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's a bit difficult when it comes time to fix up his injuries; Terry tries again to reach Cable's squad, and it leads to a fight with Sunspot. The team scrambles when they get an unexpected visitor.
Part: One, Two, Three,
“Stop touching it!”
“I need to, I'm almost done.”
“Stop touching it!”
“Julio, if you would just lift your arm for one moment then maybe I can actually finish this--”
“Stop touching it!”
“You need to be cleaned--”
“Stop touching it!”
Shatterstar grumbled loudly. “I’m not even touching you anymore and I haven’t been for many minutes now! My hands are not even on your body in any way whatsoever, and yet you keep yelling at me!” He heaved a frustrated sigh. “You are going to die if you do not stop it. And not from infection, but because I will kill you myself!”
Rictor leaned his head back against the wall of the cave and inched an eye open to finally peek at his best friend. “Will you make it a fast one so I won’t have to see any blood?”
“You are such a baby,” the warrior shook his head with exasperation. “No one even said you had to look at the wound, you just have to let me touch it.”
“But I can feel it moving when you do that,” he whined. “Do you have any idea how fucking gross that is?”
“No, I do not believe I have had stitches,” 'Star blinked. “Though I have stabbed myself through the chest before, does that count?”
Rictor sighed. “No.”
“Fine,” Shatty shrugged. “I won’t touch it. But when you have puss leaking down your skin and crusting along the edges of your flesh, you will regret this cowardly choice. Because every time you move the puss will squirt, and then crust some more.” He perked a red eyebrow, and Rictor’s stomach lurched at the thought. “And don’t worry, Julio. When it starts to stink, we will just say ‘Oh it’s just Julio’s goo; he likes it that way’.”
“I think I’m gonna puke,” he felt flush and he leaned his whole body against the cool surface of the wall. “You are so twisted, amigo.”
“I have to convince you somehow,” he smirked, and gently lifted the Mexican’s arm as he began to clean up the stitches. “The good news is that this wound looks a lot better now.”
“Good,” Rictor swallowed hard and tried to force himself to ignore the feeling of the cut. He hated blood. He hated cuts and wounds and burns, and he especially hated getting treated for them. As a child he had been abducted by a terrorist group that had injected him with all kinds of drugs and sedatives. They tortured him and left him to stew in his own blood and filth before showing up days later to ‘help’ him. Since then, he had not been able to stomach the thought of people going near him with medical supplies of any sort. It was not that he did not trust Shatterstar -- because Lord knew he did more than anyone else on the planet -- but flashbacks were a bitch, and he would rather not puke on himself in front of the one guy he hated to look like an ass in front of. Being a whiny bitch in front of 'Star was embarrassing enough for Rictor as it was.
“Yes, Julio?” the warrior lifted his head and gave him a quizzical look.
“I just wanted to say thanks…uh, you know, for makin’ sure I don’t go and pussy off on you all,” he swallowed and looked away when his cheeks started to burn. “I know I can be a bit of a bitch…”
“De nada,” the warrior rolled his eyes and went back to his task. “I would never leave a comrade to die.”
“Right, a comrade,” Ric muttered and tilted his head back toward the ceiling as he released a shaky breath, willing away the constant sting of the wound.
“I would never leave a comrade,” he repeated slowly. “And I would most certainly not leave my very best friend. No matter how big of an annoying baby you are.”
Rictor grinned at that. “I knew I could count on you, hombre.”
“Indeed,” 'Star smiled a rare grin and covered the sutures with a brand new bandage. “There, was that too difficult?”
“My world will never be the same,” the Mexican lulled, before falling into a nasty coughing fit. It had happened a lot since he had woken up that morning, and it was painful as hell. Three times the coughing had led him to vomiting, and the muscle contractions were a bitch on the burns and other injuries on his chest. He threw one hand over his mouth and the other cradled his ribs as he doubled over in his seated position. Shatty immediately went to his side to steady him and keep him from tipping over. Rictor nodded at him, and did his best to smile between coughs.
“Fekt, Julio, that doesn't sound good,” the warrior grimaced, and placed a hand on the Mexican’s back to give him a soft thump. “I think we should make sure you are heated at all possible times. If you get pneumonia--”
“I’m fine,” Rictor waved him off, and managed a few deep breaths. “Fuck that hurt.”
“I promise I'll get you to a real doctor soon.”
Rictor coughed once more before leaning back against Shatty’s hand. It lingered there, and the feel of it did not at all go unnoticed by Ric. However, once again he did not voice his opinion on it. “I thought you didn’t like doctors?”
“I can handle it,” he rolled his eyes. “I would rather not risk it with you.”
