Characters: X-Force -- Shatterstar, Siryn, Sunspot, Rictor, Cannonball, Domino, Warpath, Cable, Boomer, Moonstar, Feral, Magma, and Deadpool.
Pairings: Domino/Cable, Sunspot/Magma. Minor Warpath/Siryn/Deadpool and Cannonball/Boomer, and eventually Rictor/Shatterstar.
Genre: Alternate Universe, Action/Adventure, Angst, Drama, Romance
Rated: NC-17 for extreme violence, language, dark themes, sexual situations (het and slash), and character death.
Disclaimer: I don’t own a damn thing; I’m just playing for awhile.
Summary: A well known terrorist organization has made its move, and its dictatorship starts with the fall of the country’s greatest heroes. A few make it out alive, but they are on the run and in for the fight of their lives. Who lives and who dies? And where do you go when there’s no where left to hide?
Chapter Summary: Rictor wakes up and gets updated on all the team info, as well as some of the information the Delta Squad uncovered on their last mission with Cable. Sunspot has a hard time dealing with Amara's death, and it starts putting the team on shaky ground.
Part: One, Two,
Rictor woke groggily with a series of throbbing pains racking his body. The hurt was intense; both sharp and stinging, and low and pulsing. There was not a single place on him that did not feel bad, and he momentarily had to wonder if he had been lit on fire.
Groaning, he attempted to roll over, and it was then he was shocked with the fact he was not sleeping alone. One large hand lay loosely on his stomach and a big warm body cradled behind him. On the other side he got a face full of hair and a whiff of some sort of fragrance.
Maybe he had not been lit on fire…maybe he was drunk.
Either way, he still felt like shit. So he moved again, only that time a massive explosion of pain shocked him, and he suddenly felt the urge to vomit. Struggling to his knees, he pushed himself away from his bed mates and dragged himself across a cold, hard surface. Before he could even open up his eyes, he lurched forward and emptied his stomach. Muscles contracted, body heaving, and again that unbearable pain ate away at every last nerve in his body. He threw up again.
“Oh my god!” he heard someone yell, a female voice -- Terry’s, he figured, based on pitch alone.
Again he felt a large hand on him, that time on his back and he was being helped up. “Julio!? Fekt, are you all right?”
“Urgh,” he groaned, throat feeling hot and dry. “What the fucking hell happened, amigos? Am I dead?”
“No,” Shatterstar told him. “But you should probably lie back down before you injure your ankle any further.”
“It’s sprained,” Terry explained, approaching him with a blanket to wrap around his shoulders. “Ye also have nae even been walkin’ on it for a day now. It’s weak.”
“Fuck,” Ric muttered and fought to open his eyes all the way. When his vision finally came to he realized everyone else looked like shit too. Terry’s hair was wild and singed looking, and she had a lot of cuts and scrapes on her face. 'Star just looked like he had been through a scuffle -- and Roberto was passed out, or something. He blinked and let 'Star help him back to where he had been sleeping before. “What happened?”
“How much do ye remember?” Terry asked cautiously.
“Uhhh,” he rubbed his face groggily. “I remember waking up with shaving cream on my face because Jimmy’s a fucking dick.”
Terry frowned. “Ric that was almost two weeks ago.”
He rolled his eyes. “So the whole HYDRA invasion wasn’t a dream then?”
“No,” 'Star told him. “That still happened.”
“Shit,” he cursed. “Well then I guess I remember the alerts going off at the Institute, taking off with Dom’s squad to head to
“They were killed,” Terry informed him. “Most of them anyways, others’re still missin’.”
Ric nodded. “Yeah I remember that; I was kinda hopin’ it wasn’t true though,” he paused. “I remember when we got back to the mansion and HYDRA was already there, so we booked. Me, you, and Feral headed for
She nodded and rummaged through her bag. “Do ye remember walkin’ through the forest with Feral and I yesterday?”
“Yeah,” he frowned as he accepted the bottle from her. “We were fighting and you were talking to Sam. That’s really all I remember. Oh…and Amara. She…uh, you know…right?”
Shatterstar nodded gravely. “Yes, and Feral too.”
