it still wants to poof everywhere" way. Kitty was dressed close to the same, except in black jeans, and a grey t-shirt with an apple on it. Her brown hair was curly, and cascaded everywhere.

Then they both squealed and hugged, talking excitedly, each trying to be heard above the other.

"Oh, I was--"

"I am SO sorry, that--"

"It's okay, I--"

"And, anyway, I--"

Kitty paused, letting Willow continue.

"--thought I'd grab my bags, in case they disappeared. Sorry."

"No, really." Kitty grinned, "It's all right. Now, this way for a shuttle to the hotel."


"Yeah. And the hotel is SO neat. It's round, the room is shaped like a piece of pie."


"That, too."

The room really WAS wedge-shaped. Willow stared at it, her mouth dropping open. White carpet, thick enough to swim in, white walls. Two absolutely HUGE beds, covered in paisley green print throws. And the demur and calm water colour rip-offs on the walls made the place look like a palace. That, and the floor to ceiling windows.

"Wow. This must have cost a fortune."

"Nah, the convention's got a decent rate. Besides, I, uh... knew someone here."


"Honestly, Willow, don't worry about it." Kitty bounced on her toes, "I can afford this, and I don't get to spend money often, so..."

"I still think I should pay you back," Willow replied as she set her bags down on a bed. "I mean, in a few years, I should have enough money to--"

"That works. Should I charge normal interest on this loan?"

"Uh, yeah."

Kitty chuckled. Willow wasn't exactly what she'd been expecting. She was shorter than she'd thought she'd be. But that didn't matter. It was like suddenly having a little sister, or something, even though they weren't that far apart in age. And Willow's red hair didn't even remind her of Rachel. Much.

"So, what do we do first?"

"Unpack, freshen up, then hit the convention's registration center." Kitty plopped down crosslegged on the other bed. "From the information I was given, it's about two blocks behind us, in the Merchandise Mart's first floor."


"Oh, and have you eaten lunch?"

"Not yet."

"Good. 'Cause, once we're registered, I'm dragging you off on the train. We can go shopping, or something in the Atlanta Underground. Or, hit Little Five Points. Either place should have good food somewhere."

"Wow." Willow blinked, her head in a whirl. "You've got everything so organised..."

"Yeah. Sort of. Actually..." Kitty chuckled, "I'm joking, for the most part. There's a Wendys a block from the convention center. And I don't want to hit Five Points until tomorrow."

"Spend all day there?"

"That, and, I'd like to go from there to the art museum, maybe see the concert halls."

"Sounds fun."

Kitty looked at Willow, eyebrow raised, "You don't sound too enthusiastic. What's up?"

"Oh, nothing..."

"Yeah, right. I'm the evil blackmailing bitch, remember? Tell me."

"Well, it's... Do I get any say in what we do?"

"Hell, yeah. What did you want to do?"

"Actually see some of the convention."

"We can do that." Kitty grinned, "This is as much to just hang out with you as see the city you know."

Willow blushed, then grinned back, "Same here."

"Good." With a bounce, Kitty was off the bed and pacing, "I just... I'm so excited! This is, like, the coolest thing to happen to me in a long time."

"Yeah, well..." Willow blinked, "Um, Kitty?"


"You're, um, walking on air. Literally."


The Atlanta Merchandise Mart was packed to the brim with people. They came from everywhere, and looked like everything. From Klingons to Sailor Moons, to hiding in the shadow Goths, to people in bluejeans and tshirts. It was like taking a cross-section of humanity, and shoving it all in one room. But without the culture shock.

Willow found herself grabbing the back of Kitty's shirt, just to keep up with the speed-walking girl. That, and the crowd on all sides, pressing in and making her feel tiny.

"Nearly there."

"There are a lot of people here."

Kitty shot a sympathetic glance over her shoulder, "If I'd thought about it, I might have tried breaking you into cons on a smaller one."

"Nah, 's okay."

