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
Chapter Summary: Rictor and Shatty get some sensed knocked into them.
Chapters: One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten, Eleven, Twelve, Thirteen, Fourteen, Fifteen,
Prequel Pieces: One, Two, Three, Four.
Extra Scenes: Chap 9, Chap 14, Chap 16.
A/N: This got a little bit cracky. Just a little, I don't know how, but it did. XD But I figure that's okay since sad things happened, so...yeah. It evens out in the end. ^^
“Get the hell up. Now.”
Rictor groaned and turned over. The bright light of the morning sun shone hotly into his room, and it burned at his sensitive eyes. It also made his head throb; he felt as though he had been run over by a mack truck. He blinked a couple of times and lifted his head to look and see where the voice was coming from. “Hijo de—why am I on the floor, esé?”
Jamie glared down at him, and nudged him in the shoulder with his boot. “Don’t know, and I don’t really care. What the hell did you do last night!? This place is a disaster area!”
The Mexican winced and rolled over onto his stomach sluggishly. Plaster and drywall pieces fell out of his hair, and he noticed the stuff was all over his floor. What the hell? He had to blink a couple more times to fully wake up, and it was enough to send the memories back from last night.
Slowly, Rictor sat up and looked around the room. “Where did my clothes go?”
Jamie glared again. “How the hell am I supposed to know? I didn’t take them off of you.”
“You look mad,” the younger man commented tiredly.
“I am!” Jamie snapped. “You did enough waking me up with all your yelling and screaming at three in the morning, but you go around trashing my house, too? I’m sick of this shit, Rictor! So you’re getting your ass up and you’re coming to work with me today. No more excuses, and I don’t care if you’re sick.”
“Oh listen to the bossman,” Ric rolled his eyes and climbed to his feet. He scratched his hip over his briefs and yawned. “Settle down, hombre.”
“You need help,” Jamie told him seriously. “All you been doing is getting messed up over all of this crap going on, and you’re hardly even taking care of yourself! When was the last time you even shaved?”
Rictor scrunched up his face, and willed away the massive headache that came on when he bent over to pick up his pants. “Uh…I don’t know. Maybe the other day? I don’t think I ever shave.”
“For God’s sake,” Jamie rubbed a hand over his face and sighed. “I’m going to give you twenty minutes to get dressed and meet me downstairs.”
“Do you seriously need me to work?” he asked as his stomach started turning.
“Yeah. And you and I are going to have a nice long talk, too,” Jamie folded his arms over his chest and walked out the door. “I’ve got some coffee on for you downstairs. You also might want to hurry up and get out of here before Monet gets back. She’s pissed at you for waking her up last night.”
“Great,” Rictor muttered and rubbed a hand over his face. “Fuck…I’ll be down in a minute.” Jamie just turned his back and closed the door behind him as he left, leaving Rictor alone in his room. Dios, was he ever miserable, and it only figured that he had to work, too.
He shook his head and slipped out of his underwear and changed into some clean clothes. Everything he owned was practically strewn all over the floor, and he frowned. After Shatterstar had left his room, Rictor had succeeded in throwing a huge hissy fit. His wall was totally destroyed, and he could actually see into the room next door. ‘Star’s room. Great.
The Mexican rolled his eyes and stomped out of the bedroom and down the hall to the bathroom. As soon as he walked inside the tiny room, he instantly doubled over and threw up in the toilet. A disgusting mixture of alcohol and stomach acid splashed through his lips and left him heaving against the cold porcelain. Aches wracked his entire body from the curve of his skull, to the curled up toes on his feet. He felt absolutely disgusting and tired.
Worst of all, he was angry. He acted totally out of line the previous night, and he knew it. Not only to Shatterstar, but to the patrons of the club he attended, and to all of his housemates. Julio Richter was not going to be one popular guy at X-Factor headquarters that day, that was for damn sure. All of the rage that had built up and erupted the night before was just directed toward himself now. Yes, he had a good reason to be mad at Shatterstar, and he still was, but that was no excuse.
The Mexican peeled himself off of the floor and slowly brushed his teeth as he tried to ignore his thoughts and the disgusting feelings swirling around inside of him. Another day to be spent just wishing he had jumped off that fucking building.