“I know, I know,” Rictor rolled his eyes right back, and watched when 'Star pulled his hand back and stood up to walk away. He threw another two pieces of wood onto the fire and poked it around with his boot. The Mexican watched him closely, noting the fierce determination on his face. It was a look that had not left his friend since they had been there. However there was something else in his eyes that stuck out like a sore spot to Rictor, and that was concern. Concern was not something that Shatty ever let read on his demeanour, and it made Julio wonder if he was possibly worse off than 'Star was letting on.
Whatever the case, it warmed Rictor to know that he cared. Shatterstar was not a guy who showed such an emotion for people. In all the years they had been friends, Julio had never really seen him anxious and protective like he was right then. It surprised him, really, but he was not complaining. In fact, he would be lying if he said 'Star showing such feelings did not make him at least a little happy. Shatty was always tripping over his emotions -- but now, he seemed very sure of them.
But was it wrong to be happy about something like that? Given their situation, it was probably nothing more than an instinct on 'Star’s part. Rictor knew better than to claw for attention, so he was not going to, but somewhere deep down he just could not help himself. This more humanized side of 'Star made him at ease. It made him feel better and maybe a little optimistic about their situation -- it made him…
Nothing. It was instinct, is all. Shatty was being a good friend and Shatty was protecting him, and for that Ric owed the guy his life. If he even made it out of this whole thing alive. It hurt Rictor to breathe, to move, to eat, and to sleep. He still was not able to walk without help, and he had barely been able to take a piss on his own. The burns were excruciating and the cuts stung, and his muscles were so strained that it felt as though his body was one big throb.
And on top of all of that, he was being hunted and if those hunters happened to show up there was no doubt in his mind he would not be able to defend himself.
“Are you hungry yet?” 'Star asked him, cutting him from his thoughts. “And please put that coat back on and stop leaving it undone.”
Rictor rolled his eyes. “No, I’m not hungry.”
“You haven't eaten,” Shatty pointed out.
“I did too,” Rictor replied. “I just puked it up.”
“Which means your stomach is empty and you are not nourished,” he sighed. “Are we going to start bickering again?”
“I dunno, you wanna? It’s kinda fun,” Ric snorted amusedly.
“Next time I want to wish ill will on someone, remind me to send you their way,” the warrior shook his head and bent over to grab a can of soup from the bag anyways. With one swift jab of his knife, he sliced the lid off and began to cook it slowly over the flame. “I’ll share this one with you so that you don’t have to eat so much.”
“Gracias,” Rictor yawned, and slowly laid down on his blanket to rest. “Chingao, I’m tired.”
“Sleep if you need to,” 'Star told him. “But you will eat first. And then I will keep watch.”
Rictor rolled his eyes again, but could not keep the smile off his face. “Si, si, whatever you say."
“Alpha this is Charlie, can ye read me?” Terry removed her thumb from the intercom and waited for a reply. It was getting tedious, she would be the first to admit, but something deep down would not allow her to give up hope on her friends. It had been days since they had last seen their leader. Days since Terry had seen her closest friends, and it had been days since Terry had seen her boyfriend, Wade. Sure they had not been dating all that long, but that did not make it any less painful for her.
If anything she just wanted to be reassured that they were still alive; not knowing was the worst part.
The redhead swallowed the lump in her throat and pressed the intercom as she brought the comm link up to her mouth. “If any of ye are out there, and ye can hear me, please send us a signal. We need tah know yuir all right.”
“Will you stop?” Roberto glared at her from across the cave. “I’m sick of listening you talk to static.”
Terry frowned. “I need tah try, Bobby. What good will it do tah give up?”
“And what good will it do to sit there and say the same thing over and over again?” he snapped and tossed a stick across the ground. “It’s frustrating as hell, and it’s pretty much just rubbing in our faces that they’re gone!”
“They’re not gone yet,” 'Star muttered from the opposite direction. His eyes were closed where he sat leaned against the wall; Terry had thought he’d dozed off shortly after Ric had.
“Whatever,” Roberto shook his head. “We gotta worry about ourselves, and if they decide to stop being dicks any time soon we’ll hear from them, I’m sure.”
“Bobby,” Terry sighed and raked a hand through her tussled hair. “What’s wrong with ye, lad? Ye’ve been so quiet all day and now--”
“I just don’t wanna listen to you sobbing over the radio looking for your retarded boyfriend, that’s all!” he yelled, and jumped to his feet. “There are more important things to worry about for some of us besides fuckin’
“He would nae do that!” Terry scoffed, feeling deeply offended. What was with Bobby’s sudden attack on her? She knew he had not been acting like himself, but this was a bit much in her opinion. “He may’ve been in some trouble in the past, but he’s never done anythin’ like that tah us, Bobby. He’s our team mate!”
“Only because you whined ‘til he was,” Bobby narrowed his eyes. “I don’t trust him at all, and Lord knows why you do!”
