This was written for Prompt #10 – Clouds from a table at LJ community 10 Prompts. The lyrics in the fic are from the trance song "After All" by Delerium.

The timeline for this is during X2, so just imagine that Kitty also escaped with John, Bobby and Rogue, so it's a bit AU.

After All They Shared

"That's it." John Allerdyce flicked the lid of his lighter shut, extinguishing the flame that had been hovering there. He, along with Bobby, Rogue and Kitty, had been asked to "guard the jet" whilst the adults went and saved the Professor and stopped William Stryker from annihilating the entire mutant population. Frankly, he was bored, even though Kitty was actually having a real conversation with him without being scared or whatever it was the other students felt when they were near him. He had to admit it was a nice change.

"Whoa, where'd you think you're going?" Bobby said quickly, getting up from his seat at the front of the jet. Rogue stood up too, and watched in disbelief as John grabbed his jacket and began to put it on.

"John?" Kitty wondered quietly. She didn't know what he was doing.

"I'm sick of this 'kid's table' shit, I'm going in there."

Rogue immediately jumped in with, "John, they told us to stay here!"

John had finished putting on his jacket by now, and he turned to look at her, his face showing an air of indifference. He said coolly, "You always do as you're told?"

Bobby and Rogue just stood there, not knowing what to say. Kitty filled the silence.

"John, you'll probably freeze to death out there." She hesitantly reached out and put a hand on his forearm.

"Don't worry so much, Kitten. As long as I've got this, I'll be fine." He indicated the lighter in his hand, and lingered his gaze on her for longer than what was really necessary, before traipsing down the stairs and into the snow, wrapping his jacket more tightly around his body.

She knows the voices in her mind
They tell her to leave

Kitty began to pull on her own jacket, and was about to go after him when the stairs retracted and the door to the jet closed shut. She turned around in exasperation, and stared at Bobby, who was glaring down at her.

"You're not going out there," he said firmly, an icy tinge to his voice.

"What? Bobby, you're just gonna stand there and let him get himself hurt?"

"You heard him, he's got his fire, and that's all he really needs," Rogue pointed out moodily, thinking about what happened at the Drake house in Boston.

"So, you're just going to let him blow something up again?" Kitty said frantically, reading her mind.

Bobby shrugged nonchalantly, trying not to think about the repercussions of John's actions at his parents' home.

"Some friends you are," Kitty muttered, but Bobby heard her.

"Hey, you think he's been much of a friend? He's an asshole and you know it!"

"I can't believe what I'm hearing. Have either of you ever tried to get to know him?" Kitty demanded, and at their blank expressions she got her answer. She added more quietly, "Have you ever wondered why he's like that?"

"He never lets anybody in," Rogue countered.

"It doesn't hurt to try, Rogue," Kitty replied gently. "I'm going to go out there and find him, as it seems nobody else really wants to. Maybe even coax him back…"

Bobby grabbed her before she could move, holding her wrists tightly.

"Kitty, for the last time, you're staying here!"

"Bobby, you're forgetting one thing," Kitty said.

"What?"

"I can walk through walls." She phased out of his grip, and before they could do anything at all, she had phased through the bottom of the jet. Bobby's voice followed her, but she was already on the fresh snow and therefore couldn't register what he had said.

Kitty almost wanted to scream out her frustrations at their lack of concern towards John. Yeah sure, he could be a bit of a dick when he wanted to be, but that wasn't to say he didn't have good qualities. She didn't think Bobby or Rogue really appreciated his witty sense of humour, or the fact that he was honest, albeit sometimes to the point of bluntness. He was really good at English, too, even though he didn't work half as hard as she knew he could.

Standing there in the freezing cold and mulling over her thoughts was getting Kitty nowhere and in no hope of finding the misunderstood pyrokinetic before the adults returned, and so she set off in the direction she thought he had gone off to, all in the while wondering why exactly she was going after him.

Fifteen minutes had gone by with Kitty walking through what seemed like an endless mass of snow and dense pine trees. She couldn't see the X-jet anymore, and seemed she couldn't even see the base at Alkali Lake, either. I'm lost, she thought bitterly, and feeling a sense of hopelessness, she sat down on a fallen log. She shivered in the cold, longing to be back at the mansion and in her own warm and welcoming bed.

"This is your entire fault, John," she said out loud to herself.

"Well, I'm sorry for living!" an all too familiar voice spoke out from behind her. Kitty immediately turned around and was relieved yet surprised to see John standing there, his hands thrust deep into the pockets of his blue jacket. Kitty had to admit he looked rather cute, a few uncontrollable strands of hair falling over his forehead and into his eyes. He pushed them back rather irritably, and pouted.

"John?"

"Who else?" he replied, and Kitty couldn't help but notice the edgy tone in his voice and she remembered what she had said before, and his response.