Why did it always go back to that?
Probably the same reason he always put himself in the situations that made him feel that way in the first place. He never used his damn head, and he always let his emotions get the better of him. And now any hope that he had to have things return back to normal was pretty well dashed. Shatterstar was not the same Shatterstar, and while the old one would not have put up with his shit, he would have known better. The old Shatterstar knew him well enough to know when he was shooting his mouth off, and he knew that when Ric was in one of his moods that he said things that he did not mean.
However, he would not be that lucky with Shatterstar now. He was too messed up and dealing with too much crap to understand why Rictor was upset with him, and why he would be horrible enough to say something so downright mean. In fact, it was so damn mean that it almost made Rictor shy away from even being mad at him at all anymore.
He tossed his toothbrush down to the counter, spit in the sink, and quickly splashed some water on his face before taking off down the stairs. Jamie was waiting for him in the kitchen with a portable coffee mug already full, and handed it off as the two men walked out the door. Alison had been sitting at the kitchen table with Terry, and neither of them gave him a second glance as he passed. Hell, he did not blame them.
“So what are we doing today?” the Mexican questioned, and cursed when the bright sun hit his eyes. Jamie held out his hand, and Rictor accepted a couple of Tylenol from him.
“An old woman lost her dog.”
Rictor stopped on the sidewalk and glared. “Are you fucking kidding me?!”
“No,” Jamie shook his head amusedly.
“Since when do we take cases like that!?” Rictor demanded, and the winced at the head throb his own voice had caused. “That’s not even mutant related, Jamie! That’s not even a mystery!”
“We’re not mystery solvers,” Madrox rolled his eyes and started walking again. “We go and do whatever we’re paid for Rictor. Not everything we take is going to involve undercover stakeouts and riots. Besides, it is mutant related. Her 'dog' has the ability to change into a fifteen year old girl -- her granddaughter. Problem is, her granddaughter is stuck in a canine state of mind all of the time.”
Rictor burst out laughing. “What the hell kinda mutant power is that?! Changing into a dog like that?”
“I’m not going to point out the obvious on that one, Ric,” Jamie just rolled his eyes, and Julio had to think about what he had said for couple of minutes before he clued in.
“Shit, I mean…”
Jamie could not help his laugh and he handed Rictor a photo. “That’s her right there. Her name’s Jenny.”
Rictor stared down at the pictured and grumbled. “Great. It just has to be a freaking
“Lucky you,” Jamie agreed.
“Seriously, Jamie, is this supposed to be some kinda punishment? I’ve been on this team for almost half a year now, and you’ve never made me deal with this kinda crap, man,” the Mexican glared slightly and gulped down some coffee. “Or are you just handing me these lame cases because I have no powers?”
Madrox rolled his eyes. “Ric, this isn’t about you being depowered. I put everyone where they’re most useful, and this—well consider this payback for me having to repair your bedroom yet again.”
“I’m sorry, Dios,” he rolled his eyes.
“And you’ve been blowing off your job for weeks now. I’m trying to be your friend by helping you out, man, but I can’t keep carrying your weight. I don’t have the time, patience, or the money. It’s hard enough with all the extra people staying right now.”
“What are you going to do about them?” the Mexican questioned, averting his eyes and feigning disinterest.
“Dazzler wants to stick around so she can stay with Longshot. Which is an awesome improvement to the team considering her training and her abilities.”
“That’s nice,” Julio muttered.
“I think your buddy’s taking off though after they deal with the Mojo stuff. I offered him a job this morning and he turned me down,” Jamie explained seriously. The idea made Rictor hurt something fierce, but he should not have been surprised. Cops and robbers was not Shatterstar’s idea of a worthy cause, and considering Julio had told him to get the fuck out…well. Well.
“That’s too bad,” he forced out, and kept his gaze glued on the sidewalk ahead of them.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“He burst through the front door this morning looking like he just walked out of a riot. I’m going to guess that he’s not that spastic on a regular basis, so I’m assuming--”
“Well you know what they say about people who assume,” Rictor spat, totally cutting him off. “Mind your own business, nosey!”
