Summary: Holding her this close, he had the sudden realisation that he didn't want to let go again. Kyro oneshot.
Timeline: Before X2
Disclaimer: All things recognisably X-Men aren't mine - I just like making up my own stories.
Author's Note: This is a Christmas present for Violet Fairychild a few years ago. I based it off two of her sentences for the 1sentence challenge, Sudden and Soul, which are in italics at the beginning of the fic.

It was completely an accident, Kitty had slipped and John had reacted by catching her, but holding her this close he had the sudden realization that he didn't want to let go of her again.

It was her spirit that dealt the killing blow, the way she moved through her world with purpose and reason-her soul burned in ways he couldn't control, and it excited him in a way he couldn't explain.

It had been sudden, and it had been strange. Sudden because – well, who expects someone to trip and fall towards them? And it had been strange because usually Kitty Pryde was so sure of herself, so graceful. And if it had been anyone else, John probably would have yelled something snappish and made a speedy getaway.

It was completely an accident.

Kitty had slipped, or tripped, or fallen – and John had reacted by catching her.

She had slowly looked up at him, embarrassed and uncertain. And then their eyes locked – and that was all it took.

He hadn't expected this girl to stumble towards him, trying desperately to keep her balance. He hadn't expected himself to reach out and catch her, steadying her and holding her. And he definitely hadn't expected to be suddenly hit with the thought that maybe he didn't want to let go of her.

"Um, thanks," she had said, and her voice brought him back to reality.

He had let go of her abruptly and stepped back, muttering "Watch where you're going next time."

He had pretended not to notice that the words hadn't sounded nearly as irritated or terse as they would have if they had been directed at anyone else.

It had been sudden, and it had been strange. But that was all it took.

He watched her.

He watched her and wondered why, out of all the girls at the school, he was drawn to her. Miss Goody-Goody Pryde.

But as he watched her answer questions in class, show new students around, debate with the Professor and tutor some of the younger students, he suddenly figured it out.

It was the way she moved through the world with calm purpose and reason. Her passion, her spirit, fascinated him.

It flickered and glowed and sparked and crackled like a flame, and it burned in ways he couldn't control. And this both excited and alarmed him in a way he couldn't explain.

Sometimes he wondered whether she could burn him if he got too close. And he told himself that maybe it was a good thing he had let go of her so quickly. (A girl like her will only make you feel more like an outsider. A girl like her won't understand you. A girl like her will end up hurting you.)

And yet he couldn't stop watching her and wondering what it would be like to hold on to her.


He turned around and tried not to look surprised when he saw Kitty walking towards him.

"What do you want, Kitten?" he said, summoning his usual sarcastic demeanour.

She half-smiled at him. "Your lighter fell out of your pocket."

He blinked.

"Here." She reached out and he automatically held out his hand.

Gently, she pressed his lighter into his palm, but she did not remove her hand. Her eyes met his, and John had to stop himself from grabbing her in a crushing kiss.

She slowly pulled away, her fingers lingering on his like she didn't really want to let go. And then she walked quickly away, jogging to catch up with her friends.

It was sudden, and it was strange, but for a fleeting second when their hands were connected, John could have sworn that he saw the same look in her eyes that he knew was in his every time he looked at her.

He stood in the doorway, watching her leave, a smile growing on his face.