A/N: I was rereading In Battle and decided that I wanted a sequel, too. So here it is. *fans self*

Disclaimer: I still don't own Kitty or Pyro, though dear gods, I want them.

The phone calls started not long after the battle in downtown Richmond. At first, she hung up as soon as she heard his voice, and sat with her arms tightly crossed as if that would keep the memories out. It didn't work. Every time, all it took was the casual, low sound of him and she dissolved, the essence of her melting down with the heat of that one, furious, intense day. But Kitty was steadfast, in the beginning. She knew it was wrong. She knew it was dangerous, and insane, and tried to focus on figuring out how the hell he'd gotten her phone number instead of on what exactly he wanted with her. (She knew what he wanted.)

But Pyro had said that he'd see her around, and by god, he meant it.

The phone calls continued.

He'd wait until late, until darkness smeared across the sky and through the air, until it was just Kitty in her room with the covers drawn up over her bare legs, one of which was still bandaged over a long cut she'd received in Virginia. And then her phone would ring, and she'd answer it because even if she was going to hang up as soon as he spoke she couldn't stop herself from wanting to hear him say her name. And that was how it went.

And then she got tired.


"Goddamnit, Pyro, stop calling me." A laugh. She was angry. He didn't care.

"So you're talking to me now."

"Yeah, and I'm telling you to leave me the hell alone." She sat up, drawing her legs up to her chest and speaking in a low, fierce whisper. "Do you want me to tell Logan about this?" She could hear his sneer over the line, could feel the dry wind of his contempt.

"Oh, please, Kitten. Tell him what? That you let me fuck you against a wall last week?" Her face heated, the horrible burning warmth of it snaking down to her hands until they trembled. His mouth on hers, fingers tightening against her thighs, the wall hard and cold against her back.

"That was- I didn't-"

"Didn't what, babe? Didn't like it?" That laugh again, like butter on thorns. "Yeah, right. You-"

"What do you want?" she asked, breaking him off, and sounded tougher than she felt. Kitty could feel the tingles in her belly, inching lower, and hated them. She hated him for making her want him, hated him for making her imagine his body against hers with such painful, awful desire that she didn't quite know what to do with it. She'd slept with a boy before, a boyfriend from her home town, and she'd kissed plenty of guys and even one or two girls, but no one had ever done to her what frightening, threatening, murderous John Allerdyce had done. No one had ever... set her on fire. And for that, more than anything else in the world, she hated him.

"Hard to tell, isn't it?" he asked in return, sounding thoughtful. She couldn't tell if it was fake or not. It was probably fake. It occurred to her that even before he'd left the X-Men, she'd never been able to read him. "I could want to trick you. I could want to get information from you, or use you as a hostage, or convince you to join Magneto. Or," he continued, voice slowing, "I could maybe want to-"

"I don't want to hear that," she interrupted, which was only half true.

"But you're going to," he said. "You opened the door, Kitty Cat." She tried for a scoff.

"What are you, a vampire?"

"You want to see me again," he said, not bothering to answer. "Don't you?" It wasn't really a question. She found that, all of a sudden, breathing was becoming a difficulty.

"Thanks," she managed finally, "but I'm all done with my meeting-people-who-want-me-dead quota for the day."

"The corner of 9th and High," he said, amused. "Eleven PM. Tomorrow night."

"You're insane if you think I'm going anywhere with you."

"C'mon, Kitten. You can't tell me you don't want another taste."

"Gee, Johnny, a taste of what? Pure evil?"

"Then say it," he challenged, and there was that wicked archness, that halfway-to-cruel bite. "Say you don't want me, Kitty Pryde."

"I..." She bit her lip. "Go to hell," she said instead, defeated. He chuckled.

"Only if you'll come with me."

And he hung up.

Kitty sat there, her phone pressed against her ear, eyes closed. Her heart was pounding, and a small, shocked voice in her head whispered that she'd just had a conversation with John Allerdyce. With Pyro. With the traitor, Magneto's right-hand man, one of the most dangerous threats to everything she believed in.

But she couldn't really hear that voice, because beneath it and above it and around it, every other quiet cool part of her was murmuring three things: 9th and High. Eleven PM. Tomorrow night.


She was there. Of course she was there. It hadn't been hard getting out; she'd just told them that she needed to get away for a while, and that had been that. Storm listened to Logan when he put a word in, and he'd done it that night. He knew a little something about needing to get away. So Kitty had taken the keys to the car she shared with Jubilee, and had driven to a church off of High Street, sitting in the parking lot until 10:57 PM. Then, she'd reached into the glove compartment, taken out the switchblade there, and shoved it into the pocket of her loose jeans.

She walked fast, hands in her pockets, the right one tightly clenched around the knife. Just in case, she told herself, and felt better for it. She knew she didn't need a blade to fight; she had her training and her powers for that, but... she still felt better for it.

What are you doing here? something asked inside her, deep in, accusing. And Kitty couldn't answer, because she didn't know. Her heart was in her throat or in her stomach or both places at once, but it definitely wasn't where it was supposed to be. Her hands felt cold, but she could feel the sweat on her palms, and wiped them on the insides of her pockets.

It was dark on the road, but the sidewalks were lit by the occasional streetlight that cast eerie, falsely yellow ovals on the cracked pavement. Kitty dipped in and out of these elongated ellipses, head down, very aware of the strands of loose hair that had fallen out of her ponytail and wisped across her cheeks as she walked.