“You’re impossible,” Jamie scoffed and shook his head disbelievingly. “You know some days I really want to feel sorry for you. You’ve been through hell and back and you’ve lost everything over and over again. Yet other days I can’t help but think that you put yourself there. You cause problems for yourself and you push everyone away! Things can’t get better if you don’t let them!”
“Fuck you!” Rictor growled and stormed a couple of steps ahead of him. He did not get far, however. Two sets of arms grabbed him and swung him around, and the Mexican found himself faced with two Jamies. Rictor just set his jaw. “Let.
“We’re not finished,” one Jamie replied. The other nodded in agreement, and tightened his hold. “You need an attitude adjustment.”
“So just kick my ass and get it over with,” he muttered lamely. “I really don’t care at this point.”
The Jamies looked at each other thoughtfully for a few moments before the one on the left was quickly reabsorbed by the one on the right. Jamie Prime released Rictor’s arm, and stepped back a foot or two to give the Mexican some space. “I wouldn’t do that, man. That doesn’t solve a thing.”
“It would if you killed me,” Ric muttered, and dumped the rest of the contents of his mug on the sidewalk before jamming the cup into Jamie’s coat pocket. “Or is that too much to ask?”
“Ric,” Jamie sighed seriously. “I don’t care what you do in your spare time, who you spend it with, or anything like that. But I’ve done everything I can to help you – and your friend – and there’s only so much. I offered him a chance to get on his feet, and he says he’s fine without it. But you are my employee, my roommate, and my friend. There’s a certain degree of responsibility there whether you like it or not.”
“I know,” he muttered irritably.
“So just…stop being such a head case and talk to me? At this point it’s either me or the Doc, so…”
“And as my friend, I think you know that I don’t like spilling all my personal business,” the Mexican pointed out.
Jamie nodded, and the two turned to walk down a quiet street lined with apartment buildings. “There’s nothing wrong with wanting privacy. I know that. But when you start dragging everyone down with you, it’s okay to at least let someone know what’s on your mind. And since you seemed to get all the nasty stuff out already, you can give me the rated PG version if you want.”
“I’m just sick and tired of everything,” Ric ran a hand through his hair exhaustedly, and cursed when he realized he hadn’t even brushed it before he left. “Nothing’s looking up at all, and I think I’m just about ready to call it quits.”
Jamie shot him a look. “You’re not talking about…”
“No, I ain’t gonna off myself,” he rolled his eyes dismissively. “Remember the night after Rahne left? I told ya I was thinking about just ditching all this mutant shit to try and just be…normal, or something?”
“Yes, I remember.”
“I don't know if I can be normal,” Rictor admitted. “It kinda dawned on me, ya know, even though I’m not a mutant anymore, I’m too messed up. All this bad stuff that happens is just drilled in my brain. Guaranteed, if I was to leave and live on my own and become an upstanding citizen with a retail job, I wouldn’t even last a month. I’d probably end up in jail.”
“I could always get you a punching bag as a housewarming gift,” Jamie joked.
Ric snorted amusedly. “Yeah, well if it ain’t some mutant terrorist or freaky alien thing, I probably wouldn’t even wanna hit it.”
“I know the feeling,” Jamie nodded. “Hence the reason why I left the whole strike force thing and took up doing something a little less violent and a little more impressionable.”
“Yeah, but I don’t have that option.”
“No, but you do have the option to stick around to keep yourself occupied, you know. At least here you’re not forced to train early in the morning, you’re not expected to run into some living hell with guns blazing,” Jamie smiled a little and scratched his head. “You just have friends here trying to make a living just like you.”
Rictor nodded. “Yeah; that’s why I stuck around, I think.”
“I thought so.”
“Problem is it still doesn’t help fix all the shit I’m in. I still just feel the need to just…fuck, I hate to say it, but just give up, you know? To just try and be this human person that I'm forced to be now.”
Jamie nodded and they walked for a few moments in silence before the Multiple Man spoke up again. “I’m not the best person in the world to offer motivational speeches, but I will say this: sometimes just a little bit of effort and swallowing your pride can do the trick. You don’t have to be this big, macho, emotionless robot. Own up to your mistakes; it takes a bigger man to say he’s sorry than to gather the nerve to punch someone’s lights out.”