"Ah! Here we are. Let's see. Pre-registration. That's us."

The line was about ten people long. Kitty grinned and slouched into place, turning to avidly watch the people flowing past.

The building itself was a large glass and steel and concrete structure. The main room they stood in one was large enough to have housed a Blackbird. The ceiling loomed far ahead, strange steel sculptures dangling from it. Floor-to-ceiling windows covered a large portion of three walls. The third was half windows, and half concrete, as it led to further areas to explore. There was a spiral staircase in the middle that led up to a half-balcony.

Under the balcony, an escelator rose in gleaming brilliance. Next to it was a glassed-in elevator.

Nearby, large robotic models dominated a portion of the floor. Next to them were several long tables covered with all sorts of flyers and things. Someone had even dropped a stack of AOL cds on it. In between the tables, loomed several stand-alone bulletin bored, already peppered with messages for room parties and private get-togethers. Jan demanded that all Klingons see her at the KIB booth, Bob intoned that there was a Cthuhlu for President meeting that evening in Room 2408. And others claimed to be there. Or were looking for someone.

The line moved quickly, and Willow soon found herself clutching a plastic bag and a name tag. There was supposedly a map and schedule in the bag she held. It also contained a ton of other things.

For all she knew, the bag might even contain the crown jewels of England.

"Let's find a place to sit and decide what to do."


Wandering aimlessly around the lower floor of the Mart, they finally spotted a bench being left by three men in period costume. "Swords."

"Yes. Swords." Kitty followed the dark-haired one with her eyes, admiring the way his costume draped.

"Grab the bench!"

"Huh? Oh." Kitty jumped forward, sitting sideways as someone else tried to steal their sitting spot. "Sorry." She smiled sweetly.

The blonde girl shrugged and continued onwards. Her hair was piled on her head, with tendrils cascading down. She wore a skin-tight pair of leather pants, and a vinyl tank top. It looked deadly and cute all at the same time.

For an instant, Kitty pictured herself in the costume, then snorted and turned to Willow, "So, what do you want to do?"

"Kitty... There are *18* TRACKS OF PROGRAMMING."

"So, we decide which we don't want to see, first. Like, I doubt we'll do Children's programming."

"No Trek. No X-Files. No..."

"Actually," Kitty scrutinised the listing of tracks, "We don't want to do most of them... unless you want to?"

"No. Only one that interests me is the Wiccan/Science track."

"Sounds fun. And the only things I *must* see are the Emma Bull panel discussion, and Cat's Laughing's performance."

Willow flipped through the pages of panels. "Hrm. Emma Bull is on... Saturday afternoon. And they perform that night."

"Great. So, which of the panels on Wicca did you want to see?"

"Don't know yet."

They settled down in silence for a time, reading panel descriptions and times. An occasional comment was exchanged, and Kitty pulled a highlighter from her pocket to mark "Must Sees." Finally, they finished and flipped through.

"So, six panels, the concert, and the nightly dances."

"I don't know about dancing." Willow said, wistfully wishing Tara were there to dance with.

"You can watch. Oh, and we MUST hit some pubs."

"We're both underage."

"Not according to my ID, I'm not."

"You brought a fake ID?"

"Hell, yeah. Pete taught me how to drink."

"I am NOT carrying you home if you can't walk."

"Just find some cute guy to do it." Kitty replied insouciantly, waving her hand.

Willow laughed, "How about that swordsman we saw earlier?"

"Perfect. Just make sure he's not attached, and WHAMMO."

"Uhuh." Willow snorted, "Right, the first panel is this evening. Lunch?"


They ended up at the McDonald's, although Willow demanded they go to both the Hard Rock and Planet Hollywood (which stood directly across from each other on Peachtree Street) at some point.

Once they'd gotten food, they sat down and chattered away. To Kitty, it was like having an old friend around, someone who knew almost everything about her. Willow had been there when Pete left. She'd been there when Kitty went back to Westchester, and she'd been there earlier, when Rachel had left.

