Through Another's Eyes

Summary: John sees Kitty in a new light. One-shot.
Timeline: Pre-X2
Disclaimer: I don't own anything
Author's Note: Written two years ago for Hazy Crazy who requested an art class and a sketch left on a table.

It was the sketch that did it.

John had always known Kitty was there. It was like being inside a building on a sunny morning: she shone around the edges of his life, but he never felt like he had to wander out into the sunlight, so to speak. To John, Kitty was just another boring, cheerful, sunshine-and-daisies girl with no other substance to her - that is, until the day he saw the sketch.

He had been sent to clean up the art classroom after Mr Summers caught him burning Jubilee's Backstreet Boys CD. As he swept up a stack of paper from one of the desks, the sketch caught his eye. Piotr Rasputin was scribbled on the bottom right-hand corner, next to the title: "Katya".

The sketch was of Kitty, but it was Kitty as John had never seen her before.

She was facing slightly away from the artist, chin resting on her hand. She wasn't smiling, but she wasn't unhappy. There was something wistful about her expression, some faraway look in her eyes that seemed to suggest that she could see things beyond anyone else's sight. With just his pencil, Piotr had captured a Kitty that John never saw, Kitty in her most relaxed, most natural state.

Gazing at the sketch, John knew that he was seeing her the way Piotr saw her. He was looking at Kitty through the eyes of someone who loved her. He knew that this Kitty who he rarely saw - the real girl behind all the cheerfulness and sunny smiles - was the Kitty who Piotr saw every day, every minute.

And she was beautiful.

John stood and stared at the sketch for a long time, examining every line, every curve, etching it in his memory. When the door opened, and she walked in, he was so startled he dropped the pile of paper he was holding.

"Oh - sorry, let me help you," Kitty said as she scrambled over on her knees. John said nothing as they gathered up pieces of paper, choosing instead to examine her the way he had examined the sketch. Her face was half-hidden behind the curtain of her hair, and as he watched her, he wondered if he would catch a glimpse of that girl.

She glanced at him, and he quickly averted his eyes, busying himself with straightening the pile of paper in his hands. When he looked back at her, her eyes were on the ground again, a faint colour rising in her cheeks.

"What are you doing here?" John asked, trying to cover the suddenly awkward silence, the words coming out sharper than he had intended.

"Mr Summers sent me here to see if you'd finished. He wants to see you when you're done."


They stood up and she handed him the rest of the paper, tucking her hair behind her ear as she did so. For a long second they stood together, eyes locked.

"I, uh... I should go," she said finally, flashing a small smile.


She turned to go, and John replaced the stack on the table, next to the sketch. Just as she reached the door, he spoke.

"Hey, Kitty,"

"Yeah?" she said, turning with her hand already on the doorframe.

John blinked - the expression on her face was incredibly similar to her paper-and-pencil copy. And that was all it took. He was completely intrigued. He was hooked.

"John?" she prompted, shaking him out of his reverie.

He faked a cough and shook his head. "Nothing," he replied. Trying to recover himself, he added, "Scram, before you make another mess."

"Nice, John," Kitty said, rolling her eyes. "See you later." She disappeared around the corner, leaving him alone in the art room.

He reached out and softly touched the sketch. "See you, Kitty," he murmured.

It was the sketch that did it. And now he finally saw her, the girl behind the smile.