“But the punching feels so much better,” Rictor joked.
“And only makes things worse,” Jamie pointed out. “Or do you not remember the emergency room visit you had two weeks back?”
The Mexican smirked. “I still say I could’ve kicked their asses.”
Jamie stopped suddenly and stared down at the sidewalk. “How drunk were you last night?”
Rictor blinked and groaned at the reminder. “Way too drunk.”
“Yes, well, I’d say so.”
Rictor followed Jamie’s gaze down to his feet and frowned irritably. “I lost my shoes.”
Madrox looked back up at him. “Sometimes, I don’t even know what to say to you. We have this semi sorta almost breakthrough, and then…yeah.”
A dog suddenly leapt from the bushes and skittered down the sidewalk between the two men. A small little tan coloured
Rictor groaned. “I freaking hate dogs.”
Jamie just rolled his eyes and broke out into a run to chase it, grabbing Ric by the elbow as he did so. “Just get your ass moving.”
Alison and Theresa had just poured their morning coffees when Shatterstar came through the back door and into the kitchen. His hair was tied neatly on his head, and he wore a black wifebeater and a pair of white basketball shorts. A layer of sweat covered his skin, and his face was red. Alison perked an eyebrow and placed her chin in her hand. “Where were you?”
“Running,” he grunted.
“I spoke to Jamie this morning,” she trailed off. When he just started digging through the fridge without acknowledging her, she continued. “He said that you turned down the job that he offered you, ‘Star.”
“Yes, I did.”
“Why?” she asked him.
“Because I don’t want to work for him,” he snapped irritably, and pulled out some meat. “I do not want to be some detective, or whatever it is he calls himself. There are more important things to do.”
Ali looked across the table at Terry who just had a thoughtful frown on her face. The Dazzler just sighed and wrapped her hands around her mug. “You can’t just stay here without working for him. That’s not fair.”
“Who says I want to stay here?!” he snapped, finally turning to face her. “I am not staying here. As soon as we fight Mojo, I’m gone. Maybe I’ll just stay in Mojoworld.”
“You can’t do that,” Alison scolded. “Why would you even want to consider doing that!?”
“To kill Mojo,” he said simply.
“Yeah, we did that for years, and it got us no where but dumped back here on Earth with nothing. Besides, you don’t even know anyone there and you can’t go blazing through there on your own. You’d get yourself killed! Which, by the way, you’ve already done once. And as far as I know there are no more twins out there you can share a new body with!”
“Stop yelling at me,” he rolled his eyes, and tossed his plate into the microwave. “I’m not some little child, so don’t tell me what to do.”
Alison set her jaw. “I never said that you were a child, I said you’re saying stupid things. And since you’re not a stupid person, you should know better.”
Alison pinched the bridge of her nose and tried to figure out how the hell she was supposed to get stuff through to him. He was difficult and he was stubborn, and she was unsure how Cable ever managed to do it; too bad she had no way to get a hold of him these days. Something was obviously bothering the young warrior and she had a pretty good idea what it was. Alison just had no idea how to approach the subject without making him madder – even if Shatterstar and anger seemed to go hand in hand all the time anyhow.
“Longshot said you came in very early this morning.”
“Yes I did,” he turned around so his back was facing her.
“Ye go out lookin’ fer a fight again, boyo?” Terry piped up, folding her arms under her breasts.
“I did not look for one, but, perhaps, I just happened to find one, yes.”
Alison sighed. “You’ll go to jail if you act like that.”
“I would only go to jail if they were able to apprehend me,” Shatterstar pointed out with an incredulous scoff.
Terry sighed. “What did he do?”
Shatterstar turned and eyed her. “Who?”
Alison looked at the Irish woman curiously, but Theresa did not at all seem fazed by Shatterstar’s feign of ignorance. “Shatty, I’ve known ye longer than anyone here.”
“There’s nothing wrong,” he sighed, sounding more and more agitated as they spoke to him. “I want to go back to Wildways and be the ‘shitty’ hero that I was meant to be. Free the people, do the destiny, just like I was intended to. What is so wrong with that?”