To Willow, it was like having Buffy to talk to, except that not even Buffy knew some of the things she'd told Kitty.

They'd both said things they might not have ever mentioned in real life. It was as if the chat and email had stripped away taboos and habits, and let them speak of anything and everything under the sun. In a way, it was unnerving, knowing so much about someone.

In other ways, it was just odd. There were a few awkward moments in the conversation, but they were quickly glossed over.

Once lunch was over, they wandered back to the convention center, and hit the dealer's room. Kitty took one look at it, and turned around. "I can't go in there."

"Why not?"

"It's... big."

And it was. The dealer's room was two floors above the main floor of the Mart. The floorspace was as large, and dealers' tables packed the space. Shiny things hung from everything, along with comic books, action figures, and costume pieces. Swords and knives took up one solid wall to the left. To the right, brightly coloured booths were occupied by fledgling comicbook companies and independants.

"Okay, so it's big."

"Yes." Kitty snuck a look over her shoulder and whimpered. "I could spend a fortune in there."

"Hand over your credit cards, then."

"And cash. And checkbook. And debit card. Right." Kitty took a deep breath and handed her wallet to Willow. "Don't give that back until we're out of the room. No matter what I say."


They were about a third of the way through the room before Willow realised why Kitty had given away her money. The booth was one of the smaller ones, but it was packed with arcane equipment and bits and pieces she'd never seen. Herbs she'd only dreamt of ever seeing were bundled, or powdered here and there. "Kitty..."


"Take my hand and don't let me go anywhere near the Alternative Thought booth."

Kitty looked up from the comics bin she was flipping through, glanced at the booth, and grinned, "Yes, ma'am."

During the rest of the window-shopping, they passed similar booths, and Kitty begged for her wallet only twice. Willow refused to hand it over.

Once done in the Dealer's Room, they walked the few blocks to the hotel where the Wiccan/Science track was being held. Once there, they quickly found the meeting room, and took seats towards the back.

Later that evening they stopped at their hotel room to change into suitable evening wear, then headed for the ballroom of the convention hotel, where the party and dances were to be held.

Once there, Kitty hit the cashbar and came back with two fuzzy navels. "Don't worry, you can just hold it, if you don't want to drink it. I'll drink it."


"Willow." Kitty set both drinks on a nearby chair and looked at her seriously. "Listen, you don't have to do anything you don't want. I'm perfectly capable of being an ignorant bitch about some things, but I will try not to make you do things you don't want to."

"I know." She smiled, "I was going to say I'd try it, but then I only want a sip. After all, who else is going to find the hotel room at four a.m.?"

"Not me." Kitty grinned and picked her glass back up, "A toast."


"To us. For being such consummate hackers and all-around nice people."

"To you, for inviting me here."

"And, to vampires, for causing there to be a Slayer."

"To genetics, for causing mutations."

"To--" Kitty paused, then began to giggle, "Never mind. Let's drink, shall we?"


The evening deepened into night. At some point, they got hungry and wandered to the Con Suite, where someone had bought a ton of pizza. There was free soda, and chips, and even the makings for peanut butter and jelly sandwhiches.

Once sated, they went back down the fire stairs to the ballrooms. The fire stairs were in use, as the elevators were already becomming overloaded with the amount of people. Besides, the stairs were more conveniently located, being right next to the Con Suite and the ballroom.

Music was beginning to come from the ballroom, as the last band finished setting up, and prepared to perform.

"What time is it?" Willow asked curiously, fighting a yawn.

"Close to midnight."

"Wasn't the dance supposed to start at eleven?"

"Yeah." Kitty shrugged, "They must be having timing troubles. I don't mind."

Willow fought another yawn, and lost, letting loose with a large one which caused her to then stretch and blink.

"You're tired, aren't you?"

"Mm. Must be jet lag."

"Well, let's go sleep, then. Besides, it's only Thursday. There's bound to be more fun tomorrow."

