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06 August 2006 @ 01:14 am
You've Got To Go There To Come Back - Chapter 14  
Title: You've Got To Go There To Come Back
Author: sleepall_day
Rating: PG-13.
Timeline: Directly after Alcatraz events of X3.
Summary: After the fight at Alcatraz, Pyro is found and brought back to Xavier's mansion. For his criminal actions he has been given house arrest at Xavier's School and he must learn to adjust.
Author's Note: This is my all-time first fic, and lovethiscity was only recently created purely to post it. As I'm a new writer, I'd appreciate any comments, feedback, suggestions, or Aaron Stanfords that you would care to throw at me.

Disclaimer: I don't own X-Men or any Marvel characters. This is just for fun. Any resemblances you find to actual people, living or dead, shows that you have strange friends.


Chapter 14: “So have you been to a place like this?”

Kitty placed the metal sensor in my hand, and I just stared at it in my palm for a minute. That horrible little thing had done nothing but change locations on my body, but somehow it made a hell of a difference. I could actually feel the weight being lifted off my foot. Kitty was looking at me expectantly, and at first I couldn’t say anything. But then, I broke into a huge smile at her. I jumped off that bed like – well, like I hadn’t had a reason to be excited about something in forever. At the same time, I grabbed her hand, pulling her up off the bed too, and said, “Let’s get out of here!”

Kitty laughed and said, “I was thinking, and, um, it’d probably be better for you to put that thing somewhere in your room. I mean – I’m not sure who would really be watching it if the alarm didn’t go off, but if someone is and doesn’t see you moving, they wouldn’t think it was weird if it was in your room.”

“Yeah. You wait here. I’ll be right back,” I told her.

“Meet me in the garage,” she told me.

I got to my room and stuffed the anklet under my mattress, and then tried to look inconspicuous walking to the mansion’s garage, even though no one was around since it was late. When I got there, Kitty was sitting the driver’s seat of her car with the door open.

“I don’t want us getting caught,” she said, looking nervous for the first time since convincing me to go out. “Would you mind getting on the floor of the back seat? As soon as we’re far enough I’ll tell you so you can sit up front.” She was biting on her nails as she spoke.

I glanced around, and then said, “Yeah, okay, but don’t worry so much. You know who they’re worried about breaking out? That Payton guy. They won’t be thinking about me right now.” I opened the back seat door and climbed in.

Kitty turned around and smiled, and as she shut her door, said, “Well, then, let’s go!”

Kitty was still looking jumpy, and kept nervously looking over her shoulders as she pulled out of the garage and through the mansion’s gates, but from my limited view in the bottom of the back seat, I thought she was starting to relax as we got further away.

“New York City’s a bit of a drive from here, so most of the time we take the train, but it’s not so bad,” she said, when we were a mile or so out. “That is, if you don’t mind long drives.”

“Can I come out now?” I asked.

Kitty turned briefly, and said, “Yeah, come on up! Sit,” and patted the seat next to her. I crawled over to the front and plopped down.

“Seat belt!” Kitty said sternly, pointing at me.

“Concussions and other car accident related injuries are the least of my problems if we’re caught,” I told her, but I put it on.

I turned on her radio and flipped through some stations. I guess we were going to be on the road for awhile. I said, “So, I guess if I said ‘It’s clear sailing from here,’ that would totally jinx this, right?”

Kitty gave me a look with wide eyes, and said, “Oh yes. Don’t say that. And you can’t say ‘It’s all uphill from here,’ either.”

“How about ‘The rest is gravy’?”

“No way! We’re dead for sure!” Kitty exclaimed.

I grinned as I looked out my window, and said, “Well, then, we can settle for, ‘It ain’t over til the fat lady sings.’”

Kitty rounded a corner and looked at me with a smile. “That I could go for.”

It was mostly a quiet drive the rest of the way, with some scattered conversation and a lull from the radio. But as we got closer to the city, Kitty started getting more excited, and she started rambling. “Oh gosh, I can’t believe we’re actually getting there. I don’t even know where to start. I’d have an easier time deciding if we did take the train. We could get out at Penn or Grand Central Station, both interesting in their own right… And if we took a bus they’d let out into Port Authority, which is… not the best intro to the city, except that it lets out into Times Square. What do you want to see first?”

This made me burst out laughing, and I replied, “Kitty-cat, you’re the one who dragged me out here because you had – oh my gosh, so much stuff to show me!” doing a horrible imitation of her.

Kitty gave me a glare, and said, “Fine, fine. I’ll think of something.”