“Ye just said 'shitty',” Terry pointed out. “Ye usually only swear in Cadre, but ye swear in English when ye really want people tah realize how mad ye are.”
“Fekt, woman! Stop commentating my actions!”
“Well stop actin’ like a goof! Yuir practically sulkin’! And where did ye ever get the idea that ye make a shitty hero?” Terry demanded, voicing all of the questions that Alison had been much too apprehensive to say.
“I’m sorry, my mistake. I should go to Wildways to be the good hero that I am in order to avoid being the shitty person I am in turn. Better?” he glared at her with distaste and yanked his plate out of the microwave. Heat poured off of his food, but he still stuck it in his mouth anyways, and it made Alison’s tongue ache in sympathy.
Terry just scoffed and ignored his actions and focused solely on his words. “Dinnae even tell me that ye buy that crap, Shatty.”
“Whatever, Siryn! I didn’t buy anything!”
“Don’t play stupid! Ye cannot possibly think that way; ye know better than that. And just because he goes runnin’ his mouth and sayin’ mean things does nae mean ye should take it all so personally.”
The young warrior just clenched his jaw and shot her a nasty look before piling more food into his mouth.
“You’re not a shitty person,” Alison agreed.
“Stop trying to change the way I feel,” Shatterstar rolled his eyes. “You just say these ridiculously silly things because of your relation to me. I saw the same thing happen on Saved by the
“That’s not true!” Alison protested.
He sighed irritably, and tossed his plate on the counter. A miserable scowl crossed his features and he pinched the bridge of his nose. “I don’t care, okay? I don’t belong on this planet. There are no wars to be fought or races to be saved, and the cause on Mojoworld is much more important to my heritage, and therefore more important to me. I would be better suited there.”
“If you say that again, I’m going to hit you,” Alison warned, surprising both him and herself.
“No, you won’t.”
“I would nae challenge her,” Terry chuckled.
“Look, ‘Star, things are tough here, but Earth is just as much your heritage as Wildways. And I’m begging you to understand…the war there is never ending. It was that very war that got us all in this mind wipe mess in the first place,” Dazzler got to her feet and approached him. Silver eyes avoided her, and he stared down at the floor. “Please just realize that your life wasn’t meant to be anything specifically mapped out. Spiral decided that for you. There were many different outcomes to that war, and she chose the one that best suited her – which involved you. But just because she decides what she wants, it doesn’t mean you have to go through with it! She’s a monster, and you can’t--”
“I’m a monster too, I think.”
Alison glared, and grabbed his chin to make him look at her. “No you aren’t.”
“Whatever,” he rolled his eyes once more.
“Look, I don’t care what he told you or what happened between you two, but you need to stop acting this way,” Alison scolded. “And I don’t care for your bitchy attitude either, so don’t tell me to back off. You’re an adult, so start acting like one.”
“Everyone calls me a bitch,” he scowled, and pulled free from her grasp. “What is the meaning of that? I am not one!”
After a few silent moments, Terry started laughing. “Oh, boyo, even after all these years yuir cluelessness is still endearin’.”
He just shook his head, and folded his arms. “It’s not like I mean for it to happen.”
“Good,” Alison told him. “Are you finished with your mood now?”
He looked down at her and sighed. “No, but I will stop voicing it if you would just leave me alone.”
The older woman just chuckled and lifted up on her tip toes to place a kiss on his cheek. “You’re such a baby.”
He groaned and wiped at his face. “Why did you do that!?”
“To make you feel better,” she laughed.
“Well it didn’t help!”
“Well it helped me,” she grinned.
“You irritate me,” Shatterstar muttered and rubbed his hands up and down his face. “Why do I even associate with you, you crazy woman?”
“You’re stuck with me now, so maybe you should just get used to it,” she patted his shoulder before returning to her seat and finishing the last of her coffee. “And that means whether or not you stay here, too. You can go and move away and get a job all you want, but that doesn’t mean you get rid of me; or Longshot for that matter.”
“Lucky me,” Shatterstar mumbled.
