Summary: Time changes, people change. Kitty comes to a decision that changes both her and Lance's life and they deal with it in their own way, differently. Kitty and Lance's POV in every other chapter.

Disclaimer: I don't own anything, only the plot.

Note: Lance's POV.

Note#2: Dreamschemer was so nice to be my beta. She worked a lot to kill my mistakes:) Thanks again. If any errors left, mea culpa, I tend to be stubborn sometimes.

Our time of lying

Chapter 1: On the verge of nothing

There are things that never change.

And there are those that always.

Something has been deforming between us for weeks; slowly, like plastic in fire; slowly, terribly, pulling a new shape on. And stinking.

It's been a little less than a year now. Not too much, I know. It doesn't amount to more than those years of wrath we've shared. I've never been happier, though, never been more grateful for merely being alive and able to wake up in the morning, knowing we belong together - even if no one beside us knew it.

An Apocalypse has come and gone and nothing's changed.

Or maybe except for one thing. We made up. And split up and made up but never mind; nothing in this world works smoothly.

Is this something real? I don't know. Something I can hold onto? Yes, definitely.

One would think the end of the world would shake things up more, but we've all fallen back into the same routines: the humans incite, the Brotherhood retaliates, and the X-Men play peacemaker. It didn't matter that the Brotherhood helped the X-men save the world. It was nothing special or unique. We had worked and fought together before; against Juggernaut, against dimensional monsters, against the Sentinel. Fighting Apocalypse wouldn't change the status quo. I was still a Brotherhood member who couldn't be trusted and Kitty was a goody-goody X-man, one of those who had always brought us down. Mystique's puppet vs. Xavier's.

The post-Apocalypse period just happened to be the same as the pre-Apocalypse had been. Mystique is back ā€“ or rather she was when I last checked it. Having considered the look on Kitty's face short after she had admitted to her friends that she was going to spend an afternoon with me, I decided to play the same old boring game again and better to lurk around only in the backstage ā€“ we didn't need our relationship to be public. Kitty agreed. Officially again Avalanche hated Shadowcat and vice versa. And we have been waiting for the trumpet to call us into war again, fighting each other with fake venom in our heart.

I suppose she was loath to disappoint her friends. And Iā€¦ I didn't want to be teased or used because of it. I had given Mystique enough reasons, means and possibilities to use me, she didn't need one more. I didn't want anyone to know how they could get to me. Though at first I so wanted to rub Summers' nose in it. I wanted everyone to know that I might be worth something if Kitty was stuck to me that much. In fact, I did feel this way. And still, somehow, for some reason I kept it quiet.

But all along behind all masks, lies and hatred I was only Lance Alvers and she was only Kitty Pryde, and the only thing we wanted in the middle of this ridiculous war was trying to love each other quietly while pretending to suck each other's blood.

But Kitty kissed me and nothing else seemed to have sense. It was amazing how she could wipe away the agonizing brooding of a whole wakeful night with a passing touch. She could wrap it around my whole being, shutting me away from the real world, letting me live in a world created on my own from sudden desires and bold dreams. I'd never seen the danger in it. I'd never realized where I might fall from.

Man can be so ingenious when it's about convincing themselves. Or rather, misleading. You believe what you want to believe. You create false signs and cling onto unfaithful hopes. Hope, yeah - the cruelest thing created for human destruction. It cheats you, laughs at you and the tighter you cling onto it, the more it fails you.

There are days when we hardly meet. I never call her. I should not. She is the one who always searches for me when feeling the need for my presence. I've never thought of what would happen if she stopped missing me one time. Would I still be waiting for her call? Or would I understand it without words?

We were in a movie today but I already can't remember what the title or the story of the film was. I'd lost any kind of interest long before it even started. The lights were still on and we were sitting there, staring at the empty screen as if we were puzzling out some intricate code. However, the real puzzle was not on the screen but happening inside: I could feel there was something wrong; sitting there, arm against arm, I felt like we were million miles away from each other. I was dazed by questions throbbing inside. Is this what happens to all relationships over time? Is this how love dies? Does it always die a long, silent, painful death? Back in the day she would have calmed my worries with a single word or touch and bring back the tenderness. This time she remained silent and still, and I had no idea how to take over this task and patch this gaping hole of disquiet.

We watched the film as if we were strangers who had just happened to find free seats next to each other. I was going to ask her several times what we really were doing there at all, what was going on, what was missing in this moment of time that had been there before, but words died in my throat like burning paper. I don't know if it was indicating something ā€“ I don't wanna know it.

You see? So much for me being clear-headed; I managed to mislead myself, sweeping my bothers aside. I forced myself to ignore all those telling moments of cold; I pretended that her listlessness was actually a quiet content: honestly, isn't it ridiculous to feel bad just because there was something wrong in the way we were sitting next to each other? After all, there was no reason for us to be upset with each other. There was no clear reason for something to be going awry.

Yet somehow beneath the comforting veneer of happiness, there was something wrong.

One might say everything comes to an end. That this is the way of life.

Splendid, yet another random and shallow pitch, enjoy it.

Now leave me alone, I'm too busy with hunting hopes.