El Scorcho (twbasketcase) wrote,
El Scorcho
twbasketcase

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FIC: Our Last Memory 14/23

Category: X-Factor (Volume 3)
Characters: Rictor, Shatterstar, Longshot, Dazzler, Siryn, Domino, X-Factor, Skids, Spiral, and Doc Samson.
Pairings: Rictor/Shatterstar, Longshot/Dazzler
Genre: AU, drama, romance, angst, humor.
Rated: NC-17 for extreme violence, language, and sexual situations.
Disclaimer: I don’t own a thing. I just play in the world of those who can't appreciate.
Story Summary: When X-Factor gets help in defeating Arcade, they get a new member of the team, Longshot. But in return for his assistance, Longshot needs some help with his own problems -- on Mojoworld. What they find there opens up a whole pile of old wounds for other members of the team, and they learn that sometimes memories are all that are left to hold onto.

Chapter Summary: Alison has a hard time dealing with what Spiral's done; Shatterstar's finding out real quickly that perhaps the missing pieces of his past may just be better left unsaid.

Chapters: One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten, Eleven, Twelve, Thirteen,
Prequel Pieces: One, Two, Three, Four.
Extra Scenes: Chap 9, Chap 14,

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"So let me get this straight. You remember everything?"

Alison stared across the desk at the green haired psychiatrist unblinkingly. “Yes. Everything. I even remember the things that I had long forgotten from other mind wipes.”

Doc Samson chewed on his lower lip thoughtfully as he slowly twirled his pen through his fingers. Alison could see the way the gears in his head were turning, and the fact that he seemed stumped about the situation did not help. She was overwhelmed and bothered enough as it was, and for him to be showing disconcert made her feel worse. Everyone was treating her like glass, and she needed someone to just take control and make things right again. Her mind was an absolute cesspool at the moment, and it was too much to bear.

Samson sighed and placed his pen down. “Okay well let’s focus on that for the time being. I understand that your son is probably a big issue for you right now, but I think it would be best if we figure out exactly how the massive influx of memories is working on your brain.” He paused and pulled her folder from his desk. “Too much going on can cause panic or anxiety, which could lead to other things. So let’s start from the beginning.”

Alison nodded. “She just approached me with some strange device. I’ve never seen anything like it, but it’s probably safe to say that it’s something from her Shoppe or Mojoworld. It just…I don’t know. I can’t even figure out how long she had it on me for. Everything just pretty much flashed in my head.”

“Was it vivid? Would you compare it to a movie, or just like flashes of photographs?”

“Like a movie,” she replied slowly. “Like every image, every sound, every way that I felt…it was so detailed. And it all hit me at once, so I remembered everything at the exact same time. I had to sit because it actually knocked me off balance.”

Samson frowned. “And it reversed every mind wipe you ever had?”

“Yeah,” she nodded. “And not only that, but it fully restored images and memories I lost other ways. I had a bout of amnesia a few years ago after a particular incident with the X-Men, and while I was able to gain back most of my memories afterward, there were still things that were hazy. But not anymore. Not even nights I spent partying are lost to me. I remember everything.”

“It’s almost as if your subconscious mind was just completely healed and opened up to you,” the green haired man murmured. “Besides in telepaths, I’ve never really seen anything like that before.”

“I don’t know what to do,” Alison confessed with a whisper. “I can remember every hurtful thing, every mistake, every single solitary bad memory I had locked away in my brain. And Spiral—what makes this worse is that I don’t know what her agenda is. I have no idea why she would show me these things and heal me from something that she hid from me! How am I supposed to know if this had any lingering affects? She could have messed with something else!”

“What do you mean by ‘something else’?”

Alison shifted in the chair awkwardly and dropped her eyes down to the table in front of her. “Her gadgets have endless amounts of functions. She can mess with your mind, your sense of time, and your balance. I have no idea what she did.”

Samson’s eyes widened. “This woman seems, well, extremely dangerous. I had no idea that--”

“She made me immortal.”

