The closest place to the mansion to get ice cream was a gas station at the corner of Greymalkin and Kenneth. The place just after that was the Ice Dream. It was an old school diner set-up with a long counter filled with all sorts of flavored dairy products. On top of its great ice cream selection, it also served the standard for American fast food restaurants.

The lone employee working the front leaned on the counter, staring at the boy staring at the ice cream with a pained expression. He so didn't have all day for this. Yes, it was his job, he got paid for it, but this…was ridiculous. Six minutes and counting, and still no decision. Even the guy's girlfriend was looking impatient.

"Would you just pick one already?" she finally snapped.

"Huh? Oh, yeah, sure. I'll get the…uh…"


"Don't rush me!"

Kitty sighed and shared a looked with the boy behind the counter.

"He takes his ice cream very seriously."

Possibly as seriously as Kitty seemed to take matchmaking. The boy, whose name tag read John, only smiled politely.

"Okay, well, while you're deciding, I'm going to the bathroom. Order for me if you decide before I get back."


Kurt only turned for a moment as Kitty walked away. She liked cookies and cream best, but neopolitan was a close second, along with plain chocolate. He'd get her all three. Grinning now, he looked back at John.

"I'm ready to order!"

"Finally," he muttered then louder said, "That's great, sir!"

Rather than ice cream, Kurt ordered actual food. Chili cheese fries, two double cheese burgers no onions, and chicken tenders with a strawberry shake. He'd ordered Kitty's ice cream, telling John to bring it out to the booth he'd chosen as soon as Kitty returned to avoid having a melted mess. He set aside a pack of BBQ sauce and two of five chicken tenders because he knew Kitty would eat them. Deliberating for a moment, he added another one. That would save him being subjected to The Eyes later. The fries were too messy to try and separate, but they could get cold in the time it took Kitty to get back. He'd just eat those now and add a few onto his burgers.

Besides, she was 'on a diet' now anyway. The ice cream alone would be pushing it.

With everything situated just so across the table, Kurt rubbed his hands together eagerly and reached for a handful of fries and burger when someone called his name. He looked up, and suddenly felt a little less happy. It was Lance.

It really shouldn't have to be said that Kurt didn't like Lance. That could be blamed on jealousy, general dislike of him as a person, and his past experience of being the one that Kitty cried on and complained to when they were dating. But he wasn't like Scott; he was a much better actor. So much so, Lance probably thought, while not friends, that they were cool with one another.

"Hello," Kurt said brightly.

"I thought that was you."

"So it is. Vhat's up, man?"

"Not much. I've been trying to find a job, but it's not going too great."


Lance worked here? He could never come here again! Unless Lance got fired…

"No, trying. Apparently, you need a high school diploma to dish out ice cream and flip patties," he replied with a bitter look. "Hey, don't feel bad for me though. You're the one who has to put up with Kelly."

Kurt would have said that he didn't feel bad for him, except that was very rude and callous. Instead he said,

"I know, right? You'd think he'd get zhere'd be less trouble for him if he didn't make trouble with us."

Lance shrugged, "Yeah, but he's a bastard though. Is Kitty here with you?"

"…Ja. Vhy?"

"Figures," he shook his head, a rueful grin on his face.

"Vhat is that supposed to mean?"

"It means, when are you two not together? When me and her were together, it was always Kurt this, and Kurt that, and oh, Kurt says blah. It's no surprise."

"Ve're friends. How is zhat a problem?"

Lance leveled him with a surprisingly knowing look.

"'Cause you don't see her as just your friend."

Kurt's eyes widened, and he floundered for a reply.

"It's cool, man. I figured it out a while ago. All I gotta say to you is good luck," Lance backed up a few steps, pointing at him, "You're gonna need it."

Kurt stared, following Lance's progress out the door and to his jeep through the window. He knew. Kitty's ex-boyfriend, he whom he loathed, knew about his feelings for Kitty. Not only did he know, he was okay with it. Well, this was just perfect. Now all he had to do was get Kitty on board, and he'd be golden.