"I'm sorry, I, I didn't know you were there but I-" Kitty fumbled over her words and flushed, but John rolled his eyes teasingly.

"Save it, Kitten. You're definitely not the first person to hate me for being alive."

Kitty didn't know what to say whilst he walked over and joined her on the log. There was silence, their breaths illuminated by the chilly air as they looked out over the quaint snow-covered landscape.

"So, what you doing out here? Thought Bobby would've made you stay with the jet like a good little X-Man."

"I came to look for you," Kitty replied, and before he could say something she continued. "And I did so out of my own will. Bobby tried to stop me from leaving. I just phased through him." She grinned at the incredulous look on John's face.

"Wow, Kitten actually got her claws out," he teased, and Kitty pushed his shoulder a little.

"Shut up!" she said, and laughed. John smirked and picked up a stick lying by their feet. He traced out his name in the snow.

"Pyro," Kitty read. "Pass me the stick."

Kitty bent down and began writing. When she was done, John saw what she had added. It now read:

"PYRO AND SHADOWCAT WERE HERE"

"Nice. If only it was permanent, you know, like graffiti," John said, admiring their handiwork.

"This snow won't be here forever," Kitty agreed sadly. For some reason, just seeing their names together like that made her feel warm inside. She couldn't quite work out the exact feeling, but she had to admit it was nice.

John interrupted her thoughts with a question. "Wanna go for a walk?"

Kitty had thought she'd done enough walking to save her life, but because it was John who had asked, she replied, "Sure."

John got up first, careful not to step on their names in the snow, and offered his hand to Kitty. She took it without hesitation, amazed at his rare gallantry. "Thanks John," she said. He just shrugged.

They had only walked so far from the log when a sudden, excruciating pain erupted inside their heads. It was the most intense pain either of them could ever remember feeling, and they both fell to the ground, John cursing and Kitty wincing and shaking. She involuntarily phased, and found that the pain went away until she returned back to her solid form. Of course, Kitty managed to think. She was invulnerable to psychic attacks in her phased state.

After all she feels numbness inside
The feeling's gone
She's upside down
The pictures behind her closed eyes
This time you went too far

"John…" she croaked, her head feeling like it was about to split open. "Take my hand."

John didn't even think twice. He reached out and grasped her hand, Kitty half-phasing them into the cold snow to try and reduce the pain. They were lying down on the cold ground now, their bodies facing one another. Kitty found her eyes being drawn into John's pained gaze, his hazel eyes piercing her brown ones. And somehow, although the pain was still beyond any migraine Kitty had once felt just before her mutation developed, she found comfort in the fact she wasn't alone in this, and that someone else was feeling her pain too.

By the time it was over, it was too late to turn back. Kitty was now enveloped in John's arms, without even knowing how she had gotten there in the first place. And even more astounding was that she didn't mind one bit. In fact, she snuggled a bit closer, breathing in his musky scent.

"John?" Kitty whispered. John seemed to realise they weren't dead, but alive and well, and he slowly pulled away from Kitty but didn't completely pull out of their embrace.

"Are you okay?" he asked quietly. Kitty was surprised at the anxiety in his voice.

"I'm fine, you?"

"I have a bit of a headache, but… I'll live," John replied, smirking a little.

Kitty expected him to thank her for reducing the pain by phasing them, but John seemed content in brushing a strand of hair away from Kitty's cheek, and before she knew what was happening he was leaning in to kiss her. Her heart sped-up tenfold, and without having a clue what to do, she found herself kissing him back. It was soft, slow and gentle, yet when they pulled apart for air they found themselves breathless.

"Aren't you going to thank me for before?" Kitty said without thinking. She mentally kicked herself – what a way to kill the moment.

John merely gave her his cheeky grin, and replied, "I just did, Kitten. And I'd love a second helping."

Kitty smiled and was happy to oblige.

They lay in the snow for what seemed like hours, just kissing, talking and holding each other. They even lay down on their backs at some stage, and watched the clouds drifting by overhead. John told Kitty how he felt like he had been typecast as the resident bad boy. He told her the 'real John' liked writing poetry. He told her not to laugh; Kitty didn't find anything remotely funny in it at all. She said she would like to read some of his poems one day. He said he liked her because he could be himself around her. Kitty told him she liked how he made her feel safe. They fit together like glue, each filling in the voids of the other.

However, even after all they shared it wasn't enough to dampen the flames lying deep within the fiery teenager. No amount of coaxing him to stay, no amount of Kitty telling him he was worth something, that people really did appreciate him, and no amount of desperate, lingering kisses could stop John Allerdyce from stepping onto that helicopter, leaving the only girl who had ever understood him, the X-Men and innocence far behind him.

After all they shared how could he simply say no?
After all they shared he turned away from her to go
She said she wouldn't cry, that was really just a lie

END