Title: Provoke - Part 1
Author: Ana
Rating: PG-13 to R? Is there something in between those?
imeline: Before X1 and after X2 or AU
Summary: John has been pestering Kitty for a month now, and she's getting fed up, but her small revenge plan backfires.
Disclaimer: I do not own John or Kitty. I do not own Bobby, Rogue, Piotr, or Jubilee. I do not own X-Men. I wish I did, but that all belongs to Marvel.
Author's Note: This idea came from a poem I wrote a couple weeks ago, which I really like. The poem was from the guy's perspective. In this, I switched it around and made it from Kitty's. The story wouldn't have worked out as well, sadly enough. Oh well, though. Enjoy! This ended up being long, so I decided to cut it in half and post the second part later.
WARNINGS: Foul language and a little bit of sexual stuff, but nothing too bad.

Provoke - Part 1

My hair was in my face again, but this time it had been done purposefully so. I could hardly breathe, especially in that kind of situation. How could he possibly have said that aloud? To the entire class?! I just couldn't believe—still hardly can. Nevertheless, the words, their meaning, his voice—it all repeated over and over in my mind, even as Jubilee turned and looked at me with wide eyes.

"She's the one that started it," he had said. "She is the one that actually did it." And he had pointed right at me. In the middle of class, I tell you! I was so very embarrassed.

Well, I'm just so glad class is over. It all still repeats, but it's a little better without everyone staring at me. I'm a little less embarrassed. And a little more angry. Now that I'm not so scared, I can really think about and concentrate on what he said. And why.

Why would he do that? Why would he ever have a need to embarrass me horribly? So maybe I did provoke him—just a little bit—but does that mean he has to retaliate so very brutally? No, it most certainly does not!

By the time I reach my next class, I can tell that word has already gotten around. I can hear the whispers of the other students. My name. I hear my name repeatedly. And they point at me to elaborate when someone doesn't know me by name. These stares are almost as bad as the ones when he said it originally. Not quite, but almost.

But, honestly, how dare he even say such a thing? Since when have I been the one to start these things? He's always been the one sitting down just to get into my mind and make me uncomfortable. I hate him for it. He just does it for kicks. I most certainly did not start it. He's the one that's been provoking me for weeks—is it a month now?

So, naturally, I think I deserve a little payback.

And boy was that payback sweet. Well, for a while. Until he ruined it. Until Professor Munroe came into the classroom and saw it. Until he had to go and say that all in front of the entire class.

Now, my life is ruined… as well as my reputation. Already, everyone's looking at me differently. God, I can't even look at Bobby or Rogue. Jeez, they must be so very disappointed in me. And Jubilee… well, I'm not sure about her. Totally ecstatic or totally appalled? Can't decide which would be worse.

But, still, every single day, he sat there. Well, I take that back—all right, not really. I just mean to clarify. By 'there', I do not mean a specific geographical location. I mean a specific relative location. By 'there', I mean that he sat beside or across from me in every single class we had together. If we have assigned seats, then he sits there until the bell rings and the teacher begins to take role. Sometimes longer, despite whatever student needs to sit there to be considered on time. He never cares about the other people.

He's done it several times before. Just sit there after the bell rings with one student—usually Piotr—standing right behind him, waiting for him to move. If he weren't getting a rise out of me at the time, he'd leave immediately or, rarely, even before the bell rang. But, if he were having fun, if he were getting a rise out of me, he'd relish it, he'd stay there to milk it for all it's worth.

Greedy bastard.

I remember one time when I was in a particularly bad mood. As soon as I entered the classroom, there he was, sitting on the edge of my desk with that same smirk on his face. He just looked down at me and snapped his lighter open then closed. Just to frustrate me. Oh, he already knew I was in a bad mood. He'd known since breakfast. And he was enjoying every second of it.

"What do you want?" I had snarled immediately, narrowing my eyes at that god-awful smirk of his.

He had raised his eyebrows at my statement and said, "Calm down, Kitten. Wouldn't want to hurt anyone with those claws, now would you?"

No matter what, he always got a rise out of me at least once a day. That day, it was far more than that. Maybe seven, but I'm not quite sure if that's right. I don't know—my mind is too focused on being angry with him to remember properly. I'm sure I could if I really tried, though, dammit.

And there was one time that he just suddenly appeared in the hallway to startle the hell out of me. I had been in the middle of my book, trying to finish that section before the day was over, and suddenly he was beside me. I screamed. He couldn't stop laughing for five minutes.