Seriously though, did everyone but her know?

"Kurt?" Kitty asked as she slid back into her seat across from him.


"Was that Lance?"


"He wasn't, like, mean or anything to you, was he?"

"No, Kitty, he vasn't so you don't have to beat him up," Kurt rolled his eyes.

Although that would be so funny to see.

"Ha-ha, very funny."

John came to their table and slid Kitty's bowl of four scoops of Neopolitan/Chocolate Mint with caramel drizzle in front of her.

"There you go," he grinned at them before returning to his station.

Usually, the place didn't have waiter service, but Kurt had tipped him enough to make an exception and improve his mood. Kurt was of the belief that everyone who handled his food deserved a tip. Kitty beamed and happily dug her spoon into the frozen treat. In the time it took her to take a few bites, Kurt's first burger was gone, and he nudged the food he'd set aside for her to her. She smiled her thanks and picked the chicken up, but hesitated before eating it.

"So…he was nice?"

Kurt smiled, covering the suspicion threatening to shine through his eyes. Why does she care about Lance's behavior?

"Ja, I guess. I mean, zhere vere no threats or anyzhing. Vhy?"

Kitty suddenly looked very thoughtful, and Kurt became worried. He took a huge bite of his neglected chili fries to help soothe the tension in his stomach.

"It's just…Lance isn't a bad guy, you know. Me and him wouldn't work, but he should have a nice girl to, like, support him and be a good influence for him."

"But not you?" he asked in between bites.

"Oh, no. No, Kurt, I'm…done being Lance's moral compass. I didn't do a good job anyway. In fact, if I ever go starry-eyed over a 'bad boy', just, I don't know, slap me or something."

"I'm not going to hit you."

"Well, just stop me."

"I think I should stop you now. Please tell me you're not going to try and match Lance up now."

Her face brightened all at once, like he'd just presented her with Piranha or Prada or whatever it was.

"Kurt! You genius! That's exactly what we should do. I mean, there's no reason why our services should be limited to just the X Men. Oh, this is gonna be so much fun!"

Fun. Interesting. A different word flashed through Kurt's mind, and while it wasn't 'fun', it did begin with an 'f'.

"You know," Kitty went on, "I've always kinda thought that Lance and Amanda could be cute together."

In what universe?


"Yeah. I mean, unless that would be awkward for you since she's your, you know, ex."

"Nein. I'm okay vith her dating, und stuff…but Lance?"

"Sure. She's a total sweetheart but not afraid to stand up for the right things or push him in the right direction when he tries to do something stupid."

"Well, ja, but I meant the mullet mostly."

"It is not a mullet!"

"Not an impressive one anyway."

Kitty narrowed her eyes and pointed at him. "You know what? You're blue and fuzzy."

"Isn't blue your favorite color?"

"Not the point. The point is – stop eating my chicken tenders!"

She popped his thieving hand and swiped hers through his to save her food.

"It was getting cold," he defended while she deliberately dipped it in the sauce and ate it.

She continued to glare at him, turning her body away from him and pulling her food into the protective circle of her arm. Kurt then borrowed her spoon and tried to 'save her melting ice cream'. Because there's nothing sadder than melted, wasted ice cream. But then, there are milkshakes, and that makes it better. However, Kitty went after his other burger, and they came to a standoff of sorts, with the other's respective foods held inches from their mouths. With careful timing and precision, they made the switch.

"Nice try, but we're still doing this."

"Doing vhat?"

"I know what you're doing. Trying to distract me from the new objective."

"Damn. I mean, uh, vhat?"

"Let me put it this way, Kurt. We can either go shopping now, and then I'll force you to help me later or we can skip the shopping and just get started now."

Kurt pouted pathetically.

"Okay," he sighed, drawing the word out into three syllables. "But ve're not starting until I'm done eating, and you've figured out the operation name."


Kurt grinned as he once again resumed eating slowly. He fully intended to fit at least one more burger and smoothie after this. Plus, he doubted this operation would be launched for a while. There was no way Operation: Amalance was gonna fly.