This is going to be a collection of short and unrelated one-shots (unrelated except that they're all kyro, of course), each based on a different prompt from a prompt table by hazycrazy and muffinlover, over at Phase & Fire, the kyro fanfic community.

What (prompt): laugh

When: pre-X2 (while John is still at the institute)

Laugh

It was a sunny day; one of those really bright, glaring summer ones where the heat is oppressive and tiring.

John liked heat, thrived in it, took to it like a fish to water. Likely he wouldn't be as affected by it as many of the students, notably Bobby who was sweating up a storm and actually looked like he might be melting.

But John was also not a particularly cheerful sort of guy. Little as he was bothered by the temperature, he did not revel in it as some of the merrier mutants did.

Kitty Pryde revelled in it. She was boiling hot – he could tell just by looking at her. She had tied a bandana round her head, underneath her long brown hair that the humidity had increased twofold in volume. Her skin was shiny with perspiration, and more of it was on show today as she wore only a strappy white top and denim shorts. Despite her dark hair her skin was very fair, and already her shoulders and upper arms were turning red.

Any sensible person would be uncomfortable, but Kitty was one of those annoyingly sanguine types.

She wasn't the most popular girl in the school, mostly because she spent a lot of her time studying and had, John had heard, a bit of a temper (he had always been curious to see what she was like when she let that loose). Today, however, she had no short of friends.

She was sat on the edge of the swimming pool, her bare feet dangling in the cool water. A number of people milled about her, people John had no interest in like Jubilee and Doug Ramsey.

John meanwhile was lounging on the grass in the shade of a wide tree not far from the pool, directly opposite where Kitty sat. That was the only reason he was looking at her at all. Certainly he had not paid her much attention in the past. She was pretty, sure, in a cute, childlike sort of way that didn't do it for him remotely. He liked women like he liked… everything. Fiery.

So looking at her now, John felt little except boredom and a macabre sort of curiosity. Because she was so happy, although there was nothing to be happy about. She seemed happy just because it was a nice day and she and her friends were alive. What sort of reason was that to be happy? She was like some sort of perpetually chipper puppy, or more appropriately, kitten.

Bobby was showing off, as usual. He must have used his power to make the water turn suddenly much colder, because Kitty gave a squeal and kicked her legs up in shock. Bobby laughed, and she laughed. He splashed her, and she laughed again.

She had a nice laugh, and it got under John's skin in a way he wasn't sure he liked or not. She had no reason to laugh either. Bobby wasn't funny. Lots of people were laughing now, and he didn't know why or have any desire to find out.

He glared at his lighter, the sunshine glinting off its metal surface blindingly. He couldn't remember the last time he had laughed, not properly at least. The only laughter that came out of his mouth these days was cruel, mocking or bitter, and often all three.

At the sound of Kitty's musical giggle he looked up again. Her smile was dazzling.

Sometimes, in those rare moments he let his mind wander, he thought it might be sort of pleasant if he could laugh with her.