Summary: One never expects these kinds of things. 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 was a Christmas present for Hazy Crazy a few years ago. She requested a theme/prompt of astronomy, a lead pencil, Kitty saying "No, John's eyes are hazel" and absolute amazement on John's face.
John turned to glance at the girl emerging through the roof and suppressed a groan. He turned away from her, hoping that she would take the hint and leave him to his quiet solitude.
"What are you doing here?" Kitty asked, wrapping her arms around her body against the chill breeze.
"What does it look like?" he muttered with mild irritation, lighting up his cigarette and inhaling a great lungful of smoke.
She moved forward and sat beside him, hugging her knees to her chest. "I never thought you were a smoker. It always seemed too –"
"What? Dangerous? Harmful?" he supplied, rolling his eyes. "If you can't take it, you can leave."
"– stereotypical," she finished. He glanced sideways at her, surprised, and she gave a casual shrug. "Most of the rebels on TV and in movies are smokers. I never really had you pegged as a stereotypical rebel. But I guess it figures that a pyrokinetic would smoke."
He held back the scathing replies that rose in his throat and took a long drag at his cigarette instead, calming himself with the thought that she couldn't possibly want to stay for long.
"So why are you up here?" he asked, after a long silence, during which she had made no move to leave.
Kitty looked up at the night sky. "I came here to think." She paused and stretched back, propping herself up on her elbows. "I like looking at the stars. It kind of makes me feel like I'm part of some bigger picture. Like my life is contributing to something big."
John remained silent and stared at her, wondering how on earth the girl could live in the world with so much optimism and idealism.
She turned her head and gazed at him, studying his face. He tried to ignore her and raised the cigarette to his lips again. When he finally looked over at her, she had resumed watching the stars.
"Orion's Belt," she murmured, fingers tracing the constellation.
John sighed and flicked a speck of ash away. "Look, if you want to talk, go find another part of the roof."
Kitty was silent for a moment. "I'd rather be here," she said softly, staring at the sky.
A crease appeared in his forehead and he searched her face for a clue as to what she might have meant – but her expression gave nothing away.
"Fine," he gave in, leaning back on his other hand as he took another drag. "Just…no talking."
"I can handle that." She smiled at him, and he blinked and quickly looked away.
Every night for a week, John arrived at his spot on the roof to smoke, only to find Kitty sitting nearby, leaning on her elbows and staring at the sky. She obeyed the rule he had set down and didn't talk, but all the same, he felt slightly uncomfortable at her presence, and his discomfort irritated him.
If it wasn't for the fact that he couldn't risk smoking anywhere else in case he got caught, he would have stopped coming up to the roof. But instead, they sat there every night in silence.
And John could tell that Kitty spent as much time watching him as she did watching the stars.
"Green. Definitely green. Totally hot in a bad-boy kind of way," John heard Jubilee say to Kitty behind him. They were working on equations in math class, and because he'd been late, he had been given the dubious honour of having to sit at the very front of the classroom, right in front of the two girls. Kitty and Jubilee had been arguing something to do with colour and guys for the last five minutes.
"No, John's eyes are hazel," Kitty murmured.
At this, John sat up straighter and narrowed his eyes. They were discussing him? And even stranger – they were discussing the colour of his eyes?
"Ooh, yeah, that makes sense…" Jubilee said slightly dreamily. "Hang on. How would you know what colour his eyes are? He doesn't even talk to you."
"I just know, that's all." Kitty seemed flustered.
"Kitty Pryde!" Jubilee squawked, loud enough to attract the attention of Mr Summers, who shot her a warning frown. John suppressed a snicker.
There was a pause, and Mr Summers turned his attention back to the papers he was grading. The girls resumed their conversation immediately.
"You like him!" Jubilee whispered triumphantly.
Although John's eyes were on his book, he was no longer focusing on any of the equations scribbled on its pages. All his attention was now directed at the conversation the two girls were having behind him.
"I do not!" Kitty protested. John expelled a breath he hadn't realised he'd been holding.
"You so do. You keep looking at him, and you're having an argument with me about the colour of his eyes. Come on, Kits, I'm your best friend. Be honest."
There was a long pause.
"Fine," Kitty said finally, in a voice almost too low for John to hear. "I…I guess I do kind of like him."
John dropped his pencil.
The girls immediately stopped talking and he bent down to pick it up, trying to hide the expression of complete and utter shock on his face that would betray that he had been listening to them.
Kitty Pryde liked him? He had barely spoken more than a few sentences to her in all the time they had known each other!
Then again, it did explain a lot – like why she kept coming up to the roof and never seemed to mind that they didn't talk, or the reason she watched him.
He leaned back in his chair, digesting this new piece of information. "I guess I do kind of like him," she had said.
He needed a smoke.
John was already smoking his second cigarette by the time Kitty appeared.
"What is that, your third death-stick?" she asked, clearly irritated by something. She flopped down a metre away from him.
He stared at her in annoyance. "It's my second," he told her with a withering glare. "And what's your problem? You never complained about me smoking before."
This seemed to tip Kitty over an edge he hadn't been aware she had been teetering on. "My problem is that I come up here every night and sit with you, and all you do is smoke and ignore me!"
"Hey, it's not my fault!" he argued. "I never asked you to come up here. I wasn't the one who turned up uninvited." There was a very short pause, and John smiled cruelly. "I'm not the one with the crush."
Kitty stared, dumbstruck with horror and shock as the realisation dawned on her that he had heard her conversation with Jubilee. "You were listening?" she practically screeched.
Wincing, he suddenly thought: That might not have been the smartest thing to say to her.
Making an attempt to avoid answering her, he extinguished the almost-extinct flame in his cigarette and flicked it away. When he snuck a glance at her, she was still staring at him with a mixture of fury, fear, shock and embarrassment. She clearly expected an answer.
"Yes, I listened," he heard himself snap. No, wait, what are you doing? his brain screamed at him. "It's not like you were talking too quietly to be heard."
Most of the emotions in her expression melted into the first – fury.
"You – you…" she spluttered. And then she lunged at him, ready to slap him or at least throw his lighter off the roof.
She was captured at the wrists, and she struggled against him, trying to decide whether or not it was safe enough to phase. Her common sense kicked in and told her Now, Kitty, I know you're pissed off, but if you phase you might accidentally kill one or both of you. You are sitting on the roof.
"I hate you!" she raged irrationally, the embarrassment of being found out and then being deprived of the ability to take it out on him feeding her anger.
John looked at her for a moment as if he was deciding what to do with her.
"No you don't," he said decisively. And then he pressed his lips to hers.
Kitty was frozen against him, too stunned to move – and then it registered that John Allerdyce was kissing her. He was kissing her.
So she kissed him back, wrapping her arms around his neck as soon as he let her wrists go to hold her waist.
When they broke apart, breathing heavily, her dazed smile was quickly replaced with suspicion.
"How do I know this isn't some horrible practical joke?" she asked, letting go of him quickly and moving slightly away.
His lips quirked into a half-smile that was almost gentle. "I swear on Orion's Belt that I'm not messing with you."
She continued to scrutinise him, warily seeking out any signs of insincerity or sarcasm – but none appeared.
A smile appeared on her face as she moved closer again.
"Okay," she said.