“Your sarcasm astounds me,” Ali laughed.
“Wonder where he got that from,” Terry chuckled into her mug. Shatterstar just stared at her and folded his arms over his chest, not at all looking impressed. The redhead stared at him right back, and she perked an eyebrow. “Hm?”
“How long what?”
He sighed and eyed the door, before making his way to the kitchen table and plopping down beside her. “How long was I…uhm, involved with him?”
Blue eyes widened, and Terry bit her lip. “Yuir talkin’ about…”
"No, I just think I figured it out.”
She cleared her throat and raked a hand through her hair nervously. “Look, I dinnae know what I should be tellin’ ye--” Theresa paused, before waving her hand dismissively. “Long time; a couple of years that I know of. I dinnae know when exactly ye guys started or when and how you ended. I just know it happened sometime after ye died.”
Shatterstar nodded. “I don’t understand. Why would I do that? I cannot comprehend a reason in my mind why I would have such a relationship, especially with him.”
Terry’s eyes widened at the harsh words. “I, uhm, dinnae. Like I said, I’m not sure of all the, erm, details. But I think that I can say that I honestly believed that ye loved him.”
“I do not love.”
“You do too!” Alison wagged a finger at him. “Stop talking that way! Everyone loves; it’s not a feeling you just don’t have, Shatterstar. You’re being ridiculous.”
“And he loved ye too,” Terry continued. “And I’d bet my life that he still does.”
Shatterstar stared at her, face masking whatever he could have possibly been feeling right then. Alison could see the gears in his head turning like they were on overdrive, however. It pained her to see him so confused and disgruntled, but at the same time she had an undeniable urge to just punch him in the back of the head, or something. He was being stubborn because he was hurt, and in turn he was climbing back down into a familiar shell. Turned off his emotions and acted like he had the black heart of a soldier – and no matter how much he protested it, he was past that. All his time on Earth had drastically changed that, even if he did not remember the fact just yet. It was somewhere within him though, deep down inside, he would just have to work to find it again.
“Anyone who would feel such things for me must be specially challenged.”
Terry just blinked at the oddness of the statement, but she did not get a chance to respond. The back door slammed open a couple of seconds later revealing two very dirty looking men. Rictor and Jamie walked through the kitchen looking like they were in a world of hurt. Mud coated their clothes and their hair, and they had scratches all over them. Theresa just burst out laughing at the sight.
“What on Earth happened t’ye two!?”
Jamie shot her a look. “Don’t ask.”
Rictor avoided looking at everyone at the table and just walked toward the hallway. He was missing his shoes, and he had a giant hole in the ass of his pants. “Stupid freaking dogs…”
Terry burst out laughing again, and had to wipe the tears from her eyes. “Why is it all the good stuff always happens on my day off!?”
Jamie mocked her laughing. “Well next time, the case is yours!”
Alison looked at Shatterstar and frowned. He too was avoiding the obvious. “Just go talk to him,” she whispered so that Jamie could not hear.
“I do not want to,” he rolled his eyes. “I am convinced he’s ‘special’.”
Alison smacked his arm and shot him a pointed look. “Now you’re just being mean.”
“I’ll kiss you again.”
He scrunched up his face disgustedly and got to his feet. “In that case, I will go ‘hole up’ in my room, as they say. And if you bug me, I will jump out my window.”
Alison just shook her head and watched him leave; talking to him was like pulling teeth sometimes. But, still, she could not help but just hope to God things worked out okay for him.
It had taken Rictor a half hour in the shower to get all of the dirt off of him. He hated dogs, and he was starting to think that he hated people who turned into dogs, too. That case had been one of the worst just because of the sheer stupidity of it, and all of the running around did not at all help his hangover. A headache the size of
It did not get any better when he returned to his bedroom either. He tightened the towel around his waist and looked around; everything was practically destroyed. His stuff broken and thrown around the floor, and his floor was still covered in plaster. His mattress remained clean, for the most part, but all of his blankets and sheets were rolled up and sitting on the dusty floor.
All he wanted to do was go to sleep.
