I haven't posted any Kyro fanfiction since July 2007! Holy hell, what is wrong with me? XD I must say, it's been good finding my muse again. I've got quite a few fics in progress and I really, really want to finish them this time. This was written for Prompt #7 – Sadness from a table at LJ community 10_prompts.

NOSTALGIA

Kitty Pryde sat at the desk in her dorm room, eyes dissecting the words written in her Chemistry textbook. She had been reading the same line on the same page for the last few minutes and hadn't taken in a single word. Her mind was on other things, more precisely the battle of Alcatraz, the death of the Professor, the state of the school, a certain pyromaniac…

There was a soft knock at her door. Kitty sighed. She wasn't in the mood for company at the moment, but she was too nice for her own good.

"Come in," she called at the door, and it opened to reveal her friend, Bobby Drake.

"Hi Kitty," he said, and moved into her room and closed the door gently behind him.

"Hey Bobby," she replied, turning around in her chair to face him. It was then that she noticed he was clutching something in his hands.

"I er, I brought these down to show you. I thought you might like to see them." Kitty had seemed really down the past few weeks and Bobby had undoubtedly noticed. He walked over to her and held out his hand. Kitty now realised that he was holding a set of photographs, some slightly creased with age and having been tossed about from place to place. She took the photos from him, curious. Bobby continued, "I was cleaning out my room and found them lying at the bottom of a drawer."

Kitty started at the first picture. It was of Rogue, before she had been captured by Magneto and received the white streaks in her hair. From her stance in the photo, Kitty was sure that she didn't even know it was being taken.

"Sneaky, Bobby, nice one," Kitty approved, smiling.

Bobby chuckled, looking over her shoulder at the photo. "Yeah… Back then I guess I was a bit-"

"Smitten?" Kitty offered, looking up at him, an amused half-grin on her face.

Bobby went red a little. "If you wanna put it that way, then yes."

Kitty shook her head, smiling, and moved to the next picture. This one featured Bobby this time, with Piotr Rasputin. Both were dressed in rugby gear, and sporting mouthguard-filled grins.

"You look diminutive next to him!" Kitty exclaimed, giggling, and Bobby gave her shoulder a friendly punch.

"Hey! You can talk!"

"True," Kitty agreed, imagining her lithe, petite frame next to the large, muscly one of Colossus.

Kitty flipped to the next. Bobby and Rogue. Kitty made a few aww-ing sounds and Bobby laughed. The next was one of herself and Rogue; they were holding up their Biology essays, each with a big red A+ stamped onto them.

"I remember that! You were so upset because you got a B+ and you wondered how that was possible considering we all worked on it at the same time!"

"It was Jubilee's fault! She accidentally deleted part of it when she was mucking around on my PC, and I had to re-write it!"

"Typical Jubes!" Kitty hadn't laughed this much in ages. It was the cheeriest she had felt since Alcatraz. Still laughing, the next photo revealed the late Professor Charles Xavier, teaching one of his classes to a small group of students, Kitty included. Her smile turned into a frown, mood suddenly sombre. She missed the Professor dearly and her emotions were still raw. Determined not to cry, she moved on.

A picture of the Christmas tree in the lounge room, Rogue's gap-toothed grin visible from where she sat on the ground beneath it; Kitty dressed up as a ghost for Halloween; Bobby caught eating ice-cream right out of the tub; Jubilee outside of the museum, her fingers forming the peace sign; Piotr and Kitty sharing notes; Bobby and Rogue drinking a milkshake; Rogue reading underneath a sycamore; Kitty, Theresa and Rogue all huddled up on the couch, watching a scary movie…

"These are wonderful, Bobby. I never knew you'd taken half these photos!"

Bobby smiled. "There's one more left."

Kitty shifted the second-to-last photo from the pile to see the one underneath, wondering what photo Bobby had taken this time, anticipating another photo of his girlfriend. However the picture before her eyes left her stunned. She had not expected this, and an overwhelming feeling of nostalgia hit her.

She could remember the exact time the picture was taken, feel the way the afternoon sun had felt, the touch of a breeze on her skin, the scent of blossoms in the air. There was an unbelievable sense of sadness and longing held for the boy who was pictured. The boy in this photo had merely arrived at the school, and even only just made friends with Bobby. He had not yet purchased his trademark Zippo lighter, had not even slicked back his hair and put on the 'bad boy' façade that people would come to know him by, had not picked a codename for himself. He had not even begun to call her 'Kitten'. For all Kitty knew of John Allerdyce at the time, he was just another new student whom she wanted to welcome and possibly get to know better…


Kitty saw him standing alone, the 'new kid' at Xavier's. He was leaning against a tree, wearing a light-weight blue jacket, red shirt and blue jeans. His hands were thrust into his jean pockets as he glanced around at the other students playing a game on the basketball court. Kitty was always a tad shy introducing herself to new people, but this time she felt even more so as she walked across the grass towards where he stood, carrying a basketball in her arms. There was something about his demeanour that made her nervous.