“Kitty-cat too?!” he asked, disbelievingly. “How the…?”
“There was an explosion,” Terry explained. “Feral hit a trip wire, we think. Well…from what my memories are slowly gatherin’. Ye got hit with the blast. I was in the air at the time so I was less affected.”
“Please don’t tell me I look like Deadpool now!” he panicked. “Is my face okay!?
Terry scoffed at the mention of her boyfriend. “Nae ye don’t. And yuir lucky he dinnae hear ye say that!”
Rictor breathed a sigh of relief. “Good.”
“You still are in rough condition,” Shatterstar folded his arms. “You have second degree burns on your body and a great deal of cuts. You will most definitely have scars.”
The Mexican’s mouth dropped open in horror. “You do not know how to make a guy feel better, amigo.”
“Well that’s the least of yuir worries right now,” Terry told him. “We’ve been cleaning ye constantly and changing yuir bandages, and we’ll have to keep doin’ that.”
Rictor felt his face burn slightly. “How much of my body we talkin’ here, guys?”
“All over,” Shatty informed him. “You do not need to be embarrassed; we have protected your modesty.”
“That’s good; I guess,” he murmured. “So, uh, where are we now?”
“In a cave hidin’,” Terry frowned, and began looking around in the bag some more. “We had a nasty run in with some agents yesterday and Roberto damaged a bunch of their equipment…”
“We also killed about three dozen men,” 'Star added.
“They’re definitely out looking for us,” she whispered. “But we cannae go on the run until we're more rested. Yuir in absolutely no condition to go anywhere, and unfortunately for ye we have no medicine or pain killers of any kind.”
Rictor sighed. “Wonderful…”
He felt like an ass. The team would not say anything, but Rictor knew damn well that he was holding them back from making a safe escape. There was no doubt HYDRA would be fast on their trails if they had really left that many men dead in their area. The worst part was that any day they could show up and ambush, and Julio knew if anyone else ended up dead because of him holding them back, he would never be able to forgive himself.
They had already lost so much and been chased this far; there was no doubt that HYDRA was much more pissed by that point.
“You don’t need to worry,” 'Star told him. “We’ll make sure you're strengthened and better.”
Ric sighed. “Don’t let me hold ya back, okay? I can fight for myself.”
“My Irish ass ye can,” Terry scoffed and rolled her eyes. “I’ll be back. Now that Shatty’s awake I can go to the bathroom.” And without another word, she exited the cave leaving the two friends alone.
“Don’t talk that way,” 'Star snapped. “We went through great lengths already to keep you safe and we will continue to do so.”
Rictor stared up at the ceiling of the cave and tried his hardest to ignore all of his physical pain, and his embarrassment, too. “Thanks.”
“I would never leave you behind,” Shatty told him.
“How bad is it?”
“How bad is what?”
“My injuries, I guess,” he muttered without looking at him. “I feel real sore, amigo. So sore that I can’t even figure out where I’m hurting. That’s what made me sick.”
“I will not lie to you,” he cautioned with a pause. “You were burned and you were knocked unconscious for a long period of time -- which could mean a head injury I cannot begin to understand. And I, uhm…”
“What?” Rictor felt himself paling already.
“I was forced to give you stitches.”
“I’m sorry,” he offered. “But you were bleeding quite badly. If it’s any consolation I covered it up so that you wouldn’t have to look at it.”
He felt sick to his stomach again, but swallowed it back. “…thanks.”
Shatterstar stared at him intensely. “You did not even move at all during the night.”
Rictor almost smiled; it made sense now he had woken up beside someone, but he never would have suspected 'Star to be the one. Whatever the case, he did not voice his opinion on the matter. “That’s a shocker; usually I kick up a storm.”
He nodded. “You should eat.”
“Look, I don’t feel very well, and--” he started, but stopped when the warrior shot him an annoyed glare. “All right, eating it is then. Wouldn’t wanna get weak now, huh?”
“No; we need to build your strength,” he told him. “I was informed that your squad had gone two days without sleeping, and it is not adequate that the only rest you got was from injuries, Rictor.”
“Yeah--” he trailed off. “We walked a long time. And I tell ya, it seemed a hell of a lot longer having to listen to fucking Feral talk. I feel kinda bad because we just kept fighting and that’s what we were doing when she died.”
