Title: Tuesday Nights
Summary: It was a tradition. Every Tuesday night. Then he ran off, and hurt her. After the battle, he woke up back in the mansion, the last place he wanted to be. But after all he had done to her, she was still there, fighting to phase through his mask of emptiness and anger. Rated for language. Kyro.
Pairings: Kyro, slight Robby.
She was the only person he could think about. But she was also the only person who had even more of a reason to hate him than the others had. Though he wouldn't admit it to himself, he knew in his heart that he had totally fucked up.
He had always watched her from far away. Ever since he had first come to "Mutant High," he had been transfixed by Kitty Pryde. But for the first year he had been there, they never spoke.
It wasn't that he loved her or anything; he just found it fascinating that she could literally make herself untouchable to everyone and everything around her. He would stare at the back of her head in the class rooms; usually with jealousy. He would have willingly given anything to be untouchable in every way possible.
The first time they had talked, in the middle of a sleepless Tuesday night down in the kitchen, he had asked her about her power.
"You're lucky," he said dryly.
"Why?" she inquired, confused.
"Because no one can touch you. No one can hurt you. I'd give anything to be able to do what you can do."
She paused, and watched him for a moment or two, before saying, "What's your name?"
"John Allerdyce." He paused as well, and pulled out a lighter with a little shark on it. He flipped it open, and the fire almost jumped into his hand. It grew, and danced back and forth. The fire reflected in his eyes as he stared at it almost hungrily. "Pyro," he added with pride.
"And is that what you want, John?"
He looked up at her, slightly confused.
"To just be numb to everything? To everyone?"
He didn't answer at first. His eyes danced with the same exuberance of the fire in his palm as he thought about her question.
"Yes," eventually came the quiet reply.
He looked into her brown eyes, and saw that she was staring at him with sadness.
"What?" he asked, a little more snappish than he had intended.
She didn't even seem to notice.
"Sometimes I wish that I could just phase through everything. Miss all the feelings of hurt and disappointment, and just be there for the good stuff. But I can't. I still have to face every single thing that every other person in this building has to face. Including you, John."
He looked up at her, concentration etched onto his face.
The next Tuesday, he had gone down to the kitchen again. He had told himself, that he wasn't looking for Kitty, but was secretly delighted when he ran into her – literally. She was leaving the kitchen, then they were both on the floor. He had looked over at her, and could have sworn that there had been disappointment… which had evaporated when she looked over at the person who had knocked her down. He had gotten to his feet, then helped her up, and they had gone into the kitchen to talk. And every Tuesday after that, they would meet in the kitchen and would just talk about everything.
Kitty had quickly become his best friend. Those Tuesday nights were quickly becoming what John looked forward to. After only two months, the girl who had transfixed him for her mutation knew more about him than any other person ever had – or had ever cared to know.
However, as the years dragged on, John became more bitter, arrogant, and resentful. More disobedient, angry, and proud than he had been upon first arriving at the school. He had an attitude with everyone, even with Kitty on occasion. It was clear to everyone that they were very close, but when he would lose his temper with her, she would stalk away in the opposite direction and would ignore him until he apologized to her. Occasionally, she would even lose her temper with him.
Still, the Tuesday nights lived on.
One night, John and Bobby were just chilling in the room they shared. They had been playing hackie sack, shooting balls at the hoop on the closet doors, and just plain messing around. Suddenly, there was Kitty (she had phased through the door), in hysterical tears. After a few minutes, the boys had finally been able to understand through the sobs that she and Rogue had had a terrible fight. Bobby had done the clichéd boyfriend thing, and had run off without even checking if Kitty was ok. But she hadn't even noticed.
John had been slightly reluctant as Kitty moved into his arms, but he allowed her to stand there and hug him. After a few minutes though, his discomfort ebbed off, and he hugged her back. And they had just stood there like that, for nearly an hour.
The next night was Tuesday. As usual John and Kitty met in the kitchen.
The first thing she said was, "Rogue and I made up… we're friends again."
He didn't answer, but instead nodded. He watched as she took a step towards him.
"Thanks, John. For last night, I mean," she quietly added, almost embarrassed. She walked towards him a bit more.
