Title: Overrated and Underestimated
Author: coneygoil
Rating: PG
Timeline: Pre-X2
Summary: Some students at Xavier's organize a prom for the end of the school year. Kitty's excitement flops when she finds prom isn't what she thought it would be.


She had the dress. She allowed Jubilee to make her up. Her hair was swooped up in one of those fancy curly up-dos. She didn't have a date, but she, Jubilee, and Piotr decided to go together as a 'friend' group.

There was dancing to awesome techno music. There were strobe lights that made the gym floor look like a real dance floor. There were balloons and streamers; delicious treats and even a chocolate fountain.

This was the first annual prom at Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters. Some of the older students had teamed up to plan the dance of a lifetime. Most everyone was excited, even the teachers. Though there were a few students who could care less.

Kitty was one of the excited ones, and she was bouncing on the balls of her feet as she waited to go into the decorated gym. Piotr was at her side, smiling silently. Jubilee peeked her head out the gym door, motioning for them to come inside.

Kitty thought it would be an incredible night. That she'd dance and laugh and maybe finally let Piotr know that she liked him more than as a friend. All the fantasies of this night wouldn't come true. At first, she had danced with her friends and was having a good time, but after a while, a lot of the students began to act stupid and some even left the gym to pursue other activities.

It was when Piotr declined a slow dance then left to turn in for the night that Kitty's disappointment waned. She found herself in the courtyard across from the gym, arms hugged across her chest. The inky night sky glittered with stars. It would have been so perfectly romantic if Piotr had come with her. Maybe he woul if she asked…

"Got bored?"

A little flame suddenly appeared in the darkness, illuminating off a smirking face. Kitty's shoulders slumped. Oh, it was him.

"I'm guessing you're not taking a break from dancing."

John snorted. "Do I look like a dancing machine?"

"No," Kitty said flatly, rubbing her arms against the slight chill of the night air. "You look like the typical school rebel who thinks he's too cool to participate in anything." She felt strangely bold all the sudden. Maybe it was her disappointment turning into anger, she wasn't sure.

Kitty took a step towards John, leaning on the arm of the wooden patio chair. "You have the leather jacket and slick hair, but where's your motorcycle?"

John quirked an eyebrow. "In the shop."

Kitty's boldness melted a little when she couldn't think of a good comeback. She straightened up, looking away towards the gym. John flicked his lighter back on. The flame grew tall. Kitty watched out of the corner of her eye as the flame molded into a fire-woman that started dancing provocatively on John's palm. A look of disgust came across her face.

"I see you don't have to buy magazines to get your fill."

A sly smirk crossed John's lips. "Would you prefer this better?"

In an instant, the fire-woman morphed into a buff, muscle man flexing. "I'm tinhead," John said in a bad Russian accent. "I love you, Katya, but I love my shiny muscles more. I kiss them every night before I go to sleep."

Kitty stared at him, open mouthed. "You're such a jerk, John! Peter is not like that. He's a good guy, which is something you know nothing about."

"Don't flatter me, Kitten."

Kitty threw daggers at him, but John didn't seem to notice. He flicked his lighter shut, stashing it in his jacket pocket. Kitty looked longingly through the open doors of the gym where a few couples were still swaying to the music.

"All I wanted to do was have a slow dance with Peter."

"Ah," John nodded. He pointed his chin towards the mansion. "I saw tinhead leaving a few minutes ago. Is that why you're out here sulking? Because he abandon you for his muscles?"

Kitty spun around, her hand swinging to strike John on the face. She jumped in shock when he caught her wrist before it made impact. She regained her bearings a second later, phasing through his hand. She should have run away, gone back to the gym or the mansion, but Kitty found herself rooted in place.

Her eyes smoldered with anger and disappointment. "Proms are overrated. All they do is get your hopes up and crush your dreams."

John rolled his eyes skyward. Kitty was being so dramatic, just like every teenage girl he'd ever known. "This isn't the end of the world," he replied, irritated. "I'm not the muscle man, but if you want to slow dance, I'm here."

Kitty gaped at him. "I thought you weren't the dancing type."

John shrugged. "I'm not, but I am more than just your typical rebel. Besides, if you had slow danced with muscle man, he'd probably have accidentally flattened your foot and you'd be on crutches for months."

She couldn't help it. A small smile appeared on Kitty's lips. She lowered her head to hide it, but John had noticed.

"It's true, isn't it?"

"It's possible that Peter isn't that finely coordinated," Kitty answered, but then her face became serious again. "All the other things you said about him are totally false."

"Whatever you say, Kitten. Now how about that dance? Just as long as you tell no one."

Kitty pouted. "Okay, but don't expect me to enjoy this."

John snorted. "Don't expect me to enjoy it either."

It was awkward at first. Kitty had hesitatingly raised her hands to place on John's shoulders, but he caught her right hand in his left then curled his right hand around her waist. Kitty's eyes widened at his touch. She'd never had a guy's hand around her waist like that, and it made her blush at the thought of enjoying it. She placed her left hand on his shoulder, noticing how thin but firm it was.

John took the lead, stepping to the right then forward then left then back. Kitty followed, realizing in delight that they were doing the foxtrot. "Where did you learn the foxtrot?" she asked after squaring several times.

"My mother made me learn some of those boring ballroom dances," he replied, frowning. "This is the only one I remember, and if I hear that you told anyone about this, I will torch your precious textbooks," he added, menacingly.

Kitty smiled innocently. "Oh, don't worry. No one will find out."

They squared a few more times before the music finally faded from the gym. John stopped, holding onto Kitty's hands for a moment and looking knowingly at her. It wasn't the romantic, floating-on-clouds slow dance Kitty had imagined, but she had to admit she enjoyed it.

"Um…are you going to let go of me now?" she asked, realizing how sweaty her palm was getting in his hand.

John just smirked at her.

"I probably should get back to the gym and help clean things up with Jubilee," Kitty said, pulling away from his hold.

"Yeah, get out of here, Kitten." John stepped back to the wooden patio chair and plopped down in it. He fished his lighter out, flicking it open and shut.

Kitty turned to head back to the gym, glancing over her shoulder at the boy she had so quickly stereotyped as nothing but a rebel.