She reached the green sign that read '9th Street', squinting at it in the dim glow of the nearest streetlight, and stopped. No one. She checked the watch on her left wrist. 11:04. Breathing in and blowing the air out again in a short, collecting-herself sort of sigh, Kitty leaned against the corner, feeling the sharp edge of the place where the walls on High Street and 9th met press painfully into her back. She tipped her head back, letting her ponytail cushion her skull against the brick, and closed her eyes, her hand lightly caressing the cold metal body of the knife.

After maybe a minute, she heard the footsteps. Kitty kept her eyes closed, her hand tightening around the switchblade, thumb finding the release button. If it wasn't him... If it was him...

She felt the presence in front of her, a warm, solid interruption in the light flow of air, and then hands slapped into the walls on either side of her, arms slanting out in twin diagonals to trap her in a sort of triangle of space. Kitty opened her eyes, and John's mouth twitched up in a small, sly smile.

"You came," he said, and he was close enough that he didn't have to speak any louder than the idea of words. He wasn't touching her, not quite, but god, she could feel him, the essence of him, pressing against her own. She didn't move. His face was shadowed, his eyes glinting.

"I don't know why," she said, relieved at how calm she sounded. Generally good under pressure, anyway. If you didn't look too close.

"Yeah, you do," he said, and bent his head towards hers.

Kitty took her hands out of her pockets, bringing the switchblade with her. Placing one palm on his shoulder and allowing herself the hot jolt of pleasure that came with feeling the steady real strength of him, she popped out the blade and let the tip press lightly against his stomach.

"You're not going to hurt me," she told him then, and there was a long, tense pause. Then, Pyro pushed himself forward and her hand loosened automatically, letting the blade angle up until it was flat against his stomach and his chest brushed against hers. After a moment, she dropped the knife. It clattered to the pavement, unnaturally loud. They looked at each other.

Then she grabbed him, tugging his head to hers, and his hands went from the wall to her waist, pulling her closer, closer, had to be closer. He let her spin them, stumbling a little over the switchblade as she maneuvered him into the wall, then whirling them around again and bracing his legs as she wrapped her own around his waist.

"Oh, god," Kitty breathed as the kiss broke off, "not here!" She let go of him, dropping to the ground, and kissed him again before forcing herself to pull away. "We- we have to-"

"Come on," John said raggedly, snaking an arm around her waist and tugging her up against him, walking her backwards, mouth going to hers, to her face, to her neck, legs guiding hers as he pushed her around the corner. They made it to her car, somehow, Kitty nearly blind with it, his warm quick hands undoing the zipper on her denim coat, her own fingers tripping and fumbling for her keys. She found them, dropped them, he picked them up and stroked a hand up her thighs as he stood.

They managed to get inside, to avoid the seatbelts on the backseat, to kick the front seats forward and get the door slammed awkwardly shut, breathing hard into the thick grinning darkness, John and Kitty panting into the night as she scraped her nails across his back trying to get his shirt off and he nearly broke the zipper on her jeans before yanking them down around her ankles. She kicked them off, not caring where they landed, and pulled him down on top of her on the backseat of the old Camry. Sweet-smelling spice of salt and passion, and he tasted like matches and mint and like everything she wanted more of.

He got her shirt up somehow, and her elbow nearly took his eye out when he pulled it off, but that wasn't important because her arms were above her head and her chest was bare and open and inviting and he bent his head to her breast, one hand parting her legs, the other working his own pants down his legs. She flung her head back, eyes clenching shut, mouth open, trying to find the way to keep herself together, to keep herself from losing, and then his fingers were inside her and she found his hair and yanked it up and kissed him hard enough to hurt.

After, lying together in her car, legs bent and wrapped around each other, arms twisted, her pressed against him on her side against the seat, Kitty felt herself shaking. John, Pyro, he found her mouth and pressed his lips to hers and didn't quite kiss her, just existed there with their breath mingling and their skin as close as was possible, and she knew he felt her shaking, too.

"This means it's real," she whispered into his mouth, letting him catch the words and swallow them into himself. "We can't pretend it didn't happen, like a dream."

"I know," he said, and the wild frightening edge in him was gone, and it was just those words. She looked at him, finding his eyes in the dark, the way they caught whatever light could be found and reflected it back towards hers.

"What are we gonna do?" she asked, because now that there was just quiet, no screams, no fighting, no panting or pushing or laughing or anything but the two of them lying in her car with their heartbeats pounding against each other, she was more afraid than she'd ever been.

He didn't answer, but the way his arm tensed across her waist said three words: I don't know.

And she didn't know, either.

"I'll have to go soon," she told him. "I think."

"Probably," he said.

Neither of them moved.

"Why?" she asked then, because it seemed the thing to ask, and he knew that she wasn't asking why she had to leave.

"Because we're fucked," he answered, because it seemed the thing to say, and she knew that he wasn't being sarcastic and literal.

"Yeah." And they were quiet. Then Kitty moved her head forward and pressed her lips to his, to his mouth, to his cheek, to his eyelids. She sighed, tucked her head down beneath his chin, and closed her eyes.

"I didn't really think this would happen," he said after a moment. "I kind of planned on messing you up and..."

"Don't tell me that."



They didn't speak after that, and Kitty felt John slowly, very carefully, lower his head to rest lightly against her own. A truce, it seemed, had been struck. And for now, they'd just settle for that.