Title: What’s In a Name?
Characters: Rictor and Shatterstar
Disclaimer: I do not own (it makes them sleep better at night when I say that)
Summary: Rictor and Shatterstar have an unofficial first meeting. Takes place somewhere off panel between X-Force 14 and 16.
(1) X-Force did not have a base at this time. Greymalkin had been destroyed, Cable thought dead, and the kids were pretty much living out of the already damaged IPAC. For sake of the story they found one of Nate’s safe houses to crash at. If you have complaints about this, you can STFU.
(2)There is no slash here, unfortunately. Just a little something I cooked up when thinking about how they really first got to know each other. Not much of a plot though. I hope you can find it in your hearts to forgive me.
He had an awful pain in his neck.
Of course, it did not help much that Rictor had slept on a sofa with no pillow; he had only a sweater he picked up after leaving
So it was no surprise that he had actually managed to wake early. With Weapon P.R.I.M.E. he had a bed that he had been able to get full night’s rest on for the past few weeks, but X-Force had been on the run for awhile, and while the conditions were uncomfortable, they were all out like lights around the den area. Except for Sam and Tabitha, of course, those assholes had snagged the one bedroom in the house for themselves.
“Mornin’,” the Mexican yawned when he walked into the kitchen. There was one occupant already inside -- the big scary guy with all the hair.
“Humph,” he huffed and glared icily at him from across the table. The larger boy was shirtless and had a giant sized bowl of Raisin Bran, or something, in front of him.
“Not a morning person, huh? Dios, figures,” Ric scratched his bare chest and looked around the tiny kitchen for something edible. “I fucking hate gettin’ up this early. Especially when I spent the whole night fightin’ for space on a crappy ass piece o’ work like that. I tell ya, I’ve slept on worse, but that thing it reminded me of…” he trailed off when he realized the guy was not even looking at him anymore. “Okay then…”
“Your complaints are rather unjust. Try sleeping on concrete for sixteen of your years.”
Rictor blinked. “I have.” The guy just narrowed his eyes at him until Rictor decided to elaborate further. “Well…not for sixteen years. I mean, I’m only sixteen now, but…I have slept on concrete before.”
“Hmmm,” he hummed in reply.
“Hmmm? What the hell is ‘hmmm’ supposed to mean?” Rictor scrunched up his face and grabbed at that aching spot in his neck again. “You don’t say much, do ya?”
“I say plenty. I just haven’t found anything I want to say to the likes of you,” he shrugged obnoxiously. Rictor could only blink at the outright bluntness of the statement before it even registered in his mind. What the fuck was that all about? All he had tried to do was be decent to the freak, and he had to go and say that? What a jerk!
“Well that’s awfully kind of you,” Rictor sneered and grabbed the rest of the crappy ass Raisin Bran.
“I was not trying to be kind,” he stated simply.
“Obviously; even if you were you’d fail at it,” Rictor rolled his eyes and plopped down in the seat across from him. The pain in his neck throbbed again, and he rubbed at it with a wince. “You should at least try and be nice to people, you know. We do have to be on the same team together.”
“Is that so?” he narrowed his eyes -- those intense and scarily silver ones -- and gave him the once over. “I was not aware you were now considering yourself a member of this team, considering you are not fond of Cable and it's his cause we are still fighting for.”
“Whatever man, I just wanted to be with my friends,” Rictor retorted. “You do get that, don’t you?”
“No, I have no friends.”
“Yeah no wonder,” Ric scoffed, and then instantly felt a little bit bad for saying it. Of course, he was not going to let that jerk know that he felt bad, but still. “You would probably have some if you were nice to people.”
“I do not try to be nice,” he insisted. “But I do not try to be mean either. I prefer to remain neutral with my combat mates.”
Combat mates? Where the hell this guy learned his English, Rictor could not help but wonder. He was still staring at him with that icy look, but now he seemed a lot more curious. Rictor wondered if any of the others had even bothered to try and help this guy at all; he was probably from a different country and didn’t know anybody. The Mexican knew all too well what that felt like. He sighed; this new guy had probably been around since Ric had gone to Genosha, and yet no one had bothered to teach him how to be nice, or anything! Inwardly, he was a little pissed at the fact because he sure as hell did not want to be the one to do it.
“Where you from? You don’t sound American,” he attempted to play it safe by changing the subject.
“Mojoworld,” he replied with a shrug, and took a giant bite of cereal.
