Title: Level of Your Eyes (Some Kind of Boy story 14)
author: Tara Ann
summary: John and Jill are very comfortable together; Faith is
keeping a secret. X2/Buffy/Angel/Tru Calling crossover one doesn't
need to know Faith to read the story.
Rating/warning & pairing: G. Pyro/Jill
*Characters do not belong to me except for Jill she is mine and
looks like Claire Danes.
*Lyrics taken from the song "Sadness" by Porno for Pyros.
** I've liked Pyro from the first moment I saw him in X2. He's
complex with confidence and vulnerability. I only hope I give St.
John Allerdyce the respect and understanding he deserves. He is the
boy with the soft edges and the palest pout.
I got the devil in me, it's just a cloud
then I find compassion
and I find it vanishes
I want to find some laughter
when you laugh they can't kill you*
Click. Flame. Click. Flame. Click. Flame. John continued to
flick his shark-mouthed lighter when Jill climbed on to his lap and
rested his blue spiraled notebook on his chest. His head was set
comfortable in the pillows on the couch.
"I want a leopard skin couch," she said. "I really liked
He looked up at her, his dark eyes glazed sexy
His smile was faint, warm, looking for unconditional praise.
"Yeah," Jill said. "It was romantic, really romantic. There
was all this carnal possession, but there was love . . . real love
John closed the lighter. "You sound kind of surprised."
"I'm not really," she said.
"It's just fiction," he said.
Jill looked down, her slender fingers tracing the metal
spiral of the notebook.
"The sex scenes are sweeping and grand." She glanced into
"Not like ours?"
"That's not what I meant," said Jill. "Ours are sweeping and
"Mostly it's just sex."
She seemed temporally stunned.
"Sometimes it feels like just sex, but it isn't." Jill tapped his
chin. "You have a strong chin." She sighed quietly. "I'm going to
take a bath. Will you take it with me?"
"So I can get you naked, my silly little jellybean."
Jill tussled his hair, the slicked back strands of his dark hair
"There was this kid in the mansion who believed you woke up like that
every morning, with perfect hair."
"I hope I maintained the illusion for him," said John.
"The younger kids told me you made fire kites for them."
"They don't know what they were saying. I should have threatened
them never to tell." He smiled, "Let's get naked."
The water in the porcelain tub was hot and milky with jasmine
and honey. Jill rested her feet on his shoulders and he stared at
the small upside down cross on her left ankle; it was burgundy and
waved like the gentlest flame.
"Did it hurt?"
"It's still kind of sore," she said. "There wasn't too much
blood. I think the guy thought I was some sort of devil worshipper
or something. I just liked the way it looked."
"It's pretty. I like it."
"He asked me if I wanted my clit pierced."
John rubbed his cheek against her ankle. "I'll burn his
Her smile was short and glossed pink. "I wish I could knit
you a scarf, but I don't know how to knit."
"Do you know what the professor told me? He said, `I can't
predict the future, but I predict you will do great things John. If
ever you need us we will be here.'"
"You don't believe him?"
John's eyes studied the tiny crystal flame pendent he gave
her for Christmas. It hung daintily on a silver chain around her
"I do believe him," said John. "Do you think he's
"No," said Jill. "I think he knows he can't keep all the
children. I don't think he wants to."
"I think sometimes they thought I wanted to burn the school
down. I never thought of doing that. I let Jean read my mind."
Jill frowned. "That's not fair. I wish I could read your
mind." She slouched slightly. "We should get those floating candles
and turn off the lights."
"The darkness isn't quiet enough," said John. For the first
time he didn't seem to notice the scar on her chin.
"Did you ever read The House of Mirth?"
John nodded. "It's one of my favorite books. Two people
completely in love with each other, ready to eternally deny each
other because of society."
"No one can stop me from loving you," said Jill. "Not even
He might have wanted to shrug her words off, but even more he
wanted to remember them.
