The sound of voices faded behind her as Kitty left the others to their revelries. It wasn’t the same. She didn’t think it would ever be the same. Not when so much had changed. Looking at Kurt just filled her with a well of sadness, and she couldn’t even meet Rachel’s eyes. She couldn’t handle the regret - or the way Rachel looked at her. And the missing person at the table hurt all the more.
It was frigid when she stepped outside. Not as cold as it was back in Canada, but cold for New York. Her boots crunched in the snow and she looked up at the sky, and the countless stars.
The air warmed suddenly, and she turned to see Rachel floating down towards her. “Hey. If I didn’t know better I’d think you were avoiding me.”
Kitty gave her friend a tiny smile. “Just...too many people in there right now. There’s a lot of tension.”
The red-head landed next to Kitty, and the brunette reached out to steady her. “But it’s good to...see everyone talking. Mostly. Have you talked to your dad?”
“Later. Right now we need to talk.”
Rolling a shoulder and turning back to look at a really interesting tree, Kitty replied, “What’s to talk about?”
“Maybe about how you’re dealing with… everything? Maybe about what happened the last time we talked?” Rachel’s voice was thin, and her confusion came across their telepathic link loud and clear. Had it really been four months ago? She and Kitty had met for lunch and Kitty broke down all over her. And Rachel’s response had been to kiss her. They hadn’t talked since.
“I’m dealing.” Whether her dealing was about Logan’s death, or the kiss, or everything else in Kitty’s life it wasn’t entirely clear but Rachel was pretty sure it involved violence some how.
Rachel ran her fingers through her hair, then took Kitty’s hand. “Come on.”
Before Kitty could protest, Rachel had lifted them into the air. The brunette could only cling to Rachel’s hand as she flew them over the country-side. She didn’t fear Rachel dropping her. It was Rachel being closed off and mysterious that was worrying her.
They flew higher, the curve of the earth more visible at this altitude and Rachel’s powers keeping them warm. Kitty pulled herself closer to her friend, then wrapped an arm around her. They hovered, the lights of the Eastern Seaboard stretching out endlessly beneath them. Rachel could feel Kitty’s heartbeat against her chest.
She spoke without meaning to. “I know my timing was terrible but you could have said something.”
“I’m sorry. I was…” Kitty shook her head. “I wasn’t in a good place. I couldn’t deal with it then.” She gave Rachel an accusatory look. “I was grieving.”
“I just wanted...to make you feel better?” Rachel smiled sheepishly. “I didn’t know when I’d see you again and it seemed like the right thing to do.” She frowned when Kitty looked away. “All right, I’m sorry too. But the timing is never good. You have to know that.”
“This is a really nice view.” Kitty laid her head on Rachel’s shoulder. “So often lately I’m just seeing the world in tiny glimpses, usually when things are on fire. I don’t get a chance to just appreciate the world for how beautiful it actually is.”
“You’re changing the subject…”
“I’m not. Bear with me here.” Kitty nuzzled her face against Rachel. “The same goes with people. I lost months of time with Logan, because of how I felt.”
“Do you regret it?”
Kitty shook her head. “The leaving thing? No, not really. It was the right thing to do at the time. I just wish we’d made up sooner.”
Rachel nudged Kitty, forcing her to look at her. “You left me too. You’re one of the few people who respected me, who understands me.”
There was an edge of anger in Rachel’s voice, and a note of desperation. Kitty slid her hand behind her head and rested her fingers at the nape of Rachel’s neck. “That part I regret. I’m sorry.”
She’d needed to hear those words from Kitty, and she hadn’t realized just how badly until they’d been said. Rachel crushed Kitty in a hug.
“Lets go somewhere,” Kitty suggested.
“I don’t know, somewhere romantic.” If there was a place more romantic than ten thousand feet up. Her face was so close to Rachel’s that the red head started to panic.
“Kitty.” Rachel’s voice hitched on the second syllable. “Don’t do anything because you’re sorry for me or because you want to feel alive or something.”
“... I kind of have a habit of that, don’t I,” Kitty mused. Her fingers curled against Rachel’s neck again, and she pulled her face closer. “That wasn’t the first time a girl kissed me.”
Jealousy surged through Rachel. “Oh.”
“It’s not like that. We were just fooling around.”
“Oh…” Rachel turned her head as Kitty’s lips got too close. Her heart was pounding and she felt too warm. “Kitty… What are you doing?” And can they go back to the part where she fooled around with a girl, and who that girl was so Rachel could punch her?
Kitty’s fingers slid along Rachel’s jaw. “Can I kiss you?”
She didn’t need to say anything more, and Rachel’s resistance had been token at best. She turned her head, catching Kitty’s mouth with her own. Like the last time, Kitty kissed her back, but unlike the last time she didn’t break away. She kissed harder, fingers tangling in Rachel’s jacket and digging into the back of her neck. Rachel pushed her hands into Kitty’s hair.
