Disclaimer: I own nothing worth mentioning.
Rating: M/PG 13, which ever applies to you. Just a bit of swearing for effect.
Timeframe: Set ten years after X3. Slightly AU.
A/N: Wow! I was so surprised by the response to the first chapter…it was all so positive. Thanks everyone for their lengthy reviews, something I'm not really accustomed to in the other fandoms I write for.
BTW, I am so embarrassed that I spelt John's surname wrong! That's just a sign at how much research I did for this fic – absolutely none. But I did read a bunch of other fics to get a grasp of the characters.
Anyhoo, on with the story!
"Out of all the wannabe hero's, you were the one that had to rescue me!" Kitty scowled, brushing the dirt of her jeans.
"Comes with the territory," John shrugged, still smirking.
Kitty glanced at the jacket.
"Fire fighter. Figures."
"You know how I love saving 'kittens'," John lit up a cigarette.
"Hilarious." Kitty rolled her eyes.
"So, you alright then?" He asked, looking around.
"Good to hear."
There was a pause.
"Well, thanks, John. Take care." Kitty started to make her way down the street."
John started following.
"What are you doing?" Kitty spun around.
"I'm walking you home." He answered pointedly, as though he did it every day.
"I can look after myself." She snapped.
"So when you were lying on the ground, that was all part of my imagination," John smirked.
"I was caught of guard," Kitty defended, "I could've phased it."
"Of course you could." John replied, now walking beside her.
Kitty sighed. Arguing with John was a lost cause, so she decided to let him waste his time and walk her home.
After a couple of minutes, Kitty spoke up.
"Just so we get this clear, I'm not going to have sex with you," Kitty stated, crossing her arms.
"Excuse me?" John asked, taken aback.
"You know, as your 'reward' for saving me. So you can just go home." Kitty snapped.
"For fucks sake, Kitty, I didn't do what I did so I can fucking have sex with you!" John exclaimed, "In some societies what I did is human decency."
"So is that was you are now, John?" Kitty questioned, "A decent human?"
"I guess you could say that," John shrugged.
"And the 'fire fighter' thing is all part of it." She snapped.
"You know me, Kitten," John laughed bitterly, "saving the world one fire at a time."
"You're right about one thing, Allerdyce," Kitty replied, turning to face him, "I do know you and I don't believe you became a fire fighter to save lives."
John kept walking, forcing Kitty to jog to reach him.
"For you, it's about the power, about the control. Knowing that not only can you save lives, you can destroy them. It's just a game to you. It's not about making amends for all the evil you've done. It's about the respect you commanded as a member of the Brotherhood. The respect you now command as a fire fighter." Kitty finished.
John stopped walking and stood menacingly over Kitty. He looked the same – just older. His hair was longer and he seemed a bit taller. John was standing close to her; he smelled of smoke and cheap cologne and she could see the stubble on his jaw.
In a way, he looked different. His eyes weren't as cocky and his smirk wasn't as wide. His 'rebel with a cause' attitude had long faded, replaced with defeat. He looked tired, tired from his job. Tired from running.
"You don't know what you're talking about," he whispered angrily.
"Same motive, different crowd…Pyro," she laughed bitterly.
"And what about you, Katherine," he shot back, "You moved from the school to the city. You work in a bookstore when you have the abilities to do anything you want. When are you going to stop trying to phase into the fucking background and live a little!"
She took a step back. He'd hit a nerve and she was fighting back tears. She still looked small and helpless, but the fighting spirit she once possessed was replaced with sadness. She looked tired. Tired from running.
John felt a twinge of guilt, and was surprised by what he said next.
"I didn't mean to – to say that."
"Yes you did," Kitty started walking, "we both did."
Then it hit him.
"You got the cure, didn't you?" He asked, grabbing her arm.
"No," Kitty shrugged him off, "I didn't."
"Oh," John said, "I just thought…"
"I know," Kitty nodded, "but to 'phase into the background' as you put it, I need to be able to 'phase'."
