A/N: This just sort of came about in a fit of inspiration and I liked the way it read, so I hope you like it. Cookies to whoever can guess the song it's based around! (It's not hard. Lol.)
Lance sighed frustratedly, running an exasperated hand through his hair. This whole going-back-to-school thing was not so fun. The classes were cool, but fitting in homework between class and work and trying to find some quiet in the dorms he was in? Not at all easy.
Which was brought him to this crowded 24-hour-coffeehouse at 1 AM.
He had everything for his Business Math class spread across the table: textbook, notebook, graph paper, pencils, highlighter and calculator. Plus his cup of coffee and iPod. Johnny Craig was sort of amazing for drowning out the background noise of the coffee shop and the city street outside.
He was deep into solving a particularly difficult problem when someone bumped into the back of his chair, startling him out of his work. He popped out an earbud and turned to where whoever-it-was was apologizing, "I'm so sorry! I got all tangled in the chair and my bag. Do you mind if I sit here?"
The voice was familiar, maybe someone from his classes?
"Sure." He grunted, before finally glancing up at her - Oh.
"Oh. Um, hey Lance." Kitty said softy.
It broke his heart that she was still beautiful, bundled up for the unusually cold night in a peacoat that she was draping over the extra chair, a white sweater and blue scarf that made her eyes brighter.
"Hey." He said, "How's life?"
"Good. You?" She murmured softly as the waitress dropped off her coffee, silently damming the full coffeehouse because now she had to sit here when he was so gorgeous and still tan from the summer and smiling so sweetly at her in a black t-shirt over a long-sleeved green one.
"I'm good. Went back to school." He said, pausing the ipod and popping out the other earbud.
"That's good. You at State?" She asked.
"Me too," She added at his nod.
It was quiet. She could tell he was keeping himself guarded and she knew exactly.
Kitty looked up into his eyes for the first time since she'd arrived, and suddenly flashed back to that December night, when he'd brought her roses and she'd left them on her front porch to die.
She swallowed her pride and said his name softly, "I'm sorry for that night."
He looked at her right back, "I keep thinking back to that night. I go back all the time. Why? What could I have done?"
She glanced away for a second before looking back up at him, "I thought I wanted freedom, I thought I wanted to spend the rest of my senior year single, but it turns out freedom isn't anything besides missing what I don't have. You."
He sighed, "It's not all you. I took your for granted Kit. I wish I'd realized what I had when you were mine."
She blinked and he looked at her, really looked, and her eyes were bloodshot- clearly she hadn't been sleeping. He knew he hadn't been, he'd been staying up replaying last summer, when things were good, when they'd driven around everywhere just because they could and he'd watched her in the passenger seat with her hair blowing in the wind.
He'd waited until fall to tell her he loved her.
And then things seemed to darken. He'd graduated and she'd let Scott and Kurt convince her he wasn't as devoted to as she'd thought, fear crept in.
He'd gone to pick her up for a date in December with a dozen red roses – just because – and instead she'd come out, told him she wanted to be single, told him, "Goodbye."
They looked at each other, "I missed your birthday. I'm sorry. I miss you." She whispered, a tear trickling down her cheek as she remembered the night that September, almost a year ago, when she'd gotten the news of her father's death and he'd held her in his arms all night. It was the first time she'd ever let him see her cry.
He took in her tears, and how much they appeared to have missed each other and let what he really felt speak, "Maybe this is wishful thinking, probably mindless dreaming - "
She looked up surprised and interrupted, "If we tried again, if we loved again I swear Lance, I swear I'd love you right this time. Please. I'm sorry. I'd go back to December, turn around and make it all right if I could."
He blinked, "I go back to December all the time."
She sniffled, "If you don't wanna try, if the proverbial chain is on your door I understand. But if I could, I'd go back and change my own mind. Please."
He swallowed his own pride, reached out a hand, covering her trembling fingers with his and gave them a squeeze and their eyes met and she understood his message, "I'm sorry for that night, too."