El Scorcho (twbasketcase) wrote,
El Scorcho
twbasketcase

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FIC: Our Last Memory 9/23

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: Shatterstar gets a startling revelation about his past; Longshot and Rictor discuss talk shows and dirty secrets; Ric gets a shocker when 'Star tells him what he's learned.

Part: One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight,
Prequel Pieces: One, Two, Three, Four.
Extra Scenes: Chap 9,

A/N: Oops :D
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Sir, place your hands behind your back now! Both of you! Face down on the ground, and drop your weapons!”

Rictor rolled his eyes, and lifted his hands in the air. “Where the fuck do you want them? Behind me or on the ground?”

The cops glared, all five of them cocking their weapons and aiming them towards Shatterstar and Rictor. The Mojoworlder eyed the smaller man, wanting nothing more than to just leap forward and destroy the whole group of officers. All they were doing was standing in their way of completing their mission. Although ‘Star knew Julio would not allow him to do such things, so he carefully bent over and placed his swords on the ground in front of him.

“Kick them away!” they ordered.

Shatterstar frowned. “I don’t want to kick my swords, Julio.”

“Just do what they say, amigo. It’s not like they’ll break,” he rolled his eyes.

Sighing irritably, the warrior did as he was told, and the metal scraped roughly against the gravel of the alleyway. They had just been involved in a fist fight with a few of Rictor’s gun running cousins, and unfortunately the cops had come in and busted it up. The pair had been visibly displaying both mutant powers and illegal weapons, so they were sought after first. It made little sense to Shatterstar though, considering the other Richters were known mobsters. Whatever the case, he did what he was told even if he knew he would have been able to take down the uniformed officers with ease.

Both boys kneeled to the ground with their hands in the air and slowly dropped to the gravel on their stomachs. As soon as they did, the cops came at them with handcuffs and began locking them up.

“You are both under arrest for public mischief.”

“Whoopdedoo,” Rictor scoffed, and hissed as he was roughly hauled to his feet. “That the best you got, pinche culero?”

“Watch it, cabron!” they yelled at him, and slammed his face down onto the hood of the car. Silver eyes narrowed dangerously at the sight, and Shatterstar growled.

“You should watch how you handle him.”

“Or what, faggot? Your ass is going to jail tonight, and I would bet that the boys in there will be mighty happy to have you,” the leader of the group sneered in the warrior’s face. “Believe me, pretty boy, I’d watch what I say if I were you.”

“Fuck you!” Rictor yelled, as the officers spread his legs and frisked him for more weapons. "Don't you call him that!"

“Get in the car and shut up,” another rolled his eyes. “Don’t make this hard for yourselves; one night in jail is all you’re looking at right now, and if you keep it up it will be longer.”

“And it won’t be no holding cell either,” a third cop piped up, roughly shoving Shatterstar’s head down and into the cruiser. “The two of ya will be separated and put into lockdown if you like.”

“I’m sure your lockdown would be child’s theatre compared to where I come from.”

“Child’s what?” a black haired man questioned, scratching his chin.

Rictor laughed out loud as he was shoved roughly inside next to ‘Star. A brilliant grin was shot towards him, and the Mexican shook his head amusedly. “Stupid pigs, speaking languages they don’t even understand. Right, hombre?”

“Indeed,” Shatterstar rolled his eyes, and leaned close to Rictor’s ear. “Can I please just blow my sword up?”

Brown eyes twinkled mischievously. “Shatty! You know better than that! Always wait until we get inside the station, amigo! Then we go boom!”

Shatterstar could not help the smirk on his face. “I enjoy the way you think, Julio.”

“As do I.”

 

“It appears you are actually adjusting quite well,” Samson continued to ramble, explaining to Shatterstar exactly what it was he had been recording during their sessions, and what conclusions he drew from such notes. “You don’t appear confused and you accept actions and activities quite well. If anything, I would say you have a bit of difficulty with emotional things, but that will just take more adjustment…”

“Would you call me a faggot?” Shatterstar asked.