Her big brown eyes had looked back at him with sincerity, and he was suddenly captivated by them. He had never noticed the twinkle that they had in them. She took another step closer, and he was suddenly aware of how there were a dusting of freckles across her nose.
Again, Kitty came closer. She was close enough to touch.
A gust of wind came through the open kitchen window, blowing her hair in her face. John stepped closer to her, and reached up to hold her hair back. But he didn't only hold it away. He cupped her ear and part of her jaw as well, unable to look away from her eyes.
Their bodies were almost pressed together, but there were still inches between their faces. Kitty put a hand on John's chest, and looked away. But he cupped her cheek and forced her to look back into his eyes.
And suddenly he was kissing her, and she was kissing him back.
When they broke apart Kitty's arms were wrapped around John's neck, and his around her waist.
He smiled. It was a pure smile that only Kitty saw. It was a smile that was saved for her, and no one else. It was a smile that he only gave on those late Tuesday nights. It was a smile that no one else would ever, ever see, save the girl in front of him.
"I've been in love with you since you knocked me down that one time," she admitted to him sheepishly.
His smile faded, and he slowly backed out of the embrace. She loved him?
He wouldn't allow it. Couldn't allow it.
Just like his fire, he only destroyed. He couldn't create.
John backed out of the room, staring at her with wide eyes. She stared back at him with hurt, looking alone in the middle of the room.
He turned and ran away.
Though neither had mentioned the kiss – or John's run – they had been tense and awkward for the next week.
Neither one had known that that would be their last Tuesday night together. And who would've guessed that they would kiss on that last Tuesday night?
Kitty had been lying in bed, attempting to fall asleep, and trying to stop thinking about John. Her eyes had been shut tight, and she was almost there when she heard a noise in the hallway. A crash.
One of the damn little kids must've run into a wall or something, she thought.
But Kitty had been wrong. Her door had opened, and a man in full military garb had stepped in and looked at her, then put a gun in her direction. Her eyes had widened, and, panicking, she had phased through her bed and onto the floor below her.
Another soldier was standing in front of her, so she had taken off and run through the walls, running through another soldier in the process. She had heard the stun guns go off after her every time she ran by a soldier.
Kitty only stopped running when she had found the mass of students heading towards the multiple secret tunnels.
John had run right into her.
"John!" she shrieked.
"Kitty! Are you ok?"
"Yeah, I think I will be now."
John knew that that statement was directed towards him. He chose to ignore it.
"Kitty, you have to get out of here. Go with Peter; he knows where the exit is."
"And what about you?"
Of course she would challenge him. He was stupid to think that she would just turn around and do as he told her.
"I'll be there in a minute. I gotta find Bobby."
She just stared at him with intensity – the same intensity that she had when they kissed.
"Be careful," Kitty told him, hugging him quickly. She turned to leave, but quickly turned back around and gave him a small kiss on the cheek. Then she backed away and gave him a sad smile before turning and running along with the wave of other students.
He watched her until she disappeared around the corner, ushering younger students along with her.
It was the last time that he would see her until Alcatraz.
But who would have known that then?
Now John sat in his old bedroom. He was locked inside.
He had awoken in there three days ago, and had cringed at the fact that he was back in that damn mansion. It was the last place that he wanted to be; the last people that he wanted to be surrounded by.
Storm had come in twice. The first time, she had attempted to explain what had happened, but he just told her to fuck off and leave him the hell alone. She had just given him a sad look, but had obeyed. The second time, later that same day, she had brought him food.
Logan had also been in to speak with him. There had been a few threats on Logan's part, but mostly silence on John's. He wouldn't even look Logan in the eye.
Regardless, Logan had told him that Bobby had knocked him out with a block of ice, but had gone back to carry him out of Alcatraz before Jean got the chance to destroy everyone on the island.
That had only pissed John off more.
When Logan was leaving, he had turned around and said, "Kitty was the one who made Bobby come back to get you. She begged him, and wouldn't let us leave until he did it. He didn't want to, though."
