Summary: Fire is powerful, and fire is destructive. Kyro one-shot.
Disclaimer: All things recognisably X-Men are obviously not mine. I just like making up my own stories.
Author's Note: Written in 2006 for the writer's choice prompt (I chose 'confession') on the theme of 'firsts' for the livejournal kittyandpyro community.
Kitty watched the boy walking in the moon-frosted garden, the tiny spurts of flame that seemed to erupt from his hand giving away his identity. He seemed distracted, moving away from the mansion further into the expansive grounds.
For some inexplicable reason, the sight of John Allerdyce wandering alone outside made Kitty feel sad – almost lonely.
So she quietly phased downstairs to join him.
He was almost out of sight by the time she stepped out into the garden, but the growing flames he manipulated served as beacons in the shadows. Kitty followed him quietly from a distance, hesitant to make her presence known. She wasn't quite sure how he would react.
John halted and sat down on the grass, and she stood a short distance away, close enough to see the glint of the Zippo in his hand.
The familiar click of the lighter seemed harsh and loud in the quiet air. Kitty watched in awe as the tiny flame it produced grew quickly into a massive ball of fire, rising higher into the air as it expanded.
It suddenly vanished, and she heard John's voice speak calmly and clearly.
"What are you doing here?" he asked without turning around.
The question startled her, and she thought about not saying anything and heading back inside, but Kitty decided that it would be too stupid and cowardly not to speak. Instead, she sat down beside him and answered quietly, "I didn't want to be alone."
He nodded, still not looking at her, and they sat together, silent and still.
Kitty was wondering if she should go back inside and try to sleep when he interrupted her thoughts.
"What's it like?"
She turned to him, confusion knitting her brows together. "What?"
"What does it feel like, phasing?"
Kitty thought about it for a moment. "It's like…it's like a tingle, like a bit of electricity running through your skin, but it's…light. Pleasant." An idea came into her head, and she reached out to touch his shoulder. "It feels like this," she said, and phased them both partway through the ground and back again.
John seemed rattled, and began to fiddle with his lighter. "It's not like the fire," he muttered half to himself.
"What's it like for you?" she asked, hugging her knees to her chest.
He didn't answer at first, and Kitty watched as he wove a tongue of fire around his fingers. It flickered and grew, and suddenly exploded into the form of a huge fiery dragon, soaring above them and glowing brighter and brighter.
"It feels like power," John said. Kitty tore her eyes from the creature and stared at her companion. His face was alight with life and a strange, complicated joy.
The dragon began to grow, blazing like a sun in the night sky. It swooped in ever-expanding circles, coming in closer and closer to the two teenagers on the grass, and Kitty flinched at the heat. It was beautiful, and it was entrancing, and it was dangerous.
"Sometimes," John confessed, his voice quiet and almost wistful. "I think about letting go."
The dragon swooped low over them and burst into dozens of smaller fires, and they were surrounded by a tall ring of flame. Kitty scrambled to her feet, for the first time feeling really afraid of her classmate. She suddenly realised what he meant by 'letting go'.
"Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to let it all burn," John continued. "Incinerate everything. Maybe it'd feel good."
"John," Kitty said in a low voice, moving slowly away from him. "Stop it. Please."
Heat blazed in on all sides and the flames leapt higher.
"John!" she shrieked, and suddenly everything around her was burning without burning up and all she could see was fire, and the blaze reflected in John's eyes.
She phased through the inferno, sprinting as fast as she could back to the safety of the mansion, but she could still feel the heat. She could still see the fire in his eyes, and she thought He's going to burn everything…
Kitty awoke suddenly, sweating and tangled in her sheets. She lay in bed, trying to calm herself down. It was just a dream, it was just a dream, it was just a dream…
She squeezed her eyes shut, trying to force that frightful image of his almost manic expression into a small, dark corner of her mind.
She remembered having a conversation with John like the one in her dream, a long time ago. She remembered telling him that he couldn't hurt her, and that she would always be around to stop him from losing control. She remembered that he'd kissed her then, and she remembered how it had set her nerves ablaze.
He was gone now, and she wasn't there to stop him from scorching everything in his path. She hadn't stopped John Allerdyce from becoming Pyro. And now that he was gone, she felt like a heap of ashes on the floor.
In her dream, she had thought that he was going to burn everything – her, the garden, the mansion, the world.
In reality, he had set her on fire, and there were scorch marks on her soul.