Craaaaazy. Very spur of the moment this fic is. It was written for prompt #14 - Sandcastles, from a prompt table at LJ comm. phase_fire. It's kind of exciting to be posting more Kyro for you all! I hope you enjoy :)

A CHANCE ENCOUNTER

The air was salty and breezy with a touch of humidity. Seagulls soared high overhead, calling to their mates, scouring the ground below for morsels of food to scavenge. The sky was the deepest blue imaginable, sun beating down brightly, not a cloud to be seen. The clean, white sand seemed to stretch out for miles along this part of the coast, welcoming visitors from all over the globe. It was January, the middle of summer, in pristine Byron Bay.

An eleven-year-old boy sat on his Power Rangers beach towel, watching as his father splashed about with his younger brother in the blue-green ocean. The boy had short, light brown hair and piercing hazel eyes. He was shirtless and wearing his favourite red-and-orange board shorts; red was his favourite colour. He had always been a relatively nice-looking kid and his family constantly joked that he would 'break hearts' when he was older.

Bored of watching his family now, his eyes began roaming the beach, taking in the scenes and colours before him: brightly-coloured bikinis belonging to teenage girls with supple breasts; young children dipping their toes into the water and shrieking in surprise at its coldness; a man selling ice-creams and ice-blocks by the dozen to hot and thirsty patrons; a family playing a game of Frisbee with their friendly border collie… He glanced at his mother now – she was under their large umbrella, sunnies on, book in hand, her white legs getting a much needed dose of Vitamin D. She caught the eye of her son and smiled at him. He smiled back.

"Why don't you go and have a swim, John?" she asked.

"I don't like swimming, Mum," he replied, rolling his eyes. You could tell he had told his mother this plenty of times before.

"You must be the only Aussie kid out there who doesn't like swimming," she said, shaking her head in disbelief. She was still grinning. "Why don't you go and build some sandcastles, then? I'm sure your brother won't mind if you borrow his bucket and shovel for a bit."

John shrugged, and his mother returned to her book. Sighing, he began rummaging through the large beach bag they had brought and pulled out a red bucket and small yellow shovel. He stood up and wandered a little along the beach, until he found a part of the sand that was not too wet, and not too dry. He sat down and began to build.

Fifteen minutes later, his sandcastle was almost complete. He had created a proper castle, with turrets and battlements and even a moat. There was something missing, but he couldn't quite work out what needed to be added.

Stuck in his own thoughts, he didn't notice when a girl around the same age as he came over to examine his creation. "I like your castle," she announced suddenly, and it made John jump out of his skin. She had an American accent, and was quite a small girl, with straight brown hair and brown eyes, and wearing a blue one-piece with black board shorts.

"Far out, you scared the crap out of me!" John said, glaring at her.

"Sorry," she replied, sitting down on the sand opposite him, on the other side of his castle.

"It's okay."

"Can I help with your castle?" the girl asked, eyes shining at the prospect.

John tended to be a bit selfish on occasion, wanting things all to himself, but he decided to be nice for once, despite the fact this girl was a complete stranger to him. "Yeah, I guess so."

The girl smiled brightly. "Thanks! It needs shells on it, for decoration."

"Oh yeah, I never thought of that! Good idea," John approved.

The girl began to poke around around in the sand for some shells, as did John. "You have a funny accent," she remarked after a minute of silence.

"No, I think you're the one with the funny accent," John told her. She was in his country, so therefore she was the one with the accent as far as he was concerned. "Where are you from?"

"Not far from Chicago," she said proudly, placing a cockle shell onto one of the turrets.

"I'm from Sydney," John replied, just as fiercely patriotic as she was.

"What's your name?" she asked.

"John," he said simply. He had never really liked his name. It was far too common. "What's yours?"

"I'm Kitty," she said, and John had to try not to laugh. Kitty frowned. "What's wrong with my name?"

"Well, why were you named after a cat?" he said as he placed a scallop shell onto the sandcastle.

Kitty rolled her eyes. "Kitty is my nickname, silly. My real name is Katherine."

"Alright then, Katherine, what's your favourite colour?"