"I've never really been someone's boyfriend before," he
said. "I mean, there were a few times when I guess I was someone's
boyfriend, but I've never really felt like someone's boyfriend before
"This is the real one," said Jill. "The one that counts
She reached over the tub and picked up a bottle of virgin
pina colada, taking several quick gulps. Jill smiled and said, "It's
better with whiskey."
"I thought they put rum in those drinks."
"Nope, I like whiskey and chocolate."
"And cherries," said John. "I just want to be . . .
good . . . enough for you. I want to be a good boyfriend."
His eyes didn't look at her, but he could feel her watching
"You are," she said. Then she submerged herself under the water for
When she returned her eyes were squeezed shut and she put her feet
back up on his shoulders. Her eyes were wide and she wrinkled her
nose. "I like doing that. Pretending to drown myself. I used to be
Ophelia, now I'm just some kind of girl and you've always been some
kind of boy."
It was John's turn to down his bottle of beer the same kind
Logan liked to drink.
He grimaced. "I don't like beer very much."
"What do you like?"
"Something hardcore. Even though I get too drunk."
"Tell me something about your family?" she said.
"Why?" His face was free of distaste and loathing; there was only
hesitation and reluctance.
"I want to know," said Jill.
John sighed. "I used to fail spelling tests on purpose when I was
mad at my parents."
She laughed. "That's very bad boy."
"Yeah, well, it was one my early signs of rebellious character
traits. My mom wrote poetry, but she never tried to publish it. My
dad's biggest dream was to own his own car wash, but it never
happened. My mom grew up in Darlinghurst in Sydney near St.
Vincent's hospital. Her brother lived in Darling Harbor. She moved
with my dad, who was born in Greece, to Pittsburgh and they popped me
out very unexpectedly. I suppose they tried to be the perfect family
and there was love in the home, but it . . . I don't know where it
went . . . I don't think they knew, either . . . the only real reason
I was at Xavier's in the first place is because my mom wanted me to
go there, but it's over now . . . I guess.
"I used to play crazy eights with her and she sang these crazy
Australian songs. One day my dad told me he needed to teach me how
to play real games with cards, but I never really saw the point in
gambling, especially when you don't win."
"You have to learn how to win," said Jill.
"He wanted to drive a Porsche and my mom, she missed Australia. When
I found out my mutant power, my father was already gone and my
mother, I think she finally didn't know what to do with me."
"She would have figured it out," Jill said. "Do ever think of
looking for your dad?"
"No. I used to. He should look for me. I think I saw him at my mom
mom's funeral, but maybe I made it up."
"Do you blame him for leaving you and your mom?"
"No. I only blame him for the fire."
"Oh," said Jill. "Were your parents rebels?'
"Hi-def until they had to grow up. I've heard too many stories from
my uncle. They told her not to marry my dad, but they were crazy in
love. My mom didn't always do what she was told."
John stared at the scar on her chin.
"I really wish I'd caught you," he said.
"Why? I'm glad you didn't."
He thought about what she said and remembered when he first saw his
shark-mouthed lighter in the pawn shop window. It gleamed in
brilliance and he pawned his mother's gold cross of Mary for it. His
mother had always told him if he wanted something he should take it
and he did. She had supported the car wash idea until it started to
physically harm their financial development. John Allerdyce had
wanted that lighter and he took it; it wasn't just a lighter, it was
part of his very essence. He wished he could have told himself that
he had seen Jill the way he first saw his lighter, but she had been
the one to see him and seek him out.
The scar on her chin seemed like the perfect imperfection. It
haunted him sometimes and he didn't know why. Ideals couldn't be
flawed, not in his mind; he didn't want them to be. He wondered if
she lived a parallel version of herself the way he did. He wasn't
deceiving everyone; he was just being very cautious and guarded.
John wanted to survive in this world that sometimes seemed like the
most unbearable place in the world, second to his mind.