“Because I know him,” Terry finally got to her feet. “And ye may not be willin’ tah give him a chance, and that's fine -- no one is forcin’ ye tah. But ye need tah keep yuir head together, boyo! This whole thing is startin’ tah get tah ye!”
He shook his head and scowled at her. “I don’t know why ya just didn’t stick with Jimmy, Ter. Jimmy actually cares about you, and
“Hey!” a loud, deep voice interrupted them. Terry jumped and saw Shatterstar climb to his feet. The bigger man approached Sunspot with his chest out and his eyes narrowed, and did not waste any time grabbing him by the front of the uniform and shoving him into the wall of the cave. “I gave you one warning already, Sunspot. Back off now.”
Roberto glared at him. “You let me go.”
“Don’t let me hear you talk to her like that again,” Shatty breathed close to the Brazilian’s face. “She is our leader and you will respect her actions!”
“Enough,” Terry sighed. “Both of ye. We cannae fight like this! We have to rely on each other to get outta this alive, and this fightin’ is gonna help no one.”
Roberto and Shatterstar just stared each other down for a few moments before the warrior’s bigger hands released the red coat. They took a few moments -- both too stubborn to back away first, but eventually stepped away from one another. Siryn bit back the hurt from Roberto’s comment, and tried her best to get back into leader mode.
“We shouldn’t even be here!” Bobby contested. “We should be out and fighting and trying to get our lives back!”
“I normally would be inclined to agree with you, Sunspot, but these circumstances demand otherwise,” 'Star replied in a low voice. “There is much less honor in allowing our teammates to die than there is in hiding. If it were still just the two of us most definitely we would be out,” he clenched his fists, and took a deep breath. “But we must stay until the others are in any condition to fight!”
Roberto sighed dejectedly and looked over at Rictor. “When will he be?”
“I don’t know.”
“He needs tah just keep restin’,” Terry did not meet Bobby’s gaze. “I’ll be fine; I just hit me head and got a few bumps and bruises. It’s him--”
“Nonsense,” 'Star interjected. “Your health is important too, Siryn.”
“I just don’t want to lose anyone else,” Roberto admitted. “It’s been hard enough as it is already.”
“Which is why we should keep our voices down,” Terry told him.
“Precisely; wake him, and I will slay you myself,” 'Star hissed before going back to his place next to Rictor. Bobby just narrowed his eyes at him before looking back at Theresa.
“I’m sorry, all right?”
“Fine,” she sighed.
“I’m just-- things are…” he clenched his jaw and dropped his gaze to the ground.
“I know, Bobby,” Terry muttered. “I dinnae blame ye. Ye lost ‘Mara and if I were ye I would nae be keepin’ myself as nearly as grounded as ye.”
“Grounded?” he snorted. “Yeah right, I can’t keep myself in check at all, Sy. I’m worried I might…”
She swallowed and hesitantly placed a hand on his arm. “Ye might what?”
He pulled back and stepped away. “Nothing, never mind. I just need to get my focus back is all, I really didn’t mean what I said to you, Ter,” he frowned angrily. “I don’t even know where that came from.”
She sighed and tried her best to brush it off. “It’s no big deal. I’ve heard worse in my life, ye know.”
“You shouldn’t have to though,” he muttered. “What you do is your own business, and I had no right to throw that in your face.”
She blinked, and felt awkward that he had so quickly erupted with rage, and then was ready to apologize just as hastily. She forgave him, of course, but his abrupt mood changes were something to keep an eye on. It could end up being more of a liability than anything if they were not careful. Terry had been in charge of enough X-Force squads to know better.
“It’s all right,” she murmured again. “It’s nae like yuir the only one who’s commented on my relationship. There’s nae a single person on our team who’s been thrilled about it so far -- except maybe Sam, but ye know he’s just too nice tah say anythin’ bad or discouragin'.”
She shrugged. “Who’s tah say who’s better than anyone else, Bobby? I’ve done a lot of things I’m nae proud of, and ye do nae hold that against me.” She folded her arms and tilted her head to the side. “And before ye go sayin’ anythin’ else about James, I’ll have ye know that he's my best friend. Sometimes that's better off than romantic feelings, ye know.”
Bobby swallowed. “Yeah…right.”
She sighed and stepped back over to their bags. “We’re down tah the last bit of food, boys. We’re gonna have tah do somethin’ about that soon.”
Somewhere over her shoulder she heard Roberto sigh and give up on the conversation -- and she was glad. They were treading into dangerous territory once again, and she did not want any more fighting that day. The change of subject was a safe route, and hopefully they could forget about everything else that was bothering them and focus on keeping themselves alive. They needed each other right then more than ever, and turning their backs on one another would be the deadliest mistake they could make.