Then about five minutes later, Kitty declared that we were officially in the city and parked inside of a parking structure. The structure was very dimly lit, and I couldn’t see what was outside, but Kitty said, “Hurry up,” so I followed her.

The instant I stepped outside with her I felt like I was being swept away. I saw plenty of lights and buildings on the drive over here, but not like this. This was up close and in my face, people brushing past me, and moving streaks of light that were cars and taxis, and pulsing beats of music from stores that were open late. The city at night was not something I had really seen before and I was loving it.

Even though it was past midnight by the time we arrived, there were still tons of people walking the streets, which didn’t surprise me too much. The City That Never Sleeps, right? Kitty and I made our way through the people, and I let her go on ahead of me as my steps slowed. I couldn’t help it – I was overwhelmed. No more Xavier’s mansion. No more metal anklet… at least not for a few hours.

I pulled up the right leg of my pants and looked at my anklet-free foot, and just threw my head back and laughed. I was stopped right in the middle of the sidewalk – not such a great idea when the street is so crowded! I was just simply standing there, craning my neck up at some of the high buildings, and taking in the fact that I was breathing completely different air. I was staring at the twinkling lights of the buildings when all of a sudden I remembered that metal anklet being welded onto my foot – how the hell was I so… so happy right now?
When not so long ago, I thought I’d lost it all? I wondered if I was on my way to something better.

Then Kitty pulled me out of my trance. I could hear her faintly yelling, “John?! JOHN?! Where did you go? What are you doing back there? Come on, I almost lost you!”

I took one last glance at a high-rise apartment, wishing I could live there instead, and then said to Kitty, “On my way.”

She glared at me, and grabbed the sleeve of my jacket to pull me along, and said, “Don’t get lost! God, you scared me for a minute there! There is absolutely no way I’m going to be able to explain why you’re gone and that anklet is still at the school.”

“I know, I know, don’t worry! I won’t get lost, Kitty –”

“No, I mean don’t get lost! Don’t!”

I rolled my eyes at her and said, “I’m right here, Kitty-cat. Jeez. I’m not going anywhere without you tonight.”

“Uh-huh. Right,” Kitty said. “You know, out of context, that would sound really weird.”

I gave her some fisheye, and said, “Come on. Are we going somewhere or not?”

Kitty smiled and said, “Absolutely. And I know exactly where I want to go first. This is one of my favorite places in the city.”

She refused to tell me where we were going, so all I did was follow her, but it wasn’t hard to because we walked slowly. I wanted to look at everything. Being here at night wasn’t a bad thing at all – there was still tons of activity but less people than the daytime, so it was perfect for me. There weren’t too many street vendors, but some people were carrying shopping bags, some were by themselves listening to their earphones, some were getting in and out of taxis. There were some people sitting at outdoor tables of coffee shops. I noticed that it was actually getting a little steeper as we walked.

Finally, Kitty and I reached a tall hotel. It wasn’t huge, but it looked pretty fancy. It wasn’t a name that I recognized. Above the glass doors, it said The Silver Lining in fancy script, and there were lights still on in the main lobby. Through the doors I could see that there was a receptionist and a few people sitting in the couches that were off to one side of the lobby. It was fairly empty, since it was night, but I was glad Kitty hadn’t taken me to a place that was completely deserted, which would’ve creeped me out a little bit.

“This is it?” I said, when we were at the top of stairs leading to the front doors.

“This is it,” Kitty confirmed.

“One of your favorite places in the city is this place, huh?” I asked, as we pushed open the doors, getting a welcome from the receptionist.

We nodded in acknowledgement, and Kitty said, “Actually, make a correction – one of my favorite places in the city at night.” She led me to the elevators and took us up to the second to top floor, and it was number fifty-six.

When the elevator doors opened, I was looking at the night sky. The elevator opened up into a hallway, but it was a narrow one that led directly to a pair of glass doors that went to a balcony. “What’s this all about?” I asked Kitty curiously.

“Remember earlier? I said I can’t tell you. I couldn’t because I have to show you. Come on!”

Then Kitty pulled me by the sleeve out onto the balcony, where a crisp breeze was blowing. It was much colder even in the summer night now that we were higher up. Kitty rushed over to the edge of the balcony to a thick, tile wall that was about chest-high, but I took my time.

Kitty said, “The floor above us is the penthouse, of course, and this entire floor is just like this – a balcony.” As I walked away from the doors, the city below slowly came into view, and I had to draw in a breath.

“Kitty…” I finally said. “This is…” I couldn’t even finish my sentence.

She smiled knowingly, not even needing me to tell her what I was going to say, and then said, “Isn’t it… beautiful?”