The doctor blinked dumbly. “Uhm…excuse me?”

The warrior leaned back in his chair and crossed his legs. “A faggot; would you consider me one?”

“I don’t…” the green haired man paused and considered his words carefully, left eye narrowing slightly as he did so. “I don’t really consider anyone a faggot, Shatterstar.”

“I see,” he rubbed his chin, and stared up at the ceiling lights awkwardly. “Then I would assume that the word has a very negative connotation on this world? Whatever it is, it bothered me to be called it in my memories. I am unsure why, and I was interested in your opinion on it.”

That conflicted look came upon the doctor’s face once more, and he sighed. “Well, I would definitely say that it, um, has a negative connotation, yes. It is a derogatory word used in the English language against homosexuals.”

“Homosexuals?”

“People who are sexually attracted to other people of the same gender.”

Silver eyes widened. “I see.”

“You seem surprised at that,” Samson pointed out.

Shatterstar shrugged slowly, and sat up straighter again, letting his foot fall to the floor. “On my home world there are homosexuals.”

“Does that fact bother you?”

“Why should it?” he questioned. “I am not worried about something that I cannot think about.”

“And what is it exactly that you cannot think about?” Samson questioned.

“Having a specified mate,” he explained. “It does not seem plausible, for whatever reason. I am unsure why, but the concept seems…farfetched? I am supposed to be a soldier, not a lover. I do not believe such a thing is hardwired into my system, or else I think it would be much easier to accept.”

“Longshot appears to accept it just fine though,” the doctor pointed out.

“I suppose that is true.”

“Would that idea of being homosexual bother you?”

“Me personally?”

“Yes,” the green haired man nodded. “You said in your memories that the word ‘faggot’ bothered you. Do you think if you were to realize, decide, or remember that you are a homosexual it would bother you?”

“I’m unsure,” he admitted. “I have not thought about it.”

“Well feel free to take a minute and do so,” Samson offered with a wave of his hand. His eyes peered back down at Shatterstar’s folder and he began writing notes. The warrior was bothered, however. The doctor was putting ideas into his head today, and he had not done so during the other sessions they had thus far. Why now? And why was he questioning something that Shatterstar had shown absolutely no interest in talking about? It irritated the warrior, as he had no idea how to grasp the concept of such a thing in his mind.

“I saw a woman naked,” Shatterstar told him. “Siryn.”

“You did?” Samson glanced back up with a quizzical expression.

“Yes.”

“Okay…well how did you feel about that?”

Shatterstar just shrugged. “I am unsure; I did not feel anything, really. She was just there…with no clothes on. I felt no desire to touch her, if that is what you are wondering.”

“Well that’s something,” he nodded. “Did you think she was attractive?”

“She is not an ugly woman, I do not think. However, I do not find her arousing. I believe the term used on Earth is ‘pretty’.”

Samson wrote something else down. “Do you see any disadvantages about not being attracted to her?”

“Not really,” Shatterstar admitted, and rubbed a hand over his ponytail. “Most of the prisoners in the pens that were female were used for sexual release on the males’ part, but that was it. However, it is common knowledge that they were mostly used for reproduction purposes. It was explained to me that I had a genetic bond mate for such reasons, but I had never met her.”

“Okay, so how would you feel if I were to tell you that before all of this happened, you were a homosexual?”
 


It only took around four minutes to destroy the apartment. Shatterstar had been sitting on the floor and meditating after drinking another case of beer; alcohol that he could consume almost endlessly and never get intoxicated, yet it still calmed his nerves. The night air in Madripoor was hot and almost too silent. Shatterstar expected something to happen.

And, of course, it had. The window behind him had smashed and a large body collided with his, pinning him against the floor. Without a hesitation or doubt, the Cadre warrior immediately kicked his intruder off and flipped him around. The assailant was a struggler, almost matching him in strength and speed. However, if there was one thing that Shatterstar always had on his side, it was pure unadulterated rage.