“Mojoworld,” he repeated.
Rictor furrowed his eyebrows and attempted to eat as well. “Oh yeah? Where’s that?”
“In another dimension,” he promptly informed him. “100 years in the future. I traveled through time and space to get to this place.”
Rictor blinked. “Space?”
“So…you’re an alien,” Rictor deadpanned with a chuckle and took another bite of food. “Dios, that’s a new one.”
The guy just stared at him.
“You’re serious!?” Rictor squeaked.
“Of course, I would not lie!” he scoffed. “It is a planet full of war and death. There we had to kill in order to survive. Most of the humanoids there were slaves, and we fought to free them. They sent me here to find help.”
“So you’re an alien?” Rictor repeated one more time just because he couldn’t think of anything else to say.
The warrior narrowed his eyes. “Don’t act so bewildered. From what I understand you are an alien too.”
“What!?” Ric nearly choked. “Who the hell told you that?!”
Red eyebrows rose, and the glare finally left the boy’s face to be replaced with an inquisitive look. “You are in this country illegally, are you not?”
The Mexican felt his cheeks burn and he glowered. “That’s not the same thing.”
“Oh, my apologies,” he looked down in his bowl for a few moments before he began eating again. Rictor was just genuinely perplexed; he was sitting at a table eating breakfast with an alien. A bloodthirsty one who liked to kill people…and eat Raisin Bran.
“Uhm,” he cleared his throat and tried desperately to think of something to say. “So…uh…what’s your name anyways? I don’t think I caught it.”
“Shatterstar? That your code name?” Rictor questioned. “You got a real one?”
“Shatterstar,” he repeated.
“That is your name!?”
“Why is that a bad name?” he asked him with a fierce tone; one that made Ric throw his hands up in the air in defense.
“No not at all! It just doesn’t sound like a name people have around here, is all.” The Mexican pushed his bowl away from him, suddenly not hungry and more interested in conversing -- for whatever the fucking reason, he didn’t know. “See we all got code names, you know, like they have to do with our powers. But they ain’t our real names.”
“I see,” Shatterstar rubbed his chin thoughtfully. “That is why they call Cannonball ‘Sam’.”
“Exactly,” Rictor nodded with a grin.
“Well my arena name is Shatterstar,” the warrior informed him. “It is all I ever go by; however…I did have a designation at birth.”
“So you do have a real name?” Rictor nodded in thought. “I do too, but I haven’t ever told the others what it is.”
“I have not told them mine either,” Shatterstar responded. “But I do not wish to be called by it so I will not tell them it. Unless they ask.”
Rictor couldn’t help but snort at that; so much for the guy being a secret keeper. “So what is it?”
“Why do you wish to know? You were calling me mean before. I am under the impression that you held no care for the likes of me, so…”
Rictor rolled his eyes. Dios, this guy needed a personality adjustment; talking to him was like pulling teeth. And it was not that Rictor didn’t like him, he seemed interesting enough, but he just scared him a little, was all. And it was not like Shatterstar went out of his way to make himself likeable anyhow. “I just wanted to know, that’s all.”
“My designation is Gaveedra Seven.”
Rictor blinked. “Gaveedra? Seven?”
“That is what I said. Are you hard of hearing?”
“No,” Rictor laughed. “I just ain’t ever heard a name like that.”
“You said that about ‘Shatterstar’ as well.”
Yes, he had. “Yeah but…never mind,” he chuckled and raked a hand through his hair.
“You are laughing at me,” Shatterstar stated miserably.
“No! Dios, no I’m not laughing!” Ric sobered up quickly and bit his lip. “I just…sorry, okay? Ya just have to understand that I ain’t all that used to conversing with aliens.”
“You are ignorant,” Shatterstar nodded. “I see.”
“I’m not…!” Rictor face palmed and stared at the larger boy through spread fingers. “Yes…I’m ignorant. Fine. Whatever.”
“What is your name?”
“Rictor,” he told him.
“No, you’re real one.”
The Mexican clenched his jaw and let his hand fall from his face. “That’s none of your business.”
“But I told you mine,” he furrowed his eyebrows, looking ever so confused and practically misinformed. Rictor did not care though; no one knew his real name and he was going to keep it that way. Only one person called him by his real name, and there was a reason he ran away from that one person. He did not exactly want to be associated with that name, so ‘Rictor’ was in place for a reason.