John smirked in response.
They kept walking in silence.
"Why did you leave?" Kitty asked suddenly.
"Dunno, just a dumb punk kid with nothing to loose, I guess."
"At Alkali Lake, I thought I was going to die," John answered simply, "I didn't understand why Xavier was trying to help those who constantly wanted to destroy us. It made no sense. Magneto gave me a choice – stay and fight for those who wanted us dead or go with him and fight those who wanted us dead. So I went with him."
"Everyone called you a traitor," Kitty stated, carefully watching his reaction, "said that one day you'd come crawling back."
"I wasn't the traitor," John said angrily, "you guys were! We weren't fighting the 'X-Men'; we were fighting the cure and those that created it. We were trying to destroy it!"
"The cure was just a kid!" Kitty exclaimed.
"There are always casualties in war," he shrugged carelessly.
"Fuck you, John!" Kitty yelled.
"Right back at you, Kitten!" John snarled.
They walked in silence, both fuming.
"We're not that different, you and me," John muttered, still fuming.
"I am nothing like you!" Kitty snapped.
"I know, you're good, I'm evil, I think we've established that," John muttered, "I mean why we left."
"The Brotherhood fell apart, John," Kitty sighed.
"Even if it hadn't, I would've left."
"Magneto lost his powers, Xavier was dead. They were the leaders with the vision – the ones who inspired us all!" John cried, "The battle at Alcatraz was just the beginning – Magneto saw that. But even if we won, they'd keep fighting. We were fighting a lost cause!"
Kitty looked up at John, eyes shining.
"What about hope?"
"Hope?" John answered quietly, "How can hope help if your 'fearless' leaders are rendered helpless, your friends are dying and the woman who used to make you soup when you were sick is destroying the world all around you."
"That's no way to live, John," Kitty yelled, "A life without hope makes you bitter. Look at yourself – you're running from what you really are!"
"What were we?" John demanded, "We were just a couple of kids fighting for our right to live! Look in the fucking mirror, Kitten, I'm not the only one running."
Kitty ran a hand through her hair. A small 'X' was visible on her wrist. She looked as though she was about to break.
"I – I…" she stumbled over her words, tears streaming down her face.
John then did something he never thought he'd ever do. He pulled Kitty into a hug, letting her sob against his chest.
"I never asked for any of this!" she said tearfully.
"Neither did I," John muttered bitterly, "but we are what we are."
"I used to think I knew why we were fighting – what we were fighting for," Kitty said sadly, "it doesn't matter how many laws and bills they pass – mutants will never be accepted."
"That's why we've got to stick together, Kitten," John joked, trying to lighten the mood.
Kitty gave a small chuckle.
"In your dreams, Allerdyce," she whispered "we're 'loners', we can't be alone together."
"I knew there was a reason you were the top of the class," John nudged her.
"What happened to us," Kitty mumbled, "how did we end up like this, bitter and running from our pasts?"
"War." He answered simply, "War changes people. In our case, there's no holidays, or parades, or medals. Just nightmares."
They continued to walk in silence. She stopped in front of a small apartment building.
"This is me," Kitty said softly.
John stuffed his hands in his pockets.
"Well," he said, looking around, "take care, Kitten, I'll guess I'll se you next time you need saving."
He started to walk off, but Kitty grabbed his arm.
He turned to face her, desperation in her eyes.
"Do you - do you want to come in?" she asked hesitantly.
"I thought you said…" he trailed off.
"I don't want to be alone." Kitty stated simply.
At the end of the day, that was what they both were – alone. They were tired of coming home to their empty apartments, living their empty lives.
"Okay." He answered, following her up.
And he might not have realised it that night, or next day, week, month, but Kitty did give him something.
She gave him hope.
Sure, they were running, but they were running together.
A/N: So that's the end. I hope you all enjoyed that and thanks again for your generous reviews. I have a couple of oneshots in the works, so I hope to post another story soon. Thanks again, you guys rock!
Please review. Your reviews make a teenage girl smile.