Summary: It's Kitty's birthday, but things aren't going quite right... Kyro one-shot.
Timeframe: Pre-X2, I suppose.
Archive: In the unlikely event that someone would actually want to archive this – ask and I'll say yes. Just let me know where it's going.
Disclaimer: All things recognisably X-Men are obviously not mine. I just like making up my own stories.
A/N: This is a little something that popped into my head, and developed when I saw Challenge #3 over on the LiveJournal community, kittyandpyro. It's light and fluffy, like a meringue, but hopefully not OOC. I'm not sure on some details of the X-Men movieverse (like ages, the exact layout of the mansion, etc) so I took a few liberties. I had to include: a traffic jam, a fire, a well-known song, a sunrise or sunset, and the phrase "what are you doing here". Enjoy!
There was a burst of bright light, and Kitty Pryde awoke with a start.
"Morning, Kitty!" Jubilee sang out, wrenching open the curtains. "Happy birthday!"
Kitty groaned and pulled her pillow over her head. "Not so far," came her muffled reply. In her opinion, Jubilee sounded far too lively and awake. Dammit, the sun's rising.
"Come on, get up," her friend coaxed, trying to snatch the pillow away – her fingers falling straight through and grasping nothing.
"Jubes, what time is it?"
Jubilee glanced at the clock on the table. "Six-thirty."
Kitty rolled over and pressed the pillow tighter over her ears. Six-thirty? In the morning? On her birthday? "It's my birthday, let me sleep!"
There was a long sigh. "You have until seven to get downstairs, okay? Bobby and Rogue are making you breakfast."
Kitty lifted her head and squinted at her friend. "Really? Bobby's cooking?"
"Yeah, I know," Jubilee grinned. "So you'd better get moving, or you'll miss all the fun!" And she slapped her friend's leg through the covers and waltzed out the door.
Twenty minutes later, Kitty and Jubilee entered the kitchen to see an irritated Rogue wearing an apron with her hands on her hips, and an apologetic Bobby wearing what looked like…bits of food on his shirt.
"Bobby, you keep makin' it cold again!"
"Sorry. I can't help it."
"Go stand over there. Now I'll have to turn the stove up so it'll cook in time!"
Kitty interrupted, rubbing sleep from her eyes and saying, "Hey Bobby, hey Rogue, what's going on?"
"Kitty!" Rogue exclaimed, leaving the stove to give her a careful hug. "Happy birthday!"
"Sweet sixteen today, huh?" Bobby grinned, taking his turn for a hug.
"I don't know about 'sweet'," Kitty laughed, sitting down at the counter.
Jubilee chimed in with, "Of course you're sweet. You're like a Hershey's kiss or something. All nice and sweet and small and innocent." She sat down next to Kitty and plonked a red-and-yellow wrapped gift onto the counter in front of her.
"Oooh, open it now," said Rogue, pulling her apron off and casting it aside, apparently forgetting the breakfast she was supposed to be serving.
Kitty stared at the package before her. Knowing Jubilee, it was probably clothes. She picked it up (Yep, definitely soft and wearable) and carefully removed the paper.
"I figured I'd compromise between your style and mine," Jubilee said with a somewhat smug smile. "Simple, but gorgeous."
Kitty shook out the form-fitting black T-shirt that said 'Kitty' in glittery white writing across the chest and hugged her friend tightly. "Thanks Jubes – it's great." She held the shirt against her body and decided that it would fit quite nicely, even if it was a little tighter and shorter than her normal clothes.
"Planning on showing some skin, Kitten?" There was a smirk on John's face as he strolled into the kitchen, grabbed a bowl, a spoon and some cereal and sat down next to Bobby.
Kitty flushed and hastily folded the shirt up. Jubilee laughed, and Rogue tried to hide her grin.
"Leave her alone, John, it's her birthday," Bobby said, glancing at Kitty with a lopsided smile on his face.
John raised his eyebrows slightly. "Oh yeah?" He looked over at the birthday girl, and something in his gaze made her blush harder and look away. A smirk twitched the corners of his lips, and he proceeded to shovel cereal into his mouth.