"Thanks. I--"

"If you're about to apologise, don't." Kitty smiled, "It IS a vacation, and if we get no sleep..."

Friday passed in a blur, as did most of Saturday. Kitty turned into a bundle of nerves as the concert time approached. Willow had to practically knock her out to get her to go for dinner. She was insistent on being front and center, so that the band could see her, and know she was there.

They got back in plenty of time to snag standing spots at the correct point.

As the band came out and began setting up, Kitty sort of bounced in place, then calmed down and watched. Willow had seen it before, thanks to Oz and the band. So she began looking around, trying to decide if sitting down would be good.

"Kitty, how long are they playing?"

"An hour, I think."

"I'm going to sit down, then." And Willow suited actions to words, plopping down and placing her back against the stage. "So, you've seen this band before?"

"Yeah. I was even a groupie, for a bit." Kitty chuckled, "I wanted to go touring with them, but I had things to do. Responsibilities."

"Excalibur." Willow guessed.


They were silent for a time, Willow sinking into a contemplative doze.

People began filling the large room, some standing on the grey-carpeted area designated as the dance floor, others sitting in the chairs lining the walls, or standing on the red-paisley carpeted area.

Willow watched as people in gothic black formed a loose grouping near her and Kitty. Next to them, a group of bespectacled nerdish types watched the stage hopefully. Both groups mingled as more people wandered into the dance area.

The band started running sound checks, and Kitty tugged Willow to her feet. "C'mon. They're nearly done."


And then it was showtime, and a woman with dark hair and glasses was waving to the audience and introducing the band. And then they started.

For the next hour, Willow danced. She didn't know the songs, but they were good. She sometimes wondered about the words, but danced anyway. During the slow ones, she swayed, catching her breath.

Kitty was pulled off by some guy in black, and then returned later on. It was probably the black leather pants she wore. That, or the skin-tight spandex top. Either way, several other guys seemed appreciative.

They danced together, they giggled, they laughed, they clapped, and then they screamed for an encore.

Which the band granted, bowing and grinning maniacally at the crowd. As they turned to go backstage again, one of them saw Kitty and stopped, looking puzzled. Then he shrugged, and continued offstage.

It wasn't until they were wandering out into the brightly lit corridor to the lobby that Kitty sighed. "Oh, well."

"Didn't see you?"

"I don't think they recognised me." She replied ruefully.

"Too bad."


Willow paused in the corridor, then turned around and marched firmly back into the room. She spotted the roadie beginning to tear down the equipment and walked up to him. "Hi."

"Hey, kid."

"My friend would like to meet the band. Is that possible?"

"Sorry, they're busy."


He raised an eyebrow, "Persistant, aren't you."

"She really wants to, 'cause she says she knew them a while back..."

"Doesn't everyone," He muttered, then shrugged, "All right, kid. What's her name?"

"Kitty Pryde."

"Pryde?" He blinked, "I remember a kid named that. Been a while, though. Hang on, back in a moment."

Willow watched him saunter away, a speaker over his shoulder. Kitty would be happy, she'd get to meet her friends.

If Kitty could have described the rest of Saturday night, in one word, it would have been 'marvelous'. Willow had somehow convinced the roadie, and he'd talked to the band, and Steven had come out... And they'd all gone back to a hotel room, ordered Chinese and talked until 3 a.m. The Cats were leaving early in the morning, but they promised to email Kitty when they had the time.

She and Willow staggered back to their room and fell into bed without even brushing their teeth.

When they finally woke up, it was early afternoon. Willow's flight was the next morning, so they began packing up the room, cleaning up after themselves, and planning a slow and easy day for the afternoon. Kitty still hadn't gotten to go to the art museum.

Once the room was fairly clean, they headed out into the lazy afternoon sunlight. Kitty had procured a map of the Metro Atlanta Regional Transport Association's (MARTA) train system, and proceeded to lead the way.