'Star just blinked and nodded as he prepared some soup over the fire. “Don’t feel so guilty, Julio. Had I been there I probably would have shut her up myself.”
Ric could not even find the strength to laugh. “Sometimes I wonder if that’s how she just is or if she’s really arguing, you know? I get talking to her for too long and I start to forget my name isn’t faggot.”
'Star shot him an annoyed look. “That is not your name.”
Rictor rolled his eyes. “Yeah, yeah I know. Not like it hurts my feelings; I’m used to that from her.” He grunted as he attempted to sit up. After a few tries, he was able to, albeit uncomfortably. “It’s no biggie.”
“She was a waste of air,” Shatterstar muttered and stirred the contents of the can with some random plastic utensil he found in the bag. “I don’t care what her excuse is.”
Rictor blinked. “You sound more defensive about it than I do.”
“I do not like her calling you such things,” he confessed. “It is not her business to make judgments about you.”
The Mexican just watched him carefully; he seemed awfully upset about such a thing. Even if his reason was valid, it still surprised him that 'Star took more offense to it than he did. Rictor did not care. The guy/guy thing was not something that bothered him -- he accepted it and the others knew it too -- so there was no sense in worrying about something Feral, of all people, had to say. But then again, 'Star had always been weird about those things, probably because he still had a hard time understanding them. So for his sake, Rictor tried not to make a big deal about it.
“How are you feeling?” Julio asked, trying to change the subject.
“Are you hurt? Everyone else looks like they went through world war three, and yet you look like you just been out to the salon,” he joked. He winced and held out his arm, accepting the food the warrior had prepared. Instantly the bigger man came around and sat next to him, ready to assist if need be. “Thanks,” Ric muttered.
“I am unhurt. I was shot yesterday, once or twice, and someone threw a bomb near me when my squad had first been ambushed,” he shrugged it off casually, which was something Julio was used to from him. “But otherwise I am fine. I have fully healed and I've repaired all of my equipment. Theresa’s and Roberto’s were repaired as well, but yours was unsalvageable.”
“Ye fixed my what?” the red head asked as she reentered the cave.
“Your clothing,” Shatty replied and looked at the Mexican. “Is your food adequate?”
“No,” he scrunched up his face. “I hate fuckin’ mushrooms. But it’s still good because I haven’t eaten in forever.”
“That’s what’s important,” Terry grinned at him. “We were worried about ye there for awhile, ye know. I’m glad yuir okay.”
“Yeah well don’t go running yourself stupid worrying about me,” Rictor grunted. “You look like you need some healing too, ya know.”
“I do,” she conceded, and worked on tying back her hair before lying in the makeshift blanket bed next to him. “But I’m not anywhere near yuir bad and I’d have no problem usin’ my powers if I need tah.”
“Right,” Ric sighed, biting back the disgusting feeling churning in his stomach. He did not feel well at all, and he was almost ready to go back to sleep. “Say ain’t any of you heard from Tabby yet, have you?”
“No,” 'Star informed him. “Cable’s squad has not communicated with us in several days.”
“What if they got captured?”
'Star looked at Terry, and she would not meet his gaze. The warrior moved his silver eyes back to look at Julio and frowned. “Some mutants are being kept alive. We do not know why they are, or what requirements they need to make. Males mostly, but otherwise we are unsure. Others are being left for dead, and not bothered with otherwise.”
“And have we figured out exactly what it is HYDRA's doing?” Rictor questioned. “What did you guys find out before your mission ended?”
'Star shrugged. “Not much. All we know is that the government was targeted first, including SHIELD. Cable insisted we take an in depth look at as many HYDRA files as possible, and it was discovered that HYDRA has been trying to take back control over SHIELD for years,” he grabbed Ric’s food from him when he could not eat anymore, and he placed it on the ground next to the fire. “It's not a surprise SHIELD was taken down first. And because the government was funding them that attack makes sense as well.”
“So what are they doing attacking mutants then?” Rictor questioned.
“We don’t know,” he replied with a frown. “Our carrier never made it to Area 51; we were shot down. All that we know is that their army is bigger than ever and it is believed they have bases set up all over the world.