"So anyway." Jubilee turned to Kitty, choosing to ignore John completely. "What are you doing tonight?"
"I don't know," Kitty replied, trying in vain to stifle a yawn. "Sleeping, I guess."
"We're not going to do anything? Go anywhere?" Jubilee looked incredibly disappointed.
"It's a school night, and we can't go anywhere without supervision anyway," Bobby pointed out.
"Kitty can walk through walls!" Jubilee argued.
"And the Professor and Dr Grey can read minds," Rogue reminded her.
Defeated, Jubilee slouched and muttered "Fine," with a pout.
Suddenly, John pushed his chair back and stood abruptly, reaching a hand out towards the stove. The others whipped around in time to see Rogue's apron on fire where it had fallen on the stove when she'd tossed it aside, the flames dying out as John controlled them. Bobby helped out by sending a stream of ice to the source of the small blaze.
Rogue ran to the stove and returned with a frying pan containing a very black, scorched omelette. "Sorry, Kitty," she sighed dolefully.
John sniggered and dumped his cereal bowl in the sink. "Careful, Kitten – that stuff might stunt you even more." And he sauntered out the door, leaving Kitty scowling at his back.
"Now if you'll all turn your textbooks to page 53…"
Kitty's eyes were drooping already, and it was only twenty minutes into her second class of the day. Usually she enjoyed Geography with Storm, but today she was too tired to care about soil salination. She blamed it on Jubilee. If that girl hadn't woken her up, not only would she have gotten more sleep, but Rogue and Bobby also probably wouldn't have almost burnt the kitchen down.
So far, it hadn't been a great sixteenth birthday.
She felt her eyelids drift closed and snapped them open, sitting up straighter in an attempt to wake herself up. This wasn't going to work. There was no way she could keep awake by herself.
Under the guise of rummaging through her bag for more paper, she turned to her neighbour and whispered, "Bobby, can you do me a favour?"
"Sure," he replied good-naturedly.
"Could you, uh, give me a bit of a cold shock if you see me falling asleep?"
He looked at her, furrowing his brow. "Ok…" he answered in a tone that tried to hide the fact that he thought she was being strange.
She tried to smile reassuringly, so he wouldn't think she'd completely lost her mind. "Thanks."
Storm began to read from the textbook, pausing every few sentences to explain or add more information. Despite her best efforts, Kitty began to doze off.
She was running through the school, laughing and dodging the other students, who all were wearing party hats. Everyone was trying to throw snowballs at each other, except John, who was leaning against the kitchen door, cradling a flame in his palm. Kitty burst through the wall of the kitchen and he raised his hand like he was going to throw the fire at her, a wicked smirk on his face. She began to back away through the wall, but he laughed and quenched the flame, and she relaxed, no longer phasing. Suddenly, Bobby burst in and triumphantly yelled "Gotcha!" Before she could react, he had thrown a snowball at her, and it hit her hand, sending an icy chill up her arm. He raised his hand again, and she immediately phased…
…right through her chair.
Sprawled on the floor, Kitty glared at Bobby accusingly as the entire class turned around to stare, most of them in peals of laughter.
"I tried, Kitty – you didn't wake up!" he defended himself.
"Kitty," Storm said, sounding amused yet trying to look stern. "I know it's your birthday, but you have to pay attention. Please don't fall asleep in class again."
"Sorry," Kitty murmured, bright red with embarrassment. She sat back down and focused on the textbook in front of her, and the class turned back to their work.
All except John. He was still sniggering from his seat behind her.
Kitty sighed. It was going to be a long day.
Several more classes, numerous 'happy birthday' wishes and various lesser mishaps later (including some forgotten homework, a note exchange with Jubilee confiscated by Mr Summers, and an essay set by Dr Grey that was due the following day), Kitty made her way outside, determined to relax and enjoy her birthday. Maybe a little downtime would refresh her – the Professor had mentioned something about a party in the evening, and she didn't want to be falling asleep during that.
