Title: For the Best (Estranged Series Part 1 of 4)
Characters: Rictor; mentions of others
Disclaimer: I don’t own anything except for love and pocket lint
Summary: Rictor turned away from his very best friend, but it wasn’t without a price. This takes place in the plane when Ric leaves Star to go back home to
Spoilers: Cable #22
A/N: This is the first one-shot in a small series that takes place off-panel and between issues of X-Force. This is pretty much how I think Star and Ric's relationship would have worked had the writers actually been able to make them canon. Up until this point in the books the boys had developed a strong friendship and had a few sweet panels. In my little world, this is where things got serious.
Part 3 - Feel My World Crumble
Part 4 - When Our Worlds Collide
Why did he have to make it so hard?
Shatterstar begged and he pleaded. He sulked and exposed himself in a way that Rictor never really saw before. All because he was leaving.
And Dios did that hurt.
But his leaving was for the best. At least, in his own mind it was. Things in X-Force were getting nuts; they didn’t really have a place to live, and Cable, that fucker, insisted on digging through his head just for the ‘greater good of the team’. What a crock of shit.
Cable did not need to know what was on his mind. Rictor was having a hard enough time with his thoughts, and he did not need some insane mercenary in his fucking head. His mind was the only thing that belonged to him anymore -- his only place of privacy. He had already given his life and his body to the damn ‘cause’, and he did not want that one last thing taken away too.
There were things he was dealing with that he could not really decipher. Thoughts and feelings, confusion…if he could not figure it out himself, why the hell would he want Cable up in there? Rictor had a hard enough time trusting the guy as it was, and it was no step towards good terms for them.
Shatterstar’s begging didn’t help him either. In fact, his whole attitude and behavior made Rictor miserable. Cable was an easy excuse on the outside; his friends were upset and depressed and they wanted answers as to why he was bailing on them, and Cable was just the easiest one to use.
But that was only scratching the surface of it all.
Everything always went back to 'Star. It was his fault; he was the reason he was leaving, really, and that was something he could never let anyone know. Not only because that would hurt 'Star, but because they would know something about him that he was not quite sure what to make of.
Shatty was his best friend. They were close -- a lot closer than he was with any of his other friends. They told each other things that they did not tell other people, and they spent most of their time together -- both in and away from battle. They came to rely and depend on each other a lot more than they should, and the very fact was beginning to mess with Rictor’s head.
Because his feelings were a lot stronger than they were supposed to be.
Rictor had endured a lot since his childhood, and because of a series of traumatic events he always had a problem being comfortable in his own skin. He was insecure and had a hard time coping with problems, or anything else that required a great deal of emotion. Trust had also always been such a big issue, as everyone he had ever cared about only ever let him down.
…Or abandoned him -- just like he was doing to 'Star right now.
He was a hypocrite, but what else could he do? Shatterstar had no idea how to deal with his problems, let alone anything that Rictor could string him along with. Everyday that the Mexican woke up, the first thing on his mind was 'Star. And as his feelings continued to spiral more and more out of control, so was his ability to control his moods around him, and the last thing he wanted to do was hurt Shatty.
He needed to sort himself out, and a vacation was completely harmless. All he would have to do is take a few weeks to himself, realize he was just over exaggerating, and laugh it off. It sounded easy.
But that face -- those sad eyes, that miserable frown -- how hard it was to walk away from it. Shatterstar refused to show his insecurities and weaknesses until then. It was so obvious that Rictor walking out of his life was devastating, and it was something that the Mexican was not expecting.
But he had to be strong for once in his life and walk away. It was important that he did it for himself, no matter how much it killed him to act like an asshole to 'Star.
No matter how much it broke his heart.
Rictor turned away from the airplane window and looked at the woman next to him. “Huh? You talkin’ to me?”
“You look upset,” she placed a hand on his forearm, and he had to resist the urge to squirm. “Are you okay?”
He shrugged and looked back out the window as the airport disappeared from his view. “I’m fine.”
She didn’t say anything after that; only a faint scoff was heard as he rudely shrugged her off of him. Rictor did not need some stranger pointing out to him how he felt -- and he did not need any reminders.
He had to hang on to the small sliver of hope that he wasn’t going to regret what he was doing. He had to be able to just keep telling himself it was right.
It was for the best.