Burn the World and Come Within

- Know -
"You don't owe me," Remy says, tilting his head toward Pyro standing in the doorway. The white devil had sprawled on the couch after a particularly nasty job.

John, also known as Pyro, says nothing. His eyes burn and dance and tighten as he measures Remy.

"I wouldn' do that t' y'," the Cajun continues, leaning his head back onto the back of the couch and closing his eyes. "I've owed too many people. Sold m' soul too many times."

The two men remain in a comfortable silence as John takes in the words, the truth of what is being said. Remy LeBeau has spent a lifetime owing, and now he pays back into the lives of other mutants. He has even corralled the dangerous Pyro and given him skills Xavier could never impart.

"I want to do something," John says.

Remy cranes his head to look at him. "If y' do somet'ing, it's because y' wan' t'."

John says nothing.

"I'm a T'ief." Remy sighs and sinks further back into the couch. "Master T'ief of the Guild, ranked t'ird in de world." He grimaces. "Told y'. Owed too many people."

"That what Shiro does?"

Remy waves his hand noncommittally. "Sometimes." His reply is cryptic. Glowing red irises on black swivel up to meet the intent gaze of the pyrokinetic. "Y' still wan' in?"

John's eyes dim, then burn with the intensity of fire. "Yeah."
- Where -
She’s the last person he expected to see. She stands there, meticulously putting herself back together, smoothing out the loose ends and shouldering her pack after floating from ceiling to floor.

It’s Kitty.

A harsh expletive rolls off his tongue. He instantly freezes.

She utters a tiny startled gasp, complete with jump as petite as she is. Her wide chocolate-colored eyes find his just as her foot comes down on a stop valve with a ringing clang and they both wince.

Remy would kill him. They’re here for a heist and giving away his position to anyone is something he was trained long and hard not to do.

Something hisses, then whines. John curses internally, then the water spews out of the pipes in a loud, focused stream. She pushes at the piping, but the water only gets louder. He holds his breath, knowing they could get caught any second. He hurries into the small space between walls and plumbing where she’s at, sloshing into the water, shoving her against the wall, and bending over to tighten the valve. He sees now why Kitty was ineffective. It’s a wonder she could move it to begin with.

He manages to seal the valve. He hears something in the hall and immediately moves for the wall, only Kitty’s already there and he finds himself suddenly all too close to her. His her.

She’s wet on her legs with her arms embracing herself, her beautiful eyes staring up at him uncertainly. They breathe together, trying to keep the sounds quiet as they wait.

No one comes.

He realizes she’s shivering. His hand dares to reach out to touch her and her eyes close halfway, concern flitting in her eyes. He forces himself to drop his hand, but frowns as he studies her.

"You cold?"

She stills. Her eyes still stare at him. She’s still shivering.
- You -
His eyes darken and he leans in closer to her. She catches the ghosting of his lean, hard muscles beneath the tight shirt and the almost shock of gentleness in his gaze. He lifts his hand again, not touching her, just coming so close and moving his hand as if he can feel her. She shivers again, as if she can feel him.

Warmth licks at her feet, her legs. Her eyes widen and she looks down to see the flames rising around her, wreathing her limbs with an impossible tenderness and climbing upwards, caressing her shoulders, her face, warming her without burning. She shudders.

She licks her lips, wanting to whisper his name as she looks into those dark, unreadable eyes and the unreadable face, but she cannot. His name has died from her lips. She hasn’t been able to say it in the months since she broke him out, moved out of the mansion, gave up on him ever being who she thought he was.

"You’re the enemy," she says softly.

His face hardens almost imperceptibly. The fire bursts into greater heat, then almost lazily returns to the prepossessing warmth he has been lavishing on her. "Not anymore, Shadowcat." John also speaks softly, not whispering, not hissing, just so soft she can barely hear him.

Kitty hears the name and restrains herself from flinching, lifting her chin instead. "Why should I trust you?" she asks.

He smirks a little and his eyes dance with a fiery light. "I don’t know. Why should I trust you, here where no good little X-Man ought to be?"

"I’m recovering previously compromised data," she says flatly.

The fires die in his eyes. He leans one hand on the wall beside her head and she suddenly shudders again at this entrapment. She is cornered by Pyro, burning with his flames. If he let go of his control, even for a second

"I can’t trust you," she says, horrified by her realization, and somehow she isn’t so defiant anymore. "You’re not someone I can trust."
- Want -
"Maybe not, but I know where I want to go," he says, breathing against her so she cannot help but shiver in the unnatural heat. It is not unpleasant. "And I will get there. God help me, Kitty, I will."

She wonders what he means for one aching, breathless moment and the fires die slowly from her body.

His hard, warm hand slides under hers and he forms a cup with her fingers. He covers them briefly with his other hand and then pulls away. A blazing heart of fire lies on her outstretched fingertips.

She nearly chokes on the meaning.

He turns and strides away on his long legs and she trembling, sinks to the ground. The words try to whisper in her throat.

She finds her legs, her strength, and pushes off from the cold, hard wall toward his retreating back and forces the word, his name, past her lips from where it had died.

- To -
John stops, his fingers hesitating on the edge of a wall. He looks back, over one shoulder, eyes dancing, not catching her gaze.

Kitty reaches him and suddenly shyness overwhelms her. She glances around herself, then suddenly stares directly up at him. "Where?" she asks, desperately, quietly.

He studies her, his dark eyes lit with an internal flame. His hand stretches out and touches her cheek with soft intentness.

She bites her lower lip and waits for his answer.

With the smallest of sighs, he releases her and steps away. His eyes do not release her though, and she is captured in their depths as he speaks. "You."

The word refuses to register.

She blinks at him, opens her mouth and closes it when she finds there are no words, opens it again, but still there are no words.

He leans over. So close. Her mouth is open. She does not realize that it shouldn’t be until it's too late.

He kisses her. John, Pyro, kisses her.

And she doesn’t push him away.

The sweet heat filling her this time isn’t fire, but it’s burning her world and coming within, deep into her soul. She clings to him and kisses him back with her own furious longing, denied in lonely nightmares as she waited for him all these months, waited for this and didn’t know it.

"You’ll get there," she whispers between kisses, not caring who else hears her, just so long as he hears her. "John." She sighs.

He holds her tightly.

"We both will."
- Go -

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