“You also said all I had to do was ask, so I did,” Rictor told him. “That doesn’t mean we’re playin’ Quid Pro Quo, Clarice.”
“Silence of the Lambs.”
“Yeah,” Rictor grinned. “Good movie, eh?”
“I have seen that movie a few times since I came here. I enjoyed it; namely the scenes with Doctor Lecter. We had an excellent television set at our old base.”
Rictor nodded. “I haven’t been able to watch any good boob tube since the Institute.”
“TV,” Rictor informed him with a smirk. Just at that moment, they were joined in the kitchen by another new body that the Mexican was not particular familiar with. The cat-like woman, whom he learned was named Feral, sauntered inside and practically purred at the sight of Shatterstar.
“Hey Shattybuns,” she licked her lips and pounced into the chair next to the alien. “What’s for breakfast, handsome?”
“That is not my name,” he said through a clenched jaw. “I have told you to stop referring to me as such. Now leave.”
“Why would I wanna do a thing like that when I cin sit ‘ere an’ chill wit’ jou,” she perked an eyebrow suggestively and thrashed her tail.
Shatterstar looked absolutely irritated. “You can stay if you wish, but I still have a fight to pick with you. We did not finish our battle, and if you wish to continue it then I would gladly do so. You are a savage beast even toward your own team, and there is no honor in that.”
“What happened?” Rictor asked confusedly.
However, Feral just ignored him. “An’ I tole you, ‘Buns, if ya wanna wrestle wit’ me I’d be more ‘n willin’ to.”
“That is not my name!” he sighed in frustration. “And if a fight is what you want--”
“I said wrestle,” she purred at him. “I’d wrestle you any time, any place.”
“Hey why don’t you leave him alone,” Rictor snapped in irritation. “He was doin’ just fine in here before you came and started pissing him off, chica.”
“Me an’ ‘Buns have some business ta deal with, Mejicano, so settle your ‘mones, huh?”
“I do not wish to--” Shatterstar started but was interrupted by Feral making a grab at him. Instantly he pulled away and the cat dashed to the other side of the room. “Don’t run like a coward, beast!”
“Later, ‘Buns,” she cackled before taking off again.
The alien sighed in an infuriated manner. “That woman constantly antagonizes me! And she calls me names that do not belong to me.”
Rictor frowned. “She’s just tryin’ to get under your skin, amigo. Don’t take it personally.”
“Amigo?” he scrunched up his face. “What is that?”
“Oh it means, uh…friend,” he replied awkwardly. “In Spanish. That’s what language I speak.”
“Friend,” Shatterstar repeated slowly. “Then I suppose you can call me that if you wish. It does not sound demeaning or degrading in anyway, like what she says. Although it is not my name,” he added just because.
Rictor snorted at that. “I know that.”
Rictor relaxed somewhat on that note; the guy wasn’t so bad. Sure he was a little ornery, but that seemed to be mostly the result of him not really understanding certain things around him. Besides, Shatterstar had mentioned something about killing people just to survive, and hell, Rictor would be ridiculous to think that, that would not make anyone cranky.
And if the only people the guy had around to teach him a thing or two about humans was Feral, then Lord knew he was in for one miserable vacation on Earth.
But with the exception of Tabitha and Sam, the new team was entirely unfamiliar to Rictor, too. Since the latter two were always up in each other’s faces like a pair of lovesick puppies, Rictor figured it would not hurt to get to know the others as well. And starting with Shatterstar had been…interesting…but if he could at least get him to loosen up and realize not all Earthlings were so bad, then there was no harm in that. At least they would benefit from something, after all.
The warrior looked at him with a curious expression. “Yes?”
“What is Julio?” he asked looking around, completely bewildered.
“My name,” he coughed, feeling a tad bit uncomfortable but a little relieved at the same time for getting it off his chest. “Mi name is Julio. But that doesn’t mean you can tell anybody or call me by it!”
“Then why did you tell me?”
Rictor sighed, folding his arms. “Because you asked me…and, maybe because you told me yours even though you didn’t wanna.”
“Quid pro quo, Clarice?” he asked with a ghost of a smile on his face.
Rictor laughed at that, relieved that Shatterstar did not make a giant sized deal out of the matter. An awkward attempt at acquaintances was fine for now; it wasn’t like they were going to be best friends forever or anything.
“Remind me not to like your sense of humor later.”