As Kitty neared she could see his facial features more clearly. He wasn't atypically handsome, with no distinguishing qualities, but he was far from unappealing in her eyes. Straight brown hair swept carelessly across his forehead in no particular style. Despite being in his mid-teens, stubble adorned the underneath of his chin. His lips were pouted, accentuating their fullness. He had an average, straight nose, and his eyes were framed by dark brows that gave him a rather intense look.

When she reached him, the boy finally turned to look at her. She could now see the colour of his eyes, highlighted by the sun – they were a radiant mix of brown, yellow and green. Kitty's heart beat faster. He was much better looking up close than from far away.

He looked at her expectantly and, finding her voice, she spoke first. "Hi, I'm Kitty Pryde."

His mouth quirked upwards in a half-grin at the pint-sized girl in front of him, and he replied, "John Allerdyce."He had an American accent, although it wasn't very strong.

"Welcome to Xavier's," she said cheerily, and it amused him.

"Thanks," he replied, but he didn't sound very thankful.

"Have you been here long?"

"Got here yesterday."

"What do you think of the place?"

"It's alright." He sounded bored already and Kitty felt flustered. His gaze returned to the game going on in front of them.

Kitty racked her brain to think of something to say that would grab his attention. "So, uh, what can you do?" It seemed appropriate, considering that's why they were at the school after all.

John looked back at her, finally interested. "You got a lighter?"

Kitty was surprised at the random question. "N-no I don't. I don't smoke."

"Neither do I," he said, smirking a bit, "but I can't show you 'what I can do' without one."

"Oh," Kitty said, putting two and two together. "You mean you can control fire?"

"Yep, pyromaniac, that's me," he said dryly.

"But," Kitty continued, "you can't create your own flame."

"Wow, you're good," he approved, raising his eyebrows at her in an attractive gesture.

Kitty blushed. "Yeah well, it wasn't too hard to figure out," she said shyly, looking away.

There was another period of silence whilst they watched the other kids play - some using their powers as necessary to gain advantage over the others - before John broke the ice. "So, Kitty…" She looked up at the mention of her name, brown eyes locking with hazel ones. "What can you do?"

Kitty felt her shyness ebbing away at the mere thought of displaying her powers. It was one area of her life she felt extremely competent in. "I'll show you. Hold out your arm," she requested, gauging his reaction.

Puzzled, John did as he was told, although a bit hesitantly, Kitty noticed. It made her grin.

"It won't… hurt, will it?" he asked, brows furrowed, his usual cheekiness momentarily gone for the moment.

Kitty almost burst out laughing, but since she figured that that might not go down so well, she shook her head. "Just watch."

She brought the arm that wasn't holding the basketball right above his arm, and held it still there. She glanced at his face – he was visibly nervous.

"Okay, here goes…" Still grinning, Kitty instantly let her arm drop. John watched in disbelief as her arm literally went right through his own and out the other side.

He shuddered, rubbing at his forearm. "What the hell WAS that?"

"I just phased," Kitty said proudly, beaming.

"You what?"

"Phased. Basically, I can pass through solid matter by altering the vibratory rates of the atoms in my body, so that they pass through the spaces between the atoms of the object through which I am moving." It wasn't until after she had said this that Kitty realised what a big nerd she must sound like to him.

"Is that available in English, by any chance?" he joked, smirking. Kitty went pink, somewhat humiliated in front of this cute stranger.

"Oh ha, ha. The short version is that I can walk through walls," she told him, rolling her eyes, a little miffed at his smartass attitude.

"That's actually pretty cool, you know," John acknowledged, impressed, placing his hands back inside his jean pockets.

Kitty found herself softening at his praise. She hadn't expected a compliment. "Well, thanks."

"Don't mention it."

It was at this moment that Bobby walked up to them, his Pentax digital SLR camera on a strap around his neck.

"Hey guys," he said, glad to see that John had made a new friend, and doubly glad that that friend was Kitty.

"Hey Bobby," Kitty replied, turning her head to face him, and finding herself looking into the lens of the camera instead of Bobby's smiling face.