Kitty came in the next day. He had been lying on the bed, staring longingly out the window, and had not heard the door open. Yet he heard the footsteps on his floor
Right away he knew it was her.
She walked around his bed, and just sat there on the floor, leaning up against the wall so that he could see her, but without blocking the window.
John said nothing. There was nothing that needed to be said as far as he was concerned.
They just remained there like that for nearly 45 minutes, silently. Kitty never looked away from his face, and he simply continued to stare out the window. He refused to look at her.
Finally Kitty decided that it was time to talk.
"Why did you leave, John?" she asked.
He shrugged. "Magneto made me important. For once, I had purpose." But that wasn't why he had left. That was why he had stayed. Even he didn't know exactly why he had left. And he wasn't stupid enough to make up a fake reason why. Even for Kitty.
"That's not what I meant," she said quietly.
"Then what do you mean?" he asked tonelessly. He was fairly sure of the answer, though.
To Kitty, his voice sounded hollow and almost dead. "You know what I'm talking about, John. That night when you kissed me, down in the kitchen."
"I don't remember what you're talking about."
"Liar," she accused, narrowing her eyes. How dare he act like he had no idea?
He didn't answer. So she spoke again. "I know you remember, John. Don't lie. Don't act like you have no idea!"
He stayed silent for a short while, as if thinking of what to say. "What are you asking?"
"Why you ran away from me." She was quickly getting exasperated.
John still neglected to answer her.
Kitty stared at him with considerable contempt. He was being such a pain in the ass. But just as soon as the thought had crossed her mind, realization struck her like a punch in the stomach. She took a deep breath and quietly said, "It was because I told you I loved you, wasn't it?"
He shrugged, still refusing to look at her. He doesn't even care, she thought. He doesn't care that I'm calling him John, or that I'm asking him about things that he clearly doesn't want to talk about. It's almost like he's… given up.
Kitty moved forward and cupped John's cheek in her hand. "How did you become so broken?" she asked, voice barely above a whisper. He flinched away from her touch, and shifted so that he wasn't facing her.
"Go away," he muttered flatly.
"John!" she cried. "Stop it!"
He said nothing. He just continued to stare emotionlessly out of the window. So Kitty, who was quite fed up, moved in front of his face, and snapped, "I'm not going anywhere, if you haven't figured it out by now, Pyro."
"Well what the hell do you want to know?" he asked, getting angry now.
"When you gave up, for God's sake!" She was yelling now. "I want to know why you left me! Why you hurt me like you did!"
"Well I can't answer that!" he snapped. "And I gave up when everyone else gave up on me! Everyone gave up onme a long time ago, and I gave up onmyself a long time before that!
Kitty's eyes were welling with tears. Damn, he hated it when she looked at him like that. It was the same look she gave him when he ran from her that night in the kitchen, and the same look that he received from her at Alcatraz. He looked away.
She decided to take a risk – a really, really big risk. Kitty moved from her spot in front of him, and tentatively sat down on the bed, becoming even with his torso. He didn't move, just continued to lay there on his stomach and stare out the window. Gingerly, she laid a hand on his back. Flinching – both at the bold motion and at the tenderness with which she touched him, John moved his head the slightest bit so that he could just barely see her over his right shoulder.
"I never gave up on you, John," she whispered after a long silence. He looked out the window again, and away from her. "John!"
"What?" he asked.
"Why don't you care?"
That was a pretty loaded question as far as John was concerned. They were all loaded questions. Why he had left? Why he had given up? He didn't know the answers. Those things just happened, just like he and Kitty had just happened in the kitchen.
"Because no one cares about me."
Barely hesitating, Kitty laid her torso across John's back. "Maybe not in the Brotherhood," she commented quietly into his left ear.
Her body was warm, and didn't feel at all bad pressed against his. But he wasn't about to admit – at least not out loud.
He didn't reply at first, but finally said, "I left because Magneto fed my pride. Told me I was a god among insects. I left you because you said that you loved me, and I was afraid of accepting love. I stopped caring when I realized that leaving was a mistake – well leaving you was a mistake, anyway. I don't regret leaving the X-Men for the Brotherhood. But I ended up hating myself for how and why I had left you… twice. And I gave up at Alcatraz when I saw that you were there, fighting against me, not with me."