“What are you doing here?” he seethed, grabbing his blade from the floor. A boot came around and side kicked him in the shin, sending him back first into an end table. The lamp on top of it immediately fell on his head, pouring glass around his entire body. Shards stuck from wounded flesh, and blood dripped freely to the floor.

“I have been sent to kill you…again,” he explained, with an apologetic smile. “Why is it you are always so easy for me to find?”

“Madripoor is not very big,” Shatterstar scoffed, and threw his blade at the man. The metal grazed his shoulder, slicing his uniform open and piercing his flesh. He only stumbled back in response, hitting the dresser and knocking over a group of empty beer bottles. Shatterstar used the distraction as an opening and lunged forward, shoulder connecting with the man’s abdomen in a football style tackle. Both bodies collided with the wall hard, cracking the plaster in a spider web effect.

“You always seem to get yourself caught up with lamest of employers,” Shatterstar scoffed as he punched him in the face.

The intruder growled angrily and pinned the warrior to the floor. “Lamest? Where are you getting your slang?”

Silver eyes narrowed at the blades pointing against his chest and neck. The sight of them fuelled his fire, and he smiled perversely. “I hope you plan on using those.”

Metal scraped flesh once more, and his opponent’s eyes glowed a brilliant shade of red. “You know I have to.”

“Give it your best shot, X-Treme.”

Shatterstar clenched his fists around the other man’s shirt and screamed in pain as the electrolytes in his blood were flash fried. Hot, searing pain completely immobilized him. Smoke poured from his nose and mouth. Sweat soaked his skin.

No matter how much X-Treme upped the heat, Shatterstar could not stop laughing at the pain.

Such a sting was almost like pleasure to him, knocking him to the ground and forcing him to beg for more. And X-Treme complied, grabbing the warrior by the forehead and pinning him to the ground as he straddled him. Guilt coated his eyes, yet at the same time there was something else. And Shatterstar figured that maybe he was feeling the wicked perversity that he was too.

However, using his abilities brought upon exhaustion – just like Shatterstar’s did to him – and eventually he had to stop. The other man doubled over in pain, only his arm shooting out at the last second prevented him from falling onto Shatterstar’s battered body. X-Treme ached and panted, and wrapped his free arm around his middle. “I’m sorry, friend, but it had to be done.”

“Fekt, don’t apologize unless you finish the job, Adam,” Shatterstar muttered, and reached out a charred hand to clasp the other alien’s throat. He pulled him down closer to his face, and grinned. “Or maybe you can just do it again, vehjka?”

Adam smiled slightly. “You never know when to die.”

“There is no fun in that.”

“You’ve changed,” he muttered, breath hot against the side of Shatty’s face.

“As have you.” He paused, and shot the blonde an evil look. “Must be all that wasting you did pining over that pathetic Neurotrap.”

Adam glared, and punched Shatterstar in the face. “No better than you with that feeble Mexican.”

Shatterstar wound back and punched him in return, flipping the body off of him and over his head. Adam landed opposite to him, head next to head on the floor. “Don’t say his name ever…especially with that tone.”

Adam peered over, smirk on his face as he continued to catch his breath. “Weak spot, chayeh?”

“Fekt, about as much as you’ll be feeling once I am finished with you,” Shatterstar growled, and climbed to his feet shakily. His body still felt the effects of the flash fry, but a new kind of charge ran through his body; it had been a long time since he had gotten into a worthwhile confrontation, and it was even better that it was with an old friend. Reaching for his sword, Shatterstar pointed the blade to the tear in Adam’s clothes. “I should just save myself the trouble and just rid you of this ridiculous armour. You need your clothing to slice and dice for you, as it appears you aren’t skilled enough to do it with just combat weapons.”

