Title: Scars Are Souvenirs You Never Lose 2/3
Characters: Shatterstar, Domino, Caliban; mentions Rictor
Spoilers: Civil War: X-Men (entire series)
Summary: Takes place in the jet just after Civil War: X-Men #4. The WMD's were safely detonated in the middle of the Nevada desert, and everyone in the 198 escaped with their lives -- but there are definite consequences for X-Force's actions against SHIELD and the O*N*E
Disclaimer: I do not own them, but I wish I did. They belong to Marvel (who neglects them!)
Shatterstar stared vacantly out the window as his mind raced. They were so close -- he’d nearly just been responsible for the death of almost all the remaining mutants on Earth. He knew that it wasn’t necessarily him that had chosen the base location -- that was his and Domino’s higher up -- but he still felt responsible nonetheless. This war, this battle that they were involved in, it made him think. Things were bad…they were…
There was no honor in this ‘war’. He should not have been fighting against his own people to save his people; it did not make sense. His feelings going into the war were much different than they were sitting on the airplane and coming home. He felt as though he was a failure. And his bloodthirsty rampages finally concerned him.
He had made a mistake.
It was not very often that his battle instincts led him astray; no, he relied on his instincts for so long -- for his whole life, and he trusted them. Yet, he had never run into a problem where he did not. Except once during the whole Benjamin Russell mess. And even then it had been so hard to fix. Rictor had helped him through that.
Gods he would be upset with what they had done. For someone who had such iron will and amazing abilities, he had always been so hesitant in combat. It was something that both intrigued and horrified Shatterstar. The Mexican was the first person that the warrior had ever met that looked to live life outside of war. He only fought because he didn’t have anything else to do, or anywhere else to be.
It should not have surprised him that he did not find him amongst the 198 at the Institute, but it did. Somewhere in the deep recesses of his mind, Shatterstar believed he would find his friend there -- waiting, looking for direction. Where were they going to go from there?
Most certainly they could no longer fight the Civil War; not after what happened today.
Not after he had screwed up so badly.
“Shatty?” a feminine voice broke him from his thoughts, and the warrior looked up. Domino did not look happy at all; she slumped down in the plane seat next to him and folded her arms.
“What is it Patch Eye?” Caliban turned in his seat in front of where Shatterstar sat, and looked at the woman curiously.
“Nothing, Caliban,” she sighed, and eyed 'Star wearily. “Don’t worry about it.”
Caliban just smiled happily and went back to do whatever it was that he was doing in his seat. The Cadre warrior turned to Domino and leaned forward. “What happened?”
She looked up the aisle and back at 'Star. “They’re pissed.”
“No kidding,” Shatterstar rolled his eyes.
“Seriously,” Domino insisted. “They almost arrested us…again.”
Shatterstar scoffed. “And what sort of punishment is that?”
“They’re pissed,” Domino repeated. “We blew the fuck out of Xavier’s, destroyed all of the Sentinels, and nearly cost all the innocent people their lives, 'Star. They could’ve done more than put us in jail.”
“I would like to see them try,” he sneered, and folded his arms. “They are just as much killers as any of us.”
She sighed. “What’s wrong with you? You’ve been moody since that thing with Micromax. I told you that no one was going to be holding you responsible…”
Shatterstar just shrugged. “Whatever.”
“'Star, piss off,” Dom rolled her eyes and huffed. “I’ve already had enough assholes jumping down my throat today, and I don’t you PMSing on me too.”
'Star growled and folded his arms. “Can’t you see this whole mission was a failure? There is no honor in that! Or in what we did!”
Domino gave him a strange look. “Uh, no kidding. We know that now, 'Star. We made a mistake. Humans make mistakes…”
“Don’t call me that,” he spat.
“What the hell has gotten into you?” she moved closer to him so the other mutants of the 198 didn’t listen in on them. “I’m on your side here! Don’t push me away.”
He glared. “I am unhappy with myself right now. And I am not pushing you away.”
She narrowed her violet eyes. “Doing that would be a big mistake. You should know that; in our line of work you gotta take what you can get.”
'Star frowned and turned in his seat so he can stare out the window. “I do think that I agree with that.”
“Yeah, its lame but it’s true,” Domino sighed. “But look, I dunno what you plan on doing when we get back to
'Star eyed her. “I don’t know if I prefer the
Domino snorted. “Yeah, you’re telling me. When every single State’s got ya listed as a criminal, it sucks shit.”
“I did not like it less than Madripoor, but I do think I enjoyed
She grinned. “Yeah, you lived there for quite awhile, Shatty. Lord knows why you ever came back; they have the sun there, beaches, nakedness…”
He shrugged, and sank further into his seat. “I was not needed there any longer.”
Domino furrowed her eyebrows. “What the hell are you talking about?”
“I went to dismantle a crime organization,” he explained. “I finished my task.”
“Wait,” Domino turned in her seat to face him more. “I thought you went there with Rictor?”
“So what did he just tell you to beat it or something? I can’t see that…” she trailed off, and snapped her mouth shut.
Julio; by Gods, Shatterstar knew how much he missed him. It had been months since he last seen him, and the very fact upset the Cadre warrior -- and mostly because it was his own fault. “No he did not tell me to leave. We just parted ways.”
“But you been talking to him, right?” she asked carefully. “You keep in touch?”
'Star shrugged and stared out the window; that sinking feeling in his chest that he could not name returned violently. “Not recently, no.”
“Oh,” she paused; it sounded as though she wanted to say more, but didn’t.
“I made a mistake,” he admitted. “I don’t like that.”
“No one likes to make mistakes,” she told him.
“Perhaps,” he trailed off and cleared his throat. “Perhaps if I would have stayed with him, things would be different now.”