I could remember a time when I would’ve given a snort of derision hearing a girl like Kitty saying something like that. But I didn’t think anyone – least of all me, standing right there beside her – could deny her words.

“It’s beautiful, Kitty. It’s beautiful.”

The city sprawled on and on. The cars were just blurs of light, and there were towers that sparkled light, and there were people who were just ovals of hair, and lights turned on and off, and the whole thing created an effect that was so dynamic and bright that the skyline above the city glowed. The night sky was not black. I could see the clouds and they swirled with yellows and reds.

I remembered the day that I sat on the roof of Xavier’s School with Warren Worthington, and how the two of us had looked over at a city. It wasn’t anything like this, of course. It was a nice view, but as far as I was concerned there was absolutely nothing of interest in Westchester County – a quiet, country-club sort of area, with lots of empty spaces, which is perfect for the school. And that sort of view had its beauties too, but I was too busy being awed by the cityscape that Kitty had just shown me to appreciate that other one.

There was a distant stream of noise from the city below, but it was quiet enough and peaceful up there on that balcony of The Silver Lining. When Kitty spoke, her voice was soft, not spoiling the quiet. “So have you been to a place like this?”

I didn’t answer her for a few minutes. I just let myself enjoy the sound of her voice against the wind that was whipping our hair back, and then I said, “Somewhere high up, where you can see buildings? Kitty-cat, I don’t think something like that is all that rare, but I have to admit to you, no. Not like this.”

Kitty smiled at that, and then leaned on the tile balcony. I put my hands on my pocket, feeling the plastic lighter that was in there. Kitty had my Zippo, but I’m never without some lighter, at least one, but sometimes more than one. I was carrying a cheap plastic one, and drew it out of my pocket. I started playing with it as I leaned my chest over the balcony, and said, “Wanna see something, Kitty?”

“Um… don’t burn anything down, John,” she said, eyeing my hands.

I laughed, and said, “I figure we’re high up enough that no one’s really going to see this. Well… maybe some of the people in the hotel, but they won’t know what it is.”

“Why wouldn’t they?” Kitty asked, but the words had barely left her mouth before I gathered a large ball of fire into my hand.

I let the ball rage in the palm of my hand as I calmly returned the lighter to my pocket with the other hand, and then, suddenly, with an immense burst of power I forced the fire to go streaming off into the sky like a rocket. It was so quick that Kitty jumped back in surprise. When the stream was high enough, it flew open into a flaming fireworks display bursting with an audible crackle. I wanted that firework to scream across the night.

Jubilee wasn’t the only one who could throw fireworks. I could too – just, mine weren’t as colorful.

When I turned around to look at Kitty, she was staring at the sky with widened eyes, and her mouth was open with the corners slightly turned up. “Wow,” she said simply.

“See, they’ll just think someone’s shooting off Roman candles or something,” I told her nonchalantly. I even shrugged for effect.

Kitty was still staring in wonderment and said, “John, that was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen you do with your powers. I could never be that flashy.” I couldn’t tell if there was a hint of jealousy in her voice or not.

“Oh, I don’t know about that. It would look cool and pretty Superman-ish if someone was shooting at you and just phased the bullets right through you.”

Kitty looked at me and said, “How much thought have you given that?”

I shrugged again and said, “Lots of people can do cooler stuff than I can.” I didn’t want to look like I didn’t like being a mutant, though, so I quickly added, “Not that I don’t appreciate having this,” and tossed around another ball of fire.

“Ready, Kitty?” I said, throwing two more streams of fire up into the night sky at once, and creating two more fireworks of real, honest-to-goodness fire.

Kitty was no less impressed the second time, exclaiming at the fireworks and smiling. I had to smile, myself. It had been a long time since someone had actually enjoyed me using my powers. The two of us were laughing as we leaned over the balcony, staring at the stars, which were more visible from the second-to-highest floor of The Silver Lining than the street.

We were quiet for a while, and then I said, “You know what’s really weird?”

“What?”

“Have you ever… well… before you ever found out about your powers, did anything ever happen to you, or did you think anything that was somehow related to your phasing?” I asked, stammering a little bit.

“What do you mean?” Kitty asked.

“I mean… before you knew anything about the fact that you could walk through stuff, did you ever think about it, or something?”

“I’m still not really sure what you’re trying to ask me. What were you saying is really weird, anyway?” Kitty said.

Looking back at the sky, I said, “Well, before I found my powers, when I was a lot younger, actually – just like, a little kid – I used to think that the stars were fire.”

Kitty looked like she was trying not to laugh, and then said, “But… the stars are white, John.”