She sat under one of the many trees near the basketball court, stretching out and leaning against the sturdy trunk. The sun was setting, and she watched warm colours spread over the sky through heavy-lidded eyes.
Sort of like fire, she thought drowsily as her eyelids drifted shut. John's all…warm…and colourful like that.
When she woke up, the sky was dark and stars were beginning to gleam faintly. She checked her watch – she'd been asleep for an hour and a half. And she had to finish her English essay before the party tonight, whenever that was.
Feeling slightly panicked, she raced up to her room, taking as many shortcuts through the walls as she could. Why had she let herself sleep like that? Why hadn't she just done the work as soon as she'd finished her classes? Inwardly cursing her own stupidity in procrastinating, she switched her laptop on and began to type as quickly as her fingers would allow.
Two hours later, Jubilee burst into her room just as she finished typing the last sentence.
"Come on, Kitty, come downstairs," Jubilee said brightly. "As far as I can tell, you haven't been doing anything fun today."
"Just a sec, Jubes," Kitty replied distractedly, running spell-check.
Bobby appeared in the doorway. "Kitty, come on, we're all waiting for you!"
"Waiting for me for what?" She saved her essay one last time and turned the laptop off.
"Ah," Jubilee answered mysteriously, wiggling her eyebrows. "You'll just have to find out."
"Fine, I'll take a shortcut," Kitty said, smiling somewhat mischievously. And then she phased through the floor, leaving Bobby and Jubilee to run down the long way.
"I'm really sorry, Piotr," Kitty apologised for the fourth time that evening.
"It's okay, Kitty," Piotr smiled. "You didn't hurt me, you just…surprised me."
When Kitty had phased through her bedroom floor and into the room where the party was being held, she hadn't counted on accidentally phasing through Piotr. He'd spilled his drink all over himself in shock.
Other than that, however, the party was a lot of fun. Almost all the students were there (she couldn't help noticing that John was missing), and there was a table in the corner piled high with unwrapped gifts and handmade cards. There was good food, good music, party hats, and she was with all her friends and mentors, celebrating being alive.
Well, almost all her mentors. Mr Summers was still nowhere to be seen, and it had already been ages since the party began.
As Kitty walked past Storm and Dr Grey, she caught some of their quiet conversation.
"…I sent him out almost two hours ago, and he's still not back yet. Even a traffic jam –"
"Don't worry, Jean, I'm sure he'll make it back here soon."
Kitty stopped. "Is something wrong?" she frowned, suddenly feeling worried.
"No, no," Storm was quick to reassure her. "Nothing's wrong."
"I sent Scott out for the cake," Dr Grey explained. "He's been stuck in traffic."
"Well, I don't mind not having any cake," Kitty said, looking around at the yawning faces of some of the younger students. "It's pretty late. Maybe we should all just go to bed."
"Oh Kitty, there has to be cake. It wouldn't really be your sweet sixteenth without it." Storm reached out and gave her a hug.
"Yeah, well, I just hope that nobody goes on too much of a sugar-high," Kitty replied.
And at that very moment, Mr Summers walked in holding a very large box.
A cheer went up around the room as he set it on the table and opened it up, revealing a sumptuous chocolate cake with 'Happy Birthday Kitty' piped on top. Grinning, Storm guided Kitty over to stand in front of it, and the Professor wheeled up beside her, followed by the rest of the students and teachers. Rogue stuck sixteen candles into the cake, and looked around for matches.
John strolled in, looking rumpled and half-asleep. He'd obviously just woken up. Taking in the situation, he flicked his lighter open and sent a flame around the candles, lighting each one.
"You always seem to show up just when you're needed," Kitty observed. He just shrugged and moved to stand next to Bobby and Rogue.
"Okay, everyone," Storm announced. "One, two, three!"
"Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Kitty, happy birthday to you!"
The students burst into cheers and applause, and a smiling Kitty leaned over and blew out the candles. Dr Grey handed her a knife and she pressed it into the cake.