They were in enough trouble as it was.
An explosion of pain shot through his body; it was the only thing he could focus on before he had realized that he was not yet even awake. Drowsily, Rictor forced open his eyes, and was shocked to find his face pressed into a hard chest while massive arms hoisted him from the ground. 'Star was scrambling to move him, and all Ric could hear pounding in his ears was screaming.
“Quiet!” he hissed at him, and ducked him into the far corner of the cave. As soon as his body made contact with the ground, another round of agonizing pain sent jolts throughout his body. Silver eyes gazed at him apologetically before Shatterstar began dumping their bags and blankets on him. “Be quiet and do not move! As long as you can hide you'll be safe!”
“What’s going--?” Ric began to question but was cut off by the deafening pitch of Terry’s sonic scream. Shatterstar turned and ran back toward the group, and it was behind his retreating form that the Mexican finally noticed the soldiers.
They had been found out.
A paralyzing fear overtook his body, and flashes of memories came back at him. Bodies -- piles of them -- lay lifelessly amongst the hallways of the Xavier Institute. The mansion had been their home and headquarters, and they had returned to find everyone they knew, housemates and allies, slaughtered. Some had been shot; blood had been spattered violently behind them, leaving walls painted a sickening crimson red. The females had been bludgeoned; some nude and tattered, and so obviously sexually mutilated and terrorized in their last moments of life. Rictor could remember throwing up, splashing his boots with the contents of his stomach before Domino had grabbed him and forced him to run.
Soldiers, just like the ones currently in front of him, had been stalking around the estate grounds looking for any more signs of life. Dom was the last solid, concrete stone of consciousness that the kids had left, and she was the only one calm enough to get them to the subbasement to make their escape. They barely made it out alive. Their carrier had been so damaged by gunfire during their fleeing that they were unable to make it further than
And now they were trapped in the confines of a cave with the fuckers surrounding them -- and worst of all they were packed head to toe with guns and other weapons. The sight of it stunned Ric to the point that he could not move. He could not blink. He could not think.
But X-Force fought back as he watched on. Roberto was powered up and firing waves of concussive attacks, while Terry hovered over the boys and directed her voice toward their attackers. Most seemed put off at the power based attacks, but some of the men appeared to be protected by mutant energy signatures. Men that wore olive green rather than the emerald green of HYDRA, and had some sort of communicative head piece. These guys were surrounded by the regular looking agents, so were probably higher up in rank.
But of course, no matter what protection HYDRA had, nothing could stop the metal of Shatty’s swords from penetrating them. Rictor’s best friend spun and flipped around the cave as he engaged in hand to hand combat below their teammates’ attacks. Screams were heard from all over -- from X-Force and from the agents -- but all of it was blended together in Rictor’s mind as he watched. More blood flew, Siryn and Sunspot ripped through the air like fighter jets, and guns fired off all around and sent bullets ricocheting close enough to Ric for him to feel the impact of their force as they flew by. Bodies fell fast -- those that belonged to the agents -- and as much as the very sight of them brought a certain hatred to the Mexican, he still could not help but wince and look away when they hit the ground dead.
“Shatty!” Roberto called from the air, and fired a concussive blast strong enough to take out another group. “Go for the one in black! He has a radio!”
The warrior did not even have to nod. Swiftly his blade ripped through the air and struck at the abdomens of the two closest soldiers, eviscerating them both on contact. They did not even have a chance to fall to the ground before 'Star had leapt up and used them to propel himself higher in the air. Only ten feet away the black soldier stood, and in that small half of a second that 'Star was in the air, something caught Rictor’s eyes.
The man in black pumped his fist and pointed at Shatty, and the two agents next to him lifted their guns.
“'Star!” Rictor screamed and tried to get to his feet. However, the pain in his body made him fall backward and he could not stand. The guns fired off at the same time Shatterstar’s sword impaled the commander through the throat and left his head severed. The man in black fell limply to the ground and oozed blood-- sprayed blood-- painted the ground with so much blood that Ric felt ill at the sight of it. At the same time, Sunspot upped the solar radiation and sent a massive blast at the last two remaining men, using so much heat that Julio’s still healing flesh stung from the feel of it.
But it was not enough.
Blood sprayed backwards as one of their bullets struck Shatterstar. Rictor was too stunned to see where, but he was almost sure it was his face. The warrior’s head snapped back at the impact with a sickening cracking noise, before he fell to the ground in a heap.
That time Rictor could stand, and he ran to his fallen friend. Every movement was protested by his body, but he did not care. He had to make sure he was okay; he would not be able to bear losing him now. Ric needed him. But there was blood; there was so much blood that Rictor couldn’t help but stare.
Go to Chapter Five