I'll Be There For You

A/N: I'm sorry it took so long to post this last chapter. I've been having writer's block lately and I'm working hard to get into the Govie School, so I've been pretty busy. Anyway, here's the last chapter. Thank you to everyone who's been reading and posting reviews!

oOo

Chapter 5:

Amazingly, Kitty was over her initial anguish in a day. Of course, she was still hurt, torn, and bleeding deep inside, but she convinced herself after a very short period of horror and pain that it was ok for Kurt to fall in love, and that she'd just have to accept it. A part of her brain was suspicious and hateful of Imber, but she told herself that was normal and all part of the process.

I can, like, just go up to Imber and tell her I'm sorry for the way I've been acting, Kitty thought resolutely one day. She had been immature and irrational at times, but only because she was afraid of losing Kurt, so it seemed justified. I'll just tell her how I feel, like Storm suggested. She felt like Storm would be proud of how she was acting and handling herself.

So Kitty, who'd been thinking on her bed, got up and made her way downstairs. Please don't let me stumble across something awkward like last time, she added mentally, not wanting a repeat of the Kurt/Imber kiss moment she'd witnessed a few days before.

After Imber, she'd talk to Kurt. Kurt had attempted to talk to her the day after she saw the 'horrible, unspeakable thing', but she'd been too distraught to want to talk. She hoped she hadn't screwed things up between herself and Kurt permanently.

Just then, Jean ran right past Kitty. Kitty lost balance for a moment, then caught herself. "Whoa, like, where's the fire?" she asked.

Jean stopped to catch her breath. She said, "The Brotherhood's making a mess downtown. We're going out there. Get in your uniform and be in the garage in five."

"Oh," Kitty said, watching Jean run off again. Well, Imber'll just have to wait, she thought. And she ran off upstairs to get into her X-men apparel.

Five minutes later, the X-men were all waiting in the garage. Kitty stood by Evan and watched Kurt and Imber from afar. Kurt and Imber, and pretty much everyone else, were all worked up. Kurt kept talking excitedly to Imber. He looked up for a moment, caught Kitty's eye, and looked away quickly. Crap, Kitty thought.

"Alright. Everyone get in the van," Scott called, waving the keys around on his finger. Everyone quickly piled in. Kitty got squished between Evan and Bobby. Bobby was all iced up, and freezing cold. Kitty sighed miserably. Good thing Scott has a lead foot.

A few minutes later, the van stopped near a bunch of old warehouses. Everyone looked out curiously before getting out of the van. Kitty looked around, thinking it looked like a good place for a horror movie. Eerie sounds from the buildings settling added to the effect.

It wasn't long before they heard the tell-tale signs of trouble. First, the ground started shaking and rumbling, and then Blob's voice could be heard above the noise.

The team ran in the direction of the noise.

The Brotherhood boys—plus Mystique—were wrecking an old warehouse building. It wasn't clear why they were doing it, but they were tearing up parts of the nearby roads and buildings by doing so. That was enough for the X-men. They sprang into action.

Evan and Kitty went for Toad. Scott, and some of the others went after Avalanche and Blob. Kurt and Bobby went after Mystique. The fight was short. Blob and Toad retreated under the constant assault, and Scott managed to knock Avalanche out with a well-aimed eye-blast. Mystique, Toad, and Blob looked around, realizing they were outmatched. Then, Mystique's eyes met Imber's, and she cried out, "Imber! Nam Pomac!" (Help us!)

Imber froze uncertainly. The other X-men froze as well, trying to understand what had just happened. Imber looked from her "friends" to Mystique, her face twitching nervously.

"I…Imber," Kurt said very quietly from nearby. Imber lowered her head in shame.

"Come on!" Mystique urged, waving her over. Imber looked back and forth, as if torn. Her eyes met Kurt's for a moment. Kurt's eyes were pleading, hurt. He didn't understand.

He took a step closer to her. "Imber, what's going on? You work vith Mystique?" he asked, his voice quiet and shaky.

Imber had trouble meeting his golden eyes again. She nodded. "I have to."

"No you don't. Vhy?"

Imber glanced over at Mystique. "She found me, helped me. Taught me how to fight and control my powers. She…sent me out so zat you might find me, and so I could….spy on you." Her voice was almost inaudible. "Kurt, I'm sorry. I didn't vant to, after a while. I…I love you."

Kurt felt something harden inside his heart, and the words fell of deaf ears. He turned away, battling to keep himself together. Why, why, why? He closed his eyes. "Nein. You don't. Go," he hissed.

Imber drew back at the harshness of his words. She lowered her eyes and slowly turned to go.

"I…I'm with you," she whispered to Mystique as she approached. Mystique nodded at Blob and Toad, who retreated. The X-men were in too much shock to react. They watched the Brotherhood get away and did nothing.

No one spoke. No one really wanted to speak, to break the awkward, painful silence. Everyone's thoughts were about the same. Why?

Kitty's mind went crazy. A tiny part of her was happy. Kurt was no longer with her. No, bad, she corrected. That was selfish. Kurt was hurting. The whole thing was terrible—he'd just lost his girlfriend; she worked for Mystique. Kitty's heart went out to him. Kurt, I'm sorry, she thought, hoping he heard her on some level.