"It's snowing sweetly outside," said Jill. "Cemeteries and
snow are pretty. Maybe it will snow so much we won't be able to
leave the apartment."
"I'm thirsty for fruit punch whiskey. With cherries. If you
sent the town blazing I wouldn't mind."
She must have kissed him a thousand times, but the soft edges of his
face still seemed untouched. He looked at her with the palest pout.
I love you. He said it in his mind so many times, but he
rarely spoke the words out loud to her.
"My sister says I'm wild at heart," said Jill.
"I love that movie."
"We should watch it together. I once watched the same movie
three times in one day. I was completely obsessed. It was the
chrome metal love story of a husband and wife. The little couple
"I've been making little fire tornadoes," John said. "Little
for now, much bigger for later." He smiled. "I never hear you
sing. You're classically trained in opera and I never hear you sing."
"I guess I gave it up."
"I don't know."
"Are you shy?"
"No," said Jill. "I never learned to play the violin. My
sister was in Chicago on Broadway. She was the chick in cell who
couldn't speak English. She knows many languages, including
Japanese. I speak French when I want to and all that jazz."
John smiled. "Mademoiselle La Boy."
"The Marquis De Sade is buried in Paris. Someone stole his
"That really sucks," said John.
"What's the greatest pain you've ever felt?"
The question seemed strangely normal to him.
"Superficial pain? There was this backward cerebro. It
really fucked me up. It fucked us all up."
"I felt something horrible," she said. "I thought I was
dreaming, but I wasn't the only one."
He didn't realize she was referring to cerebro's penetration
towards the humans.
"Very uncomfortable and unforgiving," he said and smiled
smoothly. "Understatement of forever." His thoughts drifted to that
cruelly disgusting moment of burning intensity, searing pain, and the
ever-melting snow around him. He grimaced in his mind.
"I was going to help them. They needed it."
"Do they know that?"
John shrugged. "It doesn't matter now."
"You always wanted to be a writer?"
"I wanted to be a firefighter," said John. "Just kidding. I
don't know what I wanted to be. I never thought it would be
genetically pre-determined for me."
"It's not. The fire is part of you, but it's not the only
thing you are. It will be if you let it."
"You think I shouldn't let it?"
"I think you know what you should and shouldn't do," Jill
said. "When I was little I wanted to swim with dolphins. Then I
wanted to work with gorillas like Sigourney Weaver in that movie."
"If you lived in the jungle with the gorillas I would have
never met you," said John. "I pretty much gave up animals when I
burned my cat to death."
"Blazie likes you."
"She was a present from some girl."
"I guess she wasn't really my girlfriend."
"I want to dance the cooch in the carnivale," Jill said.
John laughed. "No you don't."
"Maybe I do."
"They don't have things like that, anymore."
"They should. Kurt got to be in the circus. I bet that was
"I guess." John shrugged. "Did you know that if you swallow
jellybeans and don't chew them they jitterbug in your tummy? It's
true. My mother told me. Jellybean jitterbug."
His dark eyes widened with child-like wonder.
"I don't believe you," said Jill.
His smile was smooth and playful. "Cross my heart."
Faith had tried to tell John Allerdyce several times that she
was pregnant, but every time she went to see him she decided not to.
She stood outside the door to his apartment and was going to knock.
Faith the Vampire Slayer could slay demons and diminish the forces of
darkness, but she couldn't tell some guy that she was going to have a
baby? it wasn't something she wanted to do alone and she wasn't even
sure what she was going to do once the kid was born. This was the
last time and she didn't know why she couldn't tell him. The first
time she had tried she had run into that ice boy and the second time
it had been the man with the claws. She knew then that Logan, that
was his name, knew what she had to tell John. She told the guy it
wasn't important. Now she was here and then she was gone. She would
tell him one day and hoped the end of the world wasn't lurking around
the corner. Faith didn't even wonder if the baby was a little girl
or little boy.