Spare Change:  Kitty's Two Cents

Title: Spare Change - Kitty
Author: Terri
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: I don’t own them. Darn.
Archive: Dolphin Haven, Peep Hut, Agony and Ecstasy – anyone else, please ask ;)
Feedback: Please? With a nice, shiny quarter on top? Good, bad, and ugly welcome…….
Summary: AU. Scott tries to cope. Kitty tries to help. Varying degrees of success ensue.
Comments: During the beta process, most people wanted to smack Scott, and had conflicting urges to either hug or shake some sense into Kitty – the above-requested quarter is to flip and help me decide which one I’ll wind up doing ;) I think Kitty’s gotten so caught up in ‘must help Scott through this’ that she’s not seeing his jerkitude come out as much as an impartial observer would. That said, Scott will get better, and, depending on the results of the coin toss, Kitty may or may not get more backbone ;)
I wonder if I should go talk to him. Maybe I should. Or maybe I’m the last person he’d want to talk to, I don’t know. You know, when you really think about it, I guess I *don’t* know him all that well despite the time we shared together and despite knowing him on a friend-level all those years. I wish I did know him better. I wish I knew how to make this better for him.
I’m so glad that the Professor told Scott about Jean and the disk – whew. That was something I definitely did *not* want to deal with, and I knew that the Professor could break it to him better than I could’ve. He said Scott took the news ‘as well as could be expected’ which I’d have to guess is still pretty badly. I heard the yelling coming from the boathouse, but I didn’t want to eavesdrop of the fight between him and Jean, I really didn’t.
I was kind of surprised that Jean made that little announcement at dinner, but maybe I shouldn’t have been. She wouldn’t want gossip making the rounds, and she’s all about being in control – plus, telling the students and staff that ‘there was an error in her representations as to what occurred between Wolverine and herself’ sounds a lot better than ‘I’m a big lying hobag who cried rape when I cheated on my hubby.’
God, I shouldn’t think like that. It’s mean, I know. But I can’t help but hate her a little for being so cavalier about Scott. She’s got the best guy ever and she goes and pulls this crap on him. She doesn’t appreciate him, not at all. I wonder if she’ll try to get him back somehow – frankly, at this point, I can’t imagine he’d *go* back to her or that she really even cares about him, you know, as a person. But I can see her wanting to save face, so she might try it.
I don’t know what to do about that. I mean, I *don’t* think Scott would go back to her, and I know (and if I didn’t, Jubes’ incessant reminders would tell me) that this could be my chance to approach him again, but I’ve always wanted to keep things on *his* terms because I just know that he –
Oh God. Oh God. "Scott?"
"Yeah. Can I come in? Are you – are you busy?"
"No." Except that I haven’t had nearly enough time to think things through and my mind is racing and working in double-time. Just busy with that. "Come on in."
"I was walking the halls and I – I guess I was feeling like a little company." OK, that explains what he’s doing in the library. But why me? What’s he trying to tell me? Or was it just chance that he happened on me here? Maybe it doesn’t mean anything. "I did interrupt something, didn’t I?"
"Um, no. No. Not at all. I was just – I was doing a lot of thinking."
"Me too." Well, there’s no mistaking that – that was about as much of an opening as Scott gives. Go ahead girl, say something, start the big Jean conversation.
"How are you holding up?"
"Hmph." Uh-oh. Huffs aren’t a good sign. "I feel like shit."
"Well, that’s – that’s pretty understandable actually."
"I feel stupid. I feel betrayed. I feel………I just feel numb, you know?" Nod, just nod. He’s opening up, and this can only be a good thing. "I guess it’s ironic, huh? All this time, I’d felt so guilty about what we’d done, about how badly I’d reacted to seeing those pictures on the ‘net when in fact, Jean was being forced to do those things. I really felt horrible about it, felt like I’d let myself down, let Jean down, let everyone down with what you and I did."
Great, just great. Now I’m the big regret of his life, the woman who led him astray and made him into a horrible person. Yeah, seeing the love of your life talk about you like that really twists the knife pretty good. But this isn’t about you, Kittster, it’s about Scott. Try to forget the gut-wrenching emotional pain and be supportive. "I’m sorry."