Then, sometime last week, he said, "Let's play a game," out of the blue. It might have been because I was half ignoring him. Apparently I wasn't entertaining enough for him to be happy.

I had sighed at that and looked up from my homework assignment. I don't recall what class it was, but it was one where we were allowed to pick our own seats. "What game?" I asked coldly. "Truth or Dare?"

"No," he said immediately, like he was insulted by the mere thought of it. Yeah, well, good.

"Why don't you play a game by yourself, John?" I said before returning to my work. I ignored his further pestering and somehow managed to finish my work just as class ended. Lucky me.

I don't understand him. Why does making me angry matter? Is it really that funny to see someone else squirm? What an odd sense of humor he must have. Yeah, and I hate him for it.

The first time it happened was a lot different. That first time, it was right after he got that first rise out of me that he left. He just smirked at me when I clenched my jaw and opened my mouth to say something rude back to him, and, then, he left, back to his own seat. I find it funny now—he didn't even stay to enjoy it.

Ever since last week, though, it's like he's been trying to get me to play a game. I'm not sure what exactly he means by that phrase, but I don't think it's good. Games to him seem to be completely different than the normal person's games.

Honestly, it seems to me like we're already playing a game—and he's most definitely winning. Yes, that's what this is. It's a game to him, and it's starting to become one to me. Well, he made plenty of moves, and I just let him play without really playing back. Sure, I moved a few pawns, but nothing important.

So I decided to fight back, to play my hand. Look how that turned out, though. I never anticipated him to have a better hand than I do. Damn him.

I've played his game now, and I don't like it. I don't like the other game either, though, especially since it was that game that got me into this trouble. I'll never play that again. Sure, maybe I did start that game, but he started the original one, so I don't see how it could ever possibly be my fault.

But that's just the thing. He didn't say that to get out of trouble or anything. He said it to embarrass me. He said it to ruin my reputation. He said it to see just how pink my face would get. To get another damn rise out of me. To see how angry I would get before I snapped and screamed at him.

Yeah, well, I won't give him the satisfaction. I didn't scream or yell or anything. Sure, I was—and still am—totally embarrassed. My face is still pink, I'm sure. And, yes, I'm angry, but I'm not going to give him the satisfaction by yelling and screaming in front of everyone. I'm not going to let him see me cry in my frustration.

Sure, I lost that round, but the game's not over yet. Just need to shuffle the deck a little before dealing it out again.

But, just as much as I don't like either game, I'm positive that he enjoys both. Evidence: his smirk from one thing, and something else from the other. That something else… well, it's not something I'm particularly fond of, but, then again, I must say that I didn't think I'd ever to be able to get a rise out of him—of any sort. A little bit proud of myself, honestly.

I sigh as I sit down at my last class of the day and pull out my book to read. Anything to get my mind off of this for the time being. Except that, just as I'm about to settle into the scene within those wonderful pages, his voice comes to me.

"I enjoyed that," he says as I look up. He's sitting on the top of my desk with his feet up on another desk, blocking the walkway. "Let's play it again sometime." He's smirking, and I automatically regret anything I did last class. I shouldn't have allowed myself to get carried away like that. It was a mistake.

I glance him up and down for a moment. "I don't think so," I mumble quietly and quickly avert my eyes. I don't trust myself with him right now. I could… do something stupid.

"You don't want to play? You seemed to be really into it before," he smirks.

"Well, you're wrong," I reply. "I wasn't."

He's about to say something, but, then, Bobby walks over to stand beside me in what he hopes is a reassuring stance. "You all right, Kitty?" he asks, worried.

In response, I look up at him and smile supportively.

He doesn't seem swayed, though. "Do you want me to help?" he continues, glancing over at John, who just glares back at him. His voice is worried, and I want to say something to make him understand that I am in control of myself.

The bell rings.

"I'm fine, Bobby," I say in quiet determination, but I can't seem to look him in the eye when I say it. "I can handle this."

After a small frustrated sigh, he nods and returns to his own seat, and I can finally return my attention to the annoying, conniving jerk sitting on my desk. When I look at him, his smirk is even larger than the last time I saw it. I didn't think that was possible before. Well, just proved me wrong. Honestly, he looks smug, like something good for him just happened.

"What?" I ask.