The first thing they rode was the escalator to end all escalator's. It was at least three stories tall, and moved at an angle that made you half worry about vertigo, AND hitting your head on the low ceiling. Still, it was sort of fun.

Once at the bottom, they got one-day passes and ran out to the platform, just catching the train. Had they had the time, they would have seen that the platform was contained in a massive chamber, walled in by undressed stone, and lovely billboards.

A few stops later, they hopped out, traversed a set of stairs, an escalator, and walked several feet to change trains in the Five Points station.

"So, what IS Little Five Points?" Willow asked as they got off at the stop.

"It's the alternative community center of Atlanta, from what I understand." Kitty put on her best Tour Guide voice, "Populated with vintage clothing shops, tiny intimate restaurants, and junk stores, Little Five Points is the epitome of alternative class."


"Basically, it sounds like the grunge/kid section of town. And Gambit told me to look for the Junkman's Daughter."


"Yeah, our resident Cajun Thief." Kitty turned a corner and grinned, "Ah, here we go."

Both sides of the street were studded with tiny curio shops, clothing outlets, and other assorted fun places to look in. A record store caught their attention first, and they meandered in. After that, they hit the clothing stores. Kitty found a scary pair of bell-bottoms, Willow found a lovely sarong wrap and immediately bought it for Tara.

And so it went, until they came upon a rather large skull. It was the entryway to a little street cafe called Vertigo. Kitty looked at it for a moment, then grinned, "Shall we?"

"We shall." Willow decided, glaring at the skull.

The place turned out to serve normal food like burgers and salads and french fries. While deliberating on their order, Willow discovered the rules of Vertigo on the back of the menu. "Oh my..."


"Read the back of your menu."

Kitty flipped to the back and perused them, then giggled. "'Do not expect special treatment if you have a cell phone. You're here to eat, not talk to someone in Japan.'"

"I like this one, 'If you don't like it, it's not our responsibility to make you a new one.'" Willow chuckled.

They ordered a few minutes later, then fell to discussing where to go next. "The art museum."

"All right, all right..."

"It's only one stop up, then a short walk from what the concierge told me. Then we can go where you want to go."

"Aren't we going to the Junkman's Daughter?"

"It's next door."

"Oh." Willow leaned back and yawned, "So, tell me, what's your opinion of the new Macs?"

At which point, the conversation became very technical. The waitress shortly brought their food, and they devoured it, paid, and left a nice tip.

The Junkman's Daughter was indeed next door, and they entered, turning over their bags at the front counter.

It wasn't a large building, but it was jam-packed with everything under the sun. Vintage clothing, obscure band t-shirts, strange furnishings and old living room decorations topped the list. Kitty found a Cats Laughing t-shirt, Willow found one for Dingoes Ate My Baby. Kitty got hers, Willow got a Dead Kennedys shirt.

Then they collected their stuff and headed back to the Marta station.

Willow realised late Sunday night that, while she'd had a lovely time, she missed Buffy, and Tara. Especially Tara. Wistfully, she thought of being snuggled up to her beloved, wrapped in her arms. Kitty was absolutely wonderful, letting her buy some rare herbs and a few other things. Encouraging her to go to the Wiccan panels, and calmly facing down people when Willow asked dumb questions.

She'd even understood Willow's need for control in her powers. For discipline and knowledge about what she did.

And walking around Atlanta until they were footsore had been fun. But Kitty wasn't Buffy, she wasn't her best friend. So, while she'd miss Kitty, she wouldn't regret going home. With that thought, Willow dropped into sleep.

Kitty lay in bed, listening to Willow's even breathing, and pondered the last few days. They had been incredible fun. She'd been able to act like a child more times than she wanted to remember. And it had felt good.

And now she would see Willow off in the morning, and go back to the Mansion, and... Anger, fights, constant tension, and a life that meant she was in danger all the time. Granted, you could die just walking down the street. But what was it all for?