I gave her a teasing look of anger, and said, “Hey, I was a kid! Do people question kids having imaginary friends, or the floor being made of lava, or whatever? So I thought the stars were fire!”

“Technically they kind of are,” Kitty conceded. “But probably not the kind of fire that you thought they were.”

“Yes. You are correct,” I told her in a grating voice. “I thought it was the same kind of stuff in the fireplace, except more like, white-hot.”

“Anyway,” I went on, “when I finally learned I could control fire… I thought it was weird of me way back when, to think that.”

Kitty said, “I’m pretty sure when I was a kid I would’ve loved to walk through walls. Actually… there was this one playground that I went to all the time in my neighborhood, and I used to climb trees all the time. Getting up was the fun part, but once I was up there, I used to get really scared when I looked down. There were always so many branches and I thought I’d scratch myself too much trying to get down and I wished I could just float right through them back to the ground. So… I guess, yes, to your question.”

“I’m not the only weird one, then,” I told her.

“Definitely not,” she said.

“We should go climb some trees sometime. Now you can just phase through the branches,” I said.

“Well… I could, but I’m not scared anymore,” Kitty reminded me.

“I’m not scared anymore either… of leaving that place,” I said, knowing I wouldn’t have to explain what I meant. I draped my arms over the ledge and said, “I have the whole world to look forward to.”

***
NEW LAYOUT! Hope you enjoyed this chapter! I can't tell if it's a coincidence or not that I wrote this chapter after I finished making a new layout, but the layout is here because I finally have a lot of free time. Yes, it seriously has taken me FOURTEEN chapters for me to finally customize this journal! Please check out lovethiscity and let me know how you like it! I have to say the layout and this chapter definitely influenced each other.

Chapters: 1 and 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 , 8 , 9 , 10 , 11 , 12 , 13
 
 
 
Jess: pyro/kitty - bittersweethazy_crazy on August 6th, 2006 09:22 am (UTC)
Awwww I loved it!! It was great, I have NO idea what you were worried about. Too fluffy? honestly!! ;) It had just the right amount of sweetness.

My favourite part was when he made fireworks!! Eeee I love fireworks =D I can just imagine him doing it!
Iris: fire in your homesleepall_day on August 6th, 2006 09:24 am (UTC)
Ahhh, thank you so much! You know I totally appreciate your comments. There is a time and a place for fluff, I guess - I hope mine gets stuck in the fic in the right places...

Yay, and thanks for reading! I'M SUCH A DISTRACTION, AGH.
pat_nosferatupat_nosferatu on August 6th, 2006 10:05 am (UTC)
Sweet chapter:) I really like it that John and Kitty are closer to each other than before. And the fireworks moment was great.
Iris: john says sleepall_day on August 6th, 2006 06:40 pm (UTC)
Thanks a bunch! I was hoping it wouldn't be too cheesy. And yup, they're slowly getting closer...!
Teganshadowcat47 on August 6th, 2006 02:46 pm (UTC)
Wow. This was soooo good. Your writing style is really amazing. I loved the fireworks scene was so cute, and it had just the right amount of everything, like you made it really believable. I really like how you're taking the John/Kitty relationship slow and I really like how you write their characters. Great job! Update soon!!!
Iris: asoue - violetsleepall_day on August 6th, 2006 06:42 pm (UTC)
Ahh, thank you! I'm not sure if I could define what my "style" is like, but I guess every person has one, so thanks for commenting on mine ;) This was a really helpful comment! Thanks a bunch for reading.
Hailey Burdenskepticalwriter on August 6th, 2006 03:34 pm (UTC)
I really liked this chapter. I like the stuff between the two of them! It's really cute!!!!!!! \/You're style is amasing and it's awesome!!!
Iris: angel needs a bigger partsleepall_day on August 6th, 2006 06:44 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! Glad you thought it was cute - so, not TOO fluffy then?

:D Thanks for reading.
Crystal: x-men - kyro - happyyypetitebelette on August 6th, 2006 03:58 pm (UTC)
OH MY GOD! *screeches*

The layout ROCKS.