He pushes his feet away and spins toward me before placing one leg on either side of me and leaning forward toward me. Suddenly, I don't like where this is going, but I'm too stunned to do or say anything. "You can handle this, huh?" he asks haughtily. "Why are you so sure, Kitten?"

He's insulting me, I realize. How dare he?! How dare he insult me after practically exclaiming to the entire school that I'm hot for him. If anything it's the other way around, considering things. Come on! But, then again, I was the one with my hand in… an inappropriate place.

But no. I won't yell at him, no matter how much I might want to. That's exactly what he wants. He wants me to get even more embarrassed, to be even more entertaining to him. I won't let that happen, though.

"I'm sure," I respond, sitting up, "because I caught you by surprise before and I can do it again. Just because you said that doesn't mean I'm going to give up. I play to win, John."

"Do you even know what game we're playing?" he inquires as he raises his eyebrow in challenge.

I huff for a moment, then suggest with a small smirk of my own, "Truth or Dare?"

He looks me over for a moment, taking in how I hold myself and the look in my eyes. Finally, he settles for saying, "I like this side of you. It's a lot more… interesting." I think that's supposed to be congratulatory in some weird way.

"Oh, I'm sorry. I should stop then," I say, looking down at my hands.

"You're still doing it, even when you do that there," he replies, smirking. He leans even closer to my face and murmurs, "It's kinda hot."

Once the words are out of his mouth, I lean back in my seat, as far away from him as possible. "I had come to the conclusion that we already knew what you thought of me," I snap angrily, my memory going back to fifteen minutes ago. "Or was there something else going through your mind last period when I…?" But, for some reason, I can't bring myself to say it out loud.

"When you what? When you came onto me?" he challenges.

I shrug. If he has to say it so rudely, I suppose. "Well, you wanted to play a game, didn't you?" I defend. "You're rather good at it, I must admit, but, with your record, I didn't really expect anything else."

He doesn't seem to even notice my insulting his virtue. He probably came to terms with that a long time ago. Actually, he probably never cared. Instead, he just asks in an interested tone, "So what's the goal of this game?"

I don't know why, but I find myself answering him anyway. "To see how much it takes for the person to feel awkward."

"You must be really bad at it, huh, Kitten?" he says offhandedly.

"Never been on the receiving end before," I respond. "Actually, today was the first time I ever played, so I'm not exactly a master at any part of it."

"And how exactly does it work?"

I roll my eyes. "Don't tell me you're a moron, too, now?"

He laughs at that. "I think I've got the idea of it," he says. "But it seems difficult to play in this position, with me up here and you down there."

I raise both eyebrows at that. "And why exactly would I want to play that game with you?" I question defensively.

"You already did, Kitten, so there's no going back now," he reasons with a shrug. Then, he appears to be considering something for a moment. "It's rather funny, don't you think? I'm the provoker, and, suddenly, you're the provocateur." The words stun me into silence for a moment.

It's at that point that Professor Summers enters the classroom. Late again. He glances around the room for not even a second and, as he turns toward the board to begin writing our notes for the day, says, "John, Kitty, as interesting as your young love may be, I'd prefer if you left it to outside of lessons. Please return to your seat now, John."

I'm even more speechless than I was before the professor came in. And all John does is smirk at me before getting up and returning to his own chair.

I spend the rest of the lesson brooding. The rumors continue to circulate, and, all the while, I can see that he's relishing it.

God, I hate him.

He's right, though. I probably would be bad at the game. His hand on my knee, and I'd already be feeling awkward. The farther is moves, the more awkward I feel. Yes, he'd definitely win easily.

This is all his fault, though. If he didn't provoke me all the time, I wouldn't have acted so rashly. I wouldn't have snapped and tried to play his game. I wouldn't have lost, either. His entire fault. Everything.

And now he's planning something, and I don't like it. I don't trust what he could possibly try to get me to do. Or do to me. Or whatever. I don't know. I'm just confused now. But, at the same time, it's so obvious. He wants a reaction out of me. Again. He probably wants me to react to it in the same way he did, which, honestly, I don't know about. It very well could happen. I mean, he's, for lack of a better word, hot. And, thinking about him… doing that—well, it could be rather appealing.

The question is: Would he be more satisfied if he won or if he lost? Seriously, he gets such a thrill from seeing me embarrassed or frustrated, but he also seems to… well, to have a sexual attraction toward me, which is rather good for my self-esteem but not for my conscience.