I used to know. I used to understand, and want to be there, to help. And then Pete showed me things could be so different, she sighed tiredly and slipped out of bed. The moonlight poured through the drapes, inviting. For a moment, she paused, and then she stepped through the window, trusting to the air to hold her.

Atlanta lay spread out before her, hills and valleys, huge buildings, and tiny parks. Streets mingled here and there, curving and crossing. Peachtree street--Kitty chuckled, it went everywhere. She began walking down the air, as if it were steps. The angle set her gently down on the roof of a nearby hotel. She sat crosslegged on the ledge and closed her eyes, savouring the wind on her cheeks.

"Come up here often?"

The voice nearly sent her off the roof, plummeting to the ground. Kitty whirled, dropping neatly into stance, "Who are you?"

"I should be the one asking you that," replied the voice, amusement bubbling through it.

"Whatever." Kitty turned away and looked up at the moon, "I should go."

"Please don't leave on my account."

"I'd like to be alone, you're here. Logic it out."

The voice laughed, and Kitty finally discerned a form within the shadows on the roof. "Oh, my dear... Thank you for that."

"Go. Away."

"I was here first, but since you ask so nicely, I shall."


There was a sense of movement, and then the shape was gone. Kitty sighed and turned back to the city. But her pleasure in viewing it was gone, leaving behind a sour frustration. The same feeling that had hit her when the art museum had been closed earlier. "Sod this." With a mental command she began walking up the air to her room. "Bloody city."

The people in the airport bustled around them, wanting to make their flights, or meet people. Or just to be generally in the real travellers' way. Willow stood with her baggage around her, waiting impatiently in line. Kitty stood next to her, her own baggage also with them. Her ride was picking her up at the airport, so they'd just checked out of the room all at once.

"Damn. Do you think I'll miss the flight?"

"I wouldn't worry about it. If you do, we'll just rebook."

"Yeah. C'mon, c'mon...."

Twenty minutes later, they were high-tailing it to the far end of the terminal, where Willow's gate was. (having left Kitty's baggage at the desk). They got there just in time. Willow turned to Kitty and hugged her, "Thank you, I had a great time."

"I'm glad you did. If you're ever in New York--catch a train to Westchester. Or let me know in advance, and I'll come down."

"'K, and if you're ever in Sunnydale, ring me." Willow turned and gasped, "Ack, they're about to close the door, I've got to go!"

"Safe trip!"


And then Willow was handing her ticket to the attendant, and walking down the corridor to her plane. As she settled into the seat, she sighed. The weekend was over. Back to Sunnydale, back to almost mundane existance. Almost.

KittenOutOfPhase Glad you had fun. :)
WitchinTheWillows Me, too. Hey, we should do this again, sometime.
KittenOutOfPhase Right. But not soon. Something's come up. In fact, *grimace* I may drop out of sight for a while.
WitchinTheWillows Damn. What's up?
KittenOutOfPhase Wish I could tell you...
KittenOutOfPhase Hey, you got room for a roommate? Another one?
WitchinTheWillows *snort* Not really. Why?
KittenOutOfPhase I'm thinking of running away from home. j/k
WitchinTheWillows Uhuh. Try another one.
KittenOutOfPhase I'm serious. Well...
WitchinTheWillows Not. ;)
KittenOutOfPhase Yeah. Well, I--
WitchinTheWillows Kitty?
WitchinTheWillows Kitty?
WitchinTheWillows KITTY!
KittenOutOfPhase Ack. Sorry. Got disconnected for a second there. Must go. Things happening. Love you, bye.
WitchinTheWillows Kitty, I--

Session Terminated

"DAMN." Willow sighed, threw a pencil at the wall, and wondered what had happened. "Note to self: Watch the news tomorrow, buy a paper, and pester news feedsites."


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Subject: [OTL]: [Kitty Pryde,Willow] Brief Moments Of Lucidity 1/1 PG13 Date: Tue, 07 Nov 2000 05:46:57 -0800
© 2001 Ana Cotton