"Hey Kitty, don't forget: if you touch the bottom, you've gotta kiss the nearest guy," Jubilee grinned mischievously. Immediately, the younger boys backed away, sending a giggles around the table.
Kitty looked to her right and then her left, pretending to weigh the options. "Fine," she laughed, and cut the cake all the way down. And then she turned and dropped a light kiss on the Professor's head.
She cut the rest of the cake amidst the laughter, unable to wipe the smile off her face. This was her family. This was her home.
It was almost midnight, and most people had gone to bed. Unfortunately, a lot of the younger mutants had gotten a little too hyped up on the sugar, and it had taken a combined effort from the teachers and the older students to wear them all out. Now all Kitty wanted to do was sleep.
As she awkwardly made her way to her room, carrying a large pile of the various cards and gifts her friends had gotten her, she recounted her sixteenth birthday.
She'd been rudely awoken by her best friend at the unholy hour of six-thirty, caused Bobby and Rogue to almost burn the kitchen down, fallen asleep during Geography, forgotten to do half of her Math homework, had notes written between her and Jubilee confiscated by Mr Summers, had to speed-write an English essay, accidentally scared Piotr and caused him to spill his drink all over himself, had been somewhat responsible for Mr Summers being stuck in traffic for two hours and had to spend the last couple of hours of her birthday celebration calming down a bunch of sugar-high kids.
Well, it was their fault for waiting for the cake. I couldn't do anything about that, she reasoned. Deep in thought, she forgot to watch where she was going – and tripped over her own two feet as she entered her room, everything in her arms spilling to the ground.
She sighed. "Some birthday," she muttered aloud, crouching to gather up the scattered cards and packages.
"So you're…how old now? Fourteen? Fifteen?"
Startled, Kitty lost her grip, and everything dropped to the floor again. She glanced over her shoulder at the boy who had spoken, and sighed.
"I'm sixteen, John," she corrected irritably, beginning to pick the cards and gifts up once more.
He walked around her and bent to pick up the rest, the hint of a smirk tugging at his lips. Dumping everything into Kitty's arms, he said, "So, in Australia, you'd be legal now." His smirk grew wider and he began to flick his lighter open and closed.
Kitty furrowed her brow in confusion. "Legal? What do you…"
She could feel a blush heating her cheeks, and she cast about desperately for a change of subject, while he chuckled at her embarrassment.
Seizing on the first thing she could think of, she blurted out "What are you doing here?"
Fwick – "I've got something to take care of." – snick.
She scoffed. "At midnight?"
"Well," he said, a sly little grin on his face. "I haven't given you your present yet."
"What?" she asked, unsure if she'd heard him correctly. It was late, she was tired, and it had been a long day. There was no way that John Allerdyce had just said he had a present for her. It must have been a hallucination.
"I haven't given you your present yet," he said again.
She stared at him. He had said it. "Present?" she repeated incredulously. "You got me something?"
"Yeah, well, you helped me pass Physics," he shrugged.
"You copied half of my answers in the exam!"
"It helped me pass, didn't it?" He smirked. "Look, do you want it or not?"
"I…" Kitty suddenly felt somewhat apprehensive. This was John – what on earth could he have gotten her? "Uh, sure."
"Okay." Slowly, he slid his lighter into his pocket. "Here you go."
And he grabbed her hips, pulled her to him and covered her lips with his.
Thoroughly shocked, she automatically began to phase, melting away from him. But something stopped her, and for the third time that night, she dropped everything she was carrying. She raised a shaking hand to his cheek, holding his face to hers, and he deepened the kiss, pressing into her body.
Then, just as suddenly as it had begun, it was over, and he released her. He stepped back, looking smug, and pulled his lighter out again.
"Happy birthday, Kitty," he said, and walked away, leaving her breathless in her doorway, surrounded by her birthday gifts.
As she gathered them up once more, a slow smile crept across her face. She waited until she could no longer hear the click of his lighter before standing, the smile now a fully-fledged grin.
Maybe this hadn't been such a bad birthday, after all.