STORY SUMMARY: Secret military programs, the discovery of admantium, mutant terrorism, and the development of the Cure all have far-reaching effects that will eventually span the globe and change the face of evolution.

DISCLAIMERS: All characters and organizations (with the exception of small, mostly unnamed minor characters) throughout the series are the product of Marvel.

CANONICAL NOTES: This story arc utilizes movieverse canon for events, characters, and relationships: X1, X2, X3, and XO (Wolverine: Origins). Powers for major characters follow movieverse, with the exception of Remy LeBeau/Gambit who is based on comicverse. Characters granted minor roles in the films or that do not appear in the films are pulled from comicverse. Organizations and progams will follow comicverse. Weapon X will follow movieverse: as a project of the United States military instead of Canada's.

LANGUAGE AND ACCENTS: Cajun French is courtesy of Heavenmetal (many thanks). I will attempt to reproduce accents in this story arc.

He is Fire, He is Pain

- 2 -

Story Summary: Kitty and Pyro come to terms with their relationship after having been enemies during Alcatraz.

Canonical Notes: Set shortly following the events of X3.

Acknowledgements: Thank you to starlight2twilight and ChamberlinofMusic who loved and reviewed this fic religiously and to PlonkerOnDaLoose who greatly improved it by being my beta. This fic is archived in the Save the Kyro community, linked on my profile. Please visit for more fiction featuring Kitty and Pyro. Thank you to pygmymuse, my new beta, for the shredding. :grins:

He is Fire, He is Pain

- Too -

Pyro stares at the ceiling of the special high-security prison for mutants: his current residence. It is night. The inmates are mostly sleeping, though he knows the guys in one cell down at the end play cards.

He closes his eyes, trying to sleep. It's a futile effort. He hasn't slept since he got here two days ago. He's heard the guards talking. They're going to try to cure him, and he stays awake and alert, convinced he can stop them when they do.

Pyro rolls over on the narrow cot to look towards the aisle and jumps back, stifling a yell.

Katherine Pryde is standing in his jail cell.

She looks like a shadow on a moonlit night, her form nearly invisible, and he wonders if she's phased.

"What are you doing here?" he demands harshly.

Seeing her stirs all sorts of feelings in him that he doesn't want to feel. He's spent so long trying to forget. Love. Joy. Her. It's not for a mutant like him. If he keeps telling himself she never could love him, he never could love her, he'll get over it.

He doesn't.

- Late -

He narrows his eyes at her when she continues to stare silently and impassively.

"Kitty, Kitty," he says in his harshest, most dangerous voice. "Didn't you know it would come to this?"

Hatred blazes into Kitty's eyes and she flings something down at his feet. It lands with a noisy clatter.

He stares.

His lighter.

"I. Will. Forget. You." The words are bitten out, each one sharp and distinct.

Pyro swings his head up to look at her, stunned. He takes a step off the cot, toward her.

She steps back and spits out, "Pyro."

He stills. She's never called him Pyro. Never once. Not even one time.

"Kitty, I—" He never gets out the...apology?...or whatever it is that could make this better, make this right.

Kitty closes the distance between them, balling her hands up in his shirt, and forcing him to look at her. "You left us. You forgot me." Her words are hissed in anger. "I will forget you."

She backs away, breathing hard.

He stares at her.

Too late for words. Too late for love. The story of his life.

She phases and steps out of the cell.

"The cameras." He remembers. "They'll see you."

Kitty shakes her head once, hard. "I'm good at that," she whispers, waving a phased hand through the bars. A slight smile that makes his insides sick curls up her mouth. She had always been his innocent kitten, sweet, unconditionally forgiving no matter how many times he tried to push her away. When had she gotten so hard?

Then she's gone.

He stares at the lighter. He bends over and picks it up.

"I will forget you."

He snaps it open with furious rage spilling into him and reaches for fire, letting the flames grow and grow and consume him. It's all he has left, and there's no one left to save him.

He is fire. He is pain.

- For -

Bobby stares at the television screen, dropping suddenly to the couch seat beside Rogue. She shifts her body away.

"How did he get out?" he shouts. "They were supposed to cure him!"

"Quiet," Logan orders as he turns up the volume.

The students and staff have converged in the media room to watch a news report about the fire last night where Pyro was being held. His was the only body not accounted for, a fact Rogue already knew.

She glances briefly at Kitty, but quickly tamps down on her reaction and looks away.

The phaser doesn't look at anybody. She stares at the television with unreadable eyes, her face like a stone.

- Words -