His eyes widened further. “Pardon?”

“She’s the reason I can’t die,” Alison shook her head bitterly. “As some sick, twisted way of repaying me for ‘letting’ her take Shatterstar to the future with her, she made me immortal. In her mind, she thinks I made an honourable sacrifice. She named him based on what Longshot had wanted. And for me-- she gave me the mind wipe and the opportunity to someday see what he would become.”

“To see what he would become?” he repeated, just to make sure he had it right.

“Yeah. The last thing I told her before she drugged me was that I just wanted the chance to meet him. To talk to him and to touch him—it wasn’t too much to ask!” Alison dropped her head into her hands. “She told me she had a way, but I would only hate the monster he would become.”

“And?”

“And what?” she lifted her head to eye him.

“You ended up meeting him without having to live that far ahead into the future, yet you still have the ability resurrect yourself."

“I told you, she’s twisted,” Alison sighed shakily. “It’s some rotten curse for taking Longshot away from her, or something. I have no idea what her problem is. All I know is that she’s crazy! Mojo turned her into this time paradox and it literally drove her nuts. One moment she’ll appear as if she’s doing you a favour and the next she’s dropping you through time vortexes.”

“How is a time paradox even possible?” Samson questioned incredulously.

“I told you when it comes to Mojoworld anything at all is possible. Not only have they naturally progressed their biped people much faster than us, but their magicks are completely incomprehensible. If you think about it too much, it’ll seriously give you a headache.”

“Okay, so you think or you know that Spiral is responsible for your immortality?”

“I know,” Alison insisted.

“And you were completely unaware of this ability before hand, or did you have an idea? Your behaviour in the British hospitals suggested that perhaps you didn’t want the doctors testing you for reasons.”

“It’s hard to say…” she muttered.

“You don’t sound completely sure of that statement,” Samson perked an eyebrow and began writing a few things down in his file folder. When he looked back up, he appeared indifferent. “You either knew or you didn’t. Were you aware of this ability, or did it come as a complete surprise to you? Now whether or not you knew the exact cause is another story--”

"I think that’s hard to determine when one is in denial about it,” she snapped in an annoyed fashion. “The first time I died and came back it was a bit of a shocker, and I’m sure, doctor, if you had any idea what that felt like you would be rather put off by it!” Alison folded her arms and slumped in her seat slightly. “I’d be lying if I said I was completely unsure. I always had my suspicions that it was her, but that’s all they were: suspicions.”

“And you never had the opportunity to confront her about it?”

“Would you confront a six armed psycho about her rationality!?”

“That’s not what I meant--” Samson sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose.

“Well every time I’ve had the pleasure of running into her, it’s usually been because a war was going on. And in such situations, I don’t really think it was plausible for me to ever question her about it,” she dropped the annoyed tone and replaced it with something a little more sad. “Besides, I was busy dealing with the fact that I ‘miscarried’ and my husband was dead. I went through a period of time where I wasn’t exactly making the best of decisions with my life. Spiral was quite far from my mind.”

“Are you referring to your drug problem?” he inquired.

Alison tensed up and felt a familiar shame creep up on her. “Yes, I suppose you could say that.”

“There were media reports that said you had suffered an overdose.”

Alison chewed on her lower lip thoughtfully for a few moments; such hardships and mistakes were not nice to be reminded of. “Yeah I did. I was trying to get back into my singing around that time, and it’s pretty easy to meet shady people in those places – the bars and clubs and whatnot.”

“Would you consider the overdose accidental or did you do it on purpose?”

She narrowed her eyes. “Does it even matter what I consider it? Because doctors and other people just always naturally assume that you do it on purpose. Either that or you’re scum for doing the drugs in the first place so you deserve what you get. Karma, you know?”

“Yes, it does matter what you consider it. Doctors do come to grow quite apathetic towards patients after awhile and it can be difficult for them to really stop and listen to excuses. But I’m a mental health doctor, so, yes; it makes a world of difference what you think about it.”