“You’d like that, wouldn’t you?” Adam flipped onto his feet and leapt at Shatterstar. Boots collided with the warrior’s chest, and Shatty found himself thrown through another glass table and across the rug. The other alien pounced once more, and straddled the Mojoworlder’s chest. “That’s what is called fighting dirty, Shatterstar.”

“Dirty fighting isn’t all that bad,” he breathed, and wiggled under his legs. Adam leaned down and eyed him, panting heavily next to his face.

“Be careful what you wish for, chayeh?”

Again, heat electrified his body to a ridiculous level – one that would have killed a normal man. Shatterstar’s back arched forward, and his face would have crashed into Adam’s had it not been for the other alien grabbing him by the head and holding him in place. The warrior laughed wickedly against his chest, in massive amounts of pain and having lost complete control of his body. It hurt more than anything, but Adam held him gently, obviously apologetic. Fists came up and clutched at the sides of his shirt, muscles contracting involuntarily. Adam grunted at the pain of using his powers, and pressed his mouth against the side of Shatterstar’s ear.

“I’m sorry.”

Then it stopped. The Cadre warrior’s body slumped limply against the Shi’ar alien’s, but Adam’s grip never loosened. He held him close, shaking exhaustedly. Smoke bellowed from Shatterstar’s clothing – what was left of it – and from his mouth. He could hardly move, but his healing factor still went to work; it was not overloaded. But he stayed in his place for many moments just waiting for his energy to return. It was one advantage that he had over Adam; he could not be killed, and Adam’s exhaustion was not repaired like his.

When his strength returned, he tightened his hold on navy blue fabric and shot up. Adam went back first over the counter – Shatterstar right along with him – and they toppled to the floor and through a television set. Sparks flew around them, and that time Shatterstar ended up on top. Silver eyes blazed into blue, hot air moving between them, and the warrior growled. “Who sent you here?”

“It doesn’t matter now,” Adam grunted.

“Well it was nice of you to stop by,” Shatterstar quipped sarcastically.

“It was good to do battle with you again.”

“Who says I’m done?”

“Who says I want you to be?” the blonde countered.

Better judgement went out the window then, and the boys let their lips crash together in a bruising kiss. Razor sharp metal from Adam’s uniform as well as glass from the destroyed apartment tore through them as they moved against each other, but neither held any cares. Adrenaline and excitement overcame Shatterstar then, and he threw his cares to the wind. It had been a long time since he even desired the urge to do such a thing, and while it was different with Adam, it was what it was. Arousal came fast, and clothing was shed with blades even faster.

Long lost were the reasons for the X-Treme’s appearance in Shatterstar’s downtown Madripoor flat in the first place.

 

“Shatterstar?”

The warrior shook his head, a strange heat rising to his face as his insides twisted. “Uhm…y-yes?”

“I asked you how that would make you feel?”

“What, doctor? How what would make me feel?”

“The fact that you’re a homosexual.”

He swallowed hard and looked up at the clock on the wall. Without even giving an answer, the Cadre warrior rose to his feet. “I have to go now.”
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

The morning was still young and bright. Rictor was seated at the kitchen table attempting to eat a bowl of Alpha Bits when Madrox and Longshot had entered the kitchen. The two men were discussing something about Doc Samson, so Rictor promptly tuned them out. He hated even thinking about therapy, and he did not need to be in any worse of a mood than he usually was first thing in the morning.

He had not been sleeping well at all. With everything that had gone on the past week, his mind was racing almost constantly. Sifting through his old belongings and telling stories to ‘Star had been a nostalgic blast from the past. And while at first it had just been fun, it was beginning to take its toll. The Mexican was well aware that Shatterstar was having regular memories surface, but he did not talk about them much unless he was seriously confused or troubled about something. Ric had no idea of what, if anything, Shatterstar remembered in particular about him – or anyone else for that matter. But Shatty had a hard time talking about certain aspects about his past even when he had all his memories in tact, so it should not have surprised Julio.

But it did, and he was frustrated as hell.