~Later~

Kurt was lying on his stomach on his bed, his tail swishing back and forth sadly. His face was buried in his hands, his shoulders were hunched, and he was shaking slightly. Kitty stayed in the doorway for a second, not sure whether to come in or not. She took a deep breath and decided to phase herself all the way inside and make her presence known. As soon as she started walking towards him, Kurt looked up, his eyes wide and sad.

He looked away, his face contorting into a scowl. "Go avay, Katzchen," he said quietly, his voice a mere whisper. Undeterred, Kitty came a few steps closer, close enough to touch him. She sat down on the side of the bed and put her hands in her lap.

"Look, Kurt," she said with a nervous sigh. "I'm really sorry…about all of this. Like, I know you really liked her, and I was acting weird because of it, and I shouldn't have. I'm just sorry it didn't work out with you guys, and that I didn't do anything except…I dunno, be an ass."

Kurt was looking down and away from her, but his face had softened to something sad and lonely. His tail flicked back, hitting her against the leg. Kitty wasn't sure what that meant.

"You ok?" Dumb question, Pryde, she thought to herself. Does he look ok to you?

Kurt shrugged nonchalantly, still looking away. "I guess." His voice was deadpan, strange for him.

"I wish we'd found her first," Kitty said quietly after a brief silence. "Maybe we could have changed things."

Kurt looked up, not quite meeting Kitty's eyes, but at least his face was visible. His expression was hard to read. "Vhat does zat mean?"

"Well, I mean, the Brotherhood found her before we did, and they convinced her to join them as a spy. Maybe if we'd gotten to her before them, she would have been different," Kitty suggested. "I think she would have been great with us."

"Yeah," Kurt sighed, his eyes flickering up to meet Kitty's for a moment. "But zat didn't happen. Und we'll probably pay for it, now zat she's told zem everyzing about us."

Kitty reached out and put her hand on Kurt's shoulder. "Do you hate her?"

His face twitched. "Nein. Do you?"

Kitty shrugged. "Not now. I did before, but that was just stupid. I see what happened to her, and I can't hate her. I mean, the Brotherhood found her and took advantage of her ignorance. I don't think what she did was evil or anything. She was just afraid."

Kurt reached up and put one of his hands over Kitty's. "Danke, Keety," he muttered. "I didn't zink you vould understand."

"It took me a while. Just had to get my feeling sorted out."

"I'm glad you did," Kurt said.

Kitty smiled a tiny bit, glad to see Kurt perking up. "So…we're still friends, right?" she asked, nudging him lightly.

Kurt cracked a small grin. "Ja. Of course."

"Even though I was a jerk to you a couple of times?"

"Ja, ja. S'ok."

Kitty grinned and pulled Kurt into an awkward hug. Kurt didn't seem to mind. He smiled to himself and wrapped his arms around Kitty's waist.

~A few months later~

Things had gone back to normal at the Institute. Imber was not forgotten—the X-men saw her out with the Brotherhood now and then—but overall everyone understood her insecurity, and let it go. Kurt slowly healed and opened back up. It wasn't long before he was in a relationship with a certain someone….

"Kurt!" Kitty was running down one of the long halls in the dorms, her hair trailing behind her. "Give me back my sunglasses."

Kurt was waiting for her at the other end of the hall, grinning hugely, and wearing Kitty's big, black shades. "You vant? Come und get zem!" he taunted, scampering off. Kitty growled and stormed after him, finally managing to tackle him to the ground.

Kurt ended up on his back, with Kitty on top of him. "Vell, this is interesting," he mused.

"Just give me my shades," Kitty said, reaching for them. Kurt ripped them off his face and held them out at arm's length.

"You vant zem?"

"Yes."

Kurt wiggled his eyebrows, thinking. He suddenly sat up and kissed her on the tip of the nose, making Kitty blush. She chuckled. "A kiss for the sunglasses?" she asked.

"Ja. I'm satisfied." He brought the sunglasses closer, putting them on Kitty's face with his hand. "Zere." Kitty, satisfied, kissed him on the lips, wrapping her arms around his neck.

After a moment, Kitty sat back, finding herself perched right over his waist. "That might have been worth stealing my sunglasses for," she remarked, her cheeks still lightly tinted pink.

"If zat's what I get for stealing your glasses," Kurt said, sitting up himself, "vhat would I get for stealing your shirt?"

"No!" Kitty cried hugging herself protectively. "No touchy!"

Kurt crawled out from under her and got to his feet. "Kidding."

"You better be," Kitty growled, keeping one hand over her chest.

Kurt grinned. "Relax, Katzchen." He pulled her up and into a hug. He felt her warm arms, her beating heart, her pulsing chest. He sighed, happy. "I love you," he whispered into her ear.

Kitty smiled. "You too, fuzzy," she replied. I've always loved you, Kurt, she added mentally, closing her eyes and letting herself relax against his warm chest.

*Fin*

Ok, I hope the ending wasn't too sudden or too cheesy or whatever. All I have to say is, I didn't really like the way this turned out, for some reason. I think this is one of those stories that sounds good in theory, but is harder to execute on paper—er, computer. Whatever. You know what I mean. Anyway, thanks for reading!

-The Ember Raven