“I did the drugs because I was sad,” she admitted but did not look him in the eye. “The X-Men proved to be worthless to me as friends, I’d lost my baby, my husband, and everyone I knew had long moved on from me. After all the loss I just felt the need to ease the pain, and at the time the drugs did that.”

“But the overdose was accidental?”

“It wasn’t like I planned it. But since I decided to take the drugs it couldn’t have been completely accidental, you know? I take responsibility for my actions, but no, it wasn’t something that I tried to do.”

“Okay, and on that note, would you consider yourself a drug addict?”

She stared at him and clenched her jaw. “I’m not using any more. But isn’t the true definition of a drug addict someone who is/was at one time one who had a dependency on drugs? Even if that person got over such issues?”

“Depends who you’re asking,” Samson replied, and scribbled down a few more notes. “An addict is someone who is experiencing a very specific pathological state. It’s basically like a disease. You can experience it, and ‘treat’ it in a sense with programs and detox. But another aspect of the term does include the possibility of relapse. And people who are at risk for relapse are those that still crave drugs and feel the urge to purchase or use. That may also affect other aspects of their behaviour as well; one could develop a general addictive personality to any one thing.”

“Well then…” she trailed off thoughtfully and frowned. “I am not using right now. But, yes, I would probably consider myself an addict. But I have worked very hard to get past that.”

“I believe you,” he assured.

“Things got better when I was in Excalibur. I was beginning to get over my problems and grieving was easier. I was distracted and had other things to occupy myself with. For the first time in a long time I was able to feel important again.”

“But then?”

“Nothing,” she smiled a little. “Things did keep getting better because I was eventually reunited with Longshot. Of course, at first it was a little difficult.”

“He had been mind wiped again at that time, correct?”

Alison nodded. “Yes. He didn’t remember who I was. It was like all this time I had spent being so completely devastated that I lost him, and then he shows up! I was so happy and relieved that he was alive and unhurt and still just as beautiful as ever. But he didn’t remember who I was."

“And how did you deal with that?”

She sat back in her chair and folded her arms under her breasts. “I tried to jump off a building.”

Samson blinked and pursed his lips. “And yet you state your previous drug overdose had been accidental?”

Alison smirked slightly. “The overdose was. I climbed to the top of that building because I knew I could jump and remain alive anyways. It wasn’t like I actually had an escape. It was just another temporary fix for my pain I guess. Just that time it wasn’t going up my nose.”

“Okay, fair enough. But eventually Longshot had regained most of his memories?”

She nodded. “Yeah we were still working on them though before I got kidnapped by Spiral. It’s probably safe to say that it was that situation that helped him get his back. I don’t know for sure though because I wasn’t there. But either way we’d left Excalibur shortly after being reunited and we lived together for a couple of weeks in England. We didn’t have a place to go, so we were just staying in some hotel until I had enough money to get us a place.”

“Can we go back to Spiral for a moment before we have to end this session?”

Alison bit her lip and nodded. “Sure.”

“You said earlier that she claimed you’d only hate the monster your son would become. I find that interesting that you added that information.”

Alison looked down at her hands and fought the overwhelming sense of guilt and shame that burned inside of her. Such words had run through her mind since the moment they came back and invaded her memories. Such lies but such truth. Of all the things Spiral had said to her back then, it was that one sentence that bothered her most. How did she feel about it?

“I think…maybe she was trying to scare me,” Alison replied slowly. “To talk me out of wanting to fight for him.”

“Do you think what she said is true?” Samson questioned carefully, reclining back in his seat as he watched her. “How do you feel about the way your son turned out?”

“The way he is scares me,” she admitted.

“How?”

“He’s angry and violent, and he’s killed hundreds of people,” she had to force the words out of her mouth.

“So you’re inclined to believe Spiral when she says that he’s only a monster?”

