Title: Scars Are Souvenirs You Never Lose 1/3
Characters: Jamie, Rictor, mentions of Shatterstar
Spoilers: X-Factor #14
Summary: Takes place at the Power Plant after the famous beer spitting incident. Julio gets drunk with Jamie and talks about why Star is such a sore spot with him.
Disclaimer: I do not own them, but I wish I did. They belong to Marvel (who neglects them!)
“…You wouldn’t want to make Shatterstar jealous.”
Rictor spit his beer out; the liquid had been half way down his throat, and it came back up in a burning fury. Shock, hurt, pain -- everything that he felt whenever he heard that name poured out of him with his drink and soaked the table in front of him, and Jamie too.
“First five rows, huh?” Jamie joked and gestured to Lefty for another towel. Rictor was dumbfounded. His arms fell loosely to his sides, and his mouth hung open -- he couldn’t quite coordinate himself.
“Wha’…why the fuck did you say that!?” Rictor stammered.
Jamie eyed him and wiped his face. “You set yourself up for that one.”
“You…” Rictor shook his head and clenched his fists. “You don’t even know nothin’ about that!”
“Oh, come on!” Jamie sighed in exasperation. “I don’t wanna sound like a dick or anything, Ric, but it’s not like you did a good job of hiding it.”
Rictor frowned angrily and sat back in his chair. “Fuck you.”
“I’m sorry, okay?” Jamie rolled his eyes. “God, you take things so freaking personally…”
“Of course I take that personally!” Rictor yelled at him and angrily downed his beer. He slammed the bottle down on the table with a loud bang, and contemplated jumping over the wood and punching Jamie’s lights out. Lefty cleared her throat from behind the bar.
“Hey Rictor!” she yelled.
The Mexican rolled his eyes and stared at the green skinned woman. “What!?”
“I don’t wanna have to throw your ass out again today! Stop makin’ a scene, kid!”
Rictor glared at her and turned back to Jamie. “You’re a fucking dick.”
“It’s not my fault you always throw a tantrum when you’re in here,” he chuckled. “You pissed her off, not me.”
“And you pissed me off!” Rictor seethed. How could the asshole not see that? He didn’t want to be reminded of the hurt of the past, and Jamie sure as hell had no fucking right to bring it up. The Mexican would’ve thought that the Multiple Man would’ve learned his lesson after a fight that broke out in
But he was not fucking laughing about it.
“I’m sorry,” Jamie repeated, this time more seriously. “I won’t bring it up again. But seriously, you need to chill out, man. I swear that gets you pissier than usual, and that’s a pretty big feat even for you.”
Rictor just set his jaw and worked on peeling off the label of the bottle. “Shut up.”
Jamie and Julio sat in uncomfortable silence for a few moments; Jamie stared into his bottle, while Rictor got his breathing under control. The Mexican knew that his boss was right; mentions of Shatterstar always brought out an overexcited and ugly side of him that practically frightened people. But he couldn’t help it if his life depended on it. No one in his life had ever been able to elicit such an emotional state from him, and it burned at his very core that so many months later ‘Star still did just that.
He’d never quite gotten over losing him. They’d been best friends, or so he thought. Rictor helped him, taught him things, stood by his side, even brought him out of the mentally constrictive confines of X-Force and really out into the world to show him another side of life; Julio’s heart swelled when being able to do those things with the warrior that no one else could. Rictor loved him -- he’d do anything for him. And he did.
But 'Star couldn’t help him when his life was falling to pieces.
“What happened?” Jamie actually had the guts to ask him.
“Nothing,” Rictor clammed up, and gestured to the pissed off, tentacled woman behind the bar for another round.
“You’re gonna have to talk about it some time,” Jamie pointed out, and smiled at the bartender when she brought them more drinks. “You can’t keep erupting with it.”
“Says who?” Rictor spat. “Who the fuck says so?”
Jamie sighed. “Look, tame the machismo for five seconds out of your life and just talk to me. I’m your friend! I told you all about my emotional crap.”
“And I laughed at you,” Rictor sighed miserably.
“Who says I’m as big of an ass as you?” Jamie tried to joke. “Despite what you may like to think, I’m not the type of person to just make jokes out of other people’s problems.”
“How noble of you,” Rictor muttered.
“Seriously,” Jamie told him and popped the cap off of his new beer. “You’re not the only one here to drown your problems, and I already took my turn. Go ahead, shoot.”
Rictor just looked up at him with sad, dark eyes and shrugged. “There isn’t much to talk about.”
“There’s gotta be if you flip out at the very sound of the guy’s name,” Jamie rolled his eyes. “If you were with him, I don’t care. The guy/guy thing doesn’t bother me either.”
Rictor’s face burned. “Yeah, says the guy who’s banging two chicks.”
“I’ve reabsorbed gay dupes, Rictor,” Jamie said uncomfortably. “Everything they did is in my memories now, so I really don’t think that you can tell me anything that would surprise me -- at this point in my life I doubt much could.”
Rictor eyed him for a few more irritated moments before finally sighing and slouching in his seat. “He left.”