She scratched her head. “In my meeting with the others…they asked me what we were doing after this. If we were going back to a base operation or whatever.”
“And you told them nothing, right?” Shatterstar furrowed his eyebrows.
“Right,” she muttered. “Thing is both sides were in there. The pro-registration boys and the anti-registration boys. They were talking about making sure you and me were being monitored.”
“And?” 'Star scoffed; that idea was obviously out of the question.
“Well they started talking about some other teams that were already affected,” she continued. “The name X-Factor came up.”
“I thought they had disbanded years ago?” 'Star asked her wearily. “Where are you going with this?”
Her eyes shifted and she swallowed. “There’s a new team that set up shop in NYC. Terry’s there…and Rictor is too.”
'Star’s heart slammed against the wall of his chest. “Julio?”
She nodded. “Yeah. From what they said in there they were all signed up as part of the Registration Act. The strange thing is that X-Factor’s got the only human registered that doesn’t have any sort of abilities -- mutant, alien, mechanical, or otherwise.”
Shatterstar’s head was starting to hurt; damn women never got to the point. “And?”
“That human is Ric,” she explained.
'Star’s throat went dry. “Julio…lost his powers?”
“Yeah,” Domino sighed. “I wanted to ask you about him, but I didn’t know how to bring it up…”
“I didn’t know,” 'Star muttered. “But I understand why I would not. He has no reason to want to contact me for help or assistance. Although I was unaware he was living in the
“Yeah well he was working for Xavier in
Shatterstar stared at his hands in his lap; they were clenched together so tightly that his knuckles were stark white. “I did not know. Although, I’m quite surprised that he is working for a…team. I was under the impression that he wanted to change his lifestyle, and now that he has no powers…”
“Look, I asked about him when his name came up. I like to keep tabs on all you guys when I can, but…”
“But?” 'Star questioned; that didn't sound good.
“I know that this isn’t really something you might understand, or really something I should be telling you, but I would rather you hear it from me than someone else,” she told him.
“What is it?!” he snapped; he was getting impatient.
“He tried to kill himself,” Domino came right out and said it. “Right after M-Day. They found him on some shitty ass building in
'Star turned in his seat and stared out the window; he didn’t trust himself to say anything right then. This was his fault, he felt. What a selfish fool he had been, and now all he was stuck with was regrets. This was not a good day for the Cadre warrior, and now more than ever he wished he had the ability to travel through time at will.
Things had gone well for them in
But things had changed once the Richter organization was dismantled. There was no more fighting, and suddenly Shatterstar was the one with the constant lack of knowledge. His entire life had been built around defensive, offensive, and tactical battle. Survival and hunting were hardwired into his everyday life, and it wasn’t an adjustment that came easily to him. He was often pent up with constant energy and frustration, and paranoia and violence plagued him almost all hours of the day. Going from the switch of gladiator to normal Earth citizen was too difficult for him; he did not understand how to cope with the emotions that came with such a change.
And Julio had tried so hard; he wanted to love him and build a life with him, but Shatterstar had a constant nagging feeling that he was in no way able to give that to Rictor. The Mexican deserved someone better who could settle down and give him the normal life he always wanted. With Shatterstar around, Julio would always be in danger -- at least while the warrior was mixed up in the head. Things were not clear enough for him to permit such a change from happening, so he could not accept it.
And it was not without consequence.
It had saddened the warrior to leave just as much as he was sure it did Rictor. But he was adamant on going out in the world to figure out what he needed to know. He had to come to terms with his emotions, and he had to learn how to physically and mentally cope with his life on Earth. Shatterstar wanted to be able to work things out and maybe, perhaps one day, return to his friend. But his constant thirst for battle -- his natural element and instinct -- beckoned him. He needed a shred of familiarity. He needed something that helped remind him of his existence.
It didn’t make much sense, even to him. It was messed up and it was confusing and complex and jumbled and every other similar word that could describe his mindset. He didn’t know it at the time, but now he honestly believed that he had maybe made the wrong choice. Going off alone was only enabling him to fall back into past ways and bad habits.
Julio could’ve helped him learn and grow…even if he had been miserable and confused.
Julio had always been there to help him.
The concept of friendship was still muddy to him, but he knew enough about it to realize that he didn’t quite make a very good friend. His constant messed up emotions and naiveté landed him in bad spots and sent him into spiraling fits that only made him hurt everyone else around him.
He should have been there for his friend when he needed him -- to return the favor that Rictor so generously and selflessly offered to him years ago.
“Shatty?” Domino’s voice cut him from his thoughts.
“Are you okay?”
“He could have died,” Shatterstar muttered. “He could have ended his life.”
“But he didn’t,” she pointed out. “And he’s okay.”
“I doubt that,” he swallowed. “I do not think he is okay.”
Domino shifted awkwardly; she was just as bad at these emotional things as anyone else the warrior knew. “Maybe, you know, you should go find him. Work things out between you guys.”
“Julio probably would not be happy to see me,” he admitted.
“Then call him! Send him a fucking e-mail, or something! Fuck Shatty,” Domino sighed and ran a hand through her hair. “God you’re worse than me.”
“I am,” 'Star sighed. “I am the worst.”
“Maybe after what happened today and with what he -almost- did, you should fix it before something happens that you’ll regret,” she explained. “I know you, 'Star, and you’d never be able to live with yourself if that happened.”
“I know this,” he whispered.
“Then at least think about it, huh?”
“Hmmm,” he hummed and stared back out the window. “I believe I have a lot to think about, Domino.”
She nodded and leaned closer to him. “I gotta ride coming out to get me in two days, and I’m heading out to
“Thank you,” he told her. And he meant it, too.
... ... ...
Go To Chapter Three