“No; the things he did were a result of his upbringing. You see, Doc, Longshot’s done the exact same thing. Mojo’s forced him to kill in order to survive, and even when the two of us were fighting with the rebellion we killed people. We had to.”

“So you don’t place any blame at all on Shatterstar’s head for being the way he is?” Samson inquired.

“None. I place it on my head.”

“Alison,” he rubbed his face and sighed. “You can’t do that.”

“Yes I can.”

“No, you didn’t raise him. Losing him was out of your hands – out of your control. You shouldn’t feel guilt for something that you had absolutely no control over. And despite the fact that you’re having no difficulty discussing this with me, I’m worried that you may be suffering from some severe psychological trauma based on this event.”

“I’m only talking to you about this because I have so much god damn shit swimming in my head that I need some sort of way to deal with it,” she hissed.

“I understand that such a massive wave of information being processed at once would be extremely difficult for you to deal with--”

“No, you have no idea,” she cut him off, and pointed a finger at him. “There’s absolutely no semblance of normalcy in my head anymore! And not only do I have to deal with the fact that everything’s so exposed and clear, but I have to deal with the fact that everything that happened to him was a result of me not protecting him or myself!” she sat back and dug her fingers into the arms of her chair and fought to control herself. “I look at him and I hurt, doctor. I ache in places that I never even knew existed. All the horrors that my husband and I went through on that world were only magnified for Shatterstar. The worst part is that it doesn’t even affect him. To him that kind of treatment and cruelty is normal."

“But he knows it’s wrong,” Samson offered gently. “Sure maybe growing up he didn’t, but coming to Earth allowed him to learn that. Coming here gave him a chance at another life, Alison. And if you want to be technical about it, it was you and your husband that allowed him to do that. It was Mojoworld’s rebellion that sent him here, and it was the two of you that had brought together and strengthened that very rebellion’s ranks. The two of you allowed it to survive for long enough that he was able to escape.”

Something about that statement made Alison’s heart rate speed up. “Still, he shouldn’t have had to--”

“But that’s what happened,” Samson interrupted softly. “You may not have been able to keep Spiral from doing what she did, but you unknowingly allowed your son to come to Earth and have the chance to live just by continuing your fight for biped freedom after your loss.”

Alison felt her eyes burn, and she cursed it. “It still hurts, doctor.”

“And that’s okay. You still have to get adjusted to all of this new information."

Alison nodded, and wondered if she would ever be able to just ‘get adjusted’. What kind of sane, normal person easily adjusted to such a horrifying life? Despite any wonderful memories and impressive heroics she may have been involved in, the horrors of her life far outweighed anything else. Her father’s murder, her family being stalked by Mojo, her ruined singing career, her cursed immortality…it was far too much to take in. It was like she was just one big walking bad luck charm. Everyone in her life had endured so much suffering, and she could not help but feel it was all her fault.
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“That smells good! What are you making?”

Shatterstar looked up at Longshot and frowned. “I don’t know.”

“Its chicken broccoli cordon bleu,” Rictor muttered from behind his newspaper. “You love that stuff, ‘Star.”

Shatterstar perked an eyebrow; that was the first thing Rictor had said to him all day. Although still a little embarrassed over what had happened at the club, Shatterstar was not mad at him anymore. But Rictor seemed to be put off by him, and the Mojoworlder still wondered what he had done wrong. Julio was just so confusing and Shatterstar did not know what to do. Frowning, he looked down at his food and then back up at the Mexican. “Do you want some?”

“Yes.”

“Okay,” he shrugged and continued to do whatever it was that he was doing. He was not even sure where he learned to make such a meal.

“You eat a lot,” Longshot pointed out.

“No I don’t,” Shatterstar rolled his eyes.

“Yes you do,” Rictor piped up again. “I’ve never seen someone eat as much as you. ‘Cept maybe Jimmy, but that was only on good days.”

“Whatever,” Shatterstar grumbled.

“It’s okay. It’s the metabolism, I bet! I saw once on some silly doctor programme that people who move around a lot need to eat a lot, or something weird like that,” Longshot sat down at the table and looked up at the warrior. “Say, you seen Ali today?”

