"You sure you wanna do this?" John asks in a patronizing manner. "You can always run home to your mansion and your X-Men!"
"What do you think Voltage will do when she hears you got beaten by a girl?" I retort, increasing the space between us so that we are stood roughly fifteen feet apart. I slip my eye mask on in case we are interrupted. After Sara's reaction, I'm not sure I want anyone else knowing that I'm a mutant.
"The X-Men gave you a pretty outfit. They should've been teaching you to fight." He taunts me. "Doesn't that boyfriend of yours know anything about tactics?"
"Oh, you have no idea!" I reply telepathically. I can see the faint twinkle of the lighter in his hand.
"You ready?" The moonlight emphasizes the harsh lines on his face, making him seem overly masculine.
"Are you?" I hear his laugh as well as sense it.
"Go!" He yells, flicking his lighter in his hand. Instantly, flames are tumbling towards my face. I hold my hand up casually and the fire disappears into my palm.
"You're gunna have to do better than that, lighter boy!" I yell, laughing at his attempt at a fight. I quickly ignite my hair and hands.
"Bad move!" He sings from across the grass. I feel him pulling the flames from my body. Hell no!
"Hey! Quit stealing my fire!" I order telepathically.
"Your fault for igniting it!" I feel the cold wind on my scalp as the flames slowly leave my hair. I try to tug them back, but John is far more powerful at manipulation than I am. We continue the game of tug-of-war until an idea sprouts in my mind. I remember playing this game in elementary school - boys versus girls, of course. Logically, the boys would always be winning, that is, until we girls would simultaneously release the rope and watch them stumble backwards out of balance, until they ended up in a big pile on the floor.
Now, I tug a little harder to retrieve the flames with my mind and, of course, John copies this action. Perfect! And suddenly, I relinquish all control over the flames, sending them back at John in a large inferno. I laugh, knowing that he cannot be hurt by flames he is in control of, before disappearing into the trees to hide.
"Ardor!" He shouts. "Come out and fight like a man!"
"I'm not a man." I calmly reply through our connection. "I'm a girl. And you should know not to pick on girls, cutie."
"Cutie?" He seems taken aback by the nickname, and I have to stifle a giggle as I silently climb the trunk of a nearby tree.
"I can see you!" I tease, finally reaching a strong branch to perch on. I am silently thankful for the vigorous training regime of the X-Men. I could never have climbed a tree that well six months back.
I click my fingers whilst thrusting my hand downwards and trap John temporarily in a ring of fire. I watch him from above as he turns quickly on the spot searching for me in the trees. I remove the flames from around him, so they do not illuminate my hiding place too much. Unfortunately, he has figured out the same thing and, after a quick spark from the metallic cuboid in his left hand, he begins shooting flames off in different directions to lighten the whole tree cluster. Damn! I need to get that lighter!
"Hey, John." I try to add a seductive tone to my thoughts. I think it works as the boy below me stops his fire fuelled assault. "You look good from this angle."
"Where are you?" He demands strongly, but I can see the tell-tale smile on his face. He's impressed!
"Come find me, cutie."
"I thought we were fighting, not playing hide and seek!" He speaks aloud now.
"You see, Scott is an extremely skilled tactician," I start, still watching him wander around below me. "And spending so much time together, some of his genius has rubbed off on me."
"Genius?" I feel John smirk slightly.
"Scott is a lot more intelligent than you give him credit for!"
"Oh, I don't doubt that." He replies. "I meant that I don't see there can be any genius in you. You're just a pretty face in a skimpy outfit with a bad attitude."
"And you love that." I reply cheekily, watching him move into the perfect position below me. 3... 2... 1... I jump down from the tree, landing heavily on the boy below me, like a cat on a mouse. In an instant I am straddling him and have removed the lighter from his hand.
"What the-" My laughter cuts him off.
"I told you I was good!" I smile tucking the lighter into my back pocket.
"Hey!" He sits up beneath me, causing me to tumble onto the grass giggling. "Give me that!"
"Nope! My prize for winning!" I laugh, standing quickly.
"You so cheated!" He now laughs too, stumbling to his feet.
"Awh! Did I hurt you?" I ask sarcastically.
"Nope." He says, whilst wincing.
"Fine then, found two!"
"No! No!" He exclaims quickly. "No, you win!"
"Thought so." I smile at his inevitable pain.
"You're such a bitch sometimes!" He laughs, leaning on his knees out of breath.
"Yet another thing you love about me." I wink at him.
"Of course." He rolls his eyes.
"I better get back." I smile. "I got some stuff I gotta do."
"Okay. Don't lose my lighter!" He orders before I turn to walk away.
"It's my lighter now!" I sing back, lifting the small, metal box about my head and not turning back to see him.