How was he supposed to know just how well the progress was, and when was he going to have his Shatterstar back? There was enough business left unresolved with them without the memory lapses, let alone getting to know one another again. And no one ever said Julio Richter was a patient man.

“So, uh, you plan on coming back to work today by any chance?”

“Huh?” the Mexican shook his head and stared up at Jamie, noticing that both he and Longshot had been staring at him.

“Work, you know, that thing you’re supposed to do in return for me giving you money?” Jamie perked an eyebrow and folded his arms. “You haven’t even been on duty at all since before the undercover mission thing, Ric. I’m a little worried that…”

“Save it,” Julio snapped and got up from the table, suddenly not at all hungry anymore. “I just need a couple more days, man.”

“I think maybe you should talk to Samson.”

“I’m not talking to freaking Samson.”

“He’s really nice,” Longshot offered with an encouraging smile.

“He’s a dick,” Rictor rolled his eyes.

“Look, Superman,” Jamie sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. “Ever since that whole Huber thing you’ve been through a lot of shit. You know, the guns and the Purifiers, Rahne…”

“We’re not talking about Rahne,” Rictor snapped. “And I don’t know why you keep bringing up Rahne in the first place!”

Jamie scoffed. “I’m not stupid! I know what happened between you two and then she just up and leaves and you act like it doesn’t bother you! But I know that it does!”

“Fuck off,” the Mexican scowled.

“That and then Arcade happened, and Mojo, and Shatterstar, and now you aren’t working…” Jamie shook his head. “Ric, all of that happened in a span of three weeks! There’s no way in hell that none of that is getting to you! And considering the fact that you tried to kill yourself less than six months ago, I think that’s cause for concern!”

Rictor’s cheeks burned furiously as he avoided looking at Longshot. “Why don’t you just fucking announce that to the whole world?!”

“At least consider talking to Samson, please?” 

“No! I’m not talking to Samson!”

“I’ll make you talk to Samson!” Jamie yelled.

“You won’t make me talk to Samson, asshole!” Rictor tossed his bowl in the sink and jabbed his finger against Jamie’s chest. “Now mind your own damn business and just leave me alone!”

“You guys sure do say ‘Samson’ a lot,” Longshot mused.

“I’m not going,” Rictor glared and folded his arms. “And that’s the end of it.”

“Okay,” Jamie shrugged.

“Okay?”

“Okay,” he shrugged again. “One of these days you’ll learn that you can’t always get what you want.”

“Whatever,” Rictor rolled his eyes.

Jamie just nodded and spun on his heel to walk out of the room. Longshot stared at him amusedly and looked at Rictor. “Earlier I was talking to three of him.”

“Poor you,” he muttered, and slumped back down to the table. He dropped his face into his hands, and willed all of his anger away. And doing that recently had begun getting repetitive as well. Madre de Dios, sometimes he just wanted to go to sleep and never wake up.

“Are you okay?” Longshot questioned, placing a hand on his shoulder.

“I’m fine,” Ric muttered into his palms.

“You look like you need a nap! Or something…” the Mojoworlder rubbed his chin.

“You could say that.”

“Hey, can I ask you something?”

Rictor looked up, and shrugged. “Knock yourself out.”

“How much do you know about Shatterstar’s past? Besides what I told you.”

The Mexican blinked, thinking that over. “Just the basics, really. That he had to train and live in a cell and learn all this shit. And that he fought people, eventually escaped, and joined the rebellion before coming here. He never went much into fine details though, ‘cause I think they mighta bothered him a bit despite the fact that he wouldn’t admit that.”

“I see,” Longshot nodded and bit his lip. “Now if you knew something truly awful about his past…or maybe even really good, do you think it would be fair to keep it from him?”

Rictor’s heart rate sped up as he thought about all the relationship stuff that he had failed to mention thus far. “Uhm…I think that depends what it is. And it’s your own choice really; if I thought he would benefit from knowing something, and someone else thought he wouldn’t, whose to say who should tell him?”

