Disclaimer: This was written for a livejournal challenge. Just a short piece about how John first found his power. Please, please read then leave a review.

To anyone who is waiting for the next part of 'Incendiarism' I am writing it, but it's a lot longer than I planned the part to be so I haven't finished it yet.

I don't own X-Men, Mavel or any actors. All I own is my very own John clone.

~To Catch a Flame.~

John's body felt abused, skin bruised, muscles aching.

He tried to tell himself that it was normal, that it was his own fault this had happened. In a way, he believed it. Once, in his many escape attempts he had found himself at the library. Crouching among the books he had read a few, passing the time. Then he had been found as he was always found and dragged home to where the man waited.

One of the books had been on hypnosis. It said that if everyone around you told you something, you started to believe it was true. John thought that was silly. Even so, everyone told him it was his own fault, this last beating.

The worse thing was that he was starting to believe it, starting to think he was worthless.

He believed this man, who wasn't his father, just like he believed the other people who weren't his family. If only he could do something, anything. That was what the man said. The man didn't like hitting him, but he had to educate him.

He said educate like it was the most important thing in the world, but he didn't like school education. The man said that it was pointless but John thought he knew better. It was so that no one would see the bruises. Bruises that were John's own fault.

The man who wasn't his father drank. It took John a few months to find that out. The woman who wasn't his mother said that it was John's fault, that he had drove the man to drink because he felt he had failed John. John tried to be a good boy, did all his chores, helped out when ever he could but to no avail.

He was still useless. Then the woman would cry and wail, asking the empty room at large where they went wrong. The man would give John this sad, sorrowful look before the first blow would land on the already abused body.

"You see what you make me do boy? You think I like this?" The man would say. After three of such beatings John worked out the right answer.

"No sir, you don't like this, I'm sorry for being so worthless. I'll do better next time." John would replay. It didn't get him out of the beating but it made it end sooner. The worse part was what happened next.

The man who was never his father would drag him to his room and lock him in. That was OK. It was the fact that the room would then be plunged into darkness that terrified John. He hated the dark, feared it. The dark was no friend to him, rather it was the messenger of pain. You couldn't see who was sneaking up in the dark.

This time the man had left him a candle so that John could find his way to the thin mattress that was his bed. He sat there, watching the flame eat away at the wax, watching it eat everything in it's greed. He watched, the candle getting smaller and smaller, the flame fighting to keep alight. He couldn't stand being left in the darkness one more time. He couldn't, wouldn't. There had to be something he could do -

- There was nothing he could do. He was going to be alone in the dark. The flame reached the end of it's wick. It flickered, spluttered, holding onto it's life by a spark. John watched the flame with something akin to despair in his eyes.

//Don't go out, don't go out, don't go out.\\ he chanted to himself, repeating it as a kind of manta. The flame flicker one last time before dying. John blinked.

Then he blinked again. The flame's image appeared to be printed on the inside of his eye lids. Yet even after he blinked many times the image stayed there. If anything it go bigger. John couldn't breathe. He held out his hand and gestured with it for the fire to come to him. The flame leaped onto his hand. He gave a yelp and drew it back before pausing mid yelp. The flame didn't hurt. He held out his hand again and the flame obediently jumped back into it. He broke into a smile and willed the flame to grow. It did.

The flames tickled him, but there was no burning sensation. He watched as they lightly danced over his shaking fingers. He clenched his hand into a fist, the flames covering it like a glove. The fire was reflected in his eyes, he would never be alone in the darkness again. Things had changed.

Maybe St. John Allardyce wasn't worthless after all.

And nobody would ever use him for a punching bag ever again.

~The End~

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