“No, not since this morning; she left out the front door without saying anything,” Shatterstar replied with a shrug. “She probably just went shopping. Theresa said women like to shop when they are angry or sad. Or even sometimes when they are happy or excited. Maybe she got a haircut.”

Longshot furrowed his eyebrows. “I like her hair.”

“Well maybe she didn’t get it cut. I do not know,” the younger man rolled his eyes. “Like I said, she didn’t say anything.”

“She hasn’t said much at all,” Longshot pointed out.

“No, she hasn’t. That annoys me,” Shatterstar scowled and stared down at the Cadre leader. “She knows things, and she’s not telling them to me. I don’t like when people keep things silent when they pertain to me.”

“What do you want to know?” Longshot questioned curiously. “I don’t know what she knows, but I know some stuff.”

“She is my mother, yet the Executioner – or Spiral, as Dazzler called her – is in my memories. I want to know why I was under the assumption a woman was my mother who wasn't really, and my real mother did not know where I was.”

Rictor dropped his paper and just stared. “That makes no sense at all.”

“I know,” Shatterstar shrugged.

“Yes it does. Spiral raised you. That’s why you thought that,” Longshot pointed out. “Right before Ali got taken back to Mojoworld, Spiral attacked me. And she must’ve just recently been in contact with you. I have the power to read recent psychic imprints on people, and when I was battling her I managed to get a glimpse into her head, and you were there.”

“When was this?” Shatterstar questioned.

“Just a few weeks ago,” Longshot replied. “That must’ve been when you were taken back as well. I’m not totally sure what happened between you two, but whatever you did really upset her.”

Shatterstar frowned. “I don’t know why I did not just kill her.”

“You can’t,” Longshot frowned.

“Still! I shouldn’t have let her simply take me back there if that wasn’t where I wanted to go!”

“She has ways of persuading people. From what I read on her though, memories of her and you were on the forefront of her mind. You found out that she was not your true mother and I’m guessing you must've confronted her about it.”

Rictor scrunched up his face and shook his head. “Wait just a second here! That doesn’t make any sense! Shatty never thought she was his mom.”

Longshot pursed his lips together. “As far as I know, he always thought that.”

“I’m not exactly certain what I knew beforehand. But I know now that she was around a lot when I was a child. I have had very vivid memories of her resurface,” Shatterstar furrowed his eyebrows thoughtfully and frowned. “I have many memories of her actually. Strange ones, but a great deal of them.”

“But you never told me that before,” Julio pointed out. “You told me that you were bred in a gestation chamber.”

“The bipeds were,” Longshot confirmed with a nod. “But Shatterstar is half human. That was always common knowledge on Mojoworld.”

Shatterstar just blinked. “I have no idea.”

“If he was genetically bred, he would not have been a child. The livestock were full grown from the beginning and created to look a certain way. We age very, very slowly,” Longshot explained further. “But he was a child, and since he’s not of the Spineless race he would have been quite aware that he was not a bioengineered biped.”

“So he lied?” Rictor scoffed incredulously. “Why the fuck would he do that!?”

Shatterstar’s eyes widened considerably, and an inexplicable nervousness came over him. Another secret of his past was seemingly coming into fruition, and just his luck it was making someone upset. Again. He had no idea what Rictor was talking about a lie for, as he was unsure why he would lie. Of course, the idea of being related to someone such as Spiral was completely humiliating and degrading to a warrior of his stature. And unless he was looking to hide such a shame, he saw no reason for lying to this man who considered him a best friend. ‘Star looked to Longshot for help, but the Cadre leader seemed to be just as confused.

“I don’t know. I know that Spiral had definitely made mention of it when we had to deal with Benjamin Russell, and Shatterstar had been quite aware of her being there before she took you all back to Earth.” Longshot rubbed his chin and stared across the kitchen table at the flustered Mexican. “Why did you think Spiral helped bring Shatterstar back from the dead in the first place?”