"But that’s the kicker, Kit – I shouldn’t have felt bad. She’d already cheated on me, she’d been cheating on me and on top of that she lied about it, made herself out to be a victim!" Whoa – don’t take it out on the end table, Scott. Or your hand. "My gut reaction was right. She *was* cheating on me. But all this time, I was stupid enough to believe………"
"Hey – not stupid. You’re not a stupid guy, Scott. You – you loved her. You trusted her. She worked that against you to cover her own butt." Her own lying, sleazy, bony butt. Damn, have to keep those thoughts in. This is not the time to run her down. Focus on Scott. "The fact that you believed someone you loved isn’t anything to be ashamed of, Scott."
"But did I love her? Did I really? I hopped right into bed with you as soon as – " Uh-oh. Some of that heart-shredding ouchiness must’ve shown on my face. He cut himself off. Quick, back to a neutral expression. This is about Scott, not me – him, not me. There. Face better. "Kit….I…….oh, God, that was really a horrible thing to say, I’m sorry."
"It’s fine."
"No, it’s really not."
"No, no – you were saying? Um, go on."
"I was saying that I’ve been a big jerk to you in the last few minutes. Look, I should just – I can just go outside for a walk or something. I’m not fit for company right now, and you’re the last person I’d want to…to………."
"To what?"
"To hurt. I care about you, I really do, Kitty." Look at how soft and warm his face goes when he says that. Who wouldn’t fall for this guy?
"And I care about you too. Enough to not want to see you run off and go brood somewhere. You can talk to me Scott, even about this."
Now he’s giving me the ‘I’m grateful and that makes me all uncomfortable because I’m supposed to be Invincible Leader Scott’ look. I know that one well. "Thanks. I appreciate the offer. But I – I’m just so confused Kit, about everything. Everything I thought was certain – Jean, the team, the Professor – I just don’t know…….."
"What – what happened with the team and the Professor? I know he was the one to tell you this, but – "
"He suspected." Whoa. I’ve never heard that tone from him before. Just like ice, just dead. "He suspected Jean wasn’t telling the truth but he didn’t say anything to me. He wanted to ‘let Jean deal with it on her own’ and ‘learn a lesson’ from it. He didn’t want to ‘meddle in our relationship.’ So he never said a word."
"I’m so, so sorry." I know Jean’s always been his favorite, but is he totally blind to her bad side? And I can’t think of anyone who’s given more to the team, to the school than Scott. Doesn’t that mean anything to him? Or at least enough to try to say *something*, if not to Scott then to Jean – I mean, did he ever try to convince her to come clean?
"And the team – well, he’s removed me from mission duty due to my emotional state. Ha. That’s rich, isn’t it? Gee, Scott, I never said a word about Jean lying her ass off and now because you’re upset about it, I’m yanking you from the team. Yeah, I’m sending Storm and Bobby into the heart of the Brotherhood to get Rogue back because a kid who’s only seen three real missions and a – "
"They found Rogue?" OK, I’ll admit – she hasn’t been at the top of my worry list lately because it was pretty crappy to just run off like she did, especially after she and Bobby finally got together, but I have been worried, and if she’s with the Brotherhood, that can’t be good. Even if Wolverine isn’t a rapist – well, I should say even if he didn’t rape Jean; just because he didn’t have to do that to get sex out of her doesn’t mean he doesn’t do it to other women – they’re all psychotic terrorists. God, she could really be in trouble.
"The Professor got a lead from a security camera – the Brotherhood attacked a civilian research facility. She was there. We don’t know much else, really."
"Hey – she’ll be all right." Touching. Scott touching me. This is very much *not* the time to be thinking about those kind of things but I just can’t help it. "We’ll get her back."
"I sure hope so." And I wish I could do more than hope – I would’ve volunteered to go along, to help track Bobby and Storm, to do *something*…….
"It’ll all work out OK, you’ll see." You know, he really is a good leader. And a good friend. I know I shouldn’t get all melty over him right now, but when he’s looking at me like that, how can I not? "I, um, I should probably go. See. Go see how they’re doing. I should probably go see how they’re doing."
Great, now I’ve embarrassed him. He’s seen the melty looks, and he’s high-tailing it out of here before he can slip and sleep with me again. "Scott – "
"I really should go. I’ll – I’ll see you later. I’ll let you know how it’s going."
"OK." And there you have it. He’s gone, walked right out of here. God, I’ve really got to get a grip. Everything’s changing, unsteady, and he needs me to be his friend, not his pining ex-lover. Have to try harder, have to work on that. But for now, I’d better just head up to my room. That way, he can find me if there *is* any news about Rogue. And I can work on getting the melty looks and big sighs out of my system.

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