This chapter was sooo cuuute. God, I love that they're really are just friends right now, and they're just steadily building the relationship. :)

And hrrmmmm. I wonder is Pyro could control the fire of a sun? I mean, yeah, technically it's just a elemental reaction that produces heat, but... that's something to think about.
Crystalpetitebelette on August 6th, 2006 03:58 pm (UTC)
if* :P
(no subject) - lux_apollo on August 6th, 2006 04:58 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - petitebelette on August 6th, 2006 05:02 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - lux_apollo on August 6th, 2006 05:16 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - petitebelette on August 6th, 2006 05:24 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sleepall_day on August 6th, 2006 05:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - petitebelette on August 6th, 2006 05:38 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - lux_apollo on August 7th, 2006 01:13 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sleepall_day on August 6th, 2006 06:43 pm (UTC) (Expand)
lux_apollo on August 6th, 2006 04:59 pm (UTC)
Great job! A very cute chapter.
Iris: john says sleepall_day on August 6th, 2006 06:45 pm (UTC)
Thanks a bunch!
(Deleted comment)
Iris: cyclops - rules are swell!sleepall_day on August 6th, 2006 08:38 pm (UTC)
Aw thanks! Thanks a bunch for reading and for the comment :D I was hoping that wouldn't be too cheesy.
Lauren_starcatcher_ on August 6th, 2006 08:30 pm (UTC)
Aww That was cute! and not too fluffy at all! :]

Do people question kids having imaginary friends, or the floor being made of lava, or whatever?
haha I so used to pretend the floor was made of lava and then put pillows down and I had to step on those and not the floor! :D good times..good times
Iris: hmm... *strokes beard*sleepall_day on August 6th, 2006 08:38 pm (UTC)
DUDE I AM CONVINCED that EVERY KID has played "Ahhhh, the floor is made of lava!" Hahaha!

Ahhhh. Anyway. Thanks for the comment :) And for reading! I'm glad you didn't think it was toooo fluffy... hrm.
(no subject) - _starcatcher_ on August 6th, 2006 08:41 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - petitebelette on August 6th, 2006 11:02 pm (UTC) (Expand)
beee_summer on August 7th, 2006 02:01 am (UTC)
love the fireworks part.awesome work!
Iris: franco bwsleepall_day on August 9th, 2006 08:55 am (UTC)
Thank you!
(Deleted comment)
Iris: busted - extra exceedingly fitnesssleepall_day on August 18th, 2006 06:31 pm (UTC)
Ah, thank you for the comment! Glad you thought it was sweet - I think I'm having trouble deciding whether something is too fluffy or not... so yeah. Yay, and thanks for checking out the layout!
just_a_duck on August 14th, 2006 12:54 pm (UTC)
Super cute! But what happened to that Time for Dinner kid? She was hilarious.
just_a_duck on August 18th, 2006 04:41 pm (UTC)
Hi there,

It's been a while since your last chapter and I was wondering if something is up. I hope you haven't lost inspiration! Please don't take this as a "hurry up" post - I just want to make sure things are okay.
Iris: c is for charliesleepall_day on August 18th, 2006 06:32 pm (UTC)
Ah, thanks for your other comment, and the concern, heh :D I'm okay, I think... I think I HAVE kind of lost some inspiration, actually, but I haven't really been around because a friend is visiting for awhile. I mentioned it in my own journal, but didn't think there was a point to saying anything in here, since not many people have it friendd, so nobody would really see it. But, I do have a good chunk of the next part written, I just need to fix things up a bit, so I don't think it will take TOO long. Thanks again!
Coneflower Adams: 1 - loveconeygoil on September 27th, 2006 02:20 am (UTC)
I have been seeing you post this story for a long time now, but never read it until a few days ago when I printed the first chapter out. Now I know what I was missing!

This is a wonderful story! I really like how John and Kitty's relationship isn't the sole focus (or even the main focus for the first several chapters) of the story.

I was sort of wary about the 1st person with John since it seems he'd big a hard character to voice, but you have done a pretty good job with it! I'm very pleased :) I also like how he's standing his ground, but also starting to respect the X-men's beliefs.

The whole chef!John thing has been very amusing to read!

I think you've written my favorite version of Warren so far too.

This is a great story. I'm loving it all. Please continue, and I hope it's NOT coming to an end soon!
Iris: angel needs a bigger partsleepall_day on September 27th, 2006 06:35 am (UTC)
AWwww, well, thanks so much for letting me know all of that! It's cool to know that you've finally decided to read it :) Thanks for reading so far. And definitely let me know how you like the later chapters as well!

Yeah, I guess first person can be very difficult, but for some reason I'm comfortable with it because I don't write very much but when I do, it usually is in first person...

Yay, thanks for the comment about the Warren character!

I'm not sure if I can tie up all of those loose ends so soon, so not to worry :)
(no subject) - coneygoil on September 27th, 2006 12:05 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Coneflower Adams: x-men - back offconeygoil on September 27th, 2006 02:22 am (UTC)
I've never thought about John being able to make "fireworks". Cool idea!