Jamie nodded. “That hurts.”
“Yeah well I did just about everything for the guy, too,” Rictor laughed bitterly. “I even helped the cabron learn how to tell fucking time.”
“You make him sound like a pet,” Jamie pointed out.
“A pet would be easier,” Ric replied, and stared down at the table. “A pet would at least stay by my side.”
“Did you ever think that maybe it just wasn’t meant to be?” Jamie asked him gently. “I mean there’ve been a few people in my life that I can honestly say I truly cared for, but it just didn’t work…”
“No,” Rictor shook his head; there was no way that was even an option. “No one else would ever be…no.” The Mexican eyed his beer and tipped back the bottle, drinking the whole thing in five large gulps.
“And you’re absolutely sure that there’s no chance he feels the same way?”
Rictor focused his gaze on the table top; it was beginning to look a little blurry after nearly a dozen beers. “I don’t even think he knows what the hell he feels; he just can’t figure that shit out.”
Jamie cleared his throat. “I don’t really know what to say…why don’t you just talk to him?”
Rictor’s gaze moved up to his dark haired boss. “I practically begged the guy to stay with me. He just…he can’t be domesticated, or something.”
Jamie scrunched up his face. “What do you mean?”
Rictor shrugged lazily; the affect of the alcohol began to play with his emotions, and he suddenly felt the need to just let it pour out. “We were fightin’! All over
“Sound s'like you guys made a good team,” Jamie commented, beginning to slur his words a bit himself.
“We did,” Rictor agreed. “But when there wasn’t anyone left to fight, there was nothing left. 'Star…he was born to fight whether he liked it or not. It was like he needed to, or somethin’. I wanted to stop -- we did what we wanted to do, and I just wanted to stop for awhile and try livin’ like a normal person.”
“So what was the problem then?” Jamie asked, still not quite getting it.
“We were shacked up, and he couldn’t figure out how to deal with living a life with no fighting or war or death…and just…” Rictor swallowed, suddenly feeling really nauseous. “…with just love. For years all that guy saw was war and bodies and survival.”
“That…would probably mess a dude up,” Jamie agreed.
Rictor shrugged. “Add in the factor that he’s an alien, and it gets even more complicated.”
Jamie just stared at him. “Doesn’t that freak you out at all!? You were screwing an alien!”
“I never really thought about it like that, to tell ya the truth,” Rictor mumbled.
Jamie shook his head and let out a joking laugh. “Man, maybe I can get him to talk to Samson.”
Rictor snorted. “Nah, 'Star would probably maim the guy. I couldn’t even stand him.”
A few moments went by before Jamie nodded his head. “I heard about him not too long ago, you know.”
“Who?” Rictor questioned.
The named blasted through his ears again, sending a wave of pain through his body. The Mexican frowned and stared at his shoes. “Oh yeah?
Jamie watched him. “Just a couple of weeks ago. He blew a hole through the Xavier Institute. Him and that one chick that you used to run around with, Domino or something?”
Rictor’s lips twitched upwards slightly. “Yeah; that sounds like something they’d do.”
“I guess they fucked up a shit load of sentinels and some O*N*E soldiers too,” Jamie continued. “Right before the X-Men showed up here for Pietro.”
Rictor’s heart panged in longing. “That’s X-Force for you.”
Jamie must’ve picked up on Ric’s demeanor. “They rescued all the mutants -- and fought against Stark.”
“Yeah, well I guess life just goes on for them,” Rictor muttered, and couldn’t find it in his heart to even smile at the waitress when she brought them more beer -- more beer that he was pretty sure he didn’t need, but couldn’t help but want. “But at least he’s doing what makes him happy.”
“He could still be in the area, you know,” Jamie pointed out.
“If he wanted to see me, he would’ve.” Rictor concluded. “He was in Madripoor for a long time, and if he was here, and just a couple of hours away and couldn’t even think to let me know…” he felt broken; such a pain at the thought that he was so easily forgotten made him feel like hurling himself over a building all over again. “Not much a lowly human can do with a mutant fighting machine, right?”
Jamie gave him a frown. “You don’t really think that…”
“I do,” Rictor nodded before swigging back a few chugs and standing up on shaky feet. “But it’s old news to me now, Madrox.”
“Ric…” Jamie stood from his seat, but Rictor just raised a hand to quiet him.
“It’s been that way for a long time, amigo,” the Mexican shoved his hands in his pockets. “The thought of him being gone kills me -- and it ain’t ever gonna go away.”
“Rictor…it’s not too late,” Jamie tried to reason, wincing at his bodily injuries when he tried to catch up with him. “If it means this much to you…”
Rictor stared up at the taller man, slightly swaying on his drunken feet. “It is too late.”
Jamie frowned at his friend. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen you this bad since you came here, Ric. You’re not some useless sack of meat just ‘cause you don’t have powers. You’ve been more than help to us…”
“You aren’t Shatterstar,” Rictor angrily pointed a finger in his chest, willing away the massive wave of sorrow that came over him at that declaration. “And you never will be.”
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Go To Chapter 2
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