“I died?!” Shatty’s eyes widened.

“So he lied!?” Rictor demanded. “The whole god damn time he lied to me!?”

“Who is Benjamin Russell?” Shatterstar mused further.

Longshot looked between the two boys, obviously trying to figure out what to say and who to answer first. “Oh boy…”

Rictor just leaned over the kitchen table and rubbed at his temples furiously, but Shatterstar was intrigued by this story. It was confusing, but it sounded exciting. “Longshot?”

The older Mojoworlder snapped his head up and cleared his throat. “When Spiral took you as an infant, she spliced your genetic code in half. So you had, well, I guess technically a twin. Technically, but not really. It’s confusing.”

“On with it,” the younger man rolled his eyes.

“Anyways, she sent one of you here to Earth to grow up, and she kept you on Mojoworld to raise herself. I don’t really know anything about the boy who came here, but that his purpose was to mature socially. You were meant to be kept behind in the pens and to train so that you would be hardened enough to succeed in the gladiator games,” the blonde man spoke slowly. “You were meant to be the warrior that would take down Mojo, and in turn, win rule over Wildways. Spiral was preparing you for that destiny. She took you from Dazzler so that you would not be influenced by maternal love. She wanted you to be mean and heartless.”

“Why did Dazzler let her do that?” Shatterstar demanded.

“She didn’t!” Longshot threw his hands in the air and shook his head. “She was very sad! Spiral took you without her permission, and then made Alison think you died.”

“Oh.”

“Yeah, but then you rebelled and joined the Cadre, and that was against Spiral’s plans. That made her very angry and she waged war on you from then on out; you became one of her greatest enemies.” Longshot traced circles on the table top with his fingers as he spoke more hurriedly. “Shortly after you were sent to Earth to get help from the X-Men to take down Mojo. You got stranded here, and that was why you stayed. But because of that, you were never able to fulfill Spiral’s preconceived destiny for you. The war went on longer than it was supposed to. Anyway, Mojo came back and tried to kill you instead. He tricked you, and ended up succeeding in that task.”

“That lard killed me!?” Shatterstar scoffed.

“Yes, but Spiral used her magicks and had your body bonded with your genetic twin. The two of you were psychically connected and your beings became whole.”

“Za’s Vid,” the warrior scrunched up his face.

“Spiral helped saved you then perhaps because she still had hope for you to someday take Mojo down. Maybe she had developed a sort of maternal feeling for you after all because it meant a lot to her that you be saved,” Longshot continued. “However you were still very cold to her despite what she did. Whatever had happened to you in your childhood, it was obvious you held deep hatred for her because of it.”

“I cannot even believe this shit,” Rictor scoffed.

“Me either,” Shatterstar blinked. “I must have been very slow and possibly intoxicated if Mojo had been able to defeat me so easily.”

“No!” Rictor shouted at him and stood up from the table. He circled it and stopped in front of the warrior, and pointed a finger angrily into his chest. “You lied to me about that for years. Years! I told you everything about my family and my past, and that was shit I didn’t ever tell anyone! I trusted you with every secret I had, and yet you just lied to me about yours?! That’s fucked, ‘Star!”

The redhead frowned. “I don’t know why. I’m unsure what I said to you or why I said it.”

“I can’t even believe you,” he shook his head disgustedly and backed away. “Years. I thought you were my best friend. You meant everything to me and all you did was lie.”

A strange, twisting feeling ached in Shatterstar’s chest, and he reached out to the Mexican. Rictor just pulled away as if he had been burned, and ‘Star’s frown deepened. “Julio…I’m sorry. I would take it back if I could. And it’s not as though I remember all of your secrets anyways. Perhaps, then, being hollowed was what I deserved. I was not honourable and worthy enough to remember you.”

The anger and hurt that sparked in his brown eyes momentarily softened, but Julio still turned away. “I gotta get outta here.”

