Disclaimer: I don't own X-Men. I have, however, kidnapped Pyro. He's ALL mine and there's NOTHING you can do about IT.

Warning: this wasn't beta'd, so be afraid. Be very afraid

Dedicated to the memory of James Connolly, hero, martyr, Irishman. They took your life, they could not take your pride. One day, we will be a nation. One day.


Early morning
April fourth
Shot rings out
Amidst the sky
Free at last
They took your life
They could not
Take your

'Pride (In The Name Of Love)' – U2


Even now, after everything, they're still so proud. Too proud. They've always been too fucking proud. And pride, they say, comes before the fall. And he's fallen now, fallen from grace, but whatever befalls he'll still have his pride, his Pryde, because, when it's ashes to ashes and dust to dust, what's a vowel between friends?

It's still pride, (Pryde), the undoing of everything.

And just like him, it's so much a part of her, it's part of her name. Y. I. What's a vowel between friends, enemies, lovers, haters, the prideful and how they have fallen, whatever; what's a letter at the dawning of the day?

It's dawn now and the sky is golden light.

They were tried by martial courts, those leaders of the Rising. It's Rising, not Revolution, because it failed. Revolution means change. Rising just means a big mess that someone, somewhere, has to clean up. It's sounds barbaric, lining them up against a wall, shooting them dead, but in an insane world, it's the sanest choice. Kill the fuckers and they can't do it again.

He's the last to be executed. His leg is shot to pieces, he can't stand, so they tie him to a chair. They tie him to a chair and pin a white flag over his heart. A white flag for surrender. A sneer curls Kitty's lips. As if he would surrender to a little thing like death.

He's too proud, far too proud for that.

And he's proud as they drag him across the courtyard. Jaw tight, chin up, eyes forward and steel, stiffen that upper lip, soldier, dolce et decorum est pro patri mori.

But Kitty doesn't think it sweet or honourable. She doesn't see the pride in dying for a lost cause. Because she doesn't want him to die. And yet she stands there, watching, as they tie him to a chair and pin a white flag over his heart. Her pride, an unsurpassable barrier, until she lets it go and wafts up over it, free as a bird.

She strikes the match.

It's a gift, from her to him, it's fire, it's escape. Like a shark, he smells it, the fresh blood – but it isn't the match that's bleeding. It's her. He smells it and his eyes roll to black.

And she's bleeding, bleeding pride all over the cobbles.

The match burns on.


The squad assemble, six standing, six on their knees, guns raised, eyes screwed shut, you only have one shot, son, make it count. Make that fucker bleed. They're meant to have one blank between them so no one can claim credit for the kill – but people are meant to do a lot of things they don't. That's why they're people.

And Pyro's meant to be Pyro and fill up the world with rage and light, but the match burns on and his eyes are black and the pride floods from her, everywhere, like oil down the beach it gums the feathers of the little birds together so they can't fly, they can't escape. And suddenly they're not so free anymore.


She wants to scream at him. Oh the things she would scream. Take it, you fucker! It's here! It's yours!

She doesn't know if she's talking about the match or herself.

Take me, you fucker!

I'm here!

I'm yours!

Across the courtyard, the firing squad, across the universe, their eyes meet. In Pyro's black orbs Kitty sees herself reflected.



What's a vowel between friends, right?

But whatever it is and whatever they are, she'll never know. Ironic, really.

The match burns out.


Again, with the irony.

The white flag burns red. Red for revolution, red for love and hate and fire and passion and strawberries and red lights mean stop, don't go, please don't, someone will die, and ruby slippers, there's no place like home. There's no place like home once you can shelve your pride and admit it. But he couldn't do that. And she couldn't do that.

And now all they have is pride. And it isn't enough.

Okay, bit of a confused Kyro that raped me under the dinner table, at which we were discussing Irish history in German. Bit of word play, bit of a a mess, inspired by U2's AMAZING song Pride – whenever I hear it, I feel so proud I'm Irish. Was done on my iPod over a long dinner with German relatives (you can hardly blame me, can you). Would love to hear what people thought of it

Cheers, Plonksie