“So what the hell, are they trying to take over the world?!”
“I don't know,” he sighed.
“This is so fucked,” Ric grumbled. “How the hell are we ever gonna get back home?”
“What home?” Terry whispered from next to him, and that made Rictor frown; he had forgotten about that part.
A few hours after waking up, Roberto DaCosta found himself hovering in the air above the roof of the cave. The clouds covered most of the sky, giving their surroundings a grey, depressing appearance. From what he could see there were no soldiers or vehicles in sight across the distance -- and that was a relief. For the time being they were safe, and if they were lucky it would be a couple more days before they would have to move again.
Silently, the solar powered mutant lowered himself to the ground until his feet touched soundly. His teammates were still inside of their shelter and resting up, but he was in no mood to be social. They wanted to be optimistic. They looked forward to seeing their teammates again. Terry spoke happily of meeting up with
And yet he could not shake the angry, depressed thoughts swirling in his mind -- and he did not want to.
Everything that had happened in the past week had been horrifying. He had seen friends and allies fall, and people he cared for go missing. Their future was completely uncertain at that point -- more so than ever -- and for some reason that was not bothering him as much as it should have.
Instead, Sunspot’s mind was plagued with the image of his former girlfriend, Amara Aquilla. She had fallen to her death no more than three feet away from his boots, and there was not a damn thing he could have done to protect her. The thing that burned worst in his mind was that he had promised her they were going to be all right. That when all of this was over they would grow old together, get married, do the happy couple thing and live happily ever after.
The world had a cruel way of messing with his dreams.
And what he would not do right then to switch places with her. Her death had been violent; she had been shot down by a barrage of machine guns before 'Star had been able to slaughter her murderers. A girl of glowing flame, Roberto supposed, was probably seen as HYDRA’s greatest threat; even if Magma was powerful, she was not the one on their squad that was comfortable with killing people. They took her out first because she looked scary, rather than because she was an actual threat. She had been so frightened during their entire run, even if she had tried to hide it, and it broke Roberto’s heart to know that any comforting words he had used to console her did not make things right in the end.
They should have taken him instead; how was he going to live without her? And her father-- Roberto did not want to be the one that would have to tell him the news when -- or if -- the crisis ever ended. Bobby was her boyfriend, her lover, and it was his duty to protect her.
A duty that he had failed.
Failure was not something that Roberto was used to. For so long he had always gotten things to go his way, and even his team had always overcome everything that had been thrown at them. But this…this was not something he even felt in his heart he wanted to fight anymore. In his mind he almost felt as though everything ended. Everything did end.
Frowning angrily, he approached the nearest patch of trees directly to the left side of the cave. Absorbing all of the solar energy he could through the thick clouds of the sky, he transferred the energy into that of his own and threw his fists at the wood. Splinters and bark rained down around him before the trunk completely snapped in half and fell to the ground. He sidestepped the fallen log and repeated the action to three more trees. Using only a closed fist, Roberto took out an entire spot of foliage.
“What are you doing?”
“Getting fire wood,” he snapped irritably.
“I would have helped,” Shatterstar replied as he approached him. “I have blades for that.”
The blackened mutant shook his head and glared at the ground. “Anybody ever teach you how to properly care for swords, amigo? They aren’t machetes.”
“Don’t patronize me,” his accented voice cut through the air. “My blades are not made of the pathetic metals found on this planet. And I have more training with swords than you can even wiggle a twig at, so don’t mock me.”
“Sorry,” Roberto scoffed. “I’m just not in the mood for company right now, so if you don’t mind…”
“I do mind,” Shatty cut him off. “I am sorry for your loss and I would not be able to understand your misery, but I have orders from Siryn. You are not to compromise our position by throwing a fit out here and giving us away.”
Roberto just ignored him and began to collect the massive piles of logs in his arms.
“You and I are the only ones in any position to fight, and your behavior tells me that your heart's not in this,” the warrior grabbed the last log and dragged it behind them as they walked. “I may be an honourable fighter, but I cannot take on this army alone while still protecting our teammates. Believe me when I say I would fight to the death for them, but my death would give you no benefits.”