“Don’t go,” Shatterstar pleaded.

“Fuck you.”



Rictor—Julio! There has to be a way to work this out--”

“‘Star…I gotta think it through. Maybe if I take some time off…get away—I haven’t been home in a long time. My family needs me.”


“But I need you! Julio, you’re my best, my only friend.
"

“And I’ll always be there for you, amigo. You or anybody else on this team needs me-- all you gotta do is ask.”




Shatterstar grabbed at his head and winced at the ache he suddenly felt. “I never intended to upset you!”

“Well you did anyways!” Rictor shouted at him angrily as he stormed out of the kitchen.



Man, that traffic on the expressway was murder. I hope I don’t miss my flight, ‘Star.”

“To be honest about it, Rictor, I kind of hope you do.”




Shatterstar scowled furiously as the Mexican continued on his way up the stairs and out of sight. The warrior clenched his jaw, balled his fists, and resisted the urge to destroy something. Why did he feel such a way? He had no recollection at all over what had transpired between him and Julio, nor did he have any explanation for the supposed lie. However, he would not think he would want anyone to know of a relation to Spiral anyhow. Rictor would probably lie about it too if it were him.

But Julio did not lie. Julio had told him all of his secrets, he had said.

Shatterstar fisted his hair and grumbled as he tried desperately to figure what the hell to do with himself. He felt angry and disappointed and all he wanted to do was hurt somebody. Seething, he spun around to glare at Longshot. “What is his problem!? Fekt, I do not understand!”

Longshot’s face softened, and he swallowed. “I don’t know.”

Shatterstar stood in his place for many moments without saying a word to Longshot. He could feel the older man’s eyes on him, but Shatterstar did not trust himself to even speak right then. What was he going to do? He did not have much time to think about it before he heard Rictor storming back down the stairs and slamming the front door a couple of seconds later. The sudden emptiness Shatterstar felt was absolutely indescribable.

Again, he had no idea why.

“I’m worried that I am missing some very important thing here.”

Longshot sighed and stood from his seat. “I’m sure it will work out.”

“It will not work out if I do not even know what it is!” Shatterstar yelled at him irately. He felt the sudden urge to strike the man in front of him, but something else very strange kept him from doing so. “I don’t want to do this anymore, Longshot.”

“Do what?”

“This. Any of this,” Shatterstar admitted, voice coming out a lot smaller than he would have liked it to. “I am unhappy. I am not at all fond of the person I’m turning out to be, and it seems as though many others aren’t very fond of that person either.”

Longshot furrowed his eyebrows and shook his head. “Now, that’s not true. Sometimes fights happen, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t like you. He’s just upset…”

“What’s going on?”

Both men turned to see Alison standing in the doorway of the kitchen. It was now late in the evening, and it was strange that she had been gone all day. But like Shatterstar had suspected, the woman had a few bags in her hands. Blue eyes were moving back and forth between the two men, but the warrior felt absolutely no desire to explain anything to her. So he just shrugged and made his way out of the kitchen.

“Nothing."
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<<<<

Alison stood staring at Shatterstar as he walked out of the room quite obviously flustered and miserable. She had absolutely no idea what had happened; all she had heard was his shouting. Her gaze moved back to Longshot, and he had been watching her. His eyes were soft and his body language hesitant. They had not had the chance to say much to each other since she had gotten angry at him the night before. She did not know what to say. She was scared and upset, and she had hurt him.

The last thing she ever wanted to do was hurt him.

“You were gone a long time,” he murmured.

She swallowed. “I just needed some time to think about things.”

“Are you still angry with me?”

“I just really wish you would’ve told me.” She backed away from him and plopped down onto one of the kitchen chairs. “I don’t blame you for what happened, Longshot, but you knew. The whole time I’ve been here with you, you knew about him.”

“I only just found out myself,” he insisted, dropping down to his knees in front of her. “The day you got taken to Mojoworld is when I learned, and…I had to deal with it myself too, Ali.”