"Pink," she said instantly. John smirked. It was so typical of a girl to like pink. "And blue," she continued, and smiled herself, knowing what he was thinking.

"I like red. Orange. Yellow…"

"Like fire," Kitty interrupted, and John smiled with his teeth this time.

"Yeah, exactly like fire."

They sat in companionable silence for the next couple of minutes, selecting shells and placing them on different parts of the sandcastle. It was starting to look rather pretty.

"Do you ever wish you were… you know, different?" Kitty said unexpectedly, lowering her voice.

"What, you mean like those weird people?" John replied, catching on. "The ones who say they have powers or something?"

"Yeah, like them."

"Sometimes," John admitted. He had never told anybody else this before.

"I wish I could be. If I had a power it would be to become invisible… or walk through walls or something. Then I could sneak into places and nobody would know!"

John grinned. "That sounds cool. I'm not sure what I would want to be."

"Hmm… what about… something to do with water, like you could turn things to ice?" Kitty suggested thoughtfully.

"No way! I hate the cold. I like the heat." He was adamant.

"Well in that case, what about fire? You like fire colours!"

"Yeah! I could set things on fire!"

"But not, buildings or people or anything. That would be wrong," Kitty pointed out.

"Oh no, I wasn't thinking that," John replied honestly. Although now that she'd said it he couldn't help imagining his primary school on fire. He hated school, except for English. It was his best subject.

Suddenly, they both heard a name being called out. "Kitty! Kitty, where are you?"

"Over here Mom!" Kitty yelled back, and waved in the direction of a woman who was standing further along the beach, wearing a floral sundress, with brown hair and short stature like her daughter.

"We're leaving now! Come and pack up your things," Kitty's mother replied, and beckoned Kitty over.

Sighing, Kitty stood up, and dusted the sand off her white legs and shorts. "I have to go," she said glumly. She had been having fun.

"Ok. Thanks for helping me with my castle," John said, looking up at her. There was something about this girl that he liked. She was different to the other girls who were in his class at school.

"You're welcome," she said, and smiled. "Bye, John."

"Bye, Kitty." He was almost sad to see her leave.

Kitty started walking along the beach towards her mother, and then she turned around and called, "Come visit me in Chicago!"

John knew it was impossible, particularly since he didn't know her last name or address, but played along anyway. "Alright!"

Kitty grinned again, and John couldn't help smiling back.


He didn't see her again until three and a half years had passed. Yes, he had made it to America, but not under the circumstances he might have wished as an eleven-year-old. He was one of them, a mutant, and his parents had sent him to Westchester County in New York State to a school specifically for mutants. It will do you good, they had said. Secretly, he knew that they hated him and just wanted him out of their lives.

He was unpacking his things in the allocated dorm room that a woman with bright white hair had shown him, when suddenly something, or rather someone, fell through the ceiling.

John instinctively grabbed his lighter and a ball of flame was in his hand. He turned around, and there before him was a pint-sized girl of about the same age, with straight brown hair and brown eyes. And she was smiling at him.

"John!"

"Kitty?" John was stunned.

"I can't believe it."

"Me either!"

"So you did come and visit me. Only not in Chicago," she quipped, remembering. John instantly remembered too.

He nodded, grinning. "Apparently I did." Kitty noted that he still had an Australian accent, so he obviously hadn't been in the States for too long.

"Looks like you got the powers you always wanted as well," she said, indicating the flame still hovering above his hand.

John extinguished it with a fist, and countered, "What about you, falling through my ceiling?"

"Yep. The Professor calls it 'phasing'. Cool huh?"

"Very cool," John agreed. There was silence, as they took everything in. John grappled with his words. He found it difficult to express how he felt, unless it was on paper. Eventually he spat it out. "I'm… I'm glad you're here."

Kitty wasn't sure why that was, but she didn't question it. She sensed that it had taken him a lot to say those words. "Me too," she decided to reply, which was the right thing to say.

And even though they hardly knew each other, they were both thinking the same thing: that their chance encounter at the beach hadn't been random, it had been fate.

And they smiled.

THE END