“I think they should know everything,” he mused out loud, obviously trying to reassure himself. “I mean, it would probably be best to do it all in a certain order, but eventually. It’s only fair! Because it’s their life and they have a right to know, and it’s wrong to keep secrets!”

Rictor blinked. “What are you getting at? I didn’t do anything!”

Longshot perked an eyebrow. “I wasn’t talking about you, silly. I was just asking your opinion because I’m keeping a secret and Doctor Samson thinks it’s bad.”

“Oh,” Rictor replied somewhat sheepishly. “Well then freaking tell her, you jerk! Don’t keep secrets from your wife! What the hell, amigo?” the Mexican shook his head in a scolding manner and grabbed a piece of fruit off the table. “Don’t you ever watch Maury, or something? You shouldn’t keep secrets or else people just end up flying off the handle and shit. Or have affairs or change genders or become prostitutes, or something.”

Longshot stared. “What?”

“It’s true!” Rictor insisted. “Watch channel four at ten in the morning, amigo. You’ll see what you’re missing.”

The Mojoworlder stared down at his hands in absolute confusion. “I can change into a girl?!”

“If you wanted,” Rictor shrugged, and bit into his apple. “But I don’t know if they’d accept you since you’re an alien. There’s an interview process for those kinds of procedures.”

“Oh,” Longshot looked up at him and tilted his head to the side. “Have you tried?”

Rictor nearly choked on his apple, and coughed violently to clear his throat. Dios, Longshot was almost as bad as ‘Star was for putting his life at stake every time he tried to eat something! “No! Madre de Dios, no! I like my dick right where it is, thanks!”

Longshot chuckled. “So you aren’t keeping any secrets from my son then? You’ve told him everything?”

“Sure,” Ric squeaked.

He frowned. “Well I feel pretty bad then. I guess I should work on finding a way to tell her, huh?”

“What exactly is it that you haven’t told her?”

“Well, you know, that Shatterstar is her son. And then I kind of have to explain how he appears to be only a few years younger than her, but, really, in our time he should be four.”

Rictor's face fell in horror. “Please do not ever say that in front of me again!”

“Well it’s true!”

“I did not have sex with a baby!”

Longshot’s eyes widened comically. “Golly, I hope not!”

“What are you talking about?” a low voice interrupted them, and Rictor spun around to see the object of their conversation. Shatterstar looked awfully annoyed, and, for whatever reason, upset. The Mexican stood to approach him, and ran a hand over his hair.

“Nothing, amigo. What’s the matter? Somethin’ bugging you?” he placed a hand on his shoulder, but was promptly shocked to see him pull back. Rictor furrowed his eyebrows. “‘Star?”

The warrior looked over his shoulder at Longshot, and then back to Rictor. “I need to talk to you.”

Both boys turned to face Longshot, who was just staring at them happily. He waved a three fingered hand dismissively. “Go ahead! I’ll just sit here!”

Shatterstar rolled his eyes and turned around to head back where he came from. Groaning, Rictor glared at Longshot before darting off to go catch up with his old friend. Just based on the way he was stalking up the stairs, Ric could tell right off the bat that something was really wrong. The idea of what it possibly could be unnerved him; there was not much that could make Shatterstar react in such a way. Quickly they made their way up to the warrior’s bedroom, and Rictor took a seat on the bed. Shatterstar paced back and forth across the room, and the more he did it, the more Rictor felt his insides twist.

“I do not know if I like talking to that Samson man,” he muttered, and finally stopped walking to stare at Rictor. A hand rose shakily to his head and he pushed his hair from his face. “Who is Adam?”

Rictor blinked. “Adam?”

“Fekt! Do not play games! You claim to be my best friend, so surely you would know who Adam is, unless…” he trailed off and started muttering things in Cadre so fast that Rictor missed most of it.

