It had been more than a year since Alcatrez- that day when so much happened, and nothing was the same as it used to be. Professor Xavier, amazingly enough, had returned, the full details of how he came back only known by the professors. The Professor wasn't the only one who had returned; John Allerdyce had also come back to Xavier's School as a student. I, Kitty Pryde, newly graduated from basic high school learning, thought about these changes as I sat on a bench in the cool, crisp, autumn weather. I brushed a leaf off of my black cargo pants and began to think.

Storm and Logan had been very surprised when they saw John at the door a year ago, but they forgave him. I forgave him. We had grown close, John and I, and I knew there was much more than just friendship between us. We had true friendship, and I could easily say that he was my best friend. But over the past few months, I could feel that he liked me as more than a friend, and I liked him back. I felt so strongly about him that I wasn't even sure if it was really lust or love. I smiled as I remembered how we had almost kissed a day before, but Logan interrupted our moment.

I looked up and gave a greeting to Bobby and Rogue, who walked by holding hands. Bobby and John had become somewhat friends, neither forgetting that they had once been on opposite sides. A voice interrupted my thinking and I looked up and saw Jubilee running over to me.

"Kitty! Did you hear? John's leaving!" she said, breathless. I sat there, trying to process what she had just said. I looked up at her.

"What?" I whispered.

"He's packing and everything. He said that-" she began to say, but I cut her off.

"I have to go." I said quickly and took off running towards the mansion. I ignored the questions and greetings thrown towards me as I tore through the courtyard. I phased through the mansion door, one mission in my mind. I was running towards the stairs when a pair of strong arms gripped me from behind.

"What!" I shouted, turning around to see a surprised and amused Logan.

"Where are you going in such a hurry, kid?" he asked me, ignoring my outburst.

"I have to go, Mr. Logan, okay?" I said frantically, and phased through his grip and turned away, and started to run up the stairs. I ignored his muttering, which sounded like "young people." I ran quickly down the hallway and phased into John's room. There he was, packing his things so simply it was like he was folding his laundry. Every time I saw him, his incredibly good looks made me breathless, but I paid no attention to that feeling.

"Why?" I asked, holding back tears.

"I need a new change of scene, New York City maybe." He said, not looking up.

"Did you even stop to think that I would miss you? That anyone would miss you?" I said, trying to get through to him.

"I'm not used to people caring about me, Kitten." He said, laughing.

"I care about you. More than you know." I said angrily, feeling the tension as I walked over to him.

"You know I care Kitty. That's why I'm leaving. I'm saving you the hurt." He paused, "Don't make this hard." He said, zipping his suitcase.

"You're the one who's making this hard, John, not me" I almost shouted, grabbing the top of his shirt. He looked at me sadly for a moment, and then gently put my hand at my sides.

"John, don't. Please." I said, half of it coming out in a sob. He grabbed his suitcase and walked by me and out the door. I ran after him, stopping for a moment, watching him walk away.

"John Allerdyce! You get back here!" I shouted, ignoring the looks of students walking by. When he didn't answer, I ran up to him so I was in stride with him.

"John, stop. You haven't given me a chance, I haven't gotten to talk to you enough. Stay for me, John, please." I pleaded to him, almost breaking down. We walked down the stairs, me thinking of what to shout at him next. He got to the door and put his suitcases down.

"So I guess this is goodbye for now." He said, avoiding my eye contact.

"No, actually, it's not. Why-" I said frantically. I knew Storm, Logan, and the Professor were all looking at our fight from the kitchen, and Bobby and Rogue looked up from where they were watching television in the room next to us. The fact that John was leaving, maybe for good, hit me and I put my hand to my head and began to cry. I shifted my vision to John and saw that his face had crumpled at the sight of me crying. I heard the squeak of chairs in the TV room and the kitchen and knew that Logan and Bobby had tried to get up to give John a piece of their mind, but Rogue, Storm, or the Professor made them sit back down. I continued to cry when I felt a pair of warm arms around me. I hugged John back, not wanting to believe he was really leaving. Memories of us being together flashed through my head: spending almost every minute of our free time together, our long talks in the kitchen at night, sneaking out at night, telling him every detail of my life to him. And then I realized it. I realized it when I should have noticed it ever since the first day I knew the real John Allerdyce.

"I love you." I whispered, my words mingled with my sobs. I felt him stiffen, as if he wasn't ever loved before.

"I love you too." He breathed quietly into in my ear and I sobbed harder. He held me for a moment, and then pulled back. I stopped crying when I made his contact with those eyes that expressed so much by just looking at me. He moved his face closer to mine and stopped before his lips met mine.

"Come with me." He whispered. I nodded, knowing I could trust him to take care of me wherever we went. His eyes smiled, knowing that I would come. I closed my eyes as his lips met mine. I forgot about everything as we kissed, me holding onto this changed man that I had learned to trust.