Kitty knew that it was the most that she would ever get out of him on any of the subjects. She also knew that just telling her that much had probably nearly killed him inside. She had never, ever been so proud of him, and she warmed by the fact that this information was meant solely for her. But she didn't show it; instead she continued to press the matter.
"But I never would've fought with the Brotherhood, John. You know that."
"I know. But I thought that maybe I had made a mistake by staying." Giving a sad and ironic smile, he added, "The professor always was a fan of experimental learning."
The corners of Kitty's mouth twitched. But her small smile quickly faded.
"I missed you, John," she confessed, though she wasn't at all sheepish.
John stayed quiet.
"I missed you, John," she said, slightly louder and with more intensity.
John suddenly sat up, sending Kitty off his back. She didn't realize what was happening until she was already on the floor.
"What the hell am I supposed to say to that?" he snapped angrily.
Nonplussed, Kitty cupped his cheek, and answered, "Tell me you missed me too. Tell me you love me. I don't care - just say something." Their faces were inches apart as she spoke, and she was staring at him, her eyes narrowed with determination.
But John didn't respond. Instead, he closed the space between them by kissing her on the mouth. Kitty instantly got over the surprise of John's unexpected action, and she willing opened herself to the kiss, kissing him back with passion. In that kiss, she conveyed to him how much his departure had hurt her.
John broke off the kiss so that they could both breathe, and Kitty took the opportunity to whisper, "I love you, John."
She felt him stiffen in her arms, but she cupped his face in her hand again, stroking the apples of his cheek with her thumbs. And John looked up, meeting her eyes, and he knew. His emotions began building in his throat – something very unlike him – and a tear built up in his eye. A fraction of a second later, it was coursing down his face.
Kitty smiled, wishing that she had a cup to catch it with. John's tear reminded her considerably of the part in Garden State when Sam and Andrew – Large – had been sitting in that bathtub, and he had started to cry. Sam had caught his tear in a paper cup, and Kitty now wished that she could recreate the scene.
However, Kitty had no paper cup to save it, so instead she wiped away the tear with her thumb. He smiled at her. Usually, he would be beating himself inside for showing this kind of emotion – for showing any emotion besides hate, anger, and the kind of joy that the "bad guys" always feel when something bad happens to the enemy, also known as a success. But in front of Kitty, letting himself show other emotions was suddenly ok. He didn't care; it felt right.
John leaned over and kissed her again. They kissed for a while longer, and then broke apart again. He rested his forehead against hers, and took a deep breath. Smiling faintly, Kitty looked at him expectantly, knowing that he was trying to say something. She waited patiently as he placed his hand on her neck, rubbing it absentmindedly.
"John?" she asked softly.
He raised his eyes to meet hers, and moved his hand to her cheek.
"John, if you don't want to say anything, y –."
"I love you, Kitty," he told her with intensity.
Kitty's words caught in her throat. "W – what?"
"I've loved you since I first saw you, Kitten. It just took me till now to realize it." And he seized her, kissing her again. From the way he was kissing her, Kitty could feel that he was telling the truth.
John pulled back, breathless, and found himself staring at a dazed and equally as breathless Kitty. Then, he simply threw his head back and laughed. It was something that he hadn't done for what felt like years, but it felt so refreshing, so… good.
Smiling with him, Kitty asked, "What's so funny?"
And he gave her that smile – the pure smile reserved just for her – and said, "Absolutely nothing."
Kitty just shook her head, returning his bright smile.
Later that night, John and Kitty lay under his warm covers, wrapped in each other's arms. The only thing between them now were Kitty's pajamas and John's boxers (she had run back to her room to change, and John had figured that he really didn't need to wear a t-shirt to bed that night…).
John kissed her again, but suddenly broke apart.
"Kitty?" he asked.
"Yeah?" she responded
"What day is it?"
"Um… the 24th?"
"No, I mean what day of the week?"
Kitty thought for a minute, then met his gaze with amazement. He smiled at her, knowingly. She grinned back, and hugged him closer.
"It's Tuesday night."