Alison never really gave much thought about how it would have affected Longshot. No, he was not the one who carried the baby, but it was his child too and he had been positively excited at the prospect of being a father. After she thought she had miscarried he had been devastated, but he had spent more time making sure she was okay than worrying about his own feelings. That was what Longshot always did; everyone else always came before him and his thoughts were absolutely selfless. They had to be, or else his luck would turn around and backfire on him.

Alison held out her hand and grasped his. “I’m sorry.”

“Sorry for what?” Longshot questioned curiously. “You didn’t do a thing. You’re right, I should’ve told you. But you have to know—I promise I was just trying to keep your feelings in mind!”

She nodded. “I know. I’m just really upset right now and I’m taking it all out on you. That’s a really crappy thing to do, and I know that. But I just can’t help it.”

Longshot pressed a gentle kiss against her hand. “I wouldn’t know how you feel, but it’s probably even worse than me. And if I feel this bad, you must feel horrible. But I’d like it if you let me help you through it, Ali. I really want you to be okay.”

Alison felt that all too familiar stinging behind her eyelids again, and she inwardly cursed it; she had already done way too much crying in the past twenty-four hours. Longshot must have noticed because he leaned up further on his knees and pressed his three fingered hand to her cheek. The warm moisture of her tears collected along his fingers, and he placed a chaste kiss against her lips.

“Don’t cry. I really am sorry; I’ll do anything to make it up to you.”

She wanted to be mad at him. She so badly wanted to be able to stay angry with him, but she just could not. Alison did not have the heart or the energy to hold a grudge against him. Yes, he should have been honest upfront in order to soften the blow of the news, but his intentions were pure at heart. Sometimes, Longshot was a bit naïve in that regard, and that was not his fault. It also did not help that even after the way she treated him, he was there on his knees before her and drying her tears and begging her forgiveness. Where in the world did she ever find a man like him?

“What do I do?” she asked him softly. “I don’t know how to handle this.”

“I’m not really a good person to ask for advice,” he frowned, and wiped a few more stray tears from her face. “But maybe we can just try and get along and be there for each other...and for Shatterstar, too.”

“He doesn’t understand though. How could he ever understand why I let that happen to him?” she sniffed, and dropped a hand down to clutch the fabric of his uniform.

“He knows, and he’s a real smart person, Alison. Just like you. You don’t have to worry about him in that way. He’s all grown up and knows what’s what.”

“But that’s just it,” Alison shook her head again. “He shouldn’t even be all grown up, and he shouldn’t even know the things he knows! He’s practically ruined. I ruined him.”

Longshot pulled her toward him and hugged her tightly, and the comfort of his embrace helped calm Alison’s nerves, but did not make her feel any better about the situation. It would probably be a long time before she did, but Longshot probably knew that anyhow.

“Don’t say that,” he scolded. “He’s not ruined at all; he works just fine and he’s all in one piece! And so are you, and that’s what matters right now.” He pulled back and brushed his hand through her pink hair. “We’ll get through this. Don’t be sad anymore, please?”

“I—I’ll try,” she sniffed.

He nodded and got to his feet. A dashing smile splayed across his lips, and he held a hand out to her. “Why don’t you show me what you bought while you were out? That always makes you feel better!”

She frowned slightly, but figured she could use the distraction for the time being. “Well, I did get these really fabulous Chanel thigh high boots...”

He grinned. “That sounds promising.”

Alison chuckled through her tears and placed her hand in his. Longshot gently helped her to her feet and grabbed her bags from the floor. Alison shot him a thankful smile, and wrapped her hand around his arm. “Do you forgive me for hurting you?”

He nodded and pressed a kiss against her head. “Of course.” She leaned into the touch gratefully, and the two made their way up the stairs and to the more private levels of X-Factor headquarters. They still had much to talk about, but, like usual, Longshot proved to be an excellent aid to her heartache.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
The deleted scene for this chapter is here.
Or click for chapter fifteen.
Tags: fanfic
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