She groaned, body flush with the brunette’s. “Kitty… I want…” Kitty nibbled Rachel’s jaw and she forgot how to english.
Do you want to feel alive?
They were sinking slowly back to earth. Rachel’s cheeks were wet and she shook her head. That’s not why I want you.
“Let me in,” Kitty whispered. Can you trust me?
That was a question that Rachel had asked herself repeatedly since Kitty had left. Her balance had been thrown off, her anchor had cast her adrift, but here was Kitty, opening her mind to her. Rachel swallowed a hard lump in her throat. “We’re both so broken.”
We always pick up the pieces and keep going.
Kitty, I don’t know if I can if we…
“I’m not going anywhere.” They landed in a clearing in the forest, and Kitty pushed Rachel down onto her back, straddling her. The telepath pulled Kitty’s head down, locking their lips together once again. Whether this was a good idea, or a bad idea she didn’t know and she didn’t care. They’d spent years dancing around their feelings, and Rachel had kept trying to fill up her loneliness with people who, in the end, had never mattered. But Kitty mattered. Kitty had always mattered.
“Ray…” Kitty couldn’t stop herself, and Rachel was kissing her like the world was going to end. And knowing their luck it probably was about to. But she had something very important to say, if she could just remember what it was. Rachel’s hands were rubbing up her back under her sweater and TK whipped her belt right out of her loops and that was probably a turn on she didn’t know she had.
“Are we.. doing this? Here?”
Rachel’s eyelids were heavy. “What, you want to get a hotel room?”
“Bit late for that.” Kitty pinched Rachel’s shirt between two fingers, and then phased it right off of her. She wasn’t expecting Rachel’s bra to be so risque. “Wow.”
Rachel wet her lips. “Do you like?”
“It’s a good color on you.” Kitty narrowed her eyes as she playfully ran her finger along the underwire. “You kind of came prepared.”
The redhead bit her lip, but Kitty’s touch still made her gasp. “I uh. Was hoping. You know.”
She started to stammer out more of an explanation but Kitty silenced her with her lips and she forgot how to breathe.
Rachel was so beautiful. Kitty’s hand roamed across her stomach and sides. She found little scars, which she traced. It made Rachel squirm beneath her and she laughed into her mouth. The red head suddenly bucked, flipping them around and pinning Kitty to the cold ground. She couldn’t feel the cold, and her whole body lit up like a candle at their new position.
It was enough to drive Rachel to the edge. Her voice was thick. “You can escape any time.”
“Who says I want to?” Kitty’s voice was breathless. She wrapped her legs around Rachel’s waist and pulled her closer. She didn’t want to be cliche, but if she hadn’t already always been kind of in love with Rachel, tonight was sealing the deal.
They kissed again. Harder and longer, hands searching and clothing rustling. The only sounds in the clearing became their gasps and shouts and at least twice Kitty thought she was going to fall straight through the earth.
“So uh. Now what?”
“I love you.” Kitty smacked her head against the ground. “I mean lets get that motel room. I don’t want to go back yet and I’m not through with you yet.”
Rachel propped herself up and looked down at Kitty. Her eyes were glistening. “I love you too. Do we have to go back?”
Kitty lazily stroked her hand down Rachel’s side. “You want to just up and leave?”
“For a little while.”
“I wouldn’t mind for forever,” the brunette admitted.
Smiling sadly, Rachel shook her head. “We both know forever isn’t going to happen.”
“For a little while...and then we come back together, okay?”
Sitting up, Rachel reached for her clothing. “Someone has to prove that mutants can stick together as a couple.” She grinned at Kitty and joked, “I mean we could always elope.”
“Nuh uh, not without a ring and dresses.”
“Maybe we could wear suits.”
Kitty stopped, mid-dressing, and raised her eyebrow at Rachel. “You’d look hot in one.”
“You would too.”
Looping her belt back into place, Kitty flushed. They might be joking but it also felt a lot more serious than she was ready for. She could see herself with Rachel years to come - she’d always thought she’d be there anyway. But she could put off marriage for awhile.
Finished, she helped Rachel up. “Just so we’re on the same page. You. Me? I don’t do casual. I’ve tried. I can’t. Did we just hook up or hook up?”
“You’re my girlfriend now and I’m not letting go.” She squeezed Kitty’s hand. “So… which way do you want to go?”
Kitty pointed. “Second star to the right, and straight on ‘til morning.”
“Are you actually quoting Star Trek right now?”
“Maybe. It’s also from Peter Pan.”
Elbowing her new lover, Kitty started off at a jog.
“What are we going to tell the others?”
She glanced at Rachel. “They just need to know we’re okay and together. They don’t need to know where we’re going.”
“That’s good. I don’t know where we’re going either.”
Kitty laughed. “Maybe we’ll figure that part out together.”
Rachel thought that she liked seeing Kitty this happy again. And that she had a huge part in making that happen only made her more determined to keep it that way. She flew up, then swooped down and swept Kitty off of her feet.