Swear My Life

Her shoulders were hunched against him. He watched her from the seat behind, clicking his lighter, watching her jaw clench from annoyance at the sound.

Miss Munroe asked for their papers and he flicked the lighter shut before handing his homework forward.

Kitty didn't look at him when she took it—or when the small slip of paper he'd passed her beneath it fell into her lap.

She frowned at it and read, then sucked in her breath.

He was beginning to get nervous, and he opened the lighter again.

She turned to him and smiled.

He forgot to breathe.


Swear Off You

It had sneaked up on him when he wasn't looking for it. St. John Allerdyce didn't make attachments, gave the finger to authority, didn't care about what little goodie girls like Kitty Pryde thought of him or anything else.

So when had that changed?

He flicked his lighter open to play with the flames, pondering his dilemma. He saw the sting in her chocolate eyes when he flirted with the new girl, Rogue. He felt the sting himself when she slammed her door in his face that night.

Everything he cared about always ended up burnt.

His lighter clicked shut.


Heav'n has no Rage, like Love to Hatred turn'd,
Nor Hell a Fury, like a Woman scorn'd.
~ William Congrave, The Mourning Bride ~

Chapter Three : : The Queen's Game

Play for Strife

Kitty tried to hate her. She tried to belittle her when showing her around, to dismiss her mutation and her feelings, to order the girl to back off by using her attitude. Kitty would have rolled her eyes—what attitude?—but she was too shocked by her own behavior.

What kind of a person was she?

And it was just too much work to analyze it, to admit to herself what this really was—Kitty was not jealous—or admit that she ought to befriend Rogue.

She crossed her arms and glared in the mirror. It was all his fault.


Play for Stakes

Kitty and John weren't an item. At best they were friends; at worst, friendly enemies: the kind you loved to hate. There was no them, and there was absolutely no reason why she should stare viciously at flames turned into apples and no reason to be so furious with a girl that was more taken with Bobby in the first place.

And who couldn't touch.

No reason at all to be jealous. No reason at all to wish the new girl hadn't come. No reason at all.

But then why did her heart twist and say, that's my St. John?

Hope to Die

It seemed the tables had turned--again, fire inside her and she wouldn't burn—'cause now it was Kitty that owned the battle.

She liked to phase him. Shock him out of his wits when his hand went through the chair, when he couldn't touch her, when she whacked him with a book, a pencil, something, and he would rather it hit him than that tingly, scary rush of a world that wasn't real.

"Stay solid," he griped.

"But you're cute when you're all surprised." She waved one hand inside him.

He guessed it made those flutters in his heart.

Cross My Heart

The first time she hauled him through a few classroom walls on break, he swore a blue streak that would make a sailor blush. 

She giggled—genuine, one hundred percent, girlish giggle—and pulled him along behind her, not stopping until they reached the two trees she'd been crying her eyes out at last night. "You climb trees?" 

St. John stared at her. She had to be kidding him, right? 

But no. Kitty had already scrambled up into one tree and was clambering from there into the other. 

"C'mon up, you big baby," she taunted. 

"You're nuts." But he came.

First Light

Kitty curled up into a little ball. St. John wrapped one arm around her shoulders. It wasn't crude or sexual in any way, just the comfort of another person's warmth.

"Your parents split?" she asked, amazed at herself for even daring.

"Long time ago, Kitten." His breath was warm on her cheek.

She leaned her head against his shoulder. She shivered. She had never liked the dark, and it was cold outside. "Could you make the light again?" she asked softly.

She wondered if he'd heard her, but then he held out his palm and the world lit in flames.

First Dark

She didn't take the news well. Kitty's parents had brought her up the model daughter, student, Jew. Naturally, they didn't expect her to make a scene when they told her about the divorce. A few screams, broken furnishings, and an hour later, they were thoroughly disabused of that notion.

Now, she was sprawled, sobbing at the bottom of her favorite tree behind the mansion.

"Sprite?" The ball of fire and the weary voice could only be John's.

She finally managed, "My parents."

And maybe it should've seemed odd to her that look of understanding in his eyes. But it didn't.

Don't Play Nice

He teased her endlessly about her name (at least she deigned to speak to him), but that all came to a startling halt when Cyclops rattled off their new codenames in the Danger Room.

Sprite. She had chosen Sprite.

"And I always thought sprites were easy," he quipped with a smirk.

She wasn't. Not even close.

He had a new weapon in his growing arsenal. The way he said her codename made her cheeks flush with flaming color, whether from embarrassment or anger he didn't care. She noticed. She reacted. To him.

Besides, he just liked to see her blush.