"Say cheese!" And before they could move out of the way, or even smile, Bobby had taken the photo.

"Gee, thanks man, I hate photos!" John protested.

Bobby just laughed. "Cheer up, I'll delete it."

"Good," John said coolly.

"Come on, I haven't even shown you the other half of the mansion yet."

"Alright, alright, it's not like I don't have the rest of the year to see it or anything."At John's comment, Kitty giggled and John winked at her.

"Very funny," Bobby said, before returning his attention to Kitty. "Talk to you later, Kitty." He began to head back towards the mansion.

"Yeah, seeya," John said apologetically, and started heading off too.

"Bye…" she responded, annoyed that she hadn't had much time to talk with John before Bobby had stolen him away. She got the impression that John hadn't wanted to leave, either.

Kitty watched his back retreating after Iceman's, and sighing, looked down at the basketball in her hands instead. She was about to bounce the ball on the court when suddenly, John called out to her. "Oh yeah, forgot to ask!" he started, and Kitty dropped the ball completely and it bounced away from her.

Hands on hips, she retorted, "What?"

John grinned lopsidedly at the look on her face and started walking over to her. "Do you go by any nicknames?"

Not sure where this was going, Kitty replied, "Er… my codename is Shadowcat?"

"No, I don't mean your codename. Your nickname," John said, picking up the basketball she had dropped and bouncing it onto the bitumen a few times.

"Well, not really. My real name is Katherine so people just call me Kitty." She shrugged.

"Ok. Well, I have another one." He was standing in front of her by now. He was of an average stature for a guy, so Kitty didn't have to look up too far to meet his eyes. She found herself absorbed in the colour of them. They looked exactly like a burning fire.

"You do?" she said warily, swallowing. Why did he make her feel so nervous?

"Yep. From now on I think I shall call you…" - he gently shoved the basketball back into her arms – "Kitten."

Kitty blushed to the roots of her hair. Nobody had ever called her that before. She had always felt it was a nickname reserved for a boyfriend of some description to call her, an affectionate pet name of sorts.

"Glad you like it," John said without waiting for a response, smirking. "I'll see you later, Kitten."

And he walked away, leaving Kitty dumbfounded, her face emblazoned a lovely pink. She had never met anyone like him before in her entire life. He had been irritating and cocky, and yet at the same time he was cheeky and warm and gorgeous and- Oh dear God… she thought, putting a hand up to her cheek and feeling how warm it still was. She tried to rationalise with herself. You barely know him, Kitty. Pull yourself together! And she meant that literally, as well. She had half-phased into the concrete, the kids still playing basketball glancing over at her oddly. But it was too late for coherent thought. Kitty Pryde had one big, fat crush on the new kid, John Allerdyce, and there was nothing she could do about it…


"Uh, Kitty?"

Kitty shook her head and looked up. "Huh?"

"You er… your eyes kind of glazed over." Bobby looked concerned.

"Oh." Red tinged her cheeks. "I was just…"

"Remembering?" he offered, sparing her.

"Yeah…"

"I'm sorry if I upset you, Kitty, I didn't think-"

"No, Bobby, don't apologise, I'm glad you showed it to me," Kitty interrupted, wiping her nose on her sleeve. She glanced at the picture one last time before shuffling the photos together and handing the pile back to him.

"Thanks. And Kitty," Bobby said, extracting the last photo from the stack, "you can keep it. It's the only photo I ever got of him. He hated photos."

"I know… and thank you, it… it means a lot."

"You're welcome, Kitty," he replied softly, and took this as his cue to leave.

When he was gone, Kitty looked at the photo nestled in her hands. Yes, she remembered that moment very well. And what's more, she could remember with unsurprising clarity all that had happened after the fateful day she had met St. John Allerdyce. They were like pictures before her eyes: the teasing and pestering and annoying her to death; the helping him study even though it was unwanted; the countless notes shared in class; the field trips spent entirely by his side and no-one else; the endless flirting and witty banter between them; the surprisingly profound and long conversations in his bedroom; the way he looked when he glided flames effortlessly and smoothly between his fingers; the smouldering gaze before he kissed her: once, twice, three times… And bitterly, she thought, the way he pretended nothing had ever happened between them by leaving her, the X-Men, and innocence far behind him when he stepped onto the helicopter...

Wiping a tear away from her cheek, she stood up from her chair and walked over to her bed. She lifted up one of the pillows, and placed the photo underneath it. Maybe he would never come back; perhaps she would never lay eyes on him again, never feel the way his skin felt against hers, nor the softness of his lips, the sound of his voice. But at least, she could still dream…

END