“Whoa! Hold on a second here, amigo! What’s this all about?” Ric jumped to his feet and grabbed his wrist to keep the bigger man from pacing a hole through the floor.

“I-I…” Shatterstar scrunched up his face confusedly, before rubbing his hands over it. “I had this memory flash of X-Treme--”

“X-Treme? That Adam!?” Rictor scoffed incredulously. “We haven’t seen that guy in years, amigo. Not since I was sixteen or seventeen, or something!”

“In Madripoor?” he questioned, looking absolutely conflicted.

“Madripoor? No, Shatty, we haven’t seen him since we were living in Arizona with X-Force.”

“I was with him in Madripoor though, Julio. I remember.”

Rictor stopped then, dropping his arm to the side. Suddenly, he felt just as confused as Shatterstar looked. They had not seen Adam since the guy dropped Shatty off at Ric’s car after the whole Arcade thing. But that was years ago, and-- why the fuck would ‘Star have been with Adam X in freaking Madripoor?!

“You were in Madripoor like last year,” Rictor said carefully. “After you and me, uh, left Mexico. We talked on the phone every now and again, and you never once mentioned running into him.”

“Did you know?” he asked, voice so low it was almost a whisper.

“Did I know what!?” the Mexican’s voice raised, accent thickening as he grew more and more frustrated.

“That I am a--” he coughed and cleared his throat, a strange and completely out of place blush coloured his cheeks pink. “That I was a…”

Rictor rubbed a hand over his face. “A what!?”

“A fa—homosexual.”

Brown eyes widened, and Ric’s throat completely dried out. “Uh…”

“Julio!?”

He nodded very slowly. “Uh…yeah, I think that…I…uh…can definitely say that…I was quite aware of…that.”

“And you were okay with that!?” he panicked, grabbing the Mexican by the front of the shirt. “I do not know if I am okay with that! Why on Earth would I harbour such feelings for other people? Why was I okay with casual intercourse and why I was allowing such ridiculous emotions to step in the way of my true purpose in life?!”

Rictor felt like his heart had just stopped. How the hell was he supposed to answer questions like that? It had taken him months just to explain concepts like that to Shatterstar the first time around, and since he ended up leaving X-Force when he began questioning his own sexuality, most of that stuff ‘Star had ended up figuring out on his own. It had taken years for the boys to develop their relationship to the levels it had gotten to, so how the hell was he supposed to sum it all up in one five minute lesson?

“I…uh…”

“And where is Adam now?!” Shatterstar demanded.

“Okay, one thing at a time!” Rictor shook his head. “Adam and you being gay are two totally different subjects, and--”

“What do you mean by different?”

Rictor blinked. “Well you being gay is…well you being gay. And Adam X was just some guy that--”

“He is the one that made me remember!” Shatterstar finally released Julio’s shirt and began pacing again.

“What the hell are you even going on about!?” Rictor yelled at him, irritation finally boiling over. “You were only ever with one guy, and that was m--”

“Adam! I know!” he sighed miserably and ran a hand through his hair, and Rictor could not even find a way to make his body move in that very moment.

“Uh, what?”

Shatterstar spun around and stared at him, pain completely masking his features. “I do not know or understand how I am supposed to deal with this, Julio. I’m sorry! I just-- I don’t understand.”

“You were with…?”

“Warriors such as myself – soldiers – we were never supposed to pursue domestic relationships. We were slaves, Rictor!”

“Adam?” he squeaked, more hurt masking his voice than he ever would have normally allowed. “In Madripoor? Right after you…?”

Shatterstar shook his head, and leaned back against the wall, sliding down it until he was seated on the floor. Knees were drawn up to his chest, elbows perched on top, and the Cadre warrior hid his face shamefully. “I am a coward. A soft, cowardly…failure. How could I-- Za’s Vid…”

Rictor did not know what to say. So he just stood up and walked out of the room without a word.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
Go here if you want an extra section: deleted scene.

Or go here for chapter ten.
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