The Mexican crossed the floor and began throwing all of his clothes into his laundry basket to be cleaned later. Half of them had not even been worn, but just dirtied by the mess. He kicked everything else to one side of the room, and grabbed the cleanest sheet left and tossed it on his bed.
Brown eyes then moved to the damaged wall, and he could not help but look through head-sized hole to watch the person in the other room. Shatterstar lay on his back with his arm over his face. It was obvious he was ignoring him; the guy could hear everything, so he had to have known he was there. However, Rictor did not blame him for doing so. The one thing that was a sore spot for Shatty had come out of Ric’s mouth the previous night, and now he was regretting it. Guilt plagued him so much that he did not even bother worrying about any of the other problems that they may have had prior to the fight. Screw the past. What was done was done, and even if it hurt it could not be taken back.
The present was something else entirely – something that made their playing field equal.
“‘Star?” Julio mumbled and approached the hole in the wall. His heart beat wildly in his chest as he waited for the reply.
“What?” he did not remove his arm from his face.
“Uhm…” Rictor cleared his throat and pressed his forehead against the plaster. “Are you okay?”
“Of course I’m mad.”
“So why did you say you were fine?” Julio demanded, desperation taking over him. He did not want to fight with him. Shatterstar may not have needed him, but Rictor liked to think that he needed ‘Star, and no matter how big of a fight they got in that would never change.
“I said I was fine because I can deal with it,” he muttered, and finally dropped his arm behind his head and used it as a pillow. Silver eyes remained on the ceiling, however. “What do you want?”
“To say that I’m sorry.”
“Is this the time that you give me some ridiculous excuse about how your intoxication made you do it?”
Rictor swallowed and shook his head. “No. That probably did have something to do with it, but I said it ‘cause I was mad. I shouldn’t…uhm, I shouldn’t have said it. I didn’t mean it.”
“All of it!” he insisted. “I became friends with you because I liked you. You didn’t bug me and expect me to live up to something that I wasn’t. You gave me space when I needed it. You made me learn how to trust people again. And you-- you helped me to own up to my past and accept things. You were there for me whenever I needed someone to smack some sense into me, and, most of all, you put up with my shit even when I acted like a freaking idiot.”
“Like you did last night?”
“No, I’ve never done that to you before. I say a lot of things that I don’t mean, but that…” he trailed off shakily and raked a hand through his wet hair. “That was way over the line. You always knew when I was shooting crap out of my mouth, and I know that I shouldn’t always expect you to just sweep it under the rug.”
Shatterstar finally turned his head and looked at him. “Well maybe you were right. Just because it is harsh does not mean it isn’t true.”
“No, it’s not true,” Rictor emphasized with a wild head shake. “If I could take it back I would.”
“But you can’t,” Shatterstar pointed out. “Just like I can’t take back those lies that I told you.”
Rictor nodded as realization sunk in, and he wrapped his fingers along the crumbled edge of the wall. “Do you forgive me?”
“It’s really hard for me to own up to my crap, amigo. Even harder to say what I feel and…how much you mean to me. Without you I’m shit, and I want you to know that I would never intentionally hurt you like that,” he scoffed and shook his head disappointedly. “Man, you must think I’m a total loser. Being a dick and then crawling back on my knees begging forgiveness? Man, I suck.”
Shatterstar shot him a funny look before he stood up from his bed and approached the broken wall that separated them. “Well I know you must feel really sorry. You said the same thing when you crashed the truck.”
Rictor’s head snapped up at that. “You remember that?!”
“Just you crashing the truck, not much else…” he trailed off awkwardly. “And that stupid song you were singing.”
Julio could not help but laugh at that. “Yeah, I definitely sucked when that happened, too.”
“I forgave you for that, right?”
Rictor nodded, and felt a flutter of nostalgic happiness that Shatty even remembered something as small and insignificant as that. “Yeah, amigo, you did.”
The warrior nodded his head and lifted his hand to place it on top of Rictor’s. “Well then I suppose I can forgive you this time, too. But next time I might actually punch you instead of the wall.”
A relieved chuckle escaped Julio’s lips, and he could not help but feel that he really needed to get that out. “Well at least that would make Jamie happy.”
“In that case…”
Rictor smiled. “Thanks, amigo.”