“Whatever,” Roberto sighed and piled the trees neatly to be cut. “Why don’t you go stick your nose up Terry’s ass some more and go bug her, homem. I don’t wanna hear fucking lectures, all right? I know what the deal is and I’ll do what I have to do when the time comes.”
Silver eyes narrowed at him dangerously, and a large hand clamped over the front of Roberto’s uniform. “Yes, you will. I will not let your weepy ways come between the enemy and our friends’ survival. I'm sorry Magma is dead, but Siryn and Rictor are not and you would be cowardly to let them die because you are moping.”
Roberto clamped a hand around 'Star’s wrist and used his strength to tear it off of him. “Fuck you! You don’t know anything about the way I feel, you asshole! I fucking loved her. I loved her more than anything else on this planet, and someone like you would never even begin to know how that feels!”
“Someone ‘like me’?” a red eyebrow perked.
“Yeah, a mindless fucking machine who cares for nothing but god damn battle tactics and honour. What about honouring Amara, huh?” he blinked back that burning feeling behind his eyelids. “We left her body out there to rot. Those bastards probably collected her to throw into their god damn mutie stoves, and you wanna talk about being honourable? We abandoned her!”
“We did what we had to do,” Shatterstar murmured. “And you cannot blame yourself for that. There are many ways to honour your love, Roberto, and that includes her spirit and not just her body.”
“Fuck off,” he turned away from him and rubbed his hands over his face. “You don’t know shit, 'Star.”
“You treat me as though I do not have people I care for,” the warrior muttered. “I do, believe it or not, and like you I put their needs before my own. Which is why we cannot let our team down because we have taken a blow.”
“A blow doesn’t even begin to describe it,” Sunspot growled.
“Whatever,” Shatty sneered again. “Words will probably not help you, but there's no sense in fighting amongst ourselves.”
“Then why don’t you go back into the cave and leave me alone?” Roberto’s voice rose. “I’ll get the wood myself.”
“Once again, you throwing a fit out here and giving away our location is no good,” he grabbed him by the shoulder and spun him around so they were face to face once more. “There's plenty of room in the cave if you want to mourn, but I will not allow you to level this land. I was given orders and I intend to follow them.” He narrowed his eyes again before stepping back to approach the wood. “You should at least appreciate that I am being nice about this. If it were my choice I'd knock you out.”
“It’s times like this I wish Sammy were here,” Roberto sighed shakily, and finally stepped over to assist Shatterstar. “He’d know what to do, you know? He’s my best friend and I’m just fucked right now, amigo. I need him, you know? Mi best amigo.”
'Star just gave him a nod before lifting his blade to cut the log. “I know how that feels, yes.”
Roberto swallowed and held the tree still. “I wish I could be as nearly as tough as you, though. You’re handling all this really well -- and, you know, I know it’s not because you’re a mindless machine; I’m sorry I said that.”
Shatty shrugged in an annoyed fashion. “I told you those I care about-- their needs come first. There is no sense in me 'spazzing'.”
“I’m sorry,” Roberto apologized again. He didn’t really know why he was, but it felt like the right thing to do at the time. “I’ll try, but if I start feeling a little down…”
“Nobody said you could not feel, Sunspot,” Shatty replied, voice low and deep, and he did not even look up at him when he spoke. “You have every right to; just don’t forget our priorities is all. You still have your own life to fight for.”
Roberto did not reply to that; he still was not sure what his life really was now anyways. He had no home, no belongings, and no Amara. There was not much left to give him hope, even if Shatterstar surprisingly brought up valid points. His friends were still very much important to him, there was no doubt about it, but he could not help but feel just a little bit selfish in the sense that everything else was clouding over his mind instead. 'Star was right and Roberto knew this, but he did not want to believe him. Yesterday had been so easy because he was so distracted with the fight and he had not allowed the events of his love’s death to really sink in. But now that he had slept on it, the only thing left was sorrow and agonizing grief. It was not right to take it out on the others, but at that point Bobby was not sure he would be able to control it if he tried. It was going to be a long fight, this he knew.
But he would be damned if he did not get his revenge.
Go to Chapter Four